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Jolliffe (Pleasley UK)

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Tempted (Playing the Edge Book 1)
Tempted (Playing the Edge Book 1)
Price: £0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic emotional responses echo the story's eroticism, 19 Sep 2014
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'Tempted' is the first taste of what promises to be a tempestuous relationship between Eliza a reluctant yoga teacher and Graham an ultra powerful and rich business man. This is not a 'Fifty Shades' story although there are some obvious similarities. The age gap between Eliza and Graham makes it more like an erotic 'Pygmalion.'

Eliza is easy to empathise with, although you can see why she frustrates her sister, when she seems hell bent on turning self expression into self destruction. I like the setting of this story in the world of Yoga. The first person point of view gives the story an edgy, rawness. Eliza's emotions, fears and reactions are more immediate.

Graham is harder to like because of his overt dominance but he is a fascinating character. His point of view illustrates perfectly the depth of his controlling nature. Eliza threatens his control from their first unspoken meeting. He craves her but fears she will jeopardise the foundations of his existence.

The sensuality between Eliza and Graham is immediate. The couple's first erotic encounters are steamy and mesmerizing and the perfect appetiser for what is to come, if Eliza accepts Graham's offer.

Realistic emotional responses echo the story's eroticism. The reader is drawn into Eliza' world and can enjoy a few 'what if ' moments as Eliza makes a life changing choice.

I am interested to see what happens next in this mature adult read.

A Place for Us Part 2
A Place for Us Part 2
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and heartrending, 18 Sep 2014
The second part of the serialization of 'A Place for Us' starts historically with Daisy the middle child and the crux of the mystery that shrouds the family. It's clear from the outset that Daisy is different from her other siblings Bill and Flo. She feels everything more acutely and reacts often violently, even if it is only in her mind. The deterioration of Daisy's mental health in her childhood and teenage is ignored by her parents Martha and David. This leaves Daisy exposed to addiction and manipulation once she leaves the cloistered family home.

Flo's decision to fight for her career mitigates the melancholy feel of the opening chapter. There is more positivity about Flo in this part of the book. A contrast to the sadness you feel about Daisy. Cat temporarily escapes her unhappy life but will she have the courage to stay? Bill and Karen's secret becomes public knowledge at Martha's birthday cocktail party but it is over shadowed by Martha's terrible secret revealed at her family birthday meal.

This part of the book is poignant and Daisy and Martha's points of view are particularly heartrending. Cat's homecoming, the cocktail party and the birthday meal are beautifully realistic and atmospheric. You can hear the silence and feel the discomfort of the family as their matriarch tears the family apart.

The pacing and character development of the first part of the book comes good because you know how the characters feel and react and it makes the reading experience more enjoyable. I am definitely hooked by the characters and setting and looking forward to part 3.

I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Spirited Away (Book 3)
Spirited Away (Book 3)
Price: £2.48

5.0 out of 5 stars If you love ghosts you won't be disappointed with 'Spirited Away', 18 Sep 2014
If you love ghosts you won't be disappointed with 'Spirited Away'. The paranormal characters add to the humour, mystery and suspense but they are just the icing on the cake.
Abbott, Charlie and Costello, the animal stars of this series are involved in many comic scenes which make this fun to read. Spider' our geeky, vulnerable heroine is not psychic but the quirky pets manage to make their wishes known, in ways that are familiar to every person who shares their lives with cats and dogs.
'Spider' lost her mother young. This left her emotionally immature. Dominated by the men in her life she has rebelled in ways usually associated with teenage girls. Working in the psychic detective agency as the computer whizz, is the perfect setup for 'Spider' to be herself. This book sees her reach her full potential and makes her easy to empathise with.
Noah shies away from 'Spider' despite their mutual attraction. Noah is easy to like and whilst not the typical 'alpha' male, except in physical characteristics he is certainly worthy of 'Spider' but can she make him see how good they would be together? The romance between this odd couple is lovely and there is plenty of heat when they're together.
A thread of poignancy runs through this story which gives it added depth and the clues left at the end suggest a change of direction for our intrepid heroes and hopefully more books in this absorbing series.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Protecting the Enemy
Protecting the Enemy
by Christy Newton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.27

5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid, action packed read with lots of heartfelt emotion, thrills and plenty of sensual heat., 16 Sep 2014
This review is from: Protecting the Enemy (Paperback)
'Protecting the Enemy' is a fast paced, romantic thriller. The suspense is absorbing. You definitely want to know what happens next to Julianna and Reid; two characters that give the story its humour and poignancy. The heat level of this novel is more sensual than sweet, which fits with the assassin profiles of the heroine and hero. The love scenes enhance the story's emotion and conflict.

The author's gift of setting the scene for the story's action and conflict is a signature of her writing, which she uses to great effect here. It's the attention to detail and vivid descriptions that make 'Protecting the Enemy' believable, easy to visualise and engage with.

The plot is contemporary and she doesn't shy away from some graphic details for authenticity. The twists are gentle and there is no chance of losing your way with this story.

Julianna is a kick ass heroine with a conscience that threatens to destroy her when she finds out the truth. Reid wants to carve out an identity for himself to escape from his less than ideal upbringing.

A vivid, action packed read with lots of heartfelt emotion, thrills and plenty of sensual heat.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Lost Desires
Lost Desires
Price: £0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Undeniably hot but also poignant and grounded a lovely mix of fantasy 'what if' and reality, 15 Sep 2014
This review is from: Lost Desires (Kindle Edition)
This erotic novella delivers exactly what the blurb promises. It's easy to imagine yourself in Brittany's position if you're married and have kids. Keeping the chemistry going when there are so many competing demands for your time, is not easy. Her sex life is not the only thing lacking in her life, most of the time she feels like she's bringing the kids up on her own as well as having a career. Ian her hardworking but insulated husband appears satisfied with their physical relationship but is he really?

Brittany expresses her emotions in a realistic way. You understand how deep her unhappiness is when she accepts her close friend's advice and contacts a sex therapist. You feel her embarrassment when she speaks to a stranger about her sex life. Her husband Ian accepts the sex therapist's intervention far more readily than Brittany would have expected. Maybe this is an indication that he too was unhappy with their relationship?

The scenes with the sex therapists are graphic and erotically written but portray Brittany's medley of emotions beautifully.

'Lost Desires' is undeniably hot but also poignant and grounded a lovely mix of fantasy 'what if' and reality.

Definitely a mature adult read.

I received a copy of this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Employee of the Month
Employee of the Month
Price: £2.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic heat is generated whenever Holly and Max are within touching distance., 14 Sep 2014
'Employee of the Month' is a sensuous, romantic story. Holly is a courageous, independent heroine. Max is a sexy, tortured hero and there is fantastic heat generated whenever they are within touching distance. The beautifully written sensual love scenes give important insight into the intensity of Holly and Max's physical attraction and their deep emotional connection.

The believable, uncomplicated plot with enough twists and dark moments to hold the reader's interest makes this a fabulous read. I liked the setting for this story and the echoes of the couple's past that resurface through the small cast of secondary characters.

Holly and Max are 'no strings' lovers. Neither wants commitment, until a life changing event makes them focus on what they really desire from each other and their future. There are lots of humorous and poignant moments. Are they prepared to take the risks and make the sacrifices necessary to find their happy ever after?

'Employee of the Month' is a tale of light hearted romance and angst. The characters are easy to empathise with. This is an absorbing page turning read.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Hopelessly Devoted to You
Hopelessly Devoted to You
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real love shines through in adversity., 10 Sep 2014
'Hopelessly Devoted to You' is an insider's perspective on Finn and Ruby's outwardly wonderful relationship. The perfect facade hides a maelstrom of angst and poor self esteem from Ruby's point of view.

Ruby is an interesting character; her poor self image and lack of confidence are immediately obvious. This makes her hard to warm to initially but this changes as you appreciate how much emotional baggage she is carrying. Finn seen through Ruby's eyes appears to be the 'perfect' man for a 'Stepford Wife', which she will never be.

