Review: Love Unscripted (Love #1) by Tina Reber

Love Unscripted (Love #1) by Tina Reber 

Publishers: Self
Published Date: March 6th 2010
From: Bought
My rating:
5 out of 5
Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that accepting a role in an unknown film would toss his career into overdrive. His new fame has cost him dearly; anonymity is no longer an option. His fans stalk him, the paparazzi hound him, and Hollywood studios all want a piece of him. Despite all of that, Ryan Christensen craves the most basic of human needs - to have love in his heart and privacy in his life.

Taryn Mitchell, the story's protagonist, is a realist. She's been feigning contentment, running the family pub in Seaport, Rhode Island, while quietly nursing her own internal heartaches. Her feet are fairly glued to the ground and she doesn't buy into all the hype that has descended on her tiny, coastal town. In her world, men are safe if they're kept at a distance.

Fate has other plans for these two when their paths cross one sunny afternoon. A group of female fans has attacked him, leaving his shirt torn, his face cut, and Ryan in obvious distress. Bonds between them form from the most dramatic of circumstances while jealousy, insecurity, and the stress of his celebrity life try to tear them apart.

Through all the tabloid lies, secrecy, and pressure, can Taryn's peace and Ryan's high-profile insanity live together in harmony?

I've read a few rom-com-heartache books in my time but I don't think I've read one that moved me so much as Love Unscripted. I could barely put it down and had so much fun reading it.

Taryn Mitchell is a 27 year old girl who doesn't take men lightly. Owner of a pub in Seaport and various other business endeavours she looks after herself and her friends around her.

When Ryan Christensen unexpectedly runs into her pub, completely freaked out by a fan mob she hides him and lets him unwind from his trauma. They have a morning of honest friendship and fun. She realises that the actor depicted in the magazines and on TV is nothing like the man currently in her bar playing pool and joking about.

She tries not to get too attached to him but she's clearly made more than an impression on him and he pursues her calmly like a gentleman. Soon she becomes part of his life - except his celebrity life is built around paparazzi, pictures leading the wrong impression and lie upon lie about his private life. Taryn tries not to believe anything she reads about him but who can deny what a thousand pictures show?

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, emotional, heart-warming and full of heartache. The writing is brilliant. I felt every emotion going on and had more than a few moments with tears in my eyes. Taryn is a brave and compassionate lead that shows she doesn't have a bad bone in her. Ryan is sincere and kind and trustworthy. Then the breaks start hitting our hero and heroine and nothing is going to be the same again. There is also a stellar cast of side-kicks nicely woven into Taryn and Ryan's story.

Other reviewers have complained about the length of the book but in my opinion it was exactly right. You can't cut out the sheer depth that the characters expose, and you can't shorten the story any more without losing the emotional side. For me its been an absolute privilege to read this amazing book. I wonder if Ms Reber will consider a follow-on??
-CB x

You can reach
Tina Reber here:
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ARC Review: Rush Me by Allison Parr

Rush Me by Allison Parr  

Publishers: Carina Press
Published Date:
From: Net Galley
My rating:
4 out of 5
When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.

While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.

Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.

Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.

This book took me completely by surprise. After reading the synopsis I worried that it would read too cliché but the story and the characters are witty, artsy, slightly off the wall, but most of all fun. Fun that's drenched with fear, worry and a whole lot of buried emotions.

A very simple story when it comes down to it. Girl meets boy, boy annoys girl, girl annoys back. Then they meet again and they react to each other again. Eventually they realise that this is their thing. And it carries on from there. They do nice things for each other but sometimes jealousy, doubt, and lack of confidence gets involved and they lose control of their verbal filters and words become hurtful. Both Ryan and Rachael have huge lessons to learn when it comes to love but the best thing they learn is they can't live without each other. Surrounding them is a fantastic group of friends. Eva is wonderful as the theatrical room-mate and the football boys were good fun.

