Monday, 31 August 2015

Easy Charm (Boudreaux 2) by Kristen Proby

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 622 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Ampersand Publishing, Inc. (7 July 2015)
  • ASIN: B00Y47OX12
Gabrielle Boudreaux, the youngest of the Boudreaux clan, is a single mother of her young son, Sam. Running a Bed and Breakfast at the family plantation house at the edge of the Mississippi River, Gabby loves her inn, her boy and her family. She meets new people every day, and takes pride in the house and land that has been in her family for more than five generations. Blessed beyond measure, she’s also lonely, although she would never admit that to anyone. Until Rhys O’Shaughnessy walks through her door, brooding and wounded and the sexiest thing she’s ever laid eyes on.

Rhys has been at the top of his game as a major league pitcher for the Chicago Cubs for more than ten years. Baseball is in his blood. But when he tears his rotator cuff and has to sit a season out, he retreats to Inn Boudreaux at the recommendation of his cousin, Kate, to heal and work toward building his shoulder back to perfect shape with only one goal in mind: to return to the game he loves. But he didn’t plan on being utterly charmed by a devastatingly beautiful woman and her baseball-loving son.

When Rhys’ shoulder has healed and he’s given the chance to return to his team, will he leave the family he’s come to love behind, or will he stay with Gabby and Sam?


Cover:  I think is a really cute, and relevant cover.

I read the first book in this series, Easy Love, earlier this year and really enjoyed it, as well as enjoying Kristen Porby's Love Under the Big Sky and With Me In Seattle series.
I love sweet, sexy romance.  And that's exactly what I got with this.
Rhys and Gabby were adorable.  I loved them together.
Rhys is staying at Gabby's New Orleans Inn to heal from a baseball injury.  Falling for Gabby, as well as her little boy was unexpected.  But soon he's fighting for them both.
Really enjoyed the chemistry between Rhys and Gabby.  As well as seeing the fun interactions between Rhys and Gabby's little boy, Sam.
Definitely recommend picking up for fellow romance fans- I devoured it in just two days- if I didn't have work, it would have been one!

4.5/5 stars.

Read from 17 July to 18 July, 2015.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Booking Through Thursday 27/08/2015 'Travel'



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

"Do you like to read books about far-away places? Travel guides, memoirs, whatever? Places you’ve been? Or places you’ve never been?"

I'd say the only books I really like to read regarding far-away places, are fantasy novels.  I can't really say I'm a fan of travel non-fiction reads.
But fantasy books such as Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms and Daughter of Smoke and Bone pull me into their worlds and make me feel as if I HAVE been there.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

W...W...W...Wednesday 26/08/2015



To play along, just answer the following 3 questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading
What do you think you’ll read next?

I recently finished reading Dodging Temptation by Avery Flynn
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My current read is Sweet Home by Tillie Cole
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I think my next read will be Sweet Rome by Tillie Cole
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Waiting On Wednesday 26/08/2015 'Dumplin' & Queen of Shadows'



Waiting on Wednesday is all about sharing the books that I'm eagerly waiting to be released.


This week is a double whammy.  The first book I'm waiting on is Dumplin' by Julie Murphy,
Released September 15th.
I love the sound of this one.  I think it sounds very body positive and feel good, as well as a lot of fun- but also tackling an important issue.

18304322Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.


The second book, I'm sure is on a lot of people's lists, and that's Queen of Shadows by Sarh J. Maas, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series.
Released September 1st.

18006496Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Teaser Tuesday 25/08/2015 'Sweet Home'




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random pageShare two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.
This week's teaser comes from the 13% mark of Sweet Home by Tillie Cole.

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"He'd unintentionally moved towards me, like I was gravity drawing him to ground.  It was kind of sweet.  It felt nice that he cared and strangely soothing to let someone in after years of silence.  Not just anyone, it felt good to let...him in.  The college bad boy.  I congratulated myself.  Only I would let in the guy who breaks hearts for fun."

