Friday, 27 January 2017

REVIEW - WOLF DAUGHTER BY G.A. RAEL

Title: Wolf Daughter
Author: G.A. Rael
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Werewolves, Romance
Release Date: 14th September 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
Emery is a smart and driven college student whose upperclass world is turned upside down when her mother's engagement party is attacked by werewolves. Even more shocking is the revelation that Emery herself is a human-werewolf hybrid. After being shipped off to the country to live with the father who abandoned her, she finds herself at the center of a decades-old conflict between two werewolf families as well as a rivalry between her father's trusted beta and the black sheep of the pack. All Emery wants is to get back to her boyfriend Lawrence and her life in New York, but her father and her unwanted suitors have other plans for her future. When Lawrence becomes entangled in the world she wants nothing more than to escape, Emery will have to embrace the new normal or risk losing everything she loves. 


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
It took me a while to decide what I wanted to read when choosing this book. I decided I wanted to continue with a shifter/werewolves theme. I've had this one waiting on my kindle/tablet waiting for me to read it for a while, so decided to go for this one.
 The cover features a female I would say is Emery. I like the font and placement of the title and author name, though I am not so keen on the "A contemporary fantasy" being printed on the cover, I like to discover the genre of the book by reading the blurb rather than needing it to be stated on the cover. Personally I think the genre description of paranormal, fantasy romance fits the book rather than the contemporary label.
I am finding the dynamics of the North East pack interesting. It seem's that Emery's father and Alpha Rick, is a more forward thinking leader than some of the other packs. In fact Rick is a powerful Alpha as is "The Alpha" or the whole of the north eastern region. Which probably why he has so successfully kept Emery hidden from all the other werewolves so well. The only reason emery is being taken to her father's and pack home is because there was a very public wolf attack, which occurred at her mother's engagement to new partner Robert. Emery has led a fairly modern life, her mum had her young and as far as emery is aware has brought her up single-handedly. Emery is settled in her own life, is independently minded, and has been dating psychologist Lawrence for three years now. Lawrence also has a rather feminist ethic. 
Emery is really pleased her mother, Beverly has found a partner in Robert, someone she can have fun with and at the same time will take care of her too. 
The attack happens as Emery has just finished her speech at Beverly and Roberts engagement party. The first clue anything is going on are the loud growls, then there's shattering glass and wolves! It's decided by her parents after this attack the safest place for Emery to be is with her father Rick, whom she has no memories of at all. Rick and the pack are taking care of the upset/trauma caused by the wolves attacking so blatantly in a public place. Rick sends one of his best wolves, Tucker, to collect Emery, and escort her to his home, which Emery has taken to calling "the compound". In her mind she is being taken away to some strange culture and she mentally shudders as she the majority of women she see's as her and tucker enter her fathers estate are all pregnant! It's not a big leap that Emery thinks her father has brought her here to be some sort of breeding machine to further increase his pack and power. 
It seems that Emery is somewhat of an anomaly as she is half human, but the differences don't stop there. Emery ends up with two of her fathers pack imprinting on her. There's Mitchell who acts as second in command and is a stable, reliable wolf. Then there's Dane, a more impetuous wolf who goes off on his own and does his own thing. Naomi the elder has never known such a thing as two wolves imprinting on one female. Imprinting is quite a complicated thing and once started cannot be stopped. If anything should happen to Emery those that imprinted on her will go feral. Ferals have to be put down as they are a danger to everyone, both human and pack. 
There is such a lot going on in this book, there are so many plot lines within this book. Emery being at the centre of most of them, there's the whole imprinting, so a love triangle between Emery, Mitchell and Dane. There's the fact that Emery has a human boyfriend Lawrence, and the whole attack/incident that needs to be covered up. There's the odd relationship between Emery and her mother Beverly. Also there's the old vendetta between a rival pack alpha Jeffrey and Emery's father Rick. There's an incident where a human is bitten, which usually ends with the human being immediately killed, but there are even more complications in this case, so the plot goes in another direction. I also adored all the usual pack politics and bickering between the wolves, as well as the easy camaraderie with each other. I would have liked to read more about the other pack members too. 
I of course loved Emery's character, all she has to adapt to, at first digging in her heels, and then eventually being actually eager to have a pack life. It was interesting how her opinion and thoughts about her mother change throughout the book. 
I loved both the characters of Mitchell and Dane, the two wolves that imprinted on her. Their characters as different as chalk and cheese, they fight like two kids over the last chocolate in the tin. (Emery being the last chocolate in the tin that they both want all to themselves). Though when events take a dangerous turn they manage to pull together for the sake of Emery. 
I admit that I did kind of see the whole Tucker/Lawrence story-line a little before it was revealed in the book. I really enjoyed the book, don't get me wrong but it could have been so much more. For example, I would have liked to have met some of the council members that Rick had to deal with too. There were also a couple of mistakes with wrong names being used, for example to begin with I thought Emery's mum was called Vanessa, but Vanessa is the maid at Ricks cabin. However Vanessa is then called Gretchen a little further into the book. I did auto correct this myself and I certainly wouldn't let a couple of typos put you off reading this book. I really didn't want to put this book down. I did feel that when the imprinting situation finally comes to a conclusion within the hunt. The steamy scene of Emery finally marking her mate, seemed a tiny bit "awkward", it all felt a little too rushed. I think this book could have maybe been longer or even made into two books there was certainly enough going on in it. The hunt itself wasn't as specific, or detailed as I expected. Though the scene around the river, is well written and detailed too. 
My final thoughts are that the book could possibly just end where it did and that be all for the story. Then again with all the other pack members and Emery, Dane and Mitchell's new way they will be running the pack, I think there could be so much more to read about. Either way I was fairly happy about how things ended. 




