August Wrap Up.

This month has felt like a slower reading month than July for sure. I think I read 18 books and comics last month and this month I only read 10. Fatigue, work kicking my ass and having the kid plus his gf home again has meant life is a bit crazy at the moment. Nice, but busy!

I read more from Paper Girls, which I loved and also the fantastic Illegal Contact and a new Ellie Marney book. Hope you’ve all had a fab reading month. Do share your recs in the comments, I am always on the lookout for a good read!

A ~ Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell. OMG I loved this.
Amazon Gooreads
A ~ Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. Great end to the series
Amazon Goodreads
A ~ No Limits by Ellie Marney. I really love this authors voice
Amazon Goodreads
A ~ Paper Girls V2 and V3. Beautiful, felt like the 80s and I just love it!
Amazon Volume 2 Amazon Volume 3 Goodreads
B ~ Spectred Isle by KJ Charles. Good start to a new series.
Amazon Goodreads
B ~ Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Beautiful prose, good start, but the pacing wasn’t always lively.
Amazon Goodreads
C ~ Fallen Heir by Erin Watt
Amazon Goodreads
D ~ Until it Fades by KA Tucker
Amazon Goodreads
D ~ Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Amazon  Goodreads

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Fallen Heir by Erin Watt.

This was another drama fuelled episode in The Royals. I love the angst in this series, and some of the completely over the top characters and situations.

It did take me a little longer to get into this one. I love the character of Easton so much and he’s definitely got a lot of issues to work through. I found being in his head a little difficult at times and I wonder if this is more of a personal thing for me. I found I didn’t identify as much with him as I did with Hartley and I think it is because I prefer reading from a female POV. I know out of all the books, Paper Princess is my favourite, which was from Ella’s POV. The rest of the books have alternating POV, which I didn’t enjoy as much. Possibly just me I think!

Still, these books are completely addictive. I’m completely invested, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Grace C

Goodreads
Amazon

Wildfire by Iona Andrews

This was an action packed final book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the resolution with Nevada’s grandmother, the big bads and there was also plenty of broody Rogan. One thing, they introduced some fascinating secondary characters… and I now want their stories too. I am hoping with fingers crossed that there is more.

Grade A-
Amazon

Goodreads

House of Cards by Garrett Leigh

I enjoyed this so much I nearly read it in one sitting. At 2 am I forced myself to put it down. It was such a great story of comfort and healing and I found it incredibly romantic.

Calum is on the run from his past and a seriously toxic relationship. He finds himself on the Cornish coast and runs into an old friend, Brix. When Brix sees him, he immediately takes him in and looks after him. Calum has always had a bit of a soft spot for Brix and the feeling was most definitely mutual, although when they new each other years before, they did nothing about their attraction.

This was such a slow burn. Both men have pasts and secrets. There is plenty of comfort and a chance for these two to heal old wounds and fall in love. I was just engrossed. They are such a perfect pair and it was beautifully paced and written. The secondary characters, Brix’s family and the tattoo shop added to the mix and Porthkennack was a character in itself. This has to be one of my favourites of 2017. Loved it.

A-

Goodreads

Amazon

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet.

This was another great installment from the Kingmaker Chronicles. In saying this however, I did think Griffin acted like a bit of a tool during the first part of the novel, and needed to spend some more time being penitent. He really let loose and considering the lengths he’d gone to find Cat, this seemed a little off. I’m loving the mythology and battle scenes. The character growth of Cat was good and I think the secondary characters are a treat. Great read and I wait for the next book.

4 Stars.

Goodreads
Amazon

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.static1.squarespace.jpg

Bad Judgement by Sidney Bell

I absolutely loved this. The snark was strong, along with brilliant chemistry and excellent world building. I think if occasional darker moments are not your thing then this might not be for you, but I adored it. I had a few moments where Embry reminded me a little of Laurent Captive Prince, but just a smidgen though. It was totally its own book.

I really hope this author writes loads more books, and fast, because I’m lined up already for purchasing. Excellent and twisty, dark plot. Long with a slow build of tension (my favourite) and some seriously excellent sex scenes. Loved it.

5 Stars.

Goodreads
Amazon

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.static1.squarespace.jpg

The Archer’s Heart by Astrid Amara.

archers1Reading The Archers Heart was truly a pleasure. This beautiful fantasy novel draws on elements from the Mahābhārata and is set in a land, not dissimilar to India, called Marhavad. It is a tale of caste, magic, betrayal, adventure, war and love. I spent a week sloping off to bed early just so I could read more!

I think the first thing that appealed was the setting. The Indian influence that saturated Marhavad was delightful and with most of what I’ve read in fantasy set in more European influenced worlds, an enjoyable change. It made me remember reading The Far Pavilions (incredible, beautiful story) and sneaking out to watch The Jewel in the Crown when I was younger. I cannot express how nice it is to read about somewhere a little different and loose some of the Anglo-European centric feel that many fantasy novels have. No LOTR template here and no singing hobbits either! 

