Saturday, 26 December 2015

My Reckless Valentine - Olivia Dade

My Reckless Valentine is book number two in author Olivia Dade’s, Lovestruck Librarians series. Angie is a library manager and it’s safe to say that she has some alternative ideas about events that should run the library. The customers love Angie and her ideas but her boss isn’t a fan of her plans such as the Valentine’s Day competition to write the best sex scene. Angie loves her job but her boss has had enough of her x rated plans so give her a final warning. Then in a bizarre twist of fate she meets Grant who makes all her fantasies come true until it is discovered that he is in fact been hired to keep Angie in line at the library.

I've read both books on the series and although I loved book number one I think personally this one is my favourite so far. Everything happened in a night in book one which made it a cute quick read about New Year whereas this book focuses on day to day life over a period time. I love how Grant and Angie meet then the sheer horror over the fact they're new, very closely linked work colleagues that aren't allowed to date.

Angie is very headstrong and isn't afraid to do things how she wants to do them which is what I love about her. She runs the library fantastically even if it causes her trouble along the way. Grant on the other hand is Mr Spreadsheet and does everything by the book. On paper they're polar opposites but when you read they bring out the best in each other so you constantly want their relationship to find a way to be allowed to happen throughout the book.

The book is told mainly from Angie’s point of view but occasionally switches to chapters from Grant’s.  I didn’t think Grant’s point of view was entirely necessary to be included too but I loved reading Grant’s chapters and reading about what he was really thinking about Angie. Although there relationship happens extremely quickly, they still have some really sweet moments and it’s nice to read about how in love they are with each other. It is also view noting that although some references are made to the first book in the series, it is definitely readable as a standalone book perfectly fine. However, if you do enjoy this book, you really must read the first as I can assure you that you’ll love it.

I absolutely love the way the author writes and I adore this series of books. I cannot wait for the next in the series to be released. If you love books, you will love reading this book set in a library with the most relatable characters.

My Reckless Valentine - Olivia Dade is out 19th January. Click here to preorder the book.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Under The Spotlight - Kate Willoughby

Under The Spotlight by Kate Willoughby tells the story of actress Christine and hockey player Joe. Christine finds herself helping a sick child have the day of her dreams which is to meet star Barracudas player, Joe Rutherford. Out of the blue she contacts him in the hope that he agrees to grant the wish. Little does she know that he already saw her in theatre in Chicago and waited outside in the rain just to meet her after the show. The attraction between them is undeniable but as Joe is heading for retirement and Christine’s career is rocketing, can a relationship between the pair survive? 

I loved the story I just didn’t really like Christine. I thought at the beginning I would love reading about her but towards the end I personally feel she is very insensitive to Joe’s feelings which caused me to really not enjoy reading about her. However, if a film version of Under The Spotlight is ever made, I already know exactly who I want to play her which just goes to show how brilliantly she is described in the book. Joe however was a great character who I loved reading about throughout. He really cares for both CJ and Christine and although he’s getting old for the hockey world he is still incredibly passionate about the sport and despite me knowing nothing about hockey his enthusiasm made me interested. I especially loved his relationship with new player CJ who he takes under his wing.

The conflicts in the book about Christine’s acting career are an interesting one which I feel you will either love or not. Joe doesn’t like the fact that his girlfriend is going to do sex scenes and she takes this very badly. It’s interesting and made me ultimately think how I’d handle it. I shared Joe’s opinions on it which unfortunately made me dislike Christine as she just didn’t see his point of view at all. I was somewhat worried that a love triangle would take place in this novel but I am very thankful that it didn’t as I think it would’ve made the book so much less enjoyable to read.
Under The Spotlight is actually book number four in the series but I read it as a standalone, it really isn’t necessary to have read the others in the series. However, I now really want to read the others as the little you see of Joe’s teammates in this novel really makes you want to read more about them and their back stories. 

If you’ve read any of the other books in the series I’m pretty certain you will absolutely love this book too. If you love sport or not, this book is a great, must read romance novel.
Synopsis -

Stage actress Christine Caspary couldn't care less about hockey, but when she first sees Joe Rutherford playing in a Barracudas game her mind goes to all sorts of dirty places. By happy chance, her work with Grant A Wish gives her an opportunity to meet him in the flesh.

Right winger Joe Rutherford saw Christine perform when the team went to see Chicago and was so taken with her, he secretly saw the show a second time, alone. When the gorgeous actress with spectacular legs contacts him out of the blue asking for a favor, it's a no-brainer. 

Their chemistry is off the charts. Things heat up quickly and they can't keep their hands off each other. Soon they're hooking up whenever their busy schedules allow and having hot phone sex every night at midnight when they don't. But Joe's time in the hockey spotlight is fading, just as Christine's star begins to rise. When she gets her big break into a TV career, how will Joe take to being the arm candy for a change? 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Now And Again - Jennifer Ellision

Em and Cole meet at university. From the second they lock eyes outside their college halls during a fire alarm, there has been undeniable chemistry between them. Nothing romantic ever happens between them but as soon as university ends, Em moves far away causing any opportunity for a relationship to happen to stop. Eventually she finds herself jobless and reluctantly moves back home and ends up helping to plan best friend Nikki's wedding. Everything she left behind is still at home when she moved back, including Cole. When Nikki ropes Cole into planning her wedding with Em, the two finally have to discuss their history.

Have you ever wondered that perhaps someone has been watching you for a few years to sit down and write a highly exaggerated book about you? Well this that book for me. I found myself constantly relating to Em. From her university days, to when she moved away for a while to when she has to reluctantly move back home, it was all just too relatable. For me, how easy it is to relate to the plot of Now And Again book is one of the reasons I absolutely loved reading. To be honest I'm sure a lot of people will get the same feeling as I did when reading as I think that so many people will be able to relate to the plot.

I absolutely adored reading about Em and Cole. From very early on I was just routing for them to start a romantic relationship. However, the actual romantic relationship is very little in this book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing! They have more chemistry and cute moments that a lot of books I've read when they're in a relationship from very early on. Best friend, Nikki I found very amusing and just helped to gel the entire book together. I can't pinpoint even just one character in Now And Again that wasn't a sheer delight to read about.

Now And Again is set both in present day then flashes back to Em's college days. I'm not the biggest fan of flashbacks in books but I feel that it enhanced this book. It really helped to get a feel of just how intense things were between Em and Cole when they were in college and why perhaps they feel and act the way they do now they are older. It also helped to explain why Em is so guarded and her walls are up against everyone.

If you can’t tell by now I absolutely loved every second I spent reading Now And Again. From the moment I looked at the cover, which is simply beautiful in its simplicity to the final turn of the page, it was just a great read. I can’t recommend any more than you pick up this book. I just hope that the author continues to write more books in this genre.

Synopsis – 

Unemployed. Broke. Maid of Honor.

All (unfortunately) words that describe Em Hayes.

Without any job leads in San Francisco, Em caves to her mother’s promise of free rent and returns home. Her best friend, Nikki, couldn’t be more thrilled. Em’s degree in Event Management is gathering dust, and what better way to put it to use than planning Nikki’s wedding?

There’s just one flaw in that plan: Cole Connors. The girls’ former roommate. And part of the reason Em hasn’t been back since college graduation.

Em’s never been able to forget Cole—or how close they were before she pushed him aside and ran for the hills. Cole’s never forgotten Em either— but in the past two years, she hasn’t given him much choice but to try.

And, according to Nikki, there’s no better pair to plan the wedding of her dreams.

Em’s usually good at squashing messy feelings, but being around Cole again brings them all rushing to the surface.

And this time, she’s not sure she wants to run. 

Now And Again - Jennifer Ellision is out now. Click here to buy the kindle edition from Amazon

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Smart Girl - Rachel Hollis

Miko is an unbelievable designer, she’s won so many awards for it yet the thing she is lacking in her life is love like she reads in novels. Except she is in love with her friend Liam, except he doesn’t know that she’s head of heels in love with him. Then one day he discovers that she is a designer and asks for her help in her new project causing their lives to finally intertwine. Miko tries to get his attention by using the advice that she’s learnt from romance novels but is that ultimately going to be enough for her to get her happy ever after?

It's been a while since I read a book which made my stomach tie up so much with knots whilst I was reading. I was so involved with this book that I really didn't want anything bad to happen to Miko's love life or her work life. Smart Girl really manages to drag you into the story and you really start to want the best for Miko.

Liam was a utter twonk at times and you felt like going up to him and telling him to open his eyes and realise what a good thing he'd have with Miko if he committed. However, his reluctance to be exclusive, although frustrating to read made me keep turning the pages to see if he eventually would settle down. Miko on the other hand is clearly a hopeless romantic who tries tips from romance novels she reads to try get Liam's attention. She's hard working and just hopelessly in love with Liam even if he doesn't realise it. I think Miko is a fantastic female lead and although she makes mistakes at times you're constantly routing for her. The sub characters are also fantastic to read about, some books I’ve read they just seem to not add much to the story but in Smart Girl they add with the stories development.

Smart Girl is actually book number three in the series. I went into reading this book without actually knowing that it was part of a series and I don't believe it hindered my enjoyment of the book in the slightest. Each book in the series focuses on a different main character and I think that if you had read the other books you’ll love these characters in this book even more. Having read this now I'm extremely eager to pick up the first two books in the series to read more of the backstories of the sub characters.

Synopsis -

Brilliant designer Miko Jin is a hopeless romantic. She’s spent most of her life falling in love over and over again…with the men she finds in the pages of her favorite novels.
When Miko meets Liam Ashton, it’s love at first sight. At least, for her. Sure, the two of them are polar opposites, and yes, he seems to be dating someone new each week. But Miko knows what true love is and that you can’t rush it—after all, what she lacks in real-world experience, she makes up for in book smarts. With novels as her guide, and her best friends by her side, she knows she can get Liam to love her back. But just like any good romance novel, fate has a few plot twists in store.

Will Miko get her own happy ending? Will she find the strength to stand up for what she deserves even if it means breaking her own heart? 

Smart Girl - Rachel Hollis is released January 26th 2016. Preorder the kindle edition from Amazon by clicking here

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Not Just Another Romance Novel - Lisa Suzanne

Piper loves to read romance novels and she often daydreams what it would be like to date one of the leading men in her novels. They just seem to be much better partners than anyone she’s met in real life. However, it dawns on her one day that perhaps she is spending too much time reading romance novels and not enough time concentrating on her masters psychology degree. She suddenly realises that while her friends have made a start on their thesis’, Piper’s been too busy with her head stuck in yet another romance novel. One day, Piper’s best friend Scott suggests that perhaps she should mix her reading with her thesis and research how a romance novel man creates unrealistic expectations for relationships. Of course she thinks this is a brilliant idea and begins finding men to date for case studies for her project. 

Not Just Another Romance Novel was actually a real surprise for me. I really wasn’t sure how the story would play out and I definitely wasn’t sure that I would be so keen on Piper. I thought perhaps her going on multiple dates with different men would make me dislike her especially when she starts to begin a somewhat series relationship with Dax but she is truly a likable character and completely relatable. Ok perhaps at times she went from 0-100 with her emotions real quick but overall I found her funny and just plain brilliant to read about. 

I absolutely loved the story too. I know I’ve read far too many romance novels for my own good and I’m sure a lot of the readers of this book will be the same. I think it’s only an advantage as you’re already well acquainted with the stereotypical men that appear in these books which Piper uses as her case studies. I’m sure everyone has fallen in the love with characters in books and you will particularly favour a certain type e.g the rockstar and I am sure your favourite is included in the book somewhere. Everything from the CEO to the bad guy to the athlete, even step brother! Even vampires are mentioned! I don’t think if this book was real life, Piper would ever have been allowed to undertake a project like this but regardless of this it was still a great storyline. I really loved the ending too, it really finished off well. Without revealing too much on how it ends it really proves that perhaps boys in books aren’t necessarily better. 

If like me you love your romance novels, this is the book for you! 

Synopsis – 

Is it really wrong to have more than one boyfriend? 

I brought a new one into my bed almost every night. 

From conference rooms to broom closets, I escaped reality with my leading men. Okay, so they were fictional book boyfriends. 

In reality I should have been concentrating on classes while I looked for a living, breathing man to help me achieve my romantic fantasies. It was a friend who suggested combining my passions for romance novels and psychology to generate my Master's thesis research topic: Does the modern day romance novel leading man create unrealistic expectations for a prolonged adult relationship? 

To find out, I’d run a social experiment. I’d be the constant. The variables would be my leading men. I’d date every stereotype in the books, from billionaires to bad boys, rock stars to bikers, dominants, athletes, and…my stepbrother? 

If my research was successful, I'd end up with a degree and maybe even my very own happy ending.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Once Upon A Time University - Savannah Ostler

Once Upon A Time University is the sequel to Happily Ever After High. Although I think it could be read a standalone I think that you will enjoy this book much more if you read both. Once Upon A Time University is still following the story of Albany except this time as the title suggests she's at university. Having defeated her enemy at high school she surely has nothing to worry about at university? Wrong!

I absolutely loved reading more about these characters in particularly Cindy. Cindy (descendent of Cinderella) isn't the nicest person in Happily Ever After High but she really grows as a character in this book.

Whilst reading Happily Ever After High I really wanted to read more about the classes and the all round magical world in which Albany is now a part of. Once Upon A Time University certainly spends more time describing these things and to me that is what really makes this book. Every inch of the university campus is just full of magic so it is very enjoyable to read about it.

The book did have lots of twists and turns to try and keep you off the scent of who the bad guy is. Annoyingly, despite this I did figure out pretty quickly who it was. Did this stop my enjoyment of the book? Not in the slightest! However, as in book one, it was again a little frustrating that the climatic meeting between the pair was so short lived. 

I loved reading more about the characters and although some parts weren't too my completely liking, I'm fairly sure that if you ever loved fairy tales you will love these books! 

Synopsis - 

The enchanting sequel to “Happily Ever After High School”

After graduating Happily Ever High, eighteen year old Albany French was living the perfect fairy tale. She had her very own fairy godmother, a delightfully eccentric grandmother, and her boyfriend was her dream knight in shining armor.

At first, it seemed like a flawless freshman year for her at Once Upon A Time University. The campus was magical and enchanted, her classes were extraordinary, and she made surprising new friends.

A chain of unsettling events followed by a twist of fate sends Albany spinning. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life- one that could potentially break her heart. The perfect happily ever after was still within Albany’s grasp… or so she thought.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Happily Ever After High School - Savannah Ostler

Happily Ever After High School tells the story of Albany French who is obsessed with fairy tales despite her father banning her from reading them. Life just isn’t the fairy tale she daydreams constantly about and is stuck with attending a high school that she absolutely hates. Then one day thanks to an accident she is taken across the country to live with her grandma and enrolled in Happily Ever After High where all her favourite fairytale characters attend school. 

I so desperately wanted a school like this to exist when I went to school so I absolutely love that a book has been wrote about it. It’s such a brilliant idea and it’s written so well with likeable lead characters. Albany is just a typical teenager and I find her a delight to read about particularly once she attends Happily Ever After High. Despite the school being full of fairy tale characters it is still very easy to relate as some of the characters, in particularly the princesses, draw parallels to normal school life. The secondary characters such as Albany’s grandma, her fairy godmother, Charlie and Ben are all well written and likable characters too which I absolutely love about the book. 

The only thing I didn’t like was the pacing of Happily Ever After High School; all the events in the book take place over a week which is unbelievable considering what a jam packed week it is. I would’ve loved Albany to have settled in more to read more about the wonderful goings on in the school. Even the lessons they have, which seem like a more boring chapter to read, are fascinating. They’re more than just students sitting in a normal classroom. I also would’ve loved to have read more about the relationship between her and Ben. Despite everything developing very quickly it is a thoroughly enjoyable week and I feel that a lot of ages would enjoy reading. 

I really enjoyed reading Happily Ever After High School and I’ve just downloaded the sequel, Once Upon A Time University. I’m very eager to read more about Albany and Ben and all the wonderful magical goings on. 

Synopsis – 

Seventeen year old Albany French wants nothing more than to find her very own happily ever after. She dreams of finding her fairy godmother, going to the ball, and being swept away by a Prince. Much to her dismay, her life is no fairy tale. Albany is just a typical, all American girl who attends an overly crowded public high school. 

An untimely tragedy leaves Albany desperate for a new life. 

She seeks comfort in her eccentric grandmother, Greta. Not only does Greta welcome Albany into her home with open arms, but she transfers Albany to a new school.

But... this new school is not your average high school. This is... Happily Ever After High, the enchanting high school that hosts hundreds of magical, fairytale students. 

Albany is about to begin the journey of a lifetime… as she discovers who she really is, where her family came from, falls in love for the first time, and embarks on a quest to fulfill a prophecy that has been passed on for ages. 

Welcome to Happily Ever After High.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Girl Online On Tour - Zoe Sugg

Almost a year ago now I read Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (or Zoella as she is known on YouTube) and I didn’t really like it. In fact I vaguely remember telling people that I most definitely wouldn’t read the sequel, yet here I am almost a year later writing a post on the 2nd book in the series, Girl Online On Tour. 

Girl Online On Tour continues telling the story of Penny and Noah, however this time it follows Penny around as she joins Noah on his European leg tour. She hasn’t spent any significant time with him since they met in New York so Penny is very excited to get to spend time with Noah. The only difference is this time Noah is surrounded by a very busy schedule, band mates who aren’t so nice to Penny and threatening notes coming from unknown people. Penny thought she’d get to spend lots of time with Noah but life on the road just isn’t what she expected it to be. 

If you’ve read any of my blog posts before you’ll probably realise by now that I’m a sucker for reading books with this kind of plot so I just couldn’t resist reading this book. Unfortunately as I didn’t like Girl Online I should’ve known that I wouldn’t like its sequel. I just hated the characters and I didn’t really like the way it was written. It just didn’t capture me like other books do. I also didn’t like how the book ended, it seems to be crying out for yet another sequel. One thing though, the life on tour does seem very realistic so it does make me wonder if the author has perhaps drawn upon elements of her own life here. 

Noah is a complete and utter tool. He was arguably the best thing about Girl Online so I hate how much I despise his character in the sequel. In the first book he really tries to sweep Penny off her feet and you  got a sense of how important family is to him. Then in Girl Online On Tour he gets so absorbed in the whirlwind life of being a rock star that he forgets who and what is important to him. I think more so than ever the age gap between the pair is apparent too, for example Noah goes out partying with his band mates in the evening leaving an underage Penny at a hotel. I really do not understand how Penny forgives him so easily and although he somewhat redeems himself, in my opinion it still doesn’t take back the things that he did. 

I absolutely love the fact that the book again touches on anxiety though with Penny suffering with it. With someone in Zoe Sugg’s well known position to a younger audience I do think that it’s brilliant that it highlights anxiety and the day to day struggles that come with it. As much as I didn’t like the book I think Penny’s character is great for a teenage audience to read about, she really grows as a character and I did enjoy the lessons she learns along the way. 

If you loved Girl Online I am sure you will love Girl Online On Tour too. This book definitely seems to be capturing teenagers interests in reading again which can only be a good thing but unfortunately it just wasn’t my cup of tea.   

Synopsis – 

The sequel to the number-one bestseller Girl Online. 

Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend, Noah, on his European music tour. Penny's bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. 

She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

Broken Resolutions - Olivia Dade

When I read the blurb of Broken Resolutions it really appealed to me and after reading I can safely say it didn't disappoint. Penny has had her heart broken enough times to know that she wants to stay away from men which is exactly why she makes a New Year’s resolution to stay away from men for the entire year. Then just as she’s settling down to read a good book on New Year’s Eve she receives a desperate plea from her work friend asking her if she can host the singles event at the library. Reluctantly she agrees and little does she know she’ll have to work harder than ever to avoid breaking her New Year’s resolution before the New Year even begins, thanks to event attendee Jack.  

Why have I never read a book that is set in a library before? It’s such a brilliant idea and it’s clear that the author has spent a lot of time in a library as it’s so well written. I loved all the book references and the idea that they’re hosting a singles night based with book based games is such a great idea for a book. I absolutely loved the two main characters Penny and Jack too and as they were both so reluctant to attend the event it’s enjoyable to read how they both end up gelling with each other. 

If you can’t tell already I really enjoyed reading Broken Resolutions. My only real complaint is that it was just too short! Personally I would've loved for the relationship between Penny and Jack to have developed a little slower. However, for a short novel the pace moved ok I just would've liked more as I was enjoying reading about the characters so much.

Despite the length, I can't express how much I enjoyed the relationship between Penny and Jack. They're both such like minded people and even as a reader you can't deny that they have an obvious attraction to each other. Without revealing too much the book provides some extremely sweet moments, the odd raunchy scene and some real laugh out loud moments it's pretty much everything you want from this genre of book!

I think everyone who reads can relate to Penny. All she wants to do is stay at home in her pyjama's and read a good book but instead her friend Angie ropes her in last minute to cover for her at the library's singles night. Penny's reactions to this are so relatable and it truly is great to read about her effort to get through the singles night.

Ok, so the book was extremely quick moving and I would've liked to read more but I really did enjoy reading Broken Resolutions. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline...basically I just loved this book. A must read in my opinion! 

Synopsis -

Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…

Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?

Broken Resolutions is released 8th December. 

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Firsts - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Mercedes wants to help the male population make their girlfriends happy. How? Well she offers to sleep with them so she can tell them how to improve and make their girlfriends first time perfect. Mercedes keeps a book documenting exactly what she thought of each person that she has send with which reminded me a little of the Burn Book from Mean Girls. Somehow all Mercedes cares about is the guys making their girlfriends happy but of course things don't always run as planned.

When I read the synopsis of Firsts I thought I'd hate Mercedes. I mean on paper a character that sleeps with as many virgins who are in relationships as she can find? That doesn't sound like someone you'd like. However, when you read the book she is surprisingly really likeable and although I think what she's doing with guys is mental and I don't agree with it at all, she does have her reasons for doing it. It only dawned on my just how much I started to like her when, as I kept on reading and the closer Mercedes got to her secret being revealed the bigger the knot that appeared in my stomach got. At times I did want to go and shout at her to think about what she was doing but as the book progressed I genuinely wanted things to be ok for her.

My favourite thing about Firsts is the friendships. Mercedes discovers along the way exactly who she can trust and when she discovers that the people who stand by her really do have her back. I won't spoil the book for anyone who wants to read but two characters in particular stick by her and are a delight to read about particular when times get quite bad for Mercedes. 

I was pleasantly surprised by Firsts and I think you will be too if you read it. I thought when I picked up Firsts that I would enjoy it but didn’t expect to like the lead character at all so I was surprised at just how much I did end up enjoying it and I think you will too. Firsts is the authors debut novel so I'll be eagerly waiting to see what she writes next. To be honest, I don’t think the synopsis does the book justice at all, it is so much better than I anticipated and I definitely think you should pick this book up next.

Synopsis -

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The New Year's Wish - Dani Lyn Alexander

The New Year's Wish by Dani-Lyn Alexander tells the story of Olivia Calloway.  If you look up clumsy and scatter brain in a dictionary you'd probably find Olivia's name next to those words. After a number of failed attempts at becoming self employed, Olivia finally accepts that she needs to get a job. Of course on the way to the interview things don't go to planned and everything that could go wrong, does. Including managing to spill coffee all over her interviewer and Vice President of the company, Garrett Emerson. Garrett finds her charming and can't deny the instant attraction to feels towards her and immediately decides to hire her to be his assistant.

It's that time of year when I love nothing more than settling down with a book that makes me look forward to the festive holidays and this book has definitely left me with that warm, fuzzy Christmassy feeling. I found Olivia to be an easy to read character and her clumsy ways were a delight to read as I'm sure we've all done similar things. I've read a few books which involves a employee/manager relationship and with it being somewhat a taboo relationship some of them I've read just haven't been great to read. However, reading about Olivia and Garrett's friendship and how it blossomed over time was wonderful. The book moved at a quick pace but not once did it feel rushed which I loved. 

I was a little early this morning so I went to go and sit in a coffee shop for a while, before I knew it i was running late and I had finished reading The New Year's Wish in one session. I just couldn't put it down and time really did fly by whilst I was reading which is only the sign of a really good book in my opinion.

If you're looking for a book to get you into the festive spirit then this book more certainly fits the bill. Even the book cover is delightful and magical, making you want to step straight into the scene portrayed. I absolutely enjoyed every second of reading this book and I'm so happy with how everything turned out. Considering I read it so quickly I got very invested in the characters and you're constantly routing for Olivia. Personally I loved The New Year's Wish and would highly recommend that you pick it up as the next book that you read.

Synopsis -

Typing out memos is anything but torturous when your boss is this hot! Dani-Lyn Alexander’s irresistible new yuletide romance is a lighthearted office romp that will make you long for the company holiday party.

Olivia Calloway isn’t cut out for the nine-to-five life. She’s a born entrepreneur. She just has to figure out her soul’s true calling—and she’s given herself until the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve to do it. With her trust fund dwindling and only two and a half months to go, she takes an assistant position at prestigious law firm Harris & Harris. The problem is, Olivia’s a terrible employee—incessantly late, forgetful, and clumsy. Not that her gorgeous new boss Garrett Emerson seems to mind. Beautiful, charming Olivia has been on his mind ever since she ran into him, literally, sprinting to the interview. But Olivia’s first big assignment—to plan an elaborate last minute New Year’s Eve party for the entire company—could make or break her job entirely. With Ms. Harris herself demanding perfection, a jealous office rival rooting for Olivia to lose, and even Garrett dreading the affair, can Olivia finally prove herself—or will an unforeseen complication send her back to the drawing board? All she wants for the holidays is to be her own boss—and to ignite the flirtatious sparks between her and Garrett…so she can file their relationship under love. 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Becoming Famous - Natalie Scott

I've been reading Becoming Famous for a couple of weeks but I now feel like it is a good time to write my review because truthfully although I'm 80% of the way through, I just don't think I'm going to finish reading it.

Becoming Famous tells the story of Bebe. When she was younger she wanted nothing more to be a champion horse rider which she looked set to do until she had an accident. Since then her life has been abit of a whirlwind. She just can't seem to settle anywhere, one minute she's living in New York the next minute after the death of a friend she decides to spontaneously move to LA. Can Bebe ever find happiness?

The synopsis of Becoming Famous sounded just like my kind of book but unfortunately it failed to impressed. It's worth mentioning that in the copy that I was very kindly given to review, the text is a little all over the shop making it very difficult to read. Perhaps I may have enjoyed reading it much more if the text was as it should've been. 

I didn't like the main character at all. I just couldn't relate to her and I found the actions that she made to be slightly erratic which leads to the plot leaping around. You definitely need to be fully concentrated on reading this book or else you'll struggle to keep up with the insanely quick pace of Bebe's life. 

Unfortunately I just didn't enjoy reading Becoming Famous. Despite saying this I think that it will appeal to a lot of people as the plot idea is good. The book is actually a sequel, although I read it as a standalone with no issues. I would assume if you loved book number one that you will love this book too. However for me, it just fell a little short to my expectations from the synopsis. 

Synopsis -

Bebe Barkley has never released a sex tape. She’s not America’s Next Top Model. She didn’t get pregnant at 16, and has never auditioned for American Idol. In fact, she’s holed up in a hotel room at the Waldorf in New York City, totally depressed. But even though she doesn’t know it yet, she’s about to become famous. A former equestrian rider, Bebe had a bright future until a tragic accident changed everything. Now she’s unable to return to her old life, yet incapable of moving forward.

Follow her as she ventures from New York to LA, the City of Broken Dreams, where she will find everything she’s ever wanted, only to risk losing the things she truly loves. Join Bebe in her heart-stopping journey in Becoming Famous.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Anchored - Brigitte Quinn

Barbara King is currently the anchor at her local news station in Phoenix, however she dreams of being promoted to a prime time show so she can be the next household news anchor. Barbara is happy at work, she has a husband and a child at home and everything seems to be going ok for her until Jack Stone is brought to the station to be her co-anchor. They have an undeniable chemistry and despite them both being married it doesn’t take long before co-workers start gossiping about what exactly is going on between them. 
I had a real love hate relationship whilst reading Anchored. When I started reading it, I just couldn’t get into the book at all. Some evenings I had to really push myself to pick up my kindle and read another chapter. Then at some point around 50% - 70% of the way through the book I started to really love reading it. I couldn’t put it down then before I knew it, it was the end of the book and I was complaining to anyone who would half listen to me that I needed a sequel to this book already. The way it ends certainly is crying out for a sequel to be written.
The descriptions about what life inside the Phoenix Network seems so realistic. So much so it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that the author once worked as a television anchor herself. Its a fascinating insight in what goes on inside a network station. I’m quite intrigued as to how much is made up and how much is perhaps exaggerated from the truth. If you’re interesting in working as an anchor I feel like this book, although being fiction, would be an interesting insight.
Personally I didn’t really gel with the characters. I completely understand Barbara’s ambitions to be anchor but she and her husband don’t spend much time together, thanks to their busy lives. So of course when Jack comes along I didn’t really care if she left her husband or not to be with him. Perhaps if more was wrote out Barbara’s husband and home life I may have been more interested in what happened to them. 
Anchored hasn’t been my favourite book I’ve read but it did manage to grip me towards the end. Life on the newsroom is fascinating to read and you really feel like you’re actually working with these people and experiencing the same dilemmas as Barbara at times. Truthfully I can really see Anchored working well as a film or a television series one day – a fact I’m sure Barbara (if she were real!) would be most happy about.   
Synopsis –
How do you stay anchored when you’re attracted to your co-anchor? 
Barbara King’s dream is to become the next Barbara Walters. But for now, she’s anchoring at the fledgling Phoenix news channel, covering car chases and interviewing drunken showbiz has-beens. If she can just out-fox the conniving anchors at her cable channel and move up to its prime-time line-up, she’ll be able to fly the coop and ascend to a real news network. 
Enter Jack Stone, Barbara’s dynamic, witty—and did she mention sexy?—new co-anchor. Another potential competitor, Jack’s attitude is chilly toward Barbara at first, but it’s not long before a genuine friendship forms. Soon they find themselves finishing each other’s sentences, discovering all they have in common and, ultimately, attempting to ignore how wildly attracted they are to each other. Meanwhile, on the set, under television’s bright lights, they sit just inches apart, their chemistry even apparent to the quirky cast of characters in the gossiping newsroom. 
Will Barbara give in to her attraction to Jack and betray her husband, Ben, her sweet-souled moral compass? When a life-altering news event propels the Phoenix to the #1 news channel in the nation, will Barbara sell her soul to become a prime time star? 
How do you stay true to yourself when you’re being seduced by stardom—and your co-star? 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Dream A Little Christmas Dream - Giovanna Fletcher

If like me when you read Dream A Little Dream a few months ago you almost threw your kindle/book out the window in a strop over how it ended then you must read Dream A Little Christmas Dream. If you've not read Dream A Little Dream yet I'll put the link to my review at the bottom of this post, I would highly suggest reading that book prior to this one. Dream A Little Christmas Dream is a short story that follows where Dream A Little Dream left off. It is still following the story of Sarah and her boyfriend Brett who she once dreamt about. Life seems be going perfectly for them both, that is until Brett starts acting strangely around Sarah. Sarah has a dream that Brett breaks up with her so it's no wonder that when he starts working late and hanging out with friends she'd never heard of, alarm bells start ringing in her head. 

Giovanna Fletcher has such a wonderful writing style and her books never fail to capture my attention. Sarah and Brett are such likeable characters and it's so great to have closure to their story in this book. I still absolutely love the way that Sarah's dreams are mixed with the telling of her real life. I think it's an absolutely brilliant idea for a book and it works so well.

Dream A Little Christmas Dream is the sequel I'd been dying to read since the moment I finished Dream A Little Dream and it doesn't disappoint. I read this book in an hour so it's a fast read but it leaves you with warm and fuzzy feelings and I can guarantee it'll put you in the festive mood. Personally Dream A Little Dream is my favourite book by Fletcher so I can highly recommend picking up a copy of both the original novel Dream A Little Christmas Dream.

Synopsis -

Sarah's doing great. Okay, her dreams might still be totally bananas but real life is definitely back on track. She's got a fantastic job, amazing friends and plans to spend all Christmas wrapped up with Brett, her handsome boyfriend. 
But after another night of increasingly bizarre dreams, Sarah wakes to find her housemate suddenly announcing she's moving out. And later that day Brett begins to act strangely. He's clearly hiding something - but what? 

Soon Sarah can't help but wonder if she's living in a festive nightmare. Will any of her dreams come true for Christmas?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Coronation Street The Tour

I'm pretty sure that if you live in the UK you'll have heard of the very popular Manchester based British soap opera, Coronation Street. Since the show moved over to new premises over at MediaCity back in 2013, the shows old filming location at Granada Studio's have been open for the public to visit. Personally, I've never actually seen a full episode of Coronation Street so this post is coming from someone who knows the bare minimum about the show.

The tour begins in the actors green room. This is the place in the studios which the cast members were able to socialise and relax between takes. Its a nice sneak peak at how actors days would begin before you're led down a corridor of dressing rooms then onto the wardrobe and make up room just like an actor in the soap would have done on their working day. The wardrobe room is full of iconic costumes from the shows history. Our guide also filled us in with information about how the characters get the clothes. For example how the younger characters clothes are mainly from high street stores whereas a character like Roy's come largely from eBay and charity shops.

From there you're moved into Studio One where filming took place and shown a short film showing some of the highs and lows of Coronation Street from over the years. It is from here where fans of the show will be in their element as you walk around sets from the show including Carla's flat and the Platt's living room. Although I didn’t recognise any of the sets, you're told secrets of the sets which is fascinating to hear as although I don't watch the show it was interesting to discover how and why certain things are done which interests even people who don’t know the set. The highlight of this section of the tour without a shadow of the doubt it getting to sit inside the Rovers Return pub. It is here that you're able to pretend to pull a pint behind the bar and get a souvenir photo taken. The photos are then available to buy for £7.50 or two for £10 later in the tour but it really is no obligation at all to buy your photo so it's worth doing regardless.

The next and final section of the tour isn’t guided so you are free to spend as long as you like roaming around and take as many photos as you want. It is the section when you are let loose onto the Coronation Street cobbles. It’s surprisingly smaller than expected and it’s fascinating that this was the actual street that they once filmed the show on. You can overhear many people on the tour pointing out the houses that their favourite characters live in or even excitedly explaining a scene that happened in a certain spot.

Although I am not a fan of Coronation Street in the slightest I still found the tour highly enjoyable. However, if you’re a fan of the show this tour is definitely a must visit for you. It’s situated just a 10 minute walk from Manchester town centre and a free bus runs from Piccadilly Station so it is highly accessible for visitors. For more information about how to visit the tour before it permanently shuts in December click here.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Deal Breakers - Laura Lee

Oh my goodness I am obsessed with this book, I stayed up until some insanely early morning hour last night reading and then all day today it's all I've been able to think about. Deal Breakers tells the story of Devyn and Riley. Riley instantly spots Devyn at college and knows he wants to get to know her better, sort of love at first sight. He tries to work his charm on her but Devyn is having none of it and firmly insists that they stay friends. During their time together at college they become best friends so much so that Riley is the one that Devyn wants to help her become an adult by taking her virginity. It is that night when everything changes between the pair. Five years on and neither have spoken since that night but now Riley is determined to hunt Devyn down and rectify the mistakes that he made with her.  The only difference is now Devyn has been hiding a secret from Riley and that neither can deny the attraction between them both.

When I read the blurb I knew that it sounded just like the kind of book I'd enjoy reading but didn't anticipate liking it quite as much as I do. I found the entire story from start to finish engaging and if I was to complain about it the only thing I can say is that I wish Deal Breakers could have been longer! The story is told from both Devyn and Riley's points of view giving you the opportunity to experience the story from either side. They both have different reasons for their actions so having two perspectives makes it so engaging, you truly see how deep the feelings are between them for example.

The pacing in this book is superb. It really was effortless to read. You got plenty of details but time consistently moved but not once did you feel like it was too fast. The author's writing style is captivating and she wrote such great lead characters whose story seems realistic.

I honestly loved this book. Although I may have read Deal Breakers in one reading session and so desperately want to read more books about the pair, I can highly recommend that you read it. The story line was wonderful and the characters likeable.  It provides sad moments, moments where you’re angry and real butterflies in your stomach romantic moments. Deal Breakers is a must read in my opinion and I cannot suggest that you buy this book as your next to read enough.

Synopsis -

How were they supposed to know that one night would change everything?

Devyn has life all mapped out. She just needs to accomplish one more thing before graduating college and becoming a full-fledged adult—lose her virginity. And who better to assist her than her best friend, Riley?

Riley is the self-proclaimed king of fling. His college years have been filled with meaningless hookups until the one night that ruined him for all other women. The one night he spends with his best friend, Devyn. Right before he screws it all up.

Balls to the wall, baby!

Now five years later, Riley is determined to atone for his mistakes and prove that he can be the man that Devyn deserves. Little does he know that Devyn’s been keeping a secret from him all these years. A big secret. Now he has to figure out how to win back the only girl he’s ever loved while navigating the pitfalls of her unexpected revelation.

Deal Breakers is filled with lots of laughs, a sexy romance, and an overflowing swear jar. 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Team Niklas - Ally Adams

Team Niklas by Ally Adams, is book number three in The Saints Team book series. However, I didn't actually know it was a series until after I'd finished reading so I read it as a standalone book with no problems at all. Niklas, who is also known as the Kaiser, is The Saints new star player from Germany. It doesn't take him long to catch the attention of the clubs media officer Sasha. From the minute they meet they have an undeniable spark which neither can resist despite Sasha's initial reluctance for a relationship to develop.

Team Nikas is one of those books that you just makes your heart flutter when reading it. From spontaneous date weekends to New York, to taking Sasha to upmarket restaurants, to the steamy nights they spend together - everything about this book is just perfect. Niklas is such a great male lead with his gentlemanly ways and is instantly likeable which only makes the book even easier to read.

My only gripe about Team Niklas is that I found that some of the things in this book were a little too quickly skipped over such as Sasha's relationship status, Niklas' backstory and drama with the press. It has a lot of twists and turns but all of them seem to resolve and perhaps be glossed over a little too quickly for my liking. Despite this, I was really interested in reading about how Niklas and Sasha's relationship blossomed and as it was wrote so wonderfully, this didn't really bother me at all. Sometimes I love just reading about relationships without too much outside story going on and this book is exactly that, it really isn't a bad thing!

I loved the way in which Team Niklas was written so I'm very interested in checking out the other books in this series. The author has a way of making you experience every emotion possible - a sign of a good book in my opinion! I can only imagine that the previous two books in the series are as enjoyable.

Team Niklas is one of those books that just can't help make you cheesily grin to yourself when reading it. I can guarantee when you finish this book you'll want a Niklas in your life! Which is exactly why you need to make Team Niklas the next book you read.

Synopsis -

In his hometown of Berlin, Germany, Niklas Wagner is a super star and when the Saints’ pay the big bucks to sign him up and bring him to Santa Ana, California, Nik takes a shine to his new life. When he meets the Saints’ media officer, Sasha Saxon, sparks fly literally. 

But Sasha is not your average girl—by day she is a journalist who looks after the media for the national champion soccer team and at night she designs for her personal fashion label. She had big dreams and they don’t include a boyfriend. Nik has never had to chase the girls but now he has met his match—Sasha is about to lead him on the biggest chase of his life.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

VIP Carnivore Tour - Yorkshire Wildlife Park

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I really enjoy visiting the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I’ll put the links at the bottom of this post to my other two posts that I’ve done about the park in case you've missed them. Well this week, it was finally time for me to do the VIP tour with focus on carnivores that I’d had booked for a few months now. 
The VIP tour that I did focussed on the parks carnivores which included meerkats, painted hunting dogs, leopards, tigers and of course the parks famous lions. Like with the polar bear experience the day starts before the park opens making the experience feel more special than if it happened during park hours. 
My first stop of the day was to feed the meerkats, an animal which I didn’t associate with being a carnivore. Truthfully the meerkats are an animal that I don’t really look too much as I’m too busy looking at the lions and heading towards the polar bear enclosure. Getting to go into the enclosure and feed them breakfast whilst hearing about each meerkats personality was a surprise but a great addition to the tour.
Next on the tour was a trip to see the lions. The Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s lions were rescued back in 2010 from a zoo in Romania where they were kept in extremely small cages. It was a national campaign to raise money to rescue these lions to bring them over to the wildlife park where they have significantly more space to roam around in now. On my tour I got to get up close and personal and feed two of the lionesses, Julie and Carla. It is very surprising just how big these lions are, yet both were unbelievably gentle taking the food from the tongs. Being able to feed a lion is something I never thought I would be able to do so was the highlight of the tour for me.

Julie waiting for her food!

If you don’t know the Yorkshire Wildlife Park recently saw the birth of three Amur tiger cubs named Harley, Hope and Hector, who are ridiculously adorable. It was such a wonderful experience to get the opportunity to feed Hope and Hector. Unfortunately Harley and mum Tschuna were too full from yesterdays dinner so didn’t come over for our offerings of more food. Like the lions, the tiger cubs were so gentle in taking the food from us. I’d only seen the cubs from afar so it was incredible to have them right at the other side of the fence to me.

Feeding Hope - an Amur Tiger Cub

Personally, I preferred my polar bear experience; however that may be due to the fact that I just really love polar bears. I know for a fact that if you really love the big cats of the park you will absolutely love this experience. Its worth remembering that the animals are not trained so for example, Drake the leopard is extremely shy so he wasn’t having been coaxed over for food one bit so depending on what mood the animals are in you may not get to feed every carnivore in the park but you will get up close to them and get a glimpse at behind the scenes. Personally at £150.00 for two people (including park admission) I think it is worth every penny. It truly was an unforgettable experience. 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Pigeon Detectives

Although I was late in discovering The Pigeon Detectives music, they are a band that I used to really love. Then for some reason I just didn't realise they were releasing new music and I seemed to just forget about them. When I saw that they were performing in my hometown earlier in the week I couldn't resist getting a ticket to the concert.

When I saw them back in 2008 at Glastonbury Festival, I went on a whim really as I only knew a few songs but the performance completely captured my attention. The lead singer gave the most high energy performance I've ever seen and to be honest I didn't know if I ever did see them perform again if the show would be as good. Truthfully, if anything seeing them doing a headline show was even better.

When the band first came on stage, although the energy was high I didn't know the first couple of songs that they performed. From where I was stood it was painfully clear that a large proportion of the audience were like myself and my have lost track of the bands music over the years. However, the set list was full of fan favourites such as Keep Your Dress On, Take Her Back and This Is An Emergency which quickly got the crowd in high spirits. The hits really got the crowds attention and for the few not so known songs they performed the audience were so hyped up from the hits they started to really enjoy the less popular songs too. The band themselves are the most energetic band that I've ever seen live. The lead singer, Matt, just doesn't keep still. If he's not throwing countless water bottles in the crowd, he's climbing up the stage and if he's not doing that he was walking down the bar into the crowd. It's so clear they love what they do and it really does make the show even more enjoyable.

As the concert was running extremely late they skipped the technicalities of an encore instead telling the crowd to pretend they'd just been off stage instead. The final song of the night was I'm Not Sorry, which is arguably The Pigeon Detectives biggest hit to date, before they left the stage to the loudest cheer.

For the £10 admission price I think it was worth every penny. Maybe I just went originally for nostalgic reasons but its recaptured what I liked about them and I've now downloaded the albums that I didn't own. If you like even just a couple of The Pigeon Detectives songs, I must urge you to go and see them live. What a concert! 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Once Upon A Time

This week I’ve done absolutely nothing. I’ve not even started to read a new book, in fact apart from going to work I’ve barely even left the house at all. Why? Well I’ve become completely obsessed with the TV show, Once Upon A Time. I’ve been waking up purposely early in a morning, I’ve been going to bed late at night, all just to squeeze in watching another episode of Once Upon A Time. When I’m not watching the show I’ve started sitting staring at my colleagues trying to figure out what character they are (for the record I’m fairly convinced that I work with Rumpelstiltskin), the show is just that good that I just can’t get it out of my head.
Once Upon A Time is based upon the stories of your favourite storybook characters, but don’t judge it on that! I’m a huge fan of Disney and all things fairytale and I’ve actually put off watching it for the past 6 months or so solely for the fact I thought it would be just a live action interpretation of some of my favourite Disney movies but it’s not like that at all. The series begins on Emma Swan’s 28th birthday when out the blue her 10 year old son, Henry, that she gave up for adoption turns up on her doorstop. Emma drives Henry back to his town of Storybrook only to discover that she’s not so happy with the woman that Henry has ended up calling his mother. Therefore Emma decides to stay in the town. Little does she know, she’s crucial to breaking a curse that was made by the Evil Queen, 28 years previous. The curse transported all your favourite fairytale characters to a parallel world where they can’t remember anything about their previous lives. They all are now living boring day to day lives without a clue of the past; they all just believe they’ve been there for as long as they can remember. Despite not remembering who they are in the parallel world the characters all have similar jobs/characteristics to the fairytale character that they are which I think makes it fun to try and guess who each character should be. 
The characters aren’t stereotypical. You learn more about each character through present day and also flashback to who they were and how they lived their life in the parallel world. You find out more about their motives and how and why the curse was cast. You find that the bad guys actually have motives to their actions which I find rare in the fantasy genre. The girls are also not the stereotypical characters that need saving either with all of them being able to stand up for themselves fine without Prince Charming coming along to save the day. 
The actors in Once Upon A Time are absolutely brilliant. Robert Carlyle, who plays Mr Gold and Rumpelstiltskin in particular is fantastic. In some scenes his portrayal of Rumplestiltskin is terrifying. I don’t often like young child actors either but Jared Gilmore playing Henry is also great. For his age he is terrific in Once Upon A Time, I’m very interested to see his role progress throughout the series. Truthfully I’ve never seen anything anyone in Once Upon A Time has been in before but they all are superb in this show.
I’m a few years late to the Once Upon A Time party with series one being first broadcast in 2011 but it really is good. When I watched episode one I wasn’t so sure about the show but somehow thanks to the overlapped plots and character stories you’re shown throughout and then the cliff hangers at the end of every episode you are sucked in then before you know it you’ve watched an entire 22 episode series in two days. I’m currently most of the way through series 2 and although I prefer series one I still can highly recommend you watch this show. If you love fairytale stories and want to see them in a new light and don’t mind getting completely addicted to a show then Once Upon A Time is the show for you.