Run to Me By Diana Hester

 

16988205Book Blurb :

Run To Me is a suspenseful, impossible-to-put-down chase thriller with riveting twists and turns . . .

It’s been two years since Shyler O’Neil’s beloved son Jesse was killed – but his final moments are as vivid to her now as they were that dreadful day. Suffering from post-traumatic stress, and convinced she did not do enough to protect him, she retreats to an isolated cabin in the woods of northern Maine.

Meanwhile, Zack Ballinger – a ten-year-old boy who has never known a mother’s love – finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s seen too much and is now running for his life. Fleeing into the woods, Zack soon finds himself at Shyler’s cabin. He’ll take whatever help she can give – even though, for some reason, she keeps calling him Jesse . . .

With the pursuers hot on their heels, ‘mother’ and ‘son’ go on the run. Protecting Zack may well be Shyler’s one chance at redemption.

Either that, or she is the child’s greatest threat . . .

 

Tash M

 

Review:

 

Run To Me is the debut novel from author Diane Hester and tells a potent story about love, grief and secrets. Two years ago Shyler lost her son Jesse in a robbery gone wrong. Blamed by her now ex-husband as the cause of his death despite the courts believing her story, she becomes a hermit up in Deadwood, a skiing town in Northern Maine where she spent time as a little girl. She is barely functioning as a human being but she is content to be where she is at. However, a little boy is about to walk into her life and bring changes for the better.

Zach does not care about himself but he is worried for his little foster brothers, Reese and Corey, and makes sure he gets the brunt of any punishment from their foster parents who don’t care for the kids and use the state aid to get drunk. He hasn’t been loved by anyone in years and doesn’t trust anyone after his mother promised that she would come back for him after she got married to the guy he hated. However, that never happened as they were killed and he was stuck in foster care. So when two social workers knock on the door of the Leary’s home, his foster parents, he is suspicious because they have been stuck there for months. When they provide credentials and promises of taking them away from the Learys immediately, he gets slightly optimistic. He soon realises that he has led the other boys into something worse when he overhears the social workers.

The social workers are not who they say they are, but criminals named Vanessa and Nolan, who work for someone. They want the kids to tell their associate Tragg where the briefcase is that Zach saw being hidden at the abandoned warehouse they play in, as they want its contents and the kids for nefarious purposes.  Zach and the boys make a daring escape from the car and get into a truck heading to Deadwood to try and escape but there are consequences in store.

Meanwhile, Zach is having his problems: Shyler cuts her hand and comes to the notice of the new local doctor, Chase, who recognises that Shyler has PTS and hasn’t been treated for it. Intrigued by the woman, he tries to find out more about her and comes up with a few dead ends despite trying to get her to open up. A call to her mother gets the address to the cabin where he discovers a destroyed cabin, a hysterical Shyler and a little boy he has never seen before. The little boy is Zach but Shyler is delusional and thinks that it is Jesse and she needs to protect him from the bad men who trying to kill him. Shyler is right about the guys who are after her and Zach. They are Nolan and Tragg brought in to help Vanessa … but how did Zach end up with Shyler?

Zach knew he had to stay hidden once he got to Deadwood with Corey and Reese but escaping by causing an accident results in Corey getting hurt so they are left at the doctor’s office. Then Vanessa manages to get Corey and Zach on his own. By chance he finds Shyler and he decides to stay as she treats him with love and care. He does not get why she keeps calling him Jesse but goes along with it and calls her mum.

Zach is not safe because the criminals want him back despite him disclosing where the briefcase is and when Chase makes a phone call and finds out that Shyler is out of her mind. Is Zach going to be safe and will be the boys be all right and will Shyler be able to get help to comprehend what is happening?

I was captivated from the moment we meet Zach, the boy who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has had a hard life and the things he goes through to keep his promise to Corey and Reese to find them a good home I found engaging. He is a little boy who lost his innocence too soon and it’s sad but luckily there is a happy ending for all the characters.

4 couples

 

Publisher : Random House Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : March 1st 2013

Rating

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Cora’s Heart by Rachel Herron

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Book Blurb :

From bestselling author, Rachael Herron, comes another playfully seductive romantic comedy set in the sleepy town of Cypress Hollow. Cora has been hurt too many times. And by one man in particular . . .

Abandoned by her mother and widowed in her mid-twenties, Cora Sylvan has learnt the hard way that you should take nothing in life for granted. So everything is planned out to the nth degree – from how to run her farm on a shoestring, to how to survive a major earthquake. Unfortunately there’s nothing in those notes to cover the return of the infuriatingly handsome Mac Wildwood. Her husband’s cousin. The man she loved and lost. And Mac, it seems, has a shattering plan of his own up his sleeve. Dammit. Cora Sylvan safeguarded everything – but she didn’t protect her heart . . .

 

 

 

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

 

Cora’s Heart is the first book that I’ve read by Rachael Herron in her “Cypress Hollow” series. This is the fourth book in the series and each of them follows a different woman. This story is about Cora, a woman who has experienced a lifetime of hurt and is about to experience a whole lot more. Ever since she was little, Cora wanted a place and family to call home. Abandoned by her mother, who didn’t have the skills to care for and protect her from her father, she was placed into the foster system where she had some good families but was never adopted. By the time she was fifteen she was heartbroken and didn’t trust anyone. Placed in a group home in Cypress Hill, it took one family and a special woman to give her some sense of happiness

Eliza is a world famous knitter who spends some of her time every week at a group home and eventually takes Cora to her home, giving Cora for the first time in years a stable life. Cora thrives under Eliza’s care and become best friends with two cousins, Mac and Logan, who are always there for her as Cora’s time at school isn’t always pleasant. Teasing by the boys and by the most popular girl, Trixie is nasty. Both of the guys have crushes on her, but Cora pushes Mac away, even though she loves him because Trixie is interested in him and what Trixie wants, Trixie gets. Logan is only a friend but one night they get far too passionate and Cora becomes pregnant. Logan does the honourable thing and marries her but it is just the beginning of her grown up heartache.

Cora loses the baby a short while after she marries Logan and throws her energy into running the house and supporting Logan in his bronco riding career. Unfortunately, he dies five years later from cancer and it is a guilty relief to her as their marriage wasn’t what she expected it to be. Now, she lives off the land, barely staying afloat as the insurance ran out years ago and she only has Valentine, Logan’s mother, and Louisa, Mac’s mother, to ask for help. Logan’s cousin Mac left years ago and she is angry at him as he never came back for Logan’s funeral.

Valentine and her friends have kept her busy but Aunt Louisa always thought little of Cora and it doesn’t help that Trixie is still in town. She gets the news she hoped that she would never hear: Mac is back and it seems that he on a mission and it could not come at a worse time. Cora has lost all her stock for sale including her wool which she uses to knit sweaters that command a high dollar because of her association with Eliza. Despite all these issues, she’s happy and has a positive outlook on her life. Mac’s arrival shakes things up and brings a secret that threatens her life.

Mac—the cousin she loved but who never came in the time of her need—stayed away because he knew he couldn’t have Cora as he couldn’t live up to her expectations. Despite Trixie trying her hardest, he didn’t take up her offer and he left the area after having been offered a job at his friend Royal’s farm as the resident vet. The only male member of his family left, Mac tries to break the family curse of gambling. He knows the damage it has caused and the results that left Cora and his Aunt Valentine in barely sustainable situations.

Mac wants the best, but Cora has always been his downfall and with Cora taking an interest in his business, she’s the only person who knows when he lying. He’s got to tread lightly as he could unearth further secrets. Mac brought Royal along with him and he takes an interest in Trixie whose daughter Olivia is the same age as Cora’s child would have been if she had been born. Olivia’s parentage is a closely kept secret; a secret that could change everything Mac wants to achieve and could shatter Cora’s happiness

Ever since I read Loretta Hill’s rural contemporary The Girl in Hard Hat, I have fallen in love with beautiful rural contemporary stories with strong characters and beautiful scenery. So, it was no-brainer for me to accept this for review from the publisher.  I was curious to see how an American book would stack against the Aussies. I wasn’t disappointed. Hopefully, Australians will embrace this story like I have. It is a story that you can get lost in, and forget that the setting is a small, sleepy town America.

4 couples

 

 

 

 

Publisher : Random House Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : March 1st 2013

Rating

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Don’t Let Me Go by Susan Lewis

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Book Blurb :

Charlotte Nicholls has made a new life for herself and little Chloe. They have left everything behind, determined to forget a past which has cast a shadow over both their lives.

