Book Chick City - Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews http://www.bookchickcity.com Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 REVIEW: The Chocolate Lovers’ Club by Carole Matthews http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-chocolate-lovers-club-by-carole-matthews.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-chocolate-lovers-club-by-carole-matthews.html#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:00:40 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58496 The Chocolate Lover's Club by Carole Matthews coverHaving never read anything by Carole Matthews before, I decided to delve in and read The Chocolate Lovers’ Club, a contemporary romance with a tasty, chocolaty twist.

The book begins with an introduction to the chocolate lover’s club in the first person narration of Lucy Lombard, the founder of the group. She was one of the first to discover Chocolate Heaven, a decadent chocolate shop and café rolled into one. As a woman with a serious chocolate addiction, this place really is her heaven and refuge from the outside world, which she shares with the three other women in the club. They all met at the café via their mutual love of chocolate, and now call emergency meetings there whenever something goes wrong in their lives.

Lucy’s main problem is that her boyfriend of five years has repeatedly cheated on her, then comes crawling back with more extravagant ways of begging and she forgives him. However, this time the girls urge her that enough is enough, and perhaps she should take a chance with her attractive boss Aiden, despite the fact that her firm is full of sexist men and misogynistic comments. She is often the butt of their jokes, and as she is only a temp she has little choice but to carry on muddling along (her desk drawer full of choccy snacks always comes in handy!).

Next up is Chantal, a wealthy American who moved to London with her husband several years ago. She is the oldest of the group at thirty-nine, but she is discontent with her marriage as her husband is not interested in having a sex life with her. Every time she makes advances to him he pushes her away, so she has been seeking pleasure elsewhere with her clients.

Then, there is Autumn, from a rich background but in touch with nature and dedicated to the greater good, spending her time working at a rehab centre for disadvantages youths. However, when her brother turns up out of the blue, he brings trouble to her door and takes advantage of her good nature.

Finally, there is Nadia, a housewife with a three-year-old son who is struggling to make ends meet with her husband. He is a plumber with a gambling addiction who has placed their finances into the red and maxed out every credit card they own. With debts piling up around her, will she manage to make her husband see sense?

The perspective often changes between the other women in the group, but Lucy’s is the only one in first person whilst the rest are in third. However, this doesn’t seem to affect how well-rounded the characters are, as I could get a feel for each of them and their life stories via the excellent writing. I could understand their desire for chocolate as a quick fix to their problems, as I’m sure we’ve all indulged in chocolate therapy at some point in our lives. The descriptions of the decadent chocolates and desserts served at Chocolate Heaven made my mouth water, and I found myself wishing I had some fancy chocolate next to me whilst reading.

As her perspective seemed the most frequent and memorable for being in the first person, I found myself really liking Lucy, as she is perhaps the most funny and witty of the four. She always seems to be falling into some clumsy mishap, and I particularly enjoyed her catastrophe whilst white water rafting on a team building day. She always seems to make the wrong choices where her relationships are concerned, but she always comes through for her friends at the chocolate lover’s club. It was via her perspective that we hear the most about different types of chocolate, as she is happy to dip into anything from a Mars bar to a box of Thorntons Continental.

Unlike the majority of multiple perspective novels, I found that I enjoyed the viewpoints of every character in the club, and didn’t stray towards any particular one. Chantal’s life gives an insight into how money isn’t everything, and can actually prove a problem in attracting the wrong kind of men. This provided a great contrast to Nadia, whose debts had left her down to her last fiver and unable to afford food for her son. Needless to say, the club come to her rescue when she finally comes clean about her situation, but whether or not she can ever trust her husband is another story. I think that Autumn is the only character who I would have liked to see developed a little more, as her perspective is often more about those she is helping than about herself. This does sum up her character as a do-gooder, but I still wanted a bit more.

On the whole, this was one of the best romance novels I’ve picked up, with the added allure of chocolate proving to be most advantageous. Each of the women has their own relationship drama, and I enjoyed seeing each of these develop. The support of the group helped them to leave or initiate contact with men, and I think we can all understand those times when you need someone to give you the extra push. This was by far a feel good book, as I couldn’t help smiling and laughing at a lot of the antics the women got up to. Matthews has a great talent for writing comedy scenes and witty comebacks, and I hope to read the sequel as soon as I can.

Verdict

One of the best contemporary romances I’ve ever read, this book was full of laugh out loud humour and a likable cast of characters. The added bonus of reading about the women’s chocolate fixes made it even more of a tasty read, encouraging you to reach for your nearest chocolate bar and tuck in. I loved that the events of the novel were not as predictable as romance can be, with each twist earning a gasp or laugh at every turn (often both!). This is definitely a must-read for anyone with a love of romance or chocolate.

Rating: 4.5 Stars


The Chocolate Lover’s Club by Carole Matthews
(Chocolate Lover’s Club #1)
Contemporary Romance
Sphere (1 Mar 2013)
Paperback: 401 pages

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

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NEW SERIES ALERT: Own (Command Force Alpha #1) by Katie Porter http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/new-series-alert-own-command-force-alpha-1-by-katie-porter.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/new-series-alert-own-command-force-alpha-1-by-katie-porter.html#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58605

Own by Katie Porter (Command Force Alpha #1)

Military Erotic Romance || Samhain Publishing (26 Aug 2014)
Amazon UK || Amazon US


Own - Katie Porter

When a mission against the Russian mafia goes south, Colonel Stafford, head of a deep-cover ops team, wrests a hospital-bed promise from his protégé. Although eager to return to the field, Evan Sommers swears to keep the colonel’s daughter, Katsu, safe from retaliation. The task isn’t simple for the battle-tested Marine Corps captain. Four years have passed since his secret affair with sweet, compliant Katsu. Now she’s a streetwise pool shark who refuses to obey any command.

Kat resists the need for Evan’s protective shadow, until deadly threats expose her vulnerability. Her future depends on this hardened soldier, and their sizzling dynamic reveals what Kat’s bland college dating life lacked—a man with the will and desire to tame her. Danger creates potent, unexpected scenarios that test their sexual limits, yet a real relationship is impossible. Evan is the warrior who could be her Master, but how can she fully submit? The next mission—even the next knock on the door—could rob Kat of the man she loves.


Author Bio


KatiePorterKatie Porter is the award-winning co-writing team of Lorelie Brown and Carrie Lofty, friends of nearly seven years. After wishing, scheming and planning, they finally share an office in the Chicago area.

Both are multi-published in several romance genres. Carrie holds an MA in history, loves movies, and has no fear of gross things like dissecting formaldehyde sharks. Her two daughters aren’t appreciative. Lorelie is a US Army veteran and true-crime devotee, whose three boys love when she screams like a little girl around spiders.


Connect


Website || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter

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REVIEW: The Line by J.D. Horn http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-line-by-j-d-horn.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-line-by-j-d-horn.html#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=56668 The Line by J.D. Horn cover

Kicking off the brand new Witching Savannah series is The Line by J.D. Horn, which weaves a tale of family betrayal, murder and formidable witchcraft.

Mercy Taylor is the youngest member of the Taylor family, one of the oldest families in Savannah for whom witchcraft is a prominent trait. However, Mercy is the only one not to have inherited these powers, which instead went to her elder twin sister, Maisie. Maisie seemingly has it all, as the family respect her and are grooming her to be the next anchor for the ‘line’, the division between the human and demon worlds. She also has an attractive boyfriend, Jackson, who Mercy cannot help but be attracted to, despite knowing how much it would hurt her sister if she ever acted on her feelings.

To curb the pain of her romantic indecision, Mercy visits Mother Jilo, a Hoodoo root doctor who is known in the community as someone who can fix difficult situations. She has been associated with dark magic, as she is somewhat self-taught and doesn’t possess the natural power of the Taylors. Mercy goes to her for a love spell, to make her self fall in love with her childhood friend, Peter, who is desperately in love with her. In doing so she hopes to avoid causing Maisie any pain and to bring Peter happiness, as she really wants to love him. When Jilo’s price seems too costly, Mercy tries to cancel the spell and walk away, choosing to cope on her own.

Needless to say, things don’t work out as she planned, and the current matriarch and anchor of the line, Aunt Ginny, is found murdered in her home. Mercy tries not to think that her allegiance with Mother Jilo has caused this unfortunate incident, instead focusing all of her energy on finding the culprit and dealing with her relationships. Her sisterly bond with Maisie is put to the test, and there are many dark family secrets to come crawling out of the closet.

I really enjoyed the plot of this book, as Mercy’s status as an outsider to magic made her an almost-impartial observer to the goings-on in her family, especially as it was no secret that Aunt Ginny detested her for not inheriting the power. I was particularly surprised by the ending, as I thought it had mellowed down and was expecting a peaceful finale, but then there was another twist to kick-start the action once more. The magic and power of the Taylor family is gradually explored as the book goes on, and I thought it was very cleverly developed, giving just the right amount of detail about each character’s abilities.

As a heroine, Mercy was fairly strong, although annoyed me at first with her constant prattle about her feelings for both Jackson and Peter. I thought that these dilemmas were introduced too early to the story, setting up a love triangle before the men had even been introduced. It made it difficult for me to empathise with her, as I couldn’t understand why she would need to go to such lengths regarding Jackson when nothing had happened between them. She grew better as a protagonist after the plot moved further away from this triangle, but I found it difficult to associate with a lot of the life choices she made, as some just seemed downright odd or unbelievable.

What I enjoyed most was the exploration of the other characters in the book, and Mercy’s interaction with each one. Setting aside Jackson and Peter, it was the Taylor family who took centre stage, as each one has a different power and differing levels of disdain for Mercy. I particularly liked her uncle Oliver, who has the ability to read minds and persuade people, as he is also gay and likes to flirt with the majority of males he comes across. It made him an excessively fun character, and gave Mercy someone in her corner who didn’t disregard her as if she was nothing.

Her relationship with her sister is particularly interesting, as I wouldn’t say that they have a high level of interaction in the novel, yet Mercy is always ready to fix their relationship and return to their childhood bliss. As the sister who has everything, it’s difficult for Mercy not to feel jealous or undermined, although this sometimes made the book feel juvenile in tone. As both sisters are only twenty at the outset, the love triangle feels torn between young adult and new adult, with it being very one-sided in favour of Mercy. Even though she claims not to want to hurt Maisie, I just kept asking why she would carry on sharing glances with Jackson if her aim was not to seduce him.

