Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: Always On My Mind

by Jill Shalvis
Rating: 4/5

After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack's ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib - that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle . . .
No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine - perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their "just friends" rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

This is book 8 in the Lucky Harbor series. This particular book is the second in what I consider the “Good Girls Going Bad” trilogy. Leah is back in Lucky Harbor for just long enough to help her grandmother and get out. Jack is a firefighter who refuses to get in a relationship and leave someone like his father did to him and his mother.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


It’s hard to imagine but if you’re not in Australia you might not know we had an election yesterday. And the results are pretty clear, we have a new leader.

Kevin Rudd, ex-PM (twice now) made a 30m concession speech that sounded like he’d hastily crossed out all the references to victory and changed them to loss. He tried to save face and claim that no Labor seat had been lost “in Queensland”. Considering they had only about five seats to lose that’s a small victory. And within moments of him saying it, he was wrong. Postal votes are still to come in but with up to 30% of the votes left to count, and such close margins, it could be more than one lost.

Tony Abbott, our new PM’s speech by comparison was much better. It was short (thanks) and it put all the credit for the victory on the voters. Then like I told him to (through the TV) he thanked his helpers and left.

Craig Thompson, former Labor MP, who ran as an independent this year held his seat with a 5.1% margin. After being revealed as a scummy bastard who cheated on his partner in brothels and even more damningly used Trade Union funds to pay for it he was charged with fraud (rightly so IMO) and has failed to get 5.1% of the total vote. He will unfortunately get federal funding as he got 4% and thus receives funds for campaigning.

But whether you care or not, whether you’re a Liberal or Labor voter one thing is sure. Now that the government is a majority and not a minority it will be more effective. I hope.

Currently Listening: Good Girl – Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Review: Rush

by Joan Swan
Rating: 4/5
rushJessica Fury, Washington lobbyist, has money, connections, and her own firm. But five years ago she had something better: happiness. Her firefighter husband, Quaid, was handsome, courageous, and crazy about her. Then one day he walked into a chemical inferno--and never walked out. Jessica has been through hell to get back on her feet. And then a rumor surfaces that could bring a miracle or shatter her world--again.
Q has been a prisoner forever. He's honed his mind and body into weapons. He's developed abilities no one else understands. But he's still at the mercy of a cabal of ruthless men, who blank his memory, test him like a lab rat, and tell him lies. Although his past has been erased and his future looks grim, instinct tells him he has a woman to live for. What his mind can't remember, his body can't forget. . .
The heat is on.
So, Rush is book three in Joan Swan’s Phoenix Rising series, a paranormal romantic suspense series. With smokin’ hot firefighters. Everything is better with firefighters? Five years ago the firefighting squad went into a burning government building and came out changed. Unfortunately some rogue elements of their government decided the best way to cover it up was to get rid of them.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Review: The Perks of Being A Beauty

by Manda Collins
Rating: 2/5

perksofbeingabeautyThe beautiful Miss Amelia Snow is not accustomed to being snubbed by the gentlemen of the ton. But when her mother dies unexpectedly, forcing Amelia to take employment as companion to a wealthy cit’s daughter, she quickly learns to play down her looks or risk losing her position. When her employers, the Smithsons, decide to throw a country house party, she is determined to fade into the background. But how can she when the Smithson’s guest of honor is Lord Quentin Fortescue, the childhood friend who stole her heart?
Younger son, Lord Quentin Fortescue, is far more interested in his host’s cotton mills in the north than he is in courting the man’s dim-witted daughter. But it’s the girl’s companion who makes him look twice. Years ago, Miss Amelia Snowe rejected his proposal without a backward glance. Quentin has molded himself into just the sort of man she’d have wanted back then, but is Amelia still the smug beauty who broke his heart? And can either of them risk their newfound positions to indulge the fiery attraction that burns between them?

