February 28, 2013

And The Winner Is...






February 20, 2013

Book Review: Captain Durant's Countess by Maggie Robinson

Title: Captain Durant's Countess (The London List #2)
Author: eKensington Brava
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Tucked amid the pages of The London List, a newspaper that touts the city’s scandals, is a vaguely-worded ad for an intriguing job—one that requires a most wickedly uncommon candidate…

Maris has always been grateful that her marriage to the aging Earl of Kelby saved her from spinsterhood. Though their union has been more peaceful than passionate, she and the earl have spent ten happy years together. But his health is quickly failing, and unless Maris produces an heir, Kelby’s conniving nephew will inherit his estate. And if the earl can’t get the job done himself, he’ll find another man who can…

Captain Reynold Durant is known for both his loyalty to the Crown and an infamous record of ribaldry. Yet despite a financial worry of his own, even he is reluctant to accept Kelby’s lascivious assignment—until he meets the beautiful, beguiling Maris. Incited by duty and desire, the captain may be just the man they are looking for. But while he skillfully takes Maris to the heights of ecstasy she has longed for, she teaches him something even more valuable and unexpected…

My Thoughts

Captain Durant's Countess is great; a little slow to start but well written and easy to read, I was soon sucked in to this rather entertaining story.

Full of interesting characters thrust in to unbelievably funny, if uncomfortable circumstances, Reyn and Maris will quickly worm their way in to your heart.

A slightly miss matched couple,
Reynold and Maris are both looking for things in the other, that they think they lack, yet ultimately finding strength within themselves. Throw in an evil nephew to stir up the desperation and intrigue and the story takes on a steady pace.

Although I found the conclusion a little too easy,
Captain Durant's Countess was still a reasonably fulfilling read.
3.5 stars ;]


February 19, 2013

Cover Reveal: Unknown by Melissa Pearl

I love doing cover reveal posts and this one
is extra special because it's for the
soon-to-be-released new book from
one of my favourite authors,
Melissa Pearl (squeee!)

Unknown is the first book in Melissa's new 
fantasy series, The Elements Trilogy
and is due for release, June 2013.

So without further ado, here's the
gorgeous cover...

UNKNOWN (The Elements Trilogy, #1)

Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.

Then a star begins to fall.

Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.

Then a star begins to fall.

Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.

Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a trecherous journey into the unknown.


For more information about this book and more, keep up-to-date by checking out Melissa's new website

Add Unknown to your Goodreads TBR pile :)

'Like' Melissa's facebook page

Release Day Book Review: Making Him Sweat by Meg Maguire

Title: Making Him Sweat
Author: Meg Maguire
Release Date:
February 19th 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

She's hitting below the belt…

Round 1
In this corner is admittedly romantic Jenna Wilinski, who’s inherited a rather seedy boxing gym from her estranged father. With it, she can realize her dream of launching an upscale matchmaking business…provided she can take on the very intimidating—and wickedly hot—boxer who stands in her way!

Round 2
In the far corner is former pro boxer Mercer Rowley. He’s the only one who can protect his “home”—even if it is a little run-down— from his determined and feisty little opponent. But man, once the gloves come off, his hands just want to touch her everywhere…

Round 3
This matchup is too close to call. But no matter which contender comes out on top, the other is sure to enjoy every minute of it...

My Thoughts

The first half of Making Him Sweat is great!
Filled with lots of sexually charged banter, sultry looks and sly glances with a fairly decent storyline too. I was smiling and giggling at all the witty repartee and thought this was going to be a fantastic story to read.

Unfortunately the same can't be said for the second half.
The story became stale once Jenna and Mercer got together; the witty banter all but stopped and they didn't seem to match at all.
Jenna wanted everything her way or on her terms and Mercer just cowed to her demands - it was all a little disappointing after such a great spark in the beginning.

And the ending was bad - it was just left hanging. No real solution, no satisfying conclusion or happy compromise, it just ended with uncertainty looming over everything.

Making Him Sweat lacked direction, and lost me when the hero wimped out. 3 stars :]

February 14, 2013

International Book Giving Day

February 14th, otherwise known as Valentines Day is also International Book Giving Day.

International Book Giving Day
is a day dedicated to getting new, used and borrowed books in the hands of as many children as possible.

