Bloodlust – C. R. Benson

518dtd0btxlIn this paranormal romance, reformed delinquent Derek has just started college in a new place, hoping to turn his life around, where he meets the lovely Mila and quickly falls in love. But trouble is brewing. His old gang, The Pack, are following him and a mysterious burning ring has appeared on his chest. Just when things are looking bad enough, Derek has a run in with a strange man who tells him about some curse and then attacks him. From then on, things get really dangerous and Derek must fight to protect his friends and the girl he loves from terrors both human and supernatural.

The main focus of this story is the romance between Mila and Derek, which is pretty nice. For a large chunk of the book, Mila has another boyfriend and Derek is torn between wanting to win her over and not wanting to hurt her. Unfortunately, I didn’t find myself caring about any of the characters (which made it quite difficult for me to get into the story – a real shame because it really wasn’t bad). The parts involving The Pack were detailed and well thought out, and a lot of the story was fast paced and exciting. Sadly, it took too long to get going and had lost my attention before things got good.

One thing I do have to say though: the ending was rather unexpected. It just was really not how I thought things would go. That was a really nice touch. It’s rare to find an author brave enough to add the kind of twist Bloodlust ended with.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Halloween Read-A-Thon 2016 TBR

I’m taking part in Wonderless Review’s Halloween Read-A-Thon from the 10th to the 31st of October! I’ve never done a read-a-thon, it’ll be a challenge to try to keep up! Halloween isn’t that big in the UK (like, all we do is dress up and maybe get drunk), but I do love horror and anything supernatural, so this read-a-thon sounds great for me! (I might cheat and not read these in the given order).


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518dtd0btxlBloodlust by C R Benson

At the outskirts of the shady forests in Pennsylvania, Derek Woods leaves behind his delinquent high school days. Derek determinedly turns his life around and attends the most prestigious college in the state, Global-Tech, for a chance at a fresh start. However, Derek quickly becomes enmeshed in a confusing romance with the green-eyed beauty Mila Baine, even as his old crew resurfaces and tries to draw him back into the life Derek swore he’d left forever. Despite his best efforts, the overwhelming task of keeping both The Pack at bay and Mila in his life becomes even harder when a mysterious, crimson ring is branded onto his chest. Although an ancient, evil calling is the last thing Derek needs, there is no denying the Devil’s curse once you are chosen.

I actually find this cover weirdly creepy. Like, yes it’s just a man’s torso, but the mark on his chest and the creepy title font freaks me out.

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51oskMb35qLThe Perfect Mortals by Reece Bridger

During a ceasefire of a war that has taken more lives than could be considered just, there are shadows of betrayal and deceit lurking in the rays of the morning sun. Something is lingering on the horizon, and it’s hell-bent on destruction, despair and death.
Whatever it may be, it’s driven the Goddess to some very desperate measures.
Life for the Harmon siblings has been hard enough, but now they face responsibilities that they never asked for. They never asked for power. They never asked for a world of monsters. They never asked to come face-to-face with demons, the corrupted of their own people, or their own mortality.
But that is just what they will have to do. They are the chosen heroes of Cornelia, the final hope for order and sanity, the last line of defence against the darkness.
They are the Buan.

Demons and monsters? Yes please.

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30524032Abduction by Nicole Hatfield

Audrey Green’s life was going nowhere fast. She didn’t think things could get any worse until a stranger at a door proved her wrong.
Mistaken for another woman, Audrey is abducted and thrown into a situation she thought possible only in the movies.
Upon discovering the identity of her gorgeous yet arrogant captor, Audrey is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: Fight for her freedom… or stay and be rewarded.
A simple choice with a huge reward.
Easy decision, right?
Or will her choice and her captor’s secret ultimately lead to more danger than she could ever be prepared for?

I definitely find books where real people are doing bad things the scariest, so this seems like an appropriate choice. (Also I’m being sneaky adding this one in because it was already on my TBR).

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51ycadeqoql The Nurse by Amy Cross

When Rachel moves to a new house with her mother, she immediately realizes that something isn’t quite right. Although she’s blind, Rachel can tell that the stories about the house’s past don’t add up. And slowly, she starts to worry that someone or something from that past might still be around.
Soon, Rachel learns the story of the house’s previous occupant, a troubled nurse who spent every waking moment caring for a sick old man. The nurse eventually lost her mind, resulting in a series of horrific murders, but have the events of that awful time truly been left behind? Or is something stirring in the night, something that only Rachel seems to notice?
The Nurse is the story of a girl who finds herself trapped in a sinister house, and a woman who believes she’s being haunted by the ghost of a long-dead child. Contains scenes of violence.

I do most of my reading at night, but I feel like I might end up regretting reading this one after sunset. It sounds SO CREEPY.

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51mbmthrsslThe Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Whalen

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighbourhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.
Up and down the streets, neighbours quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbours’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.
During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbours learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

I decided to go for the treat option – don’t want to overdo it and scare myself silly all month.

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51izcz1ss9lRisen by M.T. Miller

In the middle of nowhere, a nameless individual rises from the dark. With barely any knowledge apart from how to speak and how to kill, he finds himself in a world gone mad. Worse off, nearly everything that moves is out for his blood.
Not knowing where to turn, the wanderer traverses the desolate landscape of a ruined continent. Along his travels, his mind and body are pushed to their limits as he desperately tries to make sense of what is going on, what he is, and why he exists.
Foe after foe meets their end at his hands, yet each kill only serves to raise more questions. Is he even human? What has happened to the world? Where does his path lead?
The answer lies beyond the blood-stained horizon.

It’s a bit ambiguous whether this is actually a horror or not, but the cover has a kind of creepy vibe and the blurb sounds pretty deathy, so I reckon it counts.


What do you plan to read this Halloween? And be sure to check out all the posts of other readers taking part in the Halloween Read-A-Thon!

The Goodreads Book Tag

I saw this a while ago on Amanda @ Hangingwithamanda’s blog and loved it – been meaning to do it for ages – so here we go!

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What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard.

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 Best book title ever. It was fab, take a look at my full review if you want to know more.

What are you currently reading?

The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel.

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Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Joanne Hildebrandt.

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In this grand saga of love, war, and magic set in the tenth century, young Sigrid is destined to be the mother of the king of the Nordic lands that would become Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and England.

A devout believer in the old Nordic gods, Sigrid is visited regularly in her dreams by the goddess Freya, who whispers to her of the future. Though Sigrid is beautiful, rich, arrogant, and matchlessly clever, her uncanny ability to foresee the future and manipulate the present guides her through dangerous politics as a bloody war between Vikings and Christians rages on.

Sigrid’s father wants her to marry Erik, a local king, to secure the peace between the Goths and the Swedes. Thinking she is doing Freya’s will, she accepts the marriage offer, only to find that her destiny lies not with Erik but with Sweyn, a warrior who dreams of dethroning Harald Bluetooth, the legendary ruler of Denmark. Will Sigrid sacrifice her will for the greatest Viking kingdom of all time, or will she follow her heart at the risk of losing everything?

What book do you plan to read next?

I plan to read Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse next. The author sent me a copy to read and review, and it sounds so dark and exciting. I love supernatural fantasy.

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Humanity hasn’t been alone for almost two thousand years. Elves, wolves, vampires, all joined together with mankind to eradicate the ‘darker’ races and maintained a tentative peace until modern times. Society adapted, everyone has rules that help keep the peace in this modern era. Yet, absolute genocide is impossible when talking about creatures beyond the pale. Some hid, some buried, other were re-purposed.

Some, like Jay Fields, pass for human with a little bit extra. His abilities didn’t belong to one of the major races, but any information was buried along with the long dead boogie men. All Jay cared about was those closest to him and a job that let him hit people. He used to be a bouncer at a bar, a part-time enforcer for a loan shark, and even a fight club champion. That was four years ago, before betrayal by someone close sent him packing.

Now he’s back and trying to recover a life he left behind. Questions of origin aren’t his only problems. His ex-girlfriend is a vampire. His part-time boss doesn’t think he’s up to snuff anymore. There’s a missing elf who might have some answers, and Jay’s best friend is caught up in something dangerous…

Do you use the star rating system?

Although I don’t star-rate on my blog, I do use the system on Goodreads. It’s a super easy way to rate books – especially ones I read a while a go and can’t remember in enough detail to write a full review.

Are you doing a 2016 reading challenge?

I’m not. I got into this blogging malarkey mid-year, and didn’t use Goodreads much before then. I figured it wouldn’t be best to start a challenge halfway through.

Do you have a wish list?

My to-read list is a wish list of sorts. And my Amazon wish list is getting pretty extensive book-wise…

What book do you plan to buy next?

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. I’ve wanted this one for ages (just been waiting for the price to drop enough that I can afford to buy it!)

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Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviours, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Do you have any favourite quotes? Share a few.

“The dead know everything, but they don’t give a damn.” – Runemarks, Joanne Harris.

“It’s painful to see that people prefer a bad guy who looks like an angel to a good guy who looks like a demon.” – World After, Susan Ee.

“Those unwilling to look beyond their own little world will be left in the dark.” – The Light of the Fireflies, Paul Pen.

“For the record, a life without kissing is no life at all.” – Stealing Snow, Daniella Paige.

Who are your favourite authors?

Joanne Harris and Lesley Glaister. Definitely. They both have such a diverse range of books and, though I haven’t read all of them yet, I have yet to find one I didn’t love. They’re both amazing writers.

Have you joined any groups?

I did join the Goodreads Reviewers’ Group , but to be honest I haven’t interacted much yet.

Who do you tag?

As I got this from Amanda’s blog (I wasn’t actually tagged), I won’t be tagging anyone either. If you wanna do it, do it!

Another Day, Another Dali – Sandra Orchard

28637707So this is actually Book #2 in the Serena Jones Mysteries series, which I didn’t realise (oops). I don’t think it mattered too much that I missed Book #1, just a bit of background detail on some of the characters, but if you’re going to read this series I would recommend that you do start from the beginning (it’s good so why would you want to miss any?).

The thing that attracted me to this book was the title (Book #1 also has a great title: A Fool and his Monet), and the story turned out to be great too. FBI agent Serena Jones is called in to investigate the theft of a valuable Salvador Dali painting, which links to a much larger series of art thefts and forgeries. As Serena digs deeper into the mystery, certain details start pointing to members of the owner’s own family, and possible ties to the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather fifteen years before.

Another Day, Another Dali reminded me a lot of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, just a tad more serious. The main characters are very likeable, with a whole array of lovable, eccentric side-characters and a couple of intriguing potential love-interests. They’re not particularly realistic but, in this kind of book, that doesn’t matter. The mystery is unpredictable – I wasn’t able to work out ‘whodunit’ early on like I can with many mystery stories, and the itself story is fast-paced and well written. Despite there being so many characters and so much going on, it wasn’t difficult to follow, while the insight into the world of art-crime and forgery is fascinating. This series is definitely well worth a read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blogger Recognition Award

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Thanks so much to Emma @ Afterbutterflyrain for nominating me (her blog is fabulous – you should definitely check it out)! I really appreciate the tag.

Rules:

  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

How my blog started:

I started this blog for three main reasons: to keep track of my reading, to interact with other book-lovers, and to create evidence of my love of books for when I send out job applications to publishing houses. I cannot for the life of me remember where the I got the idea. I hadn’t particularly looked at other blogs or done much research. I didn’t expect anyone (other than my family) to read my posts and I didn’t expect it to be so much fun. The origin story of my blog isn’t terribly exciting, is it.

My advice for new bloggers:

1: Interact with other bloggers. Take the time to find and communicate with other book bloggers. There’s a really friendly community out there, and liking and commenting on other posts will help to create more traffic on your own blog. Plus you might make friends, which is always nice. I’ve picked up a few really loyal followers, but it’s a two way street and I always try to support them as much as they’re supporting me.

2: Don’t be afraid to ask for ARCs. For those that don’t know, an ARC is an advance readers copy of a book (pre-publication). There are some great website (my favourite is NetGalley) that are free to join where you can request copies of books to review. It’s up to the publishers to decide who gets a copy, and as long as you meet their criteria there’s no reason why that can’t be you. I’ve read a huge number of posts about how there’s supposedly some rule about having a certain number of months and followers behind your blog, but I was completely unaware of this when I started out. As soon as I heard about NetGalley I signed up and was approved for 3 or 4 books within a few weeks. I must have only written a few reviews at that point, but I was still approved for some ARCs.

I nominate:

(Sorry if you’ve already been tagged or don’t want to be).