The Prize – Julie Garwood

Still trying to get through my TBR. Two more books and I can finally buy a new book! I’m counting down the days! Nailing Singh here I come.

Synopsis:

In the resplendence of William the Conqueror’s London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.

In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love … a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

4 words: I loved this book. This book has hands down been one of the best stories I have read this year. It is going straight in my to be read again pile.

“He never knew what hit him.” This first sentence got me hooked on to the book and I had trouble putting it down. In this book Royce who is Norman has on command of the newly crowned king William has come to claim Nicholaa who is Saxon and her holding. She is going to be a ‘prize’ given to one of the king’s warriors. As you can imagine, Royce wins the battle for the holding but Nicholaa actually tricks him into giving her sanctuary to a nunnery by pretending she is Daniella, Nicholaa twin sister (who by the way does not exist). Once Royce finds out Nicholaa has tricked tricked him, he admires her intelligence and figures out a plan to get her to London to present to the king as requested rather than flying into a rage. The interaction between Royce and Nicholaa were always fun to read, they were sweet, cute and romantic but not overly so.

She lifted her shoulders in a dainty shrug. “Where did you sleep last night?”

Nicholaa turned away from Royce to glare at an ugly redheaded woman who was trying to get her husband’s attention. “Well?”

“Look at me when you ask me a question,” he commanded.

He patiently waited until she’d complied with that order, then said, “I slept with my wife.”

“I’m your wife.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Yes, you are.”

“You slept with me?”

“That’s what I just said, woman.”

“You needn’t sound irritated. I don’t remember last night, and I did wonder. So you slept with me.”

She couldn’t seem to get it straight in her mind. Royce held his patience. She was such a joy to watch when she was pricked about something.

Not once in this book did Royce belittle, hit or force Nicholaa which happens quite frequently in other Historical/Medieval Romance, even if the hero loves/cares for the heroine and is thinking that it is for her own good. This was such a nice change which made the book a pleasure to read. Royce was still an alpha male character but did not show his dominance or power by putting other’s down. Both characters were strong, neither were weak or silly. Both thought to make the best of the situation.

I guess what I’m trying to say is you could see the relationship between the two main characters. Even though they were enemies at no point did Nicholaa try to hurt/kill/betray Royce and like I said Royce never held the fact that Nicholaa was Saxon and finding it hard to accepts the Normans against her. The best thing about the book though was what it did not include. Which is the big misunderstanding. You know what I’m talking about, it’s the misunderstanding that happens to create some tension between the main two characters which can easily be resolved if they spoke to each other.

Somethings Royce came out with were just swoon worthy, because while he was a harden warrior he was a big softie on the inside.

“A woman can’t do anything about her appearance. Either she’s pretty or she isn’t. But her character is quite another matter.” 

I have to tell you Royce and his lectures were one of the highlights in this book. I loved they way he said they were going to ‘discuss’ things and ends up giving a lecture instead. The writing was good, the story was well paced and it made me chuckle at points too. I was emotionally invested in both characters which means for me the writing was brilliant. Honestly I cannot say enough good things about this book so read it!

Happy Reading!

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A Negotiated Marriage – Noelle Adams (Negotiated Marriage #1)

I really am enjoying books written by Noelle Adams, this is the 3rd book I have read by her and so far I have liked them all. I’d recommend checking out her books and I enjoy her writing style. I believe I downloaded this book for free a while ago but literally have just got round to reading it. In my opinion I enjoyed this as much as I liked The Unwanted Wife but this has so much less angst in.

Synopsis:

Sex wasn’t supposed to be part of the deal.

Three years into a marriage of convenience, Molly’s high-powered CEO husband wants to add a new term to their marriage agreement. Sex—without any messy emotional entanglements. But weekly sex with Luke, despite their carefully negotiated terms, is likely to get messy eventually.

Content in a mutually beneficial arrangement, Molly isn’t going to fall for Luke the way she fell for an old lover, only to be crushed in the end. She vows to stay strong, no matter how much intimacy develops between them in bed. When her old lover returns, finally wanting a real relationship, Molly has the chance to give her heart to a man who will accept it.

