Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Harry Potter And The Joys Of Reading

You guys, I've been having so much fun this week reading one of favourite series again from the beginning!

Reading these books again have reminded me of how much I've forgotten, why books will always be better than movies and explains future things effortlessly.

I've always been a big fan of reading series again, as if I genuinely enjoyed the series it's like greeting old friends and you can really appreciate the character growth, especially if they're 11 on Monday but 14 on Thursday. I've loved getting to remember how funny Fred, George, Ron and Harry are, especially as this was so neglected in the movies. I've loved seeing just how well Jo planned ahead (for the most part!) and was really committed to making a story that played across 7 books so effortlessly. I hated seeing characters that were going to ruin everything, but so essential to Harry's journey. 

I'd imagine most of you are here because you love books so my advice to you is that if you have a series that you love that you haven't read in some time, pick it up and get to know and love the characters all over again. It could be that the last time you read it you were less mature and you now understand the motivations of certain characters better, or you realise that the character you loved wholeheartedly could also have occasionally been a teeny tiny bit wrong. 


The first time I read Harry Potter was by borrowing from a friend so I was ecstatic when the new covers were revealed (and my brother was really upset that he got rid of his original covers considering their new market value!) and now I'm finally putting them to good use!

Due to the fact that I had so much fun doing this, I've got a poll on my twitter timeline asking which series I love should be read again next:



Rating: 5 stars and all the points to Gryffindor!


Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Bloody Kingdom by J.J. McAvoy REVIEW




A Bloody Kingdom (Ruthless People, #4)Goodreads   Amazon   Twitter    Website

It has been eight years since the Callahans defeated Avian Doers and conquered Chicago. Melody is now the Governor and public face of the family, while Liam rises as the Ceann na Conairte of both the Irish and Italians.

Their reach is limitless; their power endless...but is it possible to have too much power? Can Liam and Melody raise a family, a city, and an empire?

Only a fool would try to stop them now....



Click link for review! 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander REVIEW

The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar

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Lucy Arigho’s first encounter with Greg Millar is far from promising, but she soon realises he possesses a charm that is impossible to resist. Just eight whirlwind weeks after their first meeting, level-headed career girl Lucy is seriously considering his pleas to marry him and asking herself if she could really be stepmother material.

But before Lucy can make a final decision about becoming part of Greg’s world, events plunge her right into it. On holiday in the South of France, things start to unravel. Her future stepchildren won’t accept her, the interfering nanny resents her, and they’re stuck in a heat wave that won’t let up. And then there’s Greg. His behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre and Lucy begins to wonder whether his larger-than-life personality hides something darker—and whether she knows him at all.




This will be a short review so I don't give anything away!

The Accidental Life of Greg Millar is one of those books that you read that makes you have a deeper understanding of an everyday thing.


Whilst I will be giving no spoilers (this is a book that deserves to be read as the author intended) I will say the depth of the book is a breath of fresh air. Lucy first meets Greg as he's speeding past her on the road. As is necessary for a romance book, he keeps popping up in her life and eventually they begin to date.

I thought their initial dating period was cute and it brought a little smile to my face as Lucy became more open. As with any parent that dates, Greg tries to slowly introduce Lucy to the children and that comes with its own struggles, that I thought were written brilliantly. I actually really loved the way the children were written and I loved their ability to make me laugh and to make me want to cry. 

The journey this book takes you on is honestly so worth it. I think this is one of the books that allows you to be more compassionate and stays with you for a long time afterwards.

Rating: 5 stars

Friday, 8 July 2016

Thin Lines by Bethany Kris

Thin Lines (Donati Bloodlines, #2)

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Calisto Donati

Calisto had never been a fan of pain, but he found it provided a certain relief. 
It was a high that couldn’t compete with anything else he experienced. That was why he fought bare-knuckled, why he drove 
fast, despite knowing he might crash, and why he still enjoyed looking at Emma Donati—no matter her current status. 
Pain felt good. 
He might have been a fool for doing so, but as long as he got what he wanted from it, he didn’t really care. 
When he fought, he was given release. When he drove, he was given freedom. When he looked at Emma, he was given memories. 
All of them brought a certain level of pain. All three might kill him someday. 
Calisto glanced at Emma, taking her in again when she didn’t know he was looking. 
He realized then that only one might actually be worth dying for. 


