#Review: Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis @JillShalvis @eternal_books

This was my TBR Topple read for February. Thanks for choosing guys! The winner for March was A Bed of Brambles by Sam Russell, April’s poll will go up early next month.

Description

Sunshine, Idaho, is a small, sunny town – the perfect home for man and beast. Well, maybe not for man, as pilot-for-hire Brady Miller discovers when his truck is rear-ended by what appears to be Noah’s Ark. As the co-owner of the town’s only kennel, Lilah Young has good reason to be distracted behind the wheel – there are puppies, a piglet and a duck in her Jeep. Still, she doesn’t find it hard to focus on the sexy, gorgeous stranger she’s collided with. Brady is just passing through, but there’s something about Lilah and her menagerie that makes the temptation of staying in Sunshine one that’s difficult to resist…

Review

I have this problem, every time I read a Jill Shalvis book I’m convinced it’s the best one I’ve read. They are all just so good. Animal Magnetism was another one I did this with, steaming through the story, swept away on a cloud of love and completely convinced that this was better than all the other Jill Salvis books I’ve ever read.

I have to laugh at the enthusiasm that grabs me when I read these books because I’m fairly sure if I went back and re-read any they would again become my favourite Jill Shalvis book. I should just agree that all her books are stellar and deserve equal love in the five-star tree.

Brady returns to Sunshine, Idaho to spend some time with his foster brothers who have been asking him to return home for some time. Lilah is their neighbour but also someone they look out for like a Sister and she’s got her eye on Brady.

They start a fling, agreeing it won’t be anything serious because Lilah isn’t into serious and Brady is leaving town but since when do feelings have anything to do with agreements like this?

I love Lilah and Brady. They are both stubborn fools but my kind of fools. I love how Brady is a full-blown alpha but then you get these snatches of him being kind and caring, these moments where he drops his persona of strength to show the vulnerability underneath. While Lilah is a strong independent woman who has the local men swooning at her every word, yet she brushes off their advances and attention in favour of her work with animals, she studies hard and works harder. She has an intellectual strength and emotional strength which surpasses that of many heroines making her a pleasure to spend time with. She doesn’t need a man, she doesn’t even really want a man until Brady waves a magic wand.

This is a stunning and enjoyable book. Thank you to my readers for voting for it to be my March read as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleAnimal Magnetism
Series: Animal Magnetism #1
Author: Jill Shalvis
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 27 February 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback | Audio
Pages: 320
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to your Chosen Store)

#Review: Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis @AvenEllis @SoulMatePublish

Surviving the Rachel was my TBR Topple winner for December, thank you to everybody who voted and helped to choose this book. If you want to vote in January’s poll it will be open until the 20th.

Description

Bree Logan is ready to start her post-college life, but when she’s dumped by The One, unable to land a professional job, and has to move back in with her parents, she doesn’t think things can get worse until she ends up with her hair chopped into The Rachel, the infamous haircut made famous by the show Friends. Which is not good since it’s no longer 1994. But sometimes you have to go through challenges to get what you really need, and for Bree, could that include a different career and a romance with Jack Chelten, the boy-next-door?

Review

I always know when I settle down with an Aven Ellis novel that I’m going to get a feel good romance with a happily ever after ending. There is no hidden agenda with her books and while I often like some grit and drama with my novels it’s nice to read something that’s just plain sweet and loving sometimes. Aven Ellis is a firm favourite in that category.

Bree was unceremoniously dumped by the boyfriend she truly believed was the one after they graduated college, leaving her having to return home to live with her parents instead of into the fancy apartment they had secured, oh and she had to carry the cost of that apartment as well! She’s struggling to find a job and in an effort to give herself a well-needed boost she decides a haircut is in order. Except that turns into a disaster with the stylist giving her an outdated Rachel cut which doesn’t even remotely suit her.

Then she meets the good-looking brothers next door Jack and Eric, both of whom don’t seem a bit interested in her awful haircut but are very interested in her. Eric is confident, pushy and uses underhand techniques to get his way. Jack is shy, kind, and thoughtful. Bree knows who she wants but she’s had her heart broken and isn’t sure if she wants to risk her heart again.

I loved watching Bree navigate her way through this minefield, as she realised that she will fall in love whether she wants to or not, she has no control over that, she just has to decide if she will accept and roll with it.

The characters as always were well shaped, enjoyable to spend time with, they had interesting careers and strong and defined characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed Surviving the Rachel, another winner from Aven Ellis.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleSurviving the Rachel
Series: N/A
Author: Aven Ellis
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Chick-Lit
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: 19 December 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 276
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository

#Review: You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

You Had Me At Hello was your pick for my November TBR Topple read, voting for December is open until the 20th so you still have a few days left to pick my next TBR Read!

Description

What happens when the one that got away comes back? Find out in this sparkling debut from Mhairi McFarlane.

‘Think of the great duos of history. We’re just like them.’
‘You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?’
‘I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel.’

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

Hilarious, heartbreaking and everything in between, you’ll be hooked from their first ‘hello’.

Review

It becomes clear with this book very quickly what the state of play is. Rachel and Ben are best friends through Uni but there are very definitely underlying feelings there between them. The problem Rachel is in a long-term relationship. When they go their separate ways at the end of Uni their friendship falls apart and ten years later bump into each other reigniting their friendship and those old feelings, except this time Ben is married.

While the story was easy to read, and emotionally charged throughout I just didn’t connect to either of the characters in the way I would have liked. I found them both a little self-serving and immature. While the outcome is pretty much a given in these books I was hoping they would walk away lonely and apart because I didn’t think they deserved each other, they didn’t deserve that love or even wanted it enough.

This was a fail for me, I didn’t enjoy the characters, every single person in this book is out for themselves, there is a definite lack of human compassion here. I found the plot predictable and unoriginal and I didn’t connect with the writing style at all.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleYou Had Me At Hello
SeriesYou Had Me At Hello #1
AuthorMhairi McFarlane
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: 25 February 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Audio | Paperback
Pages: 466
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen | Wordery | Audible

#Review: Changing His Game by Justine Elvira @JustineElvira

Description

Warning: Changing His Game is a stand-alone novel. This book is for mature readers ages 18 and up. It contains sex, sex, and more sex with a porn star. It briefly touches on M/F/M and M/F/F.

Adult Films. XXX Movies. Porn.

These are the kind of movies I’ve never planned to watch. It was a taboo topic where I grew up. As a kid I had only heard of it in passing. In middle school my parents would talk about my creepy uncle Frank and how he should look for a job instead of watching “those movies” all day. In High School boys thought it was funny to ask my friends and me to star in the amateur adult films they were making. In college most of my guy friends watched them, but I never had. When I moved to California that changed.

After surprising my fiancé at home and catching him screwing another woman, I hopped in my car and started driving. I was running away from my old life and I needed a change. I remembered my friend Tawny inviting me to visit her in Los Angeles, so that’s where I went.

I didn’t find Tawny when I got there, but I did find her gorgeous roommate, Jared. Our friendship started out rough, but he gave me a place to stay and helped me get back on my feet. He became my best friend. My best friend who millions of women happened to lust over.

Jared plays by a different set of rules, where anything goes. His lifestyle is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before and it scares me. When you live your life on the edge, eventually you’ll fall over. I didn’t want to see that happen to him.

At night he’s just Jared, my Jared, and I’ll deny it to anyone who asks, but I’m completely in love with him. During the day he’s Brandon Boner, and the world is in love with him.

Oh yeah, did I mention he’s a porn star?

Review

Autumn is one of those girls who has always done the right thing, she’s had the same boyfriend for years, she got engaged to said boyfriend, went to college to train to be a teacher and will marry said fiance once she graduates. The one time she does something a little off the beaten path she gets the shock of her life. Deciding to surprise Mr Fiance Man with an early visit just before her graduation, she gets the surprise when she finds him screwing around with someone else.

Autumn, ups and leaves, heading to visit a friend who lives in California, for the first time ever putting herself before everybody else’s expectations, and it’s at this point I start to respect this girl. Because she realises she isn’t a yes-girl, she’s not a doormat, she’s got balls and she’s going to use them.

When she arrives at her friend’s place, she discovers the danger of being impulsive is things don’t always go to plan. Her friend isn’t there and her landlord Jared is gorgeous and annoying, to say the least. Autumn and Jared butt heads, cross wires and generally try to figure out if they should be living in the same house together while fighting a growing attraction.

Jared is a porn star, more than that he runs a porn empire but behind the facade of his alter ego, Autumn discovers a kind and caring man when he decides to let it out. The pair have quite a bumpy ride and Jared really does suffer from mood swings, I wondered quite a lot how Autumn put up with him sometimes and it crossed my mind that she must really like this guy to put up with his crap.

I find them quite suited to each other, Jared says some adorable things as he starts to open up and become more honest with his feelings, there really are some cracking lines in this novel.

Overall, a really great feel-good romance, lots of hot sex and a happily ever after that will leave you swooning.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleChanging His Game
SeriesThe Reynolds Brothers #1
AuthorJustine Elvira
Genre: Romance | Erotica | Adult
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 4 February 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 368
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis @JillShalvis @eternal_books

This was my TBR Topple read for October. Thanks for choosing guys! Don’t forget to vote on November‘s pick before voting closes on Monday!

Description

The first enchanting novel in the Lucky Harbor series from New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis, laced with her trademark gift for humour, warmth and romance. Fans of Susan Andersen, Bella Andre, Rachel Gibson, Carly Phillips, and Susan Mallery will fall head over heels for the Lucky Harbor series.

Maddie Moore’s whole life needs a makeover. In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother – a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

Starting over won’t be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career – if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes – and mouth – are making it hard for her to remember that she’s sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie’s struggles to overcome the past, though she’s about to discover that there’s no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.

Want more sexy, fun romance? Return to Sunshine, Idaho for more of the captivating Animal Magnetism series, visit spellbinding Lucky Harbor or take a trip to Cedar Ridge’s unforgettable Colorado Mountains in Jill’s other bestselling series.

Review

This is one of Jill Shalvis’ earlier books that I hadn’t read and had waiting on my TBR for some time. Sitting down to read it I didn’t realise just how invested I would become in Maddie and Jax’s story.

Neither of them is looking for love, but isn’t that just the best time to find it? Maddie comes to town because she’s been left a property to share with her sisters who she barely knows, her life at home has completely fallen apart no thanks to her abusive ex-boyfriend and she needs a fresh start.

Jax is the contractor who comes on board to help her but is so much more than that, his friendship is a crutch, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s hot as hell. The sparks between these two are visible from space and as much as she wants to fight it Maddie knows there’s something special about Jax.

Jill Shalvis has put plenty of laughs in this book, it’s a truly heartfelt book about family and self-discovery, and of course finding true love. I came out of this feeling like this was possibly my favourite Jill Shalvis book to date. I loved everything about this one, the difficult topics and how they were tackled, the way Maddie and Jax clicked and tackled their issues, the sisters as a unit and individually.

I’m really looking forward to reading more of the Lucky Harbor books.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleSimply Irresistible
Series: Lucky Harbor #1
Author: Jill Shalvis
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 14 August 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 330
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Speedy Hen | Wordery

#BlogTour Legacy of the Mind by H.R. Moore @hr_moore @XpressoTours #AuthorInterview #Giveaway

Today I welcome the Legacy of the Mind tour to BrizzleLass Books. Written by H.R. Moore, this romantic fantasy sounds like a great read for young adults and I really wanted to share this novel and the fantastic interview I had with the author. It’s also free on Amazon this week if you fancy picking it up, see the buy links below for more.

Description

Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.

Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.

legacy-of-the-mind-tour-banner

Author Interview

Welcome to BrizzleLass Books and thanks for taking the time

1 Tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t already give away

Um…I have grade 8 singing, love horse-riding, drinking tea (especially whilst eating cake), and gardening, particularly growing vegetables as then I can eat them (seeing a theme?!).

2 You’ve lived in a lot of different places, have they helped influence your inner writer?

Definitely.  I draw a lot of inspiration from the different places I’ve been to or lived in, and often I’ve found going somewhere new can spark a fresh idea or bring out a totally different perspective.

In Legacy of the Mind, Empire and the surrounding area is inspired by small Scottish towns, Kingdom is inspired by St Andrews (where I went to University), and the countryside is inspired by Devon (where I spent most time growing up).  Many places in the Wild Lands are based on either places I’ve travelled to, or on amazing photographs I’ve seen, and this helps me have a really clear vision about the places I’m writing about.

3.Legacy of the Mind is your debut novel, what can you tell us about it?

Legacy of the Mind is for people who enjoyed books like Twilight, Divergent or The Hunger Games.  There’s action and adventure, a good helping of romance, but balanced out by a sinister side and underlying problem for the protagonists to solve.

I wrote it because I love getting swept up in a good YA romance with a solid story line and wanted to see if I could create one too.

4. What would you have done differently within your writing process if you had the chance to write it again?

I would have been more disciplined, especially about starting the next book in the trilogy.  It’s really easy to procrastinate instead of getting on with writing, and there’s something especially daunting / easy to put off about starting a whole new book.  I think I could have cut down the overall writing time considerably if I’d just been a bit stricter!

5. What did you edit out of the book that was good but just didn’t fit?

I planned really carefully before I started writing, so most of the big plot editing happened at this early stage.  I originally had a load more skills and Gods, but quickly realised this would have been really difficult to manage and wouldn’t contribute that much to the story, so whittled it down to three.

6. How do you choose your character names?

It’s a bit like naming a baby – lots of babies!  For Legacy of the Mind, right at the start, I had a brainstorm of all the names I liked and thought appropriate to the world (they had to be relatively traditional and a bit ostentatious for most of the characters) and used that as a list to work from.  For Anita, she had to be a bit more down to earth and ordinary, and Cleo has a more exotic personality, so Cleopatra seemed to fit.  The Gods needed to be removed, so their names have a more ancient, biblical sort of feel to them.

I guess I have an idea of how I want the characters to feel, and the names need to feel right too – it’s more of an art than a science.  And, apparently, I have a preference for names beginning with the letter ‘A’.  I never knew it, but for some strange reason, most of the new names I think up start with ‘A’!

7. Is there a character you particularly love within the novel we should look out for? And why?

Bas.  He’s great and is totally underrated by Anita; it’s just so unfair.  Because of Anita’s perception of him, he can come across as a bit weak, but when you think about everything he does, his position, and the knowledge and skills he has, he’s a really great catch and any girl would be lucky to have him.

8. How long did it take you to write this novel?

About a year.  And then I had to learn about the publishing industry and self-publishing and all the stuff that goes along with it, so it was published a few months after I finished.

9. What does success in the publishing world look like to you?

I think this is a really difficult question as publishing is such a hard industry.  There are so many books being both traditionally and self-published and it’s tricky for any author to get meaningful cut through.  For me, I felt a huge thrill the first time someone I didn’t know read Legacy of the Mind and gave me a 5 star review.  I guess that felt a lot like success!

10. Finally, If you could choose an animal to represent you what would be?

Hmm…tricky.   Maybe a monkey?  Don’t ask me why.

About H.R. Moore

Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don’t understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.
Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she’d never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.

At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.

After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the ‘people’ elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think), where she currently works as a Project Manager.

Harriet has recently moved to Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and baby Atia. When she isn’t doing DIY, writing, editing, eating, taking photos, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.

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Giveaway

  • Giveaway Button$20 Amazon gift card
  • ebook copy of Legacy of the Mind

Book & Buy Links

TitleLegacy of the Mind
SeriesThe Legacy Trilogy #1
AuthorH.R. Moore
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Young Adult
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 2 January 2014
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 261
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Blog Tour: Review: Alora’s Tear: Fragments by Nathan Barham @natebarham @NeverlandBT

Welcome to my stop on the Alora’s Tear: Fragments Blog Tour, written by Nathan Barham this is the first book in a trilogy, and if you are eager the whole trilogy is available with book two The Elf and the Arrow, and book three The Voice like Water also on sale.

Description:
There is no magic in the kingdom of Vladvir…

Tucked away in a quiet valley, the community of Tolarenz offers a refuge and safe haven for its people, keeping persecution at bay. One young citizen—Askon son of Teral—is destined to lead them, but first he must leave them behind: one final mission, in service of the king.

Continue reading Blog Tour: Review: Alora’s Tear: Fragments by Nathan Barham @natebarham @NeverlandBT