Tuesday, 24 January 2017

REVIEW - PROTECTED - DIABLO LAKE BY LAUREN DANE

Title: Protected
Series: Diablo Lake
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Shifters
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 23rd January 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Tensions are building in Diablo Lake as the two main rival Packs vie for control, and the town is divided along lines of Pack loyalty. Aimee Benton and Mac Pembry are on opposite sides and he seems to find excuses to spar with her daily. He's infuriating—not to mention charming, gorgeous and oh-so-lickable.

Mac can't resist pushing Aimee's buttons. She's always been incredibly sexy, and the wolf in him craves a female with fire in her belly. When a heated argument ends with a sizzling kiss and Mac gets a taste of her, he craves more—and she can't seem to get enough of him, either. The forbidden nature of their attraction stokes their desires until they're secretly hooking up whenever they can.

But then Mac's clan goes too far, and Aimee shuts him out. She's hurt and angry—but that's nothing compared to the rage Mac is feeling toward his own Pack. A fight is brewing that will plunge the whole town into chaos, and someone will have to cross Pack lines to keep the town's fragile peace from breaking apart for good.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
After reading Moonstruck and falling in love with Diablo Lake, its magic and secret supernatural population I was really eager to read more as soon as I could. I adored the characters, their interactions with their families and each other in Moonstruck. I read the blurb for this book and I was really raring to go with reading, to learn more about the Pembry wolves. I was also curious to see how a possible relationship between witch, Aimee Benton and dominant wolf Macrae Pembry would work out. My thoughts were along the lines of would the wolf men, Jace Dooley and Macrae Pembry and their differences come between the true deep friendship between Aimee Benton and Katie Faith Dooley?
I became totally immersed in the Diablo Lake magic before I'd finished reading the first page of Protected. The book picks up three weeks after the wedding of witch, Katie Faith Grady and prime wolf Jace Dooley. The alterations to the Dooley home of Jace and Katie are well underway and it seems both patrons, Jace & Katie have slipped into their new roles quite seamlessly and are coping with the added workload fairly easily too. The garden of the property has flourished since Katie moved in and it has abundant display of beautiful smelling roses.

Aimee is all worked up, she has discovered something about an ex-boyfriend and the only person she feels she can turn to with the revelation is best friend Katie Faith. Katie is naturally shocked but reassures her friend that she is not the person with the problem, it is her ex-boyfriend of three years Bob that has the issues and needs to deal with them. Katie advises Aimee to just forget about it all. 
The two girls soon turn their attention to the fit looking werewolves working on the house. Aimee can certainly understand her friends attraction to werewolves.

The cover of Moonstruck had a purple hue to it, this book has a blue hue. The scene on Protected's cover could be straight from a certain section of the book when a certain couple are kissing under the moonlight. I would say the couple is Aimee and Macrae the two most central characters within Protected. Katie actually teases Aimee, saying that Macrae is "eyeing her up", though Aimee laughs and brushes off the comment she has to admit to herself and then later to best friend Katie that she finds Macrae rather swoon worthy herself!

The genre of Protected is classified as Romance, Sci-Fi Fantasy by Netgalley and I totally agree with this. I will add that yes there are some steamy scenes with quite explicit language but to me it works well as it is part of a larger plot/storyline not just for the sake of a steamy scene.

