#RisqueReads | #BookReview | BANE (Sinners of Saint #4) by L.J. Shen @lj_shen (May 8th 2018, Indie Published) #KindleUnlimited

BANE (Sinners of Saint #4) by L.J. Shen
Published; May 8th 2018, Indie Published

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Bane
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the teeth for it.

Having recently finished VICIOUS, I was half expecting to read about another arrogant arsehole who believes the world owes him something.

Thank the gods of metal that this is NOT the case with BANE. Granted, he has an air of arrogance about him, and a very colourful past that would give Bob Ross a run for his money! But there’s something about the way he acts from the start that it is nothing more than a defensive front.

Jesse has had it rough. BANE is a pretty dark read – so consider this your warning if you are triggered by scenes of sexual abuse! I thought Leigh wrote her character perfectly. Jesse wants to pretty much stay invisible from the world. She only goes out when she needs to and tries to avoid human contact at ALL costs. Until obviously Bane tramples all over that.

The chemistry between Jesse and Bane is beyond doubt some of the best I have read. I fell for every word, every promise and every action. Leigh really does have a way of writing characters that mess with both your head and heart!

Easily, BANE is my favourite novel from L.J. Shen that I have read to date! Which is a HUGE statement when you consider just how much I was in love with MIDNIGHT BLUE!

You can buy BANE (Sinners of Saint #4) from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.

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#BlogTour| #BookReview | #FantasyReads | THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE (The Great Dagmaru #1) by Linda G. Hill @LindaGHill‏ (June 27th 2017, Indie Published)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE, which is the first book in the Great Dagmaru series by Linda G. Hill.

I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Anne Cater and the lovely Linda G. Hill, who gifted me an early copy of THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

The Magician's Curse Cover

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

So, want to know what I thought?;

This was a rather unexpected journey, one full of mystery and intrigue. Here is a love story woven into the mystical world of magic, curses and true love.

As with every story, nothing is plain sailing for the characters central to it. There are many obstacles facing our young heroine Herman and the dashing magician Stephen. A chance encounter, a family curse and fate getting in the way. This is definitely a story that was well thought out by the author, the plot believable and the characters likeable.

I found myself being drawn into this world, hoping that our two characters would over come the difficulties they faced. A story of blossoming love and a little bit of magic to boot.

Overall a very enjoyable read, one that I think will definitely be revisited later on. The author knows her characters and writes them well. Although this is more subtle approach to the genre, it is one to recommend.

About Linda G. Hill;
Linda G Hill Author Picture

Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.

A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

You can buy THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

Magicians Curse

 

 

#LettersFromTheHeart | #BookReview | THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE OF JESSIE JEFFERSON (Jessie Jefferson #1) by Paige Toon @PaigeToonAuthor (30th January 2014, Simon Schuster @simonschusterUK)

THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE OF JESSIE JEFFERSON (Jessie Jefferson #1) by Paige Toon
Published; January 30th 2014, Simon & Schuster UK

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Meet Jessie, the daughter of Johnny Jefferson, as featured in Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine…

My fifteenth birthday was the worst day of my life, and it’s inconceivable to think that any single day in my future will ever be as bad. My mum was killed in a freak accident on her way to pick up my cake. Even when there was still no sign of her after two hours later, and my friends started to arrive at our house, it never occurred to me that she wouldn’t be coming back.

That was six months ago. My mum died without telling me who my real dad was. And for a while I hated her for it. I thought she’s taken the secret of my father’s identity with her forever. But she didn’t. Holy hell, she didn’t.

Because three weeks ago I found out the truth. And I’m still reeling from the shock of it. My dad is none other than Johnny Jefferson, mega famous rock star and one-time serial womaniser. And now I’m on my way to LA to meet him and his family.

My tiny little world has just got a whole lot bigger…

Paige Toon is always a favourite of mine but when an author steps away from their usual style and releases something else it always makes me a bit weary but I had absolutely no need to be.

I would recommend that you read the three books in the Johnny Jefferson series first as this contains Johnny & Meg and although you don’t need to know their story it will help to understand a bit better if you do.

THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE… is Paige’s first attempt at young adult and although you can tell it is aimed at younger readers it didn’t take any of the enjoyment out of it for me, in fact I enjoyed that it was so easy to read and it left me feeling really warm and cute inside.

Cute is a good way to describe this story. I loved being back with Johnny and Meg and seeing how happy they are and although Jessie is a shock they soon embrace her into their fold.

The story doesn’t end in a cliffhanger but there is definitely more to Jessie’s story and with two more installments already released we don’t have to wait to find out what else life has in store for Jessie.

A proper feel good heart warming story that leaves you feeling all fuzzy inside.

You can buy THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE OF JESSIE JEFFERSON (Jessie Jefferson #1) from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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#RisqueReads | #BookReview | PUCKED (Pucked #1) by Helena Hunting @HelenaHunting (May 3rd 2015, Indie Published)

PUCKED (Pucked #1) by Helena Hunting
Published; May 3rd 2015, Indie Published

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With a famous NHL player for a step-brother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation many hockey stars come with. She’s smart enough to steer clear of those hot, well-built boys with unparalleled stamina. That is until she meets the legendary team captain—Alex Waters.

Violet isn’t interested in his pretty, beat-up face, or his rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet’s previous misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes more than just a hot body with a face to match.

In what can only be considered a complete lapse in judgment, Violet finds out just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants. But what starts out as a one-night stand, quickly turns into something more. Post-night of orgasmic magic, Alex starts to call, and text, and e-mail and send extravagant—and quirky—gifts, making him difficult to ignore, and even more difficult not to like.

The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn’t want to be part of the game.

PUCKED is one of those books that I have seen around for a while. Every time I peruse Amazon or Goodreads for my next read, PUCKED is there, winking at me. After what feels like YEARS of winking at me – I took the plunge and downloaded the audiobook.

The first thing I really loved about this book is how funny this book is! This was exactly the type of romance I needed in my life after reading some pretty full on and intense books.

Violet and Alex have a great chemistry and this is matched with their respective sense of humours. Violet is ‘weirder’ (the books words…not mine!) than most women you will be introduced to in romance novels and Alex is the perfect part of sexy and gentlemanly. Might be something to do with Alex being Canadian……

Both narrators did a great job in capturing the characters personalities and it added to an already solid story. Being able to read some of the funnier scenes without spitting out their coffee all over the microphone is a credit to them both! I think I fell in love with Alex that little bit more after hearing Nathan’s narration.

PUCKED is my first Ice Hockey romance and I’m now sure it won’t be my last! There are more books in this series which follow some of the supporting characters in PUCKED and I’m keen to read more of their story!

 
You can buy PUCKED (Pucked #1) from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.

#IncidentReport | #BookReview | THE HOUSE by Simon Lelic @Simon_Lelic (November 2nd 2017, Penguin UK @PenguinRHUK)

THE HOUSE by Simon Lelic
2nd November 2017, Penguin UK

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What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them…

My Adam gifted THE HOUSE to me for Christmas after hearing an interview with the author on BBC Radio 2 as part of their book club back in December. Now, my Adam doesn’t really pay much attention when I start whittling on about books. He’s not a reader. He paints, crafts and builds. He does listen enough when I tell him about the Stephen King or Jo Nesbo I’ve just read!

After months of nagging at me, I finally picked this book up and got stuck in. Finishing the first chapter (written from the perspective of Jack), I’m thinking “Ok. I see where this book is going.”. BIG mistake as when I turned to the second chapter (which is the start of Sydney’s perspective) and was blown away. This is already like no book I have never read before. The way this book is written is very clever and had me glued to each page.

I was mistaken thinking that this book would have a paranormal element to it. Similar to COLD HOUSE ON THE HILL by Peter James. However, THE HOUSE plays more in the suspense zone. I was kept on the edge of my seat. I tried to be cocky, thinking that I had it all figured out. But as always, I was wrong.

Jack and Sydney, to me are unreliable narrators. I felt like I wasn’t being told the full story…led down the garden path so to speak. This made THE HOUSE all the more interesting to me. My interest and attention remained throughout and I could not get enough!

All in, a very intelligent novel. One that will keep you guessing until the very end!
You can buy THE HOUSE from the following booksellers (and obviously many more!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | WITH THIS MAN (This Man #4) by Jodi Ellen Malpas @JodiEllenMalpas (March 22nd 2018, Orion @orionbooks)

WITH THIS MAN (This Man #4) by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published; March 22nd 2018, Orion

WITH THIS MAN COVER FINAL

Life is good for Jesse “The Lord” Ward. Perfect, actually. He still has the charm, he’s in great shape, and he still reduces his wife, Ava, to a pool of desire with a mere look. He’s in full control, just how he likes it.

But Jesse’s perfect world falls apart when a terrible accident lands Ava in the hospital with a life-threatening head injury. Devastated and angry, he feels like his entire existence hangs in the balance. He cannot survive without this woman’s love. So when she finally comes around, his shaking world begins to level out.

But his nightmare doesn’t end there. It’s only just begun. Because his wife can’t remember the last sixteen years of her life. That’s all of him. All of their time together. He is a stranger to her.

Now Jesse must do whatever it takes to find her memories . . . and help her fall madly, passionately in love with him all over again.

We, I, you, everyone…. Have all been waiting rather impatiently for the next book in the Jesse & Ava series! We all wanted to know what would be in store for the couple after the twins were born. What happens to Drew? John? Kate? So many questions!

