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Him (Him & Her Book 1)
Him (Him & Her Book 1)
Price: £2.21

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i love me some HIM, 23 Jun. 2013

I can honestly say I had to wait half an hour or more before even trying to write this review because I was a teary-eyed mess. This was such a beautiful, intense, romantic story and it melted this Ice-Queen's heart. It's not often a book will touch me in such a profound way as this one did. I was drawn into Sarah's life like I was really living it. I fell head over heels in love with 'Him' - he's so... *searches for a word*... swoonworthy, schmexy, droolworthy, lovable... Umm, I could go on but I won't.

Sarah Miller hasn't been home in seven years. Then her brother Brian announces he's getting married to Christine and Sarah has to put on her big girl panties and go home. There's just one thing she's not looking forward to about the trip. What? Him. Will Price. The boy who broke her heart all those years ago, the reason she left home in the first place.
When Sarah arrives home she makes a conscious effort to avoid him. The only problem with that is, he's everywhere she turns.

As the preparations are made for the wedding, Sarah does all she can to stay out of his path. He's the one that broke her heart and he doesn't get a free pass on that. After what happened, Sarah was a mess. But now he's a groomsman in the wedding party so it's useless trying to avoid all social occasions that involve him, like the rehearsal dinner. But that doesn't mean that she has to do more than make small talk just to try and get him off her back.
He follows her around like a lovesick puppy and whilst he is still as handsome as ever, if not more, he doesn't get to sniff around Sarah's heels anymore. She can't help but notice he is still the same wonderful guy she fell in love with - but that doesn't mean she wants to go there again. He broke her heart into a million pieces, perhaps even a part of her soul died that day.

Will was Sarah's best friend. They went everywhere together, knew everything there was to know about each other. They went out for ice cream waffle cones together. Sarah was in love with him, had been for years. The trouble was, Will was dating Jessica.
Sarah could see that Jessica was everything she wasn't and could give Will everything she couldn't. Jessica was popular, beautiful, wore all the right clothes and knew how to use her wiles to keep a boy like Will on the hook.

One day, Will told Sarah he was thinking of breaking it off with Jessica. He said there was somebody else. How could Sarah compete? If he was dumping Jessica, it had to be for someone even better and Sarah was no match for that. Or was she?

What happens when you fall in love with your best friend?

Having broken up with Jessica, Will was free to be with the girl he really wanted, had done for years. Sarah.
To say it came as a shock to her is an understatement and she kept wondering if it was really happening or if she was dreaming.
Dating Will was one of the best things to have happened to Sarah. It was a dream come true. He showed her off to everyone, kissing her in public and showing the kids at school they were together. Sarah never wanted it to end. But Jessica had other ideas. [spoiler not included]

That fateful night, Sarah was a mess. She came home from the party early and decided she wanted out, she needed to leave. But where to go? Uncle Chip had always said that he was there if she needed anything, surely she could go and live with him?
She packed her bags and wrote a note to tell her parents that she had gone, then she was out of there.

Seven years had passed and Sarah hadn't gone home once. She always made excuses to her Mom that her job kept her too busy and she couldn't get away. Truth be told, she just didn't want to run into the boy who she had never managed to get over.
But now Brian and Christine's wedding was upon her and she was a bridesmaid. She couldn't let her big brother down after all he had done for her. So she caught a flight and dragged her reluctant backside home.

She's happy to be home with her family, but she's annoyed that no-one told her that just because she left didn't mean that Will had stopped coming round.

Will is happy Sarah came home for the wedding. He doesn't know why she left, all he knows is he was heartbroken. He tries to get Sarah alone to talk several times. She tries to talk to him once but she just can't get the past out of her head. He's the one who hurt her, not the other way round and she doesn't know why he's acting like a love sick puppy.
She calls her best friend back home and asks for her advice. She can't seem to make a clear decision on her own because of how messed up her head has become. She knew that coming back home she would see him around town, but she didn't expect that Will would still be firmly ensconced in her family's life.

Will Sarah ever be able to forgive Will and be able to move on? Can Will ever manage to win back Sarah's affections? Well that's for you to find out for yourself.

Carey Heywood has a way of writing that really draws the reader in. She made me remember my first love and whilst I'm not in love with him anymore, he is still a part of my heart and probably always will be. We all remember that first moment we experience true love, we will never forget. It's inexplicably impossible to close off your heart to someone who put you on the path of love, even if you're not travelling the path together anymore.

I fell head over heels for Will and I really can't wait for HER where we get to hear what happened in his life over those seven years.

Sarah was such a lovable character. Sometimes, characters are but a caricature of a real person, but not Sarah. She's 100% real. She's tangible, she's everything a main character should be. She's strong and beautiful, even if she doesn't know it. I loved reading her story because it didn't seem like just a story being told, it felt like a life being lived.

This book was so real that it played havoc with my emotions. I loved how alternating chapters told the story of the Past and the Present, it served to give me a really in-depth look at Sarah and Will. There were moments when I laughed, moments when I totally swooned, and a few raw moments when I had to have a good old cry.
It wasn't just Sarah's story, it was mine. I was her and she was me. I felt the grief of losing Will like I'd lost someone myself and then when she got home, I felt that tumultuous roller coaster of feelings with her. She still loved Will, hadn't ever had a relationship that lived up to him. He had big shoes to fill and had left a huge void in her life. Not only had she lost her boyfriend, but her best friend, her soul mate.
Was she right not going home for seven long years? If she'd gone home earlier, could things have been patched up between the two? Would they have lost those years together? That's something they'll never know. But living in the past does no-one any good and they both need to look to the future.

This is only the second book by Carey Heywood that I have read but she is now on my list of Favourite Authors whom I will need to read everything they write. Her stories pack a punch and I have found with both Stages of Grace and HIM that her stories have a very real air about them. You could have lived what was written on the pages, and if you haven't, you will once you read them.

I'd like to share two songs with you that this story made me think of as I read it (if you read the book and listen to the lyrics of these songs, you'll see why) - for those of you reading my review somewhere other than my blog, the songs are 'I Love Me Some Him' and 'I Don't Want To' by Toni Braxton....

