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28 February 2014

Review: Made in Nashville by Mandy Baggot

An on-stage attack left Honor Blackwood with more scars than just the one on her face. It’s been ten years since she left her spot as Nashville’s brightest country music star. Is now the time to return? And is she brave enough to do it?

Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall is hot property on the Tennessee music scene in more ways than one. He’s wild, he’s sexy and everybody wants a piece of him. But when he sets his sights on Honor, is it pure attraction or just distraction on his mind?

Honor’s record label sign the ex-boyfriend that dumped her and suddenly going back to her old life is harder than she thought. Can she get a new contract? Will she get to perform at the Marlon Festival? Or will Dan Steele destroy everything?

When a secret from the past becomes public knowledge it’s no longer just about the music. Are all the people in her life lying to her to get what they want? And who is really behind the anonymous gifts she keeps getting sent?

5 Words: What the hell was that?

It's true, if you're a fan of the TV show Nashville, you'll love this. Love it. And I'm a huge fan. From the first word, I loved it, I was convinced that I'd give it a solid five stars.

So why did this only get 4 stars?

The last 20%.

Everything is fine and dandy and passionate and drama filled and amazing until you hit exactly the 80% mark. Then I felt that things got a little OTT (as much as a story featuring such big, famous personalities can be OTT). Because you learn something about Jed. And Honor changes and becomes supremely superficial and a mega-bitch.

Jed was definitely my favourite character, followed by Mia. Then Honor.

Jed was this masculine, hunk of passion, who is perhaps the most respectable gentleman I'v read in contemporary romance. It was so refreshing. He was in turmoil with himself, always trying so hard.

Honor was at first this timid young woman, scarred both physically and mentally by her past. She's punishing herself because of what was done to her. And Jed comes along and stops this, makes her stronger, brings her back to herself.

And then Honor finds out about his big secret and judges him even though SHE asked not to know any more and SHE said she trusted him anyway and SHE doesn't even know the whole freaking story. This big change in her just ruined it for me.

Listen to this with a country playlist - I did and it was awesome.

25 February 2014

Top Ten Bookish Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Tuesday REWIND!

So, it took a while to pick a past one to to, but below are my Top Ten Bookish Confessions.

  1. I love my books to death.
    By this I mean that I read them over and over until they fall apart. You should see my copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - oh wait, I had to buy a new one it was that wrecked. Even my signed copy of The Name of the Star is trashed because I've read it so much.
  2. I'm a book bitch.
    Sometimes I just get my mega-bitch on and my review is "bitch-bitch-bitch" even if I liked it. I mean, one of my more recent 4/5 star reviews called the book crap. I obviously didn't mean it was crap crap as I gave it a really high rating but I put it anyway.
  3. I abuse my books.
    They just lie around the house. Everywhere. Mostly on the floor. And I don't just pile them up neatly - I often just chuck them in the general direction of the pile and hope it doesn't all collapse. I love them, but I also love the character my abused books have - dog-eared pages, broken spines, weird stains from god-knows-what.
  4. I freaking love reading in the bath.
    This has been the downfall of so many books. And my saviour when it came to The DaVinci Code. On my fifth attempt I "accidentally" dropped it and didn't fish it out until it was a nasty pile of mush. Because I thought it was that bad.
  5. I've read VERY few classics.
    It was only last year that I finally read Pride and Prejudice. And I didn't even like it much beyond the social commentary aspect. I'll stick to the film ;) This most likely stems from having Great Expectations rammed down my freaking throat in high school.
  6. I judge books by their covers.
    Kinda badly too. I generally won't pick a book up if it has a naff cover. I actually didn't want to read The Fault In Our Stars because of that awful cover, I only ended up reading it because it was part of a book club read. And it was amazing.
  7. I'm a book snob.
    Some books are just naff. And some books just have that kind of extreme-fan-girl-meanie following that immediately puts me off before I even pick it up. And I almost threw up when I saw Wuthering Heights with a "Bella and Edward's Favourite Book" sticker on the front in Waterstones.
  8. And I will judge you by what you read.
    What's that? You're a Twilight fan? I don't think we can be friends any more. That's a joke obviously, but I really didn't like it. Or Fifty Shades of Grey. I have standards and they came nowhere near.
  9. But I do read those books.
    I have read Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey and I tried The Mortal Instruments (the only one I couldn't complete!)

  10. I actually liked Katie Price's Angel series.
    It's like my ultimate girly dirty nasty makes-me-so-ashamed guilty pleasure. I haven't even put in on my Goodreads or reviewed it anywhere because how can I look down my nose at Twilight fans when I secretly love this shite?

24 February 2014

Blog Tour: The Guestbook by Holly Martin

Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.

There has been a tremendous response so far to The Guestbook, everyone seems to love Olly and Annie but one of the most popular characters seems to be Sophia Lorenzo, Olly’s aunt and the cleaner at Willow Cottage. So I thought I would bring her back with this interview with The Daily Moon.

