Another cracking addition to the series

Chocolate Cake and Chaos (Peridale Cafe Mystery #4)Chocolate Cake and Chaos by Agatha Frost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another brilliant addition to the Peridale Cafe mysteries from Agatha Frost, a series which is rapidly becoming one of my favourites.

There is a real lightness of style to these stories, even with the murderous themes running through them, the humour and Britishness stands out.

Julia is a delightful addition to the female “detective” cannon and she’s beginning to rank right up there with Christie’s Tuppence Beresford for me.

In this one things become even more personal for Julia when her beloved Barker’s life is in danger and, as in all the previous books, there’s a neat twist which is never obvious which gives Julia the insight she needs to discover the truth.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an unbiased and honest review.

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Not as angsty as the other two

Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back Book 3)Embrace the Fire by Felice Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a much sweeter story than the first two books and, while Brandon had suffered, it wasn’t anywhere close to Ash or Luke’s pain.

The romance between him and Tash was nicely drawn out and there wasn’t really much in the way of dramady to affect it. They communicated well and the sex was emotionally engaging.

Loved the extended epilogue and I’ve loved Esther and the other secondary characters who have been built into this world.

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Unmissable ending to this unbelievably good series

Devour
Devour by Jocelynn Drake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know that feeling you’d get, deep down in your tummy, when you woke up on Christmas Day (insert other appropriate religious festivals) and you weren’t sure what was going to be waiting for you? That feeling was me the second this book dropped on my Kindle at midnight on release day.

It’s a strange mixture of excitement, trepidation, expectation, fear, the potential for great joy or great sadness (depending on what you unwrapped). Well, let’s just say reading Devour was like unwrapping a Girl’s World on the morning of my seventh birthday.

Ian’s story has been a long time in the making. We’ve had snippets as we’ve watched Lucas fall in love with Andrei in Shatter, as Snow and Jude found each other in Shiver and as Noah gave Rowe a second chance at life in the pages of Torch. And there, in the background of each, has been Hollis Banner, cop and lover of all things chocolate.

I’m not going to use spoilers, this book works best if you don’t know what’s going to happen. But be absolutely assured, you will gasp, you will probably tear up even if you don’t full on ugly cry, you’ll definitely smile a lot, you’ll laugh out loud and, finally, you’ll sigh. A bone deep sign of contentment that all is right in the world and the Unbreakable Bonds these four men share have expanded to encompass another four equally important to all, plus a myriad of parents, cats, dogs and hangers on.

That the story ends at Christmas is perhaps fitting, not only cos it gave me my introduction paragraph for this review, but also because it’s a time for being with those with love and I do so very much love the men in these four books.

There’s a sadness that this particular series is over, but also a deep joy in knowing the world itself will continue with the Ward Security series that Rinda Elliott and Jocelynn Drake have announced is coming next (#Geoven4eva) and that we won’t be leaving them behind completely.
There’s also the final two books of short stories for Rowe and Noah, Ian and Hollis, to come out later this year too, so it’s not quite goodbye.

And, as expected with the immense talent of these two authors, they managed to pull off a stunningly unique ultimate fate for the protagonist of this series – never in a million years would that have been on my radar ladies so bravo 🙂

Thank you both for Lucas, for Snow, for Rowe and for Ian, and for the men they love. It’s been a thrill of a ride.

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Just as good as the first one

After the Fire (Through Hell and Back Book 2)After the Fire by Felice Stevens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the first book I got teary at what happened to one of the secondary characters. This book continues on that story as Jordan has to come to terms with his loss.

I loved as well how Felice brought Lucas in to the story and back into Ash’s life without it feeling like just a plot device, it worked well within the narrative.

This one is angsty, but it’s a different kind to the first book. Here there’s more to do with grief and loss, anger and pain, a sense of hopelessness than the relationship driven dramas of Drew and Ash.

Jordan and Lucas’ dramas came more from what was happening around them as they tried to move on, although there were relationship hiccups too.

I liked that they were quick to anger but also quick to reconcile, they talked and they sought expert help when the sh*t hit the fan.

In bed they were dynamite, I loved how Jordan slowly realised he could love Lucas without the guilt and how Lucas realised he could depend on Jordan in spite of his mistakes.

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Five brutal heart breaking stars

A Walk Through Fire (Through Hell and Back Book 1)A Walk Through Fire by Felice Stevens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Felice Stevens you know how to wrench every but of emotion from someone. This book is brutal and heart breaking but it’s also uplifting and heart warming.

It’s about pain and loss, joy and hope, second chances at life and new beginnings. It’s about finding family and learning how to let yourself be loved.

Asher and Drew are a magnificent pairing, birth men bowing under the weight of their past, both men capable of bearing the weight of the other’s fears.

That I could get teary about what happens to one of the secondary characters is testimony to the world building skills of the author.

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Olive Juice – I love you, you broken and beautiful book

Olive JuiceOlive Juice by T.J. Klune

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew. I knew what it would be and, even knowing, (okay correctly guessing), didn’t stop the impact of this book one little bit.

I’m not going to spoiler in my review, I’m not going to try and summarise without revealing anything. I’m just going to say read this book. Do not try and find out what happens, you will kick yourself if you do. This book needs to be read blind.

This is a book about love, this is a book about pain, this is a book about expectations, second chances, fears, regrets, past lives lived. But, most of all, this is a book about hope.

At the end, when Pandora had opened the box and let out all the evils into the world, hope remained. This book is a powerful reminder to never let it go.

T J, I salute your incredible skill with words that you can take them and craft them into something so beautiful.

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Best in the series for me

A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3)A Kind of Honesty by Lane Hayes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best in the series for me, I absolutely fell head over heels for both Carter and Tim.

I love Lane Hayes’ style of writing, she has a realness to it which makes you believe these could be guys next door she’s writing about no matter the rock band or the family inheritance.

The pacing throughout this romance was perfect, the sex didn’t get in the way or feel thrown in for the hell of it. Reading these two men falling in love slowly through a shared friendship and slow building of trust was beautiful.

The plot narrative with Tim’s shady ex was also handled well and didn’t feel like it was angsty drama just for the sake of it.
I can’t wait for Issac’s book to come out now!

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