Monday, 24 August 2015

All I Ever Need Is You (The Sullivans #14) by Bella Andre

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • ASIN: B00VN1J60A
Seattle architect Adam Sullivan is well known for his brilliant historic building restorations—and for having absolutely no interest in love and marriage. He’s happy for his siblings and cousins who have found true love, but though they’re clearly hellbent on seeing him settled, his family is just going to have to accept that Cupid’s arrow will be skipping this Sullivan. That is, until he meets Kerry Dromoland…and suddenly Adam starts to question everything he once believed to be true about falling in love.

As one of the top wedding planners in Seattle, Kerry has been waiting her whole life to find her own true love. So even though Adam makes her heart race and her body heat up every time they’re together, she knows better than to think he could be “the one.” Still, knowing he’s Seattle’s biggest player doesn’t make it any easier to resist his breathtaking kisses and wicked caresses…or the fact that he makes her smile more than any man ever has.

But when Kerry desperately needs Adam’s help—and he comes through for her without the slightest hesitation—she begins to realize that there just might be more to the man she can’t resist than she’d previously thought. Can the bad boy with no interest in being reformed—and the woman who has no interest in reforming a bad boy—find forever together?


Cover: I'm a big fan of the covers for The Sullivans series!  I love super cheesy, romantic covers.  And that's exactly what I get from this series' covers.

I've been a fan of this series for a couple of years now.
And I always pick up the next book when they're released.
And this was no exception.
I love this series.
It's simple, but thoroughly lovable, contemporary adult romance series.  Each book is about another member of the Sullivan family falling under love's spell.
Adam has seen all of his family fall in love, and while happy for them, knows that it isn't for him.  He's convinced of it.
At least- he was until he meets Kerry- his brother's wedding planner.
They decide on a casual physical relationship.  But soon, both find themselves wanting more- but can it work between them?
Super sweet, and sexy.
A great addition to the series.  Not my favourite, but I loved it nonetheless.

4/5 stars.

Read from April 19 to 22, 2015

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Art Therapy| Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford [1.1]



Waiting On Wednesday 19/08/2015 'Until Friday Night' (On a Thursday...)


Waiting on Wednesday is all about sharing the books that I'm eagerly waiting to be released.

This week the book I'm waiting on is Until Firday Night by Abbi Glines.
Released 25th August.
I've already heard mixed things about this one from the early views.  I'm a fan of Abbi's Rosemary Beach series- one of her more New Adult series, but this is apparently a more Young Adult offering.

22522202To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

W...W...W...Wednesday 19/08/2015


To play along, just answer the following 3 questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading
What do you think you’ll read next?
 
I recently finished reading Everything, Everything by Nicole Yoon
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I'm currently reading Affaire Royale by Nora Roberts
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I think my next read will be The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward
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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Teaser Tuesday 17/08/2015 "Affaire Royale"


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random pageShare two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.
 
This week's teaser comes from page 108 of Affaire Royale by Nora Roberts.



"He started the car. "You learn fast."
"I have to,"  Weariness was there, but she didn't relax.
She couldn't.  "Reeve, I don't want to go back just yet.  Can we drive?  Anywhere, it doesn't matter.  I just need to be out."
"Alright."  He understood the need to be away from walls, from restrictions.  He'd grown up with them, as well.  He'd rebelled against them as well.  Without thjinking, he headed toward the sea."
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Monday, 17 August 2015

When I'm Gone (Rosemary Beach 11) by Abbi Glines

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  • Paperback: 272 pages

    • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (7 April 2015)
    • ISBN-10: 1471122344
    • ISBN-13: 978-1471122347
    From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in the Rosemary Beach series, in which we meet Mase, a Texas heartthrob first introduced in Take a Chance who comes to Rosemary Beach to stir things up.

    I had an urge to fix all her problems. Which was stupid. She was doing fine without me. But something about those big eyes…

    Mase Colt-Manning has always preferred his humble life as a Texas rancher to his birthright as the son of a legendary rock star. In fact, he rarely visits his father’s rarefied world in Rosemary Beach, especially if it means bunking at his vile half-sister Nan’s house—until one visit leads to a chance encounter with a young, gorgeous house maid who awakens him with her off-key but spirited imitation of a country music star…

    Reese Ellis finally has her freedom. After escaping a lifetime of abuse from her parents and classmates for an undiagnosed learning disorder, she seizes the opportunity to be a house maid to some of the richest families in Rosemary Beach. But her job is in jeopardy when she causes an accident at the home of her most important client, Nan Dillon. When a hot, half-naked stranger with a cowboy’s swagger comes to her rescue, she’s intrigued—then afraid once he shows his own interest. Reese has never met a trustworthy man in her life. Will Mase be any different?
     


