Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Shelf: Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice Clayton

Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Nuts kicks off Alice Clayton's latest series, The Hudson Valley series and is a laugh-out-loud, sensual and fun romantic comedy that features an electric new romance and a town I'm just dying to call home.

Roxie Callahan is a private chef in LA, catering to some of Hollywood's biggest stars, but when a dairy disaster sees a number of her clients desert her, Roxie finds herself agreeing to return home and run the family diner for her mother while she goes on a once in a lifetime adventure. Roxie left Bailey Falls as soon as she was able and never planned on going back, but a summer in the small country town quickly sees Roxie begin to rethink all her thoughts on small town life. Local farmer Leo Maxwell doesn't hurt either. Charming and cheeky, Leo is heavily involved in all things fresh and sustainable and manages to get Roxie's blood pumping like nobody else. Roxie has always refused to fall in love, but with summer coming to an end sooner rather than later, will Roxie decide to head back to LA? Or has she found her place in life where she lease expected it....home?

Alice Clayton has done it again! And then some! Honestly, this book and this series blends together all my favouite things; books, romance and food....with delightful results! Nuts features all Clayton's trademark sass and flair, humor and wit, sex and sultry and absolutely adorable romance and friendship. She makes me want to live in Bailey Falls and that's only after one book!

Coming alive with the turn of every page, Nuts features a likable main character in Roxie who's sassy and fun and a delectable romantic lead in Leo. I mean, really; I want my own farmer now. As long as he can be like Leo....sexy, cheeky, charming and sooooo passionate. He's appealing on so many levels and that's not even considering the other side Roxie witnesses of his when his little "secret" comes out. No spoilers from me, but oh so cute.

There's nothing about this book I can fault. Alice Clayton has created a vivid country town and filled it with lucious characters who have such wonderful personality. I'm loving Chad and Logan and Oscar the grouch. Polly the precious and Roxie's friends Natalie and Clara who I just know will make fantastic leading ladies when their turn arises.

A simply delicious read, I'm eager and excited to read the second book, Cream of the Crop straight away. Can't wait to see what Alice Clayton has in store for Natalie and dairy farmer Oscar--I just know it's going to be brilliant!

Rating:
Source:
Received as a Christmas present
Publisher: Gallery Books      
Format: Paperback

Release Date: October 20th 2015
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
Another AWESOME Alice Clayton book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #169

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Releases on: June 6th 2017
Add on Goodreads!
 
Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .


Thoughts:
YA fantasy still remains one of my favorite genre's and there seems to be a lot of brilliant reads out there lately, but that doesn't mean I'm any less excited when one piques my interest. And Royal Bastards does exactly that! Definitely going to be on the look out for this one....

What do you think of Royal Bastards?
And what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Shelf: Reckless Rendezvous (Reckless Beat #4.5) by Eden Summers



One kiss sends Leah Gorman’s life into a tailspin.

After years sacrificing herself for Reckless Beat, Leah needs to catch her breath. She has to escape the constant chaos and revive her frayed nerves. There’s no better place than Vegas and the memory of a heavily-inked man with talented hands to make her heart palpitate for reasons other than stress. Logan is exactly what she needs right now… Or is he? Her pleasure comes at a price, and she will be left to question every aspect of her life and what her future holds.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Reckless Rendeavous is a quick and easy novella tale in the Reckless Beat series by Eden Summers that follows band manager Leah as she heads to Vegas to escape the feelings she has for a man she knows she can never have.

Leah Gorman has been secretly in love with her best friend Ryan for years, even though her client and the Reckless Beat member was married and unattainable. Now Ryan has kissed her, heartbroken by his impending divorce and angry at his estranged wife. So Leah does what any normal person would do in her situation….flee. All the way to Las Vegas, and into the arms of the sexy inked tattoo artist she remembers from her last time there. Hoping to lose her inhabitations in some down and dirty sex, Leah quickly realises that though she’s determined to switch off for a few days, her heart won’t let her ignore it anymore and Leah’s going to have some tough choices to make…

A quick, easy and highly sexy novella that sets the stage for Leah and Ryan's story in the next novel, Undeniable Temptation, Reckless Rendezvous is one saucy read! I definitely recommend reading this novella. It's fun and flirty and easy to devour.

This tale is in no way a romance--it's about blinding passion, desire and lust. It's about getting to know a little about the inner workings of Leah's mind and discovering what makes her tick. With some hot as can be sex, seductive guys and a sizzling weekend away.

Eden Summers also introduces her readers to a few new enticing characters in this novella, none more so than Logan: the scorching tattoo artist who will have you got and heady and hoping he gets his own tale somewhere down the track. Hopefully with Emma!

Sexy from beginning to end, Reckless Rendezvous is perfect to read in the lead up to the final Reckless Beat novel, Undeniable Temptation and leaves me beyond eager to see Leah and Ryan get their well deserved happily ever after.


Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by the author (Thank you so much Eden!)
Publisher: Independently published
Format: Kindle ebook

Release Date: November 16th 2015
Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts:
This series is one I absolutely love and highly recommend, especially if you enjoy stuff by people like Kylie Scott!

 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Books by the Bridge 2017 Recap & Giveaway


This Saturday past, I had the pleasure of attend the Books by the Bridge author event hosted by Kat. T. Masen. Located in Luna Park Sydney, Books by the Bridge was a phenomenal day! I had so much fun, met amazing authors, had a fabulous lunch and of course got my books signed, while obtaining more :)

As always, I was joined by my amazing mother who helped me lug a suitcase full of books into the city so I could get my books signed and of course pick up the ones I'd preordered throughout the year.

Located inside the Crystal Palace of Luna Park, the set out was fantastic and of course the whole event was bustling all day long with raffles, giveaways and plenty of book shopping to do :)

I fan-girled something fierce over Alice Clayton who was just super nice and sooooo funny and down to earth. Totally get why her writing comes across so witty and funny--just like the rocking woman herself

With Carmen Jenner, Eden Summers, J.L. Perry, Jay Mclean, Jaymin Eve, Kat T. Masen, Kelly St Clare, Kia Karrington-Russell, KM Golland, Emma James, Nina Levine & Selina Fenech.  
I met so many amazing authors, some of which I'm met multiple times before and love *cough* Carmen Jenner *cough* and some I hadn't but whose books I love something fierce! Was so amazing to see these ladies-they all rock so much!

These are the books I took with me to get signed. All my Alice Clayton books, and a few for future giveaways (Hint....check out the bottom of my post!) as well as my KM Golland books, and Jax by J.L. Perry.

Oh, and I may have had a few to pick up/buy....but just a few ;) Sooooo much bookish goodness!

Some of the pre-orders were just so beautiful, especially Selena Fenech's whose came with beautiful handcrafted jewelry, a satin bag, notebook and beautiful calendar and Jaymin Eve's which came with rocking tote bag and t-shirt.....mind you, I did buy a lot of books from Jaymin LOL
 
And swag! So managed to amass so much swag!
 
Oh, and so many authors had these delicious bookie cookie's to give away. They're cookies, but with pretty book covers and designs on the icing. They're almost too pretty to each, but boy did they taste good. Everyone seemed to have different flavors; chocolate, vanilla, caramel, red velvet, strawberry. Yum! They were so good! 
 
So basically, I had an AWESOME DAY and to celebrate I'm going to be giving away some goodies.
 
Here's what I'm giving away:
Prize 1: A SIGNED copy of Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton and swag pack (INTERNATIONAL)
Prize 2: Swag pack and canvas bag from Books by the Bridge (INTERNATIONAL)
Prize 3: 5x Picture pack with 7 pictures signed by attending authors (Australian only)
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Kat T. Masen for organizing this event and for all the people who volunteered and helped make the day such a success. As a reader and a book lover, events like this are so incredible to attend and allow us to focus on the one thing we all have in common....our love of books and reading!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Shelf: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Windwitch is the second novel in The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard and is a forward moving and fast paced follow up to its predecessor that draws readers once more into an exhilarating and dangerous world of magic and danger!

After the events of the first book, Safi and Iseult find themselves separated by land and sea with Safi held prisoner by the Marstok Empress and Iseult racing against time to find her Threadsister all the while finding herself haunted in dreams by the mysterious Puppeteer. Facing with limited options, Iseult finds herself forming an uneasy alliance with the Bloodwitch Aeduan; Aeduan will track Safi in exchange for the money Iseult has stolen from him but as Iseult and Aeduan work together to cross the Witchlands, there are dangers looming across the Witchlands no one expected…..Prince Merik is a dead man, or at least that’s what everyone believes. When an explosion left him burned, scared and gravely injured, Merik found himself embracing the anonymity being “dead” allows him to have. Wanting to prove his sisters treachery, Merik sets out with a close companion to prove her deceit, but when it becomes clear something more sister is going on in Nubreva will Merik be able to find the power to fight for his people, or will he be lost to his own misery and anger?

After the thrilling ending of Truthwitch, I jumped straight into Windwitch to once more become lost in the world Susan Dennard has created. I have to admit I was a bit perplexed by the beginning of Windwitch; mainly due to the changes in Merik and the shocking events that occurred to him in the week between when the last book concluded and when Windwitch began. It was almost like reading about a totally different character at times—so very different from the Merik I had met in Truthwitch, although if I’m being honest, I can see the reasoning behind it.

