Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bookish Resolutions Link Up (November)

2016 Bookish Resolutions

Bookish Resolutions is a challenge I co-host with Michelle @! Yet another month has passed! And it's Christmas soon! How scary is that!

My Bookish Resolutions Progress (which is way behind where I should be!)

Blogging Goals 
  1. Schedule posts before the day they are 'due' (especially for challenge updates!)
    Fallen a little behind here, and changed back to posting reviews Monday-Friday to make sure I don't fall foul of the new amazon rules & because I want more time to actually write
  2. Post a detailed update on everything on the first Sunday of each month (previously Reintroduce non-review content)
    Yep, kind of forgot about Sunday Posts again :-( But there'll be my End of the Month Round up on Sunday!
  3. Cross post Blog Posts regularly, preferably in under a week since post date
    The longest I left it was a week...honest!
  4. Tidy up the Trips Down Imagination Road Facebook & Twitter Pages
    This one is going, mostly because I decided I was pretty happy with where I'm at with it. 
  5. Visit other blogs regularly (I used to but this dropped off the radar a bit)
    I have some time at the weekend...
Reading Goals 
  1. COMPLETED: Improve Netgalley ratio by at least 10% (if this is achieved by the half way mark then it will be upped to 20%). I did succeed in improving my ratio in 2015 and was actually quite surprised to find I'd improved it by 7% (at the time of writing).
    Up to 12% added now! Not too sure I can make 20%, but that was an additional goal!
  2. COMPLETED: Finish 10 series this year. (I get distracted a little easy! I can have already started the series previously)
    So far I've finished 23 series this year;
    The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, Circle of Evil by Kylie Brant, Trevor's Harem by Aubrey Parker, Rook & Ronin
     by JA Huss, The Seduction by Roxy Sloane, City of Legends by Cheyanne Young, The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, Galaxy Playmates by Michelle M Pillow, Dark Dirty & Deadly by JA Huss, The Dukes of War by Erica Ridley, Everealm by JD Wright, I Am Just Junco by JA Huss, Things to Do Before you Die by Nina Croft, Sisters of the Moon by Nina Croft, Coded for Love by Lynne Silver, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford, Midnight Masquerade by Kate Harper, Scoundrels & Secrets by Erica Ridley, Avry of Kazan by Maria V Snyder, Sisters of the Craft by Lori Handeland, Wrong by Jana Aston, Intergalactic Dating Agency by Michelle M Pillow, Werewolves of New York by Faleena Hopkins
  3. COMPLETED: Complete 3 year long challenges (may change the number depending on how many I sign up for). Bookish Resolutions does not count for this sub-goal.
    I've completed 4 so far!
    2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame
    My others are all on track too, but can't actually be finished until the year ends!
  4. Read 3 books a month that were already on my kindle at the start of 2016 (can be from Netgalley, Amazon etc.)
    I think I've read 5!
Personal Goal

  1. COMPLETED: Finish Cloaked (the sequel to my published Novella)
    Cloaked is not only finished, but it is now Published! (Here's the link to prove it!) 
Now let us know how you did! 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Forget Me Not by Michelle M Pillow

Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 29th November 2016 (rereleased, previous title: The Mists of Midnight)
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads):  A love story that defies perception…When the willfully independent Isabel Drake refuses to marry the man her parents want her to, her mother decides as punishment she will be forced to take lessons on how to be a proper lady. But the man sent to instruct her makes her feel anything but proper. Her attraction to Mr. Weston is instant, but the confusing man seems set in keeping her in her place—even if she detects he feels something for her. But things are not what they seem at Rothfield Park or with her new tutor. With Mr. Weston’s arrival there comes an abundance of unrested spirits. Suddenly, Isabel doesn’t know who is alive and who is dead. Why have they come now? And what are they trying frantically to tell her? Isabel must discover the truth about the eerie night mist that surrounds the manor before it comes to claim everyone she holds dear—including her Mr. Weston. Paranormal Regency Historical Ghost Romance. 

I won't lie, Forget Me Not is not my normal genre to read. I like paranormal romance, and I like Regency romance, I just wouldn't necessarily go for a mix of the two. However, as it's an author that I 100% know I will enjoy, I had no issues in giving this a go, and I'm glad I did because it was a great read! The story really dragged me in and I enjoyed every minute of reading! 

One thing I will say though, is that I had one of the twists figured out pretty early on, even without reading the blurb (I ignore blurbs more often than I should really!) I don't think it damaged my enjoyment of the book though, and there were a few moments where I doubted if I was right or not, but something that the Reverend said when Isabel first met him had me convinced that the twist was true. 

I liked the relationship between Isabel and Dougal was good, it grew from nothing into something in a very organic way and I really believed in what they felt for each other. There was also the conflict of their love in the way, which was only slightly influenced by the historical setting. 

Forget Me Not had a bit of a gothic feel to it, especially towards the end, and while I don't read it very often, I do love gothic fiction, which is probably why this one appealed to me so much. Definitely worth a that cover!

