Category Archives: 3 Books


WallbangerWallbanger by Alice Clayton

Series: Cocktail #1

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick-lit

The Plot
Wallbanger is a light, entertaining and humorous read, following the journey of Caroline who upon moving into a new apartment discovers her neighbour is quite the man! He in fact, is often found making nightly noises (I’m sure your imagination can fulfil the gap for now) with several different women that definitely hits the wall and is heard through the wall since Caroline and the mystery ‘Wallbanger’ share a bedroom wall she is also kept up nightly. The plot unravels from there following the journey of Caroline, her relationship troubles, her neighbour and the novel builds upon the premise of an unlikely relationship forming between her and the ‘Wallbanger’.
The Review
Wallbanger is one of those novels that is light, fluffy and pure entertainment! There is very little that is serious about this novel and it serves to be the perfect escape romance. However I do fear that the novel is very much based upon taste in terms of the humour which is obviously different amongst individuals. Personally I am not a massive chick-lit fan, but I engaged well with Wallbanger and although near the end I had a tendency to skim a little bit, overall I found myself immersed in the story.

Caroline had a solid character and personality that made her almost certainly a likeable character.  She likes to cook and bake, and she’s an interior designer who is proud of her job and this is evident by the hard work she puts in. However I did not really feel like she really brought this into her own home and I felt like we could have sensed more of her personality throughout the novel. There were moments where I felt she also had a tendency to fall into emotional dramatic scenes that were rather unnecessary in my opinion and did frustrate me. In addition to that, I felt like the strength of her character drained a little by the end of the novel and she was not nearly as strong as at the start. This disappointed me a little because I felt like it would have made the last part of the novel much stronger.

The ‘Wallbanger’ himself is quite the enigma and not as he first appears. He was incredibly suave, kind and caring and not at all what you first expect. I actually really liked his character and at moments he found himself floundering with Caroline who refused to give him a chance or hear him out entirely. However his persistence is certainly something that is a strong redeemable quality and maybe a very romance novel based quality!

I fear this novel could not be complete without the trusty pet, the cat, Clive. He certainly makes a strong addition to the humour and I found myself enamoured with him. I feel that novels without animals these days appear to be a little incomplete as they always tend to round character with their unexpected antics and Clive certainly is a pesky little devil, but a loveable one. In addition to this, Caroline was clearly a loveable owner and that showed throughout the novel and this affection is certainly the right way to portray pet owners, so Clayton is given both thumbs up here!

The plot, well it basically centres on the romance of the ‘Wallbanger’ and Caroline, but it does not just appear out of nowhere and that is the strong element of Wallbanger as chick-lit because it creates a friendship and emotional connection between the two that builds up over time. In addition to this, there are several plot strands to the romance that interweave and give it a little more substance.

Overall, Wallbanger is a solid addition to the chick-lit genre, and admittedly it won me over to a genre I don’t usually venture into. I can see that Wallbanger will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it and I am certainly tempted by the future sequel to see where things go even for a novel that is not perfect. If you have a spare few hours, I recommend giving it a chance since you might just find you enjoy it after all!

Favourite Quotes

“No woman has ever done breakfast bread foreplay the way you do.
Ha! When you coming?
Can’t. Drive. Straight.
Can we have one conversation when you’re not twelve?
Sorry, I’ll be there in 30.
Perfect, that will give me time to frost my buns.
Pardon me?”

“The girl next door was meowing. What in the world was my neighbor packing to make that happen?
Clive, at this point, went utterly bonkers and launched himself at the wall. He was literally climbing it, trying to get where the noise was coming from, and adding his own meows to the chorus.”

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website


Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, Adult, Alice Clayton, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, E-book, Omnific Publishing, Romance


10401084Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Elementals #1

Genre: Young-Adult, Paranormal-Romance

The Plot
Storm is a novel that follows the path of one girl, Becca Chandler and her encounters with fellow pupils at school, which is the likes of past-boyfriends and secrets that the plot follows to uncover, it also includes the Merrick family and in particular Chris. In addition to this, there is a new boy present, an absent father, a demanding best friend and some paranormal elements that are not quite the traditional vampire/werewolf aspect and this make things a little more interesting. So as expected there is romance, potentially of the double-trouble kind (love triangle alert!) and some paranormal-magic to spice things up and drive the action along which there is plenty of!

The Review

Storm is a book that is not quite fabulous, but not entirely awful. It manages to be engaging and exciting, whilst at times utterly predictable which made it a little exasperating when it fit exactly into what I was expecting. I was hoping in some regards that there would be a greater twist or something that would entirely surprise me, but it did not, and for me that was the downfall of this novel. Having said that, I still believe there to be a fair few redeeming qualities about the novel. The literary prose flows freely and I did not have any issues with the writing style, in fact it was a very easy, enjoyable read. The book has a fast paced plot that keeps you turning the pages and this makes up for the predictability. In addition to this, most of the characters I largely liked. However upon my deconstruction of the book I do feel, it deserves 3 stars rather than the initial 4 I gave it.

