Special Offers on Books

This Thursday, 21st February the Book Depository is discounting a selection of their books – 100 books over 25 hours. Click on the link to be taken to their site to see if it is of interest to you.

I also found that Erica Stevens’ vampire romance Captured (the Captive Series Book 1) is FREE in Kindle format at Amazon UK and Amazon US. Smashwords also has this free in ebook format. I really adored this novel and will be reading and reviewing books 2 and 3 in the series very soon!

I also enjoy redaing Ruth Ann Nordin. I noticed that some of her books are also available FREE in ebook format at the moment. Of these I thought I would mention in Loving Eliza, a sweet historical western romance, where the heroine, a prostitute, finds a second chance at life. Check out Amazon UKAmazon US or  Smashwords if interested. I like to read books where the hero or heroine find redemption and came across Eliza in another book I read by the author and want to find out more about her.

The author’s Suddenly a Bride (Across the Stars Book 1), where the hero, an alien seeks a bride from earth as his home planet has no women also looks like a good read. See Amazon UK, Amazon US or Smashwords.

Happy reading!

Tina @ ARR

Born to Bite by Lynsay Sands

15846345[2]-001An Argeneau Vampire Novel

If you like a heavy dose of humour with your vampires, yet still want heaps of romance, you may want to try Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau Vampire series, which documents the lives and loves of a family of vampires. Born to Bite is book 13 in the series. It can also be read as a stand alone. The Argeneau novels are set in the modern age and have a completely different take on vampires than what we are used to. In Lynsay Sands’ vampire mythology vampires are immortals who hail from the island of Atlantis. Scientists there developed nano technology to the extent that it healed bodies, making the inhabitants immortal. The only drawback being that for the nanos to work they had to live on blood. Thus the vampire myth was born!

In the past, although the immortals were compelled to take blood from humans ‘on the hoof’, today they mainly take it in the form of refrigerated blood bags. They tend to hide their existence from humans, unless they feel that they can be trusted and will not try and stake them or go into panic mode! As with many other vampire mythologies, they can read (most) minds and can wipe memories with the exception of older vampires, whose minds can be harder to read and those who are destined to be their life mate. In the previous books that I have read in the series the romantic pairings at the core of each have been vampire and human.

In Born to Bite, Eshe d’Aureus, an Enforcer, employed by Lucien Argeneau, is sent on an undercover mission to investigate Lucien’s brother Armand. Lucien tells Armand that Eshe needs to lie low for a few weeks as she is being hunted by an enemy. However, she is really investigating the deaths of Armand’s life mate Susanna and his subsequent wives, Althea and Rosamund, and his daughter-in-law Annie. Linked to the investigation is also the fate of Nicholas, Armand’s son, who unbeknown to Armand has been imprisoned by Lucien, suspected of killing a human.

Both Armand and Eshe are immortals and almost as soon as they clap eyes on each other they realise that they cannot read each others’ minds and that they are life mates! Now with these vampires when this happens things become very interesting. It means that they are wildly attracted to and cannot keep their hands off each other. They also start to regain their appetite for food, which wanes if they are without a life mate. These factors make for a number of hilarious scenes. Lucien, rightly concerned that Eshe will find it hard to concentrate on the investigation due to her preoccupation with earthly pursuits, sends a co-enforcer, Bricker, to assist her and keep her mind on the job. As she has been without a life mate for hundreds of years, Eshe is keen to prove that Armand and Nicholas are innocent. The team investigates not just Armand’s alibis, but those of other immortals who were around at the time of the deaths. However, it soon becomes clear that the killer or a killer is very much at large as both Armand and Eshe’s lives are threatened. The remaining investigation includes a great many plot twists, punctuated by passionate trysts between Eshe and Armand, as the team strives to discover who the murderer is before he or she gets to them first!

Armand’s character is sweet and sexy. Suspecting foul play, he has kept himself apart from his offspring for years to protect them. He makes a half-hearted attempt to resist succumbing to Eshe’s charms, to protect her too, but soon wants to keep her, his new life mate, close to protect her. Eshe is a motorbike riding Amazon, who in contrast with Armand, has a larger than life personality. She is very happy to embrace her new life mate from the outset, and is enjoying getting to grips with both sex and eating again.