This is book 3.5 in the Ugly Ducklings series by Manda Collins. This novella follows Amelia Snowe, antagonist of the previous three books. Amelia also fuelled the Ugly Ducklings series through her dance card which Cecilia, Juliet and Maddie used to find their husbands.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Review: To Woo A Warrior

by Jane Cousins
Rating: 4/5

toowooawarriorIt was common knowledge that Hadleigh Valhalla was a complete failure when it came to men. Too blood thirsty. Too tall at 6.6ft and without a coy bone in her too voluptuous body. If there had been a ‘fun, flirty and feminine’ test she would have failed it hands down.
Thankfully she was much more suited to her role as an Enforcer, protecting her magically enhanced eccentric extended family on a daily basis from all kinds of nasties. It was a job she loved, much preferring to be out there beheading the baddies than dating any day of the week … much less stressful.
Except now there’s a new threat in town. Great Aunt Alma, the family match maker has returned to the fold and set her sights squarely on all the singletons. Hadleigh will do anything she has to in order to avoid Alma’s matchmaking manoeuvres even if that means signing on as the newest member of the hit reality TV show ‘Paranormal Exterminators.’
Vaughn, Captain of the Goddess Maat’s elite warriors has a mission, to find and annihilate any and all magical beings that threaten to tilt the scales of justice into chaos.
A paranormal reality TV show provides the perfect cover. But there’s trouble on set. Their only female cast member has gone missing and they need a replacement fast. Enter Hadleigh Valhalla, the most luscious thing on two legs he’s seen in a century. From the moment he sets eyes on her he’s determined to make her his.
There’s only one problem, Hadleigh insists she has a strict no dating policy. Claiming she’d rather be fighting than flirting.
A series of mishaps means it’s a race against time for Vaughn and Hadleigh to discover just who is targeting the show and stop them before someone gets seriously hurt or dead. While doing so Vaughn intends to teach Hadleigh to break all the rules and prove to her she is just as much woman as she is warrior.

To Woo A Warrior is the first book in Cousings’ Southern Sanctuary series. This is the second series by Cousins and set in Queensland, Australia.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Retro-view: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

by Kresley Cole

wdoawnHer breathless kiss haunts him.

Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed—until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible.

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.

No deed is too wicked for her seduction.

If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul—or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

Well, MacRieve is coming out today so, here’s another retroview of the awesome Immortals After Dark Series. Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night is about the hero of MacRieve’s cousin Bowen. And Witches. And The Hie. It’s about a lot of things really.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Retro-view: No Rest For The Wicked

by Kresley Cole

nrftwA vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Become competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity–as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world–to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Well, MacRieve is coming out Tuesday so, here’s another retroview of the awesome Immortals After Dark Series. No Rest For the Wicked is one of the IAD books that can polarise. Some people feel Kaderin was too cold for too long, others don’t like Sebastian. Presumably there are some people who don’t like the book at all. Me? I love it.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Retro-view: The Warlord Wants Forever

by Kresley Cole

wwfThe Warlord

Nikolai Wroth, a ruthless vampire general, will stop at nothing to find his Bride, the one woman who can “blood” him, making his heart beat and filling him with strength. Coldly interested only in the power his Bride will bring, he can hardly believe when Myst the Coveted awakens him body—and soul.

The Seductress

Famed throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, Myst has devoted her life to protecting a magical jewel and to fighting the vampires. Wroth provides her with the perfect opportunity to torment her sworn enemy—for with his new heartbeat comes a consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her. Denying him, she flees, struggling to forget his searing, possessive kiss.

The Hunt is on…

She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen her enchanted jewel, giving him absolute power over her. Now that she’s his for the taking, he intends to make her experience first-hand the agonizing, unending lust she subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Nikolai realizes he wants far more than vengeance from Myst and frees her, will she come back to him?

Well, MacRieve is coming out Tuesday so, here’s another retroview from the Immortals After Dark Series. The Warlord Wants Forever is the first IAD “book”, originally published as a novella in the otherwise unremarkable (to me) anthology Playing Easy To Get, The Warlord Wants Forever was released on its own in 2011 just before the release of Lothaire.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review: Obsession (An Arum Novel)

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 3/5

obsessionHe’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.
Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.
Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.
Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

Another week another book called Obsession, apparently. This one is by Jennifer Lynn Armentrout and set in the world established in her YA Lux series. Obsession is a romance and definitely not YA; it is closer in “heat” to her New Adult novel Wait For You (as J. Lynn) than her other romances, but that’s the only concession here. This book flips the perspective and gives us the POV of the Arum, the bad guys from the Lux series.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review: Obsession

by Sofia Grey
Rating: 4/5

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhen the perfect husband
Becomes the perfect nightmare...

