Thursday, 10 September 2015

Blog Anniversary | 7 Years

I can't believe I almost missed my anniversary again.  It's been 7 years since I first started it, way back then it was called How Do You Like My Blog Now Hans Brix! (Obvs. I was big on Team America: World Police) Matt Damon!!  Initially I began the blog because of a work course (Web 2.0), there was a long list of social media that we had to join and use, some are no longer functioning - delicious for one - others I've long stopped using.  But I continue to blog, the main reason, because I love discussing books!

When I look back at my old posts I cringe, they're not particularly well written but I like to see how better I've become at getting my point across and how much I can still improve.  I always say it, but I wish that I was more consistent with my posting, but I'm sure I'm not alone in trying to get that balance right. Hopefully that's something that I get better at too.

I don't get a huge amount of comments on my blog, but I'd like to say thank you to those who do take the time to read my reviews, comment or share a post.  I know it's hard to find time to but I really appreciate it.

Until next time, happy reading and RELEASE THE PANTHERS!!!!  ...what can I say - I'm still a fan :)


Book Review | Hot SEAL by Lynn Raye Harris

Navy SEAL Dane “Viking” Erikson has sworn off women—or at least he’s sworn off one woman: DEA Agent Ivy McGill. His ex-wife. 

But when they’re forced to work together on a critical military mission, Dane can’t help but notice how the one woman he shouldn’t want is the only one he can’t stop thinking about. 

Ivy knows what it’s like to fall for a SEAL’s hard muscles and killer smile—and she knows what it’s like when everything falls apart. So why is she naked against a wall and begging Dane for more?

The 9th book in the Hostile Operations Team series and the 1st in the HOT SEAL series.  While this is a spin-off it opens up more avenues for the continuation of the series with both new and existing characters.  I'm excited to see where the addition of a SEAL team will take the series.  This novella is a perfect introduction for our new characters. 

You don't have to have read the other books in the series, but I do recommend that you don't start with this book, simply because it gives away the pairings of couples from earlier books and there are possible spoilers.  But I also think that because the series has a number of books (this will make 9), that it's more enjoyable and you get a better picture of the dynamics of the team, the over arching story line that is weaved throughout the books if you do read them in order.  Each book ends with a satisfying finish, but there is the 'Big Bad' which the members of HOT continue to fight.

I'm a sucker for second chances, I'm not quite sure what it is, (maybe I am a big softie at heart), but I like it.  Especially when you have characters that have had a relationship before and let's get real - I read romance - I'm a sucker for a HEA!!  The prologue starts five years ago and it sets Dane & Ivy up, just married, completely in love, blazin' up the sheets and VERY hot for each other.  I was looking forward to them meeting up again and I wasn't disappointed.  

From the first time Dane & Ivy reunited I was 'pass the popcorn, this is about to get good'.  I had a big dopey grin on my face and I just knew he was going to be a shit stirrer :) 

      "She didn't expect him to be looking at her, or maybe she did.  He didn't know, but he didn't look away.  Instead, he gave her a slow grin.  And then he winked."

They both have baggage to work through, their relationship didn't have closure and even though it'll make their mission messy, they can't stay away from each other.  What can I say - sexy complications are the best kind.  I'm pretty sure I say this in each of my HOT reviews, but I love that the heroines are strong, sassy and can get shit done.  Ivy is that in spades, she is a take no crap, get shit done DEA agent. She's proud of the work she does and I love that she isn't a damsel in distress.  And Dane...lord do I love a military hero.  He's alpha, but not overbearing and I love that even though they've both hurt each other, as soon as Ivy needs it, Dane is there to help.

I mentioned the team before and I loved revisiting them.  I get the sense that they are lots of fun, I think I could stand to spend some weekend BBQ time with them.

      "I know you will, you ornery Cajun motherfucker."  "Can't wait to see you."  "Easy does it sir.  I'm spoken for."

I love that with the spin-off series we are getting some new characters.  I'm interested to see more of Ace, Ivy's partner, and the rest of Dane's SEAL team.  The focus was on our H & H, but I'm sure we will see more of the team in the future.  And Mendez!!  Mendez is going to be the death of me when he finally gets his own story!!  I really hope it's soon.

I'd definitely recommend this series, it has fast become one of my favorite to read and if you love military romance, hotboys being sexy badass hotboys, with a side of snark & sass this is the book for you.

