Category Archives: Favourites

Review – Summer’s Lease – Carrie Elks

Synopsis:

Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction – and then a scorching fling. But they can’t hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

A brand new series from the bestselling author of Fix You and the Love in London series.

 

 

Review:

 

I ADORE Carrie Elks’ books. They’re feel good, easy reads that make you care about the characters. Her writing style is very fluid and whisks you away into the lives of imaginary people.

Summer’s Lease is no different. I honestly felt so much pity and sorrow for Cesca in the beginning, I wanted her to succeed, to get a happy ever after.

When she goes to Italy, through the descriptions, I felt as if I was there beside her, breathing in the fresh air of Lake Como and soaking in the rays of the sun.

Cesca is stuck in a rut. She bounces from job to job, and can barely afford to pay her rent. All because of one person – that’s how she sees it anyway. She goes to Italy to not only make some money without having to worry about all her other bills, but also to remind herself who she is and what she wants out of life.

It’s all going well until Sam Carlton turns up, hiding from the trappings of fame, fortune, and Hollywood.

Told through a dual POV, I never once got confused between the character’s voices, and all included are well rounded, individual, and realistic. They were’nt perfect and had flaws like everyone. They were relateable and had me rooting for them – except Foster. I didn’t root for him in any way, shape, or form. But I won’t say any more about that. You need to read the book!

As enemies to lovers books go, this is one of the best I have read. A mixture of soft scenes, steamy scenes, and angsty drama, it’s got everything.

I can’t wait to read the rest in the series.

 

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Filed under British, contemporary, Favourites, Promo, Review, Romance, Series, Upcoming Release

Review – The Talisman Chronicles – T. M. Franklin

Summary:

A mysterious house. An old journal. A dusty chest holding more than secrets.

Each talisman found in the chest grants the chosen a gift, a unique ability.But with that power comes a burden–the duty of The Order.

Something is coming.

Something evil.

And it’s up to The Order to stop it.

The Talisman Chronicles – All Six Episodes Available for the First Time in a Single Volume

 

Image result for the talisman chronicles tm franklin

 

Review:

Six short stories, all centred around a house and a mysterious chest. This is T. M. Franklin at her YA Paranormal/romance best!

Window:

I originally read this when it was first released, and this is my review from back then (I will edit at the end)

The touch of paranormal to what is a seemingly normal house makes for an interesting story. Chloe has always been linked to the house and the picture window in the living room. It shows her things. Thinks of the past, the present, and what could be.

Chloe, apart from her gift, is your average teenage girl who isn’t part of the ‘in crowd’ at school, preferring to spend her time with her best friend Miranda. Ethan, the boy who lives across the road whom she has a crush on, used to be their friend, but became big man on campus and decided to hang with the popular crowd. Chloe and Miranda are fine about this, until the house shows Ethan in danger.

What follows is a very sweet story about friendship and caring for others and hilarious Twitter conversations. Without spoiling the story, I will say it took me about an hour to read it and I loved every minute. The characters are likeable and relateable, even with the gift Chloe has, and the reader cares about them just as much as the house does.

I want a house like that, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy

*EDIT*

The way Franklin has extended and adapted this story to make it the beginning of a series is fantastic as she hasn’t lost the soul of the original story. It smoothly leads into the next without any hitches!

Timepiece:

Following on from the first book, Wren is new into town. After Chloe and Miranda become friends with her, and she’s having weird dreams about Chloe’s house, she begins to embrace her destiny – afterall, that is what it is.

By the end of this book, it’s still not completely clear why these things are happening to the teens in their town, but Franklin’s effortless writing style makes you want to keep reading until the very end so you have all the answers.

Gauntlet:

I think Beck, the main in this episode of The Talisman Chronicles, is my favourite character. He’s focussed on doing well at school and with his swimming, but there’s something about him, a serious side that is so endearing. What we don’t know, until this episode, is about his sister, and the crap he and his dad are going through with her and Beck’s mother.

While all that is going on, Beck is brought into the fold with the others and the prophecy. His destiny is explained to him, and it takes him a while to get used to it and his relationship with Wren. He’s a strong character with flaws that make him all the more relateable.

Mantle:

I have to admit. This episode was my last favourite (which I still enjoyed), but I can’t work out why. It still had the action and a lot more resistance from Maia to everything happening. She was the first to not just blindly accept what was happening to them all. I liked that about her as it made it feel that little more realistic, but there was something a little… off about her episode.

