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Reading Under the Willow Tree

Environmental Science student, book reader, big dreamer, Sailing/Kayak/Surf instructor, Film buff, Adventurer, Girl.

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Anywhere But Here - Tanya Lloyd Kyi

For this review and more visit my blog

Anywhere But Here could have been brilliant. It could have been important and influential because of the story it told but I just found certain aspects of it lacking, and although it was enjoyable it didn’t wow me as much as it could have.

This book touches on some tough subjects, the death of a parent, alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy to name a few. I think one of my issues with this book was that it used too many of those hard to deal with subjects. I felt like it tries too hard to be series and cool. It meant that I just couldn’t get emotionally involved and the whole thing felt a little cold to me.

Another issue was that I felt the characters didn’t learn anything from all they experienced. The characters were all complex and troubled but they gained nothing. I think if you are going to tackle subjects such as these there has to be a learning curve and the characters have to come out better for it at the end. I am not quite sure this book achieves that. Having the main character realise that his home town is not that bad was not enough considering the seriousness of a lot of the situations.

I thought the writing was strong and that Tanya Lloyd Kyi created a nice atmosphere. I got through this book really quickly and it kept my attention from beginning to end. It was a nice smooth read and there was little about the actual writing that bothered me.

The characters were alright. I found Cole to be extremely self-centred, he rarely thought of anyone but himself. He never really saw things from other people’s point of view and that was something that didn’t really change throughout the book. His best friend seemed a little dull and the girls were sex driven and not very well rounded. The only fully developed character was Cole and I didn’t like him all that much.

Anywhere but here had some good parts and some bad parts. It is a quick read that fans of fairly non-romantic contemporary YA might enjoy. I didn’t love all of it but it was enough to make me want to pick up more from this author in the future.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
I Dream of Danger  - Lisa Marie Rice

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Lisa Marie Rice’s writing is probably not for everyone. It is bold, brassy and over the top, the male characters tend to be over bearing and sex obsessed, the females needing protecting and delicate. It is normally far-fetched, unbelievable and generally the kind of writing I would never like but somehow Lisa Marie Rice’s books just work.

I Dream of Danger was exactly what I expected it to be. I love Rice’s fast paced, action packed storylines and saucy romances. I think I preferred this to the first book in the series the storyline was better and the characters a lot more likable.

What I really love about this series is that it is set in the not too distant future. I wouldn’t really classify it as science fiction (although it does have some of the characteristics) but technology has moved forward a lot. It adds a different spin on the military, macho man romance.

I was really surprised (pleasantly) with the way this book ended. I didn’t see it coming at all and was shocked that this book went in the direction it did. I am now super excited for the next book in the series to see what happens next. Essentially the end of I Dream of Danger evolves into a different genre from the rest of the book and I cannot wait to see how far Rice takes it.

I really liked the characters. Nick was fairly restrained for Lisa Marie Rice and I quite liked the change. He was sweet and caring and I loved the way he looked out for Elle. But to be honest this was Elle’s book. She went from down trodden and defeated, to strong and capable and I loved the evolution in her.

The romance was great and it was easy to see how Nick and Elle loved each other. They had been in love with each other since they were children which gave the romance a little extra depth and made it less about lust and more about love.

I really enjoyed I Dream of Danger and can’t wait for the next book in the series.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Faking It - Cora Carmack

For this review and more visit my blog

Losing It was the first New Adult book I read and it is still the best new adult book I have come across, so I was very excited to read the follow up Faking It. It was a great sequel and nearly as good as the first but not quite.

I really love the way that Cora Cormack builds up her stories especially the romances. I find her characters real and relatable and her storylines interesting and engaging. These books seem to fly by, I start reading them and before I know it I have finished. I hate putting them down and so end up staying up ridiculously late just to finish them.

I really liked the storyline in this one, it was a lot more serious than Losing It and also a lot less humorous. Although I liked the more serious nature of this I did miss the funny, awkward bits from the first book.

