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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!
Heavy Metal - Natalie J. Damschroder ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This book is book 2 in the Goddesses Rising Trilogy and it is set 3 years after the events in book one - Under the Moon.

The events in this book are heavily entwined with the events in Under the Moon, they are in fact almost a direct consequence of the events in book one. As a result it features almost an exact cast of characters with the addition of Riley. Despite this, you don't need to have read Under the Moon to pick up and enjoy Heavy Metal - but you'll probably enjoy it more if you have read it.

* From this point on the review features minor spoilers from book one so if you haven't yet read it yet... *

I said in my review for Under the Moon that it held my attention but it wasn't like I couldn't put it down. The exact opposite was true for Heavy Metal. I was hooked from the beginning and I read it in a day.

The story is fast paced and it builds on the world of the Goddesses, the society and the Protectorate as well as giving you a conclusion to the events in Under The Moon (e.g. Quinn and the Leeched Goddesses) as well as giving Sam his own happy for now / happy ever after after losing Quinn in Under The Moon.

I loved Sam in Under the Moon for many reasons but the main reason was probably that he is man who prefers to use his brain before his brawn. That's not to say he is incapable of fighting but he thinks first, then acts and it is incredibly sexy. This holds true in Heavy Metal. Sam is still Sam. Losing Quinn, in Under the Moon, has left his mark on him. He isn't angry or bitter, he's just lost his purpose.

Riley is young (23ish) and she's undecided on whether the Goddesses are myths or con-artists up until her own abilities develop and she is left questioning everything she thought she knew. She has lost everything and is being hunted. She is scared and confused and goes to Sam hoping to find answers. Initially she seems incredibly timid and fragile but as the story progresses she shows she has an inner strength as strong as steel... Much like medium she draws power through.

Riley gives Sam a renewed sense of purpose and Sam gives Riley the confidence she needs to become all she can be. It's not instalove between them but they do fall fast and hard.

As I said before, plot threads from Under the Moon are wrapped up in this book and new ones are created. I assume the unanswered questions from Heavy Metal will be wrapped up in December when book 3 (Sunroper) is released.

All in all, I liked it better than book one and I'm left excited for book 3.

4 out of 5 stars.
Gwynneth Ever After - Linda Poitevin * Review Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for a honest review *

I believe this story is a self-published novel (although I could be wrong) and it is very well written. Unlike alot of self-pub's it is not full of spelling and grammatical errors and the story flows beautifully. The main characters are well developed and after the first couple of chapters you are utterly enchanted and absorbed into the life of Gwyn.

This is what I'd call a "grown up" romance.
Gwyn - our leading lady - is a 35 year old single mother of 3.
Gareth is a 42 year old Hollywood star.
They meet by chance at a theatre, in a small town somewhere in Canada, and the relationship develops from there.

The relationship between the two is very sweet and despite Gareth being a Hollywood superstar it is believable. It feels real. It's warm, homey, and generally very domestic but not at all boring.

I really liked and respected both Gwyn and Gareth and from the very beginning you are hoping they will get together and that they'll be happy... There are ups and downs but in the end you are not left disappointed.
The last two chapters of this book were a little bit daft. They read like the grand finale of a film were the cast gather for the big hurrah... But I read them with a huge grin on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling wrapped around me cause the book was awesome and the ending was simply perfect.
My only complaint? No epilogue. I really do love epilogues but you can't have everything :)

5 out of 5 stars
Deeper - Blue Ashcroft ** Review contains some spoilers **

This book isn't a sexy read and it's not a funny read, it's really quite a serious read.

Both Knight and Rain are emotionally damaged from events in their pasts.

Knight blames himself for the fact his girlfriend killed herself after being raped one night at a party (which he had left early due to an argument with her). As a result he is incredibly overprotective and paranoid. He hasn't let himself get close to a girl (beyond the occasional hook-up) since but is drawn to Rain the minute he sees her. He is very sweet but we don't get to really know him. We find out about what damaged him and we know he is a lifeguard but nothing of his life outside of being a lifeguard and the tragic events of his late teens. I'd have liked to know more.

