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Review: Betting on the Wrong Brother by Cathryn Fox

Received from Tasty Book Tours

Received from Tasty Book Tours

Title: Betting on the Wrong Brother
Series: What Happens in Vegas #12
Author: Cathryn Fox
Publisher: Entangled Lovestruck
Publication Date: 8 Feb 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

He may be at a romance readers’ convention, but a naked woman in the elevator is not what horror writer Ryan Wheeler expects. Now he can’t take his eyes off of her—and not just because he saw her naked, though her luscious curves certainly aren’t helping the matter. She’s beautiful, funny, snarky…and a complication he doesn’t need.

Running into her teen heartthrob while naked wasn’t exactly part of romance novelist Andi Palmer’s weekend plans. Worse, he doesn’t recognize her and gives her a fake name¬. Years ago, he shot her down in the worst possible way, and now this? It’s time for a little down-and-dirty revenge.

Ryan’s more than a little turned on by this good girl who wants to be bad. But things aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re keeping from one another might just end this sexy little rendezvous before it ever begins…

Received from Tasty Book Tours

Received from Tasty Book Tours

REVIEW 

Betting on the Wrong Brother is a cute, fast paced romance featuring mistaken identity, sizzling chemistry, fate and finding your soulmate.

The third person narrative aids the numerous plot threads stemming from Andi and Ryan’s history, although in a completely unexpected way. You see Andi is the same age as Ryan’s younger brother and had a HUGE crush on him as a teen only to have him break her heart. Andi was an awkward, frumpy teen resulting in self-esteem issues years later.

A case of mistaken identity and a serious amount of sparks result in Andi and Ryan living out their fantasies for the duration of their time in Vegas. Both have some serious relationship hang-ups due to their life experiences. However, fate/destiny has other plans for Andi and Ryan, they are quite literally perfect together.

There is a small amount of angst but this is quickly overcome by the endearing quality of the characters. The emotional growth of the characters is a fundamental part of the plot and wonderful to follow. Although I would love to know what the future has in store for Andi and Ryan :)

Betting on the Wrong Brother is my first book by Cathryn Roberts, it most certainly won’t be my last 😉

Review: Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

itle: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: 11 Feb 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

REVIEW BY BETH 

Sara Barnard writes in such a compelling way it’s impossible not to get more and more drawn into Caddy’s world. She’s such a likeable character and is that typical YA protagonist – relatable, not too pretty, not too clever, just slap bang in the middle so she is completely perfect for getting lost within and relating to. Sara captures Caddy’s naivety perfectly and it is sad at times, what she doesn’t know and what she can’t see, but as the novel continues Caddy grows and begins to understand things she probably thought she’d never know about, and this is all thanks to Suzanne.

Beautiful Broken Things is a sad book, mainly because of Suzanne and the things she has had to live through and where they have left her at the point we meet her. She is representative and reminiscent of someone or several people we have probably all known in our lives, the girls who always seemed a little bit too up for the party or getting into difficult and dangerous situations with seemingly no care and whilst Caddy is almost star struck by Suzanne, after initially worrying she’d lose her best friend to her, it soon becomes apparent that nothing Caddy is doing is helping and in some ways it is making things harder for Suzanne.

More than anything else Barnard captures what it’s like to be a teenager. In a very different way to Dawn O’Porter who I felt got it down to a tee from an embarrassment and humour angle, Barnard captures the depth of feeling we have towards our friends when we’re 15/16 and how they really are the most important people in our lives. The anguish at the idea of being left out is perfectly portrayed throughout the novel and whilst there is a lot of sadness Beautiful Broken Things is a fantastically written book. At the heart of the novel is friendship and the tricky feelings that come with it but Barnard also touches upon mental health issues, physical and mental abuse and the many repercussions of these.

A brilliant examination of the female friendship at the point where I believe it as strong as it gets.

Review: Ink and Lies by SL Jennings

Received from TRSOR

Received from TRSOR

Title: Ink and Lies
Author: SL Jennings
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 9 Feb 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

From International Best Selling Romance Novelist, Hope Hughes, comes a gripping, heartfelt tale of two lovers, fighting for the freedom to…

No. Scratch that. Too cheesy.

…two people, torn apart by the tumultuous tides of life, only to discover refuge in…

WTF? What does that even mean? DELETE.

…two people, confused as shit as to where they should be and who they should love and none of this means a damn thing because it’s all lies!
Lies.
I’m not Hope Hughes. I’m not some fierce woman romance machine. Hell, I’m not even a woman.
I’m a liar.
And while I refuse to believe my own BS, deceit masked in heartfelt phrases of love and devotion, I want to make herbelieve them. Because maybe—just maybe—if she can find the soul within my words, she’ll also be able to find the truth scribbled on my heart.
You see, I once lived for the perfect plot twist.
I just never expected to actually live it.
This is my story. Well, maybe her story. I just wish I could make it our story.
The one I’m still writing.

INK & LIES BOOK TOUR

Dear August/Rhys

I felt I had to express myself via letter concerning your recent behavior. Firstly, let me just say YOU ARE AN IDIOT. Not just any idiot mind, in fact you could probably win a gold medal in the Olympics for complete idiocy and the fact that you are so completely oblivious to others peoples feelings as well as your own.

If you notice I addressed the letter using both of your names due to the fact that I came to consider you as two different people; August the douche and Rhys the best friend.

Did you really think that after ten years of being your best friend, hearing about your buffet of women and your constant re-iteration of the fact that you don’t believe in love or relationships, Fiona would just fall at your feet when you eventually had that light-bulb moment and realized she was your soulmate. Way to go buddy, way to go.  You are completely delusional.

Fiona quite literally wears her heart on her sleeve where you are concerned but did you notice, NO, in fact you made a point of constantly pointing out the negatives to being a relationship. It was only when she finally accepted that you were never going to change and began to move on that you came to your senses. A case of a little too late, my friend. How on earth were you going to convince her that she was the girl for you. SERIOUSLY.

Then, at the first sign of having to actually work for a relationship what do you do. What was that I didn’t quite hear you. Yes, that’s right, you re-enforced those barriers of yours with steel. Going to extremes to push Fiona away, hurting her with both words and actions. Yet, she is still there for you at every turn, she really is a remarkable person, not a doormat by any means, just wonderfully caring and compassionate. How did you not realize she was so wonderful before now!!!!

To be honest I really, really wanted to hate you. The things you did would normally cause me to stamp on the story never to return while sullying your name all over the interwebs, but I just couldn’t. I came to the conclusion that your actions and words were hurting you the most, that seemed more than enough punishment. I wanted to put my faith in you I really, really did. I think it was your way with words that won my heart, as I had to believe that this was the true you even if you wouldn’t acknowledge it yourself.

I have no idea why you had so many barriers in place to romance, relationships and love when you have had such wonderful examples of them with your family. Maybe it was seeing how lonely your grandfather was after losing your grandmother but that once in a lifetime love is worth the few years of loneliness. Most people would kill to have that kind of relationship ♥

I have to ask again why it wasn’t until Fiona started a serious relationship you acknowledged you feelings for her?? Yes, it is quite obvious you are meant to be together but you can’t blame her for not believing you. Yes, doctor douche was the wrong guy but he charmed the pants off her, giving her the fairy-tale when all you promised were nightmares.

By the way thank you so much for sharing the information with the backdoor action. I did wonder if that could happen, so thanks for clearing that up. It was both completely hilarious and disgusting in equal measure. I don’t think I’m going to be able to look at kale again.

Now that I have berated you I would like to end by offering my congratulations on your emotional growth. WELL DONE (and about time) it’s just a shame it took you so long and caused so much heartache on all sides for you to get there. I wish you all the success and happiness for the future. Just one other little thing, with your amazing way with words do you think we could have an extended epilogue PLEASE. I really need to have complete closure. Please for the sake of my mental health let me know what happens next.

Love
Emma xxx

 

Review: Legend by Katy Evans

Received from TRSoR

Received from TRSoR

Title: Legend
Series: Real #6
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 9 Feb 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he’s known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He’s got a personal score to settle with the Underground’s one and only Remington “Riptide” Tate.

As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town–and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she’s none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who’s supposed to root against him and a girl he’s supposed to stay away from.

But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate LEGEND.

REVIEW 

One word for you Wow.

This is so hard to review. I’ll start by saying I was desperate to read it and yet didn’t want to start it. I knew as soon as I opened those pages that would be it, it would be over before I could blink. I wanted to savor every single second immersed back in the world of MMA, of flawed characters and devastating, all-consuming love. Did Katy deliver?? What can I say, not only did he deliver everything I wanted but she delivered more than I could have expected. Soul-mate connections, adorable characters and burdens based on heritage and upbringing. Prepare yourself when you start this book because you won’t be able to go anywhere until you’ve read that last page, and if you are anything like me I had to immediately go back and re-read the rest of the series. you know just to make sure the characters were still there 😉

Maverick (yes, I did immediately think of Top Gun, it’s my age I tell you) is consumed with proving himself in the world of MMA. Abandoned as a child by his father, he carries the weight of the sins of his father on his shoulders. There are hints and red herrings scattered through the narrative as to the identity of Mavericks father, the revelation not surprising but still poignant when it occurs. I was a little confused as to the age of the character with a child Mavericks age but that is probably because I always picture the characters in their twenties unless it is specifically stated otherwise.

For the most part I didn’t really feel as if Maverick had so-called ‘Daddy’ issues. Yes, he is on a quest to prove himself within the world of MMA and overcome the legacy he has been bound to. I did feel as if he was trying to prove something to himself as opposed to gaining his fathers approval. Insanely talented yet without the arrogance you would normally assign to young challengers. Maverick has an uphill battle to even be admitted into the ranks of the underground.

Reese would appear the complete opposite of Maverick in every way. Shy, introverted and suffering for low self-esteem especially regarding her body. Reese also happens to be Brooke’s cousin, staying with the Tate’s during Summer break to help with the 3-year-old Racer. Hints through the narrative suggest Reese has undergone a huge life crisis and struggled to take control of her own life following her life altering incident. Her struggle to fit in and find where she belongs was poignantly portrayed. I did feel as if Reese was a lot stronger than people gave her credit for and for the most part she doesn’t acknowledge her own strength. It is only with Maverick that she really lets herself be who she truly is.

There is no way I can divulge even the slightest aspect of the plot because you really, really have to read it for yourself. You need to experience the revelations as they happen and the emotions the characters experience as a result.

Maverick and Reese fill the hole Remy and Brooke left in my heart, they have the same soul-mate feel to their relationship you can’t help but swoon over. The inclusion of my favorite couple increased my enjoyment but it was all of the characters development that made my heart beat double time for them. Accepting yourself for who you are is one of the main themes that stood out within the Real series but is most apparent in Legend.

Review: Bait and Switch by Kendall Ryan

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

Title: Bait and Switch
Series: Alphas Undone #1
Author: Kendall Ryan
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 9 Feb 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Love is a trap, a trick only other people fall for. Former Navy SEAL Nolan has no such illusions. The only things real in his life are his beloved bulldog and the two women in his life. One is soft and innocent, someone he could build a real future with. But the other is dark and gives him all of the wicked things he craves behind closed doors. What starts out as casual quickly becomes complicated. Can he walk away from a sure thing for something that’s foreign territory?

Nolan thinks we met by chance. We didn’t. I sought him out, seduced him, and in return got the sanctuary I needed to survive. But now, impossibly, I’ve fallen in love with him. I don’t care that he has another lover, because when he finds out who I am, it’s going to ruin any chance I ever had with him anyway. She’s the least of my worries.

Bait & Switch is Book 1 in the new contemporary romance series Alphas Undone, which will each feature a new couple.This is a standalone full-length novel. It does not contain cheating.

REVIEW 

I may have had some reservations about Bait and Switch due to the nature of the synopsis, I mean he has two women on the go at the same time. Yet, with the promise of no cheating, and wondering how the heck that was going to be avoided, drew me into reading Bait and Switch. Let me tell you I am so glad I did :)

Nolan, ex- navy seal of deliciousness that he is has white knight syndrome running through his veins. Convinced he has escaped the repercussions of seeing so much tragedy while on active duty he holds tight to his unconventional relationship with Daniella. Although it is obvious from the start that he doesn’t embrace the same tendencies he is purely fulfilling a role within Daniella’s life. Nolan is extremely protective and nurturing, something he doesn’t give himself enough credit for. Instead hiding behind Daniella’s presence in his life as a way of preventing anyone from getting close to him. He isn’t truly happy and feels a desperate yearning for something unknown.

I don’t normally quote in my reviews but I felt so strongly about this one I had to share it:

Sometimes our greatest scars are the ones we don’t wear for the world to see. They’re buried inside our hearts. 

It is obvious Lacey is hiding something, desperate to escape whatever is chasing her and desperate enough to pretend to be something she isn’t in order to be taken under Nolan’s protection. Her vulnerability shines through the narrative.

Although neither of them anticipated the reaction to the other. Although the sparks are electric it was the way in which the characters develop and open up to the possibilities available to them that really made Bait and Switch stand out.  I did feel as if some of the twists were easy to guess however, their execution exceeded all expectations. I adored the way in which Lacey feels safe and protected against anything when she is with Nolan as well as the sense of peace, calm and belonging she gives Nolan. If that doesn’t scream love I don’t know what does.  embracing who you are and what you can be together makes up an extremely cleverly crafted story on Kendall Ryan’s behalf.

I am so glad I put my reservations to one side in order to get to know Nolan and Lacey. A terrific start to the Alphas Undone series, I cannot wait to see who features next and maybe where I can find one of my own 😉