Sophia, your cake making session is listed as one of the top ten things to do in Wells-Next-The-Sea. Why do you think the tourists love it so much?
I came second in the National Great Cake Making Challenge last year and I think the tourists like to be taught by an expert. The people that come along to my sessions learn how to make cake pops, butterfly cakes and fruit scones, we also learn about cake decorating too. It’s a fun session and when the weather is rubbish, sitting in a real cottage kitchen making cakes next to a wood stove is an attractive thing for the tourists.
Oliver Black, world famous crime writer, is your nephew, does he like your cakes? 
He’s always had a bit of a sweet tooth. He’d always be hanging around my house when he was growing up and he’d always leave with three cakes in his hands. He and his brother Nick used to sit on my doorstep taking it in turns to lick the cake bowl out so I must have been doing something right. 
Three? I thought you only had two nephews. 
Yes, but Annie Butterworth was always hanging around with them as well, they were completely inseparable growing up. 
Are they still inseparable now? 
I also do a course on bee keeping too, the tourists learn about keeping bees and how to extract the honey. We also make beeswax candles dipping them into the pots of wax in the traditional manner. 
Rumour has it that Oliver and Annie had an affair not long after her husband, his brother died. Is this true? 
No they’re friends, that’s it. 
What do you say about these photos that were taken a month after Nick died, this one show Annie and Olly holding hands on the beach. This one shows them hugging each other. Are you honestly saying that nothing happened between them. 
Her husband had died, he was comforting her. There is no gossip here, no matter how much you want there to be. Are you actually here to talk about the tourist industry in Norfolk or just to try to get some non-existent gossip about Oliver from me. If that’s the case I assure you you’re going to be bitterly disappointed. 
There were rumours in the papers recently that Oliver and Annie… 
How dare you come into my house under false pretences and try to get me to betray the people I love. Do you have no conscience at all? You people make me sick. Annie is a grieving widow and Olly lost his brother and you think that this kind of ‘gossip’ is interesting for your readers. Get out of my house right now before I make you. 
Interview terminated

The blog tour continues tomorrow with Tangled in Pages and there will be a review on Reviewed by Fran so make sure to check them out!

21 February 2014

Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: Masked by Janelle Stalder

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.

New Berlin, 2040. Rebels prepare to fight against the New World Order, bent on bringing down the world’s greatest tyrant. One girl wanted nothing to do with it, content to keep her head down and make the best of this new world. That is, until she has no choice but to work with the rebels and infiltrate the NWO headquarters. Every moment she spends there puts her in danger, especially when one man, the second in command to the New World leader, continues to make his way into her every thought. She must stay focused and protect not just her mind and body, but also her heart. Will she be able to complete her task without being unmasked? Or will the one man standing in her way ruin it all?

Buy Links to Come

5 Words: Intense, hot, shocking, deception, love.

Masked pick up right where Switch ends. And it is one heck of a ride. It's my favourite of the New World Order books so far! But this time the focus is on Bridgette and Roman, with a hint of Missy right at the end.

This is a series that you have to read in order - if you jump straight in you won't know the full picture and it won't be so awesome. But it's also a series you get easily involved in - I need book 3 now! NOW!

This book is so much more complicated than the first. Every relationship, everything that happens, every plot twist, it just blew my mind. And back comes the hot, steamy, sexy romance. Wowsers.

Again, the narrative is split so you get to see different perspectives of the same story. This helps to build the tension and take the whole story in unexpected directions. And it also leads to some shocks and some "what does that character know that I don't?".

Janelle Stalder presents us with yet another New Adult triumph that reads so well and ends with such a "WHAT?!" that you just want to read on. But you can't. Because it's the end. For now.

I want so badly to know Missy's story. The set up for the next book was definitely a success, so I can't wait!


So here it is... The whole first chapter! I really spoil you all. Really.
5 years later…
New Berlin, 2040

