Friday, 27 June 2014

Book Review: Loving Mr Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry

Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

To Whom it May Concern, 

It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates. 

When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn't plan to stumble into Joe's bar and have Daniel's music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss. 

When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons. 

Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.

It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.

It was ours. 

And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels. 

-Ashlyn Jennings

This book will be peppered with spoilers and although they don't ruin the book completely, I understand the rage felt when people don't warn you of spoilers so if you don't want to know what happens, don't read any section marked with (S).
As I've mentioned on my Twitter, I have been having amazing luck with books recently and Loving Mr Daniels did not break my lucky streak! 

Let's start with the everything good about this book - which is pretty much the entire novel. So, the characters are the first thing that I loved instantly, Ashlyn was such a complex character and I loved that name. I've never come across a female protagonist with this name and I think it's beautiful. It wasn't just Ashlyn that was complex now I come to think of it, they were all the same that way. They all looked different on the surface than they did under it and throughout the book we get to discover each of them, all sides of them and everything they've hidden.
Ashlyn has just lost someone very very close to her and on the outside she is closed off and introverted but on the inside she's broken, sad and lost. Daniel sees this straight away maybe because he has lost many people in his life whether that be because of death or otherwise. He finds himself wanting to make her smile, to take away the sadness and that's how it all starts. The book is split between Ashlyn's and Daniel's POV which makes it even better to see each of their feelings.
Ryan is Ashlyn's father's wife's son... yep that's right. On the surface he is cocky but lovable, popular for all the right reasons and a womanizer. That last label couldn't be more wrong. Under the surface he is scared. Scared of the secret he has to keep, the secret that eventually is his undoing, scared of the blame his mother puts on him for his father's death and scared about the look of shame and disgust he'll receive if his real-self shows.
The one character that bothered me ever-so-slightly was Hailey. She was the weakest of all the characters, that girl who hangs on a guy's every word and thinks everything he says is pure genius. Her boyfriend-exboyfriend-boyfriend-exboyfriend Theo could tell her to jump off a cliff and she may just consider it, I mean she was gonna do something really stupid just so he'd think about being with her again when it was him who was cheating on her with Hailey's bestfriend-turned-exbestfriend, make that two stupid things.

(S) The next thing I loved were THE LIFE RUINING AMOUNT OF FEELINGS THIS BOOK HELD. Holy wow did I feel every emotion during reading this book? Yes, yes, yes. I felt awkward during the train scene, sympathy throughout the entire novel, sadness for the characters struggling with loss or inner demons, happiness for how everything ended, excited when everything started to tie together, loss when a character I adored BLOODY DIES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I felt love for Daniel Daniels, hate for certain characters at times, disappointment for the same reasons as before and yearning for a guy like Daniel.

 photo MyEmotions_zps38b2a8f4.gif

Also, on the topic of feelings, what made this story even better was that Brittainy made it so easy for me to invest in the characters and feel exactly what they did. It made the characters come to life and gave my heart the squeeze of it's life.

Okay, next is the way the situations were handled. I wont mention said situations because I don't want to ruin the book for anyone but I liked the way everything was taken care of. Usually in books like this, I've found, the protagonists act like children when it comes to decision making or they choose stupid ass answers and it makes me angry because the correct way to sort everything is right under their noses but the author feels the needs to drag it out. Nuh-uh not in this book! By the end of the book everything was overcome, all the situations that went bad were sorted out and all the characters got their shit together and the book ended with me being able to be happy for the characters instead of worrying about what's next or how they will solve everything. That's why I found this a refreshing change, it was just a single book which means no trilogy or series. Some people may be amazed to realise that in order for a story to be kick-ass you don't need 34 books. 

"His kisses tasted like forever soaked in always."

Now let's talk about the 'obstacle' that is in almost every book I've ever read in the romance genre. That obstacle may be another love-interest, (usually this is the case) or something equally as easy to squash and move on. The obstacle here is obvious, it's a teacher/student story which usually I do not get along with because the idea creeps me out a little. BUT the way the whole affair begins helped me to really like the idea, they're barely a couple of years apart in age, they met in normal (albeit slightly awkward) situations and became friends before they knew about the whole Daniel being a teacher at her school. Even when they found out, they handled it well by trying to do the right thing and stay away from one another and when that didn't work it didn't turn into a whole lot of hot sex in the classroom as many teacher/student stories go on. So with all that in mind, the concept didn't make me squirm. BUTBUTBUT that isn't the only obstacle, the other one is good and unlike the usual in books similar to this. You'll see what I mean when you read it.