    Cover:  Hot cowboy.  What's not to like.

    I really enjoy Abbi Glines books.  I haven't read all of them, and most of the books I've read have been in the Rosemary Beach series.
    And I really enjoyed this book.
    It's fast paced, a little cheesy but all round adorable.
    I loved having both Reese and Mase's points of view.
    The end was a surprise, so I look forward to picking up the sequel soon to see how it develops.
    It's definitely a sweet little read, and recommend it.

    4/5 stars.

    Read from July 02 to 05, 2015

    Thursday, 13 August 2015

    August 2015 Book Haul/In My Mailbox


    Booking Through Thursday 13/08/2015 'Intriguing'


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

    "What’s the most intriguing book you ever read? Something that made you think, explore new ideas, or just be really impressed and awed and amazed at the sheer wonder of the creativity of the thing?"

    21265230Hmmm...When I sat down and tried to think of an answer to this one, one book popped into my head.
    And that's The Humans by Matt Haig.
    From the moment I first heard of this book, I was intrigued by it.  Drawn to it.
    One- the stunning cover.
    Two- the fact that the story is told from the point of view of an alien, sent to Earth to destory a maths professor and all evidence of his discovery.
    And it definitely lived up to my interest.
    I thought it was extremely creative, and I would definitely say it left me awed.

    Wednesday, 12 August 2015

    W...W...W...Wednesday 12/08/2015




    To play along, just answer the following 3 questions:

    What are you currently reading?
    What did you recently finish reading

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    I'm currently reading The Spaniard's Kiss by Nina Croft
    25774207
    I recently finished reading The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins
    24361399
    I think my next read will be Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
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    Waiting On Wednesday 12/08/2015 'Tempt Me Like This'



    Waiting on Wednesday is all about sharing the books that I'm eagerly waiting to be released.

    This week, the book I'm waiting on is Tempt Me Like This by Bella Andre.
    The second book in her new adult series, The Morrisons.
    Released August 19th.

    22380349

    "Angst, sexy, sweet and addicting are all things I have come to expect in a Bella Andre book. She delivers that and more but hands it over New Adult style." ~ Abbi Glines, #1 New York Times bestselling authorAs one of the biggest rock stars in the business, Drew Morrison can have anything—and anyone—he wants. Only Ashley Emmit, who has joined his tour to work on a college research project, is completely off-limits. Drew promised her father that, once the tour was over, he would send her home pure and untouched by the rock ’n’ roll world. But he has never been so tempted by anyone in his entire life. How is he going to make it through this tour without giving in to the urge to drag her into his arms and kiss her breathless?

    Ashley has always lived by the rules. But from the moment she meets Drew, none of those rules make sense anymore. Not only does Drew’s music affect her deeply...but she’s never wanted to kiss anyone so badly. Not that a magnetic star like Drew would ever feel the same way about a brainiac like her, of course. And even if he did, she knows from painful experience that two people as different as they are simply don’t belong together.

    But when the attraction between Drew and Ashley burns hotter every moment they’re together on the tour bus—and they begin to share their deeply hidden and emotional secrets—will either of them be able to resist temptation? Or could giving in to their feelings lead them straight toward a love they never saw coming... 

    [BLOGTOUR] Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole Review + Excerpts







    22107214"For fractured souls are like magnets.


    Drawn to collide into an impossible bliss.
    Labeled a ‘Cursed’ woman of Eve from birth, Maddie has endured nothing but pain and repression at the hands of The Order’s most abusive elder, Moses. Now living with her sister in The Hangmen’s secluded compound, finally, Maddie, is free. Free from the suffocating faith she no longer believes in. Free from endless years of physical and mental torment.
    Just… free…

    At age twenty-one, the timid and shy Maddie is content to live within the confines of her new home—safe from the outside world, safe from harm and, strangely, protected by the Hangmen’s most volatile member; the heavily pierced and tattooed, Flame. 