Monday, 28 November 2016

Strategic Vulnerability by Mandy M Roth (#4 Immortal Ops)

Title: Strategic Vulnerability
Series: Immortal Ops (#4)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Urban Fantasy, PNR
Release Date: 29th November 2016 (rerelease)
Challenges: 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Held prisoner in remote testing facility in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest, subjected to torture and abuse, Wilson Rousseau has long since given up hope of being rescued. Days blend together until he can’t help but long for death. Saved from his isolated hell by a female’s distress call, he feels an instant connection to her. Kimberly thought she was taking a trip to South America to study indigenous plant life. She had no idea she was playing into the hands of a mad man whose goal is to create a genetically altered army of super soldiers. When she finds herself locked in a cell with Wilson, a man who would give his life to save hers, there is an instant attraction. But the dark secrets surrounding their imprisonment may change their lives forever. Can they find a way to beat the odds and be together or will the mad man win?

While Strategic Vulnerability is the fourth book in the Immortal Ops series, it could be read as a standalone as the romance is completely new and the back story to the events in the book are all explained. However, I do believe that the reader would have a better appreciation for the events in the book if they had read the previous books in the series. 

I've been looking forward to reading this book since the end of the last one, especially as it was left a bit of a mystery how Wilson was faring. It is also worth noting that Kim appears in one of the spin off series (though I can't quite put my finger on which, which made reading her first scene, when she was with Brad and Vic, slightly odd for me!) 

There was fantastic chemistry between Wilson and Kim, even if they didn't act on it for most of the book. Instead, the slow simmer worked very much in their favour and I thought that their relationship grew organically. This was especially key given the situation under which they met. 

I think Wilson really grew on me in this book. Up until now he'd very much been the joker of the group and not really that much more. However, this book really brought him into his own and showed the reader that there was much more to him, mostly that he was an honourable man. 

This was a great read, not that I expected any different from a Mandy M Roth book!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Protecting His Witch by Zoe Forward (#1 Keepers of the Veil)

Title: Protecting His Witch
Series: Keepers of the Veil (#1)
Author: Zoe Forward
From: Netgalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 27th October 2014
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss ChallengeMy TBR List Meme
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): The last thing he wanted was to fall for a witch...Veterinarian Kat Ramsey hasn't a clue that she's a witch. Sure, she can read minds, and there's the whole “dimension-hopping” issue that she can't quite control, but Kat is determined to keep things normal. That is, until she accidentally hops into the Otherworld, and runs smack into Matthew Ryan–the seriously hot one-night stand from years ago who shoved her out of his dorm. Naked. And there's the tiny matter of the curse she gave him. May you never find satisfaction with another woman. Billionaire and former druid Matthew Ryan hasn't forgotten the curse, or the witch who gave it to him. Kat's unexpected return means the curse will finally be broken. Unfortunately, his libido has other ideas–like how to get her back into his bed one last time. But far more worrying is his suspicion that Kat is the seventh Pleiades witch. Because while he's turned his back on his druidic ways, he's still bound to protect the woman who made his life hell... 

So other than the fact that it won my TBR list vote this month, I'd forgotten just about everything there was to do with Protecting His Witch, so reading it was definitely fun! I had no clue what I was getting in for! Saying that, it wasn't quite what I was expecting, which I think was something to do with the interesting dimension hopping elements. 

The world building was good. There were elements of the ancient Greeks in there, as well as magic and the aforementioned dimension hopping. Everything worked well together and I thought that the overall world was intersting and the way that the characters interacted with it, and had various bits of knowlege about, was good. It really added something to the story. 

Matt was a little bit of a player and despite his great chemistry with Kat, I found it took a while for me to warm up to him. There was a little bit too much of a bad boy vibe about him. He didn't seem to really respect women, even with Kat's curse in place. 

Saying that, the two leads did have good chemistry, and I did believe in their relationship right from the off. And what a start to their relationship! It was definitely a highly intrigueing opening chapter, and had me interested from the first page. 

This was a good read, and a little different from normal witchy romances!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Secrets We Keep by Mandy M Roth

Title: Secrets We Keep
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Urban Fantasy, PNR, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: 24th November 2016
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Mating with a human is strictly forbidden. Alpha wolf-shifter Dane has been forced to stand by and watch the love of his life date another. Trisha is off limits to him because she isn't a supernatural and she's not allowed to know his secrets. When he realizes she's going to take the plunge and marry another--a human--he can't fight his inner beast any longer. It wants to claim her and he's going to let it.*previously released in the Legendary Tales IV Antho from Ellora's Cave.

Secrets We Keep is a short read, and as such this will only be a short review. 

Despite the fact that this was only a quick read, Roth managed to create a lot of world building within Secrets We Keep. While wolf-shifter culture was't fully explored, enough information was given about it for there to be a sense of the world in which Dane belonged, and give it an individuality away from some of the other wolf-shifters out there. 

There was good chemistry between Dane and Trisha, and it had been building for almost 7 years prior to the events of Secrets We Keep. Because of that the tension built between them but they were both wary of doing anything, particularly because of Trisha's fiancĂ©. However, everything got sorted out for them and it worked well. 