Bridgette pressed her back against the door, her breath quick, heart pounding. Smooth, Bridge. Real smooth, she thought. Footsteps stopped just outside the door. She could hear his breathing through the wood. Bridgette bit her lip beneath the mask she now wore, waiting for what would happen next.
“Lottey?” he called out. There was a small thump from the other side, and when he spoke again his voice sounded closer and slightly muffled, like he was resting his forehead against the door. “Look, I know you’re mad at me, and you have every right to be,” he started.
Charlotte was mad at him? A sliver of hope spread through her chest. If her sister was mad at him, it would make Bridgette’s job a heck of a lot easier. Roman Adamson was not only the second in command of the New World order, but he also happened to be the sexiest man Bridgette had ever seen. It made coherent thought difficult around him, and right now she needed all her wits on full alert. If she was going to pull off this disguise of her younger sister, Charlotte, who she had discovered was still alive, she couldn't afford to make any mistakes. Especially around the man standing outside her room. Well, Charlotte’s room, but for now it was hers.
What I have gotten myself into? She asked herself for the millionth time since she’d agreed to do this. If it hadn't been for the fact that her evil, sadistic father was holding her sister captive, there was no way Bridgette would have been doing anything to help the rebels. She’d long ago decided to make the best out of the new life she’d been forced to live, and that meant no involvement with the group of men set on destroying the new government. Considering her father was their leader, she definitely hadn't wanted any part in this. But once again life had thrown her a curveball in the form of her sister, and she was forced to play along. At least until she planted the bomb.
Her back felt sticky with sweat beneath the fabric of the uniform she wore. All she wanted to do was strip out of it, pull off the mask her sister had been wearing for the last five years – how Charlotte had stood it, she had no idea – and take off the boots that were a size too small and pinching the crap out of her toes. Instead she had to deal with Roman, who had caught her in the hall. And of course, Bridgette had done the first thing that had come to mind, which happened to be to turn and run like an idiot, locking herself inside this room.
Again, real smooth, Bridge. Shut up, she told herself. What else could she have done? Stood there and had a conversation with him? Sure, eventually she’d have no choice. She just wasn't expecting to have to do it within her first ten minutes of being in the headquarters.
“I know you’ll probably never forgive me,” Roman was saying. Forgive him for what? She wondered. What had he done to her sister? Anger simmered inside her. No one hurt her sister. “Just, please know that I truly am sorry if I've messed things up for you. It’s the last thing I would ever want.”
Her entire body stilled at the remorse she heard in his voice. Did Roman have feelings for Charlotte? Why did that make her feel sick just thinking about it? No, there was no way. Charlotte was in love with Bridgette’s best friend, Pete McKay. She hadn't said as much, but you’d have to be blind not to see it when they looked at each other. She had no doubt Pete was working to find Charlotte even now. At least, she hoped he was. The longer Charlotte stayed with their dad, the greater the chance she’d get hurt. Her sister did not know how to shut her mouth, and their father had zero patience.
Bridgette shuddered at the thought of how her sister had looked the last time she had seen her – beaten and bloody, their father standing to the side watching it all. She needed to accomplish what she was here to do – fast. Then she needed to get back to her sister and away from all of this.
“Look, I know you don’t want to see me right now,” Roman said, jarring her back to the situation at hand, “but Ludwig’s been looking for us both. I told him you weren’t feeling well, but I can’t put him off any longer. I need you to come with me to his office.”
Crap. Crap, crap, crap. Roman was bad enough, but Ludwig? That was just a disaster waiting to happen. Bridgette was terrified of the New World leader, who was responsible for destroying more than half the world’s population with his bombs and war. What if he saw through her right away? Charlotte had been in their camp for five years. Long enough for them to recognize all her little quirks and know if things seemed “off”. Bridgette needed to bring her A-game, and she wasn't quite sure if she even had one.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped back from the door, wincing at the pain in her feet. The first thing she was going to do tomorrow was demand new boots. She didn't care if it looked odd that her feet had gone up a size overnight, there was no way she was walking around in these boots for the next couple of weeks. She was there to plant a bomb when the arms dealers came to visit, which meant she’d have to play Charlotte for quite a while yet. Her feet were not going to survive.
She opened the door slowly, readying herself for the next step in this ridiculous plot. Her plan had been to practice her voice and mannerisms tonight, so she was ready tomorrow, but it looked like there wouldn't be time for that. Thankfully Bridgette had a good ear for tone. It probably had a lot to do with her vocal training. She knew how Charlotte spoke. It was softer, smoother than her own voice. Bridgette always spoke a little huskier than her younger sister, but she had faith in herself that she’d be able to pull this off.
As soon as her eyes met Roman’s, all the breath left her. All thoughts of courage disappeared under his stare. He was just so handsome. His eyes were a deep blue, his skin a flawless bronze, dark hair flowed to his shoulders. Shoulders that were massive and intimidating, and yet she wanted to be snuggled into them with those thick arms wrapped around her.
Snap out of it! She scolded herself. Her eyes had been making their own journey down the front of him. She shot them back up to look at his face, thankful for the first time that she wore a mask to hide the flush on her cheeks. He was watching her too, closely enough to cause the flush to spread down the rest of her body.