    Flame. 

    The man who ceaselessly watches over her with his midnight dark and searing eyes. The man who protects her with a breath-taking intensity. And the man who stirs something deep within her numbed heart. 

    But when circumstances conspire for Flame to need HER help, Maddie bravely risks it all for the broken man who has captivated her fragile soul. 

    The Hangmen’s most infamous member, Flame, is ruled by one thing—anger. Plagued by haunting demons from his past, an all-consuming rage, and isolated by an abhorrent hatred of being touched, Flame's days are filled with suffocating darkness, pierced only by a single ray of light—Maddie. The shy, beautiful woman he cannot purge from his thoughts. The woman he has an overwhelming need to possess… 
    ... the only person who has ever been able to touch him. 

    Flame’s mission in life is to protect Maddie, to keep her safe. Until a trigger from his troubled past sends him spiraling into madness, trapping him in the deepest recesses of his disturbed mind. 

    His Hangmen brothers fear that Flame is beyond saving. 

    His only hope of salvation: Maddie and her healing light.

    Dark Contemporary Romance.
    Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language, and very mature topics.
    Recommended for age 18 years and over.


    Cover:  Another beautiful cover.  For some reason the covers to this series really draw me in.  Dark and beautiful.

    I read It Ain't Me Babe and Hearts Recaptured back in February this year, one after the other - and immediately fell in love, with the world as well as the characters.
    So I have been eagerly anticipating the third installment.
    Ok, so I was hyperventilating a little bit when this arrived on my Kindle, and I actually paused what I had been reading and started this one straight away.  
    This is something that I do not normally do.
    THAT'S how excited I was for this book.
    And it did not disappoint.
    Flame and Maddie both have horrific pasts.
    Neither can be touched or stomach the thought of intimacy, but long for it with each other.
    Maddie calms the raging flames that Flame feels infest his veins, and Flame finally makes Maddie feel safe after her abuse at the hands of a sadistic cult.
    They each have to fight their demons if they can leave their pasts behind them and have the future together that they both so desperately want, and deserve.
    This book has cemented this series as one of my absolute favourites.
    This, book, wrecked, me.
    So many feels.
    I couldn't stop reading this.  I resented every single pause and interruption to my reading that I was forced to endure.
    Having to stop reading and work was a seriously inconvenient to my life.
    Maddie and Flame- I just absolutely loved them.  So freaking much.
    I love an all consuming romance- and I definitely got that from Maddie and Flame.
    This series is an absolute must read.
    5/5 stars!!!

    Read from August 04 to 06, 2015

    Below are a few excerpts from Souls Unfractured.
    Excerpt 1

    Gathering my floor-length dress in my hands, I walked into the body of the church, rushing forward until the bright sun from the open entrance lit up the dark wooden floor.
    “I won’t say it again. I need you to leave or I’ll call the police.” Pastor James was talking when I arrived at the large doors. The man from the choir immediately saw me and tapped her on her arm.
    Pastor James turned round and paled. “Maddie, darlin’, stay in the church and call your sister, or even better, Mr. Nash.”
    Her face betrayed her fear but her protests quickly turned to white noise in my ears as I reached the exit and saw, waiting below, at the edge of the busy road was him… Flame. He was pacing back and forth. As always, I counted his steps. Eleven to the right, eleven to the left.
    As I drank in how he looked, I feared my legs would collapse. That confusing sensation of my stomach swooping hit me as my eyes focused on his leather-clad legs and the Hangmen cut partly covering his bare torso.
    His strangely cut dark hair was in its usual state of disarray. His skin was pale and he had lost weight. I frowned. His muscles were twitching more than usual. His hands clenched into fists more than normal. His lips were muttering something inaudible from this distance, yet… he was still Flame. He was still the man who protected me. He was still the silent shadow that kept me safe.
    The man I had missed with the most incredible fervor.
    His friends, Viking and AK, stood off to the side. Viking, the enormous red haired brother, looked distressed as he talked to the dark-haired AK, and when he ran his hand through his hair, he turned and his attention locked on me.
    Viking’s large chest deflated in what looked like relief and he said something to AK. AK looked toward me and threw a small tired wave.
    But I did not have the time to spare for them. All I could concentrate on right now was Flame.
    I winced as I caught sight of white gauze on the side of his neck. The gunshot graze. The bullet that should have hit me if he had not thrown himself in its path...
    ... to protect me.
    Flame’s pace increased. I could see his hands shaking as his fists became impossibly tight. Then, with a corded neck, he began to scream. His croaked and rough voice made it to “MADD—” before his eyes whipped to the top of the stairs.
    Where they collided with mine.
    Flame’s bellowed call caught in his throat and his body came to an abrupt stop. He staggered on uneasy feet as though he was too tired to be standing. But that midnight stare remained. His hands stopped shaking, his wide bare chest pumped at a heady speed, yet a strange kind of calm seemed to flow over him.
    I wanted to speak to him.
    I wanted take his hand in mine and thank him. Thank him beyond words for saving my life.
    But I could not. I did not have the courage.


