Thursday, 28 February 2013

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

What are you reading right now? (And, is it good? Would you recommend it? How did you choose it?)

My current read is The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtnay.  It's a historical fiction about a young woman forced out of her home in Japan, and forced to flee to England to meet her mother's English relatives, under threat of persecution.  So far I am really enjoying it.  I'm reading it because it was kindly sent to me to review from ChocLit publishers.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Hard To Love by Kendall Ryan

Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 370 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Kendall Ryan (8 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Cade’s always taken risks…

Cade takes cares of his sick younger sister by doing what he does best--cage fighting and starring in adult movies, his newest harebrained moneymaking scheme designed to pay for his sister’s growing medical bills. But when his latest gig finds him admitted to the ER sporting an erection from hell, thanks to the little pill given to him by the director, he can’t get the pretty little nurse who treated him out of his head, even though he knows she’s so far out of his league it should be illegal. 

Alexa’s always played it safe…

Tired of being pigeonholed as the sweet, innocent one, hardworking nursing student Alexa has been looking for ways to break out of her Goody Two-shoes image. When her friend suggests the outlandish idea of losing her virginity to the sexy and sure-to-be-skilled porn star, Alexa is mortified. But then when Cade refuses her proposition, she finds herself pissed off and embarrassed. When she tracks him down to give him a piece of her mind, she isn’t prepared for what she finds. Watching him care for his little sister tugs at her heart, and suddenly it’s no longer just about losing her virginity, but about helping Cade. Because Lord help her, she might actually be falling for a porn star…

Cover:  I love this cover.  Simple, sexy and perfect matches for Cade and Alexa.

I bought this for my kindle, completely on a whim after seeing it pop up on Goodreads.
I'm so glad I did.  I read through this in a couple of hours after buying it.  It's really short.
The whole concept was the ultimate opposites attract plot- pornstar & virgin nurse.  And I'm a sucker for opposites attract romances, so I was hooked.
I loved the characters.  Alexa was really sweet, but not annoyingly so.  Cade, swoon-worthy and a wonderful older brother.  His younger sister was adorable.
The chemistry between Alexa and Cade was great.  Obviously there are sexual situations that may not appeal to everyone or be suitable for younger readers, and actually, at times, it reads almost like an adult erotic novel.  
Everything was almost perfect.
The only things I would say that stopped me from giving this book 5/5 was that I felt it should have been longer.  Yes the sexual chemistry was there, but I felt there needed to be more development to make the 'love' side of it that tad more believable.
Also, it just happened to contain a personal pet-peeve of mine.  Nothing against the book at all.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but let's just say something happens to do with Cade's job that both Alexa and I didn't agree with.
Over all though I definitely recommend this book!  I loved it.  If you're looking for more 'New Adult' novels, this is definitely worth giving a try.
4/5 stars.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571288006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571288007

The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband Bingley live nearby and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham - Elizabeth's younger, unreliable sister - stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered. Inspired by a lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen, PD James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly-crafted crime story. Death Comes to Pemberley is a distinguished work of fiction, from one of the best-loved, most- read writers of our time.

Cover:  Not a big fan of this cover.  Sure, it may be relevant but I just find it boring.  Could have had a much more interesting cover.

Can there be a successful murder-mystery sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?
My opinion...No.

I really didn't enjoy this book.  P.D. James is a much loved crime writer, and I haven't read one of her books before, and, to be honest, this hasn't made me want to pick up another.
I found the writing very repetitive, reading the same account of events goodness knows how many times- even if by different characters, the phrasing was the same.  Plus tons of info-dumping.
The characters that I love so much in Pride and Prejudice were almost recognisable.  Characters didn't act or talk like themselves.  And what really bugged me, was that we're made to doubt Elizabeth's character as we know it.
I found the pacing incredibly slow.  It was hard to plod through this.  For a genre that is supposed to be filled with suspense and drama...there wasn't any.  It was just all so boring.
The mystery itself was predictable, dull and drawn to the point that it was just ridiculous.
1/5 stars.  

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

How often do you visit a library? Do you go to borrow books? Do research? Check out the multi-media center? Hang out with the friendly and knowledgeable staff? Are you there out of love or out of need?

I haven't visited my local library in about 3 years now.  I used to visit frequently but I've found more and more, that if I borrowed a book, and loved it, I'd then got out and buy myself a copy because I enjoy owning a book I've really loved reading.  So the library kind of became pointless.
I used to use the college library (when I was studying my A-levels) for research.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Wanted by Kelly Elliot

Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 695 KB
  • Publisher: Kelly Elliott; 2 edition (29 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.

    The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brothers best friend. 

    Gunner only had two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like. 

    Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?