He thinks you’re Charlotte, she reminded herself. Was his look one of lust, or concern for whatever he’d done to her? She couldn't tell. Bridgette motioned with her head for him to lead the way, not trusting her voice just yet. The silent treatment – the most effective weapon of women to be used against men when they were pissed. She was going to use it to her full advantage.
He sighed loudly, his shoulders drooping a bit. Then he spun around and started down the hall. Bridgette hurried to keep up. She had no idea where Ludwig’s office was in this building, so she couldn't afford to get left behind. They walked in silence, with her just a bit behind him. She tried her best, but her eyes kept looking to him, watching the way his body moved as he walked. Every step was controlled, purposeful. Every shift in his muscles screamed of strength and power. She’d never met a man quite like him. He demanded respect and attention. Well, he certainly had hers, and that wasn't good.
Finally they came to a set of double doors. Roman opened them, standing back to let her enter first. She kept her gaze away from his as she walked by. The heat off his body had her swaying a bit, but she forced herself to keep going.
The room was dark, and clearly a man’s domain. There was nothing feminine about the deep, burgundy walls, leather chairs, and large, wooden desk. Standing in front of floor-to-ceiling windows was her biggest obstacle yet, Ludwig Tennebris. Crap, crap, crap. She stopped just inside, watching him as the prey watches a predator. Roman was scary, but Ludwig, he was terrifying. He didn't give off the same sort of strength that Roman did. His was more an aura of unpredictability; a man who could and would do anything and everything at any moment. She didn't like men like him. She liked to know what to expect, and she doubted that would ever be the case with the New World leader.
His eyes swung to hers, his blonde hair messy, probably from running his hands through it. She could tell he was agitated, which didn't bode well for her.
“Finally,” he said, stepping closer to her. The desk remained between them, a fact she was thankful for. “How are you feeling, Di?”
Bridgette paused for a second. She had forgotten that most of the New World soldiers thought Charlotte’s name was Dinah. It made her wonder why Roman called her Lottey. It also
shocked her that Ludwig had asked how she was. If she was being honest, she wasn't expecting that. From the look of him, she had thought he was going to start yelling, not look genuinely concerned for her.
“Better,” she answered.
He nodded, taking a seat behind his desk. “Good,” he said. “A lot has happened, or hasn't happened would be more accurate,” he continued. Rubbing a hand down his face, he leaned back in his chair, his mouth set in a thin line. “Those rebels you've been watching, did they ever mention anything about a traitor in their ranks?”
Bridgette shook her head. “Not that I heard,” she said, changing her voice.
“Well someone tipped them off tonight. When my men got to that church, the whole place had been cleared out.”
Charlotte must have warned them, Bridgette thought. Ludwig didn't seem to suspect her at all. How much did he trust her sister? Roman stepped forward so he was no longer in her peripheral vision.
“Could they have someone on the inside here?” Ludwig said.
Her heart rate kicked into high gear.
“I highly doubt it,” Roman said immediately. “Our men are loyal. Perhaps it was your inside man. Could he be playing both sides?”
Bridgette breathed a sigh of relief. Did Roman know about her sister’s relationship with McKay? His denial had come quickly; making her wonder if he was protecting Charlotte from Ludwig’s suspicion.
Ludwig rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “We’ll have to interrogate him and see, I suppose.” His head turned to her. “Have you had any contact from the rebels you've been watching?”
She shook her head. “They’re gone as well,” she said. At least she hoped they were. If McKay and the gang were smart, they would be far away from New Berlin. She had a pretty good intuition that Ludwig and his men were going to tear the eastern ghetto apart looking for them.
His lips pressed together. “Did you ever break through their walls?”
She shook her head again.
He let out a long breath. “I'm disappointed, but at least that means you can stop going out. I didn't like you being in the lower’s section. Stay around headquarters until we figure out where they are. I'm worried they might have figured out who you were, and realized it was only a matter of time before I found them.”
They definitely knew who Charlotte was now, she thought wryly.
“We need to find these rats and get rid of them once and for all,” Ludwig continued. “I can’t have them running around out there causing trouble when our dealers are coming to town. We need this problem taken care of.” His eyes focused on Roman.
His second in command nodded in understanding. “We’ll find them,” Roman said.
“You’d better.” Ludwig’s eyes went back to Bridgette, dropping down the front of her body and up again. A small smile played on his lips as amusement danced in his eyes. “Have you gained weight, Di?”
Her whole body stiffened. This was exactly what she’d been afraid of. When people have been around each other for long periods of time, they would be more likely to notice slight changes. What the hell was she supposed to say now?
“You did not just say that,” Roman said. Bridgette turned to look at him. Bad idea. Looking at him just made maintaining her charade harder. She still remembered the last time they were together when she was still working at the Red Lounge. “Do I make you nervous, Bridgette?” he had asked. The answer was, then and now, a resounding yes. Having to hide that fact from him was probably going to be the hardest thing about this entire mission.
“What?” Ludwig said with a laugh. “I'm not saying it’s a bad thing. She’s just looking more – curvy. It must be that lower section diet. Pub food looks good on you.” He gave her a playful wink. She was being teased by Ludwig-friggin-Tennebris. This was surreal.
“Never talk about a lady’s weight,” Roman said. Bridgette glanced at him and saw that he was smiling too.
Time to play this right, she thought. From now on she was going to live by the code – W.W.C.D. What Would Charlotte Do. Bridgette flipped them both off, stopping herself from cringing at the rude gesture, and turned to leave, calling over her shoulder, “I'm going to bed,” and quickly walked out of the room. Their laughter followed her out.


