Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - OPPOSITION by JENNIFER L ARMENTROUT - LUX # 5 - YA PARANORMAL - ENTANGLED TEEN

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published By: Entangled Teen
Released: Available Now
Details: Paperback from Library, 386 Pages ( Opposition as Shadows , novella is also added in back of this book)

RATING: 4.5 END OF SERIES STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.



BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

Jennifer made hot aliens a YA must when she dreamed up this paranormal series. Readers went mad for Pepe the model on the cover. 

I remember when I first got an ARC of Obsidian and I wound up making a book trailer for some giveaway Jennifer was doing. I do still love seeing my blurb inside the front covers. The trailer was made three years ago. This was before all the awesome images surfaced with Pepe and Sztella when they came out for a promo with Jennifer.


I have read this series from ARC to watching Daemon get the girl, with his wit, sarcasm and charm, and it has now come to an end and I will miss them all. 

We fell in love with an alien boy named Daemon.

Nobody quite says Kitten, like Daemon.


After five books from meeting the boy next door to an alien apocalyptic war, Jennifer took us on a ride.

Who knew from that first book we were gonna go all apocalyptic by the end?

I didn't.

I have to admit I have a bit of a fascination with Luc, Hunter and Archer.


In a low voice, I asked, “How are you doing?”

Luc shrugged. “You know, I’m doing my thing like a chicken wing.”

My brow arched.

Daemon sounded like he choked. “Did you seriously just say that?”

“I did and I’m cool like that.”




I keep seeing spinoffs in my mind, especially with Luc and Archer. Hunter already got his book. 




A fitting end to this series, albeit a reasonably quick epilogue surrounding the future of mankind and the vulnerability to the enemies.

Loved this YA series and highly recommend it.


Michelle




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - HELL'S KITCHEN by HART SAINT GERMAIN - HELL'S KITCHEN # 1

By: Hart Saint Germain
Published By: Hart Saint Germain
Released: 3rd March 2015
Details: Kindle purchase, 113 Pages

RATING: 4.5 LOOKING FORWARD TO READING MORE STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads


*From International Bestselling authors Callie Hart and Lili St. Germain comes a tale of two families co-existing in a melting pot of violence, murder and drugs in the seedy underbelly of New York City*

Hell’s Kitchen

Theo and Sal Barbieri are brothers, tasked by their Mafioso father Roberto with a very clear purpose: kidnap Kaitlin McLaughlin. The beautiful daughter of Roberto’s Irish enemy. It’s high time Kaitlin was punished for her father’s sins—not to mention, her own.

And Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin is a roaring success… until it isn’t. When Kaitlin escapes into the busy streets of New York City, it’s a race against the clock to find her before Sal and Theo become the hunted.

Zeth Mayfair has traded his life as a hitman for a quieter existence, but it isn’t long before the past catches up with him in the form of Roberto Barbieri. Will he succumb to the lure of power that Roberto is offering? Or will he retaliate by killing every last Barbieri in New York to get them off his back?

Jason Ross is running. Woken in the night by a tip that the Gypsy Brothers are coming for him, he packs a bag and gets his girlfriend the hell out of dodge. Arriving in New York City in the midst of a heatwave is one thing, but being tailed by an entire drug cartel is another.

Worlds collide in Hell’s Kitchen as secrets come to light and sins are punished. Because we might be different in the light of day, but in the darkness, we’re all connected somehow.

Hell’s Kitchen is a serial comprising three volumes: Hell’s Kitchen, Tribeca and Bleecker Street. Volume One releases on March 3rd with a limited-time sale price of 99 cents.


BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

I really enjoyed this first instalment in Hell’s Kitchen serial. This one is only 113 pages, so a quick read, but it packs a punch.

I found myself thinking this was a very Pulp-Fiction-The-Movie-Esq style of story telling.

I’ve written two books in multiple povs so I totally dug the way the ladies, ( Lili St Germain and Callie Hart) handled Hell’s Kitchen. It’s harder to write than dual pov, but I think very rewarding for the reader.

This first instalment is very much an introduction to the characters who all have their own side stories, so to speak going on, but they all connect, or eventually will. We got a nice twist and we get served up a platter of grit.

I really got a lot out of this first instalment as far as learning the characters. You get enough by being in each of their heads to get a good visual as you are reading and understanding of them throughout this book. That is the beauty of multiple povs. The picture painted is a lot deeper for a short read.

Hell’s Kitchen gets straight into it from the first page. No time to waste when you are writing a novella length read.

I have not yet finished Gypsy Brothers series and the girls do state to skip Jase’s pov if you want no spoilers, then come back to it, once you have finished that series.

Eh, I went with the spoilers. I was on a roll. I haven’t read Callie’s, Blood and Roses series either. I have the first two or three in the series, but not started them yet. Again, I read Zeth’s pov in this book without any prior knowledge of the series.

