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?!

Building adventure

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Keith Stuart’s book is a wonderful, charming and slightly edgy story about a family in the middle of a crisis.  I found Alex’s journey from being really unlikeable to someone you want to root for, heart warming but also a bit of a masterclass.  Kudos to the author for that.

It’s a great bookclub choice.  A good bookclub book needs a variety of themes and interesting but relatable characters.  A Boy Made of Blocks nails it.  The disintegration of their marriage had so many layers, I can see readers taking sides and interpreting it differently.  Not to mention the nature of the father and son relationship.  Throw in the minecraft element and its perfect for a good discussion.  After all who doesn’t have a view about kids and gaming? Other people’s divorce? The role of dads?

Afterwards I started wondering what the real story was and what I’d take away from it.  There was one quote that has stayed with me, and summed up the overall story:

“Life is an adventure, not a walk. That’s why it’s so difficult.”

I’m not sure why but it reminds me of the John Lennon line ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’. I love how this reminds me that life never really does what you expect, and that sadly the hard stuff is generally what shapes it.  But it’s always about the path you take.

So, get your bookish friends together read, discuss and enjoy.

And if you’re not in a bookclub, it would make a spot on Father’s Day gift.

Winning steel

Winning Ace by Tracie Delaney (book 1)

I’m guilty. Absolutely and totally guilty of sticking with my favourite authors and genres.  Whilst I love to find new authors, when the sun is shining and I’m ordering that mojito I’m not in the mood for a risk.

Well, I’ve done the work.  And here’s a risk free book for you to hit the beach with.

Ms. Delaney’s debut novel is a corker, but be warned this isn’t a throw away easy read (not that I have any problems with those!). This is easy reading but with added steel.  And what steel it is!

From the start Tally is a great character – just that tad different. And with Cash, Ms. Delaney has highlighted what’s wrong with tennis today.  Yep, the ATP needs a super super successful bad boy.  Sorry, Roger, Andy, Novak and even Rafa but you’ve nothing on Cash Gallagher! Bad has never been so good.

Sparkling characters, cracking pace and a kicker of a story – Winning Ace needs to be on your kindle this summer!

The story of you

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

A brilliantly brave book that reset my thinking.

This is a book about loss. About the most taboo loss there is – the loss of motherhood.  And it’s sad. Dreadfully, dreadfully sad.

Lucy’s loss is twice maybe even three times over. And each so personal and so shunned in our society, it’s hard for her to deal with her grief.  What can she do with it? Where does she put it?

Yet once I’d finished sobbing my heart out, what I’ve taken away is a really uplifting message. The kind of kick in the pants that we all need, every now and again.  Focus on what you have, take joy from who surrounds you.  Sometimes things don’t turn out how you want or expect, look for the sunshine if you can.  Of course it’s bloody hard to do that and the pain never goes away but maybe you can find a new unexpected future.

Ms Prowse says she sees her stories almost like movies in her head, and you can see that in her writing.  She focuses on the story as it unravels to her, and is less fussed about making points.  This is one writer her readers can trust not to tell you what to think. Thank goodness because making your own interpretation, your own story from what she shares is such a rich and wonderful experience.

I have to say I adore the title, anyone who has walked in Lucy’s shoes can relate to it.

I found it painfully uplifting, who knows what you’ll find.  Go read it and find out.

 

netgalley were kind enough to give me an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Protection Needed

Hard to Protect Incy Black (Hard to Series #3)

This is a compelling, gripping and fun book.

I found myself immersed in the way that Ms Black’s two characters were so strong, yet both so damaged having suffered such trauma.  I loved that juxtaposition, especially for her.

Whist clearly Angel is a damaged soul, I loved how she flitted between her personas.  How did Will keep up?  She was the ice queen and dedicated professional, but blink and her inner sex goddess was revealed.  Poor Will’s head was spinning.  Yet, no way was he letting Angel know that.

These two didn’t give an inch or find common ground, as I read it I was really perplexed as to how they might end up together (clue: its a romance they were clearly going to end up together).  I was almost at the stage where it just seemed impossible, but nope.  Ms Black knew what she was doing!  And the ending – wow!  Not saying another word.

But I guarantee this is one author who delivers.

The title interested me – yes of course Angel was hard to protect with everyone gunning for her brother and the web he’d woven around his vaccine creation.  But it seemed to me that Will was just as hard to protect and boy did he need it!  He really was a lost soul, so sad at his core.  He needed protection from himself.

I have to say with the quality (!) of the sex scenes there’s no way that Ms Black isn’t having a small laugh about the use of the word protection!

And a word about Will’s mother – loved loved loved her!

I haven’t read the first of this series so I can totally confirm that this is works really well as a stand alone book.

 

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