The characters were also really different. Cade was a major feature in the first book and it was good to see him get a new romantic interest as he ended book one heartbroken. I really like Cade he is a great guy and I really liked the journey he took in this book. It wasn’t just about his new romance with Max but about getting over his feelings for Bliss and coming to terms with the fact that the friendship they had for years was more or less over. He is an interesting guy and a true gentleman who goes out of his way for others and wears his heart on his sleeve.

Max was equally interesting. She is individual and original and I loved her feisty nature. She had a lot of issues, a lot more than Cade did and it was a constant struggle for her to come to terms with herself. She is a tattooed, artistic musician and is everything her parents dislike. Family is a huge issue for Max and her parents and sister in law are less than nice to her. She also struggles with herself and has a low sense of self-worth.

The romance was really sweet and was healing for both of them. They are the fresh start each other needs and I really liked them together. The sexual tension was insane and the sex scene was one of the best and most intense I have read in quite a while.

Faking It is an emotional and at times touching new adult romance that I really enjoyed. I cannot wait to read more from this author and series.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Pirate's Wish - Cassandra Rose Clarke

For this review and more visit my blog

The Assassin’s Curse was one of the surprise hits of last year. I loved it, it was imaginative, full of characters I loved and delightfully original. I couldn’t wait to get my hands of the follow up, The Pirate’s Wish. I needed to know if Ananna and Naji managed to break the curse and was desperate to find out if romance finally bloomed between the two. Anticipation was high and I was nervous that this would disappoint. Thankfully it didn’t and I got all the answers I wanted.

The Pirate’s Wish picks up where The Assassin’s Curse left off. Ananna and Naji are trapped on an island with three impossible tasks ahead of them. The tasks will break the curse that was placed upon Naji when Ananna saved his life when he was sent to kill her.

Within pages of opening this book I was absorbed and back in the amazing world Cassandra Rose Clarke has created. I love her writing and world building and it is easy to get lost in this magical world. It is vibrant and full of character and charm. There is a ton of action and some lovely mellow moments as well. This is a well-paced book that knows when to speed up of slow down.

The Pirate’s Wish takes a more adult feeling through this and I was surprised how much the romance was central to the whole story. In the previous book the romance was just a faint whisper in the background, in this it is central. I knew it was going to be bigger in this book given the nature of one of the impossible tasks but I wasn’t expecting it to start so quickly.

The relationship between Ananna and Naji is a strained one and it has always been bizarre. They are tied reluctantly together in the beginning and things get more awkward when Ananna develops feelings that are not returned. There is pain here and misunderstanding and it shapes the story as a whole. I think that will disappoint some readers who enjoyed the lack of romance in the first book but I think it was inevitable. Ananna and Naji are together in so many aspects and in order for them to achieve anything they need each other and they always have. It was fate that bought them together and they will only achieve the impossible together.

Characters are key in this book. Ananna was just as awesome as she was in The Assassin’s Curse but I also think she grew up a lot in this one. What I love about Ananna is her refusal to be anything she wasn’t. She had her own ideas, her own views and she stuck to them. She loves Naji but will not let him control her and she does not let her gender stand in her way at all. I loved her strength and wish there were more characters like her in YA fiction.

Naji (who is one of my 5 book boyfriends) was just as perfect. There was a vulnerability to him in this that was not present in the first book. He was more human and his feelings were a lot more pronounced. He is a pretty special guy and I loved the respect he had for Ananna. He was adorable in the romance when it finally got going but despite his feelings and his own wishes he didn’t even try and hold Ananna back, he wanted her to be herself and be happy even if that meant she wasn’t with him. He was the lead in the romance which was a pleasant surprise and it was easy to see how much he cared for Ananna, even the more sexual scenes (swoon) were full of tenderness from him.

I will really miss these two characters. Cassandra Rose Clarke is a brilliant writer who has created an amazing world but Ananna and Naji are the heart of it all. The ending was perfect, a bitter sweet finish to a series that has never played by the rules of an at times repetitive YA genre. It was a real treat to read these books and they will be favourites of mine for the rest of my life.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Your Room Or Mine? - Charlotte  Phillips

For this review and more visit my blog

Your Room or Mine is a sweet little novella that I enjoyed but it was too short for me to really fall in love with it.

