31 May 2013

Cover Reveal: Playing For Keeps by Emma Hart (The Game #2)

I REALLY enjoyed The Love Game (book #1 in The Game series by Emma Hart) and so I'm thrilled to be part of the cover reveal for book #2: Playing For Keeps!
Playing For Keeps will be released on Monday 24th June!
Here is the cover in all its shiny new glory, and holy hell it's HOT!!
Book Blurb: From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes the second book in The Game series, and the story everyone wanted after The Love Game…
She's in love with him. 
He's trying not to love her. 
One night changes everything.
Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper – not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he’d ever built and tear them down without even realising she was doing it.
Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn’t on Megan’s to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she’s come to know, she can’t walk away.
Aston’s childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it’s clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he’s buried deep down.
What he doesn’t want to face. What he’s fought against for so long.
And they have to do it all without Braden finding out.
Keeping a relationship secret has never been harder.
**This book can be read as a standalone novel, but reading The Love Game (The Game, #1) beforehand is advised.
Playing For Keeps Book Links: Goodreads
The lovely Emma has provided the following excerpt from Playing For Keeps:

Disclaimer: This is from the unedited version of the book, and is therefore subject to change or removal before publication.
“If you’re trying to hide, babe, then you’re failing. I can see you.” Aston’s words crawl over me in a smooth caress, making my throat dry up and my blood boil simultaneously.
“Why would I be hiding?” I sit up and look forward, determined not to meet his eyes.
He shrugs a shoulder carelessly, twirling a pen between his fingers. I catch his every movement from the corner of my eye. His eyes are burning into the side of my head - they’re begging me to turn, begging me to look.
“Because you want me so badly you can’t bear to see me,” he says in a dramatic tone with a touch of arrogance.
My back straightens. “Clearly someone has been feeding your ego again,” I reply dryly. “Because I don’t remember ever telling you I want you.”
His bicep brushes mine as he leans forward. “Is that so?” he asks, his voice low and barely perceptible.
I fight the urge to drop my eyes to the desk. “Damn right it is.”
A fingertip trails down the back of my arm, the tingling feeling making me fight against a shiver.
“I think you’re wrong,” he whispers. “Because I’m pretty sure you said you wanted me on Saturday night – right before you dug those nails of yours into my back and wrapped your pretty little legs around my waist.”
My head snaps round to him, and our faces are inches apart. His lips are curled in a slightly smug smile, and I hate the fact that’s where my eyes fell first. I drag them away from his mouth and across the sharp planes of his face until they meet his smoky eyes.
I remember why I didn’t want to look at him. His eyes have the power to entrance me and to break me. Right now it’s the former – the silvery hint at the edge of his iris pulling me in and holding me captive. I remember why, from the first touch of his lips against mine on Saturday night, nothing could have stopped us happening.

Author Bio:

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.

She likes to write about magic, kisses and whatever else she can fit into the story. Sarcastic, witty characters are a must. As are hot guys.

Emma is currently working too many books to even count - including Playing for Keeps, the companion book to New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Love Game. She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to when all the ideas come to life.

Find Emma online at:
Blog: http://www.emmahart93.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YAAuthorEmmaHart
Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor


30 May 2013

Blast from the Past Review: Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires Book #2) by Chloe Neill

Blast from the past reviews...

What they say: The story of a young heiress's initiation into the dark society of the Chicagoland Vampires continues.

Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves--mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle--the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.

 So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them--someone with an ancient grudge.

What I say: Friday Night Bites is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires series, and picks up right where Some Girls Bite left off. Merit is still not completely comfortable with her new vamp status or her role as Sentinel.
Merit moves into Cadogan house in this book, which leads to many more awkward and hilarious situations with her sire and Cadogan Master, Ethan. It was good to gain some more insights into Ethan's past, even though he is still very much a mystery.
Merit is quasi dating the Navarre Master Morgan, but is massively conflicted by her strange relationship with egotistical Ethan (who I still wanted to hit at times). I kinda like her with Morgan, but Ethan is obviously supposed to be the big draw.
Merit's strange introduction into Cadogan means that she's somewhat isolated from the other new vamps and also faces a shift in her relationship with bestie, Mallory. I like Merit's blossoming friendships with Lindsey and Jeff.
Merit is forced to visit her parents and obnoxious family-friends in this book - god they're horrible! I felt really sorry for her when she's faced with accusations from her former boyfriend Nick.
In the first book I felt that Merit really needed to come to turns with her new life and to a large extent in Friday Night Bites this is exactly what she is forced to do. Her human and vampire side have not so far managed to join together fully (cue a blood scene with a certain controlling Master vampire).
A good read, but not quite as good as the first. I'm hoping in the next book Merit finally gets her vamp on!

3.5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • Vampires' eyes silvered when they experienced strong emotions - hunger, anger, or, in my case, proximity to the blond cupcake that was Ethan Sullivan.
  • "I'd like to speak to someone about ordering some Navarre porn, please. Maybe a six-foot-tall poster of that gorgeous Master vampire, the one with the dreamy eyes?"
  • "The acronym for the Order of sorcerers is 'U-Ass'?"
  • "She'll do what she can to ensure that, as they say, 'There ain't no party like a Cadogan party.'"

29 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Forever of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorenson


Waiting on Wednesday is my weekly post where I obsess over the shiny new books
I cannot wait to read!

This week, I'm waiting on... The Forever of Ella and Micha (The Secret #2) by Jessica Sorenson!

What they say: Ella and Micha have survived tragedy and heartbreak. When they're together, anything seems possible. But now they are thousands of miles apart, and managing their long distance relationship will put their love to the test.

Ella is back at school, trying hard not worry so much about her future. But with her father in and out of rehab, she's having a hard time making it through the days. All she wants is Micha by her side, but she refuses to let her problems get in the way of his dreams.

Micha spends his days touring the country with his band, but deep down he knows something is missing. Being away from Ella is harder than he thought it would be. He wants her closer to him-needs her with him. But he won't ask her to leave college, just to be with him.

The few moments they do spend together are intense and passionate, but it only makes it more difficult when they have to part. They know they want to be together, but is wanting something enough to get them to their forever?
  • The Forever of Ella and Micha is scheduled for release this week in the US (N.B. This may change as the publication date has already moved several times)!
Why I'm waiting on The Forever of Ella and Micha:
  1. I loved Book #1 - The Secret!
  2. I felt that there was defo more story to be told!
  3. Micha defo makes the swoon-worthy BBF list!
  4. Anything by Jessica is pretty much guaranteed to be an angst-fest (but in a good way)!
  5. The secondary characters are really good!

28 May 2013

Giveaway Results & Can of Worms!

I eventually managed to get Rafflecopter to work (just about) and so I could finally get a winner for the Immortal City contest! The Winner is: Anne P (Anne you should have received an email from me)!
On another note...!
I think I unwittingly opened a whole can of worms with my defence and review of M. Leighton's Until I Break! This is exactly what I didn't want! I really enjoyed this book and find it a massive shame that it's been removed from sale. I do not think she deserves all the vicious responses from Internet trolls re: the content. I also understand that people are allowed and welcome to their own opinion, I was simply suggesting mine!
After my post I received several harsh and gross comments which I have since removed. As a result I panicked when I received a comment yesterday about my other posts, thinking I was being attacked again. The comment was actually asking a question and making a valid suggestion for the blog. So on that note MY BAD and I'm sorry I misunderstood. I think this shows again the negative impact that trolls have! Anyway thanks for the helpful suggestion and I will add the 5 Star filter!
Also I stand by my review and think that Until I Break is a thought provoking and very different read which although I enjoy is definitely not for everybody!

The Waiting Game by Eve Devon Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Waiting Game by Eve Devon - Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway!

The Waiting Game Synopsis: Five years ago a madman stalked her. Kidnapped her. Tattooed her. When security expert Cameron Dexter—the man Brooke Bennett once loved—appears unexpectedly at her door with terrifying news, the former musician discovers she can no longer hide from her past. After five years, her vicious kidnapper is out of prison and on the hunt—for Brooke.Now he’s returned to complete his art.
Cam failed to protect Brooke once before. Now he’d rather die than let her be captured. With her life at stake, Cam vows to keep her hidden and safe. Brooke, however, is done with running. Unlike Cam, she wants to stand and fight. Emotions both old and new roil between them, but addressing their heated past must wait. Together they set a trap in London to catch a killer. But they soon discover the enemy wears many faces...And waiting is no longer an option.
Where to buy The Waiting Game: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Author Bio: Eve Devon writes sexy heroes, sassy heroines & happy ever afters...

Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave Eve Devon a taste for adventure; her love for romances began when her mother shoved one into her hands in a desperate attempt to keep her quiet during coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals!
When Eve wasn't consuming books by the bucketload, she could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down her adventures. As a teenager, Eve wrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, still hooked on romance and mysteries, she worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucketload, until realizing she was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense herself. 
Find Eve Devon
Giveaway: The lovely people at Entangled have teamed up with Eve to offer you the chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card (or depending on your location) this super cute handmade leather notebook.

Other stops on the tour:
5/31 - Literary, etc          
6/3 - Book Moms Reviews            
6/5 - Reading on the Rocks          
6/7 - Book-A-Holic Anon              
6/7 - That Girl Reads      
6/10 - Froggarita's Bookcase       
6/11 - Kindle and Me      
6/12 - Ex Libris 
6/13 - Book Lovers Inc   

The Waiting Game Review:
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review!
What I say: I really enjoyed The Waiting Game, perhaps even more so than I expected. It was a thrilling read and exciting to the end!
Former rock star Brooke Bennett has been living in hiding since a vicious attack five years ago left her physically and mentally scarred. Brooke went from being an outgoing, flirty, musician to a reclusive, shell of her former self. Brooke has spent the time since being kidnapped by evil stalker Spinks avoiding everybody and trying to move on.
Cameron Dexter was Brooke's bodyguard back in her musician days and when he turns up at her house in France she instantly knows something bad is coming. Cam blamed himself for her abduction and attack and is determined to look after her now that stalker Spinks is out of prison.
Full of twists and turns, The Waiting Game is addictive. I found myself anxiously waiting for the big reveal and for the final confrontation between Brooke, Cam and Spinks. I did see the twist at the end coming, but I probably should have picked up on it earlier.
The mixed POV's really help to get inside the different characters heads and I enjoyed the insight into creepy Spinks. The mind of a stalker truly is a scary one! The descriptions about the attack and the future horrors he planned were horrific and I cannot imagine being faced with a similar situation.
Brooke is a great heroine because she's strong, far stronger than she realises and it was interesting to see her begin to rebuild her life. Cam was a good mix of alpha male and caring friend, boss and potential lover.
A great read but if you're still not convinced then check out the cover... HOT!

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • Danger flashed in neon signs behind his eyelids. And the devil in him taunted him to play with fire, until rationality reminded him it would be incautious to fan the flames.
  • Was she even listening? Taking this seriously? "At the hotel, we head straight for the nearest bed." "Check - excuse me?"
  • She didn't want to back away and hide from him. She wanted to explore the song she had in her heart.
  • "I used to calculate which was more likely - you actually wearing the towels I threw at you or  me being arrested for punching every guy who snuck a look."


27 May 2013

Blast from the Past Review: Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1) Chloe Neill

Blast from the past reviews...
What they say: Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

 Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.
What I say: For all my love of vampire books I have not read any of the Chicagoland series, until now! BIG mistake on my part!! Some Girls Bite takes the fairly unheard of prospect in fantasy books - that of the heroine being a reluctant vampire. The recently fanged (her words not mine), Merit did not chose to become a vampire and as such she's not particularly happy about her life change.
We often read books where the heroine meets a hot guy and blindly follows him into vampirism - This is most definitely not the case here! The book starts after Merit has been turned and follows her struggle to accept her new life and understand (and ignore) the new rules she faces. Merit is my kind of heroine because she doesn't simply accept the vampire hierarchy and system she's forced into, she instead challenges the leaders and mourns her old life.
There's an instant connection between Merit and the Master vampire Ethan 'Darth' Sullivan, which she refuses to give in to (see vampire code book on servicing your Lord). Ethan expects gratitude and obedience from his vampires and finds Merit's attitude frustrating and strange. Ethan may be HOT but he's also egotistical and infuriating (I wanted to thump him when I read the consort scene)!
I also liked how Ethan isn't instantly Merit's only love interest - there's Morgan (a vampire from a rival house) amongst others! It's good to see a girl have options!
The vampires have 'come out' to the world (think how the Sookie Stackhouse books do the same thing) although humans are unaware of other sups (supernaturals), including Jeff the shifter and Sorcerer Catcher Bell (all I could think of was Currer Bell and Charlotte Bronte). The vampires are on the brink of a war which Merit is about to be pulled into!
Also Merit's retired Gramps is not as retired as she imagined, and don't get me started on her horrible father! I loved Mallory, Merit's best friend, who fulfilled the bestie requirement of providing some great one liners!
I can already tell I'm going to be hooked on this series, I just hope Merit stays as sassy as she is in Some Girls Bite and remembers Ethan's hurtful actions. I really don't want her to become to too dependent and go all Bella Swan on us!

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "And you're not going to tell Darth Sullivan you reject his fascist assumption of authority?"
  • "FYI, your eyes are silver. I'll just add 'horny' to the list of reasons that happens."
  • "Asking about someone's animal is the shifter equivalent of pulling a ruler and asking a guy to whip it out."
  • His gaze intensified, his irises now a deeper green-like cold, dark seawater. "I want the other Houses to know that you're mine."

26 May 2013

What I'm reading...! #1

What I'm reading this week:
This coming week I'll be catching up with Vampire Elite by Irina Argo, Riversong and Riverbend by Tess Thompson.
I'm planning on getting creepy-cute with Doll Bones by Holly Black.
I'm also getting my vamp on with the Chicagoland Vampires series as I haven't read it yet (given my fantasy obsession it's surprising I know)!
I've also signed up for a Novella Reading Week challenge in June. It's organised by Rachel at Fiktshun and Mindy over at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and is basically a challenge to read as many novellas in a week as possible - so I'm plotting any potential fun novellas. The list so far includes:
  • Daimon (a Lux novella) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Crossing the Line (pushing the limits novella) by Katie McGarry
  • Runaway Queen (The Bane Chronicles #2) by Cassie Clare
  • Bridge (Shade #2.5) by Jeri Smith-Ready
  • The Prince (The Selection #0.5) by Kiera Cass
Any other novella suggestions would be most welcome!!

25 May 2013

Until I Break by M. Leighton - Review

Until I Break is non longer available to buy purchase, but I felt it deserved a reread. M.Leighton recently withdrew Until I Break for purchase because a lot of people were uncomfortable with the concept. I'm not going to start a rant about Internet trolls etc because I don't want to open that can of worms, but it is worth noting that not everybody can like or even appreciate the same ideas and stories. This is an adult book with some distressing and controversial themes, but a wonderful story!

What they say: "I’m intrigued. Tempted beyond what I’ve ever been before. To know her, to open her up. To break her." In love, sometimes what you fear most is exactly what you need. Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control. And she doesn’t exist.

Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with.

Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare. When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.

Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.

The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.

What I say: I first read Until I Break way back when it was first released, but after hearing that M. Leighton had decided to pull it from sale last week I felt I needed to read it again to see if I could understand exactly what some people found so offensive.

I can honestly say that although the book does encompass some controversial subjects (and I genuinely do not know how I would react to Alec's secret myself) I really enjoyed Until I Break and have read far more controversial books that this.
I'm a big fan of the story-within-a-story concept, or in this case, a story where elements mirror or parallel a fictional book-within-a-book. Samantha is a vampire romance writer who hides behind the persona of Laura Drake. Sam had a horrible childhood and is fearful of people getting close to her. She has a complex history with sex and relationships. M. Leighton does a great job of showing Sam's confusion between fact and fiction. Sam is Laura, but to some extent she is also Daire (the lead character from her novels) - it's not as confusing as it sounds!
The male lead and sexy vampire from Sam's books, Mason Strait, is Sam's ultimate fantasy man. Enter Alec Brand, the living embodiment of Mason. Alec is an extremely complex character, with a very dark past. I didn't guess the twist with Alec's backstory, but I have to say that the big reveal really explains a lot of Alec's issues and lack of self worth. I hadn't expected the plot to take the turn that it did here, but it was a very unique twist, one which obviously some people have a real problem with. I personally liked the story but I can see why some people are uncomfortable with it. I think the key point is that Alec/Mason and Sam/Laura/Daire are fictional characters and it is a made up story.
Sam's sister Chris was a real breath of fresh air and always managed to lighten the mood. Chris does a great job of keeping Sam grounded when she is at risk of becoming too absorbed in her own stories.
Until I Break is a gripping story and I think it is such a shame that it has been removed from sale. I also believe that authors should be free to write what they are passionate about and shouldn't be bullied or attacked for their choices!
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • All I have to do is walk away from this man, from what I see in his eyes. It sounds so simple. And it might be. If he were anybody but Mason. My Mason, come to life.
  • Ohmigod, this is like cheesy porn gone wrong. All I'm missing is the bow-chicka-wow-wow music.
  • I'm in over my head and I know it. But what's possibly worse is that it's all over a guy who began as the embodiment of a fictional character. It's psychotic!
  • "I think, in many ways, you're Daire. And I think, in some ways, I'm your Mason."
  • "Please tell me you didn't sleep because you were stuck between a mattress and a hard man."
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