Josh Delaney is the ideal honey trap. His charm and model good looks would be enough for most women, but coupled with his psychic ability to read their thoughts, he’s impossible to resist. Suspicious husbands employ him to test their wives, to see if they can be tempted to stray.
High profile couple Suki and Gabe Bridgewater have the perfect marriage, or at least, that’s the image they portray to the world. Behind closed doors, Gabe’s dominance in the marriage is unravelling and he decides to test Suki, using Josh as bait.
For Josh it should be just another easy job, but two things go horribly wrong.
One, Josh falls in love with Suki.
And two, Gabe refuses to let her go.

Obsession is book one in the Talisman Series. Sofia Grey is a new author and I was intrigued by the mix of paranormal abilities and a male honey trap. I was not expecting this book.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Change of Pace

Today I’m not blogging a book review mostly because I haven’t read anything good/bad enough to deserve one lately and I’m busy finishing off all my uni assignments and etc.

I would like to tell you about something I did this past weekend. From the 31st of May to the 2nd of June many different federal and state governments supported an event called GovHack.

I competed in Adelaide, and entered a project based on tourism data.

There were many great things about this event.

First the idea behind GovHack is to promote government departments to provide there data openly for the public. This is achieved by giving access to this data to programmers who can use it.

Second the idea of asking a bunch of programmers, etc to create meaningful stuff from government data is great from us and for not programmer types because it makes that data, even more accessible.

Third the event was awesome. The atmosphere was great, everyone was super-friendly and full of great ideas. Everyone was willing to explain their idea for the project submission.

I saw a mobile app for kids to track their progress in the premier’s reading challenge which was something I didn’t even think about. I saw another team using the Oculus Rift to display data.

So many great ideas.

The greatest part was something really special. I worked on my project all night on Saturday night and right up until the finish on Sunday. I got up around 7 am to go into the city on Saturday and I was super pumped. Around 5am Sunday I took a break because I thought I should.

Two things, 1) I have never been awake that long without being tired. I have been awake for far less time and been much tireder. Even when the even finished I was still fully awake.

2) At 5am feeling almost hyper while I took my break the greatest volunteer every had a conversation with me and the two other participants still there.

Eloise (I think, I’m sorry I forgot your name) from the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology had the 12am – 6am shift both friday and saturday nights. Saturday night she watched Harry Potter movies most of the night (super awesome) while we were working. Sunday morning at 5am Eloise (I wish I remembered If I get your name Thursday I’ll update the post) spoke very candidly about the project and both her and the South Australian departments who provided data and their desire for GovHack to be a success. You rock.

Also an honourable mention to the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure, who provided their beta data to the competition so that they could contribute. That’s awesome, I know some people were disappointed it wasn’t ready, but the effort is commendable. And since they run the public buses, they never get much positive feedback.

Currently Listening: This Ain’t A Love Song – Scouting For Girls

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Review: Lion and The Falcon

by Eve Langlais
Rating: 2/5

lionandthefalconWhat’s a poor feline to do when trouble strikes from every direction?
Find a pillow and a patch of sunlight for a relaxing nap, or realize that sometimes a lion needs to make new rules and show a stubborn falcon he’s more than just a handsome kitty?
Avian Soaring Security has transferred Clarice to the Furry United Coalition so she can help track some escaped psycho patients. As if that weren’t bad enough, they partnered her with the very pampered Dr. Manners. Everything about the attractive feline annoys her, except for his flaming hot kisses. But is passion enough to keep a usually sparring species together?
Nolan’s pedigree isn’t the only thing preventing him from falling for his sexy partner. She’s bossy, violent, rude and oh so intriguing to this curious cat, but his meddlesome mother will never allow him to get involved with a bird. But before he can decide if love is worth bucking pride tradition, he needs to stay out of the clutches of a demented ex-patient.

Well this is the fourth book in the Furry United Coalition, and I think that this series has just jumped the shark. What was cute in the first three books is no longer.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Review: Wilder’s Mate

by Moira Rogers
Rating: 4/5

wilder'smateWilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America’s frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.
Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication—keeping his hands off the man’s pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.
At odds with polite society, Satira’s only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn’t going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel’s life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn’t worth saving. Besides, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that brains are more important than brawn.
As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they’re fighting to save.
Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.

