Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Review: Forbidden Promises

Forbidden Promises Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forbidden Promises is the fourth book in Katee Robert’s O’Malley series, although it works perfectly fine as a standalone novel. I read it as a standalone novel, and now have the intense desire to go and read the rest of the series. Part of this is to fill in a few of the knowledge blanks I have (although it’s nothing so major as to ruin the individual story, it was little things that seem to play in with the overall storyline of the series), but mostly this desire exists because I want to know more about the world I entered. I came to enjoy our main characters so much, and the side characters left me more than interested to see how their stories played out.

From the start, Forbidden Promises pulled me in. I was addicted from the get-go, unable to put the book down for any period of time. In fact, a few snippy comments were sent my way when people at work noticed my head buried in the book. It really does grip you hard, leaving you curious as to how things will play out. The action and the romance addictive in equal measures, both pulling you deeper and deeper into the world. Usually I can point my finger and say whether I enjoyed the action or the romance more, yet such is not possible with this one. Both had me hooked for very different reasons, both were amazing.

Although the story mainly follows our leading couple, there are undertones of a much deeper story. This is the overall storyline I referred to earlier, and these were the only parts I found hard to get into. The more I read, the more I enjoyed these elements, yet they didn’t make as much sense as they would have if I’d read the prior book. Thus, whilst I say it’s possible to enjoy this as a standalone novel, I would suggest reading the series in order. Moreover, if like me you read this and then plan to go back and read the prior books, reading Forbidden Promises will result in some pretty big spoilers for the rest of the series.

Focusing solely upon the leading characters, without focusing upon the elements of the story relevant to the overall series arc, I can honestly say I adored them. I fell in love with both of the characters, and watching them develop throughout the book was wonderful. Although I wasn’t overjoyed about everything that played out – some things felt a bit too predictable for my liking – the majority of their story left me with a stupid grin on my face. It really is a book filled with emotions, taking you on a wild journey. You’re never quite sure what emotion you will experience next, and everything you’re made to experience will leave you loving the story even more. Whether it’s happiness at the romantic scenes or worry during the action scenes, this story is constantly pulling some kind of emotion from you.

Without a doubt, my introduction to Katee Robert has left me wanting more. I’m positive any fan of the series will love this story.

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Release Day Blitz: Forbidden Promises.

Welcome to the release day blitz for Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert! Today is the publication day, so you can get this book now. Enjoy!

About the Book:

Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert
Book Four of the O'Malleys series
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

All Sloan O’Malley ever wanted was a simple life—and now she’s finally got it. She’s left everything behind in Boston—her family, her money, even her name—and set herself up in a tiny seaside town in Oregon. What she doesn’t plan for? Her mysterious and painfully attractive neighbor, Jude.

Jude MacNamara has been many things in his life—pampered son of a prestigious family, only surviving heir to a lost legacy, hit man—but now he’s out for revenge on the man responsible for the death of his father and brothers—Colm Sheridan. He’s tracking Colm’s sister when he encounters Sloan living with her in her beach house. He’s a patient hunter and he’s willing to sit back and wait for his prey...he just doesn’t expect for this woman to give rise to emotions he hasn’t felt in years.

He doesn’t want to see Sloan hurt, but in order to protect her, he will have to turn his back on the one thing he’s spent his life pursuing—revenge. Even then, there’s no guarantee either one of them will make it out alive.

Check out the previous books:

Praise for The O’Malleys Series:

"It can be hard to make a ruthless assassin into a sympathetic character, but Robert handles the task with ease. She also deftly shows Sloan’s transformation from a pampered and protected naïf to a strong woman with a backbone of pure steel. A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down."—Publishers Weekly on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

“You will finish it in one sitting and die after you’re done because the next book isn't out yet. This was one sexy ride!”—Reviewer Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

“Two story lines end up converging into one explosive finale at the end.  A great read from the talented Robert!” —RT Book Reviews

“Katee Robert's has created a fictional underworld of such veracity, that one almost expects the characters to turn up on the front-page news. It never feels over the top or implausible; the author writes extremely well-crafted stories… The romance between Cillian and Olivia is very beautiful, tender and real.”—Fresh Fiction on AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

“Will keep you turning pages.”—RT Book Reviews on THE WEDDING PACT

“If you like angsty reads, this book is right up your wheelhouse.”—Heroes & Heartbreakers on THE WEDDING PACT

"Dark, dirty, and dead sexy."—Tiffany Reisz, bestselling author of The Original Sinners series, on THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension."  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

The Excerpt:

“I won’t hurt you, Sloan. I promise.”

There was no logical reason for her to trust him, but he’d been careful with her up to this point. Perhaps he’d be careful with her with what came next. She nodded mutely, watching as he rolled on a condom that he’d retrieved from his pocket. Her body hummed in anticipation and trepidation, but she didn’t let it show as he moved back to join her on the bed.

Jude palmed her between her legs, his big fingers exploring her. It didn’t seem possible that he could spark pleasure with a few specific touches, but it didn’t take much to have her relaxing, letting him once again take the lead. He kissed her neck. “Feels good, huh?”

“Well, I—oh.” Her eyes went wide when he pushed a second finger into her. It stretched her, the feeling not entirely pleasant at first, but he merely waited, pulsing the slightest bit, until pleasure took hold once more. She clutched his shoulders. “Kiss me again. Please.”

“You don’t have to ask twice.” He took her mouth like he owned it—like he owned every part of her. Jude slid between her legs, his body rubbing deliciously against hers. His hard length slid through her wetness, creating a friction that sparked a tide of desire deep inside her. Again? I couldn’t possibly…

He nipped her bottom lip and then soothed the slight ache with his tongue. “Ready?”

There was no mistaking his meaning. She nodded. Despite the earlier orgasm and how good it felt to have him moving against her, she was so incredibly empty. Instinct had her hooking a leg around his hips and arching up to meet him, needing more, so much more.

Jude reached between them, and then he was at her entrance. He kissed her, tongue twining with hers as he pushed into her, just a single inch. It was too much and not enough and she couldn’t help but thrash, pinned in place by his big body, overwhelmed by her helplessness and what he was doing to her. “Jude, I—”

“Shh. I’ve got you.” He rolled, taking her with him. One second she was on her back, finding it hard to breathe, and the next she was straddling him where he sat with his back against the headboard.

Sloan looked down, daunted by the sheer size of him. “I don’t know if this is going to work. You’re too big.”

He laughed, deep and full-throated, the sound rolling through her like the tide. “You can take every inch of me, sunshine. I promise you that.”

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

The Giveaway:

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Blog Tour: Behind The Wall.


AP new - synopsis.jpg

The place where dreams fade and hope dies.
That’s what it’s meant for the five years that Garrett has been behind bars. But now hope is on the horizon and he’s daring to dream again: small dreams, small hopes.
Getting his GED would be a start. If only his prison-appointed teacher Miss Ella Newsome wasn’t so damn sexy.
As Garrett and Ella start to play a dangerous game, the price could be higher than either of them have guessed.

This story first appeared in the anthology HOT FOR TEACHER in 2016. It has since been extended with new scenes, more heartache and even more heat.

An alarm blaring jerked us apart, and Garrett peered through the window in the classroom door.
When he turned to look at me again, there was a new tension in his jaw.
“They’re going to riot,” he said sharply. “We have to get out of here. Do you trust me?”
Trust. Such a small word with such a big meaning. Could I trust a convicted felon? Could I? Dare I trust a man whose simple words stole my heart from the very first moment he’d shown me his true self? Foolish, foolish heart.
“Get ready to run, Ella.”
I took a deep breath, and then we were racing along the brightly lit corridor, the alarm even louder, almost drowning out the pounding of our footsteps.
Garrett dragged me along with him, urging me to go faster. I felt his own panic as he tried door after door, but all were locked. The sound of rioting seemed to follow us, and I thought I could smell smoke.
Then we ran out of corridor, and Garrett swore loudly, his eyes darting wildly. He dropped my hand and kicked at the nearest door, smashing it repeatedly until I was sure either the door or his leg would shatter.
Finally, as sweat poured down Garrett’s face, the door’s weak lock screeched and broke, and he fell into a large storage closet.
“In here!” he hissed, his face contorting with pain as his hand reached out to mine.
I followed him without thinking, needing him near to feel safe.
I’d imagined that hard body so many times, imagined the layer of solid muscle and silky skin that overlaid a tall, lean bone structure. My impatient fingers pushed under his prison uniform, discovering a trail of coarse hair that led from his chest to the waistband of his pants.
My impulsive fingers drifted lower, and I felt the groan in his chest as I closed my hand around his hot, heated shaft.
“Ellaaaa!” he moaned my name with reverence, a plea.

This story first appeared in the anthology HOT FOR TEACHER in 2016. It has since been extended with new scenes, more heart ache and even more heat.

AP  new -about the author.jpg

Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. ( )

Author Links


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Review: Shadows

Shadows Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Lux series was an addictive read, yet I wasn’t crazy about it. I enjoyed it, yes, but I never reached the level of obsession that most people reached. I blame this on my dislike of the main characters. I never really managed to connect with them, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy their romance, and as a whole they were just a means to telling the story I was addicted to.

The side characters, however, I did enjoy.

Thus, you can imagine how excited I was to give Shadows a read. It was included in my copy of Opposition, and as soon as I was done with the main series I jumped into the novella. After all, I came to really enjoy the characters involved in this novella and was happy to read more of them. In fact, if the truth is to be known, I enjoyed them more than the leads in the overall series.

Having read Shadows, I have one wish – I wish there was more to this story. I feel as though I would have enjoyed the Lux series so much more had we followed this couple. To me, their relationship was a lot more enjoyable than the leads of the main series. In this novella alone, I managed to connect and enjoy them a lot more than I ever did the characters in the main story.

This is short and sweet, it gives us the background we need, and it will leave you loving the couple so much. A part of me believes I enjoyed this novella more than I enjoyed any of the novels in the series – such was my enjoyment of the story.

If you’re a fan of the Lux series, you really do need to give Shadows a read. It is more than worth it, I assure you.

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Review: Opposition

Opposition Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Opposition is the final book in the Lux series, and I’m sure many will really enjoy it. Although I found it to be a fun end to the series, I really had expected a little bit more from it. I came to enjoy the series more than I’d initially believed, and was really hoping for the series to end with a real bang.

Opposition reminded me of Opal in quite a few ways, in terms of my enjoyment. There was a lot of action, many things played out, and twists were thrown in. It had the high level of addiction that the rest of the series had, and I found myself constantly curious to see what happened next.

I’ll admit that it wasn’t all plot twists and shock moments. In fact, there were quite a few things I saw coming well in advance. Certain things were overly obvious, with most of these things causing me to roll my eyes. However, there were a number of great moments that I did enjoy. In all honesty, there were a decent number of moments that lived up to my expectations. It’s simply that they were split up by weaker predictable moments, moments that broke up all the action and tension we were experiencing.

Nevertheless, the book does bring things together well. We’ve been building towards an epic ending, and the book makes many attempts to deliver. Things from prior books come back to haunt us in this one, our views on characters will change, and we’ll be pulled all over the place before we reach the end. Although it wasn’t the best ending I have ever read, it does bring things together nicely. It was a decent enough end to the overall series.

However, I’m doubtful as to whether I will read more of the author’s work. Shadows, yes – because I actually am interested in the characters in the novella. The other short stories in this series, no – I feel as though I’m done with the characters, and as I’m not as obsessed as most readers are I feel as though I would do better to spend my time reading other books. If I find some more of the author’s work going cheap, I may buy it, yet she is nowhere near the top of my instant buy list.

Nonetheless, I’m glad I gave the series a read. It kept me entertained for about a week, and that was all I could have asked for.

View all my reviews

Review: Origin

Origin Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My feelings towards Origin are quite complicated. Some parts of the book I really enjoyed, other parts of the book I really hated. As with the first book in the series, this is a three-point-five star read rounded up to four stars. In comparison to the first book, I enjoyed it more; however, when I compare it to books two and three, this one was a bit of a disappointment.

I’ll start with the good.

There really were some great moments in this one. Book three left us on the edge of our seats, and we’re instantly thrown into the world for answers. The events that play out in reaction to the ending of book three make for great reading. In particular, we get to find out even more about this world. In fact, many new possibilities are opened up. We have lots of questions, yes, but things slowly come to light.

Honestly, I really have enjoyed the way the world has slowly developed since the first book. The details have grown stronger, new things are constantly introduced. The things introduced in this book were probably my favourite detail, but that’s just me.

Now with the things I enjoyed a lot less.

As you would expect from my reviews of the prior books, it is the romance. It is more than just my dislike of the couple, however. For me, this story was broken up far too often by the characters being unable to control their lust. It gets boring extremely fast. I get it – young love, emotions running high because of the events, and all the other clichés that influence their need to constantly grab each other – but I really could have done without. I wanted the details of what was happening outside of their bedroom eyes, I did not want the focus to be upon the romance. It just felt like far too much.

I really am trying to deal with the romance – I’m accepting it as part of the overall story, and I try not to let it influence my enjoyment of the books too much – yet I couldn’t help it with this one. It really was far too much for me. I enjoy romance, but it wasn’t needed to such a degree with this story.

Overall, I liked where this one promises to take us, but I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I had wanted to.

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Review: Opal

Opal Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Opal, the third book in the Lux series, was another solid four-star rating. Now that we have an idea of where the series is heading, things really are coming together so well. The tentatively I’d been feeling from book was completely eradicated by the time I reached the end of this book.

Honestly, so much comes out in this book. We get to meet new people, we get more facts, and things really do push the series forward. If I were to pick which of the first three books was my favourite, I would pick this one. Opal really does push us deeper into the series, opening us up to so many things. With all that happens, we not only find out more about the world but our opinions of characters also starts to change. Things that play out have us questioning what is to come, who can be trusted, leaving us wanting so much more.

As with the prior books, however, I’m still not invested in the romance. All the lovey stuff that happened in this one left me rolling my eyes in annoyance, if I’m honest. With everything that is going on, the last thing I care about is the romance between the two. It felt awkward and forced to me, completely unnecessary. I understand the occasionally snuggle – hell, I get the science behind the arousal the events would lead to – but it really did feel as though it was start to demand more attention than it deserved. This is, of course, influenced by my dislike of the romantic element of this story – even if I did enjoyed it, though, I fear I would have felt as though it was too much.

The main thing, though, is that ending. It’s the kind of ending which forces you to dive straight into the next book. You cannot ignore what happened, you cannot take a break and pick up another series – you need to know what comes next.

A wonderful ending to leave you jumping into book four.

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Review: Onyx

Onyx Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Onyx, the second book in the Lux series, was a much better read than the first, in my opinion. The first book was extremely addictive, yet I wasn’t overly crazy. I decided to round my rating up to four stars, but a large part of me believes such a thing was a mistake. With Onyx, however, the four star rating I gave was much more solid.

A lot more happened in this book, there was a lot more action, and I came to enjoy the world building much more. Mainly, I enjoyed how our knowledge base developed. We went from the Twilight fan fiction I feared the series would be and developed into an interesting sci-fi read. Honestly, the way the details developed in this book were my favourite part – it really was so much more than I’d initially anticipated it to be.

However, I cannot bring myself to enjoy the romance in this story. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I do not like our male lead. I really do wish to strangle him. Everyone swoons over him, but I want nothing more than to punch him in the face. All the ‘woe is me’ that occurred throughout this book worked to further my dislike of the romance in this story. I can deal with it – mostly because I’m now invested in the overall storyline – yet I doubt I will ever enjoy it. It will always be the thing to disappoint me about the books – I know if I was enjoying the romance I would enjoy the series even more. For those invested in the romantic storyline, however, I’m sure they will enjoy the clichés that play out throughout this book.

Overall, I enjoyed this one quite a bit more because the world opened up a decent amount. We have a much better idea of where the story is heading, leaving me interested in how things will play out.

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Review: Obsidian

Obsidian Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Lux series is one of those overly popular series that sat on my to-read list for a very long time. I was interested in reading the books, yet I wasn’t overly crazy about them. It was interest, not obsession. However, when I managed to find some of the books going cheap in a second-hand bookstore, I decided to take the plunge. It was better to sate my curiosity instead of leaving it to develop to crazy proportions.

Whilst I did enjoy Obsidian, the first book in the series, I wasn’t crazy about it. I gave it a four star rating at the time of reading, yet retrospect has me wishing to give it three stars. In my opinion, it was the weakest book in the series. I was addicted throughout – hence why I rounded up to four stars when having an internal debate regarding whether I was to round the three-point-five star read up or down – but the book wasn’t at all what I had been anticipating.

Would you like to know my main thought throughout reading? My main thought was that this book was an alien Twilight. So many things screamed Twilight at me, for both the characters and the events. I really cannot be the only one to have noticed this. I know that Twilight was extremely influential, yet it felt like too much with this book. It almost felt like an alien fan fiction at times. It really wasn’t the amazing unique read everyone had me anticipating.

