Forever and a Day (by Jill Shalvis)

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“Mallory nodded and toasted a cupcake to that. Then she set the cupcake down and got serious as she turned to Grace. “Honey, just promise me something.”

“What?”

“That you won’t be so driven by your past that you throw away your future.”

Forever and a Day is the sixth in Jill Shalvis’ popular Lucky Harbor series. It’s the third and final book in her 2012 trilogy and centers around Grace and Josh.

Grace has lost her way. She has spent her life trying to live up to her parents’ very high standards. After running away from a job in which she was expected to provide “other services”, she finds herself in Lucky Harbor, broke and without any prospects. On the day she arrives in Lucky Harbor she gets trapped in the Eat Me Café by a blizzard (Book 4, Lucky in Love), but as luck would have it she is trapped with Mallory and Amy. The three form a friendship which is the thread running through the three books released this year.

Grace is doing every job she can to keep the wolf from the door. She isn’t picky, she’ll do anything from delivering flowers to working as a life model. When someone calls her number asking about her dog walking services, a wrong number, she sees an opportunity to make a few more dollars. That someone turns out to be Josh, an overworked Doctor with a young son who won’t talk and a younger paraplegic sister who is angry at the world.

Despite losing the dog five minutes after it has done it’s business in the house, Grace manages to hold onto the job. Gradually she finds herself not only looking after Tank (the dog) but also providing a mother’s nurture for Toby (Josh’s son) and acting as something like an older sister to Anna (Josh’s paraplegic sister). But Josh is a very different story, Josh has his busy life, and Lucky Harbor doesn’t fit into Grace’s long term plans. Despite their chemistry a relationship doesn’t look like a good idea to either of them.

Jill Shalvis writes uplifting and optimistic contemporary romance. Her books are light enjoyable reads that will leave you feeling good. Of the three Lucky Harbor books published this year, Forever and a Day is the stand out.

Recommended for fans of Robyn Carr and Kristan Higgins.

With thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

No Peace for the Damned (by Megan Powell)

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I crushed his hand instantly, the bones breaking to bits under my grip. I slammed a quick extended-knuckle fist into his larynx, no more than bruising his windpipe, but incapacitating him nonetheless. Then I swung him completely out of his chair, twisting him to his knees in front of me, his back pressed to my front, his broken-handed arm pinning him in place. The Glock 34 he’d had tucked into the waistband of his jeans now rested nicely in my other hand. I pressed the gun to his temple.

Magnolia was born into a sadistic and cruel family. Gifted with off the charts supernatural abilities, including a body that completely regenerates no matter what damage is done to it, her father, uncle and brothers spend their time using her as a guinea pig to fine tune their sadism.  After one particularly brutal night she escapes from the family estate and lands in the lap of Thirteen, leader of the Network, a shady organization fighting against supernatural terrorists. At first all she wants is to escape the violence and be left alone but when those she has come to love are kidnapped by her family, she has no choice but to return to the location of all her nightmares in a desperate bid to save them.

No Peace for the Damned is supernatural fiction at it’s best. Megan Powell writes a book that sucks you in from the first page. It is a brutal and terrifying battle between good and evil. Thoroughly entertaining.

Recommended for fans of Jennifer Estep, Laini Taylor and Richelle Mead

The Siren (by Tiffany Reisz)

WARNING:  This review contains explicit language.

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“I know you want to fuck me. And I know you wish you didn’t. So how about we compromise and you can sit here and say, ‘No, Nora,’ ‘Don’t, Nora,’ ‘Stop, Nora,’ and I’ll ignore all those protests and slide right down on your cock anyway? And I’ll do it because no and don’t and stop aren’t your safe word. So you can finally get fucked and still sleep like a baby in your big lonely bed tonight feeling all clean and shiny and virginal because, after all, you did say ‘no’ and that awful Nora Sutherlin just wouldn’t listen.”

When I started reading The Siren I was expecting to be taken way out of my comfort zone. I was expecting to be challenged, uncomfortable and offended. I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did.

Nora is an author of erotic fiction who not only writes it, but lives it. Her reluctant new editor Zach wants nothing to do with her, but she wants her new book to be something special and needs his help to make that happen. He agrees on the condition that he has final say on whether or not the book gets published. Together they embark on a complete rewrite which must be finished in six weeks. As the rewrite progresses, Nora draws Zach into her world, a world where pain, submission and domination are used for sexual release.

The adjectives used to describe a book like this are almost predictable. Anyone can conjure them up and I don’t think I really need to bother with them. The words I want to use are, beautiful, sublime, tender, honest, lyrical  and heart-felt. The Siren is erotic, but there is surprisingly very little sex.

For me it is one of the best books of 2012.

Hello world!

My name is Ian and I live in Australia. I read a lot and wanted a place to express my thoughts. Whether people read this or not doesn’t much matter to me, but I do like people and welcome any thoughts you have so long as they’re not nasty.