review

All posts tagged review

Book Review – The Texas Cowboy

Published 07/03/2014 by leannecrabtree

19212103[1]

Name: The Texas Cowboy

Author:  Katheryn Lane

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 4th December 2013

Rating: 3½ out of 5 stars

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the problems.

When Vicky flies into Texas, she immediately falls for the charms of local cowboy, Jack Cassidy. However, her wealthy Dallas cousin, Laura, has other ideas and will do everything she can to steer Vicky away from Jack and into the arms of a rich oilman.

Jack is resigned to living the life of a lonely cowboy whose only female company is his horses—that is, until he meets Vicky. However, Vicky isn’t the only person with a claim on his heart. Jack wasn’t always alone and his ex is about to make a dramatic comeback.

Every cowboy has a past and this cowboy’s past is about to destroy his future.

Once again I was attracted to the cover. Attractive guy. Cowboy hat. (I seem to like cowboys in stories, so I was sorted!)

The thing I feel I have to mention first is Laura. She is so annoying! She’s so reliant on image, it’s unbelievable. I wanted to smack her several times throughout the book.

Then I’ll mention Jack. That first meeting of eyes across the street, the wink and his words: “I’ve never been to England, but they say it’s real pretty. Welcome to Texas, Vicky. Give me a call sometime and I’ll show you the sights. I might even be able to show you a few things that your cousin doesn’t know about.” He gave he another broad wink and tipped his hat.” I liked him right then.

And as for Vicky. Good for her for wanting to go out with Jack, even while her cousin disapproves! As an English girl myself, I was cheering her on. Who doesn’t think about cowboys wanting to sweep you off your feet? Okay, probably not everyone but I like the idea.

The storyline seems to follow a series of unfortunate events between Jack and Vicky where they miss each others calls or see the other with someone else and jump to the wrong conclusions. When it all got resolved it was all very sweet and romantic.

It was a short read, just over 100 pages, but it was quite romantic when they finally got together and I liked it. If you’re looking for a short romance or a nice cowboy read then you should give this a try.

Links to book:

Amazon UK: The Texas Cowboy

Amazon US: The Texas Cowboy

Next review(s): N/A

Book Review – Anointed

Published 05/03/2014 by leannecrabtree

20869104[1]

Name: Anointed (The Cantati Chronicles, #1)

Author: Maggie Mae Gallagher

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance

Release Date: 28th February 2014

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out though its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world.

How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, this world will burn.

The cover grabbed my attention straight away when I saw this in the Netgalley catalogue. You should know by now that I like a good cover.

Then comes the story… Well. I read books for the romance aspect and it took a little too long, in my opinion, for anything even slightly romantic to happen. Yeah, I get she’s on a mission to save the world and everything but surely she’s allowed a little fun? Nevertheless, when it did happen. Phew! It was scorching. The attraction between Alana and Gaelen was hot from the very first meeting…and his eyes! The only problem with their attraction is that they don’t particularly like or trust each other so they fight it, which results in some hot scenes.

There was a lot of description, which I will honestly say bores me to death sometimes and I skip over large areas. In this I scanned it, looking for important stuff that I might need to know.

It had a fair share of location changes; going from London to Wales to Italy to Ireland, as Alana hunted for the items and the information she needed to stop the demons from coming through the rift.

Not really for me, but if you like Urban Fantasy, lots of description, or some steamy sex scenes and attraction then this is probably for you.

Links to book:

Amazon UK: Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles

Amazon US: Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles

Next review(s): The Texas Cowboy

Book Review – Undertow

Published 13/02/2014 by leannecrabtree

undertow

Name: Undertow (The UnderCity Chronicles, #1)

Author: S.M. Stelmack

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Mystery/Intrigue, (slight) Horror

Release Date: 29th April 2013

Rating: 3½ out of 5 stars

I received this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Lindsay Sterling’s niece has gone missing in the New York underground and the cops do nothing except pass along a name. Jack Cole. Twenty years ago they were good buddies but horrors have changed them both. Lindsay lost her entire family except for her niece in a car accident, and Jack was held captive in New York’s underbelly for nearly two years by demented sub-humans. It was a soul-sucking experience that’s left him a shell of a man. He refuses to descend into that hell again, especially for a girl who’s probably dead anyway. But when Lindsay is nearly killed there after going it alone, Jack feels compelled to save her skin. Jack navigates Lindsay through a strange territory, populated with the eccentric, the insane and the desperate. Each encounter takes them closer to Lindsay’s niece but also closer into the clutches of the mad creatures that will enslave them.

The cover grabbed my attention straight away; it looks dark and kinda scary. I like to read a bit of everything as long as it has some romance to it, so.

The prologue definitely grabbed my attention  and left me wondering what was down there in the tunnels under New York City.

Fast forward eighteen years, Lindsay and Jack now are thirty-three, and she needs his help. When she finally manages to get him to agree, they head underground and I was amazed at the detailed description of the communities they come across, and the variety. Some seemed rather crazy while others were pretty laid back. It was interesting.

We see from both Lindsay and Jack’s POV, which turns out to be very interesting. He tries to act like he doesn’t care about her (in Lindsay’s POV), I think in an attempt to keep himself removed from the rest of the world after what he went through at the hands of the Moles. Then seeing from his own POV that he does care and that he does want to help her. I like him: a LOT.

Seeing the occasional flashback of Jack’s time being held underground by the Moles was kinda creepy. What they did to him… *shudders*

It’s hard to go into too much detail about this book without giving some stuff away but I was drawn into the book easily. Maybe it was the romance aspect that was present from early on or maybe it was the mystery about what was down in the Undercity. Whatever it was, I liked it.

Next review: Turned

Book Review – Stolen Songbird

Published 10/02/2014 by leannecrabtree

stolensongbird

Name: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Release Date: 1st April 2014

Rating: 4½ out of 5 stars

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

l love the cover of this; it’s vey eye catching. I’ll admit that covers attract me to books and this drew my attention straight away. Then I saw the name and I said to myself, “I have to read this.” But then there’s the fact that I’m rather picky with my fantasy books (loving the Throne of Glass series but not liking Daughter of Smoke and Bone). Nevertheless I jumped straight into the book.

This is only my second ever troll book but considering the other was just a short story, I was looking forward to learning more about them. And I wasn’t disappointed. They sound equally enchanting and terrifying depending on who you meet. And I like the thought of there being handsome troll princes very much 😀

Cécile is quite a tough girl. She doesn’t mind giving as good as she gets verbally which I like about her. As for Prince Tristan, I liked his sarcasm at the start, even if it was directed at Cécile. And then I just sort of grew to like him. Some of the secondary characters were just as likeable, such as Marc and the twins.

There was an interesting storyline to this; almost a good versus evil plot but much more complicated. It was all very political and about who should rule Trollus and how. I wish I could go into detail but that would ruin the plot.

Then comes the romance aspect. I loved the progression of Cécile and Tristan’s relationship. They might not have liked each other in the beginning  but as they got to know each other better it was very sweet reading and I was cheering them on from fairly early in the book.

To go back to my pickiness with fantasy. I have to say I loved a lot of what this book had going for it. The lights that are created by magic (especially Cécile’s own) are genius and the Glass Garden sounded amazing. I bet it looks lovely lit up!

I laughed, I ranted, I cried twice. It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me but I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.

Next review: Turned or Undertow

Book Review – Sempre

Published 07/02/2014 by leannecrabtree

sempre

Name: Sempre

Author: J.M. Darhower

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Mafia

Release Date: 25th November 2013

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A sexy novel about two seventeen-year-olds—one a victim of human trafficking; the other the son of the man who enslaved her—who fall in love and question everything they ever believed…

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege and excess.

Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide. Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think.

In a world full of chaos, where money and power rule, Haven and Carmine yearn to break free, but a string of events that began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead. Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price—especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?

I’ve been looking at this story for a long time, undecided on whether to read it or not. Truthfully, it sounded a bit like C.J. Roberts’ Captive in the Dark series only with slightly younger characters but I was wrong.

At the start I was a little confused. Was she dreaming or had it really happened? But in the end it didn’t really matter much as the story quickly progressed.

I felt sorry for Haven a lot, being a second generation slave and having no idea what certain things are and what some words mean must have been hard for her and gave her an innocence that I wasn’t expecting considering the life she’d had. I have to admit sometimes it made me smile, if not laugh, like the cherry coke scene. Creative thinking!

The gradual change in Haven and Carmine’s relationship grabbed me immediately and I cared what happened to them, both individually and as a couple. If a book can make me care about the characters, then I’m hooked. And I was. They were such a sweet couple with Carmine having to learn how to love someone at the same time that Haven was.

It’s like there  are two parts to the story. One with Haven and Carmine away from the Mafia. And one following Vincent, Carmine’s dad, as he goes back and forth between his family and his other family: the Mafia.

Then there was the mystery surrounding him. Has he taken Haven to rescue her? Or for some darker reason? It was all very intriguing.

I just HAVE to mention Dominic. He was awesome and I really liked the way he treated Haven from the moment she arrived at the house.

This drew me in completely and I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I put it down and would quickly pick it back up again. It was long–500+ pages–but it was completely captivating and I cant wait to read the second book, Sempre: Redemption.