There are a host of secondary characters, including Bricker, the co-enforcer, the rude and sarcastic Lucien, whom we have met in previous novels and is now himself mated, and other characters linked to Armand, who may have a bearing on the fate of his wives.

Lynsay Sands’ writing style is full of gentle humour, punctuated by comic and sweet sex scenes. However, the tale also has elements of romantic suspense, as the investigation seeks to reveal who committed the past murders and also who wants to kill Armand and Eshe.

I recommend this book to lovers of paranormal vampire romance who maybe want a break from the usual vampire fare of brooding/tortured hero and instead want to read a humorous romantic but suspenseful tale, with loveable characters.

Cover design by Patrick Knowles

Author’s website         www.lynsaysands.net

Publisher website        www.gollancz.co.uk   www.orionbook.co.uk

Our Review Policy

Most of the books that we review are either purchased by us or borrowed from our local library. Sometimes we are lucky enough to acquire one free from a promotion by an online bookseller. Since starting our blog we have been over the moon with how many of you have decided to ‘pop in’ now and again to read our reviews. We are enjoying sharing our thoughts with you and are happy to receive any comments on individual posts or your thoughts on the blog or reading in general.

We have recently been fortunate to be offered sample books to review by a number of authors and a publisher. We are very pleased by this as it gives us the opportunity to expand our reading material and share the resulting reviews with you.

In the interests of meeting our legal obligations as book bloggers and  informing any authors and publishers who wish to approach us, we have drawn up a Review Policy. This is set out on a separate page of our blog and we will update is as necessary.

The main point to note is that if we are given a sample book to review by a third party and we feel that it is something that we would enjoy reading and sharing with you, we do so on the basis that we will carry out an honest review of it. We do not do it for monetary gain, nor are we currently a member of any affiliate programme run by any of the online booksellers. We aim to be as transparent as possible and will let our readers know if a book has been given to us to review by an author or publisher by clearly labelling the review relating to that book. Our readers should assume that all other books reviewed by us on this site have been purchased by us, downloaded for free through a special promotion open to all, borrowed from our local library or (if we are lucky enough) won in a competition.

We would however, love to hear from authors and publishers who wish to offer copies of their books for review or for giveaways, or who wish to feature in guest posts. We feel that this will add to our readers’ enjoyment of reading our blog.

We are new to blogging and therefore welcome any views on our Review Policy from any fellow book bloggers, or readers.

Tina and Caroline ARR

Hot to Trot by Lou Wakefield

Hot to Trot‘Hot to Trot’ by Lou Wakefield is my belated Valentine’s Day tie-in review. I chose to read this as it is a romantic comedy. I have to say that the opening of the story captures the reader’s imagination and pulls you in with wit being the main essence between the main character, Kate Thornton, and an elderly woman, Minnie McAlpine.

Kate Thornton is a thirty-something British actress who has had some bad luck with her career of late. She has used up her spare time playing Backgammon on the Internet and in doing so, she has built up a relationship with one of the regular players, ‘Andy the Cowboy’. Whilst ‘Andy’ is kind with his gameplay and sympathetic to her career situation, Kate learns that he has had a fall and broken his arm, thus making it difficult for him to make ends meet on his ranch, Blue Yonder, in Canada. Without giving him the heads-up, Kate decides to fly out to Canada to hopefully be of some assistance to ‘Andy’.

It is on this flight that Kate is seated next to Minnie McAlpine. Minnie hears of the situation that Kate has put herself in and although Minnie is very friendly and likeable, she also has a quirky side to her. Minnie is full of ironic and sarcastic remarks which couldn’t help but put a smile on my face.

The synopsis for this novel is very interesting. It is the idea of dropping everything you know to go and help out a person that you thought you knew, with the added possibility of some romance. However, when Kate reaches Blue Yonder she finds out that Andy doesn’t have a broken arm and isn’t aware of her at all. The real Andy, for me, was not a typical hero. He was quite rude, set in his ways and limited to his lifestyle. He didn’t welcome new ideas and was very miserable. His behaviour towards Kate was mostly ignorant and a little hostile in places. Kate isn’t sure whether to stay or go and therefore, on a romance level for me there was nothing. I didn’t feel much in the way of a connection towards the characters.

Kate is obviously a friendly woman who likes to assist wherever she can. As the novel moves on Kate’s character becomes more irritating. Although she wants to help Andy she stretches herself by going through his office drawers, asking locals on his situation, etc. I didn’t like these situations and, as a reader, made me feel uncomfortable. Kate’s character begins really nice but she becomes interfering and nosey.

I found the middle of the story quite lengthy and long-winded and as the story moves on it loses the sense of humour we began with. Kate has the mystery to solve of who it was that she was playing on the Internet with, calling themselves ‘Andy the Cowboy’. This takes up a great deal of the novel but it moves forward quite slowly, with Kate acting as a local gossip with neighbours of Andy’s, who she doesn’t even know herself. This was a little cringeworthy. However, throughout the novel there are little twists to keep the reader guessing on who the culprit is behind ‘Andy the Cowboy’.

The ending of ‘Hot to Trot’ did disappoint me. After having such a lengthy middle to the story the end seems like only a few pages. Throughout the novel the romance was missing and I was hoping that it would more than make up for this at the end. But I’m afraid I didn’t feel it. This seems such a shame as the book began on a high note and was quite enjoyable. Minnie McAlpine is my favourite character and, even though she has a role throughout the book, it would have been nice to have mentioned her more. If there were more intense and intimate moments with Kate and Andy, with the humour lasting throughout, then this novel would be much more notable.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Name our latest knitted character

Latest knitted character 1Welcome to our latest addition to our knitted character collection. Knitted by Carol Davies, a follower of a Reader’s Review Blog and a close friend. You may remember our first knitted monster character, Rob Zombie. You can find him at the link below:- https://areadersreviewblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/rob-zombie-knitted-character/

560224_10151425123914640_363434232_n[1]Unfortunately, our latest addition does not have a name yet! Therefore, we would like some name suggestions please!! All suggestions will be noted and Carol will then pick her favourite name at the end of the month.

405731_10151425124479640_234143526_n[2]

Put your thinking caps on guys and gals and who knows – our gothic doll may soon have your chosen name. All suggestions need to be made by Thursday 28th February 2013.

To make a suggestion all you have to do is leave a comment below or visit and ‘Like’ our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AReadersReview and leave a post with your suggestion. We will look forward to hearing from you guys!

Thanks to Carol for the time and effort she has put into these great characters. And good luck guys! Caroline x

149970_10151425124809640_843003521_n[1]    556305_10151425124659640_1191915896_n[1]

Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Tie-In Review

As a Valentine’s Day tie-in we have a review from Wendy Morris, a reader of our blog and a close friend, who has kindly done a guest post for us on Sophie Kinsella’s ‘The Undomestic Goddess’.  This review complements the review of Louise Wise’s The Fall of the Misanthrope which can be found at https://areadersreviewblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/book-review-of-the-fall-of-the-misanthrope-i-bitch-therefore-i-am-by-louise-wise/ and Louise Wise’s own post on her writing experience which can be found at https://areadersreviewblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/introducing-author-louise-wise/. We would like to thank Louise and Wendy for their time and effort. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

 THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS by SOPHIE KINSELLA

The Undomestic GoddessI’m a big fan of Sophie Kinsella books but this one for some reason was a bit harder to get to grips with than some of the others I’ve read of hers. It’s a bit of a slow starter in that the build up to the disaster which leads our heroine in the book (Samantha) to leave her old life to start afresh seems a bit too dragged out and I’ll admit that at one point I wondered whether to bother finishing reading the book at all as the storyline started to get boring. It wasn’t until midway through the book that you could feel any kind of attachment with the lead character but once I did BOOM. The book had me hooked and I didn’t want to put it down.

It goes a bit down the Cinderella line with Samantha practically turning into a skivvy working for a well off but kind couple who confuse her for a domestic help but of course she then meets her Prince Charming in the end. The ending I’ll admit after all the build up to it was a bit feeble and I kind of expected better but all in all it was ok. So for this book I would give it 3 out of 5 and anyone who decides to read it just keep with it.
Reviewed by Wendy Morris

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone reading this post. To help you celebrate the day we have a post from author Louise Wise, who writes both chick-lit and sci-fi romance. I have followed this with a review of her novel The Fall of the Misanthrope.

I hope that you enjoy reading them. Have a great day and remember to eat lots of chocolate!

Tina @ ARR