So after being "rescued" by Macrae from being skittled over by two fighting werewolves (Dooley vs Pembry) and then "bumping" into Macrae a few other times they end up organising a date. Naturally gossips that they are Aimee and Katie come up with the idea of meeting up making it, Aimee, Macrae, Katie and Jace going out for the meal! These girls are as close as sisters really, and throughout the book Katie Faith proves to be a real support and defender of Aimee. Jace also views Aimee as family and is always on hand to "sort out" anyone bothering her, but Aimee is a strong witch, who both can and prefers to defend herself. There's rumours, malicious gossip, rival pack tensions as well as internal Pembry wolf pack tensions galore in this book. If you thought Moonstruck was packed full of action . . ..well Protected has all that and even more.
Katie Faith & Jace Dooley still feature quite highly in my list of favourite characters in this series. We also learn just how stern Miz Rose can be when a couple of werewolves that should know better break the code, one of the simplest but most important rules for all those that live in Diablo Lake. I'm trying to hint and skirt around revealing anything as I of course do not want to spoil your own reading experience of this brilliant book. 
I cannot say I like Scarlett Pembry but at one or two points in Protected you do feel empathy towards her, as Aimee does too. The way Scarlett keeps on going at Katie Faith and her reputation is weird. . . and is becoming stranger and more mystifying as the Diablo Lake Series progresses. Scarlett really seems to have a vendetta against Katie . . . .and she continually rakes over old Diablo Lake history bringing up Josiah Dooley . . . and hinting at "bad things" as well as snarking and being nasty towards Jace Dooley too. Hopefully we will learn exactly what Scarlett's problem is somewhere in the future of the Diablo Lake series.
The odd thing about Scarlett is that when she finds out about a possible union between Katie Faith's best friend Aimee and her son Macrae she is all for it. The immediate reason for her favourable attitude towards Aimee seems to be that it would mean the "Pembry pack" would then have their own witch like she see's Katie Faith being to the Dooley pack. 
I'm looking forward to learning what her actual problem is and why she is so anxious to do as much damage to Jace and Katie Dooley as possible.
Macrae is the opposite of his parents, in fact he ends up having to make some difficult choices in how to deal with certain members of his family. I personally think Macrae is similar in character, personality and ways to Jace Dooley. I reckon if Jace and Macrae were in charge of their respective packs there would be much less drama and upset in Diablo Lake. The "cats" in Diablo Lake have a brief part to play in a "clean up" operation that has Miz Rose taking charge. I'm hoping we get to discover more about the cat shifters later in this series. Though what we do know is that they aren't as close, and in and out of each others homes like the werewolf packs are.
The "shining star" of Protected has to be Aimee Benton, who is a nurturing green witch. Aimee is the person who goes around Diablo Lake calling in on the older generation offering herbal and magic infused tinctures and balms to soothe their ailments. Aimee does this without anything in return really, she does it because she can and wishes too. I thought the way she wormed her way into Jeph Pembry's home and heart was particularly amusing, she kind of managed to turn around her good deeds, giving the impression Jeph was doing her a favour eating the extra bun, or the extra broth or pie she left for him. Even the matriarchal Rebecca Pembry is won over by the caring Aimee. Rebecca gives both the permission and strength to Macrae to pursue Aimee no matter what as well as being the wise voice he needs to hear when the time comes he has to become patron. Rebecca informs her grandson Macrae that Aimee Benton will make a worthy patron and be a great asset to the Pembry pack.

Protected is more centred on the Pembry wolves, though we have already met Macrae's immediate family of parents Dwayne and Scarlett, and obnoxious spolit brother Darrell. We also read about Mac Pembry's true family support network from grandmother Rebecca, to his Uncle Bern and his wife and the cousins that always have his back Huston and Everett. We also learn a little more about Mac's other brothers Billy and youngest Samuel. It was an important moment in the book when Samuel chose to speak up and warn Macrae and Aimee about a plan that current Mayor Dwayne has to discredit opponent Aimee in the run up to the Mayoral elections. I'm looking forward to seeing and reading about the aftermath of the incidents at the end of Protected. How will Scarlett react now she is no longer the patron? Will the Pembry pack finally settle under the watchful eye and fair hand of Mac Pembry.

I have to add just a few more things....Firstly, I truly adored the part in the book where it is revealed Macrae got his name from. Secondly, I could seriously visualise the incident in the supermarket where Nadine Grady hears Pembry Wolves slandering her daughters name ans she picks up a can of peaches and hits the wolf. . . . well you'll find out when you read the book yourselves. Finally, I was also immensely entertained by what I call the Katie/Aimee "isms" such as "Softy Softerson", "maggot eating shit lord"and "Cheaty McCheaterson". The other nick names I found really appropriate during Protected, were for the opposing packs in town were the "Droolworthy Dooleys" and the "Poison Pembrys". Though after the ending of Protected maybe it should be "Droolworthy Dooleys" and "Pulseracing Pembry's". 

I could really go on and on about this book, in fact this series so far! The books fit together well, especially as there is only a three week time frame gap between the end of Moonstruck and the beginning of Protected. 

