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Emma @ Book Angel Booktopia (Wales)

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Dream Of You: A Wait For You Novella (1001 Dark Nights)
Dream Of You: A Wait For You Novella (1001 Dark Nights)
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the series, 26 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I completely love the Wait for You series, Dream of You has been on my wish-list from the very first mention, lol. I was curious about the inclusion of Reece's (Fall With Me) older brother, Colton, also in law enforcement but in a detective capacity based in the city. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in Colton, don't get me wrong, he is all kinds of swoon worthy and he is very honest, brutally honest. I would have liked him to show a little consideration to how his words can affect someone before just blurting them out. Some of the things he says while honest were unintentionally cutting. I think only someone with self-esteem issues could fully understand how I perceived Colton's words.

Abby is a fantastic character and very relatable. She is a total book geek and fan-girl, the narrative is saturated with author and book references. I kept flicking to Goodreads to add more books to my wish-list :) Although Abby has harboured a secret crush on Colton all through high school, she has always considered him out of her league. She has only ever had one boyfriend, marrying her high school sweetheart straight after graduation. Tragedy has marred Abby's past, losing both her parents and then her husband to car accidents. Understandably, while she has struggled with her grief, Abby has lost her sense of self. Being a 'normal' girl, Abby doesn't confirm to the media's ideal of body shape, etc. I could really relate to the way Abby thinks, her struggle with self-confidence and body image. I especially liked how Jennifer examined the romance character tropes showing how few protagonists struggle with this issue no matter the tragic circumstances they may have encountered.

The action and thriller elements in the plot maintain a fast pace throughout this novella. The inclusion of some of the other characters from the Wait for You series, provided a deep sense of connection to the series as a whole.

Dream of You is as equally thought provoking as it is swoon worthy.

Light Me Up: Volume 2 (Three Little Words)
Light Me Up: Volume 2 (Three Little Words)
by Karla Sorensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Hope, 25 Jun. 2015
I really liked the sound of Light Me Up when I read the synopsis. It is nice to see the path a couples road takes following the aftermath of a blazing night together. Told in third person narrative, mainly focusing on Rachel with the alternating perspective woven through the narrative. Personally, I prefer the use of first person narrative as I feel I bond on a deeper level with the characters. However, in this case it allowed Karla Sorensen to demonstrate the far-reaching consequences of emotional issues when a character hasn’t come to terms with them as yet.

I really loved how Karla mixed up the romantic tropes within Light Me Up with Rachel being the commitment-phobe and Tate being the clueless romantic. Speaking of Tate, I absolutely adored that man. He is the kind of main character you want to be real so you can have him for yourself. He is committed to making things work with Rachel, even if he has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, lol.

Both Tate and Rachel are very mature in their attitude and surprisingly calm under the circumstances. Thier reactions were priceless and a joy to witness. Their partnership was just that, they worked together toward a common goal. It was obvious, as an outside observer just how perfect Tate and Rachel were for each other. The chemistry between them nearly set the page on fire 😉 Unfortunately, Rachel has so many deep-rooted emotional issues creating a rough road on the path to happiness.

Karla shows how profoundly observing our parents relationships shapes the way we view and therefore, undertake our own relationships, both good and bad. Providing a deeper level of understanding to Rachel’s issues. Rachel’s character growth and the breakdown of her emotional barriers is an amazing journey to follow.

Above all else Light Me Up has an overwhelming sense of hope and the glimmer of the Happily Ever After permeating the narrative.

Overruled (Legal Briefs Book 1)
Overruled (Legal Briefs Book 1)
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic characters, 23 Jun. 2015
You’ve got to love Emma Chase, she makes the most contemptible situations humourous. Instead of succumbing to a soapbox rant and writing Stanton off forever, I found I actually liked him. I know I was kinda shocked myself. Seriously, the guy takes the saying ‘have your cake and eat it’ to a whole new level.

Stanton has always had his eye on the prize, his life is so much more than the small town he grew up in. Although, a high school pregnancy nearly derailed his carefully constructed plan. Jenny doesn’t want to hold him back so agrees to an open relationship while he pursues his career. We can see why Stanton would be in no rush to alter this situation, see where I am going cake (Jenny) eating (Sophia). It’s obvious to the outside observer that Stanton and Jenny would have probably gone their separate ways long ago if it wasn’t for their daughter. Don’t get me wrong, they care deeply for each other and have that parental bond, taking great pride in their child. But, they honestly just don’t seem to want the same things out of life. The reader can see this, some of the peripheral characters can see this, Jenny, in all honesty, can see this BUT can Stanton. That would be a hell to the no. IDIOT.