*** I received an ARC of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Until next time, happy reading :)


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Cover Reveal | Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh

I am so excited for the next installment in the Rock Kiss series to come out.  Nalini Singh has quickly become one of my favorite authors since my friend introduced me to her Psy-Changling series.  For the longest time she kept telling me to try it, when I finally did I had one of those "Why have I waited so long to try this author moments".  I highly recommend the series if you haven't already tried it.

If contemporary is more your style - look no further than the Rock Kiss series.  I devoured them one after the other during the Australia Romance Readers Convention earlier this year and the wait from March this year has been a long one!  I was lucky enough to be part of the cover reveal/blog tour last time and I'm glad I can share in the fun again.  I'm looking forward to Noah & Kit's story and I have a feeling this one is going to break my heart a little.

Check out the beautiful cover below, are you as excited as I am?!  There is also pre-order information and links if you would like to buy the other books in the series.

Kit and Noah's rock star romance is finally here in the newest addition to Nalini Singh's Rock Kiss Series!! 


Amazon US:




Releasing: October 6th

From New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh comes the next contemporary romance in the Rock Kiss series...

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John.  Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness...until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, hut he'd rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret.  All he has left is his music.  It's his saving grace, but it doesn't silence the voices that keep him up at night.  Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours' sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new "it" couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave.  Wanting--needing--to give Kit this, even if he can't give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend.  Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful...and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Series Reading Order

Rock Addiction (Book One) 
Rock Kiss Series

Rock Courtship (bk 1.5)
A Rock Kiss Novella
            Amazon US:
            Amazon UK:

Rock Hard (Book Two)
Rock Kiss Series
            Amazon US:


Rock Redemption (Book Three)

Rock Kiss Series

Amazon US:




Until next time, happy reading.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Book Review | The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1)The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am slow on the uptake of some classics and this one is no different.  And I'm glad to say it's another off the 1001 list!  I am still making my way through and according to the app, I should finish them all before I die!

On to the book.  I liked Chandler's writing style, it flows nicely and it was a quick enjoyable read.  I love Robert Crais' Elvis Cole series and it is easy to see the influence that Chandler (as I'm sure Hammett has too), has had on modern crime writers.  Originally published in 1939, The Big Sleep holds up well as a novel, I didn't feel like I was reading something completely alien, although it's possible not quite as bloody and violent as we are used to today.

I will say, the racism, sexism and homophobia pulled me out of the story (but I think that goes to show that Chandler's work is still accessible to modern crime readers).  I had a couple of pauses, 'Did he just say fag?' Ah yep, ok.  And yes, let's slap the vulnerable girl, that'll fix things *eye roll*  Reading something from this era, I need to remind myself that although it's not right, this was common place thinking.

It may be frustrating for some to read, but I don't agree with removing or editing works that have offensive material, (Huck Finn and Magic Faraway Tree are two examples).  I don't think it does anyone any good to pretend that racism, homophobia, sexism didn't exist, it's important to read stories how the author intended and move on from there & hopefully learn from it, especially when we ask children to study these texts in school.

Overall, I enjoyed The Big Sleep.  Like I said, it was an easy Sunday afternoon read, I laughed, I groaned and I read it in one sitting.  One of things I've been asking myself each time I finish a book from the list - Was this book worthy of a spot on the list and would I read another of his books?  And it's yes to both.

View all my reviews

Until next time, happy reading :)


Saturday, 29 August 2015

Book Review | Hot & Bothered by Lynn Raye Harris

Hot and Bothered (Hostile Operations Team, #8)Hot and Bothered by Lynn Raye Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.  All the squees are my own.

Another great edition to HOT, for me this series just keeps delivering – both with the action and with the feels.  With the addition of Dane and his team (HOT SEAL – coming out in September), I like where the series is going.  And we are that much closer to Mendez’ story, which from what Harris is laying down in Hot & Bothered, it’s going to be HOT.

This time around our Hero & Heroine (Ryan & Emily) are dealing with forbidden attraction – he needs to stay away from her because of her past and his job. We first met Emily in HOT Rebel, (Nick & Victoria’s story), she is the sister that Victoria went rogue for and it’s not until now that we’re really getting to know her.  Since being back in the US, Ryan has been one person that Emily can really confide in, he is a big part of her coping with everything that’s happened since the desert, Bin Yusef  and her rescue.  But when Ian Black gives her a chance to clear her name and make things right, how can she say no?

In the previous books we’ve mostly seen Ryan as the joker, the class clown.  So it’s a little different to see him as both vulnerable and the big bad protector.  Although I admit it was nice to see beyond the surface.   Emily manages to get past that and in that sense they’re perfect for each other, they work through their problems together.  They’re both as stubborn as each other to begin with, so it’s fun to see the give and take in their relationship.

I like that Harris continues to write strong female characters, sure they can’t do everything on their own and I don’t expect them to, but they’re resourceful, strong and they kick arse – these characters feel real to me, they aren’t cookie cutter.  And that is why this series continues to be one of my favourites.

I know for the previous couple of stories in the series I’ve said the books can be read as stand-alones, but I think that it’s better to read them in order, there are tidbits of information that relate to previous stories and while they aren’t major spoilers it’s nice to start the series as Harris intended and let’s be honest why wouldn’t you want to read them all.

View all my reviews

Until next time, happy reading.


Friday, 24 July 2015

Book Review | Venetia by Georgette Heyer

Venetia (Abridged)Venetia by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read Georgette Heyer since the 2013 ARRA Conference when Cathy Maxwell referenced some of her 'must read' books and this is the first chance I've gotten.  And honestly the draw card here was Richard Armitage.

Richard. Fucking. Armitage.  Giving me eargasms like Dre.  I honestly don't know how I haven't crashed my car (I'm listening to The Convenient Marriage now).  He does a wonderful job of the narration, but I'm not surprised.  That man could read me the phone book and my ovaries would explode!

By most standards of the time, Venetia is an on the shelf spinster.  She has options in the form of a rather dull Mr Yardley, but she's not planning to settle and she doesn't seem overly bothered by not being married, she's happy to manage the estate and take care of her younger brother.  It's not until she meets Demerel that her world is challenged for want of a better word.

This was such fun, I loved the developing relationship between Venetia and resident rake Lord Damerel.  I've always got a special place in my heart for sassy, independent regency ladies.  This was bringing back memories of Lady Calpernia from Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean - another book I adore.  They banter with witty quips and literary quotes (which I'd love to explore more, I recognise some but not all of them),their friendship blossoming into something more.  It didn't seem twee or contrived and if they were real people I'd like them.  Heyer's writing kept pace nicely and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work, I understand she also writes mysteries although I'm not sure if they are of the Regency era.  She certainly does her research and it shows.

I am going to have to reread this as the audio that I listened to was abridged, something I didn't realise until it arrived at work for me.  As much as I did enjoy the narration I'm looking forward to curling up on the couch and spending a little more time with Venetia and Damerel.

View all my reviews

I mean COME ON people, how could you not!!!!  I'd be all over that like Vegemite on toast.

Until next time, happy reading.


Monday, 18 May 2015

Bout of Books | Reading Updates & Wrap Up 16/5 - 17/5

Number of books I've read today: 1
Number of pages I've read today: 200
Total number of books I've finished: 3
Total pages read:
Books: The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July, Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming.
Daily challenge: Favourite Read Photo Challenge hosted by Once Upon a Book 

Saturday Challenge:

The challenge today is to post a photo of your favourite read of Bout of Books.  For me, it is Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming. I listened to this and it was also narrated by the author. This is a past/present memoir of his early life (about the abuse that his family suffered at the hands of his father) and his journey to discover what happened to his maternal grandfather after the Second World War.   

This was funny, moving, sad, insightful, brilliant. I'll stop throwing words at the page.  Needless to say, I thought this was well written and the sensitive subject matter was handled with respect. I'm fascinated by people's history and as luck would have it Alan's episode of Who do you think you are is coming up next weekend. I think watching it will add another layer to the story. 

Number of books I've read today: 1
Number of pages I've read today: A lot :)
Total number of books I've finished: 4
Total pages read: 1170
Books: The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July, Not my Father's Son by Alan Cumming, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.  Not completed: T'was the night after Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries.
Daily challenge: No challenge.

Bout of Books 13.0 Wrap Up
 So I guess you can see, towards the end I got a little lax in keeping track of pages read, but I was having too much fun reading.  I ended up reading 1,170 pages all up.  Four books completed (almost five).  But more importantly, I had fun.

I managed to finish:

* The Skelton Road by Val McDermid; 140 pgs
* No one belongs you here more than you stories by Miranda July; 205 pgs
* Not my Father's Son by Alan Cumming; 288 pgs
* Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; 337 pgs
* T'was the night after Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries (not completed). 200 pgs.

I knew I wouldn't be reading as much as in previous years, but I wanted to participate and if I read great, if something else came up, I wasn't going to stress.  I'm uploading a video to BookTube at the moment so I'll add that here once it's done cooking.

So how about you?  What did you read, what was your favourite book or did you read something you didn't like?  Let me know in the comments below. 

Until next time, happy reading :)


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