7.5/10

#BookReview
Chief’s Mess by L.A. Witt
@GallagherWitt @RiptideBooks

Synopsis:

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sexy, steamy, and sensitive!

Once again we head back to Anchor Point and this time Witt delves into the choices, struggles, and fallouts of alcohol addiction and reminds us that sometimes we find what we want and need when we least expect it.

The writing is sultry. The characters are sympathetic, sincere, and committed. And the plot, which has a little less depth than the previous novels in the series is ultimately about military life, friendship, alcoholism, acceptance, support, desire, and explosive chemistry.

Overall, I have to say this is a deliciously erotic novel written in alternating points of view that allow a genuine look at all the unfolding dynamics, relationship drama, emotion, and salacious scenes through each man’s eyes.

This is the third novel in the “Anchor Point” series. If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for the first two novels in the series “Just Drive” (Anchor Point #1) and Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) you can check them out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Riptide Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following link.

                                 

For more information on L.A. Witt, visit her website at: gallagherwitt.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @GallagherWitt

#BookReview
The Map that Leads to You by J.P. Monninger
@StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

A romantic, vivid novel that takes place in the tender time of a young woman’s life: Heather has graduated from college and is traveling around Europe with her two best friends. She’s left school responsibility behind and adult responsibility is looming, but this is her one, ONE last summer to be free. Heather doesn’t expect to even meet Jack, let alone fall in love with him. Jack is an enigmatic Vermonter a few years older than she is, who is following his grandfather’s journal to various cities around Europe. But in the same way that forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Poignant, compelling and endearingly romantic!

This is a coming-of-age story about friendship, responsibility, independence, and first love all wrapped up in a beautiful travel guide to some of the most breathtaking historical landmarks, monuments, and cities in Europe.

The characters are young, enthusiastic, and adventurous. The prose is clear and precise. And although the plot in the first half of the novel is a little slow, the second half is definitely much more intense, angsty, emotional, and drama-filled with an ending that will definitely have you shedding a few tears.

Overall, I think this novel will be a big success and really appeal to teens and young adults and even though I think I’m a little older than the target demographic I found it intriguing, unique and wonderfully descriptive.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

#BookReview
Court of Lions by Jane Johnson
@JaneJohnsonBakr @RandomHouseCA

Synopsis:

Sometimes at the lowest points in your life, fate will slip you a gift. Ken Follett meets Jodi Picoult in a stunning new novel from Jane Johnson.

Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate’s life forever.

An epic saga of romance and redemption, Court of Lions brings one of the great hinge-points in human history to life, telling the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Absorbing and romantic!

This is a historical love letter to the city of Granada complete with incredibly intriguing and genuine details about The Granada War that took place in the late 1400s and included the rise and subsequent fall of Abu Abdullah Mohammed, the twenty-second and last Islamic ruler of this emirate.

The story is told from differing perspectives; Blessings, a young confident whose yearning and love for the young sultan never wavers; and Kate, a middle-aged woman who finds herself immersed in a mystery from the past while running in fear from her own. The prose is exceptionally descriptive. The characters are complex, fascinating, and sympathetic. And the plot uses a back and forth, past/present style that sweeps you along through the highs and lows of both Blessings and Kate’s life.

Once again, with this novel, Johnson has written a remarkably researched tale that effortlessly interweaves religious persecution, cultural discrimination, and violence with threads of passion, acceptance, devotion, support and the true power of love.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Doubleday Canada, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is due to be published on May 30, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                

For more information on Jane Johnson, visit her website at: janejohnsonbooks.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @JaneJohnsonBakr

#BookReview
Exposure by Aga Lesiewicz
@Aga_Lesiewicz @PGCBooks

Synopsis:

You know that feeling. Your life’s on track and all is going well. And then something monumental occurs that turns everything on its head. It happens to everyone but, for Kristin Ryder, it was much, much worse . . .

When up-and-coming photographer Kristin begins to receive anonymous emails, her life in a trendy loft in London’s Hoxton with Anton, her ultra-cool, street-artist boyfriend, suddenly begins to feel unsafe. The emails come with sinister attachments that suggest the sender has an intimate knowledge of Kristin’s past, and soon her life spirals out of control.

Who can she trust? And will she be able to discover the sender’s identity before it’s too late?

Breathtaking and shocking, Exposure by Aga Lesiewicz will grip you until the last snap of the camera shutter.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Gripping, edgy and dark!

This is a character-driven psychological thriller that illustrates just how vulnerable our technological dependence makes us and how quickly life can change.

The story is set in London and is told from the perspective of Kristin, a photographer with incredible talent who suddenly finds herself in a lacklustre career with an unfaithful partner and a tenacious stalker who seems to be everywhere.

The writing is crisp. The plot is fast-paced, suspenseful and a relentless thrill ride of multiple suspects and precarious situations, as well as some intriguing glimpses into the world of street art, photography and metropolis sights and sounds. And, generally, the characterization is well done, with an assortment of characters that are troubled, intense and layered.  However, I do have to admit that the poor choices and decisions occasionally made by the main character seemed a little unbelievable even given the circumstances and caused me at times to lose some sympathy and connection with her.

This is Lesiewicz’s second novel and it is definitely an entertaining, riveting read that will keep you guessing for quite some time.

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The book is available now and the paperback will be available in Canada on March 24, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboB&NBook Depository

For more information on Aga Lesiewicz, visit her website at: agalesiewicz.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Aga_Lesiewicz

#BookReview
The Secrets You Keep by Kate White @katemwhite @HarperCollins

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wrong Man and Eyes on You comes a harrowing new psychological thriller about a successful self-help author who suddenly finds her life spiraling dangerously out of control.

What would you do if you realized that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences?

Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning. 

In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on, she wonders? Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered.

As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Engrossing, suspenseful and entertaining!

This is a psychological thriller that emphasizes how many deep and dark secrets people can truly have and questions is there anyone you can really trust.

The main character, Bryn, is confused, scared, and determined; and the supporting characters are suspicious, complex, and secretive.

The story is told in first-person narration and uses a stream of consciousness style to give context and insight into the main character’s thoughts, feelings and motivations.

The writing is well done and the plot is rife with intrigue, red herrings and tension.

Overall, this story is not extremely fast-paced, but is definitely a captivating, mysterious, enjoyable read that will certainly keep you guessing until the very end.

Thank you to Edelweiss, especially Harper Paperbacks, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on March 21, 2017.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboB&N

For more information on Kate White, visit her website at: katewhite.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @katemwhite

#BookReview
Danced Close by Annabeth Albert @AnnabethAlbert @KensingtonBooks

Synopsis:

Portland, Oregon, is one of the hottest cities in America. Just ask all the hard-working men sweating it up behind the counters of the restaurants, boutiques, and cafés all over town … 

Newly clean and sober, Todd’s taken a shine to his job at Portland’s most talked about bakery. It’s not just the delicious desserts they sell, but the tasty treats who keep walking through the door. That certainly includes Kendall Rose, a wedding planner with eyes the color of brown sugar and skin to match. Todd doesn’t try to hide his attraction to Kendall’s elegant confidence and unique style, even as he worries about exposing the secrets of his past. 

For Kendall, the attention is just part of the anything-goes Portland he’s grown to love. But he’s still looking for that special someone who will embrace all of him—including his gender fluidity. So he takes a chance and asks Todd to be his partner in a dance class leading to a fundraiser. When the music starts and he takes Todd in his arms, Kendall is shocked at how good it feels. Turns out taking the lead for once isn’t a mistake. In fact, it might be time to take the next step and follow his heart …


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sweet, sexy and charming!

This is an engaging, contemporary romance story that emphasizes the importance of accepting and embracing who you truly are and reminds us that sometimes in life it’s nice to lead and sometimes in life it’s even nicer to be led.

The characters are honest, unique and supportive. The writing is straightforward and smooth. And the plot is an engaging mix of humour, relationship drama, acceptance, chemistry, love, sweet treats and of course a tiny bit of dancing. 

Overall, I would have to say that this is an uplifting, heartwarming, enjoyable read that proves opposites definitely do attract.

This is book six in the “Portland Heat” series by Annabeth Albert. Be sure to check out some of the other titles in the series HERE!

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on March 14, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBarnes & Noble

For more information on Annabeth Albert, visit her website at: annabethalbert.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @AnnabethAlbert

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Brother by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

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TWB Amazon

I’d dated his brother.

He didn’t remember and I wish I could forget.

I may have sworn off the Wright family a long time ago. But when I returned home, Jensen Wright crashed into my life with the confidence of a billionaire CEO and the sex appeal of a god. Even I couldn’t resist our charged chemistry, or the way he fit into my life like a missing puzzle piece.

Too bad he’d forgotten the one thing that could destroy us.

Because Jensen Wright doesn’t share. Not with anyone. And if his brother finds out, this could all go down in flames.

When it all was said and done, was he the Wright brother?

iBooks B&NKoboGoogle Play

 

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Rating: 7.5/10

Charming, sexy and fun!

This is a story about heartbreak, mistakes, discovering one’s self, and falling in love.

It is an alluring story that combines a delicious, mysterious, wealthy businessman with an intelligent, beautiful, wary PhD student, complete with a plot filled with smoking tension, sizzling chemistry, racy banter, witty dialogue and dreamy romance.

The writing is smooth. The supporting characters are intriguing and lovable. And the plot is entertaining and engaging as it takes you from the enjoyment and challenges of the here and now to the moments and mishaps of the past and then concludes with an ending that will make everyone smile.

Overall this is an enjoyable, easy read, and I can’t wait to read Landon’s story, “The Wright Boss”, when it’s published later in the spring.

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Kyla

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

#BookReview
To Rome, with Love by T. A. Williams
@TAWilliamsBooks @HQDigitalUK

Synopsis:

Escape to Italy this summer with this fabulously feel-good beach read! 

A summer of second chances…

Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…

Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Heartwarming, winsome, and picturesque!

This is a delightful story that takes us on a ride through the beautiful Italian countryside from Venice to Rome complete with majestic scenery, intriguing history, and scrumptious food.

The characters are varied and entertaining with a great mix of those who are funny, compassionate and quirky and those who are broody, sexy, and serious.

The writing is clear, descriptive and fun. And the plot, although I did find it get a little bogged down with the continuous dwelling on the past, is an appealing, cathartic journey full of heartbreak, contemplation, reminiscence, humorous mishaps, romantic settings, and budding new love.

As always Williams has written a novel with exquisite imagery that makes me yearn to travel and dream of winter’s end when I can take my bike off the trainer and get back out on the road.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially HarperCollins UK – HQ Digital, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on February 17, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaKoboB&N

For more information on TA Williams, visit his website at: tawilliamsbooks.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @TAWilliamsBooks

#BookReview
My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouse

Synopsis:

Part love story, part workplace dramedy, part witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world, this is New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s most timely and sharply observed novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. The final, demeaning straw comes when Demeter makes Katie dye her roots in the office. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the image.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Humorous, amusing and heartwarming!

Departing slightly from her usual fanciful romantic comedies, in this latest novel Kinsella writes a story that is rich in character development and touches on the pitfalls of pretense, unrealistic perception, social media fallacies, and finding one’s true self all in a plot laced with humour, lightheartedness and a touch of romance.

The writing is crisp and witty. And the characters are a quirky, unique bunch that are likeable, flawed and genuine.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, thought-provoking story filled with cheeky banter and spirited hijinks that will definitely make you laugh and entertain you for hours.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on February 7, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBook DepositoryB&N

 For more information on Sophie Kinsella, visit her website at: sophiekinsella.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @KinsellaSophie

#BookReview
Always by Sarah Jio
@sarahjio

Synopsis:

A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March

Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Captivating, thought-provoking, and deeply moving!

This is a poignant novel that delves into the emotional, physical and mental anguish suffered by those inflicted with brain trauma and touches on the hardships, prejudices and struggles experienced by those who find themselves homeless.

The prose is polished and precise. The characters are consumed, troubled and genuine. And the story which contains a subtle element of mystery is written in a back and forth, past/present style that gives a wonderful appreciation and depth to all the situations, personalities and relationships within it.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel about friendship, loss, jealousy, compassion, life and enduring love, but I have to say I still prefer Jio’s historical fiction novels, particularly “The Bungalow” which is still one of my all-time favourites.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Ballantine for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 This novel is due to be published on February 7, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKoboB&N

 For more information on Sarah Jio, visit her website at: sarahjio.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @sarahjio

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