Thursday 14 April 2016

Review: Nobody But You - Jill Shalvis

Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis, published by Headline Eternal on 29th March 2016

Goodreads synopsis:
After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his dark past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She's broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the dark, dishy, I'm-too-sexy-for-myself guy who's now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob's dark intensity makes her want to tease - and tempt - him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground...until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.

'Nobody But You' is the third book in the Cedar Ridge series, about the elusive Kincaid brother Jacob.  I've heard a lot about him but this is the first time that he's actually appeared in the flesh.  Returning from active service, Jacob is determined to heal the rifts with his family and especially with his twin brother Hud. What he doesn't expect is to fall for sexy redhead Sophie, who has just left her cheating ex-husband and is now living on his boat. 

I really liked Jacob but I definitely found him more of a closed book than either Hud or Aidan.  It took me a lot longer to understand what made him tick and he was certainly very enigmatic.  Saying that, although he kept his feelings close to his chest, it was obvious how much he cared about his family.  However, having left them behind once before, they are wary of him hurting them again.

As well as dealing with family matters, Jacob also unexpectedly finds romance with Sophie.  Hot, hot, hot!  If you like your romance smokin', then this is the book for you.

I love the way that Jill Shalvis intertwines all the characters of Cedar Ridge, showing all the happy couples together.  It makes you want to be a part of their family and community. 

Jill Shalvis's books are the best.  I'm so glad that I discovered her and thrilled that she has such a big back catalogue for me to savour.  Her stories are always a real treat and this was no exception. 

Monday 11 April 2016

Review: My Kind of Wonderful - Jill Shalvis

My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis, published by Headline Eternal on 22nd December 2015

Goodreads synopsis:
Bailey Moore has an agenda: skiing in the Rockies, exploring castles in Europe, ballroom dancing in Argentina. Now that she has a second lease on life, she's determined not to miss a thing. What she doesn't realise is that item number one comes with a six-foot-one ski god hot enough to melt a polar ice cap. She doesn't want to miss out on him either, but Hudson Kincaid isn't the type of guy to love and let go. And as gorgeous as Cedar Ridge is, she's not planning to stick around. As head of ski patrol at his family's resort, Hud thinks he's seen it all. But never has he run into someone like Bailey. She might look delicate, but her attitude is all firecracker. And her infectious joy touches something deep within him that he's been missing far too long. Now he'll just have to convince Bailey to take a chance on her biggest adventure yet . . . something rare and all kinds of wonderful.

Jill Shalvis's books are my happy place.  I adore her writing and they always give me a much needed injection of romance with a guaranteed happy ending.  Her stories are dreamy, her couples are always perfectly matched (even if they don't always realise it!), there are obstacles to overcome which make the resolution even more satisfactory and they always leave me with a smile on my face. 

'My Kind of Wonderful' is the second book in the Cedar Ridge series and is centred around Hudson Kincaid, ski patroller extraordinaire and the Prince Charming to artist Bailey, who arrives in Cedar Ridge to paint a family mural at the ski lodge.  Hud falls hook, line and sinker for Bailey, who has recently determined to live her life to the full, embracing new experiences and taking chances.  After having overcome illness, Bailey wants to grasp her future with both hands and with no holding back.  I adored Bailey's outlook on life.  Now she has been given the all clear by her doctors and is finally healthy, she is determined to really go for what she wants - and that includes Hud.

I loved both central characters and I was rooting for them from the start.  I also enjoyed getting to see all of Hud's extended family again too, particularly Aidan and Lily who featured heavily in the first book in the series.  Gray and Penny always make me laugh, so it was great seeing them as well. 

This book left me feeling all warm and fuzzy.  A perfect read to devour while curled up by the fire in a comfy chair and with a big mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows.  Jill Shalvis has most definitely done it again!  Fans are in for a real treat!

Thursday 7 April 2016

Review: What I Thought Was True - Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick, published by Electric Monkey on 7th April 2016

Goodreads synopsis:
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

This is the second book I've read by Huntley Fitzpatrick.  I was expecting something in the same vein as 'Open Road Summer' but I found that this story was quite different.  Rather than being the easy breezy summery read that I was expecting, it turned out to be something altogether more serious, dealing with complex issues involving families and friends. 

The story is set on Seashell Island - a picture perfect place where the main character Gwen Castle lives with her family.  Gwen is trying to forget her 'big mistake', when he turns out to be the new yard boy for the summer on the island.  Suddenly Cass is everywhere and impossible for Gwen to avoid any longer.  From the start of the book, it is made obvious that something happened between the two characters which they have not been able to properly move past.  I guessed what it might be but I think the truth should have been dealt with sooner, rather than being strung out until nearly the end.  The revelation wasn't as big or as shocking as I was expecting it to be, even though it did seem out of character for Gwen. 

Gwen and Cass are both quite mixed-up, stumbling over mistakes they have made and uncertain of how the other person really feels.  I thought that they were interesting characters but I didn't feel any great warmth towards either of them.  I actually found the relationship between Gwen's cousin Nic and her best friend Viv much more intriguing, as they try and face up to the decisions they have to make about their future and how these will affect them as a couple.  Everyone is adjusting to what awaits them around the next corner and facing great uncertainty about their next steps.

I did struggle with the extremely slow pace of the story and the fact that nothing really substantial actually happens until very near the end.  At that point, I have to be honest and say that I had almost lost focus by then on what was actually going on.  I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book more but I'll keep my fingers crossed for Huntley Fitzpatrick's next one. 

Monday 4 April 2016

Review: Bullet Catcher - Joaquin Lowe

Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe, published by Hot Key Books on 4th February 2016

Goodreads synopsis:
In the small town of Sand, populated by gunslingers and surrounded by endless desert, Imma washes dishes and grieves for a life she never had. She and her brother, Nikko, dreamed of escaping to become bullet catchers, a legendary band of outlaws who can deflect bullets with their hands. But they were wiped out years ago, Nikko with them. And leaving is impossible when walking into the desert means certain death.

When she sees a stranger catch a man's bullet and turn it back on him, Imma knows it can only mean one thing: the bullet catchers live on, and this is her way out. Determined to follow him, Imma starts a journey that will take her to her physical extremes and force her to question just what family means and who she really is: bullet catcher or gunslinger; hero or monster.  

'Bullet Catcher' was a brilliant read, based around a unique plot which was totally different to most of the other Young Adult books around at the moment.  Very refreshing.  It was gritty and exciting, placing the characters in life and death situations where there was no easy way out.  As I was reading it, I couldn't help but think that it would make a fantastic book-to-film adaptation.  A western for teens with a strong female heroine. 

The story unfolds with the main character Imma, longing to escape her pitiful existence in the small town of Sand.  When she sees a chance for a different future for herself, she grabs it and follows a mysterious bullet catcher out of town and across the desert.  Her fate inexplicably linked to his, she has no idea that difficult choices await her as she starts out on a journey that she can't turn back from. 

I loved the idea of bullet catchers - people who can catch bullets and turn them back on those who fired them.  How cool is that?!  The concept is so original and different.  Imma has to choose between this life and that as a gunslinger.  It's great that these roles are not barred from females, who can equally do everything that a man can do.   

Joaquin Lowe has ensured that the reader stays gripped from start to finish.  Family ties are forged and broken, alliances are made and forgotten as everything is put on the line in the fight for survival. This was a fantastic read which I would definitely recommend to male and female readers alike. I haven't heard anything about a sequel but the story was left open-ended, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that there will be another book in the series very soon. 
Related Posts with Thumbnails