The Bastard – Lisa Renee Jones

Welcome back everyone, after a brief step back in time we’re back into modern times. This time in America where we have a mix of romance and suspense.

I found myself underwhelmed with this story as a whole. It had some great moments that captured my attention. But at the end of it I found I wasn’t dying to read the next book. Considering the last book I got from NetGalley I immediately bought the rest of the series this was a massive let down.

It’s not that the writing wasn’t good. We had a great mix of past and present, twists popping up at the right time etc. But I felt like I just didn’t really care. I feel like maybe there was some emotional buy in missing right at the start of the book.

If I had that buy in, I think I would’ve liked this a lot better.

Would I read the next book if it was given to me? Probably, but only if I felt like I had nothing else to read.

I’m kinda hoping that I just wasn’t in the mood to read this style, or at all when I read this. It would make me feel better about not really being interested given how highly it’s rated on Goodreads. But it just didn’t do it for me. Sorry.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley.

The Baobab Beach Retreat – Kate Frost

Welcome back everyone, after a romance set in England we’re now moving to where I wish I could be. A beautiful beachscape on the coast of Tanzania.

I really enjoyed reading this novel as it had a great mix of beachy-ness, emotional recovery, discovery of a new romance and heartbreak. These don’t necessarily happen in that order, or just once. But it felt like a really good balance.

There were parts of this story I was a little surprised with and didn’t really think it fit what I knew of the characters personality or how you’d react to what she’s been through. But I guess that’s something I can’t control, and those choices I didn’t like were a very minor blip in the story, so I quickly got over it.

Having worked in hotels when I was younger and having friends who have lived and worked in resorts, I wasn’t surprised by some of the stuff Kate described as going on. In fact, I was surprised it wasn’t worse based off what my friends told me!

I think the main thing that confused me about this story was that Baobab Beach Resort doesn’t really play much into the story until right near the end. So much so that it took me a few minutes of reading when it was first encountered because I realised that was the books namesake.

And the worst part of the book? Reading about a beautiful beach, snorkelling and the chill lifestyle while winter sets in and I have to go to work every day. How is that fair?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Friday I will be reviewing The Bastard by Lisa Renee Jones. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.


Author Bio

Kate Frost writes character-driven women’s fiction and romances, alongside Time Shifters, an award-winning time travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year olds. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University where she’s also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates. She has eight books published, including her Greek and north Norfolk set series, The Butterfly Storm. The Baobab Beach Retreat is the first in what will be a series of foreign-set romances. Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, their five-year-old son (who still loves waking up before 5am), and their cute and chilled out Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Giveaway - Win a paperback copy of The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost (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.

Mr Temptation – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’m flitting between various tours, NetGalley books and author requests and never quite working on my TBR pile. And this one is no different. Rachel has brought another Rachael Stewart novel to her tours so I just had to give it a go.

I don’t know what it is about Rachael’s writing that I enjoy. But whether it’s erotica, NA or straight up romance I find myself drawn into the stories and feeling like I’m right there with the characters.

In her latest novel (I got to read an ARC copy so I was super excited!) we moved into a straight up romance with Zara (BTW that’s the second book I’ve read this week with a main character called Zara) and Daniel.

In a way this was a fairly standard romance story in that Daniel is a bit of a playboy but ends up falling for the girl who’s just been heartbroken. Yet unlike a lot of these types of stories I felt really invested in what Daniel was going through emotionally.

This helped me go from “I’ll just read it for a bit before sleep and pace myself to make sure I don’t finish this before next week” on a Wednesday evening. To “O crap… I only have 2 chapters and an epilogue left… well so much for pacing myself with this one…” on the bus home on Thursday.

I did find myself throughout this book, especially towards the end, rooting for Daniel and subconsciously telling him what to do to win Zara back. And at the same time subconsciously telling Zara that she needs to get over it and just trust him!

I guess that tells you that I enjoyed the book. And that I apparently have no self-control when I should be studying…

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.


Author Bio

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heart-warmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it's now her full-time pleasure, a dream come true. 

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she's not glued to her laptop, she's wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Giveaway - Win an eCopy of Mr Temptation by Rachael Stewart (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.

The Wrong Kind of Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, after making the next stop on The Time for Alexander series train, we’re back to modern America. I wasn’t in greatest of places when I read this, in that sinusitis had kicked in real bad and I couldn’t concentrate or really do too much. But since I couldn’t fall asleep, I decided to read. So please excuse anything that’s a bit vague, I did read this while not being able to concentrate properly.

I really enjoyed reading this relatively clean romance that had a surprisingly large focus on depression and how that impacts those around it and how society views those that suffer from it.

In this case you’ve got one person who is open about the fact that they have depression but suffers from people’s perception of her mental state because of it. And on the other hand, you’ve got someone who’s lost someone to depression and doesn’t know if they can handle that in their life again.

