Sign up for our 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge and tackle your ever growing pile of books!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Book Review: Safe at Last by Maya Banks

Safe at Last (Slow Burn, #3)

Adult, Romance, Paranormal
Publication.Date  June 23rd, 2015
Published By:  Avon
WebsiteMaya Banks

Safe at Last on Goodreads
My review copy:Bought 

Where to get:

The third book in the beloved #1 bestselling author’s sexy, romantic suspense Slow Burn series…

They say young love doesn’t last, but a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with unique abilities and the hometown golden boy were determined to defy the odds. For Zack Covington, Anna-Grace—his “Gracie”—was the one. Until one night forever alters the course of their future, when a devastated Gracie disappears without a trace, leaving Zack to agonize over what happened to the girl he loved. As the years pass, his desperate efforts to find her uncovered nothing.

Now working for Devereaux Security, he stumbles across a painting featuring a special place only he and Gracie would know. The image is too perfectly rendered for it to be coincidence. His Gracie must be alive. When he finally tracks her down, he is shocked—and heart-broken—to discover the wounded shell of the girl he once knew and still loves. Her psychic gifts are gone, and worse, she believes he betrayed her all those years ago.

Zack has enemies, and once his weakness is discovered, Gracie becomes a target for revenge. He’ll have to save her before he can earn her trust and her love. And he vows they’ll never be torn apart again.


"I could never hate you, Gracie," Zack said against her lips. "Never. I've always loved you. I always will."
"You're still my Gracie," he whispered. "You haven't changed a single bit from that beautiful girl I fell in love with so many years ago. That I still love. Will always love."

I'm a fan of Maya Banks. Her books are great brain candy, and I adore her Colters' Legacy series. I even loved the first two books in this series, Slow Burn. But unfortunately, I didn't like Safe at Last at all. Actually, I kind of hated it.

It stinks to say that after enjoying books 1 and 2 immensely, but Safe at Last wasn't up to par with them in the slightest for a few reasons:

- This book was so repetitive and the writing was weak. We got explanations for the same things multiple times. Like I don't need to hear the story of Zack losing his virginity to someone else more than once. It hurt enough to read the first time. But even beyond that (and my own jealousy), there were many things that were repeated unnecessarily and it got so daunting. Plus, the storytelling was flimsy. Things worked out because of *shrug* plot and there were inconsistencies because of *shrug* plot...except the plot wasn't strong enough to handle all that nonsense and it just made the writing seem weak.

- The romance was forced. This one is a huge bummer because the romance in Maya Banks' books is one of my favorite things, but it was lacking in this one. I think the divide between the main characters was just too big to really mend (for good reason) and when the author took the story in the direction she wanted it to go, the characters were forced on each other. Based on their backstory, they had potential---but with everything that happened in between then and the time of the story threw it all off kilter and it just did not work. At all.

- Zack had more chemistry with Eliza. This one got on my nerves. Often. When there was already such a huge struggle getting Zack and Gracie together, I didn't think making Eliza Zack's close best friend was a good idea. She seemed better for him than Gracie was and that was conflicting to me. I kind of wanted her to be the actual love interest, so the romance would start WORKING, but I also wanted her to go away because I didn't want to pay attention to her quite yet---which I say because her story comes in book 4.

- I was bored. This is the biggest issue. Every other problem I had could be gotten over if it weren't for the fact that I forced myself through this whole thing. Partly because I needed answers and partly because I desperately wanted things to get better. I wanted the romance to become less strained, I wanted the actual story to become compelling. Sadly, none of that happened and I was left so disappointed with this book.

Overall, I still love Maya Banks and will give book 4 in this series a try at some point, but Safe at Last itself was a huge disappointment. If you read this series, I recommend skipping this one since they all can stand alone just fine.

Blog Twitter Goodreads Image Map

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Indiscretion (Andalucían Nights #1) by Hannah Fielding {Book Review, Interview & Giveaway}



Hannah Fielding

Published by London Wall Publishing
August 4, 2016 Paperback $11.99

Written in Fielding’s signature style, infused with an old-school Hollywood glamour, Indiscretion evokes the drama and passion of 1950s post-war Spain.

