Paradise – Judith Mcnaught (Second Opportunities #1)

I should probably put a disclaimer that if you’re never read a Judith Mcnaught book and you are planning to there is going to be angst, pain, most like a second chance romance and the story will stay on your mind for a long time after you’ve read the final chapter. I’ve noticed in the books I’ve read there is a routine which goes like background story, misunderstanding/breakup and then years later a chance at reconciliation. I love her books and even though I know this, I love reading them as she has a way with words. For me it’s all about the happy ending and I know Judith Mcnaught delivers this, well she has in the books i’ve read so far. 

16006

Synopsis:

Corporate raider Matthew Farrell had come a long way from the poor, scruffy kid of Indiana’s steel mills. A long way from the country club where, feeling like an outsider, he had dared to fall in love with a beautiful blonde named Meredith Bancroft, and known a once-in-a-lifetime passion and betrayal that sill haunted his memory… Now world leaders courted him, the media watched his every move, and he was ready to move in on the Bancroft empire.

A cool, poised executive in her family’s legendary department store chain, Meredith had once defied her father for the sexually magnetic, intense Matt Farrell — and their brief, ill fated marriage was the disastrous outcome. Now, as the Bancroft firm is threatened by a hostile takeover, Meredith is forced to confront Matt. As tensions build between them, bittersweet memories rise to the surface, leaving them suspicious, restless, and uncertain. Will they be able to believe in each other — and grasp the tender miracle that is before them?

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

For me the sign that I love the book that I’m reading is when I get emotionally involved with the characters and story. I was so emotionally invested in this story that when Matt and Meredith talked about their misunderstanding at the farm I bawled my eyes out.  I’m not talking about one or two tears, I mean a proper cry with red rimmed eyes and snot running (lovely image right?). This book was just so good, it was emotional at parts but it was also well paced, well written, didn’t drag and a really good story.

“Some people feel love in their hearts, Julie. Some of us feel it all way into our souls. We’re the ones who can’t forget.”

Both the main characters deserved their happy ending and second chance. I liked both Matt and Meredith, their characters developed throughout the book. The secondary characters weren’t focused on so much but they also were well written and what I liked most is that Lisa stuck by Meredith throughout it all as her friend and Meredith did the same. Usually you find that in books this does not happen for drama, so it made a nice change.

I love the writing in this book Judith Mcnaught is such a great writer in my opinion, the synopsis draws you in but it’s the writing and story that makes you want to what what happens without putting the book down to take a break. This book was just so amazing, I cannot say that enough.

“You can’t outwit fate by trying to stand on the sidelines and place little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything to play the game, or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play, you can’t win.”

The only drawback for me with this book though is how Meredith felt about her father, I don’t understand why she could never stop trying to make him happy. This sounds horrible but she forgave her father so much after all he done and I just do not think he deserved it. I think Judith tried to explain that her father loved her in his own gruff way but that just did not wash with me. In that way I think Meredith was too perfect in that sense, I don’t know if I’m being too unforgivable but I feel if a father or mother lets say put someone through what Meredith went through then there would be a grudge or atleast a distance in the relationship.  I was glad when Meredith stood up to her father, she needed to do that.

I won’t say too much about the story because I want you to discover it yourself but I can say it will stay with you after you’ve read the last page and put the book down.

Happy Reading!!

P.s. Has one read this book and have an recommendations of books like this?

Advertisements

Cutters vs. Jocks – Elizabeth Marx (Binding Arbitration/Chicago Series 0.5)

This review includes spoilers

I picked this book up as it is a essentially a prologue to Binding Arbitration, a book I wanted to read. I purchased both this and Binding Arbitration a couple of months ago when I was in my reading funk and they have bee sitting in my TBR pile. I am so glad I picked this book up. It was definitely worth a read and it did set the scene for the actual book. If you are going to read Binding Arbitration then pick this up or pick it up just as a stand alone as the book is worth it.

13033739

Synopsis:

Love at first sight versus lust you can’t fight.

Libby Tucker is a cutter—a nobody waitress in a college town—at least that’s what everyone believes. But admission to law school is Libby’s ticket out of Indiana and her escape from small town life forever.

During a night on the town, Libby beats the most competitive athlete on campus at pool and draws more attention from him than she’s prepared for.