I would like very much to thank Carey for providing the e-ARC of this amazing book. I'm glad you decided to release it early Carey, I think you made the right decision because now everyone can be touched by Sarah and Will's story

Price: £5.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Debut from Michelle Pickett - A Must Read!, 4 Jun. 2013
This review is from: PODs (Kindle Edition)
I have been dying for an ARC of PODs since I first discovered it's existence months ago on Spencer Hill Press' website. You wouldn't believe the volume at which I squealed when the mail man knocked on my door and handed me a parcel directly from Michelle Pickett. I tore the parcel open and discovered that not only was there one ARC but actually there were two signed copies. One for me and one to give away. Plus, there was a little swag bag set up for me and one for give away. The final amazing item was a tote bag with a picture of the PODs and Milayna covers on. I was speechless and so very happy.

I had just finished with a book and so I was ready to read PODs the day it arrived. I dived in straight away and boy oh boy was I in for one hell of a ride. I didn't realise at the start that I should have buckled up my seatbelt and braced for the energetic, lightning paced story that would ensue.

Evangelina Evans is a normal 17 year old girl with a normal life, until the day an incurable virus comes to town. If contracted, this virus will mean a painful death within just days of the symptoms emerging.
The government decide that they need to move people to the PODs that they built underground in case of any such pandemic. And that's exactly what this is. The virus will wipe out anyone living above ground when it hits.
The government say that there is room for only 70,000 people in the PODs and that 20,000 of those spaces are reserved for members of the government themselves. So that means that out of the entire population, only 50,000 people will be saved. How do they decide who should be saved and who shouldn't? Well that comes in the form of a Social Security Number Raffle. Basically, everyone's social security number is entered into the raffle and those that get drawn out will have a space in the PODs. Anyone else will be left to fend for themselves topside until the virus inevitably wipes them out.

Eva and her family desperately wait for the phone call to say that they have been selected. Time goes by and the phone call doesn't come.
Eva's cell phone rings and she is told that her number has been drawn. She must pack no more than two suitcases of things that she will need. She must say goodbye to her parents as their numbers weren't drawn.
Eva is scared as Hell and doesn't want to leave without her parents. She keeps hoping that their numbers will be drawn. She keeps that hope up right up until the day that she is driven to the checkpoint and she must say a final goodbye.

Once past the checkpoint, Eva must go through Quarantine. They put her in a glass room and they draw her blood every day to make sure she is showing no signs of having the virus.
She sits in her glass box that feels like a prison cell, she has books that she's read cover to cover. There's a television but all it shows is news reports of what's happening topside and Eva doesn't want to know what will happen to those that have been left behind. She doesn't want to accept the fate that her parents have been dealt. Her room is surrounded by others that contain people the same as her. Everyone must go through this quarantine before being allowed into the PODs. The government need to know that no-one will have the virus and spread it once underground with the others.

Once quarantine is over, people are moved into sub-PODs that branch off from the main POD. There are ten people to one sub-POD; five of which are male and five female.

Eva moves in with five boys and three other girls, one of whom is pregnant.

Adjusting to life underground in a small sub-POD is difficult. Not everyone is pleasant to live with. There's one young girl in the group and Eva thinks she can't be younger than 12, there's one girl who doesn't speak English very well and then there's the boys. David, George, Josh, Seth and Aiden. David is good looking, sweet, charming and funny. George is nice and seems more welcoming than some. Josh is an A-hole. There's no other word for it. He is always down on everybody else. He makes fun of everyone, he's arrogant and rude. No-one in the POD likes him, but they know they have to live with him for a year.

Eva has a theory about who got selected and who got left topside. She believes that it's only people between the ages of about 12 and 25 and they are all smart, with a four-point-oh grade average.
The residents of each sub-POD are sent textbooks through a chute and are told they need to complete coursework and modules online via the intranet. They are also to partake in blood tests to make sure they are still fit and healthy.

A year is how long the government believe it will be before the virus has worked it's way through topside and then they say it will be gone and people can move back up there.

Eva doesn't want a romance within the POD but every time David passes her by, he sends shivers down her spine. His touch elicits butterflies in her stomach. She can't help but notice how handsome he is. How kind, charming, funny, caring he is. It seems they both feel the same way but they avoid doing anything about it. If they had a relationship and it turned sour, they'd still have to live together in the confines of the POD until the year is over.

There's nothing that can be done to stop the inevitable though. David and Eva embark on a relationship. They are such a good match for each other. Everyone can see how much they obviously care for each other after months underground together. But Eva wonders whether the relationship will still thrive once they are allowed back topside. Is it just the confines of the POD that make them feel this drawn to each other?
There's no mistaking the chemistry they have together though.

Tiffany's baby is born in the POD. The group help her when she goes into labour and they can't make contact with the main POD. Eva remains collected and talks everyone through their roles and the baby is born safely.

Once the year is up, once the government believe the virus has died out topside, the people underground are allowed to move to camps that have been set up for them up there.

Before they are set up in homes and are been assigned jobs in the sector that the government chose for them, Eva realises that her and David won't be put together. The numbers they have been assigned don't match. To say she is upset is the understatement of the century. Yet she must do as she has been told. She has been given a house of her own and she must attend the job she has been assigned as a teacher. Gone are the days when she saw David 24/7, when she could see his sweet smile, smell the unique smell of his skin, when she could kiss him and hold him, be held by him at night and fall asleep on the settee in the POD.

What does the future hold for Eva? For David? For any of the friends she made down in the POD? Is the virus really gone? Will a mutated version of the virus ravage the small camps/compounds that have been set up for the residents protection?

These are questions you will only get answers to by reading the book for yourself.

This book was an energetic, tumultuous roller coaster ride that had me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails constantly. I never knew what was coming. There were the bitter-sweet moments that I lived through when Eva and David were alone together. Then there were the moments that had me laughing and sometimes wanting to punch the snot out of someone (Josh). There were also times when I got so emotional. I felt all the feelings Eva was feeling. I fought battles with my tear ducts, they wanted to overflow and I didn't want to let them. But there were a few moments when it felt like a tap had been turned on and no-one could stop the warm salty tears that raced their way down my cheeks.,

You know when Goodreads says "Meet Your Next Favourite Book"? Well this is it! This is my favourite book of 2013. I can only compare the feelings I have for PODs by looking back at my favourite book of 2012, Divergent by Veronica Roth. Anyone that knows me, knows how much love I have for that book (and how many tattoos I have related to that book and the sequel, Insurgent).
I have booked to have a PODs tattoo of the symbol that we see at the beginning of the book and on the Chapter pages.

In my honest opinion, Michelle Pickett is best-selling author material. She has a talent beyond anything I had imagined upon starting this book. She writes with such emotion, such passion and tenacity. It is obvious that she poured her heart and soul into this book and you can tell that she would have been sat at her computer probably crying her eyes out at some of what she was writing. To have produced a book as good as PODs, this author must be overflowing with talent. It doesn't feel like a debut book, her writing style speaks of someone who has been writing and publishing books for years.

I live for books that keep me on my toes and keep me guessing all the way through. I like it when I have no idea how it will turn out. This is one of those books! I honestly had no idea what would come next. There is so much I could say about both this book and this author, but if I did, you'd get mad at me for spoiling some of the things that should be discovered first-hand when you pick up the book yourself.

Trust me when I say, you really need to be purchasing this book from anywhere it's available on June 4th 2013. That's not far away, perhaps you should go and pre-order it now. If my review hasn't incensed you to go and pick up a copy, then I haven't really done my job properly

Twisted Perfection: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series)
Twisted Perfection: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series)

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!, 3 Jun. 2013
What would you do if you found the woman that taught you how to open up and how to love? Would you let her get away? Would her past bother you?
Most people would probably say this is Della Sloane's story, but for me it was just as much about Woods Kerrington.
Told from both POV's - each chapter alternates - this book is what's commonly known as absolutely astounding amazing!

Fiercely protective, loyal, loving, generous and not to mention ah-may-zingly HAWT; Woods Kerrington is top of every woman's wishlist. He ticks all the boxes!

Strong, determined, and maybe just a little damaged, Della Sloane is on a journey of self discovery. What she discovers is more than she thought would ever be possible. How can anyone love someone so broken? Well anyone with a big heart with room for a lot of love, that's who.

Della is on a journey to discover herself and have a little fun along the way. Her best friend Braden encourages her to go out and enjoy life. She's young, single and has no ties. But going travelling alone is something that Della isn't 100% prepared for.

Woods is a man with a mission in mind. He is going to take over the family company that was bequeathed to his father in his grandfather's will. Woods got the house and his father got the business. But Woods is a hard worker, and now it's time he took his rightful place in the company. His father has made him work damn hard to prove his worth and now he is also being married off to Angelina, a woman who his parents have been wanting him to marry since his childhood.

Neither are prepared for what happens when their lives cross paths.

Getting out of the house and meeting people was something new for Della. Her mother had always kept her locked indoors, telling her nowhere outside was safe. So Della grew up being home-schooled and she never got to leave the house. That is except for the nights when her next door neighbour Braden would come by and sneak her out to talk her.
So going out on the road was a new experience for her, one of many to come. She'd been out on the road for a while and realised she needed gas, the problem with that? She'd never learned how to pump gas. so she stopped at a gas station and an amazingly gorgeous guy offered his help. How could she refuse? She watched him pump gas and he watched her body and her tight little butt.

After a little flirtatious coercion, Della gets in to the cab of Woods' truck and they have mind-blowingly good sex. Well that's one thing ticked off her list of things to experience. A chance encounter with a hot guy. Now it was time to move on.

For Woods, Della had been an amazing distraction from how mind-numbing his life had become. She was a hot as Hell 19 year old with a rockin' bod that he was lucky enough to have experienced first-hand and up close and personally.

Woods went back to his dull life where he would take his rightful place at the Kerrington Club. And Della went on to the next little town, found herself a job to help save the cash until she moved onto the next place.

Trouble was, Della had an encounter or two with the guy who happened to be her boss. He didn't wear a ring on his finger and never said a word about his pregnant wife.
After finding out, Della needed to move on and fast. Luckily, she had become friends with a good guy called Tripp who offered to call a friend and set up a job for her, and he gave her the keys to his condo so that she had a roof over her head.

Who would've known that the place Tripp sent her to would lead her right back to Woods?

Woods was hating every minute of it but he knew he had to propose to Angelina and marry her so that their fathers would get what they wanted. It was a marriage based solely on the needs of their fathers. Woods didn't love Angelina, Hell, he didn't even like her very much. She was haughty and strutted around like the world owed her a favour. He wanted to marry for love, but he was being put under duress by his stern father who would have it no other way.

Della walked into the Kerrington Club looking for a job and got more than she bargained for when she found out it was run by Woods.

Della worked at the club and lived in Tripp's condo. She made friends easily with her laid-back, friendly nature.

Woods didn't realise Della coming to work for him would have such an impact on his life. He hadn't even known it was Della he was giving a job to until she turned up. Neither one of them had expected to see the other again. But Della had been all Woods had been able to think about for months. He hadn't been able to get their sexual encounter out of his mind.

Being the dutiful son, Woods put an engagement ring on Angelina's finger. Unfortunately for Della, she was rail-roaded into singing at their engagement party. As she sang the words of Lady Antebellum's 'Just A Kiss', it felt like she was singing it to him.

The longer Della stayed in town, the more Woods was wavering in his loyalty to his father. He had been brought up knowing that one day he would take his rightful place as heir to the Kerrington fortune. But looking at his situation, he knew that he didn't want to marry his fiancée. And it all hinged on that pivotal moment.

Della has night terrors. She can't help it after what she went through as a child. Her mother suffered from mental illness, seeing people that were no longer there, leaving plates of food out for when they finally returned home. Della grew up thinking that her Grandmother and her Mother were crazy and that she would one day snap and become crazy too. It was all just a matter of time.

I really can't say more about the story. Partly because this is where the spoilers would come in and partly because this is where my tears start flowing.

Abbi Glines is an amazing author and I am so glad that she has broached the subject of mental health problems. It's refreshing to see somebody tackle such a heart-wrenching subject.
I adored the two main characters and their cast of secondary characters. Not one of them was a worthless character; they all had their place and time.

Della is such a strong, beautiful woman and she just can't see past the fact that she thinks she will go crazy.
Woods is a loyal, kind, fiercely protective man. He's like a lion, wanting to protect something he has come to view as his. He wants to protect Della and shield her from all the badness in the world. There were so many times in this book that I cried and the one thing that truly got me was how protective Woods was and the fact that he cared for her regardless of anything she told him about the the fact she was likely to go crazy.

I wish there were more people who were so relentless in their support of someone with these kinds of issues.

Woods has changed my view of 'book boyfriends' and what I have come to expect from them. I only wish he existed in real life. Can any future book boyfriend match up to expectations now? That's left to be seen.

This book was a fast-paced, beautifully written story. It's main theme being the mental health issues Della believes she will inherit is such a brave thing for Abbi Glines to have written. I don't know whether she has first-hand experience of such a situation, but for me, knowing people that do suffer from different mental illnesses, it seemed as though either Abbi really did her research, or she does know someone in such a position.

I love the fact that although this book is book one of a series, it does not end on a a cliffhanger. It could almost be read as a stand-alone novel, but if you are anything like me, you will be left desperate for your next fix of Woods Kerrington. I hope in the next book, Simple Perfection, that Abbi will give them the kind of happiness that they have worked so hard to deserve.

Falling Into Us (One More Night Trilogy (Rock & Roll Trilogy) Book 2)
Falling Into Us (One More Night Trilogy (Rock & Roll Trilogy) Book 2)
Price: £2.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 2 Jun. 2013
For those of you who read my review of the first book of this trilogy, Falling Into Lust, you know I simply couldn't wait for more Kasper Gillian. Selene didn't fail to provide all the Kaz I need!
I started this trilogy not knowing what I was letting myself in for. Sometimes, when the material I am reading is erotic in nature, I can't connect with the characters all that well. But I found these characters to be 3-dimensional and easy to fall in love with. I forged a real connection with Syd and I fell head over heels for Kaz. Quite simply, Falling Into Lust was one of my favourite books of 2013 so far. Well Falling Into Us has gone and done it again. It's rocketed right to the top of my Most Favourite list.

Whether it's Selene's compelling writing, the characters or the setting, I just seem to love everything about this book. Plus, there's a character named Keren - yes, she's named after and modelled on me. No this doesn't make me bias towards this book, not in the slightest. When my character first appeared, Syd referred to me as "The Skank" - at which point I wanted to jump in and smack her upside her rich girl head.
I was honoured that Selene chose to use me in this book and I wasn't let down by the actions of my character. I may have been only a secondary character, but it was the way I got under Syd's skin because she found out I was Kaz's first love and the reason the band is named Scarlet Fever. I just thought these scenes were hilarious.

Falling Into Us takes us on the first leg of the bands tour and Syd is still unsure what this lifestyle is like. She may think she has an inkling but actually, she's in for a bit of a culture shock. But having said that, she handles the situation with as much class and decorum as she can muster and I have much respect for her character because of this.

Being on the road isn't something that all of us could handle, I know I couldn't. It's packed with gig after gig, travelling everywhere on a tour bus, but at least Kaz books them into some decent hotels when they have overnight stays, he doesn't make Syd sleep on the bus if he can help it. But the constant stream of gigs and after-parties must really be a drain on anybody.

It's not just the touring that Syd has to handle though. Kaz is worried about a certain band members drug usage - he takes coke and Oxycontin, this is not something Kaz is okay with and he has to determine whether or not to take him to one side and talk to him or to leave him to get on with it as long as it doesn't show when they are performing.

Then there's the fact that her former best friend isn't talking to her anymore. Faith won't take Syd's calls or have anything to do with her. Syd isn't sure what to do about it but she's glad she has another friend on the tour so that she's not completely alone. The fact is, Kaz and Scarlet Fever are there to perform and that means that there's times when Syd feels alone. Who wouldn't in her position?

There's also the fact that Kaz's ex-wife Damira decides to come on tour to make a documentary of it. With Damira being such a [bleep], Syd isn't sure how much more she can handle. Kaz hasn't told her he loves her and this makes it all the harder for her. She's falling in love with him and she thinnks that when the tour is over, he's just going to drop her.

I'm glad to say she underestimates the level of Kaz's feelings for her. He swore he wouldn't fall in love or get married again after Damira but Syd has worked her way under his skin and into his heart, something he was definitely not expecting to happen. It seems they both balance each other out and their personalities suit one another, compliment one another perfectly.

It's hard work for Syd because she's been on the road for months, she's having to put up with Damira's little digs as well as Faith ignoring her and it all gets to be a bit much. But even then, Syd's resolve is stronger than any I have experienced. Sometimes, she'll have a cry about things and be a bit emotional, other times she will just pull herself up by the bootstraps and get on with things.

It helps when her and Damira manage to call a shaky truce.At least that's one thing she has to worry less over. The band hire Syd to take photos of them and as Damira is making a documentary of it all, it means that the two of them have to work side by side more than they would like to. I actually gained more respect for Damira in this book than the previous one. She too comes from a broken background and although you don't learn much about it, you can tell it's what made her the woman she is today.

There are secrets being kept from Syd and there's explosive drama that occurs as a direct result. But one thing I can say about Syd is, you think she'll reazct one way to something and she goes and proves you wrong. Maybe she's not the spoilt little rich brat everyone takes her for. She grows with this tour. Not just with her sexual experiences with Kaz, but as a person. She gains more depth. It's great to see her grow and evolve.

There's a lot of drama in this book, but there's also a lot of sex and rock and roll. It's all part of being with a guy who's band is famous and though Syd didn't know what she was letting herself in for in the beginning, she actually handles things way better than I would have done given the circumstances.

Selene Chardou's writing is like a breath of fresh air. She pours her heart and soul into each book and you can tell that there are scenes where if I cried reading them, then more likely than not, she cried whilst writing them.
I fell hook, line and sinker into Falling Into Us and read it in two sittings. I would have read it in one but I started it too late in the night and had to go to bed. I can't wait for Falling Into Love and I really hope that Kaz finally admits to Syd that he is in love with her. Reading his story, you understand why he keeps his guard up - but you also know that he knows he will push Syd away if he keeps trying to hold her at arms length.

I have chosen to award this book 5 wings because it has the total package. It has real, believable characters. Then there's the fact that yes, there's a lot of steamy sex scenes, but it also has a great story arc too. Selene pushes the characters to grow and to get underneath your skin. I defy anyone to read this book and not get absolutely lost in the pages, and fall head over heels for the characters. They aren't just caricatures, these are more like real people you would expect to see in your day-to-day life.

If you want a book that is a fresh story idea, plus sex and really sexy characters then this is the book for you.
Don't forget to purchase a copy of the first book, Falling Into Lust. Then don;t forget that Falling Into Love is due out this month!

I look forward to the final book in this trilogy, but also to reading many more books by Selene Chardou. She has fast become one of my favourite authors because she thinks outside the box rather than being confined to restraints.

Forbidden Love (Wolf Hunt Book 1)
Forbidden Love (Wolf Hunt Book 1)
Price: £3.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Erotic, Passionate, Forbidden Love, Who Wouldn't Want Some Of That?!, 26 May 2013
This book is short and sweet, so deserves a short and sweet review.

Erotic, passionate, forbidden love. Who doesn't want some of that? I sure do.
This is the first book of a trilogy and I can tell you now, I NEED the next two installments like a flower needs the rain.
When Natalie asked me if I wanted to review her new novella, I automatically jumped at the chance. Having read one of her books recently and enjoying it immensely, I knew that no matter what, I would love this book and she didn't leave me wanting. Well, she did. Wanting more Elijah. But then who wouldn't?!

Keta is a vampire hunter and has earned herself the nickname "The Silent Killer". She wants to rid the world of the scum that made her what she is today. Elijah was born a vampire but was bitten by a wolf so he is a half-breed, something that has never existed before. When their paths cross, there is an attraction so intense and full of lust. Neither of them understand why they feel the way they do after such a short time, but after the feelings have awoken, they won't go away.
But Keta is keeping a secret and if Elijah uncovers the truth, he may walk away from her without another thought. She doesn't want that to happen so she remains stoic in keeping her secret.

Commanded by the alpha male of the pack, Elijah must obey Rio's order to find his daughter who went missing 3 months previously. Why did Rio wait 3 months to report his daughter missing and why is it so imperative that Elijah find her now?

Elijah hates Rio with passion but cannot go against the alpha of the pack. Though Elijah is also vampire, when he is given an order by Rio, he must do as he is told or suffer the pain that comes with disobeying a direct order.

So Elijah and Keta set out to find Katerina. Their journey is not altogether an easy one. Fraught with danger and an undeniable attraction to one another, this makes for a story well worth reading!

I absolutely LOVED this book. If I could award more than 5 wings, I really would! I cannot wait for books 2 & 3 because I have been left swooning for more Elijah.
The characters are great and they are easy to bond with. I defy anyone not to do the same.

Natalie Hancock is a great author and knows just how to leave a girl satiated yet wanting more at the same time. This story may only be a novella but it packs the punch of a full-length novel. With passion and action to boot, this is one hell of a story.

Thank you Natalie for allowing me to read and review Forbidden Love. What can I say, it was nothing short of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Falling Into Lust (One More Night Trilogy (Rock & Roll Trilogy) Book 1)
Falling Into Lust (One More Night Trilogy (Rock & Roll Trilogy) Book 1)

5.0 out of 5 stars If You're Looking For A Tattooed Rocker, Come Meet Kaz Gillian, 20 May 2013
When I talked to Selene Chardou about reviewing her book, Falling Into Lust, I wasn't prepared to fall for Kaz just as much as I did. I love rockers, especially of the tattooed variety. If there's anything as hot as a tattooed guy, I sure ain't seen it! This book is the first in the One More Night novella series and let me say if this is how hot the series begins, I can't even begin to imagine how hot and explosive the ending will be.
I read this in just one sitting and I am absolutely dying for Falling Into Us, which comes next.
With Selene's brilliant writing and sex scenes that are just smokin' - well, we have a winning combination.
I thought at one point I might spontaneously combust -well, not so 'spontaneously' ;)

Syd wants her twenty-third birthday party to be one to remember and ever one to give in to her wants and needs, Syd's Grandfather hires rock band Scarlet Fever to play a private gig for her and some friends and family aboard his yacht.
The night of the party arrives and Syd is dressed to kill. she's a girl with a mission. It's been an unfulfilled wish to bed a rocker and she imagines how it would feel were she to bed the notorious womaniser, Kasper 'Kaz' Gillian, lead singer of Scarlet Fever. The band are all known for their womanising ways, but it's Kaz that Syd has her sights on. Once Syd makes up her mind to do something, nothing can stop her, come Hell or high water.

When Syd and Kaz meet, there is an inexplicable electricity in the air. There's sexual tension aplenty, but is it just lusting after each other or could there actually be a deeper connection on a more emotional level? Well I'm hoping we discover more about them in the upcoming books because even though we're just at the beginning of their journey, it's easy to see that there are more layers to be unravelled.

I was instantly hooked by the compelling way that Selene Chardou writes. Then there's the undeniable pull of the sexual chemistry between Syd and Kaz. I found myself wanting, needing to read faster. I also found myself wishing Selene could write faster because I need Falling Into Us now.

This installment had a great flow to it, nothing was forced. It felt like a full-length novel with the amount of story she managed to tell in such a short space of time. I found that I liked all of the characters, there wasn't one bad one in the bunch. But I guess only time will tell if they stay that way or if there are actually skeletons hiding in some closets. I really like a book where I can invest in the characters and this seems like it's going to be an emotional series for me.

If you're looking for a steamy, un-put-down-able book - then this is just the right one for you. It's a really great mixture of fantastic writing, an eclectic cast of characters and just the right amount of spice.

Stages of Grace
Stages of Grace
Price: £2.38

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book That Resonated Deeply Within Me, 20 May 2013
This review is from: Stages of Grace (Kindle Edition)
When Carey Heywood said she was looking for reviewers, I jumped at the chance. I have never read anything by her before but she came highly recommended by a friend. So it was a chance for me to meet a new author and be introduced to her world. I can tell you now, I am so very happy that I did. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have known what a fabulous author she was and what she would bring to my life in the form of Stages of Grace.