You see, a large part of why I finally decided to read this book is due to another series. The Saven series, by Siobhan Davis, is a thing of beauty. It’s a wonderful sci-fi read. I experienced so many emotions throughout, I came to love so much about the story. As it was dubbed ‘the next Lux’, I had such high expectations for this one. After reading this book, even after reading the entire Lux series, I can honestly say I favour the Saven series.

Yes, this was a fun read – however, it was nowhere near the mind blowing read I had been promised.

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Blog Tour: Dating-ish.


Dating-ish, an all new standalone from the USA Today bestselling Knitting in the City romantic comedy series by Penny Reid is available now!

20170306 Dating ish 01 (2)
'Dating-ish' can be read as a standalone, is a full length 100k word novel, and is book #6 in the Knitting in the City Series.
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She's fed up with online dating, 2) She's so fed up, she's willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.
After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he's not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different--and crazier--solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?


He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy. I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin. “Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy. “Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly. Oh no. I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache. My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy. Nope. Not even a little. Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?” I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up. “No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing. Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way? “Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?” I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger. But then he stopped. “I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed. I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.” “The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest. “My neck in general, actually.” “Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?” I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.” “Why not?” “Matt.” “What if I needed it for research reasons?” “Matt.” “What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.” “Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt. He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.” Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar. And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail. Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend. “Thanks.” I gave him a small smile. “For what?” His eyes moved between mine. “For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.” “Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Connect with Penny:

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Teaser Tuesday: A Fighting Chance.

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Monday, 29 May 2017

Review: Shifting Darkness

Shifting Darkness Shifting Darkness by Kate Wendley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shifting Darkness, the fourth book in the Forest of Darkness series, is easily my favourite book in the series to date. Each books gets a little bit stronger, bringing something more to the table, with this one threatening to blow me away with all that happens.

As a standalone novel, which you can read it as, Shifting Darkness is a wonderful read. There are so many wonderful elements to the story, so many things that will pull you in. When you read it in relation to the rest of the series, this book shines even brighter. Each book has been a thoroughly addictive read, yet this one reached all new heights. Everything I loved about the first three books seemed to be amplified in this book, leaving my emotions raw and bloody by the time I’d finished reading. If you wish for a standalone novel and you’re looking at this series, then Shifting Darkness would be the book I’d point you towards – however, I strongly advise you read the entire series. It will blow your mind in the best way possible, leaving you with the kind of obsession that is borderline unstable.

Mastering Darkness, book one, gave us a vampire story. Abandoned Darkness, book two, gave us a shifter story. Resisting Darkness, book three, gave us our second vampire story. Shifting Darkness, book four, has taken us back to the shifter world. I’m hoping this is an indication of how the series will continue throughout – vampire then shifter story – as I’m really enjoying the way this helps bring the entire world together. Throughout each book the main story arc of the series does appear, meaning we’re not focusing solely upon the couple of the book, but for the most part this story focuses on our shifter storyline. I thought the shifter storyline of Abandoned Darkness was amazing, but it really does pale in comparison to this one. The prior books have given us the stories of characters we already know – book two gave us Sebastian’s story and book three gave us Ethan’s story – yet in this one the two leading characters are new to us. Favourites from the prior books are around – and trust me when I say you’ll be screaming out for certain characters to have their stories told – but for the most part, we’re falling in love with two characters we have yet to be introduced to (but I am hoping they will play a large part in the future books).

As with every character we have been introduced to thus far, our leading characters in this one are wonderfully complex. I’ll admit to favouring our male lead over our female lead, but that’s only because of our male lead being the complicated individual in the story. He’s the one with the tortured past, he’s the one facing all kinds of issues, and he’s the one we’re all rooting for throughout the book. Honestly, I fell so in love with Vince and all his little problems. I wanted nothing more than to pull him into my arms and hug his troubles away. Not that his solution is that simple, as you’ll find out as you work your way through the book. His issues go much deeper than any simple remedy could hope to fix. Honestly, every time the book was focusing on another character I became all kinds of jittery – I just wanted to know what happened to Vince. I came to love him so much; I wanted nothing but the best for him. Without a doubt, he’s been my favourite of the male leads so far. Anthony left me wounded, Sebastian broke my heart, Ethan ripped me apart, and Vince… well, the damage done by Vince will never be repaired.