Becca Chandler the female protagonist of this novel; I almost certainly have a love/hate relationship with this character and honestly I still feel like I am sitting on the fence a little in regards to her. At moments she is this strong, brave and fierce individual who runs headlong into things to save others and the next she appears some tormented, bratty and annoying teenage girl who has “daddy issues” and appears to be a little bit of wild child. However the “wild child” image is not really one I felt other than the derogatory comments from the ‘jocks’ of the story and I thought the whole story line was rather useless in terms of plot and character development. It made me cringe away more than anything because it presented a group of ‘jocks’ as brutish, vulgar individuals and did nothing to discriminate from a very common stereotype. By the end of the story, I still feel like my issues with Becca and her overall progression seem a little unresolved.

Honestly the next part is my own fault for not really reading the blurb, but the love triangle was not something I was expecting. It was frustrating at best and again by the end of the novel it still felt largely open-ended and unresolved and when I see the next novel moving to focus on an a different individual from the series, it leaves me with little comfort. The two male individuals in question seemed to develop fairly quick infatuations with Becca and in particular, the New Kid, Hunter who has hundreds of females in the school to pick from finds Becca the most appealing. To me it all seemed a little far-fetched and I did not feel like there was enough about Becca to warrant this ‘fight’ over her. Personally I took a large dislike to Hunter from the start and something about his character I found downright creepy and he grated on me. I felt there was very little redeeming about him and his odd behaviour that was eventually resolved did not in the end serve to make me like him anymore.

This leaves us with the Merrick brothers, and in particular Chris who I liked much more. Despite his oh so expected conflicted personality and family issues that seem to encompass the YA genre like a suffocating cloak, he was a character I could like. Although the fact his brothers were the hottest creatures on the earth and Becca was not able to function when they were shirtless in the same room was a little bit tedious. The redeeming quality here was the family relationship and the dynamic between the brothers, I definitely felt the camaraderie and bond between brothers and that certainly made me root for them as a family throughout the novel.

Finally the plot concept itself in terms of the paranormal element was actually a fairly interesting one, and my only complaint was that little more was learnt of the origin and the ideas behind that. In fact, I think for an introductory novel to the series, Kemmerer should have made much more of the elementals idea and this left me disappointed. I feel like there is much still to learn about the powers of the brothers and those involved in the story, and I very much hope Kemmerer builds on this, or I can see myself being sorely disappointed.

Overall I devoured Storm and the book is far from being bad, however I fail to have been blown away. I definitely realise the standards I am setting for books are ever increasing, so I hope the next novel Spark will help resolve the issues that this book raised for me. Certainly I would recommend Storm as a quick, lazy day read that helps you escape from reality for a few hours and contains a few potential book boyfriends depending on your type, but I would not go to extreme efforts in making time for this series yet!

Favourite Quotes

“Touch was funny like that. How one movement could choke you and kill you, but another meant nothing more than a caress and an invitation.”

“Crap, Bex, do you think he’ll do something truly horrible like buy you flowers?”

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website




Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, Brigid Kemmerer, E-book, Kensington, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Gone with the Wolf

Gone with the Wolf

Gone with the Wolf by Kristin Miller

Series: Seattle Wolf Pack #1

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Werewolves, Adult

Publication: April 21st 2013 by Entangled

The Plot

CEO and alpha werewolf Drake Wilder has given up the search for his one true love. When he discovers that she’s a secretary in his company, Drake’s primal instincts kick into overdrive.
What he wouldn’t give to have her fingers rake over his body instead of the keyboard…

Free-spirited bartender Emelia Hudson wants nothing more than to make her Seattle-based bar succeed. But when profits decline, she slips into a dress suit and secures a nine-to-five. After learning that her bar has become property of Wilder Financial, Emelia is determined to get some answers.

Two can play the ruthless business game. If only her attraction to the boss wasn’t so intense…
When Drake’s twin brother senses that Drake has found his match—and now inherits their father’s billion dollar estate—he hatches a plan to take Emelia out. Drake vows to protect her at all costs, but he might have to pay with his own life.

My Review

Originality was rather lacking in the department of Gone with the Wolf. It felt like it fell into the typical cliche of Rich Man + Poor Woman + Angst over social and monetary value = Happily Ever After. Having said that, there still managed to be entertaining moments that I’ve labelled the “good bits” but there were quite a few “bad bits” to match those that damped my overall enjoyment of the book. Overall, it was rather forgettable too, which makes it harder to enjoy a book when nothing strikes you as entirely original.

Honestly, it was quite a while ago since I read this, and I’ve found that much of the details have slipped from my memory. However, Emelia Hudson the protagonist of our story I do recall grating on me quite a lot. She was supposedly free-spirited and whilst she had spunk enough to rebel against Drake, she quickly became drawn to him and didn’t provide that much opposition to him. There were moments when she was clearly against being dragged into his world and suspicious, but as it seems with the paranormal-romance genre, she accepted things a little too readily.

Drake was a rather interesting character, I couldn’t quite pinpoint his emotions at all the times and he was a little stupid. He was also a little frustrating, but eventually he unravelled to see the typical romance figure who didn’t quite understand the girl to start with as he bulldozed in as the “alpha male”. Luckily he rectified that by the end, and I managed to like him a fair amount.

His face didn’t twitch, flinch, flex. Nothing. He barely responded to her presence at all. Like the kiss last night never happened.

