Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Release Blitz and Book Review: ‘Birth of a Baby Daddy’ by Piper Rayne

Title: Birth of a Baby Daddy (The Baileys Book 3)

Published: 2nd May 2019

Author: Piper Rayne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PiperRayne

Twitter: @PiperRayneRocks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorpiperrayne

 

Synopsis:

If you’re having fun living your bachelor life in your Alaskan hometown and out of nowhere a woman shows up holding a baby she insists is yours, you need a plan-a birth plan.

BP Step #1 – Lift your jaw off the floor.

BP Step #2 – Figure out the baby’s age-do the math.

BP Step #3 – Try to remember the woman and with any luck, her name.

BP Step #4 – Double check that she’s not confusing you with your twin brother.

BP Step #5 – Ignore your five sister’s scowls as your entire family watches the drama unfold.

There’s only one thing you shouldn’t do.

BP Step #6 – Don’t assume she’s there because she wants your daughter to call you Daddy. You’ll only end up disappointed.

Time to figure out a new plan-one that changes her mind.

 

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book you didn’t want to put down. Well if you have read Advice from a Jilted Bride you know how this might start but will you be right in thinking she has the correct twin? I had my doubts when a certain name was mentioned so was pleased to see that my thoughts were correct that it was the other one.

With Lake Starlight being a small town you know people are going to talk about a newcomer with a baby in tow and what better place than on Buzz Wheel. I feel the Baileys are about to make headline news again. Something that Harley is about to get introduced to.

So Harley has come to Lake Starlight for a couple of reasons. First to find the father of her daughter Calista and second to get him to take a DNA test so she can have his medical history. Once got she plans on heading straight back to Seattle. She turns up looking for Denver, as that’s the name she was given that night but it seems our boys liked to switch names once in a while and this time it almost got him in trouble he didn’t do. She gets quite the shock when she sees two of them. She might have a name but is it correct? One things for certain, she’s about to get more than she bargained for with the Baileys. You never just get one but a whole clan.

Now I loved Rome, Denver and their friend Liam in Advice from a Jilted Bride so I was looking forward to seeing a bit more of them, especially Rome. He has finally come back home to Lake Starlight to open his restaurant Terra and Mare. On a family night before the big opening he gets quite the shock in the form of Harley and Calista. Talk about baby bombshell, seems his best-made plans for the future are about to be re-written.

Harley’s plan to just get what she needs from Rome and leave are thrown out the window when she sees how much he wants to get to know Calista. One scenario she wasn’t even thinking about. She’s someone that doesn’t trust easily due to the upbringing she had as a foster child but is about to get a crash course in the dynamics of the Bailey clan and how quickly they rally round when needed. It’s not just Calista that they are trying to pull into the fold either.

It’s so sweet how Rome took to the role of being a father so quickly. He clearly loves his daughter a lot and tries to find a way to get Harley and her to stay longer (or rather for good). There just might be a small problem with someone from back home. Seems jealously is a motivation to get someone to see things a bit clearer. Let’s see if Dori can come up with some words of wisdom? Or maybe Rome will take the lead?

I liked that they weren’t just jumping straight into bed with each other, regardless of the underlining chemistry that was brewing between them. They had to think of their family unit they were building and didn’t want to mess with that as they were getting to know each other for real this time. Thing with chemistry though is that it won’t go away but will get stronger so you just had to wait for the spark to set them off. That being said when it does holy hell are they hot. I’m talking swiping everything off your desk to take someone on it kind of hot. They just need to be careful with what they are starting and not let past patterns of dealing with (or rather not dealing with) things knock them off course. Can they keep their family together without drama pulling them apart?

Got to love Dori, she meddles just the right amount when needed and is loyal to the core for family. She’s about to add two new members, whether they are ready for that is another matter entirely. Still love the banter and pranks Rome, Denver and Liam get up to. Can’t wait for their books. Liam and Savannah are going to be good and as luck would have it is coming next. Let’s see what buttons he can press to get her pulse racing – whether from anger or passion, but more than likely a bit of both.