This was a great quick read, particularly for fans of Roth's books, or for fans of wolf-shifters in general!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Hell for the Holidays by Celia Kyle

Title: Hell for the Holidays
Author: Celia Kyle
From: Alphas for the Holidays (Review Copy)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 17th December 2013
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Hell's demons, Satan included, have unanimously decided that they too, should begin celebrating holidays. Not Christmas, mind you, because that would just be wrong. Even demons would like to have sparkly and shiny decorations to look at, just as long as they’re flame-resistant, for the festive months of November and December. So, Damon the demon, aptly named like so many other fellow demons, is sent in search of the perfect holiday decorator to jazz up their fiery Hell. Holly Boughs, so named because of her mother’s love for the holidays, is in line for this year's prestigious Best Store Window Award. They’re looking for the best of the best of the best (sir!), and she believes she’s outdone herself this time. She's decorated her fanny off, put on the finishing touches, and is ready to win it all. There’s just one little problem: Holly is kidnapped, dragged to Hell, where she’s told to do it all over again. Without melting anything in the process. Um, yeah. Talented or not, Holly definitely has her work cut out for her, because trying to please these demons from Hell is no easy task.

In all likelihood, I wouldn't have picked up Hell for the Holidays if it hadn't been for the Alphas for the Holidays box set. Demons aren't normally my first choice of paranormal creature, and as such I tend to read less with them in. As it was, something about Hell for the Holidays just didn't click with me as much as it should have done. 

There were some funny moments in Hell for the Holidays. I really liked the way the author chose to replace references to God and Heaven with those to Satan and Hell. It worked well and really gave the world (well Hell) an individual theme. 

I also liked that just being a demon didn't make someone a bad guy. There was definitely more to it than that. The author chose to humanise those that lived in hell and that really worked. 

The chemistry between the two main characters was okay, but I didn't feel like either of them really clicked with me as characters, which is probably what caused my reluctance with this one. 

Hell for the Holidays was an interesting read. I didn't feel like walking away from it at any point, but equally I didn't feel that it was something I'd missed out on by not reading earlier.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Hunted Holiday by Mandy M Roth (#1 Bureau of Paranormal Investigation)

Title: Hunted Holiday
Series: Bureau of Paranormal Investigation (#1)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Alphas for the Holidays  (Review Copy)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 15th December 2014
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Dani Malloye hates the holidays, and with good reason. Though her best friend tries to force the Christmas spirit on her with giant Santas and elves that light up, she'd rather spend her time doing what she does best--enforcing paranormal law on the streets of Chicago. Nothing like a little evil bloodshed to lighten the mood. Besides, work means she can spend time with her sexy boss, Cornell Sutton. Too bad Cornell is uptight, her new neighbor, and a vampire. Everyone knows slayers and vampires just don't mix. Or do they?

I'm not normally one for reading many themed stories...particularly those centered around Christmas (and especially if it's November!) But then this box set (Alphas for the Holidays) landed in my inbox...and well I'm a sucker for PNR, especially when its from authors I know and love! So basically, I'm making an exception, and I'm glad I did. 

Hunted Holiday was a mix of fun and really intriguing. There was no doubt that it was holiday themed, nor that it was mostly about the romance between Cornell and Dani. But what I especially liked about it was the fact that it fed into a larger paranormal world. 

I've said this before about Roth's shorter works, but I always find it amazing just how much world building she manages to pack into them! You really get a feel for the world and it's lore, which adds to the enjoyment of reading them! 

There was good chemistry between Dani and Cornell, as well as a certain amount of history. While their relationship progressed quickly within the book itself, there was more to it that had been established before had. This worked well for me, as well as eliminating ista-love! 

A great quick read, especially if you're looking for a holiday themed book that isn't quite as in your face Christmassy!

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Connector by Aubrey Parker (#1 Trillionaire Boys' Club)

Title: The Connector
Series: The Trillionaire Boys' Club (#1)
Author: Aubrey Parker
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 1st November 2016
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge 2016 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): They say money can’t buy love. Fortunately, it can buy everything else. A week ago, I didn’t know who Nathan Turner was. That’s because he doesn’t own deals; he makes them instead. He’s the man behind the curtain — more powerful even than the man in front of it. He’s a multi-billion-dollar networker. A connector, in his own words. Nathan’s job is to pull strings. And when I butted my way into his office, he told me he planned to pull my strings, too. I thought I could make my own deal with Nathan, but now I’m in over my head. What he’s connecting now isn’t a takeover or a buyout. I think he’s forming a secret society instead: a Syndicate of billionaires who want to pool their assets into a trillion-dollar pool, then rule the world. I’m not up to this. I’m just an 18-year-old girl. But there’s no way Nathan will let me out now.

The Connector isn't my first Aubrey Parker book, and I'm honestly not completely sure how I'd feel if it was. I don't think it quite had the addictiveness of Trevor's Harem (which I did not want to put down), but it was enjoyable. 

There was a slightly different dynamic given that Nathan didn't underestimate Alex as much as some billionaires seem to when it comes to romances. Saying that, he did underestimate her a little bit, but at least he expected something from her rather than pretending she had no insight! 

There was definite chemistry between the two leads, and I liked that they weren't able to forget about each other. They both thought about things in a more physical sense to start with and were definitely on the same page for most of the book...even if they didn't always realise it! 