The initial words floating around my head as I finished reading Protected but also fit well for Moonstruck were, Enthralling, Captivating, Emotional, and Heart Warming. The Diablo Lake series has family and community at the very heart of the plots and has some relate-able situations even though it is classified as fantasy. All I can really sum up with is Wow! another fantastic book n the Diablo Lake Series! and that I am so eagerly awaiting the next book in the series I hope it's not long until its available to read.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

REVIEW - MOONSTRUCK - DIABLO LAKE BY LAUREN DANE

Title: Moonstruck
Series: Diablo Lake
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 20th June 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
In Diablo Lake, Washington, a town populated by werewolves, witches, and more, magic woven deep into the earth protects the town's secrets from outsiders.

Katie Grady left Diablo Lake to get over a humiliating breakup; but her family needs her help, so she's back, in a sublet right across the hall from the guy she's lusted after for years. Jace Dooley is hotter than ever, and their friendship picks up along with massive doses of grown-up chemistry.

The very scent of Katie sharpens Jace's canines, makes the wolf within him stir. There's nothing more alluring to a Pack Alpha than a sexy female who is so very in charge. She won't be coddled, but if he plays his hand just right she might be convinced to become his.

Katie presents a challenge to Jace's wolf nature, whose chief instinct is to protect. Especially now that she's coming into the magic that is her birthright - and suddenly Jace isn't the only one who's interested in Katie, or the raw power she's just learning to use.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I recently decided to revisit a genre I have loved for a long time, I guess some would refer to it as paranormal though to narrow that genre down to be even more specific I'd describe it as "shifters".  I originally discovered another title by Lauren Dane via Netgalley, and have since explored her other book title listings on Goodreads. 

I love the purple hue to the cover of this book, really giving the impression of being under the moonlight. The couple on the front I'd say have to be Jace Dooley and Katie Faith Grady. Would the cover affect my purchasing the book. . . that's a difficult one, I think it would depend what shelf this book was sitting on. Some people on Goodreads have categorised this books genre as erotica. A book being classed as erotica tends to put me off, but having read other titles by this author I decided to go ahead and give this one a go, as I have found the other titles I've read more steamy than what I personally class as erotica and don't read. I'm really glad I did, and I would say it is a paranormal romance with some steamy scenes that are relevant to the plot and well within what you would expect of the characters involved. I think this book has a little something for most paranormal readers, there's the werewolves, cat shifters, and various different types of witches.

The main character of this book is Katie Faith Grady, who left her home in Diablo Lake when she was quite literally left at the altar by Darrell Pembry! Naturally she left town rather upset but her father Avery Grady is ill and her mother Nadine Grady needs her help in looking after Avery and their diner business called "The Counter". Of course Kaite Faith rushes home to help, holding her head high and willing to face all the gossips and whatever they will have to say about her. For Katie Faith her family come first before petty gossips and snide remarks from the Pembry family.

Diablo Lake is an isolated area, that is steeped in both tradition and magic. Those that live in Diablo Lake are paranormal, so werewolves, cat shifters, and witches are the residents.
Katie Faith initially stays over at her best friend, Aimee Benton's home, but soon realise her return to Diablo Lake is going to be a longer stay, if not permanent move. So she decides to take a look at properties available to rent. She approaches local part time realtor Damon Dooley, whose family have a few rental available, in fact one is above the mercantile they own. There's more than one reason Katie Faith shouldn't move into the vacancy apartment above the mercantile, one, it's straight across the hallway from the long not so secret crush of hers Jace Dooley and two, living in a Dooley property puts her in the middle of the shifter war that seems to be brewing. When Katie Faith see's the property, it's everything she wants and more so she decides to throw caution to the wind and move in. Lets face it, living across the hall from a hunky werewolf is not going to be an ordeal!

An altercation on the street shows that Katie Faith Grady is a strong witch who will play an important part in Diablo Lake's future. This makes her a valuable asset to have as part of any family or pack.  Katie Faith doesn't want to be anyone's asset, or to be wanted for her magic abilities. . . so she knows who is being genuine around her, and who wants to merely use her for their own betterment. The quiet Katie Faith Grady that left town after being badly let down in the worst possible way on her wedding day has gone. The Katie Faith Grady that returned to Diablo Lake is stronger both in character and magic. Katie will not hide away, as if she did something wrong when the fault was with the other party! She is also determined not to be pushed around or used as a pawn in a larger game between werewolf packs and she isn't afraid of saying her mind/piece anymore!

