‘Beyond The Cage’ by Alana Sapphire

beyond the cageMMA fighter meets girl and so begins a beautiful relationship.

Cameron doesn’t talk but some how he and Jasmine seem to communicate just fine. (wink, wink)

The story is not at all focused around fighting. Its more about them outside of the ring – hence the title. I felt like it took me a little while to really get into the story but once it reeled me in I was happy to keep reading.

Alana is certainly not afraid to add the sex scenes and I mean once she started they didn’t really seem to stop. Perhaps they were there to fill in for all the ‘talking’ that wasn’t happening.

It did feel like someone called “dinner time” on Alana, as the story was wrapped up really quick. One minute we are all loved up and lots of sex scenes and BOOM a million things have happened and we are at the epilogue. Weird, but at the same time probably necessary as the story was directionless at times.

Look, I enjoyed the story. I didn’t have to think too much and some of the scenes were pretty hot. It was the right story for me to read to take me away from the stresses of work life.  Also bonus, it’s nice to read a standalone book every now and then.

My rating 3/5.

‘Darkness Revealed’ (Guardians of Eternity #4) by Alexandra Ivy

darkness revealedI loved, loved, loved this book….

Usually, by the fourth book in a series things are getting a bit boring and repetitive and you are questioning whether you really do want to continue on. But, alas this did not happen. Cue big cheesy grin!

Book 4 sees us introduced to Anna and Cezar and they’ve met before. They had a raunchy night together and then never saw each other again for another 200 years.

The chemistry between these 2 is fantastic. Cezar sounds like a very impressive vampire and he’s devotion to Anna is heart felt. Mostly I like that he has attitude and isn’t afraid to show it. Plus bonus he has some pretty good powers on him. Can’t wait to see what that means going forward.

But the true highlight is Anna. I loved her. She’s sweet, brave and a fierce woman. I think the below quote sums her up.

“I’m Anna Randal, a woman who is intelligent, capable and a damn fine lawyer. I’m mate to Conde Cezar and distant granddaughter of King Arthur. And just as importantly , I’m the woman who is destined to kick your ass.”

Another great thing about Anna is she doesn’t just let the ‘powers that be’ run her life. She takes charge and gets what she wants, i.e. Lots of bed time with Cezar – and who wouldn’t want that??!

Woohoo…. well done Alexandra Ivy you have written a great fourth book and have inspired me to read on. Can’t wait to read move about these sexy vampires and their adorable mates.

My Rating 5/5

 

‘Playing with Fire’ by Tess Gerritsen

playing with fireWhat a fantastic book?! I loved it.

I certainly wasn’t expecting the story that was told in this book and yet once I got started I never wanted to put the thing down.

It has 2 story lines.

One is of Julia, a musician who finds a beautiful piece of music and upon playing it her daughter begins to act strangely (e.g. killing the family cat – poor kitty). No one believes Julia that her daughter is doing these strange things but Julia believes it to be the music.

The second story is of a Lorenzo, he lives in Venice, he’s a Jew and its just before the Second World War. He’s is the composer of the music Julia now owns.

The true star of this book is the haunting piece of music called ‘Incendio‘ and it is a real piece of music. YouTube it! It is amazing and those last few notes are beautifully played and makes the tears fall for all these characters.

Tess has managed to write a book where both stories compliment each other throughout. Neither is over shadowed by the other.  She has woven the historical facts of the Second World War into this story in an eerie way. I felt physically sick reading about what happened to Lorenzo in that camp and yet isn’t that the sign of a good writer to make me feel?

If I was to have one issue with this book, it would be how quick the story was wrapped up.  I’m guessing someone was calling ‘dinner’ when she got towards to the end! But this is a small issue in comparison to a great book, so i’ll forgive her.

This book has inspired me to read something else by Tess in the future. I look forward to what else she can teach me.

My Rating 5/5.

FYI – “incendio” is also the Harry Potter spell for making fire!

 

‘Lima Nights’ by Marie Arana

lima nightsThe book is set in Peru (which I assume is meant to be a draw card) and is centred around Carlos and Maria. Carlos is happily married with 2 children and enjoys the occasional lady on the side. In dances, Maria (she’s 16) and they begin an affair. Carlos’ clever wife works it out and leaves Carlos. We then jump 20 years into the future where Carlos and Maria are still together but not happy.

Upon reading the above blurb I thought this would be a great character study piece. How wrong I was. The first half of the story was enjoyable and I liked hearing about the differences in their lives and how they came together.

However the step forward 20 years was disappointing. Both characters were almost unrecognisable and I really couldn’t bring myself to care about their welfare one bit. There was certainly no character development. Perhaps Marie Arana just wasn’t sure how to treat her characters 20 years on?!

I was glad when this book ended, as now I am free to read something else. I’m just very disappointed that I have been left with this ‘nothing’ feeling about the book. I have no strong feelings either way on this book and truthfully I can’t even tell you what the purpose of the story was and that’s a sad state to be in.

Anyway, on wards and upwards. Fingers crossed the next book is a winner!

My Rating 2/5.

 

‘Darkness Everlasting’ (Guardians of Eternity #3) by Alexandra Ivy

Cripes!darkenss everlasting

How many times can that word be used in a story?? Seriously?! If I had the patience I would’ve counted them. It’s almost like Alexandra used the good old ‘Find and Replace’ for any swear word or exclamation!

Anywhoo…. lets move on. Now that I have gotten my whinge out of the way.

Another good story in the series and finally a vampire not afraid to sink his fangs into someone.

This story focuses on Darcy and Styx. Styx is the newly appointed Anasso (King of the vampires) and he doesn’t seem to get out much. However, he’s trying to keep the peace between all the different demons out there.