It kind of reminded me a little of Love Unscripted, and I loved Rachael and her comebacks. She's nervous, antsy, and her attitude and snark is just her retaliation to being uncomfortable.

A great read!

-CB x

You can reach
Allison Parr here:
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Available from Amazon:


Review: Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder

Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder  

Publishers: Seth Clarke
Published Date: March 16th 2013
From: Bought
My rating:
4 out of 5
I wasn't always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.

Colton didn't teach me how to live. He didn't heal the pain. He didn't make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I loved it. It's gritty and raw, deals with emotions on such a scale I haven't read before - the deep, deep stuff that scratches and burns inside us. On the other hand the situations that happened in the book, topics that are at the forefront of our modern society, were used and exploited to such an extent that I wondered how on earth these two people would ever make it out. And while our two main protags have been crushed up and burnt to a cinder inside they still survive by helping and opening up to each other.

The book starts with Nell and Kyle. It's a shame that we all know this romance is doomed because the synopsis tells us so. But I loved the build up in their relationship, how it changed from friendship to romantic. Two young people in love and then turn into lovers. What I read was natural, simple and so sweet in every sense of their journey. Then tragedy happens and Kyle is ripped from Nell's life.

She suffers. A lot. And the suffering doesn't stop. At the funeral she comes across Colton, Kyle's older brother. She barely knows him - he left the family home five years before. Point one of the story that I didn't get was that if Kyle and Nell were best friends and living so close to one another then how did Nell not even know Colt as a child. They must have crossed paths at some point.

Then we flick to two years later and its Colton's point of view. Personally I loved the switching POV's. While Nell's voice is compelling and laden with pain Colt's has a calm rhythm to it. As if he's in complete control all the time. Okay, he's not, going by his narrative, he's panicking inside when he first sees Nell but its so smooth. And its at this point we find he has the major hots for her.

Then things get complicated. Such an overused word but generally in NA this is the part where lots of arguments, unspoken feelings, jealousy, rage, pretty much everything ignites.

Point two of what didn't come across as quite true was that Nell comes from a distinguished background. Her parents have money. So two years later why on earth hadn't Nell's parents put her into therapy. They already put down stipulations when it came to Nell and Kyle sleeping together i.e. don't get pregnant because it could ruin her fathers reputation. But any sane family of good standing would do this for their only daughter who was barely keeping her head above water even at the funeral. So, two years down the line she's got to the point where she's cutting herself and drinking heavily. Granted, now she's in New York away from her parents but they should have sorted her grief way, way beforehand. I know grief isn't something you can just box up and put away hoping it'll disappear but this is serious stuff and I hope that readers don't think it's in any way right to leave this kind of hurt and pain because we all need help at some time in our lives. We all need to talk to someone. And therapy is nothing to be ashamed of.

Anyway, I digress.

I actually loved Nell and Colt's relationship. For me this was real. Needing, wanting and having someone who can just be with you. Not trying to rain on anything I said earlier but with Colt NOT telling her that everything would be okay was kind of the right thing to do.

The sex was pretty raw too. Sometimes I think writers just want an excuse to write erotica into a romance novel but with New Adult emerging as a great new genre this seems to be the way its going. Not that I don't like it ,) After all they do say that the best relationships stay together because sex is the glue that keeps you close. Nell and Kyle meld together well and it works for both of them. So, yay.

The aftermath? I thought the last catastrophe that happened was going a bit overboard and wasn't exactly necessary. Yes, I'm talking about the pregnancy thing. For me this was too much for our characters. Yes, I agree that we needed one final twang thing to give the two a HEA but I didn't like this part.

So, like I said. On one hand I loved it. Definitely read. Definitely try to enjoy it. There aren't a whole lot of laughs but it is full of love, love lost, pain, angst, tremendous courage, guilt and a huge pile of emotions.

