Friday, 26 January 2018

Book Review: White Roses in Winter (Romantic Suspense)

White Roses in WinterWhite Roses in Winter by Barbara Meyers



Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 1st November 2017
Pages: 372
Format: Kindle
Source: eBook from author


                                                 Blurb

 The princess. The pauper. And a shotgun…
The only thing Jason is focused on is getting through his last year of college. But the instant attraction between him and Kerrie leads to one unforgettable night together.
When Kerrie’s wealthy, overly-protective father learns she is pregnant, he arranges a temporary marriage to teach her a lesson about choices and consequences. Jason reluctantly agrees to keep his participation in the plan a secret, because it’s the only way he can safeguard his future and his family.
Kerrie is blinded by her romantic fantasy and doesn’t suspect she’s been set up. Meanwhile, Jason guards his heart and vows that when Kerrie leaves with their baby, he won’t beg her to stay.
Just when it seems a future together is possible, lies, betrayal and deceit threaten to separate Kerrie and Jason forever. Faced with losing each other and their baby, will their fragile bond be strong enough?

                                          

                                            My thoughts

White Roses in Winter is a modern take on a shotgun wedding crossed with a rich girl meets poor boy trope.
It’s insta love when Kerrie first meets Jason at a party hosted by her friend Tiffany. After a romantic night on the beach she can’t stop thinking about him. However Jason learns that Kerrie is the daughter of the rich and powerful Kenneth Huddleston and realises he will never be good enough for her so doesn’t pursue the relationship. A guy from the wrong side of the tracks that doesn’t have a dime! When Kerrie finds out she is pregnant and her dominating father demands they get married Jason knows it will all be over once the child is born in wedlock but he was never someone to shirk his duty.

This is a love story with a difference. The couple had only known each other for a day with no further communication until they were forced to get married. Kerrie has been over protected by her parents and has no idea of the real world. She thinks that the marriage will be fun. The two of them together bringing up their child. Jason has done life tough, money is tight and he studies during the day and works during the night. He knows this is going to be hard but he will do his duty until the inevitable happens and Kerrie leaves him.

There is lots of anguish in this book as Kerrie and Jason fail to communicate and each worries continually as to the others intentions.
Jason has past demons that also need to be addressed and Kerrie’s over protective parents throw kidnapping and claims of abuse into the mix. Bring in Kerrie’s drug taking, party girl best friend Tiffany, who thinks Jason should have been hers and there is never a dull moment in this romantic suspense.

The only things that reduced my star rating was that it was told in too many POVs , sometimes changing mid page, also I’m not a big fan of internal monologue and this was used often throughout the book.

White Roses in Winter is a coming of age romance full of strong characters and complex relationships. The characters are engaging and well developed.

I would like to thank the author for my copy to read and review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
 
                                   About the author

 1184008
 Barista by day, romance novelist by night: When not writing fiction, Dr Suess-like poetry (for adults) or song lyrics, Barbara Meyers disguises herself behind a green apron and works part-time for a world-wide coffee company.
Her novels are a mix of comedy, suspense and spice and often feature a displaced child.
Barbara is still married to her first husband and has two fantastic children. Originally from Southwest Missouri, (she blames her roots in the Show Me state for her somewhat skeptical nature) she currently resides in Central Florida.


Connect with the author at the following sites:
Website     Facebook author page    Twitter     Instagram     Goodreads


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Book Review: Little Secrets (Crime)

Little SecretsLittle Secrets by Anna Snoekstra

Publisher :Mira Books
Published: 17th October 2017
Pages: 332
Series: no
Source: Ebook from Netgalley

                                                          Blurb:

 What happens when ambition trumps the truth?

A town reeling in the wake of tragedy

An arsonist is on the loose in Colmstock, Australia, most recently burning down the town's courthouse and killing a young boy who was trapped inside..

An aspiring journalist desperate for a story

The clock is ticking for Rose Blakey. With nothing but rejections from newspapers piling up, her job pulling beers for cops at the local tavern isn't nearly enough to cover rent. Rose needs a story-a big one.

Little dolls full of secrets

In the weeks after the courthouse fire, precise porcelain replicas of Colmstock's daughters begin turning up on doorsteps, terrifying parents and testing the limits of the town's already fractured police force.

Rose may have finally found her story. But as her articles gain traction and the boundaries of her investigation blur, Colmstock is seized by a seething paranoia. Soon, no one is safe from suspicion. And when Rose's attention turns to the mysterious stranger living in the rooms behind the tavern, neighbor turns on neighbor and the darkest side of self-preservation is revealed.


                                                         My thoughts: 


Anna Snoekstra has written a complex and riveting novel with a clearly manipulative and unlikeable protagonist.
Straight up Rose starts to manipulate the reader. I initially felt sorry for her but the more I read the more I learned that she was selfish and unscrupulous.

Set in a small country town where unemployment is high and drug use is on the increase you could feel the oppression. Rose’s only ambition is to become a journalist and leave Colmstock behind.

As in “Only Daughter” Snoekstra has again given us a whole load of messed up characters and in “Little Secrets” has placed them in a small town where they can do nothing expect destroy each other.

Many plot lines run through the novel and in a town where everyone has a secret to keep I couldn’t possibly guess the outcome with any of them.

I hated most of the characters, they made me angry, sad and disgusted. All emotions I think the author was trying to evoke.

Little Secrets was a great read! Full of surprises!

Content- Frequent coarse language F –word C-word
Sex scene
Graphic violence

                                                  About the Author 

 14074268
  Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia in 1988. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at Melbourne University, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.

Anna's short films and music videos have screened around the world. She has written an array of published and award winning short fiction. Her debut novel ONLY DAUGHTER was published in September 2016 (Mira). Her second novel LITTLE SECRETS will be published November 2017 (Mira).




 My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book can be purchased here

View all my reviews

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Book Review: The Bridesmaid's Royal Bodyguard (Romance)

The Bridesmaid's Royal Bodyguard (Royal Wedding Invitations Book 3)The Bridesmaid's Royal Bodyguard by Liz Fielding



Series: The Royal Wedding Invitation Series Book 3
Published: 18th October 2017
Publisher: Tule Publishing Group
Pages: 159
Source: own read eBook.


                                                              Blurb:

 After being sacked from her job on the gossip magazine Celebrity, Ally Parker is forced to return home to Combe St. Philip with her tail between her legs. She is given a fresh start when her childhood friend, Hope, asks her to work PR for Hope’s marriage to Prince Jonas of San Michele.

When Count Fredrik Jensson, head of security for the royal family, arrives to check out the village, he makes it clear that her past employment makes her unfit for the role. The fact that there’s a sizzle between them from the moment they meet only makes everything worse.

Forced together on a trip to San Michele for the official announcement of the wedding, Fredrik and Ally find themselves stranded overnight in his mountain retreat. Their sizzle flares into an inferno. However, their night of passion sours when he sees her with her ex-boss. Believing that Ally is about to buy back her job with wedding secrets, Fredrik turns back to ice. What will it take to see the person she truly is and a thaw to set in?
 


                                                    My Thoughts:

                                            


Liz Fielding’s The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard is book 3 in The Royal Wedding Invitation series which consists of four novels written by four different authors. Each book focuses on the romance of a different couple.
The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard gives us the romance between Ally and Fredrik. Ally is to be her bestfriend Hope’s bridesmaid. Hope is soon to be marrying Prince Jonas (but that’s another book). Ally will also be doing all the publicity for the wedding. Fredrik is head of Royal Security and must liaise with Ally concerning the wedding preparations.
Sparks fly between the pair as they have differences of opinion but neither can deny that there is also an attraction between them.

The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard is a feel good story about building trust and bonding, it’s about misunderstandings and opening your heart to love. Ally and Fredrik had a mistrust of each other fueled by misunderstandings and at times the actions of the residents of the village. Lovely descriptions of the village bring the story alive.
As the story is written in both Ally's and Fredrik's Point of view it was easy to become attached to both characters.
A startling revelation from Fredrik gives the reader a real insight into the reason for his aloofness.
The story was a little slow at times for me but this was only because of my impatience to have the characters connect with each other.

Ally is a great protagonist, honest and upfront, charming and outspoken – an ex gossip columnist- she knows how to charm people but when it comes to Fredrik she is at a loss to understand him.

This is a fun HEA romance read and stands alone well. However I am now eager to read the stories behind the other characters in this book.

Book 1 – The Prince’s Bride (Jonas & Hope) by Sophie Weston
Book 2 – The Baronet’s Wedding Engagement (Flora & Max) by Jessica Hart
Book 3 – The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard (Ally & Fredrik) by Liz Fielding
Book 4 – The Best man’s Bride (Jack & Celina) by Anne McCallister


Content: no coarse language – implied sex only.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

                                         About the Author:
 117065
 Best-selling author, Liz Fielding, has more than 15 million books in print. Nominated seven times for RWA's prestigious RITA award, she won with The Best Man & The Bridesmaid in 2001 and The Marriage Miracle in 2006. A Family of His Own won the RNA's Romance Prize, and was named Reviewers' Choice Best Harlequin Romance by Romantic Times BOOKreviews in 2005. She has also been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Romantic Times.

For news and excerpts of her latest releases, visit Liz's Web site at http://www.lizfielding.com. For gossip, competitions, chat and a chance to talk back, drop in on her blog at http://lizfielding.blogspot.com. For a chance to win a signed book each month (plus other stuff) sign up for her newsletter at http://www.lizfielding.com


The book can be purchased here 

 
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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My reading wrap up of 2017 on Goodreads.

2017 on Goodreads2017 on Goodreads by Various
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In 2017 I read 77 books.

33 I rated 5 stars and 23 I rated 4 stars.
I’m picky about what I accept to read which reflects in my high ratings.

I read 20 books by Australian authors and reviewed 15 books for the Australian Women Writers 2017 challenge. This was not as many as I had hoped to read and will definitely work on increasing this in 2018.

My top 10 read of 2017 – in no order:
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland
Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett
The Butcher’s Bill by Martin Roy Hill
Fortune’s Son by Jennifer Scoullar
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson
Little Girl Lost by Janet Gover

Looking over my top 10 reads I realise that 8 of the 10 were physical paperback that I read, so I think subconsciously I’m connecting more with the story when I’m actually holding a physical book.

Books that made me laugh out loud:
Slow Horses by Mick Herron
Cooked Goose (Big Mike and Minnie) by Susan Amanda Kelly
On the Run (Big Mike and Minnie) by Susan Amanda Kelly
Never Assume by J. Joseph

Books that had me on the edge of my seat:
The Taken by Casey Kelleher
Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo
Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett
Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
Flames Over Norway by Robert Jackson

Recommended Middle Grade reads:
Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson
Jorie and the Gold Key by A.H. Richardson
Jorie and the River of Fire by A.H. Richardson
The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

I joined lots and lots of challenges across many Goodreads groups and found myself loosing track of what challenge in what group I was actually doing. I want to thank the awesome moderators that take the time to develop and post these fun challenges. I think I only finished a couple but my love of challenges will not diminish and I’m sure I will join more in 2018.

Thank you for all the friendships I’ve formed and all the fabulous recommendations I’ve received. Bring on 2018!!!


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