The concept wasn’t overly original, but the idea was Drake had to find his “mate” before his evil twin brother to gain control of their father’s pack. However he’d been searching for a long time and about given up hope on that aspect. It makes for a rather, race against time aspect in whether Emelia will accept him and adds some tension. Nevertheless the typical bad family relations that usually provide that angst for paranormal-romance was present and a little tiresome.

Ultimately I enjoyed the romance was a strong, rather entertaining aspect that certainly provided a few shivers. It was more or less the focus of the story, the relationship that kind of occurred rather than a progressive relationship. In addition the “plot” of the story tended to focus largely around the romance, so there wasn’t much substance to the novel.

She gasped for air, clutched at his back, and ache to taste more of his lips.

He dove down to her neck, smudging deliciously wet kisses along her collarbone and back up to her chin.

Overall, Gone with the Wolf is a romance that’s great for a quick, rainy day read as just something light and fluffy. There isn’t much too it and it’s not the best paranormal-romance or werewolf story, but neither it is the worst!

~ 3 Books / 5 Books ~


Filed under 2013 Publication, 3 Books, Adult, E-book, Entangled Publishing, Kristin Miller, Paranormal Romance, Werewolves

The Exemeus

The Exemeus

The Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris

Genre: Fantasy, Young-Adult, Romance

Publication: January 3rd 2013 by Royal Colours Ink

The Plot

Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, she has been given another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.
In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime:inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she’s been dead for 13 years.

Welcome to my stop on The Exemeus blog tour by Folami Morris and Abeni Morris hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to see the rest of the blog tour schedule!

The Exemeus banner2

The Review

The Exemeus is a book I have very mixed feelings upon, whilst there were moments I was thoroughly immersed in and engaged with, there were others that left me confused, disassociated and rather disappointed. However, The Exemeus is far from being a bad book and it has a lot to offer. Honestly, Hylee is a strong independent character that was savvy and likeable, and Singleton was more confusing and befuddled, but he certainly made an impression on me as being a rather fiery male love interest. Then we come to Dephon, I don’t really know much about this boy and I feel like he was overshadowed once again by the parents in this novel as youngster when we take a trip back in time.

The strongest point of this story was the world-building of the novel and the different worlds and magical elements that really came alive and touched every part of the story. I was absorbed from start to finish with these elements and engaged in all the political touches which were particularly strong throughout the novel. They were engaging and interesting and I really felt that the authors had spent lots of time and effort on working this out.

“Oh, a variety of different places… magical bookstores, interplanetary webula, but most of them actually came from Horace.”

“What’s a Horace?”

“A man.”

The characters were interesting. I never truly got a hold on any of them but Hylee, who I assume is not meant to be the main protagonist despite her consuming most of the narrative. Hylee was m0st certainly a kick-ass heroine  who brought life and character to the novel. However she was always on the edge of discovering something big and this frustrated me because I wanted her to open her eyes and see what was happening. She was quite oblivious in terms of things and a little bit stupid.

Singleton. Well honestly I never understood him, but I found him at times to be the swoony love interest you expected. However he seemed to move in riddles and his actions were never expected. The one really good thing about Singleton was he never gave up on Hylee and he acted the hero. He was strong and determined and I most definitely appreciated him for it because Hylee became weak at times where their relationship was concerned.

Dephon. Well there seemed to be something brewing in terms of romantic interests and his life, but I never fully grasped his character. We were always on the border of finding out more and I most definitely think that a second novel is needed to explore him more. He clearly verged on moments of great humour and wit, and my favourite word has now come from him. Troglodyte meaning caveman.

“The troglodytes on the football team had clearly decided to make up for their niceness yesterday by putting rotten eggs in his locker. His mom was right; football players sucked.”

In terms of plot, it was very disjointed and back and forth and I think making it shorter would have kept the interest with this to really define every element and keep my interest. I did find that by the end of the novel my interest had waned quite a lot since the start which had drawn me in and engaged me immensely. I think a little more editing to make it tightly knitted would have done wonders for this plot. However hopefully the sequel which definitely has to be in the works will work on these.

The cover is absolutely stunning and drew me in from the very first moment with the look and effects on the front that screams magical and kick-ass, but the actual synopsis misguides you a little in my opinion and I felt that  it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the story that really drives things forward. However it is a brilliant story all the same, so I suggest you take a dive into this one when you have a spare few hours.

In conclusion, I enjoyed The Exemeus in most parts, but felt it could have been a little shorter and tighter to fully reach the potential it promised. I think the sequel will definitely promise more and I’m not quite sure I’ll be reading that one yet. However I do recommend this one for when you have a spare moment of time as the magical elements, world building and politics are just beyond a doubt, awe-inspiring.

~ 3 Stars / 5 Stars ~

You can enter the giveaway to win a chance at an e-copy of this book HERE or a $50 Amazon voucher for first place. The book is also currently discounted at Amazon and Kobo for the duration of the blog tour.

Social Network following is also available for Facebook and Twitter.


