Wednesday 26 July 2017

Review: My Bachelor by Tess Oliver

He was, for lack of a better word, an Adonis, a Greek god of manly perfection.
American hero. Self-made millionaire. All-around badass.
Sealed with a Kiss has never seen a bachelor like Rafe Rockclyffe before. The long haired, motorcycle riding heartthrob is exactly what viewers of the reality show have been waiting for. Twenty beautiful women will compete to win his heart and hand in marriage, a hand he doesn't really want to give.
It was all just a crazy bet . . . The last thing Rafe expected was to fall in love. 


Full length novel.

First person, alternating between the two main characters.




What I Liked: 
I liked that Eliot was a hard-working woman with a sensible head on her shoulders.
I liked the easy banter between Eliot and Rafe.
I adored the book cover.

What I Didn't Like: 
Everything was too easy. This should have been angsty. I mean, you're falling in love with a guy who has twenty other women competing for his affections. There should have been tension, jealousy, fireworks... But there was nothing.
On top of that, Rafe was too good to be true and the secondary characters had the depth of a sheet of paper. 

My Bachelor was an enjoyable enough read but it left me cold. I wasn't routing for Eliot. I didn't want to smack Rafe upside the head. I didn't want to scratch the eyes out of the love rivals. I felt nothing but mild amusement throughout the entire read. 

Other Thoughts:
The book had a lot of potential but it just didn't live up to my expectations. It was too bland when it could have really been something. I'll definitely check out another one of the authors books in the future.


Tuesday 25 July 2017

Review Dear Aaron by Marianna Zapata

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.
The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.
Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.
What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.


Full length novel.

First person.


What I Liked: 
I liked the way this book was written. 
The first 50% of the book is written as emails and in the format of a messenger app. 
It was unusual but brilliant. 
It made the book feel a little awkward at first, which perfectly captures the feeling of getting to know someone who you’ve never spoken to, have no idea what they look like, and know absolutely nothing about. 
The format meant you got to experience the relationship unfolding without anyone telling you what anyone was thinking or feeling. 
The pages flew by so quickly, and magic happened. 
You begin to feel like you know these people. 
Like they are friends. 
You learn to read between the lines of their conversation. 
You begin to feel things. 
It is addictive. 
Then, bam! ‘Normal’ first person takes over and you really get inside Ruby’s head and what do you know her thoughts and feelings are perfectly in line with yours. 
You meet Aaron and he’s everything. 
You are so freaking happy for them, because you were taken along with them on their journey rather than just reading it and it’s freakin’ beautiful! 
I’m not kidding when I say that I fell in love with a fictional character here. I really feel like I did. 
The book hangover from this beauty was horrendous.

What I Didn't Like: 
It was too short and that is a laughable statement because Dear Aaron isn’t a short book but I just didn’t want it to end! I wanted MORE! I hated the fact that it ended. Even the awesome epilogue which gave me a glimpse into the happy future of the couple couldn't satisfy me. Yes, it made me happy but imagining it all wasn't enough! I wanted to 'see' it! I wanted to feel it. I needed more. I feel like I’ve been robbed of something important, which is ridiculous but a testament to the awesome writing of this author.

Other Thoughts:
Slow burning romantic perfection… That’s what this book was. Bloody perfection. I loved it. 

“Sergeant Major to a young soldier: “I didn’t see you at camouflage training this morning, soldier.” 
Soldier: “Thank you very much, sir.” 


“What was love if it wasn’t just a single word people used to try and describe something that wasn’t easily explained or grown in one action or declaration?


Monday 17 July 2017

Review: Tempt Me by J. Kenner

Sometimes passion has a price … 
When sexy Stark Security Chief Ryan Hunter whisks his girlfriend Jamie Archer away for a passionate, romance-filled weekend so he can finally pop the question, he’s certain that the answer will be an enthusiastic yes. So when Jamie tries to avoid the conversation, hiding her fears of commitment and change under a blanket of wild sensuality and decadent playtime in bed, Ryan is more determined than ever to convince Jamie that they belong together. 

Knowing there’s no halfway with this woman, Ryan gives her an ultimatum – marry him or walk away. Now Jamie is forced to face her deepest insecurities or risk destroying the best thing in her life. And it will take all of her strength, and all of Ryan’s love, to keep her right where she belongs… 



First Person.


It can work on it's own and be enjoyable but both characters feature in another Stark International novella as well as being secondary characters in The Stark Series. 


What I Liked: 
The book was intense, passionate and a little bit dirty. The chemistry between Ryan and Jamie was amazing. 
I like Ryan as a character, he's just yum, and I liked Jamie in this one despite not being her biggest fan in the Stark Series and finding her a bit annoying in the previous novella. 

What I Didn't Like: 
Nothing really, my biggest complaint would be that it was a novella - again! - for this couple instead of a full length novel.

Other Thoughts:
Fans of The Stark, and Stark International, series will be happy to catch up with beloved characters who you get a quick check in with in this one. 

"Wouldn't be worth living this life if I knew exactly where it was going, now would it?"


Sunday 16 July 2017

Audiobooks: To Listen Or Not To Listen...

That is the question isn't it?
So many people seem to be a fan these days.
But I don't think I am.
I want to be a fan of audiobooks. I can see so many advantages of listening to audiobooks, namely maximising my time in a way that enables me to read more books, but whenever I tried in the past, I just couldn't do it. 

My main issue is that I know I will get distracted and miss what the narrator is saying and that'd be infuriating. 
The only way I imagine I'd be able to focus would be sitting down quietly and listening and if I'm going to do that I might as well just read the book for myself.

I think that if I already know the story, inside and out, I would be okay with an audiobook but what's the point in that? I enjoy re-reads of old favourites but I'm not going to buy them in a completely different format, or pay a monthly subscription, for a re-read.

Other issues I had in the past were the narrator's voice - tone, accent, pronunciation - irritating the crap out of me. 
I also had issues with the pace they read the story at. I'm a fast reader, my brain works quickly, I cannot stand listening to a chapter for half an hour when I could have read it in half that time.

However, past issues aside, I want to make audiobooks work for me. 

Some people have said that they find them useful in the car. I've never tried them in the car and I think that could work... It shouldn't be all that different than listening to a conversation or music which I can do without getting distracted and crashing the vehicle.

Some people have said that they like to listen when doing the ironing. I can see that being cool too... It's a better use of several hours a week than just doing chores! If I can combine the evil ironing with 'reading' I'll be a very happy lady. 

Some have commented that they like listening to their audiobooks when up in the night with their newborns. I don't have a newborn but I'll bear that in mind should it ever become applicable!

A particular reason I have for wanting to give audiobooks another try is eyestrain. I spend most of my workday on a computer. I come home and I end up on a computer. If I'm not on a computer, I'm reading my kindle. My poor eyes take a battering and I quite like the idea of being able to give them a rest and still keep up with my reading. 

I have no idea if I'll be able to make audiobooks work for me. I have no idea if I'll be able to overcome past issues but I've decided it's time to try. Audiobooks have come a long way in the past six or seven years. So, I'm going to sign up for audible and keep the subscription for three months. In that three months I will experiment with all the occasions I can listen to books and with luck I will find a place in my life for them but if it doesn't work for me then no harm, no foul. I won't have lost anything except for a couple of months of subscription fees. 


Do you listen to audiobooks?  If so, when/where do you listen to them?

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