I did spend a considerable amount of time screaming obscenities at him in my head, or encouraging Sophia to kick him where it hurts. The guy is seriously oblivious to anything other than the plan he has in his head. He is even blind to his own feelings – see what I mean IDIOT.

I seriously loved Sophia, while I wanted to shake her at times for putting up with Stanton, I could also understand and accept her viewpoint. She is a tough go-getter, she entered into the relationship with Stanton on the understanding that it would be purely stress relief 😉 Having 3 older brothers, Sophia is all to aware of the expectations or lack thereof, in this type of relationship. Determined not to become the stereotypical clingy female, she buries her growing feelings for the idiot in question.

Dragging Sophia along on the mission to win Jenny back, seriously DUDE. It is at times very painful to follow the interactions between Stanton and Jenny knowing how Sophia is feeling. Stanton’s complete lack of sensitivity regarding Sophia, alongside his lack of self-awareness were the times I wanted to hurt him. Yet, the times he lets his guard down and we see the sweet, caring guy underneath. These are the times that you can’t help but have HOPE for Stanton and Sophia, they simply fit ♥

Emma Chase has done a phenomenal job of laying the groundwork for the other characters stories within the narrative of Overruled. I really liked the group dynamic between Stanton, Sophia, Jake and Berk. I cannot wait for Jake and Berk’s stories, as well as seeing Sophia and Stanton again.

Overruled is one of those stories that take you through a whole range of emotions, it is utterly compelling, urging you to fly through the pages in order to recover your pounding heart.

Seagate Personal Cloud 4TB 2-bay (2x 2TB) Home Media Storage - NAS
Seagate Personal Cloud 4TB 2-bay (2x 2TB) Home Media Storage - NAS
Price: £219.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 23 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have to be honest and say I was a little daunted to start with. It looks so technical and is quite a bit bigger than I expected. However, I am delighted to say that this is extremely easy to use and a god send if like me you store files everywhere.

I use both Dropbox and Google Dropbox (although I have quickly run out of the free storage limit), along with the harddrive on the computer at home and the computer at school. It's impossible to keep track of where everything is stored. Seagate Personal Cloud has resolved that issue and forced me to tidy up my files at the same time. Two birds one stone :)

I could not believe how easy it was to set up. I have to say I am very impressed. Only now I don't have the excuse of not being able to find the file from school to work at home ;)

Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street)
Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street)
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a swoon-worthy conclusion to a wonderful series, 23 Jun. 2015
It’s always bittersweet when a beloved series comes to an end. Samantha Young has created such realistic characters. I have taken all of them (especially Braden) to my heart and will think of them fondly forever ♥

The conclusion of the series focuses on Logan; we have already encountered Logan in Echoes of Scotland Street as Shannon’s brother. Sent to prison for protecting his sister, the themes of the law versus justice play out in the mind. Logan has been forever, understandably, altered by his time spent behind bars. Portraying brutally how one incident can alter the course of your life and change your identity. He has major barriers in place, believing he doesn’t deserve to find contentment and peace after the things he has witnessed. It made me feel as if he was suffering from a form of PTSD. Although I have to be honest and say I did not like seeing Logan as a m-ho, he can be forgiven a little when you consider he has been without for so long.

The story is told from Grace’s point of view; I absolutely adored her. As Logan’s neighbour she has witnessed the string of women winging their way through Logan’s apartment. Initially, Logan and Grace completely clash, however, this is due to their incredible chemistry :) Grace has her own issues, which she completely owns. Having spent a number of years in therapy she is very self-aware, although that does not stop her issues from clouding her perspective of herself. My heart bleed for the emotional abuse she endured by the people who should love her unconditionally. Some scars you never fully recover from. Grace’s compassion and kindness make her as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.

When Logan is faced with responsibility, he really steps up to the plate. The family dynamic Grace, Logan and Maia was wonderful to witness. I adore how Samantha Young brings together people to form a tightly bound unit whether they are related by blood or not. One word used within the narrative to describe the group of couples, family and friends was TRIBE. I couldn’t think of a better way to phrase their flock. The inclusion of all of the characters within the series added a sense of closure in a happy way.

While there is some tear-jerking moments within the plot the overall sense of warm and fuzzies seeped through the chapters. Grace and Logan find the missing pieces of themselves within each other. Although they are both afraid and unsure of that connection at first. The thing with being able to relate to one person so completely is that they have the ability to hurt you deeply without thought. Having the faith and trust to move beyond the fear is something that is poignantly portrayed within the narrative. I especially liked how Logan got his act together and showed his feelings not just told them. He’s all about the action 😉

Samantha has a way of showing no matter what you face in life, compassion for others goes a long way in helping overcome your own issues. The realisation that everyone has something which affects them deeply is humbling.

