Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Mittwoch, 31. Mai 2017

When to Engage an Earl (Spinster House #3) by Sally MacKenzie










Blurb:

If love is a malady, the Spinster House ladies have caught it, one by one.
 
Miss Jane Wilkinson couldn t be more delighted when her two best friends marry, creating a much-desired vacancy at the Spinster House. For the first time in her twenty-eight years, Jane can be free of her annoying older brother and enjoy complete solitude with the exception of the Spinster House cat, Poppy. If only Jane s unruly thoughts didn t keep drifting to handsome Alex, Earl of Evans, in the most un-spinster like ways.

Though jilted once, Alex has always intended to marry and raise a family. Now that his two closest friends have tied the knot, he is more determined than ever to find a wife. If only it wasn t the intriguing Miss Jane Wilkinson that his heart as well as the rest of him desired. Not only does she appear uninterested in marriage, it s clear she s the managing sort. And yet, despite Alex s fiercely independent spirit, the idea of being managed by her is quite appealing. Now if he can only convince her to give up her beloved Spinster House in favor of a far more pleasurable home in his arms.


I must admit that it took me some time to realize that this book is the third in a series and that I read the first book "I-can't-remember-how-many-times-but-very-often". And guess what, I loved this book as much as I loved the other one, "In the Spinster's Bed". 

The characters are wonderful and I love to read how close they all are and to see how they interact. Our hero, Alex, the Earl of Evans, is someone I'd love to be friends with and when he is with Miss Jane Wilkinson, our heroine, well, you definitely get why everybody -except them, of course- knows that they belong together. 
And of course there's also Poppy, the cat, how could I not remember this cat right away? She is a very unusual but simply amazing character (and I loved it!). As a cat, well, you know what they say about cats and their owners underlings and the way cats rule their lives, right? And Poppy - let's just say that she is a very special case and nobody would dare not to obey her.

What I liked a lot about this book was the fact that even though Jane's indecision and her insecurity concerning her feelings for Alex are a bit frustrating and sometimes you just want to take her and Alex, lock them up somewhere together and don't let them out till they realize what everybody else already knows: they are perfect for each other! But - and this is what I really liked, you can understand Jane and her indecision. No, her childhood wasn't perfect but she hasn't been badly abused or soemthing like that but you can understand why she values her independence that much and why she is loathe to give it up. Of course there are also other insecurities and some misunderstandings but in the end - well, all is well, that ends well, right? 

A very enjoyable and highly recommendable read - I loved it!


★★★



 

Dienstag, 30. Mai 2017

The Traitor's Club: Ford by Laura Landon










Blurb:

Captain Fordham Remington has survived countless dangerous missions fighting the foreign enemies of the Queen while maintaining his cover as a traitor to the Crown. Now he undertakes the far less threatening assignment of finding out who is stealing from Her Majesty’s shipping company, and nearly gets himself killed.

Lady Calinda Barclave has worked alongside her grandfather, Admiral Barclave, to run Her Majesty’s Crown Shipping Company for four years. When she’s unable to discover who is behind the company’s shortage in profits, she turns to the dashing Captain Remington for help. But when she discovers his betrayal, she realizes she’s lost the shipping company she loves. And her heart along with it.
 




Ohh, I really really loved this book. Okay, I already knew (at least I hoped that I knew) that I'd like it because I haven't found a book by Laura Landon yet that I didn't like and several of her books are part of those that I re-read regularly.
As this is a new series I was curious to see who I'd meet here and I must say that I loved those characters a lot. As usual, they are interesting and strong characters , a strong and independent heroine who succeeds in a position where women were rarely accepted in those times and a hero who respects and supports her.

When Captain Fordham Remington investigates the thefts at Her Majesty’s Crown Shipping Company, he is impressed by the young woman who works alongside her grandfather there and who is the de facto leader of the company. When those two work together to find the thief, they find that there might be something more between them. Things get tough and their feelings an't be denied anymore - except for this teeny tiny part where Lady Calinda Barclave might get the impression that Ford has betrayed her.  An impression that it not entirely false, truth be told so in the end, Ford might face an even greater challenge than tracking down a thief. Will he be able to win Callinda's trust and her heart again or is it too late for them?

What I really loved about this book was the way the author dealt with this betrayal and its consequences. I hope that I don't spoil anything for other readers when I say that I can guarantee a very nice HEA? So, I think it is safe to mention that early on I anticipated the confrontation when Calinda would inevitably find out about the betrayal or you could rather say that I dreaded this confrontation. Waiting for it, dreading it for quite some time while reading the book, I was really happy with the way the author let the hero and the heroine deal with the situation and the way she let them find their way back to each other.
All in all this is again a wonderful book that I'll definitely re-read and I'm really looking forward to the other books in this series!


