Monthly Archives: December 2016

Book Review: ‘Capturing the Cowboys Heart’ by Lindsey Brookes

capturing-the-cowboys-heart

Title: Capturing the Cowboys Heart

Published: 11th November 2011

Author: Lindsey Brookes

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lindsey.brookes.9

Twitter: @Lindsey_Brookes

Synopsis:

After losing his wife in an accident two years before, not long after he’d been forced from the circuit by an injury, thirty-two-year-old Cade Tyler, ex-rodeo champion, thinks life has thrown him more than lemons. But life isn’t done…it sends him Lacy Dalton.

She’s a reporter.

He hates reporters.

She’s pushy.

He hates pushy.

She’s sexy.

He…well, he just won’t let himself think of her that way.

The more Lacy learns about Cade’s past, the more she finds herself wanting to prove to him that not all reporters are bloodthirsty vultures. But her growing attraction to him puts not only her heart in jeopardy, but her life as well, because someone is out to ruin Cade and will do anything to make that happen.

Review:

Goes down as the last one off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A Western. Well not quite a western but its got a cowboy on a ranch with horses so I’m counting it.

So Lacy is thinking this interview with ex-rodeo star Cade might help her move up in her career, even get her a column in the magazine. Which is great but what she is really looking at is if it goes well she will get a pay increase to help with her Grandmothers care. Full of confidence she doesn’t expect to be shot down the moment she gets there, after a whole day of travelling mind you, at the set interview time. Cade is nothing but a hotheaded – drool worthy – rude man who makes her feel like an idiot the minute she speaks to him. Seems there was a bit of a misunderstanding with the interview, or more like Burk Cade’s best friend was just trying to help out. Both famous rodeo rides in their day but now they raise bulls for the games on the ranch.

It seems the Flying T ranch is loosing money though and he thought it would be a good opportunity to drum up business. So this interview was kind of a sneak attack on him. Shame Cade has no intention of doing said interview so sends her away even after the offer she makes. Seems Burk and his dog are good at making people feel like crap though as Cade soon changes his mind, mainly due to the way he treated her, and goes to track her down. Seems he is now prepared to agree to her terms. He will give her an interview if she helps out on the ranch while there. I think he just wanted to put her to hard work so she would leave on her own and he wouldn’t feel guilty about it. From the moment she appeared she caused feelings to come to the surface again. Feelings and urges he thought never to have again after the death of his wife two years before. He feels guilty for having them and does everything he can think of to push them aside – shame Lacy isn’t easily removed though.

Tempers definitely rise to the occasion when Cade and Lacy are together, mainly due to passion brewing just below the surface. First comes to ahead when he has to rush into a field to save her. One that just so happens to contain his prize bull. Fear that she would be harmed and then frustrated anger that she went in to save a kitten (a farm one that knows what its doing) leads to the first of many heated kisses. Seems the longer she is in his presence to more intense his feelings become, hers also but as he keeps reminding her she’s there to do a job. She just happens to have the one job he hates, a reporter. She starts to bring out a jokey, carefree side to him. Funny when Burk and Cade create some mischief in regards to the hot water tank not working. A joke that just so happens to backfire on them quite quickly and turns out very hot between Cade and Lacy. Lets just be glad they had somewhere to cool off. Passion aside though, trouble is brewing at the ranch with someone from Cade’s past wanting to ruin him and get revenge. Can they ever work together without arguing? Though sometimes the passion that follows is worth the fight. Happiness can come around a second time but you have to grab it with both hands when it does.

The story did get a little predicable with who might be causing trouble on the ranch so didn’t create too much intrigue but it was good to just focus back on the romance brewing up a storm. Burk was a funny character that brought a great bit of banter throughout also so he was a good distraction at times.

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3 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Humour, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance

Book Review: ‘Wild Designs’ by Katie Fforde

wild-designs

Title: Wild Designs

Published: 5th June 2003

Publisher: Arrow

Author: Katie Fforde

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieFforde

Twitter: @KatieFforde

Synopsis:

Althea is the mother of three strong-minded children – one of whom is a Buddhist – and owner of a finicky dog named Bozo.

Saddled with too large a house (albeit in a beautiful Cotswold village), worrisome mortgage payments, a bossy younger sister and irksome ex-husband, Althea still manages to muddle through life comfortably enough. Until she loses her job.

Seeking solace in her borrowed greenhouse, Althea decides to develop her passion for gardening. And when she wins the opportunity to design a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show with the unexpected help of gorgeous architect Patrick Donahugh, it looks as though Althea may have unearthed a new man as well as a new career…

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in your current town or region, the Cotswolds.

Althea’s life is already a bit manic with being a single mum to three children. She then finds out her ex-husband is intending on coming back to the UK from Hong Kong to be a father again now they have grown up. You just know he has an ulterior motive, as shallow as they come. But its about to get turned upside down more when she finds out she is being made redundant from her post at the school. Swiftly followed by finding out that the derelict house she uses the greenhouse for has been sold. Wouldn’t seem so bad if she actually had permission to be there in the first place. She may be a receptionist as her day job but what she really wants to be is a garden designer. She needs the greenhouse to keep her plants in for the few people she does help so needs to convince the new owner to let her stay until she can find somewhere else to put the plants. More so after she wins a competition to compete in the Chelsea flower show. A little white lie about being a garden designer to the new owner Patrick wouldn’t hurt anyone, would it?

