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The Book Lovers Codex

I am a twenty-something, happily married, mother of one who loves books. I love reading them. I love looking at them. I love their smell. Libraries and bookstores are my holy places... No I'm not being blasphemous. Books are my religion and if you don't like that then you're probably reading the wrong blog I love ebooks too. I love how my Kindle can hold thousands of books and wherever I go in the world they can come with me. I love how the emergence of ebooks has resulted in more books being published than ever before - for better or for worse My love of books is the reason for this blog. I want to share it with other people who love books, I'm opinionated and passionate and I want to share those opinions with you and see what you think, do you agree or disagree? I want to hear your opinions and your recommendations... Basically I want to share the book love! I will pretty much read anything that is a romance but I mainly read paranormal romance, urban fantasy, new adult, young adult, and erotica... Plus the odd book here and there that is not a romance of any description! So that's what to expect from this blog. If you like what you see, please follow!

Waiting on the Sidelines

Waiting on the Sidelines - Ginger Scott *Review copy granted in exchange for an honest review*

Initially I struggled to read this book as, quite simply, the first few chapters are really quite boring. However, as I read on the book slowly started to become more interesting and while I was starting to enjoy it, I found the age of the characters was putting me off a bit (14/15 at the beginning). This book is classed as New Adult/Young Adult and when I was reading I would've said definitely YA not NA but then by the time you are a quarter of the way in the first year of high school is over and the characters were a year older, and I suddenly grasped what this book was truly about and that we were going to see these characters grow over time instead of getting a snapshot of their lives at a particular age and I got really excited.

The book quickly went from boring to interesting to OMG cannot stop reading but crap I've got work tomorrow!! It is full of teenage angst, general dramas, insecurities, lust, first loves, friendships and heartbreak and I honestly think it captures exactly the emotions of what it is like to be a teenager.

You care deeply for Nolan and you fall in love with Reed too. You feel every up and down of their relationship as though you are living it and despite the many hurdles, heartbreaks and utter (teenage) stupidity you want them to sort it out and be happy as you get the feeling that despite them being so young, what they have is the real deal.

The book ends with college. So from the start of high school to college in one book and there is a sequel coming in October that features the same characters in college, will this book follow them all through college as this book did high school? I don't know, but I hope so. I'm desperate to see Reed and Nolan into true adulthood and to see if their dreams (together or apart) are realised.

Cracking book from a promising Indie author.

(You just need to get through the initial chapters!!!)

5 out of 5 stars!
Count Me In - This book is a "Quickie" from Ellora's Cave which means it has a word count of app. 10,000 words. As a result it doesn't take long to read and is perfect to fit into a train journey or a lunch break (I completed the entire thing in my one hour lunch break).

I've been reading EC lines for a while and I've found the novellas and novels to be good but generally the quickies are lacking in that they are all about the sex. Great for some titillation, not so great if you actually want some substance.

This book provided both great sex and emotional attachment. In such a small about of time it has you caring about both Rick and Chelsea. It makes you want to cry at the fact this beautiful young woman is losing her life before she has truly had a chance to live it (a complete bucket list not withstanding). It makes you angry that the future you could see her having with Ricky is lost before it is found. It makes you want to applaud this young woman's bravery and makes you desperately crave a happy ever after for Ricky with someone further down the line.

Ricky is the drummer of the band Jericho and as I understand it, Jesse the front man of Jericho is our main guy in Starstruck, Paige Thomas' other offering (to date) with Ellora's Cave, and that is why I purchased both Count Me In and Starstruck together and why I'm gonna pick up my Kindle and start reading Starstruck without delay.

Count me in was well written and addictive and, in my opinion, you can't ask for much more than that in a book!
For Everly - Raine Thomas * Review copy granted in exchange for an honest review*

You should never judge a book by it's cover and it's especially true with this one. Don't let the cover put you off!