For the most part Your Room or Mine was a fun and flirty read about two people with some great chemistry. It was sweet, sexy and often managed to make me laugh. It is not the most original book in the world and if you are a romance reader then you are bound to have come across something like this before but it is short and sweet enough to give it a chance.

The writing was okay but there were a few moments where I though the author repeated things a bit and there were a couple of mistakes. I read an advanced copy so it is completely possible that these little issues didn’t make their way into the finished copy so I wouldn’t let it put you off.

Characters were a little bit of a problem. At first I didn’t like Oliver that much, he seemed a little selfish. He knows that Izzy has recently been hurt by her ex but he treats their relationship like a game which I found unfair. It was his pride that was an issue more than anything else. He just couldn’t understand how she could walk away from him after their one night stand so started a sexual relationship in part so he could be the one to walk away the next time. Despite this he does grow on you, he is the one with the more transparent feelings and in the end I quite liked him.

Izzy was the opposite of Oliver, I liked her in the beginning but not as much at the end. I really felt for what she was going through and understood her need to just cut loose for a little while. It was nice to have a leading lady who was not particularly feminine or high maintenance. My issue was her reaction towards the end. She just jumps to conclusions instead of having a conversation with Oliver. He is trying to talk to her and she just snaps at him and storms off.

I liked the romance and thought there was loads of chemistry between the characters. I did think the sudden use of the work ‘love’ at the end was far too quick and out of place but I enjoyed the rest of it. Your Room or Mine is a nice romantic novella which does nothing new but is enjoyable.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Bad Mouth - Angela McCallister

For this review and more visit my blog

I had heard a lot about Bad Mouth before I read it. I heard the main character was dirty, swore all the time and was about the sexiest thing to walk the planet. In my head I expected this to be dark and I expected him to be devastating. In the end it was all a little tamer than I thought it would be, it takes more than a few f bombs to make me think your mouth is bad but I still really enjoyed this one and I think it is a strong start to a new series.

There are a lot of vamp books out there right now and Bad Mouth doesn’t really do anything brand new in the genre but I did like the politics and world here. It is quite dark and there is a constant tone of upcoming danger. War between humans and vampires is a real possibility and there was a lot of tension throughout.

Pace was a slight issue. I thought this started really strongly but did lose its way a little in the middle. It was nothing major but it lost a little of its shine as it went on.

The characters were decent. I liked Valerie she was strong and feisty but maybe could have fought her attraction to Kade a little bit more. She was brave and not scared to walk into situations where she knew she was in danger but she was also not stupid and knew when to pull back and protect herself.

Kade was delicious and very hard to dislike. I would have liked him to be a little more bad mouthed but I liked that he wasn’t sweet and charming. He did swear, he did kill and he was not always the good guy which was a nice change.

The romance was nice and I especially liked the build-up. It is not an easy ride as Kade hates humans and Val hates Vampires but their attraction and chemistry is undeniable. I liked that they made each other challenge their views and change. I did think that the chemistry slipped a little when they finally got together but overall the romance was strong throughout.

I did have some problems with Bad Mouth but for the most part I really liked it and can’t wait to see what comes next.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Letters To Nowhere - Julie Cross

For this review and more visit my blog

Letters to nowhere was a real surprise and I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I was interested in the gymnastic side of this and interested in the author but I wasn’t expecting much from it at all. It was touching, sweet and beautifully written and I am so glad I read it.

What I really loved about this book was how it deals with grief. Karen has lost both her parents in a car accident and the book is about how she moves on from the accident and how she copes with her grief. Loss is not an easy thing to deal with and everybody copes with it differently. What I loved about this book was that it dealt with the matter head on and explored the many aspects of it. It wasn’t dramatic or over the top, it wasn’t treated as though it was an easy thing to deal with. Instead it studied the stages of grief in a really respectful and adult way. Despite the subject matter Letters To Nowhere is not a hard read. It isn’t angsty or terribly dramatic. It does have emotional moments but this is about moving forward so there was a lot or positivity and hope.

