Tag Archives: romance

Review: City of Jasmine

jasmineCity of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publishers

There’s something glam about the world of the 1920s, isn’t there? And to top it of, the book is also set in the exotic desert land of Damascus. It’s the time when the Western world is digging for the riches of history to find all kinds of treasures. All this makes The City of Jasmine irresistible to me.

Evangeline Starke is a fun character to hang out with. She’s one spunky lady who dares to take on risks though really, this is a mask to the outside world. When she dared to face the past though, she found that things were more than they seemed. Gabriel Starke is a mysterious man and is, therefore, totally alluring. Really, I don’t want to say anymore about Gabriel because you really just need to read the book! 😉

I expected this book to be a light enjoyable romantic read. It was and more. Some of the turns of the story really took me by surprise and made it all the more exciting. I love the variety of minor characters and their quirks. oh, what would I give to have an elderly aunt like Aunt Dove! Each of these characters adds an additional dimension to the story. There is more to this book than just a love story; there is adventure, action, betrayals, intrigues, heroes, villains and forgiveness.

The City of Jasmine was a lovely read; full of evocative images (I feel the heat! That dry scorching heat of the dessert), exotic air (I kept trying to smell jasmine in the air), suspense (guns, planes, oh, let’s not forget the romance!), and just straight out fun (love the characters’ interactions). This is my first Deanna Raybourn but it’s definitely not the last! Did you know there is a prequel? Yep, that’s my next read, for sure!

Thank you, Harlequin Books Australia, for providing copy of this book

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Blog Tour: Forever -Author Q&A


Welcome to my stop on the Forever tour where Karen Ann Hopkins has kindly responded to my questions.

G’day, Karen, it’s lovely to have you as guest on my blog today.

Firstly, A few quick fun questions:

Please describe yourself in 5 words.
Persistent, perfectionist, stubborn, equestrian, loyal

Tea or Coffee?
Neither.  I don’t like hot drinks at all.

White or Dark Chocolate?
Milk chocolate

Cats or Dogs?
I have four dogs, six cats, fifteen horses, seven goats and an assortment of chickens, ducks, peacocks and rabbits.  I guess you can say I love all animals.

Sun or Snow?
Sun, especially right now in the middle of winter! It’s very difficult to do farm chores in the snow, mud and freezing weather.

Bad Boy or Boy-Next-Door?
In the past, I would have said bad boy, but I’ve become wiser with age and I’m definitely a boy-next-door type of girl now.

Most anticipated release this year -aside from Forever 😉 ?
I’m excited to say that I’ve written an adult Amish mystery that will be available on Kindle this year!  Lamb to the Slaughter is about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest.  Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the country town of Blood Rock and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate.  At first glance, the case seems obvious.  The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl’s parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious.  As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting.   Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman, who left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up.  Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.

Favourite reading spot?
In bed when the kids are all outside playing.

Favourite accompaniment to reading (eg. Chocolate, coffee, etc)?
I like to have a fat candle lit and one of the cats purring in bed beside me.  But, if it’s a good enough book, it doesn’t matter if I’m catching a few paragraphs here and there while sitting on a cold, aluminum bench at the kids’ soccer field in the drizzle.

I understand that many of your neighbours are members of an Amish community.  If you’ve not always lived there, what was your first reaction / thoughts about the Amish community?
I moved to the community about six years ago and it was real a cultural shock.  What I wasn’t at all prepared for was the way my life became immediately immersed with Amish1my Amish neighbors.  Amish teens were hanging out at my barn/arena, Amish girls were babysitting my children, my now ex-husband was working on an Amish building crew and I was driving Amish families to town for shopping.  I quickly found myself having more interactions with Amish people than non-Amish ones.  It’s been a wonderful learning experience though.  Even though I don’t agree with all aspects of the culture, like finishing school in the 8th grade or marrying at eighteen, I have a lot of respect for the group of people and can honestly say that they’re the best neighbors I’ve ever had.

