I write book reviews, I also write books, and occasionally I write about myself!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

#ModernTempted Maid of Dishonour - Heidi Rice

Maid of Dishonour - Heidi Rice
Mills & Boon Modern Tempted
Harlequin UK, 2013
ISBN: 9780263910575

My rating

From the back cover:

"When she's very, very bad…
Gina Carrington knows exactly how to have fun! But when she sleeps with her friend's brother, the off-limits Carter, she quickly discovers she's overstepped the mark.
…life is so much more fun!
Years later, Gina sees Carter again to prepare for her friend's wedding, and she can't help but wonder what the harm would be in one more night…. He's available, gorgeous and behind that laid-back Southern charm there's a wild side even she can't tame! But Gina has secrets which she can't hide forever—will their chemistry be strong enough to keep Carter by her side when her secrets come to light?"

I rarely give 5 stars, what can I say? I guess I'm just one of those people that think there is always room for improvement. However, this book was five star worthy literally from the first page and maintained it to the very last! I couldn't find any fault with it at all.

Well, actually that is not necessarily true, the ending bit was a little cheesy for me but somehow Heidi Rice managed to pull it off. Even taking the Mickey out of it herself with the line "'Someone pinch me, I think I've been transported into a chick flick'"

Not only does Heidi write with the kind of wry, almost self deprecating, and quite British style, she also manages to include funny little references like Planet Zod, and a galaxy far, far away. And I better not even get started on the fact that this was one helluva sexy book. (Believe me, it is eye-poppingly so!).

And what is even better is that wrapped in that amazing package I have just waxed lyrical about is a really great story. The characters are perfect, especially the heroine. She is a very real character, with major flaws and is a totally modern-girl. Gina is the best crafted heroine I have read in a long while.
This is a brave plot, and the romance between these two characters as well as the style of this book might well push a lot of people's 'NO' button. I, personally, like reading something that is a little out-there.

Every single thing about this book works, I know I'm going on and on now. I'll stop soon I promise. I don't want to go into too much detail about the actual story, as you really need to read it for yourself. It is fun, flirty, romantic, at times tear-worthy, absorbing, and out-and-out outrageous!

In short, Fab-u-LOUS!


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

#ModernTempted The Girl Least Likely to Marry - Amy Andrews

Girl Least Likely to Mary - Amy Andrews
Mills & Boon Modern Tempted
Harlequin UK, 2013
ISBN: 9780263910513

My Rating

From the back cover:

"Talk nerdy to me
Samuel Tucker is absolutely the last person scientist Cassie Barclay would ever date. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but he’s also far too cocky for his own good and thinks that pi is a tasty afternoon treat. So when he asks her to dance at her friend Reese’s non-wedding she’s wondering why on earth she says yes!
Tuck is used to people assuming he’s all brawn and no brain, and amuses himself by winding Cassie up. But when he finally takes her to bed, suddenly it’s Tuck who can show Cassie a thing or two! Can he convince her that love and sex have nothing to do with logic and everything to do with chemistry?
Don’t miss the linked stories in The Wedding Season quartet – Available in MODERN TEMPTED™"

Despite hearing many good things, this is actually the first book I have ever read by Amy Andrews. Naturally I was excited and had high hopes. I don't think I was disappointed with the final result!

This is the second book in The Wedding Season mini-series and follows straight on from The Unexpected Wedding Guest by Aimee Carson.

Readers beware... this book is capital H hot! And has so much will-she?-won't-she? sexual tension you'll virtually be perching on the edge of your seat! (P.s. Sort of a mini spoiler - there is a faked orgasm, which was not only very brave of the author but almost made me want to cheer out loud. Lol! Immediate thumbs up!)

I really enjoyed the flow and pace of the story as well as the way the relationship built throughout the story. The growth of the characters vs. the time span is spot on and holds your interest. 

I can't quite decide if there was enough of the hero to really get to grips with him, the heroine was such a detailed characters that the hero's character kind of got lost somewhere among it all. The author's style suits me perfectly, lots of spark and humour along with well thought out characters. The writing suffers from too much repetition at times, too much of the heroine 'sniffing' the hero and the word 'pheromones' appears 38 times a bit too many IMO (I didn't count, Kindle worked it out for me!). The dialogue, however, is just right and is one of the main strengths of this book.

