Book Chick City - Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews http://www.bookchickcity.com Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 NEW SERIES ALERT: The Devils by Donna Hosie / Wayward Fighters by J.C. Valentine http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/new-series-alert-the-devils-by-donna-hosie-wayward-fighters-by-j-c-valentine.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/new-series-alert-the-devils-by-donna-hosie-wayward-fighters-by-j-c-valentine.html#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55666 NEW SERIES ALERT

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Knockout

From the wrong side of the tracks… Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in handcuffs, she had managed to lead a quiet life, but when she attends an event fraught with mayhem, trouble resurfaces.

 The one person she can’t forget… Jamison Weston is the kind of guy dads load their shotguns for; endowed with a hot temper and a rap sheet as long as both tattooed arms. Known as “The Judge,” Jami’s hot temper, lethal fists, and cocky attitude have earned him respect and admiration both in and out of the ring. But just when he thinks he’s pummelled his past to death, Alyson Blake re-enters his life. Two paths collide…After years of separation, Alyson is eager to reexplore the man who’s never left her thoughts, but for Jamison, she’s both the distraction he wants, but doesn’t need. As the two embark on a relationship that neither of them expected or bargained for, an outside threat closes in. When Alyson crosses the line of professionalism and takes her work home with her, her life is put in danger, leaving Jamison with no choice but to once again step in and become her protector.

J.C. Valentine Online: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Buy Links: Amazon UK / US

Knockout was published on April 8th 2014 by J.C. Valentine.

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The Devil's InternSeventeen-year-old Mitchell discovers a time-travel device that will allow him to escape his internship in Hell’s accounting office and return to Earth, but his plans to alter the circumstances of his own death take an unexpected turn when his three closest friends in Hell insist on accompanying him back to the land of the living.

Donna Hosie Online: Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy Links: Amazon UK / US

The Devil’s Intern will be published in August 2014 by Holiday House.

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REVIEW: Love’s Rhythm by Lexxie Couper http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-loves-rhythm-lexxie-couper.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-loves-rhythm-lexxie-couper.html#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=54593 Love’s Rhythm by Lexxie Couper (Heart of Fame #1)
Momentum (1 Jul 2013), Ebook: 286 pages, Contemporary Romance
Website Series Listing Amazon UK / US

Rating: 3stars

lovesrhythmAfter reading and completely adoring Lick by Kylie Scott last year, I have been on the hunt for another seriously good rock star romance. Love’s Rhythm came up on offer on Kindle, the first in a rock star series so I thought I would give it a whirl.

The story in itself is quite simple and follows a familiar romance trope, Nick and Lauren were each other’s first love, the life and fame get in the way, fast forward fifteen years and they meet again. Simple, cute, but still good. Couper has a light, enjoyable and very easily readable writing style, I devoured the book quickly, almost, but not quite, in one go.

If you’re looking for super sexy rock star then look no further than Nick. Them contrast him with school teacher Lauren and you’ve got yourself a sexy explosion. Love’s Rhythm is on the erotic side of romance, it’s sexy, very sexy, the couple fall into bed seriously quickly. I actually felt it was too quickly. My other main criticism was that there was just a few too many sex scenes, which on occasion came at the expense of the plot. They needed reducing a bit and it would have improved the story.

Additionally, while this is the first book in a series, I did feel like I had missed something when I started reading it, like there was a book before I should have read first. There is a pivotal moment prior to the book’s start that has caused Nick to question his entire life and search out Lauren his first love. But as the reader you had no idea what this was. As I am new to Couper’s writing, I can only assume that it happened in one of her other books, but there were a couple of occasions I felt frustrated that I didn’t know what had happened, especially as this was advertised as the first in a series.

