Book Chick City - Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews http://www.bookchickcity.com Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Rebecca’s Coveted Releases & TBR for September http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/rebeccas-coveted-releases-tbr-for-september.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/rebeccas-coveted-releases-tbr-for-september.html#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:00:28 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58412 Hello and welcome to a new monthly feature here on BCC. Each month I will be sharing a selection of releases I’m most looking forward to, as well as giving you all an insight into what is on my TBR pile for that month. I’d love to hear if you’re anticipating the same titles as I am!


COVETED SEPTEMBER RELEASES


The most exciting books I’m hoping to get my hands on this month are:

1. Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella coverFirst on the list for this months releases has to be Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella. I am a long time fan of this series, having read the first book aged twelve and feeling grown up at having read my book from the adult section! I love reading about Becky’s outrageous antics, and I’m sure this time will be no different as Becky Brandon joins Luke in LA, aiming to assist him in his role managing actress, Sage Seymour. Of course, Becky thinks she will be attending all the Hollywood events and experiencing the glitz and glamour, but when she joins the team of Sage’s archrival, tensions are again running high between her and Luke, especially with demanding daughter, Minnie, in tow! This series rarely fails to disappoint with its unique humour and outlandish events, so I definitely cannot wait to return to the world of Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood).

Release date: 25th September, The Dial Press

2. Bellissima by Anya Richards

Bellissima by Anya RichardsA historical romance with a dancing twist, Bellissima by Anya Richards is sure to get your heart racing this month. Jane Rollins is anything but plain, yet she hides her beauty in order to maintain her position as a housekeeper for a wealthy family. However, her cover is potentially blown when the suave, charismatic dance tutor, Sergio Fontini, waltzes into her life. The family are skeptical about the foreigner, but Jane sees an attractive strength and cannot resist his appeal. Sergio sees beyond her appearance to the woman underneath, desperate to teach her lessons about more than dance… I can’t wait to get my hands on this steamy historical romance!

Release date: 23rd September, Samhain Publishing

3. Double Jeopardy by Linda Wisdom

Double Jeopardy by Linda WisdomDon’t judge a book by its cover this month, as this racy looking cover for Double Jeopardy by Linda Wisdom is actually a mystery and thriller. Josh Brandon is an Assistant District Attorney, used to helping women escape violence and abuse in his small desert town outside of LA. However, in doing so he has gained an admirer who has taken to sending him flowers and messages, popping up wherever Josh goes. When Josh meets the attractive Medical Examiner, Lauren, his stalker takes special notice and is determined to put a stop to their budding romance. However, seducing Lauren is not easy for Josh, as she has sworn off men after a particularly disastrous divorce from an LA detective. The passion between them sounds hot and steamy, and I can’t to see the lengths Josh’s stalker will go to in order to keep them apart.

Release date: 15th September, Entangled Publishing

4. Undone by Kristina Lloyd

Undone by Kristina LloydI’m not a huge fan of erotica, and this one does sound particularly racy, but Undone by Kristina Lloyd has a murder mystery setup which sounds intriguing and awkward all at once. Lana Greenwood attends a glittering party that offers her the opportunity to fulfill a long-held fantasy – a threesome with two handsome men. However, on the morning after one of the men, Russian pharmacologist Misha Morozov, is discovered dead in the swimming pool. Lana doesn’t know if it was an accident, suicide or murder, but evidence points to the bedroom where their tryst occurred. Can she really trust Sol, the other man involved in the affair? He longs to continue their kinky games and Lana is in danger of falling for his seductive smile. The added murder mystery element gives this novel more grounding than just sex, so I would be interested to see how it pans out.

Release date: 11th September, Ebury Digital


SEPTEMBER’S TBR


The books that I’m hoping to read throughout September from my ever increasing TBR pile are:

1. The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein

The Uncertain Places by Lisa GoldsteinA book that has been on my TBR pile for a while, The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein is a novel of witchcraft and mystery. Will and Ben are best friends who find themselves in the company of the Feierabend sisters, Livvy and Maddie. Will falls for Livvy, but begins to notice that the family act strangely, believing that their family is exceptionally lucky, with everything falling straight into their hands. However, the price for such gifts is high, and it is up to Will to make sure Livvy escapes the supernatural fate that awaits her. This novel sounds intriguing, and I’m looking forward to reading a slightly spooky read in preparation for next month’s Halloween.

2. Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery

Christmas on 4th Street by Susan MalleryWith the shops beginning to stock Christmas merchandise, I feel it’s time to indulge in a spot of early festive reading with Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery. Having never read any of the Fool’s Gold series, I’m hoping that this book works as a standalone title and will be a warm romance for the coming cold weather. It tells the tale of Noelle Perkins, who has ditched her legal career in favour of opening a shop in the town of Fool’s Gold, California. Business is booming, and handsome army doctor, Gabriel Boylan, has offered to help during the holiday rush. His memories of Christmas are painful and he is dreading spending it with his family, but steamy mistletoe kisses with Noelle are sure to make this a holiday season he won’t forget…

3. Debauched in Diamonds by Nikki Duncan

Debauched by Diamonds by Nikki DuncanReleased this month is Debauched in Diamonds by Nikki Duncan, the fourth in her Tulle and Tulips series. Although I’ve not read any of the previous books in this series, the description of this book hooked me straight away. Darci Drummond, aka The Bunny of Bling, shines as brightly as her trademark diamond necklace, but her dating life is a lot duller and she has been hurt by a string of bad boyfriends. Instead, she now helps other women to shine on their big day. She would like someone to show her a good time, as long as it isn’t her computer nerd neighbour from upstairs. For Victor Green, he likes nothing better than a Starbucks and a code-filled computer screen, yet somehow he finds himself dragged to a bridal show and thrust into the world of Darci Drummond. This sounds like a quick and fun read which is sure to have some laughs along the way.

4. Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward

Lover Avenged (#7)I’m still behind the other BCC ladies on reading this great series, so hopefully this month I might find time to squeeze in Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward, the seventh in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This book is Rehvenge’s tale, and I’m interested to see how this pans out, as he hasn’t been one of my favourite characters so far. As the owner of a nightclub, Rehvenge has to be extra careful with his abilities as a symphath, as the revelation of his ability would see him banished. He likes to keep his distance from the Brotherhood, and this time around his only source of salvation is Ehlena, a vampire untouched by corruption and a symbol of light in his darkening world. If Rehvenge hasn’t appealed to me so far, I’m willing to give J. R. Ward a chance to change my mind!

5. The Chocolate Lover’s Diet by Carole Matthews

The Chocolate Lover's Diet  by Carole MatthewsI read the first book in this duology last month, and now I’m itching to get my hands on book two! The Chocolate Lover’s Diet by Carole Matthews picks up where book one left off, with the four members of the club having more than their fair share of love dilemmas. Their problems with their partners continue in this book, with Nadia unsure if her husband has stopped gambling, Chantal trying to save her marriage and Autumn’s boyfriend meeting her parents for the first time. Then there is Lucy, who thought her new relationship with Aidan would be a happy-ever-after, yet is now coming across a few flaws in the plan. Needless to say, much chocolate will be consumed in this second instalment!

I hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing my Monthly Releases and TBR, what releases do you plan to get your hands on in September?

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REVIEW: The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-the-golden-dynasty-by-kristen-ashley.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-the-golden-dynasty-by-kristen-ashley.html#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:00:48 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58733 imageWhile this is the second book in Ashley’s Fantasyland series, by the time I have got around to writing this review I have actually nearly finished reading them all, and I can honestly say the The Golden Dynasty is the best in the series.

The best way I can describe it, and I’m going to go on a brief sojourn here, but bear with me, it’s relevant! In the first season of Game of Thrones (apologies I haven’t read the books), my favourite scenes were those between Daenerys and Kahl Drogo. I loved the unusual love story that developed between them. So now imagine if things had turned out differently for them and instead their story was a romance. This is how The Golden Dynasty read to me. It reminded me so much of it in fact, I went and checked series and publication dates to see if one could have influenced the other (they could have).

Like the first in the series, our heroine Circe has found herself transported to a parallel universe, switching places with her parallel twin. Unlike the first book however, Circe did not chose to make this switch, and wakes up to find herself in another world with no idea of how she got there.

This is quite an unusual romance to get your head around, because of the incredibly different culture that Dax is from. For example (minor spoiler here) the beginning opens with a rape. Circe’s rape. But in Dax’s world as this act is part of their culture and the ‘wife claiming’ he believes he has done nothing wrong. When this happened I really wasn’t sure I was going to like the book, rape is a tricky issue in a romance and in a romance between the hero and heroine downright ridiculous. Right? Well actually, no. Believe it or not, it did work. I didn’t like him at first, but quite understandably neither did Circe, but he did methodically begin to chip away and mine and her heart.

There were several parts of the story that were quite shocking, Dax is meant to be a powerful man in charge of a savage land, culture clashes are inevitable. Circe’s journey from victim to Queen was brutal, but with a little fairy tale dust to take off the edge. I couldn’t get enough of the love story between two people who for the first half of the book didn’t even speak each other’s language. There were times when I didn’t exactly like Dax, understandably. Then there were times he was so sexy I just wanted to lick him all over ;-). Circe has got plenty of spirit and it’s certainly needed for the story to work, to forgive a man for the worse crime he could ever commit to you, to cope in a brutal world and become queen of their people, but she had it in spades and you route for her right from the beginning.