This book was a pleasure to read and I highly recommend it to any New Adult fan. It is well written, the story has a wonderful balance between normalcy and drama and it gave me lots of fluttery feels drawing me in and keeping me reading until the end. I read it in one sitting.

The first couple of chapters don't give you a good first impression of Cole - our leading man - but don't let it give you the wrong impression of him, he did something stupid but he's not stupid, he's not an asshole and - unlike the guys in alot of New Adult books - he isn't a man-whore. He is a genuinely nice guy who has genuine concerns for his career and handles it the way he feels he needs to. He cares for people, he isn't afraid of getting involved with people and he is sexy too.

Everly has had a really hard time of it in her life (I wont go into why as I don't want to spoil it) but she hasn't let it defeat her and has worked incredibly hard to achieve her goals in life. She does tend to run from things and hold herself at a distance and I don't really blame her but she does overcome this.

The relationship Everly develops with Cole is realistic. It isn't instalove and you become invested in them as a couple and can see them realistically making it in the long haul...

I've found a new author that I like and that makes it a good day for me! Will definitely look out for more from this author and highly recommend this book.

4 out of 5 stars!

More reviews at www.where-did-the-sun-go.blogspot.co.uk
No One's Angel - Kelly  Walker I don't know quite what to say about this book... It is really quite difficult to gather my thoughts and explain what I'm thinking.

I liked the book. It was a easy to read despite the heavy undertones, but I can't quite explain why I liked it.

It begins with Angel (who is on the run from her nutter of an ex-boyfriend) turning up on the door step of Arion (a lovely guy she met and grew close to online).

I liked that this book was centred around an online relationship. It may seem far-fetched and unbelievable to some people that such a strong bond can form between two people who have never actually met, but I know quite a few gamers and I've seen a close friend maintain a relationship with someone who she met via an online gaming community so I was open to the concept and I thought that it was portrayed very well.

Angel is incredibly damaged by her past and Arion... On the surface he seems to have it all together but underneath he is also damaged. He's just damaged in a different way to Angel.

Arion and Angel were likable characters but... I don't know how to explain it really beyond they were missing that special spark that made them come alive for me.
The secondary characters weren't all that fleshed out and unlike with most new adult books I'm not burning to read more about a secondary character, or more on the primary characters (Arion and Angel) either.

I guess I'd sum this book up as an enjoyable (but ultimately forgettable) read.

Still, if you are a New Adult fan wanting to get lost for an evening, give it a go. It's better than alot of the titles available in the New Adult market.

Styxx - Sherrilyn Kenyon I don't think I can describe how this book made me feel... It's also hard to say much about it without spoiling it, so I'm not going to go into the story's twists and turns (and there were alot!) Acheron was a hard book to read and man did you wanna murder Styxx in it for what he did to Ash... But then you read Styxx and you are blown away. No one knew Styxx, I don't think anyone saw this book coming. It is heartbreaking. Truly heartbreaking. He had it worse than Ash. He really truly did. I actually hated Ash in this book for what happened to Styxx and even at the end I wasn't 100% certain I wanted to forgive him, even though he deserved forgiveness. Total new perspective. Absolute must read for those who have followed these books from the beginning and for new comers to the world of the Dark-Hunters.

My only complaint (while I was reading it) would be that while reading it (on my Kindle) I was ever conscious of the fact that I was getting further and further into the book and we were still in Ancient Greece/Atlantis. I kept wanting to know when we'd hit the modern era - like in Ash's book - and see Styxx and Beth, Styxx and Ash etc in the present. It was incredibly frustrating when reading thinking that it would all be rushed and it was because I was expecting it to be like Ash's book. This isn't Ash's book and Styxx and Beth didn't need to meet and fall in love like Ash and Tory, they never stopped being in love and that was my mistake.

I would've liked more time in the present but I can't wait for a re-read now I know I don't have to worry about the amount of time in Ancient Greece taking away from Styxx's future as - with all Kenyons books - our man gets the future he deserves in the end, and it was wonderful... Even if the amount of abuse in this book makes it hard to read at times.

