New Release Book Review: Hard Ride by A.M. Arthur

Hard RideHard Ride: A Gay Cowboy Romance (Book 5 Clean Slate Ranch series) by A.M. Arthur had me up all night reading to see if our two main characters, Slate and Derrick could go from fake boyfriends to something real. I have enjoyed this whole series so far and this newest book was no exception.

This one takes us away from Clean Slate Ranch, though all the previous characters I’ve come to know and love, regularly make appearances. After Slate has an accident he makes a deal with Derrick, they will be fake boyfriends for the summer, so Derrick has a date for 5 family weddings he has to attend, and in return Slate can recuperate at his place in the city where he has access to medical facilities.

The fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope is not a new one, but I personally haven’t read many of them, and I really enjoyed this one, watching them fall for each other, they already knew they had the chemistry, but watching that chemistry turn to something more was really enjoyable even if they were both too stubborn to say anything to each other. Cue best friends who can help out.

I loved the new cast of supporting characters who live in Derrick’s house and who Slate also becomes good friends with. I especially liked Dez who’s sweet, quirky and an individual and made Slate’s time recovering more enjoyable and set him on a new and completely different path from his former interests.

Slate has kept a secret from everyone, a teenage daughter who he is desperate to form a proper relationship with. I liked the way this played out and I liked how open she was to Slate and Derrick’s relationship and how that made her look at her dad in a new and better way.

A really enjoyable romance and I’ll be cheering this couple on, as I have for all the couples so far. I hope there is another book in this series to look forward to.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin – Carina Press for a digital copy in return for an honest review.

 

New Release Book Review: Bound by Silence by Suzanne Cass

Bound by SilenceBound by Silence by Suzanne Cass is book #2 in the Island Bound series and while it can be read as a standalone, the two main characters, Sierra and Reed, from book #1 Bound by Truth, play a pretty big role in this novel and they will continue into the next, so I’d advise you to read book #1 first, saying that, you won’t be lost if you don’t but the first book was really good and lays some of the backgrounds for our characters.

In Bound by Silence, we meet Keira, who is living in Hawaii and who witnesses a crime, watches her house be consumed by lava and is now on the run from some seriously bad guys. I kept changing my opinion of Keira, I liked her, then I thought she was a spoiled brat, followed by feeling terribly sorry for what she’d been through with her husband and being able to understand where some of her behaviours and thoughts come from, then liking her again. I wanted her to show some of the mettle she’d shown at the beginning of the story when she starts out on the run, but now and again she slipped into complete victim mode, which annoyed me. But at the same time, she’d lived through a lot and now her life was in danger, she was allowed to act like a victim for a while.

The things that Keira went through with her husband were quite hard to read about, she suffered terrible emotional abuse at his and others’ hands and that made her trust no one, while at the same time feeling that she was worth nothing. It is hard to fathom how people can blame themselves so completely for the way other people treat them when it is those people who are to blame.

I really liked Dalton, a bounty hunter, who inadvertently ends up rescuing Keira and becomes a target for the bad guys too. He struggled with what was right, morally and by the law, but chose to believe Keira and keep her safe while finding a way to prove she is innocent of a crime she’s been set up for in order to flush her out.

Keira’s sister Sierra and her now fiance Reed turn up in Hawaii as all this is going down, and using their skills as journalist and police officer, they go about tracking down evidence to help clear Keira’s name and prove who the bad guys really are.

There are some pretty hairy moments throughout this novel, where things could go either way for all four of our good guys, and there is a surprising twist, proving you don’t always know the people you think you do.

I did enjoy the chemistry between Dalton and Keira and I liked how much restraint and respect Dalton showed towards Keira. Some of the banter was fun too.

An enjoyable sequel in this series, I look forward to book three when Keira and Sierra go looking for their brother who seems to have disappeared.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

FB_IMG_1577105032228

#AWW2020 9/50

New Release Book Review: Pearls and Green Beer by Susanne Bellamy

Screenshot_20200205_190811I’m not a big reader of novellas, but I do enjoy Susanne Bellamy’s writing, so I was more than happy to read an ARC of her latest Bindarra Creek novella Pearls and Green Beer.

At only 65 pages, this short and sweet story is a lovely way to spend an hour. I enjoyed the two main characters, Annie and Ty. I liked that they both had issues they needed to work through and that being willing to take a chance on love and each other allowed them to realise those changes they needed to make in order to be happy. The dynamic between them was really sweet and lovely.

Thank you to the author for a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Amazon AU               Amazon US               Amazon UK\

 

FB_IMG_1577105032228      #AWW2020 7/50

 

New Release Book Review: Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry

Echoes between usI’m a big fan of Katie McGarry, her books are always full of emotions and she is never afraid to take you on a rollercoaster of an emotional ride. Echoes Between Us is no exception.

This novel is about two teenagers from different social groups whose surprise friendship through a school project makes them reassess their lives and their beliefs.

When I started this I wasn’t sure what to expect, it had aspects of the supernatural, bullying, a brain tumor, grief, and an alcoholic mother. It took me a little while to get into this story, but once I did, I was invested in the lives of Veronica and Sawyer, our two main characters.

We meet Veronica who is talking to her mother, who it turns out is a ghost only she can see. Veronica is struggling with the loss of her mother to a brain tumor while living with the knowledge and side effects of her own brain tumor. Veronica is a quirky character who I immediately liked, she’s self-assured and different, with three loyal friends. She doesn’t fit in at school, her quirkiness and her often time strange behaviour cause many of the other teenagers to spread nasty rumours about her and treat her like being weird is a bad thing. Veronica thinks she’s ok with her tumor and that she is dealing with things in a positive way, but as the story progresses, she learns that maybe she isn’t living as much as she thought, but rather, just waiting to die.

Then we meet Sawyer, one of the in-crowd, whose mother has just rented the downstairs apartment from Veronica’s dad. These two are not friends by any means, both having a natural disdain for the other. Sawyer has a secret, he chases an adrenaline high to get him through his life, just like an alcoholic or drug addict would. The difference with Sawyer is, he knows it is dangerous and he wants to stop, which leads him to attend an AA meeting and gain a sponsor, Knox, who becomes an important part of Sawyer’s life.

When Veronica needs a partner for an English assignment, she chooses Sawyer to be her partner to the shock/horror of everyone, including Sawyer’s mother, who is a right piece of works. Sawyer’s mother is a drunk, she’s also manipulative and controlling, and I didn’t like her one little bit.

Sawyer and Veronica’s relationship starts off extremely rocky, with only the assignment in common, the assignment being Veronica’s choice, to show that ghosts are real. What starts off as a very rocky truce, soon changes as they both start to realise they actually like who the other person is, especially when they aren’t around their respective friends. I enjoyed these two getting to know each other, and I enjoyed the way they pushed each other outside of their comfort zones in really taking a look at their lives and the people around them.

There were some sad and confronting parts in the story, I admit to getting teary at times. There is also some very interesting knowledge I learned about alcoholics and those who support them. I feel sorry, especially for the teens out there who end up mothering their parents, essentially enabling them in their illness.

Another great read from Katie McGarry that broached many important subjects and poked at many emotions.

Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Tor Teen for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

New Release Book Review: Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine

IMG_20200117_165356I was excited when I opened my mail to find this book inside, I do enjoy a good romantic suspense, especially an Aussie set one. This book managed to hold my attention until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, putting it down on the second night with only 30 pages to go and only because I had no other choice as I haven’t yet learned to read with my eyes closed (maybe one day).

The story starts with the discovery of some old bones on the ski slope where a couple of people have gone missing over the years, it is determined they are from a woman who went missing decades before. Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder is put in charge of the case, a case his good friend and old mentor Lewicki, was once in charge of, a case Lewicki has never managed to forget.

The bones were discovered by a ski patroller Vanessa Bell and that discovery may just put her life in danger as it seems the murderer is still around and does not plan on getting caught.

Being part of the investigation and coming into contact with Detective Ryder, also awakens emotions in both of them. Ryder’s past means he has a lot to deal with before being open to a change like the one Vanessa could bring.

