A Shattered God

Midnight Blue by L. J. Shen

Once upon a time a mere mortal fell in love with a rock god. You probably know this is not a fairytale by now. Mortals and gods don’t mix.

Midnight Blue is raw, emotive and sparkles with life.

I’m not sure who I’m more in love with British rocker Alex Winslow or L.J. Shen. Maybe Ms Shen, her writing is superlative, truly beautiful. I couldn’t stop highlighting parts of the book. Quote after quote spoke to me.

“…we’re all vases. And you’re the one scattered on the floor, shattered beyond repair. So I’ll let someone else pick you up. It’s really that simple.

Alex is so broken it’s like he can never be put back together. His hurt eeks out of him. I don’t think Indie believes for a moment she can fix him and I loved that. She saw the addict, the cruel bastard who lashes out and the boy the world thinks it owns. It hurt her (and me), but she wasn’t going to fix him. And knowing him, she didn’t intend to fall in love. But best intentions and all that.

Even though there’s not much innocent about Alex, his connection with Indie was child like. He was so curious about her, she inspired him. She seemed so shiny to him, and yet he knew he would ruin her. It was hard knowing he would do it. But that was the point at which I knew they needed each other. This wasn’t just about the broken rock star but also the grief fuelled Stardust.

The author pits the beauty of creating music, of artistically expressing yourself with the price of fame. Alex can no longer trust his life. He can’t trust anyone because they all want something. And so he fails to see love and friendship, even though it’s there. I veered between wanting to shake him or hug him.

Ms Shen’s writing is extraordinary, her characters are complex and the story is so compelling. Even for an angst ridden romance, this is far from your typical fare. I think you will love it. I know I did.

Bleeding, pounding, glowing

Method by Kate Stewart

I’m used to issuing warnings to have a box of Kleenex close to hand. But for this one you’ll also need a cardiologist. Seriously, this book made my heart bleed. And pound. And glow. And squeeze.

Forget Jekyll and Hyde, Lucas is the quintessential villain and hero. And what a divine hero he is.

This is the story of true unconditional love and how disturbing that can be. It makes you realise why people go to such lengths to harden their hearts against such love. Some people are made for an each other, but there’s nothing simple about it.

This isn’t just about romantic love. At the heart of it is the bond between two men, it’s such a pure but tainted love. Again that heart of mine pounded, squeezed and glowed.

It was all encompassing and weirdly life affirming. I might not describe the writing as beautiful, it was messy, complex and draining. Ms Stewart has outdone herself. I would love to know how she wrote such a story.

Love is the best

The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

Ms. Zapata is queen of the slow slow burn romance. Whilst, I usually yearn for pace in a book I adore her writing style. Its easy to invest time with her characters and their stories, in part because her writing makes me feel safe and kind of exposed at the same time.

As I’ve come to expect Ms Zapata nails the characterisation brilliantly. The cast of extra characters is fantastic. The wider cast are important because whilst this is most definitely a romance, it’s also a book about family love and how we define families. The love that surrounded Lenny was beautiful, it really crystallised the task Jonah had to win her over.

“I still don’t know about that Edward”

Grandpa Gus and his vampire references stole the show! What a character! And his comments in the epilogue are a killer (Kleenex needed). Look out for rugby player Jonah explaining the finer points of the game to Americans!

I’m not going to comment on Jonah and Lenny, who are a fab couple, simply because you need to go into this book cold. There are too many spoilers about! But I will say Ms Zapata delivers so much more than just a romance. She gives us real love, the horrendous pain and the self sacrificing nature of love. It’s so powerful.

PS I’ve been off colour for some time so I’m slowly catching up with blogs on my favourite summer reading. Please bear with me.

Start your engines

Friction by Tracie Delaney (High Velocity #1)

Formula 1 – the glamour, the adrenaline, the competition, the cars, the teams – Ms Delaney nails it all. What a fabulous starter for her new Full Velocity series. It’s high octane, fast paced and hot. Yep Jared and Paisley heat up the sheets and a few other places!