    Except 2

    “Maddie? What’s wrong?” Mae said from beside me. Stepping out of Mae’s protective arm, I turned. As soon as I did, a tired looking Flame stood near me. Styx was still talking with his hands, but Flame watched me as I took a hesitant step forward. His dark eyes widened as I continued to slowly, and apprehensively approach. His hands at his sides clenched, and his jaw became rigid with tension.
    I heard the quiet sound of Mae rushing to Styx and whispering something I could not hear, but I had one intention, and one intention only.
    The smell of oil and leather hit me first, then something I could not make out, something distinctly Flame. Now only a hairsbreadth away from Flame, my eyes now to the ground, a silence had descended on the group.
    Clasping my hands together to maintain my composure, I lifted my head. This close, I realized I had missed him with a devastating intensity. I realized, that not once, had I felt safe since he had been gone.
    Flame swallowed hard and watched me. My heart fluttered when I admitted to myself that I liked the way he watched me. I liked that, when I was near, the pained expression he always wore fell away.
    Steeling my fraying nerves, I whispered, “Thank you.” I inhaled a quick breath to steady my shaking voice, dropped my eyes from his penetrating stare, and added, “Thank you. Thank you for saving my life.”


    Excerpt 3


    I sat bolt up right in the chair and stared at the dark line of the forest. My heart slammed against my ribcage when a figure emerged from the heavy foliage.
    My breathing paused, fear taking hold, then a familiar pair of leather boots and trousers entered the moonlit lawn. Blades hung at his sides, and his torso was naked under the heavy leather cut.
    Flame.
    My heart, that was already racing, seemed to beat at an impossible speed. And then Flame lifted his head, and it ceased to beat at all.
    The frown that was on his face instantly blanked. His lips mumbling something under his breath, stilling mid-speech.
    I clutched the blanket lying over my knees to my chest. I remained frozen, as did Flame. I had not expected him to come tonight, his friend had taken him back to his home. I could see from my window how exhausted he had been. I could see, even in the haze of moonlight, how tired he was still.
    Flame’s hands clenched at his sides. His chest heaved with movement that was too quick, then he abruptly turned on his heel, and with a rigid back, he headed back into the forest.
    My stomach sank as he turned to leave, and without conscious thought, I slammed my sketchpad shut, shuffled to the edge of the seat and called out, “Wait! Do not go!”
    Flame stopped dead.
    As did I.
    Swallowing back my nerves, my shock at what I had just done, I said, “Please, Flame. Do not go… I… I am glad you are here.”
    Flame’s fingers curled and uncurled at his side, then straightening his shoulders, he slowly turned. His large frame was rigid as he faced me once
    more. Then he just stood. Stood at the end of the forest, his attention fixed forward.
    But I wanted him closer.
    Still perched on the edge of my seat, I asked, “Would you like to come closer? I… I have been sitting out here alone as I could not sleep. It…” I took a deep breath, fighting my natural instinct to flee, and continued. “It would be nice to have some company.”
    Flame remained still, his rigid body convincing me that he would not come any nearer. Then, to my surprise, he began walking, his powerful legs bringing him closer to where I sat.
    In the still and silent night, I could hear him counting his steps one to eleven, then repeating it back to himself under his breath. My head tilted to the side as he approached, a swirl of anticipation and fear mixing in my stomach.
    His skin on his arms looked newly cut, and I could not help but feel sad for him. For whatever had happened to make him need to harm himself in such a way. Grasping the blade in his hand, his fingers tightened on the handle. Like he needed the blade as a comfort.
    As though he was nervous to be here with me now.
    Inhaling a long breath, I asked quietly, “Would you like to sit?” I pointed at the chair to in front of mine. Flame looked at the chair through his long black lashes, and exhaling sharply through his nose, sat beside me. I smelled the oil and leather. I smelled the rich musk and spice scent that only belonged to Flame and warmth filled my bones.
    He was sat beside me.
    Flame was sitting right beside me.
    Dropping my eyes to the frayed edges of the gray blanket wrapped around me, I played with the clustered strands of wool just for something to help with the nerves accosting my body.
    But Flame was absolutely still. Absolutely silent.
    Then I glanced to the side only to see him watching. As soon as our eyes met, he dropped his. A blush raced to fill my cheeks, and for some unknown reason, a whisper of a smile pulled on the corner of my mouth.
    Lifting my head, I stared at the large moon, and found the courage to speak, “I did not think you would be coming to see me tonight.”
    After several seconds of silence, I believed Flame would not respond. Until I caught him shift in his seat, and he said roughly, “I couldn’t stay away.”
    My pulse raced at his response and I whispered, “Why?”
    Flame’s shoulder shrugged, then focusing back on the blade in his hand, he said, “I couldn’t stop thinking about you. And I…” Flame trailed off.
    “And what?” I pushed.
    “I needed to be near you. I needed to know you were safe.”


