Sunday, 26 July 2015

Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! by Kay Marie

My name is Skylar Quinn. I just moved to New York with my best friend Bridget, and I have a confession. Well, more than one. Okay, quite a few really. Fine, here goes!

Confession #1: I'm a sex columnist. Hold on, that's not really the confession. You see, I'm sort of a virgin ... sex columnist.

Confession #2: I'm kind of in love with Bridget's older brother, Oliver. No, I was. No, I am. Wait, was? Am? Crap.

Confession #3: I've been avoiding Oliver for four years. Or I was until today, because he just moved in. Yes, you read that correctly. He's my new roommate. So that night we've both been pretending never happened, well, we might not be able to keep it a secret any longer.

And trust me, this is only the beginning.

So this was a very generic chick lit type book. The heroine, Skylar, is very annoying about her virginity, - she makes this big deal out of still being a virgin when she's only 22 - she's also annoying about alluding to her and Oliver's past but never saying what happened (which turns out to be no big deal, by the way). I mean, I get that the author was trying to do with the "secret past" but Skylar mentioned it a lot and it really did start to drag.

The story was your basic girl likes boy, boy hurts girls feelings, girl avoids boy, girl can't avoid boy any more, girl denies feelings for boy, boy hints at feelings for girl, girl gets confused by feelings. I've read a few books like this and it sort of explains why I don't read a lot of chick lit books. I thought this one might be a bit different going by the title - I expected funny situations and maybe even for Skylar to not be afraid of her virginity.

If you like typical romance stories then you'll probably like this, for someone like me that was hoping for something a little different from the typical romance - I'd suggest you leave it alone.

Book Depository: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!
Amazon UK: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Country vs Country - Guild Hunter

Danielle: I saw these covers and knew I had to comment on them. The UK covers are some of my favourite that I've ever seen. These covers alone make me want to read this series. I love everything about it. UK is a definite huge win for me here!
Julie-Anne: I think I saw these covers in Waterstones before and loved them, there's really no contest between UK and US here. I don't like the typeface on the US one and just what is the woman looking at so intensely? She looks kinda confused. UK for sure.

D: I don't love this UK cover as much as I did the first one, but I still love it a million times more than the US cover. I love the purple.
J: I agree that the purple isn't as good, it doesn't stand out as much as the first one but the cover is still very pretty. I really like the typeface for the UK books. The chick on the US one has some tight clothes on! I thought it was just her trousers but her top is very tight as well. They don't look comfortable, of course neither does the position she's crouched in atop what looks to be a very high perch. Again, UK for me.

D: Again, I love the colour of the the UK cover, even if I don't love the wings. The US cover is all right here. I don't love it, and I'm not sure it would draw me in. The UK would for sure.
J: Wow, that US one is bad! She looks too fake. The blue on the UK is still a bit washed out looking compared to the first book - that red really popped and, even though they're all similar in theme, I'm not liking the paler colours as much but I still prefer the UK one over the US.

D: Still finding no love for the US covers, but still loving the UK. The colours is really pretty, and these wings are really pretty too.
J: The wings on the UK are intriguing me, I need to see what these books are all about. The US cover is very cheesy and the typeface really comes across as 80s action movie. UK again, no question.

D: Getting back to loving the wings. I like that just the wings are purple, instead of the whole cover. I still love when the whole cover is coloured, but this is really pretty too. The US is nice, but a little too "fantasy" looking for me, and since I'm not a fantasy reader, I think I would likely pass by it in the store.
J: As much as this UK is another paler cover, I think the colour of the wings makes it pretty. The US covers seem to be getting worse. Obviously wings are a theme since they have them on both UK and US covers (of course, the titles should clue me in on that too). I agree about the fantasy look, the US covers are ones I would definitely look over in a book shop if not actively avoid. UK again.

D: The wings on the UK cover are so unique and interesting. I love them. The colour on the US is pretty, and the girl is pretty in a very Barbie-doll way, but still not a big draw for me. Definitely UK.
J: Oooh, I like the red wings on the UK cover, they really pop. And hey, tight clothes wearing chick is back! She still looks uncomfortable. Obviously going with UK again on this one.

D: More interesting and beautiful wings here again. I love that they seem to have spikes on them as well. The colour is gorgeous, the wings are gorgeous. Love it. The US is just very blah to me. Perhaps if I didn't see it next to the UK, I would have liked it. It still isn't enough to draw me in.
J: The US one looks really cartoony this time, what's up with that? And the UK cover is a little different from the others, there seems to be more body this time. And I agree that the wings are very pretty. Going to be UK again.

