Friday, 13 October 2017

An American Cage by Ted Galdi

35648233

From Goodreads

Three inmates break out of a maximum-security prison in Texas, one of them Danny Marsh, a suburban kid in his twenties who landed in jail because of a crime he never intended to commit.

An American Cage follows Danny and his two escape partners over a twenty-four-hour period as they struggle to cross Texas to freedom in Mexico. On this dangerous journey, Danny has to evade the rabid Texas authorities, and even worse, the schemes of one of his closest allies, who isn't who he seems.

The second novel by Amazon #1 bestselling author and multi-award winner Ted Galdi, this psychological thriller is packed with suspense, twists, and grit, all while having heart. The story follows its young male protagonist on a journey of self-discovery and redemption as he weaves through a rocky landscape of family issues, guilt, betrayal, and questions about the nature of good and evil.

Along the way, he encounters an eclectic supporting cast, including a renowned psychology professor, a car thief, a young female hitchhiker, the leader of a biker gang, and a small-town Texas policeman with big ambitions.

Featuring vivid descriptions of East Texas's Piney Woods, Austin, and El Paso, a cinematic unfolding of action, and a examination of existential philosophical concepts, An American Cage would be a pleasing read for fans of literary thrillers as well as commercial thrillers.

The book has echoes of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, in addition to the crime fiction of upmarket writers like Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos.    

My thoughts

My thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I did give this 3 stars or 6/10 initially, after some thought I've changed my rating to 2.5 stars or 5/10.

I so wanted to enjoy this story more than I did. I struggled with it and found that it didn't really keep my attention, at times I found it a chore to pick up. I definitely found the second half better than the first, as I found the pace of the story picked up.

The story centres around three escaped convicts and what happens to them following their escape. Whilst, on the run we find out a lot about them and our attitude towards some of them may change as the story progresses. It just goes to show that you can't believe all the people all of the time.

Whilst, the story isn't an all out and out action one, I found this to be an asset as it gave us a more character driven story and I felt that in the second half we certainly found out quite a lot about certain characters. This helped us to understand certain things better.

Will I read other stories by Ted Galdi? Yes I will, in order to see how he develops as a writer.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Pawn (Endgame series #1) by Skye Warren

32671499

From Goodreads

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he's playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

My thoughts

I gave this a 4 star or 8/10. I received this as a freebie via Bookbub. I've never read any of Skye Warren's books before, since reading this I've read the second in the series too.

As a reader occasionally I come across a book or series that just sucks me in and is a joy to read. This is one of those times, every time I picked my kindle up to read this book I escaped into the world that Avery and Gabriel exist in.

Avery has problems that she's having to deal with due to actions that her father made. It's down to her, to try and save things financially.

She comes up with a plan to auction her virginity, but in doing so she sparks off a chain reaction of events where Gabriel appears time and time again.

I loved the premise of the story, the characters and the writing. This story was a joy to read.

Please be aware that this is definitely a story for the 18+ market and has plenty of erotic/sexual content that enhances the story.

Ty's Temptation (Bad in Boots #2) by Patrice Michelle

36183617

From Goodreads

With a genius IQ, Evan Masters has always been one step ahead of most people, except when it comes to matters of the heart. When she stumbles across a seductive, tightly controlled man visiting town for a short time, she realizes he’s the perfect person to show her the ropes with no strings attached.

Ty Hudson agrees to teach Evan all he knows about sex, but he insists on doing it his way, slow and easy. As their sensual dance turns into a smouldering burn, Ty quickly discovers that innocent "Eve" is more temptation than he can resist.

Note: TY’S TEMPTATION is novel length and meant for mature readers. All the books in the BAD IN BOOTS series are stand alone stories.

BAD IN BOOTS Series:

* HARM'S HUNGER (Book 1) - Novella
* TY'S TEMPTATION (Book 2) - Novel
* COLT'S CHOICE (Book 3) - Novel
* JOSH'S JUSTICE (Book 4) - Novel

My thoughts

I gave this a 3 stars or 6/10.  I got this as a freebie via Bookbub.  It's the first story that I've read by this Author.  Whilst this story is part of a series, it reads well as a stand alone as do the others in the series.  All the stories contain characters that are contained in all the stories.

I enjoyed the story on the whole and whilst it states that it's for the more mature reader, there are some erotic/sexual passages in the story, but they are in no way gratuitous and fit the story well.

I liked the developing relationship that seemed to happen very quickly between Ty and Evan, due to the fact that Ty was only visiting for a short time.  Ty is forced with a proposition from Evan, which he is reluctant to get involved in.

Please grab a copy of this if you are interested in finding out what happens to Ty and Evan.

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

34113891

From Goodreads

Vowing to discover the fate of her missing cousin, a woman returns to her family’s Kansas estate where she spent one haunting summer as a teen, and where she discovered the dark heart of the Roanoke clan that left her no choice but to run.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her maternal grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, at the Roanoke family estate in rural Osage Flats, Kansas, following the suicide of her mother. Lane knows little of her mother’s family, other than the fact that her mother ran away years before and cut off all contact with her parents. Allegra, abandoned by her own mother at birth and raised by her grandparents, introduces Lane to small-town life and the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But there is darkness at the heart of the Roanoke family, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull she has no choice but to run, as far and as fast as she can.

Eleven years later, Lane is scraping by in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls with the news that Allegra has gone missing. “Come home,” he beckons. Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to Osage Flats, determined to find her cousin and assuage her own guilt at having left Allegra behind all those years ago. Her return might mean a second chance with Cooper, the boyfriend whom she loved and destroyed that fateful summer. But it also means facing the terrible secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between the summer of Lane’s first arrival and the summer of her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

My thoughts

My thanks to the Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

Some things are taboo and off limits, they should stay that way too in my opinion. Sadly, some families don't always conform to the norm and deviate in their own way. Dark and disturbing are words that can be used to describe this story that tells us about the Roanoke family and the girls within it.

It's not an easy read and will affect some readers greatly. I found myself drawn in slowly, told in alternate chapters of the here and now, with the past we are drip fed the lives of Lane, Allegra and their grandparents. Lane is drawn back into the Roanoke fold when she finds out that Allegra has gone missing and she needs to find out where she is or what has happened to her.

This was a great debut novel by Amy Engel into the adult world of novel writing (previously a YA author), be prepared to feel a little uneasy at what you're reading when you grab yourself a copy of this. She neither sensationalises nor down plays the feelings surrounding this taboo. Looking forward to the next one with baited breath.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Pretty Filthy Lies (Pretty Broken #2) by Jeana E.Mann

27813818

From Goodreads

Sometimes the worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves...

Ten years ago, I did a terrible thing. I sold my self-respect, my marriage, and my chances for happiness. What was the going rate for these intangible things? For me, it was a check in the sum of one million dollars and a get-out-of-jail-free card for my delinquent brother. A decade later, I’m broken, unemployed, and still single. My baby brother is back in jail. The million dollars is gone.

My ex-husband wants to trust me again, but the thing is…how can he trust me when neither of us can forget all the pretty, filthy lies of our past? 

This is the conclusion of Pretty Broken Girl and the second book of five in the Pretty Broken Series. It contains hot sex, adult language, and adult situations.

My thoughts

I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one, the second in the Pretty Broken series. This story is the second part of Dakota and Samuel's stories and attempts to bring a conclusion to it.  I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

It was a joy to pick up and read, several books over the years have had that effect on me and this series is doing the same. I read this story in just over a day. I was that entranced by it, that I wanted to know how Dakota and Samuel's relationship was going to survive or come to an end.

As things that have happened in the past to both of them and all the lies that have been told come back to haunt them. Can they both learn to forgive one another and move on? With members of the family on both sides appearing to conspire against them, only they can decide what they have to do for the best for both of them.

Another great read and I already had the third in the series lined up to read after this one.

Pretty Broken Girl (Pretty Broken #1) by Jeana E.Mann

26829715

From Goodreads

Love isn't always pretty. Sometimes you have to break the thing you love in order to put the pieces back together again.

"Life is all about choices. Do I want pizza or a hamburger for dinner? Should I wear a red skirt or blue slacks to work? Do I take a million dollar check and divorce the love of my life to keep my baby brother out of jail? In case you're wondering, I took the check. Now my ex is back in my life. He's still angry and...he's my new boss."

Pretty Broken Girl is the passionate retelling of a marriage gone wrong.

From the boardroom to the bedroom, Dakota Atwell and Samuel Seaforth are locked in a battle of wits and desire. One of them will break. One of them will pay. Both of them want to win. Neither of them expects to fall in love…again.

This is Book 1 of a five book series. It contains adult language, adult situations, and hot steamy sex with a HFN ending. Although it can be read as a standalone, it will be much more enjoyable when read with the other books in the series.

My thoughts

I grabbed this book as a freebie via BookBub. I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

I was drawn into the world of Dakota Atwell and her ex husband Samuel Seaforth. Once married Dakota, was given the chance to take a cheque that offered her enough money to keep her brother out of jail. Sadly, the cheque came at a cost. Dakota, had very little choice and did what was expected of her.

Jump forward in time to Dakota and Samuel's paths crossing again. As old animosities come to the fore and neither of them want to back down and both want to win. Dakota and Samuel take us on a journey of rediscovery.

I really enjoyed this first story in the Pretty Broken series, it can be read as a standalone. However, Dakota and Samuel's journey continues in the second story in the series, Pretty Filthy Lies. I found it well written and very engaging. I will be reading more in this series as I want to know what the future has in store for them both.  With a great supporting cast of secondary characters who are bound to return in other books in this series, this series is shaping up nicely.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas

25261995

From Goodreads

London, 1885.
As a turbulent and change-filled century draws to a close, there has never been a better time to alter your fortune. But for a beautiful young woman of limited means, Eliza’s choices appear to lie between the stifling domesticity of marriage or a downwards spiral to the streets – no matter how determined she is to forge her own path.

One night at a run-down theatre, she meets the charismatic Devil Wix – showman, master of illusion, fickle friend. Drawn into his circle, Eliza becomes the catalyst of change for his colleagues – a dwarf, an eccentric engineer, and an artist – as well as Devil himself. And as Eliza embarks on a dangerous adventure, she must decide which path to choose, and how far she should go when she holds all their lives in her hands.

My thoughts

I gave this 3.5 stars or 7/10.

Whilst I did enjoy this bittersweet story, I felt it wasn't one of the best that I've read by her. You really do need to check out this authors back catalogue as she has written some amazing stories that have stayed with me.

This is a gothic tale, that I found to be a slow burner about Eliza and how she becomes the linchpin to how this story evolves ~ she is drawn in by the enigmatic Illusionist Devil Wix and his performing friends. She appears to have them all eating out of the palm of her hand, but as her future becomes uncertain who will become her saviour. The story is mainly set around a theatre where they all perform their different acts. With lots of infighting between one another as to whose performances bring in the biggest audiences, Devil wields his cunning and soon manipulates things in his favour.

Sad to say I found this a little over long and lacking, I found myself with my mind wandering at times yet I still was invested in the story enough to find out how everything panned out.