Overall I very much enjoyed this book, it's just the kind of book I expected from the Modern Tempted series. 



Friday, 9 August 2013

#ModernTempted The Unexpected Wedding Guest - Aimee Carson

The Unexpected Wedding Guest - Aimee Carson
Mills & Boon Modern Tempted
Harlequin UK, 2013
ISBN: 9780263910490

My rating

From the back cover:

"‘Surprised to see me?’
Getting caught in her wedding dress by her drop-dead-gorgeous ex-husband is Reese Michael’s worst nightmare. Especially when her perfect-on-paper fiancĂ© then cancels their wedding!
Reese has spent years trying to forget how her marriage to Mason Hicks crashed and burned – yes, their chemistry was incredible, but a girl can’t live on lust alone! And what’s a jilted bride supposed to do when the one man she could never forget is back in her life, as irresistible as ever? Mason might be her own personal brand of Kryptonite, but surely life is meant to be lived a little dangerously…?

Don’t miss the linked stories in The Wedding Season quartet – Available in MODERN TEMPTED™!"

When I first heard that some of my fave authors were involved in a continuity series I felt two things.  First, very excited! And second, curious to see how it turns out. This is the opening book to 'The Wedding Season' series from Modern Tempted/Harlequin KISS and it starts the series off, if not with a bang but definitely with a pop and fizzle. 

Aimee Carson has penned a really nice reunion story. Her Hero and Heroine have grown over their years apart, or perhaps grown-up would be a better phrase. The author makes no attempt to give excuses for her characters past failings in their relationship, happily admitting that they were just two young at the time and not ready for the full and total commitment it takes to make a marriage work. And that's OK, and the book displays that attitude, which, you know, is honest and really refreshing to read.

While I do feel that the dialogue at times felt a little forced and there was a little too much focus on the physical rather than emotional, as well as a lot going on in the background of the story, overall the story pulled me in right from the start and kept me invested in hoping the two would get their second chance. 

The sizzle-factor is here, in spades, as well as some light, fun moments with a tantalising glimpse into the characters waiting for their stories to get told.

Very enjoyable. 


Sunday, 4 August 2013

(Modern) Tempted by the...

Last week, in my few free moments between some work-induced stress, I received an email from the lovely Flo (editor extraordinaire of Mills & Boon) inviting me to be part of the launch of a new fantastic series from Mills & Boon.

It's called Modern Tempted and it promises to be fresh and flirty. The official word is...

"Modern Tempted is all about delivering the intense romance people expect from Mills & Boon, but with a contemporary edge - think friends-with-benefits, one-night stands, and holiday flings! Our stories sizzle with chemistry, and offer a playful, lively take on romance, for the 21st century reader who likes her stories hot!

... each story guarenteeing sassy, sexy writing from some of the most talented authors around, including Mills & Boon superstars Kelly Hunter, Mira Lyn Kelly, Heidi Rice, Natalie Anderson and Liz Fielding. You're truly spoilt for choice with these lot!"

For those of you, like me, who have missed the hot, sassy stories that the old RIVA line used to deliver, but not so much missing the sweeter ones, then this new series should fill that book-shaped hole!

My first impression of the covers are that they are very similar to the Modern series, which is like a nice, warm security blanket. It's familiar, and brings with it a certain level of expectation about the kind of stories we will be getting - you know the ones, steamy, full of alpha-males, glamorous, etc. Yet the covers have a bit more 'pop' and colour than the standard Modern's do, so while I want those intense stories that the Modern line is so good at delivering I also want a bit of freshness and fun. The covers do a nice job of building up my anticipation.

I can't wait to get stuck in to the first of the four launch books for the series... 

I just can't decide which one to go for first....

For more fun stuff relating to the Modern Tempted line use the #moderntempted on twitter and visit the Mills & Boon facebook page.

Let me know what you think about this new series and watch this space for reviews coming soon...


With thanks to Flo and the Modern Tempted team at Romance HQ.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Roman Holiday...

I know it has been, like, ages since I last posted. Been busy at work and home etc, although thats no excuse really, and I'll save the really boring stuff for another time.

For now, let's talk about fun stuff. I have recently returned from a wonderful 4 day break in the Eternal City... That is Rome, of course. And it was beautiful.

Day One

Roma Termini - a seriously large train station!
We left on Sunday, which was also our 3rd wedding anniversary (seriously, THREE whole years!) and after an uncomfortable flight - I am NEVER flying easyjet again, never - we bundled on the Leonardo Express train to beautiful Roma.
Fountain at Piazza della Repubblica
A short walk (although not so short for Richard as I made him carry my bag!) later we arrived at our hotel for a rest and then on to some serious sightseeing!

From the hotel we decided to walk up to the Spanish Steps first.
I didn't realise it would be quite so hilly!

At the top of the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps - truly beautiful

There is a lot of tourists!

From the Spanish Steps we carried on walking down until we arrived at the Trevi Fountain. It is absolutely stunning - but the sheer amount of tourists can make it a bit of a squash. We learnt to be a little more pushy in order to be able to see things!

Afterwards we walked back to the hotel area and found a restaurant to have dinner. I don't consider myself a foodie but in Rome the food is amazing!

Day Two

We planned to spend the whole day at the Vatican so off we went on the Metro. Aside from the really frustratingly persistent reps trying to sell you guided tours (literally tons of them, and they don't leave you alone) the walk towards the walled Vatican felt very exciting.
Piazza San Pietro

 We went to St Peter's Square before doing anything else. It is simply magnificent. So grand and alluring.
 Inside St. Peter's Basilica it ramps up the grand even more. Every square inch is covered in gilding, or moulding, carving, sculpture etc! And so very vast.
Main hall of Basilica di San Pietro

Many, many chairs in St. Peter's Square

Wall surrounding Vatican City

After St. Peter's and a much needed toilet break, we went off to the Vatican Museums. There was a bit of a queue for the Museum, it was rather hot and those pesky reps were hassling again. But, we're British, queuing is one thing we're good at! Besides it was only for about 10 mins.

Bronze sculpture inside Vatican Museums

He seems to be missing, er, something! Ha!

I really couldn't begin to describe the sheer amount of things to see in the Vatican Museum - it is mind boggling!
The size aswell - it is absolutely huge! And if you simply want to go the the Sistine Chapel be prepared for a long walk!
Beautiful view across Rome from the Vatican Museum

This is not mouldings it painted to look three-dimensional!

The ceilings are stunning. Beautiful frescos and mouldings. All very lavish!

Unfortunately, photographs are not allowed to be taken inside the Sistine Chapel. It is simply stunning. Although to be honest, I was rather surprised just how small some of the really well known Michelangelo frescos were! But nothing compares to having seen it with my own eyes, something I will never forget.

My favourite part of the Vatican Museums - Spiral Staircase

By the end of the day my mind was so overwhelmed with everything we had seen, and my feet worn down to stumps from all the walking!
Ha! I couldn't resist taking a photo!

Day Three

The Colosseum and the Forums was our plan for the day. And it was a hot one!
Coming out of the Metro station it was a very strange experience to just suddenly be in front of this amazing building. And with is being surrounded by a main road only adds to it's awe.

We went to see Palatine Hill and the Roman Forums before the Colosseum.

Walking around all those ruins where ancient Rome was founded is wonderful. Almost too much to see and take in.

Roman Forums

One of my favourite photo's I took!

It was incredibly hot that day! My hair parting got sunburnt!

I love this photo! 

Horse's bum!

Inside the Colosseum - stunning!


Trevi Fountain at night - I don't know that lady she just
accidentally got in my photo!

 After the all that we went back to the hotel for a rest and then ventured out for a walk to find a restaurant for dinner and a trip to see the Trevi Fountain at night. Which is just as beautiful (and busy) at night!

Day Four

We need more Nuns casually walking around in the UK!
Inside the Pantheon
 Our last day we planned to spend walking around and seeing the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. And just generally seeing what was left of Rome.

The Pantheon

The amazing dome of the Pantheon

The only piece of modern architecture I found!

One last trip to the Spanish Steps!

Our bags are packed.

Leaving Rome...

And that is it, our trip to Rome... Exhausting but brilliant!