For more information on this really great cause, take a few minutes to visit the website

So for my part in this years event, I wanted to put together a collection of new and used books, not only for children, but for teenagers and adults too.

My Miss 5 helped by donating some books from her bookshelf, as did I and we picked up a couple of books on sale from our local bookstore.

new and used books to donate
scrummy covers, gread reads :)

I printed of a copy of the cute cat logo and wrote little note which I popped altogether in to a cute gift bag ready to take to my local community library.

Bagged up and ready to go :)

The lovely volunteer who I gave the books to was absolutely over the moon and couldn't get over my generosity, so I came away feeling super awesome about taking part in this truly inspiring event :)

Ruakaka Community Library
So if you think this might be something you'd like to take part in, I'd encourage you to check out the website and 'Go for it!'

February 13, 2013

*Signed* Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian GIVEAWAY!!

I have one *signed paperback copy of
Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed #10)
by Lara Adrian to

to one of my blog followers!!

actual book with *signed bookplate

                       This is a just because giveaway...
          just a little something to say thank you
to my loyal followers :)

                          Giveaway is international - I will post anywhere :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

February 12, 2013

Book Review: Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian

Title: Edge of Dawn (Midnight Breed #11)
Author: Lara Adrian
Release Date: February 26th 2013
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn—when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them—the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost.

Raised among the Order, Mira has always believed in the warrior’s code of swift—and even lethal—justice. But the one thing she desires more than the Order’s hard-won acceptance is Kellan Archer, a sexy but troubled Breed fighter. In love with him since childhood, Mira once broke through his tough exterior during an unexpected night of rapture, but the next day he mysteriously disappeared, never to return.

Kellan didn’t think he would ever see Mira again—or have to confront the truth of why he left. After abandoning the Order years ago, he now leads a band of human rebels intent on carrying out their own vigilante rule of law. Yet a high-profile kidnapping assignment brings him face-to-face with the past he sought to avoid, and the striking woman he has tried desperately to forget. And as tensions mount and the risk of bloodshed grows, Kellan and Mira must take sides—between the competing missions that dominate their lives, and the electrifying passion that claims their hearts

My Thoughts

I love that we are finally getting a chance to read Mira's story; I have been fascinated by her since she made her first appearance in VEIL OF MIDNIGHT, Midnight Breed #5. In fact, I'm really happy that author Lara Adrian decided to change it up and jump ahead a few years to start giving us the stories of the next generation.

Edge of Dawn didn't meet all my expectations though; the story was a little slow in places and I didn't feel particularly endeared to the grown up Mira, but she grew on me... slowly.

I felt that Mira and Kellan were a good match and evened each other out rather well, but all the tears, temper tantrums, and plays for dominance got a little old, it just felt like all they had was arguments and make-up sex - I wanted a little more than that for them.

It was great to see a few familiar faces make brief appearances, but that really didn't make up for the bumpy romance, and the lack of depth I felt from the MC's.

Overall, a good start to a new chapter for the Breed but a little lacklustre for me - sorry.
3 stars :]
I adore Lara Adrian and her Midnight Breed series, and although this one fell a little flat for me - I'd still buy it and recommend it. I just cant wait to see where she takes the rest of the next generation of Breed :)

February 11, 2013

Book Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera

Title: Hooked (Hooked #1)
Author: Liz Fichera
Release Date: January 29th 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...


My Thoughts

I'll start with the two notes I made while reading Hooked.
20% boring - dont really care for either character...
30% picking up...

Well I have to say that I'm in the minority here because I really didn't care for this book all that much.

I'm not sure that I get Fred, she's rather one dimensional, and I didn't think she really grew as a person throughout the book. Yes, stuff happened to her but I didn't feel anything from her, it didn't teach her anything, her behaviour didn't change. She was just a very flat and uncharismatic character for me.

Ryan is your typical 'jock', nothing special. His character did grow somewhat throughout the story but he was still not all that likeable in my opinion. I didn't feel his attraction to Fred, it felt disingenuous. Ryan only noticed Fred when she joined the golf team, and then he was confused at having feelings for her but we never got to really explore his feelings - we are just told he is attracted to her.