I thought the gymnastic bits were also brilliant I am a fan of the sport but was concerned that the technical aspects would be hard to follow in a book. Julie Cross manages it all really well and the descriptions and gymnastic action was brilliantly done.

What I really loved in this book was the characters. Karen was great she was strong and brave and I did really like her. There were times when her chilled out attitude made me smile and times where I just wanted to hug her when she struggled. The supporting characters were just as great especially Bentley, her couch and new guardian and his teenage son Jordan.

Bentley is probably one of the best adults I have read in YA. So often the adults behave as immaturely as the kids in this genre, or they are the enemy. In this Bentley was a pillar of support and strength. He was caring and kind and took Karen into his home and heart even though he has suffered loss as well.

Jordan was adorable, I loved how supportive and caring he was where Karen was concerned. He was impossible to dislike and I just found him charming and completely endearing. He has his own struggles to deal with but he is open and honest and is more interested in solving problems than complicating them.

The relationship between him and Karen built slowly and beautifully and I really loved them together. They supported one another and were content to take things slowly. There was no real drama where the romance was concerned which I really loved.

My only complaint is that it ended very suddenly without much closure. I feel like an epilogue was needed just to tie up all those little loose ends and to give the reader more of an ending. Apart from that I really enjoyed this, it was sweet, touching and realistic and I would definitely recommend it to other readers.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Accused - Jana Deleon

For this review and more visit my blog

The Accused was a really good thriller it managed to keep me guessing and at times majorly freak me out, but the romance let it down.

What The Accused does really well is scare the reader. This is not a horror but there were moments that were really tense and I was sitting in on the edge of my seat whilst reading. All of the dark scary moments happen in a spooky house full of hidden passage ways and entrances. It was a clever move from the author because everything felt safe until we were taken to that house then things got a little tense because you knew something was going to happen.

There was a little touch of the paranormal which was ok but not necessarily needed. I didn’t really feel like it added very much but it didn’t ruin the book either. The suspense/thriller aspects were enough to keep me on edge.

What was really great about The Accused was its ability to keep me guessing. I had no idea who the bad guy was until the end and it really managed to surprise me. Normally I am pretty good at guessing who the killer/bad guy is before the end but this time I was nowhere near.

The characters were both nice. Carter was a good guy and I liked the way he protected Alaina without being pushy. Alaina was strong but not stupid. She didn’t place herself in danger because she was stubborn or wanting to prove herself which is a pet peeve of mine.

My one issue with this book was the romance. It was alright and I thought Carter and Aliana were a good match but there was just no real pace or structure to it. The one sex scene was awkward and difficult. It was generic, short and to be honest should have not been in the book in the first place. It added nothing to the story or the romance.

The Accused it a good, spooky thriller that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Once is Never Enough - Mira Lyn Kelly

For this review and more visit my blog

Once is Never Enough was a sweet and enjoyable romance that I really did like. There were a lot of cute and steamy moments to make a romance fan’s heart melt and just enough drama to keep things interesting.

What really let this book down was the length. It was so short and the story felt rushed from beginning to end. There were several things that happened in the book which were explained later but not actually written about. For example Nicole and Garrett get caught getting it on in a car by a police man. This could have been a fun scene but instead it was cut out and was explained in a conversation later. Also it jumped weeks at a time which left things feeling a little fragmented due to the suddenness of the leaps.

The characters were good. I quite liked Nichole she was cautious but always honest with herself. She had a pretty horrid romantic history so I understood her caution. Garrett was nice as well but less than truthful with himself. He was so sure what he wanted but really didn’t have a clue. I thought he was charming and selfless but he could also be extremely oblivious.

I liked the romance but wished there could have been a little more of it. The jumping around affected the romance more than any other part of the book and I would have liked just a little more stability.

Once is Never Enough is a nice contemporary romance that could have been paced a little better but was still very enjoyable. It is a short read that fans on contemporary romance should like.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

For this review and more visit my blog

The Naturals was so nearly brilliant. It was smart, original, exciting but there were a couple of things that made me mark it down a star which was a real shame.

I have never really seen anything like The Naturals in YA before it was very dark but I really liked that side of it. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is not afraid to take this book to some gruesome and dark places and I commend her for it. This is a book about serial killers and it doesn’t take the subject lightly. I really liked the idea, it reminded me a lot of Criminal Minds which is not a surprise considering they are both about criminal profiling but despite the similarities it still manages to be original and different.

At first I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. The whole idea of teens being hired by the FBI because they are naturally gifted in profiling, statistics, lie detecting and reading emotions seemed a little to bizarre but the author handles it really well and in the end it worked for me.

There is not much action in this but the story is paced nicely and is more thriller than anything else. I liked the cat and mouse game towards the end and loved it when this went somewhere I didn’t expect at all. I love it when there is a twist that I never saw coming and The Naturals really managed to surprise me.

The characters could have been a bit more dynamic. There was a range of personalities but they tended to stay in the typical YA stereotypes. There were two boys) the cheeky one and the brooding one) and three girls (the smart one, the bitchy one, the quirky one) there was nothing new with the characters and they could have walked out of any other book. Unfortunately, the main character Cassie is the least interesting of the bunch she had an interesting past but lacked any real personality.

My main issue with this book was the unneeded love triangle. I felt like it added absolutely nothing to what was an exciting and interesting storyline. It felt really gratuitous and did nothing for me. I am not like some readers who hate the love triangle but it has to be done well for the right reasons and I felt that this one was forced and not natural. I thought that this would have had a lot more depth if the romance had just focused on Cassie and Dean. Dean is an interesting character with a lot of complexities and the interaction between them was great. Michael was a good character but I didn’t like him as a love interest especially as he already has an on again, off again with another one of the characters which makes this more of a love square than anything.

If there was no love triangle this book would have easily got four stars from me and I really wish I could give it those four stars but I cannot. Despite the love triangle there is a lot of good things to be found here, I thought this was a gutsy book with a lot to recommend it. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
I Only Have Eyes For You  - Bella Andre

For this review and more visit my blog

I Only Have Eyes for You is a really nice and sweet contemporary romance that I did enjoy. The big issue I had with it was that it is a storyline I have seen around a lot in the last year or so and I am kind of over it. The one night stand ending in pregnancy has been done over and over again. The man who feels worthless and used to be a player but is now devoted to the unsure future mother of his child has also been done over and over again. Unfortunately, for I Only Have Eyes for you I have seen it done better and I read a book about the same thing a week ago that I enjoyed a lot more.

I think that what set I Only Have Eyes for you apart from the similar book I read last week was the cheese factor. This book is just so cheesy and smarmy. It was readable but it was a little too much for me. The book opens at a wedding and goes through nearly every process of the day. The speeches go on for pages and pages and it was just so corny. It bored me in parts and just took far too long to get going.

Despite the cheesiness and long opening there was a lot to like about this book. I thought it was a very sweet romance and once it got going it had really good pace and was easy to get lost in. It was a relatively short read and apart from the wedding didn’t waste any time with unneeded stuff.

The characters were nice but carried around a lot of self-pity. Jake is scared of becoming a violent drunk like his dad. I get why he was scarred by his past but I thought he was really grounded and that there was not even a hint of a dark side to him. I think in reality he knew he would never end up like his father but uses his past as a shield to protect himself against potential hurt. He was charming and sweet and I liked his dedication to Sophie. Sophie was not so full of self-pity but she was not as likable either. I liked her but I didn’t really love her. She was a little naïve at times but a lot more open than Jake.

I Only Have Eyes for you is a sweet contemporary romance that is enjoyable but does nothing new. it is a nice way to spend a few hours if you are a fan of the genre.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Eternity Cure - Julie Kagawa

For this review and more visit my blog

Sequels are a hard thing to master, middle books in a trilogy even more so. I cannot count the amount of times I have been burned reading a sequel to a book I really loved. The Eternity Cure made me nervous. It made me nervous because I thought The Immortal Rules (book 1) was one of the best YA books I have ever read, it made me nervous because I wanted it to be amazing and I was terrified I wouldn’t be. I really shouldn’t have worried, Julie Kagawa has never let me down in the past and she didn’t start now. The Eternity Cure was not like The Immortal Rules, it was different and I loved it because of those differences.

It is quite hard to pin point what Kagawa does right with these books. What is it that makes me love them so much? I think it is a combination of everything the story, world building and writing but I think it is probably the characters that make this series one of the best.

If I thought about an alter ego for myself and what I would like her to be like someone like Allie would come to mind. I often find female YA characters a little annoying even if I adore them but not Alison. She is loyal, loving and fierce.

She grows up a lot in this book and becomes even more likeable. I love everything about her, I love her honestly with herself, her desperation to remain human whilst trying to feed and contain the monster within. She is willing to sacrifice, willing to die for those she loves and what she believes in and she does so quietly. She isn’t throwing a massive pity party about how cruel life has been to her, she is sulking or moaning, she just accepts it because it cannot be changed. She is strong and heroic and I absolutely love her.

The men in this series are just as likable and to be honest Julie Kagawa really needs to stop creating male characters that I want to procreate with. I am only human and these men are slowly killing me.

Zeke was a bit of a revelation to me in this. I really did like him in The Immortal Rules and I think he is a perfect love interest for Allie but I was not interested in him myself, that changed in this. It appears that Zeke is growing up, in The Immortal Rules he was still a boy in The Eternity Cure he is turning into a man and I like the adult he is becoming. He spends most of his time in this book around vampires and it takes a lot of courage to do the things he does but he does them for Allie because he truly loves her. It is one of those situations where you don’t need to hear him say it, you just know it and can see it in everything he does.

Next up is Jackal who came straight out of left field. In The Immortal Rules he was a villain and he was awful. There was nothing to like about him but in this things changed…at least I think they did. I found myself surprisingly and disturbingly attracted to Jackal and I liked him…a lot. For a guy who professed not to care about anyone or anything he sure did a lot of caring. I suspect that under the cold and sarcastic exterior there is a heart of gold. I am not really sure if adoring Jackal was the author’s intention or if it is just my twisted mind but I loved him regardless.

Then there is my one true love Kanin. I loved Kanin from the first page he appeared in The Immortal Rules and I still love him now. He is one of my all-time favourite characters ever and is in my top 5 book boyfriends of all time. If something ever happens to him I will never forgive Kagawa, if something happens to any of them I will have a hard time but Kanin more than most.

It wasn’t only the characters that had changed. The Eternity Rules is a lot darker than its predecessor, with a lot more peril and danger thrown in. It was about relationships, trust and sacrifice. The ending was harsh and I think I sat in my bed with my mouth wide open in shock for at least twenty minutes after I finished. I actually don’t know how I will wait for the last book in the series but I am scared of getting to that point as well because the thought of this ending is pretty scary because I like it so much.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Wild Child - Molly O'Keefe
For this review and more visit my blog

Molly O’Keefe is one of those authors that I will always read. I find that her writing style and the way she tells a story suits me and I find her work easy to get lost in. Wild Child is not my favourite book of hers and I did have some problems with it but for the most part it was a very enjoyable contemporary romance with a lot of heart.

Wild Child starts quickly and seemed to be sprinting forward at a rather dramatic pace. At first I struggled to keep up, everything moved so fast and it made the book hard to get into. It did settle down but it was hard at first to engage.

What O’Keefe does so well is bring out the human side of her books. The start may have been fast but once it settled down it got to the heart of the characters. She builds emotions and people so well that you cannot help but be interested in everyone. The plot, writing and everything else was great but her work is always character driven so that is what I am going to mainly talk about in this review.

Monica is a really interesting character. She has a lot going on and is carrying around a world of hurt that makes her hard to like and even harder to understand. She is stuck between being the nice woman she is on the inside and being the Wild Child groupie the world sees her as. I found some of the things she did to be poor taste, like the book she was writing and I found her attitude at times frankly annoying. But she changes mostly due to Jackson. I loved her around his teenage sister and wish I had had someone like her around when I was a hormonal and hurting teen. I liked that when it comes down to it, during the romance she was the one with the courage even though she had more to fight through than Jackson. She was the one with restraint and pride and I really admired her for that.

I think the one overriding issue I had with this book was Monica’s problems are too big and bad for them to just come together so nicely at the end. She evolves and grows but it was not quite enough. Under the surface there are still a lot of problems that were not addressed. I had the same issue with the romance which was constantly rocky, I felt like the happy ending wasn’t really deserved because there was so much that was not really sorted.

Jackson was a really sweetheart but had a tendency to put his foot in his mouth. He said many hurtful things not just to Monica but also to Gwen, his teenage sister who is also having a hard time of it. He is her legal guardian and he makes her feel unloved and unwanted and that is hard to forgive. His goals for his life in the beginning and petty and he didn’t really come across that well all the time. But his patience with Monica and the way he slowly but surely gets her to open up was beautiful. He also loved his town and he loved the people in it and that devotion was great. He grew on me and in the end I probably liked him more than Monica but respected him less.

The romance was awesome apart from the rushed ending. It was sweet and sexy and I enjoyed the way it built up and flowed. I liked that Monica fought for it even though she carried the most scars and loved that they got each other to open up.

Wild Child may not be my favourite O’Keefe book but I still really enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect but it was full of heart and I recommend it to other romance fans.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Freefall - Jill Sorenson

For this review and more visit my blog

Freefall suffered from a slightly unbelievable storyline but it was action packed adrenaline fun that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. The fast pace and heart pumping action kept me well entertained and I struggled to put it down.

As I mentioned there were parts of this that were a little unbelievable, especially towards the end. It reminded me very much of an action movie, you go to see them not for the dramatic and believable storyline but for the fights and explosions. It is the same for this book, if the reader goes in looking for a sweet contemporary romance they will be disappointed. But if the reader is looked for something a little more fast paced and fun this will not let them down.

I was a little worried about reading this when I realised there would be a fair amount of water based activity in it. I am a watersports instructor and am terrible when reading a book or watching a movie with watersports in it because it almost never is right. For the most part Jill Sorensen handled that aspect of the book well, there were a few little things but it wasn’t enough to really distract me from the book.

There are four points of views throughout the book. Hope and Sam’s (the main characters) and Hope’s sister Faith and bad guy Jay. At times this works and at times it doesn’t. Hope and Sam are pretty strong throughout but Faith and Jay is where it sometimes wobbles. Romance wise Faith and Jay are a lot more interesting than Hope and Sam. At first I thought it was a bit ridiculous that Faith got involved with this guy. One minute she was attracted to him, then she was scared of him, then she was sleeping with him but as time went on I think it was the more genuine of the two romances. What made it interesting (and the reason why it won’t work for everyone) is that Jay or Javier is one of the bad guys. He is part of a drug cartel looking for a way out and whilst trying to get out he murders someone. (This is not a spoiler as this becomes apparent right at the beginning or the book) Sure that someone would have ratted on him to his boss but it was still murder. Yet he is very caring and loving towards Faith and it is hard to imagine him as a killer and criminal. I guess it is down to the individual reader to decide if they can support him and the romance or not.

Hope and Sam’s story was a lot more drama driven with a lot more action. Things were hard between them for a long time. Months ago they had met in a bar and slept together, after Sam had very impolitely kicked Hope out and she (understandably) did not take it well. He is getting over his fiancé who died in a climbing accident and Hope has ghosts of her own that made things even more difficult between them. I liked Sam but did struggle at times with Hope. When she finds out her sister is in danger she goes a little mad and puts herself and everyone around her in danger without thinking. She doesn’t even seem to care all that much and even at the end I got the feeling she never really thanked Sam for everything he had done to help her despite the considerable risk to himself.

If you are looking for something believable and gentle than Freefall is probably not for you but if you don’t mind a fast paced and some at times dicey plot twists than this is an enjoyable read that I recommend.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Demon's Song - Kendra Leigh Castle

For this review and more visit my blog

I am going to be honest I didn’t think I would like this book all that much. I came to this conclusion based on the cover (terrible of me I know.) It was a little too busy and I wasn’t sure if this was a book about an angel or a musician or a mixture of the both. I thought it looked a little cheesy and I wasn’t really sure how the story would come together but I shouldn’t have worried The Demon’s Song was a lot better than I thought it would be and I ended up really enjoying it.

Sofia is just a normal woman living a normal life until looking for her troubled best friend she goes to a new nightclub. There she witnesses a murder of a vampire and suddenly she is in danger. Fearing for her safety fallen angel Phenex agrees to protect her until the danger has past. Despite trying not to they cannot deny their feelings for each other.

The Demon’s Song is a strong paranormal romance with some interested moments. I think Kendra Leigh did a really great job at creating her world and it all came together really well for me. I liked the idea of fallen angels who had worked in hell finding redemption. I also liked the idea of an underground city that hosts the paranormal creatures of the world, I have seen this done before but I really enjoyed this version.

I really liked the characters in this. Sofia was awesome she had a lot of backbone and although she loved Phenex she was not prepared to give up everything for him because he was not prepared to do the same, she would meet him half way or not at all. She was able to take care of herself and cared greatly for others.

Phenex was also really likeable. He was tough and fierce yet had a very adorable and almost shy side when he got romantic. I really liked the way he looked after Sofia and there were some really lovely moments where he would shield her with his wing. I did think he was a little moronic towards the end when he couldn’t understand why Sofia would not want to live with him. I thought it was a clever ploy from the author to show that despite the chemistry they are two different species with two different ways of thinking.

The Demon’s Song really took me by surprise and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I will definitely read more of this series in the future.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Play Me (Take a Chance, #3) - Diane Alberts

For this review and more visit my blog

Reading this book was a tough choice to make. To be honest I have not liked any of the previous books in this series. However, Diane Alberts has written some books that I truly adore and I hate to give up on one of her stories without giving it a go. Play Me was not one of the books of hers that I adored and I had some major issues with it but it was the best book of the Take a Chance series yet.

Generally speaking Play Me was quite good. I liked the storyline it was sweet and fairly realistic. The pace was really nice and the story flowed well. The writing was really good as I expect from Alberts and I cannot pick holes in her world building.

My issue with this book is Kiersten. I think I actually hated her, I wrote three pages of notes about this 120 novella and nearly every bullet point is about her. From beginning to end she irritated me and I could find nothing at all to like about her. I thought she was selfish for the way she used her best friend, Garrett, throughout the whole book. She knew he had deep feelings for her yet slept with him for revenge. Then when she gets pregnant and he essentially gives up his life to be there for her she does everything within her power to make him feel bad. E.g she completely flies off the handle when he doesn’t answer his phone even though she knows he is playing basketball with her brother.

She also spent most the time feeling really sorry for herself. She had a bad relationship where her fiancé cheated on her and uses it as an excuse to trust no one and belittle other people’s relationships. She also spends a lot of time mopping about her behaviour and how awful she is.

What makes everything worse is the fact that Garrett is amazing. He is loving, generous, caring, brave, honest and adorable. There was nothing to dislike about him and Kierstens constant bad behaviour towards him broke my heart. He was such a good and decent guy and to be honest she really didn’t deserve him at all.

This book was almost amazing and I wanted to love it but Kiersten just ruined it for me which was a real shame.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review