Saturday, 1 August 2015

Dark Lightning by Bethany L. Brown

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Bethany L. Brown.
Dark Lightning
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Ever dreamed of having control over an element? Ava Sparks didn’t. She was just a normal girl without a passing thought that there could be something out there other than humans. Until her seventeenth birthday.

In a moment of panic, something unthinkable happens: lightning surged out of her hands. Soon after, she is swept away into the world of elementals. At Westville Boarding School, she is drawn into a society full of dark secrets, power, and rivalry, and she must find her place in the battle Ms. Masters, the leader of the elementals, is set on instigating against humans.

Aided by her best friend Harper McGee, she realizes her true potential and the benefits of wielding lightning. However, reoccurring nightmares are testing the limits of her sanity and the fact that an unavoidable darkness follows the lightning doesn't help. When the past and present starts to collide, secrets are revealed and fate is hard to avoid. Throw in the infuriating, but mouth-watering, Nathan Yates and life is no longer easy. She instantly feels drawn to him, no matter how rude he is or how hard he pushes her away.


Dark Lightning by Bethany L. Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Dark Lightning(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Bethany L. Brown.)

“You will never see them again! Those filthy creatures were not your parents!”



This was a YA paranormal romance about a girl who could control lightning.

Ava was quite a strong girl, especially seeing how well she coped at being taken from her parents and thrust into a life she knew nothing about. The fact that she was also supposed to have been some kind of saviour couldn’t have been easy either.

“And how many can control lightning?”
“Including you, only one.”




The storyline in this was about Ava starting at a boarding school for kids who were descendants from specific families who had the ability to control different elements to different extents. The world building was quite good, but I did find the information quite chunky in places, making the story a little heavy going at the start. I also had some problems with the pace, and felt like that the book could have possibly been streamlined a bit to help the story flow a bit better. (Deleted scenes could have then been added at the end of the book as bonus material for anyone who did want to read it.)

“Only one student in this school is considered to be a level five.” Drew finally spoke up, but still kept his eyes down.
“Who?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“Me.”




There was some romance in this, and whilst the two characters didn’t seem to suffer from insta-love, the possibility of them being soul mates seemed to be raised quite early on in the book.

“Do you think Nate is your soulmate? Do you feel that pull?”
I shook my head, unsure why I was lying. “Nope.”




The ending to this was wrapped up nicely, and I was quite shocked at Ava’s part in the final show down.



6 out of 10.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Forget Me Not (Ceruleans #2) by Megan Tayte

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Megan Tayte.
Forget Me Not (Ceruleans, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):

IN THE FACE OF DEATH, SHE MUST PROTECT THOSE SHE LOVES.

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

Death is stalking Scarlett Blake. As if the encroaching darkness in her head wasn’t enough, she’s become disturbingly accident prone. Falling off a cliff isn’t ideal when all you want is as much time as possible to live, to love.

Her fate is horrifying. Unbearable. And inescapable. No one can save Scarlett from The End that’s looming. Not Jude, the Cerulean who is intent on Claiming her. Not Luke, the boy who is intent on loving her.

The clock is ticking, louder with every heartbeat. Now Scarlett must decide how best to protect the people she loves. Will she trust in Jude and the life-after-death he promises? Will she stand against the Fallen, who have her sister captive? Will she carry the burden of her death alone – every headache, every hallucination, every wrenching, aching emotion?

And when the clock falls silent, when the darkness eclipses the light, will Scarlett fight for life? Or will she have no choice but to surrender?


Forget Me Not by Megan Tayte

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Forget Me Not (Ceruleans, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Megan Tayte.)

“Not my sister, I wanted to say. She’s not up there. She was taken. And I have to find her.”



This was an interesting second instalment in the series, and I liked how Scarlett got a little bit closer to finding out what happened to her sister, and a little bit closer to her own fate.

“Catastrophe stalks you.”



I liked Scarlett in this story, she did her best to stay positive, and to make the time that she had count, even if nobody else knew what she was going through. I liked that she made up with her mum, and took her relationship with Luke a bit further, and that she was prepared for what was going to happen to her.

“Becoming is an euphemism for dying. Dying. D.Y.I.N.G. Since my eighteenth birthday, when I ‘came of age’ (how archaic is that?), I’ve been dying.”



