Saturday, 25 June 2016

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Synopsis from Goodreads:

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

My review:

Every time I think Jojo Moyes cannot possibly write a better book than the last one, I am proved wrong. After breaking my heart with Me Before You I picked this book thinking 'This sounds like a lovely, easy to read story!'. And it was. And it still made me cry and laugh and think myself lucky and take another look at myself and my family. Jojo Moyes has this gift of getting right under your skin with her words and I applaud her once again for a fabulous book.

Jess is an inspiring character. Single mum of two, working two jobs, but staying optimistic throughout the crappiest things that happen to her family. Ed on the other side is a hardworking rich guy that made a mistake and is now paying for it. They seem to be miles away in their situations, but they soon realise that they have a lot to learn from each other and sometimes the best thing you have is your own strength.

The kids are awesome. Tanzie is a lovely, geeky, maths addict who gets an offer to attend a prestigious private school with a ninety percent scholarship. Jess just needs to find the rest. Easy, right?

Nicky is a gothy teenager and a victim of being different in a small-minded world. Seriously bullied, taking anxiety drugs and not able to fall asleep without smoking a joint.

Then Jess and Ed make separate decision to take hold of their lives which bring them together for a journey to Scotland for Maths Olympiad in order for Tanzie to win the big bag of prize money that would enable her to go to the dream school.

The journey is full of learning, emotions, love, arguments, sick and one smelly dog, but it is also the best time the four people ever have. Things go right and things go wrong. They all make mistakes, but in a way they all save each other together.

This book is such a lovely romance about hope, family, optimism and just trying to the right thing. It's unselfish and by no means ordinary.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Lessons by Elizabeth Brown

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Question: What happens when a thirty-year-old virgin hires a sex surrogate to take care of her "little problem"?

Answer: Lots of laughs and tons of heat. You'll be left wanting a Dr. Ryan Andrews of your own.

My review:

The story was a novelty concept for me, but one I really enjoyed. I must admit that I have not researched sexual surrogates, but I am quite sure they exist. Therapy delves into so many subjects these days I would be utterly surprised if it didn’t fulfill the most primate needs of human beings.

That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought all characters in this book were likable and realistic. The book was funny and emotional and just made a lovely, if unusual, love story.

Both Natalie and Ryan keep secrets from one another and should not continue any kind of professional relationship, but breaking the rules of professional therapy and facing the consequences is the lesser evil when compared to never seeing each other again.

This is an easy to follow story with just enough drama and depth to keep the reader going. Not too many twists so as a reader you are still able to keep your focus on the main point of this book, which is the blossoming forbidden fruit of an emotional relationship between a therapist and his client.

I liked it. A lot actually.

Another good book so many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Sovereign (Acquisition #3) by Celia Aaron

Synopsis from Amazon:

The Acquisition has ruled my life, ruled my every waking moment since Sinclair Vinemont first showed up at my house offering an infernal bargain to save my father’s life. Now I know the stakes. The charade is at an end, and Sinclair has far more to lose than I ever did. 

But this knowledge hasn’t strengthened me. Instead, each revelation breaks me down until nothing is left but my fight and my rage. As I struggle to survive, only one question remains. How far will I go to save those I love and burn the Acquisition to the ground? 

My review:

Third and final book in the Acquisition series and what a read it was. After managing to obtain the first two books through NetGalley and enjoying the series I purchased the third book as I couldn’t wait to read it. The series for me finished with in great style hence my mark of 5/5 stars.

The whole concept of this series is this dark society run by some of the most perverted people you can imagine, but it didn’t make me feel as uncomfortable as I thought it would. Let’s be honest, most of us has seen Hunger Games and how many millions of people has been watching Game of Thrones? This is just another way of showing the twisted, dark drama genre we have all come to enjoy.

After the two trials that Stella and Sin have gone through I was a little afraid of what was to come, however the last two trials were so bad. I mean that in the way that the previous ones were based on sex and rape, the last two trials were based on something Stella had had – strength and determination to survive.

The Vinemont family survival hangs on the shoulders of this one girl, but they all come together through love and bonds that cannot be broken by violence and brutality. You get to love all the family members including Sin’s brother Lucius, Teddy and even their mother Rebecca.

They learned from each other, from themselves and from their surroundings and all receive some important life lessons throughout the process.

This was an existing series and I am gutted that it’s reached its end.

My rating: 5/5

Magnate (Acquisition #2) by Celia Aaron

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lucius Vinemont has spirited me away to a world of sugar cane and sun. There is nothing he cannot give me on his lavish Cuban plantation. Each gift seduces me, each touch seals my fate. There is no more talk of depraved competitions or his older brother – the one who’d stolen me, claimed me, and made me feel things I never should have. Even as Lucius works to make me forget Sinclair, my thoughts stray back to him, to the dark blue eyes that haunt my sweetest dreams and bitterest nightmares. Just like every dream, this one must end. Christmas will soon be here, and with it, the second trial of the Acquisition.

My review:

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.

Second book in the series and yes it does have me hooked. I mean what more can they throw at that poor girl?

Stella has fallen in love with the devil. She seems to have everyone falling in love with her. And she is finally starting to understand how high the stakes really are for winning/losing the Acquisition trials.

The story is certainly interesting and although a bit twisted it is written in a captivating style and I actually cannot wait for the third book to come out.

My rating: 4/5

Counsellor (Acquisition #1) by Celia Aaron

Synopsis from Amazon:

In the heart of Louisiana, the most powerful people in the South live behind elegant gates, mossy trees, and pleasant masks. Once every ten years, the pretense falls away and a tournament is held to determine who will rule them. The Acquisition is a crucible for the Southern nobility, a love letter written to a time when barbarism was enshrined as law. 

Now, Sinclair Vinemont is in the running to claim the prize. There is only one way to win, and he has the key to do it — Stella Rousseau, his Acquisition. To save her father, Stella has agreed to become Sinclair's slave for one year. Though she is at the mercy of the cold, treacherous Vinemont, Stella will not go willingly into darkness. 

As Sinclair and Stella battle against each other and the clock, only one thing is certain: The Acquisition always ends in blood.

My review:

I have received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book might be twisted at times, but it's an interesting read. The concept of this huge kind of secret society and a completely different and twisted world of some very rich people isn't new - secret societies have existed for centuries, but this book takes it that one step further.

Yes there is pain involved and some chapters that are uncomfortable to read, but let's be honest there are some sick people in the world and so this to me is quite believable.

I actually liked Sinclair's character. He is the ultimate bad guy, arrogant, selfish and heartless. But is he? Not really, he just has the world on his shoulders and the only one (apart from his mysterious mother) that knows the full consequences of a failure.

Stella comes across like a strong character, hard to break, woman of opinion and she doesn't hold back in letting Sinclair know how she feels about him.

I felt a little sorry for both Stella and Sinclair towards the end and I am looking forward to reading the next book to see where the story will move on to.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

First Touch (First and Last #1) by Laurelin Paige

Synopsis from Amazon:

When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven't spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what's more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.

Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she's drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she's forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?

My review:

This book was a slower starter for me, but characters were good and quite likeable and I am glad I stuck to it, as it turned out to be an enjoyable read.

Yes it’s a little dirty and some scenes might be uncomfortable for some to read, but it goes with the story and describes very well just how messed up the heroine of the book, Emily, really is. 

I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Emily, she’s certainly had it rough and although the most important thing for her with regards to having people close to her, is trust, she does even trust herself. She has a self-destroy button that’s permanently pressed and unless someone watches out for her she knows she won’t last very long.

She meets Reeve under the pretense of seeking a relationship with him, whilst she investigates his relationship with Emily’s lost friend Amber. But of course she falls in love – now this is never actually said in the book, but it’s pretty obvious and you don’t have to read between the lines. And Reeve feels the same, although he would never admit it either. They are both danger to themselves and to each other but that is what their relationship is based on.

Just as they finally understand each other and Reeve, in a round bout way, reveals that he knows who Emily is and that he loves her, Amber appear and the book is left on a cliff-hanger.

I thought I would hate Reeve and Emily. They are both such unlikely people to like, but I was rooting for them throughout the book. As they both reveal some of their past, especially the life Emily has led, you just have to like them as they really are perfect for each other.

This is not a classic love story and by no means finished. I cannot wait to read the sequel. Thank you to the author and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 4/5