I think the plot of this book made it a strong read and one which compels you to reach the ending, but a lot of the emotional material needs more development. I’m interested to see where Mercy will go after the novel’s conclusion, as she is left in a somewhat difficult place in terms of typical novel protagonists. I think this was a good foundation for the series to start from, and I can’t wait to experience more in the future.

Verdict

As the start to a new series, this book made a great first impression and set the stage for an exciting fantasy series which makes witches dangerous to know. I liked the mixture of magic types, as there is a nice contrast between the Taylors and Jilo, but I would have appreciated a little less romantic conflict in the opening chapters. Although I was unsure about the ending, I am excited to read the future books in the series to see where the story goes.

Rating: 3.5 Stars


The Line by J.D. Horn
(Witching Savannah #1)

Urban Fantasy
47North (1 Feb 2014)
Ebook: 296 pages

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

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REVIEW: Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-wolf-bride-by-elizabeth-moss.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-wolf-bride-by-elizabeth-moss.html#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:00:48 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58642 Wolf Bride by Elizabeth MossNo doubt taking influence from the success of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor-based historical series, Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss transforms the Tudor world into one of sexual wantonness and lust-filled matches.

Eloise is one of Queen Anne Boleyn’s ladies-in-waiting, and permitted access to her private chambers and the dalliances that occur with suitors such as Sir Thomas Wyatt. Although refusing to believe ill of her queen, Eloise goes about her duties with discretion and poise, seeking comfort in the arms of Simon Thetford. Simon is her friend and love interest at court, although she has not yet given up her innocence to him and only permitted a few stolen kisses and touches.

However, their connection is torn apart when Eloise’s father announces that she is to marry Lord Wolf, one of King Henry’s most esteemed soldiers on the battlefield. Her hopes that Simon will steal her away for an elopement are soon dashed, and she instead finds herself riding north, away from court, to the imposing Wolf Hall. With their marriage only days away, Eloise knows that she is only desired as a bearer of children for Wolf, despite finding herself increasingly attracted to him.

The marital consummation inspires a fire of lust in both of their hearts, but neither is sure if what they are feeling can be confused with love. With the tensions mounting at court and Eloise called to give evidence against Queen Anne’s indiscretions, their relationship is tested to the limits and both question their knowledge and feelings for the other. Life at court soon reveals that Wolf had a previous suitor, Margerie, but is Eloise right to feel jealousy or are Wolf’s feelings truly in the past?

It is somewhat hard to sum up the plot of this book without giving too much away, as little happens outside of Wolf and Eloise’s relationship. At least a quarter of the book, if not more, is preoccupied with Wolf’s seduction of Eloise and the eventual consummation of their marriage. There is a lot of build up to their first time, which is soon followed by a multitude of steamy encounters that often include explicit oral sex as well as the usual missionary position. It felt like sex was the main foundation of the plot, but I would have appreciated a little more direction for the couple than just that.

As a heroine, I kept blowing hot and cold with Eloise, as there were times when I liked her and others when I found her too needy or ridiculous. I understand that this novel is set in the Tudor period when women were deemed to be more submissive, but there were times when Eloise felt like a strong and stubborn heroine and held her own, inspiring admiration for her character. On the flip side, there were other instances when she was willing to put an argument on hold to have sex with Wolf and then resume it later, despite her fears that he was still in love with Margerie. She seemed to put her sexual desire above her logical thinking, often giving Wolf his own way in dominating her.

Wolf, on the other hand, was less difficult to get my head around as he is made out to be a typical macho hero and determined to show his male prowess in the bedroom. I liked that he wasn’t too forceful with Eloise, as we are met with several repetitions of him claiming not to be a rapist or to enjoy forcing women to sleep with him. Instead, he seduces Eloise with fiery kisses and embraces, then educating her on the ways of pleasing a man. It was fairly obvious that he would fall in love with her, and I liked that he had to overcome his stubbornness and sometimes show vulnerability to win her heart.

In general, I really enjoyed this book and the relationship that was developed throughout, despite wanting a bit more in terms of plot. If you know your Tudor history then Anne’s trial will be familiar to you, and slotting Eloise and Wolf’s story into the mix fits surprisingly well. There are other historical cameos besides the king and queen, and I enjoyed the historical detailing as well as the occasional Tudor phrase or expletive. As a result of the Tudor phrasing, the ‘c’ word does feature a handful of times, but I found that I could overlook it given the setting and timing of such scenes. The epilogue sets up book two nicely as Eloise’s sister, Susannah, looks set to find her match in the clerk, Hugh Beaufort. I look forward to seeing if the plot points have been ironed out in the sequel, as this series is shaping up to be a great historical romance.

Verdict

I really enjoyed this Tudor romance story, as the novel carefully explores the dynamics of an arranged marriage and Eloise’s first experiences of sex. Their relationship was developed at a good pace and with a suitable amount of background brought in for character development. I would have liked a little more plot occurring around the relationship, but the historical detail of Henry’s court was weaved nicely into the story and gave a good idea of time and place.

