18 Jul 2014

Mini Review: Hard Knocks by Lori Foster

Title: Hard Knocks (Ultimate #0.5)
Author: Lori Foster
Date of publication: 4 Aug 2014
Genre: Romantic suspense, Fighters
Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 3.5 stars





Synopsis

Power. Brute strength. Unforgettable moves. It’s no wonder Harper Gates hasn’t been able to get her fling with Gage “Savage” Ringer out of her head. Months have passed since she laid eyes—or any other body parts—on him. Months without a word of contact… until, sidelined by injury, he comes back to town.

Staying focused on his training seemed like a smart move to Gage, even if he thought about Harper every day. Seeing her again only makes it clear how much is at stake. He’s got one night to earn back her trust. One night to show her that behind his breathtaking skill and ripped body is a man who’ll give her everything she needs.

Mini Review

This is a short novella introducing us to the world of the fighters who will be featured in Ultimate, the new series by Lori Foster. 

It was sweet, light read about Cage and Harper finally coming together and admitting their feelings. Cage was not your typical bad boy fighter, all cocky and self-confident. He was a bit shy, keeping his feelings (for Harper and in general) to himself. His insecurities and his attempts to mentally sort through his relationship with Harper made him seem real and easy to relate to which made me really like him.

Harper was pretty great herself. She was determined to act on her attraction to Cage, to make the first step, even if she was by nature more reserved and has always been too much of Ms Goody two shoes to act naughty. Like Cage, all her behaviour made her seem genuine and very likable. She had an easy friendship with the other fighters and devoted time to help in the gym. Her attitude towards Cage was nothing simple - she loved him, yet she was afraid he might not share her feelings, she wanted to be with him, yet she was worried of being a burden for him in his professional development as a fighter.

These two good people were in love with each other but they needed some help to get together and naturally, the rest of the fighters were only to happy to step in. The easy camaraderie among the guys in the gym and their good-natured ribbing of Cage and Harper and especially, the priceless advice of Armie (I'm already looking forward to his story) was fun to read. 

This book served more of a setting the scene for the future full-length novels, so it was low on tension and conflict, but overall it's a nice, light read and a promising start to a new series.

Purchase links: 

15 Jul 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Lay It Down by Cara McKenna


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.


Title: Lay It Down
Author: Cara McKenna
Genre: Romance, Bikers
Release Date: 5 August 2014


Pre-order: B&N / Amazon





Synopsis

Backbreaking days, wild nights, and the hard hum of steel between your thighs...

That’s a life well lived, according to the Desert Dogs—four friends who call Fortuity, Nevada, their badlands home.

Vince Grossier is the self-crowned outlaw king around here. But when Fortuity’s slick new mayor invites a casino development to town, greed isn’t far behind—and it claims Vince’s good friend as its first casualty. With the law turning a blind eye to the mysterious death, Vince must seek his own brand of justice. The pretty photographer hired by the developers might be the key to uncovering the truth. And she’s a temptation too good to pass up.

Finally free of a controlling ex, Kim Paget’s not looking to be taken for a ride—not on the back of some tattooed roughneck’s bike and definitely not in his bed. But when she uncovers evidence supporting Vince’s suspicions of murder, Kim must entrust her safety to a man whose body threatens danger of a whole different kind.

*** *** *** 

Why am I waiting for this? - One, I've a couple of Cara McKenna's previous books and I really enjoy the way she writes erotic romances. Second, I have a soft spot for biker stories and I hope this will be a good one. I already have an ARC for review and I can't wait to get to it.

Teaser Tuesday 65


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:
• Grab your current read 
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) or a few more “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

After some absence I'm back with the Teaser Tuesday Meme. Today I want to share a few sentences (it's a longish excerpt but it's really powerful one) that I stuck with me for a while after I finished Shied of Winter by Nalini Singh. It's book 13 her Psy-Changeling series and I published my 4-star review of it on the blog last week.

Love was a concept of which Vasic had no comprehension, though he knew how to recognize the signs of it in others. Learning the subtle physical cues that betrayed emotional bonds had been part of his training, intended to give him tools he could use to exploit targets from the emotional races. He didn't, however, actually understand what it was any more than a trained animal understood the words spoken to it. 

He could ask Judd to explain it to him, but he suspected he simply didn't have the correct emotional foundations to comprehend the explanation.


Nalini Singh

Synopsis


Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life. 

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…



14 Jul 2014

Top Ten Tuesday 27


Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme hosted The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new topic for each week and the participating bloggers are invited to post their Top Ten lists on it.