As Windwitch allows readers to discover more of Merik as the title character, and Susan Dennard to develop the storyline, Windwitch also allows readers to get to know some of the other characters a great deal more too including Aeduan and Merik’s powerful sister Viva, who is a surprise in many ways.

A rich and poignant fantasy story, I’m very much enjoying how this series is developing. I’m a romantic at heart, so I’m hopeful for a happy ending for Merik and Safi down the track and look forward to seeing something powerful develop between Iseult and Aeduan; the first hints of a budding romance between them are already there. But I’m also very intrigued by the other aspects of the story; the mysterious and powerful Puppeteer, this dangerous shadow man Merik has been dealing with, Owl, the Hell-Bards, Caden and even the empress of Marstok, Vaness….lots of different aspects coming together to make me want more.

Though Windwitch seemed very different to Truthwitch, it opens a lot of possibilities to the series and I’m beyond excited for the third book to be released, Bloodwitch. I really do love Aeduan, so I can’t wait to see him in a starring role and continuing to explore this world that Susan Dennard has so wonderfully crafted.

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you Kirsty!)

Publisher: Tor Uk via Pan Macmillan Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
$16.99
Release Date: January 10th 2017
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed this second installment and really can't wait for the third book, especially if it's going to feature Aeduan!


 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Blitz: Chameleon by Zoe Kalo- Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to the Book Blitz for Chameleon by Zoe Kalo presented by Xpresso Book Tours! Today I have an excerpt and giveaway to share with you as part of the blitz. Enjoy :)
_______________________________

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…


17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…

Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?


Purchase:
From Chameleon.....

Madre Estela remained standing by the door. “Get a bucket and fill it with water.”
 
Her hypercritical eyes sliced through my self-worth as I grabbed one of the metal buckets, lifted it into the sink, and turned on the faucet. I watched, transfixed, as the water gushed like a torrent spurting from an open artery. The cold spray raised goosebumps on my arms.

Madre Estela snapped her fingers. “Move.”

As I hauled the bucket to the door, some of the water slushed over the edge and splattered to the floor.

“Add the detergent,” she said stiffly, irritated by my clumsiness.

I chose a green bottle, twisted the cap, and poured. The acrid pine smell stung my nostrils.
 
“Get a sponge and a brush from there. Get going. We don't have all evening—unless you want to work in the dark.”

I gritted my teeth, but pretended not to be bothered. I suspected that the one thing that this nun couldn’t stand was indifference.
 
Outside, it was almost dusk. In spite of the intense screeching of the coquíes, the drum of the waterfall hit my ears. It was louder now than the last time I’d been here. How was that possible?

I felt a drop of rain. Great.

Madre Estela put one hand out, palm up. “My, my. What’s this?” She looked chagrined, and I suddenly realized why. If it rained, I would have to go inside, ruining her plans. “What are you standing there for? Start scrubbing.”

I was tempted to throw the bucket of greenish water at her face. Instead, I prayed for rain as I walked across the rose garden. Once at the gate, I glanced back at her.

“You’ll work until I come for you, understood?” she said, hands on hips in her usual stance. She pointed to one of the second-floor windows. “I’ll be watching from there.”

And that was it. She was gone.

For a moment I just stood there. If only my friends could see me now. They would never believe it.

I opened the gate and walked into the graveyard. The statue of Gabriel greeted me, its face fiercer in the dusk. The temperature must have been in the low seventies. I was glad I had my cardigan.

Suddenly, the garden lamp post lit up. I turned, startled. I wasn’t sure if it had automatically switched on or if someone, maybe Madre Estela, had done it from indoors. I glanced up at the second-floor window, expecting to find her face. I had the chilling sensation of being watched. There was nothing. The windows glowed with yellow light, a multitude of feral eyes keeping guard.

However, behind one of the ground-floor windows on the right, a figure appeared. Tall, blurred. Madre Superiora? I was sure that was her office. Yet, something about the shape of the head and the shoulders made me think of…Rubia. What was she doing in Madre Superiora’s office?

Just as abruptly as it’d appeared, the figure vanished from view.

The incident left me strangely unsettled.

Focus.

I splashed some of the water on one of the tombstones and got to work. The sound of hard bristles against stone blocked the hum of the waterfall. Almost.

Go away, damn it.
 
As I crouched to work on a second tombstone, doing my best not to get wet in the process, something shifted at the edge of my vision. I jumped to my feet, my heart thudding. Gabriel. Its wings had rippled with movement.

Dear God…what’s happening to me?

I rubbed my forehead and grimaced, my fingers shaking.
 
I felt another drop of rain. If it was going to rain, why didn’t it? The sky was playing with me, too. Mocking me.

I cursed the clouds and started scrubbing again.

I had another sensation of being watched and this time, yes, it was Madre Estela behind the window. I pretended I hadn't seen her and tried to keep focused on the task at hand. The water had turned blackish with grime.

I don’t know how long I scrubbed. I lost track of time. But it was dark. My back and shoulders were sore and my hands stung from the harsh detergent.

Madre Estela was long gone from the window.

Half panting, I sat down on the edge of the tombstone and tossed the brush aside in disgust. I looked at the statue again, but it was motionless. I turned to the windows again, my eyes slowly moving from one to the other.

From one to the other.

Expecting to see the face. Wanting to see it.
 
Nothing.

Yet, that weird sensation of being watched, again.

My gaze shifted to the woods, to the exact place where the cemetery ended and the forest started. There was a path there. Narrow, obscured by the trees. For a long moment I sat, mesmerized. Then I stood up and began to approach it. The breeze picked up as I got closer, carrying with it the cool, slightly pungent smell of the waterfall.

I stopped at the very edge, the darkness enveloping me, the dampness seeping through my clothes.
 
The wind sighed, rustling the leaves and fluttering my hair.

Icy breath, on the back of my neck.
 
I’m in here… a voice whispered from the shadows.

I spun around in terror.

Then I hit something hard.

A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery. She lives amongst cats and books in Belgium, and is the author of the Cult of the Cat young adult fantasy series and the Retribution novella series for adults.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.ZoeKalo.com and get her exclusive short story “Irkalla.”

Visit Zoe:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Book Shelf: The Boxer and the Butterfly by Sasha Hibbs

Autumn Chamberlain has everything: a rich family, connections and a perfect GPA. Autumn’s satisfied being the perfect daughter until she engages in a game of dare and loses.

Her punishment for destroying school property? Tell her parents and face the consequences or tutor bad boy, Mickey Costello. The problem? He’s the principal’s nephew and has more demons than Autumn could’ve ever imagined.

Living life on the edge, Mickey’s everything she isn’t. Once tutoring begins, he shows her a world where everything that glitters isn’t gold. As their attraction grows, long buried secrets resurface. Inside the ring Mickey’s never lost a fight, but when tragedies come back to haunt him, he’ll have to conquer past sins, guilt and a hate crime that pushes them both to the edge. Can Mickey fight his way through his troubled past to have a future with Autumn or will the truth shatter them both forever?


More info on Goodreads.....



Review:

The Boxer and the Butterfly is Sasha Hibb’s latest release and is a highly engaging and highly entertaining tale of forbidden romance and the power of love.

Autumn Chamberlain has always been the perfect daughter; she’s gotten good grades, done what her parents expected of her and kept up the appearances that come with being part of a wealthy family. Then Autumn participates in an act of vandalism against her school and the Principal’s punishment for the graffiti is to have Autumn tutor bad-boy Mickey Costello. Mickey is known for cutting class, his living on the edge attitude and his hatred of his teachers, but as she tries to persuade Mickey to accept her tutoring, Autumn can’t deny the growing attraction she feels towards Mickey. With both teens from opposite sides of the track, will Autumn and Mickey be able to stay together or will Autumn’s determined parents keep them apart? And when long kept secrets come to light, will Mickey and Autumn’s love be strong enough to last?

As someone who really enjoyed Sasha Hibb’s paranormal infused Vulcan Legacies, it was really refreshing to see her tackle contemporary romance and tackle it well. Perfect for those who have love Katie McGarry, The Boxer and the Butterfly was an emotion filled romance that will sweep you up into a tale of forbidden love, attraction and teen angst.

I’m always a sucker for the good girl/bad boy tale from different social standings in society. Rich versus poor will be something we all encounter and witness throughout our lives so it isn’t anything new, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to read about. The Boxer and the Butterfly was a fun contemporary read that hit all the boxes.

When The Boxer and the Butterfly begins, our heroine Autumn is somewhat naive and content with her lot in life—happy to be the perfect daughter. She doesn’t overthink things or consider the bigger picture until she meets Mickey and begins spending time with him. Being a part of Mickey’s world sees Autumn step out of her shell and discover how difficult life can be for those who don’t come from money. I liked the growth in Autumn Sasha Hibbs explores—she becomes a much stronger and grounded individual.

I thought the romance between Mickey and Autumn was sweet, although there’s no denying how strongly they felt about one another. They were all in regardless of their parents’ wishes and I commend Sasha Hibbs for giving them a reality check towards the end of the novel and forcing them to reassess themselves and what they both wanted in life—it felt more authentic and real this way.

Romantic and entertaining The Boxer and the Butterfly is an enjoyable contemporary romance by Sasha Hibbs well worth a read if you love your YA contemporary tales!
 

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Format: Kindle ebook

Release Date: October 21st 2016
Purchase:
The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts:
Sasha Hibbs does it again with another great read. Can't wait to see what she releases next!