Welcome to my stop on the Hush blog tour!!
As always, big thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to join in with the tour, I love doing review tours as it's a great way to discover new books and authors! This week's book is Hush by A.M. Salinger, which is book 8 of the authors' Nights series, although it can be read as a standalone.
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Nights Series #8 - (Can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Tom Sutherland is an arrogant prick. There, I said it. Okay, so he’s also my assistant and I couldn’t survive without him, but that doesn’t make him less of an irritating bastard — Lana
Lana Keele is a witch. A beautiful, frustrating witch placed on this earth to torment me. Yeah, she’s my boss, but she’s still the most maddening creature I’ve ever had the misfortune to cross paths with — Tom
When Lana Keele, president of Keele Industries and only surviving heir to business tycoon Oliver Keele, wakes up in her devil-of-an-assistant’s bed after a drunken night out, she fears the worst. That is, until prissy Mr. Perfect Tom Sutherland declares that she’s the last woman he’d ever want to sleep with.
After surviving four years in the company of the infuriating woman he’d lusted after since his teens, Tom has had just about enough of the unholy siren that is Lana, especially when she turns up inebriated on his doorstep one night and demands sex. Convinced that Lana will never return his affections, Tom decides that it’s high time to get over his unrequited love.
Except Lana doesn’t quite seem to agree with this plan. Not after she sees him with another woman. Not after she confronts him about it. And most definitely not after he succumbs to temptation and kisses her.
As they finally ignite the fire that has burned so long between them, Tom cannot help but be certain that for Lana, this is just about sex. Will he be satisfied with only having the body of the woman he loves and not possess her heart? Or will Lana convince Tom that she truly means to give him her everything?
Hush is the first book that I've read by this author and since I'm always looking to discover new romance authors I jumped at the chance to review it. The synopsis struck me as an enemies to lovers style trope (which I love) and I read the book in just a couple of hours.
It's also the first novella I've read in quite a while and I found myself flying through it.
As it's a novella, the story kicks off straight away with Lana waking up in her assistant's bed with a blazing hangover and no idea what happened the night before.
Tom and Lana's relationship quickly heats up, with the tension between them building rapidly. The chemistry between the two characters sizzles off the page and the love scenes are SUPER descriptive, if a little cringe-worthy at times, but that's just my opinion.
Some of the characters in this book are clearly from the other books in the series but I never really felt as though there was something I'd missed because the author gives a quick overview to introduce each character.
Although this book is categorised as a contemporary romance on Goodreads, I'd personally class it as erotic romance as it seems that the sex is at the forefront of the novella with the plot taking a bit of a backseat.
I did like that the secondary characters in the book were diverse in terms of their sexuality but I was massively confused by the fact that this book is supposed to be set in Shanghai but I think every single character is white. It would have been nice to have some cultural representation going on here, otherwise why choose Shanghai as a setting at all? Unless I'm missing something here....
The writing style was fun and fast-paced and after looking at the synopsis and reviews of some of the other books in this series, I'm definitely interested in finding out what more A.M. Salinger has to offer.
Overall, this was a fast paced, hot read with a simple, fairly drama-free plot and a guaranteed HEA.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card + 2 signed paperback copies of Hush (Open Internationally - giveaway hosted by Xpresso Book Tours).
Finally, you can click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
Blogging sometimes makes me feel like a bit of a grandma. A lot of the bloggers that I talk to or know of are a lot younger than me i.e. they're mid-teens to early-twenties and when they start dropping abbreviations like OTP and TSTL into their posts, I feel like I should be over here putting rollers in my hair before bed and soaking my dentures on the nightstand.
So, if like me, you sometimes find yourself confused by some of the book lingo used in the book community, fear not dearies because the Elder Millennial's Guide to Book Blogging Lingo is here to help you!
Terms used when reading/reviewing:
That's it! That's all of the terms I can think of or that I've struggled with myself.
If you come across any more terms or abbreviations that boggle your mind, drop me a comment below and I'll do my best to help, even if I do have to call on a young whippersnapper to help explain it to me first!!
Now it's time to soak my feet and catch up on my soaps. Goodnight dears...
Welcome back for another Romance Author Spotlight! Feel free to check out last month's spotlighted author and find out why I decided to start my monthly romance author spotlight posts.
Tara Sivec is one of my absolute favourite authors. She's written a staggering 31 books and a short story as part of an anthology collection.
Tara writes books in several different genres including; romantic comedy, rom-com/mystery, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, new adult drama, and YA thriller.
She both self-publishes and publishes traditionally, she's a USA Today Bestseller, and I've read all but 2 of her books.
I actually discovered Seduction and Snacks (book 1 of the Chocolate Lovers romantic comedy series) after I'd read Perfection by R.L. Mathewson, it was a 'readers who like this, also like...' recommendation on Amazon/Goodreads.
It's funny, I remember the exact moment I started to read the book back in September 2016. I'd chosen to read it whilst using my exercise bike and I burst into laughter from the very first page. I honestly think I burned more calories from all the laughing than I did from the workout.
Suffice it to say, I couldn't put the book down, I've since then re-read it at least once and have gone on to read almost all of Tara's other books.
It's hard to explain why I love Tara's books so much because it's everything really; her writing style, her stories, her characters, her outrageous humour - ALL OF IT!
After Seduction and Snacks, my next favourite book by Tara Sivec is Jed Had To Die. It's a hilarious mystery rom-com featuring three strong women, a very handsome sheriff, a lot of wine and a very suspect pie.
This book is my go-to for a laugh and I'm definitely in need of a re-read soon.
Here are some more of her books that I just have to mention:
Bury Me - This is Tara's only YA novel. It's a thriller that completely messed with my head. I absolutely loved the book but I was honestly terrified and on edge throughout the whole thing.
Below Deck - If you've seen the reality TV show with the same name, you'll love Below Deck. It's a contemporary romance with plenty of humour, set on a Mediterranean cruise, making it the perfect summer read.
The Story of Us series - This is a heart-breaking romantic drama series with beautiful, compelling characters and truly heart-wrenching stories.
Fisher's Light - Another contemporary romance drama, like with The Story of Us, this story features a strong military PTSD story line which makes the story even more powerful. If you're looking for a book that's almost guaranteed to make you cry, this is the one.
Playing With Fire series and Ignite series - These series are bad-ass! I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next and always fearing the worst. What I really love about these series and pretty much all of Tara's books, is that the heroines are strong, powerful women. These books are packed full of action, suspense and plenty of heat.
Naughty Princess Club series - Tara's latest series is a hilarious collection of fairytale re-tellings with a modern twist. Meet Cinderella, Belle and Ariel as you've never known them before.
The Simple Life - Her latest release is a sweet contemporary romance that's perfect for autumn. Set on a pumpkin farm and with a guaranteed feelgood HEA this is the book for you.
There are still a few books I haven't mentioned (only because there are so many) but you can find them all on Tara's Goodreads page.
I honestly believe there is something for everyone in Tara's books. Books to make you laugh uncontrollably, books to make you cry, books to make you question everything and books that will have you on the edge of your seat with bated breath.
Have you read any of Tara Sivec's books? I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Standalone/Series: Awkward Love #6 (Can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: Bought
I’m the girl who likes ‘the cock in the back hole.’
At least, that’s what the dating profile my so-called friends set up for me claims. I’m also into BDSM, Furries and ‘I’ll try anything twice.’
I have no idea the profile exists until the replies start rolling in. They range from funny, to downright creepy and everything in between. Just as I’m shutting down my email account for good, a new message pops up.
He’s funny and he's the only one to suspect the profile is a joke, so I think what the hell? I reply.
When he suggests that we meet, I say yes. When I walk into that bar, he's sitting at a table, facing the other way. He turns his head just enough for me to be able to make out his face…
It’s Cameron Hunter, one of the rudest, most arrogant assholes I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting. He's also the son of one of the state's most influential judges.
The same judge who's about to become my step-father...
OMG! This book was hilarious!
I started reading this at about 11:30pm and didn't put it down until 2am when I'd finished, it was THAT addictive!
I could not stop giggling, snorting and swooning throughout the whole of this book. It's my first Missy Johnson book and I will definitely be reading more by this hilarious author.
The characters in this book were ridiculous, immature and sassy but it worked really well. I loved the clashing personalities, the unexpected comebacks and the pranks.
The romance in this book is off the charts. It's very hot and heavy when it gets going. The pacing is fantastic, the writing is easy going and had me unable to put the book down once I'd started.
I can honestly say that I don't regret the lack of sleep because Darcy, Cameron, Mack and the whole gang were too good to miss!
If you're a fan of outrageous enemies-to-lovers rom-com's like The Hating Game and authors like Tara Sivec, you're going to love Payback's a Bitch!
P.S. This book is part of a series but I happily read it as a standalone without feeling as though I'd missed anything.
Rating: 4 STARS
Standalone/Series: Sorcery and Society #1
How I got this book: ARC from INscribe Digital via NetGalley
If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s.
Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor...
But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis and so, when the ARC came through via NetGalley I jumped straight in. This is my first book by Molly Harper, so I wasn't sure what to expect but I immediately fell in love with her writing style and was hooked straight away.
This book gave me such strong Charmed vibes!! The only way I can describe this book is sort of Charmed meets The Worst Witch, Harry Potter and Mean Girls! I love the mixture of themes and subplots that were woven into this story.
Admittedly, I did identify the villain quite early on and it almost felt like I was in the audience at a pantomime at times, just wanting to shout at Cassandra/Sarah, "They're behind you!" But, despite this, I didn't enjoy the story any less.
I actually also bought the Audiobook from Audible (so that I could listen whilst painting my nails - I have to do this at least once a year otherwise my girl card is really going to get taken away) and listened to parts of it in between reading the eARC. The narration by Amanda Ronconi was really great (despite the less than stellar English accent) and helped to skim over some of the editing inaccuracies (see below), I loved the voice she gave to Cassandra/Sarah.
Changeling has great pace, a fun magical plot and great characters. I particularly love the various relationship dynamics, especially Cassie and Own who I absolutely love together. Their sarcastic, playful, and teasing relationship drew most of my smiles and is definitely something I want more of from this series.
All of the characters are individual, with unique personalities and voices. They were great to discover, especially as new layers were revealed about most of the main characters as the book progresses
The only reason that this book has a slightly lower than 5-star rating is because of the editing of the eBook. I'd highly recommend that the editors give this book another once-over because of the spelling mistakes and a few occasions where a sentence or more is repeated.
However, that didn't prevent me from loving Changeling and I can't wait for book 2! I need to find out what happens next!
Changeling is a magical story filled with passionate, strong, and courageous women, true friendships, a dash of budding romance, bullies, magical surprises, adorable animal companions and a villainous plot!
It's almost Halloween! Autumn is safely upon us, leaves are changing colour and falling to the ground, the weather's getting cooler and my hot chocolate addiction is in full force!
This is, I think, my worst month of reading so far this year. I started 9 books (3 of which I'm still reading) and I've read 5. There are a few reasons that this number is a little lower than usual:
1.) Two of these books took me a really, really long time to read.
2.) I've been spending my evenings binge-watching iZombie, Vikings and The Dragon Prince so I'm happy to blame Netflix and Amazon for my current reading lull.
3.) Work has been a bit crazy lately (which is a good thing) but I'm a bit short on time and when I finish work, instead of reading, I'm pretty much passing out.
4.) I started one book that I read quite a bit of but sadly couldn't finish.
Here's a closer look at the books I read in September (just click on a title to head over to the full review):
DJ Dangerfield by Anyta Sunday - This was a really quick read which helped to lift my mood. It's a fun, m/m new adult novella with cute, believable characters.
The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick - This book was such an impulse buy, and not something that I'd normally gravitate towards. It had some tricky themes but overall, I loved the suspense and the mystery.
Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce - Since writing my review for this book, another reader let me know that this series is a prequel to another series by the same author, which features the main character of this book, and so that could be why I had some trouble with this book, and it may have been better to read that series first. I did enjoy the story once I got into it, I just had some problems with pacing.
The Novice by Taran Matharu - This book was my only audiobook this month and it took me FOREVER to get through. I enjoyed the story but had huge problems with the narrator which really spoiled the experience for me.
The Simple Life by Tara Sivec - Easily my favourite book of the month, The Simple Life was a sweet and funny romantic read that was perfect for autumn. It's another classic Tara Sivec romance novel that's perfect for picking up your mood and sweeping you off your feet.