Listed in random order, here are
My Top Ten Favorite TV Shows


Note: The picture links the the show's page on imdb.com







Sons of Anarchy - I love this show and despite the ending of the previous season which broke my heart, I can't wait for the final season, starting this autumn. #TeamJax

Vikings - A bit too violent and bloody, but still quite good historical series. I don't know that much about the Vikings and I enjoy getting these glimpses into their lives and beliefs. Season 3 is to start next year.

Justified - the story of small-town US marshal Raylan Givens fighting crime





Hell on Wheels - historical drama about the construction of the American railroad. Season 4 is coming this August

Homeland - fast-paced and emotionally intense terrorist/espionage drama. Claire Danes makes a memorable role. Season 4 coming in October

Suits - cute legal drama. After a short break Season 4 just continued in June





White Collar - crime thriller involving dealing with antiques and with Matt Bomer paying one very irresistible conman. There is Season 6 scheduled for this year but no more info.

Downton Abbey - historical drama set in the English countryside for the period around WWI. Season 5 starts in September.

Friends - best comedy series ever :) Ran for 10 seasons and produced so many laughs and memorable quotes. 



ER - my favourite medical series. It ran for 15 seasons and it had some pretty moving episodes that had me crying more than once.

What favourite TV shows / movies did you pick for your list? Leave me a comment and I'll stop by the check your blog.

Review: Ricochet by Skye Jordan

Title: Ricochet (Renegades #3)
Author: Skye Jordan
Date of publication: 14 July 2014
Genre/themes: Contemporary Romance

Author's links: Facebook / WebsiteGoodreads

My rating: 4 stars




Synopsis

After a tragic incident in Afghanistan leaves Master Sergeant Nathan Ryker the only man standing in his tight-knit team, he spirals into an alcohol-and-sex induced escape. A call from his lifelong buddy pulls Ryker from the shadows with a request for help with his stunt company’s latest blockbuster. If Ryker can survive the next three weeks of leave and get back to his remaining men, he might just be all right. But a sexy woman who can take his mind off his trauma is too hard to resist, and when he hooks up with Renegades’ sultry, snarky office manager, his sanity takes a backseat to the first glimpse of a future he isn’t sure he deserves.

Still reeling from a bitter romantic betrayal, Rachel Hart wants nothing more than an uncomplicated hookup. So when the mysterious Nathan seduces her with a little dirty talk and one delicious kiss, Rachel drowns all her good sense in a Mandarin and soda and gives herself over to a night of sexual bliss. But her memories tarnish in the morning light when Rachel discovers his real identity and his link to Renegades. Her job and her friends are the only thing holding her life together, and she won’t be ruined by one sultry night with this damaged and dangerously sexy man.

Review

It's book 3 in the Renegades series which is contemporary romance series focused on a stunt company in LA. This one was about Rachel, the company's secretary/office manager and to-go girl and Nathan Ryker, Troy's best buddy and a explosive specialist in the military. 

This is hands down my favourite book of the series so far. I loved both Rachel and Nathan and their romance was both sizzling hot and tender. There is some angst and seriousness of the issues dealt with in this story (unlike the previous two books which are lighter reads) but once again there is no unnecessary drama and the characters seem real and easy to relate to.

The affair between Rachel and Nathan starts as a one-night stand with a stranger (at least she thinks so) and then continues as a secret affair on the set of the biggest stunt/blasting scene they are filming.

I like the writing style of Ms Jordan, she draws the reader into the story and manages to make all the characters, main and secondary seem real and full of life. The story flows easily, there is a lot of fun and sexy times. 

This time we get a true broken, tortured hero in Ryker, unlike Jax ans Wes from the previous books. His PTSD was presented with sympathy and understanding and the scene where he visits his army buddy who survived a blast in Afghanistan which almost killed Ryker's unit, was heartbreaking and touching. 

I liked Rachel a lot as well. She tried to have a casual sexual relationship with Nathan but this just wasn't her. She cared about the people around her and grew to care even more for Nathan.

They struggle with the feelings they develop for each other. He treats her rather awful at some point, in a misguided attempt to let her go for her thinking he is not good enough for her. He was ultimately forgiven after a particularly sweet apology scene, still I felt his transgressions were too great and he needed to do a lot more grovelling before they got back together. 

I loved the happy end, but it felt rushed, all things were tied up a bit too neatly.

PS: I think that Josh was an interesting character and deserves his HEA in a book of his own, hint, hint, Ms Jordan :)

Overall, this is a great light sexy series, and even tough this installment had a darker, more serious dimension, still it makes a perfect read for the beach this summer.

Purchase links: Amazon

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