Moonlight on Nightingale Way is a swoon-worthy conclusion to a wonderful series.

Beautiful Liar
Beautiful Liar
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Gritty Romance, 9 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beautiful Liar (Kindle Edition)
Beautiful Liar is a gritty portrayal of family responsibility, secrets and how the most unlikely of relationships transpire against all odds.

With a UK setting and the grim portrayal of poverty, the harsh divide between the wealthy and the poor, Beautiful Liar is at times painfully realistic. I have to be honest and state the plot does contain a lot of triggers for me as a reader due to the nature of their mothers alcoholism and the struggle to raise emotionally healthy children while struggling to pay bills. The inclusion of statistics regarding children of alcoholics while providing depth to the plot did increase my anxiety levels where my own children are concerned having dealt with their father’s alcohol dependency.

Nina is an outsider due to her embarrassment of her family situation, she has assumed the parental role for her younger sister following her father’s death and mothers subsequent descent into alcohol. The way in which alcoholics become solely focused on getting their next ‘fix’ was extremely well portrayed. The deceit and selfishness was realistically portrayed within the narrative and very relatable (Unfortunately). Nina is understandably guarded where her emotions are concerned. Trust is a difficult thing for her to give due to the constant broken promises she has experienced.

Alex, on the other hand, is the epitome of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The poor, little rich boy acting out in order to gain Daddy’s attention. He exaggerates all of his bad qualities and does not take rejection well. In all honesty, I could not understand the attraction between Alex and Nina as they were so different. Maybe, that is the attraction *shrugs* Alex cultivates his image to gain the most impact. There are glimmers of the person he could become under the surface but just as I started to like him something would happen to make me dislike him even further. For me, Alex will not be joining my harem of book boyfriends 😉

This isn’t your standard romance, there are a lot of obstacles on both sides preventing a smooth, calm relationship. Least of all is the family issues shrouded in secrecy. The pacing is compelling, keeping you reading in order to uncover not only the secrets hinted at within the narrative but also to break through the barriers both characters have in place.

If you are looking for warm and fuzzy romance then Beautiful Liar isn’t for you. If you like your romance fraught with tension and a lot of angst, you will devour Beautiful Liar.

The Darkest Joy
The Darkest Joy
by Marata Eros
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Intense, emotional & fast-paced, 6 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Darkest Joy (Paperback)
The Darkest Joy combines an edge of your seat thriller with an electrifying romance alongside outstanding character development.

I always say tragedy shapes you as a person more than anything else in your life. Brooke and Chance are the unfortunate definition of this. Brought together by a series of unexpected events, drawn together by forces beyond their control yet terrified to break down the barriers they have in place in case it leaves them crumbled to dust. The story and the characters are intense, The Darkest Joy is most definitely on the darker side. You cannot help becoming overloaded with compassion for Brooke and Chance.

The Darkest Joy brings to mind the Victor Hugo quote: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” As the relationship between Brooke and Chance develops so does the glimmer of hope that they will overcome the tragedies that have plagued them. It is an emotional rollercoaster offset with palpable tension of the thriller/mystery variety, it was a compulsion to read the story as fast as possible in order to discover if all of my theories were to be proved correct.

The way the revelations were made attested to the genius of Marata Eros’s plot control. I had my suspicions, but the delivery certainly packed a huge punch. The pacing never let up for a single second. I really loved how Marata brought all aspects of the story to a well-rounded conclusion, making one very happy reader.

The Darkest Joy is intense, emotional & fast-paced but ultimately heart- warming.

Ultrasport Women's Rainbow Compression Capri Pants - Black, Medium
Ultrasport Women's Rainbow Compression Capri Pants - Black, Medium
Price: £26.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Confidence Boosting, 6 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have to say when I opened the packet I did think that there was no way I was going to fit into these. They look absolutely tiny but don't let that fool you. As soon as I started putting them on they stretched to accommodate all the lumps and bumps :) It was a boost to my ego :)
The fit is extremely flattering and the design is beautiful; rainbow contrasting stitching, sexy mesh detailing behind the knees and reflective circles along the bottom add up to the appeal. They flatten out all the bits (girls you know what I mean) helping give you a much-needed confidence boost if like me you don't fit into the gym bunny stereotype.
Recently I have been experiencing a lot of discomfort while exercising due to my exercise pants rolling down or my t-shirt riding up, making me feel very self-conscious. These ultrasport pants did not move, a huge plus point for me. I have worn them twice to group exercise class and once running and they maintain their shape and level of comfort through the duration of the session.
However, I have to mention following washing the reflective circles have come away from the bottom and leave the pants looking much more worn than they have been. I have also had issues with loose threads.
On the whole these are extremely comfortable exercise wear that has the additional bonus of boosting your confidence :)

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road)
Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road)
by Katie McGarry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful start to a new series, 5 Jun. 2015
I have to be honest I was a little apprehensive to read this book, I adored The Pushing the Limits series so I had no doubts regarding the quality of Katie’s writing. The problem is I have preconceived notions of Motorcycle clubs (MC’s) that have only been amplified by the books I have attempted with the same setting.