There were plenty of twists and turns in this novel, a few red herrings too, when I was sure I had different things figured out or I was sure I knew what had happened, only to find that I didn’t.

I liked both of the main characters and enjoyed their interactions. But I really liked Ryder’s new partner Flowers who showed himself to be a very good police officer over the course of the investigation.

This is a tough case for everyone involved, the staff at the resort, the police officers, especially ex-cop Lewicki, and some of the guests at the hotel also play their part in the twists and turns. Plenty of secrets are uncovered during the investigation which helped in the red herrings along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will be looking for more by this author. Thank you to Allen & Unwin AU for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

 

Goodreads                 Author Facebook

Buy links:

 Allen & Unwin                 Amazon AU                 Amazon US

FB_IMG_1577105032228

 

#AWW2020 6/50

New Release Book Review: The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer

Screenshot_20200201_012336The Blossom Twins is book #5 in the Detective Natalie Ward series, I have read this series since the beginning and it gets better and better. The ending of this book completely screwed with my head. I’m still in shock from what the author has done. I even had to go back a page to make sure I’d actually read what I had read.

Detective Natalie Ward has to investigate the death of a girl at a concert, followed by the death of two twins. Determining whether these deaths are related whilst following many red herrings proves to be a difficult task. Years before Natalie was involved in the murder investigation of two sets of twins, it is a case that has haunted her ever since. Natalie is a good cop, and she has good instincts, something which over the course of this series has helped her solve the difficult cases she’s been assigned. Now her instincts tell her, these murders are related to the old ones.

Natalie and her team are assigned DS John Briggs to help in the investigation, he previously worked on the case of the Blossom Twins with Natalie and there is no love lost between them and I can see why, what an arrogant asshole he is.

All the while these cases are going on, Natalie is still dealing with the breakdown of her marriage, her loser of a husband, and is trying to find the right time to tell her two teenaged kids she is moving out and leaving their dad. Police work has always been a hard thing to balance with her family life and this case is causing that balance to be completely overthrown.

This was a hell of a case to follow and I can understand how frustrating it can be for police when following up leads and dealing with witnesses who don’t want to cooperate. Natalie and her team do a great job but they are up against the clock and the mind of a serial killer. This book will leave you reeling.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing me with a digital copy in return for an honest review.

Author Facebook                  Goodreads

Amazon AU                  Amazon US            Amazon UK

New Release Book Review: Rapt: The Price of Love by Tania Joyce

Screenshot_20200130_100748Rapt: The Price of Love by Tania Joyce is book #3 in the Everhide Rockstar Romance series where we catch up with Gemma and Kyle who had their story in book #1 Ripped: The Price of Loyalty. In this book they are planning their wedding, though both have different ideas of what the wedding should be like.

The band Everhide consists of Gemma, Kyle and Hunter, who had his romance in book #2 Ruined: The Price of Play. It was great to see Hunter and Kara were still together.

Gemma and Kyle have been through so much to get together, their wedding should be a time of joy. But on top of their differences in opinion on the wedding, they find out they have a stalker who is threatening Gemma if she dares to marry Kyle. Their team has been hiding the messages from them but Gemma has found a note in her bag and theirs no hiding the threat any more.

Gemma, Kyle, Hunter and the team take these threats very seriously, as they should, but it also causes some rifts between Gemma and Kyle, who can be in gemma’s mind, over protective. Who can they trust, is it someone in their inner circle or a fan? I was kept guessing and changed my mind a few times, though I did have an inkling of who it turned out to be.

I really loved the special close friendship between Gemma, Kyle and Hunter, having friends who are as supportive and loving as these is a great thing.

There was a lot of repetitive internal dialogue for Gemma and Kyle, and it got slightly annoying, but then I realised that I’m known for that all the time, I’m forever going over and over the same thoughts in my head, so it’s pretty true to life, I even annoy myself.

I really enjoyed this romantic suspense novel and look forward to reading more by Tania Joyce.

Thanks to the author for a digital copy in return for an honest review.

FB_IMG_1577105032228

 

 

#AWW2020 5/50