Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5) by J. R. Ward

Author’s Synopsis

The last place Ivie expects to be approached by a devastatingly handsome male is in a crowded, smoky cigar bar rarely frequented by vampires-yet here he stands. Silas is flirtatious, gallant, and, above all, mysterious. Ivie is anything but. A nurse at the healer’s clinic and the daughter of a biker, Ivie is accustomed to speaking her mind. So she does. Since aristocrats rarely pick up females of her class, Ivie asks Silas just what kind of game he thinks he’s playing.

Despite her guarded exterior, Ivie surrenders to the fierce desire she feels for Silas. And yet, just as their courtship is heating up, he reveals that it cannot last, for he is bound to return to the Old Country. Their bond only deepens as they make the most of their precious time together. But when she learns the truth, Ivie must find a saving grace-before all is lost. . .

My Views

Before settling down to read this book grab a box of tissues because you will cry, there is no escape. Ward is renowned for creating super-sexy characters and steamy hot bedroom scenes but don’t underestimate her ability to pull on your heartstrings.

Ivie is a strong female lead, and this is a common feature in Ward’s novels but if you are familiar with the Black Dagger series, you will love hearing from the other side. Ivie is a regular vamp without a title and designer wardrobe. Silas is your typical glymera hottie but with a vulnerable side that just makes the reader melt.

I’m hoping to see more additions like this to the Black Dagger world because I can’t get enough of it.

dearest ivie


Cursed City (Shadow Detective #1) by William Massa

Author’s Synopsis

My name is Mike Raven, and the weird and supernatural are my life. Monsters murdered my parents when I was eight. Turns out my folks were paranormal investigators and Hell always settles its debts. Naturally I decided to join the family business. For two decades I’ve studied the occult and traveled the world hunting nightmares. Vampires. Shifters. Demons. Wraiths. I’ve faced them all. But my greatest challenge still lay ahead…

From the moment Celeste stepped into my office, I knew she was in trouble. Black magic trouble. Her father had promised her soul to a powerful demon on the day she was born. Now, twenty-one years later, the forces of darkness were gathering to collect their long-awaited prize. Guess who’s about to pick a fight with the Devil himself?

My Views

This story is all action to the point where I was feeling a little exhausted at Raven’s exertions. The plot is good and the demon action and fight scenes are just right so I followed Raven to some seriously dangerous places. The hint of a possible romance in the future had me intrigued, if he can possibly stop fighting demons for long enough to date.

This book is the beginning of a very interesting series and it reminds me a little of the series with good old Sam and Dean in but with less humour and hotness. Don’t let the lack of humour stop you because there’s a darkness in this series that’s just waiting to be explored.

Cursed city


The Break by Marian Keyes

Author’s Synopsis

Amy’s husband Hugh has run away to ‘find himself’. But will he ever come back? ‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’ ‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’ If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . . However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . .

My Views

When Amy’s husband decides that he needs a break: six months of sea, sand, and sex and not with his wife, she falls apart. Amy loves Hugh and always has but she’s also carrying around a dose of guilt from having a crush just a few months previously.

This book is about the breaking of a relationship that had been essentially good and strong. Just a couple of bad decisions and everyone involved is hurt, but the story follows these people through their ordeal and out the other side. No one is left unchanged.

The story is thought-provoking and emotional but it has more to offer. The reader can identify with both Amy and Hugh at various different points in the story making it highly emotive. It also addresses some highly sensitive issues but not in a dark way. There’s plenty of brilliant Irish wit to carry us through the difficult bits and a glamorous granny whose crazy antics show that no matter how old you are sometimes you need a ‘Break’.

The Break

Liar by K. L. Slater

Author’s Synopsis

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage. Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children. The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.

My Views

This psychological thriller really got under my skin and I think that is because we get a small glance at the future before delving into the character’s lives. Judi is a warm, loving parent and grandparent but with the hint of danger the reader can’t help but be frightened for her. Amber is terrifying and the shroud of mystery that surrounds her doesn’t help the reader to gauge what’s going on under the surface.