Aidan Palowski is one of those jocks your friends warned you about—the kind that never loose—the kind that put notches in their baseball bats. As the closing pitcher on the best baseball team in the Big Ten, he’s on his way to the major leagues. Aidan always gets what he wants and Libby is the final home run he wants to hit out of the park.

The last thing Libby needs is to get sidetracked by a superstar jock. Afraid that she might be on a collision course with love at first sight Libby keeps her distance, but the longer she holds out the more Aidan realizes it’s a case of lust he can’t fight.

What happens when worthy opponents refuse to play their hearts out?

Rating: 5 Stars (I would give it more)

Review:

I am won over by Elizabeth Marx’s writing, this book is only a couple of chapters but I was so engrossed in it. It made me feel a range of emotions is is amazing since this is a novella. It made me want to cry i was so involved with the characters

The chemistry between the two main characters was great and so well written. You could literally feel the sparks of the pages.

“From the moment I laid eyes on her she was trouble to my concentration, my libido, and my mental health. After six weeks of pursuit, I’d trapped her between my upraised arms against a book case, somewhere betwixt Shakespeare and Voltaire. “I want the witchcraft in your lips,” I’d whispered. Instead of arguing, she grabbed me by the ears. She’d been soft lips, liberal tongue and nipping teeth. I’d contributed a willing body and a vulgar groan. She’d drawn away, licked her lips and ducked underneath my arms. When she was about three yards from me, she’s tilted her head up like a siren on the bow of a ship and pursed a devil-may-care smile at me before she bowed. She’d challenged me to pursue her, and I’d intended to, but when I pushed off, the bookcase fell backwards. I tumbled into a heap of literary tombs. I could still hear her laughing when the library’s elevator door chimed closed.”

What I love more is that the relationship between Libby and Aidan was just not lust. This novella takes place over a year and a half and they are friends. There is obviously lust involved but it is not the main factor.

I just adore Libby’s character, she is a strong independent woman who knows what she wants. Even when she has to give up her dreams she does not moan about it and becomes bitter but accepts it and try to make the best of the situation at hand. We do need more heroines like this in books and films.

Aidan a great character too, he was a jock and cocky but so sweet I was totally won over and bowled over by him. However he also broke my heart at the end of this book. He ‘courts’ Libby for a year and a half and once he got what he wanted which was sex he kind of backed off a bit. I know Libby is also at fault here as she started the distance but if you want someone would you not do anything to be with them? Especially when he found out Libby was pregnant I don’t think he was supportive or sensitive at all to it. He just saw the baby as a problem, which is why I feel Libby is less at fault for the problems between them. I mean you wouldn’t give up on the person who you wanted for a year and a half or love  if they started to avoid you?

I could not believe when he drove away from Libby when she waited for him at the end, both were at fault for the problems but I really blame Aiden the most. His reaction to her news was not what it should have been. You would think it would have been different but no. I can see why this needed to happen as there is the actual story but it was so nice to read this back story it helps to make the characters more relatable and real. Honestly read this!! I shall be reading it again sometime!

Happy Reading 😀

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!

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!

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?

He loves Lucy – Susan Donovan

Synopsis:

Delighted when her firm lands the Palm Club account, marketing executive Lucy Cunningham is less than happy when she becomes the guinea pig in her own campaign concept–to put a fitness-challenged woman in front of the TV cameras and into the hands of the club’s top personal trainer, gorgeous Theo

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: 

Have you ever read a book that touches your heart? This book does it for me. It’s not heart breaking or sad or anything like that but it is about the struggle with weight and having the will power to succeed. It one of those sort of motivating books that you read and want to achieve something yourself.

I really enjoyed this book because Lucy was loveable and so relatable, I for one can admit doing the same as her and turning to comfort eating at times. She had a sense of humour which was nice to read. The book that have witty characters are my favourite because it’s nice to have a laugh.

“According to the receptionist, he was a hard to miss man with short light brown hair, blue eyes, and a little gold hoop in his left ear. Yet so far, she’s managed to miss him and his hoop just fine”

“I’m sorry, but I just have to ask. Are you gay? You’re single and attractive and you wear an earring and have a cat. This is Miami Beach, right?”