Another great read from a fabulous series. Can’t wait to check out the rest of the Bailey clan’s stories.

5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the authors via Wildfire Marketing Solutions for my honest review.

 

BUY NOW

  

 

 

 

Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.
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Filed under Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Release Blitz, Romance

Book Review: ‘Aaru’ by David Meredith

Title: Aaru (The Aaru Cycle Book 1)

Published: 10th July 2017

Author: David Meredith

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DavidMeredithWriting

 

Synopsis:

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure.

A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model. Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.

What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by a male author. A book about death, childhood loss and finding new ways of coping with changes happening around you. What if you didn’t need to say goodbye? Would you like your mind to live forever in nothing more than a computer world you can create things in if it meant you could stay – in a way – with the ones you loved?

Rose is sixteen and has almost come to terms with the fact that her time is almost up. She has leukemia and with time running out she needs a miracle of some sort. Her younger sister Koren, just a child herself at thirteen, isn’t ready to let her go, let alone their parents. The miracle they have been looking for comes in the form of Mr. Adams. He wants to help Rose in a way others haven’t managed before. She is reluctant at first but agrees to try one last thing. If it fails then she’s ready to let go, as she is just so tired of fighting and wants some peace. He starts with scanning her brain and then having sensors put on her head while she’s asked to think of happy thoughts. Her emotional output is key for this to work. She’s not sure what this will do but gives it a try hoping he will explain later. It’s not long before she feels herself left in the dark, quite literally, her fight with her body might be lost but what comes next?

When Rose’s mind wakes up she is in a virtual world and is greeted by Lady Hana of Tenkoku, who calls Rose her Veda. Within this world she soon sees that if they think of something it happens – like clothes to change into, buildings or plants to grow. The kingdom is a blank canvas for them to create a world to live in. There are ten kingdoms within Aaru, each with a Lord and Lady. Lord Mikoto of Tenkoku deals with security in their kingdom. His new Veda Franco seems to have been forgotten a little by him so he gets Hana to train him alongside Rose. It’s not long before other Vedas start to appear, all creating more within their kingdoms waiting for residents to arrive when the system goes live. Is all really happy in this make believe world though?

The Aaru world seems unbelievable to most outsiders and none more so than Rose’s family, especially her sister Koren who hasn’t been handling her sisters death very well. They are brought to the facility to be shown that they did “save” Rose. Her mind was essentially downloaded – memories, thoughts, emotions etc – into Aaru as a way to cheat death. Will it really be her though? Koren is asked to go towards a computer and call out her sister’s name. When Rose comes to the screen it’s enough to knock them all over, this is the proof that Elysian Industries needed them to see. Now that they have they want to use Koren to help sell the idea of Aaru to the US market. A young pretty face that they can doll up to their own means to get the job done. But how far are they willing to go to sexualize this child for their product? What will be the consequences for when they do?

Aaru seems like the perfect place to live in but there are those that are troubled by what it means to be there. They are told to be happy and most seem to be but when they have thoughts or memories that turn darker they seem to be stopped. You can think of them like a story but not really feel the emotions that go with them. Almost like the system won’t allow you. With this being a programme you have to wonder what fail safes are in place, not only to protect its residents mental wellbeing but also their safety. Computer programmes can always be hacked, dangers are out there that can’t always be seen.

These dangers come in the form of Magic Man, a character used to create a darker side to the story. He is an online predator who takes an unhealthy obsession with Koren. Hacking into systems to get videos and images of her to feed his needs. That’s just the start with his plans. If he can hack a live feed how long before he tries to get into Aaru? The system might have many fail safes in place but is anyone really safe when predators are at bay?

There was an interesting twist with a character at the end that you won’t see coming. Setting it up for what’s to come and how both worlds will collide are an interesting concept. The story was well written with interesting ideas but I felt that some of the content turned me off the story. Had I been more aware of the darker theme content to begin with then I might have been better prepared. I do feel because of this that there should really be a content warning due to sensitive subjects within like stalking, paedophilia, child pornography and exploitation.

