Saturday 28 July 2012

A.R.R - Loving Terese by Ju Ephraime

loving teresaloving teresa by Ju Ephraime
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Amazon

A steamy contemporary adult romance novel set in the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Step into a world of jealousy, intrigue and passion as Ju Ephraime takes us to the French Caribbean island of Martinique, where the men are passionate and the women equally so. Where passion for breakfast is the rule rather than the exception....

My review

Despite the blurb, I thought this was going to be an island romance type with some mystery - maybe something like a Jackie Collins however it is an erotic novel. The story is set on the beautiful French Caribbean island Martinique. Whilst holidaying with her friends Terese falls in love with the stunning Foxx, athletic soccer player and all out hottie. However she leaves him behind in a state of anger and confusion with no explanation, only to return two years later. Why did she leave, why has she come back and even more important - what will Foxx do.

There is a lot of descriptive sexual content in this book, mostly in graphic descriptions about how Terese's body is responding to something Foxx says or does. Her effects on him and to be honest a huge portion of the book is dedicated to their yearnings and contact. There is a small story underneath it all with some violence and double crossing but all in all the majority of the books focus is on the physical side of their relationship.

The twist with the bad guy I saw coming from very early on in the book and to be honest there wasn't any surprises (for me anyway) as the story progressed. I am not sure if the book was written in english first so maybe a lot got lost in translation or if this style of writing just isn't for me. I am sure this will be a huge hit with many people but it just wasn't for me, thank you so much to the author for giving me the chance to read their work though - 2/5 for me this time.

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Friday 27 July 2012

NBR - The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals by Wendy Jones

The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior FuneralsThe Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals by Wendy Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 1.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Everyone has to make decisions about love...

Wilfred Price, overcome with emotion and a yellow dress, on a sunny spring day, proposes to a girl he barely knows at a picnic. The girl, Grace, joyfully accepts and rushes to tell her family of Wilfred's intentions. But by this time Wilfred realized his mistake. He does not love Grace.

Wendy Jones' charming first novel is a moving depiction of love and secrecy, set against the rural backdrop of a 1920's Welsh Village, and is beautifully told.

My Review

Wilfred Price is a fairly naive young man with the world at his feet. He has his own business with ideas of building and expanding. Overcome with male emotions on a hot day with a pretty girl in a low cut dress he gets caught up in the moment and proposes. What follows is a cloud of regret, steps to correct his mistake and a budding new love interest but will it all go to plan?

I read a really great review on this and wanted to try it (books set in the early 1920s aren't usually my thing). To be honest I found it pretty slow going for most of the first half, however that said the author made a good job of introducing the characters and creating a real and engaging setting for the drama that follows.

I had a huge dislike for Grace for the first part of the book but as the story starts to take shape and more is revealed I actually felt sorry for her. Wilfred is a bit of a young silly boy led by his emotions and doesn't think before he acts however as the book goes on we see him grow and mature which is a nice journey to follow.

The book deals with a few tough issues but instead of being in your face and over the top like a lot of books are written, it is very subtle and dignified considering what some of the content is. A good novel although I personally like my books more in your face and fast paced but this is definitely worth a look at especially if you like your books a bit demure. 3/5 for me and I would consider this author again, thanks to Newbooks mag for giving me a chance to review this and introduce me to another new author.

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Wednesday 25 July 2012

P.R.R - Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating by Eleanor Prescott

Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of DatingAlice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating by Eleanor Prescott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read 1.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Sometimes finding your dream man is a job for a professional...Alice Brown has the best job in the world. She's a matchmaker and spends her days helping people fall in love, all the while imagining her own Prince Charming, who's somehow never come along. Her latest client is Kate. She's 569 days from her 35th birthday and she's already five years behind in her life plan. Desperate to find the perfect man, she enlists Alice's help, but will anyone measure up to her standards? Meanwhile Alice is coping with her awful boss, Audrey, and trying to stop herself falling in love with someone else's man. But what if she's got it all wrong? Will Alice find Kate's Mr Right? And when it comes to her own Prince Charming, will she be able to take her own advice?

My Review

Alice Brown is pretty much our main character (although there are a few other key characters as well). She works as a matchmaker in a dating agency and loves nothing more than sifting through the clients to see who is perfect for who. She seems like an unlikely candidate for the job being a plain Jane, simplistic girl who is single but she knows her stuff and her clients love her unlike her horror boss. Our other main characters as Alice's boss, Audrey and Kate who has a life plan but can't get the much needed man to fill it and time is running out as she is in the over 30s club.