I have to admit I avoided this series because I was sure I wouldn’t like it, the first chapter made me think that it was some kind of dystopian future setting. Needless to say I was very very wrong. Wilder’s Mate is book one in the Bloodhounds series, which is a paranormal steampunk western historical. And it is awesome.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Review: Not Quite Mine

by Catherine Bybee
Rating: 1/5
notquitemineGorgeous hotel heiress Katelyn "Katie" Morrison seems to have it all. But when she crosses paths with Dean Prescott - the only man she's ever loved - at her brother's wedding, Katie realizes there's a gaping hole in her life. After the ceremony she gets an even bigger surprise when someone abandons a baby girl on her doorstep. Determined to keep the newborn until she learns who her mother is, Katie has her hands full and doesn't need Dean snooping around, especially when his presence stirs feelings she thought were long gone.
Dean Prescott knows Katie is lying to him when he discovers a baby is living with her. He shouldn't care what the woman who broke his heart is up to...and he most certainly shouldn't still be aching for her. Yet Dean can't ignore the need to protect Katie - or the desire to be near her every chance he gets. But when he and Katie solve the mystery surrounding the baby, their second chance for happiness could be shattered forever.
Not Quite Mine is book two in the Not Quite series. I was really excited for this book as it would be about Katie, who appeared to be an airheaded heiress and her brother’s best friend. Plus after Bybee’s MacCoinnich Time Travel series and Not Quite Dating I had a fair amount of faith in Bybee as an author. So why did I only give it one out of five?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review: It Had To Be You

by Jill Shalvis
Rating: 5/5

ithadtobeyouAli Winters is not having a good day. Her boyfriend left her, everyone in town thinks she's a thief, and now she's about to be kicked out of her home. Her only shot at keeping a roof over her head and clearing her name is to beg for help from a police detective who's as sexy as he is stern....
After a high-profile case goes wrong, Luke Hanover returns to his hometown for some peace and quiet. Instead he finds a bombshell brunette in a heap of trouble. As he helps Ali put her world back together, the pieces of Luke's own life finally seem to fall into place. Is this the start of a sizzling fling? Or are Luke and Ali on the brink of something big in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

This is book seven in Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Review: Cowboy Tough

by Joanne Kennedy
Rating: 2/5

cowboytoughShe’s looking for paradise…

When Cat Crandall ditches her career in advertising to take a job teaching painting workshops in exotic locations, she’s hoping to be sent to Tuscany, or maybe France. Instead, she’s assigned to lead a group of aspiring artists through the backcountry of the isolated Boyd Dude Ranch in Wyoming.

He’s looking for a way out.

Mack Boyd is in the middle of the best bronc-riding season of his life when his mother asks him to help lead an artists’ retreat at the ranch. Mack might be able to ride a wild stallion to a standstill, but he can’t say no to his family.

Together, they just might find what they both need.

It doesn’t take long for Mack to figure out that artists are a lot harder to herd than cattle—especially when they’re led by a spitfire of a city girl who doesn’t like to be bossed around. Cat Crandall is nothing but trouble—so why is he so drawn to her?

Cowboy Tough is the sixth book by Joanne Kennedy, all of them contemporary westerns thus far. There has been some character cross over in the later books, but only in a cameo style role, and with a different setting each book, they aren’t a series.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Review: Scarlet Heat

by Evangeline Anderson
Rating: 4/5


Taylor is a vampire but she doesn’t want to be. Turned against her will by her sadistic mistress, Celeste, she has been living a miserable life of bondage and abuse for the past six years. Finally, through the help of her best friend Addison, Taylor is rescued but she can’t relax for long. In order to save her from an even worse fate, she is married off to Victor a very reluctant groom who just happens to be a werewolf.
Victor doesn’t want to be responsible for the fledgling vampire, no matter how beautiful she is. Especially when he finds out he is the only one he can drink from. But aside from the strange arousal that overtakes him every time she sinks her dainty fangs into his throat, he has other problems to deal with…and a very big secret to hide.
Their marriage of convenience is only supposed to last for three months but Victor and Taylor finds themselves drawn together by more than the vows they took. But as their attraction grows, so does something else. Inside Taylor, something is changing. She begins to have physical cravings she has never had before, insatiable appetites that only Victor can satisfy. Will she succumb to the madness growing within her or can Victor save her from the Scarlet Heat?

