Sunday, 27 September 2015

Would you rather have to love a prince or woud you rather have

To keep the balance between god and evil at the court of Annwyn. Prince Felan ap Gwyn has two weeks to marry and take the crown.  But he wants more than just power - he wants love; a love he once had but was too stubborn to hold on to.

It took years for Jaqueline Ara to put her Life back together Felan abandoned her.  She's moved on, even is her heart still burns for him.  But with ear in Annwyn looming and death bleeding into the mortal world, Felan and Jacquie will need to heal old wounds and rekindle the passion that once welled between them ... or face losing everything. 

Starting this novel I did not realise that this was book 3 of a series and so I had no knowledge of that had gone on before.  I feel that I was not really missing much and from reading the blurb about the previous books it looks as though the main character of this novel only featured slightly previously.  As I have not read the previous novels I can only base my review on this book as a stand-alone.

This novel was character based; so much so that this reader would have loved to have had more time and attention paid to the details of the Court of Annwyn.  I would also have loved to learn more about how the castle was built and how their actions there were affecting the weather (perhaps these things were covered in the previous novels in the series).

As in a character based novel they are well developed with their pasts and futures colliding.  Felan a playboy at Fairy court has to take to the throne and many feel that he does not have what it takes.  He is strongly opposed and need to find a wife and produce an heir to ascend the throne and therein lays the rub!

Felan’s previous love (Jackie) has had to face many things in her sort life and regaining her ‘normal’ mental health is just one in a long line of things she has had to perform.  Suddenly her worst nightmares resurface and she had to make a choice.  Fae or normality?  What would you choose?  All the while the clock is ticking for Felan; and the weather in Fae is worsening.

I did find it rather difficult to accept how easily Jackie re-accepted Felan into her life after she struggled so hard to regain her sanity; and her own path.

The flow of the book was equally not very organic.  It was fairly stop start and I am not sure if this is used as a device to reflect the two different worlds.  Likewise the build up to the final battle between Felan and his major obstacle fell flat!  The build-up was such that one expected a great all-out war but this never materialised.  Indeed, the ending felt a bit rushed and a more detailed epilogue would have been nice

Perhaps the fact that I did not read the previous novels first affected my enjoyment of this novel.  It was always at the back of my mind that I was missing something that I could not quite put my finger on!

My final thoughts therefore are that although these books can be read as singular novels it is obviously one’s enjoyment would be greatly enhanced if they were read in order.  I may well go back and read the earlier novels.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 3 stars on Netgalley and 'I liked it' on Amazon (4 stars) and Goodreads (3 stars).

A very sanitised version of

Former mean girl Dixie Davis is back in town and it's payback time.  Literally.  Dixie is flat broke and her est-mate that only-friend, Landon, is throwing her a lifeline from the Great Beyond.  Dixie stands to inherit his business ... if she meets a few conditions:
She's got to live in Landon's mansion.
Wither her gorgeous ex-fiance, Caine Donovan.
Who could also inherit the business.
Which is a phone sex empire.
Wait, what?
Landon's will lays it out:  whoever gets the most new clients becomes the owner of Call Girls.  Dixie has always been in it to win it, especially when it comes to Caine, who's made it clear he's nt going down easy. (Oh mercy.) Can Dixie really talk dirty and prove she's cleaned up her act?  Game on

I have not read this author before but would welcome the opportunity to read the remaining books in this series.  But I must confess that the title is slightly misleading.

I am grateful for the author stating that this was an ‘homage’ to the TV series ‘Hart of Dixie’ but with a twist.  The TV show’s influence is clearly evident in this novel.  Lou is definitely Lemon, and Dixie is definitely Dr Hart.  Although I am not sure who Caine is; unless he is the bar tender!

I live in a small village in North Africa and understand how difficult it could be to try to change people’s perceptions of oneself; even years later as one’s previous actions become set in stone.  The old adage that it takes a lifetime to gain a good reputation but only a minute to ruin it is never truer.

The main protagonist has his fingers in all the pies even from his grave as it was he who set the competition in his will.  From the forward story we learn that Caine is as lovely (as he is meant to be) so why on earth did she ever leave him?  If he was as lovely as he was meant to be and as much in love with Dixie as portrayed why did he fall at the first hurdle?  It just showed his lack of character. 

Initially I was not particularly drawn to Dixie, which is obviously the author’s intention.  Yet the antics between the fantastic duo left me laughing out loud and yet there wass still a certain amount of pain evident in Dixie’s actions.  It is lovely to see how the heroine grows throughout the course of the book yet (and I don’t want to give the game away) …  For this reader the BIG reveal was not so BIG as she worked it out at the initial telephone call.

Although this is a love story between Caine and Dixie (I will not spoil the outcome for future readers) it is also a story of how Dixie deals with historic assumptions about her.  And how she tries to chance these; and she tried really hard to do so for the future (however, the deep south of America has long (and I mean long) memories).

The one character I did love was Sanjeev who seemed to know exactly was going on at every moment and even dropped the odd ambiguous hint to the key characters when they were too far off track.  I loved his ‘isms’ as he was not a native English speaker and these were often golden highlights.

Even though most of the characters have inexplicable flaws to their character (see the history of Dixie and Caine), I would love to find out how this series develops.  The author’s style of writing is very readable and does not tax one’s grey matter.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 4 stars on Netgalley and 'I really liked it' on Amazon (4 stars) and Goodreads (4 stars).

There is talking dirty and then there is

CEO Callum Malone has it all: power, Italian suits, a house on one of Sydney's stunning beaches and a new life without a woman in it.  Just the way he likes it, ever since his nasty divorce.

Landscaper Ava Gibson is in no position to turn town a job, even if it is for her despised ex-brother-in-law.  But when resentment gives way to underlying attraction, Ava is finally forced to confront her truth ....; she's falling for him.

Will Ava be able to keep her growing desire in check?  Because te irresistible Cal doesn't want her to ...

I was interested in this novel from the cover and the description of the novel.  It is not your normal romance story.  Yes, you have an alpha type male but you also have a woman who is not dependant on men.  Yes, she has had a secret crush on the CEO for years but has never voiced that until now.  The reason for that is because … you will have to read the novel.  Yet as with all romantic fiction that is, as ever there was, a HEA.

The characters are well written with a fantastic back story.  Each is rather independent.  Ava is a landscape artist and Callum a billionaire CEO (as they all are in such novels).  Initially her intense hated of the CEO is rather annoying.  Although one can understand that she does not want to have an effect on her sister’s happiness.

The way the two main characters change their stances towards the other is interesting and eventually they form a mutual ‘likeship’.  In fact, as is often the case in real life the female grows more than the male and overcomes her initial reservations and realises her HEA.

The majority of the secondary characters were likeable except for Ava’s sister.  There was enough of a hook to keep the reader interested in these relationships to not only read this but any possible future novels in the series

Interestingly this one is set in Australia, just to make a change from the US based romantic novels.  This is the second book in the series, with the first one presumably dealing with the older brother.  I would imagine there will be a further book dealing with the younger brother!  I would be interested in reading this, if it were ever to become available on Netgalley.

A lovely romance ideal for the short getaway when one needs something to read that is as happy as their holiday setting.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rates this 3 stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Amazon (3 stars) and Goodreads (2 stars).

We all wear masks whether or not we are part of the

Everyone is hiding something.  But someone is hiding everything.

Lizzy Ward never meant to end up working the streets of Piccadilly.  So when a mysterious noble pursues her, it seems her luck is changing.  But though Lord Hays offers to grow Lizzy's fortunes, his price is unexpected.  She must masquerade in the sumptuous gowns and social mask of a true lady.

With the stakes so high, love is out of the question.  But as Lizzy navigates the fashion and faux-pas of the London elite, she finds her tough façade failing her.  Lord Hays wants to show her that nobility is more than skin deep ... and as the connection between them grows, it's no longer certain who's wearing the mask.

From a stunning new voice in Historical fiction, this is a love story of surpassing power and imagination.

While I love an historical romance as much as the next person this did not feel like that.  But this felt like a real rip off.  Apparently the author based it on her favourite movie and instead of weaving a rather interesting story maybe using characters with the names from said movie this story had been lifted from the 1990s and moved to the late 1800s.

Not only has she lifted the plot but also a couple of the names of the characters.  Where characters have been replaced, as necessary for the change of era, they are still clearly identifiable.  However, I did love the ending and would like to see what the future held for this couple.  Now that would be a lovely novel to read as her favourite film did not have a sequel and therefore she would be all alone in devising the plot line.

My plea is that if you are going to write fan fiction then please add a bit more oomph to your story than literally copying sad favourite film but change the setting.  We readers are a bit more intelligent that writers credit if for.

Close but not cigar.  I am afraid it was a big mistake ‘Big! Huge!’ to quote the film.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 2 stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Goodreads (2 stars) and Amazon (3 stars).