You could win both books in the New World Order series so far.

19 February 2014

Review: Switch by Janelle Stalder

All’s fair in love and war. 

Two thirds of the world's population has been wiped out, devastated by the worst war earth has ever seen. Still standing amongst the ruins is a mind reader who finds herself on the wrong side of the war. 

Everyone does what they must to survive. 

When the rebels bent on bringing down the New World leader start to rise up, it is her job to make sure they stay down where they belong. That is, until one rebel sneaks past her defences and into her heart. Love will blossom from the ashes, but will it be enough to save them, or will it mean the end of them both?

5 Words: Deception, anger, love, betrayal, hope.

Wow. What a book.

I bought this a while ago and it's been sitting on my kindle waiting for me to read it. What prompted me to pick it up? The blog tour for the second book in the series.

I'd say it's YA for older teens or NA, as there is quite a lot of sexual content and violence. But don't let that put you off as it all works in the book.

I loved the characters in this. There was so much depth to them. They changed and grew and made mistakes. Some pretty big mistakes. There were characters I loved and characters I loathed and characters that really spoke to me. I love the relationships between them too.

Switch is a pretty dark book. It's a chilling read. But the author writes very well and there are small injections of humour to stop it being too doom-and-gloom. 

I loved the world that Janelle Stalder created - it's all kinds of complicated craziness. There was a real sense of confusion surrounding what's good or bad, right or wrong.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it. I can't wait to get started on the next one! And it's currently on £0.64 on Amazon. How crazy is that price?

18 February 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader.

Below are my top ten, in no particular order.

  1. Free Books
    I'm not gonna lie, this is a huge draw for me. Why? Because I'm pretty darn poor and always have been, and the library just can't keep up with my insatiable appetite for books.
  2. I Love Escaping
    Is there anything better than escaping into a good book, just dropping yourself into another world? No, there isn't. Unless you also have a cup of tea on the go.
  3. Meeting Other Bloggers
    I freaking LOVE all you guys. I love reading as many blogs as I can each day and leaving comments when I can. Interacting is my favourite part of blogging. Love-A-Thon was great this past weekend for finding even more book-obsessed friends to talk books with.
  4. All The Pretties
    Every day I get to look at the most gorgeous book covers and blogs and promo images. I love watching the trends in book covers change in each genre.
  5. Reviews
    I love reviewing and reading the reviews others post. It's the main way I discover more awesome books to read. And I love how different people rate different books differently (isn't that confusing?) and how star ratings are different for everyone.
  6. Blog Tours
    I love tracking the progress of book tours, I love hosting them, I love the hype that builds up and I love finding new books. I'd say 1/4 of the new books I read are found via book tours.
  7. Chatting Books
    I can't stop talking about books. Seriously. My OH's eyes glaze over and he just stares (he's not a book fan - boo!) but my friends are pretty bookish and my mum is too. "HAVE YOU READ THIS? OMG IT'S SO GOOD" is one we often yell at each other.
  8. Author Events
    These are just so much fun, even though I prefer to be a wallflower and don't say anything. At all. Until it gets to the end and I corner the author with my stack of books to sign
  9. Being Inspired
    Reading inspires me to try new things - whether it's food or a new place or an alcoholic beverage, if I read it I generally want to give it a go if it sounds nice.
  10. Goodreads
    I review mostly on Goodreads because I'm obsessed. I'm on several times a day, up-dating on the go from my Kindle or my phone. I'm commenting, reviewing, listing, liking, chatting and just having lots of fun.

17 February 2014

Blog Tour - Review, Favourite Quotes and Giveaway: Full Steam Ahead by Valerie Chase

Seven days aboard a luxury cruise. The perfect getaway from it all. 
At least, that’s what Georgia Cantwell was hoping for.

Georgia wishes she could run away from the nightmare that has consumed her life, but she can’t. With her inbox filling with menacing emails, all she can do is try to get through her sorority’s winter break cruise without anyone realizing how wrecked she is. So she really doesn’t need Jace McLaren seeing through her tacked-on smile when no one else seems to notice.
Growing up with a father in jail, Jace knows from experience that if you’re going through hell, there’s no way out but through. He has always steered away from girls like Georgia with her ice-queen attitude, but she’s in real trouble, and despite himself he pushes past her walls.

As much as Georgia tries to ignore it, Jace won’t let her pretend with him. But she can’t risk telling him the truth. Her past would ruin his trust, her family, her future—everything. 

But out on the open ocean, there’s nowhere to hide. And when Georgia’s secrets come tumbling out, it might take more than Jace to save her.

5 Words: Sexy, unexpected, passion, friendship, blackmail.

I easily rated this book 4.5/5 stars. It was a very fun read which kept me guessing and turning the pages. And guess what? It's my third New Adult of 2014 which is redeeming last years bumper crap crop with it wonderful writing and well developed characters.

Before I was even selected for this tour, I'd already bought this book. Why? Because of the amazing first chapter. Heck, I even featured it on my Wishlist Wednesday I wanted it so bad. 

The main character, Georgia, is a complex young lady who presents a strong and confident façade to everyone around her. She is easy to understand and to relate to. You really feel for her throughout the whole book and find yourself rooting for her. Go, Georgia!

Jace was a bit of a surprise - he is definitely NOT who you think he is when you start the book. He has hidden depths and  a real heart of gold.

