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The Doorknob Society (The Doorknob Society Series Book 1)
The Doorknob Society (The Doorknob Society Series Book 1)
Price: £0.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 6 Aug. 2012
Well, where to start? That is the question. This book was incredible and it's hard to think what to say without spilling out a shed-load of spoilers.

Chloe Masters is the daughter of a magician, or so it would seem. She's used to her father pulling off tricks that look far more simple than they are. She thinks that that's all there is to it. Little does she know how wrong she is and what an impact the truth will have on her life.

Chloe's mother disappeared when she was a young girl. She feels lost and hurt that the mother that she loved would just vanish, so she loses herself in her fathers magic act where illusions are a part of her everyday life. But Chloe's world dramatically changed forever they day she learned of a whole other side to what she had once thought of as merely 'parlour tricks'.

Upon touching a doorknob, Chloe's once dormant abilities are activated and becomes ensnared in a world of ancient societies, secrets, lies and more magic than she ever knew existed. One thing she knows for sure is that she's no longer the ordinary girl she once claimed to be.

Whilst Chloe is busy uncovering the truth behind her shocking discovery, her father goes missing. Dismayed by the fact that another parent - the one that she knew she could rely on - has gone missing, Chloe takes it upon herself to try and find him - pulling her new found friends into what is unbeknownst to them, a race against time to find the one man that knows the truth behind the facade the societies have come to believe to be the truth.

The societies believe that the stories of an ancient artifact gone missing are nothing but myth and legend. It is now up to Chloe and her not-so conventional group of friends to dispel the myth that surrounds them.

As for her new found friends, well, unconventional they may be but they also come to be the best of allies and friends that a girl could wish for.

Let's start with my favourite of the bunch shall we?! His name is James Nightshade. That boy is so handsome. He's also your typical bad-boy. I find myself, like many others, with an addiction to bad-boys. This time is no different. I have a deep and profound love for Nightshade. He is broken and haunted by the past and I defy anyone not to love him as much as I do by the end of the book.
Nightshade is known to offend and is quick with the jibs and the sardonic smiles. His humour is akin to none other, I love how he wears his sarcasm as a badge of honour. He made me really want to dig deep into his psyche to find out exactly what it is in that past of his that has left him damaged seemingly beyond repair.

Then there's Michael Slade. Oh how I love Slade. Where Nightshade is your bad-boy, Slade is the polar opposite. He's good looking, warm, kind, funny. Most of all he is sensitive to Chloe's wants and needs. Also, to what she doesn't know she needs until he provides it.
Chloe herself is broken and Slade wants to help fix her. He is patient and tells her that he knows she doesn't want a boyfriend right now but he will wait for her until she is ready. Where Nightshade is infuriating and demanding, Slade is pleasing and easygoing.

Then there's Chloe. She's one hell of a feisty firecracker of a character. She is definitely one of my favourite protagonists of late. She is self-confessed a broken girl. Maybe that's why her and Nightshade find themselves sparking off each other, they are so alike. It's also the reason why her and Slade get on so well because he is a soothing tonic to her soul, he helps fix her even though she doesn't realise it.
I admire Chloe for the fact that she laughs in the face of danger and she packs a mean punch.

There are other characters who I can't really mention right now, much as I would love to - I just know that my mouth would run away with me.

I know I haven't really told you much about the story itself either, which is usually a part of my reviews. But I really feel like the journey is one you must undertake for yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed.

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up TDS, but I am sure that it exceeded any pre-determined ideas I might of had.

There is action aplenty and you won't be able to help getting swept along. There are some real uproarious moments, you will be laughing out loud. There were times I was literally holding my sides thinking I would fall apart at the seams.
The secondary characters aren't really all that secondary in this book. MJ Fletcher has managed to write his story so that everyone plays their part and they play it well.
There's Edgar, oh I love that boy. There's Val, oh how I want to punch her and hug her all at once. Then there's Jess, Mr Miller, Mr Jordan... I won't say who the good guys are, nor point out the baddie in the bunch - they are there for you to find and come to love or loathe for yourself.

I love MJ Fletcher's style of writing. It immediately sucks you in and takes you on a journey of discovery, fun and camarderie - but also of sadness, loss, betrayal and hurt.
The writing flows beautifully and puts me in mind of others I have read that went on to become best-sellers.

If you loved the Harry Potter books and were, like me, sad they ended, then this book is for you. It really is a must-read this summer for all.
There's something for everybody lying behind the covers. There's the bad-boy and the dreamy good-guy. There's the annoying best friend and the 'geeky' boy who's proficient with any and all maps. There are people you want to laugh with and would be proud to call a friend and there are the bad -guys that you really want to smack upside the head and say 'what the hell is wrong with you?' (or is that just me? You might want to do something worse than that to them but I am of the belief that there's good in everyone, you just have to find it). There's also Caleb Darker but I won't tell you where he fits in with it all.

Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1)
Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars COEXIST, 25 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Original Post on my blog as part of the RABT Blog Tour:

Firstly, some cover art appreciation. Those of you familiar with my blog will already know this but for those of you who are new, I am a self-confessed cover-magpie. I collect pretty and shiny covers. This one is certainly both! I am not actually a big lover of the colour green, never have been really. But this cover defies that. I adore it, not in spite of it's colour, instead because I think it wouldn't look right any other way. The model is beautiful and it is just so eye-catching.