A relationship between Jace and Katie soon begins, which has the Pembry's shouting from the rooftops that Katie is taking sides. What the Pembrys fail to see is that the Witches are people in their own right too. Though the usually quieter, placid witches are sick and tired of being looked over and taken for granted. Miz Rose has decided its time the witches showed everyone what an important part they are of Diablo Lake and its secrets. When push quite literally goes to shove Katie Faith will have the Diablo Lake Witches as well as the Dooley Werewolves standing by her.

Of course I love the main character of Katie Faith Grady, she may not be a werewolf but she can kick butt as good as any werewolf, male or female! I became quite fond of Jace Dooley . . . in fact all the Dooley men come across really well rather lovable. Adopted and then brought up by their grandparents, JJ & Patti Dooley as their mother died in childbirth and their father, Josiah, did something so bad he was removed from the pack, struck from the historical records and it was ordered he not mentioned of again. It's when Scarlett Pembry uses her recollections of the past to try and push a wedge between Katie and Jace, that she is not only being openly vindictive, she is also breaking pack lore. Sadly head of the Pembry pack, Scarlett's husband Dwayne seems to have neither the notion or power to reign his wife back into line. Which is when his eldest son Macrae Pembry is sent for, he needs to return to Diablo Lake to sort out the mess created by his mother Scarlett, brother Darrell and get the Pembry pack back under control, which his father Dwayne seems incapable of doing.
I really enjoy the histories, cultures and traditions of the different races. The way all the supernaturals and their elements of magic affect each other and how they need to work together to ensure the balance remains in Diablo Lake. I was found the descriptions of the different types of witches captivating too.
I found the older characters in the book enchanting too. Miz Rose the "head witch" in Diablo Lake as well as Avery & Nadine Grady and JJ and Patti Dooley all captured my heart with their stories of the past and subtle encouragement for the relationship between Katie and Jace. The way the older generation of Diablo Lake sort of turn a "blind eye" pretending not to notice things are happening until Katie and Jace are ready to "go official" with their feelings and relationship.

This book and its characters pull you right into the heart of Diablo Lake and then hold you there until the last words on the page. I certainly finished reading this one thinking, "Wow when can I read more?" I absolutely intend to start reading the next book in this fantastic series right away!
I can safely say I have found another author in Lauren Dane whose books I feel an instant pull to read. I would certainly add Lauren's name to my "must read author list"for shifter books, along with Kelley Armstrong, Amanda Carlson, Karina Espinosa, and J.A. Belfield.



Tuesday, 17 January 2017

REVIEW - DEEP DOWN DARK - MONSTER ISLAND SERIES BY KATIE FRENCH

Title: Deep Down Dark
Series: Monster Island
Author: Katie French
Release Date: 25th December 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
My name is Lucca DiVitas. 
A few other teens and I have been trapped on an island full of blood-thirsty monsters. 
But when we try to escape, every door we open creates more questions than answers. 
Why is someone planning our deaths, watching from cameras like a sadistic voyeur? 
Why would someone dangle a twelve-year-old girl from a tree like bait? 
And what does my own father have to do with this? 


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I was certainly looking forward to reading more of this series. I had lots of questions from both the prior books in the series. Hopefully I will get some answers or hints at answers in this book! Though why do I feel I may be asking as many questions I get answered. . .lol.
I didn't really take notes as I was reading this, Being familiar with the characters and the fact that this is a series is presented as a number of short stories I basically didn't want to put the book down! I felt like I was racing along side the characters, desperate to learn about where they were and why they were there as well as the big question of who has brought the here to Monster Island.

The cover again is kept simplistic, and fits in well with the other covers. The same byline of "Pay For Your Sins" is again featured on the cover. I'd certainly say this series falls into the genres of thriller, suspense, and I would even say it has a horror element to it.

This book picks right up where the previous one, The Noose, ended. Lucca and Kat are still united and determined to find 12 year old Joslyn. They are struggling, moving through the snow and extremely cold conditions in their frantic attempt to get to Joslyn before the sadistic kidnapper lowers her to the floor and amongst the awful beast that seem native to this horrific Island of terrors!
Later in the book Kat and Lucca are almost herded to a church by the monster-beasts. In fact they are so afraid they make the terrible mistake of engaging a combination lock to keep out the monsters, which it does but they then soon realise in their hurry to escape they have in fact trapped themselves!
Still Kat and Lucca push on together, unified in their bid to find out the answers to the increasing amount of questions they have.It's then they make a discovery which shatters their friendship. . . I won't say what they discover . .but I felt so sorry for Lucca, who to be honest is as dumbfounded by their discovery as Kat is. Lucca attempts to explain but Kat see's something on one of the video camera feeds that looks like her sister and she dashes off into the wintery landscape alone to rescue her sister.

The character that became my favourite in this book was Kat. You are given more insight into her home life prior to her being kidnapped. Kat is naturally protective over her twelve year old sister Joslyn. Kat and Joslyn live with their Nana, their parents went off for a three week excursion, but never returned. . they have been gone eight months!
I really loved the astrological desriptions revealed in a scene between Kat, Jos and their Nana before they were taken. Kat is a cancerian, which means though she can be moody and emotional, she is also very caring and is usually the one to fix things. Where as Joslyn is a scorpion, known to be hot headed and having a temper.
I also identified with the solution and action Kat takes against a boy who has been bullying Joslyn, she certainly teaches him a lesson, though she also gives herself a rather nasty scare in the process. Kat comes across as really brave and in control the way Kat is prepared to face anything from a twelve year old boy who is bullying her sister to a large squid, monster wolf/bears and the sadistic people who have kidnapped them and placed them on this island of horrors! She would do anything for her younger sister. 

I think I learnt much more about Kat's character in this book. Some of my questions were partly answered but I still have a few of the same questions I had after reading Taken, and then The Noose. I cannot imagine why someone, or some organisation maybe would want to put young teens on such an isolated island full of monster-beasts and sadistic individuals!
I am eagerly awaiting the next part of the series! I want to know more. . .more about the island and maybe some more about the characters "before" they were taken too. It's very clever how Katie is having the character flashing back in time presenting reasons for why they may deserve to be punished on this odd, macabre island.

Upon finishing reading the book I like to make a quick note of my feelings/reaction. The final thoughts I had as I came to the end of Deep Down Dark were "Well I didn't expect that! or 'him' to be part of it all!"

Friday, 13 January 2017

REVIEW - HAVELOCK BY JANE D. EVERLY

Title: Havelock
Author: Jane D. Everly
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: 26th November 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Eliana Havelock is a female with no past, whose determination to bring down a Karachi arms dealer catches the attention of the British Secret Intelligence Service. MI-6 is currently fractured due to political upheaval with many of its covert programs dissolved or disbanded. When Eliana presents the opportunity to divert an international arms disaster, the head of MI-6 partners her with one of it’s best and brightest, the enigmatic, Connor Blackwell. But in a world of secrets and hidden agendas, who can Eliana trust? And what, or who, is Eliana really after?


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
Having read and enjoyed another "mystery, thriller" I fancied reading this one. The genre is somewhat newer to me and so I'd say I am still discovering authors/books I enjoy. The plot was making me ask questions quite early on in the book, for example, How does Eliana know of Treadik and can she stop him?

The cover shows a female who I'd say is Eliana, with her hand outstretched, showing her bright red nail polish. Above her hand is a large pill/tablet with the title of the book, Havelock across it. 

This book is listed as being Adult, Contemporary, Mystery and Thriller, which I think describes the book well, and I agree with those genres.

I began reading this one quite some time ago and just couldn't get into it, so I filed it away to try again in the future. After reading a YA Mystery/Thriller, and a couple of Adult, Mystery, Thriller's so I decided to give this book another go.

The central character in this book is Eliana Havelock, who is described as having crystal blue eyes, a dark complexion. The book goes on to tell us, the reader, that Eliana is a strong independent woman, taught to be that way by her mother. Eliana's mother died whilst she was still young, yet her father never appeared to claim her. Which is why Eliana is looking for her father, she wants answers. Currently Eliana is following the drugs trade and we meet her whilst she is being held captive by those she had been watching. When attacked by one of the men, Eliana manages to cut his face as retaliation, which angers her captor even more. The man and Eliana continue fighting with Eliana using the man's overconfidence and manages to get hold of the mans own gun and shoot him with it! So we now know that Eliana is one tough cookie, who can fight her own battles. Eliana does not enjoy killing for the sake of it, she views it merely as a case of survival of the fittest. It's whilst she is assessing her own injuries that the door to the room she is in is kicked in and in swarm two men in combat gear, and another rather attractive looking guy. She quickly assess the new situation she finds herself in. I really enjoyed reading about Eliana, her character and the people she comes into contact with, within the book.
The other character I read most about in the book was Jeremy Lampert. To say he is the opposite of Eliana's character is an understatement. Jeremy is a 39 year old male married to a woman who loves sending much more money than they have coming in. This man can see no way out of this debt and no light at the end of the tunnel for his life, private or business work life. Jeremy married his wife Vanessa when they were very young, they have three children. Their eldest Evie is in a rehab centre in South Florida. To be totally honest I found Jeremy a little irritating...I wanted to physically shake him to wake him up and break him out of his monotonous life that he is seemingly just plodding along in. One minnute Jeremy is doing the daily drudge of going to work, goes to the bathroom and recives a phonecall from his wife. . . then the next minute he is once again driving in his car and see's it is 10.03am and he has some how lost the last 45 minutes of his life/day. Then Jeremy notices blood on his hands and car steering wheel....he then hears his name on the car radio, saying that there is a city wide hunt out for him, it's believed that he is guilty of being part of an assassination plot! I read further on where Eliana is in contact with and then soon working in conjunction with MI6. 

