Heart of a Knight by Barbara Samuel

Lord Thomas is a mysterious knight with a secret that could cost him his life. A giant of a man, both in stature and heart, Thomas is smitten by the king’s cousin, Elizabeth de Auvers, who fled her castle during the plague and returned to find it thriving, thanks to Thomas. Elizabeth finds herself powerfully drawn to him, even as she wonders what he is hiding. 

This was a great freebie I picked up in the iBookstore romance section. I love a good romance, historical even more so. Ms Samuel has a gift for describing angst, I tell you. 

The people in this book are secretive, guilt ridden, and tricky. Very enjoyable. Good, uncomplicated books like this give me time to relax and escape into another world. This one was intricately built. Not to the point where it became an issue ... the descriptions didn't interfere with my own imagination, but there was enough to paint an authentic picture. 

The Mermaid's Knight by Jill Myles

When a car accident takes Leah Sunderland’s life, she finds herself in dire need of divine assistance. Her fairy godmother comes to the rescue, but her help comes with conditions. As a fairy godmother, the only assistance she can offer deals with (you guessed it) fairy tales. To win a second chance at life, Leah must play out the tale of The Little Mermaid. 

I loved the story of the little mermaid, so I bought this for £3 (bargain). It was good, nothing to fawn over or read over and over, but good enough to spend a Sunday morning reading with a cup of tea. 

The writing was lackluster ... I'm not dying to absorb more of Miss Myles wordplay, I've forgotten most of it already, but the characters were engaging as I read. It seemed a bit long for what it was, lots of padding here and there that I had to force myself not to flick through. Without a doubt what I enjoyed most was the intensity between Leah and Bryce (leading couple). Very good, though Leah herself was a bit of a whimp at times. For example, she's a mute and cannot communicate with anybody. Okay, tough break, but not the end of the world. Pen meet paper. No paper?  Find some other freaking way. Hell, scratch words into the castle walls with a rock if you need to. I just didn't get that she was well educated and too dense to figure out how to pass for a lady rather than be used as a leman. 

The fairy godmother was odd. I kept thinking of Jackie Stalone with magical powers whenever she popped up, not a great combination. 

Pretty When She Cries by Sarah Kate

Major Warning: Review contains Adult themes and spoilers. Strictly 18+. 

I will read anything if it seems interesting. So when I caught sight of this, how could I resist? I’ll warn you again before I continue, this is not a review for anybody under 18 years of age or with a vanilla view on coitus. 

Sex is primordial and uncultivated. It can allow you to explore your deepest wishes from the arms of someone you trust, and who will keep you safe even as you stumble over the edge of sanity and enjoy the most debased of behaviours. That said, always do you have a strong sense of self, and always can you separate reality from fantasy to recognise what is right and what is wrong. Some people will not be able to accept the more forbidden parts of human nature, or understand it, and nobody is asking them to. 

I say all this because if you don’t have an open mind about the sexual preferences of others, and a secure understanding of your own sexuality you will feel the need to condemn this book in reaction to any emotion it evokes in you. 

In a nutshell this story needed emotional depth and should not be categorized as erotica. 

Pretty When She Cries is 40,000 words of rape and violence. I can see why Amazon banned it, though in reality the content is no more disturbing than watching a rape or torture scene in a film. Films which are most graphic are not necessarily those which are the most disturbing. Such is the case with this book. Its bark is worse than its bite. The issue is that all the elements combined do not add up to something anybody should be comfortable being titillated by. I am not sure if this was done intentionally by the author, or by accident. 

The Number 3 Mystery Book by Chris Pink

Barney Delaney is 13. He also has Cherubism – the rare genetic condition which disfigures the face and causes all kinds of problems. On top of this, he has a mother who is often tired and unwell and a father who is nearly always away working. It's not easy being Barney Delaney, you know.

An adventure book for both adults and teenagers with a penchant for discovering, The Number 3 Mystery Book is a darkly humorous investigation into the search for truth and what it means to accept your fate. As well as that, it's a tale about the pain of learning to love and forgive in the face of adversity, and how, when it comes right down to it, friendship matters more than anything.

The Number 3 Mystery Book was not what I was expected. I knew the author was funny, but honestly, how do you make a 13 year old with a grossly deformed face funny (if you giggled you're going to hell)? 

This book is whimsy, charming, and terribly droll.