★★★★



Montag, 29. Mai 2017

Fraud Twice Felt (The Oddities #2) by J.T.Hall









Blurb:

Three weeks after solving his old boyfriend’s murder, bounty hunter Derwin Bryant is trying to let go of the past and embrace his new life with Elliot Leed, a former rentboy and fellow Oddity. Elliot, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to working at Bob’s Bail Bonds and having a real relationship despite his strange power of Object Reading. Hanging over the couple is the fear that Roy Yoshiro, notorious gang lord, will make good on his threats to claim Elliot. If that happens, not even Derwin’s superhuman strength will be enough to protect the man he loves.

Their concerns are overshadowed when Derwin’s friend asks for help finding her missing son. It’s not long before the case takes Derwin and Elliot back to the crime-ridden underbelly of the city and straight into Yoshiro’s clutches. Two gangs are vying for power, and Derwin and Elliot get caught in the middle of their very public fight.

Derwin and Elliot must find a way to thwart both gangs’ plans and escape alive. This time, one misstep could spell disaster for all the inhabitants of Nis.
 



On the whole I enjoyed reading this book but...and that is a big BUT for me, I wasn't expecting BDSM here. Despite those scenes being caring and sweet and the fact that you can feel that the heroes care for each other, are very much in love, actually, and the fact that the need to practice BDSM has reasons that are logical and understandable, it is just not my cup of tea. I don't have a problem  with explicit sex scenes but BDSM is different. As I said, the scenes themselves are well written and you get that they are not just sadistic but, well, I don't feel comfortable with it. 

Apart from that, the book was great. It is well written, has amazing and well developed characters and it is really great to see how the interaction between the heroes changes when Elliot becomes more confident and Derwin learns to trust him more. They are very different from each other but both are very vulnerable and very strong at the same time.  Reading the book you can see how Elliot matures and learns to stand up for himself and to pull his weight. The feelings between the two are palpable, you can feel how much they care for each other, how important the other one is for each of them and how far they are willing to go to protect the other one. 

Take this remarkable and really sweet couple, add an interesting and well written story, a couple of gangs and other foes threatening our heroes, a damsel (and her boyfriend) in distress and spice it with some fantastic elements. Sounds good? It is worth reading, at least if you don't mind all this BDSM-stuff. I enjoyed reading this book despite those scenes but, well, no warm, fuzzy feelings for me there, right? 



★★




Mittwoch, 24. Mai 2017

True Hero by Susan Owensby









Blurb:

Ally
On the run, with no one to turn to,
I’m doing all I can to stay alive, protect myself, and my little boy.
I left everything behind, determined to start over and give my child a normal life.
I have rules. Rules I have to follow. Rules that keep me alive.
1.    Keep my head down.
2.    Keep life simple.
3.    Trust no one.
 
That definitely includes retired Navy Seal Jonah Bradford. He’s completely off limits.
It doesn’t matter if he wakes up the woman inside of me.  
I can’t be that woman anymore. No matter how much he makes me wish I could.
 
Jonah  
Giving up my career to run the family business wasn’t an easy decision. Once a SEAL, always a SEAL.
Yet, I’ve adjusted. I like my life, but something is missing.
One look at the freckle-faced beauty working at the local diner and I know exactly what it is.
But, I’m alive today by following my instincts and everything about Ally is setting off alarm bells that scream she’s trouble.
I don’t care. I want her.
The problem is she won’t give me the time of day.
That’s okay. I like a challenge.
I just have to uncover all of her secrets and end the fear that keeps shining in her eyes.
Operation Ally is underway.


Ooookay....the good thing is that I really liked the story and the characters. Unfortunately the interaction between the characters and every direct speech, actually, were to stilted, somewhat awkward even when it was not part of the situation and everything sounded a bit forced. 

If the dialogues had been more natural and would have sounded more fluent, more flowing, the book would have been great. 
Unfortunately this is not the case and I must admit that at the end when things got really tough, well, let's just say  that some parts made me question if it was really three already weak stars and not rather two. I mean, experiences like that, sure, strange things may happen and you may "meet" people that you are fond of and that are not around anymore but -both of them? I mean - Ally and Jonah?


The story itself was nice and captivating but I'm pretty sure that I won't read this book again or even another one by the author.


★★



Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets and Spies #3) by K.C. Bateman











Blurb:

A feisty counterfeiter and a cocky British agent clash in this sultry Secrets and Spies novel by K. C. Bateman, whose witty, intelligent, and sexy historical romances have become her signature.