I can't wait to see Styxx in further releases, he totally stole my heart.

Dark Lycan (Carpathian) - Christine Feehan Loved this book! I was hooked from the very beginning and by half way through you wouldn't have been able to pry the book out my hands even if a truck hit me!

The relationship between Fen and Tatijana reminded me strongly of the relationship between Razvan and Ivory (who are one of my favourite Carpathian couples ever). Fen was totally accepting of his lifemate and never tried to dominate her and Tatijana was fiercely protective of Fen and very courageous, especially when you consider what her life was like before she was freed from the ice-caves.

This book focuses heavily on the Lycans and Lycan-Carpathian mixes, it explains a lot about the Lycan culture, beliefs and their lives and it was great to finally meet this previously elusive species…

This series just gets better and better! Honestly, I’m trying not to gibber on and on about it like a complete idiot! But…

There were plenty of updates (and involvement) from previous Carpathian couples, we got to properly meet Bronnie – Tatijana’s twin sister and I think it’s fairly obvious from this book who her lifemate is going to be, but I won’t say it here as I don’t want to spoil things for those who haven’t read it yet.

We also get to see a lot of Dimitri in this book and gain a deeper understanding as to his relationship with Skylar.

The cliff-hanger ending made me twitchy but then I remembered the next book – Dark Wolf – is out in January and therefore we don’t have too long to wait for that to be sorted out and I just know after reading the first chapter of Dark Wolf that Dimitri and Skylar’s book is going to knock the beejeezus out of me and leave me clamouring for the final book in this trilogy within the Dark Series.

The world of the Carpathians is changing and it makes me incredibly nervous… but I’m enjoying the ride regardless…

4 ½ out of 5 stars!

P.S. Chapter one of Dark Wolf was at the end of the UK Kindle edition of Dark Lycan.

I don’t know about other editions.

P.P.S. I just need to rant about one little thing that really annoys me about the newer Dark releases… The appendixes on the Carpathian language!! I’m sure some people find it interesting, but I would rather have the book end at 95-100% on the Kindle meter not at 85% with 10% of the file being that drivel… What do others think?

Headfirst Falling

Headfirst Falling - Melissa Guinn * ARC granted in exchange for a honest review*

Generally I'm a glass half full kind of person. I always try to focus on the positive, see the silver lining in every situation etc... Well, I'm sad to say the only silver lining I can see from reading this book is that I wont ever waste my time reading anything more from this author.

The synopsis looked promising, the reality was a frustrating disappointment that was a struggle to get through.

The reasons I didn't like this book?

First of all, Charlie - our leading lady - is a complete pain in the ass. She is utterly spineless, she is self-centred, judgemental and very changeable. She drowns her problems with alcohol rather than just facing life and she is completely messed up, but not in a way that makes you wish someone would help and protect her... More like in a way you want to smack her - repeatedly - with a blunt object and scream at her to get her shit together.

Jackson is damaged from his service in Iraq but he is a nice enough character, if kinda boring.

I just don't get the relationship with Jackson and Charlie. They are supposed to care for each other deeply, passionately, but I just didn't see it. I didn't get what he saw in her at all... Plus the romance took forever to actually develop! Half way through the book and things are finally (!) moving forward only for her to dump him in a fit of (selfish) hurt feelings (selfish because even though he was an ass, he had his reasons and she just completely ignores what he's going through at the time).

There are too many Fifty Shades moments... Stupid, naive, flighty inexperienced pain in the ass and her rich boyfriend in the penthouse suite. Irresistible lip biting, blah blah. Honestly by this point stubbornness was the only thing keeping me reading.

Even the external dramas (friends boyfriend acting weird, father acting weird, creepy colleague) were predictable.

Best moment was the end.

I hate giving such an appalling review but I can't recommend this book at all.

