Review: Colorado Abduction (Christmas at the Carlisles #1) by Cassie Miles

Source: Amazon UKcolorado-abduction-cassie-miles-book-cover-art
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 1st October 2009 by Harlequin Intrigue (first published 1st January 2009)
Price: Free
Date Re-Read: 29th September 2014

 

This is not the first time I have read the book ‘Colorado Abduction’. I first read it in April 2014 – only a few months ago – but I have been wanting to read it again ever since. In looking for something easy and appealing to read for my slowly un-fogging brain I hit upon this book.

Colorado Abduction is the first book in the Christmas at the Carlisles series and part of the Harlequin Intrigue set. For me it is a wonderful mix of the types of books I simply love; Western Romance and Romantic Suspense. Heaven!

Carolyn Carlisle, CEO of Carlisle Certified Organic Beef is brought back home to the family ranch run by her brother when news of sabotage reaches her. On her return though, Carolyn finds that security has been hired, but even with that, her sister-in-law Nicole is kidnapped and the bodyguard with her shot. Calling in the FBI, Carolyn hopes that the situation will be sorted soon. Enter tall, dark and handsome FBI agent in charge and hostage negotiator JD Burke. The attraction between Carolyn and JD is hot but the middle of an investigation isn’t the right time for either of them, or so they tell themselves. The investigation into the sabotage and kidnapping is continued by the FBI but when ransom demands are received and it looks like there may be a mole in the ranch, Carolyn and JD must learn to work together to get Nicole back to her husband.

Second time around and I still I absolutely loved this book. The characters and the storyline were well rounded and interesting. The story was intriguing and I certainly felt involved with the book; I cared about the characters. I loved the characters of Carolyn and JD – I just wish the ending had been continued on a bit as it was left rather open. There are two other books in the series however which continue the stories of other minor characters from this book. Maybe they will have a few hints of JD and Carolyn.

I would certainly recommend this book to others; it was an easy read and one which I couldn’t put down.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it.

Review: Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2) by Katie Reus

isbn9781472212214-1x3aOwn the book: Yes
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Publish date: 5th August 2014 by Headline Eternal
Price: N/A
Date Read: 8th August 2014

Note: I received this review copy of Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2) by Katie Reus for free through BookBridgr in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

Bound to Danger is the second book in the Deadly Ops series. Although it is in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel although characters who were previously major characters do show up in minor roles. This does not detract at all and seems to be the way for series of this type. It comes firmly under the genre heading ‘Romantic Suspense’ – my absolute favourite right now. The story was exciting and the characters real and appealing.

While attending a benefit dinner, Maria Cervantes overhears men plotting a terrorist attack. Before she can alert the authorities however, the building explodes and almost everyone is killed. As the only guest still alive, Maria becomes a person of interest to the NSA. With her memory of the evening gone however, she only remembers that she knows something important; not what. With an NSA agent needed to babysit/bodyguard the survivor, one man takes the job. Cade O’Reilly. Maria is the woman he never forgot, having abandoned her following the death of his best friend – her brother in Afghanistan. Cade though, as a member of the NSA’s Black Death 9 agents is the person who will protect Maria whether she likes it or not. As they get closer and Maria starts to regain her memories, Cade and Maria must decide if they want to let each other go again.

I really enjoyed this book. I found the explanations for words at the beginnings of chapters were really good – it was something relevant to the oncoming chapter and helped to explain to someone who has a vague idea but no proper definition. I also really liked the old emails between Maria and Cade every now and again throughout the book. It really brought out the old relationship between the two and added a lot of backstory. Along with all that, the action and the excitement I certainly enjoyed the romance part – I found it rather stimulating *ahem*. Warning: This book is not for under 18’s.

I found everything in the story so well described I had a perfect picture of the whole book in my head. The muscles, the guns, the boats and so on all came to life inside my head. Thank you Katie for such a fantastic book!

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it

 

 

Review: Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes #1) by Suzanne Brockmann

Own the book: YesDo or Die Cover
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-book – read on Kindle
Publish date: 4th February 2014 by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books
Price: N/A
Date Read: 2nd August 2014

 

Note: I received this copy of Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes #1) by Suzanne Brockmann for free through Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books on NetGalley. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

When I was a teenager I got rather addicted to Mills & Boon books – I loved the easy read, the heart breaking near-end and the guaranteed happy ending. Unfortunately I read so many of them I ended up mixing them up in my head. One that really stayed with me though was – I discovered after much searching years later – ‘Prince Joe’ by the author Suzanne Brockmann. Re-discovering this amazing author years later has been an absolute pleasure.