My only concern, and the reason why I ranked this as a lower rating is that this and other New Adult books are becoming very samey. It wasn't the content of the story, the writing was superb. The two point of views actually sounded like two different people which some authors don't get right. But I fear for this genre and worry that readers will get bored of it. We'll see what happens...
-CB x

You can reach Jasinda Wilder here:
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Available from Amazon:


Review: A Moment (Moments #1) by Marie Hall

A Moment (Moments #1) by Marie Hall  

Publishers: Marie Hall Publishing
Published Date: Mar 12 2013
From: Net Galley
My rating:
3 out of 5
Ryan Cosgrove and Liliana Delgado are on a collision course with destiny. They don’t know it yet, but before the night is over their lives will be forever changed.

Spending Valentine’s Day at a burlesque bar, hadn’t been Liliana’s ideal way of spending a Friday night. She’d much rather be back on campus doing homework… until she meets Ryan. Tall, athletic, and gorgeous, Lili can’t keep her eyes off him, and despite his gruff manners and drunken disposition she’s intrigued.

Ryan’s got demons, and they’re deep, dark, and eating him alive. Regardless of his attraction to the petite brunette he’s tired of fighting, of pretending the last fifteen years haven’t been a daily struggle just to get out of bed every morning. That night he decides to end his pain, to leave it all behind and float away into the blessed darkness of oblivion. But fate has other plans for him, Lily finds and rescues Ryan, determined she’ll not only save his body, but his soul too.

This is their moment…

I'm still undecided about this story. I've just finished the book. What words immediately spring to mind are: - dark, intense, brutal, fiery, terror. All of which are gathered in the pages of A Moment.

Lily is a 21 year old college student with a 7 year old autistic little boy, and a mother with MS. Life isn't pretty for her. She gets by every day hoping for a little love, even just a look from her son. She gets love returned from her mother but Lily knows that time is getting short for her Mama. Then one night she goes out with her male friend Alex and his cousin. She doesn't hit it off with Ryan, in fact for most of the evening she doesn't even know his name. He's drinking hard cocktails, not getting involved in any conversation and actually being rude. When they go home and Lily chats with Alex she gets a case of worries for Ryan whose been in the bathroom an awfully long time. What happens next will be etched in her brain forever.

Ryan is a great character. You know it just by reading all the kindness that he bestows upon Lily and her ready made family. He doesn't judge or criticise, he just goes with it. He likes her mother and even has a laugh with their helper Ade. When things are normal and under control Ryan is wonderful. But when memories start to rear their ugly head he's absolutely terrifying. But he would never hurt Lily, that much I was absolutely sure of.

A Moment isn't an easy read. The truth of Ryan's flashbacks, and the bare emotions that he portrays are very emotional. Lily is like a salve to his pain but only for so long. The relationship that grows between them happens naturally, both having doubts and fears, both being careful around one another. The journey is never easy and they both learn lessons.

I wouldn't say I actually enjoyed the book. But then some stories are meant to be told to make us think and feel rather than have a feel good factor wave over us.

I've never read Marie Hall before but I'd like to read what follows from this series.

-CB x

You can reach Marie Hall here:
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Available from Amazon:


Review: Fall Guy (Youngblood #1) by Liz Reinhardt

Fall Guy (Youngblood #1) by Liz Reinhardt  

Publishers: Random House Children’s Publishers UK
Published Date: Dec 20 2012
From: Net Galley
My rating:
3 out of 5
Evan Lennox is going nowhere fast. She's living with her grandparents after her parents bailed on her, she got kicked out of her posh private school, her ex-boyfriend proved to be the biggest sleaze imaginable, her former best friend is a back-stabber, and her current best friend is stuck in backwoods NJ. To top it all off, one teeny, tiny fire she lit to burn some memories of her ex goes a little out of control and winds up igniting a good piece of a very powerful family's pecan orchard.

Evan lands her pampered behind in court and gets sentenced to community service. Which she knows she deserves. But the hard labor and humiliation may be her undoing.

Until she meets Winchester Youngblood on the site.

Everything about him is tricky, confusing, not at all what it seems, and so sexy, Evan can't resist pulling closer. But every step she takes to get to know him gives her more of a reason to back up and put him as far out of life as she possibly can. Because Winch is one hundred percent complicated, and Evan isn't looking for that. At all. She needs to meet a nice, responsible guy, not share searing kisses with the charming hustler she met after they both got sentenced in court.

But Winch is so much more than what he seems, and Evan finds out that she's falling hard for the guy everyone underestimates and writes off. And Winch realizes that Evan is the one person who's ever challenged him to ask for more out of his life, and her courage inspires him to try to be the person she sees when she looks at him. With every single odd stacked against them, Evan and Winch need to find out whether they have what it takes to fall for each other.
I've never read Liz Reinhardt before so as a first book this is a good read.

This is the story of Evan and Winchester who meet in dubious circumstances, in a court room of all places. They both feel an instant connection to each other but it takes a couple of chapters for them to come together, both intrigued by the other.

Evan got herself in a bit of a bind and needs to do community service, where she meets up with Winch again. After a little bantering they get along really well. When they start on a date however it goes spiralling. That's pretty much how their relationship ends up going throughout the book.

Winchester comes from an old Hungarian family where family ties mean everything. And he's the fall guy. He covers up all his family's little indiscretions but none more so than his brother Remington who's going through a somewhat troublesome time himself. Again and again Winchester has to bail Remy out of trouble and more often than not he's with Evan when he gets the notorious phone calls.

So is the story any good? Well as far as New Adult goes I'm happy to say I enjoyed the story. Thankfully there was a really terrible history of abuse which seems to be the theme for most New Adult books I've read. And so this one felt like a bit of fresh air.
Was it believable? Again, yes. I've read a few reviews where readers have said that the Youngblood family moral code is a little far fetched but where I live there are many foreign families who live their lives just like this one. They strive to keep their family and connections together and are fiercely protective of each other, and everyone else are just outsiders.

While I enjoyed the story there were episodes where the purple prose popped up and didn't altogether make sentences easy to read. Lots of descriptions using the words 'like a...'.

This book does contain a small amount of sex. It's not that explicit compared to other NA books I've read but its there, and again is believable within the story. The only thing I did find was that Evan got a little too gropey but she is only 17/18 years old so maybe that's all part of her character package.

All in all I liked it, I'd certainly read more from this author.
-CB x

You can reach Liz Reinhardt here:
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Available from Amazon:

ARC Review: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire  

Publishers: Atria Books
Published Date:
From: Net Galley
My rating:
4 out of 5
Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes
Here's my review of Beautiful Disaster

This is going to be a shortish review as most people have picked up on the same points I have. This is an almost identical book but just told from Travis' point of view. A good selling tool, me thinks. Travis had a lot of love from BD so I'm not surprised that this book is already proving to be a hit. However, while this book is entertaining and raw in places I did find it lacking in others.

I won't rehash the story, either you know it or you don't. If you don't I recommend you read BD first before attempting this one.

My impressions were as follows. While reading I almost felt like the author was turning pages of BD and entering what Travis was thinking. Well that's the whole point, right? However I didn't get the impression this was written like a book, just another version of the story. What I mean is, there are events that happen and they roll along one after the other...and all of a sudden its Thanksgiving and Travis is trying to coax Abby into going to his family's home. There's no mention of it beforehand, or any thoughts from Travis before that point. No, "oh my god, how am I going to talk her into it. I've made a big mistake (emotions, smack the head, pacing up and down." So, he goes and talks to Abby, they argue and banter and then she goes along with the plan.

Everything went too smoothly. Also there were highlights that got completely left out that made me confused. The run in with Ethan at the fight when he hassled her? Just a line or too. Oh, Ethan was out of line with Abby - moving on...

Yes, this is a story that's told from another angle but it didn't read like a story in its own right. Also through Travis' eyes Abby appeared to be emotionless, unresponsive, annoying which made me wonder why the hell he was getting all uptight about. His dialogue about why Abby affected him so much didn't sit well, nor the few times he referred to his mother being the only other woman he'd ever loved.

Please don't get the impression that I didn't like the book. I really did but it wasn't as good as I expected. The storyline is still good, with its little quirks and a few extras that appear in the story and the epilogue.

I now have a different impression of Travis, completely different actually and I'm glad.

-CB x

You can reach Jamie McGuire  here:
Web   Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads
Available from Amazon:


Arc Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid

Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid  

Publishers: Month9Books
Published Date:
From: Net Galley
My rating:
3.5 out of 5
It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent.

When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
Firstly, I liked this book, the story drew me in immediately. Quinn isn't a strong person in the story and to be honest that was a little refreshing as I've been reading many books with great inner strength. But Quinn was totally different. Full of insecurities, doubts, worries and most of all that feeling of being unloved by her parents.

So, Quinn has a demon problem. They reach into her dreams or nightmares and torment her to death. They whisper in her ears and mock her when she's alone. And she daren't go to sleep, at all.

Aaron sees everything but hangs back away from the crowd. Everyone in school knows that Quinn is still hung up on her ex-boyfriend. The one who started dating another popular girl straight after. The school seem to worship Jeff, and Aaron can't stand him. Especially the way Jeff treats Quinn. But Aaron knows Quinn is vulnerable and after a few happenings where Aaron happened to be at the right place at the right time, he really believes at last that he'll have a chance with Quinn.

Told from 2 POV's this story weaves around high-school and brings forward all the fears and doubts that everyone goes through at that age. Most of the time (not knowing where the story was heading) I actually began to read the demons as metaphors, hoping right at the end something miraculous would happen and Aaron would save the day. After the school homecoming scene I actually thought the story dipped and I confess that I was a little disappointed that the big reveal happened right at the end. A very surprising ending I might add. Not what I expected AT ALL!!

This is a story that definitely fits into the good v evil category. What really held it together was the grief and turmoil that Quinn goes through throughout the book. I really hope there aren't any students who actually go through this in real life (and yes, I'm using demons as actual metaphors this time). The way her school friends and colleagues treated her was so awful, I felt so sorry for her.

Anyway, the writing style is excellent so full marks to Reid. I'm hoping there will be a second book because I really liked Aaron and I'm now curious as to what happens next!!

-CB x

You can reach Heather L Reid here:
Available from Amazon:


Latest Blogs from our Favourite YA Authors - 20th March 2013

Here's a round up of blogs from our favourite YA authors:

Is there an author you'd like to see updates from?
Just let us know and we'll add them to our list!
-CB xx

Arc Review: The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2) by Shana Abe

The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2) by Shana Abe  

Publishers: Random House Publishing Group
Published Date: Aug 13th 2013
From: Net Galley
My rating:
4 out of 5
In the second book in Abe's THE SWEETEST DARK series, Lora puts her powers to the ultimate test. Will it bring her and Armand closer together or destroy them forever?
Thank you to Shana Abe and Net Galley for allowing me to review this book.

I absolutely loved the Sweetest Dark, and The Deepest Night (2nd book in the series) is as wonderfully written if not better than the first.

My review - The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe 

First things first, this book doesn't have the heart pounding romance that the first book lauded, but there are a lot of sweet will-they-won't-they moments that really do keep you guessing.

Also (and I guess I have to read Abe's other Drakon Series) there wasn't much in the way of back story i.e. who Eleanor was the daughter of, who the girl in the cave was, Drakon history in general. I thought after reading the first book this would be a fine chance to elaborate but we weren't given much at all.

However, after saying all that, this has to be one of my favourite books in a long while. Full of bravery, courage under fire, making the best of a bad situation and in Eleanor's case, being better than the rest.

Eleanor is an orphan who lives at a prestigious boarding school thanks to a scholarship from the Duke of Idylling. The other girls openly laugh at her and flaunt her misfortunes in her face. Secretly she is a Dragon and can Turn into smoke then ride the thermals in her Dragon form. Her partner in crime is the Duke's son Armand who has more than a soft spot for her. During the day they barely look at each other, but during the dark things are different. But Eleanor is still mourning her lost love Jesse (from The Sweetest Dark). After a strange encounter with the Duke who is currently residing in an asylum, Eleanor is asked to rescue his other son Aubrey who was shot down behind enemy lines (during WW1). Together Armand and Eleanor embark on their adventure with startling results.

I loved the storyline for this book. The adventure part was thrilling, how they had to fly above Europe and scratch around for food and shelter. All the injuries that happened on the way, and the final rescue. I couldn't stop reading until I knew the ending. The revelation from the stars almost had me in tears after Armand finally Turned.

I'm hoping there will be another book but I'm not sure now I've read the Epilogue. Only two things stood out (as an English person reading it). In UK and Europe we do not have blocks. And our fall is called Autumn.

Anyway, a wonderful read, I'm still glowing from the ending!!
-CB x

You can reach Shana Abé here:

Review: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins  

Publishers: HarperTeen
Published Date: May 1st 2012
From: Bought
My rating:
5 out of 5


Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Okay, so after looking at Goodreads I think that everyone and her dog has read this book. But I'm a little slow on the uptake and I'm a little behind on my reading.

This isn't going to be a long review, as so many others have written everything I wanted to say.

Firstly, I like it when you're so hooked in a book that you look down at your kindle and realise you're only 45% into it. Yay, still 55% to go and Loving It!!

That's what happened when I read Sweet Evil. A story of a girl, unaware of her status in the world but sure that something's off because of her ability to judge aura's and emotions. What I loved most about Anna was that she really was a good girl. Right down to the praying and thinking well of everyone. Even when they weren't that good back to her.

The bad boy who desperately doesn't want to be so is Kaiden, and he really does give me goosebumps in a really good way. Yes, he's got his 'job' to do, and I felt Anna's heartbreak when he left the room on the trip to complete his 'work' (heartbreak city ahoy). But his reluctance the last night was a sweet gesture and my opinions really changed for the better at that point. Kaiden drove me nuts though, quite a few times actually, especially the Halloween party. But he stuck with her until the end. Got to love an anti-hero!

There are so many emotional tugs in this book, if you like tears, laughter, jealousy, envy, lust and all the rest then this book is for you because it's full of it. And I don't just mean the Dukes! (Read the book, you'll understand!)

A great read, I wished I'd picked it up earlier. And once you do, look out for the extras - links are below this post.

Sweet Peril (Book 2) will be out on April 30th. It's going to be a sizzler, I'm sure!!

-CB x

You can reach Wendy Higgins here:

Available from Amazon:


Blog Tour In depth Review: My Wolf's Bane by Veronica Blade

My Wolf's Bane by Veronica Blade 

Publishers: Crush Publishing, Inc
Published Date: January 28th 2013
From: Publisher
My rating:
4 out of 5


Different species. Mortal enemies. It'll never work, but they'll die trying.Autumn Rossi thought she was a normal teenager. Suddenly, she can outrun every critter in the forest, making her wonder if she’s even human.

When the new guy at school, Zack de Luca, witnesses a questionable scene, he unfairly pins her as stuck-up. He acts like he hates her, yet he keeps bailing her out of trouble. Not only is Zack both insufferable and irresistible, he seems to sniff her anytime he gets close.

As passion flares between them, Autumn isn’t sure which is more dangerous: her psycho ex-boyfriend, or falling for Zack — who’s risking his life just by being near her.
It's been a long while since I've read a Werewolf story. You remember when these supernatural creatures became all the rage, along with vampires and suddenly everyone and their dogs were writing about them. All the story-lines drifted along becoming very samey. The thrill of the story got lost and I refused to read any more.