The side characters are really well written, Valerie Chase did a truly awesome job with them. She doesn't take it over-the-top, she keeps it all believable. The cast of characters interact really well with each other too, it's almost as if all of these relationships are just observations of real friendships. These character have substance to them, real body.

I loved that the narrative was split between Georgia and Jace - not only did it make this book un-put-down-able, but it was refreshing to hear Jace every so often and know what was going through his mind. And it kept the mystery of "WHAT THE HELL DID SHE DO?!" strung out a little longer.

The passion in this book is just... Wow. And oh my, those wonderfully steamy (and frustrating!) scenes are just delectable.

If you're looking for a sexy New Adult which isn't all about sex then you've hit the jackpot, because Full Steam Ahead has so much going for it.

I definitely can't wait for the next in the series.

I am so happy and excited to be one of the bloggers today kicking off the Full Steam Ahead blog tour, I really enjoyed reading it. And lucky me, I get to share my five favourite quotes with you! It was so so difficult to narrow it down - I highlighted 1/3 of this on my kindle, easily. See this picture? It's relevant to quote three - Georgia O'Keeffe is one of my favourite artists and has been since high school.

This leg of the tour also includes reviews from Book Briefs, Reviews by Molly and Fic Central, and an excerpt of the bloggers choosing at Alison J's Book Blog.


She's so closed off usually - lately, anyway - that I tend to forget how gorgeous she is when she gets excited about something. But I'm noticing now.


I'm not sure how much times passes, but eventually the realisation sinks into me that I'm dressed in a floor-length evening gown and clutching onto the railing of a ship, just like Kate Winslet did in Titanic. The scene where she tried to kill herself. I'm not suicidal, but standing here with the ocean spread below me, I can understand her impulse. Down there, problems don't matter. They don't exist. the lapping of the waves against the hull is soft and hypnotic, like a song with no words. I wish I could swim down into those waves until I'm lost in the ocean. I'd be free out there.


I throw him a doubtful look, but visualize the O'Keeffe piece, recalling the lovely strokes of colour and how the oil paint melded from green to purple to white and that surprising stroke of pink. Sooner than I'd have thought possible, my stomach is calm again.


And I'm rewarded with the most beautiful smile, part shy and embarrassed, part trusting, all mine.


"I'm not saying that you're perfect, because that doesn't exist. But your imperfections make you you. Your past, with all the bad days and the good days and every day in between, molded you into something so strong. One day I hope to be a work of art like you, Jace, but i'm not there. Nowhere near. But someday. And what you shared with me... It gives me hope that I can make it through the dark times ahead. I won't drag you with me - you deserve better than that. You deserve someone who would never do what I did, who has nothing to hide."


This is an international giveaway for an ebook copy of Full Steam Ahead and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Wooo! This is a prize you want, because this book is all kinds of awesome.

13 February 2014

Release Day Review, Excerpt and GIVEAWAY: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be - because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

5 Words: Greek, gods, love, lust, power.

My favourite parts of this book were the beginning and the end. Because they are masterfully written.

I was apprehensive when I started this - you just have to look at how I reacted to the Starcrossed series to know what can happen when someone messes with something I know and love (Greek Mythology). But this is done so well. The way it is written, the reasons given for the changes, this is a wonderful story which I loved from start to finish.

Heather Lyons takes Ovid's story of Medusa, and everything that was wrong about it, and brings her some justice.

This story is hard to read at times, but push through. It's really a story of girl power, of springing back up and being strong. I was smiling by the end. I think because of the rage I felt (mostly at Poseidon and Athena) I ended up feeling pretty good by the end, with a smile on my face.


“Where are Hades and Persephone?” I ask, glancing around the empty living room. They are nowhere to be seen tonight; neither are any of the Automatons.

The corner of Hermes’ mouth quirks. “Out. Possibly in the Underworld. One never knows with those two.”

Relief unfurls in the muscles in my shoulders. Still, I can’t help but ask, “Without saying goodbye?”

He’s definitely amused. “Shall I fetch them for you?”

“No!” My answer is too quick, which I fear broadcasts just how ecstatic I am at the thought of being along with Hermes right now. And that realization causes me to blush for the millionth time around him in the last month, so I clarify, “Of course not. I was just curious.”

“Curiosity killed the cat, you know.” To my delight, his hand finds mine and our fingers intertwine. It is a delicious sensation: his hand, warm and worn in mine in just such a way that feels like it’s an extension of my body.

It must be criminal to adore touching someone so much.

“Did it, though?” I ask, and he laughs a burst of exasperated air.

“Possibly, but then again, who am I to judge, when I am often struck by curiosity that I cannot help but sate?” He gives me that dazzling grin of his and pulls me through the house. “Case in point: you.”

“Me?” I squeak unattractively. There are lights ahead through the French doors leading to the patio, and I am curious myself enough to wonder what they are, but not nearly as much as I am for what he might mean.

