Ellie reads fiction

16 Sep 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Complicated Creatures Part II by Alexi Lawless


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: Complicated Creatures Part II
Author: Alexi Lawless
Genre: Romantic suspense
Release Date: 24 Oct 2014

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Pre-order: Amazon







Synopsis

Jack Roman was perfectly happy living the life of a high-powered and charismatic philistine. He had time, money, women and a penchant for the fast life. Until he met his match in Samantha Wyatt and his obsession with her would take him to hell and back… 

Wes Elliott’s been dreaming of the muse he let go of as a young man—the woman he never forgot throughout his travels and the successes he’d left her to find. He always thought he’d see Sammy again—he just never expected her to be fighting for her life when he did…

Samantha Wyatt is being challenged by her past, tested by her decisions, and hunted by her nemesis. As her dangerous present and enigmatic past collides, Samantha conducts the riskiest operation of her life, and the men who love her will be forced to decide: Do they trust her enough to let her protect them? And do they love her enough to let her go?


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Why am I waiting for this? - I read the first book after the author send it to me with a request for review and I rarely, if ever accept such request these days since my reading schedule is very busy. After giving it a chance I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this romantic suspense. It was well written, compelling story of love and ambition. It ended in a cliffhanger, so I just can't wait to read the sequel.

15 Sep 2014

Top Ten Tuesday 29


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.


Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Anne Calhoun - I've read Jaded, a small-town romance, which I really enjoyed and having read great reviews of some of her other works, I'm excited to read her next book, Afternoon Delight.

Cindy Gerard - I read her romantic suspense The Way Home last Christmas and I loved it. The next books in this series, Running Blind, releases in February 2015 and I already have it on my TBR list. I may go back and read book 1 in the series in the meantime.

Courtney Milan - I recently read The Suffragette Scandal from her Brothers Sinister series and now I'm thinking of going back and reading the whole series, that's how much I enjoyed it.

Joe Abercrombie - I read Half a King, book 1 in a new fantasy series by Mr. Abercrombie and I want to continue with it

Brian Staveley - same as the above. I read his debut book, The Emperor's Blades, and I loved it. The good news is that the next installment, The Providence of Fire, releases in Jan 2015.

Jane Harvey-Berrick - I've only read Lifers, a hot NA romance but I have most of her other works of my TBR list. Her latest one, Summer of Seventeen, releases next week and the blurb makes me excited about it.

Melissa Keil - I read her first book, Life in Outer Space, last year and I had great fun with this nerdy YA coming-of-age story. Ms Keil second book, The Incredible Adventure of Cinnamon Girl, just released and I can't wait to read it.

Jessica Topper - I read her debut rockstar romance, Louder Than Love, last year and I loved it. She will be expanding this into a series about the rest of the guys from Rotten Graves. In the meantime, I'm excited to read her next book, Dictatorship of the Dress, coming out in Jan 2015.


Mary Ann Rivers - I've only read her novella, The Story Guy, but it got me curious about her full-length novels, so I've added Live and Laugh to my never-ending TBR list.

Alexi Lawless - Complicated Creatures Part I is a debut romantic suspense for Ms Lawless and it was a pleasant surprise for me. It ends on a sort of cliffhanger, so Part II is a must read for me. It releases in Oct 2014.




Blog Tour, Excerpt and Review: Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh



Title: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss # 1)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 9 Sept 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance, Rockstars

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Purchase links: Amazon / iTunes / Kobo

My rating: 3 Stars





Synopsis

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction. 

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

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Excerpt

Fox hadn’t become the lead singer of one of the best-selling rock bands in history by being a shrinking violet. No, he went after what he wanted, no holds barred. And the raw promise he could feel between him and Molly? He had to know where it would lead, the need so strong he hadn’t felt anything like it since the day he’d figured out that music was his escape, the air in his lungs.

Which was why he was leaning against the wall beside Molly’s apartment at five that afternoon, a guitar by his side.

The elevator doors opened at a quarter after the hour, Molly going motionless two steps outside of it, the doors closing silently at her back. Yeah, she hadn’t expected him, but Fox was ready to work with that. Waiting patiently as she took a deep breath and completed the trek down the corridor, he drew in the scent of her, his gaze lingering on the fluttering pulse in her neck.

“How did you get past security?”

Fox smiled slowly at the blurted-out question, wondering if Molly knew how bad she was at hiding her emotions. He liked it, liked that he saw the real Molly, not an illusion she’d created to tempt him—not that she had to do anything but smile to tempt him. “I told you the security sucks.”

Unable to resist, he reached out to run his finger down one creamy cheek flushed with a mix of surprise, passion, and, he was certain, sweet, hot feminine anger. His guess was borne out when Molly unlocked her door with jittery hands and put down her handbag on one corner of the bench, her fingers trembling before she curled them into her palms. “You’re breaking the rules.”

“What rules?” Closing the door, he leaned back on it and willed her to face him. Much as he loved the shape of her from the back, he liked watching those expressive eyes whisper her mood to him.

Shoulders tight, she turned. “This was supposed to be a one-night stand.”

“Ah.” Folding his arms over the plain black of his T-shirt, he said, “How about a one-month stand instead?” He knew he had to play this exactly right. Molly was wary of him, and yeah, he could understand why. To have her in his life beyond a fleeting instant, he’d have to win her trust.

She jerked up her head. “What?”

“Why not? I like you. You like me.” He smiled—because the reason Molly had needed to jerk up her head was that she’d been staring at his chest. “Admit it.”

Sitting down on the bench, she began to unzip her boots, very obviously not looking at him. “You’re okay for a rock star.”

He wanted to bite her, then pet her until she was limp and languid in his arms. “We burn up together.” Deliberately modulating his voice—his instrument—for maximum effect, low and bedroom rough, he saw her fingers stutter on the zipper. “I’m here for a month. It’s an easy equation.”

When the words “Let me think about it” fell from her mouth, he thought she might’ve been as startled as he was, her lips parting on a slight gasp—as if to call back the declaration.

**first seen at The Rock Stars of Romance**

Additional excerpts can be found here: 

*** *** ***
Meet the Author
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.

Stalk her: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


Review
3 Stars

I love Ms Singh Psy-Changeling series. I love the romance, the suspense, the whole world building, the lyrical writing style, everything. I was excited and curious when I first heard she is writing a contemporary romance, a rockstar one at that. While I like the overall story and even loved some elements in it, I kept comparing it to her PNR series and it came short.

The story of Fox and Molly starts with instalust and very, very instalove on his part which works for me in a paranormal setting but I find it annoying in contemporary romance. The sudden cravings, possessive and protective instincts are so unrealistic and they take a lot off the authenticity of the story from the start.

The book itself is divided into two parts. The first focuses on the struggles the characters face in order to be together felt real and I was curious how they will manage to overcome all the obstacles in their way. Molly shied away from publicity and hid the effects of a painful personal drama which happened when she was a teenager. Fox, the lead singer of a super successful rock band, wanted to try a relationship, despite the media intrusion in his life and he also had painful secrets from his past making him reluctant to trust.

I like his perseverance, never giving up on them, always trying to find a way to make things between them work out. Molly, on the other hand, often acted immature, never really believed in them and it took some time and a lot of effort on his part and some gentle encouragement by her best friend for her to take risk of being with Fox.

The second part of the story shows us their struggles as a couple. There was a lot of drama and scandal and not much growth in both of them.In my opinion there was too much sex in both parts. There was just a few detailed scenes but it was constantly mentioned in passing and I felt took the place of a deeper, more honest relationship.

There were some cheesy moments and quite a few cliches which made the whole story seem rather New Adult and lacking depth and seriousness. I don't generally mind predictability in romance but not when I can guess every next step in the story.

