Blog Tour: Burn for You (Protector #3) by Stephanie Reid

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Burn for You (Protector #3) by Stephanie Reid . I’ll share my review with you today! And there’s a tour wide giveaway!

BurnForYou_EbookTitle: Burn for You
Author: Stephanie Reid
Series: Protector #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ suspense
Links:

Blurb:
Vic Russo is just one of the guys. Except she’s not a guy. A paramedic, affectionately known as Vic within her firehouse, Victoria is a permanent fixture in the friend zone. But when her childhood crush, firefighter Graham McAndrew, becomes single once again, she decides enough is enough. It’s time for Graham to see her as the woman she’s become. There’s only one problem. A photo of her in the arms of another man has captured the nation’s attention.

Jason Meadows is not thrilled to have his police work interrupted by a small media craze. In fact, he’d be content never to see Victoria or that photo-gone-viral again. But a series of fires in town, paired with a growing attraction to the quirky paramedic, make staying away impossible.

Determined to ferret out a potential killer, Jason enlists Victoria’s help as his eyes and ears inside the firehouse. And while threats rise from within, Victoria is forced to choose between the love of her past and the man who’s ignited her fire within.

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My Review:
This was a fantastic read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Burn for You is the story of Victoria and Jason. She is an ex-veteran paramedic working with the fire department, and he is a cop and newly appointed arson investigator. They cross paths through their work and an instant attraction sparks leading to a full-blown love affair. Except Jason doesn’t do relationships and he’s a pro at keeping women (and people in general) at arms length. So the path of true love is definitely not going to run smoothly for our couple. Cue plenty of emotional angst and drama, throw in a smattering of the sexy stuff, and a meaty mystery subplot, and you have the recipe for a great read!

When we first meet Vic (or Toria as Jason comes to call her) she is pining for Graham, her old on-again-off-again crush. What she has ever seen in him is beyond me. Seriously, he was a total preening idiot who thought the whole world revolved around him. I loved the scene at the end where she finally put him in his place.

I really loved how the sex didn’t overshadow the plot in this book. So many times I pick up a book where the sex completely eclipses everything else, so this was a refreshing read. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of romance and sexy scenes, but it never took away from the story.

The plot around the arsonist was solidly built and added plenty of intrigue and mystery.

Character development is really strong in this book and both mains were multi-layered. Jason, in particular, has a dark, complex past which was gradually revealed as the book progressed. My heart bled for him. I enjoyed Vic’s character – while she was sassy and independent she had a vulnerable side that she didn’t shy away from. Essentially she is a really nice person and someone who always sees the best in others. An easy MC to warm to.

It’s obvious this author has a counseling background as the character development spoke to overcoming deep-rooted anxieties and fears and dealing with past trauma. The author writes with strong emotional impact and it’s clear she has a firm grasp on human behavior, motivations, and drivers, and strategies for dealing with self-destructive traits/actions.

The writing style is very good and consistent with the genre. Pacing is spot-on, and I also really enjoyed the worldbuilding.

While this is part of a series it is a standalone read. I haven’t read the other two books, and I didn’t need to. It was a seamless smooth read.

Highly recommended if you enjoy well-written character driven romance with a well-developed plot.

Author Photo--Stephanie ReidAbout the Author:
Stephanie Reid writes contemporary romances with heart, humor, and a happily ever after. She holds a master’s degree in Human Development Counseling and enjoys using counseling theories on her fictional characters (and from time to time her husband).

She draws inspiration for her stories from life experience, and when writing, she frequently asks her police officer husband for his input on all things law enforcement. They’ve agreed not to discuss the bits of advice she doesn’t take when it doesn’t serve her plots well, and this makes for a very harmonious marriage.

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Stephanie now resides with her husband and three children in central Illinois.

Links:

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Review: Fallen in Love (Fallen #3.5) by Lauren Kate

Fallen in LoveTitle: Fallen in Love
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #3.5
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.

And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine’s Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first and last time, Daniel and Luce will spend a night together like none other. Lauren Kate’s Fallen in Love is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.

True love never says goodbye . . .

My Review:
This was an enjoyable enough read but it does nothing to move the plot along with the series and appears to be a pure filler to fill the gap until the final book was released. I read it primarily for Daniel and Luce’s story but it fell short of the mark for me, could have been more romantic.

Review: Scorched (Frigid #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ScorchedTitle: Scorched
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Frigid #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sometimes life leaves a mark…

Most days, Andrea doesn’t know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he’s a major player, and they can’t get along for more than a handful of minutes. Until now.

Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She’s teetering on the edge and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.

Andrea’s life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn’t matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she’s speeding toward rock bottom, only she can save herself.

Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after…

My Review:
I think this is Jennifer’s best NA book to date. Explorations of some heavy subject matter – alcoholism, depression and anxiety. Jennifer handles it perfectly; no glossing over, no sensationalism, raw, real, gritty,so powerful. Though it was downright difficult to read at times, it’s a superb book. The power of redemption is the key takeaway for me. Tanner is one awesome dude and I love him for patiently waiting for Andrea. Another show stopper from the incredible JLA.

Review: Rapture By Lauren Kate (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate

RaptureTitle: Rapture
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #4
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The sky is dark with wings . . .

And time is running out for Luce and Daniel.
In order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the Fall began. Only Luce can break the curse, and it is her choice alone that will decide all of their fates.
But as Dark Forces gather, great sacrifices will have to be made in this final, epic struggle . . .
In the fight for Luce, and for Love, who will win?
The astonishing climax to the Fallen series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

My Review:
I’m so happy that Luce and Daniel are finally on the same page and working together as a solid partnership. However, they only have 9 days to save each other and the world.

Luce is a lot less selfish in this book and much more considerate of Daniel’s needs. She is brave, courageous and gives him the support he needs to continue the fight. Finally, she understands that she could die if this doesn’t work out though she still doesn’t take it seriously enough from a self-preservation point of view.

Luce has come back from her time travels a lot more clued-in but there are still pieces of the puzzle she must figure out. I really enjoyed the power and control that Luce exerted at the end and the whole role-reversal was a nice touch even though I expected it.

The ending was good but I would have liked to have seen more of Luce and Daniel as they reconnected. I also don’t understand how the whole Heaven vs Hell imbalance was left – it appeared like nothing changed, but wasn’t that the whole underlying issue all the way through?? Or maybe I was just confused over that, but it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It felt like it was leading up to this big choice and then nothing changed.

The world building, pacing and writing are all good in this book and I enjoyed it.

Now that I’ve finished the entire series I have a lot of unanswered questions though that are a bit frustrating. Having reflected on it, Lauren introduced a lot of threads and then just left them hanging and I wonder why they were there at all (if not to serve to confuse and frustrate the reader.) Structural/Developmental editing was seriously lacking in my opinion.

For example:

*I don’t get Cam’s role as the other party in the non-existent love triangle. I’m intrigued by his character and I’ve already ordered the Cam book but still his character was never really developed during the series and I think that was a mistake.
*Why did she burn Trevor at the start? ( I’ve read the short and it still doesn’t answer this question though it appears to show that some demon did it and some angel/Daniel got Luce out of there in time.)
*What was the significance of the serpent necklace Cam gave her?
*Miles and the kiss? Thrown in there and then totally brushed over. It appears as if it was just inserted to give Luce and Daniel another reason to argue.
*Whole Heaven and Hell balance scenario was left hanging.
*Truce? What truce? Important one minute, inconsequential the next.
*Shelby and Daniel? I read the short and nothing happened between them so why would she lead Luce to believe it had? Makes no sense. No alignment.
*Todd – did he see the shadows before he died? Was he an angel?
*The Angels all seemed to switch sides (truce or no truce) and it was baffling.

That aside, I enjoyed the series more than I was frustrated by itand I’m looking forward to checking out the movie when it comes out this year.

Review: Beautiful Oblivion (Beautiful Oblivion #1) by Addison Moore

Beautiful OblivionTitle: Beautiful Oblivion
Author: Addison Moore
Series: Beautiful Oblivion #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Addison Moore:

Some people just don’t belong together, or at least that’s what the world would have them believe.

It was supposed to be just for the summer…

Reese Westfield comes from a world of old money, country clubs, cotillions, and expensive cars. She’s tired of dating Warren McCarthy just to make her father happy. Reese has long since had her eye on someone else, and this summer she’s determined to make it happen.

Growing up in Lake Loveless there has always been a strict monetary divide—there was the rest of the Lake and then there were the Waterman’s. Ace Waterman has worked for everything he has, and he doesn’t have a lot. He breaks his back doing grunt work while putting himself through college. He’s used to life passing him by.

Reese has loved Ace from afar for as long as she can remember. The summer of her freshman year she comes home with plans to land Ace in her bed at least for a few short weeks, and, if she’s lucky, forever.

Ace has loved Reese for as long as he can remember, but their friendship has never graduated beyond platonic, so when Reese comes home from her first year away and proposes the two of them have a summer fling, Ace is quick to comply. The rules: no strings, no expectations, just something hotter than the sun to set the sheets on fire.

But when their worlds collide, and neither of them is willing to admit to having true feelings, it becomes clear to Ace he’s nothing more than a dirty little secret—that the summer fling was just something meaningless to pass the time.

Reese wonders if she can ever stop trying to please her father, and it’s only through her mother’s letters that she finds the answers she truly seeks, but will they be the ones she wants to hear?

As summer draws to a close, Ace and Reese are still very much enraptured even though the time has come to douse the flame and move on—but neither one of them is prepared to leave this BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION.

My Review:
This was an amazing read and I devoured it in record-breaking time.

I loved everything about it – the writing, the characters, the pacing, the plot.

Reese and Ace have been in love with each other for years, but both are afraid to tell the other in case they ruin their friendship. Totally believable premise. Reese suggests a summer ‘fling’ and Ace agrees and most of the novel centers on their developing romance. I’m all about the romance so this book was the perfect read. It’s essentially the story of how they turn a sweet friendship into a steamy love that will last forever.

Character development was really strong in this book and there are a lot of interesting side characters who will no doubt become the focus of future books.

There were a few scenes where I was disappointed in Reese – she could have tried harder to set Warren free and she let Ace down a couple of times which broke my heart. But she redeemed herself in the end so I forgive her <3 This is the second Addison Moore book I have read. I read one of her 3AM Kisses books and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it like I did this book. I'm already more than halfway through the second book in this series and I'm loving that one too. I'm delighted to have found another favorite author and I'll definitely check out some of her other series in the near future. Highly recommended if you enjoy well written, sweet but steamy NA series.

Blog Tour: Serendipity Summer by Laurie Kozlowski

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Serendipity Summer by Laurie Kozlowski. There is a teaser and a tour wide giveaway.

Serendipity SummerTitle: Serendipity Summer
Author: Laurie Kozlowski
Series: Riverbend Way #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Please Note–this book contains some adult language, partial sex scenes, and recommended to readers ages 18+ only.

Anna and her daughter, Katy, are uprooted from their Atlanta home when they become unexpected recipients of Rocky Top Inn, a family estate, in Riverbend Way, Tennessee. Anna loses patience with her ex’s demands while being harassed by his fiancee, a bonifide ice queen. The chance for a new beginning draws her into fulfilling an aunt’s dying wish while an overwhelming desire for her former boss, Jake Ivers, unravels any doubt that soul mates don’t exist.

While traveling through remote parts of the country as a wildlife photographer, Jake Ivers lands an assignment in the small mountain town of Riverbend Way. He soon finds himself wading in way over his head. Becoming the town handyman, consoling his nephew, being targeted by animals and threatened by an old lady with as much money as Bill Gates, was not part of his original plan. To top it off, there’s the issue of convincing Anna she has his heart.

Will their friendship last beyond a season or could this summer prove to be a stroke of serendipity?

excerpt teaser 3

Author PhotoAbout the Author:
Laurie Kozlowski resides in Northeast Georgia with her daughter and husband. Having small town roots, she’s intrigued with the charm, drama, and humor of the south, often weaving those themes into the fiction she writes. Her first contemporary romance book, Serendipity Summer, is the first of four books in the Riverbend Way Series. The Riverbend Way Series is contemporary small-town romance fiction. The series touches on serious modern day issues, a twist of earthy and sometimes bawdy humor, and a heavy dose of love. Laurie enjoys incorporating family-centered themes and stories including friendship, hope, and healing. When not writing, she loves to make music and jewelry, picnic near the river, or catch the latest comedy or drama flick at a local cinema. She hangs out mostly on Twitter @LaurieKozlowski when she isn’t caring for her daughter, writing, or driving her husband crazy.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Trailer Reveal: Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Today is my stop during the trailer reveal for Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout. First there’s some information about the book, followed by the trailer. I am really excited for this book!

Oblivion-Final-1600x2400Title: Oblivion
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #1.5
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

And here’s the trailer:

And don’t miss the first books in the LUX Series!
Lux Series Collage
LUX: Beginnings

LUX: Consequences

OPPOSITION

JLA_Author-photoAbout the Author:
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

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Blog Tour: Blue Phoenix series by Lisa Swallow

BP_Sale1
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Blue Phoenix Series by Lisa Shallow. The entire BLUE PHOENIX series is on SALE for this week only! Summer Sky is FREE, and the other books are all .99¢ each! These are available exclusively through Kindle Unlimited. And there’s a tour wide giveaway. I feature Unplugged and a playlist for the book.

UnpluggedeBook.2Unplugged (Blue Phoenix #3)
by Lisa Shallow

Blurb:
“A rock star doesn’t return to his humble beginnings and whisk away the girl he kissed once. Especially if she has a four year old and her relationship status is ‘it’s complicated’.”

Blue Phoenix bass player, Liam Oliver discovers pictures of his fiancée with another man and his world crashes around him. He packs up his humiliation and hurt and flies back to his Welsh family home for Christmas.

Cerys Edwards once had pictures of Liam Oliver covering her bedroom wall. Her best friend’s big brother never gave her the time of day when they were growing up. When she was fifteen, he left town leaving Cerys with her fantasies. Now he’s back. The problem is, she has a daughter and a broken relationship of her own.

In the world of his Christmas past, Cerys and Liam reconnect. Are they two hurt people looking for comfort in a time of heartbreak or does Cerys have a place in Liam’s future too?

Months later and unplugged from his Blue Phoenix lifestyle, Liam reconnects with Cerys. He discovers Cerys’s world is full of complications he never expected – including Ella’s father who isn’t happy about being replaced by a rock star.

Unplugged is more than a rock star romance. Liam isn’t dark and brooding like Dylan, or a bad boy like Jem but a fiercely loyal man with a big heart. This is a story of love, family and unexpected bonds made that can’t be broken.

This is book three of the Blue Phoenix series. It can be read as a standalone but has minor spoilers for books one and two.

Happy Young Couple in Winter Park

BS_UnpluggedBanner

Playlist Unplugged

1. Liam’s bassist hero and inspiration is Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and I think this song sums up how he feels when he’s in California watching his life fall apart and all he wants is to see Cerys again.

“The secret I’ve kept locked in my heart since Christmas can’t stay hidden. Cerys touched me in ways Honey never did and there has to be a reason why. If we’d really just been two hurt people looking for comfort, the need to see her wouldn’t have obsessed my thoughts for the last two weeks.”

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers

2. Cerys isn’t the only girl who steals Liam’s heart in this book. He builds a snowman with Cerys’s daughter, Ella, although he’s not keen on the song.

“I like you,” says Ella as she watches Liam place the head on the snowman’s body.
“Why, thank you, little lady,” he says in a false American drawl.
Ella suddenly hugs Liam around the leg and he looks down in surprise before glancing at me. Now he’s out of his depth as his arms hover over whether to hug the girl back or not. ~ Cerys in Unplugged

Do You Want to Build a Snowman
www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-zXT5bIBM0

3. This is the book where we first hear Jem’s real name too and more of a hint about Bryn’s weird sense of humour

“How’s Jeremy?” I can’t believe she still calls him this. Jem hasn’t been Jeremy since he was in primary school, apart from if we want to annoy him. If Bryn really wants to piss Jem off, he sings him the Pearl Jam track of the same name. ~ Liam in Unplugged

Jeremy ~ Pearl Jam

4. This is also the first book where Ruby Riot feature, as Liam takes Cerys on a date to one of their local gigs. Ruby makes quite an entrance.

I’m interrupted by a girl arriving in the bar. ‘Arriving’ is a mild way of putting the entrance of the tall, skinny girl. She crashes through a side door and stomps in motorcycle boots across the room. Dressed in a short black dress barely covering any of her long legs, the girl’s hair shines scarlet red as it catches the light of the bar. ~ Cerys in Unplugged

She’s Thunderstorms ~ Arctic Monkeys

5. Cerys is a long-time friend of Liam’s sister and four years younger than him. When she hung out with his siter, Louise, they used to listen to Blue Phoenix rehearse.

“Blue Phoenix rehearsed at Liam’s house. I got subjected to their early stuff and believe me, it wasn’t good.”
“I don’t believe that! They’re an amazing band.”
“Once they started playing their own stuff, it improved. Marginally. When you’ve heard ‘Stairway to Heaven’ rehearsed on repeat for two hours, it doesn’t sound so good anymore.”
~ Cerys in Unplugged

Stairway to Heaven ~ Led Zeppelin

6. Well, there has to be a rock ballad…. I think this could be the song playing in the final scene of the book too (no spoilers!)

“Every time you listen to my heart, I want you to remember one thing. Until the day my heart stops, it belongs to and beats for you – always remember that.”
Cerys burrows further into me, pressing her face harder against my chest as if burrowing further into my heart and soul. She doesn’t need to. She’s there, always.

I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing ~ Aerosmith

Full Playlist for the Books

summer skySummer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1)
by Lisa Shallow

Blurb:
Sky changed her life for a man once, and she has no intention of doing it again – even if he is a six foot, tattooed rock god who makes a mean bacon sandwich.

Sky Davis is fed up of boyfriend Grant taking her for granted and when she comes home to find him wearing a girl, Sky suspects the relationship is over. She takes an unscheduled holiday and leaves the life (and guy) she hates behind.

Rock star Dylan Morgan is struggling with fame and infamy, sick of his life being controlled by other people. Dylan cuts his hair and walks away from his role as lead singer of Blue Phoenix, leaving chaos and speculation behind.

Outside the English seaside town of Broadbeach their cars and worlds collide.

Sky decides Dylan is an arrogant guy with too many tattoos, and Dylan is amused by the smart-mouthed girl with no idea who he is. Dylan and Sky soon discover they’ve travelled to Broadbeach for the same reason – to escape from reality back to a place with happy childhood memories.

Losing themselves in a world where they know nothing about each other, Sky and Dylan begin a holiday romance that soon heats up their rainy English summer.

Fantasies can’t last forever and when reality crashes the party, Sky isn’t sure she wants to be more than his ‘summer Sky’.

Returning to the real world and public scrutiny isn’t their only problem. Blue Phoenix lead guitar player, Jem Jones, has a reason for wanting Sky out of Dylan’s life, and is determined to come between them. Some things won’t stay hidden, even when they’re paid to ‘go away’.

Summer Sky is a romance where occasionally more than the bacon sizzles. This is the first in the new ‘Blue Phoenix’ series of contemporary rock star romances.

*Please note this is not a standalone and has a cliffhanger – Sky’s and Dylan’s story continues in Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)

Summer Star (Blue Phoenix #1.5)
by Lisa Shallow

Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)
by Lisa Shallow

Rising (Blue Phoenix #4)
by Lisa Shallow

Reverb (Blue Phoenix #5)
by Lisa Shallow

Cadence_promo

About the Author:
Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. She is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2001. She now lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband, three children, and Weimaraner, Tilly, who often makes appearances on Lisa’s social media.
Lisa’s first publication was a moving poem about the rain, followed by a suspenseful story about shoes. Following these successes at nine years old there was a long gap in her writing career, until she published her first book in 2013.
In the past, Lisa worked as an English teacher in France, as an advertising copywriter in England, and ran her own business in Australia. Now she spends her days with imaginary rock stars.
She lived in Europe as a child and also travelled when she left university. This has given Lisa stories which would sound far-fetched if she wrote them down, and maybe one day she will. These days, Lisa is happy in her writing cave, under Tilly’s supervision.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Passion (Fallen #3) by Lauren Kate

PassionTitle: Passion
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
‘Every single lifetime, I’ll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever.’

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way . . . Luce is certain that something – or someone – in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

My Review:
After the torment of the last book (ahem) I was thrilled that this book delivered in all the ways in which the second installment didn’t.

I LOVED the world building in this book. We follow Luce on her travels through time and various different continents and I could vividly depict all the places as they were so well described and detailed. I also loved how Lauren tied some of the plot into key historical events. For example, Luce and Daniel were Shakespeare’s muse and they were both there the night the Globe Theater went on fire. Smarty Pants Lauren Kate. Very clever.

I was suspicious of Bill from the outset. Someone who professes to sit on the fence is someone to be very wary of. While I had a feeling he was untrustworthy, I didn’t anticipate his identity so that was a good twist at the end.

This book was way more imaginative that Book 2 and I loved the 3D/Cleaving plot development. Genius.

(view spoiler) I was screaming at my Kindle, so afraid she was going to act all stupid again. Thankfully, she has matured and progressed while on her journey of self-discovery and she made the right call. I really hope that in the final book her and Daniel are a solid unit and that all the nonsense over who she should be with is put to bed and the plot concentrates on winning the war against Satan.

The big thing that Daniel is concealing still hasn’t come out though I have s strong suspicion I know exactly what it is – all tied up with her true identity and what actually happened to instigate the curse.

The only thing that was a bit confusing in this book was the whole notion of the truce between Cam and Daniel, good and evil. There was a pretty big deal made of this in the last book as it was listed as a countdown. Yet there is no mention of it anymore and I assume we are meant to believe that in the greater scheme of things it no longer matters?

Also, since Book 1 there is no further mention of why Cam was trying to lure Luce away from Daniel and no explanation for his vague statement at the end of Fallen.’I just want her. You know why,” he said to Daniel when they were in the rafters. I would really love to know the backstory here and it would add substance to what’s supposed to be a love triangle but really never was.

Anyway, my issues with this book were minor and I enjoyed it way more than the second book. Im looking forward to finishing this series now.

Review: Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate

FallenTitle: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . .

My Review:
Luce has been troubled her whole life and plagued by mysterious shadows that seem to appear when she least wants them to. Misdiagnosed, she has flitted between psychiatrists and boarding school until she lands in reform school as a result of an inexplicable accident that claimed the life of the boy she was crushing on.

Cue lots of strange goings-on as she gets to grips with the reality of life in the creepy Swords and Cross school. She feels an intense connection to Daniel Grigori the moment she lays eyes on him and with the help of lovely Penn she starts digging into his past in an attempt to understand him.

As the story progresses she finds out that Daniel is her long-lost lover and due to a curse she has been reincarnated over and over again, never once surviving beyond 17 years of age. Daniel has been around for thousands of years, forced to watch her die one lifetime after another.

I enjoyed this book and thought it was a decent start to the series. Daniel is mysterious and enigmatic and a worthy male lead. Luce is struggling to understand him and he blows hot and cold in equal measures. At times, I wondered if he was betraying her or simply being vague to annoy her. Add bad-boy Cam into the mix and she becomes even more confused. At times, it’s hard to figure out who is trustworthy and who has a personal agenda. I liked the element of intrigue.

While I thought it a bit weird that a bunch of angels were confined to a reform school for three years (some of them) I liked this world and the addition of the creepy cemetery was perfect. I loved Arriane and Penn and both had very distinctive personalities.

This book had definite shades of Twilight and I thought the writing was rather similar in a few places. I had a few issues with some of the plot – what’s the story with Cam? Why was he trying to tempt Luce away from Daniel? And what’s the significance of the serpent necklace? The author made a big deal of it, but it seemed to serve no purpose at all. I didn’t even think of it as a love triangle though I believe that was the intent. Perhaps that will come out in later books.

Overall, I enjoyed it; liked the characters and the world, enjoyed the writing and the pace. While I had a few minor issues with the plot I’m engaged enough to continue the series.

Actual rating: 4.5 Stars