Jared and Paisley are a challenging couple, not an obvious match but ultimately well-matched. They test each other quite a bit. So there’s fireworks, passion and real tenderness. You get to see them both grow a bit.

Clearly the author knows F1 well, the book benefits from some real insights into the sport and business. But if you’re not a fan, you might not realise how hot an F1 driver can be. Let Ms Delaney enlighten you!

This is a feel good, fun read. Whatever ails you put it aside for an hour or two and enjoy!

PS I’ve been off colour for some time so I’m slowly catching up with blogs on my favourite summer reading. Please bear with me.

Trinity on fire

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh (Trinity #3 Psy Changeling #18)

Eighteen books, yet this series is as fresh and glorious as when Sasha first met Lucas. What an achievement. I can only say if you are not reading Ms Singh you are seriously missing out.

For anyone who can’t face eighteen books, this is book three in a second arc. If you start with the Trinity series you will have no trouble following it.

The story is set back with our snow dancers. Having spent the past few books with bears (gorgeous bears!) and underwater, it feels like I’m coming home. And my absolute fave Clay makes an appearance. Whoop whoop!

Ms Singh puts the new couple centre stage, yet develops the Trinity story arc with passion and ingenuity. It’s so so clever. The introduction of a new Psy talent just upped my curiosity ten fold! The Trinity storyline is super fascinating and driving me crazy, I can’t stop thinking about what will happen next!

As for our couple, this is a story about loss. Alexei is dealing with the loss of his brother in a tragic manner with the anniversary hitting him hard. He’s adorable. Memory too has suffered such loss, I connected with her big time. I loved how Memory discovered herself almost in real time and this meant I got to know her as Alexei did. It strengthened my bond with them, and their bond was so tangible.

This series is beautifully written, gloriously diverse, intelligently crafted and smoking hot. It should be an auto buy!

Spitfires and Dukes

Never Have I Ever with a Duke by Darcy Burke (Spitfire Society #1)

Yet again, Ms Burke demonstrates why she’s everyone’s favourite historical romance author.

As I’ve come to expect Ms Burke delivers an historically accurate and detailed story. The story itself is just that bit different.

We are reacquainted with Graham, who was the Duke of Ives secretary, managing all the betting and games. Now, however he has inherited a Dukedom. Sadly, it’s not an easy transition from Duke’s secretary to being a Duke.

To be the Duke he wants to be, Graham needs to make some tough choices. Along the way he meets Arabella who also faces some tough choices. It’s clear that under different circumstances they would both opt to choose each other, but it won’t solve their issues.

I thought the issue of debt contrasted alongside the marriage mart was well handled and interesting. It just shows us how far society has come, of course there’s so far to go but what progress we’ve made.

I especially appreciated that there wasn’t an easy resolution, in fact it seems that only half the work is done. Wrapping everything up simply at the end, grates on me, sometimes it’s so hard to believe.

As for the Spitfire Society – oh my! This is going to be a fascinating series. Spirited and interesting ladies who aren’t hanging off the Duke’s every word! Along with their heroes there’s going to be some baggage and some great stories to tell! Can’t wait!

Thank you to the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

PS I’ve been off colour for a while, I’m only now organised enough to draft blogs for my summer reading. Please bear with me whilst I catch up. Thank you.

Queue for niceness

Superfan by Sarina Bowen (Brooklyn Bruisers #3)

Superfan. Yep, that sums this one up, and I certainly am! Loved it.

Silas and Delilah were yummy. I was not expecting such a sweet romance. Ms Bowen delivers a swoon worthy hero with bucket loads of adorable thrown in!

Silas breaks the sports hero mould, he is the poster boy for a nice guy. It was so refreshing to see that nice guys don’t have to finish last. And on top of it, he’s damn hot! Phew! What girl doesn’t want to be the focus of all that hotness? Join the queue ladies!