While a lot of questions left open by the previous episodes are answered in this book, more are created by the end of it which is frustrating in such a good way!

Shield:

Dylan has been a character readers have met a couple of times due to his knowing Chloe and Miranda at school, and then his dad becoming involved with the Order. When Dylan is given his gift, his dad wants nothing more to do with them, and orders Dylan not to either, but the draw is far too strong, for them both.

Dylan defies his dad and puts himself in danger, but eventually his dad realises he needs to do this, they ALL do.

Prison:

Once again, Chloe is the main in this episode, but by the time this one comes around, we can see how much stress she’s under and how tired she is by everything. All she wants to do is protect Ethan and others not in The Order while The Order prepare for the big fight.

Sadly, it seems that not everyone will survive the battle and this is weighing on Chloe and her friends worry about her.

Are The Order strong enough to band together and do battle?

 

All in all, this series is fabulous, and I couldn’t put it down. Not one episode slowed the flow of the entire story, and there were a couple of moments that shocked me as I hadn’t seen them coming. I’ve miss T. M. Franklin’s writing, and as ever, I need more!

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Filed under Action, contemporary, Favourites, NA, Novella, Paranormal, Promo, Review, Romance, Series, Short Story, Supernatural, YA

Review – Confess – Colleen Hoover

Synopsis:

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

 

 

Review:

 

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I stopped at one picture that was just text. It was an anonymous confession. Intrigued, I carried on reading the posted confessions. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, and other broke my heart. The comments were uplifting, helpful despite the people commenting not knowing who had confessed, and others were downright funny. Knowing this was linked to a new Colleen Hoover book, I was both nervous and excited.

I have waited so long to read this book because I knew it was going to rip my heart out and stomp all over it, but when I finally did pluck up the courage to open it, I couldn’t put it down.

Auburn Reed is 20 and is struggling. She lost her first love (only love really) to an dreadful disease, and since then she’s never managed to settle. She plays her cards close to her chest, and we the reader is left wondering what happened in the five years since she was forced to say a final goodbye to Adam.

Owen Gentry hides away in his art studio, inspired by people’s deepest, darkest confessions. Submitted without names via a slot in the door to his studio. Then, once a month he showcases his artwork that these words inspire. – now this is a GREAT concept, one that had me wanting more and more. The inclusion of some of his paintings into the book made Hoover’s words come to life. The only thing I would have liked to have had more of, was more of Owen’s artistic process. We only really ever hear about the end results of what he is painting, not while he is painting.

When Auburn walks into Owen’s studio looking for a job, he recognises her and her name straight away. Why? He keeps that to himself. There’s an instant attraction between the two of them, but because of aspects of each of their lives, they try not act upon them. When they do arrange to meet, Owen stands Auburn up.

What follows on is a story of heartache and more secrets. Told from both character’s POV, the reader finds things out as Owen and Auburn reveal them.

Such a wonderful story, told extremely well. I’m looking forward to seeing the tv series adaptation of it (If I can view it in the UK)

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Filed under contemporary, Favourites, Review, Romance

Review – Fangirl – Angel Lawson

Synopsis:

Ruby Miller has her summer all planned out. Sitting by the pool. Babysitting for some extra cash. Packing for college. All of that changes when a fan video Ruby and her best friend, Iris, create goes viral gaining their little fansite a ton of hits and the attention of the big wigs in Hollywood.

Ruby and Iris fall into the world of actors, movie sets, teen stars and elusive artists. Not only is their friendship put to the test when Ruby’s cast in the lead role of the newest zombie flick, she must straddle the line between fiction and reality, love and lust, and being true to herself.

 

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Review:

Red Stars 5

 

Reading the Death Fields books first made me realise that they were a kind of continuation from this book, so naturally, I had to read it (I get possessive over linked books and a series)

Fangirl deals with Ruby and Iris – two utter fangirls (I see what Lawson did there) over the Zocopalypse comics (The original title of the first Death Fields book) and the character of Alex (and Wyatt obviously). They run a blog about it, be it news about the comics, it’s creator Gabe Foster, and anything else to do with the franchise. They decide to make a fan video of a section of the story, and that is the beginning of things blowing up.

