Friday, 30 January 2015

Book Review - G.S. Bailey - A Man For Kate



Publisher:  G.S. Bailey.
Genre: Romantic Suspense.
Length: 234 pages.

Kate Harrington isn’t exactly happy. She dreams of a better job, a house with views of Sydney waterfront and someone who will love her despite her flaws. 

When her unofficially-adopted, intellectually-impaired brother moves back to his home town of Goran Vale, she stays for a short while to help him settle in. 

Bobby’s return triggers local policeman, Ben McEwan’s interest in a missing person cold case. Bobby was the last to be seen with missing girl Melanie Rose, but claims to be unable to remember anything. In Ben’s mind, Bobby doesn’t seem capable of carrying out a sinister plot. Ben takes an interest in getting to know Bobby and his attractive sister. 

When Kate leaves to holiday on the Gold Coast, Bobby lands himself in trouble. She rushes back to support her brother and turns to Ben for comfort. 

This story is intriguing, confronting and heart-wrenching. The love story does take a back seat to the mystery, and Ben and Kate stumble over their insecurities, but ultimately it’s the love story that becomes the refuge in the storm. 

The stand out character for me, was Bobby. He is such a contrast. A big, burly man with a youthful ideology and although he struggles with others’ misconceptions, his big heart shines through. His struggle with his demons will pull on your heart strings.

4 Flares.








Cheers



Book Review - G.S. Bailey - A Man For Kate



Publisher:  G.S. Bailey.
Genre: Romantic Suspense.
Length: 234 pages.

Kate Harrington isn’t exactly happy. She dreams of a better job, a house with views of Sydney waterfront and someone who will love her despite her flaws. 

When her unofficially-adopted, intellectually-impaired brother moves back to his home town of Goran Vale, she stays for a short while to help him settle in. 

Bobby’s return triggers local policeman, Ben McEwan’s interest in a missing person cold case. Bobby was the last to be seen with missing girl Melanie Rose, but claims to be unable to remember anything. In Ben’s mind, Bobby doesn’t seem capable of carrying out a sinister plot. Ben takes an interest in getting to know Bobby and his attractive sister. 

When Kate leaves to holiday on the Gold Coast, Bobby lands himself in trouble. She rushes back to support her brother and turns to Ben for comfort. 

This story is intriguing, confronting and heart-wrenching. The love story does take a back seat to the mystery, and Ben and Kate stumble over their insecurities, but ultimately it’s the love story that becomes the refuge in the storm. 

The stand out character for me, was Bobby. He is such a contrast. A big, burly man with a youthful ideology and although he struggles with others’ misconceptions, his big heart shines through. His struggle with his demons will pull on your heart strings.

4 Flares.








Cheers



Book Review - Tiffany Aleman - Smoldering



Publisher: Tiffany Aleman, 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance, Military
Length: 337 pages

Wow. This book takes you from joy to despair, to bliss then agony and back again. What a ride.

Kelsey Connor is standing at the altar ready to marry Todd Prescott, future Governor of Virginia. She is possibly feeling sadder than she ever has, until she decides to leave him and her parents seething in the church.

She leaves her life of privilege and the controlling influence of her parents behind to get a job as a waitress in a truck stop diner.

Her life changes forever when military chopper pilot, Riley Jackson walks in asking for water and a burger. They begin a whirlwind affair. When it’s time for Kelsey to meet the parents, her past catches up with her in the worst way possible.

This book provokes so many emotions. It made me cry, in parts. I enjoyed Kelsey’s search for freedom and love. So many ups and downs. What a brilliant read.

I’m looking forward to reading Searing - The next instalment. Available now.

Scavenge will be coming soon.

5 Flares.








Cheers

Book Review - Tiffany Aleman - Smoldering



Publisher: Tiffany Aleman, 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance, Military
Length: 337 pages

Wow. This book takes you from joy to despair, to bliss then agony and back again. What a ride.

Kelsey Connor is standing at the altar ready to marry Todd Prescott, future Governor of Virginia. She is possibly feeling sadder than she ever has, until she decides to leave him and her parents seething in the church.