As Sabine de la Tour tosses piles of forged banknotes onto a bonfire in a Paris park, she bids a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal. Over the course of Napoleon’s reign, her counterfeits destabilized the continent and turned scoundrels into rich men, but now she and her business partner must escape France—or face the guillotine. Her only hope of surviving in England is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy—and into his arms.
Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, is prepared to take any risk to safeguard England from the horrors of the French Revolution. To lure the insurgents out from the shadows, he’s even willing to make a pact with his archenemy: Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe. But when a cheeky, gamine-faced beauty proves herself to be Lacorte, Richard is shocked—and more than a little aroused. Unlike the debutantes who so often hurl themselves at him, this cunning minx offers a unique and irresistible challenge. Richard will help her. But in return, he wants something that even Sabine cannot fake.



"...if you detain me, Lacorte will never come."
Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe - a woman? Or, as Viscount Lovell eloquently puts it - a confounded bloody woman?
When Sabine de la Tourre proves to Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, that she is indeed the famous French forger he and his colleagues at the secret service have been trying to  catch for a long long time now, he is intrigued  - and captivated.

Well, I guess it says a lot when I say that I bought the second book in the series right away, when it was on sale the other day without even reading the blurb just because I loved "A Counterfeit Heart" that much and saw that it was another book by K.C. Bateman.

The characters are charming and complex and I liked them a lot, especially Sabine, our very strong and very independent heroine who made her way in hard times in a man's world. A slip of a girl who can definitely hold her own when it comes to negotiating with a Viscount.
Oh, don't misunderstand me - I also liked Richard a lot and the chemistry between them, yes, that wasn't bad either! The feelings they develop for each other are believable and convincing and their interactions are funny and sweet, okay, sometimes or some more times also sarcastic and they made me laugh out loud more than once.
And for those of you who have always wanted to know how identify the different classical artists, well, Sabine has a wonderful way of explaining it for everyone to understand.

I really loved this book and I'm very much looking forward the other book by K.C.Bateman that I bought the other day!

★★★★


Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel Book 1 - Sharon Cullen









Blurb: 

 Blistering seduction meets international intrigue in the Highlands as a veteran spy infiltrates the court of Mary, Queen of Scots. There he matches wits against a tantalizing enemy: his new wife.

Simon Marcheford wants nothing more than to settle down on the land bestowed upon him by the English crown. Queen Elizabeth, however, is not about to let her best spy retire so easily. Simon will have his reward, she decrees, after he completes one last mission in Scotland. But no sooner has he sussed out a diabolical plot up North than Queen Mary weds him to her cousin—an exquisite beauty with troubled, soulful eyes—and orders Simon to watch her every move.

Aimee de Verris is no spy. But her life may depend on becoming one. Banished from the French court by Catherine de Medici, Aimee finds herself tasked with reporting on Queen Mary’s activities in Scotland, where she’s unnerved by the frigid weather and brutish customs. Worst of all, Aimee’s been married off to a most uncouth lout. But when murder strikes, she learns to appreciate Simon’s talent for shielding her with every inch of his muscular frame. If Aimee desires her husband, perhaps she could trust him—or even love him.



Who could resist Aimee and Simon?
Aimee is a young and definitely in the wrong place. A spy? In a country as cold as Scotland? She is French and proud of it - and she is in love with someone at the French Court. Unfortunately Catherine de Medici has the power to turn Aimee's life upside down and that's how a young and sweet girl like her ends up as a well, not really a spy, rather a spy-to-be-if-she-knew-what-she-does, far away from France and her love - and wed to some English brute.

Oh, one should add that Simon isn't very happy either. he being a real, very successful spy of Queen Elizabeth's at Queen Mary's Court where he is supposed to spy on Queen Mary who suddenly finds himself wed to Aimee to watch her. Considering the fact that he just wanted to retire and spend time with his young sister instead of spying once more for Queen Elizabeth, things have certainly got a bit complicated.
It won't get easier when he discovers a murderous plot and Aimee and he have to flee from Scotland - but sometimes it's the hard times that form people and their relationship. Fighting for their very lives and depending on each other Aimee and Simon come to care for each other and maybe - maybe this marriage will turn into something more than just a polite marriage of convenience.

I loved the story which was well plotted and well written and I loved those wonderful, complex and very loveable characters. I didn't love the Queens and the purely arbitrary way how they treated their people. A spy who is not allowed to retire, a wedding the happy-couple-to-be doesn't want and... yes, I know, it's a historical romance and queens and kings were known for such things but it doesn't make it better, does it?

Anyway, I really loved this book which is not the first and definitely not the last by Sharon Cullen that I've read and will definitely read it again, soon!

 ★★★★





Montag, 22. Mai 2017

The Favor by Blaire Edens
















Blurb:

Single mom Anna Bishop doesn’t want help from anyone, but she does need a superhero for the birthday party she’s has planned for her seven-year-old. Luckily, her best friend’s brother agrees to suit up and play the role.

When architect Clark Wainwright agrees to do his sister a favor, he never expects to end up in a pair of tights…not to mention the tight spot he ends up in when he creates trouble for his sister’s best friend. Clark is a fixer, and he’ll do whatever it takes to fix the problem he causes for Anna and help her keep her son…whatever it takes…even of it means proposing.

Anna could do with a little rescuing…but it just might be Clark who gets saved in the end.



On the whole I really enjoyed rading this book but after a while the hero's constant reminders that he wasn't worthy of being happy, his repetitive mentioning of his guilt and his over-the-top need to fix everything started to get on my nerves. Throw in the heroine's will to deny herself happiness even if it is obvious that she wouldn't hurt her son for whom she denies herself...well, a bit too much as well.

Apart from that the book is well written and very enjoyable. Despite my problems with those two and their attitude, I'm pretty sure that I'll read it again because I really liked the characters (the rest of the time, when it wasn't about guilt and self-doubts).

George, Anna's ex-husband and the father of her son, is a bully, plain and simple. In addition to that he is also absolutely arrogant, vain and mean. Enters Redhawk, alright, Clark with his mean right hook, protecting Anna when George threatens her. To protect the damsel in distress when Anna has to deal with the repercussions for said right hook, a fixer like Clark goes to great lengths and so the two of them end up married in order to protect Louie, Anna's seven-year-old son.

It is a really nice story and there're enough sparks between the two to set the sheets on fire so you really get it why they end up together and it just feels right - and that's exactly what drove me crazy when Anna and Clark deal with their doubts and almost destroy the really good thing that they have there.
Fortunately their friends are there to get them back on track and we get - oh, right - they get their HEA.

★★



Freitag, 19. Mai 2017

Baby Daddy by Nelle L'Amour










Baby Daddy by Nelle L'Amour

Blurb:

A new sexy standalone romantic comedy told in dual POV by the New York Times bestselling author of THAT MAN and Unforgettable!

I have three cardinal rules:
1. Never mix business with pleasure.
2. Never let a woman spend the night.
3. Never date a woman with kids.

Kids freak me out. God only knows how many this baby daddy has. Man, what was I thinking when I was in college? Me, Drake Hanson. God’s gift to women. Aka Donor 5262. It was a piece of cake and fifteen hundred dollars a month for my deposits (in sperm bank speak) came in handy. I just didn’t think about the consequences. One day, some kid is going to call me Daddy and I’m going to get hit up for child support. Big time.

Now, my father is pressuring me to settle down because the investor who’s looking to acquire his animation company doesn’t want a player running a family-oriented business. Just in time, she came along. The temp. Dee Walker. The minute the hot as sin brunette with her killer curves and those chocolate brown eyes stepped foot in my office and saved me from an ugly disaster with her magic hands, I wanted her to be mine. Except she’s totally off limits. And there’s someone else she loves with all her heart and soul that I can’t replace.

Can my temp become my forever before my past catches up with me? I’m willing to break all the rules.



Okay, I must admit that I read the first pages - and I just thought that I wouldn't be able to read this book because - wow, what a d*bag! I mean, this guy, seriously, arrogance personified is putting it mildly.
Soooo, the book and I, we kind of fell out and I didn't think that I'd try reading it again - and then I read a review by a friend of mine and thought that perhaps, I might just give it another chance. Yep, that was the day when I didn't put the reader down anymore.

Somehow this d*bag developed quite a number of redeeming qualities and even though there were still some moments where I was a bit mad at him I really really loved the story.
Dee and Drake are not just hot (and they are hot together, no doubt about that!) but they are also very sweet together. To see Drake fall for Dee and, well, I loved to see his protective streak especially when it became clear that Dee needed someone at her side, and, yes, I would have fallen for him as well. Ab.So.Lu.Te.Ly.

You know those books that you read and you grin (stupidly), smile (goofily), you feel choked, you laugh out loud - and you get spitting mad? Right, this book is one of those - and I loved it.
If you mind strong language, explicit sex scenes or violence this might not be the right book for you but if you don't mind them  - go ahead, read it!

★★★




Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017

The Duke needs a Wife. : The Rogues of Bath by Katy Walters











Blurb:

On the untimely demise of her parents, Miss Cassandra Whitney endures abject poverty raising her siblings. She faces further torment as her landlord, the odious Baron Scudder, threatens her with eviction if she refuses to assent to his offer of marriage to her younger sister Belle.  As Cassandra fights to save her family, she inherits a title, an estate and a ruin of a castle.
News of Casandra’s inheritance travels fast, reaching the highest circles in the ton. The Dowager Duchess of Taunton immediately sees her as a worthy match for her son Maximillian the 6th Duke of Taunton a renowned rakehell. The dowager also plans to take control over the castle which would be a prestigious venue for her many balls and hunting weekends. However, neither Cassandra nor Maximillian have any desire to wed. 

Both did not anticipate the manipulative powers of the dowager who slyly arranges a meeting between them.  

On seeing Cassandra, Max is suitably impressed with her wit and ironic humour. Already tiring of one of his mistresses, she would be a welcome replacement. Although charmed with his handsome looks and seductive overtures, Cassandra puts him firmly in his place.

Can Cassandra resist the devilish overtures of the Duke and the devious ploys of the dowager?



It doesn't happen very often that I don't finish a book and in a way I did finish this one as well because I kept skipping pages just trying to find out what happened. That's why I rated it with two stars and not less, actually. 

The story itself sounded promising and I expected a nice read, just something light and entertaining. 
Well, instead  of that I found myself breathless and rather stressed, trying to keep up with the book that seemed to rush from scene to scene, invoking one villainous scheme after the other till I felt that I couldn't keep up with the story anymore. 

The interactions between the characters are not very convincing and rather unlikely and the characters themselves remain one-dimensional with the dowager duchess resembling a caricature, always crying for a servant to be whipped and put in the stock and whatnot - and a rather  disagreeable caricature as that. 

"Too much" one the one hand when it comes to the story and the things happening and "not enough" speaking of the characters, while making my head reel with the fast pace and the chaotic style.
This was my first book by Katy Walters and I fear that I won't try to read another, once was enough.





Montag, 15. Mai 2017

It Had to Be You (Brokemore Academy, #1) by Lizzy Charles











Blurb:

James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains red-hot romance, all the feels, and a soul-mate bad boy.



This book was a highly enjoyable to read. Going from a fake relationship to a real one is not exactly a new concept for a story but it is absolutely well done and reading their story you just get it. They belong together and they have to get there for real.

James and Edelweiss just wanted to prevent James from getting pulled out of school when they agreed on their scheme of a fake relationship. Well, somehow it felt too right and even though Edelweiss has to catch up on all things school-related due to her unusual upbringing  and James, well, he has to catch up on being a boyfriend. All his experience with girls hasn't exactly prepared him for the real deal. Even if it is faked. Or not. 
A potpourri of jealous ex-girlfriends, complicated families, lost siblings, gerat friends and some wonderful parents later, James and Edelweiss have to decide where they'll go from there - trust and try for the real thing or break off. 

I loved the different characters, the wonderful friends, the loving families and I really loved James and Edelweiss together. The story is entertaining, captivating and well written. 

What I also liked is the way it dealt with the ethnic differences, namely the fact that James is black and Edelweiss is white. I loved that it is the white girl who has been living in New Delhi for a long time and not her roommate who has indian roots. Edelweiss. a white american girl with the name of a flower that grows in the Alpes and represents Europe and folklore has traveled and lived almost everywhere, She doesn't judge and she doesn't care whether somebody is black or white or  - well, whatever. 
Black and white  - this is a recurring theme in this book. Writing an essay about a book, the color of someone's skin makes a difference in his perception of certain things in the book, the different color of the skin makes people doubt that someone is relatied to the other and so on. It is never openly discussed as a problem just as "something", as an awareness.

A great book, sweet and romantic with its fair share of  beastly ex-girlfriends and their likes  and great characters. Oh, and those parents? I'll take them. Right. Now.


★★★




Mittwoch, 10. Mai 2017

Invincible by Alana Alberson










Blurb:

I’ll be honest with you—I’m no hero. Sure, the media tries to brand every Navy SEAL as some kind of Batman dressed in cammies. There’s even a line in one of our cadences: Superman is the man of steel, he ain’t no match for Navy SEAL. You’ve seen the movies—we’re infallible, invaluable, invincible. But that night, the one you read about in the papers … all I really wanted to do was get laid.

One harmless fuck with an Aruban whore, no strings attached. I picked her out of a lineup—wild, dark hair, long legs and a crooked smile. After she sucked me off, I relaxed back onto the creaky, cum-stained cot, thankful for the blissful moments she gave me when I actually forgot for a second the faces of my buddies who died because I made the wrong call, the tears of the children I couldn’t save, and the eyes of the enemies I slaughtered during their last seconds of life.

But before I left, her hazel eyes peered into my soul. She whispered in a distinct Californian accent, “My name is Annie Hamilton. I’m an American citizen. I was kidnapped on spring break five years ago. You’re my last hope. Please save me.”

One desperate plea. This wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster or a New York Times best-selling thriller. I knew this time there was no room for excuses, no margin for errors. I had one chance to put on the cape and be her hero.
 



This book wasn't perfect by far but it drew me in from the first page on and kept me glued to my reader. I loved the story even though Patrick was not a hero who was easy to love but he grew on you, with every page and with every step toward Annie's rescue it was easier to like him. He was never a "bad guy", simply one who made bad choices and, well, I was very upset when I found that a woman is a woman and not a whore no matter what the circumstances when she is an American as in "an American woman in contrast to a native woman". 

As I said, the hero definitely wasn't perfect but I think you got that by reading the blurb, didn't you?
Why I was captivate by the book despite a lot of things that really annoyed me - well, there is nothing about sex trafficking that can't annoy you. It's people like Patrick who don't mean harm but who enable this business, who represent the market and those others, the victims, they suffer for it. 
It's people who -unlike Patrick- don't go back and help those victims or at least tell about them and their fate so that somebody else may go and find them who make this system profitable and who condemn people to a life in hell. 

And that's why Patrick grew on me. He made mistakes but he went back, he brought Annie back and he is at her side and helps her. Yes, he has a problem with her past but he is honest with himself and he is able to work it out and accept her past. 
Annie, well, life definitely was hell for her but she is strong and she is able to overcome her experience. Sure, she can't undo it, it will always be a part of her life and will probably haunt her forever but she learns to live with it. 
Perhaps things are a bit easier for her than for vicitims of sex traffick in real life but you could feel her pain and her terror and - well, it is a book, isn't it? So some liberties are justified, I think, especially as I think that it is important to show that there is a life or at least a possibility of a real life even after an ordeal like that. 


★★


I read this book shortly after having heard Ashton Kutcher's passionate speech on Capitol Hill against Human trafficking, that deeply impressed me. I knew that sex trafficking is still an issue but I had never before realized how much of an issue it is. 


For those of you who want to listen to his full speech:




About THORN, the "Digital Defenders of Children, driving tech innovation to fight child trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children" - and a group supported and founded by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher among others.



“WHILE OUR WORK IS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A HUMAN ISSUE. 
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE’S CHILD, SOMEONE’S SON OR DAUGHTER, SISTER OR BROTHER.”



Dienstag, 9. Mai 2017

Hunted: ALIAS #2 by Lisa Hughey











Blurb:

Hunted: There’s only one thing worse than seeing your unrequited crush every day at the office…and that’s getting trapped with him in a snowy mountain cabin. 

Maria Torres has been through hell and back. A former kidnapping victim, she’s used to being famous for all the wrong reasons and having people handle her with kid gloves. And it seems that the man of her dreams, Dwayne Lameko, is no different. 

So when an ALIAS client requests her presence on an op, Maria believes she’s ready to spread her wings and prove all her co-workers wrong…especially Dwayne. But when danger follows them into the wilderness, Maria has no choice but to prove to herself and Dwayne that she’s strong enough to handle anything…even his love. 

Maria Torres was first introduced in the Family Stone series, Still the One. She finally gets her happily ever after. 

Hunted is the second book in Lisa Hughey’s series: ALIAS. What do you do when you’re the victim of a crime but no one believes you? Adams-Larsen Inc and Associates, ALIAS, helps ordinary citizens in danger when they need to disappear. 

To start the series, check out Stalked: ALIAS #1 

Stalked: Opposites attract, unfortunately. 

Rule follower, Federal US Deputy Marshal Alex Saunders has been assigned to protect a federal judge after the judge receives death threats. This detail is standard until the judge insists on his son’s PR firm provide backup security, which isn’t even in the rule book. But because Alex is already in hot water, he follows orders to keep the judge happy. 

Rule breaker, and former CIA analyst, Kita Kim reluctantly agrees to go undercover, posing as the judge’s aide slash girlfriend, but in return she expects her boss at ALIAS to help her protect an abused woman and her nieces even though technically keeping the children from their father is against the law. 

From the very start, Alex and Kita disagree about everything. But their sizzling attraction continues to grow as the threats against the judge escalate and put them all in danger. Can these two opposites find enough common ground outside the bedroom, or will their diverse philosophies result in disaster? 



This is the second book that I've read lately where sex trafficking is an issue. In this book we don't have to deal with it directly but Maria, our heroine has survived eight years of solitary imprisonment whereas her friends who had been kidnapped with her were sold as sex slaves.

You can feel Maria struggle to learn how to lead a normal life and you learn about her friends who have been rescued as well and who have to learn to live with everything that happened to them. Even though we don't learn much more about them, the reader and the heroine are always aware of their suffering. At least I was.

You just have to admire Maria and her iron will to survive and to live her life no matter how hard that may be. Enters Dwayne - the gentle giant, the protector. Sounds like a good combo? Right... yeah. Might be, IF those two weren't determined to misinterpret everything. Whereas Dwayne is afraid of upsetting Maria whom he admires, because of everything that happened to her, Maria is convinced that he doesn't like her. Like - at all.

Obviously this is a wonderful recipe for disaster but somehow this thing called chemistry appears on the scene and decides to throw in some sparks and - yep. Things get going. Unfortunately they have to deal with a rather annoying (and lying) client at the same time and suddenly Dwayne's protective abilities are more needed than ever before....

I really loved reading this book and will definitely read it again as well as other books by the author.

 ★★★



Wrong Turn, Right Direction (The Bourbon Street Boys #4) by Elle Casey










Blurb: 


Tamika Cleary takes a wrong turn up a one-way street—and straight into Thibault Delacroix’s leg as he steps into the road. But Mika’s in a hurry, and she certainly doesn’t have time for a guy who can’t even look both ways before crossing, even if he does have a cute face, a body to die for, and the darkest, thickest eyelashes she’s ever seen.
Unfortunately for Mika, fate has other ideas. When she’s threatened by her employer, a Russian mafia boss known as “The Thief”, she’s forced to accept Thibault’s help. As the co-owner of the Bourbon Street Boys security firm, he believes he can keep her safe. But Mika has a whole load of trust issues—and the pushier Thibault is about helping, the more stubbornly she tries to resist.
Mika may have taken a wrong turn the day they met, but will she finally let someone steer her in the right direction?
 


I have been waiting for this book ever since I read the last page of the previous book  - and believe me, waiting that long wasn't easy. When I bought the first book of the series in December, I read it - and went back to download the next. And the next. And then the wait began. And it was hard. Fortunately I found "Shine not burn" by Elle Casey that turned out to be as funny and witty and gripping and page-turning in its own way as the books of the "Bourbon Street Boys" - Series but nevertheless I just couldn't wait for this book to get out.
Was it worth the wait? Hell, yessss....
From the first page on, this book got me and kept me glued to my reader till the very last page. I laughed and cried and I was upset and I was afraid and I was furious and - I loved every single page.
When Mika takes the wrong turn, this may just turn out to be the right direction, despite it being a one-way-street. in the other direction. And, well, despite the man she just hit with her car. Yes, even though every thing might turn out to be just the right thing and the right direction, no matter how bad it looks.
Unfortunately her up-to-now-but-not-any-longer employer didn't get the message and things get really bad but with Thibault at her side, how could Mika go wrong?
Fortunately the guys from Bourbon Street Security have some experience dealing with bad guys and when Thibault realizes that Mika is in danger he won't stop till she is safe.
Another wonderful book in a great series that just priveds the perfect mix of fun and action spiced with a lot of romance - I love it!

★★★★★




Montag, 8. Mai 2017

A Fine Madness (Highland Brides #1.5) by Elizabeth Essex












“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” 
Jane Austen 

Blurb:

MISS OTIS REGRETS... 

The entirely of Miss Elspeth Otis’s inheritance from her wastrel father is a battered old trunk with some scrawled-upon foolscap sheets. Nothing that could free her from a stifling life with her fusty maiden aunties in a musty old cottage in a misty corner of Scotland. Nothing that will give her the life she’s always dreamed of—a life full of kindness and kisses and love. Or will it? 

NOTHING... 

Mr. Hamish Cathcart wants more than anything to avoid the hasty marriage to a brewer’s daughter his father, the earl, has arranged to revive his fortunes. Hamish’s only hope is his failing publishing company, whose only asset is a scandalously banned book by an infamous, but unfortunately deceased, author. But when a new novel written by the same man lands on Hamish’s doorstep, he’ll go to any length to secure it—any length but love. 
------- 
This novella was previously released in the anthology Scandal's Daughters.



On the whole I enjoyed reading the book but in contrast to "The Danger of Desire" by the same author, I wasn't as captivated by the story. It was nice but somehow the characters were lacking some depth and left me wanting, well, more. Just  - more.

Oh, alright, not everything should be more, there's enough morality and censure around that make me definitely want for less. The problem is that the heroine is more or less characterized by her upbringing without any real clues to her being more than just nice and creative and woefully oppressed by her aunts. The hero is...well, he is nice and he has a good sense of business. One aunt is really nice and open and very warm while the others are just judging and berating our heroine.

The story is okay albeit somewhat foreseeable but on the whole nice. And despite my cry for "more", I was upset when the heroine was shamed by her aunts and I was furious when "we" realized that they had tricked her and lied to her over and over again. Somehow I don't see how that is morally acceptable but, well, they didn't ask me, did they?

This book is nice but it won't make it on my "Can-be-read-over-and-over-again"-list.


★★★




Mittwoch, 3. Mai 2017

I passed my exam....









All those days that I've been studying and translating have paid off, today I got my results:
I have successfully passed the 


IoLET Level 7 Diploma in  Translation 

examination!!!



Let the games...alright, let the work begin! 







Dienstag, 2. Mai 2017

Haven by Karen Lynch



Finally, 

FINALLY...





is out!

Blurb:

Things are going well for Roland Greene. High school is behind him, he has a sweet new ride, a good job, and he’s making plans for his future. At eighteen, he’s one of the strongest werewolves in his pack, and he already has more vampire kills than most wolves have in a lifetime. Life is good. Almost.

It’s time for the annual pack gathering. Wolves from all over Maine come to take care of pack business and socialize – and to find mates. Everywhere Roland turns there are unmated females, and as the Alpha’s nephew, he’s prime mate material. The last thing he wants right now is a mate, and he’ll do all he can to stay a free wolf - until he meets her.
 


Well,  I guess it is not a very big surprise when I say that I love the books by Karen Lynch. Those of you who've read the Relentless-Series and its companion book Warrior can look forward to another great book set in the world of our friends. 

Those of you who haven't read them yet - well, you' re still in for a real treat! You could read Haven first, of course, but I think you'd learn too much about the happenings in the other books and it would spoil those books. Well, it might spoil them, if anything could spoil them - I've read all of them countless times and I enjoy them every time as if it was the first time. 
They are wonderfully constructed, I can't say how often I find hints and clues in the books to some revelations and events in the later books when I re-read them and I love it. They are all closely linked, a wonderfully and brilliantly woven story that leaves nothing to coincindence or accidents. 

Haven is part of this web, it sets in when Rogue and Warrior end. On the one hand it is, well, yes, it is fun to see how the mighty can fall  - especially when it is fun-loving, flirtatious - albeit also loyal and courageous -Roland who does the falling. 

On the other hand this book...let's just say that there are some demons to fight - and in this case they are not exactly the paranormal kind. A past that you can't forget and the terror of it all - as usual, Karen Lynch has a wonderful sensitive and respectful way of dealing with such topics. I love the way she makes you feel with her characters and how you feel for them and with them. 
I loved Sara and Nikolas and I felt with them but somehow Haven and its characters moved me even more (and I'd never thought that that was possible).

Oh, don't worry, I laughed a lot and there is much going on that'll leave you grinning and laughing and, well, maybe even swooning. Let's just say that the well read reader is a little bit quicker at understanding what exactly happens there, somehow Roland isn't 

really quick at catching on. Not that that denial will get him anywhere but, well, read for yourself, you'll love this book, trust me! And apart from the fun of watching Roland fall in love and meeting all our old friends again, I'm sure that you'll love to meet the girl who has caught and tamed our wolf. I loved to see that girl find love and happiness, especially as she has been through so much....                                           Curious?                                 Great, that's what I was looking for! Just go ahead, read it, it is simply amazing!                                                                                                                              ★★★★                                            

I realized the other day, that Relentless was the first book by an indie author in English that I've ever read. I had read books by german indie authors but none in English. Being on holidays I ran out of books and decided to take a chance on one of those freebies that I had picked up before I left. From the first page on I was captivated and fascinated and when I had finished it, I re-read it. The next chance I got, I tried to buy the second book only to find that it wasn't out yet. Two long months followed...and then I could finally read the next book. 

Nothing has changed there, I still wait for each and every one of those books and their release and I can't count the times that I've read them -again and again. I love the books and the amazing audio books and, well, I'm already looking forward to the next book by Karen Lynch that will tell us Chris' story!

And a lot has changed in other ways actually - this book made me pick up a book set with a number of books by some indie authors and opened their world to me. I found so many great books and met many amazing people due to this afternoon where I took a chance on a freebie, I'll always be thankful for that day and that book.