Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Mittwoch, 24. Mai 2017

True Hero by Susan Owensby









Blurb:

Ally
On the run, with no one to turn to,
I’m doing all I can to stay alive, protect myself, and my little boy.
I left everything behind, determined to start over and give my child a normal life.
I have rules. Rules I have to follow. Rules that keep me alive.
1.    Keep my head down.
2.    Keep life simple.
3.    Trust no one.
 
That definitely includes retired Navy Seal Jonah Bradford. He’s completely off limits.
It doesn’t matter if he wakes up the woman inside of me.  
I can’t be that woman anymore. No matter how much he makes me wish I could.
 
Jonah  
Giving up my career to run the family business wasn’t an easy decision. Once a SEAL, always a SEAL.
Yet, I’ve adjusted. I like my life, but something is missing.
One look at the freckle-faced beauty working at the local diner and I know exactly what it is.
But, I’m alive today by following my instincts and everything about Ally is setting off alarm bells that scream she’s trouble.
I don’t care. I want her.
The problem is she won’t give me the time of day.
That’s okay. I like a challenge.
I just have to uncover all of her secrets and end the fear that keeps shining in her eyes.
Operation Ally is underway.


Ooookay....the good thing is that I really liked the story and the characters. Unfortunately the interaction between the characters and every direct speech, actually, were to stilted, somewhat awkward even when it was not part of the situation and everything sounded a bit forced. 

If the dialogues had been more natural and would have sounded more fluent, more flowing, the book would have been great. 
Unfortunately this is not the case and I must admit that at the end when things got really tough, well, let's just say  that some parts made me question if it was really three already weak stars and not rather two. I mean, experiences like that, sure, strange things may happen and you may "meet" people that you are fond of and that are not around anymore but -both of them? I mean - Ally and Jonah?


The story itself was nice and captivating but I'm pretty sure that I won't read this book again or even another one by the author.


★★



Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets and Spies #3) by K.C. Bateman











Blurb:

A feisty counterfeiter and a cocky British agent clash in this sultry Secrets and Spies novel by K. C. Bateman, whose witty, intelligent, and sexy historical romances have become her signature.

As Sabine de la Tour tosses piles of forged banknotes onto a bonfire in a Paris park, she bids a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal. Over the course of Napoleon’s reign, her counterfeits destabilized the continent and turned scoundrels into rich men, but now she and her business partner must escape France—or face the guillotine. Her only hope of surviving in England is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy—and into his arms.
Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, is prepared to take any risk to safeguard England from the horrors of the French Revolution. To lure the insurgents out from the shadows, he’s even willing to make a pact with his archenemy: Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe. But when a cheeky, gamine-faced beauty proves herself to be Lacorte, Richard is shocked—and more than a little aroused. Unlike the debutantes who so often hurl themselves at him, this cunning minx offers a unique and irresistible challenge. Richard will help her. But in return, he wants something that even Sabine cannot fake.



"...if you detain me, Lacorte will never come."
Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe - a woman? Or, as Viscount Lovell eloquently puts it - a confounded bloody woman?
When Sabine de la Tourre proves to Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, that she is indeed the famous French forger he and his colleagues at the secret service have been trying to  catch for a long long time now, he is intrigued  - and captivated.

Well, I guess it says a lot when I say that I bought the second book in the series right away, when it was on sale the other day without even reading the blurb just because I loved "A Counterfeit Heart" that much and saw that it was another book by K.C. Bateman.

The characters are charming and complex and I liked them a lot, especially Sabine, our very strong and very independent heroine who made her way in hard times in a man's world. A slip of a girl who can definitely hold her own when it comes to negotiating with a Viscount.
Oh, don't misunderstand me - I also liked Richard a lot and the chemistry between them, yes, that wasn't bad either! The feelings they develop for each other are believable and convincing and their interactions are funny and sweet, okay, sometimes or some more times also sarcastic and they made me laugh out loud more than once.
And for those of you who have always wanted to know how identify the different classical artists, well, Sabine has a wonderful way of explaining it for everyone to understand.

I really loved this book and I'm very much looking forward the other book by K.C.Bateman that I bought the other day!

★★★★


Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel Book 1 - Sharon Cullen









Blurb: 

 Blistering seduction meets international intrigue in the Highlands as a veteran spy infiltrates the court of Mary, Queen of Scots. There he matches wits against a tantalizing enemy: his new wife.

Simon Marcheford wants nothing more than to settle down on the land bestowed upon him by the English crown. Queen Elizabeth, however, is not about to let her best spy retire so easily. Simon will have his reward, she decrees, after he completes one last mission in Scotland. But no sooner has he sussed out a diabolical plot up North than Queen Mary weds him to her cousin—an exquisite beauty with troubled, soulful eyes—and orders Simon to watch her every move.

Aimee de Verris is no spy. But her life may depend on becoming one. Banished from the French court by Catherine de Medici, Aimee finds herself tasked with reporting on Queen Mary’s activities in Scotland, where she’s unnerved by the frigid weather and brutish customs. Worst of all, Aimee’s been married off to a most uncouth lout. But when murder strikes, she learns to appreciate Simon’s talent for shielding her with every inch of his muscular frame. If Aimee desires her husband, perhaps she could trust him—or even love him.



Who could resist Aimee and Simon?
Aimee is a young and definitely in the wrong place. A spy? In a country as cold as Scotland? She is French and proud of it - and she is in love with someone at the French Court. Unfortunately Catherine de Medici has the power to turn Aimee's life upside down and that's how a young and sweet girl like her ends up as a well, not really a spy, rather a spy-to-be-if-she-knew-what-she-does, far away from France and her love - and wed to some English brute.

Oh, one should add that Simon isn't very happy either. he being a real, very successful spy of Queen Elizabeth's at Queen Mary's Court where he is supposed to spy on Queen Mary who suddenly finds himself wed to Aimee to watch her. Considering the fact that he just wanted to retire and spend time with his young sister instead of spying once more for Queen Elizabeth, things have certainly got a bit complicated.
It won't get easier when he discovers a murderous plot and Aimee and he have to flee from Scotland - but sometimes it's the hard times that form people and their relationship. Fighting for their very lives and depending on each other Aimee and Simon come to care for each other and maybe - maybe this marriage will turn into something more than just a polite marriage of convenience.

I loved the story which was well plotted and well written and I loved those wonderful, complex and very loveable characters. I didn't love the Queens and the purely arbitrary way how they treated their people. A spy who is not allowed to retire, a wedding the happy-couple-to-be doesn't want and... yes, I know, it's a historical romance and queens and kings were known for such things but it doesn't make it better, does it?

Anyway, I really loved this book which is not the first and definitely not the last by Sharon Cullen that I've read and will definitely read it again, soon!

 ★★★★





Montag, 22. Mai 2017

The Favor by Blaire Edens
















Blurb:

Single mom Anna Bishop doesn’t want help from anyone, but she does need a superhero for the birthday party she’s has planned for her seven-year-old. Luckily, her best friend’s brother agrees to suit up and play the role.

When architect Clark Wainwright agrees to do his sister a favor, he never expects to end up in a pair of tights…not to mention the tight spot he ends up in when he creates trouble for his sister’s best friend. Clark is a fixer, and he’ll do whatever it takes to fix the problem he causes for Anna and help her keep her son…whatever it takes…even of it means proposing.

Anna could do with a little rescuing…but it just might be Clark who gets saved in the end.



On the whole I really enjoyed rading this book but after a while the hero's constant reminders that he wasn't worthy of being happy, his repetitive mentioning of his guilt and his over-the-top need to fix everything started to get on my nerves. Throw in the heroine's will to deny herself happiness even if it is obvious that she wouldn't hurt her son for whom she denies herself...well, a bit too much as well.

Apart from that the book is well written and very enjoyable. Despite my problems with those two and their attitude, I'm pretty sure that I'll read it again because I really liked the characters (the rest of the time, when it wasn't about guilt and self-doubts).

George, Anna's ex-husband and the father of her son, is a bully, plain and simple. In addition to that he is also absolutely arrogant, vain and mean. Enters Redhawk, alright, Clark with his mean right hook, protecting Anna when George threatens her. To protect the damsel in distress when Anna has to deal with the repercussions for said right hook, a fixer like Clark goes to great lengths and so the two of them end up married in order to protect Louie, Anna's seven-year-old son.

It is a really nice story and there're enough sparks between the two to set the sheets on fire so you really get it why they end up together and it just feels right - and that's exactly what drove me crazy when Anna and Clark deal with their doubts and almost destroy the really good thing that they have there.
Fortunately their friends are there to get them back on track and we get - oh, right - they get their HEA.

★★



Freitag, 19. Mai 2017

Baby Daddy by Nelle L'Amour










Baby Daddy by Nelle L'Amour

Blurb:

A new sexy standalone romantic comedy told in dual POV by the New York Times bestselling author of THAT MAN and Unforgettable!

I have three cardinal rules:
1. Never mix business with pleasure.
2. Never let a woman spend the night.
3. Never date a woman with kids.

Kids freak me out. God only knows how many this baby daddy has. Man, what was I thinking when I was in college? Me, Drake Hanson. God’s gift to women. Aka Donor 5262. It was a piece of cake and fifteen hundred dollars a month for my deposits (in sperm bank speak) came in handy. I just didn’t think about the consequences. One day, some kid is going to call me Daddy and I’m going to get hit up for child support. Big time.

Now, my father is pressuring me to settle down because the investor who’s looking to acquire his animation company doesn’t want a player running a family-oriented business. Just in time, she came along. The temp. Dee Walker. The minute the hot as sin brunette with her killer curves and those chocolate brown eyes stepped foot in my office and saved me from an ugly disaster with her magic hands, I wanted her to be mine. Except she’s totally off limits. And there’s someone else she loves with all her heart and soul that I can’t replace.

Can my temp become my forever before my past catches up with me? I’m willing to break all the rules.



