Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blog Tour + Giveaway : Under The Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

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I am so very excited to be the blog stop on this awesome URTS Blog Tour! I bring something special for my stop. This book was gut wrenching, beautiful and brings forth the real struggle of a young girl suffering from mental issues. Here is the blurb if you haven’t heard about this book.
Title: Under The Rose-Tainted Skies
Author: Louise Gornall
Publisher: Chicken House
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 7th July, 2016
Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.

For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …

An important and uplifting debut from a British author, which tackles mental health issues such as agoraphobia and OCD.





If you are not intrigued yet, I have another card up my sleeve. I have managed to score a snippet of Louise and it is from when Norah first meets Luke. Read on.


***

'Can I help?' I can’t look up to see who’s talking to me because anxiety has my chin stapled to my chest, but when I flick my eyes left I can see his reflection in the window. It’s New Boy from next door. He has dimples, and a mop of shaggy dark hair falls casually over his left eye. 

His feet meet, four steps, and my focus is free, running wild like a liberated stallion. 

‘No. No, thank you.’ In context, this might be the dumbest thing I have ever said. ‘I mean . . .’ Deep breath. ‘I mean . . .’ What do I mean? I feel flushed, like I’ve just dipped my face in the centre of the sun. 

Another breath as I stand up, back up, and steady myself against the door frame. I straighten my sweater, pulling it down and trying to cover everything above the soles of my feet. No amount of hugging my torso can hide the two giant teddies. 

I can feel his eyes on me. Probably curious about my attire. Definitely confused as to why I’m fishing for grocery bags on my front porch.” 

*** 


I warned you, you will be left asked for more. Well if you are, I have great news for you. I am giving away a copy of Under the Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. UK Only. Enter away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 Many other blogs participating in this blog tour, so nothing is stopping you visiting them and finding out more about Under The Rose-Tainted Skies.  




Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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Dark, gritty and fabulous
Title: These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Hot Key Books
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 5th, May 2016
I had been eyeing this book for a while as it has been making the rounds on social media.  Set in Victorian New York it tells the story of Josephine Montford, whose gilded world comes crashing down when her father is found dead. Belonging to an old family, she is expected to marry the most eligible bachelor in New York. But she simply can’t let go of the suspicious circumstances of her father’s death.  With the help of a young, handsome reporter, she starts investigating her father’s death.


For some reason, I was expecting some paranormal elements in it and this book has none of it. However it ticks all the boxes. I really enjoyed the setting of the dark, gritty underbelly of Victorian New York and the contrast it set against the rich and influential world of Jo. The author expertly, was able to show the suffering of the poor but also life of the rich who had their own suffering but just hidden under the carpet of their beautiful mansions.

The romance was a slow burn and I was pleased how it did not take over the plot itself. My favourite part of the story was the main character, Jo. She is one who sees the most changes around her. Her father is dead, possibly murdered and she is determined to uncover the truth behind it. But the more she ventures in the world of the other half the harder she finds to shake it off her person. I simply loved how this experience changed her, evolved her into someone with a backbone of steel.

The only criticism I have for this book was that it slowed down in parts and being a nearly 500 page long book, it left longer. Oh and also, I had figured out the killer from the beginning of the story. Oops!

I would recommend this book to all fans of YA who like a thriller but this one is with a difference and a completely new flavour.

Review copy provided by Hot Key Books, UK



Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Review + Giveaway: Slave to Sensation (Phy- Changeling #1)by Nalini Singh

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I am a Slave to this series now!
Title: Slave to Sensation
Series: Psy- Changeling
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Orion Books
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 1st September, 2006
While I’m a huge fan of the Urban Fantasy genre, but Paranormal Romance has always been a hit or miss for me. I’ll confess while I have read Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, I have never read her more popular Psy-Changeling series which put her on the PNR map.

When given a chance to read this series, I grabbed this chance. I went in a little wearily as I’ve been burned by highly hyped books before. However, I’m pleased to report that no such thing happened with Slave to Sensation. I adored this book.

I really enjoyed the world building which was complex and intriguing. I was expecting a half-baked world which will help to bring the two main characters together. But what I found was beautifully done. The changelings and Psys came with their own society and social systems.

The chemistry between Lucas and Sacha was off the charts. Even from the first scene sparks were flying left right centre. Their chemistry and their push and pull relationship kept me glued. Plus their smexy scenes were hot. I mean fanning myself hot.

So if you call yourself a PNR fan and never read this series then I urge you not to be an idiot like me and pick this series. If you are not a PNR fan, but like smexy alpha males, then do yourselves a favour and pick this book. Better yet, read it, come back and tell me how much you liked it.

To make things even easier, (thanks to Orion Books) I’m giving away a copy of Slave to Sensation to get you started on your Psy-Changeling journey. Unfortunately, this is UK only. So start entering.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 6, 2016

Review: Evernight (Darkest London #5) by Kristen Callihan

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Toe curling romance which will leave you breathless
Title: Evernight
Series: Darkest London
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Piatkus, UK
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Released: 26th August, 2014
Being quite particular about my Paranormal Romances, every time I pick a Darkest London Book, I know I will enjoy it. Kristen Callihan is my auto buy author and her Darkest London Books are PNR gems. (Read my review of Firelight, Moonglow and Shadowdance here, here and here)

Evernight is no different. Holly Evernight is a SOS operative with a genius and inventive mind. But her past catches up with her in the form of Will, the man whose heart she replaced with one of her inventions. While she is suffering from the affects of her abduction in the previous book, the deranged Will is determined to kill her. With a set up like this, how could I not be invested in this book.

This couple had been hinted in the previous book and even then I was rather intrigued by Will, the Sanguine Demon. Needless to say that he completely won me over in Evernight. He had a dirty mind and even dirtier tongue. Someone like him paired with the prim and composed Holly, promised to have fire and it delivers. I loved the fact that the only way Will could stave his madness by physically touching Holly. Ha! From the get go we had a touchy feel-y couple who almost hated each other. Filled will palpable sexual tension which will have you licking your lips, Evernight was extremely enjoyable.

I am amazed at how deftly Kristen Callihan has expanded the Darkest London world. It is even more incredible that it all started with a mysterious man with a mask. Archer will forever be my favourite hero written by her, even if Will came close, Archer will always have a special place in my heart.

If you a fan of Paranormal Romance, the Darkest London series is a must read. In fact if you haven't read a single book in this series I would ask if you have been living under a stone? Evernight has toe curling romance, awe inspiring world building and character who are not only complex but broken and real. Do yourself a favour and pick this series.

Review copy provided by the publisher


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

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Raw and powerful, this story will stay with you for a long time
Title: Paper Butterflies
Author: Lisa Heathfield
Publisher: Electric Monkey, UK
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Released: 30th June, 2016
R eading Seed by Lisa Hetfield had been an experience and an eye opener for me. Tugging at my heart string the ending had left me wanting more. So I went in to Paper butterflies with a little trepidation and hope that she will blow my socks off with her writing. And I’m pleased to report she successfully does.

Paper Butterflies is the story of June who lives with her step mother and stepsister along with her busy father. On the surface it may look like a happy family, but it’s hiding dark secrets just under its surface. Amongst it all June’s ray of light in her life is Blister, her secret friend who belongs only to her and is untainted by her life.

I adored this book, in a way even more than Seed. It is clear that Lisa Heathfeild is coming into her own with her writing because each book is getting better than the last. I left the premise vague as I believe some of the emotions you feel from the plot is derived from the slow unveiling of June’s life.

Paper Butterflies is not for the faint hearted as it deal of a lot of issues life, racism, abuse, bullying and neglect. At many instances I found myself tearing up and getting angry, balling my fists and ready to exact some revenge on June’s behalf. I’m a person with coloured skin but fortunately I have never experienced racism or bullying yet.

But what is so special about this book you ask as there are a dime a dozen books with address similar themes you ask? Well, it’s the authors writing. She writes with such gentleness for her characters that I feel, she genuinely cares about them. Horrific events may occur to these characters but not once do I feel that the author is using it as a plot device instead she imbibes them with so much innocence despite the cruelty around them that it tears the reader apart. I truly feel that she is an expert in ‘showing’ instead of ‘telling’ and that is what digs a hole in your heart.

Overall, a fabulous, heart wrenching, throat clogging emotional storying which hits you where it hurts. A must read for anyone and everyone.

Review copy provided by Electric Monkey via NetGalley Releases on the 30th June, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Gut wrenchingly beautiful
Title: The Problem with Forever
Author: Jennifer L . Armentrout
Publisher: Mira Ink, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 1st June, 2016
T
he Problem with Forever is the story of Mallory and Rider. Having been grown up together as foster kids in a house where they were regularly abused and Rider was the one friend Mallory relied on. He saved her time and time again, getting the beatings himself, but saving Mallory each time. However, the two kids are separated and with a stroke of luck, Mallory is snow is a loving family who have adopted her. Now she is ready to finally start school again but fate has other plans and she ends up meeting Rider again on her first day at school. Now that they have reunited, how will Mallory and Rider’s lives pan out from this moment on.

As far as foraying into YA contemporary books goo, it was a good attempt. With a solid plot with characters which grow through the course of the book. The plot never slowed for me and Mallory’s struggle with herself felt genuine and real to me.

While the whole abused foster kids struggling to cope as teenagers premise sounds familiar if not clich├ęd, the author still managed to keep my attention in the book. It was not simply about what had happened to these children but how they slowly growing up and getting over what was done to them. While some tragic events happened I felt that not only Mallory but Rider did a whole lot of maturing.

Jennifer L Armentrout writes sexual tension like no other and The Problem with Forever was no exception. On a side note, what is the trend with strange character names? Who is called Rider these days? Unless, I’m totally out of it? Also, there is also a prospective romance between Ainsley and Hector which I am curious about.

Over all, it was a solid, heart-warming contemporary romance book, which despite having the neglected foster kids arc, managed to hook me in to the very last minute.

Releases on the 1st of June, 2016 
Review copy provided by Mira Ink via NetGalley


Friday, May 27, 2016

Review: The Taming of the Drew by Stephanie Kate Strohm

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A light, fun read, perfect for summer.
Title: The Taming of the Drew
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
My ratings: 3 out of 5 stars
Released: 5th April, 2016
Ihonestly requested this book because I loved the cover and the premise seemed entertaining. And I'm pleased to say that's exactly what you get. Cass loves acting and performing. When she gets the chance she goes on a summer camp/ stage performance stint on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.

I adored how the writer was able to recreate the story by Shakespeare and build it within the modern world. With the progression of the stage performance the romance between Cass and Drew develops. They have a bad start. Cass thinks that Drew is a a horrid piece of work,obnoxious and annoying, so to teach him a lesson, she decides
to re-enact the play she is doing in real life and Tame Drew. However, fate has other plans and soon Cass' feelings towards Drew changes.

It was a light, fun and entertaining read. It did not delve into anything deep but that's what I was looking for at that time.It was hilarious at some points and had me chuckling away.

Over all, a sweet read which will make the time fly and make your heart lighter.

Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley


 

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