Book Review: The Holly Project by K.A. Sterritt


“One foot in front of the other. Breathe in, breathe out.”

Holly Ashton hasn’t celebrated her birthday since her mother passed away. Instead, it’s the one day of the year that she allows herself to grieve. The rest of the year is spent pretending to be the strong and independent woman she wants to be.

Professionally, she has it all together. A great job as an architect at Sydney’s most prestigious firm keeps her focused.

Her personal life is far less charmed. Emotionally detached from everyone other than her small circle of friends and family, relationships are a no-go zone.

Life is exactly how she wants it to be – until the day of her twenty-fifth birthday.

A chance encounter with Ryan Davenport, CEO of a property development firm, turns her tightly controlled life upside down.

Ryan is driven, ambitious and used to getting what he wants – and very unexpectedly, what he wants is the beautiful, smart-mouthed Holly Ashton.

When neither of them believes in happily ever afters, how are they supposed to find their own?

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I picked up The Holly Project at my first ever author signing. I loved the front cover, and I also really loved that it was set in Sydney, Australia. It’s the second day of school holidays giphy1here in Australia, and my children don’t seem to know what a ‘sleep in’ is…so rude!!! This morning I was awoken at a ridiculous hour, so ridiculous that even my Netflix and Presto streaming services weren’t awake yet. Annoyed that I couldn’t indulge in some mindless viewing I headed to my bookshelf and searched the books I had recentlygiphy picked up at the signing. The Holly Project jumped into my hands and it ended up being a lovely way to spend a morning, and then afternoon.

Holly is a woman who hides her feelings, not so neatly tucked away in a pocket of grief after she witnesses her mum dying from cancer (side note: Cancer SUCKS). A chance meeting one day with a man who ends up being her ‘client’ sets her off on an adventure of self-discovery and love. I truly believe in whirlwind romances (having had one myself) and although I knew there had to be come angst along the way, I really loved the way the author wove the story. It was such an easy read and I breezed through it, without missing a beat. Sometimes, love is worth the risk, breathe in, breathe out, and see what happens. The chemistry, the characters, and the backdrop of Sydney made for a fun romantic getaway read.

About the Author:

kateK.A. Sterritt is a contemporary romance author living in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three sons.

Her debut novel, The Holly Project, was published in November 2014, her second novel Collision (The Fight for Life Series #1) was published in October 2015 and her latest release Impact (The Fight for Life Series #2) was released in April 2015.

She writes the kind of novel she enjoys to read.

 

Book Review: A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

AKissfromMRF

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women’s Lit.

It’s the roaring twenties in the Manhattan of gin, jazz and prosperity. Women wear makeup and hitched hemlines and enjoy a new freedom to vote and work. Not so for Evelyn Lockhart, who is forbidden from pursuing her passion to become one of the first female doctors. Chasing her dream will mean turning her back on her family: her competitive sister, Viola; her conservative parents; and the childhood best friend she is expected to marry, Charlie.

In a desperate attempt to support herself through Columbia University’s medical school, Evie auditions for the infamous late-night Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. But if she gets the part, what will it mean for her fledgling relationship with Upper East Side banker Thomas Whitman – a man Evie thinks she could fall in love with, if only she lived a life less scandalous…

Captivating, romantic and tragic, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald follows a young woman ahead of her time amid the fragile hearts and glamour of Jazz Age New York.

 

 

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This book was simply the bee’s knees! Stepping back in time to the 1920’s was a copacetic experience. Whilst it did take me a little while to get a wiggle on, once I got over the hurdle, there was no turning back..only turning pages! The author has undoubtedly done her research, as there is so much culture spread on to the pages.

giphyThe main character, Evelyn (Evie) Lockhart is definitely not a wallflower. She is smart, clever, and strong. Although some of her choices are questionable, and I’ll admit they left me feeling a little uneasy reading through. Despite that, I was so glad to read all the way in one sitting, and found the ending truly satisfying.

964605036161d5630a6d5d25510043d8This book had me up until 2am in the morning! I could not put it down. The whole book was littered with language from the 1920’s which makes me want to bring it back! With settings like the speakeasy, to sayings like “spifflicated” (something I’ve certainly done on the weekends past), this book is a delightful insight into a woman who is faced with adversity in a time when men ruled, and women kept quiet…until Evelyn Lockhart came along. Much more than a love story.