She leaves her life of privilege and the controlling influence of her parents behind to get a job as a waitress in a truck stop diner.

Her life changes forever when military chopper pilot, Riley Jackson walks in asking for water and a burger. They begin a whirlwind affair. When it’s time for Kelsey to meet the parents, her past catches up with her in the worst way possible.

This book provokes so many emotions. It made me cry, in parts. I enjoyed Kelsey’s search for freedom and love. So many ups and downs. What a brilliant read.

I’m looking forward to reading Searing - The next instalment. Available now.

Scavenge will be coming soon.

5 Flares.








Cheers

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Warbling Wednesdays - Fear and Leaps of Faith

In Jay Crownover’s book, Rowdy, the dedication is for anyone trying to find their purpose or direction in life. She tells us not to worry and that there is a greater plan.

In the introduction she goes on to explain a bit about herself. How she had fallen into a pattern of behaviour and actions; a status quo. She was too scared and lacked the know-how to break out of her comfort zone. When she finally made the break, her life became so much more enriched.

I've got to say, this really spoke to me. She so eloquently expressed everything I believe and the way I’m feeling about my decision to chase what I know is my purpose.

I don’t like to call this thing my dream. Even though, that’s exactly how the urge to write came to me. I was yet to start a family. I had been nursing for seven years and was starting to burn out. I loved learning about the human body and how to heal it. I genuinely loved helping people. It is a rush; making a positive difference in someone’s life. It’s also physically and emotionally demanding.

My characters started to make themselves known. I ignored them because I was too chicken to write their stories. I already had a demanding career. In truth, I had done years of study and had all this experience in a career that I couldn't physically or mentally sustain.

Taking that last step towards a change in direction was monumental for me. A leap of faith. I hope I can help put the food on the table soon, but if I never reach huge success, I can’t imagine ever abandoning my writing.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. I read that somewhere once and it stuck with me. If anyone out there is ignoring that niggling feeling or voice, telling you you’re on the wrong path, I wish you courage. I believe there is a bigger plan. Sometimes in life we have to take a risk.

All the best to you all.

Cheers


The Flare Up

Warbling Wednesdays - Fear and Leaps of Faith

In Jay Crownover’s book, Rowdy, the dedication is for anyone trying to find their purpose or direction in life. She tells us not to worry and that there is a greater plan.

In the introduction she goes on to explain a bit about herself. How she had fallen into a pattern of behaviour and actions; a status quo. She was too scared and lacked the know-how to break out of her comfort zone. When she finally made the break, her life became so much more enriched.

I've got to say, this really spoke to me. She so eloquently expressed everything I believe and the way I’m feeling about my decision to chase what I know is my purpose.

I don’t like to call this thing my dream. Even though, that’s exactly how the urge to write came to me. I was yet to start a family. I had been nursing for seven years and was starting to burn out. I loved learning about the human body and how to heal it. I genuinely loved helping people. It is a rush; making a positive difference in someone’s life. It’s also physically and emotionally demanding.

My characters started to make themselves known. I ignored them because I was too chicken to write their stories. I already had a demanding career. In truth, I had done years of study and had all this experience in a career that I couldn't physically or mentally sustain.

Taking that last step towards a change in direction was monumental for me. A leap of faith. I hope I can help put the food on the table soon, but if I never reach huge success, I can’t imagine ever abandoning my writing.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. I read that somewhere once and it stuck with me. If anyone out there is ignoring that niggling feeling or voice, telling you you’re on the wrong path, I wish you courage. I believe there is a bigger plan. Sometimes in life we have to take a risk.

All the best to you all.

Cheers


The Flare Up

Friday, 23 January 2015

Book Review - Sandra S. Kerns - Harlan’s Haven




Publisher: Sandra S. Kerns, LLC. 2014
Genre: Romantic suspense
Length: 239 pages

Spitfire Pixie meets Broody Beefcake in a sizzling battle of wills.

Harlan Granger is returning home after surviving a horrific accident on his tour of duty in Afghanistan. His home town of Bluff’s Corner, Colorado, has been ravaged by flood and his childhood home is no exception. Most of his family have moved away, or are out of town. This suits him just fine. He plans to hide away with the one brother who won’t ask questions.