Charlotte would do anything for Chloe. But just when she feels they might have a chance of happiness at last, Charlotte is forced to confront the consequences of the heart-breaking decision she took only a few months earlier.

And it seems as if her greatest fear is about to be realised – that the little girl she promised to love and protect will be lost to her for ever…

Tash M

 

Review:

Don’t Let Me Go is a potent story filled with mystery, love and hurt. It follows Charlotte Nicholls and her ‘daughter’ Chloe as they make a new life in New Zealand after escaping England under circumstances unknown at the beginning of the read. Charlotte had an unconventional life; it all started over 26 years ago when her family was destroyed by her stepfather who went on a massacre after discovering Charlotte wasn’t his daughter.  Charlotte was the only one who managed to escape unhurt, her mother barely survived the attack and took a year to recover in hospital, her brother, and aunt and her real father were all dead at the hands of her stepfather who also killed himself. It’s something that became a local legend and Charlotte grew up knowing about it as she was adopted by the local rector and given a new name, Alex Lake. Charlotte grew up in a home with a loving father and sister, Gabriella; while her adopted mother, Myra, was not so loving because she didn’t want to adopt Charlotte in the first place.

She became a social worker and was happy in her job until two things happened. First her mother Anna re-enters her life, then she meets Ottilie, a three year old child whose father is abusing her, and whose mother has mental issues and can’t connect with her daughter. Therefore, when Ottilie’s father kills her mother and Charlotte gets information about the abuse, she forms a daring plan to leave the country with the child. She fallen in love with Ottilie and cannot get her out of her heart and head as she has pretty much been taking care of Ottilie’s needs for the last few months.

Therefore, she tells her mother and her stepfather Bob about the situation, and with their help escapes to Te Puna Bay where Alex and Ottilie change their identities and become Charlotte and her daughter Chloe. Charlotte knows what she is doing for Chloe; she is giving her the chance of a normal life. Bob has two children, Rick and Shelly, who all welcome Charlotte and Chloe with open arms. But there is one person who is not so keen. Katie, Rick’s fiancé, who happens to be from England as well and who is distant toward Charlotte as she feels that Charlotte has usurped her position in the family and  is upset that Rick is spending a lot of time with his new sibling.

 

It all goes wrong one night when Katie is drunk and decides to look for Rick and discovers that he is with Charlotte and has revealed his secret to her. Katie is looking for a scapegoat from her misery and the problems with Rick. She decides to do some research into Charlotte and discovers some surprising information about Charlotte and Chloe. Armed with the information, she decides to make a phone call and sets off a chain of events that leads Charlotte being escorted by the police back to England where her past and present collide and she is charged with kidnapping Chloe. But a friend from the past re-enters as Charlotte needs all the help she can get to fight for Chloe and the charge against her.

 

This is the first book from author Susan Lewis that I have read and I love the research she put into this story. She spent some time in New Zealand and her accurate descriptions about children’s rights give the tale gritty realism. Little nuances like that made this unique and interesting. This is an emotional story; don’t get me wrong, but the overall story is beautiful as a mother fights for the child she calls her daughter.

4 couples

 

 

 

 

Publisher : Random House Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : February 1 st  2013

Rating

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Brash by Nicola Marsh

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Book Blurb :

Jess Harper is so tired of being good…

Thrust into the dazzle of Burlesque Bombshells, Vegas’s premier dance venue, the small town librarian has no option but to embrace her inner vixen.
Especially when blast from her past, sexy Aussie celebrity chef Jack McVeigh is still determined to keep their relationship strictly hands-off.

This time Jess isn’t surrendering without a fight and armed with her hot props and Bombshell moves, Jack doesn’t stand a chance.

When Jess and Jack are sequestered on an island to orchestrate the burlesque wedding of the year, sun, surf and sizzling sex are on the menu!

But will the fiery couple come back for seconds?

 

 

 

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

 

Brash is the first in the new series about the Burlesque Bombshells, a dance venue in Las Vegas where what happens behind the scenes get everyone talking.

