zondag 27 juli 2014

Nora Roberts – The perfect Hope

The third book in the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy series, published November 1, 2012.
Genre: contemporary romance with a dash of paranormal, ghosts
Cover: cute

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The Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother are breathing new life into the town of Boonsboro, Maryland, by restoring its historic hotel. And they're finding their own lives revamped by love. This is Ryder's story... Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out - with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He's surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a tool belt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except apparently Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro. And though the Inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope's experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome - and embarrassing - appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder's emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him...

The third book in the trilogy made me feel like coming home, and catching up with old friends. I have fallen in love with this small town, the Inn and the cast of characters. I would love to spend a few nights there, and explore all the different rooms and the impeccable hospitality of innkeeper Hope and her assistant.
Hope and Ryder don’t seem to like each other very much, and their interactions are very funny. They are attracted to each other, but both don’t want to take the first step into action. So the resident ghost Lizzy takes matters in her own hands, and locks them in a room together. The only way of getting out of there (apart from calling for help) is to kiss each other ... Hope is willing, but Ryder not so much, he likes to make his own moves.
Still, that kiss caused some major sparks between them!

When Hope’s cheating ex-boyfriend comes looking for her, he offers her her old job back at his father’s chic hotel the Wickham, and her old position as his mistress as well ... When Hope is not interested, and highly insulted he can even think that she will knowingly be the other woman, she stays polite, and uses Ryder to prove that she is not pining for Jonathan ...
Ryder is livid though, when he finds out after Jonathan has left, what he asked of Hope. He would have loved to punch him in the face for those insults. And poaching their innkeeper, no, that won’t be tolerated either. But Hope can handle things herself, she does not need his help further. It did make them behave civilized to each other though, and clear the air between them.

In the mean time, Owen and Hope are still searching for the identity of Lizzy’s Billy, and Lizzy is finally showing herself to Hope, and telling some of her story. With the help of some old family papers, that story becomes clearer and clearer, and it is not a pretty story.

Avery’s new restaurant is close to being opened, her wedding dress has been bought, and she is ready to engage the new challenges in her life. She loves what the Montgomery brothers have done with the pub part as well, building the bar themselves. The brothers are working hard on their mothers latest project, the gym. From an ugly building, they will transform it into something pretty and high class, just like they did with the Inn.

Clare is pregnant with twins, and the whole family is overjoyed with that, although 5 boys will not be easy for them. New dogs are also in order, and I sure loved how those rescues are described. And lets not forget Ryder’s loyal sidekick, DA, or DumbAss. Hope makes room for the dog in her apartment as well, and Ryder really appreciates it. They have finally started a relationship, first just for sex, but slowly both want more, although Hope never reacts as Ryder expects. She doesn’t leave her stuff at his house, she doesn’t complain when he has to work late. But then, neither does he when she has guests to take care off. Her guests and taking care of the Inn always comes first for Hope. She loves her job and the Inn.

To put it shortly: I loved this book very much, all the familiair characters, and especially the solution to Billy and Lizzy. That was heartbreaking to read, but the ending made me happy.

Hope is hurt more than she thought by the betrayal of Jonathan and especially his family. They did give her the impression that she was their future daughter in law, they even met her own family. They had to have known about Jonathan and the woman he really intended to marry ... So now she is very careful about entering another relationship,, especially as Ryder is technically the son of her employer ... But Justine laughs about that, and really hopes they will hit it off. Ryder sure is surly at times, and doesn’t know how to deal with a woman’s tears, but he is honest and he will be faithfull to Hope.

It was fun to see Ryder and Hope struggle with their feelings, and growing closer together. Of course their friends and family knew long ago that they were in love, but they had to realize it themselves first. The interaction of Hope with her two best friends Clare and Avery is such fun, and the rougher interaction of Ryder with his two brothers Owen and Beckett is so different. Ryder also hangs out a bit more with Becket’s sons, and you really witness that grown men are still little boys at times...

I loved it, I will re-read this series for sure.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 25 juli 2014

Recommendations from Karin for July 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Karin from Austria.


I have read 8 new books this month and there are more than three that I would like to recommend. Still – I have to make choices. So I settled for:

Mary Balogh: The Arrangement

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Carolyn Jewel: My Immortal Assassin

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Sherry Thomas: The Burning Sky

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I decided I would recommend Mary Balogh’s “The Arrangement” as the best book because although hero and heroine are a little bit too young for my liking, Balogh delivered a delightful story of two young people growing to love each other and also growing up. This book is part of a series (Survivor’s Club) and I liked this second installment a lot better than the first one. I will definitely keep on reading this series about six men and one woman who suffered horribly during the Napoleonic Wars and are on the way to heal their terrible wounds (bodily and mentally), helping each other and – of course – finding the loves of their lives.
Carolyn Jewel is a jewel I discovered by chance. “My Immortal Assassin” is also part of an ongoing series called “My Immortal” and I liked this book a lot, so much so that I will continue to read this series.

“The Burning Sky” by Sherry Thomas came as somewhat of a surprise. I have a love-hate relationship with Sherry Thomas (although she wouldn’t know that of course). Her books either appeal to me from the blurbs or they don’t. If I buy a book against my better judgment, I end up thinking, “Not bad, but she has done better.” Now this book is labeled as YA and I’m not really a fan of this genre (I’m wayyyyyyy too old to enjoy that usually!!!). But although the book has a certain simple writing style I have to confess I enjoyed it a lot. I’d even go so far as to say I’m waiting for the next installment- it’s going to be a trilogy.

I’d like to talk a little bit more about Sherry Thomas if you don’t mind. Actually I will do it even if you mind. So, if you are not a fan of Sherry Thomas, you had better stop reading now. This author intrigued me from the first book I’ve read by her. It was not a keeper but I keep checking out her website because I end up finding gemstones like “Not Quite a Husband”. She writes historical romances that take place at the end of the 19th century and she writes them in a most unusual way. I highly recommend checking out her book list on her website – you might find something worth reading.
She is going to publish a duology in the next two weeks. “The Hidden Blade” seems to be self-published and will be as e-book only as far as I could gather. It’s a companion to “My Beloved Enemy”. I read the excerpt and was intrigued ever since. I can hardly wait for August 5th to come around.

Also I would like to draw your attention to C.L. Wilson’s “The Winter King” which is finally going to be published on July 29th.

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So this has not really been a recommendation for one book in the good old sense but I still hope you might find something that you would like to check out. Happy reading!!

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Karin! I have also been waiting many years for the Winter King, and I will only believe it is coming when I find it on my doormat.
I do have many books by Mary Balogh, but I don’t think I have read one since I started reading in English. Sherry Thomas is also on my shelves unread. One day ...
I have read some Carolyn Jewel books, and have many more on my shelves to read some day.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 24 juli 2014

Heather Graham – Deadly Harvest

The second book in the Flynn Brothers Trilogy series, published October 21, 2008.
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense, ghosts
Cover: creepy

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When a young woman is found dead in a field, dressed up as a scarecrow with a slashed grin and a broken neck, the residents of Salem, Massachusetts, begin to fear that the infamous Harvest Man is more than just a rumor. But out-of-town cop Jeremy Flynn doesn't have time for ghost stories. He's in town on another investigation, looking for a friend's wife, who mysteriously vanished in a cemetery.
Complicating his efforts is local occult expert Rowenna Cavanaugh, who launches her own investigation, convinced that a horror from the past has crept into the present and is seducing women to their deaths. Jeremy uses logic and solid police work. Rowenna depends on intuition. But they both have the same goal: to stop the abductions and locate the missing women before Rowenna herself falls prey to the Harvest Man's dark seduction.

These books get creepier and creepier! This killer sure is something else. I read this story in little bits and pieces at a time, to avoid nightmares. But it sure was good!
The formula was the same though, as the other books I have read. A woman with paranormal abilities who denies it, and a man who refuses to believe in anything paranormal, even though he has a touch of it himself as well, but that is just “good instincts”.
Jeremy Flynn is a former police diver, who quit his job after a horrible find of a van full of foster children. He thought he had rescued one boy, only to loose him later on the way to the hospital. To garner money for his brother’s charity, Jeremy has been doing radio talkshows with Rowenna, pro and con paranormal events. Rowenna only tells about proven stories, never claiming she actually believes in the paranormal herself. She lost her fiancée three years ago, and Jeremy is the first man she has been interested in since then, but Jeremy sure keeps her at arms length.

Until after their last show, when they go out for a drink together, and one thing leads to another. When Jeremy finds out that Rowena lives in Salem, he immediately thinks she is a witch herself. But Rowenna denies it, she is not Wiccan, but she does have Wiccan friends. Then Jeremy gets a call from his former partner, whose wife has gone missing in Salem, asking for his help. Brad is of course the number one suspect and he needs Jeremy’s help to find his wife and to clear his name. And so Jeremy and Rowena meet again in Salem, where they will both help the local police to find the killer, and start having a relationship.

Yes, a formula, but it works if you space the books out. Very creepy this book, as we do have cornfields and scare crows here in Holland as well. I could picture it all way too easily. Still, a good book and I really liked Rowenna from the start. She does not accept Jeremy’s disbelief and sneers, if he does not accept her as she is, she will walk away from him.
Jeremy grows very protective and possessive of Rowenna, especially against the main detective, and her almost father in law. But eventually they reach an agreement, as it all concerns Rowenna’s safety.

Rowenna sure has some weird and highly suspect friends and acquaintances, and I had my pick of suspects. I did not guess the real one though, and that was the creepiest part.

If you like creepy, this sure is the book for you. The romance part, and the love scenes, are good and I enjoyed it all. Not certain if I ever would want to visit Salem though, with its very dark past.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 22 juli 2014

Robin Kaye – Call me Wild

The second book in the Wild Thing series, published August 7, 2012.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: not impressed

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She doesn’t know a single thing about relationships...
Unemployed sportswriter Jessie James plans to make a killing writing a bestselling romance novel. She’s never read one, but really, how hard can it be? Moving cross-country to a borrowed house in Idaho, Jessie starts her research with the first gorgeous guy she runs into...
Luckily, he knows everything...
Sports doctor Fisher Kincaid notices Jessie right away – the transplanted easterner sticks out like a sore thumb in the small town. When he discovers she’s researching attraction and romance, he graciously offers himself as a test subject. That’s when everything starts to go wrong, and they both need a few good lessons in love...

Sports reporter Jesse James gets the pink slip by email late at night, after having interviewed a sports team. Without a pay check, she certainly can’t afford her nice New York apartment. Her best friend has the solution though. He is living in LA at the moment but he still has a house in Boise, Idaho. She can live there rent-free and finally write the novel she was set on writing in college. Jesse thinks writing a steamy romance novel will be an easy sale, and so she sets out to become a best selling author. But that is not as easy as she thinks it is. Especially when Jesse does not believe in romance or true love.

Sports doctor and easy going guy Fisher Kincaid notice Jesse on her first day in Boise in the local Starbucks, and makes a play at her. But even though he is insanely handsome, Jesse is just not interested. She has no time, she is here to work on her book, and to apply for a job at the Starbucks to earn enough money for groceries and gas and such. All the locals think her nuts for turning down Fisher, especially his younger sister Karma.
She becomes fast friends with Jesse, and does her best to set the two of them up together in the remote mountain retreat of their older brother Hunter. Fisher is furious with his sister though, sending Jessica up the mountain in an inadequate car and without even an emergency kit. If he hadn’t found her when she went in search of a cell phone signal, she could have died there.

Being thrown together makes them finally act upon their mutual attraction though, Fisher has never met a woman who could run him into the ground each morning when he went jogging behind her, or who kept up with him and wanted to learn how to fly fish. They rescue each other, and Jesse ends up having to take care of a severely concussed Fisher, with the blessings of his family.

She has never been the nurturing type, after a horrible experience in high school she gave up on romance and relationships for good. She has only had some loose dates and one night stands ever since. Her best friend Andrew is there with advice though, and he enjoys seeing her fall. If only she had fallen for him ... But he wants her to be happy, and if Fisher makes her happy, he will do whatever he can to get them back together again. Somehow, their relationship will have to work with Fisher happily living in Boise, and Jesse getting a high profile new television job ...

I enjoyed this book very much, Robin Kaye has a very humorous writing style and very vivid characters. The only thing I severely dislike are the names: Fisher, Hunter, Trapper and Karma. Of course there is a story behind it, but still. And I do want to read the first book in the series. Yes, it is totally possible to read this series out of order. I do wonder if there will be more books, about the third brother and Karma herself. Perhaps with Andrew?

It was fun to see how Jesse kept turning Fisher down again and again, and how she thought he was a worthless bum, living with his mother (because his house is pristine!). Usually the couple jumps into bed in the first few chapters, or right after their first meeting, but not here! Fisher is a health freak, and he really hates how Jesse eats, she doesn’t cook so she gets a lot of ready to eat meals at the grocery store. Even offering to cook for her doesn’t change that. Fisher’s uncle is a real treat, I enjoyed him very much, and he is much more than he appears to be. That was fun to discover.

All in all, a fun novel, perfect for a hot summer’s day. It took me a while to understand the joke here: I will see you around. Not if I see you first. Jesse says that, and it means that if she sees Fisher somewhere first, she makes certain he does not see her. She does believe he is a stalker at first after all.
Original, not very predictable or cookie cutter. I do look forward to more Robin Kaye books, and can certainly recommend her Domestic Gods series as well.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 20 juli 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 12th new additions post for 2014. Not much happened in these 10 days since the previous post, but I do try to post on the 10th and 20th of each month now. I have already started the Susannah Sandlin book, and I really like it so far.

From Bookdepository:
Susannah Sandlin – Lovely, Dark and Deep
Laurell K. Hamilton – Affliction (read as ebook, but I do collect the paperbacks)
Catherine Coulter – Bomb Shell
Maya Banks – When day breaks. This book will tell me if I will keep reading the series or not.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 15 juli 2014

Recommendations from Peggy for July 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Peggy from Belgium.


I have read 2 books in the past month, and those 2 books are:

1. Sweet dreams - Kristen Ashley

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2. The will – Kristen Ashley

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The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is:

Kristen Ashley – Sweet dreams

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She's ready for the ride of her life . . .
Lauren Grahame is looking to reinvent herself. After leaving her cheating husband, Lauren moves to Carnal, Colorado, and gets a job as a waitress in a biker bar called Bubba's. It's a nothing job in a nowhere joint . . . until Tatum Jackson walks in. Lauren has never seen a man with such good looks, muscles, and attitude. But when he insults her, Lauren doesn't want anything to do with him. Too bad for Lauren he's also the bar's part owner and bartender.
When the rough-around-the-edges Tate meets the high-class Lauren, he thinks she won't fit in at Bubba's. Yet there's more to Lauren than meets the eye, and Tate soon sets his mind on claiming her as his own. Before long, the desire burning between them is heating up the cold mountain air. But when violence strikes the town, Tate must reveal a dark secret to Lauren-one that may put an end to their sweet dreams.

Due to a project I was working on, I haven’t had much time to read this month. The books that I have read were from Kristen Ashley, one of my favorite writers. ‘The will’ is one of her new books and ‘Sweet dreams’ is a book of the Colorado Mountain series. This series isn’t new but the books are only now coming out in print (paperbacks). So this means that every month I will have a book coming my way from ‘The Colorado Mountain series’. That makes me a very happy woman.

Lauren Grahame wants a fresh start in life. After ten years of marriage she has discovered that her husband was having an affair with her best friend and this for five years!! So she has divorced him and now she’s looking for that one place where she can start a new, simple life.

After months of travelling she comes to Carnal, Colorado, a small town in America. There she finds a job as a waitress in a biker bar. This is something completely different from what she did in her ‘old’ life but she likes it. Everything is going well until she meets rough, handsome, tall Tatum Jackson (Tate for friends). He’s a bounty hunter but also the bar’s part-owner and bartender. So they have to work together in the bar and that wouldn’t be a problem if Tate didn’t said something hurtful the first time they met. Something that hurt Lauren so much, now she will have nothing to do with him.

Tate’s first impression of Lauren is one of a high-class woman that will never fit into Carnal or the bar. But after to get to know her better, he’s falling for her and now Tate is set on claiming her. But Lauren hasn’t forgotten their first meeting so now Tate has to convince her in his own way that they can be together. That’s however, not an easy thing to do when you have a past like him with a crazy ex, you have to travel around for your work as a bounty hunter and other men are flirting with your woman in your absence.

When he finally convinces her that they belong together, he has a new problem, there’s a serial killer at work. Someone’s threatening all the women in his life. So now he has to protect Lauren and he will do anything to keep her save. But will he succeed?

Sweet dreams is the second book of The Colorado Mountain series.
You don’t have to read the first book to read this one but the first book ‘The Gamble’ is also a great book.
One of the many things I like of Kristen Ashley her books is that most of her characters are in their thirties or even in their forties. They’re older, have more live experience, have ex-partners and sometimes they have children.
Just like in her other books they’re a lot of secondary characters and I really love them! They’re crazy, funny, loyal…and did I mention crazy?
Kristen Ashley has a special writing style and I know not everyone likes it but I do.

One little note: The book has 638 pages but I was never bored, not one minute of it. I couldn’t stop reading.

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Peggy! I know you have recommended her before, and I really will read one of her books someday. Which one is your favourite? How about you, reader, have you read this author yet? What is your favourite?

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 14 juli 2014

Jane Porter – Flirting with Forty

A stand alone novel, published September 7, 2006.
Genre: women’s fiction
Cover: fun

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He got the second home and the Porsche. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie Laurens, post-divorce and heading toward the big 4-0, is on vacation in sunny Hawaii and facing her upcoming birthday – alone. But not for long. She’s soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and their wild passionate fling becomes the biggest surprise of her life.
Back home in Seattle, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood and her memories. Kai hasn’t forgotten her, yet thousands of miles of ocean and an age difference that feels even bigger lie between them. And, of course, Jackie’s friends disapprove. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?

I am not a big fan of woman’s fiction, but I met Jane Porter at LLC Berlin 2014, and so I wanted to read one of her books. I found this one second hand, and as I am around this age myself, I just had to read it.
I have to admit I did struggle with it some times, as Jackie is going through some severe depression and gets lots of critique from her friends. She is divorced, because her husband cheated on her, and they had grown apart. Jackie has two young children to take care of, the housework of course, and has her own career in decorating other people’s houses. She lives in Seattle. One of her best friends convinces her to go on a vacation, just the two of them, to celebrate Jackie’s 40th birthday. But when Jackie is waiting in the airport (the kids are with their father and his girlfriend), her friend calls that she can’t make it, as her husband is suddenly very ill. (The same husband who never wants her to do anything that does not involve him). And so Jackie goes to Hawaii alone.
At first she is at a loss what to do, making a schedule and sitting at the hotel’s swimming pool pretending to read a book. But a persistent man who thinks she will be a good fit to be his fourth wife drives her away. And the very attractive young surf instructor captures her attention ... When she keeps running into him, and he offers to teach her how to surf, to her own astonishment, she agrees. Jackie is very self conscious though, how can he admire her with her sagging body when all those young tight girls in itty bitty bikinis are throwing themselves at him? But there is just something between them, and they end up spending a lot of time together.

Back home in Seattle, Jackie can’t stop thinking of Kai, and when he calls her, she is determined to go back soon. Her friends disapprove, he was just a vacation fling, they live thousands of miles apart, and nothing can come of it. But Jackie is learning to do what she wants and needs, and not to be subjected to other people’s wishes and expectations of her. Her ex-husband of course finds out as well, and he ridicules her. But Jackie doesn’t care about that, there is a reason they are divorced.

And so Jackie lives her life in Seattle, and travels to Hawaii a few times. Until her daughter is in a car accident with the sitter she hired (against her ex-husband’s wishes) and she can’t get back soon enough. After that, she is so guild ridden, that she decides to give up on Kai. He will get over her soon enough ...

Jackie is a woman who lives mainly for her children. She has some good friends, who are all still married, and also live for their husband and children. She has a nice house, a nice car, and her own small business, her husband derogated all the time. Her little hobby. But Jackie wants more out of life, she wants to be happy. Her friends don’t understand that, they are content with their lives as they are.
The book is a lot about the feelings Jackie is having, she does love her kids to pieces, but she wants more. Eventually they will be grown up and living their own lives, and where will that leave her? She is reasonably pretty and has kept in good shape. When she hires a part-time nanny, that will give her more time for the job she enjoys, and land some new clients. But still.

Finding Kai in Hawaii changes her life, she starts questioning things she has always taken for granted. That you have to have things, a nice job, a nice house, a nice car, nice friends, and of course nice kids. Kai takes life easier; he came from a background like hers, so he knows what he has left behind. He loves the easy and relaxed life in Hawaii. He is a professional surfer in winter, and a surf instructor in summer. I like how he makes Jackie feel more confident about her self, and how he takes her all over the island. She is more to him than just a short fling, but Jackie doesn’t dare to believe in that, even though she has never had better sex in her life. She is very much hung up on the age difference, but I liked it.

Even though it sometimes felt like it took soooo long, and I got a bit tired of Jackie continuously questioning herself and her feelings and her thoughts, she grew a lot in this book, and I am proud that she choose herself, and happiness instead of settling for what she had. And I am sooo glad that the book has a happy ending, a truly good ending and one that I did not really see coming or expected. So I was happy when I closed the book, and it will make me read the other Jane Porter book I have, The Frog Prince.

7 stars.

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buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 12 juli 2014

Lisa Shearin – The Grendel Affair

The first book in the SPI Files series, published December 31, 2013.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nice

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We're Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn't exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…
When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I'm Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out—usually saving my skin in the process.
Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city's subway tunnels. And the murderer's not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor's hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year's Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don't find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret's out and everyone's time is up.

Welcome to a world filled with all the supernatural creatures you have ever read about. They live alongside humans, and often look human enough to be able to mingle in the streets. But this is caused by magic, by a spell or potion or a natural ability and even through modern technology. Makenna Fraser is a rare Seer, someone who can look though a veil, and see the true creature underneath. She grew up knowing about ghouls and vampires and werewolves and more.
She always wanted to be a journalist, but the only paper that hired her in New York, was one of those tabloids that loves outrageous tales, and if there aren’t any, they just make them up. Makenna was good at her job, because she could write about the truth of what she saw, and no one would believe it. But now she has a new job, working for the SPI. It is just the kind of job her family has, and she loves it. And perhaps she has a tiny crush on her partner Ian, who is fully human, a former cop who ran afoul of ghouls who killed his partner.

A new monster has let loose in New York City, with the sole purpose of exposing the preternatural world to humanity, taking over as the biggest predator of the food chain. SPI wants to prevent that from ever happening, and they have been working worldwide for ages to keep the monsters secret from humans. It would mean war between them, and millions will die, and hatred will rule.
The new, unknown monster is very strong and very fast, and also hidden from security cameras and sound. When Mac is on a private mission for a friend, trying to capture a nachtgnome hunting in his pawnshop, she is in more trouble than she thinks. The nachtgnome is more devious and more capable of keeping his liquor than she though, and she really does need Ian’s help. And when they discover there is someone upstairs in the office, and Ollie certainly would not be present, they are almost walking into the monsters paws. And just when they are investigating the crime scene, the normal police shows up, and they have to answer some questions about the presence. Someone must have called it in beforehand, it all just happened a few minutes ago.

The SPI’s most important lawyer quickly has them released though, and takes them in for questioning by the boss lady herself. Mac managed to take some vital evidence from the crime scene though, and soon the scientists have figured out that the monster they are looking for, is a real life Grendel, thought to be extinct by now. They will need the help and expertise from the Scandinavian branch to capture and kill it.
But before they get that far, the boss lady, who is a dragon in disguise, receives a note telling her that the appearance of the Grendel is not a coincidence, but a plan to expose them all on New Year’s Eve, Times Square. The Grendel hates noise and his favourite food is people, and both of those are in abundance at that time in Times Square, when the eyes of the world are focused on the massive celebration.

Time is running out for Mac and Ian and their teams to find the Grendels, and their offspring, especially when they discover a doppelganger has been posing as Mac for a while now, and she has left some nasty surprises in headquarters...

What follows is a fast paced story, filled with action and monsters, and only a few minutes breathing time for Mac to get something to eat.

After falling in love with Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series, earlier this year, I was eager to start reading her new series. It certainly did not disappoint me. Although Raine Benares is fantasy/fantasy romance, and this is urban fantasy, it was good. I really liked Mac and her co-workers, and can’t wait for more stories in this fascinating world. Again it is told in first person.

I enjoyed the adventure, the hidden world of tunnels underneath New York is teeming with all kinds of monsters, but so are the streets. The book is fast paced, and I really like that Mac’s co-workers are mostly preternatural, each with their own strengths, and part plain human. Although Mac is a Seer, she has no superpowers whatsoever, and has to rely on her wits and her water pistol filled with tequila. Until her partner confiscates it. And how can they fight a monster they can’t see? And that is too fast to be hit by bullets? Mac will have to make it visible and she does so in a brilliant and fun way.

The Grendel legend was very nicely worked into this story, but no, I have never been tempted to read Beowulf myself. I did like the crazy Scandinavian warriors that came over to hunt the Grendels.

I look forward to learning more about it all, and find out what will happen next for Mac.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 10 juli 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 11th new additions post for 2014. Some books have been read and reviewed already, and others are destined to gather dust for a while.

From Bookdepository:
Annie West – An enticing debt to pay
Erin McCarthy – Double Exposure, from every angle
Nora Roberts – The perfect Hope.

Bought at the bookfair:
Christie Ridgway – Then he kissed me
Jennifer Murray – The officer says I do
Jennifer Probst – The marriage mistake
Carolyn Brown – My Give A Damn’s Busted
Carolyn Brown – One lucky cowboy
Jeri Smith-Ready: Shine
Jane Porter – The frog prince
Heather Graham – An angel for Christmas
Secrets Volume 18 – because it has a Larissa Ione story.

Secondhand books:
Anthology: Zombies vs Unicorns

Books I’ve won:
Signed books and bookmarks, with a lovely note, from Jennifer Ashley: Pride Mates and The Queen’s Handmaiden. I am very happy with that last one, as it has been out of sale for years.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 8 juli 2014

Nora Roberts – The last boyfriend

The second book in the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy series, published May 8, 2012.
Genre: contemporary romance, with a hint of paranormal as there is a ghost in the Inn.
Cover: welcoming, romantic

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Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family's construction business with an iron fist - and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn't plan for was Avery McTavish...
Avery's popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation - and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery's thoughts. But the attraction she's feeling for him now is far from innocent. As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen's hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected - and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last...

I loved going back to Inn Boonsboro, and its cast of characters. I love the friends to lovers trope a lot, and I enjoyed the journey of Owen and Avery. They have been friends for so long, and now (with a little nudge from the ghost) they are looking at each other in a different light. But both are hesitant to take their relationship to the next level. What if it does not work out, will they ruin their friendship?
Both Owen and Avery are very hard workers. Avery owns the pizzeria next door, and the others love to come over for lunch or dinner, and Beckett and Clare’s kids love to play the arcade games. They are all working hard on putting the finishing touches on the Inn, so they can open in time, and their mother has them working on the bakery next door and of course, she has already plans for more. But Avery has plans of herself as well. She has had her eye on the building across the street for a while now, she wants to open up a restaurant and pub in there. It will be very hard work, but with the right staff, she knows she can make it work. But now she has to get Owen and his family’s approval on her business proposal.

Owen finally has some time to devote to finding out who their resident ghost actually was, and Beckett sure had a feeling when he started calling her Elizabeth. Lizzie is waiting for her lover, or perhaps her husband, and she has been for a long time, ever since the civil war. Hope is her descendant through her sister, and to find out all those details was fun.

This is a really nice feel good romance. A description of a lot of hard work, done by all, and a slow building romance. I would love to see the Inn myself, and visit all those amazing rooms. The quest to find out about the ghost fits in nicely.
Avery is more damaged inside than she realizes, when her mother left her and her father when she was just a young girl, and has some major commitment and trust issues. Owen does not have an easy road in capturing her hand, even though she gives him her heart. Or perhaps she did that when they were children already, and that is the reason no boyfriend ever lasted long. And when her mother suddenly shows up again, well, that was a hard thing for her to live with.

When Owen finds out that his widowed mother and Avery’s father are having an affair, he and his brothers are having a hard time wrapping their mind around it. Sure they want their mother to be happy, but to imagine her having a love life is something different altogether. But they like Avery’s dad a lot, he and their father were best friends, and they both still miss their husband/best friend. Grieving together let to something more over the years, but they are happy with this casual relationship.

I look forward to book 3 already, and I am glad it arrived earlier this week. It might even take my attention from Hay Day for a while when I learn more about the last son, Ryder, and Hope, the new Innkeeper.

The three men are brothers, and the three women are best friends, and I love how they all interact each other, support each other and tease when possible. I love Nora Roberts writing style, not every book has to have lots of action and drama, and she writes so vividly I can find my way around town without ever being there.

9 stars.

Autobuy author


© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 6 juli 2014

Amanda Cooper – Tempest in a Teapot

The first book in the Teapot Collector Mystery series, published June 3, 2014.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: lovely

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Tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is the charming town of Gracious Grove, where time moves slowly, gossip spreads quickly, and the scones are to die for...
When her fashionable Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor retreats to her grandmother's cozy shop, Auntie Rose's Victorian Teahouse, where serenity is steeped to perfection in one of her many antique teapots. The last thing Sophie expects is a bustling calendar of teahouse events, like her old friend Cissy Peterson's upcoming bridal shower.
Not everyone is pleased with the bride-to-be's choice of venue - like Cissy's grandmother, who owns a competing establishment, La Belle Epoque, and has held a long-simmering grudge against Rose for stealing her beau sixty years ago. Tensions reach a boiling point when Cissy's fiancé's mother dies while sampling scones at La Belle Epoque. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list...

As a child, Sophie loved visiting her grandmother in Gracious Grove, and hang out with the local children, but her jet setting mother detested the place, and insisted she go to an expensive boarding school. Sophie became a cordon blue chef, something her mother never understood, and ran an upscale restaurant in New York for years. But when it went bankrupt, she was at a loss for what to do, so when her grandmother invited her over, she gladly went.

Sophie’s grandmother, Rose Freemont, owns a successful teashop, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse, which she has been running with her equally elderly employee Laverne. They are very busy, hosting several weekly and monthly events and they serve delicious teas and foods. Her grandmother’s former best friend has also opened a teashop next door, called The Belle Epoque, but she serves frozen and store bought goods, and the cheapest ones she can find. Her elderly employee Gilda has to do almost all the work herself, on a very low budget, especially since Thelma broke her hip a few years ago. It is not as successful as grandmother Rose’s teashop, and Thelma doesn’t like that one bit. She does her best to blacken Rose’s name when she can. And now her beloved granddaughter has told her she wants to have her bridal shower in Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse. That sure does not sit well with Thelma.

But Cissy knows what she wants, and she wants the best this time. But to appease her grandmother, she agrees to an engagement tea party at La Belle Epoque. But now she wishes she never agreed, when her mother-in-law to-be, Vivienne Whittaker is murdered by a yellow frosted cupcake. Who poisoned her?

The local police are stumped, and to help her friend Cissy, Sophie starts looking into things. There is a lot of intrigue going on, with the people who attend the local country club, the new development and the possible annexation of it. Politics, and will the town stay dry or will they finally allow alcohol to be served and sold in town? Vivienne who suspected someone to have taken her money.
There are so many suspects here, the movers and shakers of the town, and even Vivienne’s own family ... and of course Thelma Earnshaw who dislikes all the Whittakers, and even Cissy’s brother Phil Petersen, who wants nothing more desperately than to get alcohol into town.

Sophie really enjoys her time in Gracious Grove, meeting up with her old friends Dana, who works in the bookshop owned by Cissy, and running into her former crush Jason Murphy, who is now an English lit teacher.

I really enjoyed this cozy mysteries, and I loved the little bits about the teapot collection most of the characters own. I do have some 40 of them myself, almost all in cottage shape, forming a village with shops. I had to stop collecting when I ran out of windowsill to display them. Of course mine are all just knick knacks, not worth a penny, unlike the priceless antiques described in this book. I would love to join the Silver Spouts!

The mystery was a good one, there were so many undercurrents running through this book. Al was not well in the Whittaker family, and I did not think Cissy really loved her fiancée Francis. Sophie does her best to create some kind of truce between her grandmother and Cissy’s grandmother, Thelma. The old feud really needs to stop, especially when there is talk of a third and very modern tea room in the street ...
And the politics of the new development and the town’s mayor are certainly well written and thought out, I really did not know where to look for the murderer until it was all revealed in the end.

I liked getting to know Sophie and her family, meeting her old friends and thinking about taking over her grandmother’s tearoom instead of going back to New York. I think she will fit in nicely in this village.

I look forward to the next book.

8 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 5 juli 2014

Recommendations from Maia for July 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Maia from Holland.


Last month I've read six books. They were five category romances and one reread of Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh

My top three of this month is:

Annie West - Captive in the spotlight

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Jayne Castle - The desperate game

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(You can read my review here: http://boeklogboek.blogspot.nl/2014/06/jayne-castle-desperate-game.html)

Jayne Castle - The chilling deception

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It has been a while since I’ve been reading category romances by the bushel, like I used to do. When I started reading romance, I bought the Harlequin presents, Candlelight and other series. They were the only kind of romance that was ready available and reasonably priced.

I loved reading them on the train ride from Utrecht, where I was at university to the little town my parents lived. The ride took me about two hours, just enough to read one.

When I started reading in English, I stopped reading most categories, except written by Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz, because I’m collecting their entire backlist. I started reading them again because of the LoveLetter Conventions. There are category writers present there and I always try to read one or more of the books the LLC authors have written.

That’s how I came to read the books by Annie West. She is an Australian writer, and came to the LLC 2014. I read her book “An enticing debt to pay” and loved it (except for a minor plot point at the end), so I bought more books. She doesn’t have many solo books, a lot of her books are in multi-author series, but I saw a duology and bought it.

“Captive in the spotlight/ Blackmailed bride, Innocent wife” are two great examples of Annie’s writing style. She takes familiar tropes and turns them around. Having read a lot of presents, you got to know how they were constructed. Annie turns that around. You don’t know what will happen. Added to that is a smooth writing style and some humor. You get the POV of the male protagonist and there is character development. All these were things that were mostly lacking in earlier categories I’ve read.

Adding to that, I’ve met her in Berlin and she’s super nice. So I’ll be buying her books now and reading some more category romances. Do you have recommendations for me about what I should read?

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Maia! I have read an Annie West book this week as well, and enjoyed it. From the Berlin authors we met, so far I have read a Nancy Warren book, and I really like her writing style as well, so I do recommend those to you.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian