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4 Stars

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Mean Streak

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Sandra Brown! Good ol’ trusty reliable Sandra Brown. Always a good read! No exceptions for this gripping romantic thriller with its twists and turns and steamy love scenes. I really enjoyed it.

While training for a marathon in the freezing conditions of the North American wilderness, Dr Emery Charbonneau loses consciousness and wakes in a cabin with a head injury, being nursed back to health by a rugged and extremely mysterious man. However, mystery man isnt giving even giving her his name, and is refusing to take her back to civilisation. What does he want from her? Was it him that knocked her out? Who is after him? Why is he hiding? And why can’t she stop thinking naughty thoughts about him?

I really enjoyed the story and the twists and turns. But I have to say it. I HATED mystery man’s twist. His reasons for hiding out were just such an anti-climax that I had to deduct a whole star.

Otherwise I enjoyed the character development. The romance was entirely unbelievable, but that was the fun of it! There were some steamy scenes, and I absolutely loved the other twists that took me by surprise.

The medical information that was in the book was well researched which I appreciated. The nurse in me approved which is always good! It had quite a lot of violence and action scenes which were also well done. If it weren’t for that awful twist involving mystery man, I would have rated it higher.

The audio version was fantastic, I really enjoyed the narration.

Would I recommend Mean Streak?

Yes it was a great romantic suspense. A solid 4 stars! Typical reliable Sandra Brown! One day I will read all of her books!

Mean Streak was purchased by myself, at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy Mean Streak you may also enjoy:

White Hot      To die for

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My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella

My not so perfect life

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Sophie Kinsella is a reliable go to for amusing and mindless entertaining chic lit. Just what I was looking for after reading a few heavy thrillers and being in the mood for something lighthearted. I wanted to laugh, and giggle, and I was not disappointed.

Katie, or “Kat” as she wants to be known now, is living her dream, working in London at a branding company. She is extremely positive despite her long morning commutes, mediocre paying job, and frustrating, yet utterly brilliant boss. So when she gets the flick from her job, everything comes crashing down and she is forced to move back home to the country and help her father and his wife with a new glamping business. Meanwhile her boss Demeter brings her family glamping and funniness ensues.

Look, its not going to win any prestigious literary awards, but My Not So Perfect Life was a fun read. The audio version kept me entertained and I really enjoyed the writing and humour. I thought that perhaps it was a bit tedious in places, and especially around the end at least an hour could have been cut out of it. But having said that it was a sweet story, a cute romance… It was exactly what I was in the mood for reading.

I really liked the glamping part of the story, it was something different and I enjoyed listening to them getting everything ready and entertaining the guests. I guess it was just something I haven’t often read about.

The narrator was really good in this one. I loved her voice and her accent and thought she played all the parts perfectly. Especially Demeter. I also enjoyed how the romance was a bit of a slow burn, and all the missunderstandings that went along with it.

Would I recommend My Not So Perfect Life?

Absolutely, it was a really fun contemporary chic lit and I will probably go back to it again when I feel like a few laughs.

I purchased My Not So Perfect Life at my own expense on audible.com


If you enjoy My Not So Perfect Life, you may enjoy:

Paris Is Always A Good Idea   Welcome to Temptation

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The Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom

The Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom (2018)

The Last Laugh

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

Bittersweet! That’s the main word that pops into my mind when I think about this book. So sad yet so joyful and lovely. Devastating, yet uplifting. I haven’t read many non-psychological thrillers from bookouture, but they have hit the mark on the head with every genre it seems!

On the day Jenny finds out she has terminal cancer, she finds out her husband is screwing a leggy blonde. Talk about a bad day. So in order to make herself feel alive again, she organises a huge party. Just like the ones she had in her 20’s. She invites all her family and old friends to come along. What transpires is a lovely story of reconciliation, moving through regrets, and of love.

To be honest when I started this book I didn’t like it. I thought that Jenny was a complete dill. How could she act so blaze about a terminal cancer diagnosis. And I couldn’t relate to her not being able to tell anyone about it. But as I kept reading I began to warm to her and the other characters, and by 3/4 through I was laughing out loud.