Anyyone who has been a fangirl/boy will understand Ruby and Iris as characters. They are defiant in their adoration for Zocopalypse, the characters, and the creator – but their blog has rivals. Mostly, in the form of Ruby’s ex-boyfriend, Reid. He gets jealous of the attention their video gets them – Ruby in particular, As someone who has been involved in a fandom blog back in the day, I totally ‘got’ this aspect of the story. This and the tweets about the fandom brought smiles and memories to my face. Sometimes, I would love to go back, others I would never deal with all that again.

While the story itself is a bit ‘out there’ in what happens, it was a great escapism story that would make any reader wonder what they would do in those situations.  That to me makes a great book and story.

The writing is top notch and Lawson makes us believe we are a part of the fandom, even if only while we’re reading the book.

 

 

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Filed under contemporary, Favourites, Review, YA

Review – The Stranger’s Voice – Grace Harper

Synopsis:

“Can you hear me?”

Adaline Starling needs a new tenant for the flat above her store, and Callum Hague needs somewhere to live.

Adaline is a genius, hiding in a magazine store, she has never opened. She is trying to convince the world that she is whole, that there is nothing wrong with her.

Callum Hague likes to fix things, preferably thousands of miles away from his hometown. He’s returned from a year long project in Nairobi where he has built a school.

They both have hidden imperfections that have shaped their lives from childhood. If they were left to their own devices, they would both become reclusive.

Their best friends think they would be perfect for each other and set about fixing them up.

It takes a serious incident for them to confess their invisible flaws, but will they accept each other’s hidden imperfection?

With supporting characters that include a cheeky apprentice and an overbearing charity chairwoman.

Will Adaline turn a deaf ear to everyone’s advice to own her imperfections?

 

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Review:

Silver Stars 5

Reading this book, I was struck by the thought of hidden imperfections – something both of the main characters have and hide for their own, personal reasons – and wondered what I would have done in their positions. That to me is the mark of a good book.

A lot of readers don’t want reality in their fiction, they want to escape. Not me. I want to wonder “What if…” – I want to relate to the characters and imagine myself in their shoes.

Adaline and Callum are great leads. They are down to earth with their problems. They both face life head on when they can and when they need to, but both are hiding. It’s immediately obvious what Adaline’s imperfection is from the start, but Callum’s is hidden well and I have to admit, I thought it was something completely different.

As usual, I fell in love with a side character. Scottie, Callum’s apprentice, is cheeky, cocky, and far to smart for his own good. I adored him, and would love more about him, but I’m not sure that will happen.

Well worth a read once it’s released – The Stranger’s Voice will have you laughing, cringing and welling up throughout the entire story!

 

Pre Order Links:

Amazon * iBooks *B&N 

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Filed under Book Blitz, British, contemporary, Favourites, Promo, Review, Romance, Upcoming Release

Review – Penance and Promises – L. A. Cotton

Seven years ago, Ana Parry walked into Chastity Falls Academy and changed the lives of Jackson Pierce and Braiden Donohue. Her arrival set into motion a series of events that none of them could have ever predicted.

But they got out.

Escaping Chastity Falls, they left behind a life built on lies and secrets, danger and fear.

… Didn’t they?

Penance will be served, promises will be made.
Welcome to the end of Chastity Falls.

 

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Review:

Red Stars 4

Well, it’s finally over. I have left Chastity Falls for the last time and it’s a bit bittersweet.

While it was great to have another book, it was only a novella and let’s face it. That’s not enough to revisit these characters. It’ll never be enough.

Jackson and Ana are happily settled, until Braiden and Cara show up. While Ana loves Cara, but she’s still unsure and wary about Braiden – who can blame her after everything he did back in college? Even if he is trying to change his ways because of his feelings for and new relationship with Cara.

But, naturally, Braiden’s past catches up with him – and Jackson. Althought Jackson still has his reservations about Braiden and how much he has ‘really’ changed, he still has the loyalty to their long-standing relationship as brothers and best friends, so he helps Braiden in protecting Cara.

Reading more about these characters and being invited back into their lives is like meeting up with a friend you haven’t met up with for a while and talking as if no time had passed at all between you. Cotton knows and loves these characters so much it’s clear in her writing that she cares about how they’re presented to the reader, even when they’re being total assholes. She wants us to love them, and make it hard for us to say goodbye.

Chastity Falls has ended, but so many readers I’ve spoken to have ideas as to what is happening to them after the book has closed. We care about them and want them to live on, even if there are no more books about them.

A great ending to what has been a fabulous series, one that I will re-read more than once.

