Sunday, 17 September 2017

Review: The Good Sister by Jess Ryder

Two sisters. One secret... A lie that could destroy them both.

When her father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover he led a secret life: another house, another family and a half-sister called Valentina.

Both with red hair and icy blue eyes, Josie and Valentina could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there…

Josie – Sweet, reserved, jealous, thief.
Valentina – Care-free, confident, dangerous, liar.

Two sisters. One survivor.

A nail-bitingly tense and unputdownable read that will keep you turning pages into the night. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Sister Sister.


Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Expected publication: August 16th 2017 by Bookouture 
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

There was a lot to like about this book. It captured my attention from the start with a mysterious phone call and a deadly accident. There were immediate questions in my mind and I wanted the answers. Always a good thing when just beginning a book. Then Josie and Valentina discover each other and things began to get even more intense.

My initial thoughts on this book were quite positive but as I continued reading I have to admit that it did wear on me a little. I like plot twists as much as the next guy but I found parts of the story a little too far fetched and unrealistic. Also, the numerous references to the viking heritage were a little annoying and I found that they distracted from the plot a lot. From reading other reviews I guess I am in the minority for feeling this way but each time the viking culture was mentioned in the pages it felt like a speed bump that slowed the progress of the book. I wasn't a fan.

All in all, the book held my attention and the story was good enough that it outweighed the negatives that I mentioned above. There was a creepy factor to the sisterly relationship that I quite enjoyed even if it was slightly predictable.

I look forward to more work from this author.



About the Author
Jess Ryder is a pseudonym of novelist/screenwriter/television producer, Jan Page.
JAN PAGE is a novelist, screenwriter, and television producer, whose experience ranges right across the age spectrum. Over the years, she has written hundreds of episodes of television and thirteen of her plays have been professionally staged. Jan lives in London and is co-founder of Adastra, an independent production company specializing in the children’s sector.

Connect with Jess
  
 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Review: Sweet Reality (Reality Star #2) by Laura Heffernan


SUGAR, SEA SALT, AND SHOW BIZ
 
Jen Reid's life after walking off a reality show has been great--she's gone from being a broke twenty-four-year-old Seattleite with no love life and no job to the twenty-five-year-old who got the guy, moved to Miami, and is starting a bakery with her best friend. She thinks her showmance love might be about to propose. And with mouthwatering goodies based on everyone's favorite shows, her business, Sweet Reality, is destined for success.

That is, until a killer competitor opens right across the street. If she's going to save Sweet Reality, Jen has to come up with a secret ingredient--like the recipe that won Totally 80s Bake-Off. Jen can get it--if she steps back into the spotlight. Soon she and her boyfriend are out to sea on a cruise ship full of reality stars, including her nemesis, Ariana; her lying, cheating ex; and some wicked producers looking to bring the drama. Separate cabins, "surprises" from her past, and scenarios tailor-made to spark fights are just the beginning. But with her self-respect, her business, and her future on the line, the fallout from this made-for-TV plotline will be all too real . . .

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: September 5th 2017 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

This is the second on the Reality Star series and in my opinion can not be read as a stand alone.  In order to understand the characters I would recommend reading the series in order.

I think I have said it before but there are some reality shows that are a guilty pleasure for me.  While I only indulge in one, maybe two, I get serious enjoyment out of people making complete idiots out of themselves for their 15 seconds of fame.  Its a great social experiment that I enjoy.

It was much the same with this story.  Over the top scenarios, bickering, fighting and producers out to get their TV gold.  This story really makes fun (in my opinion) of the whole thing.  As a result this series has become a guilty pleasure for me.

While Jen is a little bit of a train wreck, you can't help but be in her corner.  You wonder how she allows herself in to the many scenarios she finds herself in and you want her to come out on top.

From what I could see, it looks like there is going to be a third installment in this series some time next year.  I will be sure to look for it to complete the series!

About the Author


Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.


Saturday, 2 September 2017

Review: Pretty, Nasty, Lovely by Rosalind Noonan


Sisterhood has a price . . .

Pledging to Theta Pi at Merriwether University seemed to offer Emma Danelski a passport to friendship, fun, and popularity. But the excitement of pledge training quickly fades, as does the warmth of her so-called sisters. What's left is a stifling society filled with petty rules, bullying, and manipulation. Most haunting are the choices Emma makes in the wake of another sorority sister's suicide . . .