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss
(Lust in the Tudor Court #1)
Historical Romance / Erotica
Hodder & Stoughton (29 Aug 2013)
Ebook: 352 pages

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

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Weekly Roundup – 24th Aug 2014 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/weekly-roundup-24th-aug-2014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/weekly-roundup-24th-aug-2014.html#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58651 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


Ugly Love - Colleen HooverThis week I finished contemporary romance, What I Love About You by Rachel Gibson. It was my first Gibson novel, and I did enjoy it but I wasn’t wowed by it. Not a lot happens and I didn’t feel particularly engaged. An easy read with a sweet romance none the less.

I’m still reading Play by Kylie Scott, the second book in her Stage Dive series. In fact I’ve only read the first few pages. I’ve also started Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover, but sadly haven’t got very far. This week hasn’t been conducive to reading unfortunately, but I hope to get more done this coming week.


BOBBY’S ROUNDUP


Laini Taylor - Days of Blood & Starlight USThis week hasn’t been the best for reading but I did manage to finish Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead. I really enjoyed the mix of romance and drama – in fact I think it’s my favourite of the series so I can’t wait for The Ruby Circle to come out next year (the downside of actually being up to date with a series is having to wait for the next book like everybody else). I’ve also made some progress with Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor which I started months ago and then put it down for some reason. I kept putting it off but as soon as I picked it up again I was reminded how much I love the writing and the storyline so I should finish that this week.

As to my intentions of what to read next, that’s a mystery. I seem to be finding it really difficult to settle with a book which is very annoying as I have so many good books on my Kindle and in my TBR that I want to get to. If you have any recommendations to help me get out of this slump please let me know!


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

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REVIEW: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-she-is-not-invisible-by-marcus-sedgwick.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-she-is-not-invisible-by-marcus-sedgwick.html#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 09:00:25 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=57935 She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick cover

I know when I open a book by Marcus Sedgwick that I’ll be sucked straight in to his masterful prose style, and it was no different with She Is Not Invisible.

The book begins by delving straight into the action, with sixteen-year-old Laureth Peak having somewhat abducted her seven-year-old brother, Benjamin, to board a plane from London to New York. She has used their mum’s credit card to book the flight, and withdrawn cash to use when they get there, all with the aim of tracking down their father. Their whirlwind scheme is made all the more difficult by the fact that Laureth is blind, and relies on Ben to guide her and make it look as though she can actually see where she’s going.

This scheme was hatched on a whim, as their father is an author and Laureth is responsible for responding to his emails. When she receives one from a Mr. Walker in New York, claiming to have found her dad’s beloved notebook, she knows something is not right, and that he couldn’t possibly be in Switzerland as he is supposed to be. Her mother is seemingly uninterested, dismissing her questions as nonsense and refusing to entertain the possibility that their father could be missing.

With her father meant to be on a research trip for his next novel, Laureth knows that he wouldn’t go anywhere without his notebook and the ideas it holds. He has been working for a years on a book about coincidence and particular numbers which keep cropping up, telling Laureth his ideas every step of the way. She has become as attuned to spotting these coincidences as her father, and will stop at nothing to put the clues together and bring him home.

It may seem like Laureth jumps to farfetched conclusions easily, especially with the snap decision to jump on a plane with her younger brother, but she does have very good instincts and is quick to put together clues as to where her father might be. She is very aware of how others might see her if they learn she’s blind, and is scared that they might not even let her on the plane – despite not being able to find a regulation against it. Her blindness is by no means the central theme of the book, but at the same time it cannot be forgotten as it is a factor in every decision she makes for both her and Benjamin.

As a protagonist, Laureth is a very strong character and is well-developed by Sedgwick, who manages to define every nuance of her personality as the book goes on. She is smart and brave, determined to look after her brother despite the guilt of bringing him on such a journey. We get to see her fear at being in the big city of New York with just a seven-year-old to rely on, as well as those instances when the clues are running out and she must think of new solutions on her feet. It was clear that she had a close connection with her father, and felt guilty at being unable to channel his thinking and find the much needed solutions to their problems.

At the heart of the book was the ongoing debate over coincidence, the topic which has absorbed her father’s mind for years and which is holding him back from writing his next book. He is obsessed with finding an answer to coincidence, and whether it can ever really be explained or understood. There are passages from his notebook interspersed with the chapters, which gave a good insight into his thinking considering we hadn’t met him as a character. These notes are intriguing and pose noteworthy questions about the world, as well contemplating known mathematicians and philosophers, such as Carl Jung.

With time (and money) running out in the search for their father, I thought the conclusion of this book was wonderfully written and engaging, with more than a little coincidence added for good measure. The book gripped me, and I read this in little over a day as I simply couldn’t put it down. It was fast-paced with several surprises along the way, and I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Laureth and Ben, as he is bright for a seven-year-old and doesn’t seem to mind guiding his big sister around. His attachment to his toy raven, Stan, was especially amusing, providing dashes of humour at just the right moments. This book is an example of Sedgwick at his best, and I cannot wait for his next YA title.

Verdict

A fast-paced mystery that completely drew me in and left me unable to put it down until I’d reached the final page. Laureth is an understandable narrator and one which gives an insight into how the world is perceived by the blind, especially with her reliance placed on a seven-year-old. I loved watching the clues unfold, and the book really makes you think about coincidences in your own life, and how they affect the world around you.