Jess Harper is in a rut. Sick of being “the good girl”, she ups and quits her job as the small town librarian in her hometown of Craye Canyon. The last tie to her hometown is broken after being dumped by her fiancé who called her “frigid”. What she does next is anyone’s guess but for the moment she in Vegas helping out as a wedding planner since her crazy, vibrant and brash mother is in rehab after suffering a stroke and milking Jess for all she’s worth. Jess’ brother Reid is in politics and her cousin Chanel is the owner of Bombshells. Jess has always been the quiet one, but it seems her time to be brash is just around the corner

The bride in question is the premier dancer of Bombshells. Zazz is marrying one of the richest men in Vegas, Dorian Gibbs, who has spared no expense to please his bride by flying in a Michelin Five Star chef, a chef who happens to be an old friend of Dorian and Reid’s. However, Jess didn’t get the 401 and left fuming and flustered as Dorian is also a guy from her past who she was interested in at one time.

Jack McVeigh, the guy she met ten years ago in the Aussie outback shared a searing kiss she still remembers.  Back then, Jack was only a cattle station cook but Reid gave him a break by getting Jack an apprenticeship. Later on, Dorian gave him the money to start his own restaurant and the rest is history. Jack felt obliged to Dorian and Reed, so Jack broke Jess’s heart because Reid was her brother, and he didn’t want to break his trust. At the time, Reid didn’t think that Jack was good enough for her.

Growing up in foster homes, Jack has never forgotten where he came from and works hard. Cookie, his restaurant, has a cult following, Michelin rating, and he has the honour three times in a row of being Australian Chef of the Year.

When Jack walks into the changing rooms and spots Jess holding tassels to her nipples, he instantly wants to see Jess naked with only them on. However, Jack is still feeling the same as he had years ago; very unsure of himself and he still doesn’t want to want to break Reid’s trust. He turns Jess down but the girl has grown up and won’t take “no” for an answer.

With the help of Chanel, Zazz and Bombshells accountant Addie, Jess decides to have a makeover “Bombshells style”. A brash and sassy Jess tells Jake that she wants an affair and if he won’t comply then she go looking for someone else … will Jake meet her terms?

I was expecting a good hot story from an author I adore. She didn’t disappoint. We get a steamy “hot fest” as the girls of Bombshells and their friends show us how things are done. The title says all you need to know.  Jack doesn’t know what hit him once Jess became Brash.

5 couples and I can’t wait for the next Bombshells story as those girls will surely weave their own brand of seduction once again on some unsuspecting man

 

 

Publisher : Nicola Marsh

Source : Author  Provided for review

Released : February 11th 2013

Rating

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A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon

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Book Blurb :

When Liv Crawford decided to pursue her dream of owning her own bakery, it was no surprise that she forgot to add “maintaining a serious relationship” to her business plan. Not when she believes a cupcake can fix anything, even loneliness.

Jake Miller isn’t concerned about being lonely. He’s cast aside his playboy lifestyle to pursue something more meaningful, his passion for photography. So, when his boss asks him to pursue a beautiful woman and coerce her to his office for a disguised meeting—no matter what it takes—in exchange for the opportunity to turn his hobby into a career, he jumps at the chance. At first sight, Liv awakens his long-buried desire for commitment, but his secret mission could ruin his hopes of keeping her.

Despite Liv’s commitment to swear off relationships to run her bakery, Jake quickly becomes her number one distraction. Yet, even her misgivings can’t tame the heat as they straddle the line between love and ambition.

 

 

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

I loved Gina Gordon’s first book for “Entangled” and was delighted to accept from the publicist her second book , which makes cooking all hot and sexy once again. In this case, it’s baking and one special lady who believes cupcakes make the world all better

 

In “A Taste of Trouble”, we follow two individuals who meet but one of them has ulterior motives and is trying to keep it secret from the other. Liz Crawford is on the road to opening her own cupcake bakery. She’s bought the place; now she has to prepare to pass the health and safety inspection and then she’s home free. Before the grand opening of the bakery, however, she’s going to spend some time at the “Mac Lean”, her best friend Patti’s family bar. Patti’s family has become her second family and they want the best for her, but think she needs that “special guy” in her life and, by chance, she meets him at the bar.

During the night, a drunk, rude, regular customer is abusive because he thinks he had lousy service. Jake steps in before things get to ugly. Jake and Liz have an instant attraction but Jake has an ulterior motive. Jake’s boss wants to meet Liz and won’t say why except that he tried before and she turned him down. Jake works for a media communications firm so this request seems to come out of left field but the position of vice president is being dangled in front of Jake and it would be the crowning achievement of his career. Complicating the boss’s request is that Jake is falling for Liz himself and is questioning his judgment as he watches the woman he’s falling for have everything go wrong for her.

Liz, meanwhile, is having the worst week of her life. Everything seems to be going wrong for her business and if it wasn’t for Jake, and her friends, she would be a mess; but someone is working against her.

I love Austin (Ozzie), I thought Patti would be one to push more but she took a caring friend role and Ozzie was the one to tell her to get down and dirty with her guy. She followed his “recipe for success” and the result is “baking that is hot and sexy. Who knew that with a little imagination, you can forget your troubles for a few hours?

4 couples (more like 4.5 couples)

 

Publisher : Entangled Publishing

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released :  February 18th 2013

Rating

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The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1) by Kristin Ashley

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Book Blurb :

Nina Sheridan’s on a timeout adventure in the Colorado Mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiancé, distance to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man who doesn’t care enough to learn how she takes her coffee.

Arriving in a blinding snowstorm at the A-Frame she rented, she comes face to face with the most amazing man she’s ever seen. Minutes later, when he kicks her out of his house, she goes head to head with him.

Beyond angry because she’s flown half a world away to start her timeout adventure, not to mention her sinuses hurt, she heads back down the mountain and ends up in a ditch. Unable to extricate herself, she gives up, hopes for rescue and falls asleep in the backseat.

The next morning she wakes up in the amazing man’s bed and she’s sick as a dog.

Holden Maxwell spends days nursing her back to health and then he spends the next two weeks trying to convince her to take her Colorado adventure further, in other words, make it permanent and take a gamble on him.

Nina has a tough time fighting her attraction to Max, especially when it seems all Max’s friends, her mother and stepdad and the whole town want them together and both she and Max get embroiled in the murder of Max’s ex-friend and the town of Gnaw Bone’s most detested resident – a man everyone has motive to kill, especially Max.

 

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Glamoured By-Eric 

Review:

 

Nothing like taking a ‘timeout’ from your uncaring fiancé to think things over by renting an A-Frame in the Colorado Rockies only to find out that the owner is in residence at your rental and isn’t leaving. When you leave the rental in a huff and start back down the mountain in a winter storm and end up in a ditch, and aren’t feeling great to begin with, you naturally crawl into the backseat of the car and fall asleep. At least that is what Nina Sheridan did.

 

In this first installment of the Colorado Mountain series by Kristen Ashley, Holden Maxwell, the owner of the A-Frame, is back in town as a favor to his best friend to watch out for his friend’s sister when Nina Sheridan shows up at his front door with a rental agreement. There was a mix-up in the reservation. After initially telling her to leave and to check into a hotel, he then offers to let her use his couch. Angry, Nina leaves, and in a bout of guilt, Holden follows to make sure she is okay. Finding her car in a ditch with her half frozen in the backseat, he takes her home and nurses her back to health from a high fever she has developed.

 

The arguments between Max and Nina are priceless. It is like a hot cast iron skillet meeting an equally hot griddle and someone turning up the heat to high on both and tossing them together. Max quickly dubs her ‘Duchess’ because she has a British accent and “fancy-ass” clothes and accessories. Max, is a ‘mountain man hottie’ as Nina describes him in her head. I’m sure I’d be fighting with Max as much as Nina does because, as hot as he is, Max is very alpha and likes to be in charge.

 

Kristen’s writing style was very character-driven and angsty with a murder to solve. She writes humor well, and has likeable, multifaceted characters that you care about. The reason I picked the book from Amazon was the small mountain town premise where ATVs thrive, mountains are everywhere, and bluffs overlook views for miles. Well, then there is the fact that I am a sucker for stories where one of the leading characters actually saves the other.

 

This book also depicts small town life where everyone knows everyone else’s business. It’s a place where you are accepted and where even total strangers can make you want to stay there even if—and when—they have their noses all up in your shit. Having lived in small town Colorado, it was very familiar.

 

This book really surprised me. Since it was labeled erotica on some folks’ Goodreads shelves, I didn’t expect the characters and plot to be as developed as they were. The erotica portion of the story didn’t happen right away but there was plenty of steam and fun leading up and through the story.

 

One of my favorite quotes was Max to Nina’s ex-fiance, Niles, after an attempted bribe to get Max to leave Nina:

 

“He put the knuckles of his fist to the table, leaned toward Niles and spoke quietly, cuttingly, in his rough, gravelly voice. ‘Fucked her last night, man, and this morning. Five times. Five. It was like she hadn’t been touched in a decade. So fuckin’ sweet. Damn,’ he taunted, his eyes locked on Niles. ‘You’ve had her, you gotta know, not enough money in the world’s worth that’.”

 

I have read a number of Kristen’s books and have liked them all. One thing I have noticed is that her editor misses some minor things in her books like omitting prepositions or other words, using ‘passed’ instead of ‘past’ and other minor things, but it did not distract much from the story. I also did find Nina rather annoying and very immature at times in the story.

 

Publisher : Kristin Ashley

Source : Purchased

Released :  April 18 2011

Rating

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Undeadly by Michele Vail

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Book Blurb :

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird…

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another…except, there’s something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly’s got an undeadly knack for finding trouble….

 

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

 

ONE WORD – Déjà vu

We have all felt it at some point when reading a book, I got halfway through this book and it happened to me. It just felt like I had read this book somewhere before. Well, I couldn’t figure out where though, but it’s something that stuck in my mind as read on.

Undeadly follows a trend that seems to be popular in 2012, zombies but with a twist. It involves Egyptian mythology. Many years ago, Anubis and his uncle Set had a war on Earth the resulted with Set being banished with the reapers he stole from Anubis. Anubis, upset about all the destruction, gave humans magic by splitting the reaper’s magic into five categories. The heroine and the females in her immediate family have one of these skills. Molly, the heroine, is able to reanimate zombies.  This skill has been passed down through generations of her family. She and her sister help her father run the business since her mother disappeared.

She wants a normal life but the day she turns sixteen she sets off a course of action that includes accepting Anubis in a dream. This sees the return of her grandparents who want to whisk her away after her party. A few things happen during her party; she gets the dream boy Rick and has an awesome party but then things start to go wrong. He hits his head on the fireplace and dies, but she is able revive him. It seems she is a reaper now and has angered another reaper, Rath. Within days, she is shipped off to the elite necromancer school. The school trains the best necromancers and Molly’s arrival sends shockwaves through the school. She is no ordinary girl, she just wanted a normal life but she comes from no ordinary family, it seems.

Like I said before, by halfway through the book, I had a sense of déjà vu and the rest of the book shaped up the school and her new friends. However, there was no mention of her family again except for her grandparents and aunt and I found it lacking after discovering the big secret. Seriously, her grandparents are scary. What about her sister Ally? Ally has magic, and from what I understand of the school, shouldn’t’t she be there as she is from the same family?

By the end of the book there is some sense of ending but it leaves too many open questions. Yeah, I know the aim of the book is to leave something unsolved so that the author can carry it on to the next book, but I felt there was too much missing in this case. The theme and characters in the book are interesting but the plot could have been dragged out a bit more so that some of the small questions I had could have been answered. Like, for instance, there is a huge thing about legacies at the school and the special privileges it carries but we only meet the second son of one family and one other legacy. Molly’s grandparents were so insistent on her going to the school because they were one of the founding families. Yes, the ending was dramatic, I’ll give the author that. Fans of Alice in Zombieland will love this if they aren’t too nitpicking.

I only can give it three couples, however, I am hoping that the second book builds on the basic plot and gives a longer story that answers lots of questions.

 

 

Publisher : Harlequin Teen Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : December 2012

Rating

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Storm Season by Nessa L Warin

 

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Book Blurb :

In Brightam’s Ford, a storm is coming. Ranch owner Jasper Borland and the rest of the townspeople have been rushing to prepare for the months of destructive weather the wet season brings, but with their limited technology, survival can be a struggle in itself. When Jasper finds a lost, injured young man on his property, he has no choice but to take him in. At least he’s quiet.

