Friday, 30 October 2015

Mini-reviews: A lot Like Love and About That Night by Julie James

A lot Like Love (FBI/US Attorney #2) by Julie James
Publisher: March 1st 2011
Publication Date: Penguin 

The FBI wants her cooperation... As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city's top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there's only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother's release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau. Agent McCall just wants her... As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This "date" with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they're both determined to pull off even if they can't be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick's investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they're a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.

I love reading books where two characters are forced into a situation; these characters don’t normally end up liking each other from first appearances. But the situation gives them no other choice but to spend more time with one another. And what had started off as tense feelings for each other soon develops into feelings under the surface that neither character realised existed. Julie James does a fantastic job with this and this is one the main reasons that I’m able to gobble up her reads. Plus her books I always tend to pick up when I’m always chocker blocked with things to do, so I love being able to squeeze in parts of fun, banter and sexy times in my busy little schedule.

Nick and Jordan are forced to be boyfriend and girlfriend as part as an undercover FBI operation. Nick was roped in at the last minute, but Nick being one of the best agents around is quick to adjust to his new character. Jordan of course will finally be able to see her brother a free man after the US Attorney made an example of his shutting down of Twitter for two days. The development of Nick and Jordan’s relationship was a lot of fun to watch. Nick and Jordan were so similar to one another with their sarcastic personalities and how they always pushed their loved ones before their own needs, that I sort of wished they’d realised their feelings a lot more sooner, because when they did finally get together, gosh  *fans self* they were the perfect fit. But the sweet, yet tense build up and “don’t fuck with me face” that we got from Nick I hugely appreciated.

Despite Nick and Jordan risking a lot by their fake relationship, A Lot Like Love for the main part wasn’t all fun with dire and tense scenes. Nick and Jordan were really funny characters, I loved how they both tried to make light of situations and their charming tendencies were quick to bring a smile to my face. Despite A Lot Like Love being predictable in some aspects (I totally knew how things would end) I really didn’t care. A Lot Like Love was exactly the sort of book I was in the mood for; it had witty, but also very sexy characters and was perfect to curl up with on a miserable day.

About That Night (FBI/US Attorney #3) by Julie James
Publisher: April 1st 2012
Publication Date: Berkley Sensation.  

He's Playing Games Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face-to-face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she's stunned. More troubling to the beautiful assistant U.S. attorney is that she's still wildly attracted to him. But She's Making The Rules Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn't thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case—but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can't say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn't mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won't give up on something he wants—and what he wants is the one woman he's never forgotten.

I have quickly become a fan of these set of characters and their stories that James has given us in the FBI/US Attorney series. I love how James introduces a new set of characters in each book, but also manages to link the characters back to the characters that we’ve previously come to know and adore. When our couple finally get together there’s always this risk that being caught won’t always be in their favour. In About That Night Rylann is the U.S. attorney’s assistant and Kyle is known as the Twitter terrorist. The former U.S. Attorney decided to make an example of his case and give him maximum punishment for shutting down Twitter for two days. So you could see why a relationship between Kyle and Rylann wouldn’t be in either of their best interests. But you just know when you want to be with the other person regardless? And when you find yourself continuously pulled towards each other? This was Rylann and Kyle.

What I loved most about Kyle and Rylann’s relationship was that it was one of those missed chance relationships, where due to unfortunate circumstances Kyle and Rylann couldn’t get together in the first place, but that strong chemistry was still there between them 9 years later when their paths crossed ways once more. I appreciated despite their ups and downs in their life and their various relationships; they still had that longing for something more.

Once again James was a pro at bringing the sweet and sexy scenes, and truly making the relationship between Rylann and Kyle a realistic one. My only one complaint is that the minor misunderstandings that creep in towards the end; characters misreading signs and totally making wrong decisions. I always find that our characters have already been through so much that why can’t they just be together already? This blip aside, About That Night was exactly the sexy fun read I was expecting it to be.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: #29. With Malice by Eileen Cook

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm eagerly waiting on... 