Lucy also had her faults. She admitted that even she judges someone by there looks, she think Theo at first is an airhead as he’s good looking and in shape but then realises there more to a person than their looks. It was different to see Lucy struggle aswell succeeding in her weight loss goal.

I did like Theo, what I liked the most was that he clearly cared about his brother and tried to put him first. Theo was hard working and I really like the banter and relationship development between him and Lucy.

What I loved that Theo saw something in her even when she was overweight, the relationship but did not suddenly develop when Lucy was losing loads of weight and getting near her target. It was so nice to see the relationship develop from friendship as these are my favourite love stories, they are in my opinion so much better than the love at first sight stories for me.

The book itself it well written and I really do like the way that the author tells the story, it is due to the author that the book has such wit and great characters.

I will not say too much more about the book because you should read it. It’s one I would recommend!

Happy Reading!

Shadow Study – Maria V. Snyder (Soulfinders #1/ Study #4)

Synopsis:

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

I read this book in under 24 hours. I stared it at 5pm yesterday and had completed it by 10am this morning (Yes and I’ve already posted this review – this is how much I had to share my enjoyment!). I just about managed to get some sleep even though I wanted to keep reading though the night I refrained. I enjoyed this book so much and I have been waiting for this book for so long that after finally reading I have no idea what to do with myself now. I was worried when I heard this book POV would be split between Yelena, Valek and Janco but actually the book was so well written that I did not find the switch in perspectives choppy at all. The book flowed well and at no point was I confused about who was narrating. I am so glad that I loved this book, because I love the original 3 books in the series so much I was worried that I had too high of expectation for this and if I didn’t love this book then it would have just slightly impacted my love for the previous books in the series. However I had nothing to worry about because maria writes so well that you are sucked into the story and literally sitting on the edge of your seat to find out what happens next. The story was well paced as it was full of action so it did not drag but neither was it packed with so much going on that the read could could not keep up. I was literally shocked with the developments involving the commander.

I actually really liked the multiple perspective because we got to see what was happening in places where Yelena was not present which helped with the story progression and gave the reader more insight into other side characters around Yelena and Valek. Though the main reason I loved the multiple perspectives was because we got to see more about Valek and how he thinks, how he came to be who he is and his childhood. I am so glad that we got to know more about him and in a way his feelings. I will admit I had an Awww moment when Valek would think things like not missing being in the sought but missing a certain southerner. There is a tiny bit of romance in this book but that is not the main focus of this book, but I really do like seeing the relationship development between Valek and Yelena.

I actually enjoyed this book more than Fire study because in Fire Study the fact that Yelena ignored Moon man and was mean to him was a sour point with me. I enjoyed that Yelena actually learned from this and accepted that she still thinks highly of him even if he was always giving her cryptic advice. I will not say that there were not points where I wanted to hurt Yelena because she was being too independent and I questioned her thinking, there sure fire way of knowing when something is going to happen or go wrong is when Yelena goes off alone. I can overlook those because like I mentioned I felt she was learning from her mistakes and atleast she does take action and do not wait around for a ‘hero’ to do the work. I was also glad to see more of Leif in this book because I really did not like him at all when he was first introduced in this series but he’s grown on me

I knew what was going to happen on the last page due to coming across a spoiler by mistake so that was not a massive shock but it is definitely a cliff hanger ending, I mean I was thinking saying say what?. I really wish I did not come across that spoiler but this did not affect my enjoyment of the book. Though now I cannot wait until the next book Night Study. I’m so excited I had to go on Goodreads and fins out when the next book. Turns out I have about a year to wait for the next book but considering Fire Study was realised in 2008 and originally Maria was not going to write more books on Yelena I cannot complain but I really wish this time goes fast.

I have not read the Storm Glass series but I own so I will be reading those next, I should have read them before this book as other characters from there are mentioned but it did not confuse me to an extent where I could not enjoy this book.

I thought this was going to be a short review. Obviously I was wrong, I know I did not speak much about the story but I do not want to ruin the book for anyone. If you have not read this book or series it is one that I would recommend. The series is a favourite of mine. If you like a strong willed heroine with a good story and great side characters then this book is for you. Though I do not promised that there will not be points where you want to shake some sense into Yelena..:D

Happy Reading!!