This is book two in Evangeline Anderson’s Born to Darkness series. This is the second book by Evangeline Anderson I have read, not being interested myself in her Brides of Kindred series. At the end of book 1, Crimson Debt. Taylor’s best friend has arranged to get her away from the horrid and abusive Celeste, in the company of Victor, a werewolf.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Review: Werewolves Be Damned

by Stacey KennedyRating 1/5
werewolvesbedamnedNexi Jones—part witch, part guardian, and wannabe kick-ass warrior—can’t throw a punch or conjure the simplest magic. But that doesn’t stop her from hunting the werewolves who slaughtered her human family. She’ll have her revenge, but only if Kyden, the elite guardian, would get the hell out of her way.
Kyden can’t decide if Nexi wants to get herself killed or if she just has no clue what she’s doing. But her father made it clear: keep Nexi safe…or else. Of course, the more Nexi runs toward revenge, the more she needs Kyden’s aid, and as she grows into her power and confidence, so does his desire to protect her. The only problem? She’d rather he dropped dead.
But when a vampire paints a bull’s-eye on Nexi’s back, she’s hard-pressed to deny Kyden and the help he’s offering. Even if it means getting her revenge will be a little bit harder. At least it will still be as sweet.
Werewolves be Damned is the first book in Stacey Kennedy’s Magic & Mayhem series. It also happens to be an expanded version of The Willow from Kennedy’s Magical Sword series. The Magical Sword series is no longer available and Kennedy’s is turning it into Magic & Mayhem.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Review: Hungry For More

by Diana Holquist
Rating: 3/5

hungryformoreChef James LaChance has no time for the gorgeous Gypsy who appears at his restaurant with a mysterious agenda. But women inspire his delectable menus, and after one kiss from this temptress he creates his boldest dish ever. With her on his side--and in his bed--his restaurant could earn its third star. But is success worth losing his heart to a woman who has sworn off love forever?
Amy Burns is a Gypsy with a gift: she can name a person's One True Love. To keep her mystical power, she can never fall in love herself--a price she's more than willing to pay. Until she meets the sexy chef whose talents in the kitchen are only surpassed by his talents in the bedroom. But is any man worth giving up the only gift she's ever had? As desire leads to passion, Amy must choose between her destiny and the man who leaves her...
Hungry For More

Hungry for More is the third and final book in the One True Love/Make Me a Match series (hint, Ms Holquist, hint). This one focuses on Amy, our antagonistic third Burns’ sibling. This one also bugged me the most with its continuity issues.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Review: Sexiest Man Alive

by Diana Holquist
Rating: 3/5

Shy No More Worksheet
Name: Jasmine Burns
Imagine the person who intimidates you. Naked. I'm intimidated by Josh Toby, the world's biggest movie star. Who has to imagine him naked? I've seen it on a forty-foot screen.
Breathe deep. Did I mention he's Josh Toby? As his costume designer, I'm supposed to dress him. And undress him. Oh, and my psychic sister Amy, who has never been wrong, named him my One True Love. Breathing is completely out of the question.
Ask for what you want. What I want is for him to stop being so...irresistible! I want not to fall in love with a man who's stalked by the paparazzi, whose washboard abs could cut glass, and whose movie star girlfriend is the most stunning creature ever.
Believe you can do what needs to be done. Then do it. So, all I have to do is believe I can resist Josh Toby. Resist those deep violet eyes, those strong, muscular arms, and the way he makes me feel like the only woman on earth. Couldn't be easier. Yeah right...

Sexiest Man Alive is the second book in the Make Me a Match/One True Love trilogy. This one is about Jasmine the “youngest” sister of the Burns’. This is also the one where the continuity flaws appear, which despite that being a pet peeve of mine I ignored in favour of enjoying the story.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Review: Shades of Gray

by Maya Banks
Rating: 1/5

imageP.J. and Cole were sharpshooting rivals on the same KGI team and enjoyed a spirited, uncomplicated camaraderie. Until the night they gave in to their desires and suddenly took their relationship one step further. In the aftermath of their one night stand, they’re called up on a mission that goes terribly wrong, and P.J. walks away from KGI, determined not to drag her teammates into the murky shadows she’s poised to delve into.
Six months later, Cole hasn’t given up his search for P.J., and he’s determined to bring her back home where she belongs. Bent on vengeance, P.J. is on a mission that will plunge her into a serpentine game of payback and make her question everything she’s ever believed in. Cole—and the rest of their team—refuse to let her go it alone. Even if it means sacrificing their loyalty to KGI and their very lives…

Shades of Gray is the sixth book in the KGI series, it’s the first to feature a couple with no fillial connection to the Kelly family, and it finally gives us PJ and Cole’s story which until now had mostly just been hinted at the tension between them. Unfortunately I took two months to even start this because I read Baba’s review on Goodreads and hesitated. Just a heads up the book and my review will discuss rape, please use discretion.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Review: Make Me a Match

by Diana Holquist
Rating: 3/5

makemeamatchCecelia Burns has it all until her long-lost, psychic sister, Amy, shows up to tell her that her One True Love as destined by Fate is dying. If Cecelia wants to save her only chance at True Love, she’s got to ditch her perfect life and find a stranger. Fast.