So when Courtney from Crush Publishing contacted me, I admit, I was hesitant. The thing that really pulled me in was the first few lines of the Goodreads synopsis:

NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: As with any Veronica Blade book, this is a ROMANCE NOVEL, meaning it's romance FIRST and everything else is secondary. Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and mild profanity.

Intriguing, I thought. The one thing that stories tend to lose is the personal element of the story. Most lose their way overcompensating with graphical descriptions while balancing a convoluted love story and don't quite pull it off leaving you either frustrated or nonchalant.

So, here's the thing. My Wolf's Bane took me less than a day to read. I literally couldn't it down. The story sucked me in from the first page and I just had to continue reading, and reading, and reading. Once I reached the final few pages I had that wonderful satisfied feeling you get when you finish a great book and enjoyed it.

So the questions that followed (and there weren't many) were:-
a) Why was this any different to what I'd read before?
b) What made the story interesting enough?
c) Was there anything new and original I learned that prompted me to keep going?

Well, the answers are simple. No, The characters, and No. But surprisingly I wasn't bothered by that.

Here's the thing. The story is a school story. You know the ones where you meet all the characters, some are bitchy, some are stereotypical, there's always the nerds and dweebs vs the cool jocks/cheerleaders (although there were no jocks or cheerleaders in this one).

What interested me was, going against stereotype, the main protag isn't allowed all comforts under the sun, isn't rich, isn't given much freedom, and is basically coddled by doting parents who won't leave her alone. Some of her friends are good with this, some shun her because of this.

Anything new in the story line, anything original? Well, not really but when you're reading the story you realise that that isn't the point. The story is about a relationship, and coming of age, of love, and romance, and someone denying and suppressing their own feelings to such extreme's because they want to protect you. Pretty heavy, strong emotions ripple through this book and everyone somewhere can relate to at least one aspect that happens here.

So, lets go back to the beginning. I loved Autumn. I thought she started out as a shy girl, afraid of her exuberant best friend, worried about splitting up with her boyfriend even though he's a jerk, and allowing her parents to walk all over her.
Then she slammed into Zack (literally) and everything started to change. That and her 18th birthday is coming up, and she begins to feel different. More energized, slightly warmer, a little bit more impatient.
She's going through changes that she doesn't understand. But for some unknown reason Zack keeps getting thrown in her direction. Now she finally gets rid of the sleazeball boyfriend and has to suffer the shame afterwards of finding him with her exuberant best friend making out, AND they were at it before she dumped him.

But, and this is what held my interest, Zack doesn't seem that into Autumn. He's rude, obnoxious, a little bit callous. But on the other hand he seems to always turn up at the right time, he helps her with her car situation, and fills her flat tyre then invites her round to his Aunts house for dinner.

So then the ex boyfriend decides he's sorry and will stop at nothing to try and get Autumn back in his life because he LOVES her. Yeah, right! Yay for Zack though, he really does go out of his way to protect Autumn. I know what they are but it really was like watching two rutting reindeer. I kept wanting to shout Fight! Fight! Fight! But I braced myself and continued reading.

Curiously, there were tell tale signs along the way implying the hidden story that wasn't being told, easy to pick up on but it was honestly so much fun riding out the story, waiting to reach the confession page because the angst, anger and guilt had reached such a high with our two main characters that I thought they would spontaneously combust.

Yes, at the end there are questions that have no answers to them. Not everything is revealed in the final pages but I can wait for the next book for that!

Suffice to say that the author was dead-on with the synopsis. This is a romance book first, and its good. Really good. Bittersweet and tender in all the right places. Heartwarming at other times. It really did have you hating the right people and severely wanting to maim others (like Gina! Boy, I want to sock her in the face!)

Apparently this is the first in the series which I'm mighty glad about and I absolutely will be reading the next one.

Check it out now if you love Maggie Stiefvater, Twilight and basically anything werewolfish!
Go Zack!

-CB x

Here's the book trailer!

You can reach Veronica Blade here: