Book Review: Hard to Protect, by Incy Black

Hard to Protect (Black Ops Heros #3)Hard to Protect by Incy Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Incy Black delivers once again!

Our third hero in the Black Ops Hard to… series, Will Berwick, is about as penetrable as a rock, and his therapist, Dr. Angel Treherne really doesn’t like him with his egotistical alpha-male temperament, even if he does have a grief-stricken past.

Then there’s the rather awkward matter of Will’s orders from The Top to seduce the doctor, to find out whether she’s harbouring her fugitive brother; something Will has absolutely no intention of doing. Not only is she evidently repelled by him, Angel Treherne does ice better than Queen Elsa. And anyway, that’s DEFINITELY NOT his style.

Despite this obvious conflict, the chemistry between them is rife; he’s a mass of iron filings to her magnet (and vice-versa) even if they can’t see it themselves.

True to form, Incy writes a cracking suspense novel with a conflicting romance bubbling underneath, threatening at any moment to boom or bust. When the guards are lowered, passion and intimacy is heightened, but not for long. Both Will and Angel have their own secrets to hide, and their defences are as tough as a relentless winter; you’ll be left wondering if there’s enough heat to melt their hearts indefinitely.

Incy Black writes fast-paced, action-packed romantic suspense novels. If you like intricate thrillers featuring alpha-males and feisty heroines, a touch of dry-humour and a healthy dose of sexual chemistry, you’ll love Hard to Protect. ♥

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Book blurb and buy links below:

“Some Black Op missions are too dark—even for him.

Volcanic hot and ambitious Special Agent Will Berwick doesn’t give a damn what his orders are; he’s not taking the enemy—the lovely but arctic Dr. Angel Treherne—to bed. Oh, he’ll root out her secrets, but on his own terms.

Caught up in a tangled web of deceit and betrayal, Angel trusts no one—certainly not alpha-cocky, cunning Will Berwick. First he’s hostile, then he’s charming. Why? What’s he hiding? With her life on the line, she needs to know. Preferably without losing her heart in the process.”

NB: The above book blurb is taken from Entangled Publishing‘s website.
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Book Review: He Said/She Said, by Erin Kelly

He Said/She SaidHe Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book grew on me. At first I found it a little slow-going (hence four, rather than five, stars), but the storyline was intriguing, with an uneasy undertone.

But like most great books, once embroiled in the story, I couldn’t put it down.

The story follows a back-and-forth timeline, although it is quite easy to determine the past or present from the narrative if you (like me) often don’t pay attention to the chapter title.

The research and work that has gone into this novel is commendable. To write about such a grave (and often taboo) subject, the pin-balling of human emotions, court-cases and all the legalities with such detail cannot have been a walk in the park, and I feel the author deserves recognition for that.

What I loved most about this book was the feeling that something wasn’t quite right in what each of the characters were portraying, and that’s what kept me turning the page; I felt each one of them had a secret to hide.

It’s definitely a He Said/She Said case – who do you believe?

***I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review***

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Are YOU in control of YOUR life?

I recently discovered a little gem, delivered in the form of a book, which was recommended by Jeff Goins – an inspirational guy who blogs about writing and marketing, creative business ideas and making a difference.

I’ve not yet finished this book, but it has reawakened in me something that I have long believed (and recently forgotten), and that is the knowledge that we are in charge of our own destinies. In fact, it’s not even that I had forgotten this, more the fact that I have succumbed to what the book’s author comes to describe as Resistance. If this sounds familiar, you might indeed have already read this book – aptly titled The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.

Because there is a little war going inside all of us. Resistance – as the beginning of this book talks about – is that little voice in our heads that prevents us from being productive, or making those all-important changes in our lives. That health-kick you keep promising yourself. That change of job you really want to go for. It’s the voice of procrastination, the nagging doubt that we won’t be good enough, that we will fail. By listening to these thoughts, we’ve already set ourselves up to fail. If you’ve ever read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers, you’ll be conscious of that familiar feeling that stops you doing something you know will benefit you in the long run. Instead, you subconsciously (or, even consciously), make all the excuses you can come up with, not to pursue an opportunity. Often, one excuse is all you need to talk yourself right out of it. You then convince yourself that you made the right decision, and feel better for it. Because it’s so much easier to stay locked inside that comfort zone of those familiar slippers, that warm blanket; to stick with what you know, and not attempt to stretch yourself. Take that path of least resistance (excuse the irony here). Because any opportunity that can make you grow as a person, isn’t going to offer that instant gratification we crave as human beings. It’s going to be hard work, you’re going to have to stretch yourself, and what if the end result is failure, after all that effort you’ve put in?

This book has triggered a whirlwind of thoughts and I’m not even a third of the way through it yet. It’s actually got me sitting up in bed at 5am, drafting this blog post with a cup of chamomile because I can’t sleep, and overcoming Resistance. It has got me laughing Resistance in the face, ignoring the voice of ‘But I can’t drink tea and read! I have to go back to sleep so that I’m not tired in the morning,’ followed by, ‘I will still have I don't have enough timeto get the kids up and do the school run and all the other chores that await me!’ This book has enabled me to go one step further, and actually write 500 words in the middle of the night (it might be morning to some of you, but it’s still the middle of the night to me). And that is the first step to me resuming my life’s journey – on my calling to writing, on improving my health, and the next step towards the rest of my life.

As Steven Pressfield says in his opening paragraph of the chapter ‘What I do’; it doesn’t matter if the words I wrote weren’t that great. The only thing that matters, is that I reached my daily goal. I ignored that nagging voice that prevented me from achieving my work or desire. I overcame Resistance. You see, that one word, that has so much control over us, is the only thing stopping you from fulfilling your dreams and aspirations.

Click here for more information: The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.

Book Review: Time by Samantha Darling

TimeTime by Samantha Darling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Isobel Smith believes she is living her very own fairy-tale, until a bombshell shatters her dreams into smithereens. Newly married and pregnant with their first child, she discovers that her life as she knows it is about to come to an abrupt end.

This is a touching story which will stay with you for a long while after you’ve read it. The author has a rare ability to capture and portray raw human emotion with some very sensitive issues that many folk will have dealt with at some point or another. This particular novel struck a personal chord with me, as I’m sure it will with anyone who has had to deal with grief on such a close, personal level. I was also 8 months pregnant when I read this book, which had me crying and cringeing along with the heroine on the journey of her pregnancy, knowing that I’d have to go through the same as her when I reached the end of the gestation! The way the story was delivered made me think the author had actually written a journal of her own experience, it was that realistic.

If you’re looking for a heart-wrenching romantic tale to get lost in and set free any hidden emotions you’ve kept under lock and key, then choose this book. ‘Time’ will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and bring home how precious human life is, remind you of sadder times and encourage you to cherish the happier times.

A truly beautiful tale of loss, heartache, love, and a journey of self-discovery.

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Book Review: Hard to Forget by Incy Black

Hard to Forget (Hard to... #2)Hard to Forget by Incy Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow!

I think that just about sums it up, together with 5 glowing stars for this novel, Incy Black’s second offering of the ‘Hard to…’ series.

I loved this novel, from start to finish, with its non-stop action and serious conflict between stubborn, impossible Jack-bloody-Ballentyne, and an equally loveable heroine to boot, who metaphorically speaking, definitely wears the boots when it comes to how to live her life. No-one tells Lowry-bloody-Fisk what to do, which is an absolute nightmare for Special Agent Jack Ballentyne, whose sole mission is to protect her from herself and the danger she’s faced with, despite the extremely inconvenient physical attraction he feels towards her. Not to mention the horribly tragic secret she’s hiding, which I felt the author handled with the utmost sensitivity.
The writing is sharp, witty, and deliciously fast-paced, with superb, descriptive narrative… ‘His chest hurt, a mild understatement given it felt more like a steamroller was using it as a parking bay.’
This is a truly gripping story, and on more than one occasion felt like I was watching a Bond film playing out in front of my eyes. It’s full of action, suspense, conflict and pain – a real page turner. Well done, Incy, and thank you, for a bloody fantastic spin.
I received an Advance Review Copy of this novel in return for my honest opinion.

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The Blurb….

A thrilling category romance from Entangled’s Ignite imprint.

A warning ignored…a love denied

Four years ago, Commander Jack Ballantyne followed Special Agent Lowry Fisk into a death trap. Fortunately, both of them lived to tell the tale, but when he had Lowry drummed out of the British Intelligence Service for her own safety—and his own peace of mind—he knew she’d never forgive him.

Lowry Fisk knew, she just knew, that the Assassins, the secret black-ops unit of the Service she and Jack belonged to, had a mole. And as the Assassins Commander, Jack should have believed her, even though she had little evidence beyond a gut feeling. But when he hadn’t, she’d taken it upon herself to find the traitor—and ended up assaulted, shot, and left for dead. Jack had come to her rescue, but it had been too little, too late. Now all she wants to do is forget the attack, the Service, and the sexy, steely-eyed Commander with the power to make her feel weak.

But the mole is on the move, and he’s coming for Lowry to finish what he started. Jack has to get the stubborn, dangerously gorgeous woman to let him back into her life and allow him the Assassins to protect her—without allowing her to worm her way into his heart.

Book Review: The Sicilian’s Unexpected Duty by Michelle Smart

The Sicilian's Unexpected Duty (Irresistible Sicilians, #2)The Sicilian’s Unexpected Duty by Michelle Smart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When innocent Cara Delaney spent a wild weekend with sexy Sicilian Pepe Mastrangelo, she definitely got more than she bargained for. Not only did he leave her high and dry without so much as a goodbye, but she’s found herself tied to him for the rest of her life – with an unexpected pregnancy. Deciding that he should be held accountable for his responsibilities, she approaches him with a deal – he provides for her and the baby financially and she’ll leave him well alone. Except Pepe has his own reasons for refusing to take Cara’s word for it, so forces her into an impossible situation – to reside with him until the baby is born and he can order a paternity test to prove the baby is his.

The chemistry is obvious from the start; the initial animosity between our hero and heroine is indicative of the undeniable attraction still simmering between them. Cara considers Pepe to be a stereotype of all she knows – and Pepe has his own trust issues, which is enough to prevent these two from giving in to their feelings for each other. As the story proceeds, it’s quite clear that their mutual attraction runs deep, but delightfully infuriating when both characters’ emotions and issues keep throwing up barriers to their happy ever after. Then, just as you think everything is going along wonderfully, you can’t shake that feeling that it won’t last forever… and that’s when the twist in the tale strikes you down.

However, this story is not without its requisite happy ending, so I can assure you, you will be clutching the book to your heart when you’ve turned the last page, with a satisfactory sigh.

Ms Smart will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion with this story, so be prepared.

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Book Review: The Keepers: Sienna – by Rae Rivers

The Keepers: SiennaThe Keepers: Sienna by Rae Rivers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read the majority of this free novella in one evening and finished it the next day. I found myself thrown straight into the action with such vivid scene description, it was almost as if I was there and watching the story unfold like a film.

This story is a prequel for The Keepers series by Rae Rivers, a story involving a young witch, Sienna, and her four keepers – Archer, Ethan, Declan and Sarah. Sienna inherits a wealth of power and must learn how to channel it properly. The story opens with Archer training her to draw on her new power, however in true paranormal style, a baddie creeps out of the woodwork, threatening to cause havoc and devastation everywhere. This prequel to the series – the next of which I am already looking forward to reading – is not without the customary hero, with a hint of something else, too. I’m not going to give anything away so you’ll have to read it yourself, but I’d thoroughly recommend this free prequel as a fabulous taster to lure you into a world of exciting witchcraft and romance.

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Book Review: Bloodgifted – Book One of the Dantonville Legacy – by Tima Maria Lacoba

Bloodgifted (The Dantonville Legacy, #1)Bloodgifted by Tima Maria Lacoba

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laura Dantonville is a content, well-balanced woman living in modern-day Sydney with an unusual gift – she ages more slowly than any other normal human being. Her birthday marks a coming-of-age where she learns that she is descended from a line of vampires, her blood giving a vampire the ability to walk in the day-light. Enter her guardian, Alec Monroe, a vampire chosen to protect her from the others of their kind who must also feed from Laura to keep up his exceptional strength.

Laura struggles at first to accept this new information, which the author portrays very well. When the protagonist does eventually accept her destiny, her eyes are opened to a whole different world she’d never believed possible, where passion, conspiracy and danger lurk around every corner.

The story moves with excellent pace, with some humour thrown in for good measure, while a passionate relationship with a healthy dose of conflict develops between the heroine and her modern-day hero. The world which Ms Lacoba has created is amazingly vast, with a wealth of information and explanation, using her knowledgeable background of Ancient Roman history.

Very well written story for the first part of the Dantonville Legacy and I look forward to reading more from this author, having already sampled the first chapter of the next book.

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Book Review: What’s a Girl to Do? By Aimee Duffy

What's a Girl to Do? (Indecent Proposals # 1)What’s a Girl to Do? by Aimée Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shey Lopez is a girl with attitude, working as an editorial assistant at one of New York’s top magazine publications. When she meets hotshot business man Calvin Jones, the chemistry between them is explosive from the start. But the combustible relationship which develops between them is far from smooth, as while they can’t resist their sizzling attraction to each other, both Shey and Calvin have their own secrets and trust issues to prevent them ever having a future together. Shey doesn’t do one-night stands, and Calvin won’t offer a relationship. Is it possible for them to work through their arrangement and satisfy their attraction to each other before moving on?
This first erotic novella from Aimee Duffy is scorchingly hot, but true to form, the author ties in a steamy read with plenty of emotional conflict from lovable characters.
A perfect read to escape from reality for a couple of hours, with two perfectly flawed characters. Oh, and did I mention the sexy hero?

This review was written in exchange for an advance review copy of the novel from the publishers. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Excerpt

The first novella in a thrilling, pulse-racing new erotic romance series, Indecent Proposals. Three best friends, Shey, Eloisa and Georgia take on the most powerful and eligible men of the New York dating scene. ‘I’m not coming over.’ Shey replied confidently. ‘Then maybe you could return the favor now.’ Wait, he didn’t mean… ‘Slide your hand beneath your panties and tell me how ready you are for me.’ Oh my god, he did. Single Manhattanite Shey Lopez doesn’t do one night stands, or have relationships she can’t control. Especially if giving in to playboy Calvin Jones means losing her heart in the process. However, Mr Won’t-Take-No-For-An-Answer always gets what he wants and there’s only so many times a girl can resist such a enticing proposal… View all my reviews