I felt like there were too many slower paced parts in the book for my reading taste and I became more and more irritated to a point I was avoiding reading! It was then that I decided I should finally DNF (Did Not Finish) this book. I don't know if it's just this specific book, it characters or slower plot that made it so I couldn't get along with, or the fact that the book is in a genre I do not read a lot of.

I would say please don't let me put you off this book just because I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean you won't. I think this book, it's plot and characters would have been more my dad's "cup of tea"/book type than mine. The thing is you don't learn anything if you don't try new genres and new authors, and like I stated at the beginning of this review, I had recently broadened the parameters of the genres I read. So I have actually read and thoroughly enjoyed other contemporary, mystery, thriller books. 

To sum up this particular title was just not for me, hence my Did Not Finish.






REVIEW

FAVE CHARACTER/CHARACTERS



FINAL THOUGHTS

This book has what I would class as a kick butt female character at the centre of the plot. I did like the characters of 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

REVIEW - BLUE BLOODED - JESSICA MCCLAIN SERIES BY AMANDA CARLSON

Title: Blue Blooded
Series: Jessica McClain
Author: Amanda Carlson
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Magic
Release Date: 19th December 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
Jessica McClain is on the hunt for her destiny. She arrives in Baltimore to find that her quest has reached a dead end and only a note remains. Forced to do as it says, or die, Jessica and her crew must head overseas.

They arrive to discover Julian de Rossi, the Mediterranean Pack Alpha, is double dealing with a powerful goddess and Tally is still missing. With help from a divine source, they engage in an all out war—one that must end in a sacrifice. But is Jessica ready to pay the ultimate price?


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
To say I couldn't wait to read this book was an understatement! I was really looking forward to catching up with Jessica and all the other supernatural characters in this book. I did put it on my kindle/tablet to start reading on the 19th but due to being ill I couldn't even read, yep I was that ill! It was really frustrating not be able to read this book straight away! So I actually began reading the book on the 26th of December. I could feel myself being pulled right back into the story again. As for the characters it's like meeting up with old friends. 

The cover has Jessica featured prominently in he middle of it which fits really well with the plot of the book as Jessica is front and centre in the majority of the action! The moon is once again featured in the background, which both ties in with the other covers as well as being there because of its importance to the wolves and in this book it's even more important as the Coalition with say their vows under the moon. The byline on this cover says "Fight To Win" and is exactly what has to be done, not just by Jessica but by other various characters too. (I can't say which characters as that would involve spoilers! so forgive me for being a little vague). My usual would the cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf is a definite yes. 

The genre's this book falls into like the rest of the series are paranormal, urban fantasy, shape shifter, and more. I'd say there is a definitely a supernatural in this series to suit every reader.

In this book Jessica is having to follow directives from Enid. Enid is naturally angered with Jessica for killing the host body that her sister Bianca would have been re-born into. Jessica, Rourke, James, Marcy are joined by Kayla and they are helping her find her brother Jax as well as looking for Danny, Naomi, and Tally. There's the added pressure of the new coalition being formed very soon but first fate has a few twists and turns for Jessica to work her way through.
I found the gang being in Italy interesting as Amanda also included information about the genuine surroundings and landmark, tourist place of Italy. I found the new characters fitted in well with the existing ones and I soon became attached to Kayla and Ajax (Jax for short). In this book we meet more of the Mediterranean Pack.
There are lots of different supernaturals featured in this installment of the series, shape shifters (werewolves, cats, fox), vampire, fae, witches, seers, warlocks, kitsune, and ....(I can't say as it would be a spoiler). As for a favourite character, how can I choose just one? I mean of course I love Jessica! She has remained kick butt and true to herself throughout the series so far. It is continually hinted at in this book that she will have to make a great sacrifice. When asked if she will do this, she doesn't simply say yes blindly to get what she wants at the time (freedom of her kidnapped friends). In fact she actually says no, explaining if the sacrifice was to murder someone in cold blood or a member of her family she would be unable to do so. Eventually somewhat of a compromise is put forward and Jessica agrees to make a sacrifice when it is necessary. We find out what it will be later in the book that the sacrifice will not only affect Jessica, but will deeply affect her mate and by extension her family and pack. However fate has spoken and what will be. .  will be. I guess we will find out for sure in the next book. 
Everything builds up and there is a large confrontation in the book, that could change everything in both the supernatural world and the human world. Though there are supernaturals on hand to make sure events turn out as fate intended them to. 

I could easily go on and on about this book and what happens, the new supernatural characters we meet and the new planes that are revealed to both Jessica and us the readers. I found this book an amazing installment in a truly brilliant series. So I do not reveal any spoilers from this book, or the previous books I think I have to stop here, but please take my word for it this is a must read series!

Personally I find series is more addictive with each and every installment. Amanda Carlson has delivered a fantastic read once again. I totally adore this series and it's brilliantly crafted characters and plot. Definitely, desperately want to read more of it! I love everything about this series and its captivating characters!

I have been asked who/what author/books I would compare this series to. I have read and adored and would compare the Jessica McClain Series and it's author Amanda Carlson as being as good, (I never thought I would ever say this as I was besotted with the Bitten Series) if not even better than, Kelley Armstrong's Women Of the Otherworld! There are some fantastic shape shifter series available right now. Others I would recommend are Karina Espinosa's Mackenzie Grey series, J.A. Belfield's Holloway Pack series and Lauren Dan's Cascadia Wolves Series too. (which is being re-released by Carina Press). 


Friday, 6 January 2017

DOUBLE REVIEW - ALONE TIME & GIRL'S NIGHT OUT - VISITS TO PETAL SERIES BY LAUREN DANE

Title: Alone Time
Series: Visits To Petal
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: 4th September 2012

BLURB from Goodreads
Visits to Petal, Part 1
***This free story is bonus material for readers of the Chase brothers and Petal, Georgia, series and is not intended to be standalone.***

It’s date night in Petal, Georgia, and Nathan, Matt and Shane have some long-awaited alone time with their women and they’re not about to let that opportunity go.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
To be totally honest I didn't read the Goodreads Blurb for this book, which is unusual as I do normally check out a book/novella I want to read on Goodreads first. I'd read the two Cascadia Wolves novella's, loved them and wanted to try another title or two by Lauren Dane and as this one was free I just downloaded it and read it.
The cover features a couple passionately embracing and undressing so of course suggests romance and though some people on Goodreads have classified this as erotica, to me, I'd say even though its a novella there is enough plot/story line in it, sure it has some steaminess suggested, but is mostly romantic. This book introduces you to the Chase's, very well as well as giving you a good idea of their family dynamics as a whole as well as how their own homes and their own little part of Petal are. I think its amusing how all the Chase brothers want is a little alone time with their partners whilst their parents are looking after the children.. One character in the novella also has an important announcement for her partner once they are alone.
I think reading this novella has given me a good idea of the family at the centre of it all in Petal and I do think I will adding the Chase Brothers Series to my "Want To Read List".
To sum up I still enjoyed reading this novella even though it wasn't necessarily the order they are meant to be read in. 

Title: Girls Night Out
Series: Visits To Petal
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: 3rd September 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Party time? Nobody does it better than the Murphys and the Chases.

Lily and Nathan’s wedding is just a few short weeks away, and the Murphys and Chases are doing their parties up right!

It’s Friday, and the women head to the Pumphouse to celebrate with cocktails, cake, and laughter. The men? They’re at the Tonk for beers, wings, and trash talk.

Throw in party games, penis hats, and crazy-eyed ex-fiancĂ©es, and it’s bound to be a night they’ll be talking about for a long, long time.


Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
Once again I'm being totally honest here, I didn't read the Goodreads Blurb for this book, which is unusual as I do normally check out a book/novella I want to read on Goodreads first. I'd read the Alone Time novella, loved the character within the novella and wanted to try the next title in this series by Lauren Dane and as this one was also free I just downloaded it and read it.
The cover features a couple embracing, so of course suggests romance and though once again, some people on Goodreads have classified this as erotica, to me, I'd say that when put together with "Alone Time" there is a plot. As standalone novella there wasn't enough plot, or enough information, and moving on in a storyline for me. Having said that both this novella and the one featured above in this post are meant to be read as additional stories to the Chase Brothers Series not as I have read them as though prequels. Total honesty here, they were free to download so I thought I'll read them and see if I like the characters that I get a glimpse of in them. Well they worked in that way for me as I took a liking to the characters and would let to get to know them more. This series may not be paranormal, so is not featuring a pack of shifters ,but there seems to be a very strong family unit at the centre of these novella's that I would certainly like to read more about.
So Lily and Nathan are soon to be tying the not and in this novella the men are at a bachelor party and the women a bachelorette (or as we would say in the UK a hen party). So we see how the males act and react with the other male members of their family, and the same with the bacholerette's dressing up and having a "theme" for their evening.
I do think I will adding the Chase Brothers Series to my "Want To Read List".
To sum up I still enjoyed reading this novella even though it wasn't necessarily the order they are meant to be read in.