Rating: 4.5 Stars


She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Thriller, Young Adult
Indigo (3 July 2014)
Paperback: 354 pages

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

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REVIEW: Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-created-the-destroyer-by-warren-murphy-richard-sapir.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-created-the-destroyer-by-warren-murphy-richard-sapir.html#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:00:03 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58619 Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy & Richard SapirA series first released in 1971 and now enjoying an ebook release, Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir is a ruthless action series about an assassin who no longer exists.

The book begins with ex-police officer Remo Williams awaiting the electric chair on death row, framed for a crime he did not commit. A known criminal was found beaten to death in the street with Remo’s police badge next to him, rendering his defence appeal insignificant and the death row decision rushed through the courts. Having accepted his fate, all Remo is waiting for is that final walk to the dreaded chair.

However, his world is turned upside down when he is whisked away after his supposed ‘death’ and trained by the Korean martial arts master, Chiun. He is shaped into the ultimate assassin for CURE, an organisation which aims to remove enemies of democracy using any means possible. With his death row performance rendering Remo an officially ‘dead’ man, he is beyond the reach of suspicion and the perfect undercover operative for the organisation.

His first mission leads him in pursuit of ‘Maxwell’, a person or organisation at the head of organised crime in the city. With few leads to follow, he is lead to seduce the daughter of criminal Norman Felton, in the hopes that Felton will lead him to his goal. As the body count begins to rise, will Remo achieve his goal or become the dead man he is believed to be?

I really enjoyed the opening to this book, as Remo’s fate on death row seemed all but sealed when he was waiting in his cell. Although it was obvious that he would be freed, I had no idea how it would happen or what awaited him afterwards. The build up was so well-written that I was hooked immediately and couldn’t put the book down until I found out what would happen next. However, it was after this that the plot went downhill for me.

From the moment of his transformation, the narrative began to feel more clumsy and action-packed, as if the authors were trying to cram too much action into too short a space. The goal of the story seemed to become lost, as Remo had been transformed into this assassin but was not sure of the purpose or end goal of CURE. With little explanation he seemed to become ruthless and cold, not afraid of seducing the twenty-year-old daughter of Felton and taking her virginity from her. It was these scenes that I found slightly uncomfortable to read, as he had no trouble in making her believe he loved her, despite only knowing her a matter of days.

As a hero, I found Remo a strange one to follow as I really liked him at the beginning on death row because his feelings came through a lot more. After his rescue it became increasingly difficult to associate with him, as he became cold and hard, determined to do his job as an assassin without questioning why or what purpose he had. The organisation he worked for viewed him as expendable, yet he put his all into working for them regardless. We seemed to be given less and less of his personal views, with the third-person perspective distancing us from Remo and only giving us an outsider’s view of the action.

On the whole, for a quick action story that you can easily read in the space of a day, this book is definitely worth a read. However, if you like your characters to have more emotional depth then this book is not the one for you. It is more concerned with the ever-increasing body count and action scenes than building up character relations, but this may well change in future instalments.

Verdict

This book has an amazing opening sequence that is sure to draw you in, but then slowly begins to fall by the wayside as the plot continues. Remo Williams makes for a unique hero, but we learn little of his emotions regarding his death row sentence or of his life afterwards. He becomes an emotionless enigma, seemingly ruthless in his approach to his targets and who gets hurt along the way. If you like cutthroat action scenes then this series is one for you, with the body count increasing with every chapter.

Rating: 3 Stars


Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir
(The Destroyer #1)
Thriller
Sphere (21 Aug 2014)
Ebook: 187 pages

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


CREATED THE DESTROYER POSTER

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Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy is the first title in The Destroyer series, published by Sphere. If you want to know more about the series please visit the website. You can also sign up to the Destroyer newsletter here.

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BOBBY’S TOP 5: Books I Need Right this Instant http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/bobbys-top-5-books-i-need-right-this-instant.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/bobbys-top-5-books-i-need-right-this-instant.html#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=56686 Sometimes there is enjoyment to be had from waiting for things – a kind of pleasurable anticipation. This is the same for books as it is many things and it can be nice to know that there is a book coming up that sounds really good or you know you’re going to enjoy but that isn’t adding to your towering TBR right this moment. However, there are also times when you need a book to be released yesterday (if not sooner). When, no matter how big the TBR pile, you will drop what you are reading/ doing/ holding in order to read it. There follows a list of the five main books which fall into that category for me;

Dark Skye

Dark Skye by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark # 14)
Gallery Books (5th Aug 2014) || Paranormal Romance

Eternal Obsession: As a boy, Thronos, Lord of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body – and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

Endless Yearning: Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

Can the heat of desire burn brighter than vengeance? With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

Kresley Cole is  my favourite author. I like to tell the story of how I picked up A Hunger Like No Other on a whim one day when there was nothing else I wanted to read and haven’t looked back since. Her writing is humorous and heart-breaking (often at the same time) and her grasp of the massive over-arching storyline which spans the Immortals After Dark series is awe-inspiring. I admit to being slightly disappointed by Macrieve but Cole on a bad day is still ridiculously good. I made the mistake of reading the excerpt for Dark Skye(and you can torture yourself too, by following this link) and although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the hero and heroine before I am already booking the days off work in anticipation of reading (and re-reading).


Burned

Burned by Karen Marie Moning (Dani O’Malley #2, Fever #7)
Delacorte (11 Jan 2015) || Paranormal Romance

MacKayla Lane and Dani “Mega” O’Malley are back with a vengeance in Burned, the seventh novel in the blockbuster Fever series from #1 New York Times bestselling sensation Karen Marie Moning.

That’s obviously a very short synopsis but I think you really have to read all the series to have any hope of knowing what’s going on. And if you haven’t yet read the series I firmly suggest that you do so. I was late to the Fever series (as I am with most series’ to be fair). I asked for all the books for Christmas one year and it was lucky I did because I read them pretty much non-stop until I was done. I can’t say that I loved Iced with the intensity that I did the previous books, but it certainly kept me reading and I’m dying to 1) see what happens next and 2) get me some more Barrons. This was actually supposed to be released this year and I was highly disappointed by the pushing back of the release date. The only positive to that is that I might be able to make some headway with my existing TBR – you know, if I don’t buy any more books in the interim.


Bound by FlamesBound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #3)
Avon (27th Jan 2015) || Paranormal Romance

No synopsis as of yet. but if you need any persuading to buy the book just look at the cover!

What with Jonathon Rhys Meyer’s turn as the most famous vampire ever, and now Frost’s depiction of Vlad the Impaler, Dracula is becoming synonymous with hot. If this book had remained part of a series with unknown amounts of books yet to be written, I might not have been so eager to read it but now that it’s the final book in a trilogy I can’t wait to see how it all wraps up. Frost writes awesome heroes and better heroines and it will be awesome to see Layla’s development.


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Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Bailey (Castles Ever After #2)
Avon (31st Dec 2014) || Historical Romance

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement. Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself. So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?

  • He starts with flowers. A wedding can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
  • He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.
  • He doesn’t kiss her.
  • If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.
  • When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
  • And no matter what—he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

Ugh, how gooooood does that sound? I don’t know what it is about authors named Tessa lately, but they seem to be able to do no wrong at all. I loved the Spindle Cove series and going by Romancing the Duke I’m going to enjoy this new series just as much if not more. Dare is able to write strong female characters who (for the most part) adhere to the mores of the time at the same time as holding their own against the alpha males sent to try them.  I felt that the Spindle Cove series was too short-lived so I hope there are a few more books to come in this series.


Forged by Desire

Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster  (London Steampunk #4)
Sourcebooks Casablanca (2nd Sep 2014) || Steampunk Romance

Captain Garret Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped…

I bought the first book in this series – Kiss of Steel – on a whim last year and it was fortuitous as it is exactly my type of novel – and series. Plus (and I know that you can’t always judge a book by its cover) the covers are just beautiful. Even if I didn’t like the contents I think I’d be willing to buy the books just to look at the covers despite the lack of space in my room.


I’ll be honest - I started this post about two weeks ago and I’ve only just managed to finish it. It took a lot of thinking but I’m fairly certain I’ve got it down to the five books I need right this instant. There are probably more knowing me but I think these five are enough to be getting on with. What about you – do you think that waiting for books can be a good thing? And what books are you wishing for right now?

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REVIEW: The Godless by Ben Peek http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-godless-by-ben-peek.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-godless-by-ben-peek.html#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:00:07 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58366 The Godless by Ben Peek cover

The first in a new fantasy series, The Godless by Ben Peek is an action-packed tale of rival nations in a battle over the territory of a buried God.

The book begins with cartographer’s apprentice, Ayae, in the city of Mireea, where she lives a content life with her partner, Illaan. Mireea is built atop the burial ground of the god, Ger, who many believe to be dormant rather than dead, waiting for the time to rise once more. As a result, the ground is believed to be infused with his magic, and can ‘curse’ a selected few with new abilities or powers. When the cartographer’s is set on fire and Ayae does not suffer a single burn, it becomes apparent that she has developed the ability to control the flames.

With the town turning against her, as they do against all who are ‘cursed’, Ayae finds guidance with Kaifyr, an ancient individual who is believed to be a god. He has lived for thousands of years, but we are only given a little insight into the how or why this happened to him. His powers are equally dubious, but he can talk to the dead, or ‘haunts’ as he calls them, using their spirits as guidance for hidden locations and such like. He is desperate to avoid the war Mireea faces with their neighbours, Leera, preferring to remain impartial to avoid the prospect of seeing all the dead spirits.

Somewhat separate to this action in Mireea is the perspective of Bueralan, an exile and mercenary from his nation of Dark who is commissioned by the ruler of Mireea to go behind enemy lines and sabotage Leera’s attempts to attack. This does not go as planned, and instead Bueralan is captured and forced to watch exchanges between Leeran leaders from the sidelines. He is determined to get a message to the people of Dark to protect them from the upcoming war, but there is little he can do from the inside of a cage.

I have found it exceptionally difficult to sum up the plot of this book, as I found it very confusing to read the whole way through. I expected Ayae to become more of a protagonist, but the book switches between the three perspectives of Bueralan, Kaifyr and Ayae, leaving little space for each character to develop fully. Admittedly, I think Ayae was given more of a back story and personality than the others, but it was still difficult to connect with her or to understand her power in more detail. The book seems to be prioritised with the politics between the two nations and establishing the battle more than anything else.

For me, the characters were one of the main problems in the book, as not enough time is spent establishing them or developing them to a point where the reader should care. I had times where I admired each one for a certain action or speech, but these were fleeting as the characters were lost beneath the weight of the too-serious plot. As the chapters switch rapidly between perspectives, I found that often they don’t flow smoothly, as there is little common ground to pinpoint time or place. With Bueralan in a separate city, his views had nothing to do with Ayae or Kaifyr, and felt as if they were taking place in a completely different span of time to the others.

It was the discontinuity of time which also made this a hard read for me, as it became increasingly hard to tell how long the action was taking to happen – whether it was days, weeks or months. I also found that chapters would jump backwards in time with no warning, flashing back to a character’s past suddenly and leaving a feeling of disorientation. It wasn’t always immediately apparent that they were back in the past, which made it very confusing to read and led me to keep putting the book down in frustration.

Some of the battle sequences and political disputes are well-written, but this book definitely was not my cup of tea. I had expected more of a heroic protagonist than I received, and thought that there would be explanation of the god’s deaths which had occurred years previous. All we really learn about Ger is that he is buried beneath Mireea, and not how his power chooses people to ‘curse’, or even if this is the root of the power. I think more establishment of world building and plot was needed in this series, so I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequel.

Verdict

This book just didn’t grab my attention enough to keep me interested, and as a result I found it to be a very difficult read. The timeline seems to be all over the place, jumping backward and forward with little warning and making it difficult to understand what’s going on at any given time. The characters take a lot of hard work to understand, especially as the chapters flit between three perspectives which often share little or no connection with each other.

Rating: 2 Stars


The Godless by Ben Peek
(Children #1)
Fantasy
Tor UK (14 Aug 2014)
Ebook: 448 pages

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

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NEW SERIES ALERT: An Indecent Affair by Stephanie Julian http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-an-indecent-affair-parts-1-2-3-by-stephanie-julian.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-an-indecent-affair-parts-1-2-3-by-stephanie-julian.html#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=57612

An Indecent Affair – Part 1

Amazon UK / Amazon US


Indecent Affair Part I - Stephanie Julian Moonlit Night Publishing (June 8, 2014)
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Ebook: 64 pages

One night. One woman. Two men. Twice the desire. Katrina refuses to give in to her mother’s demand to marry a man she can’t stand. After years of trusting no one with her heart or her body, she wants to be swept off her feet, to experience complete surrender, if only for one night.

Tristan has lusted after Katrina for years and tonight he’s making his move. He’ll steal her away from his brother, who doesn’t deserve her. Then he and his best friend, Adam, will give her exactly what she wants…


An Indecent Affair - Part 2

Amazon UK / Amazon US


Indecent Affair Part II - Stephanie Julian

Moonlit Night Publishing (June 15 2014)
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Ebook: 62 Pages

Katrina is finally taking control of her life. She’s quit her job in Boston and is opening her own law practice in Philadelphia, home to Tristan and Adam. She spent one sensually mind-blowing night in their arms. And then she snuck out before morning.

Tristan is looking forward to breaking down Kat’s walls and starting a relationship. Adam isn’t sure Kat is the woman he and Tristan need in their lives. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they don’t make a huge mistake…


An Indecent Affair - Part 3

Amazon UK / Amazon US


Indecent Affair Part III - Stephanie Julian

Moonlit Night Publishing (Aug 18 2014)
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Ebook: 59 Pages

Letting her insecurities get the better of her, Katrina pushed Adam away after another amazing night in bed between him and Tristan. In the light of day, she realizes she needs to apologize. She only hopes Adam will listen.

After walking out on Katrina, Adam believes the only way Tristan can have a shot at a relationship with her is for Adam to step aside. He’s not the kind of man she needs in her life and Tristan has wanted her for too long to give up now. Or course, passion has a way of derailing the best of intentions…


Author


Stephanie Julian

I’m a reformed reporter who enjoys making up stories much more than writing about real life.

In sixth grade, I found my mother’s stash of romance novels hidden under her bed and realized they were much more interesting than the books in the school library. I devoured Rosemary Rogers, Bertrice Small and, most especially, Kathleen Woodiwiss. In college, I majored in English and continued to expand my favorites list. Shakespeare, the Canterbury Tales, the Bronte sisters, Mary Shelley. Then I graduated and discovered there wasn’t much I could do with an English degree. That’s when I found out they would pay me to write for a living at a newspaper. Want to learn how to write tight and clean? Work for a daily local and condense a three-hour meeting with an angry mob of residents upset about a sewer system overhaul into 15 inches in 20 minutes.

After my sons were born, I freelanced, working at home in my drafty attic office, and developed a two-book-a-day Harlequin habit that turned into a writing habit. My first attempts at romance were firmly rooted in the Harlequin tradition and I sold my first two romances to Avalon Books under the name Stephanie Scott. But writing sweet romances was not what I’d had in mind. I wanted to write books where people actually got to have sex. I contracted my first erotic romance to Ellora’s Cave and never looked back.

I write sexy series that combine heat with heart. Four are linked by Etruscan Magic: Magical Seduction, Lucani Lovers, Forgotten Goddesses and Darkly Enchanted. I also write the silly-funny, super-sexy Lovers on the Fringe series and the straight contemporary DeMarco Investigations series. I’m also writing the serial menage, Indecent. By Private Invitation, No Reservations and Over Exposed comprise the contemporary erotic romance series, Salon Games.

I’m happily married to a Springsteen fanatic and I’m the mother of two sons who introduced me to the joys of Slipknot, Warped Tour and never-ending headaches.


Connect

Website || Twitter || Goodreads || Facebook


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REVIEW: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-alloy-of-law-by-brandon-sanderson.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/review-the-alloy-of-law-by-brandon-sanderson.html#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:00:50 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55708 The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson UK cover

Set three-hundred years after the Mistborn trilogy, The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson visits the reshaped empire of Scadrial, which has been changed by the dawn of technology, with railways and skyscrapers clouding the landscape.

Amidst the town of Elendel, the magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy remain prevalent, although magic such as Kelsier, Vin and Elend’s is long since consigned to the history books. However, there are those who are twinborn, possessing one element of both Allomancy and Feruchemy, such as our protagonist, Waxillium Ladrian, who can both increase and decrease his weight with Feruchemy, as well as being able to Push on metals when he burns steel. If you haven’t read the previous Mistborn books then this might sound confusing, but this can easily be read as the start of a new trilogy, with a handy glossary and explanations throughout to introduce the concept.

The book opens with Waxillium and his partner, Lessie, in what is known as The Roughs, an area outside of Elendel which reminded me of the Wild West, where outlaws and honour go to die. Wax is a lawkeeper, bringing in those outlaws for a reward, but something goes wrong in this opening scene that changes his outlook. He promptly returns to Elendel to take his rightful place as a lord of house Ladrian, with a family tragedy leaving him alone and destitute, with marriage seeming the only option. He has been paired with Steris Harms, an uptight young girl who humorously presents him with a contract, but also meets her cousin, Marasi, who is seemingly a quiet student.

It is during one of his meetings with Steris that his old friend from The Roughs, Wayne, turns up and causes havoc, purposefully teasing Wax to get a reaction out of him. He is desperate for Wax’s help in discovering the cause of a spate of robberies, perpetrated by those known only as ‘The Vanishers’. Despite his claims to have given up lawkeeping, Wax is nevertheless intrigued, as the thefts are linked to a rare metal, Aluminum, which can kill an Allomancer, as it cannot be Pushed or Pulled on. The thieves have also started taking female hostages, with an apparently unknown link between each captive.

As usual, Sanderson weaves an intense plot in a short space of time, pulling you in completely into his labyrinth of fantastic elements. Even newcomers to the series won’t find it hard to become absorbed in the magic, especially as an intriguing mystery plot is weaved throughout the novel, culminating in a surprising conclusion. There are a number of action-packed gun fights throughout, combining the characters’ magical abilities with physical combat to take the battlefield to another level.

For a protagonist, Wax was certainly different to Elend and Vin from the previous trilogy and yet still possessed some of their soul. He was tortured by his experience in The Roughs, yet his intelligent mind couldn’t help being inspired by the mysterious thefts plaguing Elendel. I thought he was a great protagonist, with just the right level of angst and bitterness to his foes. Sanderson has a great skill for crafting finely tuned main characters, and you can really feel how every blow affects Wax, and how deep a friendship he shares with Wayne. The banter between the two of them was infectious, and I loved how well they fit together as a double act, both in and out of the fighting.

The main female character of the novel, Marasi, was subtly developed throughout the book, and it is obvious that she has feelings for Wax, despite the large age gap between them. She was strong in her own quiet way, refusing to back down from a fight despite her inexperience. I particularly liked that when in a crisis, her panic mode induces her to start quoting facts from her criminology studies! She is definitely one of Sanderson’s more interesting characters, and I look forward to getting to know more about her in the sequel.

As usual, Sanderson is at his fantasy best with the Mistborn series, creating the most intricately crafted characters I’ve ever had the fortune to read. If this trilogy ends up like the previous one, then there are definitely great things ahead for this spinoff series. I can’t recommend this series enough, and if the previous weighty volumes put you off, then the smaller page number of this volume should definitely entice you.

Verdict

A brilliant follow-up to the initial trilogy, this new spinoff is easy to read as a standalone without prior knowledge of the universe. Setting the book three-hundred years in the future works well, as it allows the intermingling of Allomancy with technological advances, as well as high-powered gun fights that are reminiscent of the old west. I loved the connections between the characters, and know that this new series definitely has a lot of potential.

Rating: 5 Stars


The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
(Mistborn #4)
Fantasy

Gollancz (10 Nov 2011)
Paperback: 327 pages

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

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Weekly Roundup – 17th Aug 2014 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/weekly-roundup-17th-aug-2014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/08/weekly-roundup-17th-aug-2014.html#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 09:00:59 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58553 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


Play - Kylie ScottThis week has been a much slower reading week than the few preceding it, but I still managed to finish The Chocolate Lovers’ Club by Carole Matthews. My reviewer Rebecca has reviewed this one (keep an eye out for this in the next couple of weeks), and it sounded good so I picked it up. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as Rebecca, but it was a nice easy read. I’ve pre-ordered the second book in the series The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet, just to see where all the characters end up.

I’m now reading Play by Kylie Scott, the second book in her Stage Dive series, and contemporary romance, What I Love About You by Rachel Gibson.


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

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