Problem is, when he walks into his brother’s bar he meets Rilie Lazar. She’s a tempting pocket rocket with the determination and persistence to drag him out of hiding and back into life. Even worse, she lives in the apartment next to his brother’s, above the bar.

Neither Harlan, nor Rilie want a serious relationship. They each have wounds in need of healing and secrets to keep hidden.

When a stranger starts skulking around the premises and putting their lives in danger, old wounds are torn open. Harlan is compelled to be the hero and protector to his loved ones. Rilie is terrified of re-living her worst nightmares.

Will this be their downfall, or will they triumph over evil and help each other heal?

What a fantastic story. The build-up of suspense is executed beautifully as is the developing love story. I loved the combination of these two personalities.
This story also sheds light on the struggles of returned soldiers trying to acclimatize back into everyday life and raises money to help their cause.

Brilliant read, Sandra Kerns!
5 Flares.








Cheers



Book Review - Sandra S. Kerns - Harlan’s Haven




Publisher: Sandra S. Kerns, LLC. 2014
Genre: Romantic suspense
Length: 239 pages

Spitfire Pixie meets Broody Beefcake in a sizzling battle of wills.

Harlan Granger is returning home after surviving a horrific accident on his tour of duty in Afghanistan. His home town of Bluff’s Corner, Colorado, has been ravaged by flood and his childhood home is no exception. Most of his family have moved away, or are out of town. This suits him just fine. He plans to hide away with the one brother who won’t ask questions.

Problem is, when he walks into his brother’s bar he meets Rilie Lazar. She’s a tempting pocket rocket with the determination and persistence to drag him out of hiding and back into life. Even worse, she lives in the apartment next to his brother’s, above the bar.

Neither Harlan, nor Rilie want a serious relationship. They each have wounds in need of healing and secrets to keep hidden.

When a stranger starts skulking around the premises and putting their lives in danger, old wounds are torn open. Harlan is compelled to be the hero and protector to his loved ones. Rilie is terrified of re-living her worst nightmares.

Will this be their downfall, or will they triumph over evil and help each other heal?

What a fantastic story. The build-up of suspense is executed beautifully as is the developing love story. I loved the combination of these two personalities.
This story also sheds light on the struggles of returned soldiers trying to acclimatize back into everyday life and raises money to help their cause.

Brilliant read, Sandra Kerns!
5 Flares.








Cheers



Book Review - Denise Grover Swank - Redesigned (Off the Subject Series, Book #2)



Publisher: Denise Grover-Swank, 2013
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 295 pages

Book 2 in the Off the Subject Series, this book follows the story of Caroline, best friend to Scarlett whom we met in After Math. 

Caroline has left the trailer park behind and is determined to make it in life. Her first plan is to marry someone who will have a well-paying, secure career. Her plan B, is to get a degree in design. She never wants to struggle, financially, ever again. 

She sets her sights on an attractive law student. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a creep like all the rest. When Reed Pendergraft, future maths professor, asks her on a date, she turns him down despite feeling chemistry between them. He doesn't fit the criteria. 

She decides to give up on the marriage plan and focus more on her degree. When she is chosen to fill a prestigious panel position for the annual fashion show organisation committee, she is forced to work with Reed. He’s not what she thought he’d be like. He is in-charge and demanding. 

What is a maths professor doing on a fashion show committee? And, who is this bubbly young woman that follows him around everywhere? More importantly, how will she resist the magnetic pull that is becoming unbearable? 

I really enjoyed this book. There’s plenty of intrigue and a good dose of humility. It’s interesting to watch our heroine’s character grow. Reed and Caroline get each other worked up in more ways than one. 

This book can be read as a standalone, but it’s more enjoyable if you read After Math first. Don’t forget to follow it up with book number three, Business As Usual. Also available as a boxed set. 

5 Flares. 








Cheers
Amazon AU Link


Book Review - Denise Grover Swank - Redesigned (Off the Subject Series, Book #2)



Publisher: Denise Grover-Swank, 2013
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 295 pages

Book 2 in the Off the Subject Series, this book follows the story of Caroline, best friend to Scarlett whom we met in After Math. 

