Sea of Revenge – Nicola Italia

Welcome back everyone, we’re coming into a super busy period in my schedule which means I’m due for a holiday right?In the meantime, we have this sweet author request to review. I’m so thankful for Nicola reaching out to me after seeing my reviews of her other books I’ve read. Thank you!

I was due for an adventure packed regency romance when I picked this one up. I’d read a few contemporary romances and chick lit books, but I needed this fix. Considering the two other books of hers I’ve read I assumed the female lead would be a strong independent character. And I was right!

In The Sheik’s Son the female lead was a writer stirring up discontent against the higher classes, while in Love in the Valley of the Kings the female lead was educated, ahead of her times and so sweet. A noblewoman that moonlights as a pirate captain? That kinda fits the bill I reckon.

Although I was surprised by how and when our main leads met, I really enjoyed seeing them grow and develop. Especially because he was totally ok with her beating him in a sword-fight in front of his entire crew! How many men can say they are secure in their masculinity that they’d be ok with this?

I did feel like this book should be written in two parts. One during the pirate days and one after. It felt like these two sections were very different, and so should have had a bigger way to differentiate between them without creating a sequel. I agree that it didn’t need a sequel, but I still would have preferred a bigger “separator” in the story.

What I didn’t like was how casual Tamzen was when she found out why she’d run away from her “fiancé”. I can’t see someone being so casual about learning that fact, so it was weird that it felt like she was just like “o ok, but you won’t do it again? Ok that’s fine then.” It just confused me a little bit.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, I don’t have another review until July 31st, but I do have a cover reveal and an interview with Samantha Parks coming out next week. Then on July 31st I’ll be reviewing Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher.

The Wedding Planner – Eve Devon

Welcome back everyone, after a regency romance last week we’re back into modern day. But this time we stay in the same country. Just centuries later.

Within 2 pages of starting this book all I could think was “o god, I really hope people don’t see me like this!” I’m a straight talker, I don’t beat around the bush, I call things as they are, I’m the person you can trust to give you the absolute brutal truth, I’m absolutely independent and hate needing others. But I’m also fiercely loyal to those I love. And this pretty much sums up Gloria to a tee.

Granted we don’t learn about the loyalty until a bit into the book. It’s still pretty obvious that she’s uniquely her and for some reason is apologetic about it. I get not being like that to the point of driving people away. Like Gloria I’ve gone through some work to not be like that either. But I will never understand why people don’t value those traits.

When romance does creep up on her she doesn’t know what to do about it. But what I REALLY love about this romance is that he doesn’t try to change her. Seth accepts who she is and loves her BECAUSE of those traits many people don’t like.

Little things like seeing the fight come into her eyes and working out what she’s thinking, and it just makes him love her more is amazing. Romance and love to me should be about accepting the other person for who they are. Faults and all. So I love that this story really embraced that and never tried to be like “maybe you should tone this down” or “well if you had have just kept your mouth shut that wouldn’t have happened”.

I enjoyed this story all the way to the end and in a way see some of my own relationship in this story. Although in our case we were both scared to take the plunge but realised about the same time we actually did want to. It’s super weird reading a book that you feel like could almost be written about you and your life but in a way great to see people embrace and love Gloria for who she is.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

My name’s Eve Devon and I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters…

Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave me a taste for adventure and my love for romances began when my mother shoved one into my hands in a desperate attempt to keep me quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals.

When I wasn’t consuming books by the bucket-load, I could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down my adventures. As a teenager, I wrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, I worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucket-load, until realising I was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense myself. I live in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with my very own sexy hero husband!

Believe in Me – Ella Quinn

Welcome back everyone, we’re still firmed locked in the past, in this case still in regency times. This book came to me in my first Bubbles & Books Book Box and it was a beautifully unexpected regency romance story.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but it’s apparently been a while since I read a regency romance. Looking back through the books I’ve read this year I realised it’s been 3 whole months! Considering how many regency romances I’ve read in the past I can’t believe it’s been so long.

Looking up this book to log it on Goodreads I discovered that it’s the 6th book in the Worthingtons series. How is it that I keep coming across regency series by starting on the 4th or more book in the series?

One of the things I love about regency romances is the glamour, the structure in society and the courting that goes on. The first thing we learn about Augusta is that she spurns societies strictures that ladies can’t be educated. Not only has she already sought private correspondence tuition on a variety of topics. But now she wants to go to Uni, which doesn’t happen for women in that time period.

The fact that she’s able to meet a guy who also believes that women should be educated and is enamoured by her knowledge and skills. I’m glad that she’s able to find a guy like this, even though it’s super unlikely to have actually happened.

Surprisingly, later in the book we went from a nice cruisy pace of luxury travel around Europe to a mad dash with a possible kidnaping, murder and international fiasco looming. So much so, that I found my own heartrate picking up and reading the pages as if the book was about to burn away in my hands without me being able to finish the book.

The ending even threw me another twist that gave the book an even sweeter than I anticipated.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing The Wedding Planner by Eva Devon.

If you're interested in getting yourself one of these amazing boxes you can head on over to Bubbles and Books and use the code ANTHEA10P to share the love! I'm personally loving

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
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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.

Storms over Babylon – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, we’re back to Ashley and Alexander in the Time for Alexander series. I swear I become more and more obsessed with this series with every book I read. Please hurry up and let me read the next three!

I chose to stay up on my flight to Brisbane to read this one instead of sleeping. To put this into context, I normally go to bed about 9pm and my flight took off at 9.30pm. To say I was dead tired when we arrived in Brisbane a couple of hours later is an understatement.

But I did smash out like 90% of the book in that couple of hours on the plane. And man was it good! I actually checked how long I had left to finish the book because I didn’t want to have to stop to get off the plane. Luckily, I finished the book with 5 minutes of my flight to spare.

If you’re familiar with the previous books (not just my reviews of them) then you might remember that Plexis was told all his questions about Ashley would be answered on his death bed. Well, Ashley is faced with the knowledge of when he’s meant to die alongside Alexander being adamant, he doesn’t want her to save him.

Well in this book we get to discover how Plexis dies, along with Alexander a few months later. Knowing that there’s a fantasy element to this story and just loving Ashley’s relationships with Alexander and Plexis and that this is only the 4th of (currently) 7 books, I was left wondering when this book would end.

Well, spoiler alert! (not really) It ends When Alexander dies, and his kingdom begins to crumble with Ashley and her family fleeing the violence. As soon as I was finished, I was like “NOOOO!!!! I want more!” So rest assured, once the 5th book comes on tour I’ll be jumping for a spot to give you more deets!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow
(yes you read that right!) I will be reviewing The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath. Continue to read
further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.


Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Giveaway - Win a $10 Amazon gift certificate (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 I reserve 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 I will
delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of
the prize.

Foxglove Farm – Christie Barlow

Welcome back everyone, we’re back into the world of romance. Yes, I know. I can’t stay away for long! Who knew being an adult automatically made me like romance?

I think I forgot between reading the blurb and starting this book that it wasn’t about Polly. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not 100% sure I did read the blurb… I may have just seen it was the sequel to Love Heart Lane and jumped on board.

After the initial shock and “damn I’ve been jibbed” feeling upon discovering that our couple for this book was in fact the married Isla and Drew. I jumped into reading to see what could be in store for them. And I can tell you it was quite an adventure!

I smashed this book out in about a day sitting by the fire while my partner finished his book. When he finished his book and wanted to put Netflix on I was like “ahhh… how’s about you put something on that you wanna watch so I can keep reading?” How sociable am I? For a Saturday night you’d think I’d put in more effort than that!

But no! Foxglove Farm was more important. Isla and Drew seemed to get hit with problem after problem and it was tearing their relationship apart. So much so that I was starting to wonder how this could possibly be a romance given the genre typically means a HEA is a requisite.

I mean, the only romances that haven’t ended with a HEA are ones where it’s one in a series following those two characters. I’ve never seen it with a stand alone or in a series where you swap characters every book.

By the time I got to the end of the book in bed on the Sunday morning (yea the partner slept through another like 2 hours of me reading) I felt emotionally relieved for Isla and Drew that their story was over. I mean WOW! Kudo’s for them for getting through all that given how societal “norms” almost broke up their marriage.

I loved the fact that Isla stuck by him even when she hated him because she knew him well enough to know more was going on. And I loved how blatantly Christie puts these issues out there. Mens health is something that’s definitely not talked about much (especially among the men I know) but it’s so important. I’m not sure about your own countries, but I know in Australia suicide is the leading cause of male death between the ages of 15 and 44.

That to me is a sobering fact and one we should all be working to fix by normalising talking about your emotions and everything that’s weighing down on you. I hope over time more writers will include this in ways that works towards normalising it. And I hope we all do our part to help normalise it for the men in our lives.

I’m sorry to end on a sad note but I really liked and appreciated Christie throwing this in and talking about. Even if she didn’t mean to make a statement it resonated with me.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, after my June Wrap Up I will be reviewing Storms over Babylon by Jennifer Macaire. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.


Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty's Countryside Dream, Lizzie's Christmas Escape, Evie's Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Foxglove Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being.

Heart of Stone – Ben Galley

Welcome back everyone, after a disappointing romance last week I moved onto a war novel. And this isn’t any old war novel. This is a fantasy war novel!

I hadn’t looked this book up before agreeing to review it, so other than the blurb I really didn’t know anything about it. All I’d really gleaned from the blurb was that there was going to be a war and a golem. Past that I didn’t know what to expect.

What I discovered is a story that follows three sides of a war with the golem, who is strangely human like, stuck in the middle. As it was quite heavy on the war and spy aspects, I did find myself at about half-way through needing to stop and read a couple of feel good romances. I think if the book had been split over a duo or trilogy, I wouldn’t have needed to do that.

But when the book is three times longer than most of the books, I read these days I did feel that I was getting emotionally drained. If you love war type books you probably won’t find that you’ll need something lighter. But since this was the first war novel I read with no romance, or anything else light, in it I did need that break.

From about ¾ of the way through the book I realised how all the pieces would fit together and some of how it would all play out. That doesn’t mean that I was able to predict the ending. With this being a fantasy novel, you never know what can be possible making guessing endings extremely difficult.

I would have loved a little bit more at the end to really wrap it up. Maybe a few years later? I found myself feeling like I was missing some small detail about the story when I was reflecting on what I’d read to be able to write this review for you.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing the fourth instalment of the Time for Alexander series, Storms over Babylon by Jennifer Macaire. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers reviewing Heart of Stone!

Author Bio

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

Check out Ben's other books also on tour for the next 10 days

Lessons from a One-Night Stand – Piper Rayne

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of To the Stars and Back. Today I’m reviewing a book that came to my attention from other bloggers reviewing it and it sounded great.

I’m happy to say that I enjoyed the story as a bit of light hearted fun between being bored to tears doing short courses for research for my diploma. The one thing that held me back a little bit reading this one was Game of Thrones starting up again and having all my brain power being zapped by theories.

My first response to this book was that it sounded hilarious. But at the same time, surely, you’d know something was up if a hot new girl has just moved to town days before the new principle starts at the school you work for? Or is that too practical for a romance?

I found that there were a few too many plot twist things happening to really be invested and drawn in properly. I mean really, how are there this many twists?

  1. Holly is Austin’s new boss
  2. Holly is only staying 3 months
  3. Austin leaves in 3 months
  4. Lake Starlight Buzz Wheel
  5. Holly’s come to find her dad
  6. Holly’s dad is Austin’s family’s nemesis
  7. Austin’s youngest two sisters are causing drama
    about college
  8. Phoenix doesn’t want Holly and Austin to end up
    together and is trying to ruin it
  9. Everyone else in Austin’s family wants them
    together
  10. Everyone else in Austin’s family decides they
    don’t like Holly because of her dad
  11. Holly’s mum rocks up out of no where

Like, I’m all for a good couple of twists so you don’t see it coming. But I felt like RIGHT as I was getting invested in one of these something else popped up and ruined it for me. Sometimes less is more. In this case, streamlining the story and expanding on Austin and Holly more could have given me so much more and really hooked me in.

My mind can’t keep up with two Game of Throne level craziness stories at the same time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Heart of Stone by Ben Galley.