Alex was a strong female lead. She was determined to get what she wanted, and that wasn't just in terms of getting the man. Instead, she had clear ambition when it came to her career. All in all, I think she worked well as a character. 

I  also liked the various side relationships the two main characters had. It made them more rounded as well as adding interesting characters who could be being set up for future books (or at least that's the impression that I got!) 

This was a good read, though not quite as addictive as I was expecting!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

An Airship Named Desire by Katherine McIntyre (#1 Take to the Skies)

Title: An Airship Named Desire
Series: Take to the Skies (#1)
Author: Katherine McIntyre
From: Netgalley
Genre: Steampunk, Adventure
Release Date: 18th October 2012
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Airships, sky-pirates, smugglers, and soldiers...An Airship Named Desire will take you for a thrilling ride. Ever since their last botched smuggling job, First Mate Bea and the crew of her airship can barely afford fuel, let alone a barrel of grog. So when a gentleman from Old Germany offers them a fortune to steal a locked box from a British merchant airship, they jump on the opportunity. However, their employer forgot to mention the box's military escort and the Morlock mercenaries who would slit throats to get their hands on it. Oh, and if made public, the contents could engulf Europe in another devastating war. Stealing the box was the easy part. Now, with a target on their back and some of the toughest characters in the skies after them, if the crew of the Desire doesn't polish their pistols and prepare for a hell of a fight, they'll end up worse than grounded. After all, everyone from the Brits to the Morlocks will kill for the contents of that box, and no one survives an airship crash.

An Airship Named Desire was most definitely an impulse read for me. I was thinking that it had been a while since I read anything remotely steampunk, and then I saw this on Netgalley. I'm glad I did though, because it was an enjoyable read...because well, sky pirates! Who doesn't love sky pirates! 

On the genre though...I'm guessing I'm right with steampunk, though it isn't set in the Victorian era. From what I could gather it's set in the future after a European war (well that does seem realistic the way things are going at the moment). The dress and technology are a mix of modern and old, but I think the main thing about it is to say that it all worked really well. I bought into the setting and the story from the beginning. 

Bea was an interesting character. She was sort of a tomboy, but had her moments where she was girly. She very much owned who she was (though she was a little bit of an idiot when it came to love...then again, the story wouldn't be the same if that wasn't true). She was strong, but had her weaknesses, and all round I thought that she was a very well rounded character. 

There was a fairly large cast in this book, and I found myself yearning for some more background on them. While this is the first book in a series (one that I very much look forward to continuing), sometimes it felt as if there was more behind the scenes of some of the characters. Most notably Isabela. 

There were a couple of twists in the book that I pretty much saw coming. One was a betrayal, and I don't think it was obvious as such, but I did have a bad vibe about the character. The other one was far more obvious, there just wasn't the resolution before the thing happened for it not to happen (sorry it would be a spoiler to say what it was!) 

This was a good read, I really enjoyed it!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Werewolves of New York: Dontae by Faleena Hopkins (#4 Werewolves of New York)

Title: Werewolves of New York: Dontae
Series: Werewolves of New York (#4)
Author: Faleena Hopkins
From: Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 12th August 2015
Challenges: 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Dontae Sheppard is a lone wolf in the city he loves. All three of packmates have lost their hearts to women. Dontae will not suffer this fate. Women can’t be trusted. They lie. They cheat. They’re the devil in a dress aching to take down the male gender, crush him with their high heels, hot kisses, and empty promises. He will not suffer this fate. Not again. Not after what Catherine did to him. Catherine Zenith is about to marry the man she left Dontae for years ago. He’s solid. Her parents love him. She loves him. Sort of. So why is the phone in her hands, and why are her shaking fingers dialing Dontae’s number? She has no idea that he hates her guts. She’s about to find out.

While Werewolves of New York: Dontae is book 4 of the Werewolves of New York series, it could be read as a standalone. There are a few references to previous events in the book, and the wolves from the other books make an appearance in this one. However, the romance itself is self-contained within the book. 

This was a great second chance romance. Things were a little hazy because both Catherine and Dontae had done things that could be considered wrong in their relationship. I suppose it depends on viewpoint, but I think that it definitely added another dynamic to their relationship. 

The two lead characters also had an undeniable chemistry, which they acted on a couple of times without actually thinking, but it worked to get them on the road to recovery and back to where they should be. I also liked that Dontae's pack mates had his back and didn't just accept his renewed relationship with Catherine. 

I wasn't sure what to make of Dontae before this book, he always seemed the coldest of the wolves. But his story really warmed him to me; though I'm guessing that was the point! 

This was a great series and I'm looking forward to seeing what those wolves over in Chicago are up to! 

Friday, 18 November 2016

Trust by Jana Aston (#3 Wrong)

Title: Trust
Series: Wrong (#3)
Author: Jana Aston
From: Amazon
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 8th November 2016
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 New Release Challenge2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): “Knock knock!”
“Um… Who’s there?” Yeah. That was me, on my last date. Before you feel sorry for me you should know that I was the one telling the jokes. Jokes as in plural, because I didn’t stop with just one. Of course not. Hi, I’m Chloe Scott. The most awkward single girl in the city. But I’m going to get it together. I am. I’m going to learn how to date like a grown up. I’m going to have an orgasm not given to myself. I’m going to fall in love and live happily ever after. Right after I get out of this interrogation room.

