Feisty by Julia Kent

REVIEW

Feisty is here, but don’t you dare let her hear you call her that or you’ll find yourself drop-kicked all the way back to 7th Grade.

At the tender age of 12, Fiona Gaskill was not going to let anyone mess with her, so when a young Chris Fletcher tried to kiss her, she kicked his backside and gave him a black-eye in the process, and so the nickname ‘Feisty’ was born.  17 years later and Fiona is still holding onto her dislike of the name and the man who gave it to her…until she forced to be Feisty once again.

Chris ‘Fletch’ Fletcher has harboured a secret crush on Fiona for years and being thrown back into her path could be fate but he’s not going to miss his chance again.  Convincing Fiona to give him a chance is going to take more than compliments and coincidental encounters. Faith, trust and believing in yourself, both past and present, is going to be required to bring these two to their happy ever after.

I don’t know how Julia thinks up some of these characters or the situations that they find themselves in but I’m so glad that she does.  Chapter 4 had me sobbing like a baby, nothing bad happens, in fact it is the kindness shown that had the tears flowing.  From then on it was laughing and ohhing and ahhing all the way to the end.  Highlight for me had to be the cabin retreat.  Bears, 2 drunken men and literal peeing contests!

Feisty is an awesome character. Having met her in both Fluffy and Perky it is great to see her have her own piece of happiness.  This whole series is amazing and I can’t wait for the next (and possibly the last) one in the series – Hasty.

Rating 5/5

ARC courtesy of Julia Kent

Synopsis

I’m not to proud to admit that finding Mr. Right involves swiping right. Right? Welcome to dating in avocado toastland.

Here I am, on my first blind date, ever, courtesy of a smartphone app and my two annoying best friends.

So what is Chris “Fletch” Fletcher doing, walking across the room, looking at his phone like he’s pattern matching a picture to find a real person he’s never met before?

Oh.

Oh, no.

The guy I drop-kicked in seventh grade cannot be my blind date. The guy who earned me this infernal nickname.

That’s right.

Feisty.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48749530-feisty?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=VO2LT0Of08&rank=1)

Random Acts of New Year – #10 The Random Series by Julia Kent

REVIEW

What a wonderful way to see in the New Year.  If you are a fan of Julia Kent and have read even one of the Random Series books then you want to read this.  Laugh, cry and cringe your way to the Ball Drop in Times Square.

This story is focused on Liam and Charlotte, don’t worry though because all the gang is here,  which means nothing is going to run smoothly.  Liam has something very special on his mind and big ideas for New Year’s Eve.  Will his well laid plans go smoothly or will some Random Act of Crazy happen?

I don’t think I have laughed so hard whilst reading a book in long time (well, probably since Feisty!) I love Darla and although this story wasn’t focusing on her she still managed to steal the limelight with Joe’s ‘issue’ and Mavis’s choking.  It’s amazing how this band stays together with all the arguing and bitching  but,  they do and we all very grateful.  Charlotte shows a new side to herself – literally! And both Liam and Charlotte find out that there’s more to their parents than meets the eye.

This book is being released on New Year’s Eve.  Grab it, read it, and let yourself have laughter-filled new year!

ARC courtesy of Julia Kent

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

New Year’s Eve. Times Square. I booked the room over a year ago, with the view of the ball dropping. I’ll propose to Charlotte and drop to my knee at the stroke of midnight.

At least, that’s the plan.

But nothing in my life ever goes as planned. Between a last-minute gig that takes me away from her, a blast-from-the-past boyfriend of Charlotte’s, and the resurrection of Esme the blow-up doll, I have to fight for my right —

To make her my wife.

Charlotte. Not Esme. Because that’s just gross, man. What’s wrong with you?

(https://www.prosaicpress.com/jkentauthor/books/the-random-series/random-acts-of-new-year/)

Miracle on 5th Avenue – From Manhattan with Love #3 by Sarah Morgan

REVIEW

I read the first two books in this series earlier in the year, but knowing that this was set at Christmas time I wanted to leave it until the season was right and I could get the full experience of it. I am so glad I did.  Curled up on the sofa with a blanket and hot chocolate, while festive decorations adorn the room and the feeling of holiday spirit is in the air is the perfect way to enjoy this book.

Eva Jordan is a life-long romanticist, she believes that there is someone for everyone and, even if you have found them and lost them, then someone else could be the one.  Christmas is her time. The decorating, the cooking, the feeling of closeness from family and friends. This year, however,  she is struggling with the lose of her Grandmother, fortunately she has a job that will keep her occupied and friends to keep her from falling apart.

Lucas Blade hates everything about Christmas. The joy, happiness and get-together’s couldn’t be furthest from his mind.  Holing himself away for the winter on the pretense of writing his book, Lucas delves into a world of misery and suffering over the death of his wife. When an unexpected house-guest arrives he knows there is more to her than meets the eye.  With the weather worsening, Lucas has no choice but to allow Eva to stay.

Can an overly enthusiastic, Christmas loving woman be what Lucas Blade needs to thaw his wounded heart or will the season of good-will be nothing more than cold and miserable.

I adored this book. I think out of the three girls, Eva is my favourite. She is a hopeless romantic with such a positive outlook on life. She knows her faults and is not afraid to own them.  She feels empathy for those around her and although it may appear that she lives in a bubble where nobody can do wrong, she is not completely naive about the world. Her passion and loyalty are something that Lucas needed to see and grab hold of because that type of love certainly does not come around very often.  Mitzy, Lucas’ Grandmother, is an awesome character. Devious in her plans to get Lucas out in the world again and seeing the potential that Eva can bring to her plans…naughty Mitzy!

Christmas must read!

Rating 5/5

Miracle on 5th Avenue

 

Alternate Cover

Synopsis

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28590927-miracle-on-5th-avenue)

Fateless – Stateless #3 by Meli Raine

REVIEW

Thrilling conclusion to the Stateless series.  So much is revealed with shocking outcomes.  I have been glued to this book since I received it.

Kina and Callum are fighting for their lives but this time they have new team mates in the form of Drew, Lindsay, Silas, Jane, Duff and Lily.

Kina is plagued by fear for the children of Stateless, as the world that they knew starts to crumble.  Finding a way to keep the children safe is Kina’s main priority, keeping Kina safe is Callum’s.   The pair now have to rebuild their lives and retrain their minds if they are going to put an end to the power struggle that is going on around them.  When Kina has to enter the lion’s den in the disguise of her sister, Callum must save her from the unthinkable.  Destruction, deceit  and death follows…but who’s?

The intriguing mind of Meli Raine has delivered another fantastic series that intertwines with her previous books and brings all our favourite characters together. As well as the ones mentioned earlier there are several other familiar names which appear, and as information is shared and stories are retold, the pieces are put together to from the bigger picture.  Every person has their part to play, pawns in the massive game of chess,  pieces that are manoeuvred at the will of others.  Fighting back is their only option.

ARC received courtesy of Meli Raine. Release date – 26/12/19

Rating 5/5

Synopsis 

The future isn’t real.

The past isn’t real, either.

Only the present is, solid and full, flying at our faces, our bodies, our hearts and souls at breakneck speed as we work to take it all in.

As we work to protect others.

And, finally – ourselves.

We’ve started to break the bonds of Stateless, a system as rotten as the one it seeks to destroy. But systems are organisms with one brutal goal: to survive, whatever it takes.

Kina has to do the unfathomable to save a different system, one she created out of empathy and love for children we rescued from the only home they know.

She’ll use her mind, her body, her spirit — and her ultimate weapons: love, and —

Me.

(https://meliraine.com/books/stateless/fateless/)

Traceless – Stateless #2 by Meli Raine

REVIEW

Deceit, betrayal, secrets and lies. For Kina and Callum this is all part of life. But what if life can be different? What if the lies are coming from the people you trust the most?  Plans are unfolding but who’s side should they be on?

Kina has spent her life in the compound, looking after the babies and children, nurturing them, becoming attached and enveloping them in the emotion that she is then programmed to shut off for everyone else.

Callum has been away from the compound for nine years, now he is back.  Returning to Kina, he finds that she has not been in field as expected but remained at the compound working the nursery.

I devoured this book in one day. Kina and Callum grabbed my interest in the first book – Stateless – and continued where they left of with this one.   The connection between Kina and Callum is explosive despite the fact that they haven’t actually done anything, which makes their feelings even more real. Callum finds out some unexpected truths but can he put his trust is someone he doesn’t know? Danger follows them but with new allies, new realities, and new relationships, it is all leading up to an intriguing and exciting final book in this series, Fateless.

ARC courtesy of Meli Raine

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

It’s not against any formal rule for us to sleep together.
It is, however, strictly forbidden to have feelings for each other.
I can’t do one without the other at this point.
Which means I am doomed.
When you don’t know who you can trust, reality distorts. It twists and oozes, disintegrating and reformulating to meet whatever needs its masters demand.
Just like me.
Just like Kina.
Except everything is different now that we know who we really are.
But there’s a second reality, you see.
This one can’t be manipulated.
It just is. Solid and true, it takes our mission, our training, our orders, turning them into nothing but secrets and lies.
And this new reality means my old reality is trying to kill everything I love.
Including her.

(https://www.amazon.com/Traceless-Stateless-2-Meli-Raine-ebook/dp/B07Y8WQ22Z)

RELEASE BLITZ – STATELESS by Meli Raine

Author: Meli Raine
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 15, 2019

Stateless Ebook Cover

BLURB

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.

I lie for her.
I hunt for her.
I kill for her.
And above all, I betray my mission for her.
She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.
I do.
Treason comes in many forms.
Love is one of them.
Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.
Our teachers forgot one important detail:
Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.
Yet we do.
It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.
And I know exactly where mine are aimed.

The Stateless Series also includes:
Traceless (releasing 11.19.19)
Fateless (release date TBA)

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Also available in audio

Audible
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EXCERPTS

Stateless Teaser 6

#1

I do not sleep.
Kina does, though, and that matters more.
Sleep is a luxury when we are in Woods. She knows it. I know I should catch an hour or two, especially with my five-night punishment and determination to go for six, but I can’t.
What did I just say?
What did I just do?
Kina has the dreams. I have the dreams. I’ve never told anyone else anything that wasn’t one hundred percent part of The Mission.
To confess emotion, to confess my own dreams that do not fit The Mission, could be punished by death.
Or worse. What if I really am so weak? Emotion is shameful. It’s disgusting.
We fail every time we feel.
She knows this. I know this.
And yet we both spoke. Shared.
Confided.
Why?
What does this mean?
With her sleeping beside me, I let my mind wander, giving in to the luxury of imagination. For years, the dream has been the same.
A burning wood fire.
A screaming boy.
A woman with long hair being shot.
A man with a shaved head and blue eyes like mine beaten by another man with a log.
And me with my bow and arrow. My hands are tiny, the skin around the knuckles dimpled. I’ve worked with the four-year-olds here at the compound. I know what young hands look like.
Why would I dream like that?

Stateless Teaser 5

#2

“Thank you,” I choke out.
“For what?” His eyes cut away. The air between us has changed. I can’t explain it. Suddenly, I’m uncomfortable.
And yet I just want to be with him.
“For killing for me.”
As the words come forth from my mouth, I cringe inside. I did not mean to say for me. “For me” implies that he killed the bunny out of some attachment to me.
We are not allowed to have emotions for one another. It puts us at risk.
“I did it for me,” he says, louder than he should need to.
“You did?”
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“To challenge Romeo.”
“Why would you do that?” My voice goes up to a sharp squeak at the end, incredulous.
He laughs. “Because we are taught to destabilize power structures.” He looks around. “What do you think the compound is?”

Stateless Teaser 4

#3

The word feel is foreign. It’s as if Callum speaks another language. My heart jumps inside the cage of my chest.
“Feel,” I murmur.
Just then, Callum’s hand brushes against mine.
My organs have become trampolines, it seems, because my heart jumps into my throat.
He slides his index finger against mine, the touch no more than an inch of skin.
Revealing a mile of need.

MY REVIEW

Absolutely loved this book, from the first page to the last I could not put it down.  It has been a while since I read a book all in one day but this one had me gripped right from the start and kept me engrossed until the end.

Kina and Glen are identical twin sisters. Having been at the compound for as long as they can remember they know no other way of life. Callum, their friend, has been with them since childhood but it is Kina and Callum who have the stronger connection, a connection that cannot be broken, unlike the rules of the compound.

No emotion is the key to being Stateless.   Everything they have been taught, all the training they have completed, their lives up to this point have been planned and executed to perfection with one goal in mind…The Mission.

But what if everything you believed in is a lie, those you trusted the most betray you.  Your life as you know it is not what you thought.  Where do you go? What do you do?

I knew I was going to like Callum as soon as he was introduced in the story.  The strength and power behind his character is evident, even in the younger years.  His unyielding emotional attachment to Kina is evident in his desire to protect her.  Having read the previous series I was aware of the relevance of the mission he has been given.

I’m not yet sure what to make of Kina.  After everything she has been through I want to believe she is what she appears to be and that her feelings for Callum are real, I just have a feeling that not all is as it seems.  And don’t even get me started on Glen! What a… sister!

This story is told from the views of both Kina and Callum.  The majority of the timeline is set nine years ago when the pair where teenagers, in the final year of their training, coming up to the present towards the end.

If you have read the previous series by Meli Raine then some names will be very familiar, such as Romeo who is a prominent figure in this story. This is a stand-alone series, so can be read independently, however I would recommend reading at least the series before but all the series link together.

Suspense, lies, secrets and betrayal.  Fighting for their lives and for their love.

COMING SOON

#2 Traceless – Releasing November 19, 2019

Traceless Ebook Cover

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AUTHOR BIO

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

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The Sleepover – Detective Natalie Ward #4 by Carol Wyer

REVIEW

DI Natalie Ward and her team work hard and fastidiously to unearth the pieces that will connect all the dots in this latest mystery.

Oh WOW!  Where do I start with this one?  DI Natalie Ward’s family life is falling apart around her but when a young girl is found dead in a house fire, a house she shouldn’t have been in, then she must put her personal issues aside to lead her team in this investigation.

Everyone connected with the fire and the young girl, Roxy, seems to be lying, whether it is to Natalie, to their families, or to them themselves. The case becomes even more in-depth when Roxy’s mother goes missing, only to turn up dead the next day.  When a third body is found, Natalie must race against time to find the culprit before they kill again.

I’m not sure what was more exciting in this book, the murder investigations or Natalie’s personal life.  David is keeping secrets from Natalie again, but in all fairness Natalie is keeping a few of her own.

Her kids are going through the rebellious teenage faze, her husband is falling off the wagon, and she is having feelings for her work colleague that she perhaps shouldn’t be having.  Trying to juggle life and work is taking it’s toll and something is going to break soon. At least the team seems mostly settled now, except for Ian who is still undecided about his work/relationship situation.

I do need to comment on the end of this book because…..

Spoiler Alert (do not read any further if you do not want to know what happens between Natalie and Mike)

Oh My God!  Finally they kissed! I really do think they are much better suited but it is going to be interesting to see where this development goes. And David saw the whole thing.

Can’t wait to see what happens in the next book in the series – The Blossom Twins – due to be published 12th December 2019.

Listen to via Audible. Narrated by Diana Croft

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Roxy had a secret. Now she’s gone.

When fourteen-year-old Roxy says she’s going for a sleepover at her best friend Ellie’s house, Cathy sees no reason to check her daughter’s story. The two families are neighbours, and the girls are in and out of each other’s homes every day.

It is a decision she will regret. A day later, Roxy is found murdered in exclusive Linnet Lane, miles across town, in a house owned by two brothers with no apparent connection to Roxy. Detective Natalie Ward, called to lead the investigation, is determined to get to the bottom of why Roxy was in the basement of this grand Victorian mansion when she should have been eating chocolate in her pyjamas with her best friend.

As Natalie begins to look closely at Roxy’s stepfather and three brothers, she discovers that Roxy had recently been admitted to hospital with suspicious injuries. Her mother Cathy seems very jumpy and Ellie refuses to talk. Who are the people that knew Roxy best in the world protecting?

Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears.

When Cathy’s body is discovered close to where her daughter was found, Natalie is forced to face the grim fact that the killer is just getting started. She is troubled by the reaction of Roxy’s brother Seth to the tragedies and when his alibi falls through she brings him in for questioning, certain she is making headway.

But while Seth is in custody, one of Roxy’s school friends is found murdered and Natalie knows she must cast her net wider. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. What is Ellie hiding about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46285397-the-sleepover)