Filed under 2013 Publication, 3 Books, Fantasy, Folami and Abeni Morris, Romance, Royal Colours Ink, Young Adult

The Forest of Hands & Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Series: The Forest of Hands & Teeth #1

Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Zombies, Horror Young-Adult

Published: July 2009 by Gollancz

The Plot

In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

The Review

 The Forest of Hands & Teeth was an interesting read for me. I don’t read that many zombie books nor do I really read that many dystopia type books, so I was curious to what Ryan would do. Frankly I had a very much love/hate relationship with this book. I agonized reading it over the plot direction, the decisions of the protagonist Mary and the heartbreak and then I’d put it down and yearn to read more. Quite clearly Ryan has a book that hooks and that cannot remain down for long, or not infinitely anyway because she makes you want this book resolved.

I’ll begin with Mary our protagonist who we follow for the story. She is selfish, annoying, deluded and most of all she is blinded by the unknown that she cannot see what is before her until it is lost. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if within the first two chapters she had been bitten by a zombie and rampaged around and eaten everybody. Unfortunately, I am sorry to disappoint you, this does not happen for one second. She is not bitten, nor does she rampage… as a zombie at least. Still, the plot wouldn’t quite be the same which does hold some real strength. It’s just Mary was not a character I liked nor one I tried to like after she failed to impress me.

One point that is not in Mary’s favour that probably didn’t help me is the world she lives in. The Sisters who are basically nuns control the village, they are the law, the leaders and they have the knowledge and the secrets. The Sisters are rather creepy and whilst they lord over the village, they surprisingly make it a very sexist society. Do not expect to find women’s rights being waved in your face because the Sisters have a plan for women. Have them married, get them to have babies, have them care for the babies, have more babies and so on until they die… This is the basic plot of what the Sisters expect from the women of the village and for those that fail to do that… well… who knows if their history was ever written down or they join the Sisters.

“You are a Bound woman now, Mary. And you have a duty to your  husband, to God and this village. It is time to own up to that duty, Mary. It is time you stopped playing by the fences.”

Despite the Sisters forcing the women into such roles, they were a fantastically creepy, twisted and mysterious group of women who I was definitely curious about. Without a doubt Ryan has created a warped group of ‘do-gooders’ who believe they are working for the best of the village and it fits generally into the typical expectation of a post-apocalyptic/dystopia novel that somebody must be attempting to ‘save the race’ although badly. However, I thought that Ryan took a rather original tone to the Sisters and they didn’t seem to feel like they’re own living breathing entity that I could generally see existing in the world.

I have to admit, I found that there were some very cute moments in this novel and despite the rather heart-breaking and torturous moments of the novel, the deaths and all the zombies and gore, I thought Ryan interspersed a few moments to detract from the depressive tone of the novel. And the perfect way to do this is bring a fluffy bundle of puppy!

“The dog tumbles to the floor and runs in a few circles and then comes and wiggles over my feet, its tail sweeping items off a low table nearby. “A wedding present for  you, Mary,” he says, dipping his face a bit as if embarrassed.”

Now there are two main men in the novel. Harry and Travis. Yes.. I see your thoughts travelling directly to a big ol’ love triangle.

chains of love

This actually pretty much perfectly sums up the relationships in The Forest of Hands & Teeth and it makes me tempted to not really call it a love triangle because Mary never really loves one of the love interest and the one she is in ‘love’ with, she never truly commits to for most of the novel. The moments in which we do have romance though touched me and I found myself awwwing a little bit.

“He pulls my face toward him, his lips brushing mine, and then he places my head against his shoulder. His arms wrap rightly around me and I understand how he needs me. I curl against his body, let him twirl his fingers through my hair.”

The Forest of Hands & Teeth is not a happy novel, I didn’t find that it was full of fun and joy, but it does make you think. I despised the main character and that was probably what detracted from my enjoyment the most. The plot whilst in large had moments of predictability was surprising and engaging and did serve to have a few unexpected plot twists that made me flip through the pages a little faster. I don’t think there is anything astounding about this novel, but it has enjoyable moments and it’s not too long. I recommend a rainy day when you have lots of free time. This novel like Mary’s brother managed to redeem itself largely by the end and I think I’ll be reading the sequel since it’s not from Mary’s point of view. I’ll leave you on a quotation I liked from the book.

“I want to believe in hope.”

~ 3 / 5 BOOKS ~


Filed under 2009 Publication, 3 Books, Carrie Ryan, Dystopia, Gollancz, Hardback, Horror, Paranormal Reading Challenge, Romance, Young Adult, Zombies

Contemporary Blend #3

Vanilla on Top

Game for Marriage











Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellisson                                Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson

Series: Walk on the Wild Side #1                                                Series: Game for It #1

Published: January 11th 2013                                                     Published: January 11th 2013

As you know I’ve recently developed an obsession for Entangled Publishing books, particularly their Brazen collection and here are two more, very different books to add to my collection. So I thought I’d try and mix something up with my review and do a little bit of a rating system.

  Vanilla on Top Game for Marriage
Seduction 7 / 10 9 / 10
Angst Levels 8 / 10 4 / 10
Fun 6 / 10 8 / 10
Male Candy 6 / 10 8 / 10
Sexual Adventures 8 / 10 7 / 10
Strong Female Character 8 / 10 6 / 10
Plot 6 / 10 6 / 10
Set-up for Sequel 4 / 10 7 / 10
Clichés 7 / 10 6 / 10
Overall Rating 6 / 10 8 / 10


Game for Marriage

Game for Marriage was an awful lot of fun and exactly what I needed to put a smile on my face and make it stay there. It had very little angst as it focused on a fake wedding between a super hot, quarterback, Jared and struggling artist, Sheridan. They have lots of laughs and problems, but they tend to work them through with minimal pain and angst that can get a little oppressive in the contemporary genre. My favourite quote from the book has to be…

“No, not really. My grandma said she was like Elizabeth Taylor. I guess Elizabeth was once quoted saying she was in love with falling in love. My grandma said that described her to a T.”

