Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Book Review: Bring Me To Life by Kira Sinclair

From the back of the book:

Subject: Evan Huntley, Special Ops

Status: Believed to have been killed in action…until now!

Three years is a long time. Long enough for Tatum Huntley to leave heartbreak behind for the idyllic town of Sweetheart, South Carolina. Long enough to start over. Yet not long enough to forget the devastation left behind when he died. Her husband. The man whose touch haunts her… And the man who just walked back into her life.

All Evan Huntley wants is to get the woman he loves back in his arms…and his bed. While her love for him never died, Tatum can't—and won't—forgive Evan for letting her believe he was dead. For leaving her alone. But can she resist giving in to the exquisite passion that still burns between them?

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When you need some escapist fun - you really can’t beat a Blaze romance. They tend to be light, fun, sexy and a little shorter than a mass market paperback at roughly 224 pages.

Although this whole story centres around the grief and loss of a loved one (even if it turns out he is alive) the book never gets too deep into the emotions that might drag the story down. As it is, the book focusses more on the trust and love issues between Evan and Tatum - now that they are together once again.

I could really understand where Tatum was coming from and why she was so confused about what to do with regards to Evan - should she thank her lucky stars that her husband is back or push him away to protect herself from potential future heartache? The fact that she goes back and forth between the two options was completely understandable. Evan is a delicious male lead - who doesn’t love a hard bodied, tough, tattooed man with a soft streak when it comes to the woman he loves? He is a bit hard headed when it comes to his job and understanding why Tatum doesn’t jump back into his arms - but his male idiocy just adds credibility to their story!

Nice love scenes - hot and spicy. Just what you would expect from a Blaze. There are also some small cameos from others who have appeared in previous Kira Sinclair books set in Sweetheart, South Carolina. Despite this, the book stands completely alone so you don’t need to have read any others to enjoy and understand this one.

My only criticism is a personal one (and I didn’t let it affect my rating of the book). On several occasions the subject of suicide came up with one or both of the main characters remarking that it was a cowardly act. In many (presumably not all, but many) cases of suicide, it is the final and only option people feel is available to them. They may feel they are doing what is best for their family and that they, physically and mentally, just cannot possibly go on. I don’t think this is cowardly - it’s sad and desperate and shouldn’t be belittled by people who (luckily and thankfully) don’t understand.

Apologies for the rant - it’s been bothering me since I read what was otherwise a very enjoyable book. And the book was good and worth a read if you like the Uniformly Hot Blaze collection or just want a hot escape for a couple of hours.

4 stars.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #8


Week 8 - can you believe it? We're already 1/6 of the way through 2015 and it's not even March!


This week I've been watching the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden. I'm not sure if there's biathalon in the championships (fingers crossed) but I've already seen Cross Country, Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping and it's only my first day's viewing. 

I would normally 'adopt' a nation to cheer for but in the winter sports I tend to switch it up or focus on single athletes. Having said that, I think I have a Swiss flag and a Canadian flag somewhere so I might just have to cheer for them!


This category was supposed to be about something that I got a kick out of this week - as it turns out, it's also handy for talking about my love life. Not that there's much to tell.

I took advantage of a cut price offer at the beginning of February to join Match.com. Do not worry - penny pinching is one of the attributes listed on my profile. I'm a typical Scot after all!

Anyway, I've been at it for about 3 weeks and man, I find online dating tough. It's that constant worry about whether I'm good enough, skinny enough, funny enough, normal enough... Sadly, it has - as it has done before - made me realise that my self-esteem and self-worth are at such lows that I really shouldn't be thinking about being happy in a couple until I'm happy in myself.

The difficulty comes in when all I want is to find someone to love me and for me to love. I don't care if it's a pipe dream - I want love like they have in the books I read. But the heroines in my books are sassy, kick-ass and aren't stuck in a dreadful place mentally like I seem to constantly be.

So, what that comes down to is that I'm thinking of not renewing. Even at the discounted price I get for subsequent months, I'm not sure I'm ready. 

Plus, I could get at least 2 books a month for the cost of my membership. If I was paying full price I could probably get 5 or 6. 

Interesting - that makes me feel a lot better. I might not have a man but I have books!








Friday, 20 February 2015

5 signs your dog is trying to kill you



Isn't my little puppy cute and sweet?

Well, that's what I always thought... until I started to notice certain things.

Little things.

Things that I might have overlooked as quirks of character or foibles of a young pup.

Except that I've been watching too much of the crime channels of late, specifically Unusual Suspects and Snapped!, and something came to me.

Perhaps she wasn't as sweet and innocent as I had come to believe. Perhaps she did, in fact, have a dastardly plot to bring harm to my personage. To actually kill me!

As a service to others who find themselves in this terrible situation, I have put together a quick list of my experiences that will hopefully help you discover if your dog is trying to kill you.

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1. After a long day, both myself and Tilly returned home. Tilly was desperate to get into the back garden so I let her roam free. I returned to another room and started tidying up. Not five minutes later Tilly came dashing in. As soon as she saw me she stopped in her tracks, stared at me for a second then turned tail and ran back outside.

If this happens to you, your dog has obviously had an assignation with a hired hitman who has been hiding in the garden waiting for you to return before doing the hideous deed. She has told the hitman where you are and what you're doing. That was the final check to make sure you're still in the same location. Be vigilant - your dog is watching you. So is the hitman.


2. I woke from a pleasant dream the other night to find my adoring puppy sitting on my chest, pressing delicate kisses onto my cheeks and nose. It was time to get up and she immediately rushed off towards the back door in happiness at starting the day.

Don't be fooled by this display of affection. What really happened was she was attempting to suffocate me by standing on my chest to restrict my breathing. She popped her face close to mine only to see if it was working - not to kiss me good morning. When I inconveniently woke up, she scarpered away, unwilling to be caught in the act.


3. I have often found that I walk and my dog follows. I stop and she stops. I turn around to find her staring at me without blinking. My dog adores me and wants to be with me always, says I.

Wrong. If you notice this behaviour, your dog is following you and learning your habits. Watching and waiting. Be wary. Change up your routine once in a while.


4. As I eat my food I will often look down to the floor to see my little pup staring at me with drool in her chops and desire in her eyes. Truth be told, she would be wonderful for those RSPCA adverts because she pulls off the 'starving dog' bit with aplomb! All she wants is a teeny tiny piece of my delicious food. How could I resist?

Well, if this happens to you - you must resist! Give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Meaning, if given the opportunity, my pup with the pleading eyes would eat all the food on my plate and in my cupboards. Yep - she's trying to starve me to death. This is probably the only scheme that I am unconcerned about - it's going to take a loooong time to starve me!


5. Walking is one of the favourite activities of my dear pup. She takes every opportunity to take me for a jaunt around the park, the streets, down the beach and anywhere and everywhere else in between.

What could be wrong with this, you ask. It gets me exercise, burns the calories and get me some fresh air. I have one picture for you that sums up how this extends into a plot for my demise...


This may be the one that gets me.


Is your dog trying to kill you? If any of these are happening to you - the answer may be yes!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #7







I've nearly finished the book I'm currently reading which is a Harlequin/Mills & Boon Blaze. I had pretty much decided to start a historical series that has been sitting around for a while and as a stop-gap between historical books, I opted for a quick, easy and sexy Blaze.

Kira Sinclair's 'Bring Me To Life' is a sumptuous tale about a second chance in love (one of my favourite story lines) and is another of her books set in the small town of Sweetheart. A great story (so far, at least!) - I'll try and review it when I'm done!









I've decided to take something of a sugar moratorium. I'm not giving up sugar but I have tried to cut down for a few reasons:
1) I want to lose weight and I do tend to snack on chocolate and sweets an awful lot.
2) I know that my stomach reacts badly to chocolate - I don't want to relapse again and have to go on even more steroids. Ick.
3) I'm pretty sure that my high levels of sugar aren't helping with my depression and anxiety. I'm just doing an experiment (while on my moratorium) to see if my mental health improves.

Plus, I really like the word moratorium!

     "Alone, Delaney? With all these pickings today? Can't believe the Robins scored and you're not gonna."
     "I didn't come to score."
     She made a pffft sound and gave him a shove.
     His lips quirked into a reluctant smile. "Honey, you're toasted."
     "Yes, I am. I'm gonna be so pissed off at me tomorrow, but right now? Feels good. Can't remember the last time I had too much tequila, or too much anything. Coulda scored."
     "Sorry?"
     "And I don't mean soccer." Cracking herself up, she shoved him again. "Very cute guy named......something made the play. But I'm in a sexual morit......morat......Wait. Sexual mor--a--tor--i--um," she said, enunciating each syllable.
     Still smiling, he tucked her sunny swing of hair behind her ear. "Are you?"
     "Yes, I am. I am toasted and I am in the thing that I just said and don't want to say again."


From one of my favourite books, Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts.







I'm going to admit it - I really want to see the Fifty Shades of Grey film. I wasn't too enamoured with the books (although I did manage to read them which is more than many!) and didn't have any huge desire to see the films until I saw the adverts. There's something about me that's a sucker for good advertising and I feel that there was one particular image that has really got me interested. How sexy is this pic? Just me? Thought not.


Monday, 9 February 2015

Book Review: If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries


From the back of the book:

They are the Duke’s Men - an investigative agency born out of family pride and irresistible passion…

The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach - a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatches away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future. Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom stages a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.

Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy - Jane’s cousin and closest confidant - never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancĂ© to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgivable, but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?

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Ah, my not so illicit love affair with Sabrina Jeffries continues with the last book in the Duke’s Men series.

I was equal parts sad and happy for the end of this particular series. Sad because, well, who wants to be told that we will see no more of all the dreamy Duke’s Men and their lovely ladies? Yet happy because this means the 1) Dom will meet his match and 2) there’ll be a new series very soon! Woop!

Anyway, if you’ve never read any of the other Duke’s Men books, I would recommend you go back and read them before tackling this book. I’m sure it’s not necessarily essential but it does give you a background to the relationship between Dom and Jane, as well as introducing you to all the supporting characters in this tale. (Plus, if you don’t read the first books, you’re missing out on all the romancey, tummy flipping goodness of Sabrina Jeffries!)

We already know that Dom is an arrogant, methodical man who likes to be in control. It’s the addition of Jane - and the feelings she provokes in Dom - that really makes this a worthwhile read. I do so like it when a hero gets put through the ringer by the heroine and Jane certainly does that to Dom. There are so many feelings, history and angst between the couple that not only do you root for them every step of the way, you keep on reading in the hopes they’ll get their happily ever after sooner rather than later.

The book is fast paced - lots of things going on and lots of story to get your teeth into - and is rich with all the historical detail that I’ve come to expect from Sabrina Jeffries. Not only that but there’s the smouldering tension and sensuality (i.e. smooching and rumpy pumpy) that I just adore with Sabrina Jeffries books. It makes my heart happy!

Even though I didn’t agree with Dom, I felt that both he and Jane had very real reasons for acting the way they did - both when they broke off their engagement and when the book was set. It was all very realistic and that made for in-depth emotions and conflict.

I also really loved the way that Dom interacted with both Tristan and Lisette. In previous books I’ve felt that there was a barrier between Dom and his half-siblings but seeing them all together in this last book was really lovely and gave a wonderful insight into their lives growing up.

All in all, this is a fantastic end to the Duke’s Men series and a book I would highly recommend. I’ve been waiting a long time for Dom and Jane to get another chance at love and it was well worth the wait. If you’ve not read the rest of the series then still buy this book, just buy (and read) all the others first. I'm hoping that we'll see some of the other characters in this book very soon...

5 stars.


Series in order:

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #6









Max has still not arrived yet. I might have to have a word with the post office.

In the meantime, I'm reading the last ever book in the Duke's Men series by Sabrina Jeffries - If The Viscount Falls. Lordy it's good!














I've really been enjoying the Romance Festival this weekend. It's great to see so much going on and since it's run from the UK, I can take part without having to get up early or stay up late! Yay for laziness!

It's on until 8pm tonight so pop over here to see what's going on today and how to join in.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #5


Woo hoo - it's February!!





As I write this, Andy Murray is currently playing Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open. It's all I will be doing this morning and huge fingers crossed for Andy. (That sounds like I have huge fingers. I don't!) Also, isn't that t-shirt just awesome?
Source: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac








I really should stop laughing at my own jokes. Or at least my own Twitter conversations.

Okay, this wasn't a joke but it did make me smile. I wonder what other finds are lurking in the back of my granny's cupboards!









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