    Excerpt 4


    I couldn’t take my eyes off his face. I had never looked at men. After what I had endured at the hands of males, I could not think of them as handsome. I had given no thought to the matter at all. I simply did not think like that. I had never felt butterflies in my stomach. I had never felt my heart flutter, had never felt myself losing my very breath. When Lilah and Mae
    would talk of Ky and Styx, when they would blush just describing their love’s faces, eyes, lips, I did not comprehend.
    But standing here, over Flame, right now, staring at his anguished face—his sharp features: slightly crooked nose, full lips, dark short beard, and those soulful eyes, those incredibly long black lashes—a feeling previously unknown to me bloomed in my heart, filling me with light. With an incredible heat. This close, I felt a tension spark between us. I felt something magnetic.
    I… I wanted him as my own. In this moment, seeing the man who had become the center of my world, breaking, I wanted nothing more than to save him. To gift him the peace he so richly deserved, even if it meant sacrificing my newly-awakened heart in the process.
    On a loud hiss, Flame’s body stiffened. My grip tightened on the handle of the knife. It felt like a ton weight in my hand, but I knew what I had to do. For Flame, I told myself, You must do this for Flame.
    Steadying my shaking grip, I raised the blade, leaving it suspended it in the air. I inhaled deeply, then looked down at Flame. His beautiful eyes stalked me. With tears filling my eyes, I whispered, “Flame… I know you are lost right now, but I want to save you. I want to save you as you have so often saved me.” I swallowed the lump clogging my throat and continued. “I know you want eternal peace, but… but… I cannot… I cannot take your life.” Tears streamed from my eyes, but I lowered my mouth to a few inches from his ear. “I know the flames pain you greatly. And I know you live with pain. I know you no longer want to live. I…” I sniffed back my emotions as Flame became eerily still. “I have been there too. I have felt the urge to fade, to never wake again. But then something happened to me. Someone happened to me… You.”
    Flame’s erratic breathing blew against the hair falling over my face, but he did not move. His body was completely and utterly still.
    Rearing back slightly, I searched his glazed eyes and prayed to the Almighty that he was seeing me. That he could hear my words. I itched to run my fingers through his hair, like I had seen Mae do to Styx, but I held back.
    “I have watched you, Flame. I have watched you as you have watched me. And I have seen you free the flames. I have counted with you from my window as you have administered the slashes to your flesh, releasing what you believe runs within you.” My legs began to shake as I lifted the knife, and lined up the blade over his arm. “I will not take your life, but I will help you release the flames. I will stay here with you, in this room, until you come back to me.”