It was when I received the email from RABT asking if I wanted to sign up for the tour that I first saw this cover. It instantly had me wanting to know what this book was about.

Now I have read it and I am here to tell you why I awarded it the 4 wing rating.

From the very first page of this book I was drawn in. It was a lightning-paced page turner of a book. I love books that aren't overly drawn out before you get into the thick of the story. Don't get me wrong, I like world-building, just not huge information overloads that make you feel as though your brain might explode.

COEXIST is the story of 16 year old Keegan. She's not your typical teenager and not just because she isn't all sullen teenage angst. What makes her different is that she's an elf.
She's a friendly, sweet, caring girl who seems to adore her family and friends. The only one thing she doesn't have is a boyfriend.
Elves are allowed to date, but once they turn 18, they are law-bound to marry their 'Chosen' partner (soul mate).
This 'Chosen' is exactly what it says on the tin - chosen for them. It's not a choice they make for themselves. The choice is made based upon their likes/dislikes, who and what they are. Their perfect match is then selected but that information isn't given to them until they are 18.
So for Keegan, she knows she has a 'Chosen' and she knows his name is Rourk. So she chooses not to date anyone else, she's waiting for her soul mate. Realistically, she shouldn't even know his name, but her brother Thaddeus is a Seer - meaning he has visions - and he told her his name.

At this point, I was loving the story but wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole 'Chosen' thing. I mean, is there really any point in dating anyone else when you know you can't be with them past 18? What happens if you fall in love at the age of 17 only to be torn from that relationship to marry someone you have never met and it's been decided for you whether they are in fact good enough for you?
I get the fact that the matches are made on the basis of likes, dislikes, interests and so on and so forth. But, who is to say that just because you have things in common that you are going to be the ideal match. For instance, I have a lot in common with a lot of my friends, but it doesn't mean I would want to be in a relationship with any of them - hence why I'm not.
Plus, I would want to know what my partner was going to look like considering it's to be a life-long relationship. Okay so that may be a wee bit shallow but aren't we all a little shallow really? Would you want to be with someone who you find completely unattractive? No? Nor would I.
Lastly, call me old-fashioned, but it's not really very romantic. It's not like they get a chance to meet each other and work at the relationship - it's more like everything is plotted out for them. That, to me, kills the romance of it all.

But regardless of being in two minds about how that would pan out, I was enjoying the story so I thought I would give the Chosen thing a chance to grow on me.

The one thing I really liked about this story was that because it was told from third person point of view, you got chance to see things from different people throughout. It was done in such a way that it didn't feel too choppy and you didn't get lost trying to figure who the particular part was on about. So you got to learn about many of the different characters in a short space of time, rather than being stuck in the head of Keegan and learning about them in her words.

It wasn't just a story about love. There was some action in there too, which pleased me immensely. There was a war between the light and the dark (you'll find out what I mean when you read the book)
I would have loved the part about this to have been a little more involved, a little more detailed. But maybe that's just me. I won't tell you the outcome or anything, all I will say is that it ended a little too quickly. I would have liked to have read more fight scenes.

I really liked Rourk - the love interest - and I love how it is between them when Keegan and Rourk finally meet. It made me wonder if I was misjudging the whole 'Chosen' thing, so I ended up accepting it for what it was, the law of the society in which they live. I may not like or want it for myself, but then I'm not the one living it am I?!

I like Julia Crane's easy writing style. She doesn't unnecessarily overcomplicate things. I found myself able to read this pretty quickly. Though if real-life hadn't gotten in the way, I would have finished it in one sitting.
I am looking forward to the other two books in this trilogy and to finding out where it all leads for all the characters involved. There hasn't yet been a character I don't like. Whether that's because elves have a naturally sunnier disposition than us humans do - I don't really know.
There are secondary characters who I would definitely love to hear more from and I read that Julia is writing spin-off novels to tell us more about each in their own right. I will look forward to reading them, that's for sure.

So thanks must go to RABT for the invite to the blog tour. Also to Julia Crane for introducing me to elves in YA. I can't wait to see where this journey leads them in the last two books.

Savage (Daughters of the Jaguar Book 1)
Savage (Daughters of the Jaguar Book 1)
Price: £3.12

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAVAGE, 25 Jun. 2012
When I first picked up this book, I was a little taken aback by the fact that an older Christian was narrating the story. I wasn't sure how it was going to work with an older version of him telling us what happened to him when he was younger. But - and this is a very big BUT - it worked perfectly. After just a chapter, I had settled into his narrative and was looking forward to him taking me on a journey.

That, is exactly what happened. A journey of discovery.

The year is 1983 and Christian is hoping to fulfill his fathers wishes and become a doctor. His father has paid for him to leave his home in Denmark and go to Med School in America for a year. So he goes, even though it's not really his own dream. No, Christian would go through life from one job to the next, one woman to the next. He's not exactly the settling type. More the 'love them and leave them' sort.

There's 2 quotes that I really loved that show you what kind of person Christian is.

"I loved girls, but I used them and threw them away. I devoured them. I exploited the fact that they adored me."

