Monday, 24 April 2017

Review: The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3) by Lucinda Riley


Travel through the lush English countryside and explore the magnificent estates of the British aristocracy in this next spellbinding love story in The Seven Sisters series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Atria Books

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Atria via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! The expected publication date is April 25th, 2017.

Those who follow my reviews know that I am a huge fan of historical fiction as well as a fan of Lucinda Riley.  I have anxiously been waiting to get my hands on this book as I was introduced to this series early on with the first book.  It has been rather painful waiting for each release however once they arrive, it is always worth it.

As each story features one of the sisters, this installment of the series tells the story of Star after featuring Maia and Ally in the first two.  This time the story takes us to England's Lake District and London in the early 1900's.

I will not divulge plot, it is worth it to discover it on your own.  What I will say is the Riley has a way of weaving two storylines, one present, one past, and making the reader invested in both.  In this case, the story of Flora had me hooked from the beginning with her strong character as well as the backdrop of a time long since past.  With Star, her story was filled with odd and interesting characters that made me laugh at times.  Also, I fell in love with the bookstore.  I could visualize how it looked and smelled and only wish I could recreate it in my house.  Perhaps someday.

If somebody were to ask me if this could be read as a stand alone, my answer would be maybe, but why would you want to?  There are subtle references to the previous stories, and Ally makes an appearance in this one as all three stories thus far have occurred at the same time.  I loved how Riley managed to make the parts overlap where required (I was wondering if we would see it and she delivered).  Most of all there is the underlying story/mystery of Pa Salt.  I may have mentioned this in my last review but I am dying to unravel his story as you just know there is something interesting there.  I believe I read somewhere that Lucinda Riley knows where this story is going.  I can only assume that it ends with PA Salt (no worries, no spoilers as it is still a mystery!) and I for one can't wait to find out.

Have I mentioned that it is absolutely killing me that I have to wait for the rest of the stories to be written and released?  Once I the series is completed I may have to start back at the beginning just so that I can experience the entire series at once.  Until then I wait until the next story which I believe is The Pearl Sister. 

Do not hesitate to pick this book up!  Start with the first one and work your way through the series.  You will see exactly what I mean!



About the Author


Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her novel Hothouse Flower was selected by the UK’s Richard and Judy Book Club in 2011 and her books have been translated into over thirty languages and sold over ten million copies worldwide. She is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author.

Lucinda’s novels include The Seven Sisters, a seven-book series telling the story of adopted sisters and based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation. The first three books, The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister, and The Shadow Sister have all been No.1 bestsellers across Europe, and the rights to a multi-season TV series have already been optioned by a Hollywood production company. The fourth book, The Pearl Sister, will be available in November this year.

To read about Lucinda’s inspiration behind The Seven Sisters series, please visit www.thesevensistersseries.com

She is also releasing a number of stand-alone books such as The Olive Tree, a contemporary story based around a family holiday in Cyprus, which will be available in paperback from July. This follows the release of rewritten titles previously published under her maiden name of Lucinda Edmonds such as The Italian Girl and The Angel Tree.

Lucinda lives with her husband and four children on the North Norfolk coast in England and West Cork, Ireland.

When not writing, travelling or running around after her children, she loves reading books that she hasn’t written with a glass or two of Provençal rosé!

Book Blitz: Salvage Him by Syndey Aaliyah Michelle

Salvage Him
by
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Series:  Highland Park Chronicles Book #1
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Light BDSM
Publication Date: April 24, 2017

Blurb:
Anger and lies can lead to destruction, but passion and control can lead to love.

Harrison
I met my soul mate, but she's married to someone else.
Every fiber of my being screams she belongs to me.
He saved her, but he doesn't deserve her.
If I'm being honest, neither do I.

Brooklyn
I didn't know I was settling until he showed me what I was missing.
He promised to maintain control, but I pushed him and he destroyed us both.
Now I know what I need, but am I what he wants.

Harrison's anger and Brooklyn's lies push them both toward destruction. Can passion and control SALVAGE their love?

Salvage Him is a passionate romance with BDSM elements by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle. If you like a strong alpha male, scorching sex scenes and a connection that makes your heart and body quiver, then you'll love Sydney Aaliyah Michelle's latest stand alone HEA romance.

