Saturday 29 June 2013

PRR - Shiver by Karen Robards

ShiverShiver by Karen Robards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 7 days

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Blurb from Press Release

When she swore off love, he was the last man she imagined would steal her heart.

If driving a tow truck through the seediest part of town with a gun beside her means putting a roof over her son's head, then single mother Samantha is going to be the best repossession woman on the books. But when she hooks her truck up to a flashy BMW, the last thing she expects is to find a beaten, bloody man in the trunk - or to be catapulted into a terrifying fight to survive.

Daniel knows the drug runners who kidnapped him from protective custody will stop at nothing to see him dead. With his life on the line, his only option is to take his pretty saviour hostage and force her to help him.

Sam and her four-year-old son are in too deep. With ruthless killers on their trail, she must reluctantly trust this handsome, menacing stranger. And as Sam relinquishes control, she feels an unmistakable desire. But what is the price of falling for a man who operates on the edge of danger - her heart, her life...or both?

My review

Samantha is a young attractive single mum trying to keep her head above water, looking after her 4 year old and working as a repossession woman. It starts out as a normal shift, going to pick up an expensive flash BMW when she happens upon a battered, bloody and injured man. What follows is a fight for survival, not only for herself but for her son too.

This is a quick to get to the action type book however it isn't all about the crime and trying to survive. A lot of the book is centered around Sam and Marco aka Trey aka Danny and their attraction to each other *the hotness* and pulsing responses of their bodies they keep trying to fight. I don't normally read thriller-romance and I am not sure I like it, I really liked the thriller aspect of the story but I found it fairly unbelievable they way they behaved and reacted to each other considering the situations. Samantha's character comes across quite childish at times as she behaves like a struck teenager rather than the doting mother she is throughout some parts of the book, it is a tad conflicting.

The ending is a bit rushed and almost fantasy like in how it plays out however despite this I did still enjoy the story although I did get frustrated throughout. I think had it been a mostly thriller with a little romance it would have worked better. Maybe this just isn't my genre but as I said I did enjoy the actual crime side of it and the relationship between the two characters was fine too, it just seemed a lot of it inappropriate considering the danger they were in.

Tyler is her son and for a four year old he is very on the ball. I know from previous reviews I have seen a lot of people disliked this and found him to be unbelievable as a character but I actually liked reading about the kid. He was very advanced for a four year old and picked up on things that most kids that age wouldn't however as I said the book is very fantasy like in parts so I think it works. 3/5 for me, this is my first time reading this author and I would try another book by them but it wouldn't be my first to seek out. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for introducing me to a new author.

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Thursday 27 June 2013

ARR - From My Heart To Yours by Michelle Zarrin

From My Heart to Yours: Based on a True StoryFrom My Heart to Yours: Based on a True Story by Michelle Zarrin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken to Read - 6 days

Publisher: Balboa Press

Blurb from Back Cover

Sofia, a young woman from a sheltered upbringing, is in for an unexpected ride when she marries Earl. As their stable union twists unnervingly through health issues, betrayal and shattered hearts, Sofia sheds layers of naivete, deepening her perspective of life. Beautiful life lessons learned from preschool children may heal her scars; but can they help her to endure the greatest tragedy of all? This story offers a powerful and inspiring journey into the soul.

My Review

Sophia is a young woman who is innocent, falls in love and then everything she knows changes. She falls in love with her friend and together their love blossoms and they marry. As with all marriages their relationships have ups and downs but Earl is hiding a secret that will shatter Sophias world.

The book starts off soft and sedate as the author takes you through the relationship in its early stages, from friendship to love. A few people may find this too slow but stick with it, the reason becomes apparent as you need to see the whole relationship and history to understand the impact the secrets later will have. Sophia is very innocent and some things I saw coming however this only emphasizes the innocence of the main character.

The story follows the main character from a naive innocent young girl to a woman who learns to cope with betrayal, starting her life over and learning how to deal with the emotional turmoil, grief and upheaval life sometimes throws at you.

I think there is something in this book that everyone could identify with, the fact that it is based on a true story made the slower parts worth sticking with. The honesty of what must have been a horrific and trying time, exposed in a book for everyone to read and judge and following a young womans path of dealing with it I think may be empowering for others in a similar situation. I enjoyed the brave steps she finally took and how she used meditation to work through and realize her inner strength.

There is a bit of travel within the book and the author describes the cities in which she visits or resides in. I am not a big fan of this, although I know some people love it when an author describes in vivid detail a place, especially when it is somewhere familiar or they wish to visit. This time however I did enjoy one aspect of it, a part of the book takes place in Las Vegas which is where I was on vacation when I was reading it. The chapters are sizable however there are breaks within them so, if like myself you couldn't get a good go at reading chunks of it you could dip in and out as your time dictates.

Whilst this isn't a book I would have sought out myself I am glad I read it, it has sparked an interest in meditation which I plan to look into further. I also would love to revisit Paris after reading about it here, maybe I am appreciating city descriptive passages as I age, who knows. Overall a pleasant read, 3/5 for me this time. Thanks to the author for introducing me to their work and sparking an interest out with my normal genre.

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PRR - Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

Low PressureLow Pressure by Sandra Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken to Read - 2 days

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Blurb from the back cover


Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene as well as her memory of one vital fact that still eludes her.....

Now, eighteen years later, Bellamy has written a novel based on Susan's murder. It's her first book, and it's an instant sensation. But because the novel is based on the most traumatic event of her life, she's published it under a pseudonym to protect herself and her family.

But when a sleazy reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on a real crime, Bellamy's identity - and dark family secrets - are exposed. Suddenly, she finds herself embroiled in a personal conflict at the mercy of her sister's killer, who for almost two decades has got away with murder...and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.

My Review

Bellamy Lyston Price is from a rich influential family, in order to rid herself of her demons, stemming from her sister's murder eighteen years ago she writes the account under a pseudo name as a novel. A tabloid journalist uncovers the story is fact and who the real author is. What follows is a chain reaction that threatens not only Bellamy but her family and all it stands for.

The book is, I thought, a wee page turner. It starts with Bellamy being discovered as the author and the first contact from someone not happy with her book. It then draws out the story of how she came to receive the contact and what she was doing up until that point. As well as unwanted gifts/threats the book also prompts contact from an old figure from Bellamy's past that she and her family would rather forget, his presence evokes a few unwelcome responses and tensions are running high. Soon Bellamy has more than feelings and threats to deal with when her life is at risk and the one person she doesn't want to spend time with might be her only hope.

There are a fair few characters in this book however they are carved out well and I had no problem following who was who and what was happening. Practically from the beginning you know who the bad guy is and the main issue is will he capture and kill Bellamy and was the right person convicted for her sisters murder. Right up until the end you have quite a few suspects of who the actual killer could be and more than one person isn't happy with Bellamys digging to free the locked memory of the day her sister was murdered.

The story, I felt, was definitely a thriller although it is laced with the romantic tanglement of her past with Dent, her sisters ex boyfriend/her past crush and one time suspect of her sister's murder. The family hate him, he has a huge chip on his shoulder, lots of attitude and a definite chemistry with Bellamy. The book has murder, lies, sex (there are a few scenes so if your easily offended you can skip over them or just pass on this book), deception and family secrets, to name but a few of the issues covered in this story. I have read Sandra Brown before and would read her again, this story had bits were the story pulled on for a bit but overall it was a really good read, 4 out of 5 for me this time. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

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Saturday 15 June 2013

RR - Dead Men and Broken Hearts by Craig Russell

Dead Men And Broken Hearts (Lennox, #4)Dead Men And Broken Hearts by Craig Russell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken to Read - 5 days

Publisher - Quercus

Blurb from the back cover

Investigator Lennox just can't stay out of trouble. Lennox is looking for legitimate cases - anything's better than working for the Three Kings, the crime bosses who run Glasgow's underworld. So when a woman comes into his office and hires him to follow her husband, it seems the perfect case.

And, unusually for Lennox, it's legal.

But this isn't a simple case of marital infidenlity. When the people he's following start to track him, once more Lennox must draw on the violent, war-damaged part of his personality as he follow this trail of dead men and broken hearts.

My Review

This is my first encounter with this author. The main character is Lennox, private investigator turned legit, he was previously linked with Glasgows big crime bosses. His first case in the opening seems straight forward, a wife suspects something fishy going on with her husband and wants Lennox to check it out. Case number 2 is the Union looking to locate a member who has disappeared with something important and the Union want him found. Soon Lennox finds there is more to the cases than first appears and his safety and freedom may be on the line!

Lennox is quite an amusing character, some of his statements had me laughing out loud. The story itself for me seemed to take a wee bit of time to really get going. The story is build up and played out for a fair while before things really pick up. A lot of people like that but I felt it a bit slow going for the first half of the book but once things pick up it is quite interesting.

The book is set in Glasgow in the 1950s which, being from the city, I found really enjoyable as there are places I know and places I have never heard of. Twinkletoes is another character worthy of note, I haven't read any of the previous novels so I'm not sure if he has appeared before. He is a hardman, on the wrong side of the law but such an endearing character you can't help but love to read about, I would love a standalone book on him to read!

The book is filled with twists, turns, deception and secrets. The story is written in first person narrative and the chapters are fairly short which I love. Everything gets covered, explained and played out which I always enjoy in a book but I felt it took an age to get to some of it. The end has a big twist that I didn't see coming and as much as I felt the book dragged at a few parts I found myself picking it up every spare minute I had. I think I may pick this author up again and will start from the beginning. Thanks to RealReaders for giving me the chance to read a new author in exchange for an honest review, 3/5 for me this time.

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Thursday 6 June 2013

Junes competition giveaway is

an Amazon gift voucher, the value of £5.

You can enter the competition the old way by using the contact link below

or you can use the rafflecopter competition form below and get additional entries. As always the competition will run to the end of the month, all normal rules apply.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Click here fill out the contact form

May's Pre-loved giveaway winner is....

Frances Hopkins, no website given. The winner has been contacted and the book wrapped to go in the post. June's giveaway will be an amazon voucher, the competition will be listed shortly. As always thanks so much to everyone who entered.

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