"Some even came into my life thinking that they would be the ones that could change my ways and make me settle down, they wanted to save me from myself, but they always leave with a broken heart."

He knows that he's good looking and charming. He knows that girls adore his curly mane of hair, his beautiful smile. He plays on these attributes to make girls flock to him, then he discards them as though they meant nothing. Fact is, that's exactly what they mean to him - nothing.

But he has an eidetic memory and feels that he can become a doctor quite easily. After all, he only needs to read a book once and it's there in his memory banks.
At this point, I don't really believe Christian thinks there's any more to becoming a doctor than 'book smarts' - I mean, it takes a lot of hard graft to be a doctor. It's not all about what's in the text books. There are things you need to learn that either come naturally or you work hard at - but he seems to think that because of his memory, he can waltz through it.

When Christian arrives in Florida, he is to live with the Kirk family. Dr and Mrs Kirk and their daughter, Heather. They have agreed to give him a home whilst he studies, but Dr Kirk would like him to keep his hands off his daughter. Which for Christian will be hard to do, Heather is beautiful. But being the 'love them and leave them' guy that he is, perhaps he really should keep his eyes off her. It would only cause problems within the household and having to live there for a year could become quite uncomfortable...

It's on an evening with Heather and her friends at the Twelve Mile Swamps that Christian's life takes a dramatic change of course. Both Heather and Christian are swimming in the water, but it's Christian that falls victim to an alligator attack.

They say that in a near-death experience, your life flashes before you. But Christian instead sees a jaguar come to his rescue. A beautiful creature with black rosettes in it's fur. This jaguar attacks the alligators, crushing their skulls with just one bite. Then instead of attacking Christian too, it drags him to shore.

His injuries mean that Christian can't start school as scheduled. Instead he spends his days at the Kirks home recuperating.

In the garden one day, Christian sees the little girl in the garden next door. She seems to be sitting amongst floating toys. Her and her older sister are playing and laughing. Christian witnesses this and can't help but smile. The older sister is a beautiful sight to behold.
So it's with this in mind he goes to introduce himself.

Little does Christian know that introducing himself to the girls and their family will take his life off the course he thought that it was on.

Aiyana - the beautiful older sister - and he become close. Something seems to take over his thoughts when he is with her. It's as though he needs her. He craves her affection. He's never felt this way about a girl before and it comes as a shock.
The family encourage him to play the guitar and sing his beautiful songs, something he hasn't done much since the alligator attacked him. He's been in a kind of funk and can't seem to bring himself out of it. So they encourage him to play for them, use his beautiful voice to sing them songs that he sang after his mother passed away when he was younger.
With this family, in their home, Christian feels something he hasn't felt in a long time, true happiness.

I can't tell you what happens from here. There are things that must be discovered for yourself. There are twists and shocks that I simply cannot reveal.

I loved this book. It was easy to get swept away with the story. There were ups and downs for all involved. But though there were trials and tribulations that Christian must face, on the whole, this story was a joy to behold. You follow Christian through from being a young 'Casanova' to being a more mature young man who finally knows what it's like to feel true love.
But it's not just a love story. And not all is as it seems. This is a Paranormal Romance - there are secrets to be told. Are you ready to listen?

Telesa: The Covenant Keeper
Telesa: The Covenant Keeper
by Lani Wendt Young
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Originally posted as part of the blog tour, 13 Jun. 2012
Oh My Goodness. What to say about this book?... *taps finger in chin in contemplation*
I just don't know what to say to do it justice. I always reflect on a book at the end and this time, I've come to my review without knowing what I am going to say. I'm just typing and hoping it makes sense.

So I'll start at the beginning. I was asked to review TELESA as part of the RABT tours and I signed up right away. From the synopsis, I knew it was something different and intriguing. I haven't come across anything like it before and as I am always keen to try new things, this appealed to me.

Take a look at the cover and I defy you not to see it's unequalled beauty. At first, I wasn't sure how it linked to the story, but that is something you discover as you journey into Samoa with Leila as your guide!

LeilaFolger is 18 years old. She's just lost her father and feels lost and alone. She doesn't want to keep living with Grandmother Folger and so decides to undertake a journey to Samoa. A journey of discovery that leads her to find out things she never expected were possible.

Upon arriving in Samoa, she is met by Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala. Aunty is a sour-faced woman and is quick to dash Leila's hopes of an enjoyable 3 month stay. The way she is so curt with Leila. You would do well to always respect Aunty though. She is a woman you wouldn't want to cross.

Leila has come to Samoa in search of vital information. She wants to know about her family. Specifically about her mother. The mother she never had because she died in a hurricane when Leila was just a baby. But Aunty isn't happy about this and is quick to tell Leila that she would do well not to bring up the subject of her mother - and any time Leila tries, she is only met with a fierce resistance.
Aunty believes that what she is doing by not telling Leila anything, is protecting her from the harsh truth about the kind of woman her mother was.

So Leila settles into a routine of going to school, home and of course, church. She's not to go anywhere else. Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala do their best to enforce this, for Leila's own protection.

It's at school that she meets Daniel. The devastatingly handsome Head Boy, or should I say Chunk Hunk...? (you'll get that reference when you read the book) He's handsome, sweet, kind... He could never be interested in Leila... could he...?