Ruby's and Finn's imminent marriage is the 'Elephant' in the room'. Ruby's fears about her happy ever after with Finn force her to act. Pushed by Laura her BFF she finally tells Finn what's on her mind. He is devastated and leaving in a red mist he has an accident, which changes their lives forever.

Ruby's true character shines through after the accident. Finn is sexier and less driven when he awakes, as if he was doing what was expected before the accident but now he can be his true self. Elements of Finn's amnesia are extreme but acceptable in a fictional world. Ruby falls in love with Finn again but she is on borrowed time. What happens if he remembers she dumped him? Ruby finds out you don't appreciate what you have until you lose it.

The imagery in this story is lovely and there's plenty of heat when Finn and Ruby rediscover their passion. I liked how Ruby's career developed through the story once she found the right motivation. The plot twists are clever and the pacing perfect. It's easy to lose yourself in this story where real love shines through in adversity.

I received a copy of this book from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Unravel Me: HarperImpulse Contemporary Romance
Unravel Me: HarperImpulse Contemporary Romance
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An enticing mix of angst and humour delivered by believable characters., 7 Sep 2014
'Unravel Me' plays out the next chapter of Lia's complicated relationship with media mogul Alastair. The setting for this second book is detailed and interesting. I liked the TV news references and secondary characters. It is full of insider knowledge that gives the story its realistic, contemporary edge.

Alastair's and Lia's long distance love affair leads to misunderstanding, vulnerability and heartache for both of them. It also allows a sinister antagonist to threaten Lia and make her doubt Alastair's motives.

What keeps me reading this series is the obvious love between Alastair and Lia. This strong bond makes it possible for Lia to forgive and ignore Alastair's often unreasonable dominant behaviour, even though her ex had similar traits.
This story manages to convey the themes of dominance and subservience in a sexual relationship without graphic detail, which makes it an easier read for mainstream romance lovers.

'Unravel Me' is an enticing mix of angst and humour delivered by believable characters. Cleverly interwoven mystery and suspense enhance the story's romance and passion. I look forward to the next chapter of Alastair's and Lia's volatile love story.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley.

Hush, Hush
Hush, Hush
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening reality or a terrifying self induced illusion, 4 Sep 2014
This review is from: Hush, Hush (Kindle Edition)
My initial impression of 'Hush, Hush' is that it shares many elements found in other popular paranormal/young adult series like Stephanie Meyers 'Twilight Collection' and LJ Smith's 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Night World' series. Happily the story's unique setting and paranormal characters made it worth reading.

The story's pacing was slow initially with much of the first half spent inside Nora's head. I was tempted not to read further than the first few chapters but I'm glad I read on. There is faster pacing and great imagery in the second half.

Told from the first person (Nora's point of view), in common with many stories in this genre, the reader wonders whether Nora is actually experiencing the incidents or thinks she is because of her fragile emotional state. This conflict makes you keep turning the pages to find out whether this is a frightening reality or a terrifying self induced illusion.

Nora's is likeable and has the conflicting mix of courage and vulnerability essential for a teenage heroine. Patch seen from Nora's perspective is mysterious, ageless and a little bit frightening.

A well written, suspenseful ending leads the reader into Crescendo - the next chapter of Nora and Patch's relationship, which I look forward to reading.

Stable Mates
Stable Mates
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful romp peppered with humour, sadness, scandal and steamy sex., 4 Sep 2014
This review is from: Stable Mates (Kindle Edition)
'Stable Mates' is a fast paced, eloquent slice of English life. The old money and traditions of the Cheshire set meet the new money and celebrity of wags of the soap and sports stars. Horses and dogs are an integral part of the Cheshire set and effortlessly compete with the wags for attention and money. A delightful romp peppered with humour, sadness, scandal and steamy sex.

The villages of Tippermere and Kitterly Heath are polar opposites whose residents both attract and repel the other. The characters are a clever mix of unique and stereotypical. They give the reader an insider point of view which is both amusing and sensitive. The animal characters are also fabulous and will be instantly recognisable to anyone whose life revolves round dogs and horses.

'Stable Mates' is an enticing mix of credible and pure fantasy and provides the essential element of all good stories escapism. There is so much scope with these characters and setting that I hope this is the first of many stories.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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