Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Book Review: ‘Playing Tough’ by Amanda Love

Title: Playing Tough (Play Series Book 5)

Published: 15th August 2018

Author: Amanda Love

Facebook: www.facebook.com/a.love124

Amazon Page: www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071NCSXV8

 

Blurb:

MERI

When my best friend goes missing, help comes in the form of Tony Cooper, the sexy detective who just so happens to be everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. He makes me believe in love at first sight, and the instant attraction that simmers between us inevitably bubbles over into full-blown passion, leaving me yearning for a lifetime in his arms.

But, after one glorious night together, the heart-battered detective pushes me away, making it clear that we have no future together and breaking my heart in the process, proving that love isn’t always enough to free someone from the demons of their past.

 

TONY

The first time I lay eyes on Meredith Green, she literally takes my breath away. Everything about her is captivating, from her hazel eyes and delicious curves, to her quick wit and feisty spirit. I want her until it’s an ache in my soul, but it’s a desire I can’t afford give into. She deserves so much more than a man like me, a man shackled by his past, a man no longer emotionally whole. So I do the only thing I can – let her go.

But, when Meri’s safety is threatened by the very criminals I’m trying to bring down, I realize that not only will I move heaven and earth to make sure she’s safe, I’ll also do everything in my power to make her mine, because life without her is no life at all. I only hope I haven’t left it too late.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with an outstanding hero or heroine. Took Tony a while to step up but he got there in the end. In the last book you had an idea of what might have happened between Meri and Tony and now the blanks are about to be filled in.

We start with Meri being very worried about where Kaylee is and about to hunt her down. First stop the police station where coming face to face with Tony isn’t a bad thing. His first instinct is almost to claim her there and then, so he can see why the other officer was a bit tongue tide. He says he can take her to Kaylee and as soon as they are in the car the chemistry skyrockets between them. He just keeps thinking ‘age gap’ to try to distract himself – yeah that’s not going to last very long now is it!

After finding Kaylee and giving her a piece of her mind for disappearing like that you might think things would calm down but when she finds out what they have planned for her and how she may be put in danger it makes her want to stay close. Not staying with her mind you as she can clearly see that her and Dawson have been getting very friendly. A hotel will do but to get there she needs a lift back to her car from a certain detective she can’t get out of her head.

Flat tyre = a lift from Tony to her hotel, or as Meri tries to call him Coop. They have a connection from the get go, so at ease with how they are around each other. Easy to see how both minds might wonder in certain directions. “King size bed, Coop. Be a shame to waste it.” One kiss is the only trigger they need. Shame something she says throws a bucket of ice on him making him run and her wanting to go back home.

Back sharpish when Kaylee gets shot, though the stress causes a reaction. Migraine attack might be shitty but it does lead to Tony taking care of her at his house. “I want you Meri. More than I’ve ever wanted another woman, and it scares the shit out of me.” Shame the high doesn’t stay long. Age doesn’t matter to her but seems to with him. He hides behind a memory of someone that is preventing him from being happy again. Push, pull, push, pull – that’s how it feels when she’s close to Tony. It’s only worth fighting for someone if they want to fight for you back. He might see things a bit clearer when the thought of her being in harms way hits him in the face.

I liked this book a bit more as you had more of a cross over with characters making a more prominent appearance throughout to help move the story along. Kaylee and Dawson pop up as well as Daryl and Trish. The men are all working together to bring down a child exploitation ring by digging into lives of dangerous people, people who make no qualms of threatening the women they love. They need to protect their women and take down the monsters in their paths. Can they do it without getting hurt in the process? Can Tony step up and claim the woman that was his the moment they met or will he forever run from what he thinks he doesn’t deserve?

Love at first sight seems to be the key with these couples. Sweetness and heat all mixed up to make some great pairings. Great series that keeps you hooked throughout. Well worth checking out so why not take a look.

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: ‘Playing Dirty’ by Amana Love

Title: Playing Dirty (Play Series Book 3)

Published: 26th October 2017

Author: Amanda Love

Facebook: www.facebook.com/a.love124

Amazon Page: www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071NCSXV8

 

Blurb:

DARYL

Nothing prepared me for the sight of her in the flesh. She took my breath away from the moment I saw her and her natural beauty and warmth pulled me to her like a magnet. I keep telling myself that I have to remain professional, that she’s off limits, but the truth is I need to be near her, even though I can never have her. I’ve got a job to do but it’s hard to resist her emerald eyes, killer smile and delectable curves. I can’t afford to be distracted, to lose focus, because if I do, it could put us both in grave danger.

 

TRISH

I was attracted to him the second he walked through the door of the diner where I work. His tall, lean body and ice blue eyes have awakened desires I thought were long dead and I find myself fantasizing about what lies beneath his civilized veneer. His heated gaze promises all kinds of pleasure, making me ache in secret places, but nothing prepares me for the shock of discovering real reason he’s here and the pain of knowing he’s the type of man I can never give my heart to.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about a crime detective. This time we get to see more about what happened in the past with Prue and her mum Trish, and more importantly, how they got away.

Daryl is an undercover cop who is trying to see what information Trish may have in regards to a case that links her ex-husband and the bad people he used to be involved with. His plan was simply to get to know her a little to gain the information needed but the more he got to know her the more he started to like her. He knows he needs to stay professional but his need to know more than the basic facts in her files grows each morning he sees her at the dinner. Keeping his distance would have been good but after she gets caught up in the middle of a sting gone bad things change. Can he think on his feet to keep her safe or just draw her, and her daughter, into more danger?

From the moment Trish saw Daryl she couldn’t stop thinking about him, he awakened feelings and desires she thought long dead. She feels like she can finally trust someone new but when she stumbles across something she shouldn’t have it throws old fears back in her face. Will she listen to what is really happening?

Daryl is after a big drug lord who goes by the name Salvadore. He needs to identify him and take him down but he doesn’t have all the information. That’s what he thinks Trish can help him with. She may have met Salvadore without realising it when he came to “chat” with her ex-husband Pete to issue a warning, one he didn’t listen to.

Helping with the case puts them even closer than before which means feelings are soon to appear. The chemistry between them had been building for a month so you knew the minute he put his lips on hers that the spark was going to explode. Fan me down they caused a stir. It’s not just physical either; you can clearly see the bond they created even before all the cards were on the table. Finally finding that perfect person for them that can help mend broken hearts and show you what the real thing can really be like.

“You’re right, your cooking skills are even more mind-blowing than the sex,” I tease, waggling my eyebrows at Daryl.

“I’m going to take great pleasure in hearing you take that back later,” Daryl pins me with a hot stare and I feel my whole body heat up under his gaze.

Daryl is a man of power and control with one hell of a protective streak – especially in regards to Trish, and later Prue. Which might come in handy as danger is around every corner with trying to figure out who Salvadore is and misdirection could see Trish put in harms way. Daryl needs his head on the case to figure out the clues and who he can really trust before it’s too late.

I like how all the stories connect together through people and darker situations they fight their way out of. This one’s about learning to forgive yourself for what you can’t change and feeling that you can and do deserve true love and happiness. Another fun read with a few red herrings thrown in to keep you on your toes.

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: ‘Monsters I Have Known’ by Jess Hartley

Title: Monsters I Have Known: A Collection of Short Stories

Published: 26th June 2017

Publisher: Mad Muse Studio

Author: Jess Hartley

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/category/Book/Mad-Muse-Studio

 

Blurb:

Come take a walk in the shadows alongside award-winning writer/editor/novelist, Jess Hartley, as she leads you through 13 intriguing tales of monstrous beings – supernatural or otherwise. In this, Hartley’s first solo anthology, readers will find a broad offering of genres – horror, romance, steampunk, fantasy and more – including her never-before-published murder mystery novella – Love Never Dies. Monsters I Have Known collects both well-loved favorites from previously published anthologies and never-before-seen fiction, presenting them with insightful introductions to share with readers some of the circumstances surrounding each story’s creation. A must-have introduction for those new to Hartley’s work, and a convenient compilation for fans of her career in the roleplaying game industry.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A paranormal book. Well some of the short stories had a paranormal element to them.

An interesting collection of short stories exploring different genres throughout, going from the mundane, to horrors and supernatural bizarre. Some I liked more than others as I felt they had a bit more depth to them with the characters and the story they were telling. Also I think it depended on the length of them as well.

Here are a few of my favourite ones and what I thought of them:

Love Never Dies – Elizabeth wakes up in the ocean on a stormy night trying to fight her way to land. When she wakes she doesn’t really know who she is – and later – what she has become. Her memories get triggered when she walks up steps to a house, shocking a man from inside a window. Billy panics to get her inside and so the troubles of what happened start to surface. Elizabeth doesn’t know what happened but has a feeling she shouldn’t trust him. He might want to continue with a plan to get what he wants but something mysterious with Elizabeth seems to make things take a different turn. Both futures are about to change.

Immaterial Witness – When you can see ghosts what better way to make a living than by giving ghost tours. Seems others aren’t as sure of her skill, to the point of her being mocked by a male host in an interview. He says that him and his crew want to join on haunted hotel tour later so she wonders if she can make believers of them. The host on the other hand has other ideas about what the night should entail taking the name of ghost hunter to a new level. Lets see what the ghosts think of that.

Of Rain and Roses – heartbreak leading you on a walk in the rain while your mind is in a haze. How long to wonder before stumbling upon someone at a memorial. Words of wisdom to always remember the past and its mistakes so you don’t repeat it. Remembering what happened can set your soul free or you may be doomed to repeat your journey over and over again.

Hunger’s Child – calling a child Una – meaning hunger – could be seen as an omen and set the child on a course for gluttony. Always wanting more and more, causing a stir if she doesn’t get it. She gets herself a doting husband but after months of demands while she was pregnant I’m not sure how much more he could take. Mother Gothel watches all from the outskirts of town, helping people with healing when asked. With Una’s never ending list of demands from her husband the less Mother Gothel is inclined to help. That is until the mother no longer wants the child and a path of wishes starts. One turns to two and then to many, sometimes causing more trouble than help. Mainly by taking the toll on the person wishing them. She may have done what she thought best to keep them safe but you can only stay hidden for so long. Especially when strangers stumble upon towers with secrets inside.

3.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Mad Muse Studio for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Champion’s Rising’ by S.F. Claymore

Title: Champion’s Rising (Champion of Psykoria Book 1)

Published: 1st March 2018

Author: S.F. Claymore

 

Blurb:

An young adult medieval coming-of-age fantasy filled with action, adventure and a huge variety of magical creatures, including dragons and demons.

Prince Snarmis is a giant of a man, one of the strongest in the kingdom of the Psykoria. But although he towers above his peers, Snarmis’s skill at fighting fails to impress his father, whose approval he seeks. His close friend Celtor, leader of a mysterious and hermetic group of forest-dwellers, advises him to seek help from werewolves. Before he sets off, a young, enthusiastic and naïve member of the tribe, Serenity pleads with him to take her with him to give her a taste of life beyond the forest.

He is giving Serenity a tour of Psykoria’s capital, when the country is invaded by the daemons – terrifying, blood-thirsty monsters set only on death and destruction. Snarmis realises he must become a great warrior or die in the attempt, and accept help from anyone willing to offer it – including Serenity.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a dragon in it. Warrior one called Rakkan that fights with King Breetor of Psykoria. An interesting fantasy read that takes you on quite the journey.

The last great battle was the War of Good and Evil, some would say the war was over but it looks like evil has found a way back to cause chaos. Seems sword training with Snarmis needs to be improved stat if he wants to be as good as his father.

Snarmis, the Prince of Psykoria, longs to impress his father with his skills but they just don’t seem to be improving on their own. He has the height and build to be a great warrior but his sword skills are lacking. Which isn’t good when news of a new battle is on the horizon. His friends the Lambada tribe might be able to help – along with the fairies in the forest that offer a little pain relief after a tricky training session, magic comes in handy some times. The leader of the tribe Celtor thinks he has a way to help but needs to travel to Drason Wood to see the werewolves there to do so, collecting something that will come in handy to fight. While he travels Serenity, another member of the tribe, asks to spend time with Snarmis to see more of the outside world, she may wish she had stayed put with what comes their way.

One way to charm your guest is to offer a ride on your pegasus. Well Serenity does want to fly so what better way than on a winged horse. Her wish is granted but not from a fun flight, more like a retrieval one when she goes off to find her leader fearing he is in danger. Snarmis is there to help but what will they come across on their journey? In doing so they might find themselves in the middle of a battle they should really be flying away from. Wherever Snarmis goes Serenity will follow, even when she really shouldn’t. Both getting better with fighting though – good job too with what comes at them.

A whole army of beasts called the Ultimate Evil is on their way destroying everything and everyone in their way. Demons are coming and it’s a fight to the death. One of the leaders Gassar wants to create an even worse army of followers – don’t get too close during a battle or you may wish for death. He wants something and is willing to do all he can to get it. Well that’s one battle that will be hard to beat.

Interesting read from start to finish, though in places a bit long in the description of things. Later part was mainly battle after battle but was a good way to see new sides coming together to fight the demons. Battles may be won but the war is just beginning. Intriguing characters overlapping along the journey taken with Snarmis and his friends. His skills might have improved but the battle for war continues.


3.5 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Playing Hard’ by Amanda Love

Title: Playing Hard (Play Series Book 2)

Published: 19th May 2017

Author: Amanda Love

Facebook: www.facebook.com/a.love124

Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071NCSXV8

 

Synopsis:

Jake

I have a reputation with women, one that I’m more than happy to encourage since my bitter break-up with my fiancée. I’ve vowed never to let another woman get close enough to hurt me again, so one-night stands and casual hook-ups are all I’m interested in.

That is, until I suddenly develop a small…complication – a complication which, it would seem, only one woman can help me with. The voluptuous siren dressed as Marilyn Monroe who literally falls into my arms at a costume party sets my blood on fire and ignites desires I thought I’d never feel again.

When she flees, I go to great lengths to find her, making her a proposition that is mutually…satisfying. Now that I’ve had a taste of her sweet lips, I’ll stop at nothing to make her mine – in every way that matters.

 

Prue

Jake’s proposition is more tempting than I would like to admit, making me wonder what it would be like to give in to the undeniable attraction that simmers between us.

But I have secrets I can never tell him, things that could break me all over again if I let him get too close.

Am I brave enough to take a chance on him? A chance that he might fulfil every desire I’ve ever had? Will I ever be able to escape my past so that I can move on with my future? A future with Jake?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book published in 2017.

So we start right in the past with a nightmare ten years ago that I’m sure Prue wants to forget. After her dad gets into trouble and can’t pay up the guy come to collect demands a different kind of payment in form of Prue. Her father might not be in his right mind to help but momma bear is coming in like an avenging angel. Metal bats are good when the need arises. But will danger always be close?

Flash-forward to present day and Prue finds herself at a fancy dress party dressed as Marilyn Monroe. She might not know anyone but the host but with that costume she sure catches a few eyes, best being from Shrek who comes in handy by stopping her from falling over. Note to self, Shrek is a good kisser. But after a moment of madness she’s out of there. Something Shrek – aka Jake – isn’t too pleased by as that’s the first time in a while that he has felt any kind of physical attraction for a women and he’s now watching her walk/run away. He needs to find her again to see if it was a fluke or if she really did bring him back to life – well a certain part of him that is. Problem is he doesn’t recognize her when he does. Well that’s one sure way to piss her off my man.

After Jake’s spilt from ex Monica he kind of went on a bit of a man-ho bender. To say she did a number on him would be an understatement. She got pregnant, he proposed; then he caught her shagging someone else – the baby’s father. His man-ho ways stopped about 6 months ago due to not being able to get any kind of reaction down south, something that changed the moment he stopped Marilyn from falling. He just needs to find her again, but is she closer than he first thought?

To say Prue is shocked by her new football team patient would be understatement. Jake in all his muscular glory needing her hands on him – for a sore back of course. The heat in that room soon sky rockets the moment she gets oil and her hands on him. Lower back and buttocks needing most work he says but it’s what she is confronted with when he turns over that almost has her panting. Nothing compared to when she goes to his house later that day to take him up on his offer. Nerves there but nothing compared to the heated inferno they create with one touch leading to more – heartbreak here we come? He might state that they wouldn’t be permanent but is he telling her this or trying to convince himself? Secrets held back and jumping to conclusions can be costly with these two when dangers from the past are lurking.

Sometimes all you need is five minutes with someone to know it’s meant to be. Let’s see if our two lovebirds follow through on their feelings or let past events and danger cause trouble going forward. We all have a past but it’s how you push through it to get a future worth having that’s key. Second in the series that I’m loving so far so on to the next I say. Prue’s mum story next. Trish and Daryl sound like they have quite the tale to tell.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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