Friday, 23 September 2016

Mini-reviews: To Have and To Hold and For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

To Have and To Hold (The Wedding Belles #1)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 26th 2016.
My rating: 4 stars.  


Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings. Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?

I was thrilled when I found out that I still had two books that I could devour straight away In the Wedding Bells series. I adored from This Day Forward and so couldn’t wait to be back with these characters once more, with this series it certainly became the case that when a new couple is introduced they are quick they are quick to become my favourites. Brooke and Seth were perfect for one another, the passion and couldn’t keep their eyes or hands off each other was clearly apparent from very early on. It made me laugh how much having Brooke around was effecting Seth. I could understand Brooke wanting to take a step back with what had just gone down with her, but with a grumpy, growly, hot, did I mention hot guy like Seth around how could one resist? I admit Seth did make some jerky moves along the way, but it clearly showed his love for those around him despite it not coming across that way. Once again the build up of sexual tension between Brooke and Seth was off the charts, the little obstacles that got in the way really bugged me at times as I wanted more from them and I wanted it now! Layne once again delivered a sexy read in From this Day Forward; I for one can’t wait to dive into the next book!



For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: August 30th 2016.
My rating: 4 stars.  


Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings. Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?

Layne always ups her game when introducing new swoonworthy characters. I was a complete sucker for Josh and his rippling abs and perfect muscles! But not only was Josh a pretty face and gorgeous body, I adored the vulnerable side that Layne bought out in him. We’re not really sure what has gone down with Josh, of course we’re given some kind of inkling, but there’s always the case that Josh is holding back when it come to Heather. The chemistry between Josh and Heather is clearly apparent, but they both agree a serious relationship is not on the cards. I really wanted to knock some sense in these two at times; a beautiful, meaningful relationship could have developed if they quit playing games earlier on. Later on I could understand Josh’s fear about having more with Heather, it really was heart breaking to watch at times, but I appreciated the softer side of Josh that we got to experience. What I also loved about For Better or Worse was that the characters that we got to know and love in the previous books really played an integral part of the story. I loved finding out what was happening in their lives and just getting to spend time with them once more! I honestly don’t know who my favourite couple is anymore, I just love them all! The next book To Love and to Cherish is meant to focus on Alexis and Logan! I can’t wait to see how that will turn out.



Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace
Publication date: September 20th 2016
My rating: 5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…
 


My Thoughts:
The threat of Kate’s father, Roland is coming to a head with him pushing, and it seems war with him will be inevitable.  Roland’s decides to set up camp right outside of the border of Atlanta, building his fortress, not crossing the land Kate has claimed, but coming right up against it. Kidnapping Saiman is the last straw, but Kate must consider all her moves before charging in or thrust them into a war with Roland before she’s ready to take him on.  As if this wasn’t bad enough the witches have looked into Kate’s future and it is either: 1.) Bad or 2.) Really, really bad!  Can Kate change the course she’s headed on: doom, gloom, and death?  Gotta say, I was a little worried!

But that’s not all that was going on, Kate and Curran’s impeding wedding brings humor and laughs in an otherwise tense, action filled story.  Picking dresses, colors, and a cake is so not Kate’s thing, but she has some surprising help.  I was so thrilled these two were finally going to tie the knot! One of the things I love about this series is that it doesn’t rely on relationship woes to make the story interesting.  Magic Rises (book 6) was sort of an exception, but still, for the most part Curran and Kate are a strong united couple, still passionate for each other, yet not without normal relationship issues. Battling for their lives and the lives of the people they love adds quite enough thrills to this series.

A lot of the regular characters I love were featured: Julie, Derek, Andrea, Raphael, Jim, Dali, Roman, Barabas, Christopher, but not in depth, because the conflict with Roland was at the forefront. I liked that Julie continues to grow into a more important/interesting character, even with the little page time.  I’m rooting for much more with her and Derek, and I would be thrilled if we got another Derek and Julie story like Magic Stars! 



Magic Binds was epic, action packed, and thrilling! As I finished and closed my Kindle, all I could think was, “Wow!”  Ilona Andrews manages to keep this series fresh, and exciting even after nine books. I truly think the series just gets better with every installment with Kate growing, evolving, and coming into her own. The story here was pretty much resolved, but the greater story arc continues on, and I wonder what will happen especially with that last revelation?!  



Connect with Ilona Andrews:




Friday, 16 September 2016

Review & Giveaway: The Lullaby Sky by Carolyn Brown

The Lullaby Sky by Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: September 13th 2016
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
After seven years of misery and abuse, it’s all over—Hannah O’Malley is officially divorced. Hallelujah. It’s like every Christmas in her life all rolled up into one glorious day. Not only does Hannah get to keep her grandmother’s spacious old house, but she has full custody of her sparky five-year-old daughter. All Hannah has to do now is put the past behind her.

And now that she’s free, she wants to make a difference. With the help of her warm, close-knit circle of friends—including her high school crush, Travis Wilson—Hannah begins turning her home into a safe house for other women who’ve endured the pain she’s known. But even as life and laughter return to Hannah’s home, she’s haunted by the memory of her dangerously unstable ex. With a second chance at love on the horizon, Hannah must face down her past in order to let the sunshine back into her life.
 


My Thoughts:
Hannah O’Malley is thrilled to finally be free of her abusive husband, but it will take a bit of healing and the help of friends and family to get past the emotional damage he caused.  Lucky for her she has an amazing support group and her lovely little six year old daughter, Sophie to ease her back into normal.  I just loved the close knit group of friends and the two old ladies, basically the group’s matriarchs, Aunt Birdie and Aunt Rosie! These old ladies were not above stepping in to solve things in their own way (shotgun in hand!) if the law didn’t come through, and I had to laugh at their feisty determination. 

Moved by her experience, Hannah decided to open her heart and home to women who need a helping hand getting away from emotional or physical abuse, and the experience is just as helpful to her in healing as it is for the women on the run.  Carolyn Brown, even with the serious nature of this story, managed to brighten things up with humor and positivity!

The Lullaby Sky was a heartwarming story of friendship, family, and romance! Hannah’s romance with her long-time friend Travis was slow going, and built solidly on friendship and trust, which fit perfectly with her story since she needed time to heal.  That didn’t mean that there wasn’t chemistry and sparks between these two! I loved this second chance romance!   






Author Biography

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, as well as a RITA finalist. She has written several beloved and popular romance titles, ranging from historical to contemporary to cowboy-themed. She and her husband live in Davis, Oklahoma. They have three grown children, and enough grandchildren to keep them young


Connect with Carolyn Brown:






Thursday, 15 September 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: July 26th 2016.
My rating: 5 stars  


Signed, sealed, delivered… While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue! Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I fell hard and fast for West’s books in the beginning, she’d help me get lost in unimaginable worlds found in Pivot Point and give me totally adorable reads such as On the Fence. But then a few books in between that her books didn’t work out for me as much as I’d hoped. This however didn’t take West off my auto buy list and I’m grateful for that as P.S. I Like You ended up being one of my favourite reads of 2016. It had everything in it that I love about reading; an MC who really reminded me of myself at times with her self-doubt, but she had so much potential! A cute romance tinged with mystery as our MC finds herself leaving letters for someone in her chemistry class, she has no clue as to who this person is, but over time Lily finds herself opening up to this person like she hasn’t done before. And a wonderful crazy family, West always does a wonderful job at including great family dynamics, and although Lily’s family could be a tough one, I couldn’t have chosen any other one.

From the very beginning I had my suspicions of who this mystery person that Lily could be writing to. I had hoped it would have been this person, as Lily deserved some happiness and love in her life and to be honest he sounded perfect for Lily. And the initial way they described his interests, to me it couldn’t be anyone else. So when the big reveal did come you could say I was slightly gob smacked. How could this be possible? And as the story progressed, I kept on trying to pick up for clues that would show it couldn’t be this person. I wasn’t disappointed when the reveal came, but I didn’t see it as possible, because I’d never seen this side of this person. But then as the story began to progress things started to make more sense; why things had always been the way they were between them and then when I started seeing changes in this person’s character and explanations as to why they did certain things. I totally got it and then by then I was a complete goner! I needed these two to get their act together and get together already.

Despite how long it took for both characters to realise, I didn’t mind the cute misunderstandings along the way, they just made me long for their happily ever after that much more. P.S. I Like You was such an adorable read, the constant back and forth of letters in chemistry class could be so tough to read at times, but at the same time they were so cute!. And then there was Lily’s family, they could be such a handful with Lily’s younger siblings running around all over the place, her parents and their quirky tendencies and Lily never been able to have a minute to herself. But the little things like Lilly’s mum forcing her to drop off a man bracelet and Wyatt starting off baseball really gave these characters the extra push that maybe they wouldn’t have had otherwise. And also they were such a fun bunch when they got together, you never could guess what could happen next, Bugs Rabbits being the prime example.

Overall P.S I Like You was full with constant surprises, a cute romance which I loved watching play out and a crazy family which never ceased to amaze me, what more could a girl ask for? Seriously though the love interest also exceeded in completely changing my opinion of him, in the end he clearly was the better guy with one of the biggest hearts. P.S. I Like You is a book as you can tell I cannot recommend enough!




Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Series Bundle Giveaway: Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue by Katie Ruggle


If you're a fan of romantic suspense, the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue series by Katie Ruggle is a must read! I've enjoyed all the action, mystery, suspense and just the right amount of romance in each story. I think my favorite to date is the last released, Gone Too Deep (book #3).  A good portion of the story set in the Rocky Mountain Wilderness.  Tracker and introvert, George Holloway guides a beautiful city girl through the rugged terrain as they search for her father not knowing they have a killer on their trail. Their attraction and connection grows as they spend this very intense time together!  I was stunned by the revelation in the end and I can't wait to pick up In Safe Hands to see how this running mystery turns out!



The lovely people of Sourcebooks Casablanca have decided to give a print copy of each of the books in the series to one lucky reader! Awesome, right?! The giveaway is open to US Residents only.


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