I gotta say ladies, both of your crossover characters had very HOT scenes.

I am rather keen now to finish the last two books in Gypsy Brothers and also start Blood and Roses series and power on through that series.

Zeth, *waggles eyebrows* sounds rather humma! humma!

Theo and Sal Barbieri, the sons of Roberto, are great characters. Being in their heads, opposed to watching them in a more 2D way was really cool. I really like the both of them. Also we get to see the dynamic between them and their father.

Their father is rather frightening. That’s putting it mildly. I won’t look at a deep fryer the same again. 

You can't really escape hating the people your father hates, especially when your father is Roberto Barbieri. The guy's not just old school. He has a medieval mentality and can hold a fucking grudge like no one else on earth. You piss him off and you can expect some serious Old Testament justice; an eye for an eye, motherfucker. And that's you getting off light.

I really liked the ladies too.

Gracie is a badass, hot chick.

Scarlett is damaged and coping, barely.

Kaitlin...hmmm jury is still out on her.

The one thing I know for sure is I could have kept reading another hundred pages at least, and that's a good thing.

A great start to a very well written first installment.


Michelle

Friday, February 27, 2015

GIVEAWAY - BLOG TOUR - HOPE IS LOST by EMMA JAMES - OCEAN BEACH # 2 - CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE




Title: Hope Is Lost
Series: Ocean Beach #2
Author: Emma James

Release Date: February 20th, 2015

Cover Designer : Jemina Venter


SYNOPSIS





“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, 
the world will know peace.”

-Jimi Hendrix
Keanu Lee, the funny man, finds himself on the sticky end of a night out with his best friend Levi.

Keanu's life is about to take another unexpected, sharp turn. New friends will be found under the most unique circumstances.

Hope Walker is a lost soul, and Ajax, the street performer, is her unspoken protector. Together, they survive the streets of Ocean Beach.

Life has a way of righting wrongs when you least expect it.

Come join this sexy crew as they show you that, even though life may take from you, it can also give back when you least anticipate it.

The Ocean Beach series continues with the brotherhood, passion, and laughter you have grown to love, and through the eyes of these survivors, you will realize love can truly heal.

The past will never be forgotten, but there is hope if you just allow yourself to have a little faith.




PROMO

Because I am a little biased when it comes to the Ocean Beach series, I won't be writing a review. I will instead be showing you what others have said about the second book, Hope Is Lost.


PRAISE FOR HOPE IS LOST


Grab this series! These characters will have you drooling for more. I thought book 1 was INCREDIBLE, book 2 is simply AMAZING! Emma James, I CAN'T WAIT to see where the story leads to next!!! So ready for Joy Is Found!!!
~ Mommy’s Naughty Playground, Missy


Once again Emma James has managed to create a story that touches the heart. The boys are back in another book about brotherhood and love. This story revolves around Keanu but there is no shortage of other voices in this book. I was happy about the introductions of Hope, Slade, Phoenix, Holland, & Ajax. Everyone in this book gives their heart and emotions leap of the pages everywhere. Still facing the demons of their past the boys move to push forward in their lives even bringing women into their tight bonds. I love the relationships that I see blossoming and it gives me hope about my own sad love life. Lol.

It’s great to watch the boys grow and heal from what has happened to them in the past. 

As always I looked for the chance Text would take his first words but I can live with his silence. Now I'm also falling in love with the big guy Slade as well!

I love this series even with it ending in a cliffhanger. It's just a part of the series. I can’t wait for the next book and it's why I'm give this book 5 Big Star!!! Amazing job Emma!!!!

~ B.Y.O.B Club, Nickea


Omg Emma has done it again!!! I was pulled into the world of Harley, Faith, Keanu, Levi, Retro and Sexy Text! With a side of Phoenix, Birdy, Slade, Ajax, and Lovable Holland! This second book is just as amazing and awesome as the first! It gives you more of each of their lives, characters and personalities! I just can't get enough of this series and can't wait for more! It just blows your mind and gives you a totally different perspective than any other author! If you don't grab this series you are totally missing out! No spoilers here but just let me say you will fall in love, cry and want so much more of each character that it's not funny! Amazing job Emma! 10++ stars
~ Book Boyfriend Hangover, Maria


Again another highly emotional read. We laughed. We cried. We were simply moved. Every word, every sentence, every page turned, you are taken on a journey of emotion.

From beginning to end you feel. The pain. The struggles. The hurt. The fear. The lust. The love. It’s all there. It’s raw. It’s about facing life head on. It’s about never giving up. It’s about life.

Again we cannot thank Emma James enough for giving us the opportunity to read Hope Is Lost.
It’s an absolute must read.

A definite 5 star read.

~ Bloggers From Down Under, Gayle


OH....MY.....GOD. Hotter than Hot Guys that you want to be your own; And, Beautiful, loving, kind, women that fill your heart with joy.

DAMN Emma James has me craving the next book like no other. It was like having ants and my pants or something at the end. I couldn't sit still. You will NEVER guess the ending. My mind wants MORE MORE MORE and NOW NOW NOW. This series is seriously ADDICTIVE.

Emma deserves every bit of credit and more for this one. Just like book one. She has most certainly found what she excels at in life.

WOW.... Just... WOW. The only thing this book left me wanting, was the rest of the series. Other than that. It has is ALL and More.

Love it. Love this writer. Love the artists work on the covers. 'Hope Is Lost' is truly all round 'EPIC'.

~ Kasey Crees

Emma, job done extraordinary well ;) I couldn't put it down, even if I wanted to. I finished it in one read and now I'm my least favorite person in the world because I read it too fast and now I'm hangover ;) This is a must read for 2015, but start with ALF!! it!!
~Jolene Hendricks - Netherlands


Each and every character brings light into the darkness - they all share such heavy hearts and burdens. It's heart warming yet heartbreaking. The love and affection this group of friends share has me lost for words . It's so surreal of how real the situation could certainly be.

Hope Is Lost is another exceptional journey into this series and with such a strong storyline and well delivered plot be prepared to be swept along with these remarkable characters and story that Emma has so vividly penned.

~ Page Flipperz, Katrina


Each individual character has their own POV that flows brilliantly throughout the story, which can be both daunting and hard to manage as a writer from a reader point of view. However Emma James has made it awesomely possible in this story. Absolutely loved it.....can’t wait for...or hoping there is an equally awesome conclusion!!!!
~ Louisa Gray



LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! !! I fell in love with the gang in a little faith and the love stayed stayed strong in HIL! cannot wait for the next installment. I takes an extraordinary book to really loose yourself in it and Emma has created such a story. amazing!
~Jessica Cullen


Skilfully weaving together threads from all over Ocean Beach, Ms James has created a tapestry of complex characters whose lives and stories intertwine so intricately that you'd swear a prophetic kitten had been playing with her loom.
~ Demelza Carlton



You'll have moments of joy, you'll laugh, you'll cry, your heart will flutter and you may even make some life long friends. But believe me when I say you'll take something away with you when you leave. And you'll always end up coming back!

My head is still reeling from what I just read, I'm at that stage where I just want to start over again. I can't praise this book enough, utterly brilliant!!

This series is A MUST READ!!

~ Sassy Book Lovers, Stacey Clifford



Wow what can I say about Hope Is Lost except WOW. I loved this book even better than ‘A Little Faith’. I have waited months for this book and the wait was worth it.

Just like in A Little Faith I laughed, I cried, I screamed and yelled. I also fell more in love with Keanu and think I may now have a real soft spot for him.

I'm really looking forward to Joy is Found but not to the wait but if it is as good as the first two (which I know it will be) the wait will be worth it. Please go and give this new Australian author some love and enjoy her series but remember to start with A Little Faith first.

~ Two Peas In A Pod, Donna Miller


What a fantastic read! I read it in one night and didn’t put it down until I had finished. For a sophomore effort, the author has kept the same writing style and stayed true to the characters I fell in love with in her first book. I love all the guys and am looking forward to reading each of their stories (especially Text). This is another book that I highly recommend, just amazing!! *****5 stars
~ Book Boyfriends Rock, Karen Lee


This is not your typical fairy tale, boy meets girl and they live happily ever after. There is more involvement into it. Emma does real great job into working each character up. No detail was left out or over thought. I highly look forward to more books in the future.
~ Kat’s Book Promotions, Jenni Crawford


I look forward to reading more about this family and seeing what antics they can come up with next.
Emma James is a very talented author who knows how to bring characters to life.

~ Jaime Lynn


James has done it again. Flawlessly transitioning between characters to give the reader a rich and exciting reading experience. Hope is Lost adds to another story that has you aching for more of the guys and gals of Ocean Beach.

~ SydneyGen Reads, Genevieve



GOODREADS LINK: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22847496-hope-is-lost

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon AUS : http://bit.ly/1AXnPfE


EXCERPT - Keanu Pov


“Do you want to come join us, Keanu? I just realized you were sitting over here by yourself.”

I look over at Slade and then back over at Phoenix. “So, kids, what’s up with you two?” OKAY, so I’m starting to slur a little.

“Sounds like you’ve had enough alcohol for the night,” Phoenix says.

Slade grunts and pretends he’s busy, wiping the bar down, even though he has wiped the same place in front of Phoenix several times. Phoenix turns her back on Slade and aims her boobies in my face, which I think is funny, so I start getting that drunk man-giggle going. Wanting to annoy Slade, she pretends I’m not being a little school boy, but she’s doing it with the wrong person. I am not getting in between those two.

Slade clears his throat. “Is there an order you’d like to put in for you and your friends?” The friends bit is said not so friendly.

“Oh, hey, Slade. I didn’t see you there,” she quips over her shoulder at him.

How could she not see him? He’s huge. I think I’m seeing two of him, which makes me chuckle.

“I’ll be right with you. Keanu and I are talking.”

Ooooh, she did not just use me to make Slade wait. On that note, I decide I shall move on home and slam my hand down a little too hard on the bar.

“Okay, guys, sorry to be a pooper, but I’m heading on home, and I will leave you two to whatever this is you two are doing.” I lean over and give Phoenix a kiss on the cheek and catch the possessive glare being directed at me from Slade. “I think I will call a cab.”

“I’ll do it for you. You go wait out front, and there will be one with you shortly,” Slade growls out to me.

Somebody is a bit grouchy.

“Thanks, bro. Enjoy the rest of your night, and same to you, too, Phoenix.” I shake Slade’s hand and head off to take a piss before I leave.

I’m wearing the doppelganger tonight, so I’m a bit slower with taking a leak. After what happened with Levi today, something inside me just wanted to make me feel a bit more normal tonight, so I chose to wear the doppelganger prosthetic under my loose fitting long sleeved t-shirt. I should have fought the insecurities which had decided to rear their ugly head and just worn the ‘big gun.’ Sometimes, I let them creep up on me and take over then wonder if I’m whole enough for somebody to love me.

I zip my pants up and think, Fuck it! I’m quite a catch. Then I have another chuckle to myself.

I head on out, yelling goodbye to Slade as I leave and waving to Phoenix.

Slade raises one arm in the air to wave at me yet doesn’t take his eyes off Phoenix, whom he seems to be having a heated discussion with. Those two kids need to just give into each other.

Almost as soon as I walk outside, a cab pulls up, and he calls out to me through his open window. “Are you Keanu?”


I move towards the back passenger door. “The one and only.”





PLAYLIST



AUTHOR BIO

Emma James lives in Queensland, Australia with her smexy husband, three children and a big black Labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household.

Writing has been a part of her life for many years. Life was getting on and it was time to put her fears aside and do what she does best. It was time to show readers what she was made of, take that leap off the diving board and see where it takes her.

Emma is a creative person at heart. She loves to read as much as write, devouring books into the wee hours of the morning.

Who needs sleep, right?

Photography is another great passion of hers.

A Little Faith is the first book released in the Ocean Beach series and proved to be quite the surprise read of 2014 for contemporary romance lovers with Hope Is Lost following closely on.

Emma James is one determined snowflake who is here to make her imprint in the writing world.


AUTHOR LINKS





GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card and 3 ebooks ( direct to Kindle) of Hope Is Lost
Rafflecopter Embed Code:



TOUR SCHEDULE


28th February

Amazeballs Book Addicts


Becca Anne’s Book Reviews


2nd March

Jen In Bookland


Book Boyfriend Hangover


4th March

Book Nerd Fan Girl


Love Words & Books


SydneyGen Reads

http://www.sydneygenreads.com

5th March

Two Peas In A Pod

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Two-Peas-in-a-Pod/753710398027631?fref=ts

6th March

Literary Misfit


7th March

Books Laid Bare


10th March

Escape Reality With Books


12th March

The Rest Is Still Unwritten


Sassy Book Lovers


13th March

BookWorm Betties


Bookworm Brandee


One Click Addicts Book Blog


Smut and Bon Bons


The Rest Is Still Unwritten



14th March

Page Flipperz


15th March

Charlie & Mel’s Book Reviews










A Little Faith - Ocean Beach # 1

Released - 9th October 2014



Monday, February 23, 2015

NATALIE GAYLE - CENTRE GAMES SERIES - PROMO TOUR & GIVEAWAY




We are excited to share with you all the Centre Game Series by Natalie Gayle in time to celebrate the upcoming release of Book Four - Finding Resolution - Out February 28th.

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Book One: Finding Trust


Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17450022-finding-trust




SYNOPSIS

He’s hot, sexy, and leads a double life. Sometimes in the limelight, mostly in the shadows. Brayden James holds fast to a secret that’s more than his to share.
She’s a singularly focused veterinarian out for a rare night of fun with friends, at a New Year’s Eve rock concert. Going home with the lead guitarist was furthest thing from Rihanna Mason’s mind when the night began.
When Rihanna inadvertently becomes the target of a deadly terrorist plot using the Hendra virus as a biological weapon, Brayden is forced to reveal his other life.  His job is to keep her safe and together they must stop the terrorists before it’s too late. But what happens when she becomes more to him than just the assignment?

Will the secret he cannot disclose ultimately prove too much for Rihanna’s fragile trust in relationships? Or will he finally break through the double brick walls around her heart, where every other man has failed?


Book One: Finding Trust (Currently Free)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ERgEox
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1yQ4LhU
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/15XJSqm

 

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Book Two: Finding Judgement


Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18135500-finding-judgement

 SYNOPSIS 


Rory Southall’s dreams have been haunted by the beautiful blonde pixie he’d helped three months ago.  Imagine his surprise when his next assignment is to investigate none other than the very same woman.  

TJ Walsh is holding on to her family’s trucking company by a thread.  For the last two and a half years, she’s been trying to keep the debt-ridden business afloat and her family fed.  She’s driven and desperate to make ends meet. But she remembers every detail of a chance meeting three months ago with a handsome stranger. 

What happens when a simple supply chain investigation morphs into a deadly web of lies and deceit and TJ finds herself squarely in the middle of it? It seems that very same handsome stranger has rescued her again, but how could that be?   And how exactly does the illegal genetically modified products he’s investigating have anything to do with her? 

How will she cope with knowing the danger is much closer to home than she thought? When everyone seems to be gunning for them, can she find love and salvation with Rory before it’s too late? 
Book Two: Finding Judgement (Currently 99cents)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/15UtJkw
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/18xWNAh
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1JMlDKf

  

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Book Three: Finding Freedom

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22308523-finding-freedom

SYNOPSIS

Dylan “Ice Dragon” Thompson has suddenly become the hottest thing in MMA. He’s fought all his life for control and inner peace. He focuses on what he excels at—fighting and his work with the Centre. It’s what he knows and what keeps him in balance. His latest assignment has him fighting a war with a partner he doesn’t believe he can trust.

Vanessa Aldridge has grown up in the gym and has seen it all—some good, some bad. But when performance-enhancing drugs threaten her life and her personal sense of worth—enough is enough. The very people closest to her now have her questioning their motives and nobody is as they seem. On top of all this, she’s unwittingly become the number-one pawn in an organised crime game and she’s risking her heart on a guy who wants to fight for everything but them.

Vanessa quickly discovers that Dylan is far from what he appears to be. But what happens when his latest assignment blows his carefully created world wide open? Can Dylan win the most important fight of all—the one for her heart and their future? Or will he retreat back into the one-dimensional existence of working and fighting? Can Vanessa remain steadfast to her principles and just maybe take the ultimate prize? The battle lines are drawn. 

Book Three: Finding Freedom (Currently 99cents)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1y90Uc5
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/15KNBac
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/15XJXKS

 

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Book Four: Finding Resolution



Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24576793-finding-resolution
Release Date: February 28th 


SYNOPSIS

Finally, Dr. Jasmine Carter (Jazz) was getting her shot at taking the lead on one of the Centre’s highly covert operations. Great, wonderful, a dream come true even—you’d think. Well, that was until Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broody—Quade Roston, her fellow Centre co-worker—was assigned to be her partner.

For the last twelve months, these two had been at war. In fact, they’d elevated trading verbal barbs to the level of an international sport. For all the antagonism, the chemistry between them was just as strong. They both knew it—their teammates knew it. But what the hell were they going to do about it?

Simple—Jazz issues a challenge to Quade that she thinks he’ll never accept nor live up to.

Then their seemingly straightforward assignment to investigate a few cases of a mystery illness suddenly morphs into something much more deadly. Jazz finds herself the unknowing target in the middle of a bikie war. Now she’s dealing with threats from all corners. But maybe, just maybe, the biggest threat will be to her heart.

Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24576793-finding-resolution


 



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To celebrate the upcoming release of Book Four of the series - Book One Finding Us is currently available Free with Book Two and Three on sale of 99cents. 



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ABOUT NATALIE GAYLE



Natalie is the author of the Centre Games Series.  A fast paced, romantic suspense series set on the Gold Coast, Australia.  The series tells the stories of the Centre, a quasi government agency established to fight environmental, biological and agricultural threats. The Centre Games books are filled with hot alpha males and the feisty independent females strong enough to capture their hearts. Natalie’s books pack lots of action, hot romance and surprises.

A confessed readaholic and romantic junkie, Natalie spends her time juggling a busy career as an IT professional and author.  In between staring at a computer screen (she spends lot time doing that!) Natalie, enjoys living the Gold Coast life with her very tolerant husband and two school aged children. 

She loves spending time with family and friends, hitting the beach, cooking, working out and curling up with a good book.  Her pet hates are cleaning and anything else that can be considered “domestic dullness”.  If she could have one wish it would be to be able to fit 48 hours into 24. 

Natalie is currently working on her fifth instalment for the Centre Games Series and a brand new series for 2015.

Twitter:          @NatalieGayle1


Saturday, February 21, 2015

ME BEFORE YOU by JOJO MOYES - CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE - PENGUIN

By: Jojo Moyes
Published By: Penguin
Released: Available Now
Details: Paperback from library, 481 Pages

RATING: 5 EMOTIONALLY FEARLESS STARS

Blurb: Goodreads

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

Flat out this book made me cry for fourteen pages straight.

This book is up to over 181,000 ratings on Goodreads. When I started reading, it was at 177,000 plus ratings.