The second to last thing I want to mention is the thing that got me the most. This is when I went from 'on the brink of tears' to 'could resurface Atlantis with this sobbing'. Towards the end of this book, we'd lost a lot of people considering this is a romance novel and not a George R.R. Martin novel and my heart was about ready to combust but what I realised was that although Ashlyn had lost a lot, she gained even more. She gained an enormous amount of love and companionship from everyone she'd gathered during this book; her father, Daniel, Hailey, Ryan, Bentley, Randy and even Rebecca. The thing that made me cry was how lucky she was in the sense that she had so much love around her, something I'm still working on and something I desperately want in life. She had all of these people who were there for her, all these people who would pull her into their arms the second they thought she'd cry. Not everyone has that kind of love, and no one should take it for granted if they do.

(S) And last but not least, my favourite part of the entire story line was; Gabby. Mainly the bucket list she made for her twin sister, Ashlyn which was probably the loveliest idea I've ever heard of. Her family knew she was going to die soon, so Gabby wanted to be prepared for when her sister sank into a depression that only she could pull her out of. But how could she pull her out if she wasn't there? She compiled a list of things that Ashlyn should do to get out of her shell, like kiss a stranger, dance on the bar, make a new friend, get drunk, get married, have your heart broken, write a novel etcetc. Every time she completed one of the many items she got a letter from Gabby herself, as if she were standing right beside Ashlyn as she accomplished the list. Some of the letters were for her, some of them were for others like the guy who broke her heart, the guy she married, her new friend and so on. It was heart-achingly beautiful to read each letter with which Gabby always ended "you're doing great, Kid - Gabby." Kid being the nickname she gave to Ashlyn even though they were born pretty close together.
Another thing that Gabby brought to the book, although not present, was the concept of having a 'Golden'. Wow, it's lovely. A Golden is basically what it sounds like; something or someone precious to you. Daniel is Ashlyn's Golden and chocolate is mine... 

(Super S) Like you should actually cover this part of your screen cause this is a major spoiler:
The only con of the entire book WAS THAT ONE DEATH. I MENTIONED IT BEFORE BUT THIS DESERVES ALL THE CAPS LOCK AND ALL THE RAGE. *Deep breath* I may not be over Ryan's death yet.

My favourite scene? Usually it's something to do with the couple in the story but this scene was so wonderful. When Ashlyn sits down with her dad and they drink the disgusting Rudolph piss tea. Then they talk about Gabby for hours on end.
(S) Also - How Daniel proposes. It's so unique to their story, so perfect and a little dorky.

I've talked about the character development in the first section quite a bit but in short; there was a buttload of it. Daniel got closure from all the loss he's experienced and he even rekindled relationships, same with Ashlyn and she worked out everything with her dad. Now I wouldn't say Ashlyn was a weak character in the beginning, she was just extremely indecisive and seemed to always be at war with herself. Hailey stopped that shit with Theo and moved on like she should! You go, girl! Ashlyn's mum sorted herself out and came out the other end with her health, a nice guy and a new-found relationship with her daughter. Henry stepped up to be the father to Ashlyn he should have been to both his children and finally, Jace sorted himself out too and stopped being such an idiotic ASSHAT.

Phew, review over. Just go and read the book! I read it in less than two days and loved every sleep-depriving second of it:)

Write On Review-a-Thon #1

Write On Review-a-Thon

This is a wonderful event hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen and was created for the sole purpose of giving us book bloggers a swift kick up the arse so we can finish all those reviews we've been putting off. If you need the support or just someone to help you suffer through all those reviews you've been pushing to the side then simply go to Brianna's page!
I have a few reviews I need to do so, to make it easier to find them, just click on the book covers. All of the links should be active by the 29th as I'll schedule them so they don't all appear on the same day.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Happy Release Day! Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2) by Alice Clayton


In this sequel to Wallbanger, the second book in the Cocktail series, fan favorites Caroline and Simon negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in San Francisco.

Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on her honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy long hours to keep the interior design company running—especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel on Sausalito. So with her hotshot photographer boyfriend gallivanting all over the world for his job, she and Simon are heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. Neither has any complaints about the great reunion sex, though! Then Simon decides he’s tired of so much travelling, and he’s suddenly home more. A lot more. And wanting Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort their relationship out. Neither wants “out of sight, out of mind,” but can they create their own happy mid-ground clichĂ©?

USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy cocktail of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!

I, for one, have missed Caroline (AKA 'Pink Nightie Girl') and Simon (AKA 'Wallbanger') very much. I read Wallbanger a while back now and instantly fell in love with the story and the characters so I'm extremely excited to be able to say that the second book of the Cocktail series, Rusty Nailed, has been RELEASED. Woo!

Here's a couple of excerpts;

Excerpt 1

“Hey, you.”

“You awake?”

“Not really. Wait, what’re you doing here?”

“I caught an earlier flight back. I missed you.”

“Mmm, I missed you too.”

“My, my, Caroline. What are you wearing . . . or not?”

“It’s too hot for clothes.”

“That’s a very good thing,” he whispered.

Lying behind me, his warmth felt welcome in spite of the heat.

Hands moved across my ribs toward my hips, angling me backward as I moaned at the feel of him, my body always ready to respond to his hands on my skin. He stopped momentarily to join me in my nakedness, and I arched into him when I felt him again, anxious and ready to love me.

He stroked my breasts, his movements deliberate and teasing. He knew the instant reaction he’d receive. Nudging between my thighs, he brought one of my legs over his, opening me to him.

“Yes?” he asked, his breath warm in my ear.

“Yes.” I nodded, reaching behind me and tangling my fingers in his hair. With a groan, he thrust inside me. I sighed as I felt him, insistent and tangible, where he belonged.

Excerpt 2

I passed by on my way to the kitchen, and was stopped by a hand on my ass.


“Hi,” he answered, his eyes still on the computer.

“You need something?”

“Always,” he answered, maneuvering my ass so it was on his lap.

“Not always, you were sleeping earlier,” I pouted, as he swept a piece of hair behind my ear.

“I’m not sleeping now.”

“I’ve got turnovers.”

“I already like where this is going,” he murmured, his hands tightening around my waist.

“No no, I mean I have turnovers. That I need to put in the oven.”

“Wait, those are like tiny pies, right?”

“Yes Simon, they’re like tiny pies.”



“Have mercy.”

“You know what it does to me when you go Uncle Jesse on me.”

His eyes widened, and something else hardened. “I do indeed.”

Kissed me fierce he did, and while I did my best to remind him of my turnovers, he did his best to make me forget. And I did, until the doorbell rang.

“Dammit,” he muttered, releasing me.

“Saved by the bell,” I sang out, rising off his lap.

“You know what it does when you go Kelly Kapowski on me.”

“I do indeed. And if you’re a good boy tonight I’ll give you my own special Bayside cheer later on.” I winked, and danced away from his grabby hands. “Now go do something with that,” I instructed, pointing at his enthusiasm.

He strutted away. 

You should definitely go and check out book 1 - Wallbanger (Goodreads). I love Alice Clayton's writing and I can't wait to try more of her books!

Order Rusty Nailed now! 

About The Author

Alice Clayton is a novelist with an unholy love for her KitchenAid mixer. Making her home in St Louis, she enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up afterwards, and is trying desperately to get her long time boyfriend to make her an honest woman. Hi sweetie!!

After working for years in the cosmetics industry as a makeup artist, esthetician, and national educator for a major cosmetics company, Alice picked up a pen (read laptop) for the first time at 33 to begin a new career, writer. Combining her love of storytelling with a sense of silly, she was shocked and awed to be nominated for a Goodreads Author award in 2010 for her debut novels, The Redhead Series.

Alice has penned three novels, The Unidentified Redhead,The Redhead Revealed, and coming soon in November 2012, Wallbanger. She thinks you should purchase them immediately. She’s not kidding, not even a little bit. Everyone needs some comedic erotica in their lives. She is hard at work on the third book in The Redhead Series, set to release in Spring of 2013, continuing the saucy and sexual escapades of everyone’s favorite couple, Jack and Grace. 

Additionally, Alice loves spending time with her besties on Not Your Mother's Podcast, make sure you check them out at or over on iTunes. 3 women rushing towards their forties still acting like teenagers. A saucy little mix of sex, love, relationships, pop cultural, celebrity gossip and All Things Jake Ryan.

Alice enjoys pickles, Bloody Mary’s, 8 hours of sleep, and a good pounding.

Finally Alice would also like all her readers and listeners to help her convince Mt. Alice that the only other thing that would make her truly happy is finally bringing home a Bernese Mountain Dog. She is totally serious. And done talking about herself in the third person…

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Book Review: Lost and Found by Nicole Williams

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.

After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.

Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.

Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.

When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.

