Category: book reviews

Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents_Blogival: Book Review

PORCELAIN: FLESH OF INNOCENTS

By Lee Cockburn

Genres: Crime, Thriller

Published on: 21st February

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Blurb

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.

Review

Porcelain is a gripping crime thriller that hooks you in from the very first chapter. Porcelain is an absolute page turner and I was not able to keep the book down until the very last word.

Apart from the plot, the well built characters were also a very big plus point for this book. There were many characters in the book like DS Nicks, Nathan, Amy, Marcus, etc. I will only talk about a few which were my favourite, and also in my opinion the most important.

DS Nicks is fierce and brave police sergeant who has garnered a lot of respect in the police force as she is very good at her work. I think DS Nicks character was really good and with her team she did a great job in solving the gruesome crime.

Now coming to the twins Nathan and Amy. They had a very disturbed childhood, the memories of which still haunt their present. The moments of their childhood which were shown were deeply unsettling, painful and gruesome. And in present when they talk about their childhood you can almost feel the pain from their voice penetrating through the pages into your heart.

I had just one problem with this book. It was the excess of sex scenes(I think there were total 7). Apart from one, others were completely unnecessary for the plot. And I Actually skipped one or two because in middle of the gripping thriller I didn’t want to get distracted.

Porcelain has description of assaults which were carried on. The descriptions are brutal and gruesome and I feel this could be a bit too heavy for some people, so those of you with this problem could give it a miss. Apart from them this chilling read is recommended for all mystery and crime lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 out of 5 stars)

Purchase

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Author’s Bio:


Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.

Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn

The Sheikh’s Accidental Heir: Book Review

THE SHEIKH’S ACCIDENTAL HEIR

By Leslie North

(Sharjah Sheikhs book 2)

Genres: Romance, Woman’s fiction

Publication Date: 23 February 2017

GOODREAD’S SYNOPSIS

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qasimi is used to playing by his own rules, but when his father decides that his lifestyle of excess is becoming a threat to his future, he has to work fast to clean up his image, or face the consequences. Ahmed is resigned to an arranged marriage to a woman with whom he feels no romantic spark, until another ghost from his past comes back to haunt him: his American ex-lover.

Melanie is working to prove her catering business is a world class operation, so when she is offered the opportunity to provide the food at Ahmed’s wedding, she can’t say no—even though they once shared a night of passion. When a stranger offers her $100,000 to stall the wedding, it’s hard to refuse, especially when the connection between them is reigniting with a vengeance.

Letting go of the past isn’t so easy, though, when Melanie reveals a secret of her own.

Now, Ahmed will have to choose between being with the woman he’s falling for and saving his fiancée from a loveless marriage to another man. With his entire future at stake, can Ahmed find happiness for himself and the women in his life?

REVIEW

The Sheikh’s Accidental Heir is the second installment of Sharjah Sheikhs Series (It can be read as standalone). The first one was The Sheikh’s Forced Bride . I also read and reviewed it and I remember that I had given it a 5 star rating. So I was very excited to dive into this book and had very high expectations. But The Sheikh’s Accidental Heir left me a bit disappointed. 

First starting off with the good part of this book. I loved  The Sheikh’s Accidental Heir’s main characters. Melanie is a strong and determined woman. She owns a business in New York and loves to stick by the rules. On the other hand Ahmed is careless and has achieved a nuisance creator image. But he has a hidden talent which has helped him earn millions. I liked Ahmed’s character, even though he is not too helpful for his father’s business but still he is good at heart and is a great lover and friend.

The problem I had with this book is that I felt that the romance between Melanie and Ahmed was too rushed. I wanted to slowly savour the sweetness of romance between the leads but that didn’t happen as it started and ended too quickly. From Melanie’s point of view, leaving behind few instances near the end of the story, it mostly seemed only attraction rather than love. I felt that a few more pages should have been devoted to the built up of Ahmed and Melanie’s love story.

In the previous book of Sharjah Sheikhs Series I loved Sultan’s character. He was strict and someone who wanted his sons to follow his commands but he was also the same person who accepted his eldest son Khalid’s desire to marry an American and his ex fiancée’s desire to marry someone not of her comparable class. But in this book, he was almost shown as an villain. Even though the reason behind it was somewhat justified and finally he changed but still I was somehow not able to digest this villain avatar.

If you are in a mood to read a short quick romance then I would definitely like to recommend this book to you.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🔸

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

Buy the book:

Amazon

*I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley*

The Hunting Grounds_Release Week Blitz: Book Review

Release Week Celebration for THE HUNTING GROUNDS by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert!

THE HUNTING GROUNDS
By Katee Robert

Series: Hidden Sins #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Print Length: 318 pages
Format: Digital and Paperback
ISBN: 978-1503946705

SYNOPSIS

For two FBI agents with a past, love becomes a matter of life and death in the new Hidden Sins novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert.

Maggie Gaines used to be an FBI agent—top of her class and one of the bright, up-and-coming stars—until she spectacularly fell apart during her first high-profile case. That was eight years ago. Now she’s a ranger at Glacier National Park, and she’s found some measure of peace. But when the body of a murdered woman is discovered, she must finally put the past behind her and work with the one man she thought she’d never see again.

For months, Vic Sutherland has been hunting a killer who’s been targeting unsuspecting hikers in national parks—and now the predator has come to Glacier. Vic knows the case will bring him face-to-face with his former partner, yet nothing can prepare him for seeing Maggie again after all these years, or for the memories of passion it stirs in both of them.

As the investigation brings them closer together—and closer to the killer—Maggie and Vic fear they have only each other to trust. But even that might not be enough to make it out of Glacier alive.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34597437-the-hunting-grounds?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon: http://bit.ly/TheHuntingGroundsAmazon

B&N: http://bit.ly/TheHuntingGrounds

REVIEW

The Hunting Grounds is filled with suspense and the plot pulls you into the story right from the beginning.

The Hunting Grounds is told through three point of views that is Vic, Maggie and Madison.  Maggie is a strong, brave and determined park ranger who doesn’t fear risking her life to save someone. Her character was my favourite character from this book. It was a very well built character. And then the next person I would like to talk about is Vic, his character was also good. Like Maggie he is also brave and strong. Along with that he has an awesome ability to remain calm in most situations and he is somewhat a control freak too, but not in a bad way though. Madison’s part was short, and mostly told to convey the past and what might have caused the crime. 

The romance between Maggie and Vic made up only a small part of the plot but still it was beautiful and it was just the perfect dose of romance that this novel needed.

This novel was filled with suspense and lot of unpredictable twists and turns. The plot kept me at the edge of my sit until the criminal got caught. The mystery was so gripping that it was very difficult to stop reading the book.

I loved The Hunting Grounds and I guess it is my best mystery read of this year till date. I would definitely like to recommend this book to all the suspense lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🎐

(5 stars out of 5)

EXCERPT

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

Vic’s gaze fell on his phone. Maggie’s number was now in the contacts folder. It would be easy to dial it, just to check on her.

Except it was late, and she hadn’t asked for him to babysit her.

He’d gone years without seeing her, and now that they were in the same general area, it was like they were two magnets that could barely resist the pull. He wanted to hear her voice, to sit her down and share a meal that wasn’t military issue, to actually talk.

His phone rang, which startled him so much he almost dropped it. Vic stared at the screen for several precious seconds, wondering if he was more tired than he’d thought, because it sure as fuck looked like Maggie was calling him. “Sutherland.” 

“It’s me.”

He sat on the edge of the bed, suddenly painfully aware that he wore only a towel. It shouldn’t matter. She couldn’t see him, didn’t know what he was or wasn’t wearing, but it did matter. “Hey, Maggie.”

“I have to apologize.” He could almost feel her soft sigh. “You were right, and I was acting like a stubborn kid. This whole thing—the murders in the park and having to deal with my past and you—has got me all twisted up.”

Maybe it was the events of the last two days, but he was so goddamn tired of doing the noble thing. He never put himself or his personal shit before a case. Not once.

He’d never wanted to before.

“I twist you up?”

“As if you didn’t know. I had something of a crush on you when we were partners—which I’m sure you knew after I threw myself at you—and apparently I didn’t outgrow it as much as I thought.”

The dimness of the room evoked an intimacy he didn’t deserve. Was Maggie sitting in her bedroom in low light, too? He liked the picture that made. “You have nothing to apologize for.” 

“I’ve been making an ass of myself since you stepped off that helicopter.” She shifted, the sound painfully loud in the near silence. “And I’m doing it again, apparently. My whole point was that I’m sorry and I’ll be professional from now on. You don’t have to worry about any breakdowns or hissy fits.”

If he was smart, he’d take her apology for what it was and allow it to move them back to solid ground. There were lives on the line and a condensed timeline that was only going to get more condensed with each body that popped up.

But when Vic spoke, he didn’t move them back to firm ground. He threw them right over the edge of the cliff. “Fuck being professional. I want you, Maggie. Not the former FBI agent. Not the park ranger. I want you.”