I really started to enjoy the characters and the dialogue. Although I couldn’t help but feel like her husband was a complete bastard, I was even warming to him by the end. Impending death puts everything into perspective I guess.

The main thing I was surprised about was how much I was thinking about this book after I finished. Not only thinking about the actual book, but thinking about the main theme – How important it is to enjoy your life right now. How you shouldn’t wait to mend relationships and how you should always try to be happy, even when life is really REALLY crappy. I like to think of myself as a pretty upbeat, easy going person. I have seen quite a few people die (occupational hazard of being a nurse I guess…) But I don’t know how I would handle this if it happened to me.

Would I recommend The Last Laugh?

Absolutely. It was a quick, entertaining and upsetting in a good way. Death is a part of life, and I really enjoyed and appreciated this perspective. Great book!

Many thanks to author Tracy Bloom and Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of The Last Laugh for me to review. The last Laugh will be available for purchase from the 23rd February from: AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy The Last Laugh, you may enjoy:

Paris Is Always A Good Idea   The Sun In Her Eyes

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Broadcast – Liam Brown

Broadcast – Liam Brown

Broadcast

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Those who know me know that I am a little bit addicted to YouTube. Every day in short gaps of time that I have (too short to grab a book), I watch short videos on YouTube. I like to think I know who all the biggest YouTube stars are and am subscribed to the biggest channels. Also my absolute FAVOURITE Netflix show is ‘Black Mirror’. So when I read the words “YouTube” and “Black Mirror” in the description of this book I had to see what it was all about.

Minor online celebrity David is approached by a massive technology company to participate in an all new social media concept known as “MindCast”. Every thought and feeling will be streamed live online. Non stop. Initially slightly reluctant, David decides to go ahead and have the MindCast brain implant. This is when things start getting crazy. He suddenly becomes the worlds biggest celebrity. But there is a price to pay for all the attention, and ZERO privacy with his thoughts.

Fantastic concept for a book! I loved that it was futuristic, but at the same time not too far off some sort of reality. It was interesting to see how the fame and constant lack of any kind of privacy got to David.

David himself is a good character. I would say he is quite dislikeable and vain, but throughout the book and with the massive weight that is on his shoulders, you cant help feeling a bit sorry for the poor bugger. By the end of it though I was feeling a bit less sorry for him…

Ok, it was right up my alley, a great concept and I enjoyed the tale of the main character. So why did I not give it a higher rating? Part of the problem for me was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. I saw the twists coming, and when it ended I felt a bit let down.

The story itself flowed, but became a bit dry by the end. I wanted a bit more grit. A bit more oomph. A few things were left unexplained and I was left overall feeling slightly unsatisfied. HOWEVER, still a fun read!

Would I recommend Broadcast?

Yes I really enjoyed the subject matter. Although I didn’t give it the highest rating, it was still enjoyable and if you like YouTube and social media, you will most probably enjoy it too!

Thanks to the author Liam Brown via NetGalley for a copy of Broadcast to review.


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The Night Stalker – Robert Bryndza

  1. The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Forster #2) – Robert Bryndza

The Night Stalker

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Bookouture…. I think you are my absolute favourite publishers… Another great read!!

A great second instalment in the adventures of Erika Foster. I really enjoyed the girl in the ice, and am happy that there are a few more to get through in this series.

Erika and her delightful team are back solving murders and catching serial killers. When a doctor is found dead in his bedroom, naked, and with a plastic bag over his head, it’s up to them to piece the clues together and find the killer.

Great series, however not my favourite thriller series. Not sure if it’s something about slightly broody damaged female characters that has me a bit bored at the moment. Perhaps I need to step away from the genre for a while.

Having said that, it’s a solid thriller that will keep any thriller fan happy, lots of twists and turns, great secondary characters, a bit of blood and guts, violence and all together a great book that makes for some very entertaining reading! Not enough romance for my enjoyment, but yes, I know. She’s lost her husband recently. I get the no romance…

Would I recommend The Night Stalker?

Yup! Any thriller fan would enjoy this quick entertaining read!