Seth is a fruit loop, completely self absorbed in his own self loathing and hate of Fred. He went way overboard in his mistreatment of her, it was very over-the-top behaviour. There is also Ryans current/on-off again total bitch girlfriend that gets in on the hate fest. It all just felt overly cliched and like I said, I just didn't feel it with this book.

For me, Hooked was a slow, mostly uneventful read that could have benefited from a bit more fleshing out of the characters and the story. Only 2.5 stars :]

Book Review: A Passion For Him by Sylvia Day

Title: A Passion For Him
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: January 29th 2013 (originally released November 1st 2007)

Imprint: Brava
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

He wears a mask…and he is following her. Staring at her like no other man since Colin. But Colin is dead and Amelia believes she will never again shiver with pleasure, never again sigh his name.


Until her masked pursuer lures her into a moonlit garden and a single, reckless kiss. Now she is obsessed with discovering his identity. Perfectly attuned to his every desire, his every thought, she will not stop until she knows his every secret.

My Thoughts

Sylvia Day has a passion - a passion for writing exciting and heartfelt romances that really grip the reader and force you to hang on for the adventurous ride in which her stories take you.

Colin and Amelia are a perfect match. They both try to do what is right, and what they think is expected of them, and (more often than not) to their own detriment.
Both stubborn and unwilling to yield - except for in the bedroom! - what ensues is a roller coaster of emotion, passion, and misguided sensibilities.

Well written and with great characters that you want to hate but ending up falling in love with, A Passion For Him is another success.

A great story, great characters, great sex!
4 stars ;]

Awesome GIVEAWAY with author Venessa Kimball

Surfacing the Rim
book #2 in author Venessa Kimball's
Piercing the Fold
series is set to release in March, and she's hosting a fantastic blog tour to celebrate!!
I'm lucky enough to be taking part:))

So while Venessa is busy getting ready for all her interviews and guest posts she's started a giveaway to whet everyone's appetite!

Its really easy to enter, just use the rafflecopter
it's open internationally :)

Be sure to check out the tour for lots of exciting excerpts, interviews, and much, much more!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

February 8, 2013

Book Review: Alpha One by Cynthia Eden

Title: Alpha One (Shadow Agents #1)
Author: Cynthia Eden
Release Date: January 2nd 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin Intrigue

Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

"Julie's missing. You have to get her back."
The minute he got the message, undercover agent Logan Quinn sprang into action. Getting Juliana James out of Mexico alive was the Elite Ops covert agent's only priority. But once the senator's daughter was safely back in their Mississippi hometown, Logan had a new mission: to get another chance with the woman he couldn't lose again.

Juliana had never forgotten the day, ten years ago, when Logan left her heart in pieces. Now he was back in her life, sworn to protect her from the ruthless weapons dealer who wanted her dead. As passion blindsided her—and she was once again thrust into danger—Julie realized how much she'd risk for one more day in Logan's arms.

My Thoughts

Now this is how I like my Harlequin reads - full of sultry attraction, sneaky glances of longing, danger, intrigue, and ultimately, a decent happily-ever-after.

Cynthia Eden, while more well known for her para-romances, has written a believable thriller where nothing is as it seems, and alliances will been tried and tested beyond breaking point.

While I initially found Julie to be a wee bit annoying, I liked Logan (and his team) immediately. Very brash, bold, and definitely an Alpha male!
The romance was good, lots of unresolved feelings to process and old hurts to be healed while trying to unravel a mystery that may cost them their lives.

I'm looking forward to catching up with The Shadow Agents again soon.
4 stars ;]

February 5, 2013

Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Title: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
Release Date: January 1st 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia (worldwide dates and publisher may differ from those stated)
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a government ′rehabilitation camp′. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America′s children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find East River, the only safe haven left for kids like her, and she joins a group of other runaways who have escaped their own camps. Liam, their brave leader, is falling for Ruby, but she can′t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all Liam. But there are also other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government.

Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice - and one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

My Thoughts

I'm in two minds about whether or not I liked this book. On the one hand I loved it, it had all the really great elements of an intriguing and thought provoking read and on the other, it just annoyed me.

I found the story very slow to get going, almost to the point of boredom; then it got interesting and then it slowed back down again. I often felt like I was just on the verge of an important revelation and then my attention would be skirted around it and pointed towards a different direction altogether. I was frustrated - a lot.
The attraction between Ruby & Liam was very slow to heat up, if at all. It was all very familial rather than teenage attraction. I think they make great friends but anything more than that wouldn't feel authentic.