I didn't buy any physical books this month, but I did get a few free eBooks via BookBub. I also bought the kindle version of Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan (I read this a few years back and remember loving it although I can't really remember the story and since I'm falling under the spell of Vikings, I thought it'd be fun to revisit this story). I also used my Audible credit this month to buy Mythos by Stephen Fry which I'm listening to before bed. I have nodded off a few times due to working late, but I am enjoying it so far, I love mythology and these stories are really easy to digest...even if the subject matter isn't!! #genitalarc 😱🤢
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
I hope you've enjoyed my September 2018 Roundup! I have some really exciting books that I'm looking forward to reading in October and I'm excited to share my reviews with you :)
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
How I got this book: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review
Brooklyn Manning thought her life was perfect in every way, until it crumbled down around her and turned into a dumpster fire. With her pride wounded and her tail tucked between her legs, she leaves New York and goes back to her tiny hometown of White Timber, Montana.
No more twenty-four-hour taco trucks, no more shopping at the best designer stores within walking distance, no more giving taxi drivers the finger when they angrily honk at her. She didn’t think it could get any worse. But then Clint Hastings walked into the room and insulted her.
Her arch nemesis from high school is no longer a nerdy computer whiz, masturbating to pictures in PC World magazine in his free time (allegedly). He’s grown up to be a hot-as-hell cowboy, and she has no other choice but to be a smart ass right back to him. After all, it’s what they do. It’s what they’ve always done, and twelve years apart hasn’t changed anything.
Only this time, getting under each other’s skin is a hell of a lot more fun than it used to be.
Pumpkins. Enemies to Lovers. Pumpkins. Cute Kids. Pumpkins. Sexy Cowboy. Pumpkins. Friendship. Pumpkins.
If, like me, you freaking LOVE AUTUMN and you're ready for falling leaves, chilly evenings, blankets, jumpers, gorgeous sunsets, morning frost and Halloween...I know, I know, I didn't mention pumpkins, fun fact, I don't like pumpkins (not that I take offence at the fruit itself, I love carving the buggers), I just hate the taste, so pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, all that fun stuff that people go crazy for at this time of the year, I just can't stand...PLEASE DON'T BURN ME AT THE STAKE!!
Anyway, if you love Autumn, and you're looking for a book to match your Autumn mood, The Simple Life is the book for you.
Brooklyn is a hot shot writer living in New York City but her 'perfect' life quickly goes south and she's forced to move back home to the town she fled when she was younger. Forced to face facts, not to mention an incredibly handsome and infuriating man who she hasn't seen for years, along with a couple of fun, yet struggling kids, Brooklyn's life is about to be turned upside down.
This book is so much fun! Tara Sivec has this way of writing that just draws me in and hooks me from page one and I always have trouble putting her books down. The Simple Life was no exception. The characters are realistic, the humour is blunt and hilariously inappropriate and the chemistry is sizzling.
I loved the insult trading between the two main characters. I loved seeing each character grow and develop over the course of the book, especially Brooklyn who completely came out of her shell, and then there's the girls; the two amazing crazy girls, the youngest of which totally reminded me of my own crazy, free spirited daughter.
I love the farm life aspect of this book and I love the unfiltered humour. Brooklyn and Clint's sarcastic nature along with their sizzling off-the-page chemistry really made this book stand out and made their relationship one of my favourites.
I devoured the book, not wanting to put it down, which is how I am with almost all of Tara Sivec's books, so if you're looking for a cosy, romantic, autumn read, The Simple Life is definitely the book for you.
This book is a 100% feel-good romantic comedy from one of my favourite romance authors with a guaranteed HEA.
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Summoner #1
How I got this book: Bought from Audible
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.
I decided to read this book after seeing Taran Matharu at the NYALitFest. It had been on my radar for a while and I decided, after listening to the sample, to give the audiobook a try.
This was a buddy read and it took us a month to listen to this one.
The first thing I noticed about The Novice were the clear comparisons to Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pokemon - an interesting combination.
I found the story intriguing, if following a fairly typical, boy stumbles across powers/magic and starts training at magic school, befriends a boy and a girl and has to defeat the evil, snobbish, wealthy child(ren).
However, I had a huge problem with the narrator. It got to the point where the narrator was massively distracting me with the way he pronounced a lot of the words. It was just driving me crazy, and making me laugh when the story just didn't call for humour.
