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Romance

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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One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) – Janet Evanovich (1994)

One for the Money

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn’t get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010’s, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90’s.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990’s and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90’s, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One for the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy One for the Money, you may enjoy:

To die for   Orphan X

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To Die For – Linda Howard

To Die For (Blair Mallory #1) – Linda Howard (2004)

To die for

2 Stars (2 / 5)

Good audio funny romance” I asked Google… TO DIE FOR – LINDA HOWARD! Was an overwhelming response… Next time I won’t ask Google. This book started off well enough, I actually was enjoying it. And then it took a turn and couldn’t recover.

Blair Mallory is a confident blonde bombshell with an inner monologue to put any angsty teen to shame. She is a successful woman with her life nicely organised, running her own gym and driving her Mercedes convertible. Until someone who looks exactly like her is found dead outside her gym. Then she soon realises someone is out to kill her. Enter lieutenant Wyatt Bloodsworth, to help her find the killer, and of course re-ignite some mega sparks that he has with Blair left over from a few years earlier.

So, I enjoyed the first few hours of the audio version. I quite liked the narrator and the cute southern drawl. I enjoyed the banter between the characters and even though it was corny, I was enjoying the story and Blair’s character. That is, until she got together with her man and all of a sudden it became the most annoying thing I’ve ever listened to. No woman complains that much. Her stupid and pathetic behaviour was laughable, yet I found myself listening on because I wanted to know who was out to get her.

And then, when we finally do discover the perpetrator, it was the biggest and stupidest climax to a book I can remember reading (or listening to in this case). I literally cringed! Ekk! Yet if the book had just cut out about 3 hours of her jabbering about her stupid thoughts, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

And Ms Howard! What on earth was with the sexism?? It was everywhere! So painful. This one was a definite miss from me.

Would I recommend To Die For?

Nope, some of her others are much better!

I purchased the audio version of To Die For at my own expense via audible.com

 


If you enjoy To Die For, you may enjoy:

Spotless   

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On Dublin Street – Samantha Young

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1) – Samantha Young (2012)

1 Stars (1 / 5)

I rarely rate books below 2-3 stars. Not because I enjoy every book, but I tend to abandon books I am not enjoying. Personally I don’t like to give a rating to a book if I haven’t read every word and had the full experience… Well, it’s finally happened. I finished a book and only rated it 1 star! I never thought I would get to the point of continuing on if I really disliked something that much, but here we are.

“I’ll find a nice romance!” I said to myself. “Something with a nice safe high goodreads rating…” EPIC FAIL

So Joss has a rough childhood, losing both parents and her best friend in a few short years. She moves to Scotland and is attempting to write a book. She finds a nice house and housemate on Dublin Street and there starts her encounter with Braden, her housemates brother. Joss has a lot of issues and has trouble letting anyone in, but Braden will force (literally) his way into her heart.

WHAT THE HELL IS SO APPEALING ABOUT THESE MALE CHARACTERS!!?? How come in a “romance” book, “No” means “push me until I cave in” and HOW IS THAT ROMANTIC!??

It was off to a cute start, girl meets guy, sparks fly, bit of steamy tension. And then he becomes Mr Intense Stalker.

And what the hell was with Joss!?? What a complete moron. After the initial tension exploded there was a lot of angst. And not much else.

Why did I keep reading? Because it had a cute subplot, even though even THAT romance had elements of emotional abuse. And by that stage I was almost at the end anyway and I wanted to see where it all went, if it was salvageable in any way. Sigh.

Would I recommend On Dublin Street

Look, if annoying emotionally damaged moronic females and dominating males with emotional and sexual abuse disguised as “intense romance” is your thing, then don’t let me stop you. Apparently tens of thousands of others were completely sold!

I purchased On Dublin Street at my own expense.


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The Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) S.J Kincaid (2016)

The Diabolic

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

I have started to venture away from Young Adult a little bit. I’m just finding it a lot of the same. Generally a love triangle, some kind of dystopia, teenage angst… It’s just getting a bit boring to me. How many versions of the Hunger Games can one get through? So I was surprised when I found that I really enjoyed this one. When it started I was thinking “here we go again” but was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of angst still, but I enjoyed the premise, the writing was great, and not exactly a love triangle.

Nemesis is a diabolic, a genetic human bred to protect one person who they have “imprinted” on them. Like ducks I suppose. Her charge, Sidonia is in danger and Nemesis has to pose as her to protect her from an evil Emperor, his evil family and unbalanced nephew, air to the throne. But things do not exactly go smoothly.

How GORGEOUS is the cover!! I wanted to read it just based on the beautiful cover, it was a huge bonus that it was a great read!

My favourite character would have to be the insane nephew Tyrus. Loved the twists and turns with his character. Nemesis annoyed me a bit, but overall I liked reading her story.

The whole story was full of twists and turns and I was surprised on more than one occasion, and it takes a lot to surprise me.

Would I recommend The Diabolic?

Yes for any YA fan. Or if someone is on the boarder of enjoying YA this may be the one that tips them over!

Big thanks to the author and publisher via Netgalley for a copy of The Diabolic to review.


If you enjoyed The Diabolic, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows   Artificial

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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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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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Burn For Me – Ilona Andrews

Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1) – Ilona Andrews

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I had seen this book many times around and on goodreads, but there was one main reason I never read it. THE COVER! Oh my gosh how awful is it!!? It looks like some terrible corny romance book that my grandmother used to read. But it is also not a secret that I have become a BIG Ilona Andrews fan, and all of the fans of this husband and wife author duo were rating this book well, so I decided to listen to the audiobook. And HOLY SMOKES! Another HIT!

In an alternate world where some humans have developed magical powers and the strongest ones are known as “primes”, Nevada is a private investigator. She is forced by her boss to take on a case to find Adam, a fugitive prime who can control and manipulate fire. He is suspected of setting a bank on fire and killing a security guard. He is dangerous, and if she doesn’t find him, she will lose her business and her home that she shares with her family. But she is not the only one looking for Adam. “Mad” Rogan is one of the most powerful primes on earth, and he is also determined to find him. They will have to work together to save no only Nevada’s job, but the whole city.

I just feel like I am repeating myself over and over when I talk about these authors! This husband and wife team make magic I tell you!!! MAGIC!!!!! I LOVE the Kate Daniels series, and the Innkeeper Chronicles. I was thinking there would be NO WAY that they could come up with so many different story lines and so many different worlds, and consistently have AMAZING writing in each one! Well I was VERY VERY wrong…

In their other series, the subsequent books just kept getting better and better, and I am hoping that this one will be the same!

I LOVE how they do romance in their series. This one had a bit more heat in the first book than the first books in their other series, but it was still frustratingly spectacular. I still really appreciate how the relationships are built on much more than just lust, and they really go to town on the character development. It’s so refreshing!

Just when you thought they couldn’t come up with anything more exciting, there was action and violence, drama and humour. I was in bed listening to it and almost woke my husband up when I burst out laughing at a particular scene about a dream…

I think that they chose a horrible cover, but an AMAZING narrator. All Ilona Andrews books that I have listened to on audio book have been Renee Raudman and she is just the perfect narrator for all series.

Would I recommend Burn For Me?

YES!!!! It is a wonderful introduction to what I hope will be a stellar series. The third book is being released later this month and I have already pre ordered the audio version! Now, to book number 2 White Hot.

I purchased Burn for Me on audible at my own expense.


If you enjoy Burn for Me, you may enjoy:

Magic Bites   Clean Sweep

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To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I am constantly impressed with the new Aussie authors that are emerging! What a bunch of talent we have here!

This book was delightful! What captured me the instant I saw it, is the beautiful cover. It really captures the essence of the story. I quickly became engrossed in the beautiful saga of this family, and its interesting and perhaps magical history.

A teenager named Zoe has been reported missing, most likely drowned off the coast of Tasmania. Tony is the lead investigator in her disappearance and realises right from the start that there is something strange about the family that lives in the beautiful house by the sea. While investigating Zoe’s life, Tony is swept into the stories of the history of the family, from hundreds of years ago, up until now. And some of it is a bit beyond belief. Will he be able to find Zoe? Is she really dead, or is there something extraordinary happening?

The story is told from four perspectives. Tony, the investigator carries the weight of the plot in his search for the missing girl. Zoe’s aunt Sadie and her parents John and Eva have the remaining narratives, and fill in the story with important history, leading certain things to come together, and others that create even more mystery.

The writing of this novel is absolutely beautiful. It didn’t take me long at all to get engrossed in the story and just when I was getting into a nice groove, the tales within the story BLEW ME AWAY. I was utterly captivated by the stories of love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice. And the romance! There were a few romances weaved into the story and they were all sweet, one especially. However, with so many back stories I sometimes became confused with who was who and where I was in the story. I think this is my issue more than the writing though, I am a very fast reader, and I have baby brain! I’m not surprised I got a bit lost – I am surprised I can remember my name most days at the moment!

My only other criticism was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. It was good, and I got it, I really did. But personally I didn’t find it ultimately satisfying. However, it didn’t diminish the rest of the story for me at all!

Would I recommend To The Sea?

Absolutely. If my ramblings have even remotely sparked your interest, then I have no doubt you will enjoy it. Definitely worth reading!

Many thanks to the author via Pan Macmillan for a copy of To The Sea to read in exchange for an honest review.

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | Kindle AU | Kindle US


If you enjoy To The Sea, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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