Review of The Other Half by Sarah Rayner

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About The Other Half

Chloe, bright, hip and single, is a feature writer with ambitions to launch a magazine of her own. When she meets James, her potential new boss, she knows she shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, but finds it impossible to resist…

Maggie appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, a talented writer, and has a gorgeous husband. But something’s not quite right: his job as a magazine publisher is keeping him in the city until late most evenings, and some nights he doesn’t come home at all…

Told in the alternating voices of the mistress and the wife, this story of an affair is a sharp, seductive take on modern love.

Who, if anyone, comes out unscathed?

In writing that is lively, sexy and sharp, the international bestselling author Sarah Rayner explores modern-day relationships and age-old moral dilemmas.

My Review

Rayner was clever in allowing the audience pieces of James through the eyes of Chloe and Maggie. Through his tangled relationships with both women we gather enough of James to have a clear idea of the person and man he is based on actions and choices which isn’t pretty.

I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters, they lacked emotions, feelings. They came across as wooden and only displayed emotions when appropriate feeling very stilted. With James revealed at a distance I failed to see the attraction either woman held for him, Maggie being the exception since she’s married to him. The entire narrative felt too detached, remote especially given the delicate subject matter.

James is confused, self-absorbed and a cad. Chloe likes complicated hopeless relationships and failed to show any constant signs of remorse or guilt, too selfish. Maggie is in denial, trying to convince herself her gut instinct is off, however I commend her for standing her ground.

Rayner demonstrates the destruction of infidelity in a plausible manner. The story being told from the eyes and perspectives of wife and mistress without being partial was refreshing. We were privy to two very different sides of James/Jamie which lead to great interest.

About Sarah Rayner1021011

Sarah Rayner is the author of the international bestseller, ‘One Moment, One Morning’ (2010). Her two latest novels, ‘The Two Week Wait’ (2012) and ‘Another Night, Another Day’ (2014), are also set in Brighton, England, and feature some of the same characters.

As a novelist, Sarah is known for tackling difficult subjects such as bereavement, infertility and mental illness with empathy and insight, but her latest books are non-fiction. ‘Making Friends with Anxiety’ is a little self-help book which Sarah hopes will enable people who panic and worry a lot to regain confidence and control, and is often enjoyed with ‘Making Friends with Anxiety: A calming colouring book’ which is illustrated by Jules Miller. ‘Making Friends with the Menopause’ is a guide she’s co-written with Doctor Patrick Fitzgerald to support women through their body changes.

Sarah has also written two more light-hearted novels – ‘The Other Half’ and ‘Getting Even’. Originally published in the early noughties, these have been fully revised and updated by the author and are now available on Amazon.

You can find Sarah’s website and it always makes her day to hear from from her readers.

Published March 25th 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published February 14th 2013)

Review of Mothers Ruined (The Survival Series #4) by Aimee Horton

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About Mothers Ruined

Dottie Harris has a knack for stumbling into chaotic situations, gin & tonic in hand!

When Dottie and Henry Harris move to their new house, Dottie’s only desire is to make friends in the neighbourhood. But Dottie, just home from delivering her third child, is struggling to adjust to village life. Recently promoted Henry travels a lot, and the neighbours aren’t very welcoming (although that could be because when Dottie first met them, she had dyed her children green).

So when Dottie accidentally hears her neighbours’ conversations over her baby monitor, she can’t help but use the information in her quest to build new friendships.

Of course, eavesdropping never ends well, and when Dottie discovers that two of her neighbours are having an affair, she’s horrified. Worse still, the locals are convinced she’s the one who’s doing the cheating. It’s up to Dottie to clear her name and expose the real cheat—in her signature haphazard way!

My Review

I adore Dottie, she makes it difficult to find fault with her intentional and unintentional antics. I empathize with her plight being a newbie in the neighborhood, therefore I cut her a break by forgiving the manner allowing her to bust the tight inner neighbor circle. Admittedly her ‘discovery’ was very amusing and educational as we soon discover, talk about domino effect. I’m comforted to know no matter what her bestie Jane will always have her back and remain BFF’s infinitely.

Fun read, fast pace, leaving you smile. This book is part of a series, however, it is absolutely fine as a stand alone read.

About Aimee Horton7064473

Author and writer of anything that pays for her ASOS habit, Aimee lives in Lincoln with her husband and two children. She released her first book from The Survival Series in 2013, and hasn’t looked back since.

A self-confessed social media addict, when she’s not writing books or drinking gin you can usually find Aimee on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Published October 9th 2015 by Velvet Morning Press (first published May 10th 2014)

Review of Survival of the Ginnest (The Survival Series #1) by Aimee Horton

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About Survival of the Ginnest

A modern-day diary loaded with parenting humor
Meet Dottie Harris. She was living the self-indulgent lifestyle of every childless couple… and then she had kids.

Struggling through pregnancy and motherhood, Dottie turns to social networking. She quickly becomes reliant on it, using it as a way to reach out to others and come to terms with the funny side of motherhood, whilst realising she’s not the only person to consider anything after 7 a.m. a lie in.

Follow Dottie on her journey—made up entirely of Facebook-style updates—spanning four years of her sleep-deprived life. She bluntly shares her worries, insecurities, tears and tantrums, along with the things nobody ever tells you about motherhood!

Full of humor and honesty, Dottie’s modern-day diary gives a glimpse into motherhood as she trades in her social life for the sofa and a bottle of gin, watching her children grow older while she grows less enthusiastic.

If you’re looking for a funny chick lit read packed with parenting humor, or simply want to know you’re not the only one having trouble parenting newborns and toddlers, this book about the ups and downs of mothering is for you!

My Review

Aimee Horton is hilarious. She is a woman possessing a comedic gift. No doubt any of her books will leave you chuckling out loud on more than one occasion.

Dottie is lovable, you will be taken with her instantly. If you’re a new mom, a mom from years ago, or are curious about motherhood you will appreciate Dottie and her adventures and misadventures.

In this light read, Dottie’s social updates are both hilarious and touching. Those readers that are mothers will be able to relate to Dottie’s highs, lows as she loving navigates motherhood with full-out enthusiastic gusto.

Sleep deprived, poo riddled diapered invaded, hungry Dottie will keep you smiling and laughing with her entertaining social media updates. Horton creates an imaginative read, wish social media was available on my many late night feedings with my son, don’t know if my update could compare with Dottie’s. Fun, comedic relief sentimental read.

This book is part of a series, however, it is absolutely fine as a stand alone read.

About Aimee Horton7064473

Author and writer of anything that pays for her ASOS habit, Aimee lives in Lincoln with her husband and two children. She released her first book from The Survival Series in 2013, and hasn’t looked back since.

A self-confessed social media addict, when she’s not writing books or drinking gin you can usually find Aimee on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Published May 5th 2015 by Velvet Morning Press (first published April 23rd 2013)

Release Blast & Giveaway for Chloe by Sarah Brianne

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Chloe Cover PublishedChloe
Made Men #3
by Sarah Brianne
Released April 29, 2016
Young Ink Press

About Chloe

Chloe’s scarred face makes her the school’s freak.

Her reflection is a constant reminder of how she got them.

The man who scarred her haunts not only her dreams, but also her reality.

Some nightmares don’t go away in the daylight.

Two men stand up to save her from the nightmares.

Both are men of the mafia, waiting behind a door she doesn’t want to open.

Amo the soldier and Lucca the underboss.

The Beast and the Boogieman.

Who will she choose?

Goodreads | Goodreads Series | Amazon | Kobo | iTunes | B&N

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About Sarah Brianne

Hey! My name is Sarah Brianne and after living for twenty-two years the characters in my head told me enough was enough and I have finally put pen to paper (or is it finger to keyboard?) to tell their stories. Since I was a little girl I have watched every chick flick I could get my hands on, then when I became older I discovered a whole new world of romance novels. To me there is nothing better then a tale of true love and those are the stories that have inspired me to write. Like everything else in my life I have put my own spin on two lovers destined to be together.

Connect with Sarah: Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Giveaway

A print set of the Made Men series bks 1&2
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Sale Blitz for Forgotten Promises by Jessica Lemmon

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FP_coverForgotten Promises
by Jessica Lemmon
Released January 19th, 2016
Loveswept

About Forgotten Promises

In an edgy, seductive novel hailed by Rachel Van Dyken as “unique and gripping,” Jessica Lemmon introduces the ultimate bad boy . . . and a love that crosses all boundaries.

Morgan Young had a perfect upbringing, and now she’s got a perfect boyfriend and a perfect future—until her twenty-first birthday changes everything. First Morgan finds out, in the most painful way possible, that her relationship is a sham. But that’s nothing compared to the nightmare about to unfold.

It’s too late for Tucker Noscalo. A brutal childhood left him with a bad reputation and a criminal record. Fresh out of jail, Tucker has a score to settle with Baybrook’s crooked chief of police—his own father. Nobody will believe Tucker’s explosive accusations without proof and a good lawyer, neither of which he has on his side. Until he sees someone he used to know, someone who just so happens to be the daughter of the best lawyer in the county.

He needs Morgan to convince her father of the ugly truth. But first he has to convince her, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get her to listen. Confronted by the story of Tucker’s dark past, Morgan feels utterly compelled to help him. And as their connection grows into a fierce bond fueled by raw passion, Morgan finds herself falling for the wrong guy—but never has the promise of love felt so right.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | GooglePlay | Kobo | iTunes

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Tucker

Things aren’t exactly going my way. My breath burns heavy and hot in my lungs as I run. And run and run and run.

Not that I should have expected them to go smoothly. After years spent under my father’s command or seeking freedom from it, it’s eerily unsurprising to find I’ve landed myself in this much trouble just one day after getting released from prison.

Yeah. I said prison.

But I didn’t belong there.

I don’t intend on going back.

Working out in the yard at Baybrook Penitentiary, jogging the perimeter every chance I got, has paid off. Blood is drying on my shirt, the sting of broken flesh on my knuckles a physical reminder of what I am capable of. I dig deep and find the strength to run faster.

Now to find a car. I had a friend when I was on the outside. He owed me a favor. I cut across a yard and skirt a big wooden playground set with brightly colored plastic tubes and slides, wondering what it might have been like to grow up in a house like this. I wonder if the kids were protected. Safe. Loved.

But I don’t have time to do a postmortem on my childhood. Praying no one is looking out of a window, I leap a fence to an attached apartment complex and land on my feet on a crumbling pile of asphalt. The weeds are overgrown, the trees scraggly. There is junk in the yard and garbage in the lot proving that the people who live here don’t give a shit about appearances.

Or much of anything.

People like us have our reasons for feeling that way.

If Lady Luck is any friend at all, she’ll shine on me, and Mark’s Dodge Charger will be parked in exactly the same spot as when he and I used to break laws together. Minor laws. We didn’t kill anybody or anything.

I slink past a few other cars parked under a dilapidated awning, and spot Mark’s Dodge, Chelsea (named for an ex-girlfriend), parked outside of his garage. Similar to the real Chelsea, the car is dull and kind of dirty. But for my needs, the car may as well have a light from heaven shining upon her. This is a blessing when I need one most.

I calm my walk as I approach his driveway, edging along grass that needs mowed and taking a peek through a pair of partially open shabby curtains. My former good buddy is sprawled on his couch snoring, mouth wide open. I wonder if he was able to keep his job at the gravel pit, or if he was fired for one of many reasons he’d been fired from everywhere else. I smile as I remember the fun we had together. Feels like about a hundred years ago, even though it’s been more like two. “Fun” had been a rare commodity in my world back then, and right about now it is extinct.

I consider knocking on his door, asking if I can borrow Chelsea, but I don’t consider for long. The debate lasts exactly two seconds before I turn away from Mark’s window and walk to the car I’m about to appropriate for myself. She’s unlocked so I slide onto the seat and palm the steering wheel, ignoring the sting on my knuckles as I grip the wheel. I haven’t driven a car in a while—not since I stole my father’s Explorer one fated night, and being in the driver’s seat sends a rush of intoxicating freedom surging through my veins.

Freedom I can’t allow to be taken from me. Not again. Not ever.

I am prepared to hot-wire her, a handy trick, but then check the glove compartment—the stupidest place to keep a set of keys second only to the visor.

There, beneath the expired registration is a key taped to the vinyl cover of the owner’s manual.

Jackpot.

Before my luck runs out—given the way every other damn thing has worked out tonight, it very well might—I jam the key in the ignition and turn over her blubbering engine. Loud. Way too fucking loud.

As I back out of the driveway, Mark’s door swings open. He lumbers out, wearing boxers and nothing else, rubbing his eyes, his hair and beard scraggly. I stomp on the brakes and shift in to drive. Mark’s stark confusion fades and he smiles.

It’s as good as getting his permission. I jerk my chin in a silent good-bye and gun the engine. The fuel gauge reads three-quarters full, plenty of gas to get me to the shittiest convenience store I can find. I need supplies for where I’m going and if the place is shady enough, the clerk won’t bat an eyelash at my T-shirt covered in blood. One hand gripping the wheel, I keep my eyes on the road while searching the front and back for something to change into. Surely Mark has left a shirt or— My fingers curl around something cool and slick in the back seat and I pull it into my lap. The dark leather smells like pot, and has seen better days—like the nineties—but the jacket will have to do. At least it’ll cover my shirt.

My bleeding knuckles, however . . . I shake my hand out as I pass a Waffle House, several semis parked in the lot, the inside well lit—a little too well lit. Stopping even briefly to wash my hands is tempting, but risky. I settle for the napkins I spotted in the glove compartment when I was digging for the keys.

Alternating hands on the steering wheel, I wipe as gently as possible, grateful that most of the blood isn’t mine and consider I’m luckier than I gave myself credit for a moment ago. My father was always a fighter. I’ve seen him take down a man twice my size—one who was out-of-his-mind high. I shouldn’t have been a challenge for him tonight, but I had the element of surprise.

What I didn’t have was the proof I went to my childhood home to reclaim. The videotape that would exchange mine and my father’s places in the eyes of the law and anyone with a functioning conscious. The plan was to send him to prison, not send myself back. It was time. Jeremy is gone. Mom is safely out of the country.

But now . . . now I don’t know what the hell to do. Without proof of what he’s done, it’s my word against my father’s, and there’s no doubt who the masses will believe.

I have no idea how I’m going to get that tape. It isn’t as if I can go back and ring the doorbell. It’s not like I can go to the police and plead my side of the story.

There isn’t much sympathy for the ex-con who beats the police chief unconscious. Especially when the police chief is his father.

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About Jessica Lemmonunnamed

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Connect with Jessica: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Instagram

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Release Blast & Giveaway for Behind the Marquess’s Mask by Kristen McLean

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Behind The Marquess's Mask CoverBehind the Marquess’s Mask
The Lords of Whitehall #1
by Kristen McLean
Releasing April 30, 2016
Young Ink Press

About Behind the Marquess’s Mask

Even the mask of an expert spy is no defense against his own heart.

With a reputation as dark as his appearance, Greydon Sharpe, the Marquess of Ainsley, ought to have been the last agent assigned to the daughter of a well-respected Member of Parliament. However, when she is brutally attacked and left for dead, it becomes clear he is the only one with the skills to keep her alive. All it will take are a few lies to keep her breathing long enough to capture the villain. Then he can send her on her way. If she would only behave herself, he might be able to complete his mission before she turns his contentedly miserable life into a chaotic mess.

Marriage is not an option … until it is.

Lady Kathryn Bryant, the adventure-seeking socialite, has no plans to behave. Kathryn would much rather spend her time in subterfuge, nabbing villains and finding clues. However, when her memory is lost in an attack, she has little choice but to trust the handsome Marquess. Though she is almost certain he is hiding something, she is helpless against his disarming smile and warm touch. Eventually, his lies will come to the surface, leaving only one question: Is England’s deadliest spy equipped to save a broken heart?

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo |iTunes

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He stopped short a few feet from her, and every inch of her insufficiently clad body came into focus. She was dressed for bed with her auburn hair plaited over her shoulder.

“You understand what I do, then.” Grey began unbuttoning his shirt at the neck. “Good. Now I can brag about my exploits. Do you know the worst part about being an unsung hero? It’s the unsung bit by far.”

“You lied to me,” she accused, those blue pools glaring up at him.

“I would be a sad excuse for a spy if I were honest,” he returned, swallowing the self-disgust. His fingers moved, deftly unfastening the buttons halfway down his chest. “I hope you appreciate the lengths I went through. I have dragged you out of a myriad of sticky situations, but this is the first time I have ever had to marry you to keep you alive.”

Her eyes narrowed as her hands fisted in her lap.

“A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice,” he suggested.

By the time the last word was out of his mouth, Kathryn had flung herself off her chair with her arm raised.

The prickly thing was about to strike him.

Grey caught her wrist then grabbed the other just in case she had similar ideas in mind for that one. Then she was wriggling to get free, bringing the pea-brain in his trousers to attention. It was frustrating. He hauled her into him, pinning her arms to his chest, and wrapping his tightly around her. It stopped the wriggling, but now she was glaring up at him with those giant, blue pools a man could drown in. He could feel every curve of her luscious body except where her little fists were pressed against the ugly scar peeking out from the opening in his shirt.

Pea-brain was suddenly the only brain he remembered having.

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About Kristen McLeanKristen

Kristen has always had a love of novels, with a special place in her heart for historical romance. After reading enough of them to fill a rather impressive library, she decided to write her own. Now she has the pleasure of writing at home, tucked away in a forest with her husband, two children and her cat. Her husband is loving, and impressively patient, her two beautiful children strive to embarrass and exhaust her, and her cat hates everyone, but tolerates—well, she tolerates whoever will feed her.

Connect with Kristen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Giveaway

A $15.00 Amazon eGift Card
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Release Blast & Giveaway for Forever with You by Heatherly Bell

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ForeverWithYou_CoverForever with You
Starlight Hill #6
by Heatherly Bell
Releasing April 26, 2016
Tydandon Publishing and Heatherly Bell Books

About Forever with You

She forgot something on the way to the courthouse …

Sophia Abella has a good life, even if she is a little stuck. Not quite single, not quite married, she keeps men at a safe distance. But when her ex-Marine husband returns to town and takes the job of chief of police, it might finally be time to get that paper work done once and for all. After all, most of her family already thinks she’s divorced.

They’re not actually, in the fullest sense of the word … divorced.

Years ago, Riley Jacobs chose the Marine Corp over his wife and has regretted his decision every day since. But once a Marine always a Marine, and he’ll use every tactical advantage he has to get Sophia to realize that she’s the only one for him.

Love and marriage … take two

Goodreads | Goodreads Series | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Website

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He didn’t answer but only studied her. “Eat.”

She took a bite somewhat automatically and felt immediately annoyed with herself for listening to him. “You’re bad for me.”

What she didn’t say, because she didn’t even want to voice it, was that he’d somehow become nothing but a constant reminder of loss. Pain. Of a fear so overwhelming and raw it threatened to take over everything in its path.

“I’m not. I’m what the doctor ordered.”

“You’re like eating Chunky Monkey every night instead of once a week. Not a good idea.”

He moved closer, so that his shoulder was touching hers. “So what do you want? Vanilla?”

“Not vanilla.” She took another sip, moved her legs and Hershee jumped off her lap, disgusted with Sophia for not sitting still enough for Her Highness. “Maybe Neopolitan. It’s good enough but not so much that I want it every day of the week.”

Riley stood up, took Sophia’s bowl and set it on the coffee table. He pulled her up off the couch, his hands on her elbows. The blanket fell to the ground at her feet. “Admit it. You’d like to have Chunky Monkey every day of the week. And sometimes you catch yourself thinking about it in the middle of the day. Wondering how you could get away with it.”

“Maybe.”

She’d forgotten how perfect it felt to be this close to him, their breathing comingled. Without a doubt, she’d once known he would have breathed for her if he could. He would have done anything for her.

“You want Chunky Monkey. Admit it.” He pulled her closer, until she could feel every hard ridge of his body and then closer still.

“Wait. Are we still talking about ice cream?”

“No.” He kissed her. Not a tender kiss at all, but rough and claiming.

Her hands fisted his shirt, and then with both hands she untucked it at his waist, letting her palms glide up his hard chest, touching the soft short hairs between her fingers. How she’d missed this, missed him. No matter what, they’d always had this part right. Touching, feeling.

Riley squeezed her ass, his other hand sliding under her sweater to tug her bra cup aside. But then just as suddenly as he’d kissed her, he stopped.

“Stay with me.” She pulled on his arm, directing him toward the bedroom.

“Slow down, baby.”

“It’s this way to the bedroom.” Sophia tugged on his hand again, a little like trying to move a mountain. “Just like your floor plan but reversed.”

“Wait.” He bit his lower lip and didn’t move.

“I don’t want to wait. I’ve waited long enough.”

“You can wait a little bit longer, can’t you?” He grimaced.

“Why should I?”

He chuckled and framed her face with both hands. “Because I need you to be sure.”

“Oh, that. I’m sure, Riley. I want this. I want you.”

“No,” he said and his hands dropped down. “I want you to be sure about us.”

“Us?”

“You and me. Us. Forever. Can you tell me you’re sure about that?” He studied her.

“Listen, you and I …”

“Yeah.” He moved away from her, picking his jacket up on the way to the door. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“But—” Was he seriously leaving her? Now? After all that talk about Chunky Monkey? Bastard!

“Eat your soup,” he called out and shut her front door.

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About Heatherly Bell

When early onset stage fright dashed dreams of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Heatherly tackled her first book in 2010, and now the people and voices that occupy her head refuse to leave. She no longer sings unless you count randomly bursting into song to annoy her children (and the dogs).

If she were not an author, Heatherly maintains she would be a detective and a criminal’s worst nightmare. She watches Dateline every Friday night and takes notes.

She lives in northern California with her family, including two beagles, one who can say ‘hello’ and the other who can feel a pea through several pillows.

Connect with Heatherly: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Giveaway

$50.00 Amazon eGift Card
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