Sunday, 17 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (375): Sanctum (Asylum #2) - Madeleine Roux

Sanctum: An Asylum Novel (Asylum #2)

Publication: 26th August 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 352
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried secrets from the past before the past comes back to get them first. Featuring found photographs, many from real vintage carnivals, Sanctum is a mind-bending reading experience that blurs the lines between past and present, genius and insanity, perfect for fans of the smash hit Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they'd love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it's here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.

Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.
My Thoughts.
Sanctum is a spine-tingling, chilling and creepy second book in the Asylum series.

Dan is still haunted by his time at Brookline, seeming to become almost obsessed with the history of the Warden and the asylum, he convinces Abby and Jordan to join him for a weekend after a visit with Felix leaves him with clues, which may hold information into what the Warden really got up to at his time in charge.

The secret society The Scarlets who first made an appearance in the #1.5 novella are very active in this story, the society created by the Warden back in the day, his legacy has carried on and his lobotomies and experiments are still being carried out to this day by a predecessor  whom he left everything to including his knowledge and evil way of thinking.

By solving the mystery behind every strange and weird occurrence, can Dan and his friends finally put an end to the Warden's madness and put a lid on and stop the evil and madness he has spread years after his death.

I enjoyed Sanctum more than I did Asylum, I found the story to have a bit more action and the story was more intense as all the loose ends were wrapped up and we were given the ending which we'd hoped for, I can only assume that this is a duology and I was happy with the finale.

I'll be keeping a lookout for future releases from Madeleine as I really enjoy her writing style and storytelling.

This series is a good choice to read at Halloween for those who like books that give you shivers down the spine.

I give this 4/5 stars.


MADELEINE ROUX received her BA in Creative Writing and Acting from Beloit College in 2008.  In the spring of 2009, Madeleine completed an Honors Term at Beloit College, proposing, writing and presenting a full-length historical fiction novel.  Shortly after, she began the experimental fiction blog Allison Hewitt Is Trapped.  Allison Hewitt Is Trapped quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, bringing a unique serial fiction experience to readers.
Born in Minnesota, she now lives and works in Wisconsin where she enjoys the local beer and preparing for the eventual and inevitable zombie apocalypse.
To see my St Martins/Macmillan author page, click here!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (374): The Homecoming (Thunder Point #6) - Robyn Carr

The Homecoming (Thunder Point #6)


The Homecoming by Robyn Carr is a delightfully heartwarming instalment in the Thunder Point series, focusing on the relationships of the locals of a small town, with each book featuring a different couple, we also get point of views of various residents throughout the book.

Seth Sileski is back in town as the new Deputy after years away, wanting to reconnect with his childhood best-friend Iris McKinley the local school counsellor, years ago when they were both teenagers a misunderstanding tore these friends apart and Iris hasn't spoken to him since, but Seth is determined that the girl he fell in love with years ago will hopefully return his feelings.

Filled with romance, action and drama this may just be my favorite book of the series so far, Robyn has created a cast of characters that will keep you entertained and happy to be back in Thunder Point, these books I easily finish in one sitting, I always know that when I pick up a book in this series I'm in for a good time.

I look forward to the next book,  the next couple as well as my next visit to Thunder Point.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Now that Robyn Carr has earned the #1 slot on the New York Times list many times, the creator of the wildly popular Virgin River and Thunder Point series laughs when someone refers to her as an overnight success.
“The truth is, I was first published in 1978, and it took me thirty years to make it to The New York Times bestseller List,” she pointed out, referring to 2007’s A Virgin River Christmas.
But once Robyn became that popular, she stayed that popular. WhenBring Me Home for Christmas, the 16th Virgin River novel, was released in November 2011, it debuted in the #1 slot not just on the New York Times roster, but also on the Barnes & Noble and Publishers Weekly lists as well. Her last seven books, including her three 2013 Thunder Point novels, have all earned the coveted #1 New York Timesslot the first week on sale. Her newest milestone: The Hero, her September 2013 Thunder Point novel, debuted in the #1 position onseven national bestseller lists: USA TodayPublishers WeeklyNew York Times Mass-market Fiction, New York Times eBook Fiction, New York Times Combined Print/eBook Fiction, the Wall Street Journal, and Bookscan.
After thirty-plus years of hard work, life is very, very good for the Las Vegas author who began writing when her two children were babies.
Those who try to explain Robyn’s “sudden” success might say it was because she was on the leading edge of a trend toward small-town romances. The truth is, Robyn’s Virgin River and Thunder Point series, like her earlier Grace Valley books, are a blend of romance and women’s fiction—books that not only entertain but also address sensitive issues, such as domestic violence, health risks and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anything that can compromise a woman’s happiness because she’s female. And there’s no denying that Robyn has a way with words. Her voice is unique and takes her readers into the hearts and minds of the brave men and women who have served in the military, into the families left behind, and into those who confront challenges head-in in their search for love and fulfillment.
Surprisingly, Robyn didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. She had planned to become a nurse. She married her high school sweetheart four weeks before he left for Air Force Officer’s Training School at the peak of the Vietnam War. Because she found herself following Jim from base to base, Robyn never had a chance to pursue nursing. Her husband worked long hours and often traveled. To pass the time Robyn read. When doctors instructed her to stay down and keep her feet up during a complicated pregnancy, her neighbor began bringing her ten paperbacks a week.
“I was reading more than one a day. Nothing short of labor pains could snap me out of it,” Robyn said.
Since the books she’d been devouring were by Anya Seton, Kathleen Woodiweiss and Rosemary Hawley Jarmen, Robyn says it only made sense that her first efforts to write were in the historical romance genre as well.
There was no training program available at the time for writing romance. At the first writers’ conference Robyn attended—back in 1976—a novelist who wrote in a different genre critiqued Robyn’s third manuscript and suggested she go home and find something to do for which she had talent.
That same manuscript was published in hardcover two years later asChelynne, a novel which Robyn has reissued as an e-book. Her second manuscript was eventually published as well. But Robyn says her first was simply a tool for learning and will remain buried and “never seen by human eyes.”
Robyn has always written about strong women, no matter the period in which they live. For the first fifteen years of her career she wrote romance, the early books of which were all historical, but later included contemporaries. Needing a change, she branched out and wrote a thriller, which she said she’ll never do again because, for her, it was too creepy. She also tried her hand at non-fiction and what she smilingly describes as “several brilliant but as yet unsold screenplays,” in addition to articles and short stories.
“I jumped all over the place, not really aware that I was working on reinventing myself and redesigning my craft,” she says. “I began to develop my own brand of women’s fiction, a style that most closely resembles my take on life. I want to laugh through a book, but I don’t want a book that’s a big laugh. As a reader I want to have a genuinely good time, but I don’t want the book to be a joke. I want real women’s issues, real humor and teeth in the story.”
She says that reading is important because people need a safe place to deal with the emotions they’re stuck with, and a book is a safe place to do that. She believes there’s great value in her novels dealing with real issues in a realistic manner.
Robyn’s settings are so richly drawn they function like characters. Virgin River—a fictional town in the rugged, remote Humboldt County of northern California—is a location that Robyn describes as a brave and adventurous spot.
“It’s not a cute and easy place to live,” Robyn explained. “It calls on my characters’ deepest sense of adventure to live there.”
Asked if she’d enjoy living in Virgin River, Robyn’s quick to say that even if it were a real spot, she’d never move there.
“I have an overwhelming need to live in a place where I can get my eyebrows waxed,” she explains.
After writing twenty Virgin River stories, Robyn is now taking her readers into another fictional community, a picturesque coastal town on the Oregon coast she calls Thunder Point. Like her Virgin River novels, the Thunder Point books will make readers laugh, sigh, and fall in love: with a small town filled with people they’ll never forget. In addition to 2013’s The WandererThe Newcomer and The Hero, Thunder Point novels on Robyn’s schedule are three 2014 titles, The Chance (March), The Promise (July), and The Homecoming (September).
Robyn and her husband enjoy traveling, often taking research trips together. Their son and daughter are grown. Robyn says that, in addition to reading her novels and making snide remarks about how she’s used family scenarios to her advantage, they have made her a happy grandmother.

Monday, 11 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (373): yolo (Internet Girls #4) - Lauren Myracle

yolo (Internet Girls #4)

Publication: 26th August 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 208
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: ABRAMS • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Books-A-Million •Indiebound • Indigo 
eBook: Kindle • Nook • iBooks
Through texts and messages, the mega-bestselling, beloved Internet Girls series followed the ups and downs of school for three very different, very close friends. Now it’s freshman year of college for the winsome threesome, and *everything* is different. For one, the best friends are facing their first semester apart. Way, way apart. Maddie’s in California, Zoe’s in Ohio, and Angela’s back in Georgia. And it’s not just the girls who are separated. Zoe’s worried that Doug wants to break up now that they’re at different schools, and Maddie’s boyfriend, Ian, is on the other side of the country.In the face of change and diverging paths, Maddie’s got a plan to keep the friends close, and it involves embracing the present, making memories, and . . . roller derby! Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets.
My Thoughts.
Yolo is the long awaited fourth book in the Internet Girls series, this book is written as text messages, telling the story of best-friends Angela, Maddie and Zoe as they make their way through freshman year of college, all at separate schools.