 

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(This book is also available in paperback from leading book retailers)

Thank you to Hachette Australia and Natasha Lester for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Book Review: Fire Me Up by Rachael Johns

 

(Deacons of Bourbon Street 2) 

Genre: MC Romance. Contemporary Fiction

Travis “Cash” Sinclair values only two things from his days with the Deacons of Bourbon Street: his prized Harley Davidson and the man who gave it to him. But now Priest Lombard is gone, and Cash has inherited the Deacons’ clubhouse—not to mentions its unexpected tenant. She’s exactly the type of woman he tries to avoid: all incense and art, with a sharp tongue that promises trouble. So why does Cash want to push aside those flowing skirts and lose himself between her legs?

Billie Taylor fled a bad marriage to start a new life among the grit and glamour of the French Quarter. She refuses to let another man distract her from her dreams, especially an outlaw biker with nothing to offer except hot sex and an eviction notice. Cash is dangerous, with an untamed streak he tries desperately to conceal. He drives Billie wild, sending her too close to the edge for her own good. And she won’t fall under his spell—or into his bed—without a fight.

 

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The next instalment in the Deacons of Bourbon Street fills in some more detail surrounding the mysterious death of former President, Priest. Travis “Cash” Sinclair has been let down so many times in life, that he truly believes that he is meant to travel the world alone, never to love.

“If he learned one lesson early in life, it was that the only person you could count on was yourself. He was a lone player now, and that the way he intended to stay.”

That is, until he meets a feisty Australian artist who occupies the art gallery, former home to the clubhouse. Cash comes barreling into Billie’s world and turns it upside down, without ever meaning to. Billie and Cash have a swirling, messy romance, like charcoal on paper. They epitomise the opposites attract analogy; the yin and yang of love.

The author seamlessly recreates the world established by the first author in the series. This is something to be commended when writing in the same world, with some of the same characters from the previous book. The city of New Orleans features once again, as the artistic and historical side starts to come into play. The introduction of the ‘bad bikers’ from the rival motorcycle club ramps up the tension and creates interest and intrigue into the continuing storyline of finding out why Priest died, and why the four brothers left town in the first place. Another great read.

Can’t wait to read the next instalment.

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New Release Book Review: Modern Heart by Belinda Williams

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Limited time only: Dream career! Perfect man! The catch? Emotional availability.
Scarlett Wong has a reputation for toughness. A talented and often feared Creative Director at an award-winning Sydney advertising agency, she doesn’t do relationships, she doesn’t invite men home, and she never stays the night. The only people who see her softer side are her three closest girlfriends, and they’re finally convinced they’ve found her perfect man: John Hart.
Scarlett’s never been one to back down from a challenge and she’s not going to start now. But when John secures Scarlett an invitation from one modernheartteaser1of New York’s leading galleries to exhibit her artwork, it means putting herself out there like never before. Scarlett’s perfect man wouldn’t interfere in her life like this – would he?
For a woman who thinks she’s not scared of anything, Scarlett is about to discover she’s not as tough as she thinks. Will she take the chance to turn her secret passion into a career, risk the safety of her advertising career, and let John in? Or will old habits die that little bit too hard?

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Belinda Williams has continued to excel in bringing together characters with emotion and substance. IN her latest release, Modern Heart, she will have you cringing, cheering, and hoping that emotions don’t ruin everything.

Scarlett Wong is a self-proclaimed emotionally detached career woman. Having been pressured all her life to do the things she doesn’t love Scarlett finds it hard to accept that she may just be good at something she loves, art. In the book she battles with her relationship with a controlling mother. A strict Chinese immigrant, Scarlett’s mum sees her daughter as an academic, not an artist. This has meant Scarlett carries scars throughout the story. Can she begin the heal these scars as she gets older, and discover that art is her true passion?!

Enter Mr. Perfect. John ‘bloody’ Hart. All her friends know he’s the guy for her, but she has so many personal issues she’s not willing to let him in. They’ve met before, in book one, but things finally begin change when she decides to take a chance. This book is so much more than boy modernheartteaser3and girl get together. There is a lot of emotion and it flicks between Scarlett remembering significant events from her childhood, and the present. This book really is about a woman coming to terms with herself, and the choices in her life that she has control over.

I really enjoyed reading the dynamics of the friends, again. Being set in Sydney is really fun to read, and I love to imagine exactly where they may be (just as I did in The Pitch – book 1). Modern Heart is the perfect next installment in the City Love series. A mixture of friendship, cynicism, coming to terms with who you are, and finding that life leads a tricky road. This book is all about navigating through choices you make in life, and how it can be so much better with friends, and love.

Buy the book

Publisher Purchase Link

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You’ve still got a couple of days to pick up a copy of THE BOYFRIEND SESSIONS for FREE or THE PITCH for 99c. Tell your friends or family!
Nov 15 books promotion

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**I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Momentum Books for the opportunity to review**

Book Review: Decline – Declan Reede the Untold Story by Michelle Irwin

DECLINE

Declan Reede: The Untold Story

Hold on tight, stick to the racing line, and watch for the corners.