1 out of 5 stars.
Since You've Been Gone - Anouska Knight * Review Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *

The first few chapters of this book were a bit slow for me but the more the read the more I wanted to read until I couldn't put the book down! I got sucked into the lives of these characters, I became emotionally invested... I adored Holly and as for Ciaran *sighs & swoons* Lucky lady!

This book is funny, sexy, sweet, emotional... It's a perfect summer read.

I'd recommend for any "chick-lit" or romantic fiction fan. It doesn't matter if you don't usually go for Mills & Boon titles, you'd never know it was a Mills & Boon from reading it. Trust me as an occasional Mills & Boon reader ;-)

A beautiful first novel. I'll definitely read more from this author.
Afterburn - Sylvia Day This book was everything I've come to love about Sylvia Day, sharp dialogue, likable characters, scorching hot romance and sexual tension.

I really enjoyed what I read but I also found the book incredibly frustrating.

I read this book in about two hours and it wasn't because I couldn't put it down, it was because it is really short and the story is just left hanging in mid-air when it ends. I know this will be because the second part of the story - Aftershock - is released in November and it'll all be completed then but it's annoying to have to wait like that, not for a continuation of a story via another book (for example her Crossfire series) but for what is the second half of the same story! It would have been alot better (and more enjoyable) if Afterburn and Aftershock were once release.

So, I'd recommend it for fans of erotically charged romance but I'd recommend people wait until the release of Aftershock and read them together so they don't have to endure the annoying wait.

Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2)

Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2) - Colleen Hoover So this book is Hopeless but from Holders point of view. I loved Hopeless, it totally blew me away when I read it. It was the kind of book you couldn't say much about without totally spoiling the story but if you're reading Losing Hope I'd assume you've read Hopeless first as there is not much point reading it otherwise.

There is a few chapters showing the death of Holder's sister, the fight that made him move to live at his father's and Holder's journal entries written to his sister after her death. There are some scenes when Holder has met Sky that aren't in Hopeless that show his interactions with other people and these are nice as you get to know Holder better and they provide some really funny moments.

There are a few chapters set after Hopeless that ties off the loose ends from Hopeless very nicely (e.g. how Sky could ever meet Holders mother) and a wonderful WTF letter from his sister to Holder written before her suicide but these are the only differences from this book to Hopeless.

Yes, it was nice getting Holder's thoughts and feelings on everything but it wasn't necessary. Don't get me wrong! I really enjoyed this book and for any fan of Hopeless I'd say this is a must read - especially for the ending - but for anyone else this is a book that should pass you by... At least until you've read Hopeless!

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

Hopeless - Colleen Hoover The back of book blurb made me think this book would be the usual New Adult, angsty romantic drama... But it wasn't. It was something else entirely. Yes, there was teenage drama and angst, butterflies and romance... But there was more. So much more. The drama in this book is very real and serious, not crossed wires and insecurities but proper freakin' drama.

I can't really go into much about this without spoiling the story but I can say the first 15% (Kindle) of the book was enjoyable and intriging but nothing remarkable but it builds and it builds until you can't stop reading.
Seriously, it was a total emotional rollercoaster. I couldn't have put it down if my house was burning around me come about half way in.

I started off a bit "meh", then I went "hmmm", then "aww", then "huh?" Then "OMG!" Then "I knew it!" Then "OMG!!" Then "awww" Then "OMFG!"
That might not make much sense but this book was such an amazing journey reading it without knowing anything much more than the book blurb so I'm just going to say read it!

Seriously, it really is an amazing read, totally lives up to it's "No.1 NY Times bestseller" hype.

5 out of 5 stars!!

P.s You might not want to read this anytime near bed. I finished it at 1am and was still buzzing about it all at 2...

Too Fast

Too Fast - Alexia Haynes * Review copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *

*Minor spoilers in review*

This is the authors first novel and I have to say that I liked it. I liked her writing style, I enjoyed the story and it was a quick and easy read.

Luke and Savannah are only twenty and have had to deal with a lot. Luke has to take care of his mentally ill mother and Savannah is working 2 jobs to put herself trough collage while avoiding her man jumping overbearing mother.

Like the title suggests they fall in love too fast but I can understand the need for comfort and escape they both find in each other.

There is a lot of sex in this book. Probably more so than in most New Adult titles and while the sex in itself didn't bother me, thesituations they had sex in did at times (hello! 15 year old sister in shower attached to the room!)

I believe this is book one in what will be a series of books based on the secondary characters in this book and I'll definitely look forward to reading the next one.

If you like Abbi Glines, I'd say you'd probably like Alexia Haynes.

4 out of 5 stars

(I'd would've been 3.5 stars but most rating systems wont log halves so I rounded up)
Louder Than Love - Jessica Topper ARC granted by netgalley in exchange for a honest review

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but whatever I was expecting this wasn't it. This book is heavy. It's definitely not a light-hearted romantic read with a sad backstory. It's a bit of a serious read and if you had asked me what I thought of this book sometime during reading the first 1/3rd I would have struggled to say something nice. For me this book is a really slow starter and I found it.. Well incredibly dull - initially.

Katrina is a boring character and in all honesty she doesn't really get anymore exciting as the book goes on... She doesn't need to work, her friends are a bit blah and her days are spent doing nothing except raising her daughter. I have a son, I know the stuff kids get up to so you'd think there would be some entertainment value there, yes? Nope, not really, her daughter Abbey is sweet and quirky but not enough to alleviate boredom... Adrian comes into the picture quite early and while they make a nice couple, make you smile, you don't feel any deep connection or sparks between them for quite some time (despite them getting together quite early).

The book only starts to get interesting when Adrian starts opening up about his past. Maybe it's because of the metal-head in me but I loved the story of the rise and fall of his heavy metal band, regardless of them being fictional.

Adrian, in general, I liked as a character, he was interesting. He'd done many stupid things but he had moved on and learned from them. Adrian is British and the only thing that I didn't like about Adrian was all the British-speak. I guess to some it will add a certain something to the character, but I am British and it just annoyed me. Yes, we Brits say "bloody" and "love" a lot (along with many others) but the amount of times such words were used was bloody annoying. Geezer was another word that flipped my bic... Honestly, I've lived with a Londoner for 10 years and I struggle to recall a time when he has actually said this word to describe, or refer, to someone... I mean Adrian has lived in New York for 10 years! He wouldn't still speak like he was shootin the breeze with his buddies down Camden market!


As I said, the book really starts to get interesting about a 1/3rd of the way in and by the time you reach 2/3rds in you are hooked. The relationship between Adrian and Kat develops nicely and you can actually see a long-term future.

This book is told from Kats POV and I never would've made it to the end - will to live intact - if it wasn't for Adrian and Corroded Corpse. They stole the show for me.

I guess I would recommend this book as it really does get better the further in you go but I wouldn't say it's a must read.

3 out of 5 stars
Sometimes Never - Cheryl McIntyre What a wonderful book! Seriously, I loved this. I adored Hope & Mason, I adored the supporting characters. It was sweet, funny and sexy but it also dealt with a serious issue - self harm.

Hope is 17 (almost 18). She had an appalling childhood thanks to her useless, neglectful, alcholic mother who died in a car crash a few years before the book begins. As a result of her mothers neglect (and sexual abuse at the hands of one of her mothers boyfriends) Hope has issues and she uses self-harm as a coping mechanism.

I liked Hope in general. She is snarky (okay, bitchy) she's funny, she cares deeply about people (even if she doesn't want to) but she is also a bit self-absorbed (and as a result a bit selfish).

Mason has just turned 18. His father died 6 years before the book begins and ever since his death his mother has moved him, and his younger brother, from town to town, state to state with alarming frequency. Mason is a generally a happy guy. He cares about people and is pretty together (except for wanting to hit things when something pisses him off).