Many thanks to the author and bookouture via netgalley for a copy of The Night Stalker in exchange for an honest review.

 


If you enjoyed The Night Stalker, you may enjoy:

Daisy in Chains

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The Stepmother – Claire Seeber

The Stepmother – Claire Seeber (2016)

The Stepmother

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Bookouture are just so darn reliable! I have enjoyed pretty much every book that they have published! This was a great psychological thriller that I just gobbled up like chocolate!

Jeanie moves to her new home, with her new husband and new step children. Things moved quite quickly when she met Matthew, and settling into the role of step mother is proving a bit more difficult than anticipated. Add to that the seemingly haunted house, strange happenings, and the fact that Jeanie has a few secrets that she hasn’t shared with her besotted new husband…

Loved the suspenseful writing in this one! It was gripping and I had a difficult time putting it down! The writing was frustratingly vague on certain details, it was so cleverly put together. You HAD to keep reading!

Loved the characters, the book is told by Jeanie and her little sister, chapter by chapter it goes from one character to another. I really enjoyed the layout. A little bit of info here, neglecting a bit of info there. So at the end it all weaved together. I didn’t see the twist until about 85% of the way through, which is strange for me because I generally guess from much earlier on. And the eerie tone of the book! SO GOOD!

Did I mention I loved the writing??

I want to talk more about the plot and characters but I just keep going back to the writing!

Yet, it was still a 4 star read for me. Solid, but there was just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. I just didn’t enjoy it enough to put it at the top of my list. But it was still a great reliably enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to check out the authors other work!

Would I recommend The Stepmother?

Yes any psychological thriller fans will enjoy this one with its eerie atmosphere, great story, characters, and did I mention the writing was awesome!?

Big thanks to the author Claire Seeber and Bookouture via Netgalley for a copy of this book to review.


If you enjoy The Stepmother, you may enjoy:

   Beside Myself   The Girl You Lost

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All is not Forgotten – Wendy Walker

All is Not Forgotten – Wendy Walker (2016)

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

I almost gave this one a miss. I had read some mixed reviews by some of my most trusted goodreads friends, and when I started the first few paragraphs I thought I was going to finish this book before it began. However I am glad that I stuck with it and read on. The second half was so much better than the first and ultimately I enjoyed the twists. However I couldn’t go above a 3.5.

Young Jenny is brutally assaulted at a party when she is 15 years old. Given a drug that creates an amnesiac effect, she loses her memory about the incident. However as the title suggests, all is not forgotten and even though her memory of the incident has gone, the trauma of it still remains. Told in first person by the therapist, the pieces of the puzzle soon begin to unravel.

I enjoyed the way that the narration was set out, with the therapist telling the story from his perspective, with everything second hand. It was a clever way to tell the story, however I didn’t much like the character and he tended to go on and on about stuff that was totally irrelevant. Never the less, once you got through the slow parts there was an interesting story underneath which kept me enthralled.

The graphic scenes, however I did not enjoy. Described numerous times and in extremely intricate detail, the gruesome sexual assault of the poor girl will be too much for many readers to tolerate. I found myself skipping over parts of the graphic detail just to move on to the next part of the story.

I was also disappointed that it didn’t delve into the amnesiac drug a bit more. It’s kind of the Tagline of the story, she is given this drug and it’s amazing, like it’s a huge part of the storyline. But I thought there was going to be more about it.

Would I recommend All is Not Forgotten?

Not for everyone. A gripping psychological thriller it was, but with extremely graphic rape scenes which will not be everyone’s cup of tea.

I have read Reece Wotherspoon’s production company is making it into a movie. I will definitely watch it when it comes out. She always does a good job with her book to movie adaptations and will hopefully weed out some of the duller parts.

Big thanks to netgalley and the author for a copy of All is Not Forgotten for me to review.

 


If you enjoy All is not Forgotten, you may enjoy:

See How They Run   Daisy in Chains

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One More Song – Nicki Edwards

One More Song – Nicki Edwards

One More Song Blog Tour

Harry Baxter and Edwina Campbell lead completely different lives.

A lot has changed for Harry since he escaped his home town of Yallamba ten years ago, headed for the bright lights of the big city. Now he’s the star of Melbourne’s hottest musical, and home is wherever the next standing ovation is – why bother going home to visit his parents when his dad couldn’t care less about his success?

Meanwhile, nothing much has changed for Edwina in the last decade, which is exactly how she likes it. Eddie adores her nursing job and Yallamba community – she can’t imagine living anywhere else. And even if she wanted to, she could never leave her beloved grandparents, who raised her and love her like their very own daughter. She’s not going to abandon them in their old age. Not for anything.

So when Harry and Eddie bump into each other on one of Harry’s flying visits home, their instant mutual attraction seems as pointless as it is intense. There’s no way they could ever work it out… Is there?

 

MY REVIEW OF ONE MORE SONG

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoy Australian romances. There is something about the country settings of Australia that are magical. Even though I am well and truly a city girl, I appreciate the slower country feel in rural romances. Nicki Edwards came on my radar when I read The Peppercorn Project. As well as being a great read, I think the author appealed to me because she is also a nurse, and I enjoy the nursing parts of her stories. One More Song was another that did not disappoint.One More Song

One More Song was an enjoyable quick read that left some warm and fuzzies behind. Single boy meets newly single girl and sparks fly, but they are from very different worlds. Can they make it work?

I did not enjoy it quite as much as The Peppercorn Project, however it was still a good read. I found the romance to be a little unbelievable at first and the story slightly slow. However, this improved drastically in the second half of the book, when there is a catastrophic event that adds a lot of excitement to the story, and a bit more grit.

I thought the characters were great, and I loved the feel of community within the town. I enjoyed that Harry was in musical theatre. I don’t often read about men in musical theatre! It was an interesting perspective.

Lovely story that I would recommend to all romance fans!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and Nicki Edwards for a copy of “One More Song” for me to read and review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicki Edwards is a city girl with a country heart. Growing up on a small family acreage on the outskirts of Geelong, she spent her formative years riding horses and pretending the neighbour’s farm was her own.
Nicki Edwards
After spending three years in a regional city in New South Wales, her love of small country towns was further developed. One day she plans to escape to the country with her husband Tim and live on land, surrounded by horses, dogs, cows and sheep. Until then she lives vicariously through the lives of the characters in the rural romance novels she loves to read.

In 2006, when Nicki’s youngest child started school, she returned to university, juggling full time study, part time work and raising four small children, to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse. Always a voracious reader, Nicki’s other dream was to be an author.
Nicki writes medical rural romances, and when she isn’t reading, writing or dreaming about rural life and medical emergencies, she can be found working as a Critical Care Nurse in a busy Intensive Care Unit, where many of her stories and characters are imagined.

Nicki and Tim reside in Geelong, Victoria with their four teenage/young adult children. Life is busy, fun and at times exhausting, but Nicki wouldn’t change it for anything.

Her debut novel, “Intensive Care” was released in January 2015 with Momentum, the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Her second novel, “Emergency Response” came out in October 2015. The third and fourth books in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series, “Life Support” and “Critical Condition” are available now.

Authors Website   Authors Twitter   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook

 


If you enjoy One More Song, you may enjoy:

Diamond Sky   The Peppercorn Project

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White Hot – Ilona Andrews

White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) – Ilona Andrews

White Hot

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Déjà vu… The cover.

So I did a random one person experiment and asked my husband what he thought this book would be about by looking at the cover. Keeping in mind he doesn’t read much at all, and when he does read, Ilona Andrews books are not exactly in a genre he enjoys. Anyway I quote, “Some cheesy romance book with lots of sex”. Now I know this isn’t exactly a decent sample size, but he echoed my thoughts about the darn covers in this series. If I didn’t know and love Ilona Andrews, I would probably have skipped past both of them.

Sure, there is a little bit of sex in the book (ok probably a moderate amount by Ilona Andrews usual standards which generally isn’t much at all) and a little bit of romance, but there was also much more action, violence, twists and turns.. It was a really good book! I think the authors are going to lose some of the random “Looks good by the cover, I’ll buy it” audience. Thankfully for me I listened to both as audio books so didn’t have to stare at the cover picture much unless I was looking at my screen.

Anyway enough of my little rant.. Hubby and wife authors otherwise known as Ilona Andrews have produced yet another solid story. It has been two months since Rogan left Nevada standing in the warehouse. And he is nowhere to be seen. Now another case throws them together again when Cornelius’ wife is murdered and they enlist Rogan’s help to find the killer. Sparks fly, bullets fly, cars fly and Nevada has to start to come to terms with the reality of her powers.

As always, Renee Raudman is FANTASTIC as the narrator. I am so used to her voice now I just think she is absolutely fabulous. She is my favourite female narrator.

You may have noticed that I rated this one 4 stars and not the 5 that is generally reserved for Ilona Andrews books. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it. I just didn’t quite enjoy it as much as the first one in the series. I’m not particularly invested in the main characters like I am with her other series. I think Rogan is a bit of a douche, and Nevada annoys me at times.

However, I am still in awe how the authors come up with the story lines. It is truly a very special gift. I a still very much looking forward to the next one due out at the end of the month on audio.

Would I recommend White Hot?

Of course! I recommend ANY Ilona Andrews series! This is the second book though, if you don’t read Burn for Me first, you will be completely confused as to what is going on.

I purchased White hot on audio at audible.com at my own expense.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ilona Andrews

 

 

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge (GoodReads).

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

 

 

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber’s Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC’s One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC’s Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009 (GoodReads).

 

 


If you enjoy White Hot, you may enjoy:

Burn for me   Clean Sweep   Magic Bites

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Diamond Sky – Annie Seaton

Diamond Sky (The Porter Sisters #3)

Diamond Sky

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this whole series. Kakadu Sunset and Daintree are among some of my favourite Australian suspense/romance books and Diamond Sky was like the icing on a really yummy cake!

Dru escaped a difficult situation in Dubai and came back home to Australia to work in a Diamond mine in the Kimberley. She feels safe now and enjoys her job, however is a bit rattled when newcomer Connor starts working at the mine. Connor is a private investigator, hired to find out who is stealing some of the mines diamonds. He is working undercover as a safety officer, and Dru is his number one suspect…

Firstly, I think the covers of this series are probably my favourite covers of any books EVER. They are all so beautiful and I think Diamond Sky is my favourite cover! Just beautiful! They really capture the landscape perfectly and just look so gorgeous!

Loved the premise of this one. I knew nothing about diamond mining before, so I feel like I have had a bit of education along with a great read! Really interesting stuff surprisingly! Really enjoyed the description of the mine and the workers, the different personalities and rules and regulations of the mine and living quarters.

It was such an original setting and, like all the other books in this series, I adored the descriptions of the landscapes and her research really shines through.

The romance was cute and the situation made it all the more intense. As always, I enjoyed the satisfying romantic tension.

It had a fair bit of action and suspense, but I would have liked more. It felt slightly lacking by the end, but I still can’t get past Kakadu Sunset and the CROCODILES!!! What can beat that??!

Would I recommend Diamond Sky?

Yes it was a great romantic suspense by talented Australian author Annie Seaton. I won’t hesitate to read anything she has written! Check out an interview I did with her last year HERE!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of Diamond Sky in exchange for my honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annie Seaton

Annie Seaton lives near the beach on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing and has been delighted to discover that readers love reading her stories as much as she loves writing them. Her career and studies have spanned the education sector for most of her working life, with the completion of a Masters Degree in Education, and working as an academic research librarian, a high school principal and a university tutor until she took up a full-time writing career. She is now published internationally in e-books across the romance genre, in 2014 Annie was voted Author of the Year and in 2015 was voted Best Established Author in the AusRomToday.com Readers’ Choice Awards. Each winter, Annie and her husband leave the beach to roam the remote areas of Australia for story ideas and research. (via Pan Macmillan)


If you enjoy Diamond Sky, you may enjoy:

   Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton    Daintree    Black Hills

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