“Yes, you.” He glances back at me. “I’ve never told you that I was overcome with curiosity when I heard Athena cursed some girl from one of her temples. It wasn’t like it was the first time she’d gone vindictively bonkers, but she was really put out over you. I mean . . . one of her followers? Even that was low for her.” His fingers squeeze mine gently and we stop about twenty feet from the doors. “When I first showed up on your island . . .”

I am helpless at looking anywhere but in his eyes. Tonight, they’re green. Vivid, beautiful, clear green. “Yes?”

“I’d been warned that you were a monster and that I best keep my distance. That you would slay me at the slightest provocation, and naturally, I believed it, as I could not blame anyone’s hatred toward my family after what my sister and uncle had done to you. But once Death handed me that first soul and departed, I heard you crying. My curiosity inflamed tenfold. What kind of so-called monster weeps like her heart had shattered and never would form whole again?”

Like clockwork, my cheeks burn. His fingers brush my reddened skin ever so gently before I turn my face to rest in his hand. The butterflies in my chest swarm frantically. “My sister misjudged you. I knew that the very second I heard your anguish. I’m afraid I was lost to you from that moment on. I had to discover all that made you you, even if I would suffer the same fate as the proverbial cat. And I never cared about the risks, as long as my curiosity about you was sated first.”

“Truly?” The word barely escapes my lips.

His eyes are so intense. “Truly.”


This giveaway is not to be missed. The prizes are amazing!

A huge giveaway of...
• A signed copy of The Deep End of the Sea
• Medusa's Make-up lip gloss
• "This is my fairy tale" bracelet
• "Keep Calm and Believe in Fairy Tales" tote bag

I mean, this giveaway is crazy and I'm already jealous of the winner!

11 February 2014

Book Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

When I started Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender I wasn't sure what to think. I knew from the title that I probably wasn't going to take it too seriously, but I definitely enjoyed myself while reading it.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender coverAdd to Goodreads button
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger...

Source: Purchase

5 Words: Creepy, mysterious, ghost, Paris, friendship.

I have to be totally honest - this isn't the best book in the world. In fact, I probably wouldn't have liked it at all if I'd read it at any other time. But right now, it was exactly what I needed. And because I am completely inconsistent in my ratings it gets four stars out of five.

It's full of clichés and spoiled brats and trips around Paris and hidden histories and an evil ghost. I found that I could completely fall into this story, become completely immersed and suspend disbelief. The evil murderous ghost on top of the ever so slightly over-the-top plot probably helped a lot.

What drew me to this book was the cover and the title. I mean, look at those pretty colours and that killer title. I'm like a freaking magpie, I pick up anything pretty.

When it comes to the characters, Hannah is the biggest bitch to have graced the earth and Colette is a very close second. The two of them are so shallow, so spoiled. Even now that Colette is a "poor" scholarship student she is still so up herself, but not so up herself and self-important as Hannah. Their characters did annoy me quite a bit, they are so privileged and elitist, but it really worked for the story.

I liked how Colette changed and did some much needed growing up. I even liked how terribly predictable the whole story is.

This books is as fun and fluffy as it looks. Don't take it seriously and you won't be disappointed. You might even have fun. Perfect for a rainy day when you need to rage a little to cheer yourself up.

08 February 2014

Review, Excerpt and GIVEAWAY - I See London by Chanel Cleeton

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for. 

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of. 

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

5 Words: Fun, playful, growing-up, new-adult, sexy.


So sorry. I had to get that out of my system.

Book by book, my faith in New Adult is being restored. This is the second NA in a row which has impressed me and kept me reading. And..? No eye rolling.

This book did have me feeling a little rage-y at points, but it worked so so well by the end of the book. When you get to the bit when you think "Really, Maggie?" just keep reading on. Because it's written for a reason. And when you get to the end, everything will fall into place and you'll be feeling all warm and fuzzy and totally understand everything.

What this story does best is the main character, Maggie. She is one of the best written NA characters I've ever read. She changes and it's not always for the better. She loses sight of who she is and what she wants, but in the end everything works out wonderfully, but not without a lot of hard work and heartbreak. And it's right that it does. Maggie's journey is completely relatable and exactly what the New Adult genre should be about.

I think I See London actually worked really well all on its own. As much as I'd love to see where Maggie and Samir go next, I was content with how it ended. There's no pressure on me to read on, no pressing cliff-hanger. But I will read on, because that was a great read. And I want to know more about Maggie's dad. And Fleur. I loved Fleur.

Below is a rather gorgeous excerpt from quite a bit in to the story. Make sure you check out the other excerpts as well, I've linked to them below. Happy reading! 




