Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: The Siren's Touch by Amber Belldene

The Siren's Touch by Amber Belldene
July 21, 2015
188 pages
Genre: Paranormal romance 18+
Contains: profanity, sex
Source: eARC for Honest review

One touch can change everything…

Hitman Dmitri Lisko is determined to avenge his father. Once he takes out the man he believes is responsible for his family’s tragedies, he’s done killing for good. But a mysterious woman may tempt Dmitri to change his plan.

Sonya Truss was murdered in a Ukrainian village in 1968. Now she’s reappeared in San Francisco as a rusalka—the ghost of a wronged woman. And she’s thirsty for the blood of her killer. But she has to make things right before she’s trapped between worlds forever.

Sonya's enigmatic siren powers stir Dmitri's long-buried chivalry, and he finds himself compelled to help her. He also can’t resist giving her a taste of the pleasures she never experienced while she was alive. Soon they discover that touch has surprising consequences. Yet when their shared mission comes to cross-purposes, they must choose between deadly sacrifice—or surrendering to the one act that can save them both.

I went into this story having not paid much attention to the synopsis. My draw was simply having been a fan of Amber Belldene's Blood Vine series, which I loved. So knowing Amber had written a new book, I knew I wanted to read it. Fortunately, it only took me a few chapters to become totally engrossed in this story. 

'The Siren's Touch' felt like I stepped into a modern day fairy tale, but a fairy tale with a very dark and twisted path and characters teetering on the edge of a deep abyss. This was a supernatural tale revolving around revenge and vengeance, but also second chances, redemption, and love. I also loved the mix of past and present, Ukranian culture and mythology.

I was spellbound by Dmitri and Sonya's story and figuring out how they were going to solve Sonya's issue and what the consequences would be. And at the same time Dmitri had his own revenge plot he was trying to fulfill. But plans have a way of changing, particularly when new information comes to light, and the plotter himself starts to make personal changes as well. When a book revolves around revenge, it can be difficult to know how to root or your characters or if you should even cheer for them. There were certain moral questions that came to light, and I loved how Belldene handled it all, and how the ultimate plot unraveled and concluded.

I also fell in love with Dmitri and Sonya. Each had tragic pasts. Dmitri had been raised in a very difficult environment, and had unfortunately made some poor choices in his life. Sonya had been murdered, and while she was innocent then, now, as a rusalka, she has vengeance in her blood. Both are faced with incredible choices. But the beauty of this story is how these two souls find each other, and in the midst of helping each other, end up saving themselves. Dmitri makes the biggest changes, and I loved his transformation. For such a hard character, he turns out to be the sweetest. And for Sonya being so out of touch with the present, she turns out to be the perfect match for Dmitri. Their love story was beautiful, and I was on the edge of my seat hoping for a happy ending for them.

I loved 'The Siren's Touch' and Dmitri and Sonya's story. I was also excited to find out there would be sequels to this story, featuring some characters introduced here. I can't wait to read more in this fascinating series!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Falling for June by Ryan Winfield

Falling for June by Ryan Winfield
June 30, 2015
336 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Gifted copy for Honest review

Elliot Champ, a charming but solitary bachelor who has sworn off romance, is closer than ever to realizing his childhood dream of moving to Miami—until a chance letter lands on his desk, and changes everything.

The letter takes him to Echo Glen, a secluded retreat outside of Seattle, where he meets David Hadley, an elderly man who needs Elliot’s help fulfilling a promise to his wife, June. But along the way, it is Elliot whose life will be changed, as he’s introduced to a cast of colorful characters who conspire to draw him ever deeper into a whimsical world, where falling in love is all about letting go.

From the green mountains of the great Pacific Northwest to the scarlet poppy fields of northern Spain, this unique and heart-wrenching love story will take you on an emotional journey to that ever-elusive place called true love. Another must-read romance from Ryan Winfield that is guaranteed to draw tears, put a smile on your face, and have you, too, falling for June.


Sorry, I had to get that out of the way. I can't even describe how much I loved 'Falling for June.' I was expecting a love story, given the title of this book. But what I got from this story went beyond my wildest imagination. 'Falling for June' is a gorgeous, touching, beautifully rendered story demonstrating what a gift it is to fall in love, to be in love, to love beyond fear or sickness or even death. Not only that, it is the inescapable beauty of friendship and kindness, compassion and comradery.

In this gorgeously written book, we follow Elliot Champ, solitary bachelor with big dreams of escape, as he goes about his life to finally gain his childhood dream. But plans often come to unexpected paths, as was the case when Elliot's job brought him to the doorstep of Echo Glen, and into the company of a charming, elderly gentleman named David Hadley. For Elliot, business today is not as-usual as he spends the afternooon with David learning about the charming, breathtaking, unforgettable love story between David and his wife, June. But what Elliot gains through this visit goes beyond a day and a story, and unexpectedly challenges the very depths of Elliot's life.

The beauty of this book was multi-layered, which is my very favorite type of book. Trying to avoid major spoilers, I will narrow down this book in a very small way. But this is only a brief taste of what this story entails. Just the tip of the iceberg.

*First of all, we get Elliot, our main protagonist, whom we learn about not only his present, but the foundation of his past that got him to where he is today and the reasoning behind his life's goals and dreams. Elliot is the perfect conductor of this story, with his combined reservations and vulnerability, and a heart of gold.

*Secondly, we get David and June's beautiful love story, released to us in a captivating tale that I could not get enough of. This tale revealed so much about David and June, about a history of life and love, and I'm still getting misty-eyed just thinking about it. I easily fell in love with them.

*Then, we get this newfound friendship between Elliot and David. Watching these two men from different generations bond and find a kindred spirit in the other was incredible. I'm getting misty-eyed again thinking about these lovely men.

*Lastly, we get Elliot's love story. Or potential love story, I should say. Because Elliot's world is thrown a bit on its head during this story, and we get to see how what he has learned about life and himself affects the choices he makes for his future.

I cannot praise 'Falling for June' enough. It's a new favorite of mine, and I've fallen in love with this beautiful story and its equally beautiful characters. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to follow endearing characters and a captivating storyline, who likes beautiful and engaging writing, who loves to fall in love with characters and wish they were sitting beside you. and who wants to be taken on a very special journey, that will leave you deeply touched and incredibly happy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Willing Captive by Belle Aurora

Willing Captive by Belle Aurora
August 21, 2014
244 pages
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Contains: sex, profanity
Source: Personal purchase

Delilah “Lily” Flynn is used to her drab existence. Lily’s been living it for twenty two years.
Her boring life is suddenly turned on its head when she’s rudely kidnapped from her bedroom.
Or so she thinks.

Nox Taylor is far too high up in his field to be assigned a babysitting job.
There’s nothing more he wants than to complete his mission so he can be rid of the smartass tomboy, Lily.

Day after day, Nox watches Lily and her strange ways. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever met.
Getting close to the girl is purely for her own protection…right?

Lily never imagined she’d make her first real friends in captivity.
What lengths would she go through to keep them?

(Author note: This is NOT a dark romance.)

Wow! I absolutely loved 'Willing Captive'! To be honest, it took me two attempts to get past the first chapter to get into the book. I guess it felt a bit info-dumpy and I wasn't sure about Lily. I thought maybe there was too much hype about this book and I'd be the odd-man-out not liking it. Well, thank goodness I got past all that! Because not far into this book I did not want to put it down. I was completely sucked into Lily and Nox's story! It's a new addition to my favorites shelf.

Lily was a hoot. For being basically a locked away princess, she had buckets full of personality and wasn't about to be stuck in a corner. After years of compliance, she blooms in the presence of Nox, Boo, and Rock. I found it entertaining how one moment she could be immature and whiny, the next sensitive and compassionate, then next fun and crazy, and then next bold and loving. I think it's because of her varying personalities that I liked her so much, because I could completely relate to having wild moods. Then watching her come alive with Nox as the catalyst was simply delightful.

Nox was his own special form of awesomeness. I loved that we got a few chapters or scenes from his POV, but not too many. I like a bit of mystery, and don't need every detail spelled out for me. So the bits from Nox were perfect. And Nox, being so different from Lily, was perfect. He's the stability to her crazy, the patience to her spazzing, the calm to her storm. But she also brings out the side of him that seems to have been locked away, bringing him back to life and happiness and a future. And let's just say, an uninhibited Nox is a sexy, sexy Nox.

What I really loved about this story was the combination of blooming romance, sweet friendships, and life-threatening suspense and danger. Let's not forget that Lily is a captive and the danger is unknown but relentless. But somehow this story was able to balance all these aspects with the perfect combination of humor, sass, secrecy, intensity, suspense, sweetness, chemistry, sexiness, danger, shyness, heartbreak, friendship, and boundless love. I won't go into detail, but I will say that I was completely absorbed in this story, needing to see how it all turned out and taking the ride till the very end. (And I loved how it ended!)

