Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Book Review: ‘Operation Bailey Wedding’ by Piper Rayne

Title: Operation Bailey Wedding (The Baileys Series Novella)

Published: 23rd July 2019

Author: Piper Rayne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PiperRayne

Twitter: @PiperRayneRocks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorpiperrayne

 

Blurb:

No one could have guessed a marriage could sprout from a one-night stand, but Holly Radcliffe and Austin Bailey appear to be written in the stars. From the backseat of Austin’s Jeep to the altar they come. The town of Lake Starlight along with the Bailey’s are prepping for the event of the year, but as usual things never go smoothly with these nine siblings and let’s not forget Grandma Dori!

This is a novella in the Bailey series!

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book that would make a good movie or TV series. Well I’d want the whole book series to become a TV series. I’d totally watch ‘The Baileys’.

Five day countdown to the Bailey wedding we have been looking forward to – first of many if Grandma Dori has anything to do with it. She wants her clan to keep on growing and is counting them all off one at a time. Which pair will be next?

Might be Austin and Holly’s wedding day coming up but that doesn’t mean the rest of the Baileys aren’t going to make an appearance. You have Wyatt and Brooklyn who really seem to like ‘christening’ their new house, and Rome and Harley, family made in heaven, looking for a beach get away soon. Which pair will be popping a question first? Another pair on the horizon is Savannah and Liam, years of chemistry about to come to boil I think, more so now that they are under the same roof.

Grandma Dori back to her awesomeness throughout, like all the other books. She just might not be so great in leaving a certain door open when dogs are in the house. Let’s just say something gets peed on that really shouldn’t have. We have fun and games with all the guys at the tux last fitting when some don’t fit. Tempers might flare so beware. On another note its best not distract the chef when dinners almost ready. Time to get creative with some flowers.

Love that we saw what was happening from multiple POVs – even the dogs! – as it was a good way to check back in with all our favourite couples so far. Also a good way to get into the heads of a certain two who seem to love the whole push and pull, not really looking at what runs beneath the surface. How long before they crack and go for what they both really want.

On a side note I have to say all these couples do sure like to get frisky. Each very creative with style and location – let’s just say that not many keep things just in the bedroom. I wonder if the rest of the clan is quite as adventurous.

Everything was there that I wanted to make this a great novella read. We had fun capers with things going wrong and how everyone handles chaos in different ways. All the siblings are slowly growing up and getting settled. Something Grandma Dori is planning to give a helping hand with. Savannah is usually her assistant in these matters but appears to be in her line of sight with whom Dori thinks she will be perfect with – hello Liam your time has come. Whether Savannah is ready is something else entirely.

A great stop gap read to tide you over until the next lot in the series start rolling in. Such great interesting characters that hook you in right from the get go. Keeps getting better and better. I do love this town with its quirks, and Buzz Wheel of course. It’s going to get some fun stories coming up I think. With the snippet at the end now I really can’t wait for Savannah and Liam’s story. That’s going to be a fun, hot and steamy ride!

5 out of 5 stars

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

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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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