The world building was tight with magical elements blending seamlessly within the historical feel of the novel. It was also well paced with nothing glossed over or rushed despite the book covering a period of several years. There were the odd bits that lagged, but for the most part I was kept well entertained. 

I liked the character of Keshan Adaru, who is a man with change at the forefront of everything he does. He is determined to see a society where all men and women are treated equally and the caste system removed. He is charismatic and beautiful. The romance that blossoms between him and Prince Jandu Paran kept me up way past my bedtime. I think, of the two characters, the depth and growth of Jandu was what really captured my interest. He begins the story a brash young boy and grows into a man worthy of his title. And yeah, all serious waffle aside it was kinda hot. heh.

The inclusion of Tarek Amia, whose story runs along side that of Keshan and Jandu, was very poignant at times. I enjoyed his stoic, soldier like nature and unrequited love for his Prince. Such an honorable man, I wanted someone to ruffle his hair occasionally. 

If I have any whinges it’s that I did find Jandu’s curse a little odd in the scheme of things. While it did move the story along it was a little different and unexpected. I also felt a bit uncomfortable at the unsympathetic portrayal of Keshan’s wife and wondered if this could have been handled a little differently.

I think the most charming thing about this book is its uniqueness. I don’t think I’ve really read anything quite like it before and this was probably its most appealing quality. Beautifully presented and a distinctively different read that is well worth reading. Liked it lots!

Paperback from Blind Eye Books and from Amazon.

True North by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane.

tn-ebookSmall-town engineer Jackson Strange has been clumsy his whole life, so when an accident at work sends him to the local clinic, it’s no big shock. The surprise is his magnetic, heated attraction to the enigmatic Julian Piet, a charming doctor with killer good looks who pulls Jack off his lonely course. Now that their paths have crossed, Jack and Julian head off in a new direction – but between Jack’s reluctance to be open about his sexuality and Julian’s shattered self-confidence, they can’t seem to decide what direction that is. It takes a push from Julian’s meddlesome sister to send them stumbling headfirst into romance.

Happily wrapped up in their fledgling relationship, Jack and Julian think they may have found their way when unexpected roadblocks appear on their path to forever. Wrathful storms, dangerous illness, family connections, and broken hearts threaten their tenuous balance. Will the trials send them spinning apart – their love scattered to the four winds? Or will Jack and Julian learn to believe and trust that together they can find true north.
From Dreamspinner Press.

How can you resist a man in scrubs? Years of watching ER, Chicago Hope and now Grey’s obviously has me well conditioned. heh.

This book starts with promise, two guys meet and are attracted to each other, always a bonus in a romance novel. Bit of the whole caretaker hero doing his taking care thing, it was good. I liked Jackson, he was sweet and had me imagining warm plaid shirts. Not sure why, just did! Julian is a nice foil of slender goodness with much fiesty sexiness. There is a beautifully described small town in winter, interesting secondary characters and it was nice and long. (long is good!) 

The only problems I had with the book were a few moments with awkward plot devices that had my suspension of disbelief working overtime. I also found some of the explanations about backgrounds and where the boys came from a little confusing, but the rest of the book read reasonably smoothly.

Despite these problematic moments I’ll be interested in seeing what their next book is like. It is coming soon from Dreamspinner Press in March. You can check it out here.

Get get the ebook and paperback here.

Playing The Field: Faceoff by J. M. Snyder

faceoffChristian “Magic” Magdziuk is a minor league hockey player with dreams of someday heading to the NHL, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that dream come true. So he plays with the Richmond Rebels for only one short season before he asks to be traded to the Bedford Blizzard, a farm team for the American Hockey League, where he might get a little more notice from scouts.

His attitude on the ice left him few friends among the Rebels…that is, until teammate Ronnie Niedermeyer took a liking to him. One thing led to another and the two men became lovers during the time Christian played with the team. But when he transferred to the Blizzard, he left the Rebels-and Ronnie-behind.

Now it’s the first game of a new season, and Christian’s facing off against his former teammates in the season opener. But after all this time, does something still smolder between Christian and Ronnie?

This was an incredibly quick read. The story was made up of a series of moments, brief, succinct and fast paced rather than having the padding of a longer novel around it. Perhaps it is my fault for not looking more closely at what the word count of the book was when I was buying, but, at 40 pages in pdf I cannot help but feel a little disappointed that it was not longer. Especially as what I did read was enjoyable. I know I have whinged about this before, but when I pay that much for a book I guess I expected a few more pages. However, due to how the story was written maybe it would not have worked in a longer format.

The romance was sweet and hot and I enjoyed the characters. Christian with his drive and ambition to do better for himself and Ronnie with his quiet stoicism. The premise of the book is what initially made me pick it up and the lovely cover. I have a thing for sports romances and have all of Susan Elizabeth Phillips firmly on the shelf!

So, much locker room shots, men in towels and hockey sticks. Nice!

Get it here from Amber Allure.

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