Mystery at Maplemead Castle – The Chapelwick Mysteries by Kitty French

Ghostbusting is never easy.  For Melody Bittersweet it is only made harder by her ex, Leo Dark, and her love/hate nemesis, Fletcher Gunn.

When the new owners of Maplemead Castle employ Melody’s special services she becomes embroiled in the lives of a trio of circus performers (and a lion!).  Trapeze artist, Britannia Lovell, is stuck with her husband and her lover in a repeating performance that has lasted a century. Melody and her ghostbusting team have to find out what is keeping the trio from moving on, but when Leo because bewitched by Britannia her job just gets a whole lot trickier.

Things are also heating up between Melody and Fletch, much to the disapproval of her friends and family.  What is a girl to do?

REVIEW

Hilarious! Melody is back on fine form in this second book in the series.

I think what I like most about Kitty French’s writing is that she is completely British.  The language that she uses is so familiar. Words such as bumholes, boffed and crappola make me feel right at home.

The comedy mixed with the romance mixed with the mystery makes for an entertaining and very enjoyable story.  I really want Melody and Fletch to work out but I’m not sure if the author will ever get them together due to their differences.  If only Fletch would open up his mind a bit and see Melody for the wonderful person she is and if only Melody would get over the fact that Fletch can be a dick sometimes!  The connection and understanding that Melody has for Leo during this mystery is lovely but I do think he deserved the little dig she gives him at the end about broken hearts.

The Fembots made an appearance but did not play as much of a part in this story and I’m not entirely sure I understand what their relationship with Leo is, either way they are no match for Marina and her spiked heels.

The only point I found slightly annoying about this particular story is the continual miss spelling of Britannia’s name.  Sometimes spelt Britannia and others Brittania.  I know it is a small point but it is something that should have been picked up during editing.

Brilliantly funny.  The antics of Melody, Marina and Artie just gets better.  Looking forward to reading the next, with the hope of a little more loving between Melody and Fletch.

The Pride of the King – Bold Women of the 18th Century #2 by Amanda Hughes

Lauren De Beauville always knew she was destined for adventure.  Growing up in New Orleans and living the early years of her life in a convent, Lauren’s life turned upside down when, at the age of 15, she was married off to an old English man.  A freak storm on her wedding day started a spiral of events that would lead Lauren on her restless adventures across the continent but always in the background one man would be directing her fate.

James St Clare, a trader of illegal merchandise, is not a man Lauren wants to be associated with but he appears at every turn. With his bunch of misfits onboard ‘The Pride of the King’, James and his crew must out-smart both the French and English when the threat of war breaks out. But when an unknown enemy sets its sights on destroying James and all he holds dear it is left to Lauren to find out who and put a stop to them before she loses everything she has come to love.

REVIEW

Intriguing story of love, adventure, betrayal and heartache.

Lauren finds herself in some of the most difficult and challenging situations for any young women no matter what the time period.  Life in the 18th Century is hard enough but when you find yourself on the outskirts it can be unbearable.  Moving from place to place, one minute living in high society and the next living off the streets fighting dogs for scraps, Lauren has nowhere to call home and no-one to call family.

James St Clare is an arrogant, unpleasant, yet oddly handsome man who tends to treat Lauren with contempt most of the time.  He keeps her at arm’s length but is always around when she finds herself in a bind.  He has his reasons and despite the secrets that exist between them they find that a connection is there none the less.

I was thoroughly captivated by the characters in this story.  Lauren is a head-strong young woman who will take life by the horns and swing it around until she finds herself dizzy with excitement. James is a fascinating character who despite his upbringing cares deeply for those on his crew and within his association. Heloise and Cornelius are absolutely fantastic, a mother and son duo, they take Lauren under their wing and treat her like a daughter/sister. The rest of the crew are brilliant with their different abilities and disabilities.

This is the first book I have read by this author and the story telling had me lost in a world of high society and street scum, wigs and patches, pirates and soldiers. A bond is formed with the characters and the emotions that unfold throughout the book had me on the verge of tears.

Highly recommended and will be reading more from this author in the future.

To Save a Sinner by Adele Clee

When Lucas Dempsey was banished to America by his father, following the murder of Lord Banbury, he never expected to come back.  Now, four years later, he enters the ballroom amidst gossip and speculation about his return.  Closing off his heart and emotions has been easy. He knows not to trust anyone but one women test his limits and threatens to pull down his well-built walls that have protected him.

Helena Ecclestone sees more in that handsome face and cold eyes than the man would want her too, she looks beyond the physical and seeks out the real man inside.  After a brief meeting and an over-heard conversation, she is convinced of his innocence and takes it upon herself to be his protector. Working together to uncover the truth brings the pair closer and walls begin to crumble on both sides.

REVIEW

Helena is a great character.  Although she is not deemed by society as beautiful she has never let this demean her in any way, in fact, she finds it almost comical when she is looked over for dancing in favour of her sister.  She spends most of her time reading and has gained a great deal of knowledge from this pursuit, which has also helped her to look beyond physical features and gain a persons true worth from their character.

Lucas Dempsey has a typical ‘man-done-wrong’ arrogance but he too sees beyond the physical and knows the true worth of Helena.  The attraction they have for each other isn’t instant but grows over the time they spend together. Lucas never believed he would find love mainly because he didn’t believe he would ever trust anyone enough but Helena shows him what trust and loyalty really looks like.

There are some interesting twists in this story that keeps you wondering.  I loved Lucas’ loyalty to Helena and even more the way Helena believed in his loyalty when the evidence before her eyes should tell her differently.  The connection between these two characters defies the social norms of the time and shows what true love can really be.

This story also introduces other characters within it who also have their own stories.  I will definitely be reading more by this author in the future.

Rook and Ronin: Complete Seven Book Series (Rook and Ronin Spinoff #1-4) by J.A. Huss

TRAGIC

Rook is alone, desperate and running.  Leaving behind an abusive relationship she follows the hand of fate and finds herself in the studio of Antoine Chaput. Becoming an erotic model for the famous photographer was never in her plans but with the stunningly gorgeous Ronin directing her through it, how hard could it be?

MANIC

Following in the success of the TRAGIC contract, Rook is approached to be the girl of STURGIS, much to Ronin’s dismay.  In a fit of anger, Rook signs the deal only to find out that not only will she be painted nude by the full body-paint artist, Spencer Shrike, she will also be filmed, for three months by a reality T.V. crew, for Shrike’s Bikes. Ronin has issues of his own to deal with and, with the modelling deal in full swing, pressure is put on there fragile relationship.  When the past starts catching up with them can Rook and Ronin survive the challenges that face them?

PANIC

Rook dreams of being a film maker and wants to go to film school. Ronin wants a family of his own and is willing to wait for Rook but will she ever be ready.  Rook’s past is right on her doorstep and only the TEAM can help protect her.  Spencer, Ford and Ronin have been a Team since they all went to school together but an incident in the past has kept them apart.  Now they will have to work together again to protect Rook, but is their own past about to catch up with them?

SLACK & TAUT

Ford Aston wants to be left alone.  His infatuation with Rook needs to end or he knows he will do something both of them will regret.  Driving to LA on New’s Years Eve may be the worst mistake of his life but when fate drives him to meet a depressed and suicidal Ashleigh it maybe more than her life he is saving.

BOMB & GUNS

The love of Spencer’s life, Veronica Vaughn, is getting tired of her on/off relationship with Spencer, which for the past year has been more off than on.  Fed up with knowing that Spencer is dating other women, Ronnie decides her time has come to move on with her life.  Changing career, moving home and dating are all on her mission to get her life away from Spencer Shrike, if only her heart would join the plan.

Spencer Shrike has loved his Bombshell, Ronnie Vaughn, from the first moment he met her and keeping her at a distance is killing him.  Not wanting his past to effect her future, Spencer does everything he can to ensure her safety until all threats are contained, however even the most careful planning can have its flaws and, no matter how hard he tries, Ronnie could be in danger however he plays it.

The whole TEAM come together to conclude the journey that started with a lonely girl and ended with relationships that will span the tests of time.

 

REVIEW

This series is captivating from start to finish.  J.A. Huss has a way of bring characters to life in such a way that no matter how much you want to dislike them you can’t.  Rook is young but has had to grow up fast. Ronin knows the effects that an abusive relationship can cause and sees the pain in Rook from the beginning.  Although the first three books in this series are based mainly on Rook and Ronin their story would be nothing without the addition of the side characters – Spencer and Ronnie, Ford and Ashleigh, Elise and Antoine. The four spin-off stories are essential reading as, although they focus on Ford and Spencer, they still continue the story of the TEAM and all the problems that arose with Rook and their not-so legitimate backgrounds.

There were moments I just wanted to slap the whole lot of them but everything they did was done for a reason.  Secrets are rife throughout all the series but are also essential to the story and how it plays out for each character.  Their paths were destined to cross and each couple fits together perfectly.

There are some stories that you can’t wait to get to the end to read the happy ever after and then there are those that you want to continue on past the HEA into the rest of the their lives that follow, this was definitely a life following series.

 

 

 

Escape to Paradise by Victoria Zak, D.L. Roan, Lana Williams, Xyla Turner, J.D. Monroe, Hildie McQueen, Olivia Gaines, Tigris Eden

Ever wanted to escape to a paradise island where all your dreams and fantasies can come true?  Welcome to Indulgences.

This boxset comprises of a compilation of short stories all based on the Indulgences Resort –

MIDNIGHT’S KISS by Victoria Zak & DL Roan

YOURS FOR THE WEEKEND by Lana Williams.

UNDERTONES by Xyla Turner

SUMMER IN PARADISE by J.D. Monroe

COWBOY IN PARADISE by Hildie McQueen

FRANKLIN’S HEART by Olivia Gaines

A GAME OF HEARTS by Tigris Eden

REVIEW

Came across this series of books thanks to one of my favourite authors – D. L. Roan. When the boxset was released I had to give it a try and so glad I did.  These books are cleverly written in that they all based at Indulgence Resort on Aragon Island.  There are recurring characters in all the stories – Antonio Aragon, the Islands owner, his work partner and lover, Kenderly, and Mario, the extravagant and outrageous events manager.

Each story is based around a couple, either arriving separately or together, who find themselves living out fantasies they didn’t even realise they had.  Don’t misunderstand, these fantasies don’t tend towards the kink (well not all) but more to do with finding or rekindling love in exciting and erotic ways.

Great series and a brilliant way to introduce new authors to your reading selection. I will definitely be reading some of the books by the other authors now.

Love for Scale by Michaela Greene

Rachel Stern is twenty seven, two hundred and forty two pounds and still living at home. Her mother shows her love through food and Rachel knows that this will never change until she makes it happen.  When an unsuccessful speed dating session and a disastrous blind date forces Rachel to rethink her life, she heads off to the nearest Weight Watchers club.

Meeting Finnegan Schwartz is the motivation that Rachel needs.  Having had his own success he becomes her unofficial champion.  Spending time as friends, going out for ‘non-dates’ and enjoying the same exercise class brings Rachel and Finn closer together, but can either of them get over their pasts and accept that someone likes them…just for them?

REVIEW

All too often the female in romance books is a petite blonde with ‘curves in all the right places’ so it is nice to have a change once in a while.  Being a largish person myself, having constantly been on and off diets for most of my life, I think it takes a strong woman to say to herself ‘ I want to look better for me’.  She may be jealous of her best friend who has the super-hot boyfriend but there is so much more to a man than just good looks.  Personality goes a long way and Finn definitely has the personality to suit Rachel.  If we could all find ourselves a Finn the world would be a much happier place.

Being from a Jewish background, the author has injected the culture into her characters. Some words I didn’t know the meaning of but got the general gist as I continued reading.

Humorous and food-loving.   This story was enjoyable and entertaining and also made me hungry!

 

Confessions of a Reformed Tom Cat – Wingmen #2 by Daisy Prescott

Thomas Clifford Donnely, also known as TC – Tom Cat, enjoys the attention of the ladies. Working his way around the island, he has himself a few regular hook-ups but likes to try something new when he can..yes, he is a Man Whore.

Hailey King has had a crush on Tom since they where in high school, however with her tomboy antics and being his sister’s best friend she stayed well under his radar.  Returning to the her childhood island was always something she dreamed of doing, breaking up with her no-good fiancé was not.

In a moment of drunken madness, Hailey tracks down Tom and so begins a sex-with-no-strings relationship.  But what happens when feelings and emotions start to get involved. Can Hailey trust Tom to give up his Tom Cat ways?  Will Tom succumb to his deep down emotions and find his “One True Love”?

REVIEW

I do enjoy reading books from the man’s point of view.  Tom is your typical attractive man who knows it.  He doesn’t want relationships he just wants to have fun but age is not on his side anymore and, with his best friend settling down, it starts to dawn on him that his old ways aren’t so much fun anymore.  Hailey is a great female counterpart to Tom. She doesn’t take any of his nonsense, she is fun, flirty and welds! With lots in common is it no wonder that these two have such a great connection.

There are some very fun scenes in this book that had me laughing, specifically the hot tub moment – “I’m Naked!”.

If you like your men cocky, arrogant and bearded then you will love this book, Tom is all three.  An enjoyable comedy romance from Tom’s point of view. His former Wingman and new girlfriend also make an appearance and I will definitely be reading  John and Diane’s story soon.