It’s too bad she now wants to give it to her husband, who has never admitted her heart is what he wants.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

This book is a bit different, rather than starting from how Molly and Luke met, the negotiation of the marriage and the marriage. This book starts 3 years into their marriage of convenience, it shows how comfortable Molly and Luke are with each other and gives an idea of how their marriage has been for the last 3 years. At the start of this book, Molly and Luke are more friends than anything else. One day Luke says he wants to negotiate terms and add sex into the contract. Before this point in the 3 years Molly and Luke have been married at some point used ‘discreet’ services to cater to their ‘needs’. This was  a stipulation in their marriage contract which worked fine for both of them.

You may remember I get really hung up about people cheating/having affairs when in relationships. In this case I personally did not consider it cheating as this was a stipulation in their marriage contract and like I said for me they were more friends at that time and neither had done this in a while or once the ‘relationship’ started in truth in my mind.

I like the way the relationship went further for Molly and Luke because they had the friendship basis to start of from and so it was nice to see how their relationship changed and evolved. There was some sexual tension going on between then the two characters, but you’ll have to read it to find out why. I would say there is some sex in the book but it is not just about that, there is a relationship too and it’s interesting to see how both the character’s ended up to the point of being in this marriage.

One thing I liked about the writing style of this book is Noelle started off with the sentence Molly was running late and this was repeated a couple of times in the book which gave me a chuckle each time I read it for some reason. It was consistent which I liked. The story is well paced and if you like the marriage of convenience books then give this one a read.

Happy Reading!

Unhauling to make space and money

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Recently I put myself on a book buying ban as I decided I have too many unread books which I really do need to read before I buy more. My mind was boggled with the amount of unread books I have on my bookshelf and on my Kindle. I gave some books to charity but also I had so new books that I decided I was not going to read and did not want. I brought them thinking I would but I know I will never read them so I thought I would try and sell them.

My reasoning behind trying to sell them rather than donate them is I made myself a deal. I can buy a book (or 2 depending on how much I make) when I have earned the money through selling other books I have no intention of reading. Otherwise I have to wait until I have read atlas 5 books from my TBR before I can even consider buying a new one. For me this will be a major push in actually doing something about my TBR pile. It will also mean that someone else will get a book that I may not have much appreciation for but they may love. I am all about sharing the book love, virtual hugs.

I do have a book in mind that I am dying to get my hands on but I will tell you all about that in another post! If you are interested in the books I am selling they can be found on my eBay (among other things): http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/sparklesum/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

Over and out! Hope you all are having fun reading! I certainly am and am hoping to get a book review up soon 🙂

Let me know what you think about my unhauling action plan!

Slave to Sensation – Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling #1)

One more book down from my TBR! Maybe I should buy a book for each one I finish….haha no I won’t do that, it would not solve my problem about lack of space.

This book has been sitting on my kindle for a long time now. I purchased it about a year or so ago as I really love Nailini’s Guild Hunter series. That series is one of my favourites and I love how she writes her characters. In essence usually the female characters are strong willed and a match for their partners which I like to read because there is nothing wrong with a damsel in distress story but sometimes you want a change.

I think I say this a lot but Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors, I would highly recommend her guild hunter series and after reading this book her other work aswell as long as you are not opposed to sex scenes. I find the story’s that she writes also shows the development and the progression of romance rather than being multiple sex scenes and a happy ending.

Synopsis:

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation” – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

First Lucas so did not look like the cover of this book in my mind, his scars on his face were so much sexier, well Nalini made it sound so anyway. I adored this book, I could not put it down and literally wanted to finish it in one sitting, which did not happen.

In 1979 to try and end violence and crimes the psy race implemented a protocol called the silence, this would condition the mind and body to stop feeling human or animalistic emotions and therefore be the end of serial killers and violence. Sounds like a perfect plan right? I mean if there are no emotions then there no cause for people to do things like that.

The story kicks off with Sasha being told that she is incharge of overseeing a housing development for the changelings and so she will be working with Lucas Hunter who is a panther alpha of the DarkRiver pack. Sasha is a ‘broken’ psy as she does feel but she is trying to hide it behind a stotic and emotionless facade. The psy do not show affection or casually touch and then we have the changelings who constantly touch and show affection. You can tell the pairing of these two is going to be volatile. Not in a bad way but sparks are going to full and they do.