Pick up Salvage Him and read how Harrison and Brooklyn find each other today!
What Others are Saying about Salvage Him:
  • Your book is the closest to the truth of what happens in the Dom/sub lifestyle that I have ever read.
  • OMG! Wholly wet balls batman! What a steamy and delicious read!
  • Absolutely fell in love with Harrison and Brooklyn in this story. How could you not.
  • This was the first time I've ever seen this subject material (BDSM) covered in a somewhat realistic way.
$0.99 or FREE on KU
Add it to your TBR on Goodreads!
Excerpt #1:  
His arms flexed as he adjusted the armoire in the corner. He wiped his hands on his thin t-shirt. It rode up as he picked at something on the door. He ran his hand through his shaggy light brown hair. He stood back and rubbed the stubble on his chin.
I watched him as he reached out and caressed the wood.
I felt it on my cheek.
He leaned in and rested his forehead on the wood.
I leaned in too.
His beautiful lips whispered something to the wood.
I felt the wisp of air on my earlobe and shivered.
He made a fist as his forearms flexed and knocked twice.
"Come in," I whispered and gasped.  

Excerpt #2
I placed a hand on his abs to push him away, but when I touched the immovable force, BAM, a chill hit me again, and I stopped breathing. He must have felt something too. He exhaled and looked down at our hands.
"Wow," he whispered and dropped my hand.
I held in a whimper from the immediate loss and turned back to my table. I could feel his presence behind me. Not physical, like when I fell into his arms, but no less powerful and consuming. I exhaled myself.
"Brooklyn," I said and reached for the handle of my suitcase.
"Brooklyn."
God, the way he said my name.
His tone pleaded for me to turn around.
"I really need to get set up here." I didn't recognize my own voice.
"Can I help?" He reached around and brushed his fingers over mine. Of course, I would have the book labeled bedroom in my hand. I would have giggled at the irony if the thought of him in a bedroom didn't cross my inappropriate mind.
His powerful aura, for lack of a better term, felt familiar. Not that I had been near him before, but I knew his type. He commanded everything around him. His being alone demanded your attention and devotion.
I shook the thought out of my head.
"I've got it covered," I said with more confidence than I felt.
He sighed.
The disappointment rolled off his body and engulfed me.
I’d disappointed him.
He was displeased with me.
I shook it off again. I had no allegiance to this man. We had never even met before.
Excerpt #2
"Spanking?"
She rolled her eyes and gave me an, oh, please look.
"Not an acceptable response. That's one."
"One what?" I asked.
"One spanking. I'll ask you again. Spanking?"
"Yes."
"Blood play."
"Hard limit." Her eyes grew wide.
I smirked.
She licked her lips.
I unbuttoned and unzipped my pants.
"Choking."
She hesitated but whispered, "Soft."
She responded to me choking her earlier. I wasn't sure if it were something she’d played around with before.
"Shibari?"
"Yes, but . . ." She stopped.
"Continue."
"No suspending me from the ceiling and leaving me for days." She shivered.
"Okay." I let my jeans fall to the ground.
Her eyes sparkled. She strained to watch.
I ran my hand over the bulge in my shorts and held in a groan.
"Anal," I said.
"Yes." No hesitation.
That's my girl.
"Humiliation," I said with a raised eyebrow.
"Soft." She drew out the word.
"What's your concern?" I kneeled on the bed.
"It's not important. We can discuss it later."
"I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't want to know." I ran my hands up her legs.
Her eyes grew wet as she blinked to prevent her tears from falling.
Seeing her cry hit me in the gut. I laid down and cupped her cheek.
"What is it? Brooklyn. Tell me."
"Malcolm . . ." She blinked. "He used to call me names, and I liked it, but then his friends would do the same, and I didn't. I don't know." Her tears flowed.
"Maybe you're right. This isn't the time to do this." I laid a hand against her cheek.
"I'm sorry." She blinked.
"Brooklyn. You have nothing to be sorry for. I want to know you. Every part of you. Even the stuff you're ashamed and embarrassed about. All of it made you into this incredible, beautiful, sexy woman." I kissed her. Tasted her tears on my lips. I moved a hand down to her tits and unhooked the clasp on the front of her bra. Her tits were real and firm, her nipples hard. I took one in my mouth and pinched the other.
She whimpered.
I teased her with my teeth and my tongue.
Her moans told me she liked them both.
My hand traveled down her stomach and into her panties. I ran my fingers through her folds, her pussy wet and swollen from me touching her before.
She moaned and squirmed against my touch.
I pressed a finger inside her.
She squeezed her pussy around it.
I pushed in two.
She ground against my hand.
"Sir," she said against my mouth.
"Yes, my sweet sub."
She smiled a sweet grin, with a little mischievous gleam in her eye.
"Will you please fuck me now?"
I stopped.
The smile fell from her lips.
I removed her panties and climbed between her legs. I slid on a condom and laid down; our bodies flush against each other, my full weight on her. I reached up and clasped my hands with hers where they were cuffed together. I lifted her thighs over my hips, grabbed my cock, and pressed into her in one motion.
"Oh, fuck." We both growled. If I had any doubt this woman was made for me, the moment I entered her for the first time, confirmed it. I memorized everything about how it felt. Me, deep inside her, my cock squeezed in the most perfect way, and her eyes staring into mine.
AUTHOR BIO:
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader, tattoo lover, and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.
She identifies the sci-fi action flick "The Matrix" as the best representation of her life in the past. She is now blessed to be awake and doing what she loves.
She can recite the entire script from the 80's teen comedy/drama "The Breakfast Club" and loves any and everything associated with the Avengers Movie, especially Tony Stark.
When it come to books, Sydney reads different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, Alex J. Cavanaugh, J.A Huss, M. Never & Emily Bronte. Under the Dome, The Great Gatsby & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.