This is book one in the Make Me a Match/One True Love trilogy by Diana Holquist, or Sophie Gunn when she writes “small-town women’s fiction” which is another way to say contemporary romance set in a small town. Each book in the trilogy is one I enjoyed and will likely reread, however the trilogy’s continuity is not so good. Why did I like this one?

Friday, 1 March 2013

Review: The Temptation of Your Touch

by Teresa Medeiros
Rating: 3/5

temptationofyourtouchMaximillian Burke prides himself on being the man every mother wants her daughter to marry, but after his scoundrel brother steals his bride, Max decides there’s more satisfaction in being a rogue than a gentleman. He flees London for lonely Cadgwyck Manor, and though the tumbledown estate comes complete with a ghost, it’s Max’s no-nonsense housekeeper who haunts his dreams.
Prim and proper Anne Spencer could do without a new master, especially one as gorgeous and temperamental as the Earl of Dravenwood. Even as she schemes to be rid of him, she is irresistibly drawn into his muscular embrace. But when Max vows to solve the mystery of the White Lady of Cadgwyck, he risks both their hearts and tempts them to surrender to a pleasure as delicious as it is dangerous

This is book two of the Burke Brothers series by Teresa Medeiros. I rather enjoyed the Kane Vampire books, which manage to both mock vampires and be vampire books. In Regency England. I didn’t really want to read book one of this series, The Pleasure of Your Kiss until I saw the blurb of this book. He’s the stuffy boring guy that all the interesting Regency girls are not interested in marrying, because look it’s a rake who wants to reform! You know the other guy, the patient sweet guy who in the other Regencies are running to Gretna Green to avoid.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review: The Pleasure of Your Kiss

by Teresa Medeiros
Rating: 3/5

pleasureofyourkissAshton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.
The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.

This is book one in the Burke Brothers series by Teresa Medeiros. I rather enjoyed her Kane Vampire books, which manage to both mock vampires and be vampire books. In Regency England. But to be honest it was only book two that made me want to read this book. So was it worth it?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Review: How To Entice an Earl

by Manda Collins
Rating: 2/5

howtoenticeanearlLady Madeline Essex is the last of the unwed “ducklings” in her family—and by far the most outspoken. But when she boldly enters London’s most notorious gaming house in search of fodder for her novel, even her sharp tongue can’t save her from the horrible crime she stumbles upon there. As luck would have it, first on the scene is the last man she wants to see her vulnerable. The one man who could tempt her heart…
Christian Monteith, the new Earl of Gresham, isn’t much for card rooms and gaming hells. But as a favor to his former commanding officer, he's investigating a gamester for espionage on the night that Maddie ventures in looking more enticing than he's ever seen her. Suddenly, his feelings for his friend aren't so friendly anymore. And when her curiosity brings the impetuous novelist to the attention of a madman, Christian will stop at nothing to protect her—from a sinister plot that is far more dangerous than any stolen kiss…

This is book three of the “Ugly Ducklings” series. In book one Cecily uses a stolen dance card and falls for the Duke of Winterson. In book two, Juliet uses it and lands Alec Deverill. So In book three we should be charmed as the final wallflower of the cousins borrows the dance card and falls in love right?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Retro-view: Sea Swept

by Nora Roberts

seasweptA family conflict is set to make waves . . .
After years of fast living and reckless excitement, Cameron Quinn is called home to help care for his adopted brother Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was. Dark, brooding and fiercely independent, Cameron's life changes overnight as he has to learn to live with his brothers again.Old rivalries and new resentments flare between the passionate Quinn boys as they try to set aside their differences. But when Seth's fate falls into the hands of Anna, a tough but beautiful social worker, the tide starts to turn. She alone has the power to bring the Quinns together - or tear them apart . . .

Well if you read my new year’s wrap up post then you’d know that I read my first Nora Robert book last year. This one was published in about 1998, so it definitely qualifies as a retro-view on release age. Anyway, Sea Swept is the first book in the Chesapeake Bay trilogy, later becoming the Chesapeake Bay Saga when we (and by we I mean the readers of the time and not me – I was 6) couldn’t resist the temptation for a grown up Seth to get his story.

Nora Roberts is the undisputed Queen of Romance. You might not particularly like her books but you have to admit 200 published books so far, is the kind of effort that deserves respect no matter the genre. So I picked out a book from my library thinking that it was only a couple of hours and it couldn’t suck that bad.

Well I liked it. I was converted. I’ve read all my Nora books so far from my local libraries (it’s complicated) and when I first read Sea Swept it was in a two book omnibus with Rising Tides called the Quinn Brothers. As soon as I finished I started book two. This book and series more than any other of Robert’s work created a world that was immersive and realistic.

So lets look at the plot and characters. Cameron competes in boat races for money. He drops everything (including a woman) to race back to his injured father and is just on time. Despite his past, Cam is loyal to the bone, he never really considers any option but taking in Seth and looking after him. He literally threw a woman naked out of his hotel room (okay so that one’s also a chance for us to learn how attractive and good with the ladies he is) so he could go to his father. When push comes to shove he’s a good guy.

Anna Spinelli. I love this woman, she’s a social worker and she still cares. But more than that she was one of the best female characters I’d read until then (and still) that had a satisfying career and it was important it was still just a career. She didn’t define herself as career woman or nothing, she didn’t think having a relationship or potentially children would make her less. Anna knew just like I do that she’s awesome and she’s also a woman, and a social worker they are not why she’s awesome, they just make it better. Anna was also a troubled teen, she and her mother were raped, and then her mother died from injuries that happened, but after lashing out and ending up in juvie her caseworker helped to get her head on straight. Which inspired her career choice later on in life as she wanted to impact others the same way.

Something I greatly appreciated in reference to this is that Anna didn’t need Cam to “fix” her rape issues with his magic penis. And that was a breath of fresh air. Too often the reason the heroine has remained traumatised after something like that is that the men in her life weren’t trying hard enough, because the hero is gentle and then after sex she’s “fixed”. I hate that, because it says that a) if you were psychologically scarred by rape, then you’ve picked the wrong men in your life since or b) trauma can just go away. And to me the prevalence is why I call it the “magic penis” because it’s just not real. But Nora Robert is too cool for that.

Seth is a cutie. You can see the way that mistrusts those around him at first and opens up under the unique attention and brotherly bond that the Quinn Brothers give him. Really they were the best people for each other.

Ethan and Phillip. Such opposites in character despite such similar upbringings. I liked the little hints for Ethan’s book. I liked Phillip, despite that he’s is so alien in comparison to Cam and Ethan and their philosophies in life. I really loved the camaraderie between the brothers, it had a real sibling feel to it and it seemed to me like a realistic look at brothers and family.

So after all of that the plot is really very simple. Ray Quinn dies, leaving his adopted sons to look after his foster son/adoptive son. Cam meets Anna and love ensues.

So, complaints?

Actually yes. There is no epilogue and without it the resolution Cam and Anna’s lives is too little, I know there are some people who dislike epilogue’s because they feel unnecessary and in this case we do get most of that resolution in Rising Tides. However I’m retro-view Sea Swept not the whole Chesapeake Bay Saga, the ending is almost too quick for a HFN, let alone the kind of HEA I like.

And I’m a hypocrite as my other complaint is that the whole Chesapeake Bay Saga should have had more that four books!

Final Verdict: This book holds up against time and the extensive Nora Roberts catalog (at least what I’ve read) as a great read.

Currently Listening: Out of My Limit – 5 Seconds of Summer

Monday, 28 January 2013

Review: The Hob

by Dana Marie Bell
Rating: 4/5

the hobRobin Goodfellow has met his match.

When the Black Queen kidnaps one of the White Queen's nephews, Robin Goodfellow is sent to ensure that the young prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. True to his role as Oberon’s Hobgoblin, he is ready for anything…except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human Michaela Exton.

Michaela has dreamed about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows Puck doesn’t really exist. In real life, it’s a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster.