1950’s London. Alexandra, a young writer is bored of her suffocating but privileged life amongst the gilded balls and parties of Chelsea. Keen for an adventure, Alexandra travels to Spain to be reunited with her estranged Spanish family on a huge estancia in Andalucía. 

Arriving in sun-drenched southern Spain for the first time, Alexandra is soon caught up in the wild customs of the region. From bull fighting matadors and the mysterious Gypsy encampments in the grounds of the family’s estate, to the passionate dances of the region and the incredible horsemanship of the local caballeros, Alexandra is instantly seduced by the drama and passion of her new home.  

When Alexandra inevitably falls for Salvador, the mercurial heir to her family’s estate and the region’s most eligible man, she finds herself entangled in a web of secrets, lies and indiscretion.  Alexandra soon falls prey to scheming members of her own family, the jealousy of a beautiful marquésa and the predatory charms of a toreador, all intent on keeping the two lovers apart.  

But nothing can prepare Alexandra for Salvador’s own dangerous liaisons with a dark-eyed Gypsy.

Can Alexandra trust that love will triumph, or will Salvador’s indiscretion be their undoing?

Praise for Hannah Fielding’s Award-Winning novel, Indiscretion…

‘A captivating tale of love, jealousy and scandal.’  The Lady
‘A compelling read, Fielding’s novel is entertaining, shocking, exciting and charming: the perfect way to indulge and distract yourself.’ Latino Life
Indiscretion grips from the first. A powerful and romantic story, one to savour and enjoy.’   Lindsay Townsend - romance author

Welcome to Bookish Lifestyle, Hannah! I'm so excited to have you here with us today! In your own brief words, how would you describe the stories you write and why should readers be interested?

I write evocative, epic, romantic fiction set in inspiring locations worldwide. Probably the best description of my style is this, from a British newspaper: “romance like Hollywood used to make.”

Readers of my books are transported into beautiful story worlds full of emotion and drama. From wherever they are reading, they visit the plains of Kenya (Burning Embers) or the Bridge of Sighs in Venice (The Echoes of Love) or a fiesta in Andalucía (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy). My fiction is a little like a passport!

What is the hardest part of the writing process? Favorite part?

The hardest parts for me are the opening paragraph and the closing paragraph. The first must encourage the reader to continue his or her journey into the novel, to want to get to know the characters and their story; and the last must leave the reader with a feeling of contentment and maybe a tinge of melancholy because the voyage has come to an end and it is as if he or she is saying farewell to a friend.

For me, the easiest part is writing descriptively. My style is mainly descriptive because that is what my French education gave me and that is what I most like to read. I try to convey to the reader every detail my imagination is conjuring up, so I pay keen attention to the setting. I carefully describe sights and sounds and smells and tastes and textures. All the senses are involved so that the reader can form a clear picture of the environment in which the plot takes place and grasp a better understanding of the characters and their reactions. I am careful to use the right word and I am always looking for the nuance that will best describe what I am trying to say. This could be due to the rigorous language training of my French education. The nuns at my school, and later my teachers at university, were very strict about style.

Since childhood I’ve loved writers who really paint a scene in your mind, and I knew when I started writing romance that I wanted to transport my readers to the time and place in which I situate the story.

What do you do to recharge your batteries?

I read: I love reading romantic novels – the thicker the book, the better.

I cook: I love cooking, using the various produce from our vegetable garden. Jams, chutneys, stuffed vine leaves (dolmadis), stuffed savoury and sweet filo pastry cushions that I serve as nibbles when I entertain and stewed fruit for winter crumbles. All for the freezer. The list could go on for ever.

I entertain: I find nothing more satisfying than having friends over; and as I often travel, it’s great to catch up with all the news.

I travel: To research my books. I find it exciting and exhilarating. Discovering new places, new people, new traditions and new cuisines, of course.

I collect antiques: Chinese porcelain, Japanese sculptures and French and Italian glass, so you will often find me rummaging in flea markets and dark second-hand shops in the hope of discovering a hidden treasure.

What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?

Love – always love! Those beautiful moments in your life when your heart is just bursting; I seek them out, and I capture them on the pages of my books. 

What is your all-time favorite book? 

My debut novel, Burning Embers, because it is the embodiment of a lifelong dream.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

My husband and I answered this question long ago, and that is why we now divide our time between our homes in Kent in S.E. England, and Ste Maxime in S.W. France. We love both of these countries, but so many others too, which is why we travel often. This year, we have spent a lot of time in Ireland, for example, where I find the windswept vistas very inspirational.

What was the last book you bought?

I just pre-ordered Les Diners de Gala, which is a book that has been virtually impossible to buy for decades, and is now being republished in time for Christmas. It’s a cookbook created by the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala. Not your average cookbook: the illustrations are literally works of art, and the recipes are not for the faint- hearted. Dare I try the frog pastries? The thousand-year-old eggs? Perhaps the toffee with pine cones is a safer option…

What writer has influenced you in your writing the most? 
My favourite writer of this century is Mary Margaret ‘Mollie’ Kaye, author of worldwide bestseller The Far Pavilions in the early 1980s. She has been an inspiration to me in my writing, because, like me, she was a traveller at heart and she wrote wonderfully descriptive stories set in exotic locations that really transport you to far-off lands. Her stories transport you to a time and a place as if you are there and then. If you have not read her books, I do recommend them: pure escapism… pure romance. See

Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents? 
When I was a little girl, I was torn between two dreams for the future: to be a writer, or to be a ballerina. I trained in ballet with my sister for many years, and we would put on little shows for family and friends. I gave up my ballerina dream long ago in favour of writing, and I don’t train any longer. But I am still capable of executing a fair number of pirouettes in a row.    

Indiscretion is a steamy, exciting romance novel. Alexandra, the main protagonist in this book writes romance novels yet she has never experienced it herself. That is until she meets her mysterious admirer in Spain. Alexandra was at many points a bit naive, even though she was in her mid-twenties. Especially when it came to real life problems. Her upbringing had been a bit sheltered so when she is set free for the first time in her life there are so many new things for her to learn. At times her naivety really got to me, but through out the book the character really grows into a beautiful and intelligent woman you come to really respect and admire. 

Salvador's life has been rocky these past couple of years. He had an accident that left him  immobilized for a while, his engagement got broken off and he got involved with the gypsies. So when he meets the innocent Alexandra the timing is completely off. He is not exactly the man she believes him to be. I was really intrigued by him and by his mood swings. There were so many things to learn about him. Their relationship had a lot of drama and obstacles. Most of it thanks to Salvador and his many secrets. Salvador was an extremely complex character which I really loved because the author did a great job at making you hate him and love him at the same exact time.

The level of descriptions in this book is amazing. The author did an astonishing job describing the customs at the masquerade ball, the bull fights and the different settings in Spain. Reading this book was a whole new experience because of all these descriptions that the author provides seamlessly. It was easy to imagine how life must have been in Spain around that time.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Indiscretion. It is a great historical fiction book filled with romance, tension and drama. I found a new author that I just fell in love with in her character depth and writing style and I have already read the next book in this series with glowing reviews. Pick this first book up if you want to experience this romance for yourself! 

About the author
Hannah Fielding is an award-winning romance author, who grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, the granddaughter of Esther Fanous, a revolutionary feminist and writer in Egypt during the early 1900s. After graduating she developed a passion for travel, living in Switzerland, France and England. After marrying her English husband, she had little time for writing while bringing up two children, looking after dogs and horses, and running her own business renovating rundown cottages. Hannah now divides her time between her homes in England and the South of France.
She has written four novels, all featuring exotic locations and vivid descriptions: Indiscretion and Masquerade (the first two titles in the Andalucían Nights Trilogy set in Spain); Burning Embers (set in Africa); and The Echoes of Love (set in Italy). Hannah’s books have won many awards, including Gold Medal for romance at the Independent Publisher Book Awards and Silver Medal for romance at the Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book Awards (The Echoes of Love), and Gold and Silver Medals for romance at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards (Indiscretion and Masquerade). Indiscretion has also won Best Romance at the USA Best Book Awards.

A copy of Indiscretion and Masquerade (Books 1 & 2 in Andalucian Nights) and "Echoes of Love" by Hannah Fielding to one lucky winner. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dearest Friends by Pamela Lynne {Blog Tour Review & Giveaway }


Publication Date: November 14, 2014
Publisher: Vanity and Pride Press
eBook & Paperback; 277 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Independent Publishers 2016 IPPY Award Bronze Medal for Romance
The historical romance Dearest Friends retells Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a sensual adventure that will delight a modern audience. Fitzwilliam Darcy left Hertfordshire following a friend’s betrayal, but his heart remained with Elizabeth Bennet, the impertinent beauty who captured his attention in ways no woman ever had before. When he encounters her unexpectedly in London, he realizes he can no longer live without her and begins his pursuit for her hand. When he finds that Elizabeth is not free to marry, will he again walk away or will he fight for the lady he loves?
While Darcy and Elizabeth pursue their own happiness, around them friendships progress to love and infatuation leads to disappointment. Join a group of unlikely friends as they support our dear couple on their journey, each treading unique paths along the way.
“Dearest Friends is an ‘excessively diverting’ and enthralling Pride and Prejudice variation!”–Austenesque Reviews
“This was a wonderful read and a great ‘visit’ with my favorite people. Pamela Lynne brings out the best and the worst in some of these people and makes the story so much more. I highly recommend this title to any JAFF lover.”–The Ardent Reader


This historical novel tells the story of "Pride and Prejudice for the modern reader in such great detail and exquisite writing style. Darcy and Elizabeth captivate their audience again in this version of the classic tale with a new spin on an old story. 

Elizabeth has just come back from Hertfordshire and is now living with her aunt and uncle in London because of a disgrace to her and her family. Darcy and Elizabeth met in Hertfordshire when Darcy was dealing with his own family disgrace and the two did not get along at all as Fitzwilliam Darcy was rude to her. However, Elizabeth has not left Darcy's mind since their meeting. When he happens to come upon her again in a quaint London bookshop, he vows to rectify his original behavior and make Elizabeth his. The couple begin to court but many circumstances make it impossible for the couple to be truly happy. 

This story was extremely entertaining from page one and does not disappoint as the story moves on. I feel the characters were believable and fun to read about. Even though this was a modern take on a classic, I really felt the author did a great job at telling her own story and really spicy it up with a modern twist! There were some very laughable moments at the family relations that went on between Darcy and his family and the author did a really good job at making this story light hearted but also intense at some points as well. I would most certainly recommend this novel to the modern reader and it is one that I am glad to have had the opportunity to read. I am looking forward to reading more by Pamela in the coming months. 

To win a set of all three books by Pamela Lynne, please enter via the Gleam form below.

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US Residents Only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Pamela Lynne Blog Tour

About the Author

Pamela Lynne grew up in the American South, surrounded by Southern Gothic works by Faulkner, O’Connor and the like. These authors helped shape her evolving mind and continue to influence everything she produces as an adult. It was a Regency-era wit from across the Atlantic, however, who seeped into her being.
She often describes her developing years as “Longbourn, The White Trash Version,” and credits Jane Austen for what little sense she brought away from that time. She has met her share of Willoughbys and Wickhams, Bingleys and Tilneys, and writes about them all.
Pamela currently lives among the rolling hills of Tennessee with her husband of more than a decade, three kids, two cats and one very blond dog. She is still a Marianne hoping to grow into Elinor, or Clairee from Steel Magnolias.
For more information, please visit Pamela Lynne’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...