Friday, 9 December 2016

VLOGMAS DAY 8

November 2016 Reading Wrap Up

Excerpt Reveal - A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole



EXCERPT

Caresa

I closed my eyes as the music pounded through my body. The air was sticky from the mass of bodies on the dance floor. My body swayed to the beat, my feet ached from the five-inch Louboutin heels I was wearing, and my skin was flushed from the copious amounts of 1990 Dom PĂ©rignon I had consumed.
“Caresa!” My name split through the harsh sound of drums and synthesized piano notes. I rolled my eyes open and looked across our cornered-off section of the club at my best friend.
Marietta was sitting on an oversized plush couch, waving a new bottle of champagne in my direction. Laughing, I followed my throbbing feet to where she sat and slumped down beside her. In seconds, a champagne flute was in my hand and the bubbly was flowing once more.
Marietta sat forward, swishing her long blond hair over her shoulder. She raised her glass as though she was going to make a toast. But instead, her bottom lip jutted out into a pathetic pout.
I tipped my head to one side, silently asking her what was wrong.
“I was going to make a toast to the Duchessa di Parma, my very best friend,” she shouted over a new but similar-to-the-last song. “To my best friend leaving me here in dull old New York to go marry a real-life godforsaken prince in Italy.” Marietta sighed and her shoulders slumped. “But I don’t want to. Because that would mean this night is almost over, and tomorrow I lose my partner-in-crime.” A sudden sadness bloomed in my chest at her words. Then, when her eyes filled with tears, those words became a punch in the gut.
Placing my glass on the table before us, I moved forward and put my hand on her arm. “Marietta, don’t get upset.”
She put down her own drink and grabbed my hand. “I just don’t want to lose you.”
My stomach rolled. “I know,” I said. Then I didn’t say anything else, but I could see Marietta register my unspoken words. I don’t want to go either.
Keeping my hand in hers, I slumped back against the couch and let my eyes drift over the busy dance floor below. I watched the throng of Upper East Siders losing themselves in the music. A pang of fear swept through me.
This really would be my last night in New York. In the morning, I would fly to Italy, where I would live from that day on.
Marietta shuffled closer to me and cast me a watery smile. “How are you doing?” she asked as she squeezed my hand.
“I’m okay. Just nervous, I guess.”
Marietta nodded her head. “And your papa?”
I sighed. “Ecstatic. Overjoyed that his precious daughter will be marrying the prince he chose for me as a child.” I felt a pang of guilt for speaking about him so negatively. “That was uncalled for,” I said. “You know as well as I do, Baroness von Todesco” —Marietta scowled playfully at my use of her title— “that we don’t really get a choice in whom we marry.” I leaned forward and picked up my champagne. I took a long swig, enjoying the feel of the bubbles traveling down my throat. I handed Marietta her glass and raised mine in the air. “To arranged marriages and duty over love!”
Marietta laughed and clinked her glass with mine. “But seriously,” Marietta said, “are you okay? Truly okay?”
I shrugged. “I honestly don’t know how to answer that, Etta. Am I okay with the arranged marriage? I suppose so. Am I okay with moving to Italy permanently? Not really. I love Italy—it’s my home, I was born there—but it’s not New York. Everyone I know is here in America.” Marietta’s eyes softened with sympathy. “And am I okay with marrying Zeno Savona? The infamous Playboy Prince of Toscana?” I took a deep breath. “I have no idea. I guess that will become apparent in the next three months.”
“In your ‘courting period,’” Marietta said using air quotes, and snorted with laughter. “What a joke. What twenty-three-year-old woman and twenty-six-year-old man need a courting period?”
I laughed at her sassy tone, but then soberly replied, “Ones who don’t know each other at all? Ones who have to see if they can stand each other’s company before sealing their marital fates forever?”
Marietta shuffled closer. “You know as well as I do that you could hate this so-called prince, detest everything he is—and he you—and I’d still be your maid of honor at your wedding on New Year’s Eve.” She sputtered a laugh. “The very fact that the date has been set says it all. This marriage is happening.” Marietta held up her glass, got to her feet and, with arms spread wide, shouted, “Welcome to the life of the European blue bloods of the Upper East Side! Drowning in Prada and Gucci, dripping in diamonds, but having no free will to call our own!”
I laughed, pulling her back down. She broke into hysterics as her ass hit the couch, spilling champagne all over the expensive upholstery. But our laughter waned as the house lights came on one by one. The last of the dance music drifted into silence, and the rich patrons of Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub began making their way to their limos and town cars. It was three o’clock in the morning, and I had six hours left in the city I loved beyond measure.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.




Saturday, 3 December 2016

VLOGMAS DAY 2

VLOGMAS DAY 1

BLOGTOUR: VEIL OF VINES BY TILLIE COLE

    25912376

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Tillie Cole Ltd. (27 Nov. 2016)
  • ASIN: B01NBD7Z8S
  • To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
    But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth. 
    For some, they are real life. 
    On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
    I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set. 
    I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
    The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
    In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more. 
    And I am soon to become one of them.
    I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
    … or at least I was, until I met Achille. 
    And everything changed.
Cover: I like the simplicity of this cover.  And it's kind of ethereal.  I love that there's no cover models either- I like that I can imagine the characters myself.

It's no secret that I love Tillie Cole's books.  It's almost like a worship her.  Not one of her books that I've read have I not enjoyed.
And Veil of Vines was no exception.
I was immediately drawn into the world of the Italian countryside, with lush vinyards...and yes, sexy winemakers.
Caresa is going to marry a man she doesn't love because it's expected of her, to strengthen the business alliance between the two Italian families.  
Only meeting Achille- the maker of a world renowned merlot, getting to know him and his way of life, makes the idea of marrying anyone else impossible.
Oh boy did I love Caresa and Achille.  You immediately see that they're made for each other, and while they did fall for each other quickly, I wouldn't say it was done in a way that was unbelievable.  I believed in their romance from the get go, and just loved their characters, and who they were together.  Seemingly opposites rich aristocrat and poor wine maker, but they were really soul mates.
I was fascinated by the philosophy elements that were woven into the story, the idea of Plato's split aparts.  The idea of a single human being split into two halves- and only when they find each other, they're whole and never want to be parted.  I just found it so beautiful.
I really rooted for Caresa and Achille- I wanted them to get their HEA, even if I couldn't see how it was going to happen.
This is an absolute must read.  If you're a Tillie Cole fan, you're going to read this anyway, but if you've never picked up a Tillie Cole book, curl up with A Veil of Vines this winter, you won't be disappointed.

5/5 stars.



Saturday, 29 October 2016

#WelcomeToMyWorld



In this post as part of #WelcomeToMyWorld I'm going to share with you my top favourite paranormal romance moments or couples.

1. Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
I love this series.  I remember being in town and picking up the first two books from Borders.  Borders!! 
As soon as I started this series I loved it- and I love all the couples from the series, but my all time favourite remains the first- Dark Lover, Wrath and Beth.  I just love them as a couple.
Wrath is the reluctant Vampire King, purebred last of his line.  Beth is a half breed- half vampire half human orphan that unknown to her- her father is a Vampire warrior.  When he dies suddenly Wrath is honour bound to find Beth and help her through her transition
My favourite moment is when Beth goes through the transition- her life is in danger and I just melt at how Wrath stays with her the entire time, encouraging her to life.  He's terrified she's not going to make it.

2. The Others by Anne Bishop
This series is amazing, and absolutely one of my all time favourites.  It's a paranormal/urban fantasy.  And one of my favourite couples are the 'main characters' Simon and Meg.  Their friendship develops so beautifully and it builds over the books so well- but they are not yet a romantic couple.  It's slowly but surely heading in the direction and each book I'm like, 'is this the book it's going to happen???'  But with a shapeshifter and a blood prophet things are going to progress carefully.
I have so many favourite moments between these two that it's hard to choose- but one of my favourites is from book 1, towards the end, and Meg is in hospital and Simon, in wolf form, stays with her to keep her warm.


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3. Psy-Changeling by Nalini Singh
After falling in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood I went on a bit of a binge- looking for more paranoraml romance type books, and I stumbled across the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, Slave To Sensation and I started it one evening and I couldn't put it down- I stayed up until about 3am and finished it in the one sitting.  It was such a fast paced read.  It was a unique read for me, I'd not read anything like it before- about shape-shifting changeling and psy, a race with mental psychic abilities.  The changelings are a touchy feely race- close and family orientated. They psy have altered their own race- taken away their ability to feel emotion.  They're a cold, clinical race.  They've done it so they can focus on their abilities and take away crime fueled by feeling.  Except it seems they may not have been as successful as they'd hoped...and plan to keep it a secret.
Lucas is an alpha changeling- it's his job to protect his pack.  Sascha is a psy- but one that is slowly fracturing, her mind is breaking and her conditioining is failing.  She's starting to feel things.  Her mother send her to spy on the changeling but there's a connection between her and Lucas.
I loved this book enough to read it in one go- so there were a lot of moments I loved- but I love the moment that Lucas realises that Sascha is his mate.  When she's travelled into enemy terroitory and had a mental breakdown and he finds her unconscious.  My heart was in my throat.


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In conclusion- I'm sappy.  And I love a good romance story- and a romance story with paranormal elements is right up my street.  

So what are your favourite paranormal romances and why?