Of course, his story would be nothing had it done been done so well. It is such a deeply emotional read, one that grips you throughout. Every event that plays out forces a deep emotion from you, leaving you feeling exposed. I cannot say it enough – this is the best book in the series thus far. The way Vince’s story played out was wonderful, taking us on a wild journey throughout. Every time you think things are looking up, your heart is torn anew. I really do think this story was trying to damage me in irreparable way.

Whilst Vince’s story was the hardest hitting, the other elements of the overall story also move forward in deeply emotional ways. This book really does move the entire series forward in so many ways. With the events that play out around Vince, yet another new element of the supernatural world is opened up to us. Each of the books work to add something a little bit more, each teases us with where the series is going, and I honestly fear insanity as I await answers as to what comes next. There are so many things I need to know, there are so many events I cannot wait to find out more about, and I just know that each new story will be stronger as it teases me a little bit more.

Seriously, I’m so far gone with this series. It really is so high up on my obsession list at the moment. I’m sure people are tired of hearing me speak about it by this point – such is the level of love I’m throwing around right now. Not to mention my crazy desire to get my hand on the next book – it really cannot come soon enough. Waiting will be pure torture, as I cannot wait to find out what comes next.

Overall, this one is a very strong four-point-five star rating. There is no doubt that this series will be pulling a five star rating from me at some point, I can feel it in my bones.

The sooner everyone jumps on the Forest of Darkness bandwagon and experiences the emotional turmoil I’m suffering, the sooner the world will understand the wonder that is Kate Wendley.

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Review: Resisting Darkness

Resisting Darkness Resisting Darkness by Kate Wendley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Resisting Darkness, the third book in the Forest of Darkness series, is my favourite of the first three books. Each book seems to get a little stronger than the last, and the story that played out in this one hit me in the feels so hard.

Although each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel, I really do recommend you read the prior books in the series. This one hits us hard in following up on the shocking twist at the end of book one. Since finishing the last page of Mastering Darkness, I was begging for the story that was told in Resisting Darkness. Believe me when I say, this story will pack an even harder punch if you’ve read the other books in the series. The storyline that exists throughout the series is wonderful, and you will appreciate certain elements of this story even more if you’ve read the prior books. Of course, should you wish to read this as a standalone novel you’re welcome to – it will still be a beast of a story – but I’m of the firm belief that this series is one that can be enjoyed all the more if you read the books in order.

Resisting Darkness takes us back to the storyline that threatened to rip me apart at the end of book one. I positively adored Abandoned Darkness, the second book in the series, yet I couldn’t stop myself from begging for more about the Mastering Darkness ending. The synopsis of this one alone was enough to threaten combustion. Ethan’s story – hell yes, sign me up! I loved him and hated him so much in the first book, for very different reasons, yet no matter what end of the spectrum my feels were, I wanted more of him. Therefore, knowing Ethan’s story was to come left me extremely eager to devour this book.

At first, I was a little bit tentative. Was the story giving me what I had expected? Not quite. It was good, yes, but it wasn’t what I had been hoping it would be. Any Ethan story was liable to please me, though, so it wasn’t long until I was pulled into the story. Once I was pulled in, and once the events started to come together, this book wiggled deeper into my heart than the two prior books. The reason for this is that it took slightly longer for us to reach the big bang that the first book had promised us. I’d been hoping to be thrown straight into the story of revenge, yet things slowly build up throughout. This made the story even better, of course, but my initial impatience had me worried things wouldn’t play out in the dramatic way I’d been hoping for.

Fear not, fans of the series, because this one really does move us forward. The supernatural elements seem to be growing stronger with each book, with more and more coming to light, and this one contains the most explanation towards the supernatural world to date. Numerous new elements are introduced in this story, elements that leave you with so much anticipation of where things are going. You’ll have lots of questions, I cannot deny that, but the promise of things to come will leave you dying of anticipating regarding where the series will go in the future. Honestly, the development of the supernatural world in this one was wonderful. When I stop and think about it, there’s even more introduced than there appears on the surface, as there are so many subtle elements hidden when you stop and take in all that was introduced.

As ever, my little epiphany of the romance in this story feeling almost contemporary hit me. It was less obvious in this book, as we’re falling deeper into the supernatural world, but it was still there. This time we have the issue of moving forward, the issue of trauma, and the issue of accepting a new future, to name a few. It really wasn’t quite the story I had anticipated for Ethan, yet it worked wonderfully. It added so much depth to his character, and despite my initial trepidation I really did love what it did for his story arc. Not to mention, it plays in so well with the overall storyline of the series. This really is one of those series where the little elements play a much larger role for the bigger story than you’ll initially imagine when reading – it’s not until you’ve read a few of the stories, when you stop and bring things together, that you realise how beautifully interwoven the series is.

Honestly, without a doubt, Resisting Darkness is my favourite of the first three books. It really wasn’t the story I had anticipated, yet it was all I could have hoped for it to be. It gave us so much, and the promises made for the rest of the series have left me so amped up.

Obsession, meet new heights.

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Review: Abandoned Darkness

Abandoned Darkness Abandoned Darkness by Kate Wendley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Abandoned Darkness is the second book in the Forest of Darkness series, and I loved it even more than I loved the first. That’s saying something, because the first one hit me much harder than I’d anticipated. Nevertheless, such a thing worked to highlight a simple fact: this is promising to be one hell of a series, and I’m a serious goner when it comes to my addiction.

Although Abandoned Darkness is the second book in the series, each book tells the story of a different couple. There’s an underlying story throughout, we’re working towards some very big events, but it is not necessary to read the books in order. I’d certainly recommend doing so, but should you be wishing for standalone paranormal romance stories, these will work individually. Keep in mind the underlying story, though, as such a factor means each book will leave you wish some questions about the bigger picture. It’s entirely up to you how you read these story, but I really do recommend working through the series in order.

Mastering Darkness, the first book in the series, introduced us to the supernatural world as a whole. The main focus of the first book, however, was on the vampires. Although I understood the shifter world, I was interested in finding out more about it. Thus, you can imagine my joy when I found out the second book was a shifter story. My heart did a happy dance at the notion of finding out more details about the shifter world, of understanding how the specifics play out. All shifter stories have simple rules that are followed, but finding out the specifics for each series is wonderful. As with the first book in the Forest of Darkness series, the development of the supernatural world in this one is wonderful. In fact, so much about this one is wonderful.

The end of Mastering Darkness had me expecting a huge explosion for this second book. Whilst my heart was doing a happy dance at the introduction to the shifter storyline, I was a bit disappointed that the big bang at the end of the first book wasn’t more prominent. Those hoping for answers, be aware that you need to wait a little bit longer. This book does not directly deal with the issue. Saying such a thing makes this one sound like a filler book, but I assure you such is not the case. It continues the overall story, it introduces us to many important aspects, and it builds up suspense as we await our answers. It’s annoying in some ways, yes, but it is necessary. The events in this book, things that are explained, are extremely important for the future books. Moreover, once you’re pulled into the storyline of this book, you’ll soon forget about those pesky questions the end of book one left us with – at least until they’re brought about again through events in this one.

As with the first book, Abandoned Darkness is filled with wonderful characters. Those from the first book continue to develop in this one, along with introducing us to a new cast of characters. As I’ve already mentioned, this book introduces us to the shifter world, so it should come as no surprise to realise we’re getting to know more about the shifters of the series. These characters are very different to those introduced to us in the first book, yet their stories are just as wonderful. As with the first book, they’re all wonderful characters. Truthfully, I loved the characters in this one even more than I loved those in the first book. Again, we have wonderful development alongside drama, but there was something more with this book, something that left me enjoying the story a bit more than I enjoyed the first. Both book one and two were brilliant stories, I cannot deny that, yet the second book hit me harder than the first.

The drama in this one is more intense. Again, we have a paranormal romance that almost feels contemporary in nature. The supernatural element is kicked up a notch in this book, yet we still deal with a variety of issues throughout that you would see in contemporary reads. Issues surrounding the development and decay of trust, the problems that arise from being ostracised, and the changes that can develop through acceptance, to name just a few of the elements. Honestly, the way in which the almost contemporary issues merge so well with the paranormal elements of the world is wonderful.

I cannot highlight enough how the supernatural world develops in this one. It wasn’t simply a case of finding out about the shifter world – the overall story moves forward as well. Elements are introduced that play in with details we’re given in the first book, and although we’re no closer to answers, we do have more knowledge about the world. This really is a book of development – not just the wonderful development of our leading characters (I could rant and rave about that all day, such was my love for the couple), but also for the overall series.

In short, this second book worked to secure my addiction to the series. It’s an even stronger book than the first, the occasional five star moments we see an indicator of the heights this series will reach.

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