While Trust is the third book in the Wrong series, it can easily be read as a standalone. The romance and the storyline are all contained within the book. However, Aston's books are all highly enjoyable and Trust gives an update on the characters from the previous books, which is always good to have!

I loved Chloe. She was just so easy to relate to for me. She knew what she was good at and she stuck to that, and she knew what she was bad at and still tried when it came to social situations. At the same time, she had an inner strength that was hard to deny (even though she did to herself all the time) and didn't change who she was for anyone. 

Boyd was just perfect. He was the man that women really want! He was sweet and sexy, and didn't have the bad boy vibe going on. But more than that, Boyd was patient. And it was his patience with Chloe emotionally that really had me loving him as a character. 

The chemistry between the two leads was strong, and I really felt it, but I loved the slow build to their relationship. Boyd was playing the long game from the beginning; he knew what he wanted but also recognised that Chloe wasn't as ready for it as he was. The two of them didn't jump into bed with one another, but when they did it felt like the right time for them. 

I think this is my favourite book from the Wrong series! It was funny and cute and sexy all rolled into one!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Sunset Rising by S M McEachern (#1 Sunset Rising)

Title: Sunset Rising
Series: Sunset Rising (#1)
Author: S M McEarchern
From: Amazon
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 12th November 2013
Challenges:  2016 Reading Assignment
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground. They are grudgingly permitted entry, but the price of admission is high. Two hundred and eighty-three years later… Life as a slave in the Pit had never been easy, but for seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell it was quickly falling apart. Her mother had been killed in the annual spring Cull, leaving her alone with a father who was no longer interested in living the short time he had left. Not that she blamed him for mourning. Her own heart was aching with overwhelming grief. But if they didn’t earn enough credits to keep their place inside the Pit, they would be kicked out into a world still teeming with radiation. That left her to earn the credits for both of them, and it didn’t help that her boyfriend, Reyes Crowe, was pressuring her to marry him and abandon her father. Sunny didn’t think life could get any worse until a chance encounter with Leisel Holt, the president's daughter, and her fiancĂ©, Jack Kenner, leaves her accused of treason. Slated for execution, she escapes with a man she considers an enemy and discovers she not only has to work with him to survive, but also to lead the revolution.

Sunset Rising is one of those books that leaves me asking why on earth I left it so long to read. I won't deny that it was the cover that attracted me to this book, especially because it has again since, but now I know what's inside the book I know that it is a good read. Plus the cover fits perfectly, and totally in a way that makes it stand out.

There was the potential for a love triangle in Sunset Rising, though it already had a different dynamic because Sunny (or Sunset, hence the title!) was already in a relationship with Reyes at the start of the book. I wasn't sure about their relationship, or how it would work when Sunny met the love interest that I was sure she was going to. As the book progressed, and Sunny's feelings towards Jack changed, I found myself disliking Reyes more and more, and wasn't surprised when some truths about him came out.

The age thing in Sunset Rising was a little bit odd, but in a good can-see-how-this-society-is-bad kind of way. In the pit, where Sunny lived, there was an age limit, after which the people living there were culled. Even ignoring the barbaric tradition (which led to a brilliantly created dystopia), children were forced to work from 12 and were often married by 17 (Sunny mentions she's old to be unmarried and that's how old she is). However because of what they went through, Sunny and the other pit teenagers, all came across as older. And when I discovered how old Crystal was...well I was shocked, but it worked to progress the story.

The dystopia was well constructed. It had two main parts, the Pit and the Dome. Both had their own version of society, and both had people within them wanting change. Most of the events happened in the Pits, but Jack, a Dome resident, played an important role in the story.

I liked Jack, he was a good character. And it was also refreshing to have him think the things start from his end and not the end of the oppressed people. Sorry, that was intentionally cryptic, I don't want to ruin anything!

This was a great read, would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes dystopias!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Adam's Angel by Mandy M Roth (#2 League of the Unnatural)

Title: Adam's Angel
Series: League of the Unnatural (#2)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Amazon
Genre: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: 9th January 2012
Challenges: 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Saving the world is never easy...Adam Shafer seems to have it all, sex appeal, brawn, magikal powers, superhero status, the ability to charm the pants off any female. Any female whose not the sexy, leggy blonde Special Paranormal Prosecutor, Tori Dore. They’ve been working hard to convict an evil mastermind but Tori doesn’t seem to even notice Adam exists. He’s sure his powers of persuasion are still working, but with Tory they seem defective. This can only mean one thing, she’s his destined mate. Can he convince her he’s more than a man-whore before evil rears its ugly head, threatening their happiness?

While Adam's Angel is part of the League of the Unnatural series, it is possible to read it as a standalone. In fact it had been so long since I read the previous book, Pike's Peak, that I'd mostly forgotten what had happened, though the introduction of characters from the previous book did help to jog my memory a bit. However I don't feel that this detracted from my enjoyments of Adam's Angel. 