One last task before she takes redundancy is to go along on a school trip to France. What she thought would be a fun trip with her co-worker Sylvia, along with taking care of the kids, turns into a bit of an uncomfortable re-meeting with Patrick. Seems she went to him stating she was already a garden designer and would be thankful if she could continue using the greenhouse until she has somewhere else to put the plants. Reluctantly agreeing for a price to be determined later. So he is none too pleased that she lied to him and they don’t get off to a great start. When they find out that they have to share a room together at the house they are staying at things get interesting. Seems he thinks sharing the bed isn’t an option, no matter what she says, so insists he will stay on the floor. From comments made later in the book though I think this is really because he wouldn’t have been sure he could keep his hands off her. He may have a girlfriend at the time – Topaz his much younger assistant who is another character who is very shallow – so seem off limits to Althea but I think he starts to rethink things that weekend too. So maybe he’s not completely off limits.

Can you guess what might happen when two very shallow people meet? After a certain something happens its funny how both Althea and Patrick wanted to console each other when they found out but neither really needed consoling at all. Seems their romance was like a plant. It was going to take some time to get good roots down before being able to blossom. He does make her feel quite cherished when they do come together though. Chemistry is seen but shied away from by her. Only when she sees things a bit clearer does she fear she’s lost the one man for her. She seems very indecisive and selfless to the point of almost giving up on herself in regards to happiness. Make up your mind or the one you want will get away! Well maybe not for a while as it seems he’s just as into her and is willing to wait – but for how long? Also question, since when is 39 old. The way she talks sometimes you’d think she was 59.

Felt this one had a few too many sub stories going on trying to be interlinked around the main one with Althea’s ex-husband, sister, work colleagues and Topaz all pulling the story in different directions. Gardening of course played a key part and you can almost imagine the one she creates at her home and then Chelsea. Gardening is her one release, something just for her that she would never give up. It was a good book, funny in places, but not my favourite with how ‘back and forth’ Althea was being with her decisions. Good winter read though to get you in the mood for getting the garden ready for the season ahead. A good garden is the best place to read in.

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3 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Korian and Lucy Part II’ by Zoe Kalo

korian-and-lucy-2

Title: Korian and Lucy: A Cult of the Cat Short Story Part II

Published: 22nd October 2016

Author: Zoe Kalo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zoe-Kalo

Twitter: @zoekalowriter

Synopsis:

NOTE TO READERS: “Korian and Lucy: Part II” is NOT a novel. It is a companion short story (about 9,000 words) to ‘Daughter of the Sun’ (Cult of the Cat Book 1). It’s meant to be read AFTER ‘Daughter of the Sun’ and “Korian and Lucy Part I,” otherwise you won’t get the full meaning or references to characters.

BLURB:

It’s January on the Island of Cats and Lucy is secretly pregnant. Her love for Korian is as invincible as ever. Together, they experience the magic of their baby’s movement for the first time.

But the raging Marmara waters and stormy skies match the turbulent state of Lucy’s soul. Isis continues to haunt her dreams. Her aunt’s new ruby ring sends a chill of suspicion up her spine. Scorpions crawl on the edge of her mind… Could Korian be right? Was her aunt involved in his mother’s death?

When Lucy is forced to reveal her pregnancy, she discovers she’s not the only one with news, for her mother and her aunt both have astonishing revelations of their own…

In a world that wants to pull them apart, Korian and Lucy must do everything in their power to stay together.

Review:

This short story is set five months before the birth of Trinity. It is again told through Korian’s POV and then through Lucy’s diary entries. You do really need to read these in order, and have read Daughter of the Sun first, or you won’t really know what is going on.

Oh now things have got a little bit more interesting. Clues where mentioned in Daughter of the Sun that the three would need to work together and it looks like we get a clue as to who they might be. We also get a glimpse into Korian’s life and how his father and Bithiah, her aunt, know each other. There’s a dark past with them involving the death of his mother but to what purpose? Red seems to be the colour of choice for Bithiah, which we learned in Daughter of the Sun, but we get a first look at something she acquired through dark means.

The prophecy gets explained a bit more through Lucy’s diary entries. Her mothers time is spent trying to decipher the papyrus to get all the answers they need. Cats galore are still present throughout – which being a cat person I love. They are very intuitive creatures and can sense when something isn’t quite right. Love when Lucy writes that Isis said she was going to send someone to protect her and she replies ‘I already have’. I think its clear who she sent to keep an eye on her.

We end at not so much of a cliff-hanger but a pivotal moment before the final chapter takes place. It’s almost like a count down until Trinity is born. One you want to read but also slow down, as you know the outcome for the parents isn’t good. Danger is brewing on the island and it seems Isis isn’t the only god playing a part with human lives. The island itself is taking its share of the turbulent emotions running amuck but soon they will be heading to London. It will become the end of their story but the beginning of what’s to come. Lets see how it all plays out.

Both part I and II are short reads but still manage to keep you intrigued for what’s to come next. Best read together though I felt. Lets see what Part III has in store.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Author Assistant for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Korian and Lucy Part I’ by Zoe Kalo

korian-and-lucy-1

Title: Korian and Lucy: A Cult of the Cat Short Story Part I

Published: 17th June 2016

Author: Zoe Kalo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zoe-Kalo

Twitter: @zoekalowriter

Synopsis:

NOTE TO READERS: “Korian and Lucy: Part I” is NOT a novel. It is a companion short story (about 6,000 words) to ‘Daughter of the Sun’ (Cult of the Cat Book 1). It’s meant to be read AFTER ‘Daughter of the Sun,’ otherwise you won’t get the full meaning or references to characters.

It is the tragic love story of Korian and Lucy (Trinity’s parents) and takes place in The Island of Cats nine months before the birth of Trinity.

BLURB:

Something is stirring on the Island of Cats…

It’s early September. Korian and Lucy are newly discovering the indomitable intensity and power of their love. Lucy’s mother gives her a chilling warning her about their family curse and the tragic consequences this could have for Korian’s life.

But Lucy strikes a deal with the goddess Isis to keep Korian safe, a bargain that can’t be broken.

When disaster strikes, Lucy must ask what Isis really wants. Is she a mere pawn in the goddess’ scheming game, or are there other much darker forces at work?

The world wants to pull them apart, but Korian and Lucy are determined to stay together.

Review:

This short story is set nine months before the birth of Trinity. It is told through Korian’s POV and then through Lucy’s diary entries which gave it a different vibe to Daughter of the Sun. The Island of the Cats is still playing a part in a future that’s already been set in motion, with Lucy just a pawn in Isis’ game.

We get a glimpse into the love affair that would set a series of events into motion. The Goddess Isis clearly had her own agenda from the start, among the other Gods. She saw the special child that would be born from their romance. You can clearly see they were drawn together for a reason but they are merely pawns playing their part in a game they won’t see complete.

The curse of the Walford family, in regards to its priestesses, when it comes to the men they love is a bad one – death seems to become them. Lucy confides in her mother that she knows she can’t break the curse but that she feels its safe to be with Korian because Isis came to her in her dreams. The feeling of warmth and love from Isis soon gets misplaced when a vision shows Korian in an accident. The force of her love is what drives her to write in her diary that she would do anything to Isis if he didn’t survive. Call on all she would fear but the only threat that would make her pause it seems is one to end her own life. Now this is when Lucy knows she is part of something larger. Her life is important to a point but as she cannot see a future for herself, just a blank space of emptiness, she doesn’t really know what’s going to happen next. She just knows she needs to keep her threat clear so Korian is safe. He may know she is different but even with a voice telling him to stay away he can’t leave her. They are in it together, how long together time will tell.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Author Assistant for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Captured by the Pirate Laird’ by Amy Jarecki

captured-by-the-pirate-laird

Title: Captured by the Pirate Laird

Published: 18th January 2014

Publisher: Rapture Books

Author: Amy Jarecki

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amyjarecki

Twitter: @amyjarecki

Synopsis:

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a pirate in it. I love highlander books and this one had an extra twist that he was a pirate to boot – brilliant!

Anne has been wed by proxy on the word of her uncle to Lord Wharton, a man old enough to be her grandfather. She may have caught his eye at the Queens coronation, not the she remembers, but he couldn’t be bothered to collect her himself when she is sent to him. Instead he sends her alone out on a ship so she can be delivered almost like cargo. It might look bleak to begin with but that’s just the start as pirates soon take over the ship and all its cargo – her included.

Calum MacLeod, pirate captain of the Sea Dragon and Laired of Raasay, gets a bit of a shock when he comes across English lass Anne hiding in a room on the ship he just concurred. Unsure what to do with her at first his plan is to take her back with him until he knows more about who she really is. When he finds out that she is wed to Lord Wharton he knows the only outcome is to ransom her to the English Lord. A fight is brewing between the English and the Scots and it seems this meeting by chance is the catalyst that starts it all again.

Anne may not have thought her life had much of a bright outcome on the start of her journey but she soon learns that meeting Calum could be the best thing that ever happened to her. Especially if he keeps looking at her the way he does. Passion is brewing, more than she really knows what to do with, so it’s a good thing that Calum does. She thinks she always has to do the right thing for her family but can Calum show her another way? They both need a little faith in each other to get what they really want.

There are lots of other key players throughout that play a part in creating an interesting world. Too many to mention them all but with Bran, the young squire, you get a feeling he is going to be key to the future of Calum’s land. Good way to set the scene for the rest of the series. It almost has a Robin Hood feel to it with the fact that Calum only steals from the wealthy so he can feed his people – you even have a Friar, though he’s called Pat not Tuck. Anne may not condone what he does but she can see why he would need to. Its not just Calum’s friends and family that make up the interesting group but the people along the way that help Anne get back to where she really belongs. Lets hope they are all strong enough to band together against the danger that follows them in the form of Lord Wharton, his henchman Denton and the army he has claimed along the way.

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4 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts