Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Book Review: ‘Talon’ by Carian Cole

Title: Talon (Ashes & Embers Book 4)

Published: 22nd November 2015

Author: Carian Cole

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cariancoleauthor

Twitter: @CarianCole

 

Synopsis:

A relationship experiment that lets experts find your perfect spouse? Sign me up. Sounds great, right? I thought so, too…until I saw a rock star waiting at the altar for me. 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER:
Caring. Hard-working. A devoted family man, loves kids.
Clean cut, funny, smart, quiet, but a good communicator.
~ Asia Jenson

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER:
Independent. Tall, blonde, sexy. Outgoing. Intelligent, neat. Unslutty. Confident. Loves to travel. Committed.
~ Talon Valentine

A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT.
The concept was scary but exciting…
Marry a total stranger.
Live together for six months.
Journal everything. (Feelings. Fights. All of it.)
After six months, we each get $50K in trade for our journals, whether we stay married or not. But the goal is to commit to the experience and see if the relationship experts could put together the perfect matches.
I have never been lucky in love. This was my chance to find my soulmate.
I couldn’t wait to meet the man the experts felt was perfect for me.
My hopes were immediately dashed when I saw him at the altar.
Shit. I married my worst nightmare.
Right?!

** This story is not a reality show. It’s a serious social experiment run by a psychologist and it’s all discrete. The characters are not on TV or followed around with cameras. They are alone. This story is a lot more than it seems **

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book over 400 pages. I loved every one of them. So this book revolves around a social experiment to see if relationship experts and psychologists can be used to find someone the perfect partner. Married at first sight to a stranger, what could possibly go wrong? Or maybe that should be so right? Once married you have to live as couple for the next six months, writing and video chatting with the professionals about your experiences along the way. At the end of the experiment you have a choice, you can stay married or divorce. It also comes with a 50k compensation bonus for each at the end no matter what you decide. Four couples are matched and have very different results. So let’s see how Talon and Asia match up and if theirs can be the one made for life.

Describing what you think your perfect partner should be and getting it are two very different things. Talon might be used to having women fall at his feet – the beginning kind of gives that away – but he is about to get a shock from his new wife who not only has no idea who he is but also states that he’s not really her type, well not yet anyway. She’s not his either, to start with that is, but this experiment goes deeper than superficial looks and it seems the ones in charge got it right with Talon and Asia. You might not have put them together to start with but sure do they go. Let’s see if they make it through the wedding night to see what comes next.

Asia is very unsure of herself to start with so keeps thinking that their marriage has a sell by date from day one. Which is something that really starts to piss off Talon. They are married now and he has every intention of making it work or at least giving all he can get. He just needs her to trust him so she can feel the same. He has a few vices that she has strong views on though – alcohol and getting high top of the list – that might cause some issues. Her past also has a strong impact on her present and only when she starts to open up do they connect on a deeper level.

This time round it wasn’t an insta love situation as intimacy is definitely not at the top of Asia’s mind with her new husband. She needs to trust first before going further so they can grow as a couple and Talon needs to learn how to win her over in a different way. It’s what he wanted; it’s just a bit harder than he thought. The hook ups were getting old and he just wanted someone to want to be with him rather than the idea of him from the band. The whole #cocksure band tag being something he wanted to change. His new wife might not be who he would have picked but he isn’t going to let this chance slip through his fingers without trying. She’s his now and the longer they are together the more he sees his true future – one she is very much a part of. Loved the connection that slowly grows between them as you can see them creating a base to start something on. Love the nicknames Tally and jelly bean, think they really loved them too.

Now Asia might have thought her new husband wasn’t her type – tattoos, strong build and long hair – but the longer they are together the more tempted she is to want to touch. Well he is her husband so she is allowed. More so after catching him in the shower where it seems he was using her as inspiration to get a happy ending. Seems the stories about size might need a recount as far as she’s concerned. It’s like he is teasing her with what she could have but not rushing her. She holds back to start with but only when she lets go and claims him as her own does she get the connection they were both chasing. Hot, hot, hotter when things finally get going, shame they don’t run smoothly for long with his part in the band coming into play. Seems he forgot to mention, or rather just forgot in general, that they would be away on tour for a month, right after only being married for two, and partners aren’t invited. After finally connecting to be separated so soon is hard for both of them. She knows there are women who might throw themselves at him but needs to learn that she is all he wants now. Knowing and believing are two different things.