With Malice by Eileen Cook 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 7th June 2016

For fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train comes a chilling, addictive, compulsive read about a teenage girl who wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life, including the accident that killed her best friend--only what if the accident wasn't an accident? Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident...wasn't an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

I don't normally go for books which draw comparisons to other books and the fact that this book mentions We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train, two books which really didn't work out for me, you would think that I wouldn't find this book appealing at all, but this couldn't be more further than the truth. Eileen Cook won me over completely with her book Unravelling Isobel four years ago, it had the right amount of creepiness to keep me thoroughly entertained. Also I do love my books which deal with memory loss, more so when they're done well. and I have a feeling that this book will keeping me guessing until the very last page. I just wish the wait for this book didn't have to be so long!

So what are you waiting on this Wednesday? I've really missed out on adding to my tbr pile, so look forward to discovering new reads! 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Review: It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning

It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning
Publisher: Corgi
Publication Date: January 30th 2014
My rating: 3 stars 

Ellie Cohen is living her dream. A great job at an exclusive Mayfair art gallery, loyal mates, loving family, and really, really good hair. Well, there's the famous rock-star father who refuses to acknowledge her and a succession of 'challenging' boyfriends, but nobody's perfect. But when a vengeful ex sells Ellie out to the press, she suddenly finds herself fighting to keep her job, her reputation and her sanity. Then David Gold - handsome, charming but ruthlessly ambitious - is sent in to manage the media crisis . . . and Ellie. David thinks she's a gold-digger and Ellie thinks he's a shark in a Savile Row suit, so it's just as well that falling in love is the last thing on their minds . . .

I’ve always been a fan of Manning’s adult novels, they’re always ones that I turn to when I’m in the mood for a guilty pleasure sort of read. Manning has the knack for creating super hot powerful male characters who would have you turned into a puddle of mush within an instance. These males are business hot shots and know how to take care of a lady. But what I love most about them, is that they’ve lived their entire lives not having met said lady and so when she makes an appearance, they are quite overwhelmed. It’s sort of comforting seeing these guys a bit out of their comfort zone, its gives us another whole another insight into their character and often it’s a side that is vulnerable yet charming and which I end up loving the most. Manning’s made characters have in the past left great impressions with me, so I was hopeful that this would be the case with David in It Felt Like a Kiss. To be honest I was sort of disappointed, yes David was a powerful individual, but he didn’t really give us the hotness vibe, he was nerdy (a lawyer, who liked to spew lawyer jargon), which I really didn’t mind, but only at one point when we first met him I was sort of interested, but then he sort of lost his appeal. I think this could have been down to the chemistry between him and our MC Ellie. Yes they couldn’t really have a relationship because of so many things getting in the way, but in comparison to Manning’s previous novels Ellie and David’s relationship really didn’t win me over. Yes when they were together, it was hot, but I felt that David just sort of rubbed Ellie the wrong way, he often said things without thinking and at times he could be quite hurtful (in my opinion). Characters such as Vaughn from Unsticky I loved, he used to get all growly when he was mad, but I didn’t take his temper too seriously, he was quite hot when he was mad. David on the other hand I couldn’t get a read on, I just didn’t really feel anything for him. I’m probably going off on a complete tangent, but I really did want to love this book, but I think David’s character and his relationship with Ellie was a let-down for me.

That aside there was a lot that It felt Like a Kiss had to offer, the main story was based around Ellie being outed by an ex-boyfriend about being a legendary singer’s daughter. Ellie finds herself and her life at the centre of attention when she doesn’t want to be. What made this story for me was the fact that we don’t really know what went down between Ellie’s mum and dad in the first place, why they separated, why Ellie’s famous dad didn’t want anything to do with her, why her and her mum were left to slog it out barely getting by whereas Billy her dad raked in the money. Manning very cleverly gave us alternative chapters, from Ellie’s mum in the past and when she first met Billy and then the present day with Ellie. With the way the story was given to us and the way Ellie felt about her dad (not cared about, as he had two children already which he seemed to care about) I thought I knew the real truth behind Ellie’s relationship, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was actually delighted and shocked when I discovered the truth (highlight to view spoiler) how could people be so inconsiderate and feel no remorse at all after 26 years? I actually truly admired Ellie’s mum for being the bigger and better person, she could have had Billy over and was due so much from him, but decided to work herself in order to provide support for her and her daughter. There was a lot of twists and turns along the way which I didn’t see coming, and a lot of characters who I had completely been wrong about. I liked how Manning had us guessing about a lot of things until the very last page.

Overall It felt Like a Kiss was a different sort of read than what I was expecting but enjoyable nevertheless. Ellie was a fierce and fiery MC who was a lot of fun to be around, Manning also threw in a great selection of secondary characters each of who bought weird and wacky ideas to the story, but also a lot of positive energy that Ellie really needed. I was especially happy to be reunited with one of my favourite characters, ladies won’t be disappointed! Despite It Felt Like a Kiss not being one of Manning’s stronger reads for me, I will be looking forward to more of Manning’s adult novels with eager anticipation.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: August 14th 2014.
My rating: 4 stars 

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins's beloved series.

There’s nothing that beats picking up a cute read which leaves you with all the warm fuzzies and gets you out of your holiday blues. Honestly I was feeling like crap about being back home and so not having read a single book in a month! I needed something that would keep me distracted, absorbed and get me back into reading once again. And Isla and the Happily ever after was just the sort of read. Before you knew it I was over 40% in and not wanting to go to sleep (this hasn’t happened to me in a long time.) I have I have to admit I was a little wary at first with the mixed ratings I had seen before, but Perkins adorable characters and whimsical writing helped me get lost into a world where I could forget everything else around me.

Perkins has always had this fantastic knack for giving us beautifully written romances, yes Josh and Isla did seem to fall quite quickly for one another, bur their relationship was made to feel believable and realistic. I could connect with the strong feelings they had for one another and the gut wrenching emotions they had to go through when separated. When I’m able to feel more emotion from a relationship, the relationship always seems to work for me. Also I appreciated the MC that Perkins gave to us in Isla. She wasn’t your typically confident MC, but had her self- doubts which could hold her back at times. I know some readers may have been frustrated with the blips that these made along the way, but being a person who has constantly being checked herself to make sure what I’m doing is right or even doubting my abilities, I liked how Perkins illustrated not everyone can have that confidence down.

Josh and Isla’s relationship had it’s up and down moments, but because their feelings for each other were so genuine and strong I knew that they could get through it. Even though I’ve always said that nothing could top Anna and St Clair’s relationship, I think Josh and Isla may have just done that. I loved how fierce and raw their feelings were for each other, how when they were together nothing else mattered, but each other. But most of all I liked it when the characters in the relationship are willing to take risks and be open about their feelings for one another. Isla could be a bit resistant at first, but with the hurt and separation that both Josh and Isla had to go through, this really broke me too.

Overall the wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After was a long time coming, but totally worth it in the end. Once again Perkins was able to sweep me off my feet with her beautiful writing and swoon worthy characters and relationships she introduced. I’m quite sad about having to let these characters go, but I’m grateful that they’ve managed to leave such a huge impression with me.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Review: After You by JoJo Moyes

After You by JoJo Moyes
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: September 24th 2015
My rating: 4 stars 

Will and Louisa’s story in Me Before You literally broke me. I don’t think that I have been moved by a book so much. I hated the way Moyes had ended things, so when Moyes had announced a follow up book in After You I was over the moon. Although I wanted more from Lou and what was going on in her life, I wasn’t prepared for the feelings of heartache that would be dredged up again.

Lou was a character that had been through it all, that I really wanted her to end up with the happiness that she deserved. I knew it would be a big step to take after everything that happened. Lou would feel as if she was forgetting that somebody important and I would understand those feelings of guilt of moving forward and trying to enjoy life. (Highlight to view spoiler) Will was such a huge character, he had such a big impact in Lou’s life, in my life! That I could completely understand her not wanting to let Will go, whenever a memory of Will was recalled it totally broke my heart, but like Will had wanted I wanted Lou to be happy. I was thrilled with the characters that Moyes introduced in this story, they were such a funky bunch, they certainly kept Louisa pre-occupied when there was so much missing in her life. They encouraged her to look forward to life and take risks she may not have wanted to. I enjoyed watching Louisa develop as an individual, she was still the same person who was quick to drop everything for somebody she cared about, but I enjoyed the stronger willed individual that came out in the end. It was a characteristic that I knew Louisa had inside her, but just had been lost amongst the heartache.