The one character that really did pique my interest only appeared for a short time and then was presumed dead soon after arriving at Thurmond.

The Darkest Minds is a journey - both literally and figuratively, but for all the self discovery and new relationships that Ruby experiences, I just didn't feel a lot of growth from her or the other characters.
A slowly moving storyline that didn't really go anywhere emotionally - there was no real progression within the story, it overall fell flat for me.

I'd like to see where this story goes and so would definitely read the next installment, but The Darkest Minds was only a 3 star read for me :]

February 4, 2013

GIVEAWAY - The Falcon Falls by Vivien Sparx

Today I'm throwing a spotlight on author Vivien Sparx and her latest release The Falcon Falls.
nd if you're interested there's a giveaway too!!

Who is Hector Knight?

Willow Everingham can't stop dreaming about her handsome boss, but Hector Knight is much more than just a gorgeous businessman.
And when Willow discovers Hector's incredible secret, she is hurled headlong into a desperate adventure that reaches its gripping climax on a desolate island in the Mediterranean, where an ancient mystery ignites a blaze of erotic lust, passion greed... and ultimately a love that has spanned the centuries.
Have you ever felt like you've known someone forever?

A Peek Inside:
The voice was barely a whisper, close in my ear so that it sounded like a scream in my mind. I flinched instinctively, my body seized and guilty with the shock of being discovered. I felt the blood rush to my cheeks so my face burned.
I stopped breathing.
Hector had come in the night like a hunter stalking his prey, moving with the silent footfalls of a panther, and so intense had been my erotic fascination that he had arrived in silence.
He was standing close behind me, his breath a soft sensual caress on my neck and cheek. I closed my eyes and when I breathed again it was as a tremulous shudder.
I eased my hand from between my legs but he touched at my elbow and stilled me.
"No. Keep pleasuring yourself." His voice was hoarse and tense.
I felt his body flatten against my back and a strong arm wrapped around my waist. I leaned against him, keeping my eyes shut; feeling and sensing the press of his muscles, the strain of his arousal and the intoxicating smell of him. His other arm went around my chest - not tight - but his hand was firm and insistent as it clamped over the weight of my breast and he began to tease my nipple.

You can purchase The Falcon Falls from Amazon and Amazon UK
Meet Vivien Sparx:
As a writer of erotic romance, the beauty of the genre is not in creating lavish settings for my stories.
Nor is my fascination for erotic romance drawn from the opportunity to create handsome heroes and beautiful heroines.
My real love for the genre stems from the opportunity to take my readers on a journey and engage as many of their emotions as possible.
I believe writing erotic romance gives authors the most influence over how a reader feels as we engage them in our stories.
Writers of action books, or horror books certainly can create compelling situations, but with erotic romance we writers can immerse our readers in a multitude of emotions unprecedented in any other form of creative fiction.
I can frustrate readers, make them laugh, make them cry, delight them, intrigue them, inform them – erotic fiction is a total emotional experience, and it is gratifying to hear readers respond to stories with passion.
I believe readers want to be engaged and drawn into the pages of a story, and as a writer of erotic romance, we have the greatest opportunity because our stories are always relatable. They may be fictional worlds and fictional characters, but the themes of love and romance and erotica are so universal, and so personal to each of us that we all respond to stories in different ways.
But we all respond.
And that’s the true joy of writing erotic romance. It matters not so much how you respond as you read… it matters only that you do respond. If a writer can engage you and make you feel, then the story’s journey is one well worth taking.

Vivien has very kindly offered you, my readers, a chance to win one of 3 e-copies of The Falcon Falls - just use the rafflecopter form to enter!!
giveaway is international

a Rafflecopter giveaway

February 2, 2013

Book Review: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Title: The Peculiar
Author: Stefan Bachmann

Release Date: September 18, 2012

Source: Received from the publisher for an honest review/blog tour
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

My Thoughts

The Peculiar
is a beautifully written tale with a cast of strange and wonderful fey, but for all its imagery I found it a difficult story to read. It just didn't engage me, not the characters or the plot.