Emma Donati

Emma kept her gaze on the book in her lap, pretending like there wasn’t an argument going on across the room. She had become terribly good at acting like she didn’t hear. 
Calisto watched her out of the corner of his eye while he argued on with Affonso.
She was too focused on Calisto to care about their fight. 
His anger. The tightness of his jaw. Searing soul-black eyes. 
The two men were not the same. They might have shared blood, but their hearts were entirely different. One man never let her out of his sight when he was nearby. The other acted like she didn’t exist. 
This was what it was like, she realized, to be in love with someone she couldn’t have. 
Calisto Donati would never be hers.
This wasn’t a fairy tale that would end happily. 
They weren’t star-crossed. They were impossible.


Review below!

Monday, 4 July 2016

My Top 10 Books Of 2016 So Far

So we've reached the middle of the year and according to Goodreads I've read over 100 books already, including novellas putting me right on track for my goal of 125 books being read in 2016.

Of these 100 books, I've decided to give myself the painstaking task of picking my top ten, no series or joint numbers, just the ten books that I've enjoyed the most this year. I'm going to focus on new to me more than new in general but that may not be the case, let's find out!
(Purchase link on book title, Goodreads /Author Website on Author Name)


10) SUGAR DADDY BY SAWYER BENNETT - 4 stars
Sugar Daddy (Sugar Bowl, #1)For me, the best thing about this book was how deeply I was able to connect to and sympathise with the main character. Sela has been through a lot and even so she's managed to pick herself up and continue her life successfully. Unfortunately fate intervenes and she catches a tattoo from a night she'd never forget; through this Sela decides to go undercover in the Sugar Baby business in order to reach the man she hates. Along the way Sela finds herself trusting and having feelings for the man that is her Sugar Daddy, when she finally opens herself up to him, he betrays her in the worst way possible. 



9) SETTLING THE SCORE BY R.S. GREY - 4 stars
Settling the Score (The Summer Games, #1)I thought this was a really fun quick read that's been released at a wonderful time. I've made it my mission to read every R.S Grey book and I'm very glad she has yet to disappoint. This book actually has characters from a previous book (which I love!) and so it allows for a quicker introduction to the current characters. The story was quite funny in addition to introducing characters that I loved and can only hope are also going to present in the subsequent books. I would say the plot was definitely a bit more adventurous than it needed to be, especially as I believe it was obvious to readers that a certain thing could never happen. However, I believe this was a strong start to a new series.


8) KULTI BY MARIANA ZAPATA - 5 stars

Kulti
I loved this book so much I've already reviewed it here!
So just a quick recap:

  • I loved the character of Sal, how hardworking she was, how much she stood up for the people she loved and the things she believed in.
  • I thought having Sal have a huge crush on Kulti when she was younger was a fun touch that just added an extra element to the book
  • The character of Kulti evolves over the course of the book and as a reader it's honestly a delight to experience
  • Lastly, I absolutely loved Sal's family and their love for football!





7) SCARLESS AND SACRED BY BETHANY KRIS - 5 stars
Scarless & Sacred (The Chicago War, #3)A lot of book series have books that define just how dangerous the series is willing to go and for me this was the book that really pushed the boundaries. 
Scarless and Sacred introduced us to the Chicago War at its worst stage and with players directly involved with the pandemonium. 
Theo is probably my favourite Chicago War man after this book as I honestly just connected with his character so much, like characters from previous books he's a bit mysterious so the best way to know anything about how he works is to actually read what he has to say.
Evelina is probably one of the sweetest female haracters in the series along with Lily so it's great to see her both happy and knowing she's found a perfect match.
Previously reviewed here.


6) A PERFECT TEN BY LINDA KAGE - 5 stars
A Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men, #5)Naming your book after what most people would rate it might seem a bit presumptuous but it's no mistake in this case.
Oren "Ten" Tenning has always come across as a man whore and now he's firmly set his sights on Caroline. 

