Thursday, 30 January 2014

Book review: Escape - C.H. Little

Escape

The blurb.
Ever wanted to just...start again? 

Desperate for a fresh start when her relationship ends, Penny Morgan moves to the peaceful island of Menorca for a year, but struggles to forget the past and move on. When she meets Anna and Grant Morgan, a glamorous couple holidaying nearby, she leaps at the chance of an evening out. The mysterious couple seem to offer genuine friendship and an escape from the loneliness she has been battling against, but as time goes by she discovers things are not always what they seem. 

As things begin to unravel, Penny struggles to regain control and wonders if it may just be too late for her to escape. 

Escape is an intriguing thriller which makes us wonder whether we can ever trust in the kindness of strangers. You won't be able to put it down! Thriller fans will be enthralled from the engaging opening page to the truly spine-tingling finale.


My opinion
I enjoyed reading this novella. I was very curious to see what it would be like: never read a "thriller novella" before! 
I must say that I forgot it was supposed to be a thriller at one point. C.H. Little makes sure you really "know" the main character, and it's easy to sympathize with Penny - who's looking for a way out and dreaming of prince charming to come and get her. This means though that much of the story is more chick-lit than suspense thriller. Not that I mind, I really enjoyed that first part.

Then finally, when everything starts to unravel, everything goes really fast - sharp contrast with the first half of the story. One moment she's hanging out with her new "friends", the other she's planning on escaping and.. BAM, the story ends. I really wanted to know what happened: I felt like the final chapter s were missing and I didn't get to read the "spine-tingling finale"; a bit disappointing.

I did however enjoyed reading it and I am looking forward to reading more of C.H. Little's books.

LOVE this cover!


Find C.H. Little on Twitter, Facebook and her website.

 

Many thanks to Clare for asking me to read and review Escape!

Book review: Starstruck in Seattle - Juliet Madison

Starstruck In Seattle

The blurb.

Aspiring actress Anna Hilford might only have a small role in a leading television drama, but she longs to be dreamboat Karl Drake’s leading lady. Sick of being loveless and overlooked, Anna seeks the help of intuitive love coach, Lulu, from LuluTheLoveAngel.com to give her the courage and determination to follow her destiny. 


But fate has different ideas, Lulu has undisclosed power, and Anna is about to realise that life happens while you’re busy making plans…




My opinion.
This was a very lovely read. Lulu's "role" in this story came very unexpected to me. I'm not sure I really liked it, but luckily it didn't chance the fact that I enjoyed reading this novella.
Although I found it pretty obvious from the start that Anna was being a (starstruck) fool, I'm glad she ended up realizing that herself... but I think she might have done so even without Lulu's help.
But who can blame her, really? Who wouldn't be a starstruck fool over a hot actor-doctor (McDreamy or McSteamy, anyone?)?


   



Many thanks to Escape Publishing 
for giving me the opportunity to read and review 
another one of Juliet Madison's books.

Check out more of Juliet Madison's books;
"The January Wish" and "February or Forever",
two brilliant coastal novels set in Australia!

   

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Book Tour: Having a Ball - Rhoda Baxter + GIVEAWAY


Having a Ball - Rhoda Baxter



The blurb.
Stevie has always relied on her brother to bail her out of trouble. Now she needs to prove to him that she can be independent and mature. When she takes on a job organizing a charity ball for some slightly barmy retired academics, she's not expecting to fall in love with the rambling old house, the even more rambling family that lives there and Tom, the boss's son. If she can make the ball a success she could show the world, and herself, that she's her own woman. She doesn't need anyone else. Nope. Not anyone. Not at all.



My opinion.
I love love love this cover. I know, "don't judge a book by it's cover", but it's what made me notice the book and I'm so happy I did. It's a classic romantic comedy, but not too cheesy and yet still highly lovable.
Stevie is striving to be a professional party planner. To me that first sounded as the cliché girly profession, but Stevie soon proves how many skills are needed to actually complete the job. Against all odds, Stevie proves to be a very professional, responsible party planner. She's not entirely comfortable working in close proximity to Tom, the boss's son, and she's giving a very limited budget to work with. But she manages to overcome all of that. She takes risks and is original and manages to give everyone exactly what they wanted. 
I was impressed, because at first, I have to say, I really had my doubts about her as a main character. I thought she was immature and childish and found her reaction to her brother's news a bit ridiculous. I'm very happy she ended up proving me - and everyone else in her life, for that matter- wrong.
The plot wasn't all that surprising, but I didn't mind - it really didn't matter: it was a very enjoyable read and I would very much recommend this!
... Can't wait to start planning a party now!




About the author. 
Rhoda Baxter started off in the South of England and pinged around the world a bit until she ended up in the North of England, where the cakes are better. Along the way she collected one husband, two kids, a bit (ahem) of extra weight and a DPhil in molecular biology. She has a day job working in intellectual property and writes contemporary romantic comedies in whatever spare time she can grab. Her first novel Patently in Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon award 2012. Her third novel will be published by Choc Lit in 2014.
She can be found wittering on about science, comedy and cake on her websiteFacebook, Google+ or on Twitter.


 

 

Giveaway.


Excerpt
“I don't suppose you know how to tie a bow tie, Stevie?"
As it happened, she did. One of her ex-boyfriends had chatted her up by showing her how to tie one. Did she really want to admit to that? It would mean being closer to Tom than she really wanted to be. She had to concentrate on the ball this evening. She was, after all, a professional.
Tom took her silence to be a denial. "I wish I'd thought of this earlier. I could have gone out and bought one. What am I going to do now?"
Stevie sighed. "I'll do it. Give it here." She finally looked at him and all thoughts fled from her head.
He did indeed look wonderful in a tuxedo. The jacket showed off his broad shoulders while the cummerbund emphasized his trim waist. His hair had been washed and tamed so that it no longer tumbled lazily over his forehead, somehow making his eyes bluer. The top button of his collar was undone. He hastily did it up.
Stevie blinked and tried to concentrate on the job at hand. She could feel the warmth radiating from his skin as she slipped the tie round his neck. Tom put a hand on the back of a chair and lifted his chin.
She concentrated on pulling the fabric of the silk tie through the correct knot. After a moment she found herself staring at the freshly shaved skin on his throat. There was a tiny nick just under his chin. All she wanted to do was kiss it better.
Blood was pounding in her head and she felt hot all over. She couldn't possibly be this close to him and not have her head explode out of sheer lust.
Tom swallowed. The movement of his throat reminded her that she was supposed to be tying his tie, not staring hungrily at his throat like some demented vampire. She noticed that he was breathing faster than usual. She forced herself to look away, and saw that he was gripping the back of the chair so hard that his knuckles were white. Could he be finding this as difficult as she was?
She finished tying the bow, barely able to think for wanting him. As she finished, she gave into temptation and let her finger lightly brush his throat. Tom inhaled sharply and his eyelids fluttered shut. Stevie pulled the knot tight, straightened it and let her hands drop.
He lowered his chin and his eyes met hers. For a moment he gazed at her with such pure naked lust that she forgot to breathe.
The moment stretched. They were only inches apart, yet he made no move to close the gap.
Alice's phone beeped. They both jumped. Stevie had completely forgotten about Alice.

The first chapter is available on the Uncial website.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cover Reveal: Always Tomorrow - Laura Beege


Always Tomorrow

COVER REVEAL
Hosted by: The Book Lovers

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The blurb.
Stealing a stranger’s shirt from the laundry room wasn’t supposed to snowball into a big deal. Jemima just needed proof of a lover in order to get her roommate off her back about getting laid. Frankly, she doesn’t have the time or the nerve to actually get involved with someone. After her father ditched her family out of nowhere, forcing her to return to Vegas and leave her dream behind at Juilliard, Jemima has enough on her plate to deal with.

Unfortunately, she stole Ashton Deverell’s shirt. And he doesn’t let her off the hook easily.


Illusionist extraordinaire, Ashton isn’t meant to look for more than a good lay in a girl. He’s turned his back on his criminal past, but he knows that it could catch up with him at any given moment. Sucking a girl into the black hole that is his life is a shit idea and he knows it. Thanks to Jemima, however, for the first time he can see himself with a future that doesn’t involve jail time.

Release date: 11th March, 2014

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About the author.

Laura likes to call herself an international girl. She grew up in an Asian/European family in Germany, spent some time as an exchange student in France, moved to England after graduation and eventually landed back in Germany, where she’s currently working on her degree in Theater & Film. No matter where she will be next year (Manhattan?) or the years after that (Italy?), she intends to keep on writing.
She loves hearing from readers!



Get in touch with Laura!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cover reveal: The Guestbook - Holly Martin


The Guestbook

COVER REVEAL



The blurb.
Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling! 

Forget sending postcards saying 'wish you were here' - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.


The Guestbook which is due for release on Valentine's Day!  


Get in touch with Holly on Twitter!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Book review: 21 Hours - Dustin Stevens

21 Hours

The blurb.
Felix "O" O'Connor is an ex-con from central Ohio that has spent the seven years since being released from prison working on a ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Rarely does he venture out into the world and never does it come looking for him. Both of those things change when his twin sister Alexa "Lex" Borden calls from Columbus, Ohio to ask for his help. 


Earlier that afternoon, she and her husband were both beaten unconscious and their two year old daughter abducted from their front yard. Nobody saw a thing, the police are stumped, and it is a well known statistic that if a child isn't found in the first 48 hours, they rarely are. 



O immediately drives back to Ohio and finds himself with just 21 hours to find his beloved niece before potentially losing her forever. Plunging himself into a world he'd long ago left behind, he crosses paths with criminal masterminds, human traffickers, gun runners, drug smugglers, blood-thirsty spectators and suspicious detectives all in the name of bringing her home.



My opinion.
This story is incredibly faced paced. From the moment O receives a call for help form his sister Lex until the last page, everything happens at a thrilling pace. Dustin Stevens draws you in and doesn't let you go. Just like "stopping" is not an option for O in his race against time, you won't be able to stop reading.

This story has everything: it has unconditional love and loyalty, fear, a lot of action, some violence - but not too much so it doesn't dominate the story.
It's just unbelievable what O would do for the safety of his family; a modern day hero - who is, of course, too stubborn to trust in the police and a bit too trigger happy instead of laying low. Although that made me scream at my book "just get out of there!! Call the police!!", it made him the perfect action hero.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. The only "negative" remark, is about the cover. For some reason the font of the title gives at an outdated 80's-vibe. But that really is the only thing I can say against this book. Loved it!

Be sure to check out Dustin Steven's website.


   


Many, many thanks to Dustin Stevens for asking me to review 21 Hours.
I absolutely loved reading it!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Take a look at my review of "Catastrophic", a BRILLIANT legal thriller, one of my favorite reads of 2013! 



 

Book review: Private Air - Billie Bates


Private Air

The blurb.
When Sienna Harris joined the Australian Air Force as a flight attendant for the Prime Minister, she thought she’d hit the glam-job jackpot. But three years of weapons training, outback destinations, and a cheating fighter pilot fiancé, and she’s realized it’s not so fabulous after all. Time to embark on a new adventure, this time to the prestigious world of international VIP aviation. 

Sienna and her best friend leave behind their small-town lives for a glitzy career flight attending on a Saudi prince’s private jet. Money, parties, designer clothes, and exotic locations fill the job description, while the sexy pilot, Ted, makes it hard for Sienna to obey the “no fraternizing” rule. 
But even the most opulent of journeys can hit turbulence. Sienna’s boss, the appearance-obsessed chief stewardess, issues diuretics and Botox with the uniforms and catering orders, and the prince is a man who’s never told no. Underneath its lush appearance, could this desert oasis be more of a muddy puddle? 
The Devil Wears Prada meets Pan Am in this fun frolic to the glamorous side of air travel, inspired by the author’s own experience as a VIP flight attendant in Saudi Arabia and Europe.


My opinion.
I found Sienna a difficult character to relate to. Nothing about her decisions - or her personality for that matter - read "military trained" to me, which made that part of her character was very confusing (and the first part of the book as well).
The book however has all the main ingredients for a funny, relaxing chick-lit read: it has the MC in uncomfortable situations, funny one liners from "the best friend" and funny (silent) monologues from the MC, exotic locations and a dream-world-scenario.
When Sienna and her best friend get a bit too close for comfort, things get a bit more exciting. How far are they willing to go to be a  part of this world? Will they stay true to who they are?
I was very surprised reading the ending [no spoilers]. I did not see that coming at all and I'm not sure I support their decision. Fingers crossed they won't lose themselves in the glitter and glamour of VIP flying!


Find Billie Bates on Twitter, Facebook and her website.

    

Thank you American Jetsetters 
for a review copy of Private Air!

Cover reveal: Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn - Tilly Tennant




Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn

COVER REVEAL





The blurb.

There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.


The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right? She’s safe inside her fantasy bubble.



Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …


Please check out the cover reveal video...




About the author.

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire with her slightly nutty family. Tilly is married to Mr Tennant (not that one, though a girl can dream). She likes nothing better than curling up in a quiet corner with a glass of wine watching the world go by, but can more usually be found taxiing her daughters to parties or taking them on emergency shopping trips. After a huge list of dismal and disastrous jobs over the years, including paper plate stacking , shop girl, temporary secretary in a hospital to boost her income whilst doing a degree in English and creative writing. This job lasted nine years. Not terribly temporary. But it does mean that she knows just what it's like to make monumental admin cock-ups, spend the month's wages in the hospital coffee shop and fall in love with all the doctors. As she's smug married, however, it's fortunate that the doctors in question don't usually feel the same way.
Tilly is represented by the wonderful, gorgeous Peta Nightingale at LAW.

Get in touch with Tilly:

Competition.
WIN a £10 amazon gift voucher by commenting on Tilly's blog 
with your funniest celebrity crush encounter.
Good luck to all who enter!!