Leila is glad that settling into SamCo (Samoa College) is easier than she had expected. She's used to American ways and social cliques that she's never been a part of. But though SamCo has some of it's own cliques, this time Leila feels a part of everything. Thanks in large to her fa'afafine friend Simone. He's the most feminine boy she's ever met. Finely manicured hands. Subtly applied eye-liner. But he's funny and kind, making Leila feel completely at ease in his company.

I won't go too much into the real gritty part of the story, that's a journey for you to embark upon.

What I will say is this...

As the story unfolds, you are taken on a magical journey. Lani Wendt Young has written this from her heart. As a girl born in Apia, Samoa - it is clear to see she loves the land that she is from and it has inspired the most beautiful story.
With a beautiful fluidity, TELESA is more than just a story. It's more than just mere words on a page. It's a journey that you undertake and come out smiling on the other side. Yes, there are hard times to go through. Yes, there are ups and down, twist and turns. But those all add to the beauty of it.

I can say in all honesty that Lani Wendt Young has shot to the top of my 'new favourite authors' list and TELESA has been added to my 'most-favourite' list on Goodreads, but also to my mental lists of 'favourite books of 2012' & 'favourite books EVER'.

It's clear that Lani poured her heart and soul into creating this amazing story. I am in absolute awe of her at this moment in time. She created inspiring characters. The good and the evil. I adored Leila's quiet yet fierce strength and passion for what she believes in. Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala are to of my favourite secondary characters. Simone is one of my favourite 'best friend' characters - I have never heard of anyone who is fa'afafine before - I absolutely adored him.
As for Daniel. Oh. My. God. I cannot begin to explain how fiercely I loved him! There aren't enough words in my vocabulary.
I was slightly tempted along the way by the beautiful Jason. I'll admit to imagining him stood there in his half-naked glory. But when it comes down to it, I am a one-man woman. Daniel stole my heart. (and don't care if he ever gives it back)

I admit to crying twice. The fact that I cried is testament to how wonderful a story it is. I don't cry easily.
This was my Goodreads status last night...
"I'm 82% done with Telesa - The Covenant : Can somebody hand me a tissue? I just cried a river! I haven't cried like that over a book in ages. Really tugs on my heart strings. I love this book!"
Honestly, I defy anyone who reads this not to cry. So grab yourself a box of tissues!

I want to thank RABT for giving me this opportunity to read and review TELESA. If they had not offered it to me, I may never have discovered this book and what lies beneath.
I am honoured to be part of the blog tour.

A huge thank you must go out to Lani. If she hadn't been inspired to write of this beautiful land of Samoa, I would never have been able to fall in love with it. I honestly feel like I will always carry a piece of Samoa in my heart.

I could go on all day, but I feel this is probably a good place to shut up! I told you I would type and just hope for some sense to come of it!

Changing My Wardrobe
Changing My Wardrobe
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Tugs At Your Heart Strings! <3, 5 Jun. 2012
CHANGING MY WARDROBE is the story of Lindsey, a girl who is about to embark on her freshman year of school.
She didn't enjoy her old school, Maple, because she never felt like she really fitted in anywhere. Sure, she had her friends. But she wasn't one of the 'popular crowd' - she wouldn't have wanted to be one of them anyway, but it would have been nice to be 'somebody' - What I think Lindsey fails to realise is that she is somebody.

Lindsey is nice, funny, clever. The kind of girl who you'd be proud to call your friend. Her friends Teeny and Grouper think the world of her.
It's Teeny that suggests that changing her wardrobe might help her feel more like she fits in. Having always been one of these girls that dresses well, but maybe not all that 'on-trend' - Lindsey needs Teeny's keen eye to help her pick some new outfits.

Teeny manages to convince her to take a pair of her old jeans and turn them into cut-off shorts, pairing it with an old 'Journey' t-shirt of her mom's and a pair of cheetah print ballet flats, Lindsey has her outfit set for her first day as a freshman. She's just hoping that she doesn't attract the attention of Avery, hoping the school is big enough that she doesn't even bump into her.

Avery's the type of girl we all had to put up with at school - or at least from personal experience, there's one in every school. She's pretty and popular - but she's also a mean girl (I couldn't use the word I wanted to here!) - this combination makes her Lindsey's worst nightmare. If only she can stay out of her way...

But no such luck. Avery seems to be everywhere you turn. In the line in the cafeteria, in the halls, even in P.E. Yes, you guessed it, she's the mean girl in P.E who makes fun of those who aren't as good as her. Making snide remarks about your appearance to make herself look good in front of her friends.

Jocelyn is the weird- kid. Did we all have one of those at school too? Someone we didn't really want to associate ourselves with because although we weren't popular, we also weren't as unpopular as them? Well actually, I wasn't quite like that at school, I tried to make friends with people even if others did think they were weird. But I can understand why Lindsey felt awkward. She didn't want Avery to make her more of a target because of hanging around with the weird girl. Much to my surprise, Jocelyn stood up for Lindsey when Avery tried having a dig during a P.E lesson where they were running laps.
I won't tell you what she said, you need to read it for yourself. But I can tell you that I cracked up laughing and it endeared me to the girl...!