Jared was all around sexy, he had me drooling and sighing in all the right places and he was certainly the man for me. I couldn’t have wanted anybody else. He balanced confidence, arrogance and the ability to let loose as well as being serious to give him a fairly rounded character. He plays the “bad boy” appeal, but beneath the surface he genuinely cares about Sheridan and watching their relationship blossoming is exciting.

It’s not perfect, they’re not perfect, but Game for Marriage has to be a fun, flirty read and my only complaint is it was far too short. I felt that the author could have added more to flesh out the time period because she seemed to skim over it all very quickly to cram it into the time period and that she would have gained much more in adding in a few more details just to give substance to the characters and the plot as we moved through several months in a very quick time.

Overall, I recommend this to contemporary and romance fans alike and somebody looking for a little fun.

4 books

Vanilla on Top

Vanilla on Top takes on a very different approach to the contemporary genre, and it wasn’t quite what I expected. It was nothing alike to my recent read, Game for Marriage but I appreciated the differences and found Vanilla on Top to be a refreshing addition to the contemporary genre. Vanilla on Top focused on Heather our main character coming out of herself from a rather downtrodden character to somebody with confidence, esteem and authority and whilst she still had her doubts, it was enchanting to watch her progression since the story focused around her character.

“Turn it off,” I say, with a challenge in my tone. I sit up straighter and stare into the depths of his caramel eyes. “You want someone to tell you what to do?” He nods, his calculating gaze on me as the phone continues to ring, “Turn off that damn phone,” I bite out, pretending I’m issuing a command. “Now.”

Vanilla on Top very much entwines business and pleasure and we get a lot more angst as we look at relationships, confidence and personalities and changing images, but it works for the novels approach and whilst it felt well placed in Vanilla on Top it hasn’t in previous angst novels. Heather and Tony have sexual encounters a dozen, but the real entertainment comes when they realise who the other is and how they develop from there on out.

I loved how Heather took the control of the novel and whilst it isn’t entirely my thing, she was very much an assertive woman and she knew what she wanted. I like how she teased Tony, yet again the typical “playboy” which to be honest, I didn’t really see it.

I didn’t like the supporting characters in Vanilla on Top and I felt very little time was given to developing their characters and especially if they are to be in the sequel to this as a series, which I fear they will. I found that the secondary characters changed their attitudes a lot and were very self-centered and unsupportive of the protagonists so I didn’t take to them at all.

Overall, Vanilla on Top was an interesting read and I may read the sequel, but I haven’t fully decided.

*Quote taken from an uncorrected e-arc provided through Netgalley by Entangled Publishing.

3 books


Filed under 2013 Publication, 3 Books, 4 Books, Adult, C.J. Ellisson, Contemporary, E-book, Entangled Publishing, Karen Erickson, Romance

Contemporary Blend #2

So here is the second half of my contemporary binge, with the last two reviews on the four novels I read whilst I was feeling rather sick.

One Night With a Hero

One Night with a Hero by Laura Kaye

Series: The Hero #2

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult

Publication: October 20th 2012 by Entangled Publishing

The Plot.

He wants just one night…

After growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, Army Special Forces Sgt. Brady Scott vowed never to marry or have kids. Sent stateside to get his head on straight—and his anger in check—Brady’s looking for a distraction. He finds it in his beautiful new neighbor’s one-night-only offer for hot sex, but her ability to make him forget is addictive. Suddenly, Brady’s not so sure he can stay away.
…what they need is each other.

Orphaned as a child, community center director Joss Daniels swore she’d never put herself in a position to be left behind again, but she can’t deny herself one sizzling night with the sexy soldier who makes her laugh and kisses her senseless. When Joss discovers she’s pregnant, Brady’s rejection leaves her feeling abandoned. Now, they must overcome their fears before they lose the love and security they’ve found in each other, but can they let go of the past to create a future together?

The Review.

One Night with a Hero started out alright, but it quickly went downhill, it’s probably my own fault for not reading the premise, but the word “pregnancy” I should have noticed. It’s not the kind of thing I really wanted to read about, luckily it didn’t play a major part for the first part of the novel, but I didn’t enjoy the relationship between Joss and Brady once she was pregnant. I didn’t hate One Night with a Hero but it wasn’t my favourite contemporary novel, I just didn’t enjoy the direction of the plot and felt that it was a little repetitive in places in that Brady and Joss always seemed at each others throats or rejecting each other and whilst I enjoy certain aspects of tensions within a relationship I felt that this dragged on too much.

I didn’t like Joss and that was probably my biggest problem. Not being able to connect with the main character is always an issue and it tends to put you off when reading. She felt cliché to me and she was supposed to be a smart women and then she was blindsided by this pregnancy that she just seemingly allowed to happen. I can’t fathom it really.

“Having spent so much time alone, reading had always been her biggest source of escape. When she read, she lost track of what was happening around her. Many time in her life, that had been a damn good thing.”