On the positive side, I liked the secondary characters and especially enjoyed a lot the interactions between the Fox's bandmates and their acceptance of Molly in his life. The parallel romance plots were very interesting - David and Thea (whose novella is coming next) and Charlie and T-Rex. The titbits we were given into these relationship hold a promise for some exciting additions to the series.

Overall, it is a nice rockstar romance with somewhat NA feel and with some cliches for the genre, yet it opens the door for some more exciting stories to come in this series.

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Giveaway
Enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a 100 $ gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Share Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDk5NjRmMDM5ZDM4YTBjYWM0YzAyYzM0NGI2ODRhOjQ0OA==/

11 Sep 2014

Review: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Title: The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister #4)
Author: Courtney Milan
Date of publication: 15 July 2014
Genre: Historical Romance

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars



Synopsis

An idealistic suffragette...

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...

Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.

Review

I've been meaning to try historical romance as a genre for a while now and decided to finally try with an ARC from NetGalley of The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan. My first historical. I'm glad a took the plunge and now I have to admit it was a very entertaining read. 

This is book 4 in the Brother Sinister series and while I really enjoyed it, I think it would have been even better if I had read the previous books. I'd recommend to start from the beginning since there is a multitude of characters with their own background stories appearing across this series.

Ms Milan has created a whole set of great characters, both the main and the supporting ones. They all stand out and are very memorable.

It was the heroine, Free, whom I came to like the most in this story. She is everything I love in a romance novel heroine - witty, strong, independent, smart. She had strong political opinion on the place and role of women in 19th century England and she was not afraid to voice it loud and clear. But she was more than a suffragette, she was a  woman, a loyal friend and sister, a passionate and gentle lover. 

The hero, Edward, was a more typical character - a rogue, a scoundrel, but good and honest at heart. He was the typical hero bearing scars from his past, who saw himself unworthy of love and happiness, and he craved them. His self pity was too much at times but his journey to become a better man was very real and engaging. 

Ms Milan explores a number of social and political issues acute in 19th sentury Britain but still at the heart of the story is the romance between Free and Edward. And it was remarkable in its compelxity even for a contemporary setting. They were equal in their relationship and each of them accepted the other for who she/he was. She loved the scoundrel with all his baggage and danger and he loved the suffragette and everything that goes with being one. The had to overcome major issues in order to be together but eventually both let the other be the best person they can be.

I liked how Ms Milan blended social issues and family dynamics in a seamless mix. Neither the romance, nor politics overcame the story, they just blended perfectly together. 

I very much enjoyed the writing style of Ms Milan. The witty banter, the subtle sense of humour and hidden sexual innuendos. She manages the create the historical setting without being overly descriptive. 

It's was a very enjoyable read for me and I can see many more historical romances joining my TBR list. First come the rest of the Brothers Sinister series, of course. A highly recommended read!

Purchase links: Amazon | Amazon uk | B&N | iBooks Kobo | Smashwords

9 Sep 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley


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: The Providence of Fire (Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #2)
Author: Brian Staveley
Genre: Fantasy 
Release Date: 13 Jan 2015

Add on Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon





Synopsis

This is book two in a fast-moving epic trilogy of betrayal, conspiracy and empire.

The conspiracy to destroy the Annurian Empire's ruling family is far from over. Having learned the identity of her father's assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by her people's goddess, factions rally to help her retake the capital city from the incumbent regent. As their armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes forces them to unite to meet a common enemy. 

Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire's most elite force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable. 

And fighting his own battles is their brother Kaden, the rightful heir, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. While imperial forces clash on a far distant front, their actions could either save Annur or destroy it...


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Why am I waiting for this? - I loved the first book in this fantasy series which I read after a friend of mine left a raving review of it on Goodreads. Now, the same friend has already read the ARC of book 2 and she is ecstatic, calling it the best book of the year. It's a pretty safe bet that I love it too, January can't come soon enough :)

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