Now, I guess I ought to mention the love interest, Marco. He had me swooning and feeling hot under the collar. Lindsey met him on her first morning at school and he seemed to make school a little more interesting.
Marco is tall, gorgeous and athletic. He wants to try-out to be part of the swim team. Now I know I'm not a teenager any more, but I have to admit that I was picturing Marco in his swimwear and it was a pretty picture let me tell you!

So, so far we have the story of a young girl - being bullied by the mean girl, and lusted after by the gorgeous boy. So far, so good. I was reminded of my school days. Though not that the handsome stranger ever fancied me, just that I was picked on for not being in with the 'in-crowd'.

The story was so realistic - I was utterly absorbed.

Needless to say, Teeny, Grouper, Lindsey, Marco and yes, you've guessed it, even Jocelyn, start hanging out together all the time. They have movie nights round each others houses, go to the mall, out on date-nights. It's fun and I must admit, I wish I'd had all this growing up.

But it's not all fun and frolicking. Avery is out to cause as much trouble as possible. It doesn't help that her boyfriend Cal is also mean and out for trouble. Together the two of them really are evil.
I can't tell you how, or why. All I can say is, the stunts that get pulled only escalate in their wickedness. I really feel sorry for Teeny when Avery seems hell-bent on getting revenge on her even though she didn't do anything wrong.

So to the end of the story, without giving too much away. This story had been so tumultuous throughout and it ended with a leaden feeling in my stomach. I had streams of tears pouring ceaselessly down my face. As I put the book down, I thought that eventually I would quit crying. But as I tried to write a status update on Goodreads, it brought it flooding back and the tears would fall afresh.

CHANGING MY WARDROBE touched my heart and left an imprint on my very soul. It started out as the story of a girl who thought changing her image on the outside might change how people saw her. But ended up being about much more than that. It was a story with such realism that it could have been lived by anyone. Me, you, the girl next door... What happened in Lindsey's life could have happened to anyone at your school, either with or without your knowledge.
I hope that any teens reading this book may rethink their actions. I think this story was a beautiful and touching way to get across the message about bullying.
If you read this book and you realise that this could be you, I hope you rethink your decision to keep quiet about it. If you have been or are being bullied, or you know anyone who is, do something about it. Don't let the bullies get you down, speak up before it's too late!

Price: £0.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Romance Book I've Ever Read!!, 8 May 2012
This review is from: Preservation (Kindle Edition)
We've all heard the phrase Love Conquers All. But do we really know what it means to have that kind of love? Some of us are lucky enough to have that kind of love in our lifetime. Some of us will die without ever truly experiencing something so extraordinary. Because it's easy to say "Oh yes, we love each other unconditionally" But do you? Do you really?

Have you ever picked up a book last thing at night, torn between wanting to read for an hour or to go straight to sleep? A word to the wise DO NOT ATTEMPT THAT WITH THIS BOOK. Seriously, I picked this up at 10pm hoping for an hour of reading before bed. Come 2:30am I'm just finished. That's it. Done. Read cover to cover. This book was delicious, I could not put it down. I'm off to bed with tear tracks down my face.
- This was my Goodreads status at 2:30 this morning -

It's true, I picked this book up last night, fully intending to spend an hour reading it and then go to bed. Little did I know just how much I would get sucked in and not spat back out until 2:30am.
I read a lot of books. In fact most days, my head is buried in a book. But most of them have a Paranormal element to them. PRESERVATION was a touch outside of my norm, being that it's Adult Contemporary Romance / Realistic Fiction.
I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Yes, I've been known to read Erotica. Yes, I read Adult Fiction too. But no two books are the same and thank goodness that's so. We wouldn't want to read the same old, same old.
Well let me tell you, PRESERVATION blew me out of the water. It was not your typical romance. Girl meets boy, they fall in love. They have hardships, they overcome them, they live happily ever after. No, this was deeper than that. This explored what happens when a man and woman meet, neither of whom want a relationship yet are inexplicably drawn to each other.

Kate Parker is 25 years old. She's a student. Living in a tiny apartment, working all the hours she can, going to school to improve her craft. She wants to write. But the obstacles in her life mean that nothings ever easy for her. Her mother is ill. Her landlord is threatening to evict her if she can't make the rent.
Kate doesn't want a relationship. She's had it with guys. Plus, juggling all that she is, is there really time for a relationship?

Ryan Campbell is a professor. He had his heart broken by Jamie, his ex fiancée who he caught cheating. So he's going from one casual fling to the next. Getting what he wants from each of them before casting them aside.

Little do they know what is about to happen. What will change their lives and the shape of that to come.

Kate walks into school late. She's ringing wet from the rain and loaded down with bags, having to carry so much to school with her really isn't any fun. But it's all she can do. She does her lessons on a Monday and then goes for a swim. It's her way of de-stressing. So many things are difficult for Kate that this is one of the simple pleasures she enjoys while she can.
Ryan's not at all happy that Kate is always late to his class. Also she's making puddles all over the floor and banging about with that god forsaken bag of hers. A distraction, that's what she is.
So we have Kate, the beautiful, distracting student. Then there's Ryan, the hot professor who's known for his commitment-phobia.
It's the start of the emotional roller coaster of a journey that has you hurtling towards the ground at breakneck speed - not knowing for sure what the outcome will be.

I can't tell you all the trials and tribulations that Kate and Ryan are about to face. There'd be no point you picking it up for yourself if I sat her and gave you plot points.

What I can tell you, is this:

There is some inexplicable reason why Kate and Ryan are drawn to each other. It's not a straight forward relationship by any means. There's the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There are tender moments that have you feeling good but there are also moments that are more like a punch to your gut. Things that take the wind right out of your sails.

They say nothing easy is worth having and nothing worth having is ever easy. Ad Astra Per Aspera - A Rough Road Leads to The Stars.

In this instance, nothing could be more true.

There were moments during this story that I laughed out loud. Then there were the times that I cried. Plus a few occasions where I wanted to reach into the book and cause physical harm to both Kate and Ryan. Sometimes I wanted to slap Kate and shake some sense into the girl. But the one truly bad moment, I wanted to reach in and punch Ryan in the face. Not just the face, but you get my point.

I truly didn't expect this book to affect me in the way it did. There are very few books that evoke such an emotional reaction from me.

I know in Kate's position, a lot of women would probably just give up and walk away from Ryan. At first, I thought I would be one of those. But I found myself drawn to him. I knew from the prologue that he'd had his heart broken in one of the worst ways. So I knew that under the façade he presents to the outside world, there was a vulnerable guy. But that doesn't give him a free ticket to do whatever he damn well pleases. Which at times, he thinks it does.
Whilst this is all true, I do actually like him despite his foibles. Plus the fact is, there's times when it's not just him that's in the wrong.

I finished this book with tears racing each other down my cheeks and laughing out loud at the same time. This is most certainly one of my favourite books. Of that you can be sure.

I love the way Rachael Wade writes. Having read her other books, The Resistance Trilogy, I knew that I liked her writing. One of the things I like most about her is her ability to make you feel like you could be the main character. You're not just an outsider looking in. You're drawn into the story and not spat back out until she says so.
For me, the best feeling is that of realism. This story isn't a fantasy. An idea of what life could be, if only... No this is a story about love, pain, loss and betrayal. Yes, it's just a story. But you are in no doubt that these things really can happen.

Hemlock (Hemlock - Trilogy)
Hemlock (Hemlock - Trilogy)
by Kathleen Peacock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome Story. Can't wait for the next one!!, 8 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lupine Syndrome - also known as 'the werewolf virus' - has been on the rise across the country. Attacks in Hemlock have also been on the rise. Amy is not the first death in town... will she be the last?

Recently werewolves have been outed, no longer are they something of fiction or nightmares. No, they really exist. A fact that Senator John Walsh is in support of. Right up until one kills his grand-daughter, that is. Amy was a beautiful young girl with her whole life ahead of her. She had her loving boyfriend Jason, her best friend Mackenzie - all until that day her life was cut unnecessarily short by the white werewolf.

Mac's life was turned upside down that day. Little did she know things could get a whole lot worse. I know, you're thinking "what could be worse" Right?! But trust me, things got decidedly worse when the Trackers came to town. The Trackers are an extremist group, called into town to hunt for the werewolf. They are working alongside the police, hoping to bring Amy's killer to justice. I'm just not so sure their brand of justice is the same as mine.

Mac knows that the Trackers have come to find Amy's killer. She just can't help but not trust them. There's something about them and their leader, Derby, that hits a nerve.
So, wanting to put an end to her dreams where she is haunted by visions of Amy, Mac decides to investigate for herself. Little does she know that the circumstances surrounding Amy's murder would up-end her life even further. She uncovers secrets about the people she loves and holds dear. Secrets that throw her into a maelstrom of violence and bitter betrayal that will see her own life put in harms way.

I loved this story for many reasons. Mac was just the kind of MC that I love. She's feisty, she's tough and when confronted with an amassing amount of evidence that all is not what it seems, she is like a dog with a bone and she will not let it go until she uncovers the truth.

Throughout the whole story, I couldn't help but admire Mac's strength, loyalty and hard-headed attitude. She may have been a little naive in some instances, and she may have been kept in the dark by those closest to her. But that doesn't stop her from being one of the best female leads I have seen in YA. In fact her foibles endear me to her just as much as anything.
Along with a great MC and a gritty storyline, there were also some other little bonuses in HEMLOCK. For instance, Kyle. *Swoons* I heart Kyle. Big time! He was the kind of guy you'd be happy to call your best friend. The kind of guy you'd want backing you in a fight. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him from pretty much first sight.

There's other characters to like, some to hate and some that trip you up when you least expect it. I knew who the killer was before it was revealed, but even then, there was another surprise in store that shocked me to the core.

I finished HEMLOCK with a lump in my throat and tear tracks down my face, so I warn you now - have tissues at the ready.

Being Kathleen Peacock's first novel, I didn't know what to expect from her as an author. What I found was she has a unique style all her own - making her sky-rocket straight onto my favourite authors list.
The writing was fast-paced with an elegant fluidity to it that meant I was absolutely swept away and easily lost chunks of time whilst I was reading. I'd pick it up and upon putting it down I would wonder how on earth it had got to that time when it felt like I had only been reading for 5 minutes.