Unable to speak, the young man communicates by projecting his thoughts—a process that hurts anyone he isn’t touching. Since most people fear him, that means everyone but Jasper. Soon Jasper learns his guest is a telepath, a northerner named Tobias Thatcher, who is searching for his kidnapped sister, Samantha. Hesitant to leave and wary to stay, Tobias must find his sister before the men who took her follow through on their plans.

When the men come for Tobias, he can remain at Jasper’s no longer. But Jasper can’t let him go out alone. As the storms begin, he and Tobias set out on a dangerous journey to save Samantha and uncover the truth.

 

 

 

Fashionta

 

Review:

On a world slightly similar yet vastly different from our own we meet Jasper and Tobias. As they journey together in hopes of finding and saving Samantha, Tobias’ sister who was kidnapped a little over a year ago.

 

Having coming to the end of the dry season, Jasper is working on finishing up the last few things he needs to complete before the wet season begins, bringing on severe storms that can last all day and well into the night, raging down one after another, easily surpassing a month or longer. When an earlier storms hits, with just a small taste of what’s to come, Jasper sees a man huddled next to his barn, and without a moment of hesitation he braves the storm to bring the man in to safety.

 

Tobias is from the North Country and can only communicate by projecting his voice or thoughts out to others. However, being within the inland, he soon realized it causes pain to those who are not open to psychic energy. When he touches them the contact causes a slight buzzing sensation.

 

I, um, projected. Not to make you feel anything you weren’t feeling, he added quickly, but to share what I was feeling.

 

While they work together getting ready for the storm, trouble looms close by. The men who took Tobias’ sister are now after him, even willing to break in at night during one of the early storms and take a risk at grabbing him. Miraculously somehow Tobias escapes the men, and Jasper, while out with two of his close friends, find him, bringing him back to the house just as the next storm hits.

 

It’s after that encounter that Tobias’ need to continue on and his hopes of finding his sister alive take stronger root, he is certain he was only grabbed because she is still alive. Against his better judgment and because for some reason he can’t bear the thought of Tobias going alone, Jasper agrees to battle the storms and bring Tobias to the coastal town where it’s believed Samantha is being held.

 

The journey is fraught with peril as the storms grow stronger and more frequent with every passing moment. They are being followed by the same men who tried to kidnap Tobias before. The race against the storms brings them closer together.

 

Comfortable? He turned so he could look Jasper in the eyes, his shoulder sliding a little from under Jasper’s ear.

“Yeah.” Though he shouldn’t be comfortable the way he was slouched down on the hard wooden floor, his back pressed against the unevenly plastered wall.

Good. And then Tobias twisted; his shoulder slipping out from under Jasper’s ear as his hand came up to cup the back of Jasper’s head. Jasper blinked, opened his mouth, and closed it as cool, rain-wet lips pressed against his.

 

Just as they are within react of Shaleton, the coastal town, their truck breaks down, forcing them to find shelter in the woods for the night’s storm, only to wake and find the men who’ve been chasing them have finally caught up. They somehow stun Jasper into unconsciousness and make away with Tobias.

 

Amazingly enough, Jasper’s two friends have arrived ahead of Jasper and are waiting for him in Shaleton. Together they must find a way to save Tobias … but at what cost?

 

While I did enjoy this greatly, I felt it dragged on longer than necessary. The connection between Jasper and Tobias is slow going, but sweet. Jasper is wary, cautious but undoubtedly drawn to Tobias, while Tobias is curious, determined and maybe a bit overanxious at times. I really liked the aspect of the wet season, a time of raging storms brought on one after another, of houses built with hidden safe rooms to block out as much of the storms as possible. It was a new and interesting take on a different world. It was a fun read and I’d give it 3 couples.

 

 

 

 

 

Pubisher : Dreamspinner Publishing

Source : Publicist provided for review

Released : February 25th 2013

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Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss

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Book Blurb :

Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alicia—he wants Vi to be his best man.

Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.

With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

Keeping Secrets in Seattle is a book that I love because I could personally relate to Violet as I’m going through something similar in my life. Violet Murphy loved her best friend Gabe Parker for years but ever since high school she’s kept her thoughts to herself concerning him. However, the announcement at the Parker’s Christmas party leaves her reeling and a mess because her heart is broken. Gabe is getting married to Alicia, a waif like model who seems to hate her guts. He didn’t tell despite supposedly breaking up with her a couple of weeks earlier and she’s been the only constant  girl in his life that he’s not related to. She has a special place and is hated by Gabe’s girlfriends for one reason or another but it seems that Alicia is going to top all of them.