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

W...W...W...Wednesday 26/10/2016



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?
My current read is Close To You by Kristen Proby
27871720
I recently finished reading How The Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell
29989179
I think my nect read will be Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
110384

Monday, 24 October 2016

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas


Paperback: 704 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens; 01 edition (6 Sept. 2016)
ISBN-10: 1408872897
ISBN-13: 978-1408872895
 
The long path to the throne has just begun for Aelin Galathynius. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
This fifth instalment in the sensational New York Times bestselling series is the most thrilling yet and cannot be missed.
Contains mature content. Not suitable for younger readers.

Cover: These covers are some of the best- they are stunning to look at and they match the protagonist Celeana.
I love this series.  I rave about it whenever I can.  It’s a series that I’ve kept up with- reading each book when it’s released.
Each book I think, this can’t possibly be as good as the one before and it is- each and every time.  They just become more and more epic.
This book was just a rollercoaster.  So much happening and it’s all glorious.  This instalment made me feel so much.  It actually brought a tear to my eye more than once.
The romance in this book is just beautiful.  I'm glad at how that's developed nicely.
This is a brilliant series, that if you haven’t started already- you really must.
5/5 stars!  Hands down!!
I cannot wait for the next book- particularly after how this one ended.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Booking Through Thursday 20/10/2016


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


Somebody walks up to you and says, “I need a really good book to read–any genre. What do you recommend?”
What’s the first book off the top of your head?

I would say It Ain't Me Babe by Tillie Cole, the first book in the Hades Hangmen series.  It's one of my all time favourite books, and I try to pimp it out to everyone.
It's an adult romance, but it is quite dark.  Set in the world of cults and motorcycle clubs.
Tillie Cole#s writing is amazing- and it hooks you right in. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

W...W...W...Wednesday 19/10/16




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?

My current read is How The Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell
29989179
I recently finished reading Eternally North by Tillie Cole
22668558
I think my next read will be Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
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Waiting On Wednesday 19/10/16 'The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy



Waiting on Wednesday is all about sharing the books that I'm eagerly waiting to be released.
 
This week the book that I'm waiting on is The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fiary Tales.  I love The Land of Stories series, it's a fantastic middle grade series that I just devour.  So I'm looking forward to seeing how Chris Colfer writes the fairy tales. 
Released 27th October.
 
book cover of 

A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales 

Dear Reader, you hold in your hands a very special book that contains more than thirty-five classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes, plus your very own survival guide to the Land of Stories. If you notice the pages glowing, followed by an inviting humming noise, don't be afraid! That is just the book's magic. But whatever you do, don't lean too far into the book. You never know where you might end up.
Enter the world of fairy tales in this stunning illustrated gift book that includes more than thirty-five beloved stories and rhymes retold by No.1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer.
This gorgeous, full-colour companion book to the Land of Stories series will appeal to new and old fans alike, who will delight in favorite classics such as 'Cinderella', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and more. Here is the beloved fairy-tale treasury that Alex and Conner fall into in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell - a beautifully designed addition to the series, and the magical book that started it all!

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: MIRA Ink (16 Jun. 2016)
ISBN-10: 1848454570
ISBN-13: 978-1848454576
For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.


Cover: I really like this sweet and colourful cover.  I like that it’s simple and the fact that it doesn’t have cover models on there.  I appreciate it because it lets me picture the characters the characters in my own way.

I’d heard a lot of great things about The Problem With Forever so I don’t know why it took me a little while to pick this one up, especially as I love Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my absolute favourite authors.
And I’m so glad I finally picked this up- because I absolutely loved it.
As soon as started reading I was hooked.  I was blazing through it.
I really felt for Mallory.  She was such a likeable character.
She went through a lot in her childhood, her foster parents were not the kindest.  But she had a best friend, Rider, that stuck with her through thick and thin.  Standing up for her, and taking her beatings.  After a horrific accident, they’re separated and think they’ll never see each other again.
Until, after years of home schooling after being refostered- Mallory walks into Rider’s school.
I loved their friendship- you could see how strong it was.
But it’s been four years since they’ve seen each other- and their friendship starts to develop into something else.
It was such a beautiful story guys.  I fell in love with this book.  Completely and utterly.
I rooted for them.
It kind of reminded me of Pushing The Limits, which is one of my all time favourite young adult contemporary novels, and I can honestly say, that nothing has come close to it- but The Problem With Forever has.
I highly recommend picking this one up guys- it gave me the feels.
5/5 stars,


Thursday, 13 October 2016

W...W...W...Wednesday 12/10/16 (On a Thursday)



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?
 