It's pretty much love at first sight for Mason when he meets Hope. Normally insta-love bugs my nut something fierce but it didn't in this book. Mason is instantly drawn to Hope but they don't get instantly together. They come together slowly. Hope has a (sort of) boyfriend (Park) that has to be removed from the picture. (Poor Park, I felt so bad for him...) She has issues that Mason has to work around but he is persistent. He is sweet. He is gorgeous and he wins you over along with Hope.

It's not smooth sailing for them. Hope is self-destructive but due to the support and kindness of Mason and her amazing collection of friends and foster-siblings she reaches a point where she wants help and seeks help to overcome her self-harm. This book is real in that there is no quick fix for Hope's self-harming, you know the road will be long but you're left confident that she will - eventually - reach a point where she no longer needs it.

There is also an epilogue to finish it off... Man, I LOVE epilogues!! This epilogue is set 4/5 years in the future and I love the glimpse into their lives. I love how everything works out and they get a - realistic - Happy Ever After.

I demolished this book in under a day, I couldn't stop reading it so I definitely recommend for all New Adult fans, or (older) Young Adult fans!

4 out of 5 stars!

Dead Sexy Dragon - Lolita Lopez This book was brought to my attention via netgalley. I'd never heard of this author before so I had no idea what to expect from this book, but the synopsis looked like it would be good, the cover was hot and since it is a short story (25,000 words) it wouldn't take too long to read and by the end I'd have a feel for the author and whether or not I'd want to read anything more by her.

After reading this I can say the author writes sexy well and this short story has me curious for more in this series but this story - Dead Sexy Dragon - was a bit of a hit/miss for me.

I liked the idea of paranormal romance focusing on Dragons rather than the usual vampires, werewolves and witches. I enjoyed the world set up and the sex was hot but the main characters - Stig and Cora - were a bit lacking for me.

Cora basically turns up on Stigs doorstep having got in trouble was the law (and some thugs) for making some truly stupid decisions and I just couldn't relate to anything about her and her personal story just didn't generate any feeling in me. She was supposed to be in horrible danger from very bad men but I didn't feel the peril, I didn't feel her years worth of longing for Stig... I just didn't get any feels.

It was the same with Stig. You don't really get any information about him beyond some dragon lore. We don't know anything about what he wants from his very long life, what he has had to endure, why he fights... Just not enough info to create any feeling.

I think the main issue is that it is a short story. It's 25,000 words. Around 100 pages long. There just isn't enough time to beef up the histories of characters, build a world, make you care about the characters, dislike their enemies and weave an exciting tale... A bit on an odd decision to launch a series when a full length novel would have perhaps been better?

Anyway, I'll read the next book in the series - Red Hot Dragon - due for release in October and I'll decide from there whether or not this series is one I want to follow or not. I'm certainly intrigued and hopeful.

3 out of 5 stars.

Blackbird (Sometimes Never, #1.5)

Blackbird - Cheryl McIntyre This novella basically fills in the blanks as to how Hope and Mason get from where they were at the last chapter of Sometimes Never and where they are in the epilogue.

It's nice seeing more of Hope and Mason and it has a lot more sex than Sometimes Never.

I really enjoyed seeing more of Hope and Mason. I enjoyed their interaction, I enjoyed seeing how Hope started to bring Mason's mum around to the idea that they are together and staying together. I loved seeing Mason's proposal to Hope but it's not necessary to read this book in order to know that things work out for Hope and Mason as you already know that from reading Sometimes Never. I just shows you a little of what they went through to get there.

I's say definately read it if you enjoyed Sometimes Never! Especially since this book was free to download for Kindle (I don't know about other platforms). There is nothing to lose and a few hour happy reading to gain! However, I'd recommend you don't read this if you haven't read Sometimes Never, it definately isn't a standalone - read Sometimes Never first! :-)