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Books I’ve Read: Blow by Kim Karr


Received from The Next Step PR

Received from The Next Step PR

Title: Blow
Series: The Tainted Love Duet
Author: Kim Karr
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 21 Sept 2015
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

2 fatal sides.
1 epic love.
7 days to survive.

They met in the face of danger. They weren’t looking for love. They both knew better. But they couldn’t stay away, and they fell hard.

He is heart-stopping handsome, fearless—and haunted by deadly ties.

She is breathtakingly beautiful, determined—and in harm’s way.

They should have parted. They didn’t. They never should have fucked. They did. And now time is running out. One hundred sixty eight hours. That’s all that remains. While Logan McPherson fights to save them, Elle Sterling is forced to make a choice that could change everything.

When torn between right and wrong, tainted love doesn’t have a chance…or does it?

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Blow is an intensely emotional thriller. The characters are endearing though flawed by events in their formative years. Personalities and attitudes shaped by the families they have been brought up in. Although different circumstances both Elle and Logan have reached a point in their lives where they have to make a choice. They have to choose themselves and each other over the web they find themselves trapped inside created by others. The dual narrative aids in connecting with both characters and understanding their motivations as well as their reservations.

Kim cleverly crafts the plot to allow the reader to make endless assumptions as to the backstory of both characters. Revelations come piece by piece and are not at all expected.

Romance, family, the Irish mob, revenge and drug dealers alongside the theme of identity and finding your place in the world contribute to the edge-of-your-seat tension that is Blow.

Books I’ve Read: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre

Received from The Next Step PR

Received from The Next Step PR

Title: Hollywood Dirt
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 7 Sept 2015
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there’s a new bad boy in town.

Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.

We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.

From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.

Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

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I love that whole opposites attract angle in the story although I do think Cole and Summer are more alike than they originally want to admit. The dual narrative helps the reader gain true insight into their actions otherwise the animosity between the pair could be misinterpreted.

I’ve got to be honest and say I really didn’t like the portrayal of Cole going off the rails when he finally discovered just how much his ‘wife’ had played him. He had my sympathy and his actions were understandable in the whole validation of his manhood type of thing. However, this did not mean I enjoyed witnessing it :(

Summer has grown up in one of those southern towns where appearance is everything, no matter what happens. Always on the outside being working class in a town full of millionaires hasn’t been easy but when the whole town betrays you that takes on a whole new layer of hurt.

Although I will say I completely adored Summer, she is the most content person I think I have ever seen portrayed; her outlook affects others in a positive manner. It is only with Cole that her sass really takes a shape all of its own. It’s hilarious to witness. The theme of identity really stands out with Summer, showing that it is perfectly fine to do the things you love like cooking for your family and planting your garden. All that is of importance is your own happiness. Do not diminish how important that is by giving into pressure from others.

Cole has to be the most romantic, squishy actor I have had the pleasure to imagine 😉 He has so much to give, now his eyes have been opened and he is able to recognise something meaningful and true when it is in front of him. ♥

Hollywood Dirt is a terrific piece of sassy, swoon-worthy escapism.

Review: Fire Walker by Josephine Angelini

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Fire Walker
Series: The World Walker Trilogy #2
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: MacMillan Childrens Books
Publication Date: August 2015
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Lily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it’s finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

‘You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.’

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.

Firewalker – the follow-up to Trial By Fire – is another sexy, fast-paced thrill ride from internationally bestselling author of the Starcrossed series, Josephine Angelini!


Fire Walker is the awesome sequel to Angelini’s fabulous book, Trial by Fire. Fire Walker starts on Lily waking to her hometown, (Salem, Massachusetts) after months in an alternate universe, where she discovers she is actually a witch, and meets herself (see Trial by Fire)!!!!!! She goes back to her old friends, and her home, to see her mother, who is not quite crazy!

My favourite character is Juliet, as she always tries to help out Lily, even though she is non-magical, and my favourite part is after Lily world-jumps, when she is ‘floating on a raft over a river of pain’, but I also enjoy the time when there are two Tristans (TWO TRISTANS). I enjoyed the 3rd person narrative, but I felt that perhaps Lily’s  characterisation could have benefitted from being told in first person in order to deepen the connection between reader and character. The plot was OK, but I felt it was a bit of a let-down (anti-climatic in its effect after the long wait between books, compared with Trial by Fire, but then again, it is the middle book in the series. Middle book syndrome perhaps, even though I did re-read Trial by Fire before reading Fire Walker in order to refresh my memory fully.

Josephine Angelini is ingenious at creating surprising but wonderful relationships, which I felt lacked a bit in Fire Walker, but the magical element came out a lot stronger, which she writes really well. Everything made sense, but the ending was a little strange! I would rather if Lilian got involved a little more, but I guess that will come in the third book, which I am looking forward to! For me Fire Walker evolved more into the fantasy genre; this may have been deliberate but personally it is the characters that are at the heart of the story and I would have like them to have been a little more developed.

I would recommend this series to any lovers of Angelini’s previous trilogy: Starcrossed, and lovers of Abandon by Meg Cabot, or The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. I hope you enjoy this just as much as I did, and I look forward to the next book! :)

Review: Tempest Rising by Julie Kenner

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

Title: Tempest Rising
Series: Rising Storm #1
Author: Julie Kenner
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Publication Date:
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

Nestled among rolling hills and painted with vibrant wildflowers, the bucolic town of Storm, Texas, seems like nothing short of perfection.

But there are secrets beneath the facade. Dark secrets. Powerful secrets. The kind that can destroy lives and tear families apart. The kind that can cut through a town like a tempest, leaving jealousy and destruction in its wake, along with shattered hopes and broken dreams. All it takes is one little thing to shatter that polish.

Ginny Moreno didn’t mean to do it, but when she came home to Storm, she brought the tempest with her. And now everyone will be caught in its fury…


The premise of this series is to create a soap opera in book serialisation, I will start by saying MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

The third person narrative is imperative in maintaining the continuous switching between characters, laying out significant background details and controlling the plot threads. Be warned the plot is completely tangled, the characters lives interwoven on multiple levels. While I was making notes on the story, I found myself making a list of characters and how their lives were connected while trying to predict surprise elements. I was thinking of including it in my review but decided against it as it may give spoilers to the plot overall. While the constant switch of focus could be perceived as confusing, I will say the structure of Tempest Rising helps maintain focus.

 I have to be completely honest and say that so far none of the characters are exceptionally likeable, the all have secrets and flaws, probably making them more realistic in that manner.

Tempest Rising lays the foundation for the Rising Storm Series, I believe each new serialisation will focus on an individual character and I for one am looking forward to seeing if my guess at the plot will be proved correct. I am also hoping the characters develop some redeeming features 😉

Review: Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin

Received from Tasty Book Tours

Received from Tasty Book Tours

Title: Bad Romance
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Publisher: LoveSwept
Publication Date: 15 Sept 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.

Full Tour Schedule HERE

Full Tour Schedule HERE


Jen McLaughlin is one of my go-to authors for NA romance, I have come to expect a lot of smoulder within the pages of her books. Bad Romance is no exception, expect I think Jen has managed to increase the swoon factor in this story :)

Jackson portrays the rough, tough bad boy persona hiding any emotion under a carefully constructed shell of armour. Continually resented by his mother and demoralised by his step father, Jackson escapes the confines of his life by joining the army transforming himself from the label of failure he has carried with him for so long. Jackson carries deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy with him through out his life.

Lily has led what could be considered a life of privilege, she has had to conform to her fathers wishes all her life. Losing her mother at a young age, she is constantly striving to win her fathers affection and regard. However, the weight of conditional love, selfish parents and unrealistic expectations weigh heavy on Lily especially as she is innately selfless.

Although, their situations may be different both Lily and Jackson show how having conditions placed on love that should be unconditional shape their identities. Proving there is a direct correlation between nurturing, or lack thereof and self-esteem.

While the romance is a large part of the plot, there is a lot more to Bad Romance than the relationship between Jackson and Lily. Bad Romance shows the need to be assertive in taking control of your own life, developing independence and believe in yourself. Most importantly, happiness is a choice – choosing to follow your own path in order to achieve personal happiness isn’t selfish. Ultimately, you cannot please everyone and the one person whose happiness should matter the most is your own.

Bad Romance is fast paced and utterly romantic.