Thursday 23 July 2015

Princess in Peril by Janet Whitehead and narrated by Melanie Fraser

Princess in Peril: A Casanova Romance | [Janet Whitehead]
Audio Edition
Princess in Peril (A Casanova Romance)
Kindle Edition

Agency nurse Lynn Crane was delighted when she found employment at an isolated manor house in the Yorkshire countryside, but she quickly realized that all was not as it seemed. As she nursed her VIP patient, Serge Varda, Prince of Estavia, through a mysterious illness, an alarming truth began to emerge. Her employers, Max Ozerov and the sinister Dr Miros, were planning to wrest control of the country from him. All at once the young couple found themselves fleeing for their very lives. With no one to turn to for help, they had to find a way to outwit the conspirators themselves. And if they survived, would the handsome Prince of Estavia take Lynn for his Princess?

Before I begin my review I have to say that I really dislike the cover art on both editions. The Kindle picture is so outdated looking and the audio cover doesn't reflect the story. But as they say, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

This book is short and entertaining. I enjoyed the gothic feel to the story. Lynn and her patient were isolated in a country mansion in Yorkshire and the people she worked for were suitably creepy which added to the atmosphere.
I enjoyed the scenes where Lynn was slowly discovering that things were not as they seemed at the mansion and that she was looking after no ordinary patient. The story took many exciting turns as the pair made their escape.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator, Melanie Fraser, in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.
Not having read the print version I don't feel that I am suitably qualified to give an opinion as to which is better. I can tell you however, that this is an expertly narrated tale with perfect clarity of tone, expression and diversity in character voice.

Montana Dawn, McCutcheon Family Series Book 1, by Caroline Fyffe. Narrated by Corey M. Snow

Montana Dawn: McCutcheon Family Series, Book 1 | [Caroline Fyffe]

Montana Territory, 1883
 When Luke McCutcheon finds Faith Brown about to give birth in her rickety wagon, his first instincts are to ride for help. Instead, he stays and delivers a beautiful baby girl. Unable to leave the pretty young widow and her little son and newborn unprotected in the Montana wilderness, he brings them along on his family's cattle drive, to the absolute delight of the other friendly cowboys.
Luke, third son of Montana's wealthy McCutcheon family, is different from his brothers. As the offspring of a Cheyenne warrior, he carries a chip on his shoulder for all to see. His flashing eyes and handsome face make Faith feel she's stepped into some long-ago tale where men cherish their women--and keep them safe. If only she could trust him! Faith is on the run, and although she's pampered and protected by Luke and his family, she just can't risk the consequences of sharing the details of her past--one that's hunting to take her back to the nightmare she's just escaped. Happy-ever-afters are for fairytales, she reminds herself sternly as her heart feels the warm pull of his. Still, she can't help but dream of a loving family, a home to call her own, a beautiful and bright...Montana Dawn.

I got caught up in this story very quickly and I could listen to it quite happily for  quite a lengthy period of time.  My favourite scenes were the circumstances surrounding how Luke and Faith meet, when the characters are on the cattle run and when Luke goes off on his own to discover the truth behind Faith's situation.
There were periods however, where not much happens. I got a bit impatient when Faith was staying at the McCutcheon's ranch as not a lot new happened. Ward was fairly quiet in the intimidation front and Faith was frustrating in her inability to confide in Luke despite the numerous opportunities he gave her.

I listened to the audio version of this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would definitely check in with the McCutcheon clan again. There is a whole series ready to be enjoyed! I would also jump at the chance to listen to books narrated by Corey M. Snow as it would be professionally produced, sound fantastic and the characters really come to life. Corey M. Snow did an amazing job with the narration. I'm glad a male voice was chosen as Luke's character really stood out for me as the most likeable. There were a lot of male characters in this novel and the narrator made them individually come to life in a realistic way. They all sounded exactly as I would imagine cowboys to sound. The narrator was excellent at completely changing his tone of voice for the female characters as well. Very well done.

I was gifted this audio book from the author via in exchange for an unbiased review.

Monday 20 July 2015

Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover (2015)

When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

Light hearted, fun and entertaining. This is exactly the kind of chick-lit book I read when I was in my twenties. Now at the ripe old age of 35 I find that I still enjoy a humorous romp through the romantic entanglements of free spirited, adventurous and responsibility free singletons looking for the next love interest. The humour running through the book kept me entertained. I got a real sense of who Chloe was and it was obvious from the first chapter in which direction her relationship with Scott was going to end. Although it made a very entertaining read it took half of the book to get there. I felt that I knew more about Scott than I did about Jean-Luc. 

I found that I could relate to Chloe in some ways- the nutty siblings, parent woes, alcohol infused shenanigans and the inevitable hangover, the awful first dates, the endless wedding talk that goes on for a year before the event, even the ex in the bridal party was a familiar addition. Chloe seems to get through all of these tribulations with elegance and wit along with the help of a few cocktails. 
From the romance angle everything happens very quickly. Both Chloe and Jean-Luc jump from being friends to lovers in record time. Event the reader is privy to Chloe's thoughts and we know that she fancies the pants off Jean-Luc we never really see that initial spark and mutual attraction between them grow. I would have liked to see Jean-Luc grapple with the dilemma of being attracted to Chloe and having a girlfriend at the same time. But as Chloe quite frequently points out, he is French and that's what they do so maybe it wasn't really a dilemma at all. 
Although I lament the lack of depth I find that it is quite realistic in a way. Neither confess instant love for each other and there isn't a whirlwind wedding at the end. And when I think about it I'd quite easily hop from a guy like Scott to a new relationship with a ridiculously good looking French guy (or even a moderately good looking Inishowen guy who isn't an eejit). After all what more could a girl want? 

There is plenty of scope for a sequel and I hope the author, Isabelle Andover, has plans to continue with Chloe and Jean-Luc's story. Her writing style flows seamlessly and is sharp and witty.

Cocktails at Le Carmen is available in both print and ebook formats. 

AmazonUK  and other retailers.

Rebel's Desire (Iron Portal Series #4) by Laurie London (2015)


Tormented by a savage past and shattered by a bitter betrayal, Iron Guild warrior Toryn Flynn trusts no one and cares about nothing except the battle against their enemies. His target: a mobster who finances deadly missions into Cascadia. 

Kicked out of the house by her puritanical father, Keely Weber and her sister run a bookstore and fortune-telling business in an underground district in New Seattle—until a powerful man who controls the area kidnaps Keely’s sister to sell her into the Talent sex-trade. 

When a beautiful woman literally falls into his arms, Toryn realizes she holds the key to his success. Keely will do anything to rescue her sister…including taking risks with a dangerously sexy man who pushes all her buttons. 

From the gritty streets of the city’s underbelly to a sexual-fantasy-themed island, passions ignite. But with evil surrounding them and time running out, Toryn must decide whether to sacrifice the woman he’s falling for or dare to trust his heart again. 

This was such a quick read I didn't want it to end. I was glued to the story from start to finish. It was full of excitement, tension, angst, action, and the romance element was hot. Even though the story was short, and I would have loved it to have been longer, the plot was well written; the characters had enough depth to them to allow me to sympathise, like and dislike when appropriate.
This whole series is so addictive you better put aside a few hours for reading when you start it because you won't want to be interrupted.
I'd definitely recommend the other titles in the series - for a quick read they don't disappoint.

£1.99 AmazonUK
€2.99 Kobo

Book 1: Assassin's Touch - Rickert and Neyla
Book 2: Rogue's Passion - Asher and Olivia 
Book 3: Warrior's Heart- Vince and Zara
Book 4: Rebel's Desire- Toryn and Keely

Friday 17 July 2015

Fatal Pursuit by Elisabeth Naughton (2015)

Five years ago, Aegis Security op manager Marley Addison’s lover died in a South American raid gone horribly wrong…or so she thought. When she receives a phone call telling her that he is still very much alive and in danger, she vows to bring him home safely, even if Aegis CEO and former Navy SEAL Jake Ryder has kept her out of the field for the last few years. Then Jake shows up in Colombia to help her, leaving Marley annoyed…and more than a little distracted by her alarmingly handsome boss.
As things between Marley and Jake heat up in the wilderness, they discover their rescue mission is filled with treachery. Now the domineering Jake has to rely on Marley for survival. But can she depend on him when their mission takes a shocking and deadly turn?
Fatal Pursuit is the pulse-pounding third book in Elisabeth Naughton’s scorching Aegis series.

Available to preorder now at AmazonUK 
This series just keeps getting better and better. I know I've enjoyed a book when I look at the time and realise it's 2am but I refuse to go to sleep until I've got to the end. This is what happened when I picked up the ARC to Fatal Pursuit.
The author certainly knows how to torment a hero and she did this big time with Jake Ryder. He got no sympathy from me however. I enjoyed it too much and he deserved it! How could he not realise after three and a half years that he was attracted to and already half in love with Marley? It only took a bit of serious competition and a dangerous trek through the Colombian jungle to get him to wake up. I loved the strikes of jealousy and grumpiness he felt even though he refused to believe it was because he had feelings for Marley. Their interactions in South America were sweet and funny not to mention hot. There is plenty of suspense and action as well. However, the rescue mission to South America is just the beginning of the trouble for these two, both professionally and personally. The suspense kept me hooked right to the end as did the 'will they, wont they ever get together?' storyline.
The author did a brilliant job with this third installment in the series. I really hope it doesn't end as a trilogy!

Portrait of a girl by Luanna Stewart (2015)

Product Details

When her wealthy art dealer father died, Heather James was expecting a fortune. Instead, his bank account was empty and Heather's working in a bakery, wondering exactly what happened to her father's millions...until someone tries to kill her.

Tony Simons is on the trail of an art theft cold case that's practically giving him frostbite. He's hoping that by sticking close to Heather - the daughter of his deceased prime suspect - he'll find the answers he needs. Instead, he's finding himself distracted by a gorgeous woman who drives him crazy in every way imaginable...
Now Tony's in serious trouble. Even if Heather can't - or won't - tell him where the stolen paintings and money are, she may well have stolen his heart.
And now someone wants her dead...

Full of action, suspense and romance. The action was non stop and it kept me entertained right to the end. In order to really enjoy this book though you have to suspend disbelief. There were plenty of twists and turns although there were a few instances where it all just got a bit silly. There were too many villains and things going on in the background. 
The main villain was quite questionable as well. Everyone was completely terrified of him even though he was dying and his weapon of choice was his walking stick. Puh-leeze.
Thankfully the author managed to tie it all together and bring it to a nice conclusion. 

Friday 10 July 2015

Chance Encounter An LCR Elite novel #2 by Christy Reece (2015)

Chance Encounter (LCR Elite, #2)

She’s the face of innocence whose secrets, if uncovered, could destroy her carefully crafted life. 
On the cusp of achieving every goal she’s set for herself, Kacie Dane is one step away from superstardom. The hell she endured five years ago is a nightmare of the past. With a new name and a new life, no one would ever recognize her as the ravaged victim she’d once been. Her secret is safe…or so she thinks. 
He’s a disgraced former sports star looking for redemption, determined to stay in the shadows. 
Once the golden boy of the NFL, Brennan Sinclair’s fall from grace was witnessed by the entire world. Determined to stay out of the limelight and make his life count for something, he joins the Elite branch of Last Chance Rescue. Brennan never expected his first assignment would draw him back into the life that almost destroyed him. 
Some secrets should never be kept. Some sins can never be forgiven. 
Someone knows exactly who Kacie Dane is and will stop at nothing to destroy her. Brennan is sure that he, along with his LCR Elite partners, can keep Kacie safe and unmask the evil trying to destroy her, but he never expected to lose his heart to the one woman he couldn’t have. 
A killer bent on revenge. A woman who refuses to be broken. A man in need of redemption. 
No one is safe. 

I love Christy Reece books and the whole LCR series and each new release is an auto buy for me.
However, this wasn't my favourite one. I felt that Kacie and Brennan's relationship dragged out the story and I got bored with them half way through. The suspense towards the end of the novel saved my interest though.
The mystery was well thought out and I didn't guess until the end all the people who were involved.
I prefer the mystery and suspense to the numerous sex scenes and wish that they could be dialled back a bit. I don't feel that so many scenes are necessary to propel a story forward.
In fact, more could have been of the stalker storyline. Brennan was her bodyguard but he didn't have to do anything heroic until the end of the book. I think more tension and stress could have been added with something a bit scarier than someone leaving photos lying about Kacie's apartment and office. I like the bad guys to be a bit more scary and diabolical. There wasn't much of a threat to Kacie.
For my liking, the two did too much sitting about her apartment drooling over one another.

Monday 6 July 2015

A Familiar Evil by Anne Patrick. Narrated by Leonor A. Woodworth.

A Familiar Evil by Anne Patrick

"You're out there watching me. I can feel you. What do you want? Why did you come back here?" 

Jordan Russell had the perfect life until the brutal monster from her childhood resurfaced, opening up scars she thought were healed. With the hope of finally finding closure Jordan leaves her cheating husband, and her career in the FBI, and returns to where her nightmare began. But what awaits her in Thorny Creek will push her to the very edge of sanity and bring her face to face with her abductor.

I listened to the audio version of this novel. It was received at no cost from the narrator via in exchange for an honest review.

Anne Patrick is a new author to me but after listening to 'A Familiar Evil' I will be downloading some more of her titles to my library.
This is a great murder mystery that had me entertained from beginning to end. The relationship between Sam and Jordan was complex but I felt that their marriage was certainly something that could be mended with a little understanding and forgiveness. Jordan's background and childhood trauma was riveting and set a great backdrop for Jordan's return to her home town and her hunt for the killer. I couldn't wait to grab every chance I could get to put my head phones on and listen to Leonor A. Woodworth narrate this fantastic book.
Leonor's strength lies in her ability to create a voice for each character, male and female. I got a real sense of the characters' feelings and fears both from the words in the story and in how the narrator was able to express all these different emotions. It was very easy to listen to and the narration made it flow nicely. I really enjoyed it and would certainly look for other books narrated by Leonor A. Woodworth.