If that’s not enough with Delilah we get more than a healthy dose of rockstar! Rockstar meets sports star equals fan yourself!

The bonus of all this niceness was the team dynamics. No matter how you looked at it Silas was just wonderful! The cuteness of their reconnection and the interaction with his friends, gave me the feels plus a bit of heart pounding (not mentioning the lady bits on here!).

Having read it not knowing it was part of Ms Bowen’s Brooklyn series, I can most definitely say that it’s stand alone. But then I’ve now read the other two in the series, and either way it’s a treat!

PS Having been off colour for a while, I’m now updating my blog with some of my fave summer reads. Hence, there’s going to be a few blog posts all at once. Please bear with me!

Searching for normal

Kozart by J. Nathan

You read a rockstar romance like this one, because you want to take a step, or many steps, away from normal life. But in J. Nathan’s Kozart, said rockstar falls for the girl who provides him with normalcy.

J. Nathan’s hero exudes a jadedness that feels real but without the angst I expected. He’s worked for his success and he’s enjoyed all the trappings, yet he’s never had normal, so much so that he doesn’t realise what he craves.

The set up for this book is cracking, it’s such a sweet fun intro. Right from the start he’s a bit of an accidental hero. He saves her that night from a real humiliation and yet you know he needs saving too.

I loved the development of their relationship. If you like the slow burn you will not put this book down!

In Aubrey he has a love interest who has plenty of sass and spirit but without that hard edge. I’m starting to feel I’ve had enough of ball busting heroines.

Kozart starts off as your typical rock god, and I guess he is. And so you do have to give into creative licence a bit. J. Nathan definitely has the skill to let you do that.

It gave me all the feels, in all the right places. Wonderful

Found: one amazing read

Cement Heart by Beth Ehemann

This is my find of the year.

I was looking for a quick easy read between ARCs. I found Viper. Some days you get lucky, maybe I need to hit Vegas or at least lotto!

Ms Ehemann has the most incredible voice. It’s clear, non judgemental and so visual. It’s an extraordinary read.

Her connection to Viper is so true that even when he hits rock bottom you don’t pity him, because he wouldn’t want it. He is so unlikeably likeable, he hides his gorgeousness but it peaks out. Around him the author has created a wonderfully endearing cast, so he’s not the only star.

You might need a kleenex or a whole box.

Normally when I love a book I can’t wait to talk about it. I like to rabbit on about why I loved the characters or how true the story is. I’m not going to do that here.

Why? Because the less you know about this story, the better this read will be. Luckily the author is smart enough not to give the game away in her blurb. And believe me this is not about low expectations.

It’s made me really question the value or point of a book blurb, especially in the romance genre. You already know you’re going to get a HEA, so what’s the value of knowing so much more going in? Not thought about it before. Now I cannot stop.

Don’t be put off if you see this in the sports romance or even typical romance genre – it’s nothing of the sort.

Oh and then there’s the cover!

Christa and her men

Tempting Christa and Avenging Christa by Tracie Delaney and M.A. Comley

What a cracking and totally absorbing read this duet is. The authors have created two engaging characters and a wonderful story. I loved how both characters developed over the course of the two books. Christa demonstrates real strength, the kind that in her shoes we would all want.

No matter how much you like Christa this is really a story of two men. Dayton was particularly interesting. I enjoyed his transformation from typical billionaire as slowly his many layers began to be peeled away. I really liked him. The villain is bloody awful, what a real classic he is! I wanted to throttle him myself, urgh! He will make your blood boil.

The story reels you in and it’s very believable. There’s a lot of legal drama in this, which was so well done and made for a good read.

Whilst I love a series, I’m not a fan of books that don’t finish with a complete ending. But now both books have been published, so there’s no need to wait. I totally recommend you get both books at once and read away! If you love romance, complex characters, hot action and a great story – this is for you! You will love Christa and her billionaire man.