SPOILER ALERT! There is kind of a spoiler in the very last part of my review. It's nothing major but if you do want to avoid it DO NOT read the 'Ending' section of this review.
Let me start off by saying how glad I am that there is a second book to this series already released... AND one for another character in this novel which I am super excited to read!

There were so many things I loved about this story. I found it on a whim on iBooks and thank god I did, after reading the synopsis all I could think was, 'cowboys, oh hell yes' and I was sold. I mean who says no to a book about a sexy as sin cowboy with a heart of gold? No one. What also grabbed my attention was when I saw that the female protagonist was a bad girl, well in some ways she was. Misunderstood would be a better word. What I liked was that it was bad girl falls for good boy which doesn't often happen. It's usually the other way around and although I (shamelessly) love a bad boy in these kinds of novels, I found that I liked the change up.
The characters were easy to like, I didn't identify with any of them though. Which is fine, it's rare that I both like the characters and am able to identify. Jesse was my absolute favourite person in the entire book and I think that's because he was described as everything a guy should be, everything real guys aren't. You know, guys are either amazingly kind with a face only a mother could love or hot as hell with the personality of a goldfish. I have not come across an in between. BUT, I have been told stories of this wonderful species of man with both good looks and a wonderful personality... and Jesse (albeit, fictional) is one of those guys. He's tanned, strong and apparently has a great ass. He's also brave, fiercely loyal and caring to everyone around him, even the girl who broke his heart. There is literally only one person he doesn't get along with but that dude kinda deserves it.

Every time I read a book, the one thing that's always in the front of my mind is character development. Is there any? 
The answer in this case is HELL YEAH! And that makes me happy because there is nothing better than seeing a character go from dark to light as the story progresses. Rowen arrived at the ranch as a troubled girl with a mass of walls surrounding her and as the book went on, I understood more and more why she was as she was. She'd been broken down too many times to count, her childhood was no child's dream and she'd been through more than the average 18 year old... more than anyone should have to experience. She spoke about her problems with her mother and I instantly thought 'oh god, here we go again' because lemme tell you; the amount of times I have read a story where one of the main characters doesn't get on with their mother or father is too many. THEN they go on to make a big deal about how their parents are awful human beings and after being suckered into feeling back for them, there's that one chapter where said main character talks with said mother or father and I realise that the parent was not as bad after all and most of what they did was to protect their son/daughter and they didn't really deserve all of the teenage bullsh** they were receiving.
Then came the chapter where Rowen's mum comes to see her. Now, when I say I hated her, I absolutely positively loathed her. I was setting myself up to read about an awkward reunion and maybe a shouting match but ohmygoodness what a bitch! Not only did she treat her oldest and dearest friend like she was nothing, she also called her own daughter a freak which throughout the book I came to realise was a name quite often given to Rowen for all the wrong reasons, so for her own mother to call her it was inexcusable. Then, she sees that Jesse and Rowen are an item and she profusely apologises for her daughter saying she's so sorry that Rowen corrupted their son and tried to sleep with him etc etc. Then she says that she's sure Rowen has been nothing but a liability to which Rose tells her that she has actually been incredibly helpful. Rowen's mother thinks she's lying to be kind. THEN oh my god this made me so mad, she then brings her new boyfriend into the house that has become Rowen's safe haven. The man who, at a young age, had tried to rape her whilst he was left to take care of her whilst her mother went out. He then proceeded to tell her he'd suffocate her and her mother if she ratted him out. After escaping and telling her mother all about him and what he'd tried to do, her mother tells her to stop lying. I was raging by this point. Her own mother had believed her boyfriend of maybe a week over her only daughter. It broke my heart, and I felt for Rowen more than I have ever felt for a fictional character in a book. *Sighs heavily*
(Spoiler over)

Okay, after that rant let's talk about the one and only thing I didn't like in this book; the mistakes. All the way through the eBook were spelling mistakes, words that sometimes didn't make sense and grammatical errors and although that shouldn't annoy me as much as it did, it was quite distracting. That being said, that was my only issue. The rest of my annoyances were brought on by the characters in the story for being such major assholes, so nothing that the author didn't intentionally do!

Character development, yay! This is my favourite part to review because I love remembering how characters were in the beginning and how they turned out. Let's start with Rowen since we've pretty much covered her development; As I said, Rowen was a down-on-her-luck girl who just needed to get through summer in order to go to her dream school and after a while she became the girl who always says she's not good enough for someone, she doesn't deserve whatever she has received over the course of the story. Usually I don't mind a little of this, but it got to the point where it became constant and annoying but thankfully Jesse called her out on the whole I-deserve-but-I-don't-deserve bullsh** and it stopped. In the end, Rowen became happy in her own skin and after years of being put down for being herself and a summer of finding another piece of herself, she put those two halves together and created someone wonderful. She didn't do a whole 180, I mean she didn't go from darkness to light shining out of her ass. She just became herself and that's all I want in a book, self realisation. It was wonderful to watch it happen!
Now, Jesse. I have already said that I thought his character was great and that's the reason why he didn't need any character development. I can't recall him getting any and usually that would annoy me to hell and back but in all honesty, I'd be mad if he changed. He was charming, self assured and confident but humble and honest all at the same time. It was quite refreshing to read about a guy who wasn't all brooding and moody 24/7. Jesse had a bad past, much like Rowen, but he moved on from it. I realised Jesse's past quite early in the book as there's a dead giveaway and that was a little disappointing but I was still shocked when he spoke about it with Rowen for the first time and my heart broke for him.
Garth was a total asshat in most of this book, like until the very last part. I wont give too much away because experiencing it first hand will make you want to shove a pole up his ass. But there's a reason why, and it's pretty good. Not fully deserving of forgiveness for what he did, but I sympathised right at the end.. just a little.
Rowen's mum... NOPE we've already spoken about this. I will not do this again. Oh the hate is real.
Now let's talk about one of Jesse's sisters, the oldest of the three; Lily. I liked Jesse's family from day 1, but out of all of them Lily was the one who grew the most. Mainly because she was the only one who needed any development, not in a bad way, more of a be-confident-in-yourself-because-you're-gorgeous kinda way. What made this character development even sweeter was that it was Rowen who helped her realise all of this, when Rowen was struggling with the confidence thing herself but still managed to help Lily. I thought that was lovely. 
I loved Jesse's family so much, they were kind, caring and wonderful people and I wanted to wrap them in a hug forever. Rose was my favourite out of them all, excluding Jesse. She easily took Rowen under her wing and made her feel as comfortable as possible, even when Rowen expected her to get mad or disappointed all Rose ever did was love her the way a child should be loved by a mother. She knew exactly what everyone was feeling, she knew about Rowen and Jesse's feelings even before they did and she was just the perfect mum. I adored her.

Ending: (Slight spoiler)
I wouldn't really have minded if the book was a stand alone and left where it was, but I am curious to see where their relationship goes and how they handle everything. There's still Rowen's mum, will anything happen with her? Will he show up again? Also, I want to see how maturely Rowen and Jesse handle a kind-of-long-distance relationship where they only see each other on holidays and have to keep up with each other through phone etc. All in all, I 1000% recommend this book to anyone and everyone over the age of maybe 16... there is some sex, rare swear words but adult situations so I think anyone above the age of 16 would like this book. Especially if you have a thing for sexy cowboys with tight jeans and dimpled smiles, who doesn't though??

Friday, 6 June 2014

Authors Who Deserve More Recognition #1

The first author I thought of was Kate Perry, although she does have a pretty good amount of fans. I think she deserves triple that though. 

I found Kate's work on iBooks one afternoon when I was absolutely bored out of my mind and in need of a new book to read. I clicked on Perfect For You and downloaded it after reading the synopsis. To be perfectly honest I didn't have high hopes, all romance seems to be the same these days. But then I read the first chapter... then before I realised, I'd devoured half of it in one sitting. From that day on I've read most of her books although I still have a fair few to buy - and I can hardly wait!
Her writing is incredible and her characters are so easy to fall in love with - too many book boyfriends to count yet I have no regrets. *laughs deviously*

So, I urge you all to go and try one of Kate's books, whether it be from the Laurel Heights series, (my favourite) or something else. Just try it! Below are all the links you'll need.

(You can buy any of these books directly from Goodreads!)

Meet The Author

Kate has tangoed at midnight with a man in blue furry chaps, dueled with flaming swords in the desert, and strutted on bar tops across the world and back. She’s been kissed under the Eiffel Tower, had her butt pinched in Florence, and been serenaded in New Orleans. But she found Happy Ever After in San Francisco with her Magic Man.

Kate’s the bestselling author of the Laurel Heights Novels, as well as the Family and Love and Guardians of Destiny series. She’s been translated into several languages and is quite proud to say she’s big in Slovenia. All her books are about strong, independent women who just want love.

Most days, you can find Kate in her favorite cafĂ©, working on her latest novel. Sometimes she’s wearing a tutu. She may or may not have a jeweled dagger strapped to her thigh...