 

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Filed under ARC, contemporary, Favourites, NA, New Release, Novella, Promo, Review, Romance, Series

Release Blitz – Penance and Promises – L. A. Cotton

Penance and Promises

by L.A. Cotton
A Chastity Falls Novella
Publication Date: January 30, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Seven years ago, Ana Parry walked into Chastity Falls Academy and changed the lives of Jackson Pierce and Braiden Donohue. Her arrival set into motion a series of events that none of them could have ever predicted.

But they got out.

Escaping Chastity Falls, they left behind a life built on lies and secrets, danger and fear.

… Didn’t they?

Penance will be served, promises will be made.
Welcome to the end of Chastity Falls.

 

Chastity Falls: The Complete Series Box Set
(releases February 13th, special pre-order price of $3.99)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

“The Chastity Falls series had me intrigued, captivated and spellbound from the first word right down to the very last. Take a trip to Chastity Falls, I dare you!” ~ Our Kindle Konfessions

When seventeen-year-old, Ana Parry arrives in Chastity Falls, it’s supposed to be her fresh start, her escape. But then she meets the mysterious Jackson. She shouldn’t want him. He definitely shouldn’t want her. Before they know it, it’s too late, and their attraction sparks a series of events that neither of them could have predicted.

Loyalties will be tested, lies will be told.
Welcome to Chastity Falls.

Box Set includes:
Loyalty and Lies
Salvation and Secrets
Tribulation and Truths
Redemption and Regrets
… and the brand new novella: Penance and Promises

 

About L.A. Cotton

 

Contemporary romance and romantic suspense
… written with feeling

L.A is author of contemporary romance novels ranging from sweet with just a hint of steam, to suspenseful reads full of angst, tension, twists and turns. Home is a small town in the middle of England where she currently juggles being a full-time mum to two little people with writing. In her spare time (and when she’s not camped out in front of the laptop) you’ll most likely find L. A immersed in a book, escaping the chaos that is life.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

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Filed under Book Blitz, contemporary, Favourites, New Release, Novella, Promo, Release Day, Romance, Series

Review – It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

 

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Silver Stars 4

 

I’d heard so many good things about this book, I didn’t even bother reading the blurb before opening it.

It soon became clear what the underlying theme of the book was, and I need to commend Hoover for approaching it in a way that can only (in my opinion at least) evoke sympathy in the reader.

Lily has just been to her father’s funeral. That in itself should have cause sympathy for her, until she explains the kind of man that he was., but we’re soon moved on from there as she meets Ryle. Ryle’s a neurosurgeon who wants nothing more but to advance high in his career and be the best he can be. That means he doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t want children.

Naturally, because this is a romance book, he and Lily enter a relationship – of sorts. Then it become serious between them. Things go well… until his temper rears it’s ugly head. Lily’s caught in her present, but with her past weighing heavily on her mind and when they meet, it cause certain problems between her and Ryle.

When I finished the book, I have to admit that I had to put it down for a while to process. Domestic violence isn’t an easy subject to write about, but Hoover does with sensitivity and skill. She never glorifies or whitewashes it, yet makes the reader begin to understand why some victims stay with their abusers.

It wasn’t until I read the note at the back of the book that I understood why she wrote this story, why she HAD to write this story. And I applaud her for it.

Well worth a read, even if you, like me, are one of those who doesn’t understand the dynamics of an abusive relationship. It may well make you reconsider how you think.

This is quite possibly my favourite Colleen Hoover book to date.

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Series Review – All for the Game – Nora Sakavic

Book One: 

18874651Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

 

 

Review:

Silver Stars 4

 

When I get that message of “I have a book recommendation for you” from my best mate, I usually listen to her. Then she tells me that it’s about a made up sport that’s a cross between hockey and lacrosse, I wonder what she spiked her tea with… Then I went along with it because we both like/dislike the same books (we’ve already agreed to never read a specific author again, and we can’t wait for a different author’s next release).

From the offset, Sakavic sets the tone for the entire series with this book. It’s full of mystery, fear, and violence. The characters are – not quite relateable due to their circumstances, but they are real. They have major flaws, yet you can’t help but like them and want them to do well. The main thing I really liked was that Sakavic didn’t try too hard to ram the mystery and the fear that the characters (Neil especially) have. For me, it’s what The Raven Cycle books wanted to be, with added sport and a much better mystery.

The Foxes are a team in name only. They segregate themselves from the other athletes at Palmetto University, and each other. They argue and threaten each other, and they consistently lose their Exy games. They all have their different reasons for being on the team, yet many of them aren’t willing to try and mingle.