Brady was a rather sexy solider, however we didn’t really witness anything about his solider side other than he had problems he needed to deal with to get a promotion. So for all I cared he could have been a nurse who had to go through some training to get a new job. It just didn’t matter other than that he kept in shape. There was very little focus on this and when it’s supposed to be his life and focus, it seems a little bizarre to me.

On the plus note, the novel wasn’t that long and there were some fun flirty moments. However I felt like the characters fell too quickly into a physical relationship and the emotional repercussions were clear that they spent the whole novel restraining themselves from killing the other.

2.5 books

Recipe for Satisfaction

Recipe for Satisfaction by Gina Gorden

Series: Madewood Brothers #1

Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Romance

Publication: January 1st 2013 by Entangled Publishing

The Plot.

Being the financial caretaker for her deadbeat parents isn’t the life professional organizer Sterling Andrews dreamed of. Tired of being the dependable—and boring—daughter, Sterling decides to have a little fun. And what could be more fun than seducing rich bad boy chef, Jack Vaughn? Except, after one scintillating night together, Sterling’s not only lusting for Jack, she’s working for him. And remaining professional becomes harder every day.

Already a major success thanks to his exclusive restaurants, Jack Vaughn is looking for something more. Ultra responsible Sterling is unlike anyone Jack has met…but she’s his employee. Unwilling to give her up, Jack makes Sterling an offer she can’t refuse—for four sexy weekends, he’ll indulge her most wicked fantasies with no professional strings attached. But will mixing business with pleasure spell disaster? Or will they find the recipe for satisfaction?

The Review.

Recipe for Satisfaction doesn’t really contain recipes of the cooking king, in fact, there is very little cooking to be seen, except for a couple of choice moments which I enjoyed so I think there was more than I expected there to be because the food element that’s hinted in the innuendo as the title does fulfil in the novel which I liked. The romance isn’t quite straight forward and the synopsis I found to be a little bit misguided, whilst Jack does give Sterling four sexy weekends, they’re of his choosing to surprise her which I liked. Overall, Recipe for Satisfaction was fairly satisfying –(pun intended).

However, again I found myself not really connecting with Sterling. I could see her problems and understand why she behaved the way she did, but it made her appear like two different people and it was clearly giving Jack a wrong idea of her by the end of things because of how she behaved. She seemed to be this quiet, conservative girl that she was saying she was, but for most of the story I found that she was a rather wild child and that it would take a lot more than “having fun” to do some of the things she did as it didn’t seem to ‘fit’ her character for me. It wasn’t that she was dislikeable because I found myself smiling from the start, but I thought she was honestly a little thick and insensitive in places to other people and she annoyed me.

“Jack wasn’t a violent man, but he wanted to hit the asshole who’d made her feel this way, something fierce. “You want to do things that please you and only you?” It had been a long time since he’d done something for pure pleasure. And to experience it with the first woman to stir up his latent desire would no doubt be unforgettable.”*

Jack was all good fun, and there was an emotional aspect to his character that tends to come with the genre of him being a little brooding and misunderstood. He appears to be the typical playboy, but he’s a lot more than that, and I liked Jack and his siblings. He could be serious and have fun and I liked the balance the author got with him. He seemed to understand Sterling really well and he was always thinking about her and putting others first. He had a couple of stupid moments, but all around he was charming, entertaining and my favourite character.

The pacing of the novel was pretty quick, things kept up and there were a few plot twists and changes, mainly predictable ones, but it still made for an entertaining read. I liked the dynamic of the four brothers that make up the Madewood family and they were all down to earth and lovely despite the wealth they’d been adopted into and I’ll be interested to read future stories with the brothers in because I presume each will be getting their happily ever after. Ultimately, Recipe for Satisfaction isn’t a bad novel with it’s fun and flirty attitude, but I prefer something with a little more substance.

*Quote taken from an uncorrected eARC copy provided by NetGalley and thanks to Entangled Publishing.

3 books

Nerd Fact

Aristotle said that “What gives a story unity is not as the masses believe that it is about one person but that it is about one action.”

Therefore this indicates to me that plot is integral to any novel whether it’s contemporary or not, so I think this clarifies not only to me how important it is to a novel even if it’s just fluffy which is what I think contemporary needs to do more for me, focus on a plot.


Filed under 2.5 Books, 2012 Publication, 2013 Publication, 3 Books, Adult, Contemporary, E-book, Entangled Publishing, Gina Gordon, Laura Kaye, Romance

Contemporary Blend #1

All of you may be surprised to note, my recent binge on contemporary romance, a genre I usually stray far far away from. However, I recently found Entangled Publishing’s Brazen collection and I found they were semi-decent so I devoured four of their books in as many days and here is my first two reviews on the books. Look out for the other two shortly.

Seducing Cinderella

Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult

Series: Fighting for Love #1

Publication: July 20th 2012 by Entangled Publishing

The Plot.

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds him himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else.

The Review.

Seducing Cinderella was my first contemporary book I picked up by Entangled Publishing and I have to say, it is by far my favourite. There was something about Seducing Cinderella that entranced me from the first moment and had me hooked, flipping through the pages trying to get to the end. I think the fact that it wasn’t such a short 100 and something e-book also made the reading more enjoyable because I felt like there was some substance to the novel.