Enter the werewolves – Finally! And Darcy. The introduction of the werewolves into the series is great as now we get a greater pool of characters and problems. And personally I can’t wait to read more about Salvatore (king of the werewolves).

Characters from the previous book re-appear, which I love. Can’t ever have enough of Viper. Plus Levet, the gargoyle is back and is as funny as ever!

Three books into the series and I’m finding that the books are following a pattern and because of that I tended to read ahead in this book. Probably time to read something from a different author.

My rating 4/5

‘Embrace The Darkness’ (Guardians of Eternity #2) by Alexandra Ivy

embrace the darkness (2)“You are destined to be a thorn in my side for all of eternity.”

I’d suggest this roughly sums up the book.

We met both of the main characters in book one of this series. Viper is the almighty clan leader and Shay is a half human/demon. To be precise she is a Shalott, which makes her blood irresistible to all vampires.

Viper buys her at a slave market… I know romantic right. However there is a ‘big bad’ trying to take Shay for their own use. So they slowly fall in love, along with the necessary kidnapping, torture and killing of ‘big bad’.

The story is predictable but written well and is fast paced. It’s one of the reasons I am enjoying this series. Action, paranormal and romance all in one, with neither of them outweighing the other.

Viper is swoon worthy in that dangerous Mr.Grey way.

However I think the better character here is Shay. She’s a strong willed, independent and brave woman who can put Viper and other vampires in their place. I liked that and I hope to see more of her in the series.

But prize for the best character in the book goes to Levet. A gargoyle. He’s great, a little nutty but is a great side-kick for Shay.

2 books into a series and I am happy to continue further down the rabbit hole with these characters.

My Rating 4/5.

 

‘When Darkness Comes’ (Guardians of Eternity) by Alexandra Ivy

when darkness comesPicked this bad boy off the local library book shelf. It was an impulse borrow, as I was looking for something light to read that didn’t take it’s self too seriously.

Well, this certainly delivered. I really enjoyed this book.

Story line is basic. Girl meets gorgeous man (who turns out to be vampire), attraction heats up between them and then BAM! She becomes the magical Chalice and demons want to kill her to unleash the ‘dark Prince’. And of course the gorgeous man is her champion.

The story has of course has been done to death (pardon the pun), however I thought Alexandra Ivy moved this story in a quick pace so you can’t get too bored with anything. There is plenty of action and of course the chemistry between Dante and Abby is well written.

The only one annoying thing in this book for me, was how often Abby had to think/say how perfect Dante was looking even thought she looked like sh$t. We get it he’s perfect and you are a slob. Move on… he still loves you.

This book has encouraged me to continue with the series.

My rating is 4/5.

‘The Honeyfield Bequest’ by Anna Jacobs

honeyfield bequesthmmm… what to say about this one??!

It was an easy book to read, kept me in engaged throughout but I feel like this story was a bit “meh” for me.

Perhaps the storyline was not entirely what I was expecting. The blurb gave me the impression that Kathleen was going to be a force of nature, highly independent and with spirit. Yes, she did have these things but she still got married and became shackled to her husband and kids for the story.

What also surprised me in this story was the mention that some characters had some ‘special gifts’. The ability to know things, see ghosts and to find things without looking. After further research, I realised that I was probably reading these books in the wrong order (if there is an order). In a previous series called ‘Greyladies’ I assume the ‘special gifts’ are discussed in greater detail.

This book will end up being a part of a new series, as this book certainly laid the foundations for it and although I didn’t hate this book I don’t think I will be back for the rest.

My rating 2.5/5

 

‘See What I Have Done’ by Sarah Schmidt

see what i have doneLizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

Lizzie Borden and her story has always fascinated me. Did she do it and if so why would she do that to her family? Such a vicious and cruel crime.

This book certainly does not try to solve a 100-year-old crime. Instead it looks further into the family life and what might have been going on behind the door at 92 Second Street.

The book can be a little confusing at times as there are 4 different story tellers and each seems to jump forward and backward in time. It takes a little bit to get use to, but once you get into the rhythm of it, its actually brings something unique to the telling of the story.

Another unusual aspect of this story is how Sarah focuses on the smells, tastes and touch of everything in the characters lives. At times this can be taken a little too far. There are only so many times I need to know there might have been something off with the mutton soup and how the characters were all sick from it.

The last few entries from the characters are eerie and they start to come full circle and show the aftermath of the murders and where they all ended up. I got the chills towards the end and it has left me with more questions than answers but I think that’s a sign of a good story.

Sarah has written more than a story here, she has written a world that you can step into and be immersed in. It’s brilliant writing and it has left me more fascinated with Lizzie and why she did it.

My rating is 4/5.

 

‘The Con Artist’ by Kitty Thomas

con artistHoly cow! This book is intense.

It’s the darker side of a BDSM relationship and there is definitely no happy ending for these characters.

It’s full on that’s for sure and the book/author and most reviews carry with it a warning that this is not for the faint hearted or someone looking for a ‘fifty shades of grey’ story line. Trust me the “Master” in this story is not going to start doing flowers and romance anytime soon.

But I think that’s the point of this story there is no true hope for any of these characters and this shows what it is truly like to be owned, to be a slave and to have your soul cut away slowly.

It’s not the sexual aspects of this book that will stay with you long after you have finished it but the emotional turmoil that Saskia (‘the slave’) goes through. You watch her slowly lose her self and become an extension of Quill (‘the master’) and even Marcus to a certain extent.

Kitty Thomas has written a great book here. Yes its graphical at times but she has that amazing ability to see both the physical and emotional side of the whole thing. I will give another one of her books ago for sure. However I think I will need to read several less intense books before I tackle another one. Too much darkness and even I might starting saying ‘yes sir’.

My rating is 4/5

Picture courtesy of Goodreads.com