3 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Loving Storm’ by Carian Cole

Title: Loving Storm (Ashes & Embers Book 5)

Published: 10th October 2017

Author: Carian Cole

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cariancoleauthor

Twitter: @CarianCole

 

Synopsis:

Evie

I met him in a snowstorm…
We spent forty-eight hours trapped in the back of his pickup truck.
We fought.
We touched.
We fell.
Hard.

 

Storm

She literally crashed into my life…
The last thing I wanted was a relationship. Especially with a quirky chick who drove me insane. But something about her got under my skin, and into my heart.
And I had to have her.
All of her.
Now.

Falling in love in the back of a truck, just the two of us, was easy.
Dealing with psycho fans, jealous exes, and demons from the past….not so easy.

 

Please note: Loving Storm is a novella that gives an extended look into Storm and Evie’s future. It is best read after reading Storm (and also Vandal, Lukas, and Talon, as those characters have short cameos in this book)

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book from your Goodreads ‘to-read’ list. Short, snappy, fun, sexy read.

Had this on my TBR list for a little while and had almost forgotten to go back to it. Only when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to read next did I have a sudden urge to go back over the Ashers & Embers series. Love our guys Storm, Talon, Lukas and Vandal – four very different men who would do anything for their women. Re-reading is fun, more so when you race through to get to the good parts. It’s after this that I then remembered about the short Loving Storm. A book to show you what happens after the ‘happily ever after’ and beyond.

I just loved how it started. You have just the right amount of naughty, crazy, saucy stuff from Storm to get Evie’s pulse racing. He knows what buttons to press and when to hold back to get just the right reaction from the woman he loves more than anything. The feeling is completely mutual from Evie:

“At least once a day I ask the universe how I got so lucky to have Storm in my life. Much like a storm, he blew into my life, created a bunch of unexpected turmoil, and then whisked me away from it all toward sunny skies.”

Reading the book was like coming back to old friends. Remembering why you loved them so much the first time round. Storm and Evie are such a great couple. Coming together in chaos to find what they were both looking for. Love is strong and so is the chemistry between them. Hot, hot, hotter when they get close enough to touch. It all started with her hands touching his, from that moment on he was hooked. He just needed to push her a little for her to confront what she was feeling. To get to be in a true loving relationship and not stuck like she was almost wasting away with Michael, and as she later finds out, his cheating ways.

Now we know our two lovebirds are getting married but there are a lot of things that need to get planned first. Theme being the starting point and what other one than Winter would they have chosen. I mean it matches perfectly with how they met in the middle of a winter blizzard. Getting lost in that blizzard was the best thing to ever happen to either of them. So perfect together, love them!

Planning a wedding can be stressful but planning one when crazy fans are out to cause trouble is a nightmare. Evie has done better with trying to ignore it all but sometimes they get to her. Her anxieties coming back every now and then but at least Storm knows how to handle her when she has her moments to bring her back to herself. Social media sure knows how to stir up a frenzy with the bands fans. If they weren’t bad enough to deal with their ex’s and demons from the past want to play a part in trying to cause trouble for our lovebirds too but they can just sod right off. No-one is messing with this love storm. They’ll have me to deal with first!

Can the wedding go off without a hitch so they can start the rest of their happily ever after? Well as Storm has always said, he always gets what he wants. From the moment he saw her she was his. So this is the start of forever. Not that she’s complaining one bit. She’s so ready to be Mrs. Storm Valentine.

Loved all the cameos from the characters from the other books. Talon and Asia, Vandal and Tabi, Lukas and Ivy, Storms parents, Grams, his other brothers Asher and Mikah, sister Rayne, and their friends Finn and Amy. All intermingling together creating a fun world to be a part of.

Loved it from start to finish, definitely one for the fans to see how their love story continues. Broke my heart a little when Storm opens up about his past, so glad he shared it with Evie so she could show him that he does deserve love. Get a cool time jump at the end to check back with how their life plays out. Also making me want to find out Asher’s story so much more now. He always turns up at just the right moment, knows so much about love and loss but we need to know why. Also feel the need to check out when Mikah gets a story. Now him and Amy could be interesting? Time will tell. Can’t wait for more to the series.

5 out of 5 stars

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

Book Review: ‘Realm of Mindweavers’ by Marianne Ratcliffe

Title: Realm of Mindweavers (Book One – Tales of Golmeira)

Published: 16th January 2017

Author: Marianne Ratcliffe

 

Synopsis:

A ruler is betrayed and his young daughter is forced to flee or die. 

Teenage Zastra is a big disappointment to her father, Leodra, ruler of Golmeira, because she hasn’t got what it takes to become a mindweaver, one of the highly valued few who can manipulate the thoughts of others. Things get much worse for Zastra when she is roused from her bed to find that Leodra has been betrayed and her beloved Golmer Castle overrun with enemy soldiers. She escapes via the castle’s ancient underground tunnels, only to be faced with a terrible choice. Hunted across the turbulent landscape of Golmeira, Zastra must rely on her wits and the help of strangers as she tries to outrun the powerful forces set upon her trail.

 

Realm of Mindweavers is the first book in the Tales of Golmeira series. If you enjoy page-turning adventure stories with strong female protagonists such as Trudy Canavan’s Black Magician series or Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, you’ll love these books.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by an author new to you.

Zastra is the daughter of the Leodra, Grand Marl of Golmeria, and he hopes that she has the mindweaver power, one needed to protect their realm. She was young to be tested at 13 and first thought is that she doesn’t have any powers. She might not have mindweaver power but she does have the ability to resist the power being used on her. A new power that could be of some use in times of need but not so good from her fathers point of view as he needs more mindweavers to be able to protect them against their enemies. He may look down on her a little after this but its not like he has any powers, her mother Anara on the other hand can sense the fears and emotions of others. His hopes might have to be saved for his baby twin’s Kastara and Findar.

Zastra has people on her side to help her. Dobery a mindweaver was the first to sense something different with her mind. Could help her develop her abilities to be able to detect and block other mindweavers. Could she help others too? Martek the master at arms fighting skills teacher and mindweaver could come in handy with what he might teach her. There is also Teona, a high master, teacher and mindweaver. She seems intrigued that Zastra’s skill is different, wanting her to train it. Zastra might be wary of her as a teacher to begin with but she is a great help in a time of need.

Enemies are what her father is worried of but maybe he should look closer to home. All the Marls are coming to Golmeria for a summit, her father wants to pass new laws but others seem apposed to them. Could this be the start to a coup from dangers unseen? He thinks that by having his brother Thorlberd Marl of Bractaris, along with his young son Rastran, stay for months that they can figure out what his enemies, the Kyrg who fight for coin, plans are. Will he figure things out too late?

Figuring out the dangers the Kyrg cause brings together one of Leodra laws he wants to change. It seems that old wars between two sets of land have caused nothing but trouble for years. To try to find a way of peace he invites Mendoraz, Lord of Sendor, and his children Kylen and Zadorax to talks about how to move forward. With troubles brewing it looks like blame is being focused on them rather than who is really at the helm. Especially after a Caralyx creature gets within the castle grounds heading for an attack on the children. Good job that Zastra is handy with a bow. Slow on the uptake on seeing things clearly and it might be too late with what comes next.

Zastra is going to need to be strong for her siblings when dangers come calling. Can she keep both of them and herself safe? She just needs to be careful whom she puts her trust in. Sometimes strangers might actually be best to help get somewhere safe. She needs to find people who are still loyal to her father to create a resistance. To do that she first has to outrun her enemies chasing her. To do this she has to make a difficult decision to keep them all safe. Hiding in plain sight might work for a while but she vows to return to put things right. Trouble and danger follow her on her journey, she must always stay on the move to keep everyone safe.