She is closer to her dream man than she thinks, and nobody knows it better than Robin, who wears the guise of Ringo. But there’s competition for her love in the form of Lord Raven, who holds a secret that will rock the foundation of Robin’s world. As a Black Court delegate does the unthinkable, leaving an enraged, grief-stricken Robin hanging onto his humanity by a thread, only Michaela has the power to bring him back from the killing edge—if she survives.

Product Warning: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, Robin Goodfellow and... Really. Do I need to say any more?

Ah, Dana Marie Bell. One of my favourite authors, possessing the seal of complete trust from me. Which I’m sure she’s completely honoured by. The Hob is book four in the Gray Court series.

I was a little disappointed by this. Now if you pay attention to my ratings then you might wonder why I say that about a 4-star book. Yes it was very good and I try to review good books as much as possible and only give the worst books attention to warn others. I want to tell you about authors I like to give them a greater following and thus secure more books for me. But… I was expecting a 5-star read in this and it just didn’t quite get there.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Australia Day

Happy Australia Day fellow Aussies!

And for all you non-Aussies, 225 years ago a motley group of criminals landed in Australia. After deciding that Sydney Cove was close enough they started one of the greatest nations ever.

Currently Listening: Brother – Matt Corby

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review: Last Kiss Goodnight

by Gena Showalter
Rating: 3/5

lastkissgoodnightThe Sweetest Temptation . . .
Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.

The Ultimate Price . . .
Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different— he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him . . . and he’ll be put to a killer test

This is the first book in the Otherworld Assassins series. A spin-off of the awesome Alien Huntress series. Unlike some spinoffs this one starts with all new characters and starts a new storyline. Which is good but still leaves the question, “When will we get Dallas’ book?”

Monday, 7 January 2013

Review: He’s a Magic Man

by Susan Squires
Rating: 3/5

he'samagicmanDrew is sure of her destiny. The Tremaine family carries a magic gene and hers will come alive when she meets the true love who shares the gene. Lightning strikes when she glimpses a gorgeous man on television and gets a vision of the future. Her power has arrived. She’s off to Florida in search of the man who is her destiny.

Dowser, can find things, anywhere, anytime. But he only uses his gift to find sunken treasure for rich dilettantes when he needs money to stay drunk, trying to numb his pain. When Drew finds Dowser, she’s shocked. This derelict can’t be her destiny. Still, she’s undeniably attracted to him. And he’s attracted to her, guilty as that makes him feel. But fate has played a cruel trick on them both. The man who is Drew’s destiny still loves his dead wife, Alice.

Now a shadowy group wants Dowser to find Talismans handed down from Merlin to intensify their power, and they can give Dowser the one thing he wants: Alice.

Drew and Dowser must make choices, and they look like they’re going to be painful.

This is the second in the Children of Merlin series. This series is self-published by Susan Squires and I consider it at least a spiritual successor to the Companion/Da Vinci Time Travel series’ on account of the sentiment in The Mists of Time. I really liked Do You Believe In Magic? because it really captured the way that you can love your family and still feel like you don’t belong there.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Review: Gates of Rapture

by Caris Roane
Rating: 3/5


As a vampire and a warrior, Leto Distra is deadly. But after years of being forced to drink dying blood, he is now part beast—a wild savage thing lurking beneath the surface.  With war on the horizon, Leto is determined to help the Guardians of Ascension destroy the enemy who turned him into a monster. And there’s only one woman who can help him.

Grace Albion is certain that she’s meant to be with Leto, but their future may be cut short by the impending battle. Now Grace must embrace her obsidian flame powers—and bind her powers with Leto’s—if they’re ever going to survive.  With the fate of the world at stake, they must tap into powers they never knew they had…and unlock their deepest passions.

This is the sixth and final book of the Guardians of Ascension series, with the story continuing later with The Darkening, which will be the second of the Dawn of Ascension spin-off novella series. This will be following on from Brink of Eternity.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Review: Knight Awakened

by Coreene Callahan
Rating: 35

knightawakenedIn AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him—dead or alive.

For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good—if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.

Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic—and handsome—hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead.

I love Coreene Callahan’s Dragonfury series, love love, love it. I enjoy the way that the characters are all smart like normal people. Everytime I expect the heroine or hero to do something absolutely stupid to move the plot forward…. they don’t and it’s such a relief. Knight Awakened, book one of the Circle of Seven series however I wasn’t sure about. It appeared to be a straight historical set in medieval Transylvania. But it isn’t it’s a paranormal historical.