Once again forced to experience the cringe worthy tribulations of adolescence, you can't help but think of Barney as your slightly demented younger brother who needs to stop acting like the world is a magic place full of wonder, and start to act like the misbegotten oddball he is. Not that your words of caution and woe would stop this rascally devil from achieving his goals. 

Blood of Requiem (Song of Dragons, Book 1) by Daniel Arenson

A new epic fantasy series begins. Song of Dragons, a new fantasy series by Daniel Arenson, tells a story of blood, steel, and dragonfire. Long ago stood the kingdom of Requiem, a land of men who could grow wings and scales, breathe fire, and take flight as dragons. Requiem ruled the sky.  But Dies Irae, a tyrant leading an army of griffins, hunted Requiem's people, burned their forests, and shattered their temples. Requiem fell. This ancient land now lies in ruin, its halls crumbled, its cries silenced, its skeletons littering the burned earth. In the wilderness, a scattering of survivors lives in hiding. The griffins still hunt them, and every day promises death. Will Requiem's last children perish in exile... or once more become dragons and fly to war? 

Where to start with this book. Great story-line, superb characterization, and wonderful description. The were-dragons are done tastefully, and the world building is realistic enough for you to suspend your belief at the more whimsical scenes. Can't wait for the next in the series.

5 Skulls Epic!

The Honour of the Knights (The Battle for the Solar System) by Stephen J. Sweeney

When starfighter pilot Simon Dodds is enrolled in a top secret military project, he and his wingmates begin to suspect that there is a lot more to the theft of a legendary battleship and an Imperial nation's civil war than either the Confederation Stellar Navy or the government are willing to let on. Within weeks of being reassigned to the Confederate border system of Temper, the five would begin to untangle a web of lies and a cover-up that seemed to span the entire galaxy. And it would not be long before they would come face to face with that which destroyed an empire: an unforgiving, unstoppable, and totally unrelenting foe. There seemed to exist only one glimmer of hope of driving back the darkness: The ATAF Project - a secretly developed set of starfighters that well may just harbour some terrible secrets of their own... 

I’m not a literary expert, but I read enough to know a good book when I find one. This is a good book. I liked it, and will recommend to readers of my type who want to try a Sci-Fi book.  At times observation of the characters fluxed between intrusive and apathetic. But, I found it relatively effortless to put myself into the shoes of a male fighter pilot from my reading seat at home as I sipped my hot chocolate and listened to Bat for Lashes warbling in the background. It was more like I was a bystander in the lead characters mind rather than in the driving seat – so to speak. 

Karma & Melodies by Katie Salidas

Kendra used to spend her days organizing events for Café Enigma while daydreaming about Marcus, the sexy lead singer of Normal Paradox. But all those dreams of becoming Mrs. Rock Star died, along with her mortality, the moment Hector entered her life. He tricked her and seduced her into becoming a vampire, stealing Kendra away from Marcus forever. Ten torturous years later; however, Kendra finds a way to escape Hector and is reunited with her lost love, Marcus. Now that she's found him she doesn't want to let him go. But, whispered threats from Hector begin invading her dreams. He's tracking her down, and she can feel it. He's a true monster, capable of unspeakable horrors, and Kendra knows what he will do if he catches them. She'll have to make a choice: stay and fight for the man she's always loved, or protect him by leaving and keeping Marcus off of Hector's radar?

Short. Sexy. Sweet. This novella is not bad at all. The vampire lore focuses mainly on the drug like influences vampire blood can have on a human. Don't expect a lot of detail into the intricacies of being a vampire, I would say this is a romance with a supernatural slant as opposed to a fantasy book with romance. I
 enjoyed the musical focus in the story line. Musicians do have this odd, sexual allure (even the ugly ones), don't they? I loved the fact this strong, immortal vampire was pretty much a groupie for this band, and had the hots for the front man. It was a very... everyday human thing twisted into something else. 

MetaGame by Sam Landstrom

Life is a game, literally. Winners earn immortality, while losers are condemned to aging and death. D_Light, a gifted player, knows this all too well and he’s willing to do anything to win—even kill. It is no wonder then that when given the chance to enter a MetaGame—an exclusive, high-stakes, anything goes contest—he’s quick to jump at the opportunity. The MetaGame starts out well enough for D_Light, the first quest being to hunt down a dangerous fugitive, but through his own ambition, the tables turn and D_Light finds himself the renegade. Now, D_Light pits himself against his world to find the truth behind “The Game” and must decide between winning it and saving what’s left of his humanity. This book blends emerging political and cultural trends, such as gaming culture, globalization, and the ever-increasing hegemony of corporations, with technological trends, such as genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Oh, and if that is not enough, there's even some romance!

I don't read sci-fi books often, but the synopsis intrigued me. 
I dropped a star because for me the book gradually lost it's ... sparkle, and by the end I was wondering where the finish line was. It started strong but at times during the middle I was lost. It may have been easier to follow if I had connected to the main character, D_Light, more than I did. 

Gabriel’s Mate (Scanguards Vampires) by Tina Folsom

After Maya is turned into a vampire against her will, vampire and Scanguards bodyguard Gabriel is charged with protecting her and finding her attacker. Gabriel has never guarded a body as perfect as Maya's. Moreover, Maya's enticing blend of vulnerability and strength is difficult to resist. Yet resist he must. Even as the sexual tension between them rises and the rogue vampire closes in on them, Gabriel refuses to give into his desire. Despite the intimacies they share, Gabriel fears that if he ever reveals himself fully to her, Maya will react like other women have, running from him, and calling him a monster, a freak, a creature not worth her love. Will Maya prove to be the one female who cherishes all that Gabriel is?

I’ll keep this review short but sweet. If you like a bit of kink with your vampire romances you’ll like this book. I have read all of Ms Folsom’s books available via iBooks, and this was my favourite because it was the most unique.

Gabriel, a vampire with a peculiar deformity is rejected by all females and resigns himself to living a singular, sexually frustrated life which proves difficult as vampires in this book are exceedingly sexual beings. Then along comes a beaten, bloody, half dead and half turned vampire, Maya. He falls for her, she falls for him, he turns her, and there are many delightful mix ups, twists and turns, and general “I like you do you like me too” shenanigans as she tries to come to terms with her new life as a vampire, and her inexplicable craving for Gabriel’s blood (as opposed to human blood).

I, Witch by Erin Munday

Meagan is hallucinating a gorgeous guy in her shower and at work. While entertaining, she can’t control it. If he’s not just some random daydream, but is a real person sending her visions; then who is he? And why is he doing this? And how does he know her name? She also must find a way to handle being a witch serving a powerful goddess, whose agenda doesn’t coincide with Meagan’s...

Oh! A rare find. I was bored, not sure what to read next, and so I opened this up, and by god, I must have a "pick a good book randomly" compass because this was so great! 
Another amazing read hidden under a mediocre cover. So, Megan (lead protag) is quirky, cute and real. Now, I see that many may not quite get this book, as the main character speaks as she thinks and thinks as she speaks. Again, you have to find your own way through the puzzles and clues that are in the prose, and in the characters actions. No hand holding here!

Cursed (The Lazarus Series) by C. J. Baker

Hunter Jolene Fox is now an investigative reporter for the Lazarus Times. When a serial killer called the Artist starts terrorizing the city, she sets out to uncover the truth behind the killings. When she meets North, a musician with a terrible curse, he ignites a passion within her that cannot be denied. Even as North struggles to protect Jolene from his dark hunger, the Artist draws in on them both, seeking bloody vengeance…

Keeping this review short and sweet. Bloody hell, this book is good. The cover makes it look like a standard paranormal romance, but it's so much more. There is enough violence and mystery to not make the romance icky. There is a solid and engaging story here that goes beyond a simple bump of pelvises. The cover is misleading, the work inside is amazing.

Unicorn Bait by S.A. Hunter

Naomi accidentally goes to another planet thanks to a unicorn horn. Unfortunately, the horn doesn't come with her. She doesn't know how to get home, but that's not her biggest problem. That would be her brand new husband, and he's kind of scary. Her only hope is a crazy witch who knows something about catching unicorns. Which would be fine and dandy except, it's the crazy witch who introduced her to her husband. And then RAN OFF. She's going to get her for that.

Aw. Seriously. Aw. This was such a cute book I could just cuddle it. The lead male is a feared warlord who reminded me of Darth Vader (that is how I pictured him in my head, full face mask, billowing cape, and all). Grumpy and mean, his name is Tavik, and he decides Lady Naomi is to be his wife. So he brands her with his symbol declaring her well and truly conquered. Naturally, he falls for her and as you learn more about him you see he’s really just a big old softie inside who needs his face to be fixed. 

Save My Soul by Zoe Winters

After buying the antebellum home she’s fantasized about since childhood, Anna Worthington discovers Luc, a dangerously seductive incubus who has been trapped in the house by a fifty-year-old curse. To rid herself of her problem house guest she’ll call on a priest, gypsies, ghost hunters, and the coven of witches from lust bunny hell. All she has to do is resist him long enough to break the spell so they can go their separate ways. If she doesn’t, she could die. And that would be the best case scenario.

That is one sexy cover! There is something about an oversized white shirt that is hot. 

I was able to grab this free from iBooks and was ... surprised. I haven’t read a book by Ms Winters before, and was afraid. I've heard of her (of course) by reputation, and I didn’t want to spoil it by reading a book and not liking it. Well I liked it. I didn't love it,  but it was not a disappointment (phew). I guess what was missing for me was actual conflict. Every situation felt overly contrived until the end of the book. Coupled with the fact I didn’t like Anna all that much I lost the "Ooooh, I'm falling into a new story," feeling quite quickly. When I got to the end it made sense why I didn’t like her.

Shimmerspell by Kimberly Spencer

When sixteen-year-old Jensen Meadows finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient faerie war, she soon learns that faeries aren't made of sparkly goodness. They're vicious. And worse, they're after her. With the help of Liam Casey, she delves into their world to find her missing sister and begins to suspect that her whole life has been nothing more than a faerie tale. But maybe some truths should never be revealed...

Interesting. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book which involved the Seelie and Unselie. Now, I liked Shimmerspell overall. It is a solid novella. There is surprising depth and personality to some of these characters, more than I’ve read in some full length books. The twins, I loved. Loved. They were creepy and cool though there appearance in this was brief.

Stay (A Callie Rose Novel) by C.C. Jackson

Callie is shocked when she is ripped from her home in the middle of the night. She is taken to a city that she never knew existed only to find that she has a strange connection to her sexy captor. To top it all off, he tries to convince her that she is not even human. She learns that she is actually a fairy. Not just any fairy, but a fairy who has been destined to become queen of the fairies. The only problem is that the current queen is a cruel tyrant and Callie will have to fight for the title that she was meant for. She is not completely convinced that this is a life that she wants to live. She would love nothing more than to go back to being the normal human girl that she always thought that she was. When tragedy strikes, Callie finds that she no longer knows who she can trust. She must learn to survive on her own in a harsh underground world. She finds herself dealing with the struggles of life and love for the first time. Two gorgeous guys, a bunch of new friends, and a whole new world. Will it be more than she can bear?

In a word, I would describe Stay as cute. How do I feel about it overall? Ambivalent. I finished this book about a month ago and it has taken me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to say, because I kept changing my mind. 

Let’s start with The Love Interest. When reading a book there is a tipping point from when you are sitting on a fence, considering backing a love interest, to when you’ve fallen flat on your face. Hard. I backed Team Brokk from the beginning, because of the way he treated Callie in the caves. But then I was made to feel guilty for doing so because Kailen seemed like an angel after Brokk started to act like a jackass. Arrogance was not in Brokk’s described characteristics therefore his mean behaviour was jackass-ism rather than his normal arrogance. So I adjusted and backed team Kailen only for it to flip again and for Kailen to be the bad guy and for Brokk to be the one who we should really like. I did not like the bounce of this emotional yo-yo. There is a difference between making a lead character’s intentions mysterious and making them bi-polar. There were no clues to me to warn me not to get a vested interest in Kailen. 

Sunrise at Sunset (Sunset Vampire) by Jaz Primo

My name is Katrina Rawlings, and I am a vampire. I declare that with neither pride nor ego. I am simply nature’s most dangerous predator. On occasion, it’s a very valuable quality. It helped me protect Caleb Taylor one day when he was very young. But that single, traumatic day is behind him now; wiped from his memory, or so I hope.

Caleb has finally matured into a rather striking young man, and believe me, I like what I see. I’ll readily admit that there are issues for us to confront and overcome, though a sense of mutual commitment isn’t one of them. I’m feeling hopeful for our future together, in fact. But an adversary from my past has returned to haunt me, and she’s trying to get back at me through Caleb. That was her first...and last...mistake. I’ll protect my Caleb at all costs, and I’ll make her regret the day she was born.

So, I suppose that I’m not just a vampire. I’m about to become someone’s worst nightmar