As you got to know them, especially the youth, quite well, has any of your original perceptions changed?  Were there any particular Amish belief / attitude that struck you?  If so, please share one you’d agree with and one that you disagree with.
I was a little disturbed as I witnessed the first group of Amish teens coming to my farm on a regular basis go through a very drastic transition of personality and emotions between sixteen and eighteen years old.   At sixteen, they were more carefree and rebellious.  They had thoughts of traveling and were interested in experiencing the outside world.  I listened to their venting, but didn’t offer much guidance on their choices, feeling that it wasn’t my place to encourage or discourage their decisions about their culture.  You see, Amish communities have different rules governing themselves based on their Ordnung.  My community for instance, is very Amish3strict and doesn’t have Rumspringa, which is the practice of allowing the young people to have a period of time to experience the outside world before they make the decision to join the church. The complete lack of freedom in my community alienated many of the young people I talked to.  Things like wearing actual riding boots for horse-back riding, painting on clear nail polish to strengthen nails or sewing the sleeves on a dress a little too short are against the rules and those disobeying are punished.  The teens become frustrated and talk about leaving the Amish or they break the rules by sneaking around.  What’s shocked me is how all their disgruntlement immediately disappears when the teens begin courting.  The lure of marriage isn’t always about falling in love.  It has more to do with the teens’ belief that once married they’ll have a lot more freedom, which isn’t the case at all.  They are still governed by strict Church laws, only now they are a married couple.  Imagine being seventeen years old and it being against the law to simply hold your boyfriend’s hand.  That sort of restriction troubles me, because I believe it pushes young people into early marriage.  Many of the couples then become overwhelmed by the responsibility of children, households and farms at an early age, but have no recourse to change their circumstances.

Would you ever consider adopting the Amish way of life?
That’s a great question, but no.  I admire their simpler ways and the devotion of the men to women, but it’s a religious based society and unless a person agrees wholeheartedly with interpreting the bible in its strictest form, they would not be at peace in the society.

And IF your ‘Noah’ was Amish, would that change your response above?
No.  I wouldn’t be attracted to the type of guy who didn’t feel comfortable with my independent nature, and the Amish don’t hold independent thinking in high value.  Rose lost her mother at a young age and has a father who is always busy with his career.  She wants an intense partner whose whole world revolves around her, so Noah is good match.  Noah has a lot of desirable attributes. He’s hard working, sweet natured and gorgeous to boot, but his beliefs would not sit well with a lot of non-Amish women for the long haul.  That’s why it’s great that we’re all different.

As part of your writing mode, do you doodle or draw particular scenery / characters / scenes or listen to particular music?  Could you share with us a snippet of your drawing or your playlist?  If you do neither, please share anything that helps your creative juices going
Actually, I like it pretty quiet while I write and I leave the artwork to my kids, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to write.  My head is cleared and my creative juices flow when I’m out hacking through the fields and woods on my favorite horse, Cisco.  A few hours in the saddle each week does the trick for me.

Do you have a favourite writing spot?  Would share the view with us, please?
There’s a large window in my bedroom that faces the barnyard and paddocks.  I can glance up and easily see the horses grazing and the ducks enjoying the sunshine while roosting on the wood board fencing.  If the wind picks up, the large oak trees near the house begin rustling and the sound is very calming.

Please share a couple of your favourite quotes…

      1. From the book: I picked a quote from Belonging, but it’s one of my favourite ones from the series.

        Summer Sage speaking to Rose:  She gazed at me with steady eyes and said, “That if you give up your spirit, who you really are, for a guy, you won’t have much left to love him with.”

      2. Of life / writing: I have the following quote on Forever’s acknowledgment page and it’s very appropriate for the Temptation series.  Sometimes people need to step back and think about what freedom really is, before they pass judgment on others.

        “There can be no assumption that today’s majority is ‘right’ and the Amish and others like them are ‘wrong.’ A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no rights or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different.”  Warren E. Burger, Supreme Court Justice, USA.

        Thanks for having me on your Blog, Tien!

        I love to hear from my readers!  Please contact me on Facebook with your thoughts on the series or any questions about the Amish you may have.  Thanks!
        Karen Ann Hopkins

Wow, Karen sure sounds to be super sensible!  Thanks for your time, Karen, and for sharing your thoughts with us 🙂


Forever (Temptation #3) by Karen Ann Hopkins

All I want is my happily-ever-after.

That’s all I’ve wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I’m carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there’s a storm on the horizon, and it’s sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we’ll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.

But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

Find Forever
Add the book to your Goodreads shelf today!
Pre-Order: amazon

Find Karen Ann Hopkins
Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Temptation – Book 1 on Goodreads | Facebook

Belonging – Book 2 on Goodreads

Get a copy of Temptation on: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Get a copy of Belonging : Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Do check out the rest of the tour:
Monday, January 20th – Absorbing the Content – Review
Tuesday, January 21st – Sassy Book Lover – Review
Wednesday, January 22nd – Mangamania Cafe – Character Interview
Thursday, January 23rd – Ramblings From This Chick – Guest Post
Friday, January 24th – Andi’s Young Adult Books – Author Interview

Monday, January 27th – Literary Me – Author Interview
Tuesday, January 28th – Crossroad Reviews – Review
Wednesday, January 29th – Books I View – Review
Thursday, January 30th – Actin’ Up with Books – Review
Friday, January 31st – Books Complete Me – Review

Monday, February 3rd – No Bent Spines – Character Interview
Tuesday, February 4th – Paranormal Opinion – Review
Wednesday, February 5th – Bittersweet Enchantment – Review
Thursday, February 6th – Curling Up With a Good Book – Author Interview
Friday, February 7th – Behind A Million and One Pages – Review

Monday, February 10th – The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Guest Post
Tuesday, February 11th – Jenuine Cupcakes – Review
Wednesday, February 12th – Jeanz Book Read N’ Review – Review
Thursday, February 13th – Deal Sharing Aunt – Guest Post
Friday, February 14th – Lost Time Reading – Review

Monday, February 17th – Into The Hall of Books – Review
Tuesday, February 18th – Swoony Boys Podcasts – Review
Wednesday, February 19th – My Favorite Things – Guest Post
Thursday, February 20th – Reading Lark – Review
Friday, February 21st – Tien’s Blurb – Author Interview

Monday, February 24th – Kimberly Faye Reads – Guest Post
Tuesday, February 25th – Book Whales – Guest Post
Wednesday, February 26th – A Bookish Escape – Review
Thursday, February 27th – That Girl Reads – Review
Friday, February 28th – Books Marks The Spot – Author Interview

And… Enter the super-awesome giveaway at Rafflecopter

Teaser Tuesdays: The Yearning


A light shame passed through him when he realised it was probably because of his careless exhibitionism with Tracey.  That had been stupid.

~page 50


The Yearning by Kate Belle

“I want to reveal myself to you… I need your eyes to see, your hands to touch, your spirit to acknowledge that which I hold most deeply and secretly in my heart. My yearning for you.”

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until erotic love notes begin to arrive in his letterbox.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. Each must make a choice, the consequences of which will haunt them until they meet again twenty years later.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read • Open to a random page • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Review: Captivate

captivateCaptivate by Vanessa Garden

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Source: ARC courtesy of Harlequin TEEN

It seems that I’ve been drawn to underwater worlds lately and with such a gorgeous cover, a promising premise, plus being written by an Aussie author, Captivate was a definite pick for me. I also participated in the blog tour recently (see: blog tour post) so I really had to read this for myself.

The mysterious beginning of being kidnapped into another world was really intriguing. Miranda, to me, was quite average. I like her but I don’t love her. There were admiring traits and some really frustrating traits. Robbie, however, I loved! He was (aside from being the said kidnapper) really a considerate, kind, and loyal kind of boy whilst Marko –well, who doesn’t just fall for the broody passionate guy? This book was all about the boys for me.

The underwater kingdom was quite unbelievable. There was enough glitter to appeal but unfortunately, not quite well developed. There were parts that really stumped me and parts that I just didn’t like. An example is a particular thing Miranda had to do which I kind of relate to animal or cavemen (maybe) behaviour but really not one a modern society would adopt. The kingdom may not be as modern as our world but it’s not primitive. There appears to be a somewhat gothic feel as well which was barely touched though I have a feeling this might be something for the next instalment. If it is, I really would love to see this explored.

Miranda is, I found, a tad confusing, especially when it comes to her feelings. I thought there might be something with Robbie, then maybe a love triangle, then maybe not, then… *gah*, you know what I mean. It was just completely bewildering. With Marko, on the other hand, it was pretty obvious that she felt something for him though he was in and out too many times with ‘out’ being predominant that I feel his character wasn’t quite built up and therefore, the potential relationship was a little flat.

I’d like to see where Vanessa Garden will take the next book to. I am keeping my fingers crossed for all my wishlist (I know I most probably won’t get them all) but I think I may just read the next instalment before I shelf this series away. Totes read this book for the boys, peeps!

Thank you, Harlequin TEEN, for ARC in exchange for my honest review

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Review: Almost Mine

almostAlmost Mine by Lea Darragh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Escape Publishing via NetGalley

To be honest, just from the blurb, I would not have come near this book at all. However, when I inadvertently won a preview from a giveaway, I could hardly refuse to, at least, have a quick read. My reluctance doubled at the end of the first chapter as the scene is set for something achingly heartbreaking though I kept pushing on for a few more chapters before I reached the breaking point. The only way that I’m going to continue to read it is if the ending is worth it soooo…. Yes, I had a squeeze at the epilogue.

My hesitation to read this book is this part of the blurb, “Cate has always taken Nick for granted… She knows he loves her, but she can’t love him back… She has darkness in her that can’t handle that much light.” And as soon as I’ve read the first few chapters, I knew that this was just too close to my own personal concerns and I really didn’t need to have that fleshed out in what I’m reading. Nevertheless, I did think the ending was worth the effort so I ploughed on and finished the book.

Cate was one confused girl and it started in childhood when she witnessed her parents’ broken marriage. She began to struggle with her identity, her self-worth, and looked for it in all sorts of places. Through all this, however, Nick, was always there for her. He loves her and promises to always be there for her. Is Nick and his love enough for Cate to find herself? Is he patient enough for her to finally realise what he means to her?

Aside from my initial hesitation, I found that it was exacerbated by the first chapter being set in the present time and for the chunk of the book to being flashbacks which spanned many years. You’d have to read through all these years before finally coming back to the present (the last 2 chapters). This makes a slow reading but all the cheesy romance kind of made up for the slowness. Remember Persuasion by Jane Austen? The first reading feels so slow but that’s because we’re set up for a delicious suspense.

I love Cate and Nick because of their steadfastness to each other. I could really sympathise with Cate and was cheering her on when she’s fighting hard to keep the future bright for both of them. I love Nick for his faithfulness to Cate throughout the years and for his adoration of her. Who wouldn’t want to have their own ‘Nick’ if this is how he thinks / sees of you…

‘…when I see you, my heart races and when you leave it stops. When you smile I smile and when you cry I want to bring hell down on the reason for your tears. All I know is that I would stop at nothing to give you everything, and I’d do this because I know that every need that you have comes from the deepest part of your heart, and not from an entitled want. You’re breathtaking when you daydream as you watch the wind blow through the tree tops, and when you use the very tips of your fingers to tuck your soft hair behind your ears and when you dip your chin and blush when someone gives you a compliment–.’

Yeah… cheesy…. *sighs* but I’d definitely fall for it every time ;D

Almost Mine is most definitely a romance novel though as I identified with Cate so keenly, it has dug deeper into my soul. I feel for Cate as she went through each of her ups and downs, the angst, the guilt, and finally acceptance. To learn that to love is to forgive and to forgive is to love… I am utterly relieved of having finished reading though I want to read it again.

This was meant to be a book review though it turned out to be rather of a self-introspection but I’m posting this anyway because I’d like the author to know that she’s touched at least one random soul in the world

Thanks to Escape Publishing via NetGalley for copy of eARC

Ps: FYI, I am happily married and I have just made sure (again!) that hubby knows I love him (I do!) though he knows, by now, that acts of service is my love language so I think we’re sorted 😉

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Review: Waterfell

waterfellWaterfell by Amalie Howard
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Harlequin Teen via NetGalley

They live underwater, in the deepest part of the sea that is closest to the centre of the earth. They are referred to as ‘monsters’. Beautiful monsters but monsters nonetheless. They are Aquarathi. They have a very old history and have a deep interest in the wellbeing of earth and especially that of the sea. That is the reason why they will interfere in human business to ensure the survival of their race. There are differing thoughts on how much they should participate in the human world, however, and this led to turmoil within the kingdom.

What interest me most is the story behind the existence of the Aquarathi followed by their culture. Whilst the story itself was pretty basic, it provided enough background for this book. There wasn’t too much of the culture though I’m hoping there will be a lot more in the next instalment. Without spoiling it too much, I just think it was quite different from what’s out there and I wish that side of things were developed a little more.

A little unfortunate that I found Nerissa to be really annoying. Although she has pretty good reasons to be how she is, it doesn’t make it easy for me to swallow. She seems to be utterly self-centred but really, it was to hide a painful past which she refuses to face. Thankfully, she grew to be tolerable until right at the very end when again she became rather annoying but again with a somewhat acceptable reason… I just didn’t want to accept it.

It was the romance and the humour which drew me through the story. Interactions between Nerissa and Lo was just adorably cute!

“What are you doing here?”
“You’re here. So I’m here, too.” His words could incinerate ice, far less a girl with a definite non-icy heart. I’m hanging on by a thread not to be a puddle on the floor.
“Oh.” It’s the only word I can translate from my brain to my mouth. Everything else is gibberish. “But you don’t work today.”
“No, but you do.” And… puddle.

Thank you, Harlequin Teen for eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Currawong Creek

currawongCurrawong Creek by Jennifer Scoullar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Copy courtesy of Penguin Australia via The Reading Room

I am trying to think of whether I’ve ever read any Aussie rural romance type of books prior to Currawong Creek and I can’t think of even one title! I think I’ve a number of them on my to-read list on GR but for one reason or another I’ve not read any of them. I have to thank Anna from The Reading Room for her generous offers to date , including this book. Sometimes, I decided to take the plunge (like this time) and enjoyed the read enormously.

The appeal was twofolds. The cover which depicts a woman in a slim black dress walking bare feet in a rural Australian setting –just gorgeous background and I love the contrast! The blurb about Clare finding “herself the unlikely guardian of a small, troubled boy”. This calls to my maternal instinct and I really wanted to find out whether that boy found the help he needed. I know, I didn’t really read it for the ‘romance’ still… I enjoy romance in all forms!

It was an easy book to get into; Clare, a Brisbane lawyer, was finding life to be lacking. Whatever it’s lacking, she’s not quite sure because she’s doing well career-wise and she’s even got a good looking and successful boyfriend. She’s just going with the flow… This side of Clare was so easily identifiable that she’s caught my interest very early in the story. When she found herself responsible for a little boy, she tried to keep living her life as before but (as all mothers will know) this was a disaster. Clare found herself thinking of her childhood and turned to Currawong Creek where she herself had some happy memories.

Currawong Creek was a heart-warming story that calls to your nurturing soul (I’m not just talking about the little boy here), of finding home where one’s soul and body belongs, and of course, no story is complete without loss, forgiveness, and love. I devoured this book in no time at all as I really didn’t want to put it down. It was such a comfort read and whilst, the ending was a little choppy and slightly rushed for my liking, I still found myself happy, relaxed, and content when I closed the book. The best bits of the book for me though was the light humours peppered throughout the story; one of which I will close with…

Clare climbed the tree. She didn’t quite know how she did it. One minute she was standing on the ground, rigid with fear. Next minute she was astride a broad branch, peering down like a possum, with the heeler leaping and snapping below. There was no risk of falling. She was wrapped around that trunk so tight it was like she was welded on. Getting down, on the other hand, might present some problems.

Thank you Penguin Australia via The Reading Room for providing copy of book

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Review: Banish

banishBanish by Nicola Marsh
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: Book courtesy of Harlequin Teen Australia

Just look at that cover – extremely eye-catching pink (have you seen my nails today?) with close-up of a gorgeous blond-blue-eyed chick. Yea, I am totally a sucker for pretty covers. I’ve not nailread any other of Nicola Marsh’s works though she seemed to be a prolific author; mostly adult romance novels which I rarely touch. This particular work in the YA / thriller / paranormal fits right within my comfort zone though so it was a snap decision to pick this up.

Alyssa came to New York to live with her aunt in order to escape from a painful past. However, just as she thinks that things are settling down, she’s moving on and is starting to dare to grasp happiness once again, the past came back to haunt her. It’s driving her crazy because she refused to believe in the supernatural… She believes someone’s got it bad for her and her logical head is pushing for a realistic answer. Is she going to get the result she wanted and will it be free of the supernatural?

[Alyssa describing herself] …beanpole strawberry blonde with blah-blue eyes, no curves and a nasty habit of picking at her cuticles

Alyssa was an easily likeable character though I really get the feeling that all her refusal to believe in the supernatural was a little too forced. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. However, she really is a mature character as is evident by her dating older guys. And Ronan! Well, I’ve to say that not only is he HOT, he sounds to be really mature for a 21 year old musician! It was lovely to read a relationship where both sides knew the need to communicate and tried hard at it – a refreshing change in a romance! And let’s not forget the sizzles!

His knuckles grazed my cheek in a strangely intimate gesture that had me wanting to leap into his arms and wrap my legs around him, like some corny scene out of a romantic movie…. He stared at my mouth for another few seconds before he shook his head slightly, as if trying to clear the fog. I know the feeling. Confused, befuddled and totally in lust.

The book opens with a Prologue that was quite thrilling then the book started the week previous to explore events leading up to the prologue. I don’t usually find this type of start annoying but this particular one, I actually did. The start was pretty explosive that I found it hard to settle to read the book. I kept getting distracted and was really impatient to get to that part so I can move onto the next exciting bit but it turns out to be the ending of the book and it was repeated word for word which was somewhat disappointing. I skimmed that couple of pages to read the closing of the book.

Despite the above slight disappointment and the predictability of the mystery (I figured it out midway), I still quite enjoyed the book. Primarily due to the turn of language and the suspense was still there though hubz dared to show up (to pick me up from the station) when I was 5 pages from the end! Arrgh! Banish is a good-easy-read with enough sweetness and suspense to spice it up. I’d recommend it if you’re after some sweet brain-fluff to while away a summer’s day. This is the perfect book to read out in the sunshine.

Thank you, HarlequinTeen Australia, for providing copy of book in exchange of honest review

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Blog Tour: Derailed -A Review


Derailed - ARIDerailed (Clayton Falls 1) by Alysa Rose Ivy

When you’re lost sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, Molly finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart Ben, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, what she finds is a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.

Review (3.5*)

Contemporary romance is really not my cup of tea. I would usually go out of my way to avoid it.  Noting that it’s been tagged at Goodreads as New Adult though, I have to confess to some level of curiosity.  Plus I’ve enjoyed other works by Alyssa Rose Ivy, I thought I’d be in safe hands.  And… I was right, I read this as a single sitting and was mostly pleased with the book.

What I really enjoyed was the mystery behind Molly’s sadness which was revealed in stages.  I like Molly’s up front (not necessarily blunt but honest) approach but what I loved most in this novel is the bittersweet waiting by Ben.  He’s such a sweetie!  I loved that he’s learned from past mistakes and figured out exactly what it is he wants and go for it.

Molly came back to town to deal with her grief and figured out what to do next with her life.  Instead, she found one who has waited for her 5 long years to come back.  I supposed, after 5 years waiting, you really don’t want to wait any longer but it all went a bit fast for me especially from Molly’s perspective.  It’s the only point of disbelief that I’d have to push to the back of my mind and seeing that it’s a pretty short novel, there’s only so much you can do.

New Adult probably fits as a ‘classification’ of this book (I’m using the term classification lightly here) as I definitely would not call it young adult due to the sexual content and yet, due to the stage of lives the characters are in, the ‘New Adult’ label does seem to apply.  An enjoyable First ‘New Adult’ for me, thank you, Alyssa 🙂

Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

About Author

alyssa rose ivyAlyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Alyssa Rose Ivy | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway – INT

Alyssa is generously giving away 1 Print set of Derailed and Veer (book 2) and 5 digital editions of Derailed.  Do stop by the Rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win one of the above!

Review: Fire Baptized

Fire Baptized
Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was approached by the author for a review. As the blurb interests me, I agreed. It was definitely a fun read; fast-paced and action-packed.

What I really loved was the world of Habitat. This is a paranormal dystopian novel. It is an interesting combo. The supernaturals along with some unwanted humans are forced to live in caged cities, branded to show their species. Just like any other cities, there are the rich in overflowing abundance of everything and there are the poor struggling to make ends meet. When there are imbalances, there will be forces that seek to address that imbalance. But this is just the beginning…

Lanore Vesta tries to keep to herself –this is her mode of survival but a scream for help was one she was compelled to check out. This was not the wisest course of action, it appears, because now, she’s being hunted down. With her ex-boyfriend but best friend since forever, MeShack, and a super-hot mysterious friend, Zulu, Lanore is so not going down.

Despite being a pretty fun read, I found that I couldn’t really truly like the characters. There was just something missing for me to click with these characters. More importantly, I found certain things they did / their reactions to certain things rather annoying, hence, my not-clicking not-quite-liking these characters. I loved their supernatural powers though. The murder mystery and romance were pretty intriguing as well. And I am pretty curious (at the way this book ended) to check out the next book in the series.

With thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book for an honest review.

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