My review of Adam's Angel is only going to be a short one as the book itself is a quick read. However it is worth pointing out that I was aware of this going in and the fact that it was going to be a quick easy read, and therefore a palette cleanser, was the reason I chose Adam's Angel in the first place. 

There was good chemistry between Tori and Adam right from the start of the story, and I loved that Tori didn't just fall into Adam's arms because she could, it made her seem that much stronger as a character. Even so it was brimming under the surface and worked well for them. 

There was plenty of action in Adam's Angel as well, not just the bedroom kind either! Rather there was also a fight scene or two where several of the characters got to make an impression of themselves! 

This was a great quick read, perfect for when you just want an in between story!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Dance to the Devil's Tune by Adrienne deWolfe (#2 Lady Law & The Gunslinger)

Title: Dance to the Devil's Tune
Series: Lady Law & the Gunslinger (#2)
Author: Adrienne deWolfe
From: Review Copy
Genre: Western, Romance
Release Date: 15th November 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Maestro's music creates mindless puppets, who commit crimes at his command. To lure the sinister jewel thief out of hiding, Pinkerton Agent Sadie Michelson poses as a wealthy widow. Fearing for her safety, William "Cass" Cassidy, her hotheaded lover, hatches his own plot to end Maestro's killing spree. But his daring gamble backfires and costs him Sadie's trust. Now Cass is on the run, hunted by Maestro and the Pinkertons. Torn between her mission and her gunslinging lover, Sadie must stop Cass's showdown with Maestro, or she'll lose her badge-and her man. 

Dance to the Devil's Tune is the second book in the Lady Law & the Gunslinger series, though it could be read as a standalone. While the romance between Cass and Sadie continues on from the previous book, the case that the two of them are working on is completely different. However you get a better effect if you read the books in order. This review is spoiler free. 

I can't say that I've ever thought of myself as a Western fan in the past, and even now I very rarely pick one up, unless the Western happens to be written by deWolfe. I discovered her quite by accident, but am so glad I did because her books have an addictive quality. They blend together the feel of the times and the things that modern readers really want in their books. 

I love Sadie and Cass' relationship, I was going to say I love it despite the messiness of it, but I think I mean because of it instead! They're two rather hot headed characters who have been head over heels for each other for a good long while and yet they can't seem to accept that the other one feels the same way. It's a great dynamic, especially with the undeniable chemistry between them. As a reader you know that Cass is faithful despite Sadie worrying that he isn't, and you know that Sadie is just thinking about his safety when it doesn't look like it, but for these two the messiness works. 

I wasn't sure on reading the description quite how the Maestro thing would work, and I will admit to being somewhat apprehensive about it (but it wasn't going to stop me reading!) However I needn't have worried. That side of the plot was interesting and well thought out. Though I will admit to having the Maestro pegged from almost the first moment the reader met him. I wavered once in my certainty but that didn't last long. 

Oh a Collie and Vandy! I love Collie and Vandy. How could Cass get by without sidekicks like these!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Blaze by Michelle M Pillow (#3 Intergalactic Dating Agency)

Title: Blaze
Series: Intergalactic Dating Agency (#3)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Space Opera, Romance
Release Date: 14th November 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Sev (aka Blaze) isn't looking for commitment, but there is no way in hell he's letting his brother go to Earth to search for a woman by himself. He's prepared to yank the idiot out of every jailhouse and ice cream parlor (don't ask) if he has to. It wouldn't be the first time. He can handle a good fight. But what this alpha isn't prepared for was the hardheaded beauty determined to follow him home.

Blaze contains a standalone romance between Sev and Cynthia, but does have links to the previous two books in the series, Spark and Flame. This kind of wrapped up everything from the previous books and let the reader know what happened to the cousins. This review is spoiler free. 

I liked the chemistry between Sev and Cynthia, even if she was being a little stalkerish! The two of them had something good between them and even before they got physical there was something more growing between them, 

The camaraderie between Sev, his cousin and his brother is strong all the way through the series and this book just underlined that. Sev was the caregiver of the group and looked out for his brother and cousin, sometimes putting himself second. It gave him a good depth of character. 

There was a slight twist on Cynthia and I really liked it! There was far more to her than just a human woman that Sev comes across. She had a strength to her that he recognised, and the complex back story she had really added to the overall story. 

This was a great read and I liked the nods to the other works by Pillow...I do have a theory connecting Gary to one of the other series too!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Mr Monday by Shana Gray (#1 Working Girl)

Title: Mr Monday
Series: Working Girl (#1)
Author: Shana Gray
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Serial
Release Date: 13th November 2016
Challenges:  2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): A sexy seven-day job interview. Seven irresistible interviewers. Who will she choose at the end of the week? Tess has been determined to get revenge for her father, ever since he was falsely accused of misusing company funds and unceremoniously let go from Diamond Enterprises. Applying to be Executive Assistant to the elusive, elderly head of the company, Mr King, seems the ideal way to get inside the firm and clear his name. But the job interview is not what she expects. Arriving at the company HQ, she is escorted to a helicopter, blindfolded and flown to a secret location. She meets a man whose voice is disguised, but introduces himself as Mr King and says the job advertisement was a ruse to find the new CEO of Diamond Enterprises. The catch, the interviewer says, is that the job will only be hers if she passes a seven-day interview. Tess will have seven mysterious men who will assist her - one for each task each day. She will have to use all of her skills if she's to succeed and to resist the powerful magnetism of the irresistible men sent to help - or distract - her. Or will Tess find herself losing her heart when she meets her man of the week. Mr Monday, Mr Tuesday, Mr Wednesday, Mr Thursday, Mr Friday, Mr Saturday, Mr Sunday. Meet all seven in Working Girl - who will be your man of the week? 

I picked up Mr Monday thinking it would be a quick read, I'd enjoy it but it would just be one of those enjoyable little interludes. I was wrong. From page 2 I was well and truly sucked into the world that Gray had created and desperate to know more about what's to come! 

As this is a serial there wasn't any major major development going on, but I felt that Mr Monday gave a good sense of Tess and what she was about. Her motivation was made clear from the beginning, though by the end of Mr Monday she was already questioning whether what she was doing is right. I liked the complexity of her feelings they made her more real. 

This was a good set up for the rest of the serial too. It made it clear what was going on (the interview) and what was at stake (becoming CEO) and the reasons why that's even going on. However there remains a lot of mystery still, firstly why Mr King is looking for a CEO who is a stranger, exactly who Mr Gorgeous is (I have a theory brewing already) and what really happened with Tess' father (I have a feeling it isn't going to be all that straight forward). 

I feel like I'm slightly hooked onto this serial, and I'll be looking forward to more!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Othello and Zombies by Aaron Frale

Title: Othello and Zombies
Author: Aaron Frale
From: Amazon
Genre: Zombie Apocalypse
Release Date: 19th October 2016
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 New Release Challenge
 Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Shakespeare's classic tale of hubris, paranoia, and betrayal is reimagined against the darkly comedic backdrop of the post-apocalypse. ... And zombies. I ate thy brains ere I killed thee...

Slight disclaimer...Othello itself is a play that I've never read, studied or seen. I have read a retelling of Othello before and so have a vague sense of the story, and as far as I could tell Othello and Zombies was a faithful retelling (well with the addition of Zombies) and even though I did know the end was coming I still wasn't ready for it. 

This was definitely an interesting read because of the most followed characters. Iago was probably one of the most followed and yet he was highly unlikable (by design, his Shakespearean counterpart is the same from what I can tell). He had very little to redeem himself with, and his motivation basically seemed to be jealousy though I never quite worked out why. It did work with the storyline though. 

I wasn't sure what to make of Othello as a character. All around he seemed to be okay, but he did seem to be buoyed up a bit by his wife, Desdemona. She was an incredibly likable character, which is probably what made the whole story so tragic. But it did work well. 

The combination of a Shakespearean tragedy and the zombie apocalypse worked really well. There wasn't any discord between the two elements of the story and they each added to each other. Othello and Zombies was fast paced but character driven, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed this. 

This was a really good read, and enjoyable even if you don't know the storyline of Othello very well!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Fling by Jana Aston (#2.5 Wrong)

Title: Fling
Series: Wrong (#2.5)
Author: Jana Aston
From: Amazon
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 1st November 2016
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 New Release Challenge2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): I have a crush on my boss’ best friend. At least it’s not my brother’s best friend. Or my best friend’s brother. Or… never mind. It’s all pretty cliche. And worse? My boss’ best friend is his business partner. Which sort of makes him my boss too. Okay - it’s not sort of. It’s definite. Gabe Laurent is off limits. Totally off limits. Which is fine. I make do with my imagination. He’ll never know. Ever. Unless my work bestie passes me an eighties-style teen movie sex quiz during a meeting and I fill it out. And it ends up in Gabe’s hands…

Fling is a standalone novella from the Wrong series. While there are crossover characters between the books they can be read individually. However I did enjoy reading Fling knowing about some of the events from the previous book (Right). This review is spoiler free. 

I love Jana Aston's writing, it always leaves me with a smile on my face and Fling was no exception. There wasn't massive amount of drama in Gabe and Sandra's relaationship, but that didn't mean it was any less fun. From the start it was clear that Gabe and Sandra were attracted to one another, and as the story progressed it became clearer that there was more going on between them. 

Gabe and Sandra's chemistry was great, I could really feel that they were into each other. More than that though there was another connection between them and I found myself really buying into their the ending was really cute. 

I also liked that the two of them had friendships with other characters in the books, including Everly from Right, and it was great seeing how other characters thought of them. I loved getting to see that side of the characters. 

Jana Aston's Wrong series is great, and will put a smile on anyone's face!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (#1 The Lunar Chronicles)

Title: Cinder
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (#1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
From: Amazon
Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera, Fairy tale Retelling
Release Date: 3rd January 2012
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Oh my goodness how has it taken me so long to read Cinder! The fairytale/space opera genre mix is one I've recently discovered and absolutely love, it mixes so many things that I like up in one book. Add to that that Cinder has been on my kindle for 3 years, and the fact a lot of bloggers seem to love it, and I've definitely missed out by not reading it sooner! 