It doesn't matter that no one else needs to know what Emma did, or how vastly different life at Theta House is from the glossy image it projects. Emma knows. And now, with her loyalties tested, she must decide which secrets are worth keeping and how far she'll go to protect them--and herself . . .

Paperback
Published August 29th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

I didn't know what to expect with this story, I just took a chance and luckily for me it was a good gamble.  My issue is that I am not sure I can put in to words my thoughts on this story as for some reason I am struggling so please forgive this clumsy attempt.

I guess this story would be considered a suspense/mystery.  There are a whole lot of secrets being kept throughout the story and some clever play on words that keep it twisting and turning.  All I can say is that after reading this book, I am glad that sorority life was never a factor for me.

While the story started a little slow, it was building the foundation for what was to come later when the secrets and lies get tangled at a frantic pace.

While the story ended somewhat predictably for me, there were a couple of things that I didn't figure out so I was pleasantly surprised.  I will definitely read more work by Noonan.



About the Author


ROSALIND NOONAN grew up in suburban Maryland and enjoyed being part of a large family. "With my four siblings, Saturday mornings were a blast," she says. "There was festival seating on the living room floor as we devoured cartoons and passed the Sugar Pops."

She caught the writing bug in second grade when she won first place in a poetry contest. "The prize was twenty dollars," she recalls. "That was big bucks for a second grader. I thought I was going to Disneyland." Wooed by the taste of fame and fortune, she kept writing.

After attending Wagner College in Staten Island, she remained in New York City where she worked as an editor for various book publishers. Noonan currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a retired cop from the NYPD, and two children. Although she sometimes misses the rapid pulse of New York, she enjoys writing in the shade of towering two-hundred year old Douglas fir trees.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Review: Kisses Sweeter Than Wine by Heather Heyford


When the town of Clarkston, Oregon, welcomes Captain Sam Owens home from the service, Sophia “Red” McDonald is first in line. The sassy psychotherapist has known Sam since they were kids, and the grown-up Sam is darned near irresistible. With his abs of steel and those gorgeous hazel eyes, he could have any woman he wanted. Naturally, Red is thrilled when he takes her hand . . .

She’s a modern woman, happy to canoodle with the sexy soldier, no strings attached—until her heart changes the rules. Suddenly, after months of casual hookups, Red finds she wants more. She longs to possess Sam body and soul. But his warrior's heart was wounded long before he joined the service. As a therapist, Red has ways of making him talk. Only if Sam opens up and spills his secrets can they finally have everything their hearts desire . . .


Paperback
Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corp.

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

This story is part of a series however I feel that it could be read as a stand alone (even though I have read the previous stories).  The other characters play a pretty minor role so there would be no confusing the backstories.

What I found refreshing in this story was that there was not the usual angst of will they or won't they succumb to their physical attraction.  As the synopsis indicates, the physical part is already happening so that is out of the way right away.  Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of angst to be had however it is the emotional kind and not physical.

Both characters have some pretty heavy baggage in this story, however Sam for sure has the most.  While as is common in these books, the story doesn't spend too much time on said baggage as it could have made for a very heavy read.  Instead it had just enough to make Sam complex and add to the Sam/Red dynamic.

A good solid read.



About the Author


Heather Heyford writes contemporary romance novels set in the wine country, where she visits frequently to drink pinot noir—er, research books.

Heather sold her first romance series in 2014 to Kensington Publishing’s then-new digital imprint, Lyrical Press. After gaining a following in digital, her first mass market paperback series will launch in early 2018 with The Sweet Spot, a contemporary love story set in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.



Friday, 25 August 2017

Release Blitz: Lilly by Tracy Lorraine

Lilly
By Tracy Lorraine

Blurb:
Lilly’s life has been shattered by her ex. Few people know the truth about what happened that day. Lilly is trying to put the past behind her but everyone around her is moving on with their lives and it’s a constant reminder of what she’s lost. Lilly throws herself into university and her part time job as a distraction. What she doesn’t expect is for an unwanted promotion to once again send her world into a tailspin.
Will she be able to let her guard down, open her heart once again and fight for the happiness she deserves?