It is an interesting story, with interweaving plot lines full of mystery and intrigue, with a little political espionage thrown in too, but I felt that half of the story would go over the heads of its intended (middle school) audience and I found the character development to be rather weak.
The chapters jump points-of-view, mostly between that of Bartholomew and Mr Jelliby, which I felt added to the sense of disjointedness and lack of engagement, and the first five chapters felt flat and honestly didn't really hold my attention - but it did slowly improve.
I found Mr Jelliby to be a strange character to build the plot around and I was led to confusion by his description. In the blurb he is described as a young man, yet for the majority of the book he is portrayed as - and gives off - an elderly vibe which is later shown to be untrue when it is revealed he is a handsome young man; I just didn't get him as a hero at all.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed parts of The Peculiar, but overall I did find it to be rather a peculiar book to read. That being said, I think my 10 year old daughter will love this book!
3 out of 5 stars :]

February 1, 2013

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Skin by Kylie Scott

Title: SKIN
Author: Kylie Scott
Release Date: February 1st 2013
Publisher: Momentum
Source: Received from the author for an honest review.

Six months since the zombie plague struck, former librarian Roslyn Stewart has been holed up in a school with eight other survivors. But now the shelves in the school canteen are bare. The stranger at the gate has supplies that will ensure the group’s ongoing survival, but at a cost. He wants a woman.

Nick is a man with a plan. He’ll treat Roslyn like a Queen, devoting the rest of his life to protecting and providing for her. In exchange, of course, for sexual favours. It’s the deal of the century given the state of the world. But Roslyn doesn’t see it that way. The first chance she gets she attacks the ex-army man and attempts to escape, forcing Nick to contain her. And so begins his awkward courtship of the woman, with her chained to the bed for security reasons.

Chained like a dog and forced to spend her every waking moment with a creep, albeit a good looking one, Ros is determined to escape. When circumstances force them to band together against a common enemy their very survival depends on their ability to learn to trust each other. An uneasy partnership develops, but can a relationship with such a difficult beginning ever have a future?

The hotly anticipated sequel to Flesh, Skin is set in the same universe with a different set of characters.

My Thoughts

I read FLESH, book one in this Australian Zombie series back in November (my review here), and I couldn't wait to get my hands on book #2. Although I have to admit, I wasn't sure if Kylie Scott could pull off a follow up with all the intensity and heat that I loved in FLESH, but SKIN far surpassed all my expectations and then some, it was incredible.

The very first page had me grinning from ear to ear - cheeky thoughts and witty conversation, yes, this was going to be a fun read; and the intensely charged situation in which Ros finds herself went from 0 - 100 in a second and pretty much stayed there for the entire book. The world as Ros knows it has gone to hell and nothing is sacred anymore, especially when starvation is just as likely to kill you as the zombies are!

Roslyn is sarcastic, witty, maybe a little full of herself but amazingly real and lovable. And Nick gave off this all brawn no brain persona, along with an arrogant air of superiority that I knew had to be hiding a pussycat somewhere in there. Yeah sure, he's angry and a little self absorbed with getting laid but his intentions are good, in his own way!

I also loved catching up with familiar faces, it was great to get a glimpse into how their lives have progressed in the months since meeting them in FLESH (and I love Sean, please be okay!)

I was too caught up in this addictive story to stop and write notes but the few I did, read like this...

*OMFG, funny as!!

*CRAZYTOWN - get the hell outta there!!

*SEXY AS ALL HELL - Oh Yeah Baby!!

*Ros and Nick are AMAZING!!

Not only has Kylie tackled some pretty sensitive subject matter, but she has done it with dignity, class and a shitload of realism. Her characters are witty, opinionated, fierce and sexy! And what starts off as a hate/lust relationship turns into something much more than just a romance.

I loved SKIN - every glorious, bloody, crazy, sexy, scary, funny, sexy second of it!! (yes I purposely said sexy twice - lol!)

Going on my keeper shelf asap, SKIN is the best read of the year so far and gets 5+ stars from me  ~<;]


And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!

Author Kylie Scott is very generously giving away one digital copy of SKIN
... just fill in the rafflecopter form for your chance to win
... and it's international :)

**amended 9:52am (NZ time) If the winner of this giveaway has not yet read the first book FLESH, then I will gift you a Kindle copy! - because you really do need to read both these fantastic books!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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