Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: This book almost destroyed me. Heartbreaking.

Full Review:
Forbidden was very thought-provoking and I found myself, at times, both disgusted and sympathetic in equal measure. Having reflected on it for a few days, it is hard to look at the love between Lochan and Maya as wrong even if that is how society categorizes it.

Their family situation is completely dysfunctional. They were quasi-parents to their younger siblings, and they never really had a traditional brother and sister relationship. I couldn’t help wondering if they’d had a normal upbringing would they have fallen in love or were they always destined for one another irrespective of their environment and their circumstances? It’s an interesting question and one that’s had me thinking about this book several days after I finished it.

Modern society has a genuine reason for saying no to incest – proven birth defects in any children born of incestuous relationships. And I get that, but my mind was contemplating all kinds of scenarios whereby it could be permitted – what if it was allowed and both parties agreed to sterilization, then the risk is eliminated. Of course, that wouldn’t solve the stigma or the myriad of other issues, and I’m not saying every government should rush out and change their laws because it’s a hugely sensitive complex issue, but I would genuinely feel for any couple like Lochie and Maya and believe it’s wrong that society says they can’t be together.

Characterization was superb in this book, with emotional depth and plenty of substance. I felt both of their pain as they struggled with their feelings for one another – as they tried valiantly to fight their attraction and burning need for one another. The irony is that the family unit was actually stronger when they were together – it made sense.

Their parents should be strung up for their neglect and I wanted to hurl my Kindle a few times, such was my loathing for both mum and dad.

I knew this wasn’t going to end well but that finale still KILLED me – I was sobbing my heart out for ages and I felt an actual pain in my heart. It was horrific but compelling.

I applaud the author for her ability to tackle such a complex subject with sensitivity and grit. It was never glorified or ridiculed.

The writing was breathtaking if a little over descriptive at times – I did skim a bit.

In summary, this book had a deep impact on me and I love books that challenge my thinking and challenge social norms. This one will definitely stay with me for a long time.

Review: Chasing Truth (Eleanor Ames #1) by Julie Cross

Title: Chasing Truth
Author: Julie Cross
Series: Eleanor Ames #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.

My Review:
Chasing Truth was an exhilarating read chock-full of action, suspense, intrigue, and a smattering of swoon-worthy romance. I loved every intense, pulse-pounding, heart-clenching second of it!

Jason Bourne has met his match in sharp, feisty Eleanor Ames. What a fantastic leading lady! Ellie is a superb heroine; struggling to be good, she really wants to do the right thing, to be a good person, even though it’s often hard to let go of her past. She isn’t opposed to cutting corners or breaking rules but it’s all in the interests of uncovering the truth and she would do everything and anything to protect those she loves. It has to be said, she isn’t always likeable – she is dishonest and she tells lies a lot, but her heart is in the right place so I was able to forgive her. I actually found her character to be refreshingly different from the norm.

Miles was an immediate addition to my very-very long book boyfriend list. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the story, but he had all the qualities I admire and covet in a man. He was the perfect match for our heroine.

Voice and characterization were superb in this book, and I also loved the witty banter between our couple. But what really stood out for me was the whole mystery and intrigue and it had a real “whodunnit” vibe. I constantly changed my mind over the guilty party and I ADORE when books have me second guessing myself. The plot was well thought out and executed.

The last quarter of the book had me on the edge of my chair, frantically biting my nails, and gasping for air (okay, I’m being overly dramatic but you get the gist) – it was intense with a capital I. I would have challenged anyone to pry my Kindle from me at that stage – there was no way I was parting with that sucker until I had devoured the rest of the book. It didn’t disappoint.

The romance, while well-written, was a little on the light side for my liking, but it isn’t a major complaint. The story was mainly resolved in this book but there are elements left hanging. I’m totally invested in this couple now, and I eagerly anticipate the next instalment.

In summary, this is a superb read and I highly recommend it.

Actual rating 4.5 stars. Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saven The Complete Series Box Set Release Day!


I am so excited to announce that today is the release day for the Saven Complete Series Box Set! This box set includes all five books in the Saven Series and is available for a limited time for only 0.99! That is a MASSIVE 94% discount off the individual books. The set is also FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited.

The Saven Series Box Set(The Saven Series #1-5)Saven Series Box Set (The Saven Series #1-5)
by Siobhan Davis

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy Romance
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: September 26, 2017

Book Description:
This box set includes all five books in the captivating Saven series from USA Today bestselling author, Siobhan Davis, and is over 1,300 pages of heart-stopping adventure, intriguing mystery, and swoony romance.

A girl with a hidden past. An alien prince. Their unlikely attraction could save two worlds… or doom them all…

Sadie Owens desperately needed a do-over. When she’s chosen for a six-month residency in a government-run undersea city, she willingly drops everything to participate. After all, the experiment could be a huge step forward for her overcrowded planet and her life. She also doesn’t mind living next door to a hot alien with ocean-blue eyes…

Logan Chandler has kept a lot of secrets for his species. If humans knew the real reason the Saven were on Earth, then their coexistence would be anything but peaceful. But he can’t help falling for the different and beautiful Sadie. Unfortunately, protecting the girl of his destiny could destroy his own kind…

As Logan gives Sadie mixed signals, the mystery of the Saven starts to unravel.

When she finally understands what’s at stake, is it too late for Sadie to save her heart and the human race?

Grab your copy on Amazon!

Cover reveal: Tuned Into you by Cindy Dorminy

Today is the cover reveal for Tuned Into You by Cindy Dorminy. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Tuned Into YouTuned Into You
By Cindy Dorminy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Publisher: BookFish Books

Blurb:
A summer party is the last place Lydia Flowers wants to be. Beer pong? Stupid, foot-wrecking shoes? Random hookups? No thanks. Lydia would rather be in her cleats practicing her bat handling skills.

Enter Abe Fischer, the Nashville Teen Idol superstar. He’s a lip-syncing party animal with a short fuse; or at least that’s what the tabloids say. Except, Abe turns out to be nothing like the guy Lydia’s read about online. He’s sweet, and the way he talks to his horse…sigh.

Then life throws Lydia and Abe a curveball. They are wrongfully arrested for destruction of property. Their choices? Either work on the Fischer Farm for the summer earning nothing more than blisters and a sunburn, or have the arrest go on their records, which would ruin Lydia’s shot at a softball scholarship. It’s a no-brainer. Lydia picks up a pitchfork, pulls out the SPF 40, and prepares for the worst two months of her life.

When the press gets wind of a big secret Abe’s family has been keeping, things become even more complicated. Now Lydia has another choice to make: stick around for Abe’s messed-up life in the spotlight, or go for the scholarship of her dreams.

You can find Tuned Into You on Goodreads

Cindy DorminyAbout the Author:
Cindy Dorminy grew up on a steady diet of popcorn (the kind you pop in a sauce pan), Tab (pre-Diet Coke), and movies for teenagers. She can’t let a day go by without quoting a line from one of her favorite films, so quirky dialogue is a must in her stories.

When she’s not at her research coordinator day job, Cindy is writing funny love stories, walking her dog, or slinging iron the old-fashioned way. She shares her house with her musician husband, her awesome daughter, and a cool, four-footed child that would eat all the cheese if she could figure out how to open the refrigerator.

Cindy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Music City Romance Writers. She resides in Nashville, TN where live music can be heard everywhere, even at the grocery store.

You can find and contact Cindy Dorminy here:
Website
Twitter
Goodreads

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Tuned Into You. One winner will win a 25$ iTunes gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Review Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ObsidianTitle: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Review:
I only recently discovered Jennifer L. Armentrout as an author, and I purchased the Lux series after I devoured the entire Covenent Series in less than a week (I seriously did nothing else all week but read, couldn’t drag myself back to normality at all).
While I definitely enjoyed reading Obsidian, and I’m dying to continue this series, I was a teeny bit disappointed. I didn’t connect as well with the characters as I had with Alex, Seth and Aiden from the Covenent Series.
However, it still contains all those amazing qualities that I have come to expect, and love, from JLA: compelling dialogue, addictive prose and swoon-worthy romance. It has all that in bucket-loads. And I’m totally down with the whole hot-alien thing.
I had a few issues though. Katy starts off being described as timid, but quickly turns quite sassy without really any explanation. Daemon was totally rocking an Edward Cullen type funk, you know – nasty and mean on the surface, but secretly yearning for Katy underneath it all, and just trying to protect her. Not a big deal for me as I love Edward Cullen, it’s more an observation. The biggest issue for me was that a lot of the stuff that came out of Daemon’s mouth was pure Seth, so much so, that I actually kept thinking of him as Seth which was jarring at times. Also, in the Covenent series a ‘demon’ is spelt ‘daimon’ and in the Lux series the character ‘Damon’ is spelt ‘Daemon’. For that reason, I kept reading demon in place of Damon and it bugged me. I know it’s minor (and it wasn’t an issue in the later books) but I wish she had just spelt it Damon.
Overall, my issues were quite minor, and this is still a very good book and I would suggest it as a recommended read.

True Calling FREE to download this week only

TRUE CALLING FREE TO DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON UNTIL APRIL 17TH

“True Calling is a dystopian-sci-fi-romance that is FABULOUS! Siobhan did not fail to impress me with this debut novel.” Ashley Colby. The Caffeinated Booknerd

If you loved Matched, The Selection, The 100 or The Hunger Games then you will love True Calling. Pick up a copy while it’s free! And don’t forget you can download a free Kindle app from Amazon – for iPAD, tablet, desktop, laptop or mobile phone.

This is the second edition released in Jan 2015 so if you have already read TC this is a good opportunity to download the latest version free of charge!

True Calling Paperback GIVEAWAY

Afternoon all,

How do you fancy winning a copy of my exciting new YA sci-fi romance series True Calling? In celebration of the forthcoming release of the paperback version of True Calling, I have partnered with Goodreads on a special giveaway. Head over to www.goodreads.com and enter the competition to be in with a chance to win one of ten signed paperback copies that are up for grabs. The giveaway ends on October 31st so don’t miss out.

Best of luck!

Siobhan.