Caroline has left the trailer park behind and is determined to make it in life. Her first plan is to marry someone who will have a well-paying, secure career. Her plan B, is to get a degree in design. She never wants to struggle, financially, ever again. 

She sets her sights on an attractive law student. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a creep like all the rest. When Reed Pendergraft, future maths professor, asks her on a date, she turns him down despite feeling chemistry between them. He doesn't fit the criteria. 

She decides to give up on the marriage plan and focus more on her degree. When she is chosen to fill a prestigious panel position for the annual fashion show organisation committee, she is forced to work with Reed. He’s not what she thought he’d be like. He is in-charge and demanding. 

What is a maths professor doing on a fashion show committee? And, who is this bubbly young woman that follows him around everywhere? More importantly, how will she resist the magnetic pull that is becoming unbearable? 

I really enjoyed this book. There’s plenty of intrigue and a good dose of humility. It’s interesting to watch our heroine’s character grow. Reed and Caroline get each other worked up in more ways than one. 

This book can be read as a standalone, but it’s more enjoyable if you read After Math first. Don’t forget to follow it up with book number three, Business As Usual. Also available as a boxed set. 

5 Flares. 








Cheers
Amazon AU Link


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Warbling Wednesdays - Down Under

"Hello Possums," said Dame Edna Everage. She may have been one of the first to bring Australia to the world. I think it's fair to say we've had many successful exports since Dame Edna. Most people at least know we are home to koalas and kangaroos. You've heard of us, right?

This coming Monday is Australia Day. So, pull out your thongs (not that kind of thong! There's a visual *blinks*, 100 people simultaneously relieving themselves of their wedgie issue). Throw on your togs. Swipe some colourful zinc across your nose, cheeks and lips. Slap on a hat and head to the beach for some beach cricket. Today we are talking all things Aussie.

Here's my list of the top 5 Aussie attributes:

5. Wide open spaces - I know we haven't cornered the market on this one. Plenty of space in Siberia. Let's face it, a lot of our space is for the exclusive use of a few hardy animals and a bit of scrub.
I'm talking about backyard space. Unless you're a high-rise apartment dwelling kind of person, it's likely you live out in the burbs. In a house with a yard. If you can't afford one of your own (the great Australian dream), you still live with your parents, or you rent one. Nah, you still live with your parents.

4. The cultural diversity - The spice of life! Without the introduction of different cultures (who helped build Australia to what it is today - I might add) most of us would be eating meat and three boiled veg for dinner. Life would be boring without curry, or Zumba, or Taekwondo. Not to mention Greek festivals, Chinese New Year, Halloween and baseball. What about our own rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture? Bush tucker, dot paintings ... the list goes on. Mixing the best of everything. It’s the way to go.

3. Changing landscapes - Oceans, beaches, islands, mountains, deserts, gorges, rain-forests, busy cities, The Pub With No Beer ... You get the picture.

2. The fauna - the world’s most venomous snakes, nasty spiders and other creepy crawlies visualizing you as their feast. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the cuddly koala. Have you seen their claws? Their teeth are extra sharp to cut through tough Eucalyptus leaves. Want to feed the kangaroos? Careful, they’ll box you if the mood strikes. Don’t be fooled. We breed them tough down here.

1. Sense of humour and mate-ship - Taking the piss, is what we call it when we make fun of each other. Our humour is dry, sarcastic and self-deprecating. If you’re a red-head you’ll either get called ‘Blue’, ‘Ranga’, or ‘Ginga’. We either state the obvious, or we go for ironic.

We like to give everybody nicknames. Usually based on something embarrassing you did when you were drunk or young and stupid. Or it will be a variation of one of your names. Robert becomes Robbo. Darren becomes Dazza. Stewart becomes Stewy. Add a suffix of ‘o’, ‘azza’, or ‘y’ and there you have it.

If you haven’t watched any Aussie films, start with The Castle and Muriel’s Wedding.

A final note about mate-ship - Mates look after mates. That's about it.

Happy Australia Day. I’ll be enjoying a barbie while watching the fireworks.

Lamingtons anyone?


Cheers

The Flare Up

Warbling Wednesdays - Down Under

"Hello Possums," said Dame Edna Everage. She may have been one of the first to bring Australia to the world. I think it's fair to say we've had many successful exports since Dame Edna. Most people at least know we are home to koalas and kangaroos. You've heard of us, right?

This coming Monday is Australia Day. So, pull out your thongs (not that kind of thong! There's a visual *blinks*, 100 people simultaneously relieving themselves of their wedgie issue). Throw on your togs. Swipe some colourful zinc across your nose, cheeks and lips. Slap on a hat and head to the beach for some beach cricket. Today we are talking all things Aussie.

Here's my list of the top 5 Aussie attributes:

5. Wide open spaces - I know we haven't cornered the market on this one. Plenty of space in Siberia. Let's face it, a lot of our space is for the exclusive use of a few hardy animals and a bit of scrub.
I'm talking about backyard space. Unless you're a high-rise apartment dwelling kind of person, it's likely you live out in the burbs. In a house with a yard. If you can't afford one of your own (the great Australian dream), you still live with your parents, or you rent one. Nah, you still live with your parents.

4. The cultural diversity - The spice of life! Without the introduction of different cultures (who helped build Australia to what it is today - I might add) most of us would be eating meat and three boiled veg for dinner. Life would be boring without curry, or Zumba, or Taekwondo. Not to mention Greek festivals, Chinese New Year, Halloween and baseball. What about our own rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture? Bush tucker, dot paintings ... the list goes on. Mixing the best of everything. It’s the way to go.

3. Changing landscapes - Oceans, beaches, islands, mountains, deserts, gorges, rain-forests, busy cities, The Pub With No Beer ... You get the picture.

2. The fauna - the world’s most venomous snakes, nasty spiders and other creepy crawlies visualizing you as their feast. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the cuddly koala. Have you seen their claws? Their teeth are extra sharp to cut through tough Eucalyptus leaves. Want to feed the kangaroos? Careful, they’ll box you if the mood strikes. Don’t be fooled. We breed them tough down here.

1. Sense of humour and mate-ship - Taking the piss, is what we call it when we make fun of each other. Our humour is dry, sarcastic and self-deprecating. If you’re a red-head you’ll either get called ‘Blue’, ‘Ranga’, or ‘Ginga’. We either state the obvious, or we go for ironic.

We like to give everybody nicknames. Usually based on something embarrassing you did when you were drunk or young and stupid. Or it will be a variation of one of your names. Robert becomes Robbo. Darren becomes Dazza. Stewart becomes Stewy. Add a suffix of ‘o’, ‘azza’, or ‘y’ and there you have it.

If you haven’t watched any Aussie films, start with The Castle and Muriel’s Wedding.

A final note about mate-ship - Mates look after mates. That's about it.

Happy Australia Day. I’ll be enjoying a barbie while watching the fireworks.

Lamingtons anyone?


Cheers

The Flare Up

Friday, 16 January 2015

Book Review - Katie Ashley - Beat Of the Heart (Runaway Train Series #2)



Publisher: Katie Ashley Productions, 2013.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 459 pages

Book 2 in the Runaway Train Series. This is the story of AJ Resendiz, the drummer of Runaway Train.

AJ meets nurse, Mia Martinelli when he visits his roadie who has recently been hospitalized after a heart attack. Her voluptuous curves and in-charge attitude captivate him immediately. Mia is gun shy after having some bad relationships in her past. Luckily AJ is persistent and they come up with the perfect solution to their little (big) attraction problem.

AJ being AJ, believer in romance, manages to get under her defences to build something stronger and more permanent.

However, being the girlfriend of a rock star has its challenges. Including long absences and dealing with the groupies, but when an ex bed-buddy vies for attention things get interesting.

I don’t mind a good rock star, Cinderella story and the Runaway Train Series fits the bill. Mia struggles a lot with her insecurities in this book. AJ is a sweetheart. 

Certainly an enjoyable read.
4 Flares.








Cheers


Book Review - Denise Grover Swank - After Math (Off the Subject - Book 1)



Publisher: Denise Grover-Swank, 2013.
Genre: Contemporary romance/ New Adult.
Length: 251 pages.

Yet another book I stumbled over while searching Wattpad. It's currently free on Amazon, Google Play and iBooks.

Denise Grover-Swank is the author of the Rose Gardner Mystery Series (starting with Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes), the Chosen Series in the paranormal genre and The Curse Keepers Series in the sci-fi/ fantasy genre. Clearly a versatile writer.

I really enjoyed meeting the cast of characters in this New Adult gem. 

Scarlett Goodwin is a maths genius who grew up in a trailer park. She spends the majority of her time either in class, studying for class, or tutoring other students in the math (I really want to write maths, here) lab. In walks Tucker Price; cocky, womanizing, soccer star. They share a class together - one in which he always turns up late. His dedication to his schooling is lackluster, at best. 

Tucker needs a tutor to help him pass maths and keep his soccer scholarship and he insists on having Scarlett as his tutor. Scarlett isn’t keen. She could not be more opposite to Tucker. He loves to party, she breaks into a sweat at the thought.

Initially Tucker treats their tutoring sessions as a joke. Scarlett lets him know that she won’t waste her time putting up with any rubbish. In doing so, she becomes the first person to treat him like he’s an average boy, rather than a rock star. She wants nothing from him, but his respect and a genuine effort to learn. With this realization he transforms into a thoughtful, vulnerable enigma. 

As the layers are peeled away from both of their pasts, they help each other towards attaining freedom, but Tucker’s future is calling. He’s torn between a life he never truly hoped for and someone else’s dream. 

Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT.

Scarlett is so guarded, almost completely closed off and Tucker sees through it. He practically reads her mind. I adored this couple. They go through quite a bit of turmoil on their journey. This book is definitely a roller-coaster ride of emotions. That’s what makes it so good. 

In this book we also meet Scarlett’s best friend, Caroline, who becomes the female protagonist in Redesigned. Her story is also brilliant. Review coming next week.

Enjoy.
5 Flares.








Cheers


Amazon AUS Link

Book Review - Denise Grover Swank - After Math (Off the Subject - Book 1)



Publisher: Denise Grover-Swank, 2013.
Genre: Contemporary romance/ New Adult.
Length: 251 pages.

Yet another book I stumbled over while searching Wattpad. It's currently free on Amazon, Google Play and iBooks.

Denise Grover-Swank is the author of the Rose Gardner Mystery Series (starting with Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes), the Chosen Series in the paranormal genre and The Curse Keepers Series in the sci-fi/ fantasy genre. Clearly a versatile writer.

I really enjoyed meeting the cast of characters in this New Adult gem. 

Scarlett Goodwin is a maths genius who grew up in a trailer park. She spends the majority of her time either in class, studying for class, or tutoring other students in the math (I really want to write maths, here) lab. In walks Tucker Price; cocky, womanizing, soccer star. They share a class together - one in which he always turns up late. His dedication to his schooling is lackluster, at best. 

Tucker needs a tutor to help him pass maths and keep his soccer scholarship and he insists on having Scarlett as his tutor. Scarlett isn’t keen. She could not be more opposite to Tucker. He loves to party, she breaks into a sweat at the thought.

Initially Tucker treats their tutoring sessions as a joke. Scarlett lets him know that she won’t waste her time putting up with any rubbish. In doing so, she becomes the first person to treat him like he’s an average boy, rather than a rock star. She wants nothing from him, but his respect and a genuine effort to learn. With this realization he transforms into a thoughtful, vulnerable enigma. 

As the layers are peeled away from both of their pasts, they help each other towards attaining freedom, but Tucker’s future is calling. He’s torn between a life he never truly hoped for and someone else’s dream. 

Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT.

Scarlett is so guarded, almost completely closed off and Tucker sees through it. He practically reads her mind. I adored this couple. They go through quite a bit of turmoil on their journey. This book is definitely a roller-coaster ride of emotions. That’s what makes it so good. 

In this book we also meet Scarlett’s best friend, Caroline, who becomes the female protagonist in Redesigned. Her story is also brilliant. Review coming next week.

Enjoy.
5 Flares.








Cheers


Amazon AUS Link
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