Then the blurb was released and we collectively sobbed as we knew that WITH THIS MAN was going to make us Kardashian cry!

Written predominantly from the perspective of Jesse, we delve further into his thoughts and feelings. Not just for Ava, but for his children, family and friends. Especially when his world is turned pretty much upside down when Ava is involved in an accident that erases the last sixteen years of her life. When she awakes in hospital, she remembers nothing of her time with Jesse…..or even that she’s had children.

Jesse is forced to help Ava fall in love with him all over again, which let me tell you is no easy feat when you have a character as head strong, stubborn and sassy as Ava. There’s no denying that Ava feels that instant pull and chemistry that we experienced in THIS MAN.

If you are a fan of Jodi’s writing, then you will know that as well as the romance and kink, you’re also going to get drama. WITH THIS MAN is no exception and there is one part… Yeah, thanks Jodi for tearing my heart out, rolling it around in gravel and then trying to put it back! 😦

 

You can buy WITH THIS MAN (This Man #4) from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

#LettersFromTheHeart | #BookReview | THE MILLER’S DANCE (Poldark Saga #9) by Winston Graham (19th August 2011, Pan Macmillan @panmacmillan)

THE MILLER’S DANCE (Poldark Saga #9) by Winston Graham
Published; August 19th 2011, Pan Macmillan

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Cornwall 1812. At Nampara, the Poldark family finds the new year brings involvement in more than one unexpected venture.

For Ross and Demelza there is some surprising – and worrying – news. And Clowance, newly returned from her London triumphs, finds that her entanglement with Stephen Carrington brings not only happiness but heartache.

As the armies battle in Spain, and the political situation at home becomes daily more obscure, the Poldark and Warleggan families find themselves thrust into a turbulent new era as complex and changing as the patterns of The Miller’s Dance…

Being back in the lives of the Poldarks is always so exciting. So much seems to happen in each book. We are now on book 9 and yet again this book seems to be based more on the lives of the children Jeremy and Clowance. Both finding love and suffering for it in different ways.

Still Ross and Demelza are the back bone of the story and as they face more challenges, although not as big as previous books, their love of each other still remains.

Winston always managed to write some awful characters. In every single book I have read so far in the series there is always one person that makes me want to throw my book at the wall. It was Stephen’s turn this time. From the way he seems to pressure Clowance to how he encourages bad behavior there was something about him that made me want to punch him in the face. I spent the first half of the book willing Clowance to open her eyes and see him for what he really is. Obviously George Warleggan is still included and doesn’t redeem himself in the eyes of the reader.

Although there are a lot of historical references in the book it doesn’t take away from the story for me. I think it quite adds to it to know that people living in those times would have had to deal with similar issues. It’s good to see that Winston did lots of research when writing the novels.

As Jeremy struggles to deal with his heartbreak and goes looking for more unsavoury ways to try to make it a bit easier and I guess exact revenge, Clowance seems to grow from hers. It’s almost like her eyes are opened in a way she never expected and I hope we get to see her grow more in the coming books.

I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read the remaining books in the series.

You can buy THE MILLER’S DANCE (Poldark Saga #9) from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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#LettersFromTheHeart | #BookReview | MIRACLE ON REGENT STREET (Evie Taylor #1) by Ali Harris @AliHarrisWriter (13th October 2011, Simon & Schuster UK @simonschusterUK)

MIRACLE ON REGENT STREET (Evie Taylor #1) by Ali Harris
Published; October 13th 2011, Simon & Schuster UK

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Evie Taylor, a girl with a big heart, gets lost in the big city. For the past two years, Evie has lived an invisible life in London. Her neighbours think she’s just moved in, her sister mistakes her for a live-in nanny, and even Evie’s manager at work can’t remember her name.

But all that is about to change …this Christmas has brought a flurry of snow and unimaginable possibilities into town. Evie works in the stockroom of an old-fashioned, family-run, London fashion department store. Hardy’s is a beautiful, wood-panelled jewellery box of a building, but it’s in dire need of a makeover.

One day Evie overhears that if the entire store’s takings don’t turn round by Dec 26th – 3 weeks’ time – the family who own it will be forced to sell to one of the big chains. Hardy’s is in need of a Christmas miracle. Determined to save her beloved store, Evie hatches a plan to secretly transform it into a magical place to shop again. But has the time come for her to be noticed too?

When an accidental romantic encounter with handsome, enigmatic Joel gives her the chance of a whole new identity, she takes it.

When I picked this book to read after having it sat on my kindle for a long time I was looking for something light and fluffy to read alongside another book.

It was certainly heart warming, light and fluffy but it completely surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. It completely sucked me in and I found myself eager to keep reading.

Set in a struggling modern day dept store this story is based on the stockroom girl who feels invisible to all those around. It’s a tale of a lost soul who does everything for everyone but forgets to follow her own heart. Based at Christmas time this story leaves you with a full heart.

It’s a magical story that gets us asking ourselves what we would change about our lives and what we would do in this situation.

There are parts that are predictable for readers of chick lit but it didn’t feel like a story I’d read a 100 times before. The setting made it feel different and even a little bit special.

I fell in love with the characters & their individual stories and felt as invested in all of them as I did the main character. I actually feel that some of them deserve their own book. I’d love to read more about Lily’s dancing career and Dehilia and Will’s relationship. They were all written in such a way I was very invested in them all.

This book left me feeling warm, fuzzy with a heart full of love and a feeling I could conquer the world. Highly recommended and definitely an author I will read more of.
You can buy MIRACLE ON REGENT STREET (Evie Taylor #1) now from the following booksellers (although there are many more!);

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

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#RisqueReads | #BookReview | RECOVERED by Jay Crownover @JayCrownover (March 24th 2018, Indie Published)

RECOVERED by L.J. Shen
Published; March 24th 2018, Indie Published

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It was hate at first sight…

Affton

I hated Cable James McCaffrey.

He was entitled, spoiled, a user…and an addict.

He was out of control and didn’t bother trying to hide it.

He had everything anyone could want but still seemed miserable and lost.

Every move he made, every mistake he stumbled his way through, rubbed me the wrong way. However, I couldn’t stop myself from trying to save him from himself when no one else would. In the sweltering heat of the summer, Cable taught me that having it all means nothing if you can’t have the one thing you want more than anything else.

Cable

I was obsessed with Affton Reed.

She was rigid, uptight, and no fun. There was something about her innate goodness that called to me.

She acted like she was above all the normal faults and failures that clung to the rest of us like the scent of smoke after a fire.

I was infatuated with her, but that didn’t stop me from acting like she didn’t exist.

In the scorching heat of summer, Affton taught me that there is always a way back from the brink of despair. She showed me that the trick to having it all was realizing that it was already there, in my hands. All I had to do was hold onto it.

The road to recovery is full of twists and turns no matter who is in the driver’s seat.

I went into RECOVERED pretty much straight after finishing MIDNIGHT BLUE and I was surprised that the plots are very similar. Both feature guys who have been pulled into a world of addiction, with people around them resorting to using a sobriety companion to help keep them from relapsing. But I have to say that despite this, I really enjoyed RECOVERED!

Surprisingly, I was drawn to Affton’s character from the first chapters. She is a young woman who, although having suffered herself in the past – is strong and independent. She doesn’t just flutter her eyelashes and is whisked off her feet by James. She is able to stand up for herself, take no shit and give it back when needed.

James….my word. For such a young man, he has been through some of the worst, for reasons which we learn about throughout the book. When we meet him at the beginning of the book, he really is at rock bottom and we follow his journey as he reluctantly starts to rebuild his life. I’ve never wanted to hug a character more!

RECOVERED is an intense, character driven story about two young people who are looking for redemption and along the way find each other. For me, this book had a slower pace, which to me is exactly what this book needed. A solid read that you can really sink your teeth into!

You can buy RECOVERED from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | MIDNIGHT BLUE by L.J. Shen @lj_shen (January 16th 2018, Indie Published)

MIDNIGHT BLUE by L.J. Shen
Published; January 16th 2018, Indie Published

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It should have been easy.

I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.

Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”

Guess what? I didn’t listen.

I signed the contract.

World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.

My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.

Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.

Then he took my heart.

Then he took my all.

Holy shit. When I downloaded MIDNIGHT BLUE onto my Kindle – I wasn’t expecting to be left in a book hangover this bad! It’s not often that I read a book that literally takes over my entire soul! I could not put this book down and every moment I had spare – I was cramming pages into my eyeballs!

I was gripped by the story in the first few pages. Bad boy musician Alex Winslow is forced to have a ‘sobriety companion’ accompany him on his latest world tour. Indie is that person and what then follows is a pretty intense and passionate relationship between the pair.

This is my first Rock star romance and the bar has now been set REALLY high. Alex is, let’s put it bluntly, an arsehole! He’s success has given him what he sees as the right to talk and treat people like shit. On top of that, he drinks and uses drugs. A cracking combo! Then we have Indie who is young, been through some shit in her life, but is making the most of what she has. She’s not meek and shy…she has some sass and when the pair first meet and that sass is exchanged – you can’t help but fall in love with her spirit. It was always going to make the relationship with Alex and her interesting.

I think what made this book all the more special for me was Leigh’s writing! My word that lady can write! I ate up every word on every page! She is a master wordsmith. Being able to draw a reader in and convey so much emotion in 359 pages….. I could swear at her!! I’m eager to read more of her work!

I loved this book so much that I’ve already recommended it to everyone that will listen! If Passionflix could look at turning this into a movie…that would be great!

You can buy MIDNIGHT BLUE from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.