This book made such an impact on me for a couple of reasons, one because it's written so beautifully but it also resonates with me on a deeper level because I suffered similarly to Grace. So much so it could have been called "Stages of Keren" instead.

Denial... Anger... Bargaining... Depression... and finally Acceptance.
These stages of grief are more prominently associated with death. But what happens when it's the death of a relationship not an actual person?

At first, Grace and Jon were blissfully happy. She'd been out on a blind date with someone and had seen Jon across the bowling alley - he was gorgeous, kind, funny... all the things you'd want in a boyfriend. They were always stealing kisses and sharing happy moments. That was until they'd been together for 3 years and Jon wasn't the easygoing man she had come to know and love. He became distant and cold, snapping at her for the slightest thing.
They used to have a morning routine of sharing a coffee and then seeing each other off to work, then Jon lost his job. For a short time, he kept up with the routine, seeing Grace off to her job as a doctor's receptionist but then one day he just stopped.
Every little thing Grace did seemed to annoy him. She was permanently walking on eggshells. She got to the point where she would put her clothes for the following morning in the bathroom the night before because getting dressed in their bedroom had Jon shouting at her for making too much noise.
This resonated within me because I once had a partner who was much the same, only he hit me too. Fortunately for Grace, Jon never physically hurt her, but the mental abuse was just as bad as physical abuse.

Grace would go to work, and that would be the only reprieve she got because she worked with her friend Nikita. But when she got home on a night, she never knew what she'd be walking into.

There were no more tender moments or romantic gestures. Jon would wait until Grace went to bed and then he'd have the cheek to take her car out (because he now couldn't afford the upkeep of his own car) and he'd stay out until all hours doing lord only knows what. If Grace had asked him what he was up to, he would have gone ballistic. So she never asked.

Grace was an orphan, her parents having died recently. Jon had seen her through those times with a tissue for her tears and a shoulder to cry on. So what had happened to the old Jon? Where had the sensitive guy she'd fallen in love with disappeared to? What could she do to bring him back? Was it her fault?

One day, an unexpected letter has Grace shocked. She has a grandmother who is alive and living in Florida. Why hadn't her mother told her this when she was alive? She had always believed her mother when she said that her grandmother was dead. But here, now, she was reading a letter that confirmed this to be a lie.

Upon visiting her grandmother Kate in Florida, Grace has time to reflect on what her life is like. She sees it through fresh eyes. Of course, it helps that her grandmother's next door neighbour Ryan is hot. Not that I condone cheating to any degree, but with what she had suffered, I was silently encouraging her to at least kiss Ryan.

Kate asking her to stay with her in Florida makes Grace reassess her life. Is she happy? Does she love Jon anymore? Is there anything keeping her in Ohio? She could get a job in Florida. She could live with Kate. She could do anything with her life. But could she leave Jon or would she stay and try to make the relationship work?

Well these are questions you must endeavour to find out the answers to for yourself.

This book is an emotionally fraught journey for sure. The first stage, Denial, I was right there with her. I kept leaving the partner that beat me but I kept returning. He had a way of emotionally blackmailing me into staying, promising he'd never hit me again. I kept believing he could change. Lesson to be learned from that? A leopard never changes it's spots.
The next stage, Anger. I could feel this emotion probably just as strongly as Grace. How could Jon turn from someone so loving to someone who shouted and screamed at her for the slightest of things? She felt the anger rising inside her because all the times she thought she was in the wrong, she wasn't. There was nothing wrong with the way Grace acted. It was Jon who was in the wrong and how dare he assume to take it out on her.
Then there was Bargaining. Well, Carey Heywood knows how to play with my emotions and she had me here too.
I was all too quickly thrown into Depression and so I totally felt Grace's plight. I was hurt that he mentally and physically bullied me into staying by his side. Calling me whenever he was on a break at work. Not letting me have a job because he was jealous that I might find someone else. Well in the end, I did find a job and I did find someone else. Someone like Ryan. Someone who treated me as an equal. As a person to loved, desired, cherished. not beaten and destroyed. It was in this stage that I must admit, I cheated. Looking back on it, it wasn't the right thing to do... BUT... he had beaten all the love out of me and I craved someone to put the pieces of me back together.
Lastly, we have Acceptance. For Grace, it was acceptance that it was time to make a change in her life. She had to stand up and be counted as an equal. She had to accept that it wasn't her fault that Jon had taken his problems out on her. He tried making her think that it was her fault for rubbing it in that she had a job and he only got "an allowance" like a child. Well she finally succeeded in standing up and making herself heard.
Acceptance for me was realising that it was not okay for [bleep] to beat me or mentally abuse me. I finally took that step to leave him, permanently!

So I felt Grace's every moment, cowering in case anything she did set Jon off. But I also felt every moment when her smile started to shine through. The moments she felt happiness being with her grandmother or being around Ryan.

Even if you've never been through a similar situation, I truly believe that you will have a hard job keeping yourself from empathising with Grace. She is such a beautiful character, both inside and out. She craves the love she used to have, but with the finality of the death of her relationship, a butterfly emerges from the cocoon. A stronger woman who can finally get what she wants from her life.

The writing style of Carey Heywood sucked me in. She pulled at my heartstrings at every turn. A tumultuous journey from beginning to end, Stages of Grace shoots right toward the top of my Best Books of 2013 list.
I am now looking to get all of the books Carey has written and I believe she is writing a sequel to SoG, I truly hope she does.
There aren't enough words to describe this story without totally ruining your own first-hand experience of it. All I can tell you is that you won't be sorry you bought this book and spent a wonderful few hours lost within the pages. I smiled when Grace smiled, a laughed when she laughed, and I even cried a couple of times. People who know me know that I can't resist a book that makes me feel this much emotion.

If my review gets even just one person to read this book, then I will have done my job.

If you are in a similar situation to Grace, it may even help you take stock of your own life and get out before getting too hurt.

Thank you Carey for providing the e-copy of SoG for review. Thank you for hitting every emotion on the head. But thank you most of all for creating Ryan for me to swoon over.
Ryan... how I long for a second book... maybe from his POV?... A girl can dream!

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden)
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden)
by Julie Kagawa
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Amazing Book In The Blood Eden Series, 7 May 2013
Have you ever loved a book and hated it both at the same time? I have had a couple of those and The Eternity Cure is one of those. There are many reasons to love it and those are the ones I could talk about all day. But the reason I hate it? Well there's two reasons actually, one I can share and one I can't.
The reason I can share? Well, this book was a roller coaster of emotions and at the peak of those emotions, I came crashing down - I literally crashed and burned and fell apart in tears. I love a book that can make me so invested in the characters that I feel their emotions along with them - but this time was different. I loved it and hated it because it broke my heart. But then possibly redeemed itself in the Epilogue. I'm literally DYING without book 3.
I remember when I read The Immortal Rules last year. I was so excited because I had an eARC of a book that people were hyping up and I got so swept up in the hype - which is totally unlike me - but anyway, I read it and it became a fast favourite of 2012. I remember thinking that the sequel couldn't possibly be as good - Hell, I have to admit I was wrong - it was BETTER!

Allie Sekemoto has made a vow that she will find and rescue her sire and mentor, Kanin. She can feel that he's in pain, she dreams about the things that are happening to him. She can feel a pull in his direction and she vows to follow it so that she can help him get free from Sarren, a vicious vampire who's gone mad. He might be the only known vampire to come back from insanity, but it changed him in ways that cannot be reversed. He's so strong and his agenda is as yet unknown but whatever it is, it has something to do with Kanin. Why else would he chain him up in the dark and do unspeakable things to him? For fun? Knowing Sarren, the answer is "Quite probably!"

Unfortunately, Allie can feel two pulls in different directions, one slightly stronger than the other and she is unsure which one to follow. She isn't even sure how she'll rescue Kanin from possibly the strongest vampire she has ever come across. All she knows is that Kanin is on the brink of being broken and going insane and she will do anything to rescue the man who once rescued her.

Allie decides to follow one of the two pulls she feels inside and who should she bump into but Jackal - her blood brother, having been sired by Kanin a long time ago.
Allie hates Jackal, and with good reason. He's never given her a reason to do anything other than distrust him. He's not necessarily evil per se, he's just... spiteful, vengeful, sadistic... you get the picture. So he's not exactly on Allie's good side. She mistrusts him based on past encounters yet here he is offering to help her find their sire. Why? Well that's not really clear. Jackal will always have his own agenda and helping Allie find Kanin isn't something he does from the bottom of his unbeating heart.

So Allie and Jackal form an uneasy alliance and go in search of their sire. There are a few problems they encounter along the way. One of which is the fact that many humans seem to be infected with something that makes them crazy. They tear at their own skin. If they are knocked down, they get back up as though nothing happened. The only way to stop them coming at you in a fight is to slice them in half or cut off their heads, something fatal.

The journey is not easy and once they reach their destination, further complications arise. They need to get in to see Prince Salazar but how? They need to free Kanin, but how? Nothing is as they think. It couldn't be more complicated.

Do they free Kanin? Do they find the elusive "cure" they seek? Does the cure even exist? There are so many questions that arise and every time you think that you have this book figured out, Julie Kagawa goes and throws a spanner in the works.

I have to say, I loved The Immortal rules and it deserved every one of the 5 wings I awarded it. But The Eternity Cure should be given an extra few stars for the cunning, the creativity and the outcome. It was AMAZING. INCREDIBLE. One of my top books of 2013 so far.

Julie Kagawa is a very talented author. She inspires me to write better in my book. The intricacies of this book, the way she makes you think that you are being betrayed, the way she makes you fall head over heels in love with Zeke... Everything she does shows her talent. She makes you care about her characters, really invest in them. As I said at the start of this review, she made me crash and burn at the end. There were a couple of times throughout the book that I shed a few small tears. but the ending, that just tore down my defences. Julie Kagawa gets under your skin. She makes you feel as though you've been sucked into the book. I found that it took longer to read this book than the first, and in the beginning, it was paced slightly slower. But as I got further into the story, the pace picked up and I found myself turning the pages faster and faster.

You can safely say, this book was a blast. It was anything but boring. It was nothing short of perfection and I don't know how she plans to top or even match it in book 3. But roll on book 3 because I am betting it is going to be another kick-A installment in the series.

Love Me For Me (New Adult/ Bad Boy Contemporary Romance) (Safe Haven Book 1)
Love Me For Me (New Adult/ Bad Boy Contemporary Romance) (Safe Haven Book 1)
Price: £3.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read In One Sitting, Couldn't Stop Reading Til The End!, 7 May 2013
I'm not entirely sure how to proceed with this review. When I was first sent the email by RABT about participating in the tour, I read the synopsis and agreed as it seemed like the sort of thing I would enjoy. In a way I was right. Yet I later learned that it opened up old wounds. It didn't make me dislike the book, it actually made me empathise with Serena on a level I didn't think possible before I started reading.

Serena is at college. It's been a fresh start for her since getting the scholarship. She shares a dorm with her best friend, Kaylee. Serena is past the days of being a party girl though. She no longer sleeps with random boys, even if they are cute. It's been hard for her, getting where she is today. She has a past that she isn't proud of - there's a sordid secret she's never told anyone, bar one person. That person didn't believe her. So now she keeps herself to herself and doesn't let anyone get close.
When she first told her mother her secret, she hoped and prayed she would believe her. But her mother Felicity was blind to the facts. She point blank refused to believe her daughter. So Serena went off sleeping with any boy that paid her any attention. She put on weight as a defence mechanism. These were the only ways she thought she'd be able to cope.

One day, she's late to class and can't bring herself to enter because the tutor doesn't think well of being tardy. She looks up and sees a gorgeous boy who's also late for class. They decide to ditch together and go and grab a coffee whilst studying for the clqass they have skipped.

There's an air between them that crackles with electricity. But Serena has promised herself she is done with her days of meaningless sex. She can't give someone the "more" that most people can give, she feels that she comes with too much emotional baggage and therefore she cannot commit to anyone.

But Alex is gorgeous, kind, funny, and in no danger of going anywhere any time soon.

Serena wars with herself about wanting to open up to Alex, but she can't. She's never breathed a word of it since Felicity didn't believe her. There are times when her room-mate Kaylee looks at her as though she too has past experiences that she suffers silently. But Serena can't even share with her best friend what's tucked away in the darkest recess of her mind.

It might be okay for Serena to say that she can't tell anyone because no-one will understand. But in reality, she's just keeping those that care about her at arms length. If she told them the truth, they might just stand a chance of believing her.

Serena and Alex date but she keeps those walls built up around her. One night, as they are kissing, Serena finds that Alex has scars. He may well even have a secret of his own. She wants him to share with her his innermost secrets, but that makes her hypocritical if she won't open up to him.

What ensues is a beautiful, if tragic tale of a love that won't survive if some of their baggage isn't tossed overboard. Will Serena trust Alex enough to tell him the truth? Will Alex tell her his own secret? Everybody has inner demons, but it's only when we finally open up and share with those that love us that we find a weight has been lifted from our shoulders.
How do I know? Well I suffered from the same past as Serena. I dealt with it in exactly the same way as she did and admitting that might make you think I'm nothing but a dirty [bleep] - that's on you, feel free to take that opinion - but for me, it was a coping mechanism, the same as it was for Serena.
Two people who go through the same fate may not end up dealing with it in the same way. But for me, [my Mom] Alison didn't believe me about my step-dad either and in that way, Kate Laurens could have been describing me when she wrote Serena's character.

I have to say, this book touched me so much and at 76% through, warm salty tears raced their way down my cheeks. I was really feeling the emotional pain of these characters tortured souls.

Kate Laurens debut novel is a tale of a hurt little girl who shuts herself off to the world and when she grows up, finds it hard to know who she can place her trust in. Enter Alex, the handsome, loving man who wants her to open up but at the same time doesn't pressure her. He's kind, loyal, loving, caring, all the traits you could want in a man. He loves Serena entirely, wholeheartedly and would give anything to be able to help her fight the demons that haunt her.

In Another Life YA Sweet Romance
In Another Life YA Sweet Romance
Price: £2.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Amazing Novel By Jo Cattell, 25 April 2013
I have to say in all honesty that I don't know how to begin this review. This book was one of the most emotional books I have ever read.
It may come as a surprise to some of you but not to others that I adore everything that Jo Cattell writes, and everything she writes makes me cry - well, In Another Life was no exception. I cried from nearly the first page and read much of the book with tears in my eyes.

This story is based on a true story and knowing that is probably one of the major factors behind my tears. Everything that happened, well most things, actually happened in real life and that made it all the harder for me to keep my emotions in check.

A lot of you who have read my reviews before know that if I am moved by a book, I will have a good cry. But this book brought out the sobbing baby in me. It wasn't until the end that I cried as hard as I have ever cried in my life. So that's your warning to have a whole box of tissues ready before you open this book.

Anne is a good girl. she deserves to be treated like a Queen or at the very least a Princess, by any man in her life. But that's not the case when she meets Jim. Her friends think she needs a boyfriend and so encourage her to go out on a date with him - I read the first date scene and it was at that moment in time that I knew that Jim was NOT the right person for our wonderful Anne.
Through Jim, she meets his best friend, Nate. He's everything that Jim isn't. He's good looking in a kind of nerdy way [and I love nerdy]. He's good and kind. He makes her laugh. Trouble is, he's Jim's best friend, so Anne shouldn't see him in the way she does. She shouldn't look forward to time spent with Jim just because she gets to see Nate.
Upon dumping Jim [which is totally the right thing to do] she gives Nate a hug goodbye, feeling that she won't see him again because of how things have ended up. But she couldn't be more wrong.
She didn't know it at the time but Nate liked her all along. He wanted to hit Jim for some of the things he said and did to Anne. He knows she deserves so much better.

So Anne and Nate start seeing each other. He has to admit to her that he is poorly and needs dialysis. He really needs a kidney transplant but the waiting list is long and he doesn't know if or when he's likely to get one.
Anne doesn't let this bother her. She does things for him and treats him well. She treats him with the same respect he treats her, which is how a real relationship should be. They are such an adorable couple.
Anne's best friend Monica and her boyfriend Joe really think that Nate is good for her. They all plan days on the beach and Joe's family have a place they can all head off to for a short getaway.
The relationship blossoms and you can see the two really love each other. It's like they are two halves of the same whole - soul mates.

One day, good news comes, they've found a kidney for Nate. They couldn't be more excited. He's been so poorly for so long that it's a big deal that they've managed to find him a match.

[Spoiler Carefully Extracted]

Anne and Nate get by day to day knowing that he is so poorly, but she looks after him the way anyone who loves someone would. They are a young couple in love and you couldn't want anything other than a Happily Ever After for them.
Nate's Mom and Dad like Anne, the only person who seems to have something against her is his sister. She seems to think that the moment his health takes a decline, Anne will leave him. Little does she know, she couldn't be more wrong.

In life, you are lucky if you find 'the one' and if you do, it's a once in a lifetime thing. If you've ever felt true love, it's an all consuming thing that means come Hell or high water, you would do anything for the one you love. You would walk from one end of the Earth to the other, walk over hot coals, move mountains, all things that sound like clichés - but if you think they're clichés, then maybe that's because you've never been in love. You may think you have, but in my opinion, you haven't.
I know that this couple in real life, would have done all those things for each other. They were young, yes, but also so in love - a love like which, some people in life may never be lucky enough to experience.

This book was an all-consuming thing for me. From the moment I picked it up until the moment I put it down, I was right there alongside them, feeling everything they went through.
I know that Jo pours her heart and soul into each book she writes and this book felt like something extra too. It was like she was telling us a secret, something she'd kept inside.

There is a song that sprung to mind when I was reading this book, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks.

Jo Cattell is an amazing author and I defy anyone to think differently. She writes from the heart and gives each book her all. You feel like you're on a roller coaster, with the ups and downs and loop-the-loops. But it becomes your favourite roller coaster and you don't want to get off.

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