You’re wondering what those preconceived notions are aren’t you. Well for one thing it’s the idea that women are second class citizens, taking on one of two roles, plaything or ‘old lady’. Secondly but also tied to the first point, the idea of monogamy being obsolete to the men, while the same is not applied to the old ladies. The men are encouraged to spread their wild oats if you will, while the women either fulfill the role of harlot or homemaker. Undertaking the role of homemaker also includes the acceptance that there will still be harlots. Not something I am happy with in the slightest.

There is also the idea that MC’s undertake a variety of illegal activities in order to fund their alternative lifestyle outside the constraints of modern society. I have to say that Katie managed to portray both sides of this belief, showing with every aspect existing in today’s society you will find good and bad, each case needs to be examined individually. I really liked the idea of a ‘honest’ and legal MC, the notion of extended family and a huge support system through life was very appealing. However, there is also the notion that you aren’t completely individual, the path you choose is limited by your affiliation to the MC and the expectations that go alongside it.

There are multiple plot lines happening within the pages of Nowhere but Here taking into account all aspects of love, family and friendships, duty and honour. There are numerous secrets surrounding Emily that add to the tension within the plot. Although, I have to be honest and say I did guess the big secret, however, the revelation was portrayed in such a dramatic fashion it left me reeling.

Katie McGarry has an uncanny ability to create characters that get under your skin and stay within your imagination. They become living and breathing entities brought to life through the power of Katie’s words. Oz and Emily are the newest members of my fictional family :)

Tied together via Emily’s father, their chemistry sizzles off the pages. Very different upbringings lead to a number of assumptions on both parts. They are guilty of being judgemental of the other based on nothing but their preconceived notions. The inclusion of direct address to the reader provides a personal connection and the feeling that you are privy to the characters thoughts deepens the empathy towards their situations.

Emily is a fabulous contradiction in snark and sass opposing naive and innocent. While Oz has placed his value on being part of the MC as opposed to nurturing his many talents outside of the MC. Character development with the inclusion of themes of identity and self-perception provide the basis for Nowhere but Here.

Katie McGarry’s portrayal of MC’s has surprisingly altered my opinion slightly, although the main aspects regarding misogyny and the lack of monogamy are still concerns. She managed to widen my perspective taking in the lifestyle choice and community the MC provides. There is so much more to learn and understand. Nowhere but Here is a powerful start to her new series.

Behind Your Back
Behind Your Back
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A Twisted Tale, 1 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Behind Your Back (Kindle Edition)
Behind Your Back is a departure from Chelsea’s usual writing style, showcasing her talent for suspense with this twisted tale.

In all honesty Behind Your Back is very difficult to sum up. The plot is multi-layered. Told from Quinn’s perspective, the reader is left to put the pieces of the puzzle together for themselves as the plot unfolds. Who is Quinn? Who is Sylas? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

I absolutely adored Sylas, the further into the story I got the more my adoration grew. I still can’t decide exactly how his role can be described and I think (hope) it is going to be a surprising twist in the next book, Back to Back. However, I will say that Sylas continual managed to surprise me with his inner thoughts and feelings. A lot of which were contradictory to how he is living his life and the persona he projects. The glimpses into the heart of Sylas made me fall for him even more. I will take this moment to mention my love of Sylas’s cat, Leo. Chelsea has captured the cats personality brilliantly alongside the connection Sylas has formed with his pet ♥

The duplicity within the narrative add to the tension and makes you question EVERYTHING. Sylas and Saige are intrigue characters caught up in a web of deceit BUT who is spinning the thread???

Insight is provided as past events are revealed. Chelsea does an amazing job of showing how a single event can shape the rest of your life. That defining moment that alters a persons perspective and influences the decision they make from then on.

Behind Your Back has raised a lot of questions that I am desperate to answer. Back to Back alters to Saige’s point of view where I am hoping all those questions will be answered and a resolution to all involved is reached – I’m cautiously optimistic :-)

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