Book Chick City - Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews http://www.bookchickcity.com Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Rebecca’s Coveted Releases & TBR for November http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/rebeccas-coveted-releases-tbr-for-november.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/rebeccas-coveted-releases-tbr-for-november.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59043 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 NOVEMBER RELEASES


Oh wow, how are we at November already?! The most exciting books I’m hoping to get my hands on this month are:

1. Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen

Dying for Christmas by Tammy CohenIn a novel that takes Christmas spirit and transforms it into a scary crime-fest, Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen puts an interesting spin on the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’. Dominic approaches Jess during a Christmas shop and tells her that she shares a striking resemblance to his wife, who hasn’t been seen in months. However, the truth is revealed when she goes back with him to his house, and sees a picture that bears very little similarity to her at all. She is also met with a Christmas tree that has twelve presents underneath it, with Dominic telling her that she can open one for each of the twelve days of Christmas. Jess realises that Dominic has no intention of letting her leave, keeping her a captive at Christmas, when the presents could prove deadly. There is the implication that Jess has a secret, and I’m dying to know how the plot of this book will turn out. I love the cover, with the mix of red and white, and hope that this suspense novel will make a pleasant change from the high number of Christmas romances I’ve been indulging in!

Release date: 2oth November, Transworld

2. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian KeyesI’ve never read anything by Marian Keyes before, but this particular title caught my eye this month. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes is the tale of Stella Sweeney, an ordinary woman living her life with her husband and two kids in Dublin, Ireland. She works for her overly ambitious sister in her beauty salon, with this ordinary life leaving nothing to make her particularly happy or unhappy. No-one would want to steal her life, but then one day, whilst attempting a good deed, Stella accidentally causes a car accident and faces a bad-tempered, handsome stranger. She barely gives it a thought, but then destiny hits and her life is changed forever, giving her a thrilling and glamorous life that people might start to covet… I really like the sound of this book and, having never read anything by Keyes before, I’d like to give this one a try.

Release date: 6th November, Michael Joseph

3. Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

Dreamer's Pool by Juliet MarillierThe first in the Blackthorn and Grim series, the cover of Dreamer’s Pool by Julier Marillier captivated me and I had to take a look what it was about. In exchange for help escaping her wrongful imprisonment, magical healer Blackthorn has agreed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who brought about her destruction. She is followed by her silent hulk of a prison mate, Grim, with whom she travels north to Dalriada to live on the fringe of a forest, being duty bound to assist those who ask for help for seven years. Elsewhere, Oran, the crown prince of Dalriada is awaiting the arrival of his betrothed, who turns out to be nothing like the persona she created in her letters. He goes to Blackthorn for help, with Blackthorn and Grim needing all their resources and magic to right the situation… I love the sound of this fairytale-inspired novel, and still can’t help admiring that beautiful cover.

Release date: 4th November, Roc

4. Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail CarrigerAdmittedly, I have yet to read any of the Finishing School series, but I’m excited by the prospect of Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger. The covers for this series have been beautiful, and this third instalment is no exception. This time around, Sophronia is continuing her second year at finishing school – with a blade hidden within her corset, of course. She and her friends are attempting to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland, stowing away on board a train. None of them had anticipated what they might find aboard the train, with Sophronia uncovering a plot that could throw all of London into chaos. She must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all. Having absolutely adored Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, I am keen to see what her world will offer a young adult audience, as I’m anticipating a continuation of her fabulous and witty prose.

Release date: 4th November, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


NOVEMBER’S TBR


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

1. Deadly Holiday Reunion by Lenora Worth

Deadly Holiday Reunion by Lenora WorthI’ve been absorbing myself in Christmas romances recently, so I’m looking forward to reading a seasonal suspense mystery instead! Deadly Holiday Reunion by Lenora Worth is a kidnapping case, with the victim being the daughter of Texas Ranger, Jake Cavanaugh. He turns up on the doorstep of his high school sweetheart, Ella Terrell, asking for her help in solving the case. She was kidnapped by the Dead Drop Killer a few years previous and knows his pattern better than anyone else, not to mention her knowledge of the nearby woodlands. There is an unfinished chemistry between Jake and Ella that looks set to reignite during the course of their investigation, so I’m interested to see how that relationship develops throughout the course of the book. I love a good mystery novel, and I’m particularly excited to read a holiday-based tale and see how this puts a fresh spin on Christmas warmth and spirit.

2. A Christmas Reunion by Susanna Fraser

A Christmas Reunion by Susanna FraserAnother Christmas novel for the list this month, as the festive season is approaching fast! A Christmas Reunion by Susanna Fraser is a novella, so will hopefully be perfect for a quick read this month, especially with amongst all that Christmas shopping to do! It tells the story of Gabriel Shephard, who has never forgotten his humble origins and decides to take in a war orphan at Christmastime. He is determined to find a home for her, even if it means asking for help from his family, who had cast him out years previously for loving the wrong woman. Lady Catherine Trevilan has been devotedly studying the Army’s casualty list for five years, hoping she doesn’t find Gabriel’s name, and has never forgotten him, or forgiven herself for not running away with him. She has since agreed to a marriage of convenience with another man, but when Gabriel returns the night before her wedding, it is clear that they still share a chemistry. It sounds like this could be one feisty novella, so I can’t wait to see what transpires in such a short space!

3. Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded by Kevin HearneI might not get around to reading this book this month, but it has been sitting on my TBR for quite some time, so hopefully I will! Hounded by Kevin Hearne is the first in the Iron Druid Chronicles, about Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, who is trying to live peacefully in Arizona. He runs an occult bookshop and shape-shifts in his spare time to go hunting with his Irish wolfhound, which sounds exciting just from that! Atticus can draw his power from the earth and wields a magical sword named Fragarach, which he stole from a Celtic god years ago. Unfortunately, that Celtic god wants his sword back and will stop at nothing to do so. This sounds like a great urban fantasy novel, and I can’t wait to get stuck in. I know my fellow reviewer, Laura, loved this book, so hopefully I will too.

4. Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward

Lover Unleashed (#9)I’ve been getting sucked back into the Black Dagger Brotherhood recently, so I’m hoping to continue reading the series with Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward. I think my love for this series has been quite a slow burner, but I’m slowly getting more and more involved in the antics of the Brotherhood and am looking forward to reading another instalment. This ninth book is the story of Payne, Vishous’ newly-discovered twin sister who has been imprisoned by the Scribe Virgin and told that her brother died years ago. She was suffering a devastating injury at the end of the last book and is awaiting treatment from Manuel Manello, a human surgeon found by the Brotherhood. He could be her only chance of survival, but will they be able to overcome the barrier between human and vampire? I’m interested to see how this book pans out, as previously Ward focused on the male members of the Brotherhood for her protagonists and we haven’t had a female as the main character before. I can’t wait to see how this ninth adventure turns out!

5. I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton

I'll Be Watching You by Beverly BartonThis was on my Coveted Releases list last month, and I’m looking forward into getting a fresh dose of crime fiction with I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton. A crime novel about an obsessive stalker, this book is the story of protagonist, Ella, and her stalker’s increasingly terrifying methods of getting her attention. She has been receiving hand-delivered letters that promise vengeance, and that someone is coming for her sooner or later. In her desperation, she turns to a man with his own demons to battle and who could be just as dangerous as her stalker. There isn’t much info on the male hero revealed in the synopsis, so I can’t wait to get stuck into this read and find out what secrets he is hiding! Of course, I also want to find who Ella’s stalker is and how their obsession developed.

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

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WEEKLY ROUNDUP – 25th November 2014 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/weekly-roundup-25th-november-2014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/weekly-roundup-25th-november-2014.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:00:34 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59180 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



LAURA’S ROUNDUP


Santa's secretMy reading pace is still pretty slow at the moment, so I haven’t read a lot of books since we last did a roundup unfortunately. I finished reading Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs which was absolutely fab. If you love the Mercy Thomspon series, then it’s a must-read.

With Decembef fast approaching, I decided it was time to get into the festive spirit and picked up my second Christmas read of the year Santa’s Secret by Serenity Woods. It was cute and sexy and fun just what I needed to get my thinking about getting my decorations out!

Next up, I think another Rock Star romance might be calling me… ;-)


BOBBY’S ROUNDUP


PrisonerHello, all. Since the last roundup I have managed to read quite a bit, and what I managed to read was uniformly pretty awesome, so here I am to share that with you. First and foremost I read Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz.I bought it as part of a little Halloween spree and, although by the time I read it it was a little past Halloween, it was enjoyable and sufficiently atmospheric.

I also read Prisoner by Annika Martin and Skye Warren.That was one of those books that I accidentally found via social media (I think in this instance it was Facebook) and I am already impatiently waiting for the next instalment in the series. In the absence of that sequel I searched for other works by the authors and ended up reading Wanderlust by Skye Warren- and that’s the story of how I discovered a new favourite author.

Last but not least, I read The Naturals: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which was even better than the first in the series but left me sad that I am, for once, actually caught up with a series. I’m a little wary about what to read next that will catch my attention as much as the previous books, but I’m sure I’ll be able to find something in my vast collection.

I hope you have all been as successful in your reading. See you next time!


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

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REVIEW: I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-ill-be-watching-you-by-beverly-barton.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-ill-be-watching-you-by-beverly-barton.html#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:00:35 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59102 I'll Be Watching You by Beverly BartonIn a novel that mixes stalking, mystery and murder, I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton has everything you could want in a thriller and more.

Reed Conway was arrested and imprisoned for murder fifteen years ago, and the book opens with his release from prison and his return to his mother and sister. After his stepfather attempted to rape his sister, Reed beat him to within an inch of his life and left him lying unconscious. However, someone then came back and slit his throat with Reed’s pocket knife, making Reed the prime suspect and earning him a one-way trip to jail. Now he is free, Reed is determined to track down the real killer and clear his name of the charges against him.