Cinder was a great character, she was strong and independent, but wasn't afraid to be attracted to someone, or act on some of her desires. She learnt a lot about herself over the course of the book and it just strengthened her as a character. She loved her step-sister, Peony, a lot, but her step-mother or legal guardian as Cinder preferred, and other step-sister were definitely not her favourite people that's for sure. 

Cinder was a talented mechanic, and that side of things came into play a lot. Her job was what brought her and the Prince, Kai, together and being a cyborg had it's own problems. The world that Cinder inhabited had some dystopian qualities, that I do hope get sorted out in later books. 

The relationship between Kai and Cinder was sweet. I felt like Kai acted his age, and was a little sheltered, but his opening up towards Cinder was a great way for the two of them bond. It was also clear that he loved his people and his duty too, which was another added side of his character. 

There was a twist that I had figured out pretty early on, as well as a slightly smaller related twist that I'd thought was the case too. However in the terms of fairytales it worked well. In fact the fairy tale elements in general worked well and I really got the feel of Cinderella from the story. 

The bad guy was definitely intriguing too. As the Lunar Queen, she has a lot of power and is a menace to several of the characters, I think she's definitely going to be an interesting character going forward into the other books. 

I'm looking forward to reading more in this series, and from Meyer, it was a fantastic read.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Moirai by Ruth Silver (#2 Aberrant)

Title: Moirai
Series:Aberrant (#2)
Author: Ruth Silver
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 26th September 2013
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge 2016 Reading Assignment2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Olivia has been on the run from the government of Cabal since the marriage ceremony. Finally settling in and finding herself a place to call home, in Shadow, Olivia and Joshua are preparing for the uprising that they and the rebel alliance have been planning for months.With new abilities and special talents, from Mindonsiphan, Olivia learns that she can do more than most ordinary eighteen year olds. Learning both to hide and perfect her skills will be one of the biggest challenges she'll be forced to face. A constant rollercoaster of emotion and adventure await Olivia and Joshua, as they embark on a journey to the rebel city of Torv, and what was once home, Genesis.

Moirai is the second book in the Aberrant series and shouldn't be read as a standalone. There is a time jump between the end of Aberrant and the start of Moirai (it's a matter of months) and while there are refreshers within the story if it's been a while since you've read the first book. This review may contain spoilers for the previous book in the series. 

I'm not sure what it was about Moirai that just didn't click with me. I loved Aberrant, it was a great read and really compelling, but this one didn't have the same kind of pull power. However it might be worth mentioning that I was ill during the week I was reading it, so that could have something to do with it. 

Regardless of how I felt about the book, I loved Josh and Olivia's relationship, there was something steady and comforting about it, and the ending was so sweet, it definitely made me smile. There was something really sweet about their relationship with Adelaide too. 

I don't really feel I can say anything else about Moirai, not without feeling like I was being unfair because I was ill. But overall this has good dystopian elements and a great central relationship.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Rulebreaker by Kat Bastion & Stone Bastion (#2 Unbreakable)

Title: Rulebreaker
Series: Unbreakable (#2)
Author: Kat Bastion & Stone Bastion
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 7th November 2016
Challenges:  2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge2016 New Release Challenge2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Racial Tensions Flare as Hot as the Passion in RULE BREAKER, a Modern-day Romeo and Juliet Story. Leilani Kealoha wants to be set free. Of family expectations. Of generations of prejudice. Chafing at rules made by the proud Hawaiian men in her family, she yearns to discover herself and hungers to explore the world. Her adventuresome heart? Longs for something even greater, deeper. The last thing she expects is an East Coast haole surfer to hold the key to everything. Mason Price is done walking his parents’ path. Done with social acceptance—with cold politics. On a surfing quest to reinvent himself, Mase finds an exotic beauty standing on his towel. But it’s her feisty bargaining that catches him off guard. When he challenges her with a “Truth or Shots” drinking game, she unwittingly reveals more than she’d intended about herself…and him. The raw truth stuns him: She’s suffered like he has, is lost like he is—keeps secrets like he does. But will young love and shared situations be enough to conquer racial and cultural divides? Lines in the sand…were meant to be crossed.

Rulebreaker is a standalone romance with small links to the previous book in the series, Heartbreaker and the Bastions' previous series No Weddings. You can read just Rulebreaker without losing anything, but you're missing out on not reading the other books! This review is spoiler free. 

Rulebreaker isn't really the kind of romance I'd have picked up on my own. I've never had any experience surfing so surfer romances don't normally appeal to me. However I love the Bastions' writing style and the characters that they create and as such there was no doubt that I wanted to read this one.

Leilani and Mase had great chemistry and the hesitation for the two of them to act on their attraction really added to the tension build up. I really bought into the two of them together and there was definitely more to it than the physical side of things.

They both had their issues with family, and there were points where their issues almost came between them. At the beginning, Leilani was very hesitant to reveal  why she was so reluctant to be with Mase, and the reveal had me a bit in shock, probably because I don't know much about the culture of Hawaii, but even then it wasn't something I'd ever considered as an impeachment to a relationship. It did work as a mountain for the two of them to surmount though.

This was a great read, not that I had any doubt it would be!