My current read is Do Not Disturb by A.R. Torre
 
I recently finished The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentourt
I think my next read will be After by Anna Todd
 

Waiting On Wednesday 12/10/2016 'The Making of Outlander' (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 to be released is The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett.  I'm a massive Outlander fan, so I'm really excited to read a book all about the making of the TV show.
Released 18th October.
Get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the first two seasons of Outlander with this official, fully illustrated companion to the hit Starz television series based on the bestselling novels.
It was only a matter of time before Diana Gabaldon s bestselling Outlander saga made the leap from book to hit TV series, and the millions of readers captivated by the epic romance of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser have eagerly followed.
Now the must-watch drama has inspired this must-have guide, which reveals that it takes a village (or perhaps a Scottish isle) to bring the breathtaking world of Outlander to life in front of our eyes. Spanning the first two seasons of the Starz network sensation, The Making of Outlander leads readers behind the scenes and straight into the action as cast members, writers, producers, musicians, costume designers, set decorators, technicians, and more share the many adventures and challenges they face to make this sweeping saga come alive on the screen.
In exclusive interviews, the show s stars, including Caitriona Balfe (Claire), Sam Heughan (Jamie), and Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Black Jack Randall), discuss the daunting task of embodying some of fiction s most beloved characters and satisfying the high expectations of devoted Outlander readers. Executive producer and showrunner Ronald D. Moore looks at the inner workings of the writers room, shares his crew s travels to the authentic overseas locations, and chronicles the brainstorming, building, breakneck pacing, and boundless energy that make everything from the show s architecture to its outfits period-perfect. In addition, the book examines all the Outlander episodes through exclusive interviews with their writers and directors, providing fascinating facts into the making of each hour.
Best of all, The Making of Outlander offers a veritable feast of lavish photographs including an array of images spotlighting the stars in all their characters grandeur and up-close personal portraits. Featuring an introduction by Diana Gabaldon.
 
 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

W...W...W...Wednesday 05/10/2016


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?

My current read is A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James
10971835
I recently finished reading Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
28260587
I think my next read will be The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

W...W...W...Wednesday 21/09/2016



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?
 
No changes this week, my W...W...W...Wednesday is exactly the same as last week. 
My current read is Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
28260587
I recently finished reading Seed by Lisa Heathfield
23711685
I think my next read will be King of Wall Street by Louise Bay

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Orion (8 Sept. 2016)
ISBN-10: 1409166406
ISBN-13: 978-1409166405
A new standalone novel from Jodi Ellen Malpas, the bestselling author of the THIS MAN and ONE NIGHT trilogies

People think they have Camille Logan nailed: daddy's girl, beautiful, spoiled young woman with her father's bank balance to fund her lifestyle. But Camille is determined to have a life free from his strings. Now, after fighting so hard to be independent and happy, she finds her life threatened as a result of her father's ruthless business dealings. Caught between resentment and fear, Camille prepares herself for the measures her father will take to protect her. But nothing could prepare her for the ex-SAS sniper who crashes into her life.

Jake Sharp resides in his own personal hell. He was distracted from duty once before, and the consequences were devastating - both personally and professionally. Accepting the job of bodyguard to Camille Logan isn't the kind of distraction from his demons he should take. Women and Jake don't mix well, yet protecting the heiress seems the lesser of two evils. But Jake soon discovers that she isn't the woman she's perceived to be. She's warm, compassionate, her presence settling, and his duty to protect her soon goes deeper than a well-paid job, no matter how hard he fights it. He needs absolution. He comes to need Camille. But he knows he can't have both.


Cover: I don’t love or hate the cover- it definitely matches the story anyway.
I’ve not read any of Jodi Ellen Malpas’s books, but when I saw someone haul this book, I was intrigued.
And I was happy when I was accepted to review it via netgalley.
Typical plotline- rich girl falls for bodyguard.  But I have to say I really enjoyed it.  Jake is ex-army, suffering with a form of PTSD, he gets through life with the help of meds, alcohol and sleeping around…and taking security jobs.
When he accepts the job to guard Camille Logan, he expects her to be a spoiled little princess.  But what he finds is that she strives to be fiercely independent, a loyal friend and a shrewd business woman.
Sparks immediately fly between them, but a relationship just wouldn’t work…would it?
I really liked both characters, and the immediate chemistry between them.  I did think it was more insta-lust than anything else.  And I wish it had more of a gradual build up- instant attraction is one thing, immediately acting on it is another. 
I loved seeing the change in Jake- how he starts off as a total hard ass, but softens towards Camille.  I’m not gonna lie I love a protective, possessive alpha male.  They’re a guilty pleasure.
I also love that it was set in London.
Over all, a great stand alone contemporary romance read.  Would definitely recommend picking it up.
4/5 stars.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

W...W...W...Wednesday 14/09/16



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?
 
My current read is Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
28260587
I recently finished reading Seed by Lisa Heathfield
23711685
I think my next read will be King of Wall Street by Louise Bay