Ian Dunn is an ex Navy SEAL and now apparent jewel thief and conman who is currently serving time in jail. Phoebe Kruger, a lawyer only days into her new job, takes on the case of Ian Dunn from her absent boss; Dunn’s usual point of contact. Whatever Ian Dunn is really doing by being in jail, the FBI are springing him out to rescue two children trapped in a foreign embassy in Miami by their father. Ian Dunn has his secrets though and passes on the mission and the promised freedoms. Saying no though is not an option, and Ian Dunn is freed – taking his feisty new lawyer along for the ride. Well, at least to begin with. Phoebe soon persuades Ian to rescue the children and let her help in the mission. With the addition of Ian’s old team; his brother Aaron, Aaron’s partner Shelly and their baby Rory along with Francine and a whole host of other characters, a plan is soon formed and it’s time to put things in motion.

This story comes in under the Romantic Suspense genre umbrella and it’s exactly what I love to read. And to be honest, I adored this story. I loved the characters of Ian and Phoebe. Ian the strong-willed alpha, ready to lead and so protective of his family. Phoebe, at first out of her depth in such a strange and unknown situation who takes back control and finds strength and courage. And the romance between the two… phew!

At 577 pages (according to Amazon.co.uk) it was a long read but it went so quickly – I don’t think I put it down except to sleep for the night and that was only when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. After a Mills & Boon length story I felt spoilt! Although the story was a long one, I didn’t feel like there were any parts I could have skipped without missing out on big parts of the current or back-story the characters had. Each character had secrets and a history which made a lot of the things going on make sense; their reactions to a situation or a specific person. It was this intertwining of stories which made me love this book all the more. Oh, and the action. Can’t have a romantic suspense book without action – especially when your male lead is a massive, highly-muscled ex Navy SEAL. Pulse. Racing. For more reasons than one.

Overall this was a fantastic re-introduction to a wonderful author and I’m so excited that this is the first in a new series. I can’t wait to read more – I even have an old copy of ‘Prince Joe’ waiting for a re-read!

If you like your stories with a mix of romance, action and feisty characters this is definitely the story for you.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ – Bl**dy brilliant

Review: The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam

21443281 Source: Goodreads First Reads
Format: Paperback ARC
Publish date: 28th August 2014 by Penguin
Price: N/A
Date Read: 24th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam for free through Goodreads First Reads. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

I was delighted to receive this copy of The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House through the post as it was one which greatly appealed to me. I was shocked to discover on it’s arrival that it is an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC), so I am not allowed to post any quotes from it – much as I may wish. At a little over 500 pages, this paperback book is rather thick but surprisingly lightweight with reasonably sized but not overly large text. I especially enjoyed the floppiness of the pages – it was a joy not to have to wrestle to open a book! The cover is somewhat sedate and rather dignified but striking – I adore it.

The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House is a story set in two different time periods. The scene is set in the seaside town of Helmstone, a place with sharp cliffs, holidaymakers, day-trippers, a fairground and a hotel – among other things. Chapter one begins the story in 1965 with the main character of that period Rosie Churchill. She is a young woman in her late teens and run away from home and sixth form to rent a bed in the rundown yet still beautiful Castaway House in Helmstone. Castaway House though has its secrets. Rosie is soon set on discovering who the mysterious ‘R.C’ is; a drawing of a man with the initials ‘R.C.’ is found wedged behind some skirting boards, a mysterious message is discovered carved and inked into the frame of a window and whispers of trouble years ago come to Rosie’s ears.

In 1924, a young and somewhat naïve nineteen year old Robert Carver makes his way to Helmstone to stay with his wealthier, older and more exciting cousin Alec at his beautiful home, Castaway House. He arrives to find that Alec has married, walking straight into the lives of a damaged, un-loving couple with far-reaching secrets. Little does Robert know that his summer at Castaway House will change his life and the lives of all he comes in contact with.

At 500+ pages, The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House rather intimidated me upon first glance. Once I started reading however I was hooked. The story is written in the first person, from the viewpoint of either Robert or Rosie depending on which year the chapter was set in. I think the span of time covered in both 1924 and 1965 was only a few months; the summer of 1924 and sometime from September in 1965 although there were links between the two. The story was brought to life by the author’s words. The characters were wonderfully flawed and exquisitely human. No one was perfect and each had characteristics and traits and got into situations that you could easily understand, feel and relate to.

This book was very much set in the UK – Helmstone sounded  to me like the seaside town of Brighton on the south coast of England. There were also many mentions of the 1st and 2nd world wars. In 1924 and 1965, both would still be very near memory to the population. Many would have lost parents, bothers, cousins, uncles or sweethearts in the fighting. There would still be reminders, especially on the coast – shops previously used as lookout posts and maybe a pier destroyed so it couldn’t be used to land enemy planes.