Next review: Stolen Songbird

Book Review – A Vampire’s Salvation

Published 04/02/2014 by leannecrabtree

 

avampiressalvation

Name: A Vampire’s Salvation (Beyond Human Novellas, #1)

Author: Virna DePaul

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Erotica, Romantic Suspense

Release Date: 22nd April 2013

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received this copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Francesca Marie Stewart has never wanted any man as much as she wants Jake Rios. His chiseled body and dark, intensely masculine energy draw her like a moth to a flame. But Frankie has been burned before, and now a mysterious figure from her troubled past has resurfaced with a terrifying new threat. Can she trust Jake not only with her heart but with her very life?

Jake’s hunger to possess this beautiful redhead goes beyond searing desire. He’s a vampire, and his very existence depends on bonding with a mate. He aches to ravish Frankie, but he must take it slow—for what he will ask of her will require profound sacrifice even as it gives her unimaginable pleasure. And once he has claimed her—body and soul—Jake will go to any lengths to protect her.

This is my second book by the author, the first Arrested by Love was also reviewed on my blog and can be found here.

I could tell this was going to be a hot read from the first chapter when Frankie was fantasising about Jake–Steamy!–and I wasn’t wrong.

You get to see from both Frankie’s and Jake’s POV, which is an advantage when Jake is described as being a serious, moody guy by Frankie. But then seeing from Jake’s POV just why he’s behaving like that balances it out and it switches between every so often.

The first sex scene between the pair took up a fair bit of the book but it also contains an intriguing plotline. Who was Frankie’s stalker and why were they stalking her? Unfortunately we don’t find out in this one but I hope the author is well on her way to finishing a second book in the series so we can.

I liked it but I also feel slightly cheated since we didn’t find out who was behind the attacks against Frankie. I’m left with more questions than answer but at the same time I’m happy that Jake and Frankie got a happy ending as they are both really likeable characters and deserve some happiness after what they’ve both been through.

Short and sweet. I will certainly read the next in the series when it comes out.

Book Review – Elect

Published 30/12/2013 by leannecrabtree

18210033

Name: Elect (Eagle Elite, #2)

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Genre: New Adult, Mystery

Release Date: 10th December 2013

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Would you die for the one you love?
Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family’s enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family’s sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend… But Trace isn’t ready to give up on a future with Nix–and if he won’t fight for them, she will.

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

You can find my review of the first book, Elite, here

This one seemed more of a mystery than the first. Who was behind the killing? Who was Phoenix scared of? What did he know that made him so scared? Ooh, let the snooping begin.

So we’re back with our beloved characters from the first: Nixon, Trace, Chase, Mo, Tex…Phoenix, and we’re still hip deep in the family business. Only this time it’s worse, much worse. The original Sicilian family is on it’s way over to investigate the death of another leader and it isn’t looking good for anyone.

After Phoenix’s actions in the last one, I cant say I was very warm at his reappearance in this but the more I read the more I began to feel sorry for him. He wasn’t all bad; he’d just been forced to do bad things from an early age, stuff he didn’t want to do and it had begun to be ingrained in him. In the end, he did the right thing and that put him back up with the rest of ’em for me.

Chase. *sigh* He’s such a great guy and deserves happiness. I loved him in Elite but in this…well, I fell even faster and harder, seeing how he struggles with his feelings while at the same time trying to do the right thing. Nawwwww, he’s lovely. :’)

I was intrigued throughout when more information came out about who the bad guy was and I was eagerly awaiting his demise for the last 20% or so of the book.

It’s hard to write too much without spoiling it. All I’ll say is that the ending has left me wanting more!!

If you read and enjoyed the first, you should totally check this out too.

Book Review – Song of the Fireflies

Published 26/12/2013 by leannecrabtree

18310755

Name: Song of the Fireflies

Author: J.A. Redmerski

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 4th February 2014

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates have been inseparable since they were kids. When Bray moves to South Carolina, separating the two for the first time, they realize that their innocent childhood friendship has developed into something much more. So when Bray returns to Georgia -and to Elias-four years later, things between them couldn’t be more perfect…until one fateful night changes everything.

Desperate not to go to prison for a terrible accident, Elias and Bray decide to run. As they try to make the most of their freedom, the two find themselves relying on a rebellious group of people who tempt the duo into a wild and daring new life. But they can’t run from their troubles forever.

As the consequences of their past catch up to them, the couple must face reality. Even if they can make it through the unimaginable, Elias knows the truth about Bray’s painful history, and in the end he may not be able to save Bray from herself…

Though I’ve loved previous books by the author, The Edge of Never and Killing Sarai (with The Edge of Always waiting on my kindle and Reviving Izabel on my wish list), I have to admit I wasn’t as into this as I was the other two.

I didn’t feel much of a connection to the characters or their predicament and I wasn’t sure I understood their actions. Well, I did understand but at the same time I knew it would only make things worse for them and I spent the rest of the book waiting for everything to catch up with them.

I liked Elias, he was so in love with Bray from such an early age and he’d do anything to keep her safe. It was sweet to read at times and heart-breaking for him at others. Then there’s Bray, who’s had a tough life. I didn’t really get her, she seemed pretty messed up mentally and did/allowed strange to happen at times.

Secondary characters like Tate were cool, he was pretty laid back and looked out for his friends and family, though I didn’t like his brother Caleb too much, he seemed a little…creepy at times, but maybe that was the drugs he used.

An appearance by one of the author’s other couples was nice too, though the scene didn’t necessarily end well, and I’m looking forward to continuing their story soon, when I get time.

Song of the Fireflies came across as very dark with lots of drugs, sex and several scenes of violence (mainly fighting) and I just couldn’t connect with it, I’m afraid. Admitting that almost feels like blasphemy since I love the author’s writing but on this, I just didn’t feel it. I liked it but I wasn’t blown away by it.

I read books for the romance aspect and I feel like I missed out on it in this, or maybe it just got lost under everything else that happened.

Next review: Elect by Rachel van Dyken (ARC)

Book Review – Addicted to You

Published 16/12/2013 by leannecrabtree

18369048

Name: Addicted to You (Addicted, #1)

Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 22nd August 2013

Rating: 3½ out of 5 stars

I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.

Their real vice may be each other.

I liked this but it’s really hard to put my feelings into words.

The insight into what it’s like for a sex addict was eye-opening, the way it’s almost a physical pain for her to ignore the urge to sleep with someone. You really sympathise with Lily on this, it’s not like she enjoys it, especially when her and Loren decide to try a proper relationship together.

Loren–Lo–Hale is an alcoholic, has been for many years and Lily has been his crutch, hiding his addiction from everyone, like he does with her. His feelings for Lily are fairly obvious from early on and in a way I felt sorry for him, knowing that she spent the night with one or more guys almost every night…

The thing is they both really care about each other and sometimes choose to ignore the other’s addiction rather than confront it when it causes problems.

Dealing with their affluent families also takes it toll on them all. Lo and his alcoholic father who ignores him half the time unless he’s done something wrong and Lily and her meddlesome parents and sisters. It’s a good job they have some well-meaning friends by the end.

It’s nicely written and instead of judging the characters you tend to sympathise with them instead.

You should try it if you like the sound of it. It’s the first NA book I’ve read based on an addiction of any kind.

Book Review – Forever, Jack

Published 13/12/2013 by leannecrabtree

18991545

Name: Forever, Jack (Eversea, #2)

Author: Natasha Boyd

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Release Date: 25th November 2013

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A feisty small-town girl and the Hollywood star who broke her heart

An all-consuming love threatened by fame

One last chance at FOREVER

Keri Ann Butler’s life changed on the night she met movie star, Jack Eversea. She thought she knew a Jack that was very different to the man adored by fans the world over. In the wake of his betrayal and abandonment, Keri Ann has had to pick up and move forward with the life she was supposed to live and has put off far too long.

Suddenly Jack is back, and his explanations for why he left seem more and more plausible, and his declarations more seductive. But being Jack’s latest tabloid accessory isn’t on Keri Ann’s career agenda, no matter how much she is attracted to him. And how can she can ever trust him again?

Jack knows he let the only ‘real’ thing that ever happened to him slip through his fingers. And his hands have been tied to try and stop it. Until Now.

Jack is now fighting to save his relationship with Keri Ann, even as his crazy life threatens to tear them apart. Again. The question is, can he convince her she can have it all? And have him? Forever?

Well, I read book 1, Eversea, back when I went on holiday last month and fell in love with Jack Eversea.

In this, we see the lengths he goes to to make it right for the girl he loves, Keri Ann, and so she isn’t dragged into the backstabbing world that he’s grown weary of. And if possible I fell even harder for him.

But in the five months he’s been gone from her life, Keri Ann, has tried to move on and he’s got a job on his hands getting back in her good books. I didn’t blame Keri Anne for not taking him back instantly after what happened at the end of Eversea, but at the same time I was willing them almost desperately to get back together because they are one hell of a good couple.

Audrey annoyed the hell out of me again. I wasn’t a fan in the first and she angered me more in this one. How desperate can you be not to ruin your image to threaten a girl you’ve never really taken the time to know or talk to? She hacked me off big time at the beginning; I could have smacked her and at the end, too.

The life of a celebrity never does run smooth.

I loved Eversea but there’s something about Forever, Jack…there’s so much more emotion in it and I was sucked in whole-heartedly. I am now a die-hard fan of Natasha Boyd and look forward to reading future books.

Next review: Addicted to You