What to say about Lucas, I loved him from the first page. He was smart, he knew what he wanted, he had determination and he was sweet, which makes a lethal combination and who could resist that?

“She was his and he was hers. They had under-the-skin privileges.” 

“An hour of your life is worth more than a thousand people to me.”

Sasha is such strong willed and doesn’t let Lucas walk all over her but also understands when it’s best to let it go as Lucas is an alpha. Sasha is such a brave character, as just imagine growing up and hiding the fact that you are different from everyone else. One slip up and she would have be rehabilitated.

“She wished he’d stop touching her. Not because she didn’t like it but because she liked it far too much. It made her hunger for things that could never be hers. And if someone went hungry for too long, they started to starve. Started to hurt.” 

What starts of as a business relationship develops first into friendship, respect, trust, passion and the love. It was so nice to see the evolvement of the relationship between these two. Lucas handled Sasha tenderly at times to introduce her to her and his own emotions and what he wanted. He does not let Sasha stay behind her mask of silence and indifference because he understands her and knows that that is not true, that’s not her nature. Ofcourse Psy and changelings are not suppose to be together, but what’s a good romance without some forbidden love.

The writing of this book is amazing, Nalini is an amazing story teller, it the way the story is written. Even though the psy world is different it was explained is such a way that I understood it and I did not have to go back to reread certain chapters to remind myself of anything which sometimes happens in fantasy books. The style of the writing flows really well, it is engaging, interesting and unique. It is the right balance of romance and action.

All I can say is I really loved this is and will be continuing with the others in this series. Honestly give Nalini Singh’s books a try and you will not regret it.

Happy Reading! p.s. Has anyone else read this book or anything by Nalini Singh?

Hired Bride – Noelle Adams (Beaufort Brides #1)

Noelle Adams is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I know I have not reviewed her books on my blog before but I have read 2 of her books now and I enjoyed both so much. Both books are based on the marriage of convenience idea which is one of my favourite types of books. If you have not read one of her books and like a good marriage of convenience books then give her books a try.

One less book on my TBR pile! Woohoo!

Synopsis:

For years, Deanna’s eccentric grandmother has been trying to marry her off to a rich man, and she’s finally managed to do it. Deanna has spent her life trying to take care of those she loves, and a six-month marriage should be a simple enough way to keep their historic Savannah house from falling down around their heads.

Sexy, obnoxious Mitchell Graves needs a wife to finalize a business deal, and he snaps up Deanna as the most expedient option. Because she’s quiet, he thinks she’ll be easy enough to manage as a wife.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

Rating: 4.5 Stars 

Review:

Ok I will be the first to admit that the marriage of convenience idea is not a original idea and has been done before but i love these types of books. As this books sounds from the synopsis to close a business deal Mitchell needs a wife to stop his potential business partner’s daughter from coming on to him without letting her know he’s not interested incase it affects the business deal adversely. What better way than to enter a fake marriage for 6 months? I know, but this book really is one of the better stories I read. The writing of this book is really well done, it is a short book but it doesn’t feel rushed. Nor did I feel at any point that the characters lacked depth or that they were not full fledged characters. The romance developed over time, sure the lust and attraction was there but it was nice read the romance developing between these two different people.

I liked Mitchell as a character, you could see him evolve as the story progresses, he is character is the one that develops the most, he goes from being the ‘typical’ guy who does not believe in relationships to why relationships are important and what they provide. He’s  a nice guy to start with but he gets better as the book goes on. I will admit both Mitchell and Deanna are bull-headed they do the normal, lets not communicate and talk about what we feel and what matters as the other should know how I feel. I’m sorry to say but from my experience of reading this never works out lol, and I would be correct. They end up communicating to make it a lovely happy ending but you do go through the I want to shake some sense into the both of you phase in the middle of this book.

Deanna was a good character but I think she was a bit too up tight at points. I understood her point of view but I think at points she slightly grated on my nerves. I did love how she would do anything for her family, that was so sweet.

I enjoyed the epilogue of this book so much, for some reason it was so nice to read both Mitchell and Deanna relaxing and having fun.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series, which I will buy when I am able to end my book buying ban.

Happy Reading!!