The plot was quite predictable, *ahem* ok a lot predictable, but it was written in that page-turning style that meant you didn’t mind. For example it’s been 15 years, you know what’s going to happen… yep a secret love child is naturally a pre-requisite. Cue shocks, upset, father and son bonding and upset between the hero and heroine that needed more sex to make it all better. I think it’s fair to say the story was pretty clichéd, but overall I enjoyed it. It was light, occasionally funny and sexy. I did indeed debate downloading the next one to see where it all went. The ending was great, really cute. I can’t really say too much more without spoiling things, but I loved how Nick went about winning Lauren’s heart back. I finished the book with a happy smile on my face, who cares if it was a bit cheesy?

VERDICT

Ok so Love’s Rhythm was not the best book I’ve ever read, it had quite a few flaws and there were no plot twists or surprises whatsoever. It was predictable, but fun, sexy and an easy reader. I did feel there was just a bit too much sex in it and would have liked a bit more story, but at the same time I don’t regret reading it and there’s a good chance I will try another of Couper’s books in the future.

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Carolyn’s Top 10 Horror Books http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/carolyns-top-10-horror-books.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/carolyns-top-10-horror-books.html#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=7857

I love horror. I love reading it, watching it – basically scaring myself silly. You will notice many of the books I’ve listed are zombie novels. I just can’t get enough of the smelly, shuffling, decomposing flesh-eaters, they are my very favourite monster. My list will probably change as I read more horror books, but for now, here are my top ten horrors, in no particular order…

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker - Dracula

The ‘daddy’ of all vampire fiction and for me it truly is the best. I adore this book and have read it several times, although not for some years now. I loved the old-fashioned nature of the narration, the atmosphere and general all-round brilliance. Phenomenal book, in my humble opinion.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein

I thought this book was sensational. I loved everything about it from the writing to the characters and the ‘creature.’ I felt so sorry for the creature that Frankenstein created and could understand his actions. If you haven’t read this novel yet I urge that you do. Not only is it a fantastic piece of horror fiction but it is also a classic – a must read!

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson (review #1/review #2)

Richard Matheson - I Am Legend

The reason I rate this book so highly is basically because of the ending. It really does have one of the best endings I’ve ever read. I think it’s because it is so unpredictable, which is a rare thing for me. The other aspect that makes this 1950s vampire book so amazing is the raw portrayal of the human spirit and how it reacts under such duress. A truly awesome book!

Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice

I read this vampire novel quite a few years ago now but it’s still one of my all time favourite vampire stories. It’s incredibly atmospheric, being set in New Orleans, and deals with good and evil, along with religion. Lastat captured my heart and the reason this book is so captivating.

As the World Dies Series – Rhiannon Frater (reviews)

The First Days

Okay, I’m cheating a bit here, as I’m choosing a series, but it’s because it’s awesome. This series is just so good, from the kick-arse female protagonists and secondary characters to the zombie world they live in and the brilliant writing. An amazing, fast-paced, action-packed series with everything a zombie fan could want.

Allison Hewitt is Trapped – Madeleine Roux (review)

Allison Hewitt is Trapped

One of the best zombie books I’ve read. Yes, there are shuffling, flesh-eating zombies, a group of survivors trying to stay alive, so nothing really new there, but it’s the realism and the fresh and original delivery combined with a great heroine you can identify with, that makes this book sit high above so many in such a saturated genre. A *must* read if you’re a zombie lover!

The Woman in Black – Susan Hill (review)

Susan Hill - The Woman in Black

The creepiest, eeriest ghost story I’ve ever read… not that I’ve read a huge amount of ghost stories but this book chilled me to the core. It’s wonderfully written, atmospheric and incredibly sinister. Definitely one for those who prefer a good scare rather than blood and gore.

The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist

More chilling than the movie, this book is a goose-bump inducing read. It’s a more intense experience reading it rather than watching the 1978 movie, but I think this is in part due to the ‘out-of-date’ nature of the film *although I still wouldn’t watch it on my own in the dark* I would definitely encourage any horror fan to read this book.

The Rising – Brian Keene (review)

Brian Keene - The Rising

A really good zombie novel that gave me nightmares…’nuff said.