That just goes to show the power of the writing in this book.

There is one quote that totally killed me in this book. 

“You still don’t get it, Clark, do you?’ I could hear the smile in his voice. “It’s not your choice.” 

I have always been of the mind that if you are living a life that has been so ruined by no fault of your own, so debilitating and you are of sound mind and judgement, then you do what you need to do.

No judgement coming from me.

Everybody would have an opinion on this and that is great, but that is my opinion.

What Jojo does so well in this book is she gives the reader time to adjust to Will and his life. How he lives every day. She got under my skin and although the ending was already made up in my mind once I knew some things, it didn’t make it any easier to read.

I CRIED FOR FOURTEEN PAGES!!!!

I cried for the exciting life that was taken from Will because of a motorcyclist. In the blink of an eye, a man who lived a very full life was reduced to no independence and constant illness. He had family who couldn’t feel what he could feel.

We are looking through Will’s eyes and it isn’t pretty. It isn’t happy.

Enter Clark. She is employed to bring something to his life. She comes from a middle class family who are struggling to put food on the table. Clark doesn’t really aspire to anything higher than working in a coffee shop, until that is taken away from her. She is the bread winner.

Will aspired to the moon and back.

To watch Will’s frustration with a woman who could be doing so much more with her life, considering he had lost so much, really makes you assess your own life.

FARRK!! This was a well told story. It makes me cry writing this review. My worst fear is losing my mind to dementia or Alzheimer’s. I never entertained the thought of being a quadriplegic.

Now I see things much differently. Like Clark I may not have the money to do what Will once could, but that is no excuse. We are all like Clark to a great extent, such limitations we put on our lives for various reasons...excuses.

Will is that fictional guy you read in books who is handsome, has loads of money because he worked hard to build himself a business at a young age. He has a beautiful woman. He LIVES every day. He travels in style. He is every woman’s dream man. 

But what happens when all that is taken away from him?

What happens when you are reduced to having a male nurse look after your every bodily function and you can’t move most of your body?

Speaking of Nathan the New Zealand nurse, so loved this guy!

What happens when your family are also falling apart around you?

What happens when they send in Lou Clark?

A friendship builds that is beautiful, heartbreaking and emotional to watch.


“Sometimes, Clark, you are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning.”


Jojo was very clever in how she wrote this. She doesn’t preach. She let’s Will tell the reader about a life as a quadriplegic.

She uses an online quadriplegic community site to tell us also. She shows us how Will gets through each day, and it isn’t fun. I personally had no idea how susceptible you are to infection and how just living each day, cared for by a nurse around the clock you can still die.

Life is farking hard.

Life is full of pain.

Life is miserable for Will.

Jojo also gave us the side of the quadriplegic that lived a happier life. The person who was in a relationship and didn’t let that life consume them.

This was Will’s story and his life, his desire.


Beautiful, heartbreaking and fearless.

It took me a week to write this review, I thought I could handle it without crying.

Nahhh. 

This book was simply too powerful.





Michelle

Sunday, February 15, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - ROCK CHICK RECKONING by KRISTEN ASHLEY - ROCK CHICK # 6 - CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

By: Kristen Ashley
Published By: Kristen Ashley
Released : Available Now
Details: Paperback from library, 484 Pages

RATING: 5 BRING ON THE TUNES STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

Stella’s the lead singer and lead guitarist of The Blue Moon Gypsies and Stella used to be Mace’s girl. Mace broke up with her, though, and the loss of him rocked her world. But Stella gets a call, late at night (again) from one of the members of her crazy band. She has to go play clean up (again) and runs into Mace and a shed load of police, and ends up getting shot.

Mace finds he doesn’t like it much that his ex-girlfriend got shot right in front of him but it’s worse. A very bad man has thrown down the gauntlet and all the Rock Chicks are in the firing line. Stella doesn’t want Mace to be the one to keep her alive, but she has no choice. Mainly because Mace isn’t giving her one.



BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:


Behold another Rock Chick book under my belt. This series is such a gluttonous delight for me.

I just soak up the shenanigans and the sexy lads.

Oh... the sexy lads.

*sigh*

Stella Michelle Gunn is the lead singer of the Blue Moon Gypsies and she’s got her hands full with her band members, Pong, Leo, Buzz, Hugo and Floyd. Well, Floyd is the one she has no problems with. The band members shenanigans always interrupted her personal down time.

She is a true Rock Chick in the name. I really liked reading her, she's a cool chick. We read so many books about guys in a band, it was refreshing to have Stella to read about. I particularly loved her onstage performances.

They rocked! Pardon the pun.

Stella has gotten herself noticed by resident villain, slippery as a snake, Sid. Sid is causing all sorts of danger and mayhem in this installment. He wants to exact some pain on those the Nightingale boys love.

Shiz starts going down...to the Castle, Lee announces. Is that what it's called?? Anyhoo, Daisy and Marcus's pad.

Enter Kai ‘Mace’ Mason. Mace has his own deep heartache to carry around with him. He's carrying around a lot of guilt. I could say so much more about Mace, he is such a gorgeous character, but you must read about him.

Mace and Stella have a past. He left her after they had dated for five months, but he had never really left her.

Stella just hadn't got the memo.

Things are a little touchy, a little complicated between Stella and Mace.


“You want in here?” he murmured, his eyes intense, so intense I felt my gut clench with fear. This was a fear I didn’t understand. It wasn’t even logical, but it scared me all the same. It was the same fear as yesterday morning, huge and uncontrollable.

“No,” I lied. Except for the ability to play my music, being in his heart was the only thing I’d ever wanted in my whole effing life.

He shook his head. “Until that answer changes, babe, you get what I’m willin’ to give you. My protection, my attention and my cock.”

I gasped at his frankness and my body went solid with fury.

“Unbelievable,” I hissed.

“When the time comes where you give me somethin’ without me havin’ to pull it out of you, where you give me a piece of you without me havin’ to take it, then I’ll give you a piece of me.”



Stella is still his and in true Nightingale Boys aka Hot Bunch fashion, bets are always floating about.

Shirleen totally made me crack up in this installment, she is hilarious.


Shirleen put a hand to her chest and reared back. “Oh, is that it? Well excuse me! You poor child!” Then she made a snorting sound. “Shee-it, any one of those boys wanted to push me around, I’d say bring it on. Hell, I’d pay for one of ‘em to move into my house. They don’t even have to do me. Just walk around so I can watch. Maybe in a towel.”

Jules looked at me and rolled her eyes.

“You don’t understand,” Roxie put in.

“Nope. That’s right, girl, Shirleen does not understand. So what trauma are we up against now?” Shirleen’s eyes moved to me. “You havin’ too many orgasms or what?”


Amen Shirleen. Amen sister!

What I really loved about this installment was the musical aspect. 

Now we know in any Rock Chick book the guy is gonna get the girl, that’s a no brainer. What’s also a no brainer is the Rock Chicks will inevitably get themselves involved and somebody will get shot at, or beat up or kidnapped.

That shit is inevitable. Just ask Tex or Duke. Speaking of Tex.


“Don’t call me motherfucker,” Tod threw down.

“Motherfucker,” Uncle Tex boomed.

“Oh lordy,” Daisy muttered.




“Tex, stop saying ‘fuck’ so loud!”

“Fuck!” Tex shouted back. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!”



Heheheee.

But, this time round we got the musical experience and as Kristen Ashley tells you in the front of the book under Author Notes, ya need to listen to the music when reading the scene because it enhances said scene.

When you actually have a rock chick in all her glory as a character, you gotta bring the tunes to the experience of reading.

This is a scene that I simply had to quote. I listened to the song while reading it the second time round and dayum, ya gotta read it this way. I really felt it.


Pong’s sticks clicked on the drums, Leo started the first chords, and I knew without looking that Buzz had clued in. He couldn’t help but clue in. We all knew what those clicks and strums meant.

“This one’s for Linnie,” I told the crowd.

Everyone screamed. The wave of sound hit the band, firing us up all the more even though most people probably had no idea who Linnie was. They didn’t care. Any song that was for someone was going to be something. And this song, a song we rarely ever played, they knew would rock the whole fucking house.

I glanced at Buzz and found his face was pale, but his eyes were on me and they were shining. I looked away, knowing if I kept looking at him I’d lose it, just as Hugo’s deep voice started smoothly delivering the lyrics.

And the lyrics were to ZZ Top’s killer, kickass “La Grange.”

Hug sang.

A few more strums, a few more clicks.

I felt it in my belly, like I always felt it in my belly just like I knew Linnie always felt it in her belly.

Wait for it... my brain breathed in anticipation.

Pong’s drums went wild and Leo’s soft guitar went solid. The crowd surged in and my stomach plunged.

This is what it’s all about. This is what Linnie lived for, my brain told me what I already knew, because I understood Linnie. I lived for it, too.

Hugo’s velvet voice slid back in, “Have mercy...” then he smoothed through the “haw haws” and delivered the lyrics.

When it was time, Pong rounded out the beat and I went front stage and started to blow the lid off.

“Have mercy,” Hugo finished.




And then you have the scene that rocked Mace.



That was when I sang to Mace.

Yes, again.

And I felt it as the crowd pulled in their breath.

And then, through giving it to Mace, I gave them Pearl Jam’s epically beautiful ballad, “Black”.

After I finished the lyrics, I held out the “be” and shouted my “yeah” just as Mace came unstuck from my spell and started to push through the crowd, making his way toward the stage.

The band played behind me with a power and certainty that made it sound as if we’d played the song millions of times rather than just this once. The chords I played sounded angry, as if sliced from my guitar. Floyd’s fingers were pounding out the notes on the piano, notes to a song I didn’t even know he knew.

The crowd was still silent, stunned, watching, enthralled.

I let the final words to the song rush out of me, hoarse and filled with scratching despair, just like it rushed out of Eddie Vedder on Pearl Jam’s world rocking, genre-defining album “Ten”.

As I sang, Mace was nearly at the stage when I closed my eyes to shut him out as if closing my eyes could shut him out of my life forever.

Still playing, my head dropped and I rested my forehead on the mic, the vision of Mace, eyes never leaving me, pushing through the crowd toward me, burned on the backs of my eyelids.

I played lead, Floyd’s piano thundering around me, matching the same notes that came from my guitar. The band began singing their “da-do-do-do, do-do-do’s” and before my fingers could strum the angry riff and I could shout my anguish like Vedder, I was pulled roughly from the mic.

My eyes came open and I stared, frozen to the spot in disbelief.

Mace was there, onstage, right in front of me, right in front of five hundred people.

I stayed frozen as his hand wrapped around the neck of my guitar. He yanked it over my head and then jerked me forward so that my body slammed against his.

His free arm sliced at a slant around my back, crushing me to him. His head came down, his mouth finding mine, and he kissed me, right there. Right onstage. Right in front of five hundred people. Open-mouthed, hard, wet and full of everything.

His body bent forward, pushing mine back so I was arched over his arm, my torso and hips pressed deep into him.

He kissed me and kept kissing me as the band played around us, pushing the song longer, longer...



Just to have a guy come up onstage and kiss you who is one of the Hot Bunch...well, WOW! But to have it done after you sang a song to him. Double WOW! Well, Stella was trying to send a message through said song.

The music all the way through this book was well thought out. Now I admit I love me some Billy Joel, I’m of that vintage and I have my albums lovingly in storage, but dayum I had not heard of, 'And So It Goes'.

That brings a tear to the eye that song.


See!!!!


The sub characters all bring their own little something to this series. Smithie pops up a couple times and he is growing on me.


“Crazy white bitches, the lot of you. ‘ Cept you.” He nodded at Shirleen. “You’re a crazy black bitch. Fuck,” Smithie finished.


“Smithie, sweetie –“ LaTeesha said softly.

“It’s covered, Smithie,” Shirleen put in.

“Yeah, it’ll be covered,” Smithie snapped at Shirleen. “You’re movin’ your ass in with me tonight and you’re bringin’ the boys. LaTeesha, that okay with you?”

“Just fine. I’ll make chicken and dumplin’s,” LaTeesha replied on a wide grin at Roam and Sniff.

“Can we have pizza?” Sniff asked.

Shirleen cuffed him gently up the side of his head. “What’s the matter with you, boy? You heard the woman. LaTeesha’s makin’ chicken and dumplin’s. You’re eatin’ chicken and dumplin’s.”

“I like chicken and dumplin’s,” Roam put in.


We get a little Luke fix along the way.


“I’m not wearing any underwear,” I lied.

“I’ll close my eyes,” Mace lied back.

“I won’t,” Luke put in.



Bahahahaaa.


Luke was floating between the doors, not wearing a windbreaker, but being generally badass, thus not inviting killer intentions.

I got to say, this was the best use of the conjunctive verb, thus , that I have seen.

Some of the songs performed in Rock Chick Reckoning.






I could of been mistaken for actually being part of the Blue Moon Gypsies audience at their gigs. From the songs played, they would have rocked the house.

No wonder the Hot Bunch were on duty...and the fact there was a real danger looming.

I could so see Duke working the front of the crowd. The house would have been pumping.




And then you throw in some Pat Benetar. ROCK ON!!! I so could see Stella rocking the stage with the band.

This is why you gotta listen to the songs when the Gypsies are playing a gig. I was there with the Rock Chicks rockin'.




I think this is the one Rock Chick book I really could see on the big screen as it came with that musical side which Kristen used very well. I could even see this whole series as a TV show. An hour a week of these lads would be a pretty good night in front of the box.

Now I gotta mention the Epilogue.

DON’T READ IT!!

LORDY MY EYES!

I can’t take it back.


I LOOKED.

Now I’m a little confuzzed as to why there was an Epilogue at the end of this book being # 6 when I still have several books to read.

GAHHH!

There are spoilers in it.

Maybe Ms KA wasn’t gonna be going on with the series at the end of #6 so she did an Epilogue?

But, Rock Chicks indeed went on.

So save yourselves and if you haven’t read Rock Chick Reckoning yet, be strong and don’t read that Epilogue.


In the words of Tex, ‘Jesus Jones’.

Take a bow Ms Kristen Ashley for this very 3D read for me, anyway. It brought back a lot of music and I spent ages reconnecting with these songs.

I was arm chairing these gigs, but you wrote the scenes so well, I was there in spirit.

Michelle