    Excerpt 5

    The hand resting near her head inched forward in my direction. I stopped breathing as I thought she was going to touch me. But her hand stopped about an inch from mine.
    I wondered what she was doing, when she said, “I like how your hand looks next to mine. It is so big and mine is so small. Yet I feel they look compatible.”
    I focused on our hands and noticed that my hand was bigger than hers. Maddie’s little finger then extended, landing right next to mine. I thought of ripping my hand away, but something stopped me. I didn’t want her to touch me; I didn’t want her to be hurt. My touch only ever caused people to be hurt. But I left my hand where it was, our little fingers staring at each other.
    “I sometimes imagine what our hands would look like, touching. What they would look like with our fingers intertwined. I wonder if it would make me smile. At times I daydream that it would be something we could do.”
    Maddie’s voice was so quiet as she spoke. I couldn’t take my eyes off our hands. I tried to picture in my head what she described. I saw her hand reaching out for mine, but then I thought of how it would make me feel, and I shook my head.
    “Our hands can’t ever touch. I can’t… I couldn’t do it.”
    Maddie’s lips pulled into a half smile, but water filled her eyes and her voice hitched.
    “Why are your eyes filling with water? Why is your voice breaking?” I asked, confused. I had to understand what she was thinking. What she was feeling. I didn’t know, and I had to.
    “I am sad, Flame. It makes me sad to know that we can never touch.”
    The muscles in my stomach pulled tight with the knowledge that I’d made her sad. Then that warm feeling I’d felt cooled and I no longer felt good. “I don’t want to make you sad. Not you. I just can’t be touched. It makes the flames worse. I can’t touch you.”
    “It is okay, Flame,” Maddie said in response, then she looked up at me and added, “Because I cannot be touched by a man either. But I dream about it regardless.”

    Tour Kindly Hosted By HaveBookWillRead

    Tuesday, 11 August 2015

    Teaser Tuesday 11/08/2015 'The Spaniard's Kiss'


    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
      Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

    This week's teaser comes from the 30% mark of The Spaniard's Kiss by Nina Croft.
    25774207

    ""John, I want you to draw up the papers."
    "What papers."
    "The baby papers we talked about.  I want them in my office by ten this morning to go over."
    He switched off before he had to listen to John's arguements again.  They were valid only if he had any intention of going through with the baby deal.  And that couldn't happen.
    Some of his tension drained away."

    Monday, 10 August 2015

    Beyond The Kingdoms (The Land of Stories 4) by Chris Colfer

    23657459Hardcover: 448 pages
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (7 July 2015)
    ISBN-10: 0349124426
    ISBN-13: 978-0349124421

    Fairy tales are just the beginning.

    The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and it's up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him...except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they're in danger.

    With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose and her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the Masked Man's secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature's greatest villains!

    So begins a race through the magical Land of Oz, the fantastical world of Neverland, the madness of Wonderland, and beyond. Can Alex and Conner catch up to the Masked Man, or will they be one step behind until it's too late?

    Fairy tales and classic stories collide in the fourth adventure in the bestselling Land of Stories series as the twins travel beyond the kingdoms!


    Cover: As always- the cover to the latest installment in this series is stunning.  Simply perfection.
     
    I love this series.  It is, hands down, one of my favourites.  Ever.
    Ever snce reading The Wishing Spell, I've been captivated by the fairy tale world Chris Colfer has created.  Seeing all your favourite fairy tale characters in one place, as well as the adventures (and sometimes misadventures) of the twins as they try to navigate the world.
    It's an incredible middle grade that anyone of any age can enjoy.
    This is the fourth book in the series and I'm just as enchanted by it now, as I was by book one.
    I loved in this one how Chris has seamlessly included characters and their worlds from 'real' world literature- Oz, Neverland, Wonderland, Camerlot and Sherwood forest.
    Seeing these stories brought to life was wonderful, and seeing them blend with the fairytale world was brilliant.
    I had theories going into this book, and it was much anticipated.
    And not to sound big headed- but I loved being proved right on them.
    This book leaves it on such an interesting note that I legitimately cannot wait for the next installment.
    The wait is awful.

    5/5 stars.  Hands down.

    Read from July 13 to 16, 2015.