Each character has their own set of problems, from being dumped, pledging/or not pledging to a sorority which also includes hazing, a roommate who happens to be a kleptomaniac, having no friends and having to pretend that you do so no one will worry and discovering that geeks make potentially good boyfriends if only one of the girls would give him a chance.

These books are very quick reads (I read all four in two days), they are short and easy to get through, especially if you're looking for a contemporary read that you can finish in one sitting.

This was interesting to me the way the story was told, having never read a book written entirely in text I found it an intriguing way of telling a story, and so appropriate for all the technology and social sites that are around these days.

Whether there will be another book or not, this was a good addition to the series and I will be sure to pick up the next book if another one eventuates.

An enjoyable book and series.

I give this 3/5 stars.

Lauren Myracle is the author of numerous young adult novels. She was born in 1969 in North Carolina. Lauren Myracle holds an MA in English from Colorado State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. she has written many novels, including the famous IM books, ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r.

Her first novel, Kissing Kate, was selected as one of ALA's "Best Books for Young Adults" for the year 2004. It was named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Youth Romances" of the year, as well as one of the "Top Ten Books by New Writers." Her middle-grade novel, Eleven, came out 2004, followed by its YA sequels (Twelve, Thirteen, Thirteen Plus One) .


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Friday, 8 August 2014

Book Review (372): Lay It Down (Desert Dogs #1) - Cara McKenna

Lay It Down (Desert Dogs #1)

Lay It Down by Cara McKenna is the debut novel in an all new series about a group of friends who form a bikie gang called the Desert Dogs lead by bad boy Vince Grossier.

In Fortuity Nevada, the town is soon to be home to an all new casino which has most of the residents up in arms, when Vince's friend Alex the towns Deputy contacts him one night spooked about something involving bones that he saw at the dig sight of the future casino he becomes concerned, especially when Alex is killed in a car accident that night and alcohol is blamed, Vince knowing that his friend would never drive drunk becomes suspicious, but nobody is willing to listen to him.

When Kim a photographer is sent to Fortuity to take site photos to promote the area and upcoming casino she runs into Vince, fresh from a break-up she's not looking for any kind of a relationship, but neither is Vince, as they start to spend more and more time together they'll discover that between the attraction and the chemistry something more may be developing.

When Kim is unintentionally drawn into Vince's investigation of Alex's death will she find herself in danger, or will Vince keep her safe at all costs?

Having never read a book featuring bikie gangs or especially one as a main character, I was a bit hesitant, but the synopsis drew me in and I can say that I found this to be quite an enjoyable contemporary romance filled with action, suspense, mystery and some steamy red hot sex scenes, that will leave you hot under the collar.

I look forward to the next book and the rest of the series.

I give this 3.5/5 stars.

Cara McKenna writes smart erotica—sexy stories with depth. A little dark, a little funny, always emotional. She also writes red-hot romance under the name Meg Maguire. Her wonderful publishers are Ellora's Cave, Harlequin Blaze, Penguin / InterMix, Samhain, and Signet Eclipse. She loves writing sexy, character-driven stories about strong-willed men and women who keep each other on their toes, and bring one another to their knees.
Before becoming a purveyor of red-hot romance and smart erotica, Cara was a record store bitch, a lousy barista, a decent designer, and an over-enthusiastic penguin handler.
Cara now writes full-time and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her bearded husband. When she's not trapped in her own head she can usually be found in the kitchen, the coffee shop, or jogging around the nearest duck-filled pond. She is a very proud member of the Romance Writers of America® and its New England Chapter. She was a 2010 Golden Heart® finalist, a 2012 Golden Leaf finalist, and a 2011 and 2013Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award nominee.
Have questions or comments? Email her! You can also find Cara on TwitterCara on Goodreads and Meg on Goodreads. And if you play Words With Friends, feel free to challenge Cara to a game—her user name is caramckenna.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (371): Guarded (Tidewater #2) - Mary Behre

Guarded (Tidewater #2)

by     Barnes & Noble     Books-A-Million     iBooks
Guarded is the second book in the Tidewater series, I loved the first book and I couldn't wait to revisit this amazing series that Mary has crafted so cleverly.

Jules the heroine of the first book Spirited, was searching for her two long lost younger sisters after they were all separated and adopted by different families when they were younger, Guarded is all about the middle sister Shelly, a vet who is worried about the disappearances of quite a few animals from her local zoo which she assists at, putting a call through to an old college friend Dev who is now a Detective,  and who's partner Seth just happens to be engaged to her older sister Jules.

Each of the three sisters were born with a talent, Shelly can communicate with animals, and it's with this gift that she discovers through the animals that something sinister has been going on at the zoo, with Dev knowing about her ability he has no qualms about coming and helping Shelly, of course it has nothing to do with the fact that he's had what he assumed was an unrequited crush on her since they met in college, the chemistry between these two is hot, the reunion between Shelly and Jules is emotional and heartwarming and the story is exciting and suspenseful.