Ashley has her own unique writing style, if you haven’t read anything by her before, and you could easily pick this up as a standalone novel, it’s very slangy and even in a fantasy novel she sticks true to her tone of voice.

Verdict

I loved this book, it is by far and away the best in the series. This was quite a different love story and perhaps because I loved the romance between Daenerys and Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones so much, which this really, really reminded me of, I adored the romance between Circe and Dax.

Rating: 4 Stars 


The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley
(Fantasyland #2)
Fantasy Romance
Self Published (August 2011)
Ebook: 485 pages

Goodreads || Amazon UK: Kindle || Amazon US: Kindle

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NEW SERIES ALERT: Age of Iron by Angus Watson http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/new-series-alert-age-of-iron-by-angus-watson.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/new-series-alert-age-of-iron-by-angus-watson.html#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:00:12 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58843 HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE VICTORS
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE VICTORS LOSE?


Age of Iron

AGE of IRON vy Angus Watson
Published 2 September 2014
Paperback Original, £8.99

The epic historical fantasy debut by British author Angus Watson, Age of Iron, fills the gaps in history of Roman occupation in Britain. Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the first volume of this action-packed historical fantasy trilogy which will appeal to fans of Joe Abercrombie and HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Legends aren’t born. They’re forged.

Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary travelling south to join up with King Zadar’s army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people.
First, Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar’s most fearsome warriors, who’s vowed revenge on the king for her sister’s execution.

Now Dug’s on the wrong side of that thousands-strong army he hoped to join and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one rescued child and one unpredictable, highly trained warrior with a lust for revenge that’s going to get them all killed . . .

It’s a glorious day to die.


Gus WatsonAngus Watson is an author and journalist living in London. He’s written hundreds of features for many newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Financial Times and Telegraph, and the latter even sent him to look for Bigfoot. As a fan of both historical fiction and epic fantasy, Angus came up with the idea of writing a fantasy set in the Iron Age when exploring British hillforts for the Telegraph, and developed the story while walking Britain’s ancient paths for further articles. Visit his Website and follow him on Twitter.


Age of Iron Blog tour

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GIVEAWAY: Huge Mystery Box of Books up for grabs! (ends 03/10/14) http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/giveaway-huge-mystery-box-of-books-up-for-grabs-ends-031014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/giveaway-huge-mystery-box-of-books-up-for-grabs-ends-031014.html#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:00:27 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58909 Books

I have been clearing out my personal library and have a bunch of brand new and nearly new books to give away (at least 14 books). The box will contain new adult romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, erotic romance, romantic suspense, and urban fantasy from author’s such as Colleen Hoover, Zoe Archer, Christy Reece, Larissa Ione, and Kelley Armstrong, among others!

To enter all you have to do is:

  1. Fill out the short form below
  2. Subscribe to this blog on Bloglovin’ or Email
  3. Leave a comment below
  4. Be 18 or over

This giveaway is UK Only and ends 3rd Oct 2014.

PLEASE NOTE: Before entering any of our giveaways please take the time to read our Giveaway Policy. Winner/s are announced on the blog every Sunday in our Weekly Roundup post. We also email giveaway winner/s once. Failure to claim your prize within SEVEN (7) days of the giveaway announcement post and/or email means you forfeit your prize/s. So as to not miss these announcement posts, as well as future giveaways, subscribe via RSS or Email.

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Weekly Roundup – 14th September 2014 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/weekly-roundup-14th-september-2014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/weekly-roundup-14th-september-2014.html#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:00:48 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58786 Weekly Roundup Banner

Hi Guys! Hope you’re having a great weekend. Here’s the low down on what happened at BCC this week…


FEATURES & REVIEWS



CAROLYN’S ROUNDUP


Private Lives - Tasmina PerryThis week I’ve been listening to Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell. I’m about half way through and although I like it I’m finding it a bit slow going, so I’ve put it on hold to have a little break. Instead I’ve started listening to Private Lives by Tasmina Perry and so far it’s really good. Another audiobook narrated by Jane Collingwood, who’s now one of my favourite narrators.

Other than the audiobooks, I haven’t really managed to read anything this week. Hopefully this coming week will be better as I want to read Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh. It’s only an e-novella so I should be able to manage that.


VIKKI’S ROUNDUP


Shifting ShadowsWell, as I’ve been completely antisocial due to night shifts this week I have done a bit more than my usual reading!! First off I finished Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells, which is book two in her Prospero’s War series. As I had enjoyed book one, Dirty Magic, I expected good things from book two and I was not disappointed. A fantastic addition to what promises to be a big contender in the Urban Fantasy genre.

The second book I finished was Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs. This is a collection of short stories from Briggs’ Mercy Thompson world. I absolutely loved some of these, a couple didn’t seem to add anything to the world we already know but were good short reads none the less. The story of Samuel and Arianna’s original relationship is fantastic because it also gives us a glimpse into Bran and Samuel pre-werewolf. All in all it’s a great addition to any Patricia Briggs collection.

Finally, I started Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Mass. After meeting her the other week and getting an advanced released copy signed, I couldn’t wait to get started. I’m not that far through it but Celaena and the gang have immediately settled back into my heart. I adore this series!

That’s my round up. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?


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WEEKEND READS: Lisa Jewell, Kristina Lloyd, and Nalini Singh http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/weekend-reads-lisa-jewell-kristina-lloyd-and-nalini-singh.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/weekend-reads-lisa-jewell-kristina-lloyd-and-nalini-singh.html#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 09:00:31 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58788 What are you reading this weekend? Anything you think we should be reading, or maybe your current read is just a bit… bleh. Whether you’re loving or hating your current read, we want to know about it! We love to hear about books (as if you didn’t know).

Here’s a run down on what we’ll be reading this weekend:


CAROLYN


Before I Met You - Lisa JewellThis weekend I’ll be listening to audiobook, Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell, narrated by one of my favourite narrator’s, Jane Collingwood. I’m over half way through and so far it’s another fun, light and easy listen. It alternates between two women; one living in more modern times (at the moment we are in the nineties) and one living in the 1920s. I like both the characters and it’s an interesting read, but not a lot has actually happened yet, so I’m hoping it will get a bit better soon.

As for a physical book, I’m still reading, Undone by Kristina Lloyd, an erotic romance/thriller. I will also be reading Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh, an e-novella from her Rock Kiss series. I loved the first book, so I can’t wait to devour this one.


WHAT WILL YOU BE READING THIS WEEKEND?


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REVIEW: Dying Art by Shirley Wells http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-dying-art-by-shirley-wells.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-dying-art-by-shirley-wells.html#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=57168 Dying Art by Shirley Wells cover

Returning to the Lancashire town of Dawson’s Clough, Dying Art by Shirley Wells marks the fifth instalment of the Dylan Scott Mystery series – a series which shows no sign of slowing down.

Private investigator, Dylan Scott, is sitting in his office waiting for business when an old girlfriend of his turns up to present him with a case. Maddie Chandler’s sister, Prue, was found dead in her home in Dawson’s Clough, with the police stating that she interrupted a burglar. They aren’t treating it as a murder enquiry, but Maddie is sure that something is wrong as she received a strange phone call before Prue was killed. Although reluctant to return to Dawson’s Clough, Dylan cannot resist the sound of this case and gets straight into his car.

Prue’s home had been ransacked, but nothing had been taken – not even the sixty pounds in cash on her kitchen table. This immediately makes Dylan question the police’s verdict of murder, as the supposed ‘burglar’ was obviously looking for something specific. Whilst helping Maddie clear the house, they find a miniature portrait by renowned artist, Jack McIntyre, which is worth thousands. What was Prue doing with such a piece, and could it have been the reason behind her death?

Knowing little about the art world, Dylan begins a research mission to find out about Jack McIntyre, and whether it’s possible Prue ever knew him. Along the way he begins to build a list of suspects, including a local bar owner, Prue’s landlord, Maddie’s husband, Tim, and even Maddie herself. It is clear that his ex-girlfriend has been suffering from a number of problems, and Dylan has to keep his adult head on to ensure he doesn’t fall for any of her advances. It is no secret that Maddie actually loathed Prue, but would she really use her sister’s death just to reconnect with an old flame?

This mystery was as well-crafted as the previous instalments, with frequent trips to the Clough, Manchester and even France providing the much-needed clues. I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives, as we get sections from Maddie’s point of view (which is somewhat twisted), and from teenager, Kevin, who witnessed a man leaving Prue’s home on the night of her death. These additional perspectives lent some space to the story, as the reader is not limited by Dylan’s perspective and can perceive clues for themselves. As always, the mystery was solved by the end of the book with a surprising flourish, as well as a few epilogue scenes which reveal even more explanatory secrets.

What slightly let this book down for me was my frustration with Dylan as the protagonist. As much as I love the way he goes about solving the crimes and the dedication to his work, I disliked his attitude to his family in this book. The frequent reiteration that he was now forty seemed to be used as an excuse to have a mid-life crisis, and he did little to discourage Maddie’s advances. When he did reject her, it wasn’t because of his family loyalty but because he thought Maddie might be unstable. As much as I like Dylan, I very much wanted to punch him after such statements were made.

However, I continue to enjoy the scenes which Dylan spends with his family, particularly his hippie mother, and there was the amusing side plot about Dylan’s father in this book. Having no idea who his father is, when his mother brings an old associate to dinner there is the nagging ‘what if’ that causes Dylan to carry out a DNA test on the sly. This sideline was particularly comic for Dylan’s blunt refusal to accept the possibility, and it is mainly his wife’s teasing that makes him want the truth.

As ever, it was the well-written nature of this mystery series which hooked my interest, as I truly had no idea of the culprit until the final few chapters. It perhaps wasn’t as exciting as previous reveals, but it was the repercussions afterwards which lent that extra touch to rounding off the plot. I particularly enjoyed the forays into the art world, but I would have preferred less of the connection between Dylan and Maddie, so I’m hoping she doesn’t feature in future books. Nevertheless, I’m excited to continue the series and find out what will happen in Dawson’s Clough next.

Verdict

Another well-written and intriguing mystery, this book cleverly intertwines the high end art world with the rainy town of Dawson’s Clough. The case was solved once more in a gripping fashion, keeping you guessing until the very end. There are chapters from multiple perspectives which also offer a better insight into the characters involved.

Rating: 4 Stars


Dying Art by Shirley Wells
(A Dylan Scott Mystery #5)
Mystery & Detective
Carina Press (12 Nov 2012)
Ebook: 239 pages

Goodreads || Amazon UK: Kindle || Amazon US: Kindle

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Team BCC’s August Recommendations http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/team-bccs-august-recommendations-2.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/team-bccs-august-recommendations-2.html#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:00:50 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58461 Each month we’ll be sharing our best reads from the previous month. Theses books won’t be limited to new releases, but they will be books we loved and want you guys to know about. So here are our July recommendations.


Carolyn


Rock Addiction - Nalini SinghAfter July’s awesome reading month, I didn’t think August would be able to compare, and I was right. Although I read a few good books, there is only one that really stood out for me and that was Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh (4.5 Stars).

This is the first on Singh’s Rock Kiss new adult contemporary romance series. It features a librarian and a rockstar, is full of angst, lust, sex and love, and is totally awesome. It’s a really addictive read with the same engrossing prose as I’ve come to expect from Singh. I’m a huge fan of her paranormal romance series (Guild Hunter and Psy-Changeling) so I was so excited to start this new series, and it didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend Rock Addiction, especially if you love independent, feisty heroine’s and strong, sexy heroes.


Laura


Rock Addiction - Nalini Singh

I am still struggling to read at the moment with a new baby. In August I have actually only managed to read one book (I know it’s horrific)! Luckily It was a cracker! Like Carolyn, my August recommendation is also going to be Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh (4 Stars).

I have a real weakness for Rock Star romances and Rock Addiction more than ticks all the boxes. Fox is seriously Rock God sexy, and Molly is intelligent, brave and a librarian. What’s not to like? The chemistry between them is off the charts. If the second book has been available I would have downloaded it right away. What are you waiting for? Go on read it! :-)


Rebecca


The Chocolate Lover's Club by Carole Matthews coverI read quite a bit throughout August, and am pleased to say that my TBR pile is slowly decreasing! I had a bit of a break at the beginning of the month whilst on holiday, but my favourite read by far was The Chocolate Lover’s Club by Carole Matthews (4.5 Stars). For a contemporary romance, this book had everything I look for and more, with characters who are easy to associate with and chocolate concoctions which are to die for. The humour in this book is fantastic, with some embarrassing events that are sure to have you laughing out loud – I know I was!

My next recommendation is Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss (3.5 stars), which is a fun, historical erotic romance set during the Tudor period. With several steamy scenes, heaving bosoms and racing pulses, this novel was a great first instalment to a series and well-detailed with Tudor facts and alignments with Henry VIII’s history. I’m interested to see where the series goes next, as the next heroine sounds super feisty!


Bobby


Days of Blood and StarlightThis month has been a poor month for reading but I have managed to read a couple of books that I would recommend. In fact, of the few books that I have managed to finish have been pretty good – it’s definitely been a case of lack of quantity rather than quality.

First up is Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead. Yes, it’s YA but comparatively to the first couple of books in the series I think it’s matured greatly in tone and dealt with a lot of serious issues. I cannot wait for the last book in the series to see how it all comes to a conclusion.