D: This is the US cover I like best in this series, though I still love the UK more. I am really fan of the wings on these covers, and this one is no exception. UK for me.
J: As annoying as I find cover changes, this new US cover is much nicer than the rest of the series. But ... I still prefer the UK cover.

Danielle: This is a series I have never read. The UK covers make me want to look them up and see if they're something I would be interested in. The US covers do not. At all. Based on the US covers, this is a series that I would have to have had highly recommended to me before I'd try them at all. The UK covers are amazing.
Julie-Anne: I've not read this series but I want to read it. Those UK covers are very intriguing and they definitely make me want to pick them up. UK covers are gorgeous and definitely a clear winner.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

Loved, loved, LOVED this book. Great start to a (hopefully) new and long series from Rachel Vincent. Vincent created a .... I don't know if it falls under post apocalyptic or dystopian, I'm not good at differentiating between the two although I'm leaning more to post-apocalyptic for this one.

This world, to me, is scary ass because it's run purely by religion and it seems like everything is a sin and the punishments aren't small or insignificant. I mean, these church types burn people on TV for small misdeeds.

This is a world where demons consumed too many souls and now if you want to have a baby, there has to be a soul for it which means either a family member had to be willing to die for the baby or the baby dies. There's a list but I'm unclear about this list at this stage, you have to be lucky enough for a soul to be on the list when the baby is born or the baby dies. Basically, there are no free souls for people because of the demons, they possess people and they consume them slowly until they look like the demon they are inside. The church has exorcists to deal with them but then Nina meets a guy that says he's an exorcist but he certainly doesn't deal with demons the same way the church exorcists do. Nina starts to question everything and therefore must escape the town.

I really can't express my love for this book properly. I'm a huge fan of Rachel Vincent's writings and this new book is no different, I can't wait to read more from this world.

The Book Depository: The Stars Never Rise
Amazon UK: The Stars Never Rise

Dark Avenging Angel by Catherine Cavendish

Don't hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.

Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection - a lady she calls her "angel". But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.

When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full - one way or the other.

Release Date 4th August2015

I've never read anything from this author before but if this book is anything to go by, I'd definitely read more. This was quite dark and horrific.

Cavendish has made a really freaky world here with bad bad guys and a likeable (if also slightly pathetic) leading woman. I mean, I understand that she's been ridiculed by her father her whole life and pretty much walked over by most people because of that but, even knowing this back story, I found it hard to feel anything strong toward her.

It didn't put me off the story as a whole though, if I really didn't like her I would have DNF'd it fairly quickly. But I didn't and I'm glad I didn't because the story was unique and interesting.

Amazon UK: Dark Avenging Angel

The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert

Teague O'Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family's name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a "business" alliance, Teague's ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O'Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn't aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they're in. Because Callie's keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn't know could get him killed.

So it's no secret and shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that's read my blog that I love Katee's writing and this book is no different.

She writes really licklikeable characters and Teague follows suit. I suppose Callie does as well to a point but not as licklikeable as Teague - or some of the other guys and gals in this.

Teague and Callie are forced into a marriage by their father after Callie's first betrothed is killed. Even though they're both against the marriage, there's instant attraction and Teague feels the need to protect Callie.

The fact that they both have their secrets from each other and their families helps them come together which, let's face it, is what we want. As I've said Katee writes lickable, yummy and likeable characters as well as in depth worlds and backgrounds. I will most definitely be continuing with this series and can't wait for more, especially with the knowledge of who has their story coming up.

Book Depository: The Marriage Contract
Amazon UK: The Marriage Contract

Monday, 13 July 2015

Pre-order announcement - Driven by Kelley Armstrong

Subterranean Press have just announced a new Kelley Armstrong Otherworld book to be released in January 2016. It is available for pre-order through their wesbite.

The following description includes spoilers if you are not up to date with the current Otherworld backstory

Subterranean Press is pleased to present a long Otherworld novella by Kelley Armstrong, featuring a number of full-color illustrations by Xaviere Daumarie. The Trade Hardcover of Driven will feature a full-color dust jacket as well as four full-color interior illustrations. The Signed Limited Edition will have a completely different dust jacket, full-color endsheets, and two additional full-color illustrations not in the Trade. If you own a copy of the limited edition of Forsaken, please mention your number to match when checking out.

Cains are known for being big, brutish and not-too-bright. The mutt clan embodies all the supernatural world's worst stereotypes about werewolves. But not even the Cains deserve to be hunted down and skinned like animals.

When young Davis Cain comes to the Pack for help, Alpha Elena Michaels can't refuse him. It isn't about morality or justice. It's about not letting anyone think they can do this to werewolves and get away with it.

But Elena is also dealing with the Pack's homegrown monster — Malcolm Danvers, onetime enforcer, full-time psycho. Malcolm is now under Elena's control, as part of the most difficult decision she's had to make as leader. But if she has to let Malcolm in, she's going to make full use of him ... and the best person to catch monsters is one who knows exactly how they think.

As with all past Kelley releases from Subterranean Press, it is available in both Trade and Limited Edition - if you've ordered limited before, you can request the same number after ordering.

COVER REVEAL - Blackmailed by the Hero by Julie Particka

The lovely Ms Particka has another Gone Hollywood books coming out, the first book in the series was Tempting Her Fake Fiancé and this book follows Evan's sister (Vicky) and his best friend. We sort of, kind of, partially met Vicky in the first book.

(Please note that the tagline is NOT correct on this)

Release Date 11th August 2015

Other covers in the series:

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Country vs Country - Downside Ghosts

Julie-Anne: I kind of like both of these covers. The UK one seems to fit the title with the ghostly look of the smoke. Of course, for all I know the smoke is actually smoke - I've not read this series. The US one has a lot happening but I like the overall look (minus the one on her face). I think I prefer UK due to the simplicity, the US one has a lot to focus on.
Danielle: I also like both of these covers. The US does have a lot going on, I agree, but I am intrigued about the ink on her skin. I haven't read these books, so I don't know if there is something to that, or if it's just cover design. I like how it looks like maybe a soul is being released from her mouth on the UK cover. I also like the simplicity. I'm not a fan of faces on covers, so I'll choose UK here.

J: OK so unless she smokes out of her fingers, I'm guessing the smoke isn't actually smoke. I like the colours on the US one and there's not as much background mess. Her face doesn't bug me as much in this one but I'm still not keen on the whole full frontal thing. But saying that, I think I'll go for US.
D: I think it's kind of cool that it looks like her fingers are wisping away. Though I can't say I love the rest of the cover. The colours on the US cover are really pretty, and I like the stained glass in the background. No, I don't love the face shot, but I do still like that cover better. I choose US.

J: First sign of tattoos on the UK cover and still more of that smoke - I need to read these books just to see what the significance is. I really, really don't like the colour of the US one, although I still like the overall look. I'm going to go with UK since I really don't like the colour of the US.
D: I'm really not a fan of either cover. Neither do anything to draw me in, and make me want to read this series. I'm not really sure which to pick, as neither really have any redeeming qualities for me. I think I'll choose US again, facial shot be damned. Hee hee, I said damned. :D

J: I checked and checked this one before deciding that yes, it seems like the publisher was changing covers partway through the series. It's the same cover, just more in the background of the US and the positioning of the model. I'm going to go UK just because there is more blurring on the US model.
D: Hmm. In this case, it really has to come down to which has better detailing. I prefer the typeface on the UK, though I do like the little star detailing in the C's on the US. I do not like the yellow, and I don't think we needed the streetscape. I'll choose UK here as well.

J: The UK publishers are sticking with the different covers but they've moved away from using the same image as US. I like that the model on the US isn't full frontal anymore, hopefully it stays that way. I don't really like the expression on the UK model's face so I'm going to go for US.
D: Strange that they would have the same cover for just one book. I don't care for either of them, but I prefer the simplicity of the UK. I don't care for either facial expression, but I am glad that it isn't full frontal at least. I don't know which to pick! Eenie meenie miny mo ... UK.

Julie-Anne: As I've said, I haven't read this series. I liked the original UK covers and it will always bug me why publishers change them partway through a series. Do the people that make these decisions not have book collections of their own? Do they not realise the upset this can cause to bibliophiles? I may pick this series up, as I said up there ^^, the smoke thing intrigues me.
Danielle: I agree about the changing covers. So frustrating. I also dislike when books change from paperback to hardback. I understand it's better for the author, but I so dislike my covers changing partway through. I also have not read this series, and I'm honestly not sure the covers have done enough to convince me to give them a try. The ink and the smoke also intrigues me, but I just don't know how much.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Country vs Country - Psy-Changeling

Julie-Anne: I dislike both these covers. US more than UK though, between the smokey stuff and the typeface it seems like a cheesy porn movie. It also has the look of an 80s music video. I guess I'd go with UK because I don’t hate it as much as US but it's still pretty cheesy - and sadly the series follows a theme of the cheesy, growly man face thing.
Danielle: I agree. I don't really like the cover, or the title, to be honest. The title of this book, and the US cover really make me think porno. Slave to Sensation? No thanks. Even as an erotic romance reader, that title would turn me off. I like the UK cover a fair bit more than I like the US. Nothing is appealing about the US, save the colour. Maybe. Maybe not even that. UK here.

J: So this guy on the UK cover isn't as growly looking, I don't mind this cover as much as the 1st one. Sadly that US cover is cheesier than the 1st one, it still has an 80s feel to it.
D: I like the UK cover guy's eyes. And his mouth is nicely shaped. Seems the men in this series have a real problem with getting scratches on their faces. Just no on the US cover. Nothing even remotely redeeming on that one. Nothing.

J: I like the blue eyes on the UK cover, even though they look really fake. The guy on the US cover is standing really weird, I don't like the pose - and I'm beginning to see the 80s thing seems to be a theme. I think it's more the typeface, the author name is too curly.
D: The man on the UK doesn't have bloody scratches, but it seems he got splashed by someone who does. Poor guy. He seems fairly neutral about the whole situation though. And seriously, WTF was the American publishers thinking with these covers? They seriously look like they were printed in 1984. Also, the model looks a little like Marky Mark. UK here again.
J: Had to ask my husband for help here because he looks like someone but I couldn't think who. There was a face in my head but I didn't know who it belonged to ... he looks like MacGyver!
D: Haha, MacGyver.

J: Seems we're back to broody on the UK cover. Still hating those US covers. The one good thing about the UK covers is the black, I've noticed through doing this that I like the plain covers better.
D: Uh oh, this guy got scratched too. These poor men. Are they wooing the wrong women? US cover is shamefully underwhelming again. I'll choose UK. He has nice eyes.

J: The mouth on the UK cover makes his expression really weird and the eyes look too fake, even more so than Caressed by Ice but his mouth is really horrible. Although, not as horrible as the US cover. As much as I hate full frontal faces on covers, I hate topless and headless torsos more.
D: US dude isn't headless! He has a chin! Okay. I don't mind the fake eyes on the UK cover. They're a pretty colour, but I agree about the mouth. Is he trying to snarl? Does he have a deformation? I don't know. I'm still picking it over the US cover though.

J: The guy on the UK cover looks terrified of something, maybe the photographer? There's no headless, naked full on guy on the US cover but there's cheesy couple posing - just as bad.
D: Maybe he sees that treacherous woman that is scratching all the models. He's worried she's coming for his other cheek next. The US cover looks like an 80's romance novel. Not attractive in the least. The typeface is cheesy too. Everything about it is cheesy. UK again. He has a nice mouth.
J: Maybe he just realised his pretty face is going to be scarred for the rest of his life.
D: Poor dear. They can do wonders with plastic surgery these days.

J: The US cover almost looks like a poster for a movie starring a young Kurt Russell - perhaps a firefighter that gets amnesia following an accident on the job? Still disliking both country's offerings but like the UK ones more.
D: Oh, nail lady only got one scrape in this time. He fared better than others. I completely agree with you about the US cover. As soon as I saw it, I was thinking of an 80's action movie with like Jean-Claude Van Damme or something. Ridiculous. UK again for me. He has nice eyes.

J: Another movie poster but this time starring ... possibly Bruce Lee. I don't know what to say at this point because I really hate those US covers.
D: I want to "like" your Bruce Lee movie poster! I had the very same thought. And this poor UK dude wasn't fast enough to escape the crazy nail lady. I hope it doesn't scar, since he's kinda cute in the "boy-next-door" kind of way. UK again for me.

J: Not as 80s heavy for the US one with this cover but still too cheesy for my liking. Sometimes the guy on the UK cover doesn't look as stupid, this one doesn't have as silly an expression as some of the others.
D: I was thinking the same thing about the US cover. Still cheesy, but at least modern-ish. A little 90's still maybe. Wait, when are these books set? Maybe there's a method to the publisher's madness? UK dude almost got away, but Psycho Hose Beast got him in the end. He has nice fake brown eyes though. And he has a nice mouth. UK for me.
J: Don't know about when they're set but the first one was published in 2006. Why Hose Beast?
D: You know, it just popped into my head. A Psycho Hose Beast is someone who sucks all the energy and attention from everyone around them. It's used in the movie Wayne's World by Wayne Campbell to describe Lara Flynn Boyle's character.

J: This US cover is exactly the type of cover I think of for cheesy romance novels. It's what I would hold up as an example of a horrible cover.
D: Ah. Psycho Hose Beast strikes again. Perhaps these UK dudes should be more careful about who they date? This lady gets around. I still like it better than the cheese of the US cover though.

J: So this US cover looks like it's going for a similar but different cover to the UK. It's not as cheesy as previous covers but I still wouldn't buy it. I like that they've done a wee design at the side but it's 3 different designs and looks weird all together.
D: I agree. At first I thought it looked like bad wall paper, but then I noticed there was a thorny vine, and half of a zipper, and some crazy gray-scale roses, and then the wall paper. His fake eyes are nice though. I don't mind them. The UK guy is very ... I don't know ... boring? Compared to the other guys. He doesn't have any nice/not so nice fake eyes, he doesn't have any real redeeming facial features. He's just dull. However, still better than the US. Perhaps if the US only had the dude without all the crap, I may have selected them. This US cover is definitely the best of the bunch so far.

J: And US are back to the same style, why did they change just that one cover? I just noticed they moved away from that horrible curly typeface a few covers ago though, so that's a good thing. The UK covers are all so similar to one another that it's hard to actually say anything about them.
D: That is a weird thing that they just changed the one cover. Though this cover is better than all that 80's cheese of the others. Even though the UK covers are all practically the same, I like that. I like that they're just plain, with half a dude on it. And this guy escaped the PHB! Maybe he put an end to her, and that's why his eyes are closed. He feels bad about knocking off his friends' girl? I still pick UK though.

J: And of course just as I said that about the UK covers being the same, this one changes it up a little. Still extremely similar but the face isn't full frontal anymore. That US cover reminds me of another cover but I can't think what one. Not as cheesy or 80s music video/action movie poster as past covers but the whole headless body thing is way too overdone on book covers.
D: Oh damn, I spoke too soon. PHB is alive and well it seems. He looks sort of contemplative about the whole situation. Though the US cover looks like a man-sized Jenks from the Hollows books on it. If he has curly blond hair, it could be! I'm still sticking with UK.
J: The hands on hip pose? Yeah, he does look a bit like Jenks.
D: Yeah, though I suppose in the Hollows, it's considered his "Peter Pan Pose", so maybe he's like Peter Pan?

J: UK cover slightly different again but still similar enough to other that you know it's the same series. That guy looks familiar (Oh, he kinda looks like the dude from Hannibal!). The US cover is a bit "meh", it looks all dramatic with the long coat flapping in the wind but then the rest of it is just ... nothing.
D: UK kind of went in a different way, but I agree that you can still tell they go together. It almost looks like it was drawn or painted. The fake eyes are nice though. I don't mind them. The US cover almost looks like he could be Angel from Buffy. I'll pick UK again. Keep it consistent.

Julie-Anne: I haven't read this series but the first few US covers piqued my interest in their cheesiness. I would never buy them based on either cover but if I had to pick overall? I'd go UK, at least the spines would look good on my bookcase if nothing else.
Danielle: I also haven't read this series, but this is an author that has been recommended by many of my like-minded friends. Based on the UK covers, I would read them. Besides, I need to find out what happened with the Psycho Hose Beast. I'll probably look them up and see. The US covers would completely turn me off though.
Julie-Anne: Maybe Psycho Hose Beast is actually just extremely clumsy men? They all injured themselves while walking, apart from those two guys. One was close enough to get sprayed on and the other guy is just thinking "What the fuck? Living with these guys is like living with the three stooges!" Although the consistent scratches intrigues me too, I'd like to know what the deal is.
Danielle: Maybe that's it! I didn't even consider it could be the clumsiness of the men. I just assumed a woman was involved. I just assumed these were strong, virile men. Hmm...