Well what can I say, it is another chick lit book and whilst they aren't my first choice I did really enjoy it. The chapters are small so you can dip in and out as you please, whilst you get a chapter per character (and there are a few, the main ones and as the story progresses a few others) you don't get lost or confused at all as they have the persons name at the top of each one.

With most chick lit you pretty much know how the story is going to pan out however there were a few nice surprises along the way. It is well written and the story just flows off the pages, you don't have to think too much at all with it which makes it a perfect wee read pretty much anytime. A great start to what I hope is a new writer and look forward to reading more of her work, 4/5 for me this time. Thank you so much to the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review this book and introducing me to yet another promising new author.

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Thursday 19 July 2012

ARC - Tuesday's Gone by Nicci French

Tuesday's Gone (Frieda Klein, #2)Tuesday's Gone by Nicci French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Sometimes the mind is a dangerous place to hide.

The rotting, naked corpse of a man is found amidst swarms of flies in the living room of a confused woman. Who is he? Why is Michelle Doyce trying to serve him afternoon tea? And how did the dead body find its way into her flat?

DCI Karlsson needs an expert to delve inside Michelle's mind for answers and turns to former colleague, psychiatrist Frieda Klein. Eventually Michelle's ramblings lead to a vital clue that in turn leads to a possible identity. Robert Poole. Jack of all trades and master conman.

The deeper Frieda and Karlsson dig, the more of Poole's victims they encounter . . . and the more motives they uncover for his murder. But is anyone telling them the truth except for poor, confused Michelle?

And when the past returns to haunt Frieda, she finds herself in danger. Whoever set out to destroy Poole also seems determined to destroy Frieda Klein.

My Review

Psychiatrist Frieda Klein is back in the second of the series and this time as well as doing her day job she is helping out the police. They find a dead body in the house of a disturbed young lady who can't tell them if or why she killed the man or how he came to be in his residence. What follows is an investigation that reveals a tangled web of lies, deceit, betrayal, murder and dark secrets.

I didn't particularly like the first in this series but I did enjoy this one much better. There are so many different parts and sidelines to this story so it is never dull, I particularly liked the investigation into the girl at the start and her condition. The story visits a lot of what happened in the first book (so you don't have to read it but I certainly would as it gives you a clearer picture for this book). Frieda is a stronger character this time around although she still visits her previous mentor who again I dislike and find both weak and annoying.

The chapters are fairly short in length which is always good as you can dip in and out when you have things you need to be doing. The writing is fairly easy to follow however as with the first book (although not as much) there is a bit of jumping around from one scene to one particular individual and instead of stars or lines there is a few spaces (in length) separating from the last paragraph it can get confusing although this time you work out quickly it is going back to that individual. I did see a few of the twists coming but enjoyed it none the less so 3/5 for me this time and will keep an eye out for book 3. Thank you so much to Alice Hibbert at the UK Penguin Group for providing me an ARC of this book for an honest review. This book is out for publication today and on sale from all good retailers.

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Tuesday 17 July 2012

ARC - The War Of The Wives by Tamar Cohen

The War of the WivesThe War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 1.5 days

Blurb From Amazon

Imagine being happily married for 28 years. You have three children, a lovely house and a husband who travels a lot - but even after all this time, you still love each other.

Or: imagine being happily married for 17 years. You have one daughter, a lovely home and though your husband travels a lot, you still love each other passionately.

Then one day you get a call that turns your world upside down: your husband is dead. You are devastated. You go to the funeral... And come face to face with his other widow.

Another wife, another family. It can't be true. It must be a mistake.It has to be her fault - all of it. Or: is it?

With the sharp and witty scalpel she used in The Mistress's Revenge, Tamar Cohen lays bare the raw emotions thart underpin so-called normal family life and explores the hearts of two women forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew.

My Review

Imagine the horror of the sudden death of your husband, the grief and shock. Now imagine being at the funeral and finding his wife and other family that you never knew about. That is what happens to Lottie and Selina, both oblivious of each others existence until this horrific event. The story follows each of their lives as they struggle to cope with the shock and realization they didn't really know their husband at all as more skeletons come out of the closet.

This is my first encounter with this author and can't I just say I will be getting her other book. I really enjoyed her style of writing, the story is told in chapters of one is Selina, then one of Lottie and it continues like that throughout the book(the two main characters). It is told in first person perspective and reads like their diary's filled with their intimate thoughts and truths about everything they are experiencing (so for nosy folk like me it is bliss!).

You are pulled in from the first few chapters (well I was) as you can't help but thinking Oh My God and trying to imagine if this was you going through it. The story has all kinds of twists in it and until the end where it got a little bit weird I really enjoyed it. 4/5 for me this time and a huge thank you to Transworld Publishers and Lynsey Dalladay for giving me an advanced copy to read and review and introducing me to yet another new author.

This book is available from all good retailers from the 19th of July 2012.

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Saturday 14 July 2012

A.R.R - The Forsaken by Estevan Vega

The ForsakenThe Forsaken by Estevan Vega
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads


The first victim has no natural wounds. No prints left behind. No lacerations. But the life has been gruesomely drained from the corpse, and a broken cross is now imprinted inside the skin.

Left for dead a year ago by his former partner, reckless and medicated Detective Jude Foster now endures mindless therapy sessions in order to be given another chance at his life.When the chief of police discovers the first victim strangely killed in this sadistic fashion, Jude enters a dark world all-too-familiar. He knows he’s seen this method of murder before, but he never caught the killer.

Could this be a copycat, or is it the one that got away?

Forced to take on a new partner for the case, Jude must come to terms with the fractured memories of his past, attempt to keep his younger brother safe, and chase down a ghost killer who is collecting human souls. But time is against him. How many more victims will there be before the killer is satisfied? And will Jude Foster be able to survive this new hell or in the chaos, will he risk becoming something else entirely?

My Review

Where to start! Detective Jude Foster is our main character and in a bit of an emotional state. He is back on duty after being left for dead by his partner and a whole mystery surrounding the partners disappearance. Bodies are turning up at an alarming rate and have a distinct link to a series of killings that previously went unsolved. Is it the same killer or just a copy cat? the bodies seem to be drained, a shell of their former selves and something supernatural is involved. Jude just needs to find the what, how and why and stay.

I actually liked the start of this book and some parts of it throughout but a lot of the time I found myself having to reread parts as I felt I was missing out on key parts of the story. It jumps around a fair bit too, some of the characters visit their past and why they are the way they are now but the chapters aren't headed so it takes a bit of getting used to it to figure out what has happened.

The supernatural aspect of it is original and some of it is explained, however for me there was so many parts I was left wondering actually how did that happen, where did it come from and the way of it all which isn't explained(sorry it is vague but I don't do spoilers). I know plenty of people will love this, it has a bit of everything - intrigue, murder, mystery, religion and demons. I found it interesting but hard going with it jumping around so 2/5 for me. Thank you so much to the author for introducing me to their work and giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Friday 13 July 2012

Review - Hollowlands (The Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking

Hollowland (The Hollows, #1)Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

My Review

Remy is our main character and on a mission to be reunited with her little brother. All that stands in her way is a world over run with zombies and some of the dregs of society that survived the infection. With a small band of survivors Remy travels across towns and land trying to locate him and picking up some acquaintances along the way.

If you follow my reviews you know I love all things Zombie however this really impressed me as it is YA although written that the mature adult can enjoy too. A lot of zombie books don't deal with the how and why but this one does which I also really liked. Without spoiling it (I don't do spoiler reviews) my love of animals comes into play in part for liking this book so much and once you meet Ripley you will understand.

There is a bit of everything in this book, gore, romance, sex (although briefly so no need to worry about that I only mention it as some people do like a heads up), loss and angst. I really enjoyed it and my only moan would be there wasn't enough, I feel more could have been explored and given in some of the situations (although it might be covered in book two). Had the author joined this and book 2 into just one meaty read it would have been better however at the time of posting this, the first book is free whilst the second one is just over £4. If you like your zombie reads this is worth checking out, it is free on Amazon (kindle only) so give it a go, 4/5 for me this time.

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Wednesday 11 July 2012

ARC - Fate by L.R. Fredericks

FateFate by L.R. Fredericks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - dipped in and out for over a week

Blurb From Goodreads

London 1717: on the day of his seventeenth birthday, Lord Francis Damory stumbles upon a book - a family heirloom - that will change the course of his life, linking him to the mysterious great-great grandfather Tobias, an alchemist who may yet still be alive... So begins Damory's quest for the elixir of immortality:fro the gilded salons of decadent nobility to the brothels and debtors' prisons of Georgian London; across the Alpine passes to Venice and the pirate-infested Mediterranean Sea; through love affairs and deadly duels, as Damory encounters courtesans and castrati, alchemists and anatomists, Rosicrucians, visionaries, monsters, charlatans, spies and assassins.

My Review

Lord Francis Damory is the main character in this weird and wonderful tale. Francis comes upon a book from his families past that they would rather forget which opens up a world to him that you can only dream/hope and pray about. What follows is a quest for immortality, love, murder, deceit, loss and secrets.

To be honest, much as I enjoyed some of this book there were parts I didn't love so much or became bored by. It is a huge read at 512 pages and it splits into two main parts, one follows Francis's life outside the quest. His love life, struggles, family issues and travels etc and the other part follows his quest for the truth and his work as an alchemists and the colleagues and trades he comes upon. I would be getting into the whole quest when it would go off on a personal tangent as Francis got caught up in life and love as you do then I would get into that and it would fall back into the quest.

I found myself having to look up lots of words(which is always a good thing) and read up on a bit of history to clue up on some of what was happening in the book. It is definately enjoyable and the chapters (which, as you know I love) are only a handful of pages long so you can dip in and out as you please. If you fancy something a bit different that is set back in the 1700s with a bit of science and mystery (with some brothel visits, duelling, murder and a bit of everything really) then this is the book for you. 3/5 for me this time and thank you to John Murray Publishers for introducing me to this author and giving me the chance to review this.

This book is available from all good retailers (published on 5th july 2012)

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Monday 9 July 2012

About Julys Pre-loved giveaway

As you may have noticed it isn't up yet. I am on holiday and have another two trips booked this month so rather than delay picking a winner and posting a book out, I thought instead of having a pre-loved giveaway this month I am going to host a amazon voucher giveaway to the value of £5 (or the equivalent in you countries currency).
The giveaway as always is open worldwide and all you need to do is fill out the form below (just put your name and email address or web addy) and for an additional entry leave a comment on this post.

Click here to enter the competition

Wednesday 4 July 2012

June Pre-loved Giveaway winner is...

Ian (no website given) although he did share a wee story with his competition entry which I will share below. Thanks to everyone who took part. As always if the book isn't claimed another winner will be picked.

Ian's short story

'I prefer to shop at night and thankfully in the 21st century, 24 hour supermarkets mean I can always maintain my needs without needing to venture out into the daylight. I had just run out of my special blend toothpaste and tonight was the night my favourite butcher was working. He takes a regular brand toothpaste and blends the minty fresh stripe with a thick course pigs blood to provide a tasty alternative to healthy gums. In my line of work, strong teeth, healthy gums and fresh..... wait, no, fresh breath is optional. You see, I am a Vampire and I take care of my teeth!

Night Of The Living Dad, Confessions Of A Shabby Father by Sam Delaney

Night of the Living Dad: Confessions of a Shabby FatherNight of the Living Dad: Confessions of a Shabby Father by Sam Delaney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read 5 days

Blurb From Amazon

A mop of black hair, wrinkled skin, a blueish-grey complexion and pretty, open eyes that dart around the room. You could call her scary and weird-looking I suppose but I quite like her.

Sam Delaney is happy: he is a new dad. He plans to be a caring, wise and reliable father.

Except he worries he might be none of those things. He worries that he might be an idiot. His nieces and nephews see him as a lovable buffoon. He is a clumsy oaf and sporadic binge-drinker who doesn’t have a proper job and cites ‘Teen Wolf’s dad’ as his biggest role model. Is he really fit for this new position of responsibility?

There’s only one way he’ll be able to find out. Follow Sam in his first year of fatherhood as he tries to figure out what a good dad should be, and, even more importantly, what sort of dad he should be.

My Review

This is quite an amusing wee book although that said some of it is a tad un-pc and if your easily offended (by boy humour and bad language) then I would avoid it. Sam takes us through the journey of just before (deciding on) and having a new baby and how his life changes.

The book has two main focus points, obviously Sam's life (work, relationship and everyday doings) and his baby and how he adjusts to being a dad. He has some great stories and has done quite a bit of work with some well known companies and famous people (until I read this book I hadn't heard of him). Sam makes some mistakes along the way and one of my favourite parts was him constantly getting caught and told off on the baby monitor. I have actually laughed out loud at one or two parts of it

It's easy to read, fairly light and you can just dip in and out of it. It has been written with quite a comical feel to it and had I had less things to do I would have read it in one day. Worth a read if you fancy something light and with cheeky fun, 3/5 for me.

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