Rain is emotionally closed off from everyone. She vowed never to fall in love and to never have sex after the death of her "boyfriend" in a waterpark accident, that she was a part of but survived. Her vow was basically made to punish herself for surviving when her "boyfriend" did not. Why do I keep writing "boyfriend" instead of boyfriend? I'm doing it because they weren't actually a couple. They hadn't been dating. She only agreed to go out with him moments before the accident. I get the survivors guilt but I thought her vow was just utterly ridiculous and denying herself (and Knight) any kind of happiness because of it made the book incredibly frustrating at times. Rain also comes across as an incredibly boring person, but despite this you still kind of like her. As with Knight I wish we got to know a bit more about her... Her family, her past (outside the accident), her hopes for the future...

Almost all of this book is based in and the swimming pool and if it's not a swimming pool it's the ocean. It was an interesting setting, different to what I'd read about before but after a while I got annoyed with the constant pool and lifeguard talk and in the end wished the author had spent more of her word count on Knight and Rain and less on the pool.

One thing about this book that I REALLY didn't like was the rape theme. Rape and sexual violence is a major issue in the world today but the majority of people you meet are good people (or at least not bad people ready to attack anything in skirts at the slightest opportunity).

This book really did make almost every man seem like a sexual creeper or rapist. There are several sexual assault/ attempted rape like situations and a couple of actual sexual assaults. There is an incident at the pool with a paedophile. It was too much to be realistic and honestly, I didn't like how the women were always victims and, almost, all men sexual deviants when it's just not true in real-life.

Overall, I'd say this is a good first novel from a new indie writer.

I did like this book, it was enjoyable but I just couldn't like it as much as I wanted to.

I hope there is another Knight and Rain novel in the future. I'd definitely read it as I'd like to see how their relationship develops and to see them get a proper HEA with both their issues firmly in the past.

Recommended for New Adult fans.

3 out of 5 stars

Oh!! I'd also like to quickly say there is some bots in the book that really needed better proof reading. In one scene Rain tells a lifeguard - Dan - to get in the pool to demonstrate a technique and during the scene Dan becomes Nate.

In another scene Rain is checking PH levels with the real Nate but during that scene Nate is called Patrick...

Confusing and slightly irritating but not enough to lower my opinion or stop me reading it again in the future :-)

Dangerous - Jacquelyn Frank It is not going to be possible to go into much detail on this story without getting spoilery but I’ve tried to get across what I thought without giving too much away.

I’m not sure if this book is supposed to be set in the future or present day in an alternate time-line of our world.

The basic premise of the story is that there are two races on our planet. Humans and Morphates. You find out what Morphates are about three chapters into the book but basically they were created by a mad scientist experimenting on people in an attempt to develop a cure to aging. The two races do not get along (bit of an understatement).

The book begins with a security firm (part owned by Liam Nash) being hired to protect the reclusive Devon Candler.

First impressions of Liam are that he is no-nonsense, straight talking, highly skilled, has a strong code of ethics and is a consummate professional… However, the minute this consummate professional meets Devon Candler he is consumed by lust and his unshakable code of ethics seems to slowly burn up in the heat between the two characters until it is no longer in existence.

Sounds like it would be enjoyable watching the burn, yes? Well it wasn’t. I just didn’t feel anything between these characters beyond lust, truly I was sick of reading how sexy and alluring Devon/Liam was by a third of the way through. How dangerous.

The book was well written (in terms of the language used by the writer – the turn of phrase) but, in my opinion, the pacing was off. The premise of the story was good and I know that the first book in any series has to set the scene and build a world but I felt the story was too bogged down in some areas and too stingy with the info in others. I just didn’t really care about the characters, I could not have cared less whether Devon Candler lived or died…

I really struggled to finish this book, I couldn’t get lost in it and I felt like I’d been reading it forever therefore I’d need a lot of persuasion to read any more books in this series… Although second (and subsequent) books tend to be less bogged down in details, so I’ll never say never.