Her past comes back to cause tension in their bubble of pleasure and calm. It doesn’t help when trouble starts brewing for Talon too. With what happens you feel so much for him and what he goes through with how he copes/doesn’t cope. Seems Talon was quick to judge on the basis of something he shouldn’t have seen and Asia needs to fight through barriers put up that would keep her back if she wants to keep what’s hers.

Learned a little more about Asher and his life but not much, enough to want you to delve more. Need a book with him now I think, though I do love catching up with the other guys, especially Storm and Lukas. All the books seem to revolve around each other so it’s fun to see different sides and points of views of similar events. I also like the animal aspect that seems to run along with these books and the little cat Princess Pixie was perfect. Who knew cats and rock stars would be an online hit.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Give Me Books for my honest review.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘Iconic’ by Xavier Neal

Title: Iconic (Adrenaline Series Book 6)

Published: 30th November 2015

Publisher: Enterwine Publishing

Author: Xavier Neal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/XavierNealAuthorPage

Twitter: @xavierneal87

 

Synopsis:

Infamous McCoy brother Madden, has had a life time of burying secrets and brothers. He’s denied himself the right to picture a better life, especially with the long legged, foul mouth girl he’s loved since he was six. When the inevitable moment to take down the Drug Lord responsible for much of his pain approaches, will Madden just become one more headstone in their graveyard or will he rise to the occasion and become Iconic?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with an outstanding hero. Now Madden isn’t a white knight by any means but he is willing to go above and beyond to protect the ones he loves. So hold on for another fun filled ride when he and Knoxie finally collide in the best of ways.

Well it seems that if the Devil’s the one you are hunting you need a few more people at your back. Here’s where the BV MC step in. Seems they are quite reasonable when you give them something they want and in exchange offer up their services for protection. Also due to the Devil having taken something of theirs that they’re happy Madden returned. Now instead of killing them, like the Devil had hoped, they are protecting them. These guys so want Madden to join them, if he wanted to I think they’d just give him a Cut and be done with it, no prospecting, nothing.

With the help of BV MC Madden is also closing in on who tampered with Ben’s breaks. He might have told his brothers to stay out of it but he was never going to let it go until he had the answers as to who and why. He’s the head of the family and is holding onto so much guilt for past events, not all his doings, that he feels he needs to make things right. Thing is with him coming home late, or not at all, Knox just thinks he’s off fucking anything that moves which just riles her right up to the point of ranting in his face. This time though she is going to get a very different reaction from him.

Holy hell I knew it would be explosive when Madden and Knox finally got together but fan me down that was scorching. She knew what buttons to press and it seems the timing was right to push him over the edge. Not that she minds shortly after as he helps her fall over the ledge in a different way. Start of something finally as they have been dancing around each other for years. Madden might have shoved his one night stands in her face but in a way it was to show her that they meant nothing and would never be seen again. Knox on the other hand liked to keep hers hidden from others. They were always just a ‘holding guy’ though until the one she wanted grew a pair and claimed her. Seems he thinks he had good reasons to hold off and they don’t stay hidden when he gets reminded of some of them. He doesn’t think he’s good enough but he is all she has ever wanted, just as she is all he’s ever wanted. Their happily ever after – with fights and lots of make up sex along the way – might have to wait as their troubles with the Devil are far from over.

The race to get the Devil before he gets you is closing in. Trap a rat in a corner and he will attack so you have to see every possible outcome if you want to get out alive. Seems as fast as the Devil is losing friends the McCoy’s are gaining them. Good job too as there is only one way it can really end and that’s with a bullet. Who gets it is another matter entirely.

Before all hell breaks loose I did really like seeing a calmer side to both Madden and Knox when they went to see Knox’s Grandma Maggie. Separately at first and its funny how easily Maggie gets through to them to see things her way. Her saying to Madden that if he wants to ask for Knox’s hand in marriage the answer is the same to when he was 9-years-old. Granny knows best it seems, just took them a lot longer to figure it out.

So we finally we get our Christmas get together at the Commissioners (good to see he now sees things in grey and not just black and white) where the McCoy’s get quite a shock. A ghost from the past is back but this brings some sadness with joy as the news of Daniel is told. Full closure all round with putting the past where it belongs and starting to live the lives they all deserve. McCoy’s love fiercely and once your in your family till the end. Stand by your man; these women wouldn’t have it any other way. Have loved this series from the start with the quirky style of the characters talking back to the reader. Interesting way to get in their heads and another way to make you laugh with them. Loss along the way but the family stays strong till the end – McCoy’s  through in through. If you want a fun packed emotional adrenaline ride with some hot loveable studs then this is the series for you.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance

Book Review: ‘Error’ by Xavier Neal

Title: Error (Adrenaline Series Book 5)

Published: 28th October 2015

Publisher: Enterwine Publishing

Author: Xavier Neal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/XavierNealAuthorPage

Twitter: @xavierneal87

 

Synopsis:

Destin McCoy has a flawless reputation behind the keyboard and in the sheets. However when he is put to the test by the Drug Lord who is responsible for his brother’s deaths, he has a choice to make. Save the girl who has helped him heal or take the vengeance he deserves. Will Destin make the right choice or will this just become an error?

 

Review:

Goes down as another of my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set somewhere you have travelled to. Well Azura goes to London for a bit so I’m going to count it anyway.

So if you didn’t well up with tears at the end of Unmask there is something wrong with you. Triple D has lost a brother, Daniel. Heart goes out to all the McCoy’s as they are slowly being broken down by another loss. Drew has Melody now to help him through and Madden and Knox sort of have something but Destin is feeling very lost and alone. Almost like losing a limb with the loss of Daniel. Not knowing how to be he starts to act like Daniel thinking it might make him feel better. Namely by drinking too much and watching too much porn – don’t judge people. With being the tech savvy one of the family though his mission to destroy everything in the Devils world goes to another level. Closing down banks accounts, getting houses seized and modes of transport taken away. He just needs to be careful how much he pushes because you know the Devil will soon push back. On one of Destin’s drunken nights he ventures out to Mickey’s bar, home away from home, and happens to get a kick start in a new direction. Well more like the day after when he has to apologies for how he treated Azura.

Azura has had a thing for Destin for years but didn’t want to just end up as a ‘Tuesday girl’ like her stepsister was for Daniel – happily so mind you. She wanted to be a forever girl but just needed him to notice her first. She gets that in a way when he’s almost passed out drunk and needing a ride home. This cues in his drunken rudeness by pretty much saying they were going to have sex but only because he looked like Daniel and she couldn’t have him anymore. Cue him getting slapped in the face, which you are happy about. She never went there with Daniel and once morning comes Destin is beyond regretful and needing to go straight over to apologize. Gets an eye full to start with when he does as her stepsister just tells him to go straight on in. A half-naked wake-up call he could get used to. To say sorry he wants to take her out to which she says as a date, which throws him a bit. It’s not that he doesn’t want to; it’s just been so long he’s not sure how to do the dating thing anymore. Shouldn’t worry long because this guy could charm anyone and very quickly stakes his claim on her. Something she can’t stop smiling about. Seems she wasn’t the only one pinning away. It’s great that the longer they are together the more the real ‘them’ comes up to the surface. More so for Destin who is seen as himself for the first time and not just judged as a part of Triple D. They love their unit as brothers but still want to be seen as individuals too.

Chemistry bubbles around them, starts slow but soon it overflows. You can see the pull they have together but more that it’s her pulling him back to the real him after the losses he has had to cope with. Start of something great and hot enough to see the steam rising but this doesn’t stop him from wanting to take down the Devil. Madden may have told them all to back down but he can’t stop. Seems he needed the right push to want to as the Devil targets those you care for most. Azura may soon find herself in his sights but as you know he doesn’t like to get his hands dirty so others will come into play. Things from the past coming back to haunt the present so hold on for another action packed ride with these McCoy’s doing whatever they can to keep those they love safe.

Seriously I need to get to this Christmas dinner because it is going to be emotional. The McCoy’s back together again for a better future. Can’t keep these McCoy’s down for long and something tells me Madden has been up to more than he’s been letting on. Let’s crack on with his story because the sexual tension between him and Knox is getting to volcanic proportions. When they get together I feel it’s going to be epic or better yet Iconic like the title suggests. Can I read all three in one day? Is sleep really needed? Let’s see how far I get. That video at the end too, yep made me want to well up with them.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance

Book Review: ‘Unmask’ by Xavier Neal

Title: Unmask (Adrenaline Series Book 4)

Published: 28th September 2015

Publisher: Enterwine Publishing

Author: Xavier Neal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/XavierNealAuthorPage

Twitter: @xavierneal87

 

Synopsis:

Bad boy, motorcycle loving, Drew McCoy is known for his stunts on the road as much as in the bed. However, when an enemy twists his arm into completing a dangerous task, he’s presented a new route of risks and for the first time in his life, a reason to unmask.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book from a series you love. Love this series so much. Great to finally get a glimpse at our Triple D guys as individuals rather than just being seen as the triplets. Be prepared for tears though because anything can happen when the Devil is calling the shots.

So the story starts a month after the death of the McCoy’s youngest brother Merrick. Though if you’ve read the first three in the series – and if you haven’t then why the hell not – you know that his death was faked so he could go into WITSEC to help take down the Devil while keeping his girl Jovi safe. Now I’m not sure how the family are going to cope with this when it comes to light but that’s all for another day.

So you have the McCoy’s all coping, or I should say not coping, in different ways with the loss of their brother. Drew’s seems to be hooking up with anyone who passes him by. This leads to tension with Madden when he doesn’t come home at night. He is the top dog man of the house who is just trying to keep them all alive. Triple D feel the need to loosen up and get out of their heads though which brings them to a bar and soon three blonds. It’s when Drew plans to leave with one of them that things get interesting. Having a smoke that soon turns into a fight when guys jump him. A gun goes off and soon he’s taken. He might think he’s in heaven when he sees the beauty who promises to make the pain stop but it appears he, and his brother Daniel, have been pulled into hell.

Seems the Devil’s empire is falling and he thinks an inside man is leaking the information, namely a McCoy. Now us readers know this to be true but not from the ones he thinks. As a punishment of sorts he wants them to do a job for him. They need to steal an artifact and a one of a kind bike by replacing them with replicas. A two-man job with Drew and Daniel and if one doesn’t agree then the other, then them, will be shot. Two weeks and then they will be free – well you know the Devil isn’t going to let that happen. He likes the play with the pawns in his game of chess. Drew might be in hell but it seems his little bit of heaven is joining him in the form of Melody.

Melody is as much a prisoner as Drew is; she’s just been there longer. She has skills the Devil likes so is sort of on the payroll. Well I think it’s more of a work for me or die kind of situation so you know which one she’d pick. She’s been in a cage with no-one really in her corner for years so is a little shocked that it doesn’t take long for Drew to want to be that person for her. She may play the victim at times but when a player for the Devil rears their head causing trouble she has to keep saying she is just doing her job. It’s not just that she is keeping an eye on Drew while he works, she’s up to something else too. Though you know early on that she wishes she wasn’t.

Seems these guys could charm anyone and get tail anywhere not matter the situation but from the moment Drew saw Melody it felt different for him. Which makes him think of his brother Merrick and how he was with Jovi. Two weeks to fall for someone you want to keep forever, easy to do with these two. Drawn to each other in the middle of hell hoping to find a way to escape. Chemistry galore that a blind man could see but will secrets keep them apart. Well you know the other McCoy’s, and yes I include Knox in this, aren’t really going to just sit back and do nothing while the Devil plays his game. Things are going to get heavy while the plan is in motion and it’s going to take a lot to get out alive.

Love Knox so much, she knows just what to say but her and Madden need to just get it on already. Only one more book until their one, can’t wait! Daniel was great when he popped up and now I can’t wait to get inside Destin’s head too. I’m thinking it might be dark to start with but here’s hoping Azure can bring him some light. Again I really like the style of book where the characters are talking to the reader, it gives you a better insight into their minds and what might happen next. On we go to book 5 I say.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance

Book Review: ‘Unliving the Dream’ by Sandra Vischer

Title: Unliving the Dream

Published: 23rd March 2016

Publisher: Trill Publishing

Author: Sandra Vischer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/unlivingthedream

 

Synopsis:

Things are darn near perfect for Alex Fisher: she runs a successful business with the love of her life, her husband and the father of her two great kids. She’s managed to sail through nearly forty years without so much as a hiccup. That is, until the night her husband announces he would like to make a change—a change that has apparently been going on for months without Alex’s knowledge. Yes, he has been having an affair with Alex’s assistant.

Suddenly Alex is bouncing through divorce, through her daughter’s subsequent rebellion, and through the big questions of who she really is and what she wants in life.

No longer living the dream, Alex uses her calm logic, internal dialogue, and sizzling wit—not to mention her friends—to turn the shock of a lifetime into an adventure of self-discovery that takes her from the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea to the Utah wilderness and along the impoverished streets of Peru.

In this universal tale, told through Vischer’s unique voice, Alex finds that no one escapes unscathed—but we can all have a good laugh and some major personal growth along the way. A humorous, compassionate, and honest look at how the worst time in one’s life ultimately leads to unexpected fulfillment and authenticity.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by an author new to you. Sometimes you need to take a new route along the path of life when a fallen tree blocks your way.

So Alex gets kicked when she’s down when her cheating – soon to be ex – husband James says he wants to split up so he can see if his feelings for his mistress Mara are true. Alex being a kind hearted person – almost pushover to start with – just kind of lets this happen. He moves out, devastating their two children Lily and Jack, and starts things with Mara. The thing is they all work at the same firm that Alex and James started. I just can’t believe the nerve of Mara to stay working somewhere where she broke up a couple and their family. You may say bitch but the more you see of James after he shows his true colours of being a complete asshole you start to think she’s made her bed and you should be laughing that she’s stuck in it. Thing is to start with James isn’t quite sure whether he wants Mara for keeps or not so wants to test the waters with Alex again. If he’s serious she wants to take it slow but you know that’s not going to go well, and you’d be right. Seems he wanted his wife but not enough to hold out on sex so went straight back to Mara.

Now here Alex should have been feeling good riddance but she just feels a fool and doesn’t feel like she can talk to anyone about it. At work she has to put on a mask and this mask, after a while, soon becomes her true face. She can’t, or won’t, express her true feelings on the matter and so it’s like her children don’t know how to act either. More dramatic with Lily though when she starts to rebel in big ways. Might start out small but after a year or so of stagnant life it soon becomes harder to get past. Alex might be trying to move on but if she can’t look after herself properly by really thinking about what’s happened she won’t find a way to help her daughter. Seems outside help is required and you can see why they might have wanted to go that far with how out of control Lily gets. Seems she needed to express herself better but didn’t know how. Like mother like daughter in a way.

With Alex starting over she still wants to take everything slow, relationships being one of those things. Going full throttle with the future isn’t her top priority anymore. So when people push her too much you know she’s going to want, or maybe need, to pull away. She may be finding herself again but she needed to get a backbone with her dick of an ex husband James. The things he comes out with nearer the end you just want to give him a punch and are wondering why she hasn’t. He is toxic and she is well shot of him. Starting over is never easy but might just be the best thing for her and her children.

A story about finding your way back after losing what you thought was the dream life. Just with a lot of troubles and bumps along the way. I did like the dialogue between characters when it got going but found at times it got a bit too descriptive of what’s happening around them rather than just experiencing it through the characters as they do. Interesting story though, so why not check it out.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts