Ali’s thoughts on In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen Ranney

January 15th, 2015

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams
1

Author: Karen Ranney

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Ali’s Thoughts

Mmmmmm Lennox Cameron, what a hunk of man flesh. I can certainly understand why Glynis MacIain spent most of her life in love with him… but not why she let pride chase her away, and into a loveless and bizarre marriage to an English diplomat.

Karen Ranney has created a really nicely balanced world. The once wealthy Maclain cotton mills are unable to weave because the blockade during the American civil war is preventing the raw cotton getting to Scotland. Yet the civil war means ships, so Lennox Cameron and family, long-time friends with Maclaims, have a booming ship building company. We also have the backdrop of political intrigue in Washington infecting Glasgow when wayward Mcclain daughter, Glynis, returns home after the death of her husband; only to discover than the rumours she’s been listening to for the last seven years, aren’t quite what they seem.

Although there is much intrigue and quite a detailed plot, “In your Wildest Scottish Dreams” is still a light and easy read. The characters are well developed, or those few that aren’t, like eldest Maclain Duncan, the groundwork is set to allow development in their own book. The dialogue is mostly well written and snappy, and the prose managers to generally avoid over describing either food, dress or setting. Except in the case of Charlotte, who’s atrocious taste seems to be as unending as the descriptions of it.

Although I admit that I do skim the sex scenes, usually with a very disinterested air, some of the scenes in this were wonderful. Not just for actually having well written sexual play, but for the humour used

…I like how your cock trembles when I touch it.”

He reared back and stared at her. “I don’t tremble.”

She sighed, bit back her smile, and shook her head. “Would you like me to show you? You quiver. I stretch out my hand and your cock almost bounces, it’s so eager. It’s like a puppy.”

The main plot is, over course, focused on trying to sort out the tangled mess between Glynis Mclain and Lennox Cameron. Yet, as with many novels in this genre, it’s the secondary plots that provide so much of the interest. We’ve got murder, blackmail, gossip, bankruptcy, pregnancy, nastiness, saintliness, spying and arson. All wrapped up in under 300 pages of well written text.

 

Description

Seven years have passed since Glynis MacIain made the foolish mistake of declaring her love to Lennox Cameron, only to have him stare at her dumbfounded. Heartbroken, she accepted the proposal of a diplomat and moved to America, where she played the role of a dutiful wife among Washington’s elite. Now a widow, Glynis is back in Scotland. Though Lennox can still unravel her with just one glance, Glynis is no longer the naïve girl Lennox knew and vows to resist him.

With the American Civil War raging, shipbuilder Lennox Cameron must complete a sleek new blockade runner for the Confederate Navy. He cannot afford any distractions, especially the one woman he’s always loved. Glynis’s cool demeanor tempts him to prove to her what a terrible mistake she made seven years ago.

As the war casts its long shadow across the ocean, will a secret from Glynis’s past destroy any chance for a future between the two star-crossed lovers?

Format: A-Format Paperback, 384 pages
ISBN: 9780062337474
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 27, 2015

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A non-book related update!

October 24th, 2014

So… I’ve hinted at why I’ve been absent from Fang lately (particularly if you also follow me on my personal twitter account), but I finally get to share the latest project I’ve been involved in!

Paul and David have been in the recording studio working on the debut EP release for their band “Solace”. Despite hearing these songs for three months solid, I’m still loving them. Yet, other than making an endless supply of coffee, my involvement only started once the studio work had finished, and they starting filming the video for “James Brown”.

I made a guest appearance (I’m still not sure how that happened, I was actively avoiding the cameras!), but was heavily involved in editing of the video once all the hard work of shooting and reshooting scenes was done.

It’s terrifying and exciting to see this released out into the wild, so, without further adieu… may I present James Brown by Solace.

[Warning: earworm alert]


Black Ice: A chilling thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick

October 1st, 2014

9781471118159Book Title: Black Ice

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Ali’s Thoughts

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After the success of Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Hush, Hush” teen paranormal romance series, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Black Ice, but found myself quickly engrossed in the world that was spun.

For fans of Hush, Hush, you’ll find the writing style similar, but the story very different. There are no paranormal elements, and the teen angst normally found in Young Adult stories of recent years is mostly missing.

In Black Ice we have two late teens, Britt and Korbie, who become stranded in a snow storm, get rescued by two guys in a cabin, then their situation goes from bad to worse. Black Ice is more light-thriller than romance, for all that I kept waiting for the moment where I got to throw the book across the room in disgust.

One of the things that appealed to me with this story was the strength of the characters. Although we find ourselves in the normal romantic setup, with Britt off with her kidnapper, she shows a normal amount of resilience and becomes a very believable character. Her ability to hike through snow storms in dense forest isn’t just left as a sudden bought of superhuman girliness, it’s because she’s actually put months of training in. Admittedly, she thought she’d be doing some pleasant day tramps, rather than serious gruelling hiking.

Becca Fitzpatrick also has a way of reading her readers minds, I’m sure she knew I’d been reading chapters snorting in disbelief, then suddenly, in one paragraph, she puts the plot elements together in a completely realistic manner and I had the joy of feeling like I’d been told to sit down, shut up, and enjoy the story. Which I did.

Many of the twists came out of the blue, not so much because the markers weren’t in the plot to be seen, but because of my expectations from having read Becca’s previous books and making assumptions.

Many heart in the mouth moments made this a constant page turner, and as the story unfolded, more layers were uncovered meaning reaching the end was both a blessing and a curse.

For readers that are looking for a less romance driven, more suspenseful story, this is just the ticket. I’m sure loyal fans of Becca Fitzpatrick will enjoy Black Ice, but I’m even surer that she’s going to pick up a lot of new fans through this one.

Book Blurb

Britt Phieffer has never been that adventurous, but that’s about to change. Wanting to impress her ex-boyfriend, Britt convinces best friend, Korbie, to take a trip with her and go trekking through the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming.
But when a freak storm leaves the girls stranded they seek shelter in a cabin, and find two knights in shining armour, Shaun and Mason, who are also hiding out.
But all is not as it seems, and Britt quickly discovers that the guys are there for reasons other than hiking…dangerous reasons that mean they need to get off the mountain, fast. In exchange for her life, Britt is forced to guide them down, and as they set out on a harrowing journey through the cold and snow, Britt realises the only way to get out of this alive is to pretend she is on their side. But playing nice is hard, especially when Britt is unsure whether Mason, gorgeous and sexy, is the enemy or an ally. And as she begins to lose track of who is in control it is only a matter of time before things turn deadly…

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Festive In Death – Ali’s thoughts on the new JD Robb

September 12th, 2014

Cover of Festive in Death by JD RobbBook Title: Festive In Death
In Death 39

Author: JD Robb

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Alison’s Thoughts:

No matter how vile the murder victim is, Lieutenant Eve Dallas claims them as her own and finding their killer is her first priority. Of course, sometimes I’m sure she wishes she could just walk away.

The In-Death series by JD Robb is futuristic-crime, with romantic elements, and varying degrees of “thriller” depending on the plot of each book. In “Festive In Death” the gore is low, and the body count sits at one, but sex crime is the focus.

Solving the crime allows for some rather interesting twists and turns in the plot, with an interesting conclusion, but I don’t think one reads a JD Robb novel for the whodunnit aspect; it’s more for the characters.

In Festive in Death our victim is personal trainer Trey Ziegler. By all accounts he was delish to look at, and a complete and utter wanker in every aspect of his life. It’s always interesting to see how Eve works when the victim is someone she doesn’t like. Part of the strength of her character comes from how personally she takes each murder, how intensely she claims the victims as their own, and brings their killer to justice. Yet… when the victim is a rather despicable piece of work…

As always, we have characters from previous books woven into the story. JD Robb doesn’t use a character and then throw them away; they’re reintroduced, built up, and allowed to form bonds that bring them into Eve’s expanding family.

It’s Christmas, and Christmas with Eve and Rourke is always interesting; the big shindig, which Eve tries to ignore until the last second, Peabody’s family eccentricities, the heartfelt gifts that bring the spirit of giving alive, “In Death” Christmas novels are always a delight. Festive In Death continues this tradition.

Overall – you don’t need to have read previous books in the series to enjoy the 39th (although I do always recommend reading book one, which is the book that introduces Eve and Rourke and brings them together, so sets up the entire series). If sex crimes are a trigger point for you, skip this one, otherwise it’s an excellently written story, with fantastic characters, and perfectly paced plot.

Description

The new Eve Dallas thriller, set at Christmas

The kitchen knife jammed into his cold heart pinned a cardboard sign to his well-toned chest. It read: Santa Says You’ve Been Bad!!! Ho, Ho, Ho! It’s Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind. The victim – personal trainer Trey Ziegler – was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey’s sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn. Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.

Format: Trade paperback (UK), 352 pages
ISBN: 9780349403670
Publisher: Piatkus Fiction
Publication Date: September 09, 2014

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Angelfall – Susan EE

September 9th, 2014

Cover of Angelfall by Susan EeAngelfall

Penryn and the End of Days # 1

Author: Susan Ee

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 Kaylee’s Review

You know those books you read that make you forget to live? Where you finish the book and you sit there for an extended period of time contemplating life and wishing you had short-term memory loss so that you could read the same book day in and day out so that it has the same devastating effect on you every single day? Except, when you read the book for the second time in that same day it still has that effect; it clings in your mind and it turns you into mush. Angelfall is captivating, it’s fast-paced, twisted, lovely and oh so perfect. I read Angelfall about a year and a half ago and expected it to rise to fame, but a year and a half later I’m still horrified that it hasn’t even got its own page on Fangtastic. [Ali’s Edit: EEK! It does now] If that isn’t a life crisis then what is?

Angelfall is your not-so-typical post-apocalyptic romance. It starts of with the timid yet surprisingly badass Penryn whose world has been taken over by menacing, wild and destructive angels who have made Earth their home for the time being and have torn it to shreds. Early on in the story Penryn’s sister (who was crippled and could not use her legs, by fault of Penryn’s schizophrenic mother) is kidnapped by a gang of angels. Through these circumstances Penryn meets an angel named Raffe who joins Penryn in her adventure to the aerie(where the rest of the angels sip champagne, enjoy the company of human females and gossip about heavenly politics) where she intends on rescuing her sister.

From the beginning of the book it’s clear Raffe and Penryn have some serious sexual-tension even though they have a strong dislike for each other’s species and, more importantly, each other. As you can assume this leads to a very interesting dynamic between the two who love to hate and hate to love, which will send romantics(such as myself) into a frenzy. The romance between the two is not what hooked me though, instead it was the strong independence of Penryn who is determined to get what she wants and is quite different from your typical “I need him, he’s my everything” lass. Penryn being such a strong female character is that Raffe LET’S HER KICK-BUTT alongside him and the only thing that ever gets in the way of this is her human strength in comparison to his other-worldly strength, otherwise he sees her as an equal.

While it’s clear I’m always more affixed on the romance than every other thing, I also can’t handle a story that isn’t going anywhere. Angelfall is full of surprises diverse characters who have an “I’ll save myself before I begin to attempt to join/begin a revolution” which is not found in most stories. These characters, even though they’re schizophrenic, crippled, wingless, etc, are realistically human. In terms of an apocalypse most of us will happily live day to day, selfishly and safely, as opposed to fighting for the rights of humanity in an odds against your favor scenario.

Angelfall is filled with action and it has a dash of side-humor that adds to the character-building and helps you feel more attracted and attached to the characters. I’ve said this before: I love reading a book and wondering about the rest of the character’s stories. With every passing character, even the underdogs, I want to know what interesting stories Susan could have created for them because clearly they have something to say and something to listen to. Angelfall is busy and constantly changing, nothing stay dull or the same or constant; you can’t even rely on Raffe to stick around (mild spoiler). A book that’s not predictable, that’s complex and pushes the boundaries is a book worth recommending because it’s a book that’ll twist your heart in ways you don’t ever predict.

I have a challenge for anyone who reads this review, then reads Angelfall and loves it. I want you to spread the word about this book as hard and as fast as you can because it is a book worthy of five-stars, it’s a book worthy of Harry Potter style fame, it’s a book better than any other I have ever read and it deserves to be read by anyone and everyone. I recommended my boyfriend read it and he’s that “I don’t read, ever” type of reader and he loved it. This book isn’t specifically attractive to one gender, it isn’t specified to an age group and it attracts simple-readers and complex-readers alike. I promise anyone who reads this book will love it and you will feel so much physical attachment to the book that you may just want to grab some tissues, a punching bag and something to cuddle because it’s a rollercoaster of a book and I can’t promise you won’t have a mental breakdown in the process of it all.

 

Description

An action-packed and genuinely terrifying fantasy epic novel set six weeks after the world has succumbed to the angel apocalypse.

It’s been six weeks after angels of the apocalypse have destroyed the world as we know it. When enemy angels fly away with 17-year-old Penryn’s little sister, Penryn is forced to team up with Raffe, an injured angel who wants his wings back. Together, they will journey to the heart of San Francisco and the angels’ stronghold, where an unimaginable horror awaits them.

Format: B-format paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN: 9781444778519
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 28, 2013

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