Now, instead of being happy and being a grown up about it, she decides to mope like a sulky teenager  and somehow ends up  getting stuck in the midst of the wedding  as the Best Man (remind you of Maid of Honour anyone?). So, what’s a best friend going to do when it seems everyone is happy except her and things are getting worse with each passing day except for the new boyfriend Landon Harlow. She needs to try and suck it up until Alicia brings up the one thing that she’s kept hidden from everyone all these years that will threaten to break Violet into a thousand little pieces. So what a girl going to do but play dirty as she knows the girl he is engaged to is not what she seems.

When I first read the synopsis and title, I jumped at the book. I was wondering how this was going to play out. I was delighted to receive an enchanting book that the author has seemed to have taken the time to carefully craft and bring the whole story together without overpowering the present.  Every chapter starts off with a journal entry that highlights important moments with Violet that happened in the past. What these seem to have in common is Gabe and her feelings, and it soon becomes apparent that she has been hiding something. What that is you don’t know as after a certain point the entries stop and the chapters seamlessly flow into the present where we follow Violet as she juggles affairs in the months after the announcement. It seems nothing is going right for her except Landon, who seems to be her knight in shining armour, and her two best girlfriends who are lovers and always there for her despite her attempts at trying to stop the wedding.

I have to be honest—some of her attempts are pathetic at the start. She doesn’t stand up for herself and instead tries to tell Gabe who is wearing love goggles over his eyes literally and thinks that Alicia is perfect. It’s not until she gets some information from Shane, a friend of Alicia’s, and discovers she isn’t as she seems, that things really change and Violet decides to do some sleuthing and discovers some hard truths. Truths that could get her what she wants but may hurt other people … so what does she do? You have to read to find out but I think most savvy romance readers will be able to figure out.

5 couples; it was just what I needed, a dark yet fun filled contemporary about keeping secrets and trying to move on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher : Entangled Publishing

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : February 18th 2013

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A Devil’s Touch (The Devil DeVere #4.5) by Victoria Vane

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Book Blurb :

A DEVIL’S TOUCH is an erotic romance vignette that can stand alone as a complete story, but also serves to bridge Book #4 THE DEVIL’S MATCH, and my forthcoming Book#5 JEWEL OF THE EAST (Salime and Simon’s story)

In her last month of pregnancy, Diana, Viscountess DeVere, has barely settled into her new life and role as “the devil” DeVere’s wife, when her increasingly restlesss husband receives an urgent summons to London. When Diana inadvertently discovers a message he received from a known courtesan with whom he was formerly linked, she fears her marriage is over before it has begun.

 

Tash M

 

Review:

The author of this series knows that I adore her Devil DeVere series and I was fortunate to receive a copy from her in exchange for an unbiased review. This is another of her vignettes which gives us more insight into Diana and Ludovic’s relationship as they wait in anticipation of their child’s arrival, which has Ludovic in a spin because of the doctors’ advice that he should refrain from having intercourse with his wife since she is nearly at the end of her confinement. Then Ned arrives with a piece of news that sends Ludovic spinning, their friend Simon is alive and the two go racing to London to see how they can help him. Ludovic has other business. Salime, the courtesan who helped Diana, needs his help and Diana finds out too, leading to an unhappy couple as Diana thinks that he is unhappy with her and is returning to his playboy ways. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, will this couple be able to sort their differences to have a happy day?

I love these insights into their world. Vanes’ books have always been a favourite of mine because of the ability to connect to all the characters and form a bigger story and she can do it in a matter of pages. In this tale, we get a hint of what is to come by setting up the fifth book, which we know is going to be about Simon and Salime. Also, we get an even hotter than usual peek at this couple. So I’ll put a warning here that Vane revisits something that happened in the past and to make things right she does something very naughty.

4 couples and I hope that the wait for the next book is not too long. These books are like crack and it’s been a while since I delved into her world yet again and I was excited to read her words that don’t disappoint.

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher : Mills and Boon Australia

Source : Author Provided for review

Released : October 2012

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