Sunday, 25 February 2018

February Round Up!


Woohoo! February is almost at an end and spring is coming! I'm so excited for spring. It's not my favourite season, by a long shot, but seeing those daffodil shoots spring up alongside the snowdrops fills me with happiness that the cold and dark will soon be over!

This post is going to be a long one as it's a monthly re-cap, but from now on I think I'll join in weekly... Much more manageable that way!
Life

This month started off pretty rubbish as the professor's car was rear-ended by an aggregate lorry. 
Long story short, the professor is fine, his car is a write-off, and the lorry didn't have so much as a scratch.
Go figure.
We're still dealing with the insurance companies, and the professor has just disappeared to the States - work - for the next week, so God only knows when everything will be straightened out (and a new car sorted) but at least no one was hurt!

We're still in an annoying holding pattern with regards to the house buying. It's a new build and we have no confirmed handover date beyond 'late spring'.
😠


I just want to move, already!
I'm so ready to give up renting and to live in my own house.

Lets see, what else has happened this month...
The little dude and I went to see The Greatest Showman and thought it was fantastic.
I also saw Blank Panther, which I enjoyed, and now I'm super excited for Infinity War!

Yesterday, we went Dinosaur hunting on the Jurrasic Coast and then spent a lovely afternoon wandering around Dorchester and visiting some of its museums, including visiting 'Dippy on tour!'


Reading

I've had a slow reading month, this month. Only 5 and most were short novels or novellas! 
I also had 1 DNF.

Satan's Spawn by K.J. Dahlen


DNF

OMG, this was bad. Hideously bad. 
Inconsistent characters, paper-thin story, and BADLY in need of an editor.

Strawberries at Wimbledon by Nikki Moore


⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a nice, feel good, summary novella. 
I haven't written a review yet, but I will. 

Dirty English by Isla Madden-Mills


⭐⭐⭐⭐

I haven't written a review yet, but this one was pretty good!

Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley


⭐⭐⭐

I was so disappointed by this... It wasn't a bad novella but just not up to expectations.


Four Horsemen: Chaos by LJ Swallow


⭐⭐⭐

This is part of a serial, urban fantasy, reverse harem series. 


Four Horsemen: Guardians by LJ Swallow


⭐⭐⭐


Buying, as per my book buying embargo, has been minimal.


Scarred: The Complete Series by Kylie Walker
(Only cost 0.99 and was paid from my gift card balance.)

Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher
(0.99 from the gift card balance)

Mistaken by Talia Ellison
(Freebie)

Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley
(2.99 from the gift card balance)

From Lukov with Love by Marianna Zapata
(Kindle Unlimited)

Satan's Spawn by K.J. Dahlen
(Kindle Unlimited)

On The Blog

Blog Blogger Hop: Specific Genre or Eclectic?
Release Blitz: Memphis by Ginger Scott
Book Blogger Hop: Dust Jackets, on or off?
Reading Challenge: Take Control of Your TBR Pile

Coming Up Next Week

Next week, I'll be taking part in the release blitz for Hawkyn by Larissa Ione and my March giveaway will also go live!
Beyond that, I'll be catching up on some reviews as I have about a dozen to write including some from last year! I may have a cull and decide to not write reviews from last year but the plan, at the moment, is to catch up.

🌻

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Take Control


For March, I've decided to join The Caffeinated Reviewer's Take Control of Your TBR Pile, Reading Challenge!
The idea is that for the month of March, you ditch the ARC’s and read books in your TBR pile released before March 1, 2018. They can be eBooks, physical books or audiobooks. The aim is to clean off those shelves, finish those series and trilogies and have some fun doing it. 

As I have a mammoth TBR pile, and I'm more or less banned from buying books, I figure, why the heck not?!

I've added a shelf to my Goodreads to help keep track. 
Wish me luck!!
You can sign up and visit participants by visiting the event page.


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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Review: The Four Horsemen - Chaos by LJ Swallow (Book Five)


About The Book
Questions will be answered. Trust will be rebuilt. And the true threat to the world will be revealed.

The threat to the Four Horsemen and the world continues, but now they have solid leads and are closer to uncovering who is behind the attacks. Vee and the Four become closer as barriers fall and trust grows, yet one person remains worried about what will happen if Vee reaches full power.

An opportunity to regain Portia's trust, some help from a supernatural mercenary, and an investigation into the Myriad Foundation reveal more answers about the chaos surrounding them. 

Suddenly, everything slots into place but the big picture isn't what they expected. What will happen if the only way forward for the Horsemen is an alliance with their enemies?

*Kindle Unlimited*


Format
ebook.

Story Length
Short novel.
(aka longer than a novella but not as long as a 'typical' novel)

POV
First person
Alternating POV

Triggers?
Possibly. 

Background Knowledge Required?
Yes.
The novels in this series build on each other, they don't stand alone in any way.

Cliffhanger?
Yes. OMG yes.

HEA?
N/A
Book five in an Urban Fantasy series.

Infidelity?
No... But the series is reverse harem so the central relationship is polyamorous. 

Love-Triangle?
No, but as I said, it's a multi-person relationship.
1 girl + 4 men = reverse harem!

Violence?
Yes, a little.

What I Thought:

Chaos picks up where book four, Guardians, ended, which follows the pattern of the series, and was awesome as I didn't like the cliffhanger we were left with.
Once again, the book was action packed and it's finally starting to make sense!!!! The threads are starting to come together! We have some answers! Huzzah!
But! The cliffhanger! 
Oh my GOD the cliffhanger... It was an actual cliffhanger. Not a 'I'm just going to leave this hanging, okay?' type cliffhanger like the other books but an absolute EVIL of a cliffhanger.
What in the actual hell?!
And now I'm all caught up and having to actually wait on the next book being released! 
😭
It's not cool. Not cool, at all.

Cover Love:
I really like the cover! It's eye-catching but simple.

Favourite Quotes:

💬

None.

💬

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Friday, 23 February 2018

Book Blogger Hop: Hardcover dust jackets, on or off?


This Week's Question:
Do you read hardcovers with the dust jacket on or off? Why or why not? 

My Answer:
Oooh... It's been a really long time since I read a hardcover. 
I avoid them like the plague. 
They take up too much space on my shelf, they're heavy and, in my humble opinion, a complete rip-off.
I especially detest it when a series starts off in paperback and then part way through flips to hardcover. I mean, seriously?! What is the point? You suddenly realise that people like it and decide to milk them for as much cash as you can? Not only by making them spend double - or more - on a hardback but my manipulating a bookworm's OCD and forcing them to re-buy the previous books in hardback so their shelf matches? Or forcing them to wait months more for the continuation of the story when it finally releases in paperback? 
Not cool publishers. Not cool.
Don't even get me started on publishers charging hardback prices for an ebook... 
However, long before Kindle, I did cave to the machine and buy hardcovers on occasion, because I couldn't wait to continue a series. 
When I did this, I always took the dust jacket off and stashed it somewhere refusing to put it back on until I had finished reading. 
They're fiddly and pointless and just make an already fiddly book even harder to read unless it's stripped off. 

What about you? Do you like hardbacks? Do the dust jackets annoy the ever-loving bejeezus out of you?

🌻


To view the linky list of this weeks Hop participants, please visit The Coffee Addicted Writer.

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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Review: The Four Horsemen - Guardians by LJ Swallow (Book Four)


About The Book
Assassins, ancient magic, and the mysterious Collector bring new challenges to the Horsemen. Can the five find the answers they need before it's too late?

Three humans are dead, and the search is on for the surviving member from Vee's online group. If he's alive, Seth could hold the key to who's behind the attacks -- and why the group are targets.

Thanks to their broken alliance with the fae, the Four Horseman and Vee must turn to others for help and are pulled deeper into the supernatural underworld. The danger the world faces is greater than they imagined and someone is determined the Horsemen will fail.

The Four Horsemen will each do whatever it takes to protect Vee, but as Vee's relationship with the guys intensifies, so does her power. How powerful can she become and at what cost to the Four Horsemen's future?


*Kindle Unlimited*


Format
ebook.

Story Length
Short novel.
(aka longer than a novella but not as long as a 'typical' novel)

POV
First person
Alternating POV

Triggers?
Possibly. 

Background Knowledge Required?
Yes.
The novels in this series build on each other, they don't stand alone in any way.

Cliffhanger?
Kind of. 
The book doesn't leave you dangling on the edge of your seat but the ending feels like the end of a chapter, not the end of a book.

HEA?
N/A
Book four in an Urban Fantasy series.

Infidelity?
No... But the series is reverse harem so the central relationship is polyamorous. 

Love-Triangle?
No, but as I said, it's a multi-person relationship.
1 girl + 4 men = reverse harem!

Violence?
Yes, a little.

What I Thought:

Picking up where Hunted left off, Guardians provides a quick, action packed read that really moves the Four Horsemen series forward. 
This is GREAT because, even though I'm still enjoying the series, I'm starting to lose my shizzle with the constant plot thickening without any bloody answers or resolution.
I mean, these guys are supposed to save the world yet they're coming across as barely capable of untangling the knot in their shoelace! 
The general confusion and incompetence is beyond frustrating. 
Anyway...
The book presents some interesting new characters, strengthens, and strains, Vee's relationship with her men and ends in a nice little cliffhanger.
Yeay! 🙄

Oh, and I hate Seth. 
He's creepy and weird and should have been eaten by the vampire.
Yes, I realise this doesn't make sense unless you've read it but still... Needed to be said. 
I really hate Seth.

Cover Love:
I really like the cover! It's eye-catching but simple.

Favourite Quotes:

💬

None.

💬

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Friday, 16 February 2018

Review: Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley


About The Book

Rosalie Holloway put it all on the line for the Chaos Motorcycle Club.

Informing to Chaos on their rival club—her man’s club, Bounty—Rosalie knows the stakes. And she pays them when her man, who she was hoping to scare straight, finds out she’s betrayed him and he delivers her to his brothers to mete out their form of justice.

But really, Rosie has long been denying that, as she drifted away from her Bounty, she’s been falling in love with Everett “Snapper” Kavanagh, a Chaos brother. Snap is the biker-boy-next door with the snowy blue eyes, quiet confidence and sweet disposition who was supposed to keep her safe... and fell down on that job.

For Snapper, it’s always been Rosalie, from the first time he saw her at the Chaos Compound. He’s just been waiting for a clear shot. But he didn’t want to get it after his Rosie was left bleeding, beat down and broken by Bounty on a cement warehouse floor. 

With Rosalie a casualty of an ongoing war, Snapper has to guide her to trust him, take a shot with him, build a them...

And fold his woman firmly in the family that is Chaos.


Format
Ebook.

Story Length
Novella.

POV
Alternating, first-person.

Triggers?
Rosalie is beaten pretty badly by an ex-lover and others. Those that have been physically abused may find it difficult.

Background Knowledge Required?
Technically no. 

Cliffhanger?
No.

HEA?
Yes.

Infidelity?
No.

Love-Triangle?
No.

Violence?
Some.

What I Thought:
Why, why, WHY did you do this, Kristen Ashley? Why? Why make Snapper and Rosalie a novella? How could you do this to them? The deserved a novel! A proper freaking novel where you could have worked your magic and made something beautiful! Instead, they get this. This... Barely satisfying TEASE! After, what, two years(!) of having no Chaos, this was just not cricket!

Now, don't get me wrong, despite my pissed off ranting, this isn't a bad novella. It's just bad when you compare it to the other books in this series. 
The story is rushed, the characters don't get their moment to shine or much development, and it was needed! Serious shit is rushed through, moments that would have been amazing to read - for example, Shy and Tab settling things with Rosalie - where thrown in as a FYI having happened 'off-screen', so to speak, or completely glossed over, and the random freaking ending was the icing on the 'WTF' cake.
Do NOT start me on the ending. 
I read it about four times and I'm still trying to work out if I understood what happened correctly... 
Gah!
I haven't been so pissed off and let down by a book in a long time. 
I swear, I could freakin' cry! 
I LOVE Chaos. 
Love them! 
I've been so excitedly anxious to read Snapper and Rosalie's story since Walk through Fire and this just gutted me with its mediocrity. 
Harsh? Maybe. But so so true.

However!
There is a teaser chapter for Hound's book, releasing in the summer, at the end and it was so good. I bet that that book is going to be the business. Kristen Ashley seems to work best at the long and deliciously wordy books... Not novellas.

Cover Love:
Pretty typical for the 1001 Dark Night novellas which is pretty nice.

Favourite Quotes:

💬

None.

💬

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

TBT Review - DEEPER by Robin York


About The Book
When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.

West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.

They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.

When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.

* This review was first published in my previous book blog, The Book Lovers Codex, back in January 2014*

Format
Ebook & Paperback

Story Length
Full-Length Novel

POV

Triggers?
The focus of the book is Revenge Porn and the fall out from that. If you think you'd struggle with the topic, don't read, but it's handled spectacularly well and really opens eyes to an all too relevant issue affecting people all over the world.

Background Knowledge Required?
No.

Cliffhanger?
No.
However, the story of Caroline and West continues in Harder and if you're reading for the HEA you need to read book 2 for you won't get it here.

HEA?
Nope. 
It's an awesome book but if you want to see the HEA for this couple you need to read book 2, Harder.

Infidelity?
No.

Love-Triangle?
No.

Violence?
Some fist-fights.

What I Thought:
The book kicks off with a prologue that explains exactly what happened to Caroline, it explains how it happened and why it happened and even though you have just been introduced to the character your stomach is in knots and you are chanting "no, no, no" along with her. Part of you stands back and thinks "how can you have been so stupid!" Another part of you wants to just hug her because it's not at all her fault, then you want to find her ex and punch him in the nuts so hard he will never be able to use his favourite appendage again!

Basically, it draws you in right from the first word, you were immediately on side with Caroline and wanted to see how it would all work out for her.


In the beginning of the next chapter, you meet West and its like BAM!! Instant curiosity and need to know more while the "ooh yummy" radar goes absolutely haywire and the funny part? You don't even know what he looks like yet! It's the way Caroline reacts to him that draws you to him and the way that he reacts to her that makes you sit up and say hello.

You just know from that point on that the book is going to be AWESOME. By the end of chapter one I loved Caroline and West and after half an hour of reading you could've driven a truck through my house and I would have been annoyed at the disruption to my reading time - not the carnage.

Caroline is so prissy, such a good girl and it just made the revenge porn all the more horrific (not that it would be a party for anyone).
West is a "bad boy" with a true heart of gold.
On paper the are complete opposites but they are made for each other. Their relationship is beautiful. It's not perfect but all the imperfections just made it more beautiful for me. They make each other better people and together they grow into something more than either could have been on their own.

It's gorgeous to read. I had a big stupid smile on my face for a good part of it and it gives lots of nice feels.

The author has a lovely way of writing. It's really easy to read, laced with humor and random banter as well as tension in all the right places. This book really highlights the issue of revenge porn - a subject not really on my radar before - in a way that anyone could relate to. The majority of people's reactions to what happened to Caroline were disgusting but sadly, probably, 100% accurate...

The ending is so bittersweet that I could barely stand it and I'll be climbing the walls screaming until I get my paws on book two, Harder.


Love Love Love Love!!!

Cover Love:
It's simple and elegant but also a little disheveled which captures Caroline very well.

Favourite Quotes:

💬

“You arm yourself with love, friends, knowledge. You figure out who you are. What you want. You figure it out, and you go after it with everything you've got. And that means sometimes you have to let yourself be scared.” 

💬

“I want you, and I don’t know how to stop wanting you. I want to get deep inside you, and then deeper, until I’m so deep I don’t even know what’s me anymore and what’s you.”

💬

“What if you go after the love of your life and it ruins you?” 


💬

“I've learned that when evil crawls out of a snake pit, you have to track it down and squash it. Then you have to assume it had babies and go looking for them too.” 

💬

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Saturday, 10 February 2018

Review: The Four Horsemen - Hunted by LJ Swallow (Book Three)


About The Book


Who is Vee? Where did she come from? And what is the darkness the fae can see inside her?

Xander's reaction to these questions drives a bigger wedge between the fae and the Horsemen. His move isn't popular with the others because right now they need fae help more than ever.

A bloody message and a series of murders lead to a search for a threat from the past. Instead, the Horsemen encounter something new and dangerous. The race is on to find out what the creatures are and how big a threat they are to an already chaotic world.

Vee discovers using her powers has a strange effect on her relationship with the Horsemen. Although this pulls her closer to the guys, the conflict between Vee and Xander continues. But is the greatest conflict within himself?

And as the Five search for answers, someone watches. What does he know? Can he help? Or does he have an agenda of his own?

*Kindle Unlimited*

Format
ebook.

Story Length
Short novel.
(aka longer than a novella but not as long as a 'typical' novel)

POV
First person
Alternating POV

Triggers?
No.

Background Knowledge Required?
Yes.
The novels in this series build on each other, they don't stand alone in any way.

Cliffhanger?
Yes and no.
The book doesn't leave you dangling on the edge of your seat but the ending feels like the end of a chapter, not the end of a book.

HEA?
N/A
Book three in an Urban Fantasy series.

Infidelity?
No... But the series is reverse harem so the central relationship is polyamorous. 

Love-Triangle?
No, but it's a multi-person relationship.

Violence?
Yes, a little.

What I Thought:

Hunted carries on straight after the events of book one, Legacy, and book two, Bound and it appears my suspicion that this series is definitely more of a serial than a traditional series is confirmed.
This is not good. 
Serials bug me.
 However, in this case it's too late to back out. 
I'm in, I want to know what happens, so I'll have to endure.
😭

Hunted was a good installment in the tales of the Horsemen. The plot thickens some more, the relationship between Vee and The Horsemen develops further. 
The book is made up of sex, politics, secrets, mild drama and ass kicking.
It's enjoyable but it is confusing.
I still don't think I know what's really going on and at this point I'm trying to work out if that's because the books have been really cleverly written, and the confusion and WTFery of the Horsemen is transferring to the reader, or if it's because the author hasn't quite worked out the finer details yet.
Either way, I'm not going to stop reading. 
For better or for worse (and I've read plenty better and a lot worse) I'm going to keep reading!
It'll be nice to get some answers to all the questions at some point...

Cover Love:
The covers really help sell this series for me. I like their simplicity and the otherwordly feel of them.

Favourite Quotes:

💬

"How about a cup of tea? The English panacea for all ills."

💬

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