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!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Box of Books Giveaway #8 & Goodbye For Now

Hi there, lovely readers. I'm here with another Box of Books Giveaway. A really BIG giveaway, 22 books total!  I'm cleaning out my bookshelves and I wanted to pass along some great reads! Some of the books are signed by the author (to me, Rachel, sorry!).  

Also, I'm writing up this post with mixed feelings because it is to announce my hiatus from the blog. The time is indefinite at this point.  I'm super busy with real life, in a good way, but still. I just can't be on the computer as much as before, so therefore I'm taking a break.  Jasprit will still be holding down the fort, I couldn't have a better partner!  I just want to say thank you to each and every visitor, but especially to all the regulars who stop by and read all the posts, and the blogging friends I've come to respect and go to when I want a reliable opinion.  Sharing the love of books with others brings me so much joy! I don't have that much in real life so thank you so much for filling a void, and a need! I hope to get back here someday, but I'm not sure when.

Here are the books I'm giving away:

Afterlife by Claudia Gray- Hardcover (signed by author to me)
Everynight by Claudia Gray- Hardcover (signed by the author to me)
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga- Hardcover (signed by the author)
Game by Barry Lyga- Paperback ARC copy
Lux Beginnings- Obsidian & Onyx (in one volume) by Jennifer Armentrout
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen- Paperback ARC copy
Partials by Dan Wells- Hardcover (signed by author to me)
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater- Paperback ARC copy
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian- Hardcover
The List by Siobhan Vivian- Hardcover
Amber House by Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, Tucker Reed- ARC copy
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr (aka Carnival of Secrets)- Paperback ARC
Pushing the Limit by Katie McGarry- Paperback 
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil- Paperback ARC
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin- Paperback ARC
Parallel by Lauren Miller- Paperback ARC copy
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes-Paperback ARC
Doll Bones by Holly Black- Paperback ARC
The Elite by Kierra Cass- Paperback ARC
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan Paperback ARC
How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler- Paperback

Box of 22 Books!! Simply fill out the rafflecopter below. Restricted to US Residents Only. Good Look! 

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Review: A Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand

A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses #2) by Laura Florand
Publication date: August 1st 2015
My rating: 4.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

From Reviewers’ Choice Book of the Year nominee and bestselling author Laura Florand:

Ruthless. That was what they said about Damien Rosier. Handsome. Wealthy. Powerful. Merciless. No one messed with his family, because to do so they would have to get through him. No one thought he had a heart. Not even the woman he gave his to.

Cynical. That was what they said about Jasmin Bianchi. A top perfumer of her generation, Jess had achieved commercial success by growing a protective shell over a tender heart. The one time she cracked it open to let Damien in, he crushed it—after a night of unbelievable passion.

Lovers. That one magical night couldn’t survive the harsh light of dawn. When Jess woke up to discover the man in bed beside her had stolen her company, she fled.

Enemies. Now she’s come to the south of France with a threat to his family heritage. If he wants to reclaim both it and the woman who walked away from him, he’s going to have to fight as dirty as only Damien can.

But Jess knows how to fight dirty, too. And these days, she has nothing left to lose.

Certainly not her heart.

Come explore the south of France, a world of heat and fragrance and tales as old as time, through the stories of the five powerful Rosier cousins and the women who win their hearts. A Wish Upon Jasmine, book two in Florand’s addictive new series, La Vie en Roses. “Explosive, sensual, and utterly sweet” (Eloisa James).

My Thoughts:
Jasmin and Damien met at a party and fell hard.  A perfect, magical, dreamy night, where Jasmin thought her wish for a star came true.  Until the next morning when she figures out exactly who she fell for: Damien Rosier.  Ruthless businessman, and playboy, his reputation precedes him, and Jasmin takes in all the gossip and is shattered. This was at a very difficult time in Jasmin’s life; her father was dying, and she was so overcome by grief.  With that kind of situation, believing she was mistaken about their time together made more sense than to believe in happiness.

It was easier to believe I was an idiot than to believe something that felt so perfect could actually be true.

Jasmin is even more shattered when her perfume company is bought out from under her.  All is lost until Jasmin inherits an old perfume shop in Grasse, France, from her adoptive grandmother: Colette Delatour. A shop that’s been in the Rosier family for generations! Yes, Tante Colette is at it again!! I love all her skillful maneuvering of hearts and lives!

Of course, Damien, the family’s ruthless warrior is sent to get the shop back, and maybe get a chunk of his heart back, as well. Their shared night was earth-shattering until he woke up and Jasmin was gone.

There was so much hurt between Jasmin and Damien, because when you’ve had a taste of something that feels so darn perfect and then have it ripped away, it’s bound to leave a mark.  Or gaping hole, as the case here would be.  While there was a lot of anger, hurt and misconceptions to work through, I appreciated that once Damien and Jasmin met again in Grasse, there was no distance between them.  They fought out the battles and didn’t shut each other out, and I relished every minute!  Best of all, the time spent circling and challenging shed light and insight onto each other’s vulnerabilities and motivations. Their anger morphed into passion, understanding, relief, and hope.  The transition was utterly HOT, vibrating with sexual tension, but it was also very emotional and moving.

Just the right amount of humor balances out these powerful emotions, and I was cracking up several times! And yes, that alien photo does make another appearance!! Tristan serves up some hilarious revenge:

Tristan sighed blistfully. Remember that time all our favorite toys disappeared and we found ransom notes in their place? That’s the beauty of family. Never too late for payback.


Laura Florand’s gorgeous writing made me feel part of the jasmine harvest, part of the sights and scents of Grasse, from the fig tree and lavender growing in Tante Colette’s back yard to the feel and smell of old stone paving the streets of the ancient town.   Most important to me, though, is the thoughts and emotions expressed in such a way that I could completely sympathize and put myself into Jasmin and Damien’s shoes.  Rage, shatter, and lust with them.  Feel the hope, love, and joy overwhelm them. I desperately yearned for their HEA; they were so obviously in love!  I reveled in Jasmin and Damien’s story, soaked up their romance, and read the final page with a satisfied smile.  So beautiful!


Laura Florand burst on the contemporary romance scene in 2012 with her award-winning Amour et Chocolat series. Her books have appeared in ten languages, been named among the Best Books of the Year by Romantic Times and Barnes & Noble, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. 

After a Fulbright year in Tahiti and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, and several years living in Madrid and Paris, Laura now teaches Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate. For more information, please see her website:

Connect with Laura Florand:

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Friction by Sandra Brown

I'm excited to participate in the Blog Tour for Friction by Sandra Brown because I'm a big fan! This tour is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.  Click here for the complete tour schedule, and be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Friction and Coffee Mug!

Friction by Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central
Publication date: August 18th 2015
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | B & N | The Book Depository | Kobo | iTunes
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

My Thoughts:
While I’m relatively new to Sandra Brown’s writing, she has fast become one of my all-time favorite romantic suspense/mystery writers! I’ve quickly gobbled up several of her stories after reading and LOVING Mean Streak last year, and I’ve discovered she’s is a pro at reeling you into a story and keeping you hooked until the very last page. Friction was no exception; the story was exciting, hot, and captivating!

Crawford Hunt is battling his in-laws for custody of his five-year old daughter, Georgia.  As a Texas Ranger he’s been in dangerous situations that have required rapid-fire judgment, and Crawford is able to rush in a take charge.  Now his father-in-law, Joe, is using this quality to call into question his ability to care for his daughter, accusing him of being too reckless to raise a child.  During the custody hearing a masked man barges in and shoots the place up, leaving Judge Holly Spencer shaken to the core.  Crawford’s quick action limits the lethal damage, but still she barely escaped with her life. The investigation thrusts Holly and Crawford into an uneasy partnership, and side by side they work on finding the culprit before he strikes again.

Any relationship or dealings between Holly and Crawford are pretty bad idea seeing as Holly is presiding over his custody case, but the intense circumstances overrule logical thinking, and their magnetic attraction takes over every time they’re together. I loved every stolen lusty kiss, every desperate, hot encounter they shared, all the while trying to keep one step ahead of the killer! 

He slid his fingers up into her hair until his hands were closed around her head, then he tilted it and brushed his mouth across hers. “A word of caution, judge. Don’t show up at my back door looking like you do unless you want to get manhandled.”

I wouldn’t mind a little manhandling, Crawford! 

Not only was Crawford one hot-sexy-take-charge-kind-of-guy, he could melt your heart of the love and devotion he had for his daughter, Georgia!  It’s a joy to have a strong female MC and Holly was exactly that: intelligent, accomplished, and compassionate.  She had no problem standing up for herself and Crawford when needed, and I enjoyed her quick, smart thinking.

With all that going on, there wasn’t much time to fret over relationship angst or wonder whether the couple will be able to overcome the obstacles keeping them apart. Holly and Crawford had more than a few, but I was never worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place.  This is a romance with Sandra Brown at the helm, after all, and she hasn’t steered my wrong so far!

Friction was a thrilling, fast paced read, and as a reader I was trying to solve the mystery right along with the characters, nervous with tension over what would happen next.  I enjoyed every surprise and twist!  

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Connect with Sandra Brown:

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Review: Burn by Paula Weston

Burn by Paula Weston
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Publication Date: 6th August 2015 
My rating: 4 stars  

Gaby thought her life couldn't get more complicated. She was wrong. She's not the teenage backpacker she thought she was. She is one of the Rephaim, descended from fallen angels. The brother she thought she'd lost is alive. And the heavenly war is escalating. Now Gaby's remembered everything. But as she struggles to come to terms with her new memories, will what she knows save the people she loves . . . or doom them?

I am the pickiest reader ever when it comes to reading YA paranormal reads, over the last few years there’s only been a handful that have totally blown me away and left me wanting more. I’m thrilled to say Paula Weston’s Rephaim series has continually shone for me. With each book in the series I’ve never been disappointed, as Weston’s known how to up the ante, in turn increasing my levels of anxiety every time I pick one of these books. But I wouldn’t have it any other way; I love getting lost in the fantastic world of rephaim that Weston has created, revelling in new discoveries that Weston throws our way and of course swooning away over my beloved Rafa.

The way Weston left us teetering on the brink with that killer ending in Shimmer I didn’t know how I was going to cope. What had gone down all those years ago? Could it ruin all the friendships and temporary truce that had been made? I was honestly preparing myself for the worst. I loved how Weston gave us the story in Shimmer, with us getting to know the entire back story, I was eager about staying in the present with Gaby and needing to know what would go down with all the repercussions. However learning the past and Gaby’s memories was central to making sense of everything. And although it broke my heart seeing everything unfold, it gave me a better understanding of why we’re given several warnings from certain characters time and time again. I was eager to know what went down between Rafa and Gaby, but was hoping against hope that what had taken place wasn’t too detrimental that things couldn’t be fixed between them again. The slow burn relationship between Rafa and Gaby was one of my highlights of this entire series, so I was praying that with Gaby’s memories returning this wouldn’t mean the end of their relationship so far. I’m not going to say what exactly goes down, but there were a lot of tense moments along the way that had my poor heart teetering along the brink.

Rafa and Gaby’s relationship was a top priority in this book for me, as it’s one of the best relationships and romance that I’ve seen in a while. However the sibling relationship between Jude and Gaby was also wonderfully done by Weston in the series so far, so I was eager to find out what had gone down between these two in the past too. I’m not the most patient reader in the world, so waiting to see how things would turn out could be a killer at times, but Weston managed to mix up the anticipation of what was about to go down and story building really well. Weston once again was able to weave a gorgeously written story, she has introduced such a great set of characters over four books, that I have got to know and care about that I have eagerly anticipated spending time with them once more when a new book is about to be released. These are characters that everyone should meet and I know for sure I will not forget in a long time because of the great impression they have left with me and of course this is one series that I will come back to and read time and time again. Weston truly gave it all with this final book. I’m glad that she didn’t wrap things up quickly like most series book endings I’ve read lately, but she kept my anxiety levels up until the very end. Weston gave me everything I could have wanted and so much more with Burn and with the entire series overall. I for one can’t wait to see where she will take us next with her future books.

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