Lucas could never have imagined that his life would turn out like it has. Supportive parents, a powerful job and more money than he knows what to do with. On the surface he looks like the perfect businessman but Lucas is not only hiding his past but also who he really is. The only thing missing is something he swore he never wanted. When he finds a broken Lilly in his sanctuary will he be able to push his fears of love aside and be the man she needs?

Individually they have a lot of demons that have the potential to break them but will they be strong enough together to face them?

Available at the following retailers!

Please Note: 5 days after release Lilly
will be exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited


SNIPPETS:

Snippet #1
I wake with a start. Something’s not right. When I open my eyes, I know immediately what it is.
Lucas is propped up with his back against the headboard and he’s looking down at me with an amused expression. I blink a couple of times, thinking I’m seeing things, but then the memories of last night slam into me.
Oh holy cow, I slept with my boss and he’s still in my bed. Naked. Crap.
“Good morning, beautiful.”
“Oh my God,” I whisper before diving under the covers. I can’t believe I’ve done this. I should never be allowed to drink wine ever again. I’m naked, in bed, with my boss. I mean, could I screw this whole situation up any more? I was just meant to be cleaning his room, and now look. I was more than happy when I thought he was a smooth-talking businessman, but now I’ve seen that’s only one side of him. Last night, he was anything but. I’m in trouble. Serious trouble.

Snippet #2
I’m just pouring the milk in when I hear the door click shut. I look around the corner to see Lucas walking in, looking a little like the morning after we first slept together. I swear my girly parts do a little dance at the sight of him.
He just unzips his hoodie before he looks up and spots me. His eyes shine with what I hope is excitement as they run down my body, which is covered in his perfect white shirt.
I do the exact same thing as I run my eyes over every inch of the sexy bad boy in front of me. He’s wearing a pair of low slung jogging bottoms with the waistband of his boxers showing. His black hoodie is undone, showing off the glistening sculpted perfection underneath. He has his hood up, making him look like the bad boy you should never talk to, let alone get close to.
I watch, amazed, as he reaches up and knocks the hood off his head. He runs his hands through his hair, making it stick out in all directions.
“Enjoying yourself?” he asks with a smirk.
“Guys in suits with perfect hair aren’t really my thing. This though,” I say as I start walking towards him. “This is spot on.” I run my hands up his chest and over his shoulders, giving his hoodie the push it needs to fall down his arms.
I squeal in surprise when I’m suddenly thrown over his shoulder.
“Lucas, what are you doing?” I shout as he walks us to the bathroom and straight to the walk-in shower. He doesn’t answer, just turns its on, and we are both blasted with ice cold water.
“Lucas,” I squeal again as I wriggle in his tight hold to try to get away. I have no hope though; he’s too strong.
“What? Didn’t you want a shower?” he asks with an amused glint in his eye.
This is the Lucas I like: the rough-looking, demanding, slightly arrogant bad boy. Who needs a guy in a suit when you can have one of these?

Snippet #3
As I walk around to the driver’s side, I can’t help being unsure of whether I’m pleased or not that people fall for this act. But then, I guess I’ve played the part for so long now it’s almost normal. The suits, the money, the flashy cars. Lilly might have the impression I’m something impressive, but under all this, I’m far from the person she thinks I am. I know she’s thinking that she’s not good enough for all this, but if she only knew the truth: that she is the one that is way too good for me.


Author Bio:
Tracy Lorraine is a M/F and M/M contemporary romance author. Tracy has recently turned thirty and lives in a cute Cotswold village in England with her husband, baby girl and lovable but slightly crazy dog. Having always been a bookaholic with her head stuck in her Kindle Tracy decided to try her hand at a story idea she dreamt up and hasn’t looked back since.

Social Media:

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review: Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

WHO ARE YOU WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING?

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory.



Paperback, Canadian Edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: August 22nd 2017 by Simon & Schuster
Genre: Mystery/Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Girl In Snow started with the discovery of the body of Lucinda Hayes in a school yard playground. Through three different points of view the story unfolded. There was Cameron who was obsessed with her and stalked her from afar, Jade who hated her for taking her love interest and Russ who was investigating the murder but also had a connection to Cameron.

My initial thoughts after only a few pages was that this book was going to keep me on my toes and keep me guessing. However, after continuing on it became clear that the plot was less about Lucinda Hayes and more of a character driven story about Cameron, Jade and Russ. Yes there was a murder and it was slowly getting uncovered but the focal point was these three characters who were each a little dysfunctional and messed up.

I have always been a fan of multiple points of view and that was definitely the case with this book. It was interesting to get inside the heads of these three characters because they were all very different but intriguing. Unfortunately I do feel like someone that picks this book up expecting a good mystery might find it lacking. It was certainly slow moving and although Lucinda was the connection between all of these characters, she wasn't the real story in my opinion.

I'm also not sure what the intended audience for this book should be. With the young characters I lean towards young adult but at the same time I'm not sure that audience would appreciate it and its slow moving pace. An older audience perhaps? I don't know?

In the end I thought the story was OK but that the mystery was predictable and somewhat disappointing.

 





About the Author

Danya Kukafka is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She works as an assistant editor at Riverhead Books. GIRL IN SNOW is her first novel.


Connect with Danya




 

Release Blast & Giveaway: Ready to Run by Lauren Layne


Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon and iBooks 


READY TO RUN
I Do, I Don't #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22, 2017
Loveswept


The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.



NOW AVAILABLE!



Damn. Charlie hadn’t been lying about the hot blonde.
The woman walking straight toward him was all tight jeans, high heels, and confi-dence. And hot. Very, very hot.
Charlie muttered something admiring under his breath, and Luke’s gaze flicked to the man beside the woman. Tried to place him. Couldn’t.
Not too many guys around here who wore light-purple shirts and white pants with the same easy comfort that Lucky Hollow residents wore jeans and flannel.
No doubt about it—neither was from around here. Not by a long shot.
The man was a half step behind the woman, and Luke assessed that the woman was calling the shots.
His eyes narrowed as he realized that she hadn’t once wavered in her approach.
She knew what she was after:
Him.
She got closer and Luke saw that the face matched the body. Wide blue eyes, full lips, sassy shoulder-length blond hair that was just tousled enough to make a man wonder how it had gotten that way—to want to be the one to muss it.
Her gaze flicked over him, and Charlie whistled and muttered under his breath. “She just checked you out, man.”
She had indeed, but Luke was far from flattered. It hadn’t been the assessment of a woman checking out a man so much as a predator evaluating its prey.
As though she was evaluating him for . . . something.
Blondie stopped in front of him, and the second her blue eyes locked on his, Luke felt a little jolt of awareness and was irrationally annoyed. It had been a long time since he’d been quite so aware of a woman.
Once, he’d enjoyed the feeling—sexual chemistry was almost the perfect combination of pain and pleasure. A subtle punch in the gut that you wanted to experience again and again.
These days, though, he was having a hard time getting past the pain part. The shitty parts had outweighed the good parts just one time too many. Now he mostly settled for casual hookups with a divorcée a few towns over who was even less interested in com-mitment than Luke was.
He had zero use for attraction to a pretty, bold woman in high heels.
Luke noticed that for a sheer moment she had a slightly off-balance look, as though she too had felt the annoying zip of arousal when their eyes met, but she recovered quick-ly.
Pasting a sunny, generic smile on her face, she stuck out her right hand. “Luke Elliott. I’m Jordan Carpenter. This is my colleague, Simon Nash.”
Good manners had him setting down his equipment and extending his own right hand toward hers even as his brain caught on her name. Familiar, and . . .
Shit. Shit!
He managed to stop from jerking his hand back, but just barely. Instead, he gritted his teeth, gave her hand a perfunctory shake, and then fixed her with a glare. “You’re wasting your time, Ms. Carpenter. And mine.”
Blue eyes narrowed. “Aha. So you did get my emails.”
Those. The voicemails. The letters.
“Sure,” he said with a nod, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Just like I suspect you got the message that I didn’t want to be a part of your show.”
Charlie looked from the woman to Luke and back again. “Show?”
Ryan ambled over, his shit-eating grin telling Luke that this damn woman had already spilled the beans on why she was here. “Luke’s gonna be a national heartthrob.”
“International,” said the blond guy in the purple shirt.
Jordan Carpenter didn’t look at her companion, but all three firefighters did.
The other man gave the sort of easy smile that probably had him making friends easily. Luke didn’t want a new friend.
Especially not one who wanted to use his shitty romantic past for the sake of TV ratings.






Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she's written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.




a Rafflecopter giveaway