Zapata – Harper McDavid

Welcome back everyone, we’re going from a cold Cornish winter setting to Mexico! I already feel warmer just thinking about Mexico.

Well the first thing I want to say is, when you get to about the 70% mark put on a full-on action movie like John Wick 3. Why do you ask? Well, I spent some time on the couch reading a good portion of the last third of the book while my partner watched John Wick 3 and the fight scenes perfectly matched the intensity of what I was reading.

To give you an idea, this is the This is War of books. This is the type of book I can see made into a movie and becoming a date night favourite. It has enough romance for the girls, while being action packed enough for the guys to love it, while also not over the top to the enough that the guys hate it.

Yes, I’m stereotyping couples. But that’s coz I’m thinking of my relationship and the types of movies we can truly enjoy that satisfy both our preferences.

Yes, the book includes kidnapping, human trafficking, the sex slave trade, drug use, various other criminal activities and unthinkable circumstances. So, if any of this triggers you, avoid this book! And I really do mean that!

If you love the excitement, not knowing what’s going to happen and those full-on action-packed stories that make you feel the adrenaline pumping through your body. Then you’ll probably love this.

For a debut novel I am amazed at the quality and I can see myself (and my partner who doesn’t normally read much!) loving her novel! I likened this to Matthew Reilly to him, but where the writing is a little bit more mature and the content is DEFINITELY more mature. But just as fun, action orientated and engaging as his books.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing #Jerk by Kat T. Masen. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

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As a child, Harper McDavid watched her mother ride the roller coaster of writing books, swearing she’d never do it herself. But some things are just hardwired, and luckily for Harper, the world has moved on beyond typewriters and ten-pound manuscripts.

Harper’s gritty romantic suspense incorporates her own background in science and engineering and work experience along the border. The result is a collection of hardhat-wearing heroines that occasionally employ the use of the little black dress.

Harper is the mother of three daughters and lives in the foothills of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a fat cat. Her free time is spent traveling the world in search of that next story and perusing her local library for funny book covers.

Intimate Strangers – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’ve had some emotionally charges romance reads this month and today is no different. I mean. Wow. Just wow!

Talk about an emotionally draining read!

If anyone wants to see how an emotional rollercoaster should be written, I suggest reading this book and making notes. I really wasn’t expecting it to be QUITE so dramatic. Especially throughout the whole book.

Given that Lisa met someone online I was anticipating there to be a certain level of emotional stress leading up to them meeting for the first time. But that was just the start of it! There were a few other hits in there as well as the comedic release you need during those highly charged moments.

Lisa’s sarcastic and confident (even if she doesn’t feel it most of the time) attitude made her highly amusing. Especially when we also got to read along with the conversations she was having in her own head. As we only follow her, we don’t get to find out what’s going through AJ’s head.

In this case I really don’t think having AJ’s side of events is needed. There are quite a few stories where you need both sides. However, the way Lasairiona has written this means it’s perfect as it is. And having AJ’s side would probably just ruin it.

I’m scheduled to review the follow up book The Good in Goodbye in December. So make sure you subscribe to my mailing list if you want to know the moment that review goes live!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Wrapped up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did - with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself 'home', with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

Project Duchess – Sabrina Jeffries

Welcome back everyone, after reviewing Zoe Ann Wood’s first sweet romance I’m on to my first approved NetGalley review! Which means I need to tell you that I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review (I always give honest reviews but I don't want to get in trouble for not explicitly saying this).

I’m pretty excited about this one because it’s the first one I requested to read and got approved for. The other’s I’ve requested I got rejected for, so this feels like a milestone for me. And the story was a pretty good milestone one as well. It would’ve sucked if my first approved book wasn’t great.

Luckily it was good!

A scoundrel who isn’t a scoundrel. An innocent who isn’t so innocent. A murder that’s possibly not a murder. There were a few different layers to this book that I found really engaging. Although there were a couple of moments where I wasn’t sure which story was meant to be more prominent. The romance or the murder?

The story is written in third person from either Grey’s or Beatrice’s point of view. However, there were a few points where we seemed to shift mid chapter. Mostly it only switched characters at the end of a chapter. Or if it did change mid-way through there was an obvious break in the chapter to show the change. Which made it a bit weird when it swapped part way through.

I quite liked this, but for those wanting a pure romance, you should be prepared for the murder investigation aspect. Unfortunately, I was left hanging at the end. I didn’t get the closure I wanted as to who murdered who and why.

On the romance front, however. The ending was very satisfying. So much so that I’ve gotten a copy of the sequel which is due for release in February 2020. So make sure you come back to find out if that carries as well!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I will be reviewing When you were Mine by Lisa Swift.

Sunshine over Bluebell Castle – Sarah Bennett

Welcome back everyone, after a hectic schedule last week with my July Wrap Up and 3 reviews going live, you’ll find this week to be much quieter. A lot like today's book.

Following on from Spring Skies over Bluebell Castle we’re now into summer and following Iggy. I think I’ve picked up a trend that the love interests for our characters will be coming from London and discovering the delights of a quiet countryside town and castle.

I kind of get Will’s behaviour but in a way also feel like this rings very true of the media attention Meghan Markle has been getting. We don’t really know who the real Will is in a lot of situations, while others are quick to judge, and blame based on potential lies others are spreading.

I enjoyed his childlike humour, fun and excitement. But I also admired his wisdom in knowing when to leave a woman alone to figure out what’s happening in her head compared to when to push and tell her the truth.

I feel like the mystery of “who leaked Will’s presence to the media?” was a little obvious, and surely the family should’ve figured out who it was before they did. I feel like that could have added more mystery with tension arising between the couples Iggy and Will and Arthur and Lucie. From how Arthur behaved I feel like he would have been defending their mother and fighting for her to stay while Iggy and Will would have been adamant that she was a bad influence.

But that’s my take on it and I don’t know yet if it happened this way to set things up for Tristan’s book or not. I mean, I’m assuming that’s coming yea?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance by Laurie Benson. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.

When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove, Lavender Bay and Bluebell Castle trilogies, published by HQ Digital UK.

Lure of Obsession – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, today I have two special reviews for you so please look out for the other one as well! One is a bit of a romcom while the other is a fantasy romance.

This one is the fantasy romance, yay!

I do love a good mixture of gods, myths, legends and the modern world and this one has that. This is the first book in the Muse Chronicles series which follows modern day women who have the power of one of the nine ancient Greek Muses woken in them. That means they are driven to inspire the current generation to create, develop and progress.

But we also find out that they had guardians to protect them from the forces that would harm them. And those forces would be those dedicated to freeing the old Titans, including Kronos. Those followers trying to kill Mel, the personification of the Muse of Tragic Poetry, is what draws her guardian Nate to her.

We’re then gripped up in the crimes being committed by the followers of Kronos as they try to eliminate all the Muses for their own gains. I’m not quite sure how Lisa managed to get such a great balance between romance, comedy, mystery and a crime story but she did.

The whole way through I found myself totally falling in love with each of the characters more and more and loving the banter. I’m not sure if the humour was intended to be such a big part of the book but I found myself laughing at the sarcastic comments, overtures and the regular jokes being bandied about. I’m hoping I can keep reading this series because I found myself really enjoying it.

Don’t forget to check out Willow by Grace Parks which I also reviewed today.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Sunshine over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She's a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal. 

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. 

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Stay up-to-date on new releases and giveaways by subscribing to Lisa's newsletter. You can check out Lisa on her social media and on Pinterest.

Giveaway - Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)


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will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the
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Willow – Grace Parks

Welcome back everyone, today I have two special reviews for you so please look out for the other one as well! One is a bit of a rom-com while the other is a fantasy romance.

I was really looking forward to this one and for some reason thought it was called “Can a socialite and a technophobe fall in love?” I guess the first line of the blurb really stuck in my memory!

I had liked this book, but I can’t say I loved it. The storytelling was captivating, the characters felt real. But I feel like a certain level of detail was missing to really suck me in. This was most evident where the couple got together in what felt like the space of two chapters.

I got to the end of the second last chapter and felt like, story development wise I was probably sitting around the 75-80% mark. The characters were on their way to becoming a couple and meeting halfway. But they still had some work to do.

When I happened to scan the percent and see 94%, I was a bit shocked. When I checked how many chapters I had left, I saw I only had the one left. My first thought was “o, is this series one where we follow the same two characters? I got the feeling each book would follow a new couple.”

Not only was I treated to the quickest get together I think I’ve ever read, making it highly dissatisfying. It was probably one of the more teenage types of get togethers. It didn’t feel like the character’s I’d gotten to know, and it didn’t feel like it suited the rest of the book.

Literally, up until that last chapter I was really enjoying it. But that rushed ending felt like someone went “o crap! I’m reaching my word count but don’t want to cut anything out. How can I wrap this up quickly?!” and then left it at that. If you don’t mind rushed endings that leave you feeling bewildered, you’ll be fine! Otherwise just be prepared for that rushing at the end there.

Don’t forget to check out Lure of Obsession by Lisa Kessler which I also reviewed today. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I’ll be reviewing Sunshine over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and my first extra giveaway hosted by me (supplied by the author).

Author Bio

From Grace, with Love... Grace Parks is a sweet romance/ chick lit author with a penchant for the happily ever after.

Giveaway - Win 1 of 2 e-copies of Willow thanks to Grace (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Proud Book Reviews reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Proud Book Reviews will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

The Secret Cove in Croatia – Julie Caplin

Welcome back everyone, after yesterday’s cover reveal we’re going back into a review! This one is based in beautiful Croatia, which I can’t wait to see since my Croatian friends keep telling me amazing stories of their country.

My first thought when I started this book was “why the hell am I on a photoshoot in some backcountry town in England if the story is meant to be in Croatia?” Well, it turns out that’s to help set up a couple of character BEFORE jetting us over to Croatia. Which in the long run I was actually thankful for. Don’t think you’ve been duped; those scenes are needed and actually play a pivotal part of the story.

As we go in and Maddie is working on this luxury boat I can’t help but think she’s a little too relaxed and informal for 5 star service. I’ve worked in those kinds of settings (not on a boat coz I get sea sick real bad, and I mean before we even undock I’m sick bad), and if I even showed the slightest hint of the attitude she showed sometimes, I’d have been fired. My bosses wouldn’t have cared if I knew the guests or not. I would’ve lost my job.

I didn’t really like that familiarity with all the guests. I think I would have enjoyed that aspect more if it matched my experiences more closely. But then again, maybe things are different in Europe? Or maybe because it was a small kind of company the appearance of detachment and being unruffled isn’t needed as much?

The rest of the story was pretty dream like though. Imagine sitting on a private yacht in your own bay with crystal clear water, all the sea life and amazing sunny weather? Other than the whole being on the boat thing, this sounds almost perfect to me. If there was a way I could zap my sea sickness into nothing, it would be perfect.

Yes, I liked the romance. But the sights, the relationship building (not just the romance ones, but even their relationships with themselves) and the way I was transported to these breathtaking locations really stole the show for me. Unfortunately for my purse strings, this book has added yet more sights for me to see when I get to Europe! Maybe I can talk my Croatian friends into taking me so we can try and get locals discounts… If there are any.

hank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Friday I’ll be doing an author interview with SamanthaParks and next week I will be reviewing Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on press trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol, hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.

She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for HarperImpulse.

Under her pen name, Julie Caplin, her twelfth novel, The Secret Cove in Croatia published in ebook format this July.

@JulieCaplin

@Juleswake

The Determined Lord Hadleigh – Virginia Heath

Welcome back everyone, we’re back again today with another review for you this time with a regency romance. I swear this northern hemisphere summer is bring a lot of great releases with it!

We begin the book with Tristan’s point of view which is unusual for a romance. Normally the romances I read are from the girls’ point of view in the beginning although the guys will often be brought in after the first or second chapter.

One of the things that struck me once we jumped over to Penny’s point of view was how stubborn she was being when people were just trying to make it easier for her to get back on her feet. They weren’t trying to control her life, just give her time and options. So I really didn’t understand why she refused all help and cracked it at those that did try to offer her help.

One of the things I loved was that both Tristan and Penny could talk things through rather logically and see the other persons point of view. After they’ve calmed down from their own stubborn stance. They even helped each other get over some pretty bad memories which were holding them back from their futures.

I mean, if you’re going to be with anyone you want to be with someone who can help you through those tough times don’t you?

There were a few moments where I found myself disconnecting from the writing and having to re-read the sentence a few times for it to make sense. It wasn’t too often, but it felt like maybe some punctuation or something was missing. I couldn’t really nail down what it was, but it didn’t take me long to figure out what the author meant.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Believe in Me by Ella Quin. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Giveaway - Win 2x e-copies of The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please
enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at
random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter
and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random
Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the
competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with
third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed
to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after
which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not
responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.