Okay, I must admit that I read the first pages - and I just thought that I wouldn't be able to read this book because - wow, what a d*bag! I mean, this guy, seriously, arrogance personified is putting it mildly.
Soooo, the book and I, we kind of fell out and I didn't think that I'd try reading it again - and then I read a review by a friend of mine and thought that perhaps, I might just give it another chance. Yep, that was the day when I didn't put the reader down anymore.

Somehow this d*bag developed quite a number of redeeming qualities and even though there were still some moments where I was a bit mad at him I really really loved the story.
Dee and Drake are not just hot (and they are hot together, no doubt about that!) but they are also very sweet together. To see Drake fall for Dee and, well, I loved to see his protective streak especially when it became clear that Dee needed someone at her side, and, yes, I would have fallen for him as well. Ab.So.Lu.Te.Ly.

You know those books that you read and you grin (stupidly), smile (goofily), you feel choked, you laugh out loud - and you get spitting mad? Right, this book is one of those - and I loved it.
If you mind strong language, explicit sex scenes or violence this might not be the right book for you but if you don't mind them  - go ahead, read it!

★★★




Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017

The Duke needs a Wife. : The Rogues of Bath by Katy Walters











Blurb:

On the untimely demise of her parents, Miss Cassandra Whitney endures abject poverty raising her siblings. She faces further torment as her landlord, the odious Baron Scudder, threatens her with eviction if she refuses to assent to his offer of marriage to her younger sister Belle.  As Cassandra fights to save her family, she inherits a title, an estate and a ruin of a castle.
News of Casandra’s inheritance travels fast, reaching the highest circles in the ton. The Dowager Duchess of Taunton immediately sees her as a worthy match for her son Maximillian the 6th Duke of Taunton a renowned rakehell. The dowager also plans to take control over the castle which would be a prestigious venue for her many balls and hunting weekends. However, neither Cassandra nor Maximillian have any desire to wed. 

Both did not anticipate the manipulative powers of the dowager who slyly arranges a meeting between them.  

On seeing Cassandra, Max is suitably impressed with her wit and ironic humour. Already tiring of one of his mistresses, she would be a welcome replacement. Although charmed with his handsome looks and seductive overtures, Cassandra puts him firmly in his place.

Can Cassandra resist the devilish overtures of the Duke and the devious ploys of the dowager?



It doesn't happen very often that I don't finish a book and in a way I did finish this one as well because I kept skipping pages just trying to find out what happened. That's why I rated it with two stars and not less, actually. 

The story itself sounded promising and I expected a nice read, just something light and entertaining. 
Well, instead  of that I found myself breathless and rather stressed, trying to keep up with the book that seemed to rush from scene to scene, invoking one villainous scheme after the other till I felt that I couldn't keep up with the story anymore. 

The interactions between the characters are not very convincing and rather unlikely and the characters themselves remain one-dimensional with the dowager duchess resembling a caricature, always crying for a servant to be whipped and put in the stock and whatnot - and a rather  disagreeable caricature as that. 

"Too much" one the one hand when it comes to the story and the things happening and "not enough" speaking of the characters, while making my head reel with the fast pace and the chaotic style.
This was my first book by Katy Walters and I fear that I won't try to read another, once was enough.





Montag, 15. Mai 2017

It Had to Be You (Brokemore Academy, #1) by Lizzy Charles











Blurb:

James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains red-hot romance, all the feels, and a soul-mate bad boy.



This book was a highly enjoyable to read. Going from a fake relationship to a real one is not exactly a new concept for a story but it is absolutely well done and reading their story you just get it. They belong together and they have to get there for real.

James and Edelweiss just wanted to prevent James from getting pulled out of school when they agreed on their scheme of a fake relationship. Well, somehow it felt too right and even though Edelweiss has to catch up on all things school-related due to her unusual upbringing  and James, well, he has to catch up on being a boyfriend. All his experience with girls hasn't exactly prepared him for the real deal. Even if it is faked. Or not. 
A potpourri of jealous ex-girlfriends, complicated families, lost siblings, gerat friends and some wonderful parents later, James and Edelweiss have to decide where they'll go from there - trust and try for the real thing or break off. 

I loved the different characters, the wonderful friends, the loving families and I really loved James and Edelweiss together. The story is entertaining, captivating and well written. 

What I also liked is the way it dealt with the ethnic differences, namely the fact that James is black and Edelweiss is white. I loved that it is the white girl who has been living in New Delhi for a long time and not her roommate who has indian roots. Edelweiss. a white american girl with the name of a flower that grows in the Alpes and represents Europe and folklore has traveled and lived almost everywhere, She doesn't judge and she doesn't care whether somebody is black or white or  - well, whatever. 
Black and white  - this is a recurring theme in this book. Writing an essay about a book, the color of someone's skin makes a difference in his perception of certain things in the book, the different color of the skin makes people doubt that someone is relatied to the other and so on. It is never openly discussed as a problem just as "something", as an awareness.

A great book, sweet and romantic with its fair share of  beastly ex-girlfriends and their likes  and great characters. Oh, and those parents? I'll take them. Right. Now.


★★★