Then Neil’s recruited to the team. He’s been on the run for years, and it’s a risk agreeing to join the Foxes, but his love of the sport overrides his fear of those he’s running from.

Can he survive his time on the team without being found out, or killed by one of his teammates? I had to finish the book in pretty much one sitting to find out!

The main reason this isn’t a 5* read for me, is the way the team coach stays out of the arguments/fights between the team members. I wanted to slap him and tell him to help his team rather than to turn a blind eye. No coach would leave them to their own devices, especially where drugs and weapons are concerned. I’m guessing he has his reasons, but it still rankled at me a little.

Book Two:

18187013Book 2 of All for the Game; The Raven King follows The Foxhole Court

The Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster might be the miracle they’ve always needed to come together as a team. The one person standing in their way is Andrew, and the only one who can break through his personal barriers is Neil.

Except Andrew doesn’t give up anything for free and Neil is terrible at trusting anyone but himself. The two don’t have much time to come to terms with their situation before outside forces start tearing them apart. Riko is intent on destroying Neil’s fragile new life, and the Foxes have just become collateral damage.

Neil’s days are numbered, but he’s learning the hard way to go down fighting for what he believes in, and Neil believes in Andrew even if Andrew won’t believe in himself.

 

Review:

Silver Stars 4

The continuation of the first book, The Raven King – Better than another of the same name in my opinion – carries on with the action. I was already becoming attached to the characters in the first book and this book made that attraction stronger with every word.

Considering this series has been described as M/M, Sakavic has been quite subtle with it (apart from the very out and proud Nicky who is wonderful). The subtext is fantastic and in places, made me smile while in others, made me well up. The emotion is thick in this book and that’s what drew me to the characters. The female characters in this second book  are shown more in how strong they are. They’re all so different and have their own issues, but they deal with them in a mature way.

Even though, as with The Foxhole Court this book is told from Neil’s POV, yet Sakavic lets the reader learn about his teammates (and tentative friends) alongside him, and she does this very well. Throughout this book, Renee and Nicky were my favourites, but Andrew, Neil, and Kevin are up there too.

We also meet more of the Ravens, and I have to admit that they’re (mostly) not at all likeable. They are ruled by Riko’s iron fist, and although they’re one of the best teams, they are not remotely relateable. That becomes even clearer towards the end of the book when Neil is forced to spend time with them… That’s when I really began to read with my heart in my mouth.

Again, not a 5* rating because of the lack of control Coach Wymack seems to have over his team and the way he doesn’t involve himself in their lives more and reign them in.

Book Three:

23667559Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live.

Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.

He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can just outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed—or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive.

 

 

 

Review:

 

The third in the All for the Game series for me, was by far the best in the trilogy. Not only are the Foxes in on Neil’s secrets and most of each other’s, they are more of a team than ever. Yet, more and more and more is thrown into their paths. I sobbed reading about Andrew and what happens to him, which then causes a domino effect on the other team members.

This book is also the main element of the M/M romance that is hinted at and alluded to in the previous two. It’s a real slow burn and almost a fight to actually be considered a romance. What it is tough, is a natural progression of these characters and I found myself internally cheering for them.

Finally, Wymack steps up and fights for his team and shows the respect he has for each member and I can now understand why he seems as hands off as he has been in the previous books. In fact, the adults are all a lot more ‘responsible’ in this last book and feel like they are doing the jobs they’re employed to do.

This book is the ultimate culmination of what Sakavic has set up in the first two books. Speaking to other people have read this trilogy, I found that they’ve had the same kind of reactions to me in different parts of this book. I cried, I laughed, I smiled, and I cheered as each of the characters matured and dealt with the things in their past that was holding them back. As a team, they are working together and fighting for what they want and deserve.

Neil and Kevin especially, deal with some horrible things in a way that I would never have imagined from the way they behave in the first book. The character progression for these characters is brilliantly done and I applaud Nora Sakavic for this.

Trying not to give spoilers, I think the ending was perfect. Anything more ‘pretty’ or ‘neat’ would have been a disservice to these characters, but I also feel as she’s left it open a little to maybe, possibly write more about The Foxes. I wouldn’t be averse to this idea.

Overall:

As someone who isn’t a huge fan of sport in general – even though I enjoy reading about them – I really liked this. Although Exy is the backbone to the story, it doesn’t dominate the plot. It’s used a device to get the characters together and moving around to the places they need to be. It also gives them a reason to become closer they way they do throughout the series.

It’s a pretty slow burn, but the entire trilogy is captivating and makes you want to devour it. I will certainly read more by this author and I want them in paperback for my shelf!

 

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Filed under contemporary, Favourites, M/M, NA, Promo, Review, Romance, Sport

Series Review – Catherine Brodie Chronicles – Grace Harper

26814807Book One:

Summary:

Catherine Brodie has a happy life in Brighton, she has friends, a secret boyfriend and almost at the end of her law degree.

However, everything changes when she reaches her twentieth birthday.

She tells a white lie to get out of a family dinner to celebrate her birthday and sneaks off to a party. The repercussions upend her secure and stable life. Two weeks later, she attends the funeral of her brother and parents. Each birthday following sends Catherine into turmoil with more heartache and misery. There are those that wish her harm.

Alexander Devlin was there the night of her birthday and by coincidence, he crosses paths with her every year. Catherine dismisses the coincidence, but her best friend Tara Adkins is convinced fate is throwing them together.

The first novel of a new quartet that tells the story of Catherine Brodie and her struggle to come to terms with what she did that had far-reaching consequences. It is an epic tale of love, passion, and revenge.

Devastated with her loss, Catherine carves out a new life and starting her own business. The group of friends she picks up along the way helps her hide from those who wish her harm. It doesn’t take long for her harasser to find her and make her life a misery once more.

The question is, will Alexander Devlin be there in time to save her?

Review:

Red Stars 4

The prologue… sucked me right in. I wanted, no needed to know what brought on those feelings.

We’re introduced to Catherine Brodie, a 20 year old girl who, while she loves her parents, is a little smothered by them. She’s not allowed to have a boyfriend or go to parties where there are going to be boys and not adult supervision. It’s these rules that set the tone of the story. If Catherine hadn’t lied to her parents, she wouldn’t have suffered immeasurable grief and completely withdrawn into herself.

Moving across the country and reinventing herself is the only way she is able to move forward with her life and survive – this is her ‘disappearance’ of the title and completely not what I was expecting (in a good way).

I loved the way Harper interweaves not only Catherine’s story told from her point of view, but also the story of Alex (and Seb) who pop up on occasion and we are given the odd chapter from Alex’s point of view, rounding off the connection between him and Catherine.

I read this book in one sitting as it kept me turning the pages because I needed to know what was going to happen next.

Harper has given us a solid story and the group of characters she has created in this world are well rounded and likeable (mostly – I’m looking at you Patrick). Each of the characters has a purpose in Catherine’s life and keep you rooting for her and them.

I will warn people as I know many don’t like them, but this book ends on a cliffhanger. I LOVE a cliffhanger in a series as it leaves me wanting more, more, more.

26814816Book Two:

“…’Do you love me yet?’ Alex said, hoping the answer was yes…”

The Recovery of Catherine Brodie starts four years after Erin’s confrontation in the cellar of Green’s. Alexander Devlin wants his band to perform at Green’s and writes a begging email. Erin relents and says yes, even though it goes against all her rules.

Erin continues to put her past behind her, but like every bad penny, they always turn up.

Erin Brodie has made a success of her music venue and it’s the most sought after place in the country for non-signed artists to perform. Alexander Devlin is the guitarist from the rock band Fragile, they are at the top of their game and are just about to release their final album.

Erin drops her guard and so her courtship with Alex begins, but it comes at a price. Erin has enemies and, this time, they have upped their game. This time, her life is in jeopardy and it takes all of her friends to race to find her.

This time, they might just be too late…

Review:

Silver Stars 4

What I liked about this, the second instalment is that is doesn’t continue on exactly where book one left off. While that works in many series, it wouldn’t have in this one. It would have made this book too much filler. The way Harper has continued this gets us straight to the nitty gritty of the continuing story of Erin and her friends and how they’ve coped with everything that happens.

While book one covers a much larger expanse of time, book two doesn’t, yet it never feels slower in pace. Rather than bombard us with detail and unimportant acts, Recovery takes us on a journey with Erin and her friends as she begins to work with them to deal with the problems life keeps throwing at her rather than insulate herself.

Once again, the characters feel like they could be anyone’s close circle of friends despite the fact that many of them are famous and under the scrutiny of fans and the media. They make mistakes, have flaws, and blunder through life until they’re able to find the place they need to be. Yes, a lot of them are extremely successful in their professional lives, but let’s be real. Their personal lives are a bit of a mess – Harper does quite enjoy torturing her characters.

There’s a lot more romance in this book which  makes the series shift gears slightly, but the suspense doesn’t take a back seat. The two plotlines run alongside one another and mesh really well due to the excellent backstory that Harper has built.

Once again, this book ends on a cliffhanger which made me go straight to Amazon and buy the next one. I just had to know how this series could continue and how Erin was going to deal with everything.

26814820Book Three:

“Ask me the question,” she whispered.

Erin Brodie is in hospital after her ordeal with Stacey Chambers. From the moment Alexander Devlin met Erin he knew she was the woman for him. His love for her that started a decade before is finally reciprocated. He heard Erin’s declaration loud and clear.

All Erin has to do is survive.

Tara, Tom, and Casey are moving on with their lives, leaving Erin behind. Alex and Seb start their record label after their final concert. But, it’s not until Erin feels the sting of betrayal that she decides to live. It means that Erin has to give up the one thing she has loved for a long time. Will she have the courage?

Just when Erin thinks she has a new plan, her past catches up with her. Quinn and Louise return and so does Erin’s birthday.

Will she escape this time around?

Review:

Red Stars 4

Unlike book two, this book picks up almost exactly where the last book left off. Once again, this works very well in keeping the story going.

The romance from book one is much more prevalent in this book, and steers the plot and the characters in new directions that I don’t think they expected because of it. That in itself causes some of the problems in their lives. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth (not sure if I got the wording right there, but I’m not a Romeo and Juliet fan).

A lot of series suffer from the third book being weaker than the rest, but this isn’t the case with Survival. It’s just as strong as the previous two and just as well paced.

Erin’s birthday is fast approaching once more, and people from her past are turning up uninvited causing more and more problems. But she has Alex at her side now and has the support of her friends even more so, yet she still suffers knock backs that make her reassess the life she has. Is it enough or is it finally time to move on?

Yep, another cliffhanger. Harper certainly has these down to a tee!

26814830Book Four:

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today . . .”

Erin Brodie is engaged to record label owner, Alexander Devlin and they are to be married in one week’s time. They have to get through seven days of wedding preparation and then their happily ever after is sealed.

However, Stacey Chambers has been given a day pass for the nuptials. Jude North is contemplating defecting from Red&Black’s to Quinn’s record label. Then there’s Quinn, who manages to smash apart Erin’s legacy in one day.

Everyone returns to gather for the wedding. Tom and Mickey come back to protect the happy couple. Tara, Seb and Louise are determined to get them down the aisle.

It’s time Catherine Brodie became Mrs Devlin, will she make it?

The final book in the Brodie Saga

Review:

Silver Stars 4

Considering the timeline of this book is about a week, it never once feels rushed. The pacing is absolutely perfect and kept me wanting to know how the series ends.

Quinn – I’ll say it now – is an utter bastard and is definitely one of those characters that you love to hate, and his nasty/petty side really comes to the fore in Absolution. He does something that could potentially set Catherine back years in her recovery and doesn’t care about the repercussions. Thankfully, Catherine has her friends and her fiancee around to prevent that happening.

This book is the prefect ending to this series, yet not everything is tied up in neat little bows. The reader is still left with questions which is the most frustrating this, but I also understand why Harper has done it. She leaves us with just enough to satisfy us that Catherine’s story has finished in the best way possible.

I’ll definitely reread this story, I want to see if I pick certain things up that I missed. The hints that are dotted throughout the books and finally revealed in this last book. It’s a great series and I will recommend it to anyone.

Overall:

The main reason I’ve not given these books five star ratings is that there were a few areas where I would have liked more information and detail. Patrick – I would have loved more information about him. His story felt a little… rushed and conveniently tied up towards the end. Considering everything he went through, I would have expected a little more to his plotline.

Jude… I kind of didn’t see the point to her other than to cause grief between Catherine and Quinn. More than once I wanted either Tara or Catherine to slap her.

Casey. By the fourth book, I felt he was a little abandoned (and so did he from the little snippets Grace gave us). I would have loved to see his story explored more – I’m hoping he’s the subject of his own book… Harper already knows I want Seb and Tara’s story, so I’m officially requesting Casey’s book. (Oh, don’t forget Tom too).

If you enjoy romantic suspense, this series is ideal for you.

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