Sometimes I find stumbling blocks within books that it takes me a while to get my head around. But HEMLOCK wasn't one of those books. There was nothing that needing explaining, no barrage of information that attacked you from on high. It was a provocative storyline that prompted questions about love, trust, lies and prejudice. All in all, it was a beautiful story that left me sated yet all at once thirsty for the next installment in the trilogy.

For anyone who likes a good supernatural mystery - this book is a MUST read.

by Jennifer Bosworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Struck, 8 May 2012
This review is from: Struck (Hardcover)
I will admit, it was initially the cover that drew me to this book. A very striking, eye-catching cover. I love it.
I was looking at books to request from Macmillan on Net Galley when this caught my eye. I looked up the blurb and thought it sounded like my kind of book. To find out whether it really was, read on...

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in a post-apocalyptic world? Perhaps you wonder who you would become, when the world you knew and the person you once were, was gone...

Well that's what happened to Mia Price.

The saying is that lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Well that couldn't be more incorrect. It's struck Mia on several occasions. Leading her to become a lightning addict. She has survived multiple strikes only to find that it's left her craving to connect to the energy from storms. Putting her own life in danger and the lives of those around her.

She used to live in another city, a whole different life ahead of her. Until that fatal day when she hurt someone she saw as a friend. Janna. But Janna wasn't the only one hurt that day. All because they were too close to her when she felt the energy welling up inside her. They stood too close when that energy became too much for Mia to safely contain.

Mia's mom made them move after that incident. No-one wanted to talk to Mia or see her after the hurt that she caused. So along with her mom and her brother Parker, she moved to Los Angeles. A place where lightning rarely strikes. It's a place where Mia can feel safe from her addiction, though I get the feeling she also missed the power it created within her.

But when an earthquake hits LA, it transforms her once safe haven into a place of devastation and chaos.

The once beautiful beaches become over-run with tent cities where the Displaced have to stake a claim in order for their survival. The Displaced are those whose homes were destroyed due to the quake and have nowhere else to go.

Downtown has become a dangerous wasteland, nick-named the Waste due to the near total destruction. But revellers are drawn to the Waste in their droves because that's where they hold the Roves. Parties that move from building to building each night. They are drawn to these places by a force they can neither deny nor explain.

Within the city, there are two warring cults. The Followers and the Seekers. Both of whom believe Mia is the key to their very much opposing Doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the storm that preceded the earthquake and an even more destructive storm yet to come.

During all this, Mia meets and finds herself drawn to a mysterious and enigmatic character by the name of Jeremy. They don't have the most conventional of relationships. Jeremy is hesitant to touch her, after all, their first touch lead to Mia passing out. But Mia won't let that get in the way. She's drawn to him in an inexplicable way.

So, why did I struggle to get into this book in the very beginning? It all sounds interesting so far, right?!

I struggled to make a connection to STRUCK in the first 25% because it was a total change of pace for me. It wasn't the fault of the book itself. More that I have read vampires and werewolves etc recently, so it was hard to get used to the change of pace this set out for me.

However, once I hit about 30% I was sucked into the story and I found that actually, it was a fast-paced, exciting story. You never knew what was coming next. It wasn't girl meets boy and falls in love, they have some hardships but figure it all out in the end. Instead it was a gripping story that had a little romance along the way.
I found that I read on until I got to 65% before realising it was 1am and I needed to sleep. So I put the book aside, caught up on some sleep and picked it up again the next morning.

I finished STRUCK in that sitting. It was intense and explosive and I really enjoyed the ending. The only thing throughout that I would say I had a problem with was the Followers. But without ruining it for you, I can't really tell you why. I just found that they really hit a nerve and I guess it resonated with me throughout.

The characters....?

Mia was a completely different MC to what I am used to. She wasn't what I expected, but not in a bad way. I enjoyed the fact that she was so different. She was a strong, feisty girl who had to struggle to survive and make this new life work. She had her sick mother to look after and I found that I really felt for her.
Jeremy was also not what I was expecting. He was an enjoyable character who I looked forward to Mia's interactions with.
As for the other characters? Well without naming names, there were the obvious good guys, some interesting bad guys and some that you didn't know which way the axe would fall.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and look forward to finding out where Jennifer Bosworth decides to take it from here.

Dead Radiance (A Valkyrie Novel Book 1)
Dead Radiance (A Valkyrie Novel Book 1)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Foray Into Norse Mythology, 4 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I first saw this beautiful book when somebody tweeted a link to the publishers freebie event. I fell instantly in love with the cover and blurb, I knew it was something I needed to download.
I haven't read anything about Valkyries and am not even all that familiar with the Norse Mythology, so this really caught my attention.

I am so glad I got this book when I did. It was so captivating. I enjoyed every second, from the first word I was sucked into a world I was unfamiliar with but could feel unfolding around me as time went by.
I can honestly say, this is one of my favourite books and I simply cannot wait for the next book, DEAD EMBERS to be published. You can guarantee I will be downloading it as soon as Tee hits 'publish'.

So what's the book all about? Sit back, get comfortable and I will tell you (in a non 'spoilery' way, of course).

Bryn Halbrook lives in the town of Craven. It's the most recent in a string of foster homes. This time, her foster mother, Ms Custer is different from the others. From the start she makes Bryn feel welcome, like a real part of the family, even insisting she should called her Mom. She's a sweet woman with a broad smile and a good heart. It's here Bryn feels most at home, with her foster siblings; Brody and Simon.