Ella Porter is a judge and the adopted daughter of Senator Webb Porter and his wife, Carolyn. It was her father who sentenced Reed to prison all those years ago, leaving Reed with a grudge against the Porter family. At the time of his incarceration, he sent Ella two threatening letters as a punishment for her father, proving that he wouldn’t forget the wrong that had been done to him. When Ella receives a mysterious letter just days after Reed’s release, he seems to be the most probable suspect for her harassment.

When Ella confronts Reed, she comes face to face with a pure masculinity and ruthlessness that she has never encountered before. There is an instant chemistry between them, and Ella finds that she believes him when he says he didn’t send her any letters. If she teams up with him to find the real killer then she risks ruining her family’s reputation, but the spark between them is too strong to ignore and she finds herself drawn in to the web of lies surrounding the events of fifteen years ago. She might discover things about her family that she wished she’d never known, as well as risking her heart with the dangerous Reed Conway.

As the plot progressed, I found that I was drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding Ella and Reed, as it becomes clear that their families are intertwined in more ways than one. There a lot of skeletons hiding in the closets of almost everyone involved in the book, making it that much harder to discern who the real killer is. Admittedly, I had guessed their identity before the end of the book, but there were that many red herrings that I was always doubting my choice and thinking of other potential killers.

Ella, our protagonist, was likable but at the same time a bit weak as far as heroines are concerned. She has had a sheltered upbringing, with her father protecting her from the world and making believe that his marriage to her mother is perfect and loving. She doesn’t know about his affairs, and she is dating a man who bores her at the request of her mother. Her family are desperate for her to marry well and maintain their respectability in the community, but Ella finds herself drawn to the bad boy Reed instead. I liked that she was strong enough to defy her family, and I think she does grow as a character as the book goes on.

I must admit, I had mixed feelings about Reed throughout the book. I liked his pursuit of the truth and his dedication to his family, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about his relationship with Ella. He is very forceful and an alpha male, and at times it almost felt like he was forcing himself on Ella, even if she did feel an attraction to him. He was fiercely protective of her as their connection grew, determined to protect her from whomever the real killer might be. He was even ready to let his grudge against her family go if she was willing to give him a chance. There is good lurking within him, but it takes some time to come to the surface.

There are several characters within this novel to be given their own perspective, so we are given a full view of those involved and get to know each character more intimately. This threw up more red herrings, as we get to learn that were several people to have seen the unconscious body with the knife lying beside it – but did they then pick up the knife and do the deed? There are also a few segments from the killer’s perspective, indicating when more letters would be sent or if more serious methods were necessary in an attempt to get Reed back behind bars. There are a multitude of steamy scenes between characters throughout the book, so this thriller is not without lashings of romance to accompany it. I thought the writing style was easy to follow and the mystery was very well crafted. I look forward to reading more from Beverly Barton.

Verdict

This book is a great thriller and mystery that will keep you guessing until the final pages, setting up a string of red herrings to keep you on your toes. The relationship between Ella and Reed is well-developed and becomes steamy the right pace considering what they go through together and the chemistry between them. I really enjoyed the concept of trying to solve a fifteen-year-old murder case, especially as we are given snippets from the real killer’s point of view that never reveal enough to make their identity obvious. There is a good balance between Ella and Reed’s perspectives, as well as those close to them, making this a well-rounded mystery with a lot of potential.

Rating: 4 Stars


I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton
Romantic Suspense
Avon Books (9 Oct 2014)
Ebook: 400 pages

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

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REVIEW: The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-the-time-roads-by-beth-bernobich.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-the-time-roads-by-beth-bernobich.html#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:00:19 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59007 The Time Roads by Beth BernobichIn a novel that takes science and mathematics and turns them into time travel, The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich plays with past and future to transform the present.

The novel begins with the ascendance of Áire Devereaux to the throne of Éire, one of the most powerful empires in the world. As the new queen, she has to deal with the threat of violence from opposing nations, with the Anglian question proving to be the most difficult. Corruption is rife in her court and she is unsure who to trust, instead turning to science for a sense of freedom. Doctor Breándan Ó Cuilinn is a revolutionary scientist investigating what is known as the time roads, given the opportunity to further his studies by Áire’s financial investment. When he disappears one day, seemingly into the future, Áire is left to safeguard Éire’s prestige alone.

It was after this first plotline that the story shifted, as there is word of mathematics students being murdered at the Awveline University campus. Queen Áire sends her most trusted commander, Aidrean Ó Deághaidh, to investigate the mystery, where he meets Síomón Madóc, a highly regarded student with an interest in mathematics and time. As the plot unfolds, this section of the novel gives us a first glimpse into what the time roads are capable of, and how time can be changed if the roads are travelled.