Four years after making the decision to leave his home town behind, all of Declan Reede’s dreams have come true. Unapologetically foul-mouthed and well known for his off-track antics, his success seems unstoppable. At least until Queensland Raceway and a chance sighting of the girl who once held his heart. Now, getting around the track seems an impossible battle as he struggles to return to his previous form. With his career racing downhill faster than his V8 on Mount Panorama, there’s more than just his reputation on the line.

What will it take to put the brakes on his decline?

**Due to strong language and sexual content not intended for anyone under age of 18**
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 24th September 2015
Cover Artist: Soxsationalcoverart
Principal photography by: NSP Studios 
Cover models: Ashleigh Johnson and Jarah Armstrong.


Available now
Add to your Goodreads want to read list here: 

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Decline truly is a story of a man in decline. What I really love about this book, and so far, the whole Declan Reede story, is that it’s about a flawed character who doesn’t miraculously redeem himself just because of some actions in the storyline.

There are so many little story lines in this book, but I can’t tell you any of them because they will spoil the whole book. Declan does a good job of stuffing things up over and over again. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to yell at him for being such a self-destructive a-hole! Of course, if he wasn’t then there’d be no Decline. His love for Alyssa is evident in his reactions and destructive behaviour. It’s a love that comes along once in a lifetime. Can he manage to heal it and keep the fractured love he’s created?

 

This story is intriguing and full of drama. It’s a lot less on the actual race car driving, and a lot more of the relationship and personal dramas of the main characters. Michelle Irwin has a real knack for writing the contemporary world, and I am really enjoying her words.

 

I don’t feel like there’s any resolution in the story, but there certainly is movement in the storyline that creates a great installment to the Declan Reede series. I can’t wait to keep reading!

  EXCERPT
Eden had been right about the track. By the ninth lap
of my second stint, the bitumen was bone dry and the teams that had gambled on
the rain staying were scrambling to the pits to change back onto slicks. I used the time to push even further ahead. Eden’ s voice squawked over the radio, telling me that I had just achieved the fastest lap time of the day. If I
didn’t have to keep both hands on the wheel, I would have given a fist pump in celebration. Things were finally going my way.
I was celebrating the small victories when I came across the top of the mountain again, across Skyline. The glare from the sun reflected in the top corner of my windscreen and I was blinded. Not by the light, but by the vision which the sun called to mind.
Alyssa.
My heart stopped and my eyes slammed closed.
Smiles and laughs; the sun glinting off her watch as we kept an eye on the time.
I could almost hear her voice bouncing around the car, laughing over some ridiculous shit we’d done during the day. We’d been so happy. So innocent. So fucking naive and stupid.
The memory was from one of the days we’d ditched school to hide out in our park. With a gasp, I swallowed oxygen down into protesting lungs. My hands shook and tremors raced through my fingers and into the wheel.
My stomach clenched as I remembered just how beautiful
she’d been. She didn’t have supermodel looks, she had something better. An honest to goodness girl-next-door quality that shone through from within and made her ten times sexier than any over glossed supermodel could ever be. The truth was, as bad as the visions of Alyssa’s red-rimmed eyes were, the happy ones were worse. They became tangible reminders of how much she’d once meant to me, and I almost didn’t want to suppress them.
With two more gulping breaths, I forced my eyes open and pushed the thought away. My grip tightened on the steering wheel, but it was already too late.
Though it’d been mere seconds, I’d been in my own world, my past for too long and hadn’t prepared to take the turn before falling into the Esses. I had no time to do anything but adjust the angle of my car as it smashed into the concrete barrier with a teeth-rattling bang. I prepared myself in the only way I could for a second crash as the car ricocheted off the wall, spun across the track, and then smashed into the side of a passing car. The sound of crunching metal and squealing rubber filled the space around me, but I could do nothing but hold on and hope for the best. My car lurched sickeningly toward the wall again, shunting hard into the concrete and rocking me into the hard surface of the door.
By the time I came to a rest, I was angled nose into the wall in a stationary car.
Unable to move, I panted as I struggled to comprehend just what had happened, aside from the fact that I’d crashed, that part I got loud and fucking clear. Closing my eyes, I mentally ran through my body to ensure I wasn’t too badly injured. I wiggled my fingers and my toes and was
relieved when everything did what it was supposed to. Except for my heart racing at a million miles a minute, and the fact that I couldn’t breathe down nearly enough air to stay in control, I was okay.
My eyes snapped to the rear-view mirror when I heard the sound of protesting tyres.


AUTHOR BIO
 

Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.



You can find Michelle here: 




Exciting Cover Reveal: DIRTY by Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott is one of my favourite Aussie authors! I love her Stage Dive (rock star) series, so this makes me very excited. A brand new series coming soon!!!

COVER REVEAL: Dirty
By Kylie Scott

Are you ready to get Dirty?

Dirty is Book One in Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar Series releasing April 5th!

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Pre-order your copy of DIRTY here:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Q7LCyb

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1OYc53N

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1MetF1F

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Mez6t6

Blurb

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and
cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?

About the Author:

Kylie Scott

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Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Review: Wrenched by Emma James

WRENCHED
(Hell’s Bastard, #1)
by Emma James
Release Date: September 1
EDGE
My name is Dallas ‘Edge’ Masson and I’m the Soulless Bastards MC’s enforcer.
I was raised by an evil bastard.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
I have personal business.
Whisper is my business.
I will be her judge and jury.
My father may have been Hell’s Bastard, but he was still my father.
They say blood is thicker than water.
I’m about to find out.
 
WHISPER
Life has been a bitch to me.
I don’t even know my full name.
I was a secret.
Miss Catherine changed my life.
I have friends.
I trust in people.
But then it all had to be wrenched away from me.
 
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In her newest book, Emma James delves into the cold hard world of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Wrenched, a new title in the Hell’s Bastard Series, is not for the faint hearted, and by the end of the first chapter you will know if it’s for you or not. James starts off with a literal bang, and keeps the momentum going throughout the story, taking the reader on a dark and dirty journey.

This book is heavily focused on the female lead character, so if you’re looking for a male dominated, heavy motorcycle club read, you won’t get it here. This is a dark and twisted suspense novel, with a motorcycle club influence. It certainly doesn’t detract at all, in fact Whispers story line is intriguing and will have you glued to the pages. Whisper has been secluded from the outside world her entire life, and once she escapes from the horrible world she has been bought up in, her real life and growth begins.

Edge is the enforcer for the Soulless Bastards Motorcycle Club. He’s a presumably heartless bastard who will do anything for his club. His demeanor is wild, but calculated. His mission in life is thrown into a loop when he stumbles across a stranger in a bar. One ride with her (literally) and he can’t stop thinking of her. Who is she? Why is she such a mystery? The answers are unraveled right towards the end of the book! Edge will certainly have you hanging for the next installment.

Having read books in her other series (think complete opposite to this story) I commend Emma James on the growth in her writing. She shows the maturity that writing in multiple genres can produce and it comes through on the pages.

I look forward to following this series and finding out more on the characters, and their motivation for being who they are. There is a lot of mystery and intrigue in these stories, so make sure you read this if you like dark and dirty storylines. I have a feeling the best is yet to come, including the romance.

One bullet to maim and cause pain…
Oooph! Is all I can grunt out as I’m slammed sideways into the ground from the place I had been stalking my prey.One second I was aiming at the old whore so I could give her a taste of pain before we got down to business, and the next I’m bulldozed sideways as I pull the trigger, my head bouncing off the ground like a crash dummy.
WTF?
A body has landed on me and the next thing I feel is a jaw crunching blow to my face which feels like a sledge hammer has tried to take my head off. I’m left dazed and disorientated.
I was pissed before, but now I’m fucking furious, rage has me twisting about on the ground trying to see what the fuck just happened.

Jesus, her nipples are so hard I whistle at the sight of them. “Nice tits, little lady”. She pushes them up closer toward my face. I duck my head swiping my tongue over one as she starts to ride me. I suck it inside my mouth and bite down on it, enough to have her arch up a little in pain. Then she’s offering me the other one. She’s a greedy little thing.
pull her hair out of her pony tail and she shakes her hair out which is one of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen. I have her amazing body naked on my bike while she straddles my dick and her hair is flowing wild behind her as the mild breeze catches it.
I need more.
I slide my hands under her thighs and tug her legs up and pull her inside me a little closer. She lays back against the petrol tank, moving so my balls are gonna spank her rim. Then I take over.
Emma James lives in Queensland, Australia with her supportive husband, three children and a big black Labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household.
Writing has been a part of her life for many years. Life was getting on and it was time to put her fears aside and do what she does best. It was time to show readers what she was made of, take that leap off the diving board and see where it takes her.
Emma is a creative person at heart. She loves to read as much as write, devouring books into the wee hours of the morning.
Who needs sleep, right?

She loves hearing from readers, so please feel free to drop her a PM on Facebook.