Thursday, May 29, 2014


DINNER AT HOME by Rick R. Reed

Pages: 214
Date: 29/05/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: Received from Dreamspinner Press
            Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“It only takes a few days for Ollie D'Angelo to lose his boyfriend, his job, and his home. Instead of mourning what he doesn’t have, Ollie celebrates what he does: the freedom to pursue his real passion—cooking. He begins Dinner at Home, a home-catering business, and it takes off. 

Late one night, Ollie catches Hank Mellinger, a streetwise hood down on his luck, about to rob his car. Ollie soon discovers that appearances aren’t necessarily what they seem. Hank isn’t a criminal caught red-handed, but a hungry young man trying to make a life for himself and the four-year-old niece he’s trying desperately to take care of. 

Instead of calling the cops, Ollie offers Hank a job and a way to pull himself up by his bootstraps. Together, they discover they can really cook... and that their shared passion for food just might lead to a passion for each other.”

My thoughts:

This was a sweet love story and that was both its selling point and its weakness. For me this book was a bit too sweet, Ollie a bit too nice and trusting, Hank a bit too comfortable despite his shitty past and solutions to problems a bit too easily achieved.

This is going to sound funny from somebody who up until recently claimed not to like angst, but I really feel this book could have done with more of it. Ollie seemed to suffer very little after the boyfriend he’d bought a ring for breaks up with him. Losing his job just a day later doesn’t seem to bother him either. By the same token, while we get the details of Hank’s horrible past, I never really felt his pain or the trouble he might still be having dealing with it. And when tragedy does strike it doesn’t come as a surprise and, once again, seems to be accepted by the characters almost before the reader realises what exactly has happened. For me the shifts from pain to happiness were too abrupt. A chapter filled with inner turmoil would be followed with a chapter filled with bliss. It was too black and white, the changes in feelings too extreme. Shouldn’t doubts linger, pain ease only slowly and solutions come gradually?

I constantly found myself wanting to like the story more than I actually did. The storyline felt like something that should work perfectly for me and yet it didn’t, which made this a somewhat frustrating reading experience.

I did like the obvious love of food and its preparation in this book. Every chapter starts with a recipe and every single one of them was enticing and at least one or two may have to be tried out at some point in the future. Having said that, I almost wish I had a paper copy of this book available. On my Kindle the recipes seemed to take up a lot of – dare I say it, too much - room. I’ve got a feeling though it wouldn’t feel that way if the pages had been bigger.

Even now, after I’ve finished the book and have written most of my review I still find myself wanting to say I liked the story more than I actually did. The characters managed to charm me, the story line had an almost fairytale-like quality and it was a smooth read.  If I had to describe this book in one sentence I’d say this was a feel good book that could and should have been a feel great book.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014



Pages: 49
Date: 26/05/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: Received from Riptide Publishing
            Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Jonah Gilchrist lives a double life. On the internet, he’s a fashion-blogging Tumblr celebrity. In the real world, though, being an awkward gay virgin isn’t as cute and endearing as it is online—it’s a target on his back. After years of being bullied, Jonah’s determined to start afresh at college, but it’s hard to remake yourself when you’re sharing classes with your ill-fated junior high crush.
Sebastian Rose, with his easy-going manner and great sense of humor, was one of the most popular guys in junior high. He was also one of Jonah’s only defenders. Too bad Jonah knows Sebastian’s kindness was only pity.
Bumping into each other after all these years makes it seem like the universe itself wants Jonah to have a second chance at his first love. But how can he ever hope to reinvent himself when Sebastian’s presence pulls him further into his past? Then again, maybe moving forward doesn’t have to mean leaving the best part of your past behind.”


My thoughts:

I enjoyed this short story. It wasn’t great and didn’t blow me away, but it was a nice and funny quick read; just what I needed right now.

The characters were so well established that poor Jonah made me cringe.  In fact he constantly seemed to be walking a fine line between becoming a caricature and being a real person. But then again, I think that’s exactly what he was meant to be. He’d created that online persona for himself because he could barely keep himself going in the real world. While his obsession with fashion and his social media followers made him at times infuriating it also brought quite a few funny moments.

Sebastian on the other hand was almost too good to be true. His infinite patience and willingness to accept Jonah’s awkward and at times rude behaviour stretched my imagination to its limits. Having said that, it did make him adorably cute and I couldn’t help feeling that everybody should be lucky enough to have a Sebastian in their lives.

Thankfully the author gave both characters enough ‘real’ moments to make the story work. Sebastian may be intrinsically good and patient; he does have his limits and insecurities. Jonah on the other hand may pretend to be a prima donna while really being social inept, he becomes very recognisable the instant he lets go of his invented persona and just enjoys the moment he’s in while allowing his feelings to rule him.

This is a short and enjoyable story in which opposites attract and two apparently completely unsuited characters connect and take their first steps on what may well be the road to a beautiful relationship. It would have been nice if the story had been longer. I imagine Sebastian’s influence would work wonders for Jonah and that is a journey I would have loved to be part of. Unfortunately that was not what this story was about. Should the author ever feel the urge to write the story of Sebastian and Jonah’s developing relationship I will be among the first to read it though.

Monday, May 26, 2014


THE SAINT by Tiffany Reisz
Pages: 416
Date: 26/05/2014
Grade: 5+
Details: No. 1 Original Sinners The White Years
           Received from Mills & Boon
           Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“In the beginning, there was him.

Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they're apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can't be right.

But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets.

Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.”


My thoughts:

“This story starts with a stick in the ground and ends with an orgy.”

I don’t know why it still surprises me. I mean, you’d think I know better after having read the first four 'Original Sinners' books. But no, Tiffany Reisz still managed to shock me within minutes after starting this book. In fact, shock may be the wrong word. It was as if she’d robbed the ground from beneath my feet. And then continued to shock me and break my heart and shock me some more. The word ‘bitch’ may or may not have been uttered a few times while reading this book...and I loved every single second of it.

I’m not going to say anything about the story in ‘The Saint’ everything you want to know is in the blurb, anything more would rob you of the cruel twists, shocking surprises and wonderful revelations only Tiffany Reisz can deliver with such eloquence.

Watching Eleanor grow up and observe her interaction with Søren was fascinating and captivating. Circumstances forced me to read this book in one day, but truth be told I don’t think I would have been able to put it down if I’d had all the time in the world. And that in itself is amazing. If you’ve read the first four ‘Original Sinners’ books chunks of Eleanor’s story will be familiar. And yet I might as well have been reading them for the first time.

This book took my heart and broke it only to put it back together again. It made me laugh out loud, hold my breath, frown, curse, smile before leaving me with tears in my eyes. I may have said this in every single review I’ve ever written for Tiffany Reisz’s books, but I’m not ashamed of repeating it again: I’m in awe of this author. I admire her way with words, her smart and natural sounding dialogue. I’m amazed at how real her world and characters have become for me. And I stare in wonder at the sex scenes.  I can’t put my finger on how she does it, but Tiffany Reisz can make a scene really hot and give you all the visuals without becoming graphic. She makes situations that should make me uncomfortable almost enticing. It is a skill that amazes me.

I was hooked as soon as I was one chapter into ‘The Siren’. This is one addiction I’m hoping to never kick.

“Our choices mean nothing until we’re given more than one of them.”

Goodreads Link:


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Author Bio& Contact Links:

Tiffany Reisz lives with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name. She has five piercings, one tattoo, and has been arrested twice.
When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).
If she couldn’t write, she would die.

Twitter: @TiffanyReisz

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