Aidrean returns in the following section of the novel, this time investigating a threat to Éire in Montenegro, and unravelling a deep-seated corruption in Éire’s very court. His trusted bond with Áire is developed throughout the book but, nevertheless, his investigations are carried out alone and with very little support. His desire to safeguard Éire from imminent threat and to protect the safety of all nations was admirable, but this end goal did feel overshadowed throughout the book, as if the true threat hadn’t been played up as much as it could have.

As you can probably tell from the brief outlines given here, the jumps in time between the stories are quite significant, and right up until the end I wasn’t sure how they would all inter-relate. As a result, the novel felt very disjointed and difficult to read, as I had no idea how everything tied together or even if it would be relevant to the overall plot. The first shift to Síomón’s story was the largest to deal with, as the whole novel suddenly changed focus and none of the characters were at all familiar from the initial world building.

Áire and Aidrean are the characters given the most focus throughout the book, and I did like Áire at first, as she had just come to the throne as a young woman and was faced with navigating the intricate connections of court. At first we see how she struggles to assert her authority over her father’s most trusted advisers, but then when the story returns to her she seems to have changed completely. Life as queen has changed her and made her more hard-hearted than before, and more unlikely to trust anyone. We get to see her make some tough decisions, especially when faced with Anglian uprisings, and some of these choices made me rethink my initial liking of her.

Aidrean, on the other hand, was my favourite character throughout the book, despite being a vastly understated figure. Even though he has an entire section of the book dedicated to his investigation, I felt like we still didn’t get to learn a lot about him, or how he came to be so dedicated to Éire’s cause. He maintains a certain sense of mystery, and I began to feel sorry for him because of how much trouble Áire brings to his door, as she knows he won’t refuse an order from his queen. He is dedicated to queen and country, and perhaps suffers the most throughout the book, as I would have liked a different ending for him.

Despite my issues regarding the plot structure of the novel, I will admit that everything is neatly tied up by the end and the Anglian question is firmly resolved. As for the time roads, these were explored in more detail and an explanation given for how the future is not fixed whilst the roads can be travelled. I think if more detail about the time roads was given towards the beginning then the following chapters would have made more sense, but this still makes for a fun steampunk-inspired adventure into time travel with clear parallels to be made to real life history.

Verdict

Although I really enjoyed the concept of this book, I found the intertwining storylines to be confusing and couldn’t see how everything would link together until the end. I think more should have been done to explain the concept of the time roads at the beginning, as then the plotlines would have made more sense, especially as there are big leaps in time between each one. I found the characters to be intriguing and likeable, and I did like how the finale tied together all of the loose ends that had been built up throughout the book.

Rating: 3 Stars


The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich
Science Fiction / Steampunk
Tor Books (14 Oct 2014)
Ebook: 288 pages

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

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NEW SERIES ALERT: True Vampire by Kate Baxter http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/new-series-alert-true-vampire-by-kate-baxter.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/new-series-alert-true-vampire-by-kate-baxter.html#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:00:25 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59112

The Last True Vampire by Kate Baxter (True Vampire #1)

St Martin’s Paperbacks (2 Jan 2015)
Goodreads || Facebook


The Last True VampireSoul Survivor

He is the last of his race. The one true king of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of L.A. after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The last of the Ancient Ones, he alone has survived the destruction of his race at the hands of the slayers. Now he is forced to hunt and feed like a common vampire, a creature of lust. Nothing in this world can fulfill his needs…until he meets a woman who’s everything he’s ever wanted. And more.

Sweet Salvation

Her name is Claire Thompson. Her blood is so sweet, so intoxicating—the smell alone draws Michael to her like a moth to the flame. Sly, sexy, and seductive, Claire seems to be the only mortal who can satisfy his craving and seal his fate…forever. Can she be trusted? From their very first kiss, the last true vampire sweeps Claire into a world in which darkness rules desire—and where falling in love is the greatest danger of all…


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REVIEW: Double Jeopardy by Linda Wisdom http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-double-jeopardy-by-linda-wisdom.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-double-jeopardy-by-linda-wisdom.html#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58957 Double Jeopardy by Linda WisdomAn updated romantic suspense novel, Double Jeopardy by Linda Wisdom explores the scary nature of stalking and obsession, when a woman scorned takes things a little too far…

Josh Brandon is an Assistant District Attorney in a small town outside of Los Angeles who specialises in helping women who have suffered domestic abuse or rape to rebuild their lives and prosecute those responsible. He is a popular figure around the office, having had his fair share of women and relationships, not to mention an ex-wife who still demands alimony. However, for the past few months he has been receiving different flowers every week from a mystery woman who has now started to sabotage his dates. She has broken into his house several times and leaves him phone messages, but he has no idea who this woman could be.

When he meets the new Medical Examiner, Dr Lauren Hunter, Josh is immediately enamoured and desperate to know more about her. She, on the other hand, has sworn off men since a particularly disastrous divorce from an LA detective. She appreciates Josh’s charm and is no doubt attracted to him, but this connection is something the stalker soon picks up on as well, immediately resorting to scratching Lauren’s car.

As Josh and Lauren grow closer and realise that there could be something more between them, Josh’s stalker ups her game and takes Lauren as her new target. With things being disturbed in both of their homes and Lauren placed in increasing levels of danger, this woman will stop at nothing to make Josh hers and hers alone – even if it means taking Lauren out of the picture permanently.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book, as it isn’t often that we get novels about stalkers, with most suspense books plumping for all out murder mysteries. However, in this instance it was great to see the escalating nature of such a troubled individual, as her attempts to scare away Lauren slowly increase in intensity and become more and more vicious. What added the extra element to the suspense here were the passages from the stalker’s point of view, as we are given an insight into her obsession for Josh and the desire for him to belong only to her.

Josh made for an interesting hero, as at first he seemed like a womaniser, having had so many relationships for his stalker to break up. Despite this, when he met Lauren he seemed to be interested in more than just a one night stand, craving more to his life than a series of meaningless romances. His desire to help abused women was admirable, especially when we learn that his mother was abused by his father and it was up to Josh to send him packing. I think he is given more depth than I expected, and did like how much he cared about Lauren’s safety when it became clear that she was a target.

As for Lauren, it is quite a while before we learn why her and her husband are divorced, although we know straightaway that they did not part on good terms, nor is it a subject she likes to discuss. She is much more at home analysing the bodies she is sent for criminal investigation, and is perhaps not as scared of the stalker as she should be. Like most heroines, we learn that she is undeniably beautiful, which incites jealousy in the mystery woman and also somewhat transforms her into a typical heroine. Nevertheless, she was still likeable and strong, and refused to be scared of her own shadow, which is exactly what the stalker wants.

Although I enjoyed the plot and characters in this book, I would have liked to see more of the stalker. We are given passages from her point of view that are insightful to her jealousy and obsession, but very little to her identity. This was good at the beginning of the book, as I felt like I was close to knowing who she was but only her name was missing. However, as the book continued onwards I guessed her identity and then became increasingly frustrated that the big reveal had to wait until the last ten pages or so. It seemed like a little too much was left until the conclusion and could have been built up a little more instead of one big show. There could also have been a little more chemistry between Josh and Lauren as they seemed to be thrown together because of the stalker and weren’t given time to develop on their own. Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable read and I enjoyed seeing how the plot unravelled and the lengths obsession can take you to.

Verdict

This book did not grip me straight away, and I found that I grew increasingly frustrated at the length of time it took to reveal the identity of the stalker, especially as I had guessed who it was. I also felt like there could have been more chemistry between Josh and Lauren, but found that both characters were easy to associate with and not without their own hang-ups. The suspense was built up well for the most part, and I loved finding out what the stalker would do next – especially as some of the lows she stoops to are truly shocking.

Rating: 3 Stars


Double Jeopardy by Linda Wisdom
Romantic Suspense
Entangled: Select (15 Sept 2014)
Ebook: 266 pages

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

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REVIEW: The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet by Carole Matthews http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-the-chocolate-lovers-diet-by-carole-matthews.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-the-chocolate-lovers-diet-by-carole-matthews.html#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:00:21 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58992 The Chocolate Lover's Diet  by Carole MatthewsAfter thoroughly enjoying the first instalment, I knew I had to get stuck straight in to The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet by Carole Matthews.

Once again, the foursome of chocolate lovers gathers at Chocolate Heaven to discuss their life emergencies – which predominantly feature relationship issues. Lucy Lombard, the primary member of the club, thought she had everything worked out when she walked out on her cheating boyfriend and started a relationship with her boss, Aiden Holby. However, since then he has been on a work trip to Australia and has hardly contacted her since he left. Lucy is faced with spending Christmas alone until her ex-boyfriend, Marcus, waltzes back into her life. Should she give him another chance? This is a decision that requires serious chocolate consumption…

In my opinion, Lucy’s issues were fairly trivial in comparison with what the other members of the club were faced with. After her trysts with other men were discovered, Chantal is still desperately trying to reconcile with her husband, Ted, who is still showing very little interest in her. Then she discovers a much bigger problem that only further chocolate consumption can appease, not to mention the fact she is still looking after Nadia’s son, Lewis, when needed.

It was Nadia’s issues that got overlooked throughout this book, as I thought she had the most going on in her life but was being sidelined by the plot involving Lucy. Her gambling husband, Toby, swears he’s changed and is desperate for Nadia and Lewis to move back in with him. However, Nadia has to be sure she can trust him before she returns home, which means she might have to do some sneaking around of her own to check if his claims are true.

Finally, we have Autumn, whose problems were very similar to before as her drug-addicted brother returns home and has clearly failed to kick his habit. Her fledgling romance with co-worker, Addison, has barely begun and she is already back to caring for her brother and dealing with the unsavoury characters that are after him. It was the repetitiveness of some of the women’s problems that felt frustrating whilst reading this book, as I was hoping for more development and not a return to the first instalment.

The writing remained witty and fun, with the added chocolate creations providing a tasty incentive to keep reading. However, this time around the focus on chocolate felt a little too much, especially when reading Lucy’s perspective. Almost every scene in her narration featured her indulging on chocolate, so I felt very little sympathy when she began to discuss her weight gain and need to diet (and of course, she can’t give up chocolate). Her narrative began to grate on me this time, as I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with her and the fact that she has two attractive men fawning all over her.

As with the first book, I enjoyed the other characters’ perspectives more than Lucy’s, perhaps enjoying Chantal’s the most. She doesn’t feature as much in this book, but her problems felt more real this time around, as she tries to repair her marriage and look after her friends all at once. It was the camaraderie of the club that I enjoy to read about, as they always support each other and never let each other down. They also provide some much needed truth telling when necessary, it’s just a shame that it sometimes fails to sink in.

Even though I didn’t enjoy this second instalment as much as the first, it still had a pleasant ending and was hard to put down. The chapters are short and easy to read, making it all too easy to keep going until the whole book is finished. If you like chocolate then the parade of sweet treats will definitely be for you, and it certainly made me peckish more than once while reading! I hope after this instalment that the series will be left where it is, as I think each member of the club gets a suitably happy ending to bring the Chocolate Lover’s Club to a close.

Verdict

Admittedly, I did not enjoy this book as much as the first outing but, nevertheless, the fun-loving girls of the Chocolate Lovers’ Club do not disappoint with their outrageous relationship antics. They each had their own dramas to face, but it felt somewhat repetitive after book one, as many of the same issues rise up once more. As a first-person narrator, Lucy felt slightly more annoying this time around, but I still enjoyed the overall outcome of the book.

Rating: 4 Stars


The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet by Carole Matthews
(Chocolate Lovers’ Club #2)
Contemporary Romance
Sphere (1 Nov 2014)
Paperback: 400 pages

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

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NEW SERIES ALERT: The Devil’s Assistant by H.D. Smith / Dreamcatcher by Vicki Leigh http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/new-series-alert-the-devils-assistant-by-h-d-smith-dreamcatcher-by-vicki-leigh.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/new-series-alert-the-devils-assistant-by-h-d-smith-dreamcatcher-by-vicki-leigh.html#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:00:43 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59091

Dark Hope by H.D. Smith (The Devil’s Assistant #1)

Wild Fey, LLC (24 July 2014)
Website || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter


Dark HopeClaire, the Devil’s assistant, knows very little about the world she was dropped into five years ago, when she inherited her mother’s unpaid debt to the Demon King. She certainly didn’t expect to be a contender for the Fallen Queen’s throne, a target for the Druid King’s mafia, or a suspect in the murder of Junior, the Devil’s oldest hell spawn.

In a last ditch effort to save her life and get out of her deal with the Devil, she sets out to solve Junior’s murder only to be taken prisoner by the four most dangerous immortal hell spawn alive. Not to be out done, the Pagan Queen Mab claims Claire for entering her realm uninvited. She has an old debt to settle with her brother the Devil. Taking Claire from him after losing her years ago is just icing on the cake.

Will Claire win her freedom, and save herself from the Devil? Or be trapped by Mab forever?


Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh (Dreamcatcher #1)

Curiosity Kills Press (23 October 2014)
Website || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter


Catch Me When I Fall

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.


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Weekly Roundup – 11th November 2014 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/weekly-roundup-11th-november-2014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/weekly-roundup-11th-november-2014.html#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58926 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



BOBBY’S ROUNDUP


Exposed by FateAlthough I haven’t managed to get back to reading the amount I was before I started working my reading mojo has remained undiminished in recent weeks and I have been making some inroads into my TBR. I’ve been on a bit of a YA horror kick, having read Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick and Say Her Name by James Dawsonboth of which were engrossing reads which were hard to put down (although it might have been a mistake finishing the latter whilst I was in the bath!). I also read Exposed by Fate by Tessa Dare; it’s the second in her Serve series and I can’t wait for the other instalments.

I’m currently reading The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes which I’ve had since last Christmas and I’m just getting round to it. It’s actually really awesome so I’m glad I waited as the second novel has now been released so I can buy that and read straight on when I finish The Naturals.


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

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REVIEW: A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-a-vault-of-sins-by-sarah-harian.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-a-vault-of-sins-by-sarah-harian.html#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:00:12 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58952 A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian*Warning: Contains spoilers for book one*

Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Chaos Theory series, I couldn’t wait to jump straight back in with A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian.

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect this time around as heroine Evalyn Ibarra had escaped the Compass Room with her fellow survivors and overcome the demons of her crime. After the Room malfunctioned, the impending court case pits the survivors against the creators, as the Compass Room engineers try to prove that the Room was working perfectly and is still a safe and secure way of trying criminals for their crimes. They are trying to discredit Evalyn and her allies by painting them at their worst, but a mysterious hacker group have somehow found a way to make videos of their Compass Room experiences available to the public.

With the general population now divided in opinion of whether Evalyn is guilty or not guilty of her original crime of terrorism, the creators of the Compass Room fight even dirtier in their bid to secure what really goes on during the experiment. She might have beat the Compass Room the first time around, but she is far from free as the press continue to hound her day and night. When a mysterious contact lets her in on some of the Compass Room secrets, Evalyn learns that there is a conspiracy so much larger than anyone ever anticipated.

If she is to uncover the truth and truly free herself in the eyes of the public (and the law), then Evalyn must reconnect with Casey Hargrove, the boy she grew to love in their time together in the Room. Since the trial she has been instructed by her lawyer to keep her distance in case it has repercussions for his image, feeling guilty at having abandoned him when he needed her most. If she is to prepare to face the Compass Room engineers once more, Evalyn will need all the help she can get, even if it means putting her life on the line.

Having been unsure where the plot of this book would go once the characters had escaped the Compass Room, I was pleased to see that there was still a solid direction and that the Compass Rooms still played a central part to the plot. It did feel a little confusing at first, but once the trial had played out and more secrets were revealed, it was back to being exciting and fast paced. I had no idea what would happen at the end, but I thought the ending was well written and leaves enough new questions open to build up the hype for the third instalment.

Once again, I really liked Evalyn as a protagonist and found it easy to slip back into her mindset and the traumas she has been faced with. I like how fiercely protective she is of those she loves, risking her life for them even if it means her own will be in jeopardy. However, this worked both ways, as I didn’t really like how many secrets she had from Casey, even though she was just trying to protect him. I also found it hard to accept Evalyn’s drinking, as for the majority of the book it feels like she always has a drink in her hand, trying to numb the pain in a way that just didn’t feel like the Evalyn from book one.

On the other hand, Casey was exactly as I remembered and consistent in his devotion to Evalyn. He gives her an appropriate hard time for abandoning him, but soon thaws and is back to his usual, caring self. I liked that there was always an undercurrent of hard steel with Casey, as he cares strongly for his loved ones and would not hesitate to protect them, even though Evalyn keeps trying to remind him that she doesn’t need saving. I particularly liked seeing Casey and Evalyn together, as they share a bond unlike any other as a result of the Compass Room, with something good having emerged from such tragedy.

I don’t want to give too much away here, but I think Harian’s imagining of how the Compass Rooms work is truly unique, and we are given a somewhat scientific description of how and why inmates are killed in certain ways. In being faced with the past, there is a constant reminder that their crimes have made them who they are, and even Evalyn and Casey are again made to confront the events that earned them their Compass Room sentence. I particularly enjoyed reading these confrontations, as Harian successfully captures the raw emotions felt by the characters and how they are separated by their attitudes to the crimes.

Regardless of my worries concerning Evalyn’s character, I still thoroughly enjoyed this second instalment and everything that comes along with the Compass Room. I think Harian has created a unique concept that has a lot of scope for expansion, which is being explored with ease. The potentially horrific conspiracy lurking beneath the Rooms is just waiting to be uncovered, and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.

Verdict

Although my rating for this second book is not quite as high as the first, I was still hooked from the get-go and could barely put the book down. I had my doubts about the series would work when taken away from the Compass Room, but Harian crafts a superb plot that soon ties up loose ends from book one and raises even more questions for next time around. I loved how the Compass Room was transformed into an even more unique concept when some of its secrets are revealed, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Evalyn in book three.

Rating: 4 Stars


A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian
(Chaos Theory #2)
New Adult / Science Fiction
Penguin/Intermix(16 Sept 2014)
Ebook: 257 pages

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

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REVIEW: Play by Kylie Scott http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-play-by-kylie-scott.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-play-by-kylie-scott.html#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 10:00:01 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=59048 Play - Kylie Scott

Lick was one of my favourite books of last year and rapidly made it onto my list of favourite rock star romances. After reading Play, this series will undoubtedly sit on list of all time favourite series. This story follows that of Stage Dive’s crazy and somewhat eccentric drummer Mal. The heroine comes in the shame of Ev’s (the heroine from Lick) next door neighbour Anne.

The plot is as crazy as the hero, with Anne left in serious financial trouble after her best friend betrays her, a strange conversation with a rock star at a party and the next day she discovers she has a new and extremely famous room mate. Mal’s kooky solution to Anne’s problems and his own is light, funny and the chemistry between them instantly buzzes.

What I particularly enjoyed about Play, was that Mal wasn’t just the same character as Dave (Lick) with a different plot. Scott has written a very different hero, Mal is unique. He’s funny, sexy and totally off the wall. Which inevitably means the book is funny too. But while he definitely has the sexy, funny thing going on, you want to peel beneath the surface and see who the real Mal is. And trust me, he does have hidden depths.

Anne kind of rolls with the Mal train, she doesn’t really have a choice, but grows with the book and gives as good as she gets. I like that fact she’s not perfect either, Mal mentions early on the gap between her front teeth. She’s a normal woman (almost the girl next door) who falls for a rock star, and I like this romance trope far more than famous people falling in love with other famous people.

Another thing that really worked for me was while there was the usual tabloid and groupie plot moments you see in rock star romances, the story was essentially all about Mal and Anne and their problems and barriers to love. The fame thing just added an exciting backdrop to the story. Plus some cracking famous parties.

There are some awesome scenes in this book that made me laugh-out-loud, from bed breaking to bathroom floods. Then there are the sex scenes which are seriously hot with a capital H. The plot also has a sad undertone to it. I don’t want to give too much away as if will spoil things for you. But, it is written with compassion and adds to the story without trivialising it or bringing the happy tone of the romance down either.

Verdict

Ms Scott has done it again, this is one super sexy, funny, page-turning, fabulous rock star romance. Mal is a hilariously funny, yet sexy hero. I put Play down and Stage-Dived ( see what I did there? Don’t groan… ;-) ) straight into book number three. If you love rock stars, then you need to read this series!

Rating 4.5 Stars


Play by Kylie Scott
(Stage Dive #2)
Rock Star Romance
Pan (25 March 2014)
Ebook: 300 pages

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

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REVIEW: Debauched in Diamonds by Nikki Duncan http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-debauched-in-diamonds-by-nikki-duncan.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/11/review-debauched-in-diamonds-by-nikki-duncan.html#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:00:06 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=58929 Debauched by Diamonds by Nikki DuncanDespite not having read the previous instalments to this series, I couldn’t resist the plot of Debauched in Diamonds by Nikki Duncan, the fourth in her Tulle and Tulips series.

Victor Green’s sister is getting married, and after the death of their parents he wants her to have the day she’s always dreamed about. As a result, he has taken up the services of wedding shop, Tulle and Tulips, allowing them to plan out his sister’s wedding and cater to her every whim. Much to his chagrin, he is also being dragged to the wedding fair to escort the store’s models down the catwalk, despite being much more comfortable at home in front of his computer.

He unwittingly bumps into Darci Drummond at the fair, employee of Tulle and Tulips and so-called ‘Bunny of Bling’, as she safeguards the jewellery available to their clients. She is known for wearing a tie-shaped diamond necklace, a symbol of her past, and is content to help other women enjoy their special day rather than hunting for her own. When her co-workers pick up on the spark between her and Victor, they are quick to matchmake the pair – much to both of their annoyances.

However, as always with romantic fiction, the chemistry between them cannot be denied and they begin a no-strings-attached relationship based purely on sex. They promise that there will be no complications or romance, but this goes against both of their natures and they find themselves letting their guards down around each other. The computer programmer and jewellery expert find that they have more in common than they first thought, slowly falling for each other in the process.

I really enjoyed this story, as it is an exceptionally quick read which you can sink into and be immersed for a good hour or so. The plot brought together two polar opposites and followed one of my favourite trends of the ‘beauty meets geek’ romance. I think the added extra of the wedding shop setting offered an extra glimmer of romantic sparkle, and I loved the detail given to both Victor and Darci’s jobs, as we are given a full insight into what both do for a living and how their minds begin to wander once they start falling for each other.

As a heroine, Darci had a few past hang ups which she was working to overcome, and as a result she was put off having a romantic relationship and tried to keep her distance from Victor as much as she could. She is somewhat scared of love, having been burned before, but she soon sees that Victor is not like the men in her past and that love can change people for the better. I liked her a lot, but would perhaps have liked to see a little more of her past, as it was explained in the space of two or three sentences and could have been expanded on more.

Victor, on the other hand, was a dashing hero and didn’t exactly live up to his reclusive geek stereotype. Yes, he did like to spend time in front of his computer, but he fell for Darci very quickly and could barely concentrate on his work – despite it being one of his biggest projects. He was romantic and good-natured and I loved the added detail of his dog being named Groot, after the Guardians of the Galaxy comics. Some of his gestures were truly heart-warming, making him a great love interest to invest time in.

Despite not having read the previous books, this tale worked fine as a standalone with mere hints at the relationships featured before. It made for a great romance to read on a rainy autumn day, and really lifted my spirits afterwards. I highly recommend this novella, and look forward to reading more by Nikki Duncan in the future, as I think her writing style is very well executed.

Verdict

A fun and quick romance novella with a wedding-themed setting, this story is easy to devour in one sitting and leave you craving more. The characters are easy to relate to and have a great chemistry, making you want them to get their act together as soon as possible. I loved seeing their relationship develop, especially as they seem like polar opposites but discover that they actually have a lot in common.

Rating: 4 Stars


Debauched in Diamonds by Nikki Duncan
(Tulle and Tulips #4)
Romance
Samhain Publishing (23 Sept 2014)
Ebook: 80 pages

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

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