Slater’s use of the innocent to extract the maximum amount of fear from her audience is admirable and effective. If you like a good thriller and you get a kick out of feeling uncomfortable, you will love this book; I did although I did have to stop reading a few times until I ready to continue.


Broken Melody: A Twisted Vampire Tale by Jospeh Kiel

Author’s Synopsis

Carefree student Melody Freeman has just woken up with a hangover from hell, no memory of the night before and two bite marks on her neck. With a nagging desire to find out just what she got up to last night, she again hits the city with her best friend Rachel to retrace their steps.

What follows soon descends towards another night of forgotten debauchery until Melody learns the truth: last night she was infected… by a vampire. Worse still, a group of vampire slayers have captured her and when the sun comes up the next morning and fangs sprout from her mouth, Melody will be executed.

But that is unless she can undo the transformation by finding the very vampire that infected her and killing him. Melody and Rachel set out on the hunt into the forbidden corners of Meridian on the ultimate all-nighter. It will be a night of warped challenges and perversions, filled with sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. A twisted race against time before she turns…
My Views

This full-action book is refreshingly British. Melody isn’t the kind of character you want to fully identify with but secretly you get her, you’ve been her, and you still hanker after her zest for life. Kiel has created a seedy underground world within a fictional, albeit typically British, city and filled it with mysterious paranormal creatures and regular human lowlifes. The story is a journey where Melody’s life remains precariously balanced but that doesn’t stop her on her quest.

This novel is darkly funny, intriguing, and strangely emotional. The cover really suits the book and I hope Kiel creates some kind of series out of this standalone story because the characters are desperate to come out to play.

Broken Melody

Jane Austen ay Home by Lucy Worsley

Author’s Synopsis

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the world in which our best-loved novelist lived.

This new telling of the story of Jane’s life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the way in which home is used in her novels to mean both a place of pleasure and a prison. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, in fact her life was often a painful struggle.

Jane famously lived a ‘life without incident’, but with new research and insights Lucy Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. A woman who far from being a lonely spinster in fact had at least five marriage prospects, but who in the end refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy.

My Views

This is more than the biography I was expecting, it is a complete illustration of everyone’s life in Jane’s era. Worsley’s attention to detail has included everything that you could possibly want to know about life during that period: domestic, political, work life, leisure. It is more than a little eye-opening.

I loved this book and I think that every woman should read it, as should every Jane Austen fan, every history lover, every author, and anyone that falls in between. This, in my view, is a must read and an educational tool but most of all it is a celebration of a woman who paved the way for every female author since.

jane austen at home.jpg

The Sixth Window (DCI Tom Douglas #6) by Rachel Abbott

Author’s Synopsis

After eighteen months of grieving for her husband Bernie, killed in a horrific hit and run accident, Natalie Gray has found love with her husband’s best friend – Ed Cooper – and has moved herself and fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, into his home. But Natalie begins to suspect Ed has a dark side – and even darker intentions.

Desperate to get her daughter to a place of safety, she and Scarlett move to a new home that holds secrets of its own. But has removing Scarlett from one potential threat placed her in far greater danger?

DCI Tom Douglas is also chasing the truth, as his investigation into the suicide of a teenage girl draws him ever closer to Natalie and Scarlett. But will he be too late to protect them from the peril they face, or from the truths that will tear their lives apart?


My Views

Natalie’s weakness at a crucial time puts her in the capable hands of Ed Cooper but something doesn’t sit right with her. Not knowing who to trust she runs to a safe house but the term ‘safe’ doesn’t apply to her teenage daughter Scarlett.

This book was terrifying. It had me on the edge of my seat but I do enjoy Abbott’s timely telling of events. She can keep the reader guessing right until the end and that is exactly what I’m looking for. This is a brilliant series and you don’t have to read the books in sequence to thoroughly enjoy them.

The Sixth window.jpg