Praise for The Hidden Sins Series

…a captivating read, made all the more rewarding when good triumphs.” —Washington Post

Robert shows off her impressive versatility in this fast-paced and inventive new Hidden Sins series. The small-town setting is a masterful blend of quaint and oppressive, which ratchets the menace and thrill factor. The protagonists carry the full weight of their pasts with them, making their growing relationship as compelling as the mystery element in The Devil’s Daughter. With plenty of twists and betrayals, this is a book that is sure to earn Robert a wealth of new fans.” —RT Book Reviews


Katee Robert has definitely picked up the romantic suspense genre and made it her bitch. I can’t wait to see what we get next. Given some of the books I see she’s been using for research, I know it’s going to be frightening and amazing at the same time.”—Goodreads Review


Other Books in the Hidden Sin Series

THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About The Author

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and eBook copies of THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER (Hidden Sins #1) from Katee Robert!

Enter at: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29389/?


Famous: Book Review

FAMOUS

By Jenny Holiday

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Genres: 
Adult, Contemporary, Romance

SYNOPSIS

Everyone knows her face. He knows her heart.

Emerson Quinn is famous. Girls want to be her. Boys want to date her. Each record outsells the last. All that remains is to continue transitioning her brand from its teenage fan base to a more mature, diverse audience. So she’s under strict orders to play nice with her army of assigned co-songwriters and to knock off the serial dating that keeps landing her in the tabloids. If she follows instructions, she can look forward to an indefinite run at the top of the celebrity ecosystem. There’s only one problem with this plan: Emerson is miserable. 

So she runs away, impulsively fleeing her L.A. life and heading for a small Iowa college town where a guy she once knew lives. He’s the only person in the world she can think of who might be enough of a nerd to not know about Emerson Quinn the brand. Who might be willing to provide a haven where she can lay low and write her new album by herself, on her own terms.

Art history professor Evan Winslow knows a thing or two about leaving your past behind. He’s worked hard to establish himself far from the spotlight of his infamous father. He’s up for tenure soon, which will mean job security for life. All he has to do to lock down his hard-won, blessedly quiet existence is keep his head down.

Too bad the most famous pop star in the world—who also happens to be his long-lost muse—has just shown up on his doorstep. 

REVIEW

I love these stories where the author writes about a famous person and we get to have peek into their lives and realise how much they are like us. And Emmy’s (Emerson Quinn)  story was no different, I totally loved it. 

“Then she looked right at him. Well, she looked right at the camera, but he knew she was looking at him.”

Emmy is famous singer. She is filled with talent, has a golden heart and wants to live her life the way she wants to. She is sassy and a free spirited girl. I liked the way she named her overthinking self Maudie who always fills her mind with worst case scenarios. On the other hand Evan is a professor who had been a painter but left painting after his father got arrested. He is totally cut off from the music industry and he didn’t even know who Emerson Quinn was until she showed up on her doorstep and she had to google her name. He is caring, handsome and everything that a woman would love to have in her boyfriend.

Emmy and Evan were like jigsaw puzzle they only complete each other when they are together. The compliment each other and actually help each other to be who they are. For Emmy Evan was a muse and for Evan she was. Their love story was very beautiful.

Among the secondary characters, the most important were Mrs Johansen and Tony. Both of them were awesome character. Tony was Emmy’s assistant who stood like steel beside her both before and after she became famous. And Mrs Johansen is a 79 year old lady who lives her full on. She is actually the coolest old lady I have ever met.  

I would definitely Famous to all romance lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

Buy the book:

Amazon

A Promise Broken: Book Review

 A PROMISE BROKEN

By Anissa Garcia

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Release Date:
July 10, 2017

Publisher:
AG Romance Reads LLC

Series:
The Promise Series 

SYNOPSIS

After a relationship gone bad, Hilary Matthews felt unsure about where she belonged or what to do with her life. Cue Zach Collins, a love ‘em and leave ‘em, no strings attached type of guy. The perfect distraction for her wounded heart. Just one problem. Zach isn’t some random stranger. He’s her brother’s best friend, and more than that, he’s practically family.  And to complicate matters, just when things start to heat up between them, she learns there’s more to Zach than he let on.

Zach’s job as assistant to an A-list actor allows him the luxury of women, travel, freedom and fun. But things changed the moment Hilary made her move, completely altering his world. Hilary is his fantasy come to life, his dream woman in the flesh…and his best friend’s little sister. Stepping over the line with her would not only ruin his friendship, but possibly alienate him from the only family he’s ever known. 

The pressure mounts as truths are exposed. Embroiled in betrayal, lies, guilt, and heartache, Hilary and Zach must decide if the biggest emotion of all is worth the turmoil. With so much at stake, the repercussions from a promise broken would cause the battle of their lives.

REVIEW

A promise broken is a beautiful love story with a nice storyline and lovable characters.

Zach has lived with Matthews as their family member ever since his parents left him there with a lot of money. Zach is very lovable and relatable character. He is a person who could to do anything for the Matthew’s family, because it is the only family he had ever know. He is kind hearted and a bit afraid to fall in love or have a relationship. 

Hilary is Zach’s best friend Evan Matthews’ sister, she is a strong woman, who can make great scarifices for the person she loves.

A Promise Broken’s narrative is told from two point of views that is from Zach and Hilary’s POVs. Apart from being in the present, the narrative also goes into the past to tell certain instances such as when once a new year, years back Hilary was kissed on cheek by Zach. Other than this there were many other instances too. These trips to the past were a really good addition to the book.

Zach and Hilary’s love story was romantic, sensual and at times painful. A Promise Broken is kind of book that would leave you with a happy feeling after you finish reading it.

“He truly loved me, healed my heart, put me back together. He’d broken a promise—but in breaking it he created a newer, stronger bond. It was a promise that made us more than family. It made us forever.”~Hilary

 I would like to recommend this book to all romance lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

Buy the book:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2u0IYIN

*I received this book in return for an honest review*

The To do list: Book Review

THE TO-DO LIST

By Sharon Struth

Genres: romance, suspense

SYNOPSIS

Maggie Harris has her ultra-organized life well in hand, until she finds her neighbor and husband together, in her bed, and the tight hold she keeps on her world unravels, leaving her grasping for an escape. So how can she refuse when she’s handed the dream job of running her aunt’s bookstore and a chance for a fresh start? Even though the bookstore is in Brockport, Connecticut, her former hometown, and a place she’d vowed to leave behind forever.

When someone breaks into Maggie’s new business and leaves a threat on the wall, Detective Cooper Stanton is assigned the case. It’s been twenty years, but Coop hasn’t forgotten the way Maggie once charmed him at every turn—even with her controlling ways. This time, though, Coop refuses to let her seize the reins. What he doesn’t know is she plans to grab them anyway…and she’s got a secret she never shared.

REVIEW

The To-do List is a fine mixture of romance and suspense with nice plot. 

I loved both Maggie and Cooper’s characters. Coop is unorganised and likes to have his office table or anything he uses messy whereas Maggie is very organised and can’t tolerate messy places. 

Maggie and Coop were friends with feelings for eachother in their high school and they went their separate ways after Coop pushed her away. So The To-do List is a second chance romance as the two main characters meet again after a gap of 20 long years. Maggie and Coop’s love story is beautiful. It was sweet at times but at other times it was painful. This is my first second chance romance novel and after reading this book I know I would read more from this genre.

“Maggie admired Coop, breathing in the soft shadow of his cheeks and the glint in his eyes. He watched her and softened his lids ever so slightly, sending a warm tingle to her belly. Coop was sex on a platter.”

Mystery and the suspense surrounding the threats that Maggie received kept me guessing who can be behind these threats or what can be the reason. The reason these threats and attacks happened was something that I could have never imagined, even in my wildest dreams. The suspense was a very good addition to Maggie and Cooper’s story.

The To-do List is an enjoyable read that I believe would be loved by both mystery and romance lovers. 

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

Goodreads

Buy the book here:

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AUTHOR BIO

The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best first Book. Her next release, SHARE THE MOON-Book one in the Blue Moon Lake Novel Series-is published by Kensington Books/Lyrical Press.

She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companions. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit http://www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com.

*I received the book from Tasty Book Tours in return for an honest review*


Fat Girl Begone!_Blog Tour: Book Review



Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance

Date Published: May 1, 2017

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I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it. Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business. Just call me Ms. Drama.

Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.


Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila. 

REVIEW

It had been​ a long time since a book made me laugh so much. Right from the beginning I was smiling and laughing. Everly’s​ thoughts, action brought out a lot of humour.

 This is story is narrated by Everly, the main character. Everly is a complete package. She is smart, clumsy, witty, awkward​. She suffers from every other problem that a ordinary girl does. She has job issues, boyfriend issues, lack of self confidence issues and loads of other issues. But she also copes with them and comes out victorious. Through the course of this novel, Everly somehow taught me that it is possible achieve what we always thought impossible with self confidence and a little help. Her character and her story both are very much relatable. 

There is a romance that is really beautiful. The man our girl falls for is a perfect gentleman, a man who loves her no matter what and is always there to help her whenever she needs him. This romance is filled with both funny and heartwarming moments.

Another thing I have to mention is Everly’s group of friends. They were as fun as her. Fat Girl Begone! would not have been this much enjoyable if they hadn’t been there.

From the first to last page, not once did I lose interest so I am definitely going to recommend Fat Girl Begone! to all romantic comedy lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🎐

(5 out of 5 stars)

About the Author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Fat girl Begone! is my eleventh book.

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