The story of Castaway House and its inhabitants in both 1924 and 1965 were linked wonderfully, with little tendrils of knowledge and hits at answers – and even more questions – coming throughout the story. The way the author intertwined the characters throughout the book and between 1924 and 1965 was magnificently done and I am completely in awe. I was kept guessing throughout the majority of the book until the full story was told and the characters truly unveiled. I will admit to making a few guesses which ended up evenly split between right and wrong!

The mystery of Castaway House and its inhabitants was one which touched many lives. I was completely enchanted and thrilled with the story and characters and didn’t want to finish reading. Unfortunately I had to in order to find out what had really happened.

This book is one I will keep going back to and will loudly praise to all who will listen. Why? Because it’s bl**dy brilliant.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Events: #SexMeUpReadathon and #Sunathon 2014

This week is going to be fun and busy with two exciting events going on this week. Along with a normal week of work I shall be joining other twitterati and book bloggers to celebrate books and reading… By reading! I’m so eager to start that I’m up at 6am on a Sunday writing this blog!

 

#SexMeUpReadathon : Monday 21st – Friday 25th July 2014

First up, running Monday to Friday we have the #SexMeUpReadathon. You can follow on Twitter with that hashtag, along with #LetsGetItOn and #StaySexy. Even better is that I have written a guest post for it; my very first! My post, titled ‘The Taboo of Erotica’ will be going live at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd. Definitely a *squee* moment going to be going on there!

There is so much else to be looking forward to during the week including Q&A’s, other guest posts, short stories, authors (including J Kenner!) talking sex and a very exciting amount more. You can find a (nearly) finalised schedule for the week over at the #SexMeUpReadathon blog here. I shall be printing a copy to keep with me!

 

#Sunathon : Monday 21st – Sunday 27th July 2014

The second event runs from Monday to Sunday and is #Sunathon. Again, follow on Twitter with that hashtag. You can read Emma Louise’s fantastic introductory blog post about it here.

 

The object and idea of both readathons is to encourage people to pick up their books and read. They aren’t races to finishing lines or competitions to see who can read the most- a view I absolutely adore. As I joined up first to the #SexMeUpReadathon my book choices have mainly been for that, although all books will also count for #Sunathon. Maybe I am being a little hopeful in the amount I will be reading but no matter as I will enjoy reading all I can!

So, my list of Erotica for #SexMeUpReadathon:

#SexMeUpReadathon

Sources: The Story of O – My Bookshelf // Bound to Danger – BookBridgr // Crazy About the Baumgartners – NetGalley // Heated – Goodreads First Reads // Claimed By the Alpha Dolphins #1 – NetGalley // The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty – Library 

And my list of other books to include for #Sunathon:

#Sunathon

 Sources: The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House – Goodreads First Reads // Don’t Fall – Giveaway Prize by Mily @TheYANightstand // Good Omens – My Bookshelf // Do or Die – NetGalley

All in all a lot to look forward to, although some of the books with rather large numbers of pages (such as ‘The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House’ – which I will eagerly admit to having started already – with 504 pages and ‘Do or Die’ with 577 pages)  are starting to worry me. Fortunately these are offset by some with very few! I keep reminding myself though, it’s not how much I read that matters, only that I am reading! I’m also excited to be mixing physical copies of books and e-books. It will be interesting to see which I prefer.

So, will you join us this week in celebrating reading? It doesn’t matter at all what you read or which Readathon you join in with – if you join in at all. Just read. Visit your local library or pick something dusty off your shelf. Give it a glance, give it a read. Browse Amazon for free books to try on Kindle or computer/phone app or buy a dozen which catch your imagination.

Give it a go.  I certainly hope you do and invite you warmly to join, watch and take part.

 

Review: Winters Heat (Titan Book 1) by Cristin Harber

Own the book: Yes
Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle E-book
Price: Free
Date Read: 20th June 2014

I adore romantic suspense books and this, as (apparently) #1 in Amazon’s Romanic Suspense section really ticked all the boxes for me. There was a hunky leading man and a strong but loveable and likeable leading lady. There was family, action, cliff hangers, surprise and some hot action between the leading characters. Perfect!

The story follows the two characters Mia Kensington and Colby Winters. Mia is a military psychologist whose patient told her about a disc with top secret information on it, information important to national security. On her trek to find this disc, Mia is rescued by Colby Winters, an elite member of the Titan group on a mission to recover (you guessed it) the same secret disc as Mia. On the run from Colombian baddies, the two go cross-country trying to evade but, even when Colby stashes Mia as his own house – the safest place he can think of – danger still comes calling.

This is the first book in the Titan series and I hope the others will be just as good – I hope to read more when my ‘to be read’ pile gets a lot shorter!

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