All I can say at this point, is that I loved 'Willing Captive.' It exceeded any expectations I had. I fell in love with Nox and Lily, big time. I felt like I was right alongside them during the suspense, and cheering them on in the game of love. I feel like reading their story was a special treat, and I look forward to future re-reads.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Post: Weekly Wrap-Up (7.26)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books, share upcoming news, etc. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Current Giveaways:
Love Drunk by Libby Rice (Series signed books, ebooks, giftcard)
King of Hearts by LH Cosway (Prize pack, Signed book, swag)

What I Read Last Week:
(These were all great! A fantastic reading week for me!)
King of Hearts by LH Cosway
The Siren's Touch by Amber Belldene
Willing Captive by Belle Aurora

What I'm Listening To:

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

My Reviews Last Week:
Love Drunk by Libby Rice (my 3.5 star review)
King of Hearts by LH Cosway (my 5 star review)

What I'm Currently Reading:

Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee

Cover Reveal: Hearts of Blue by LH Cosway

Today is the final day of the Release Week Event for L.H. Cosway's King of Hearts and what better way to celebrate as we reveal the cover for HEARTS OF BLUE, book 4 in the Hearts series releasing in November 2015! I'm soooo excited!!

She upholds the law. He breaks it.
Two blue hearts, both alike in bravery
In not-so-fair London, where we lay our scene
From gun crime to petty theft
Where family is blood and survival makes hands unclean
In this place, we find two hearts who should be foes
And yet, amidst the turmoil their love still grows
Misadventure abounds and the divide will bring them strife
But with luck, death doesn’t always mean an end to life

Hearts of Blue is a standalone contemporary romance that tells the story of star-crossed lovers Karla Sheehan and Lee Cross, a police constable and the thief who steals her heart.


L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

Six of Hearts
Hearts of Fire
Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo | iTunes
King of Hearts

LHCHeartsBlueCover6x9_BW_350 (1)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stacking The Shelves (119)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Kindle Addiction:
Elect by Rachel Van Dyken
Entice by Rachel Van Dyken
Elicit by Rachel Van Dyken
Ember by Rachel Van Dyken
Elude by Rachel Van Dyken
The Reeducation of Savannah McGuire by Heidi McLaughlin

eARC Goodie:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review Tour & Giveaway: King of Hearts by LH Cosway

king of hearts

Welcome to the City, London’s most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince. 

I used to rule the world.

There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.

I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.

I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur.

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light…

You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.

This is Oliver King and Alexis Clark's beautiful story. Now, we first met King in 'Hearts of Fire.' I actually have mixed feelings whether I recommend reading 'Hearts of Fire' first or not. I loved the intrigue of meeting King in the previous book and how very curious I was to know his story. But I also think it might have been nice not to know anything about him going into this book, and just to have taken this journey with fresh eyes. So essentially, if you have already read the previous books in this series, go ahead and read 'King of Hearts' and love it, because I know you're dying to read King's story. If you have not read any of the previous books, then I'd suggest going ahead and reading this one first. Then go back and read 'Six of Hearts' then 'Hearts of Fire' and get the full circle experience. But any way you choose, it's awesome.

As far as 'King of Hearts' goes, this story turned out to be so much more than I could have expected. At the start of the story, it appears Oliver King is on top of the world. And Alexis Clark's life is starting to look up too, as she has just been hired to replace King's assistant. Seems like the beginning of your typical billionaire romance, right? Maybe. But that's where the similarities end. Because this is LH Cosway we're talking about. And she has woven a fascinating tale of two people falling in love in a way that is semi-forbidden, but completely endearing. But there are secrets and threats lying in wait, jeopardizing the happiness of this beloved couple. And... that's all I'm going to say about that. Trust me, it's better you read it than I spoil it for you.

But what I can say is how very much I liked King and Alexis. King may be wealthy and driven, but what I really loved about him was his humor, snark, and charm. These qualities drew me to him in the beginning. And then there was the way he interacted with Alexis. Alexis, who was bold and charming and bawdy, and it's no wonder King fell for her. I absolutely loved how the two of them bantered, with such fun and sass and humor. They were adorable. But then they were completely sexy, with chemistry and heat pouring off them in buckets.

Then when this story ultimately takes its turn, the things that drew me to King and Alexis, kept me engaged and hopeful for them, was the resilience of their characters. Life's challenges forced their lives into difficult directions. But what I loved was that deep in their cores, they were still the same people, yet with these new exeriences they could actually become a better version of themselves, if they chose to learn from the past. Watching them wrestle, relearn, and regain hope was heartbreaking, but also endearing. I found myself especially admiring Alexis's compassionate, patient, and forgiving heart. And I admired King's repentance and commitment.

Overall, I loved King and Alexis's beautiful story of hope, forgiveness, redemption, and love. I'm a little in love with King and Alexis. Their story touched me. It may not be as dark as the previous books in this series, but there is a special quality about the tragedy of love found and lost, and the triumph of a love that comes out not just standing, but ahead, after overcoming the odds. 'King of Hearts' is that love story. (Now I'm quite eager for the next story in this series!)


Six of Hearts
My Review
Hearts of Fire
My Review
Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo | iTunes
King of Hearts
My Review

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.