Interesting start to the series, sets things up nicely for how the world might evolve around them. War and battles are coming so she needs to look further afield to find those that will help. She always has those true to her father that will step in when needed. Can they be pulled together to overthrow the evil powers that have taken control? Continue the story to find out.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Dance Like You Mean It’ by Jeanne Skartsiaris

Title: Dance Like You Mean It

Published: 10th February 2017

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Author: Jeanne Skartsiaris

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jeanne-Skartsiaris-Author

 

Synopsis:

What if you wrote a steamy, erotic novel that was so hot bookstores couldn’t keep it on their shelves? What if you couldn’t tell anyone you wrote it?

At night, nurse Cassie Calabria pens a bodice-ripper novel, using an alias. She sends it to a few agents, then forgets about it. She’s more than surprised when she gets an offer for a publisher to include her book, Wild Rose, in a “summer-of-love special.” Wild Rose becomes a blazing bestseller. Suddenly she realizes she can’t let anyone know that she wrote it. What would her children think? Or her own mother, who “taught her better,” and, worse, her husband who would question her made-up fantasies of sex on the beach. How could she be thrown into the “red-light district” spotlight and still be a good mom?

Unless she went incognito.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book you can finish in a day. Well this was a fun read to storm through in a day, almost like a two for one deal too.

So Cassie is middle-aged ER nurse supervisor who feels like she needs a change. To do something new and exciting comes to mind after seeing an article in a newspaper saying that everyone has a story in them but few write them down. Looks like she is about to.

The starting point is always the most fun as its where you decide who the characters are and what they do. She is building a life for her characters to do things that she may not have had the confidence or will power to do in her real life. Almost like her main heroine is her alter ego coming to life. Rosemary is a fun, strong, carefree, adventurous character who lives life by the day but still wants that connection with the right someone. Can she find it or will tragedy strike? Well I guess that all depends on how Cassie feels. She gives Rosemary a few options to choose from, will you guess correctly?

‘Wild Rose’ is the name of her book, set in the 70s where sex and being carefree was the norm. Rosemary’s a photojournalist, which just happens to be something Cassie always wanted to be. It’s interesting to have parts of ‘Wild Rose’ put within the ‘real’ story itself so you can see how Cassie grows as a writer. It’s like a story growing within another story. These parts are what Christine is proofreading for her, along with giving notes. Theirs is a great friendship, one where you can see how she will be there for her when she needs her most, and not just to do with the book.

Her writing became a form of escape to get away from her relationship with Mitch. They used to be so close when they were younger but have grown apart in the last few years. She doesn’t see it at first so is completely blindsided when he says he wants to separate, all because he’s not her sole focus. Selfish prick comes to mind. You have a family to look after and you are feeling left out because you’re not the sole focus of your wife’s life. He took her and their children for granted but can he make it right? He might not be their only problem either with trouble brewing around their daughter.

Now to begin with writing the book was just something that she wanted to do for herself with her friend Christine proof reading the result. She fears that if the book got picked up and people found out that they would look down on her for writing a sexy romance book. She solves this by writing under Cardia Loving. Fears at the ready when her book gets added to a trilogy set, one that happens to take off like a rocket with the focus turning to her. Get ready for a bit of fame and people wanting to know you’re now a writer. Shock to see the book in shops, so much pride but also worry that someone will find out she wrote it. Seems a book tour is in her future so be ready for it. An extra load of make up and hair gel might be a bit of a disguise but not for long.

Fun well rounded characters that draw you into both stories. You are drawn to Cassie and how she creates Rosemary. Evolving her character and letting her grow to the person she is truly happy with. Cassie’s life has a few twists, turns and heartache along the way. The story was therapeutic in a way and gave her the outlet she needed. When all is revealed she almost wonders why she kept it hidden for so long. Coming full circle and seeing things with fresh eyes old feelings come to the surface and renew what was once thought lost. Seems trying something new and exciting was the best decision she ever made, for her and her family. Mitch showed his true nature after fearing he would lose it all. Ashley was the classic stroppy teenager but did grow after all she went through and Gabby was the innocence childlike energy needed. Interesting humorous read that you should check out.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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