After You was a beautiful read, even though there were a lot of tough times for characters to deal with, but I enjoyed how Moyes could easily sprinkle some humour into a scene and bring a smile to your face. Whether it be because of quirky characters such as Louisa’s parents or new characters such as Sam, Donna, Lily and Richard. I thought I would have a tough time getting accustomed to new characters, but Sam Donna and Lily were a delight to be around, that before I knew it I was yearning for more scenes with them.

Overall After You was the perfect follow up to Me Before You. A lot of sequels that I’ve been looking forward to this year have been bitterly disappointing, but I’m glad to say this was not the case with After You. I enjoyed every single minute of being back with Lou, of being part of her journey to grow strong and more forward in her life. The helping hands she got along the way in the most unexpected places was also a delight to see come about. My only real complaint about this book is the ending normally I don’t mind being left hanging and left to think about things to come, so I did expect a bit more from the ending. But despite this, I am truly grateful that Moyes gave us the chance to be part of Louisa’s life once more, it is one that I know I didn’t want to let go of. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

What I've Been Up to.

Hi everyone, I'm finally here with my first post for you in what feels like ages (I last posted on August 13th!!!). I was meant to have a few posts up before I went on holiday, but then work got in the way and then I was meant to post when I got back, and get back to reading, but I ended up taking a break instead. So what have I been doing in all that time? Well I finally went away on my highly anticipated trip to Canada, I've been twice previously and utterly loved it. I always seem to have the holiday blues when I get back and now I've been back for two weeks, I still sort of feel down. England just comes across really boring lately :(

Anyway whilst away I managed to go on one of the biggest rollercoasters (the drop is at 306ft!!) the Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland. I was fine when queuing up, but when I noticed the sort of seats they have (in England, they have a sort of support that comes over your shoulders, but here you have a tiny belt and this tiny thing to hold on. Of course I was super nervous, on top of that I ended up getting the edge seat on the ride, so I could see everything on my side, I seriously thought I was going to topple over when going up, but the initial dread of going up was made up with the rest of the ride. It was truly exhilarating!

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The weather was of course gorgeous, we got to spend a bit of time at Crystal Beach, near Niagara Falls, and of course we hit the malls. I of course found myself a bookstore, Chapters Indigo is always one of my favourite bookstores to go to when I visit Canada, the one at Eaton Centre was two stories of heaven! I of course told my sister to do her own shopping and meet me back in half an hour. She of course came back and found me with a mile high stack of books, and after a stern talking to about luggage allowance, I ended up leaving with three books and a mug!

I'm lucky to have so much family in Canada, that I love meeting with and just hanging out, this time we were lucky enough to spend some time on my uncle's boat, it was such a beautiful day too, That we were able to stop the boat and just have some pizza and beer and appreciate the gorgeous views.

Music I've been listening to.

Before I went to Canada I was living off House Every Weekend, so I was glad to get my cousins into it over there too.

And whilst in Canada I also became obsessed with The Weekend Can't Feel My Face and R City Locked Away ft. Adam Levine :)



What I've Been Watching.

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I'm glad that Scandal is finally back, this show is one that keeps getting better and better. Honestly and the way Shonda Rimes keeps up hanging at the end of each episode!

I started Suits, Arrow and Once Upon A Time, but work overtook and I didn't end up getting back to it, but I really want to make time for these soon. I've also been hearing great things about How to Get Away with Murder, so need to squeeze that in somewhere too :/ 


I've been trying to read, honestly I have, but I think it really just depends on my mood, I read three books last month and I'm 43 books behind on my reading goal :(

I'm currently reading Queen of Shadows and here a few books I'm planning to read next.  



So that was my crazy, busy month of September, I'm planning to get back to regular posting this month and will be back around to check out all your blogs. I've missed you all!

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