    What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?
  • Cover:  This is one of my favourite covers.  I love it!  It's so cute and romantic and a perfect match for the protagonists Ellie and Gunner.  I just wish I got the full effect of it on my black and white Kindle Keyboard.
  • There is soooo much I love about this New Adult book.
  • The over all plot and premise strongly reminded me of one of my all time favourite YA Contemporary books- Heart of a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett, ~ young girl, verbally abused by her mother, but taught that she is lovable by a great guy.
  • So I was definitely pulled into reading this book.  And I'm so glad I did.
  • Ellie is insecure and has trust issues because of what her mother has drilled in to her.  Basically that no one will ever love her.
  • Gunner however, falls for Ellie and has to convince her to give their love a chance.  
  • The romance really is beautiful.  And while there is an instant attraction, I really felt the 'love' part developed nicely.
  • I did have a couple of issues.  Nothing major.  And certainly not major enough to really spoil my enjoyment of reading this.
  • My first issue was there seemed to A LOT of pointless swearing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude.  I don't mind coming across swear words in books, but  there would be long lists of swear words, one after that didn't really seem to give anything to the story.
  • The word 'dude' was used far, far too much.
  • My second issue was mainly editing.  It came across as a first draft.  A few simple spelling mistakes, a need for commas, and I felt the word 'also' was used a lot when 'too' would have sounded better.  I didn't feel characters would say 'me also'.  It just jarred my reading a little bit, plus some phrases were a little repetitive.
  • Over all though I really enjoyed the story and I was definitely hooked!  There was an evil ending with two side characters in this one -Ari and Jeff, so I can't wait for their book Saved even though I think it's going to contain some of my pet peeves when it comes to romance in my books.
  • I definitely recommend giving this one a try.
  • 3.5/5 stars.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

On My Kindle #16

Instead of cluttering up my Book Haul/IMM's with books for my Kindle, I've decided to do a separate post,  hosted by Totally Bookalicious.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

Not the kind of “love” question you’re expecting for Valentine’s Day. No, what I want to know is:
What do you love most about reading?

This is a tough one, as there's so much I love about reading.  But if I had to pick something it would be that it's so versatile- different genres take you to different places, or non-fiction can give you such a depth of information. It can be a solo activity or a group one through bookclubs etc.
Basically- there are layers to reading.  And that's why it never gets old.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wallbanger by Alice Clayon

Received for review
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1112 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1623420024
  • Publisher: Omnific Publishing; 1st edition (25 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADRU4A6

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight.

Cover:  A cute and tantalizing cover.

I really enjoyed this book.
I was definitely hooked from the start and read through it in a day.
Caroline is a hilarious protagonist.  Her inner monologue just makes you laugh out loud.  Although her puns were truly terrible...cringe-worthy.
Simon...well he was just the neighbour we all wish we had.  One hot dude.
The relationship between Caroline and Simon was amazing.  I loved the sexual tension between but that they had such a great friendship too, even though it doesn't start out that way- with them shouting the odds at each other, with her calling him 'Wallbanger' and him nicknaming her 'Nightie Girl.'
The romance, the comedy and characters were all amazing, but the highlight for me was without a doubt Clive, the cat.  He was just so damn funny, and I loved that the end of the book was in his perspective.  Totally different from anything else I've ever read.
The only thing that could have made it better was having Simon's point-of-view.
I definitely recommend this to romance fans looking for a great, hot read that will also make you laugh.
4/5 stars!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Received for review
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141346159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141346151

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Cover:  I'm a big fan of this cover.  Love gray colour scheme, the cloak, hawk and castle in the background.

What can I say about this book?
I freaking loved it.  I devoured it.
 It's going to be difficult to stop this review turning into a rave.
Falling Kingdoms is a fast-paced, thrilling fantasy that left me totally breathless.  I could not put this book down.
The world building was incredible, I had no trouble picturing the world of Mytica and the three different kingdoms within it.  Also, we get several characters perspectives, and sometimes with fantasy books I find myself getting confused, characters getting blurred.  But not with this one.  All the characters were distinctive.  I always knew who was narrating.
Choose a side?
How can I?  I love everyone!  Normally I have no trouble picking a 'team' to support...but I really can't decide who to root for.  One minute I think Jonas is right, the next I think Cleo.  One minute I love Magnus, the next I hate him.  We have a set of complex characters, that you could understand and empathise with, so how do you choose you want to win?  As a reader, you're put through an emotional wringer, and it's amazing.
I also loved that Morgan Rhodes wasn't afraid to challenge her characters.  Some of them really go through it.  And I have to say, there were several surprises that left me in pieces because I became so invested in those characters.  
So much happens in this book.  Sometimes the first in a series can simply be build up for the books to come, and while this book has left so much open for the sequel (I need it like...yesterday!) it wasn't lacking in any sense.  It was action packed.  So many plots within plots that I was hooked immediately.
This is my best book of the year so far.  I recommend this to absolutely everyone.
Without a doubt- 5.5 stars!

Doubly recommend for fans of Maria V. Snyder, Sarah J. Maas or George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones (or if you want to read it but are too intimidated, this will encourage you)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

Do other people influence what you choose to read? When a family member recommends something, or a friend says they hated a book you were planning to read … does it affect your reading choices?

I definitely think I'm influenced.  However not by my family.  A lot of my family aren't readers, my mum is but she loves her crime books, mostly Martina Cole, which don't appeal to me.
My friend got me into watching the T.V. show Rizzoli & Isles, which she loves because she's a massive fan of the books, which has made me want to read them.
But I'm mostly influenced through friends on Goodreads and Booktube.  I think we're all guilty of it.  We see what they're reading, or have marked as to-read, we look it up, and bam!  We want to read it.
I tend to look at both positive and negative reviews.  If there's someone that has very similar taste to me, and has rated tons of books the same, I may be more influenced by them, but normally if I love the sound of a book, in the end, I'll probably pick it up.

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Fault In Our Stars Live UK Tour

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to The Fault In Our Stars Live UK Tour at Cadogan Hall, London to see John and Hank Green with my best friend.
It. Was. Phenomenal.