Caroline is the younger sister of Ten's best friend Noel who has recently moved in with Noel after an unfortunate situation. Ten was present when this all occurred and so he and Caroline already have that "connection" as well as moments in previous books (not seen by Noel thankfully!)
The ending of this book was so tense I thought I was going to have a to a restorative nap to get back to normal levels again, thankfully it didn't get that far. 
Caroline is a wonderful character, Ten is a wonderful character and together they make A Perfect Ten.

5) THE AVERY SHAW EXPERIMENT BY KELLY ORAM - 5 stars 
The Avery Shaw Experiment (Science Squad, #1)Honestly one of my favourite books of all time now, a previous review for this amazing book can be found here.

Every once in a while there's a discourse on the purpose of YA and whether it's a "worthy" book genre. Books like this prove that YA is not only amazing for the target demographic, but across so many demographics. My Netgalley profile says I'll probaably be reading YA until I'm 50 and if they continue to be as amazing as this book, I'm very excited as to where that could take me.
The Avery Shaw Experiment follows Avery as she tries to find a scientific cure for her broken heart, thankfully she has an amazing partner to help with her hypothesis ;).


4) PRICELESS BY LINDA KAGE - 5 stars

Priceless (Forbidden Men, #8)Linda Kage really knows how to name these books!
My review of Priceless can be found here.

Top 3 points:

  • One of the main characters has Cerebral Palsy and I think her story line is treated with the care and respect necessary (the character has been around since the first book so we already love her)
  • Best friends to lovers is always a difficult trope because all they had to do was tell the other person but I found the situation pretty funny in this instance
  • This book initially covers events from previous books but it never feels tedious.


3) BREATHLESS AND BLOODSTAINED BY BETHANY KRIS - 5 stars

Breathless & Bloodstained (The Chicago War, #4)If Scarless and Sacred pushed the boundaries, Breathless and Bloodstained got rid of them. I've found it's quite rare for a series to finish exactly how you want it but this series honestly blew me away.
Tommas and Abriella are probably the worst kept secret in all of TCW series but this book makes everyone's stupidity and big mouths more than worth the wait. 
A series that has an equal balance between the romance and the crime aspects, I honestly could not recommend it enough!

My full review for this can be found here.

2) PAPER PRINCESS BY ERIN WATT - 5 stars
Paper Princess (The Royals, #1)Paper Princess was one of those books where I genuinely didn't know what to expect but I'd liked (and loved!) the previous books that I'd read from both authors enough to give it a go. 
This book is like Dynasty on crack for younger people on paper. It has all the money and drama and intrigue and it honestly just blew my mind. All of the characters were so well defined and had the chance to evolve over the course of the book. We got to see the backgrounds of so many characters without it ever feeling like the authors were rushing or just trying to get all the information they'd decided on out at once.
A warning immediately put out by the authors is that this and the next book end on cliffhangers, and oh my what a cliffhanger it was. 

I honestly can't think of anything to have brought the current situation to light and I'm so excited for the next book to also ruin my life. This book/series seems to be  perfect example of how to tell a complete story and effectively set up the next story without compromising your characters' values.
1) SOME KIND OF PERFECT BY KRISTA AND BECCA RITCHIE - 5 stars
Some Kind of Perfect (Calloway Sisters, #4.5; Addicted, #3.5)
You guys, this book was EVERYTHING to me. E V E R Y T H I N G. 
Saying goodbye to everyone didn't hurt as much as I thought it would however having to remind my self that they're all a good 10-15 years older than they were when we first met them was quite the mind spin.
This book meant so much to me that even now the review for it is underway because there's so much I want to discuss/mention that for some topics I still don't even know where to begin.
For some people that are thinking of starting the series now, whilst 10 books might seem a bit daunting it is more than worth it. These characters will worm their ways into your heart and leave you feeling like ten books and ten years plus just isn't enough.



So there we have it, any thoughts? Are any of our top ten books the same?



Thursday, 9 June 2016

Author Spotlight: Lauren Layne Part 1

I thought I'd do a quick piece about an author I absolutely adore: Lauren Layne

Lauren currently has 7 series out/in progress; of which I have read four completely, am reading another currently, one I plan on reading and one I am anxiously waiting for.

I've found that Lauren's books are really great at mixing humour, friendship and love in realistic ways. As a reader I feel like the characters could be girls that I meet in my life and choose to befriend as they just come across as truly human. As someone who has read a lot of YA, this ease in which we can relate to the characters is such a relief.

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Lauren LayneLauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.   She lives in Manhattan with her husband and Pomeranian, and loves cocktails, city-life and stilettos.
USA TODAY BESTSELLER OVER 500,000 BOOKS SOLD MULTIPLE-TIME AMAZON & IBOOK "BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH" FEATURED IN GLAMOUR MAGAZINE & WASHINGTON POST BOOKS TRANSLATED INTO SIX LANGUAGES

Lauren Layne can be reached at: Twitter     Facebook     Website     Goodreads 


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Only with You (The Best Mistake, #1)I feel like any series that starts with the main character getting mistaken as a hooker can only really improve from there. In the first book, Only With You, Sophie is a young woman that hasn't really found her calling in life and is more than happy to float around being unfulfilled with her basic jobs until THE comment. This book was really sweet in the end as well as continually hilarious, it's a great book to read during the summer.




Made for You (The Best Mistake, #2)Made For You was more of a slow burn and followed Sophie's sister Brynn who has always known exactly what she wanted and what she needed to do in order to get it. Whereas Sophie is more of a free spirit, Brynn is an extremely Type A personality (this isn't necessarily a bad thing!) and this book is great at once again showing a character finding herself and maybe showing readers that sometimes, you're okay exactly as you are.




Isn't She Lovely (Redemption, #0.5)I have to say I read this in chronological order and my word did it affect all my feelings, there's no other way to read it obviously but I did wait a very long time between Broken and Crushed because the repercussions from the first two books made me slightly biased towards the main character in Crushed, it was a stupid thought process, I realise this now.

Broken (Redemption, #1)Isn't She Lovely is such an adorable novella and made me want to continue with the series and I think everyone needs someone like Stephanie in their lives. At least personality wise, clothing wise is optional...

Broken was a wonderful story that made me forget any feelings/biases that I held towards the main character due to the previous story even though I'd literally only just finished that story before starting this one (you'll see why this is important in a second). Broken was a great story of self realisation and teaching people that the best person to change you if you don't like yourself, is you. 

Crushed (Redemption, #2)Crushed is the book that lets you know the series is aptly named. Michael and Chloe are amazing as friends and even better as a couple and I thought that ending with this story teaches us once again that sometimes the only person that hasn't forgiven you is yourself and it's okay to forgive yourself. The last couple of chapters of this book were the perfect ending for the series and I'm so glad I picked it up again  






Part 2 coming soon!

Look out for more author spotlights coming your way!


Monday, 6 June 2016

Where The Sun Hides by Bethany Kris and London Miller

Where the Sun Hides (Seasons of Betrayal, #1)

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 Website        Twitter    Website


In places where the sun can hide, the darkest betrayals are made.
Violet Gallucci and Kazimir Markovic have grown up in the same city, but on opposite sides of the game they call life—Violet, an Italian principessa della mafia, and Kaz, a Russian Bratva heir. Lines have been drawn, and they know not to cross them.
Their paths crossed once, a long time ago, but when they meet again, the territory and rules set out by their families that have kept them separated seem to bleed away.
She's more than her last name …
He’s more than a Russian …
But secrets from the past—and the people determined to keep them hidden—have other plans for Violet and Kaz.
Rival families.
One city.
Star-crossed lovers.
They should be enemies.
It could mean war.
This is just the beginning …
From authors Bethany-Kris (The Chicago War) and London Miller (Volkov Bratva) comes a thrilling, sexy new series—Seasons of Betrayal. Where the Russians and Italians clash in culture, mafia … and love.