A gentleman snake

Archangel’s Viper Nalini Singh (Guildhunter #10)

Ooh an old fashioned gent who cooks – did I mention I was in love?!

In the past 18 months some of my fave PNR series have gone off the boil. With Nalini Singh being my fave, I admit I started this with a little trepidation. Motto to self – have more faith.  It is Nalini Singh after all!

Raphael’s mother talks about his closest friends (his seven) as being like a menagerie or zoo. I’m not sure Caliane even knows how right she is.  In that vein Venom is a bit like that the cherry on the cake!  He’s not just different, but snake different and sexy with it.

Venom rivals Dmitri for sexiness, and post Harry Potter only a truly talented author can make an actual snake sexy.  I’m not talking Shakira and boa constrictors here.  I loved his sexy side of course, but more so the way he melded his traditional side as a Raj peasant with a twenty first century lethal operative.

Talking of Dmitri, what insights we get into the vampire extraordinaire!  With Holly he’s a father dealing with a petulant but adored daughter, but with Venom he races the streets of New York like a naughty teenage gang leader. As a series fan you want – maybe need – these moments into the other characters.  As always Ms Singh delivers.

I loved Holly’s strength. I’m not sure why or how but Holly seemed so unique in her strength and this in a series jam packed with strong heroines.

Beautifully written, with a complex story, fun dialogue and a simmering romance this latest Guildhunter episode is fabulous.

Sweet, funny & brittle

Game On Victoria Denault (Hometown Players #6)

First up, I absolutely loved this book. The shades of light and dark are so powerful. It’s a masterclass in romance writing.

It was nothing I was expecting and thank god for that! I read it in one sitting, I could not leave it alone

As the hero Alex is simply wonderful. At times he’s sweet, funny and easy going and you can see why he is everyone’s best friend. And then he’s brittle, hurt, childlike. I hurt for him, I wanted to take care of him. Yet, it was obvious that wasn’t what was needed, and you had to like Brie for knowing that.

I liked how both Brie and Alex had their own prejudices about each other that slowly dissolved, and the way Brie convinced him to take a chance had my heart thumping! And their first meeting was so super cute!

Often I don’t like writing from the two different POVs but this was so well done it felt real. It’s so biographical in detail, it’s hard to remember that Alex is a fictional character.

I really hope that people will pick this up, it doesn’t matter if you’ve read the other books in the series or not. It’s such a lovely read that it will completely devour you.

Tears, questions & judgements

Grand Slam Tracie Delaney #3 Winning Ace

A sky high ending for a fantastic trilogy, and I’m gutted to say goodbye to our hero Cash Gallagher.

I’m still shocked it’s by a debut author – it’s so good.  Best book so far and that’s saying something!

I couldn’t sleep for thinking about this book.  It will thrill and warm you as you read it. But be warned when you put it down it’s going to say with you.

Clearly, I don’t want to give the game away (see what I did there?!) but there’s a real dilemma here I needed to explore.

One character is redeemed.  And it has me thinking about the nature of betrayal.  Would you forgive a friend’s betrayal? And if so, how far would you go?  Can you forgive and forget? Should unrelated circumstances dictate your forgiveness?  It’s a tough one, and had me questioning my own judgement a week later. I’ve decided, I’m no Tally.

Ms Delaney’s burgeoning skill is obvious, her characterisation is absolutely superb.  Regardless of what you think about the choices her characters make, you’ll be cursing Ms Delaney as you sob your heart out.  And I dare you not to cry. I sat on a plane full of strangers with tears flowing making odd little sob noises. Thank you to the stewardess on Aegean who bought me tissues. I wasn’t brave enough to tell her ‘it’s just a book’.  And maybe it’s not just a book, but a chance to reflect.  Easy five stars.

 

Duelling Romance

The Duke of Danger Darcy Burke (#6 The Untouchables)

I love this fun, cheeky and quirky series, it’s just terrific.  Everything you’d expect from Darcy Burke – great characterisation, cracking pace and historical understanding.

The premise of this story is that the hero has killed someone in a duel.  I have to admit I struggled with this aspect, I can’t find guns and duelling honourable.  And even more so the flimsy excuses for such deplorable actions.

Having said that once I got into the story, I really loved it. Axminster was a flawed but quite gorgeous hero, and Emmaline was complex but ultimately likeable.  I really liked how she focussed on making herself independent. This really gave him a chance to shine.  So sweet and believable.

And then the romance – yummy!  The cover kind of says it all. Hot and bothered!!!

I loved all the glimpses of characters from the other books in the series only I kept forgetting who was who. So, I really wish the author would add in a who’s who at the end of the book.

Thank you netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review

 

Glorious Marian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Break by Marian Keyes

Oh wow!  Marian Keyes is back and with one very loud bang!  Until recently Marian Keyes was an auto buy for me, she only had to write it for me to need it.  Not sure if it was me or her (God forbid!) but I hadn’t loved her last few books.

However, Marian nails this story of a husband who decides to take a six month break from his marriage, not quite realising that this means his wife is on a break too. And he completely misses all the wider implications too.

This book will give you the squidgees, make you laugh, think about your own life and break your heart but maybe not in that order!  Above all you’re going to be asking if you were Amy what would you have done?! Read it and ask yourself.

Personally, I think I would have kicked him hard somewhere and then chucked his stuff out the window.  But then that would be a different book!

The Break needs to come with a warning – don’t read in public especially on the train! One minute I was laughing out loud and the next a tear was winding its way down my cheek. No one does extraordinarily ordinary characters like Marian.

A totally gorgeous read!!  Just be prepared to ask all your girlfriends – what would you do?!

Tom’s Redemption

Forbidden Bonds By Lexi C. Foss (Immortal Curse #2)

Fast paced action, spell binding romance, bone crunching betrayal, political intrigue and adventure galore. Lexi C Foss’ Immortal Curse series just went skywards.

Having created an immensely strong and compelling world, Ms Foss sets out to prove that one of her villains isn’t as bad as fans suspect. And what a cracking job she does. Tom is redeemed!

Of course we have Amelia. She’s the quintessential heroine, needing no redemption – well not yet, anyway. There in is the fun! Ooh poor Isaac, his little sister has transformed from the sweet darling he worshipped to the kind of kick arse heroine Tom needs! Her change and her absolute fight to get what she wants had me glued to the page. Woe betide these boys who make decisions for the new Amelia!

The battle between the Ichorians and the Hydrians is in full force. The complexity and subtleness that Ms Foss has bought to her paranormal world is superb. I’m not going to make author comparisons, but The Immortal Curse series needs to be on the kindle of any PNR fan, no exceptions.

But start with book one, and enjoy Isaac!

 

Winning Cash

Losing Game by Tracie Delaney (Winning Ace #2) out July 30th

Where her first book was all about her fab heroine Tally, Ms Delaney’s second book focuses on her hero Cash Gallagher.

Oh and what a hero, our Ms Delaney knows her tennis!  Take Murray’s surly professionalism, Federer’s balletic grace, Rafa’s gorgeous sexuality and Djokovic’s gritty darkness and you have one Cash Gallagher.  I held back in the first book, feeling the love for Tally far more.  Not this time. I’m a goner for Cash.

Ms Delaney’s second book is effortlessly enjoyable, perfect for the beach or your back garden!

Warning this is a trilogy and needs to be read in order.  Personally, I hate that it’s a trilogy.  Waiting to know who Gracie was and why she and Cash were involved nearly killed me.  Hands up though, it was worth the wait.  I adored how the story unfolded, it was sensitive, surprising and believable.  I felt for Cash big time.

As its book two of three, clearly not all is resolved.  I thought the ending was really thoughtful and clever.  It would have been way too easy to replicate the success of the first book’s cliff hanger ending.  This way its much harder to see a resolution (it’s a romance I’m hoping there is one???).  And I seriously need to know like NOW!  But sadly I’m made to wait.

To fill the time, I think I’m going to start a campaign for Rupe’s book!  He is charming and ridiculous, definitely Cash’s opposite.  Who could possibly be matched with him?

Hearts, brains and blood

Blood Laws by Lexi C Foss (Immortal Curse #1)

Lexi C Foss has created a world that’s imaginative, original and believable. If you’re a PNR fan you’ll want this for breakfast.  And then maybe you can savour Isaac for dessert.  Not only is he yummy, but there’s something about his dark intellect that will have smart girls craving seconds!

The pace is fast but not so furious that you miss the subtlety that Ms Foss has woven in.  At each tantalising reveal you’ll need to remember to breathe!  Good luck with that because Osiris will steal your breath and have your heart banging and your toes curling.

Obviously Isaac is the star but the wider cast are wonderful.  Stas is a great heroine, they are so beautifully suited.  I now know who book two will be about, and whilst it’s a great choice, there were a number of contenders.  This series should get better and better.

The story focuses on the aftermath of a series of laws between two warring civilisations, based in modern day Manhattan. Billionaires, gleaming buildings, a blood court and a para military force with their own agenda.  Just wow!

The romance was heart felt, the drama Machiavellian and the characters intricate. What more could you want?  I think I already mentioned Isaac?

One of the best first vampire books ever.  I dare you to put it down.

We have bears!

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh (Psy Changeling Trinity #1)

We have Bears. Changeling bears.

For as long as I’ve been a fan of paranormal books, Amazon have sent me book deals about shifters. The weirdest are quite possibly the bear shifters.  Hot male alphas turning into dopey enormous sloth like bears?  Creepy and just wrong. Very wrong!

And then Nalini Singh says her next instalment in the long running psy changeling series is about bears.  Bam!  I’ve pre-ordered a book about changeling bears.  It’s a complete testament to my total faith in this author that I don’t even hesitate.

Of course, it was every bit as fabulous as I expected.  After all Nalini Singh is to PNR what glitter and fushia are to fabulousness!

Valentin the Russian teddy bear is my new fave.  His love for Silver was multi dimensional with doses of fun and tragedy.  I loved how different their story was from other romances in the series.  Starting in the middle of their romance was a risk but it gave the story edge.  This is a sparkling and fun romance with a touch of real heart break.  I just loved it.

As always with this amazing series there’s plenty of drama and politics.  But even better there are moments.  Ms Singh excels at giving her readers moments.  My absolute favourite was Kaleb’s dinner invitation.  I both snorted at how funny it was and cringed for poor Kaleb!  It reminded me of his concern at how Sahara collected people making him seem less scary.  Cue the warm fuzzies!

There’s no doubt that Ms Singh is the world’s best paranormal writer with bells on.  And if this is your genre and you’ve not yet read her books, well she’s just done you the biggest favour by re-starting the series so new readers can just dive in.  My only question is why?  This is book 16 of the psy changeling series, why miss such brilliance?!

Gold digger?

Max by Sawyer Bennett (Cold Fury #6)

I love this series.  It’s adorable, thought provoking and feel good reading.  How Sawyer Bennett consistently writes great characters I just don’t know.  Add in that she creates real believable drama that you’re invested in and it kind of blows me away.  Purely fabulous writing.

Of all Ms Bennett’s heroes I imagine that Max is probably the one that most readers will forget.  I admit I’m probably guilty of that.  But having re-read it this week, I can say Max is the sweetest of the Cold Fury stories.  The word heart warming is over used but it’s totally appropriate. In fact heart-warming nails it!

Max asks a simple question how do you prove a negative?  Julianne is accused of being a gold digger.  Is she?  It’s an easy charge to make, especially when a girl struggling financially ends up with a super rich guy.  But just because she’s poor and he’s super rich, does money have to the central tenet of their relationship?  How does she prove she’s not gold digging for his money?  And how do they both move past it so it doesn’t dominate their daily life?

I really felt for her. And for him. It’s a lovely story, that has far more depth than it first seems. Wonderful.

I must also thank Ms Bennett for having not one but TWO new Cold Fury books on the horizon.  Clearly, they’ve been downloaded as this is one series that just gets better and better.

And I haven’t even mentioned the cover!  Who is he?!