Secondly, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. After binge-reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone and loving it I immediately started DoBaS - and then got side-tracked. It sat neglected and unloved for weeks as I read other, frankly inferior, books. I took it on my travels to London with me last weekend and finished it and OMG it was goooooood. I usually can’t read if there is the slightest bit of noise and on a bus full of fairly annoying fellow passengers I read it until I was done. That is a true test of how good a book is!


What were your favourite reads during August?


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REVIEW: Fall From India Place by Samantha Young http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-fall-from-india-place-by-samantha-young.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-fall-from-india-place-by-samantha-young.html#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:00:04 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=57983 Fall From India Place by Samantha Young (On Dublin Street #4) - for review

I devoured this series in one go and read all the books back to back. I really enjoyed them, but my favourites are book one, On Dublin Street, and book three, Before Jamaica Lane. I was looking forward to reading Fall From India Place as it’s the next generation. It’s from the view point of Hannah, who, when we first met her was in her teens, is now twenty-two and an English teacher.

The first part of the book is a combination of the present and flashbacks to Hannah’s past. The flashbacks are mostly of her relationship with Marco, who she falls in love with at the age of fourteen to Marco’s seventeen. She’s sure he feels the same way but his actions turn hot and cold. Then something happens when she’s sixteen that crushes her and ends with Marco leaving her.

Hannah hasn’t been with a guy since Marco left, which is quite a few years ago now, so when he comes back into her life it’s a shock. There are plenty of secrets between these two, and so the rekindling of their relationship doesn’t start out well. They have their ups and downs, but the love between then is still there, it’s just that the trust isn’t.

I can see why Hannah is reluctant to take Marco back. Having him leave her the way he did, at such an impressionable age, would scar anyone, especially with the ramifications that play out after he leaves, which I won’t go into as it contains spoilers. However, I did find that their hesitancy to get together went on for a bit too long. The author should have had Hannah take Marco back a bit earlier in the story as the toing and froing became a little annoying.

Overall thought, I enjoyed Fall From India Place. The sex is hot, the characters are sweet, and I would still recommend it. I just wasn’t invested in the characters as much as I have been with other characters in previous books in the series, and for me it wasn’t a stand out novel in the series.

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Fall From India Place by Samantha Young
(On Dublin Street #4)
Contemporary Romance
Piatkus Books (3 June 2014)
Paperback: 370 pages

Website || Goodreads || Amazon UK: Paperback / Kindle || Amazon US: Paperback / Kindle

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Jess Buffett http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/author-spotlight-jess-buffett.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/author-spotlight-jess-buffett.html#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:00:55 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58777 Author Spotlight Banner


BIOGRAPHY


Jess BuffettJess Buffett was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. She is a mum of two, married to her high school sweetheart. Jess is a hopeless romantic who is a huge fan of M/M and M/F romance with a happy ending—anything with hunky men in all their glory, whether they be Shifters, Vampires, Cowboys, or the boy next door.

A caffeine addict who shamefully can’t make a decent cup of coffee to save her life, Jess believes in soul mates, happily ever afters, and in love at first sight, but that sometimes people need a second or a third for the brain to catch up.


LATEST RELEASE


His Sleeping Beau (Paranormal M/M Erotic Romance) – JK Publishing (26 Aug 2014)

His Sleeping Beau - Jess Buffett

Torn from his family after a curse was placed on him, Zanth Aurelius is not prepared for the trouble headed his way. With new abilities and a protector by his side, Zanth must discover exactly what he is capable of. When Guardian Liam is sent to collect his charge and bring him home, the last thing he expected was to discover the young, clueless man is also his mate – a mate armed with a sharp tongue and a bat. With Zanth finally of age he must now return to his rightful place as the leader of his people, but what awaits him may very well be their undoing.


Q & A


What is His Sleeping Beau about?
Part of JK Publishing’s Wickedly Ever After series, His Sleeping Beau is a modern day version of the traditional Sleeping Beauty. With an MM spin, His Sleeping Beau opens up a world of magic and gives new life to an old fairy tale.

While we all know the story of Sleeping Beauty, I tried to create a world where magic was real, but it was also believable. Set in present day, the world centers on the 4 Mage Tribes, particularly the Ignis (fire) Tribe which both of the main characters are from.

Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in His Sleeping Beau
The two main characters of my book are Zanth and Liam.

Zanth’s birth name is Aurelius. A school teacher raised by his supposed aunts in Perth, Australia, he is the future leader of the Ignis Tribe, though he has no idea until Liam arrives and turns his entire life upside down

Liam is a Changeling. Charged with guarding Zanth when he was a baby, Liam is the one sent to deliver Zanth home when he turns of age to rule. Liam takes guardian his charge seriously, especially when he finds out Zanth is his mate.

Is His Sleeping Beau the first in a series or a stand alone?
His Sleeping Beau is technically book 2 in a co-authored series Wickedly Ever After, however all books are standalone.

When and where is your favourite time/place to write?
My favourite time is just after the kids have gone down for the night. Peace, quiet and the perfect opportunity for a glass of wine. lol

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a few projects. A Hunter Clan Christmas, the first book in the spin-off series The Vaulcuse Coven, and also concentrating on republishing Always Been You.

What was the last book you enjoyed and why?
The last book I read that I really enjoyed was Wingman by Bella Jewel. I loved how genuine it was. Tia was such a real woman, no hiding who she was, and no being afraid of it.

What’s your favourite snack while writing?
I try not to eat while writing, but if I do it is usually something sweet. I have the biggest sweet tooth.

If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you have done for a living?
I was a pre-school teacher and probably would have gone back to that but my writing and cover designing took off.

If you could be anyone for just one day, who would you want to be and why?
As corny as it sounds, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. Maybe it would be nice to have more money or more power, but I’m pretty happy being me.

Marmite: Love it or hate it?
Not a fan lol Vegemite is lighter in taste and even that tests my taste buds.


CONNECT WITH JESS


Website || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads


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REVIEW: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-antigoddess-by-kendare-blake.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-antigoddess-by-kendare-blake.html#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=57255 Antigoddess

I absolutely adored Kendare Blake’s series, Anna Dressed in Blood, so when I found out she was writing a new series based around the Greek gods, I knew I had to get my hands on Antigoddess, the first in the Goddess War series.

The book alternates perspective between goddess Athena and her brother, Hermes, and the everyday life of teenager, Cassandra, and her boyfriend, Aidan. Both Athena and Hermes are dying slowly, as Athena’s body is slowly becoming filled with feathers whilst Hermes’ is diminishing and leaving him bony and weak. This is the first time anything has happened to weaken the gods of old, and they are desperately seeking a cure for their ailments. They are aware that the other gods are also suffering, but there are two sides to this fight as gods are being targeted in the hope that their life force will cure this imminent death.

Elsewhere, Cassandra and Aidan attend school like any normal teenager, maintaining a close relationship with their friend, Andie. They have been friends for years, and Cassandra seemingly has the ability to predict the future. She can predict the outcome of a coin toss or hockey game but, so far, nothing more serious than that. There is a blank space in her future which she believes is the loss of her power, proving to be more of a concern when her visions intensify. She begins to receive images of the dying gods or of impending threats, but has little idea how to prevent them or even where they will occur.

During their search, Athena and Hermes are told that they must seek out the prophetess, Cassandra, who was once known as Cassandra of Troy. In doing so, they risk bringing trouble to her front door and leading their enemies right to the person who could be the key for the cure. They meet up with other gods and heroes along the way, and find that they have a big fight on their hands to get past Aidan’s protection and unlock Cassandra’s power.

I found this book quite confusing to describe, as despite being the Goddess War series, there wasn’t really a hint of a war until the concluding chapters. Yes, there was animosity between the gods, but the opposing factions are relatively small and the majority of well-known mythological figures have not yet been featured. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the concept of gods walking the earth, as well as several of the Trojan characters being resurrected in the present day.

Throughout her respective chapters, I found Cassandra to be a captivating and well-developed character, as there is a fine balance between her anxiety about her visions and her normal teenage life. She has her family, friends and boyfriend, not sharing in the angst that is so prevalent in current YA literature. What I also liked was her underlying strength, which came out in full force towards the close of the book, when she is under pressure and has to defend those she cares about with all she has.

Sadly, what let this book down for me was the other perspective of Athena and Hermes. I just couldn’t connect with her as a character, especially one who seems to be the main protagonist, as she was apathetic and cruel for the most part, with little vulnerability to empathise with. She was known as the virgin goddess, and plays around with the emotions of hero, Odysseus, despite knowing how much he cares about her. I thought she was utterly ruthless at times, in such a way that was cold and unnecessary, making her almost as barbaric as the ones pursuing her. She wasn’t like those who are so bad you can’t help but love them, so I think a lot of development is needed to make her relatable.

On the whole, I thought that the initial set up for this series was a little shaky; as one of my characters was killed off who I felt sure would be instrumental to the plotline. There was still no explanation for how the killer diseases started amongst the gods, or why some have turned against each other and how Cassandra could possibly cure them. I’m hoping a lot of these questions will be answered in book two, as so far this series was missing that spark that keeps me hooked. Admittedly, my expectations are high for any work by Kendare Blake, so I definitely haven’t given up hope yet. The fight scenes and pacing were still impeccably written, so I’m expecting great things.

Verdict

I wasn’t sure what to make of this new series, as it didn’t excite me quite so much as Anna Dressed in Blood. I found myself more drawn towards Cassandra and Aidan’s story, and almost disliking Athena’s plotline. She was a difficult character to connect to, and considering how the book ends, I would hope that she improves in the sequel.

Rating: 4 Stars


Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
(Goddess War #1)
Fantasy, Young Adult
Tor Teen (10 Sept 2013)
Hardback: 333 pages

Goodreads || Amazon UK: Paperback / Kindle || Amazon US: Hardback / Kindle

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REVIEW: Changeling Dream by Dani Harper http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-changeling-dream-by-dani-harper.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/09/review-changeling-dream-by-dani-harper.html#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=56366 Changeling Dream by Dani Harper cover

Changeling Dream by Dani Harper picks up a little after the events of book one, but it is by no means necessary to have read Changeling Moon in order to understand the plot.

Thirty years ago, James Macleod’s pregnant wife was murdered in their home, with James coming home too late to save her. He has blamed himself ever since, reverting to his wolf form to shut off his human emotions. His family (cue Connor from book one) have been unable to get through to him, simply trying their best to offer comfort when they spot his white wolf form, or when he rarely runs with the pack.

It takes the appearance of Jillian Descharme to bring him out of his shell, as the newly qualified vet takes a position at Connor’s practice. She has been plagued by dreams of the white wolf for years, as it once saved her life and has become her personal omen that life is about to change. Having been experiencing the dream prior to the job offer, she knows she has to take it, and bravely uproots herself across the country.

Jillian has always held a fascination with wolves, and wishes to specialise one day in a wildlife treatment centre. Wasting no time in getting acquainted with the local wildlife, she sees the white wolf once again, for real this time, and questions what it might mean. For James, he senses a connection between them but cannot remember how or if he knows Jillian, with his wolf determined to pursue her. He fuels his desire to be close to her by turning up after hours at the surgery, and it isn’t long before his human form resurfaces once more.

As James feels horribly guilty about what happened to his wife, there is a lot of angst for him to overcome before he can truly give himself over to Jillian. Not to mention the fact that his wife’s murderer is still out there somewhere, waiting to hunt the changelings once more. I thought that the plot was built up at a good pace, as Jillian develops nicely as a protagonist before James is thrown into the mix. The narrative is third person, but switches neatly between James and Jillian, allowing both of their characters to be explored separately and the chemistry to be established on both sides.

Jillian was a strong protagonist, as she knew her own mind and had an intense passion for her vetinary work. As a result of her past, she possessed great resolve and could handle herself in physical situations due to practicing Tae Kwon Do. She was very self-sufficient, and even though she was attracted to James, I liked that there was no way she could be dissuaded from following her own goals. I found that she was very easy to like, and made for a heroine who was intriguing to read about.

Similarly, James was easy to relate to and I thought that Harper managed to find just the right level of angst to avoid getting frustrated with him. He was just as passionate and strong as Jillian, and made for a great match. I found the exploration of his human and wolf selves interesting, as he starts to question if his wolf has a mind of its own, or if he is really in control. He approaches his relationship with Jillian slowly at first, and their connection is built up in great detail. However, I was a little less enthusiastic towards the end of the book, as James seems to want their relationship to move too fast, almost too sudden.

Whilst the relationship between Jillian and James forms the majority of the novel, I also appreciated the build up of the danger lurking in the town. The murderers from the past have their own issues to be explored, which are cleverly revealed towards the conclusion of the plot. I think the only thing that let this book down for me was the waiting for something to happen, as it becomes clear that danger is waiting for Jillian, but you never quite know when it will hit. I felt like I was anticipating too much, and couldn’t fully immerse myself in the romance when I knew something was just around the corner.

Nevertheless, the novel is rounded off well with a romantic epilogue which has become typical of the paranormal romance genre. I think this book makes a great addition to the Changeling series, and I am definitely interested to read book three, which explores yet another relationship of the Macleod family.

Verdict

This made for a great paranormal read, with just the right amount of angst from the male lead. Their partnership was electric, and it was fun to see the relationship slowly build as they learned to trust each other. I thought that there was a good balance between narrative perspectives, as well as between romantic scenes and character development. As it only features cameos from book one, it would be possible to read this as a standalone title.

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Changeling Dream by Dani Harper
(Changeling #2)

Paranormal Romance
Brava Books (28 June 2011)
Paperback: 468 pages

Goodreads || Amazon UK: Paperback / Kindle || Amazon US: Paperback / Kindle

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