Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Book Review: ‘Outside the Lines’ by Anne Malcom

Title: Outside the Lines (The Sons of Templar MC Book 2.5)

Published: 12th February 2016

Author: Anne Malcom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annemalcomauthor

 

Synopsis:

My life’s not easy. I’ll tell you that now. It’s not neat. I don’t fit into society the way most people expect me to and I don’t color studiously between the lines, outside the lines is where I reside. The fringes of society is where I found my place, with the Sons of Templar MC. The life they lived gave me everything I wanted, and everything I needed. Most importantly, it gave me something I’d been lacking for over a decade—family. A place to belong.

Club girl—that was my title. There were other words for what I was, but I preferred the less derogatory version. Sure, I’d love to be an Old Lady. It’s the dream. But, as someone who escaped into fantasy worlds when life got too much, I knew the difference between dreams and reality. I had resigned myself to the fact, I’d always belong to the club. It didn’t mean I didn’t crave one man in particular to claim me. To put me on the back of his bike and ride off into the sunset with the man who’d captured my heart the first day I saw him—Hansen. The dream where he’d finally see me and make me his, existed strictly in Macy’s world of wonder. Until now. Until somehow my fantasy world and reality world collided and he looks at me in the way I’d dreamt of for a year.

Fairy tales usually had neat and happy endings once the hero and heroine got together. This wasn’t a fairy tale. Hansen wasn’t your traditional hero and I was the furthest you could get from a heroine. I feared my past might dictate my future. That my world outside the lines would go from messy to complete disaster.

 

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book under 200 pages. Sometimes it’s more fun to live just outside the lines. Something Macy has grown to do and Hansen is starting to embrace. From club girl to Old Lady, how will our girl Macy handle the change after the breath-taking kiss that started it all?

Macy isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but she does bring a smile to those she meets. She found a family in the form of the club and felt like it sort of fitted what she needed. She doesn’t get treated any less by the men – well maybe one of them, Hammer – but seems to think this is the life that she is meant to live. She has a darker past that has put her on the path she finds herself on but she wouldn’t change it, especially as it led to Hansen. Now he might be the only guy from the club that she really wants but he seems to stay away, something she can never be too sure about. He likes to send mixed signals, more so when you see his face almost explode when one of the guys asks her to go some place private. It confuses her to no end, as she can never figure him out. It seems change is on the way though as he is about to make a stand. The morning after having fun with one of the brothers you would think she would be feeling satisfied. Not so much after Hansen startles her in the kitchen early the next morning and kisses the life out of her. Just when she thinks that this could mean something he turns and leaves. If that wasn’t confusing enough for the next week the guys at the club give her a wide berth. Thinking this could be their way of pushing her out she panics and can only think of one thing that links the timing – Hansen and his panty dropping kiss.

Hansen is a hard guy to get a feel of to begin with as he likes to keep his emotions close to his chest. You can see he is struggling with what he feels for Macy but doesn’t think to make a move. Then he has the nerve to be pissed off that his brothers get to have her and not him. It all changes after a kiss, one that he had been holding out on for a year. One taste and he knew that she was for him and that from that moment on no other would have her but him. He just forgets to mention this to her first, and then there is the trouble with the Cali Templars and Amy needing to be rescued. So it kind of puts their bubbling heat of passion on hold for the time being. Once they leave though Macy is the first thing on his mind. Once he realizes that this is the life she is happy with, being part of the Templars, he knows he needs to change her role within them. He can feel the tension rising and knows he needs to stake his claim before he loses out. The moment she gets caught up in a bar fight seems to be the best move to kick start him into action.

A hit to the head and Macy might think she is dreaming when she wakes in Hansen’s arms in his bed, with his naked chest and everything, yum all round. He may be asleep but she can’t miss this chance as she has been pining for him for a year. Asleep he may have been but the moment she moves across him and her lips are close his resolve doesn’t last. One kiss and that’s it, he makes it very clear from that moment on she is his and not just as a club girl but as his Old Lady. Something she has longed for but never thought she would become. She might have wanted it but the getting it is a bit harder. When they are in the bubble of passion at his or hers it’s great but her past keeps coming back to cause her trouble in her mind. The transition is hard but Hansen doesn’t see a problem with it. Her past is the past; he just looks for the future. Shame her past is a darker one that comes back to haunt her. Will her new family be there to help or cast her aside?

Jagger was cool and clearly cared for Macy, he knew that she deserved more than what she thought she was worth. Grim was a hardass but you would expect nothing less from the clubs President. Hammer was a bit of a dick but maybe there’s more to him than meets the eye. Arianne was a laugh and clearly in tune with Macy enough to know what she wants and how to help her through things. It was an interesting novella showing a different side to the biker romance. Nothing ever runs smoothly and there are always going to be troubles along the way with this pairing – or with any of the Templar guys that is as they really do love fiercely when they claim you as their own – but sometimes to go outside the lines is more fun.