The storyline in this was basically about Scarlett’s life leading up to what she knew was coming, and trying to work out what to tell her friends about what was going to happen to her.
There was some romance, and I thought that Luke and Scarlett made a good couple, and they were so obviously there for each other, even when things didn’t look quite so rosy.

“I love you,” he said. “And love isn’t just a feeling, it’s an action. So let me do it. Let me love you.”



The ending to this was pretty good, but did leave us with a bit of a cliff-hanger! What will happen in the next book?!



7 out of 10.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1) by Kristin Cast

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Diversion Books and NetGalley.
Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.


Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Diversion Books and NetGalley.)

“Only at the moment when her mortal heart ceases to beat will her destiny ignite and the strengths of the Oracle become free. This will be the future, or your beloved Tartarus will decay beyond repair, and you will be responsible for its extinction.”



This book had some really cheesy, melodramatic moments, but it wasn’t too bad overall.

Eva was maybe a little bit naïve for parking her car in a dark place, leaving it unlocked, and then returning to it alone. She was hardly being safe by doing that!

“Always check the backseat. It’s safer.”



Alek was a bit annoying really. I just found him to be so innocent and trusting and blind to what the world was really like! Fair enough he hadn’t lived there, but surely he should have watched enough stuff going on down on earth to know what the place was like?

"Eva, descendant of the great Oracle Pythia, I will find you. I will save you. Together, we will restore my home and rid this realm of evil."



The storyline in this was about Eva being kidnapped, and Alek trying to rescue her, with some mythology thrown in there, and some very melodramatic moments to boot. I did find the story quite irritating and boring in places, although it did improve a bit towards the end.

“How was I supposed to know it was a police vehicle? It was just blue. It wasn’t even marked.”



I didn’t really feel that there was much romance in here at all, other than an occasional reference to Eva and Alek having a destiny together, and a couple of kisses.

“She kissed him with newly discovered longing, and he returned her desire.”



The ending to this was just one cliff-hanger after another! Really!
6 out of 10.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs #1) by Lee Bross

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and NetGalley.
Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?


Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and NetGalley.)

“What if she could turn Arista into a proper lady who could attend the parties where jewels and money were ripe for the picking? Bones’s greed had become their savior.”



There wasn’t anything awful about this book, I just didn’t really enjoy it.

Arista was a girl who did her job well, and looked out for those she cared about. She wasn’t treated well, but at least she wasn’t forced into a brothel.

"She would never forget the night Nic had told her that Bones planned to sell her and Becky to the brothels. Arista would have died first."

The storyline in this was about Arista leading a double life, posing as a Lady whilst selling people’s secrets, but I just got bored, pretty quick, and I didn’t really care what was going on.

“You of all people should know, sir, that there is no such thing as trust among thieves.”



There was some romance, but even that didn’t interest me, and I was just really, really pleased to get to the end of this. I’m thankful that this was wrapped up rather than ending as a cliff-hanger, because I don’t really want to read another book in this series.



6 out of 10

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA, and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
A teen Sliding Doors. One choice creates parallel dual narratives in this romantic contemporary mystery-thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point. One Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger. On the night of the big Spring Break party, Hadley "borrows" her boyfriend Ben's car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see. Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get. Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo. Like a teen Sliding Doors, A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.

A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A Million Times Goodnight(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA, and NetGalley.)

“We’re with you, Hadley,” Mia said. “No matter what.”



This was an okay story, but I found it confusing and slow.

Hadley came across as quite determined in this story, but she also did some really stupid things. Stealing your boyfriend’s car is never a good idea, no matter how many naked pictures of you he’s posted on facebook.

“You are going to get in my car and drive it back to Oak Grove. You hear me?”



The storyline in this was a bit jumpy. We kept getting chapters where Hadley was driving to Florida with Josh, interspersed with chapters where Hadley was still at home in Ohio, and it wasn’t possible for both of those scenarios to be true, which left me wondering what the heck was going on! I also really wanted to know what had happened to Penny, and the events that led to her death, but the pace just seemed too slow, and the answers weren’t coming anytime fast!

“No one in this town will ever forgive you, Josh Lane. You killed her. What else do you expect?”



There was a little bit of romance in this, but not a lot, and I have to say that I much preferred Josh to Ben.

“You let a murderer get into my car, Hadley.”

The ending to this was okay, and it did answer the question of which of the two stories we’d been reading was right, I can’t say I was overly impressed by the explanation though.
6 out of 10


Monday, 27 July 2015

Rebound (Soulmates #3) by Nicole Dykes

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Nicole Dykes.
Rebound (Soulmates, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Ryan is heartbroken, his relationship with his girlfriend is not what it had seemed. He decides to swear off relationships and women all together to focus on college and playing football. Life of course has other plans for him. Can he let go of the pain and love again?

This is Ryan's story from the Soulmates Series. It starts with his relationship with Maddy and follows him to college, the life of a college athlete. It will show his struggle to move on from Maddy.

***This is a part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

***New adult romance recommended for people 18 or older for mature content.


Rebound by Nicole Dykes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Rebound (Soulmates, #3)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Nicole Dykes.)

“An athletic scholarship. You had to play a game to get here and you continue to play a game to stay here.”



This was a new-adult story about what happened to Ryan after his break-up with Maddy in book 1.

“I thought we were dating again.”
“What? You did? We never talked about that.”




Ryan seemed quite a loyal sort of person, and it was nice that he was going to college for an education rather than to party and have sex.

“If I never see a football in person after college, I’d be okay with that.”



The storyline in this was about the romance mainly, and there was a bit of going over old ground again, as the first 20% was some of the events from book 1 from Ryan’s point of view.
The romance happened between Ryan and a girl called Lindsay, and she was quite a sweet girl. I felt really sorry for her when it seemed like Ryan was totally blind to her feelings.

“We were just talking about how I’m broken. And how I don’t want a relationship.”
“I don’t either. Not even a little bit. That’s why it’s perfect.”
“Why what is perfect?”
“This. We can hook up or whatever and just be friends. No pressure. No relationship.”




The ending to this was pretty happy, and I was glad that things seemed to be working out for Lindsay and Ryan.



6 out of 10

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Fate (Soulmates #2) by Nicole Dykes

Fate (Soulmates, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Jake Keller met Madison Wright when he was six years old. They were instantly friends. He makes a terrible mistake in high school that leads to a heartbreaking fight with Madison. They become bitter enemies until a horrific tragedy brings them together again. But can he hold onto her?

Follow Jake and his group of friends through the trials of high school and new adulthood.

This book is the second book of the Soulmates Series, but can be read as a standalone.

*Not recommended for anyone under 18 due to strong language, sexual situations, and alcohol references.


Fate by Nicole Dykes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Fate (Soulmates, #2)Downloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk

“It was so different kissing Maddy, and I couldn’t get enough.”



Well, anyone who has read the first book knows how this story goes (it’s the same story told from Jake’s perspective), but it was nice to read Jake’s side of the story. He really did put ideas in Andy’s head when he told him to break up with Maddy if he wanted sex (though Andy shouldn’t have cheated). But at least Jake didn’t cheat on Maddy.



6 out of 10

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Stitch in Time by Ian Murray-Watson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Ian Murray-Watson.
A Stitch in Time
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A novel about Nothing (and everything). A surreal fantasy in which sacred cows are sent flying in all directions - politicians, scientists, wind farms, supermarkets, even overweight opera singers (though they need a lot of heavy lifting).

There’s a strange blockage in the Time Continuum and Grandfather Time’s glass is stuck. It means the End of Time itself, and that can’t be good. The gods (a coalition government these days) don’t know what to do, and so they ask Astralia (the Dream World) for help. The Astralians aren’t much use either. They can send agents over here (it’s all our fault of course), but once they get here they can’t remember what they’re here for.

In the ‘real’ world scientist Tom meets Lucy, the girl of his dreams. They fall in love, but who are they, really? Are dreams the quantum reality that scientists say they can’t imagine? As Reality disintegrates, is there still Time to save the world? Is the answer always ‘Yes – and No’?

In Reality, Nothing is what it seems.


A Stitch in Time by Ian Murray-Watson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A Stitch in Time(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Ian Murray-Watson.)

“It appears that by concentrating our resources as we have done, we have inadvertently triggered an inverse relationship in dimension 5 and forced some of its defining constants to become negative – with respect to our own observation of them, of course.”



Well, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading this book, and trying to figure out – a. what the heck this book is about, and b. what I think to it, and I quite honestly do not know the answer to either of those things.

“Will the canary sing?”
“It might, but it’s not really very likely. Canaries are not very stable, and it may decay into a sparrow and a second gerbil at any moment.”





There were lots of characters in this, a boy called Tom and a girl called Lucy, some peeps called 0 and 1, as well as lots of other inconsequential people, and some people who were watching what was happening to Lucy in her dreams?? I really don’t know. I do know that I wouldn’t want to go to dinner with any of these people though, especially not Tom who’s idea of scintillating dinner-time conversation made me want to throttle him just to get him to shut up.

“No, but… Tom, we’re not dreaming now. We don’t make things up as we go along. Things don’t suddenly change into other things.”
“In a quantum world they do, or they can – or they may, I suppose, to be accurate. In the quantum world there are only possibilities, like in dreams. Anything might happen.”
“What about the people? Are they real, or are they only possibilities you’re dreaming about?”
“As real as anything else. As real as you or me anyway. Maybe they’re only versions of ourselves, or maybe we’re just versions of them. I don’t know.”




The storyline… oh dear me, I am just lost as to what this book was about. There seemed to be several little snippets of scenes, and I struggled to make sense of any of them. There was talk of white holes and complex hamsters, the first of which I’m sure is theoretical, and the second of which I have absolutely no clue about, and the rest of the book made just as much sense. I kept reading the short, oddly named little chapters, hoping that at some point one of them was going to pull everything together, and that I would suddenly understand what the heck I was reading, but now I’ve finished, and I’m still waiting.

"A white hole creates information, but it has to devour all existing realities to do so. Now you see why your exemption has been countermanded."



This could of course just be me. I don’t claim to be a rocket scientist, even if I do have an A-level in physics, and I’d love to get a cat just so that I could name it Schrödinger. But this book just made no sense to me, and my brain doesn’t cope well with things it doesn’t understand.



A generous – 6 out of 10 – even if just because the author is a very nice person.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Guardian of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author W.E. Lawrence.
Guardian of Paradise
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In 1888, beautiful but quite capable Kira Wall was living a challenging and enjoyable life in a relatively isolated culture. However, her world gets turned upside down with the arrival of an Australian merchant ship carrying the evil and deceiving Captain Darcy Coleman along with its handsome doctor, Trevor Marshall. Each man, in his own way, possesses the ability to charm and seduce. For the innocent souls of the remote island paradise, including Kira, they are both intoxicating and will, using different methods, test her will to the limit.

After she reluctantly agrees to be Trevor’s guide, things become unraveled when she suspects he is distracting her from the renegade captain who has his own ulterior, “get rich”, motives for being there. Her situation becomes desperate when no one will listen. The evil captain has a devilishly captivating manner, plenty of "modern" goods with which to woo the islanders, and a clever ability to lie his way out of suspicion. He has also brought a new invention, dynamite.


Guardian of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Guardian of Paradise(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author W.E. Lawrence.)

“We are happy to greet anyone who comes to our island in peace.”



This was an adult historical romance, set on an island.

Kira was a woman who seemed to care for everybody on the island where she lived, and she was a bit wary of strangers. She seemed to like Trevor though, and they seemed to get along pretty well.

“I think we know each other well enough for you to call me Trevor from now on.”



The storyline in this was about a boat full of men approaching the island where Kira lived, and asking if they could harvest some of the food grown on the island. I did find the pace in this quite slow though, and to be honest I kept wanting to put this down and not pick it up again.

“This is the richest soil I’ve ever laid eyes on.”



There were a few other storylines going on, but there was also a romance between Kira and Trevor. I can’t say I really enjoyed the romance in this though. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I didn’t really warm to Trevor, but there was just something lacking for me, and I didn’t enjoy the sex scenes either unfortunately. I just didn’t feel like they fitted in with the rest of the book, and Trevor was a little rough with Kira considering that she was a virgin.



The ending to this was okay, but to be honest I was glad to finish the story. Maybe this was just a case of wrong person, wrong book, but I didn’t really enjoy this one much. It does look like I'm very much the odd one out with reards to this book though.



A generous - 6 out of 10 - just because I think that other people will like this one.