I persevered because I was enjoying the story, the magic was interesting, and I loved the Pokemon similarities, especially finding out that the humans are the pokeballs which was a funny twist!
I also loved the characters, especially the daemons who have their own personalities.
Where the story ended was a little frustrating (probably because I'm not a huge cliffhanger fan) but it does leave the story open for book 2 and I am interested to see where this goes.
However, I think I'll definitely be going with the paper book/eBook next time, instead of the audiobook.
Here's the deal, I never used to listen to audiobooks.
I listened to a few of the Stephen Fry narrated Harry Potter audiobooks when I was a teen but I listened to them whilst reading along with the book because I struggled at the time to take in the story without having the book to 'focus' on.
About a year ago, when I had my Kindle I downloaded a couple of books using the Whispersync feature, which is a great way to switch beneath listening and reading whilst being a really good way to get cheaper audiobooks. If you're not aware of this feature, basically, if you have the Kindle ebook copy already, you can usually get the audiobook for a highly discounted rate. Anyway, I tried a couple of different books but nothing really clicked for me so I stopped searching.
Then, a few months ago, my sister recommended Audible's free trial to me. It turns out they were offering a 3-month trial to Amazon Prime customers and I decided to give it another try to see if I could find anything I liked now that I had access to the entire Audible library.
I started my free trial by downloading an audiobook that I'd already read the ebook version of and loved, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee.
BEST DECISION EVER!!!
I absolutely loved this audiobook. It's narrated by Christian Coulson (you may remember him as Tom Riddle from such films as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!) and he's fantastic!
He captures the very flirtatious, sweet and infectious essence of Monty perfectly whilst also portraying the other characters excellently. I could honestly listen to this audiobook on repeat and it's my go-to when I've had a rough day.
After this, I moved onto Leah on the offbeat by Becky Albertalli, a book that I'd been looking forward to reading for ages. I really enjoyed the narration of this book. I think Shannon Purser (Sierra Burgess is a Loser) did an amazing job of portraying Leah, even if I didn't particularly like Leah as a character.
I then moved on to Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg which I'd never heard of before until Audible recommended it to me based on the two books I just mentioned. I absolutely loved this book; the narration, the story, the characters, the humour, all of it!
I'm currently listening to The Novice by Taran Matharu. I am enjoying the story but honestly, the narration is driving me insane. I'm laughing at parts of the book that aren't even funny because of the way certain words are pronounced, and it's both distracting and frustrating.
So, safe to say that the narrator can make or break an audiobook!
I think my next audiobook choice will probably be another contemporary novel as I seem to be enjoying those a bit more. Do you have any recommendations? Any favourites I should be aware of?
One thing I do want to talk about is something I keep seeing on Twitter. There seems to be a stigma surrounding audiobooks with quite a few people claiming that they don't count as reading.
It amuses me that in a world with so many serious issues there are people petty enough that they feel the need to tell others how/what they should be reading. So, I'm going to say this once:
OF COURSE AUDIOBOOKS COUNT AS READING!!
Yes, the experience is completely different. As I mentioned above, the narrator of an audiobook can make it amazing or awful, which isn't something you have to worry about when reading the book in your own mind, but you're still absorbing a new story, new characters and new themes. You're still building your vocabulary. For some people, audiobooks are their only chance to enjoy books at all. They're also a fantastic way to introduce young children to new stories. Personally, when I've been too ill or tired to read, audiobooks have made all the difference, especially when it comes to having difficulty sleeping.
I mean, think about it. The very origins of stories were those that were spoken aloud, shared over fires and in caves, long before they were ever written down.
So, how can anyone say that audiobooks don't qualify as reading?
What I love most about audiobooks so far is it's almost as if the character is coming to life. Hearing the characters voice can make the story much more vivid and impactful, particularly in powerful books like Openly Straight. So, as I said above, if you have any recommendations, let me know because I now have a rolling monthly subscription to Audible and I'm excited to keep discovering new books and narrators!
Thanks for reading :)
I was lucky enough to receive an additional hardback copy of The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi from Pegasus Books!
This mermaid fantasy looks gorgeous, and sounds fascinating! I can't wait to read my own copy and I'm excited to be able to offer another copy for a giveaway!
Enter below for your chance to win and please note this is open to UK only due to shipping costs!
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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