Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Review: Ready To Reach by Inglath Cooper includes giveaway

Ready to Reach by Inglath Cooper
(Nashville #1) 

Publication date: October 4th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Stars: 4 ****

The Blurb

Ever thought a dream might pass you by?
Nineteen-year old CeCe Mackenzie is determined to make her dreams come true. She heads for Nashville with not much more to her name than a guitar, a Walker Hound named Hank Junior and an old car she’d inherited from her grandma called Gertrude. But when Gertrude ends up on the side of I-40 in flames, Nashville has never seemed farther away. Help arrives in the form of two Georgia football players headed for the Nashville dream as well. When Holden Ashford and Thomas Franklin stop to offer CeCe and Hank Junior a ride, fate may just give a nod to serendipity and meant to be. Because while CeCe is chasing after her dream, she might find love as well.
New Adult Romance where “the characters are so alive you can almost hear them next to you.”

My Thoughts

Ever since I read Made In Nashville by Mandy Baggot I've fallen in love with all things Nashville. I've become addicted to the TV show and will jump at the chance to ready any story set against a Nashville back drop. That is why I jumped at the chance to take part in the Xpresso Book Tours blog tour for Inglath Cooper's book Ready To Reach which is the first book in her Nashville series.

The first thing to mention about Ready To Reach is that it is a novella so don't read if you prefer fully fledged novels. I also find it really hard to review novella's because they are so much shorter and I often feel they are over before they've even started. This is not entirely true with Ready To Reach as this is book one so although the story finishes a little abruptly I know that book two is ready and waiting.

Ready To Reach starts out with aspiring musician, CeCe Mackenzie leaving her home in Virginia to follow her dreams to become a country music singer in Nashville. Unfortunately for CeCe things don't go entirely according to plan when CeCe's car bursts into flames en-route to Nashville, all she is left with is the clothes on her back, her guitar and her dog, Hank Junior. Luckily two footballers Holden Ashford and Thomas Franklin who are on their way to Nashville to perform stop to help CeCe and give her a lift. 

Thomas is an easy-going,friendly guy but Holden on the other hand is moody, sullen and doesn't seem to like CeCe very much. When the trio first meet it is very easy to want CeCe to end up with Thomas but it becomes obvious quite quickly that there is an attraction between CeCe and Holden. CeCe moves in with the two boys so that she can get herself back on her feet and Holden does his best to keep his distance. Holden still kind of had a girlfriend, Sarah who he has left behind in Atlanta so he tries to ignore the sparks between him and CeCe.

Ready To Reach is a wonderful easy read and is the perfect story for fans of romance and country music. I loved the connection between the three main characters and we start to see good character development. The story is well written, with wonderful characters and packed with country music charm. I find that there is something really comforting about books set in Nashville. Inglath Cooper now has me totally hooked to her Nashville series and as soon as I finished I immediately downloaded the next book in the series. I'm sure you will to.

Check out the rest of the Ready To Reach blog tour here.

About The Author

RITA AWARD WINNING AUTHOR INGLATH COOPER writes books that aim to give her readers a mini-vacation. A stretch of time during which they can visit other places and other people’s lives. Her books have reached the top 100 Amazon Kindle Bestseller list, with Truths and Roses hitting #11.

Inglath Cooper’s Nashville series became a reality after she spent time in Music City, writing lyrics with other songwriters. She fell in love with the community and gets to revisit regularly through her characters.

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Review: Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel inc giveaway

Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel 
(Unchecked #2) 

Published by: Carina Press
Publication date: August 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Stars: 4 ****

The Blurb

Book two of Unchecked

After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run—until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time…but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.
When Layna sees the jagged wounds covering his body, every truth she thought she knew is destroyed. Blaze is distant and angry and though her heart is shattered, Layna desperately tries to keep their relationship together in the face of another tragedy. When the tenuous bonds holding them together are ripped apart by a revenge-hungry maniac, Layna must trust her survival instinct and bury her past for good.
But the enemy is two steps ahead, and before she can take action, Layna’s hand is forced by his deadly demands—save herself or save the man who risked his life for her freedom. Blaze saved her once. This time it’s her turn to protect him.

My Thoughts

I was lucky enough to take part in the blog tour for the first book in the Unchecked series, Impossible Promise, a book that swept me away so I was really happy to be able to take part in the blog tour for Impossible Choice. You can check out the rest of the tour over on Xpresso Book Tours here.

So in Impossible Promise we met, Layna Blair in the aftermath of her parents murder. She was running scared until she met Blaze, a brooding marine with some of issues of his own and along with his friend, Talon, they were able to lay some of the ghosts from Layla's past to rest.This book picks up right where book one finished, Blaze has been deployed to Afghanistan and he leaves Layna back in her family home in Miami. With Blaze 1000 of miles away, Layna spends her time battling with her loneliness and no longer on the run she is struggling to get her life back to normal. Layna isn't on her own for long though as Blaze comes home earlier than expected.

Unfortunately for Layna & Blaze her ghosts return and this time it's Layna having to rescue Blaze as those that had helped try to destroy Layna after her parents death no have Blaze firmly in their sights. The couple once again face some enormous problems that they will have to overcome if they ever want to be happy, problems that have to be faced head on in order for the two of them to ever have a future.

I love the character of Layna, she swings around all over the place - one minute she is feisty and loud and at other times her fragility overwhelms her and she begins to distrust anyone and everyone.There is still an amazing chemistry between Layna and Talon and it is the strength of this bond between the two of them that has really left me struggling with how I feel about Layna & Blaze's relationship. For a great part of the book I was still finding it difficult to connect with Blaze as a character, it took me quite a while to warm to him. I think part of that is that it feels to me that he sees Layna as a possession, something that is his to own but my feelings did begin to thaw towards the end of the book when I realised just how much he loved Layna.

In Impossible Choice we learn a little more about Talon's past and how that feeds into his relationships with women. It becomes apparent that Layna reminds him of someone and this began to throw in some doubt for me about Talon's motives when it came to Layna. This was probably the one thing that made me realise that despite all the warmth and chemistry between Talon and Layna maybe they just aren't meant to be. Sob!

I could not put this book down and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it. Bartel has a way of sucking you right in with her writing, a fantastic plot and some truly engaging characters. It is a powerful story that has a wonderful intensity. In my opinion you really need to read the first book in the Unchecked series to fully appreciate the characters and what they've been through.

I really hope that Sybil Bartel will be writing more in this series even though it appears that Layna's and Blaze's story is all wrapped up. I really need to know how things end up for Talon, secretly I'm hoping that Layna will realise her mistake and realise she is madly in love with Talon. A girls can hope right!

About The Author

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.
She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.
To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 14 September 2015

Review: The Riviera by Karen Aldous - inc giveaway

The Riviera by Karen Aldous 
Published by:Carina
Publication date: 10th July,2015
Genres: Romance
4 stars ****

The Blurb

The journey is only as good as its end…

It’s been a hard journey, but Lizzie Lambert’s life is a Proven├žal dream come true. Her business is wildly successful, and with her little boy and the love of her life, Cal, she is making a beautiful home on the vineyard for their blended family.
But when Cal goes to America to support his son through a teenage crisis, it becomes clear the kid’s not the only one with some growing up to do: Cal’s glamorous ex-wife wants to get her claws in him again. As Cal spends longer and longer away, Lizzie wonders, was it all too good to be true?

Escape to Provence with Karen Aldous’ The Riviera, the perfect read for an idyllic summer.

AmazonUK AmazonUS /  KOBO /  NOOK / Goodreads

My Thoughts

Ok before I get started can we please just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeousness of The Riviera's cover. Another stunner for a Karen Aldous book.

I fell in love with Karen's writing when I read The Chateau a while ago so when I was offered the chance to be part of her blog tour for her latest book The Riviera I jumped at the chance. This book is actually the sequel to The Vineyard which I hadn't realised until I had already started. At times I did wish that I'd read The Vineyard first as I missed not knowing the back story but this didn't impact on my enjoyment of the story especially as Karen Aldous did a fantastic job of drawing on the crucial bits from The Vineyard. The book can be read as a stand alone but if like me you prefer to read books in order then I would definitely suggest reading The Vineyard first.

The Riviera opens with Cal and Lizzie totally loved up and making plans for their future that includes Cal renovating a beautiful home for them on his vineyard. Lizzie's business is going from strength to strength and everything just feel right. Unfortunately their happiness is thrown a huge curve ball when Cal has to jump on a plane to the US to deal with some issues concerning his teenage son, Jack. What should be just a few days runs into weeks and after spending a few days in Nantucket with Cal and his son and Cal's ex-wife Kelly a seed of doubt is planted in Lizzie's mind about Kelly's intentions and just how Cal feels about her.

Well Karen has done it again, just as she did with The Chateau and I now need to go to the French Riviera. Her beautiful, vivid descriptions of the French Riviera and Cannes made me feel as though I was there and left me longing for a trip to the sunshine. At the end of The Chateau I was desperately in need of a trip to Switzerland. 

Karen does a wonderful job of immersing you in the lives of her characters. Lizzie is such a wonderful,warm character but she is very sensitive and it is apparent that she has been through so much. With Cal's ex Kelly's marriage unravelling Lizzie's paranoia is heightened and she convinces herself that Cal is going to return to Kelly. It's clear from Karen's writing that Lizzie hasn't had the best history when it comes to previous relationships so it is easy for us to see why she is becoming increasingly stressed by Cal spending so much time with his son and ex. Normally a character like Lizzie would probably grate on me as she comes across as a bit of whiner however Karen does such a brilliant job of writing her that I just didn't feel like that at all.

I also loved Cal's relationship with his son, Jack - the bond that grows between these two as the story progresses is heart warming and makes Cal even more appealing as the male lead in the book.

There are some twists in The Riviera but if I'm honest I had started to work them out. It's a story packed with family drama and some secrets that will rock the worlds of those involved. A fabulous easy read that is perfect holiday reading or indeed the perfect read for whenever you want to be swept away to somewhere warm and exotic on a grey dreary day. Highly recommended.

About The Author

Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and Lake Tahoe in US would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in 'Karen's World'. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!


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