Given depression wasn’t mentioned at all in the blurb I wasn’t really expecting it. But at the same time, the references aren’t over the top or what I would consider triggering. But you never know with these things.

Also, I loved this one so much after finishing it that I jumped onto NetGalley (this if my first one that I’ve officially requested and received!) to grab the next book in the series only to discover that #5 was available for request but none of the others.

So, what did I do?

I went onto Amazon.com.au and bought books #2-4 so I can read those before #5 in case I get approved! Fingers crossed I get approved so I can read and review it along with the rest of the series!

Thank
you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing
Make him Howl by Zoe Ashwood.

Probably the Best Kiss in the World – Pernille Hughes

Welcome back everyone, we’re in for a double review day today because I really wanted to read this book as well as the Time for Alexander series. So you get to enjoy this bonus review!

I found this one mostly easy to read and enjoyable. But the articles that were randomly dotted throughout the story really threw me off. I found that I’d be really hooked on the story, powering through and then I got stopped by some article about Lydia, her younger sister. Am I meant to be caring about her sister? Is her sister somehow super important to the overall story?

By the time I got to the end I could see how Lydia was important in helping Jen become more self-aware and confident enough to follow her dreams. But I don’t feel like the articles added anything to the overall story, so I’m not sure why they are there.

On the other hand, Jen and Jakob’s relationship was sweet and endearing even though I don’t like how Jen went about starting her relationship with Jakob. I’m not a fan of cheaters, and I don’t think we should be glamorising those who cheat and that they can still get what they want from life.

But I also get that sometimes you do just get carried away, and before you know if shit’s gone down that you regret. I just wish she’d been more upfront about all that with Jakob and Robert.

The fact that Jen and Jakob’s relationship centres around beer was quite entertaining to me. Especially since there were references to stereotypes that women don’t like beer and couldn’t possibly understand beer. I loved that this felt like a subtle dig that women can do stuff men can as well. Specially considering if you go back far enough in history, it was actually the women who brewed beer first.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, if you haven’t already checked out Son of the Moon by Jennifer Macaire, I think you should. And next week I will be reviewing The Wrong Kind of Love by Lexi Ryan. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Pernille Hughes is a RomCom author and mum, whose debut novel was SWEATPANTS AT TIFFANIE'S, soon to be followed by PROBABLY THE BEST KISS IN THE WORLD (April 2019). Previously her writing has been printed in The Sunday Times and the fabulous SUNLOUNGER summer anthologies. Find out about her new books at www.pernillehughes.com

Pernille (pronounced Pernilla) studied Film & Literature at uni and took her first job in advertising, having been lured by the temptation of freebies, but left when Status Quo tickets was as good as it got. After a brief spell marketing Natural History films, she switched to working in Children's television which for a time meant living in actual Teletubbyland, sharing a photocopier with Laa-Laa.

Now, she lives in actual Buckinghamshire, sharing a photocopier with her husband and their four spawn. While the kids are at school she scoffs cake and writes RomCom stories in order to maintain a shred of sanity.

You can also find Pernille on Bookbub and Pintrest.

No Place Like Home – Maxine Morrey

Welcome back everyone, after trying out a brand-new genre for me last week with Tom Stone: Day of the Dead, we’re back to the familiar today. Since I enjoyed Second Chance at the Ranch, I thought I should try out another of her books with Rach Random Resources when it became available.


Writing Style

The writing style is actually very similar to Second Chance at the Ranch, which I realised as I wrote that is pretty obvious. I mean it's the same author, why did I expect anything different?

Anyway, the main thing I liked about her descriptions of the location was the way that she wrote about the Kansas landscape. I love those quiet country landscapes and just being able to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine (or two...).

But really, you can totally lose yourself in your imagination of these places and the emotions going through the characters. It was mesmerising and I actually found myself for once wanting more descriptions of the landscape rather than what was happening between the characters.

But she also keeps you totally engaged and hooked on whats happening between the characters all the way through. And she even addresses the topic of domestic violence in what I feel to be a great way. It's raw, it feels honest and it addresses the aftereffects that victims experience.


Initial Thoughts

Pretty much straight off the bat I was a bit concerned about the topic of domestic violence being perpetrated with no context or meaning. That didn't really sit well with me because it's a topic often portrayed in a way that glorifies it.

But we quickly progressed to her being saved by the cops and moving in with a friend. And then we fast forward through time a little bit.


Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed this one. It was mostly calming, and when my mind is whirling with my projects at work and the assignments I need to get done. I really needed that balance.

The fact that this story was told over a period of a few years, with the characters not knowing how to move forwards from friendship. Or if they even should. Felt really real to me.

The speed at which they came together didn't really feel real. But then again, I'm not really the type to jump so fully into something like that so maybe it's just me.


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Summer of the Viking by Michelle Styles. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.


Author Bio

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten.

As time went by, she continued to write, but 'normal' work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a local history book on Brighton. However, novels are her first love.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK's 'Write Christmas' competition with her first romantic comedy, 'Winter's Fairytale'.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read, sew and listen to podcasts. Being a fan of tea and cake, she can (should!) also be found doing something vaguely physical at the gym.

                    Pintrest

Giveaway: Win a red glitter nail varnish, notebook and large chocolate bar (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.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

NSFW – Piper Lawson

Welcome back to another week and what will be my last TBR review before mid-December. This week I'm reviewing a book about a girl who falls for her boss. I will be honest, I finished reading this a few days ago and I've already read another book since then so if I'm not as detailed as I normally am that would be why. Sorry about that...

So Charlie is our main girl who is an administration assistant for her dick head of a boss Avery. Avery is demanding, uncompromising, clueless, ambitious, secretive and doesn't care about crushing others to get what he wants. And our first real introduction to him is him firing Charlie for pulling pranks. Since it doesn't sound like he's warned her before, it seems a bit weird that all of a sudden he's firing her. It really didn't feel fair and instantly made me dislike him.

Then as we got in we started to learn more and more about him and I realised I'd been wrong. Yes he wanted an amazing corporate job that involved a lot of politics (I honestly hate that stuff myself) so that he could change peoples lives and look after his sister since they didn't have anyone else. He was paying for her education despite her protests that he stop and ensured she always had birthday presents (they didn't mention Christmas so I'm not sure).

Charlie on the other hand just wants to get whatever satisfaction she can from pulling pranks on her horrible boss and make enough money to survive. She had some friends that she socialised with and she volunteered at her grandmothers nursing home to supervise dancing classes. Otherwise we know next to nothing about her because she hasn't revealed anything and no one else really seems to know anything about her. We don't even know why she isn't talking to her family, that's how little we know about her!

As we go through seeing Charlie struggle to juggle Avery's normal requirements, her sudden attraction to her boss, coming to grips with what was going to happen in a few weeks, finding a new job, avoiding her family and spending time with her grandma we really start to learn more about her. I really enjoyed finding out about her because the more I learnt the more I felt like we were similar. I've worked in jobs I've hated for bosses I hated, I lost touch with pretty much all my family at one stage of my life along with the struggle of figuring out who you are. I doubt I'm the only one who could relate to these characteristics so it was really good to read about another girl going through these issues and how she dealt with them.

Throughout this time Charlie and Avery have been hooking up with certain limitations on their relationship. For most of that time it felt like they were kidding themselves and that they really did care for each other and so were going to end up together. But right when we think they are going to end up together; Charlie leaves Avery. And the reason why is amazing and one I think very few people take.

She left him to find herself. She left him to figure out what she wanted from life. She left him to ensure that if she chose to go back to him she did it because she truly loved him and it would be for the right reasons. Rather than because she was caught up in the flurry of their emotions and attraction. And I think this is amazing. Reminding us that sometimes we need to put ourselves first and ensure we know ourselves is so important before we jump into a major relationship.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you next week for "Vanilla Extract" by Louise Berry while it's on tour.

Lightweight – Kirsty McManus

Welcome back all. I seem to be reading at an even faster pace than I expected while on holiday's so I'm working myself further and further ahead on my schedule than I had originally anticipated! Normally I work about 3 weeks in advance to make sure reviews are ready to go, but I seem to have worked myself into over a month in advance! Which is not normal for me!

Anyway, I'll just into the book because I really enjoyed reading this while flying from NZ to Brisbane, and then from Brisbane to Fiji. My first thought when I started reading this one was "is this Australian?" because a few things jumped out immediately as locations I'd been to when visiting my mum in Brisbane. Turns out my hunch is right and this is set in the sunny (if not spider infested city, not that that's mentioned anywhere in the books!) relaxed city of Brisbane in Australia's north eastern state of Queensland.

Jumping into the book we join Isla on the day she finds out her ex uploaded a nude photo he took of her onto a revenge porn website. And even though she's tried, the website is run out of a country that doesn't care about women's rights and so the photo is left sitting out there in cyber space for anyone to find if they want.

Then fast forward a few months and Isla has gained a number of kilos (we find out later it's about 25kgs) and is constantly indulging her sweet tooth. Until that is someone who works for a bakery Isla is buying more sweets from asks her when she's expecting her child, obviously mistaking her for being pregnant. Like women have to put up with that kind of crap from men enough as it is. Why do we have to take it from other women?

And this is the moment her cousin Grace calls her "Kawasaki moment". The moment she realises she's hit rock bottom and decides to change her life for the better. And I think we've all been those those moments in regards to some part of our life at one time or other. I know for me it was when I was needing to buy size 12 clothes (my body size naturally should sit in a 6, and don't judge! I'm short as and short tends to means skinnier!) and that's when I realised I needed to get back to my normal size. Or at the very least into a small 8! So Isla calls Grace (who btw is a model and super into fitness) and Grace starts coaching her on nutrition and healthy habits including exercise.

So Isla starts this journey and it was so refreshing to read about someone who fell off the wagon, didn't always go to the gym but kept eating healthy etc. Because I know it's really hard to keep up those habits when shit hits the fan and work gets so busy you don't have time or motivation for the gym. I love the feeling of being fit and looking good but that doesn't mean I don't feel like going straight home to a glass of wine, or a tv show, or a book or a game sometimes. I'm not saying I don't try to go but sometimes one little thing going wrong is enough to make those other options way more enticing than going to the gym! So it was really reading about someone else who faced the same struggles as I constantly do.

And on top of that she's trying to navigate her way through multiple job changes and challenges (just like me) and try and maintain a relationship (ok, so I don't quite fit the bill here but sometimes it feels like it as every relationship has it's ups and downs. I'm lucky mine is mostly up 🙂 ) and make her life the life she wants for herself.

To hear about how she can face her fears head on and get through it in a way that feels real is amazing as well. I know I for one don't face my fears as gracefully or maturely as Isla does. I'm prone to hissy fits and tantrums when it come's to facing my fears so kudo's to Isla! And kudo's to Kirsty who has written this in such a way that it feels really real to me. Even the comment about fashion in Australia being about 6 months behind America and Europe! Little details like that really made this book so much more enjoyable.

Throughout this book I really felt like I could relate to Isla which got me way more emotionally invested in this novel. I hope you've enjoyed this post, if you have please like or comment!

Thankyou for reading and I will see you next week when I review the "Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine World's" by Columbkill Noonan.

Reinventing Mona – Jennifer Coburn

Welcome back all, I will be back at work by the time this post gets published and while writing this right at the start of my 2 week holiday (literally first thing I did when I got home was put a load of washing on, get some alcohol for the night and then sit down to finish this book!) I can honestly say I wish my holiday was longer.

I started this book only a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. This one follows a girl named Mona who is like a total introvert and has basically never dated. We start of the book hearing about how the guy she buys coffee from every morning can't remember her order but can remember most other people's order. That's how nondescript she is. At this stage I kinda feel sorry for Mona. I mean, I'm kinda an introvert as well but never to the point that Mona is described as.

But the one thing Mona did that I can say I don't have the guts to do, was to leave her job when redundancies were announced. I faced a similar situation only a few months ago (for context there's at least 3 big companies in Australia doing the redundancy thing atm) and was petrified. I realised at this point in time that other than work and my boyfriend I didn't really have much going on in my life and realised how boring I am. And yet Mona is in an even worse position in that she doesn't even have a boyfriend.

So I have gota tip my hat to that woman for having the guts to realise when her life sucks and taking the bull by the horns to change the path her life was going down. After taking the package she hires a chauvinist pig to help her "woo" the guy of her dreams, takes a pole dancing lesson and starts taking boxing and singing lessons. the pole dancing was to introduce her to her sexy side, but the rest were all for her. Since she's from a rich family I can see how the need for an income isn't as stressful for her as it was for me. But those are still massive changes to make in your life.

Not only did she do those, but she found a whole new group of friends (or should I say 2 groups?) and turned her life around within 12 months. She really found herself, learnt to be comfortable with who she was and made something of her life. To read about how she did this really inspired me. Especially when the guy of her dreams professed his love and she didn't instantly say yes to a marriage proposal. She did the smart thing whereby she said yes to dating him and seeing where it went. Just to make sure he was being sincere.

There were quite a few moments where I felt like doing a face palm because of how silly Mona's moves were. But hey. She got to where she wanted to be in the end. Surrounded by family, being loved and being happy. It wasn't quite the picture she had planned. But sometimes life takes those turns and you gota just roll with it and see where it takes you.

So I'm really glad this one focused on making yourself happy and while you're at it finding the guy of your dreams. And when you find him, take it slow and make sure it's real. I feel like too many people jump in too quickly and then they end up with a failed relationship where they've lost themselves somewhere along the way. Whereas with Mona, I don't think that will happen.

I kinda wish there was more to this story but at the same time I really enjoyed how it ended and I can honestly say if another one of Jennifer's books comes up for sale I would be happy to read them.

So until next week, I hope you've enjoyed this post. Don't forget to like and comment if you enjoyed this one. I will see you next week with "An Unconventional Affair" by Mollie Blake.