There was something magical about London nights, something in the air that whispered possibilities—and adventure on the horizon. 
It was in the air tonight. 
I wore one of my own outfits—a black wrap dress with a plunging neckline and short hemline that made up for the demure long sleeves. It had been a massive find at H&M, which was rapidly becoming one of my favorite stores. I paired the dress with a killer pair of black leather high-heeled boots and chunky Lucite jewelry. Thanks to Fleur’s hair magic, my long brown hair fell in wild curls around my face. 
I could hardly recognize myself. Sometime during the last few months I had changed. For the most part I still looked the same. My hair was still brown, my hips still curvy, my boobs smaller than I would have liked. It was just the packaging that was different. 
But no matter how much my clothes had changed, I still felt the same rush of nerves at the sight of Hugh’s Ferrari roaring up the street, the same feeling of disbelief. 
Tonight was exactly what I needed. I needed to suspend reality, just for a moment. I wanted nothing to do with Maggie from South Carolina. Tonight I could be someone else. 
The car came to a stop in front of the building. Hugh killed the engine and opened the car door, sliding gracefully out of the driver’s seat. His gaze settled on me. A low whistle of appreciation fell from his lips. 
“Babe, you’re a knockout.” 
I flushed with pleasure, thinking I could say the same about him. Tonight he wore an inky-purple velvet jacket, perfectly tailored to his broad shoulders. It was the kind of
thing no self-respecting guy in South Carolina would have ever worn—but on Hugh it looked exactly right. His long legs were encased in dark denim jeans, a snowy-white collared dress shirt peeking out from the jacket. Expensive leather loafers completed the look. 
“You ready?” 
I nodded, crossing the distance between us and taking his outstretched hand, loving the feel of our fingers linked together. Just that little bit of bare skin against mine was enough to send a whole other level of anticipation through me.


Win a $50 Amazon giftcard and a gorgeous London-inspired necklace from SweetSillyChic worth $26. How freaking pretty? And, it's INTERNATIONAL.

04 February 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry .

  1. Lucas by Kevin Brooks
    This is my number one book for making me cry. Why? Because it is a thousand different types of awesome and it has me tearing up from the very first page. THE FIRST PAGE.
  2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
    I think this book will make it onto every Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry list. Why? Because of the immense feels. This book left me a blubbering, emotional wreck.
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
    Every Potter fan must have this. Not only does it crush you as you read, you're also hit by the wrecking ball that is the end of an era. No more Potter...
  4. PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
    This book was one of the first that really got to me. It is just so heartbreaking yet hilarious. It was such a pity they totally butchered the film version. There are some things which you can't Americanise.
  5. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares
    It's just so sad! Why do so many good people have to die in books? IT'S JUST NOT FAIR! This book also got me crying just because of the friendships. Friends are so awesome.
  6. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
    It's Nicholas Sparks, so I guess that's pretty self-explanatory. But this is the one book of his that has me sobbing my heart out.
  7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    What this book did to me was terrible. My eyes start filling when I think about it! I'm almost crying now! Nooooooo!!!
  8. A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
    Thinking of this book even now gives me goosebumps. I was sixteen when I read it and I remember it so clearly. And then to up the heartbreaking, soul-shattering feels..? The author died in 2007 of breast cancer, and all of the proceeds from her works now go to help disadvantaged children learn to read. GO BUY HER BOOKS NOW. They're all awesome, I promise.
  9. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
    This is one of my favourite children's books of all times... And I didn't even read it until I was a teen. Those three Fossil girls just tug at my heart-strings.
  10. Hunger by Melvin Burgess
    Let us show our appreciation for the first ever audio book to make me cry. At work. Melvin Burgess is a brave author, who is never afraid to kill off characters. And it works wonderfully and makes for a roller-coaster read (listen). Hats off to Rachael Louise Miller who is the best narrator I've ever listened to, too.

What is your ultimate tear-jerker?

03 February 2014

Release Day Blitz and GIVEAWAY - I See London by Chanel Cleeton

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for. 

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twenty-something British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of. 

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn't do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted... and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

Am I excited for this book? Well, I'm reading it now. That should be a big enough clue. I'm a little over half way and I'm loving it. From the descriptions of London and clubbing to the intricate relationships between the characters.

You think these teasers are full of all things sexy? Just wait until you get stuck in to I See London. Wowsers. This book is passionate and raw and steamy and HOT. 


Win a $50 Amazon giftcard and a gorgeous London-inspired necklace from SweetSillyChic worth $26. How freaking pretty? And, it's INTERNATIONAL.


Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.

Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult début, I See London, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, London Falling, later in the year.

01 February 2014

Review: A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant

History repeats itself when this bride runs out of the church on her wedding day - in the same dress that had been passed down for generations and worn by her mom, grandma and great-grandmother who also ran out of their weddings.

The heroine struggles to break destructive cycles of the past.

Can this bride shuck expectation and discover who SHE is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ?

And if she finally walks down the aisle, what dress will she be wearing?

5 Words: Sweet, love, mistakes, marriage, restoration.

This was another sweet, short read in the A Year of Weddings series.

But A February Bride felt somewhat rushed, particularly towards the ending. I thought I had another 10% to go but there wasn't, there was a chapter sample for the first in the series (seriously?) which was a little disappointing. I had just started to really get into this.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy this. I just feel that it didn't fulfil its potential. I liked Allie and her love of all things turquoise and antique, but so much more could have been done with her. Instead of all of the parties and showers she went to it would have been nicer to see more of her rather than the extravagant lifestyle her friends lead.