The Rats – James Herbert

The Rats

I read this a long time ago, but it was the first Herbert book I ever read and so it has a special place in my heart. I loved it! It’s set in London so has lots of atmosphere and tells the story of large dog-sized rats that have a craving for human flesh. It’s Herbert’s first published work and although a bit dated now, as published in 1974, I promise it will still give you the willies.

Special Mention

Necroscope – Brian Lumley

Necroscope - Brian Lumley

I really liked this book, although I haven’t continued with the series and I’m not sure why. I loved the fact that the vampire was an evil, vile creature. Lumley’s depth of imagination is vast and the fact that this series has a total of 15 books indicates the story arc is epic. I would definitely recommend it…*and a note to self to finish the series!*

What are your favourite horror novels?

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REVIEW: Wrecked by Priscilla West http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-wrecked-priscilla-west.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-wrecked-priscilla-west.html#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55022 Wrecked by Priscilla West (Wrecked #1)
Blackbird Publishing (12 Dec 2013), Ebook: 329 pages, Contemporary Romance
Website Goodreads Amazon UK / US

Rating: 2stars

wrecked**Warning: contains spoilers**

Lorrie has finally returned to school after taking three semesters off. Her mother was murdered by her stepfather and her dad spiraled into alcohol and depression until he committed suicide. The only people Lorrie has left in the world are her aunt and her friend, Daniela. Her first day back, she falls into the lake and is rescued by Hunter, the hottest playboy on campus.

Lorrie is one totally messed up heroine and honestly, who could blame her? Both her parents have died tragically in the past year and a half. Her head is not on straight and I cannot blame her for not wanting to get involved romantically at the moment. She proposes to Hunter that they just remain friends because she is not really ready to date anybody. Knowing that the two of them are seriously attracted to each other, you can tell this is not going to work for long.

A few weeks into their “friendship”, Hunter adopts a litter of kittens that need to be bottle fed because they are so little. I had a little bit of an issue with this part of the plot. I have bottle fed kittens and it is not easy. My son was easier to care for as a newborn than little kittens. There is no way two college students could take on this type of responsibility in my opinion, but I let it slide. It made some good bonding on the relationship front.

Up until this point in the book, I was enjoying the story. I understood the place Lorrie was at in her life. I loved some of her quips. She is pretty funny in places. I adored Hunter. He was trying so hard to win her over. I was sucked in and stayed up later than normal reading. And then….

Lorrie is in the girl’s room and overhears two girls talking about Hunter. They are discussing how he showed them the kittens and speculating on whether he uses them to pick up girls (not that he needs to), then they get pretty graphic about what happened between Hunter and themselves. Obviously, Lorrie is upset. I would be too. It was at this point, she should have been honest with herself about her feelings for Hunter. How the hell Hunter did not shake her when she was accusing him of “cheating” (but he could not be cheating because they were not dating) when they are just friends. After this whole big dramatic scene, they are still at the “let’s be friends” stage again. Are you confused yet? I was.

I am not sure whether Hunter is glutton for punishment or just far more patient than I am. I have been stuck in the “friend” zone before, waiting for the other person to realize that we belonged together. However, at some point, more for your own mental health, you have to walk away. Hunter should have walked away several times. However, does Lorrie come to her senses (FINALLY), end of the story? Of course not! Here is something I do not normally do, there are a few spoilers here so, if you might want to skip down to my verdict.

Once Lorrie and Hunter “hook up”, there are several pages of really boring sex. Since I am not entirely sure of the author’s intended audience I will cut her some slack here. This could be pretty racy for older teenagers but not an adult reader. Then, Lorrie gets an unexpected letter that really upsets her. Rather than call the man she loves (and just spent 4 days having sex with), she blows him off for several days, while failing her exams. When she finally sees him, he is with his ex-girlfriend who knows HIS secret and is helping him from the health center. Lorrie freaks out and accuses him of cheating on her. Ada (the ex-girlfriend) not realizing what Lorrie has been going through, screams at her and poor Hunter is stuck in the middle. His mistake is following the ex to try to convince her not to tell Lorrie his secret, rather than talk to Lorrie.

Lorrie decides to tuck in her tail and run home. Hunter, meanwhile, despite being sick has chosen to fight that night and proceeds to get the hell beaten out of him. He wakes up in the hospital and Lorrie is on a bus back home to her Aunt. And this, my friends, is where the story ends. There is no resolution, just an abrupt end, with a blurb about book 2 coming soon. I can deal with a good cliffhanger but THIS was not a cliffhanger. This is an incomplete story. There cannot be much more to this story. Does it really deserve another book? No, we just need an ending. Add some filler (and do some editing earlier in the book), and you have a good solid story with a happy ending. How much more of Lorrie feeling sorry for herself and Hunter putting up with her crap does the author plan on putting us through? I am not sure, but what I can tell you is I am NOT reading the second book. My money is best spent on books that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Even with a cliffhanger there should be an END that leaves you satisfied, yet wanting to pick up the next book.

VERDICT

I liked the beginning of Wrecked. Lorrie was kind of funny in places and I laughed a few times, which is always a plus. Hunter is patient with his wooing of Lorrie, which is pretty sweet. The beginning gets 3.5 to 4 stars but then Lorrie’s whining started getting on my nerves, and the abrupt ending took it down to 2 stars. This is an incomplete book that the author or the publisher is trying to make into a two-part (or worse) series. I have seen soaps that have less drama than Wrecked. I will not be reading the next book.

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Weekly Roundup – 13th April 2014 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/weekly-roundup-13th-april-2014.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/weekly-roundup-13th-april-2014.html#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55616 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

The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me

Hello everyone. Hope you’re all having a fabby weekend. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately but I’ve had a lot going on in RL and haven’t been able to blog much. But thanks to Laura and the rest of my team, they have kept things going here at BCC. I have read a couple of books, but other than that I haven’t read much at all. I’m hoping to start up my You Tube channel and get a few video reviews done soon, so keep an eye out for that. Something a bit fresh, new and exciting for BCC.

The two books I have read over the past few weeks were If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern. I love this author and enjoy all her books. However, I will say that this one wasn’t my favourite but I did still enjoy it. The other book was The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice. This was quite a fun book that was just easy, light reading. It wasn’t laugh out loud funny but it did make me chuckle now and then, and I would recommend it. My review of this one will be up nearer publication date of the paperback, which will be 3rd July this year, although the kindle edition is out now.

This coming week I’m hoping to finish It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning.

BOBBY’S ROUNDUP

The Vincent BrothersThis week has definitely been better for buying books than it has for reading them: my TBR pile is taller, my Kindle fuller and my purse a lot lighter! However, I did manage to finish Allegiant by Veronica Roth (I know, I’m a bit behind the times) after going to see Divergent at the pictures. I’ve now seen it twice and as these book-to-film things go, it’s pretty damn good in my opinion. I’ve also been continuing to read Lover At Last by J.R. Ward but it’s just not grabbing my attention like it should be, which is worrying as it’s a pretty long book. I also read The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines which I picked up on a whim during a misguided visit to The Works. As Lover At Last is taking me a while to get through I’ll probably read another books alongside it this week – although what book that may be remains a mystery.

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How was your week?

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BOOKISH NEWS: RIP Sue Townsend, Reading Sprint: Not a Marathon & Bookish Deals! http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/bookish-news-rip-sue-townsend-reading-sprint-not-a-marathon-bookish-deals.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/bookish-news-rip-sue-townsend-reading-sprint-not-a-marathon-bookish-deals.html#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55590 BOOKISH NEWS

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RIP Sue Townsend

51070The author who created the famous (infamous?) Adrian Mole, has died aged 68. Sue Townsend passed away on Thursday after a stroke. As soon as the news broke, tributes for the bestselling author rolled in from such people as Sarah Millican, Caitlin Moran and Steven Mangan – who played Mole in the TV adaptation. Townsend was born into a working class family and did not have the most auspicious of starts and although her books later made her rich and famous, she never forgot those early years. She suffered ill health for much of her life but still managed to keep her reputation as

One of the funniest women who ever lived

as Caitlin Moran described her.

Source: The Guardian

Reading Sprint: Not a Marathon

Helen Fraser had to read 158 books in 16 weeks for her role as a judge for the Bailey’s Womens Prize for Fiction 2014. Most struggle to read that many in a year, but Fraser managed it in just four months while her compatriots all read at least a quarter of the total. The other judges comprised of Mary Beard, Denise Mina, Caitlin Moran and Sophie Raworth. The list comprised of a lot of historical novels suggesting that is a current trend. Fraser admits that she didn’t do a lot of anything else during this daunting missions (not that one can blame her – I would sacrifice a lot of things to reading regardless of judging responsibilities) and the she kept any books she thought would be particularly good until the end as sort of treat. In the end though, there was a job to do and the bunch were

very proud of our longlist

which you can find here.

Source: The Telegraph

Bookish Deals

Thanks for stopping by!

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NEW SERIES ALERT: Hexed by Michelle Krys / The Custard Protocol by Gail Carriger http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/new-series-alert-hexed-by-michelle-krys-the-custard-protocol-by-gail-carriger.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/new-series-alert-hexed-by-michelle-krys-the-custard-protocol-by-gail-carriger.html#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:47:24 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55584 NEW SERIES ALERT

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Hexed

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too. Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

Michelle Krys Online: Website | Goodreads | Twitter Buy Links: Amazon UK/US

Hexed will be available on June 10th 2014 from Delacorte Press.

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Prudence When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – names it the Spotted Crumpet and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone’s secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

Gail Carriger Online: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Prudence will be available on March 17th 2015 by Orbit.

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REVIEW: Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-saved-rancher-jennifer-ryan.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-saved-rancher-jennifer-ryan.html#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=54688 Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan (Hunted #1)
Avon Impulse (26 Feb 2013), Paperback: 295 pages, Western Romance
Website Series Listing Amazon UK / US

Rating: 3halfstars

savedbytherancherSaved by the Rancher got off to a great start. It’s darkly compelling as we watch brutalised Jenna try to escape the clutches of her violent and obsessive ex-husband. I found myself completely sucked into the story from the onset. The chapters whisked by and I read her escape and plight with fascination. In fact, the whole book was very readable, written in a pacy and easy way. It does centre around very violent domestic abuse and even the very first scenes are shocking, so it might not be for all.

However, as much as I found this book very readable, I did also find the writing very flawed. Which caused some frustrations for me as the reader.

Firstly, I liked the main characters. Jenna was a tough character, resilient, but understandably damaged. I liked how her toughness was combined with her vulnerability. How she is determined to survive and escape. But also how she does break down and struggle to cope with the terrible things she had experienced. Jack is a hero in every sense of the word and just what the book and Jenna needed, an ex-military, medic no less, handsome and kind. The chemistry between them is great, although be prepared this is most definitely love at first sight story.

But, there some elements of the plot that really didn’t work. Like the author had forgotten to weave important plot points into the story early on, and so kind of dumped them in at the last minute. For example only after Jenna and Jack had been dating for a few months and were engaged to be married did Jack mention he had an identical twin brother, who also happened to conveniently be in the FBI, so might be able to help Jenna with her case. And when this information was revealed, Jenna wasn’t even upset that Jack had never mentioned this to her? It felt like the author had forgotten to mention or write him in earlier and got to a part where she needed him, so just kind of added the character in without proper forethought.

There were also other strange plot elements. Like despite being traumatised and abused by her ex, Jenna started flirting with Jack mere days after him meeting and helping her, and then it was just another few days before they fell into bed together. Surely she would be more wary of men after her horrendous experiences? Some of the story just happened too fast and in doing so impacted on its credibility. I’m not even quite sure what to say about the strange chartered airline shopping trip that Jenna takes Jack’s sister and niece on (she’s on the run!) or her crazy generosity towards the family after again knowing them mere days. It was all a bit odd and out of character for a woman fleeing for her life.

There were also anomalies with Jack’s characterisation, the fact he was an ex-military but Jenna was concerned about him carrying a gun and not being able to use it correctly or look after himself. Preferring his trained FBI brother to carry one instead. Which Jack never questioned. Erm… Ex-military hello?

There were just so many glaring things in the story that needed tweaking or correcting, which is such a shame as I did, despite my gripes, really, really enjoy this book. I’ve also really struggled to make up my mind on how to rate it. On one hand, I enjoyed it and the writing really sucked me in, but on the other, it was a bit of a mess too. I have decided on 3.5 stars because quite simply I did enjoy it, but it could have been much higher.

A small side note, but I cannot write this review without commenting on just how dreadful this book cover is! If I saw it in a shop I would never in a million years pick it up. It is not even remotely sexy and it looks like the dog has just been stuck on?! It really needs a bit of TLC.

VERDICT

An engrossing read, a great start and ending the middle did get kind of lost for a while and the plot needed more planning and forethought, but the author’s style was really engaging and the pages kept turning despite its flaws. I am really tempted to try the next book in the series so see if the writing improves, because if it does it will be a cracker of a book.

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REVIEW: A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-a-love-like-blood-by-marcus-sedgwick.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/review-a-love-like-blood-by-marcus-sedgwick.html#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55285 A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
Hodder (27 Mar 2014), Ebook: 320 pages, Crime / Thriller
Website Goodreads Amazon UK / US

Rating: 4stars

A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick coverBest known for his young adult fiction, Marcus Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood marks his first foray into the adult market, with a novel that carefully treads the border between supernatural and crime.

Opening with a flashback to his time as an officer in the Second World War, Charles Jackson witnesses a horror in Paris, descending into a bunker only to see a man apparently drinking the blood of a young woman. Charles is horrified, running away from the scene only to return later and find the body is gone, but blood remains upon the floor. Still in doubt over what he has seen, he puts it out of his mind on his return to England and becomes a doctor, choosing to specialise in haematology.

Years later, his career takes him back to Paris for a conference, where he happens to notice the mysterious man in conversation with a young woman outside a café. Following her, he meets the bright and confident Marian Fisher, an American doctorate student who is studying the nature of blood in Dante’s Inferno. She claims that the man is her patron, protecting her in Paris and aiding her research, but Charles starts to notice that she is growing paler, looking sicker. He is enamoured of her, and wishes to protect her from this man who he is deeply suspicious of.

His obsession continues to worsen as the years progress, as he tries to lose himself in the study of haemophilia but is plagued by failures to his research and a generally disinterest in academic life. He becomes detached from life and from those around him, instead throwing himself into his obsessive search for man who drinks blood. Charles even begins to research other psychological cases of disturbed, bloodthirsty individuals, desperately seeking a reason or a cause that could bring some logic to what he thinks he knows.

Charles’ search leads him to various destinations across Europe, leading him down dangerous paths that flirt with his own destruction. In his pursuit of the truth and of justice, he becomes consumed by the chase, stooping to levels he never thought himself capable of. With his life changed forever, is he prepared to kill or be killed to satisfy his goals?

I was intrigued by the plot of this book from the start, as the novel carefully plays with the supernatural and vampirism whilst maintaining a distinctively human tone. For a long time you are left unsure about whether the mysterious man is a supernatural being, or a psychologically flawed human who has developed a taste for human blood. It was this uncertainty that added to the thrill of the book, as we are left as unsure as Charles about what is going on, and even by the end not everything has become clear.

When it came to Charles, I was unsure about how to receive him as a main character, as his slow process of emotional detachment to life made it difficult to associate with him. Despite this, his history throughout the book also made it difficult to condemn him, leaving me entirely on the fence. I think I liked him until the book began to near its conclusion, as in his desperation he stoops to some lowly acts which were the result of his obsession had led him, and yet he felt less and less remorse. It was as if he had been blinded by his own bloodlust for revenge, with the dramatic irony of his growing thirst impossible to miss.

This book is definitely one for those who love a thriller, especially with the psychological games included within its pages. I wouldn’t describe it as a horror unless the discussion of blood makes you feel squeamish, as the description makes clear the level of research done into blood disorders and historical cases. It makes for an interesting read, even if I didn’t necessarily appreciate the ending and, for anyone who has read Sedgwick’s young adult fiction, this novel flows just as well as his previous titles. It’s content is not hugely graphic in comparison to YA, but it is the psychological effects which transport it into the adult market.

VERDICT

I liked that this novel remained ambiguous, as its opening very much suggests a vampire novel but then subverts that to a question of human nature, and asks whether it is possible for an individual to drink blood for pleasure. The writing style flows naturally and precisely documents the slow descent that Charles faces into his obsession. Although I was unsure about the conclusion, I think that this book is definitely worth a read, especially if you enjoy psychological conundrums.

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Weekly Roundup – 6th April http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/weekly-roundup-6th-april.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/weekly-roundup-6th-april.html#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:00:04 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55568 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

imageTo say the last few weeks have been a bit of a reading disaster would probably be a bit of an understatement! I have been poorly (twice) and I’m also now only 6.5 weeks (the .5 weeks makes a difference ;) ) away until I have my 2nd baby and my reading mojo just seems to have totally abandoned me. Three weeks later, I am still reading cowboy romance To Have and To Hold by Leigh Greenwood. The book book is quite good honestly, so it’s not that at all, I just think I am super tired and unable to concentrate. Let’s hope I manage to finish it this week! Because I have bought a new book for my Kindle which I cannot wait to start… The King by J R Ward – as you know from the event last year I have completely fallen in love with the Black Dagger Brothers anyone read it yet? Is it good?!

BOBBY’S ROUNDUP

Lover At Last UKAlthough I haven’t read a lot since my last Weekly Roundup, what I have read has been of a pretty high standard. Play by Kylie Scott was released and I devoured it in a few hours. I can’t say I loved it quite as much as Lick but it was very close and I can’t wait to see how the series progresses. I also read Protecting What’s Theirs by Tessa Bailey which was very on the short side but also a nice little look into Derek and Ginger’s relationship. I’m currently reading Lover At Last by J.R. Ward because The King has been released and is now waiting for me to read it. I’m not too sure how I feel about Lover At Last yet – I love Blay and Qhuinn but they haven’t had a whole lot of page time yet so I’m hoping that changes. Although I haven’t started it yet I also bought Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for my Kindle so that I can reread – I’ve been following the production of the TV series on Facebook and Instagram and I’m very excited to see it. That’s all for this week folks.

STEPHANIE’S ROUNDUP

handmaids taleI have been in a total reading slump this month. This week, I was able to rip myself out of it by rereading a classic, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This story is so moving and is more than a book about women being made to bear children for the rich. It is about how easily it is to gradually accept losing our rights, until it actually happens to us.  Women did not protest as their freedoms were being taken away, until one day they lost all their rights. Definitely, an eye opening book to read.

I picked this volume up a couple of weeks ago at a used book sale. I read it years ago (after seeing the movie adaptation on HBO) and loved it but my copy had become lost over the years and many moves. So when I sat down and was sucked in again by the story, I remembered why I love to read REAL books. Especially ones that have that musty old book smell. Maybe my problem has not been lack of good reading material but rather the lack of an actual book in my hand. Anyway, I am headed to my box of books again to see what other treasures I picked up.

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How was your week?

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BOOKISH NEWS: Bookstore Says Ebooks Will Decline, Woolf Letter on Display, Bookish Deals & More! http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/bookish-news-bookstore-says-ebooks-will-decline-woolf-letter-on-display-bookish-deals-more.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/bookish-news-bookstore-says-ebooks-will-decline-woolf-letter-on-display-bookish-deals-more.html#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55554 BOOKISH NEWS

Hi, and welcome to our news feature, in which we highlight and discuss some of the news that has been big in the bookish world this week.

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Bookstore Says Ebooks Will Decline

ereader with booksThe founder of bookstore chain Waterstones has predicted that ebooks will soon go into decline in the UK, despite the story they have caused in the past couple of years. He told the Oxford Literary Festival that paper books will remain popular for years: that is hardly a revelation – after being a form of entertainment for hundreds of years, it’s unlikely that the book is going to lose its appeal. However, the fact that paper books will remain on the scene doesn’t necessarily mean that ebooks can’t remain at the level they are now – the two are not mutually exclusive. So how has Tim Waterstone come to this conclusion? In America the ebook had declined 5% in the first 8 months of 2013 as opposed to the same period in the previous year, and Waterstone extrapolates this evidence to suggest that the pattern will continue. As The Bookseller stated that this was the first year on year decline since ebooks appearance on the scene there it seems too early to say whether this means that the decline of ebooks will continue, and Waterstone himself said:

“Anyone who tells you they know the future is telling you the most grotesque lie, because none of us do.”

Source: BBC News

Woolf Letter on Display

The last letter that Virginia Woolf wrote sister Vanessa Bell is to be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery as part of a display of portraits portraying the author’s life. Woolf wrote to her sister just before she committed suicide by drowning in 1941. There are around a hundred items which will be displayed in the exhibition, including the letter in which Woolf writes that she is worried she is ’going mad again’. The author was an intellectual, a feminist, public figure and - possibly because of these things – she was also a very troubled person. The exhibition will be called Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision and will run from July 10 to October 26.

Source: The Telegraph

Bookshop on a Boat

Sarah Henshaw opened The Book Barge – a 60ft converted canal boat full of books – in June 2009 after struggling to find a media job. It was initially moored up as a permanent fixture until things started going downhill. Sarah then unmoored the canal boat, moved in, and spent the next six months travelling and trading books for necessities. You can read more about Sarah’s story in her book, titled The Bookshop that Floated Away.

Source: The Independent

Bookish Deals

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Thanks for stopping by!

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WEEKEND READS: New Series by Charlaine Harris, Zombies, and Cowboys… http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/weekend-reads-5.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2014/04/weekend-reads-5.html#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:33:43 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=55468 What are you reading this weekend? Anything you think we should be reading, or maybe your current read is just a bit… bleh. Whether you’re loving or hating your current read, we want to know about it! We love to hear about books (as if you didn’t know).

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

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isbn9780575092846-detailCarolyn - I currently have to books on the go, which I hope to devour somewhat this weekend. The first is Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris, the first in her new upcoming series Midnight Texas, released this coming May.

The other is Wanted by J. Kenner, the first in the Most Wanted series, which sounds like a really good contemporary romance.

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zombie ifhterStephanie - I recently picked up Zombiefighter by Rebecca Kimbel, and it has been sitting on my kindle for a few weeks. I am currently having major Walking Dead withdrawal, so a book about zombies might be just what I need to help me get my zombie fix. It has a bit of a different take on fighting zombies, which might prove to be interesting. The hero wakes up after committing suicide with a note that just says FIND THEM. KILL THEM. RETURN FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION.

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Laura - This weekend I will be enjoying a bit of cowboy romance. I’ve not read one for a while, so I thought it was time I picked one up :-). I am reading To Have and To Hold by Leigh Greenwood. It’s also a historical romance.

So far it’s good, it seems to have a bit of grit and a nice amount of chemistry between the two leads.

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What are you reading this weekend?

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