To stay up to date with Sydney, join her newsletter, and connect through social media.  
Amazon Author Central - https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KKYD5US

Book Blitz: Captive by Anna Santos

CAPTIVE
by 
ANNA SANTOS


Genre: Fantasy Romance Contemporary Young Adult
Cover Design: Laercio Messias
Release Date: January 12, 2017

BLURB:
Who would you rather have—a vampire or an angel—for a soul-mate?
Innocent Aria never imagined that her dream trip to Paris would change her life forever. She is soon thrown into a world where vampires, angels, gargoyles and werewolves exist.
After being rejected and almost dying, Aria finds herself stuck in a dangerous love triangle where her freedom and happiness are at stake.
Who will Aria choose to love forever?
The gorgeous but ruthless vampire who sentenced her to Hell or the breathtaking and possessive angel Prince who offers her redemption and a brand new pair of wings.
Find out in Captive.
BUY LINKS

AUTHOR BIO:
Anna Santos is a Bestselling Author in Paranormal Romance. who builds worlds of undeniable beauty, with witty and enchanting characters.
Anna always keeps her readers on their toes with her adrenaline-fueled adventures, suspense-filled cliffhangers, and magical and complex characters
When she isn't writing, Anna is considering plot twists for her next novel or delving into the world of her favorite authors.

You can subscribe her newsletter here:


Follow Anna’s Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaSantosAuthor

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Review: Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.


Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Loveswept 
Series: Love Unexpectedly #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Lauren Layne's. I've read all of her books and she is one of my favourite storytellers in the contemporary romance genre. Walk of Shame is the fourth book in the Love Unexpectedly series but can be read as a stand alone. Each book is about completely different characters.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to say that Layne writes with an uncanny knack for being spot on with the banter and chemistry between her characters that is signature Lauren Layne. This is what I look forward to most in her books and this is where she delivers each and every time. Walk of Shame is just one in a long list of her titles that have brought me likeable and drool worthy characters with larger than life personalities and just enough humour and sexy time to tie it all together.

I'm not going to re-tell the story. Reading the synopsis gives a good indication of what the story is about. This book is fairly short and can easily be read in one day or even one sitting if you are lucky enough to have that kind of time on your hands. What I will say is that this book is for the believers. What kind of believers do you ask? If you are a fan of contemporary romance then it's probably you. If you like rainbows and unicorns and happily ever afters, chances are you are a believer in fairy tales and true love and will adore this book.

This book gives you the feels plain and simple. Of course there were complications and misunderstandings between Georgie and Andrew but their story was heartwarming all the same. As usual, I adored every second of it.