But even feeling a sense of peace from being in good care cannot help Bryn feel better about the glow.

She'd seen the glow since she was a child, but never understood what it meant. The first time she saw it happen in Craven, Aimee Carter ended up dying from Cancer. The next time, her best friend Joshua died in a car accident. An accident Bryn feels guilty for as she was also in the car.

After Joshua's death, people treat her like a social pariah, silently blaming her for the death of the beautiful boy they all knew and loved. What they don't know is, they could never make her feel worse than she makes herself feel. It constantly runs through her head that she too should be dead. The impact threw her from the car, straight into a street lamp. Something that would have crushed a normal persons spine. But not Bryn. That's because she's not normal.

She doesn't know yet what's so different about her. All she knows is that when she sees the glow around people, what some people call an Aura, it gradually gets brighter until they die.

It isn't until the mysterious arrival of another foster child that Bryn begins to slowly uncover the truth. Something she had only thought of in mythological terms was about to become Bryn's reality.

Aidan is the newest addition to Ms Custer's care. He rides in on a motorbike like the proverbial bad-boy. Long black hair that glistens as he removes his helmet...
Gorgeous and intriguing, he gets right under Bryn's skin, sets her pulse racing in a way no other boy can.

At school, the Headteacher tasks Bryn with showing Aidan around. She can't help but be annoyed at this. She shows him to his classes, hoping to get away from him as quickly as possible. Is it because just being near him sets her heart racing and makes her breathing quicken? His hair, his eyes, the way he looks at her...

At this point, I won't share any more about their encounters, I will fast forward a little in time, in order that you find out those things for yourself.

It's when Bryn decides to entrust her biggest secret to Aidan that he packs up and skips town. Great, just what she needed. The one person who knows about the glow has just disappeared on her without even saying goodbye. So much for trust. Now what is she to do?

Upon inspecting Aidan's room to see that he really has packed it all up and gone, Bryn discovers a book that will change her life forever.

Again, I won't spoil things for you so I'll fast forward a little more....

As events unfold, the FBI turn up at Ms Custer's home, looking for Bryn. But Ms Custer tells them she ran away after having her heart broken. Bryn hears snippets of the conversation and stays hidden in the broom closet. (Bear with me, I'm trying to remove spoilers as I go)
The FBI finally leave, resigned to the fact that Bryn is not home and may never come back.
Bryn sneaks outside to watch the FBI leave, to make sure they really are gone. But then a strong arm grabs her from behind...

When she awakens, she's unsure of her surroundings. She's no longer at Ms Custer's home. In fact, she's no longer in Craven. She's in Asgard. (But how she discovers this is up to you to read & find out for yourself)

Upon her discovery that Asgard isn't just a place of myth, but a real place - where she also discovers people and things that are also not just confined to Norse Mythology, Bryn has a hard time trying to come to terms with it all. But that isn't the biggest shock life has in store for her...

There are a lot of events that really begin to unfold for Bryn. Not only is the stuff of mythology real, she's an intrinsical part of it all. She stands on the threshold of the biggest, most eventful journey of her life. About to discover that she has a destiny much different to how she thought her life would go. Will she find her purpose in life? A place where she can finally belong?

The answers to these questions lie within the pages of one of the best books I have read to date.

Having never read anything by T. G Ayer before, I was unsure what to expect from DEAD RADIANCE. I sure didn't expect the impact it would have on me.
Tee is an amazing author. I love the way she describes everything so beautifully and explains things so fully you feel as though you are actually a part of the story. She weaves a spell on you so that you get sucked in from the first word - with a fast-paced, well plotted story where myth and real life collide - a beautiful debut novel by an author you can expect many more amazing things from.

I fell for Aidan, big time. I have to say, I really have a thing about the bad boys. Aidan is up there among my favourite book boy crushes. He has a sad story that made me feel so sorry for him (Yes, I admit I cried).

Bryn is one of my all time favourite female MC's. She's witty and sarcastic. She's tougher than she looks and has an inner strength - an inner core, that I really admire. The way in which she handled all that was thrown at her, she really hit the ground running. Bryn is beautiful inside and out and I really routed for her throughout all the trials and tribulations she faced. It just goes to show that the girl who starts off life as the under-dog really can come out on top.

Thank you Tee for introducing me to one of the most interesting, entertaining casts of characters. Bryn, Aidan, Sigrun, Turi, Odin - even Freya and Astrid. There are some wonders to be discovered on the journey that you undertake when you open this book.

Adjustable Aluminium Folding Walking Stick Pole 81-92cm
Adjustable Aluminium Folding Walking Stick Pole 81-92cm
Offered by Digicorp
Price: £2.70

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product, 3 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this stick as a means of getting about on the day of a family wedding. I have a blue one that I use normally but that didn't really go very well with my gorgeous purple dress. So, I ordered this black one.
I had seen previous reviews and made up my mind to give it a go. At £5.20 it hardly breaks the bank.
I am so glad I bought it. It slots together easily enough, it's lightweight, the handle it moulded well to fit your hand and it has a strap to put round your wrist. Perfect!!

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