5 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ by Claire Delacroix

Title: Once Upon a Kiss

Published: 16th November 2014

Author: Claire Delacroix pseudonym for Deborah Cooke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix

Twitter: @cooke_delacroix

 

Synopsis:

For over a thousand years – so legend has it – the brambles have grown wild over the ruins of Dunhelm Castle. Many believed that the thorns were a sign that the castle was cursed, so no one dared to trespass, and the secrets that they protected and concealed have remained hidden – until now…

Armed with a pair of gardening shears, Baird Beauforte is determined to clear away the brambles that hinder the development of his resort, and he won’t let local superstition deter him. Dunhelm Castle is supposed to be the latest jewel in the Beauforte Resort chain, but the renovations can’t be finished if the workmen are frightened of a so-called curse. To dispel any lingering fears, Baird decides to vanquish the briars himself. What he never expects is to find a mysterious slumbering beauty…

Aurelia is like no one he has ever met before. Upon awakening, she demands to know his identity and why he is in her father’s castle! Bemused by her claim of being a king’s daughter, he is certain he has never met this “princess” before, although something about her rouses a haunting sense of familiarity. Soon, dreams plague this by-the-book businessman…dreams that feel more like memories. And Baird begins to wonder if he can claim his heart’s princess – now and forever – with a kiss…

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book that has a castle in it. One that has a very interesting tale attached to it. Time and fate will always bring the souls of the past back to where they began so they can truly end happily ever after in this present day look on the tale of Sleeping Beauty.

Dunhelm castle A.D. 800 is where our princess Aurelia falls into a slumber only to awaken 1200 years later with true loves kiss. Her father Hekod’s castle is under siege by the evil Bard, son or Erc. The man who killed her brother and now wishes to claim her and the castle. Aurelia wants to help her father and knows her skills are the best with a bow. But on a second shot she pricks her finger and soon feels herself being pulled away and under into a deep sleep. It seems the stories and curse she never took much faith in were true. Now she just has to wait to see how the story ends.

Baird is at the location of the new holiday development for his company. Something drew him to purchase Dunhelm castle and calls to him to stay. The renovations are under way but there is one area the builders are reluctant to go near. A place full of vines in a dark shadowed area that appears to have superstitions and curses attached to it. With a pair of shears and a lot of determination he manages to uncover a set of stairs leading down to a chamber. This is when Julian, his lawyer and friend, makes an appearance, comically complaining as he goes, just wanting them to hurry up and get back to the States. He might not want to be there but seems was needed as he finds a release to open a door to reveal a hidden crypt. One that just so happens to have a beautiful women sleeping in the centre of on a stone bed. Baird feels compelled to get closer to her and almost loses control with his need and desire to wake her up. A kiss comes to mind and when her head slowly turns towards him he knows there is no holding back. A kiss to wake and connect with a stranger, one that has some very strange ideas on what’s going on and who everyone might really be.

Waking up Aurelia doesn’t think any time has passed at all. Or if it has, well then maybe a few days or week at most to start with. The last thing she remembers is the castle being under siege and her father being in danger. When the stranger in front of her – handsome one mind you – says his name is Baird she just automatically thinks he is Bard, son of Erc. Means she has an automatic dislike to him, well tries to anyway. She never met the real Bard so has nothing to go on. Just that the castle belongs to her father so is dismayed when Baird says he owns it now. She just thinks that he must have staked a claim to it and now fears for the lives of her people. She doesn’t think she can trust Baird at all but has a strange pull towards him. Same goes with his friend Julian who, because of his lack of hair, she thinks is a monk, one that uses a lot of powerful magic. Seems neither of them really took much notice when she first spoke as they didn’t have a clue what she was saying but after hearing them speak she managed to pick up their language in no time. She was gifted with the use of tongues so can speak any language needed. You would think that the moment she gets outside and sees the changes to the castle she would know a lot of time had passed but she just keeps putting this down to magic. She just wants to find her father and figure out what happened to her home. Something Baird feels compelled to help her with.

Baird can’t believe his luck with how he feels about Aurelia from the moment she woke up. Shame he now thinks she has lost a few marbles as she thinks she is a Viking princess and that her father owns the castle. He just thinks that something bad must have happened to her or her father to make her regress into a fantasy world to protect memories she isn’t ready to remember. Little does he know that she speaks the truth and that danger could fall upon them all if they do not remember their past lives that are about the effect their present ones.

I found it a bit amusing that Aurelia thought that Julian’s power of magic was so advanced that she wrote off seeing a car, helicopter and then electricity as nothing short of magical. The part where her and Baird butt heads about her having a bath and not understanding how the taps worked made me laugh a lot. Also laughed with how Aurelia sees Baird’s interior designer Marissa. The way she sees things are from a Viking perspective so for someone to dress as Marissa does and act around Baird that she must be a mistress who has his ear. Now Marissa in general was just a right pain throughout, so annoying with most of the things she says. For some reason, maybe something to do with the past, she thinks that her and Baird and meant to be. She gets a reality shock when it becomes clear that the only woman for him is Aurelia. Well if they can all figure out what is really happening around them that is. They might have a connection building between them but neither can be sure what the other is really thinking. They need to believe in each other and the past to be able to see their future.

Superstitions hold truths and if they want to be able to close the past and finally live they need to look back and finish what they started. Seems Ursilla might have a little helping hand to do with this, or more like talking riddles with a twinkle in her eye and a tale to tell. One they all need to listen to if they want to get their happily ever after. Fun read with lots of laughs along the way and an interesting look at how the story could be told in a present day setting.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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