Getting Away With It – Julie Cohen

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  Liza Haven couldn’t wait to escape the small village where she grew up with her perfect identical twin sister, Lee. Her life in LA as a stunt woman is reckless, fast and free – and that’s just the way she likes it. But when a near-fatal mistake drives her home, she finds Lee gone and everyone in the village mistaking her for her twin sister. Liza has to deal with her ailing mother, the family ice cream business, and Lee’s dangerously attractive boyfriend. Liza’s always been the bad twin, but as she struggles to keep up the masquerade and puzzle out where her sister has gone, she realises it’s not so simple. She’s spent her whole life getting away with it – is it finally time to face up to who she really is and where she really belongs?

 

So the gist of this book is there are two twins, one a “good” (Lee) then other “bad” (Liz).  Lee disappears and Liz returns home to take her place running the family ice cream business.  Liz takes her place because in their home village she’s not liked at all and feels it’s easier to pretend to be the good twin.  I thought that it would be confusing as the twins have quite similar names but the story when following Liz is in first person where when following Lee it’s in third person.  There’s also the standard complication of a love interest for Liz who happens to be Lee’s boyfriend!  It’s a good read, something to save for a rainy day.

The Dark Duet – C.J. Roberts

https://i0.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1315343569l/12513614.jpgBOOK ONE OF THE DARK DUET: Captive in the Dark

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

https://i1.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1335114363l/13612739.jpgBOOK TWO OF THE DARK DUET: Seduced in the Dark
The exciting, titillating, and action-filled conclusion to Captive in the Dark.

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.

The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.

Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance?

Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

 

I must warn you that these books contain very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.  Think Fifty Shades meets the Liam Nielson film Taken.  The story is good, it is quite a taboo subject the author is writing about and the twist although predictable was well written.  There are some places where it gets a bit much and I think it will put many readers off.  And it could be compared to a Fifty Shades in many places – I think I liked these books better than FSOG mainly down to the quality of writing.  Although like FSOG I did find it slow and repetitive in places.  I’m going to rate these as a good read.  They’re worth a read as they are very unusual and not a subject I’ve read about before.

The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

 Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdee steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Why have I been putting off reading these books for so long?  Everyone has been telling me how good they were but I kept putting it off.  Well in the beginning it was because the books were so expensive on iBooks.  I’ve had my kindle reader on my new phone for a while, but had managed to build up quite a backlog of books to read.  I’m very pleased I did though; The Hunger Games trilogy is amazing.  Suzanne Collins is such an excellent author, she tells quite a disturbing tale which touches communism and reminds me of The Running Man.  Although this is quite a unique story so cannot be compared in any way to the film. 

Collins is very clever she has so many characters – which is good seeing many get killed off.  But I’m amazed at how she keeps track of them all without confusing the reader.  No point throughout the books did I stop to think “Who the hell is he?”.  I felt myself drawn into the story, it’s so realistic, very fast paced.  It took me a while to get used to the chapter formatting, normally the end of the chapter would signal the end for that section and move onto something else.  Sometimes ending at a mini cliff hanger which gets resolved later on in the book.  But these books are so linear that it flows from chapter to chapter which creates the fast pace.  This is a good thing mainly as the story is so intense I don’t think I would have been able to handle the content as well as cliff hangers which get resolved later on – I would be just too confused!

It’s great to finally have a trilogy where the leading lady isn’t a dithering coward – Katniss has a conscious, might not make the right decisions, but she’s also a strong character.  I can’t wait to watch the film – I’ve been putting it off as I like to read the book before watching films. 

I’m rating this as a must read – but be warned you’ll be sucked in and it’ll leave you questioning things you’ve never questioned before!

 

Polly – Freya North

NEW on ebook for the first time with NEW author afterword.He’s out of sight, she’s out of her mind.

Polly Fenton is about to embark on a year-long teachers’ exchange to America. Swapping cottage pie for corn dogs is one thing, but trading lives with her American counterpart, Jen, is quite another.

The minute Polly’s feet touch down Stateside, she’s swept off them altogether. When she meets Chip Jonson, the school athletic trainer, all thoughts of home suddenly disappear.

Spanning three terms and two countries, this is a sparky and sassy story of New England and Old England, fidelity and flirtation, receiving one’s comeuppance – and making amends

Polly is one of my favorite Freya North novels.  It isn’t traditional chick lit and tells quite a different story to the usual boy meets girl.  I wouldn’t mind to be a teacher, just so I could do a job swap with someone in another country – especially America!  Polly is already in a relationship from the start of the book, which is unusual as normally the leading lady is single and the book is about how she finds her man.  Freya touches on real problems a long term and long distance relationship may encounter.  I love the language Freya uses, the imagery is so realistic; even though I’ve never been to New England I can imagine the setting.  Again Freya converses with her reader through the book, by providing a narrating voice which is fantastic.  It helps to set the scene and also give more understanding of what is going on.  I’m rating this as a good read

 

Unmasking Maya – Libby Mercer

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced…
 
Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She’s offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?
 
Not so much.
 
She can’t stand Derek Whitley – wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.
 
As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?
Thank you to the author Libby Mercer, for sending me a copy to review before the release date.  I loved this book, it has everything.  The secrets keep you guessing, and the build up as Maya and Derek get to know each other is fantastic.  I was sad to finish it, but in a good way.  You really get to know Maya the main character and some of the situations she’s in is quite funny.  She can be quite feisty, speaking her mind which I love.  I read it really quickly and was left wanting more.  Unmasking Maya is a fascinating page turner where you’ll find yourself warming to the characters.  It’s really well written with great attention to detail – I couldn’t put it down.  Make sure you get yourself a copy when this is released on the 15th December – for me it’s a must read.

When I Fall In Love – Miranda Dickinson

Elsie Maynard never expected to be starting again… 

…but eighteen months on from the biggest challenge of her life, she is doing just that –because she made a promise to the person who believed in her the most. 

Determined to step into her uncertain future, Elsie meets handsome Oliver Hogarth, who seems intent on winning her heart; she inadvertently founds a choir, and overcomes obstacles – most of which involve arrogant Torin Stewart. 

Then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the final item on ‘The List’ that she never dared complete. 

Can Elsie follow her heart and put her past to rest?

 

When I Fall In Love is the latest moving read from Miranda Dickinson.  It will make you cry, laugh and feel part of the story.  The reason why Elsie is starting again is withheld from the reader at the beginning of the book.  This unusual choice allows the reader to warm to Elsie without feeling sorry for her.  And warm to her I did.  I could relate to her location, Brighton is very close to where I live and have spent many a weekend there either shopping, browsing the Laines and best of all enjoying the nightlife.  Careful consideration has been taken to set the scene.  Miranda uses excellent descriptions that even if you weren’t familiar with Gardner Street you get a flavour through what is written for just what it’s like.  The story itself was refreshing.  You have your usual chick lit format but how Elsie gets there is so different to many books I’ve read, which seem to follow the same girl meets boy, boy does something which upsets girl, boy redeems himself and then they both live happily ever after.  The first thing that jumps out is that Elsie had her chance of living happily ever after torn away from her, and because of this it has the possibility of ensuring she’ll never get a happy ever after.

How can it be a Miranda Dickinson book without something to do with music or being creative being a big part of the story?  Elsie starts up a community choir which is a fabulous idea and really makes me want to get out there and join a Glee like club so I can live out my Rachel-esq fantasy.  I felt part of the book in a way, I think mainly due to my connection with Brighton – I drive the A27 nearly on a daily basis.  And the idea of the list is fantastic – it’s inspired me to do a bucket list.  I loved this book and rate it a Must Read.

The Dating Game – Susan Buchanan

 

Workaholic recruitment consultant, Gill McFadden, is sick of her friends trying to match-make for her. Up until now her love life has been a disaster and she’s going through a drier spell than the Sahara desert. 
She realises she has to act, as work keeps piling up and at this rate she will have retired before she has time for a relationship.
Seeing an ad on a bus one day, she decides to visit Happy Ever After dating agency. She quickly discovers men are like buses. They all come along at once. Unsure what her type is, Gill decides to keep her options open. Soon she has problems juggling her social life as well as her work diary. Will she ever strike the right balance?
Before long she is experiencing laughs, lust and… could it be love? But like everything in Gill’s life, nothing is straightforward and she ends up wondering exactly who she can trust.

 

Thank you to the author, Susan for sending me a copy of The Dating Game to review.  I really enjoyed Susan’s first book Sign of the Times and couldn’t wait until her second book was released.  I wasn’t disappointed; The Dating Game is just as good as if not better!  The descriptions are spot on and the characters are so well written that I related to them.  I loved the Barcelona bit, as the city holds happy memories for me, so reliving my last visit through the girls was great.  Susan is obviously a foodie – I wish I was there having tapas with the girls.  Or eating one of the yummy sounding dishes Gill eats on her dates.  I devoured this book quite quickly.  It’s a real page turner with a twist to the plot which I’m rating as a must read.

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