Reid Andrews was a man I could appreciate from the very first moment. He was tough and he had issues, but he genuinely cared about Lucie and I liked that there was a connection between the two characters from the start that wasn’t purely sexual and this is my general problem with contemporary books that they are overly sexualised and whilst this one had it’s moments I felt that we touched on the relationship between Lucie and Reid much more and managed to bring Lucie out of her shell to blossom. She was a character trapped in a general cliche that she hid herself away in books and baggy clothes and was smitten with another doctor. However I felt like we explored a fun side of her and I wanted to smack her half-way through the book because as usual she overlooked the best character so easily. Reid also had a great sense of humour that I really liked.

“Wait, why does my chart say Randy Johnson?”

Reid chucked at the ridiculous name he used for anonymity. “It’s an alias.” Wanting to erase the pained look from whatever had happened before he arrived, he gave her a wicked smile and added, “And sometimes a state of being.”

Her brother featured very little in this novel with not even a physical appearance, but I liked his character from the brief moment he appeared and his connection to Reid I felt could have been explored a little more since they were supposedly best friends and yet they never talked.. Rather bizarre if you ask me. Hopefully he’ll appear in the next book of the series with his own little story meaning we’ll get to see a little more of Lucie and Reid.

Overall, Seducing Cinderella was entertaining and enjoyable and it happily led me to finding more Entangled Publishing books to read.

3.5 books

No Flowers Required by Cari QuinnNo Flowers Required

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult

Series: Love Required #2

Published: August 23rd 2012 by Entangled Publishing

The Plot.

He’ll give her everything she desires…except his identity.

Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she’s due just landed on her doorstep.

And the attraction’s definitely not one-sided.

Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa’s shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he’s not the building’s handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn’t a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother’s greed, and persuade her that he’s not the enemy…or risk losing the only woman who’s seen the real him.

The Review.

No Flowers Required was much shorter, much more fun and a little more humorous than Seducing Cinderella but I didn’t quite enjoy it as much. I skipped the first novel in the series because at 61 pages, it was more of a novella and I prefer reading something a little longer. It wasn’t really necessary to the plot to read it, so I don’t think I missed out on much, since this one seems to wrap itself in a whole different romance rather than a continuation of the last story.

Dillion James is a man that I liked a lot. He had a lot going for him, but I liked that he didn’t appear with his money first and that we met him when he seemed like an average guy and the dynamic of not unveiling his true identity made for an interesting plot. However, I felt this could have been played upon much more. Overall, he was sexy, wise and all around nice guy which tends to be the case in most contemporaries so I had no complaints.

“No kids. My hobbies are fishing, painting and riding my bike.” He scratched his scruffy chin. “Oh and I’m a Leo.”

Alexa I didn’t particularly like all that much. I appreciated her stubbornness, but she seemed to be two different people, the struggling shop owner and damsel in distress and then the sophisticated party goer with the collection of designer clothes and I could never quite mesh the  two sides together to create one character in my brain. It’s like she was two entirely different people and she went from being poverty stricken to snooty in an instance and I didn’t like when she got on her high horse about things.

Overall the romance was fun, flirty and quick and the pace kept you turning the pages. No Flowers Required is an easy rainy-day read or something to cheer you up if you’re a little down.

3 books


Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, 3.5 Books, Adult, Cara Quinn, Contemporary, E-book, Entangled Publishing, Gina L. Maxwell, Romance

Unravel Me

Unravel Me

Unravel Me by Kendall Ryan

Series: Unravel Me #1

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult

Published: September 22nd 2012 by Createspace

The Plot

Psychology student Ashlyn Drake’s neat, orderly life takes a turn for the crazy when she finds the perfect subject for her amnesia thesis – a young man without any memory of his previous life, including the murder he’s accused of committing.
Against all common sense, Ashlyn’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Perhaps it’s that he’s so incredibly male, and even handcuffed to his hospital bed he could pass for a cologne ad – Scent de Insanity. Or perhaps it’s because she’s spent too many lonely nights studying. Either way, she’s determined to help him solve the mystery of his past. She begins to unravel who he was before, using his cryptic tattoos, and his paintings that scream of a dark past as her only clues. When she finally learns his secret there’s no telling which one is the real him, the gentle lover she’s fallen for or the troubled man with a dark past.

My Review.

Unravel Me disappointed me a lot. Contemporary isn’t my usual genre, but lately I’ve been broaching more into it just because I find it to be a quick, fun read. However, whilst Unravel Me was a far reach from being a bad novel, it was a long distance from what I was truly expecting. The word that particularly stands out to me when first reading the blurb for Unravel Me is the word “Psychology” so I expect something a little darker and more twisted, maybe something suspenseful and a little like Nicci French’s Killing Me Softly that I read recently. Sadly, Unravel Me lacks a lot of suspense, a lot of darkness and contains a lot more sap, sex and a sexy man.

Ashlyn was a protagonist that I rather disliked. She was so immediately overcome by waves of lust for her subject. For me, this intense first emotion was a little disconcerting especially when she is taking her masters, I would have expected a little more indifference to begin with to building up to a bond that would lead to such feelings towards the guy she was studying. Otherwise her feelings seem a little unfounded and it doesn’t really set a great picture for her character that she is so easily swept away in all the emotion of things. Ashlyn then progresses to become a simpering, mopping Bella-esque when the man isn’t in her life of he disappears. She seems incapable of managing without him and her dependency on her subject grated on my nerves. We saw no side to her student life and intelligence that clearly had to be present and she didn’t develop as an individual and I think Ryan would have fulfilled the novel much more to characterise her character rather than depend upon the romance to develop her character.

“I knew it was selfish to want to keep him with me, especially if it turned out he had loved ones waiting for him, but that wouldn’t stop me from enjoying him while I could.”

The plot wasn’t a bad idea, it kept pace and it kept me turning pages which is a large reason why I enjoyed this novel because it wasn’t too long and the short length managed to keep me entertained for the duration of the novel because the plot wasn’t overly complex. I liked that there was mystery around the mystery subject and his past that had to be uncovered and that there were glimpses and paintings that reminded me of one of my favourite American TV shows from a while back, Heroes when one of the main characters, Isaac used to paint the future. However, I felt like Ryan could have expanded upon this more for the novel to gain ground and potential as a work of literature, rather it felt like she skimmed over this element and issues that faced the mystery man and how he dealt with these through he painting. I felt that she tried to promise something traumatic and trying with including this, but changed her mind to turn the novel into a more fluffy romance part the way through.

The mystery man I have to say I liked more than Ashlyn, he seemed to be grounded despite not knowing anything about his past and when he pushed Ashlyn away he gained a little respect in my mind that he try to create boundaries between the two of them and he wasn’t dependent upon Ashlyn despite his situation which he could have easily fallen into. He was rather sexy and a man with a presence. He didn’t quite sustain the dangerous thrill for me throughout the whole novel which disappointed me. I felt like Ryan had spent more time crafting his character, but still he lacked something for me. Whether it was his continual fleeing act and lack of staying to face his problems or that he didn’t seem entirely rounded by the end of the novel in all aspects, something about him still seemed askew, I can’t quite say.

The murderer said to the weak, young girl. I swallowed the lump in my throat, and met his eyes. They were sincere and kind, and locked on mine, seeking forgiveness. Trust.”

I have to admit, whilst enjoying this novel and no seeing it as bad. There were a few thoughts that plagued me throughout reading. A man who remembered absolutely nothing of his life before, not even his name could remember his sexual prowess straight away. It might seem a little bizarre and I know that people remember things slowly, but he never once doubted himself. Surely a man that has just lost every memory he has ever owned would have some doubts? I think this is probably the point that baffled me most about the mystery man.

Secondary characters are something that clearly lacked in Unravel Me. There was only Ashlyn’s friend that really centered in the novel and only for short periods of time that I cannot even remember her name. There were several other characters that made minor appearances and had no central focus in the narrative which again leads Unravel Me to depend entirely upon the romance and the relationship between Ashlyn and her mystery man. Therefore, this is why Unravel Me lost esteem in my eyes because it became so absorbed with the romance that reflected Ashlyn’s character and it failed to explore the world outside.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Unravel Me, but I can’t say I will be eager to read it again anytime soon. I think other contemporaries such as Pushing the Limits work much better on a psychological aspect even when this isn’t the central focus of the novel and that a little more time spent on Unravel Me could unlock the hidden potential that is so clearly seen in Unravel Me. I’d say it might be a raining day read if you have a spare couple of hours to give it a chance, and if you’re not quite expecting as much in the darker direction, you’ll probably enjoy Unravel Me. 3 books

*Extra Nerdy

So off on a little tangent from Unravel Me, I commented on my love for heroes and one of Isaac Mendez’s pictures seemed to reflect Unravel Me to me perfectly. He was a character from Heroes that used to draw the future and if you never saw it, it was brilliant. Save the Cheerleader.

unravel me - heroes


Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, Adult, Contemporary, Createspace, E-book, Kendall Ryan, Romance


1 Charmeine Book CoverCharmeine by Emily Guido

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult

Series: The Light-Bearers Series #1

Published: January 12th 2012 by WordPress

Tabbruis is an extremely attractive Blood-Hunter who has reconciled himself to be alone forever. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone, aimlessly living through many historical events.

Charleen (aka Charmeine) was found in 1997 as a teenager, unable to remember where she was from or where her family was. She was sent to an orphanage where she met her best friend, Shane. With determination, she works hard and becomes a school teacher. Tabbruis comes to her aid when she is attacked by a Blood-Hunter. Charmeine’s power as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered when she meets Tabbruis, and it grows exponentially. When they meet, the attraction is immediate, romantic and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a dramatic way.

Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfil their destinies? Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world?

My Review:

An intriguing, unique concept laid before you, a book with a general consensus to be really good, but for me, I just couldn’t connect as much as other people seem to have done. I adored the foundations of the plot and thought that Charmeine and the Light-Bearers series could really go far, but I felt that the little details of the novel weren’t quite there for me. I’m a little picky honestly and this book wasn’t perfect in the way it was written. I found the writing to be rather disjointed for myself and whilst periods of it really drew me in and engaged my attention, other scenes through me out and certain character traits.


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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, Adult, E-book, Emily Guido, Paranormal Romance, WordPress