I really love this series, and I can't wait for the next book which I assume will be the youngest sister Hannah's book, I really look forward it finally seeing all three sisters finally reuniting.

Mary knows how to write a thoroughly engrossing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense, intrigue and utter captivation.

If you like books that feature romance, suspense and some paranormal elements then this is the series for you.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Mary Behre is the lone female in a house full of males and the undisputed queen of her domain. She even has the glittery tiara to prove it. She loves stories with humor, ghosts, mysteries and above all else, a good romance. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gluten-free baking, and hanging out at the beach with the most important men in her life, her family.
Her debut paranormal romance, SPIRITED (Tidewater Novel #1) was an award-winning manuscript before it sold to Berkley Sensation. The Tidewater Series is mix of humor, suspense, and a psychic love-connection. The first three stories are about three sisters separated years before in the foster care system. As they search for love, each other, and a way to live with their psychic abilities, they’re tossed into the middle of mysteries that only their unique gifts can help solve.
Mary loves to hear from readers. Find her on Twitter/@MaryBehre and Facebook/MaryBehre.Author.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Book Review (370): Virgin - Radhika Sanghani


Publication: 5th August 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: New Adult
Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.


This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.
My Thoughts.
Virgin is a laugh-out loud contemporary novel that follows Ellie, a twenty-one year old student in her final year of college, and oh yeah she's a virgin, and she is determined to lose her V card before college is over.

Unfortunately Ellie has not had the best track record with guys, she feels left out whenever her friends talk about their sex lives, if only she could find a guy to lose her virginity to, or even to ask her out on a date.

With hilarious anecdotes and mishaps along the way, o.k a lot of mishaps, this book goes through what most females have had to deal with, and questions we've all had about our bodies and sex.

I also enjoyed the blog entries throughout after Ellie and her friend Emma start a blog about the aforementioned subjects.

I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did, Ellie is a character that all females can relate to, not perfect in any way but with all the same worries girls have had at one time or another.

I'm intrigued to see what Radhika releases next, if it's anything like this book I'll be all over it.

A fantastic debut novel.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Radhika Sanghani is a journalist for the Daily Telegraph, where she specializes in writing about women and women’s issues. She has an MA in newspaper journalism from City University London, a BA in English literature from University College London, and recently came in second in GQ’s Norman Mailer writing competition. Virgin is her debut novel.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Book Review (369): No Attachments (Woodfalls Girls #1) - Tiffany King

No Attachments (Woodfalls Girls #1)

Publication: 5th August 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: New Adult
Ashton Garrison walked away from her current life to escape the one thing she’s unwilling to face. She knows her decision may be selfish, but in the end, leaving will be far less painful for everyone. Now she has one goal: live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. What Ashton doesn’t count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan.
Nathan Lockton specializes in locating a mark. He’s done it over and over again—no attachments and no emotion necessary. What he thought was a routine lost-and-found job has forced Nathan to deal with something he has always ignored—his feelings. He’s never fallen for a target, yet he’s never met anyone like Ashton. Now deep in a dilemma, Nathan must decide to follow his heart, or complete the job he was hired to do.
Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?
My Thoughts.
Ashton has run away from her former life, Nathan has been hired to find her and report back to his client her location, but when one night Ashton who plans on crossing an item off her list of twenty-seven things she must do, by having a one-night stand with a stranger, tries to pick him up at a bar (hilariously so as she's drunk at the time) he finds that he's charmed by her, better yet the attraction between these two is immediate and the chemistry is hot.

Against his better judgement Nathan holds off on divulging her whereabouts, and instead plans to get to know Ashton a bit better, from the start they both let the other know that they want no attachments, with neither knowing the other one's secrets they spend a lot of time together, but it isn't long before they both develop feelings for one another, when Ashton's reasons for running away finally catch up to her there'll be a long battle ahead if they are to have any kind of future together.

This book was extremely hard to put down once I picked it up, told in dual perspectives by both Ashton and Nathan, we got to see both of their thoughts as their relationship progressed, and when Ashton's shockingly unexpected secret was revealed I was a sniveling, ugly crying mess, especially the letter she wrote to Nathan, it killed me.

Tiffany has a way of writing that will keep you completely absorbed, the storyline was fantastic, the shock-factor was nothing that I was expecting and the characters will warm your heart, I look forward to starting the next book in this series which I will be picking up as soon as this review is finished.

A fantastic debut book in  a new series, I recommend everybody pick this one up.

I give this 5/5 stars.

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Where to connect with Tiffany
Twitter- @AuthorTiffany