 About the Author
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.  

Connect with Lauren

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Review: Owning It (It Girls #4) by Leah Marie Brown


The chance of a lifetime . . . or just another bad decision?

Delaney Lavender Brooks needs to grow up. At least, according to her parents. After getting evicted from her apartment and wrecking her car, Laney is almost ready to trade in her paintbrushes and surrender to a more sensible 9-to-5 existence. Almost. Until she’s awarded an internship at a prestigious art gallery in Paris. What else can the free-spirited artist do but follow her dreams? Even if her latest attempt at chasing rainbows might cost her a real future . . .

Once in the city of lights, Laney is almost undone by the glaring truth: maybe she isn’t sophisticated or talented enough to make it as an artist—or an independent woman, for that matter. And when she’s hotly pursued by a seductive Frenchman, she has to wonder if she’s about to be a fool for love, too. Soon Laney’s greatest challenge is not proving herself to her parents, but having the courage to live the life—and love—of her dreams . .

ebook, 350 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 8017 by Lyrical Press

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgallet in exchange for an honest review.  Thank You!  The expected publication date is May, 2nd, 2017.

This is the 4th instalment of the It Girl series.  I had read the entire series up until this point and was excited for another story in the series as I had thoroughly enjoyed the previous stories.  Filled with hilarious hijinks, severely flawed yet likable characters, and romance, the series has been a go to for a fun and laugh out lead read.

If I have to be completely honest, my love affair with this series has ended with this story.  I really struggled with this one and felt like it was living in the shadows of its predecessors while trying to recreate the magic found in them, and it fell well short of the mark.

Here is why.

I could not identify with Laney at all.  In fact, I barely remember her from the third story and was wondering why the main character in the book did not focus on someone previously introduced to us.  She in fact was but was really just a forgettable character.

Here was my biggest struggle with the story.  Laney was a march to her own beat character, and I get that, but I could not get past the way she talked.  She was a twenty five year old who spoke like a twelve year old.  When I say a twelve year old, that would be a very immature twelve year old.  The words totes, abs, and adorbs among others were used repeatedly.  When I say repeatedly, she used them ALL...THE...TIME.  Now I hate to be the one saying she is looking for prepubescent diversions like her mother did in the story, however I do not know a single twenty five year old who talks like that let alone a single fifteen year old that talks like that either.  I could not take her seriously, and in turn the story, due to this fact.

That brings on another item I struggled with.  There were simply too many pop culture references in this story.  This was a theme throughout the entire series and I had felt it worked up until this point.  I felt overloaded with Big Bang Theory, Disney, BFF and 80's romantic comedy references.  It felt like this was a story that pop culture hijacked.

The romance was ok.  Although if I was Gabriel I would have ditched Laney after she first opened her mouth.  It was probably the best part of the story as the majority of the dialogue (but not all) resembled proper English.

While I sound like an old fuddy duddy with this review, I am not.  I loved the quirky and humorous tone of the first three stories.  I just felt like the series should have ended at three as this story was just trying to ride the coattails of the others without much success.  Sometimes when you have a good thing, you should not try to recreate it.  That being said, at the end of the story it mentioned to stay tuned for Brown's new series (no name given).  I will be looking out for it as I find her a humorous and quirky writer and I feel with a fresh theme, I will continue to enjoy her work.





About the Author


(From her Goodreads profile)

I am an American writer with a penchant for Paris and all things pink!

Before writing novels, I worked as a print journalist for a Pulitzer prize winning newspaper and served in the United States Air Force as a Radio and Television Broadcaster.

An avid traveler, I have had adventures and mishaps from London to Tokyo, which I write about on my blog, On Life, Love & Accidental Adventures, and in my contemporary romantic series, The It Girls.

I was once a collector of truly useless bric-a-brac and cheesy tee-shirts. My cheesiest? A tee with a cartoon Jesus riding a surf board and the words, "And on the eighth day, Jesus went surfing in Greece."

Today, I prefer to gather friendships and memories as travel souvenirs.

I live in the shadow of Pike's Peak Mountain, near Colorado Springs, with my family and shamefully pampered poodles.

In my free time, I like to watch movies, read, and snap photographs. You can view my photography by clicking on the Adventures tab above or by following me on Instagram.