I’d say if you like futuristic/Sci-Fi with romantic elements or paranormal romance then give it a go, it wasn’t awful, I just didn’t feel this one.

2 out of 5 stars.

Losing It (Losing It, #1)

Losing It - Cora Carmack I read this book in one reading session. I just couldn’t put it down.

I liked Bliss. She is clumsy and she gibbers unbelievable amounts of nonsense which makes for an entertaining – and at times hilariously cringe-worthy – read.

Garrick is… Oh my. He is gorgeous and sweet and patient and simply wonderful. He is also British which seems to be a big thing since Bliss is fixated on it… Being British I don’t get the fascination with the accent but * shrugs * to each their own

The relationship between the two is real. There are no insane dramas, disturbing pasts, major explosions, deep dark secrets… Don’t think I’m saying this story is boring – it’s not – I just mean that this story is simply a story about two people meeting and falling in love and it’s wonderful.

This is the second book I have read by this author and I really like her. She writes nice guys and makes them sexy. It’s a nice change from the norm in the New Adult genre which seems to feature a lot of “man-whores” being reformed by their “special ladies”…

I’ll definitely be reading “Keeping Her” the Garrick and Bliss novella that is coming soon and anything else this author releases.

4 out of 5 stars!

Just for Now (Sea Breeze, #4)

Just for Now (Sea Breeze, #4) - Abbi Glines I was really looking forward to this book. Preston had been the character that interested me the most out of the group of friends this series focuses on and I'd liked Amanda since book 1.

Amanda is Marcus' little sister. She is in love with Marcus' best friend Preston.

Preston has a new woman every night in his personal life (total man-whore) and then you find out what his job is and you realise "man-whore" is actually a literal description. You meet his mother who is complete scum and your heart breaks for his 3 much younger siblings... Preston is not perfect by a long shot but your heart simply breaks for him, the choices he makes and the reasons he does what he does...

However, It doesn't excuse the fact he can sleep with someone and completely forget about it!!!

Oh, sorry, think it was a dream... Okay, he's devastated when he realises it wasn't a dream but it still doesn't make up for it.

Amanda is young and naive.

She wants Preston and she gets him just not the way she wants him... In all fairness I don't think anyone in her right mind would be happy with losing their virginity on a wooden box in a shed and then having the guy get off you and leave without a word... What I don't understand is how that experience didn’t turn her completely off him! So what he's beautiful? He isn’t even nice to her! Does she have no self-respect?

As the story goes on Preston changes and the relationship grows and you can accept it...

Amanda’s reaction to Preston’s "job" is understandable. Her taking him back once everything unfolds and his job changes to a normal one is also understandable... But the ending left me with no way to envision a happy future for them and that made me sad. It's totally unsatisfying and I don't like that the sacrifices Preston made for his siblings will forever make him tainted and unworthy in the eyes of Amanda's mother (possibly brother? Who knows as Marcus isn't privy to the scandal).

What I do like is how Preston’s friends rally for him in this book. I love how Rock and Trisha get the family they desire and those poor children will get a stable home and unconditional love not just from their big brother but from parents...

I really hope as this series progresses we get some more closure on this but - since the next book is Cage and Eva book 2 and the one after that is Jason Stone - I doubt it. So after looking forward to reading this, I was left disapointed.

2 out of 5 stars.

While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3)

While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3) - Abbi Glines Cage is a complicated character. He's had an awful childhood which has left its mark (although we don't really get told much about his childhood). His usual routine is to use and discard women, with the exception of Low - his best friend.

In this book we know he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol... but we don't know the circumstances around it. We don't know the court’s decision/penalties. We just know he isn't allowed to drive and is in danger of losing his scholarship at college... What he is studying is anyone's guess. What he wants to do in life is also anyone's guess. There is no fleshing out of his character.

Eva is a wonderful character. She is so hurt and lost after the death of her fiancé... Eighteen months have passed from his death and she hasn't been able to move on. Her anger towards Cage in the beginning is believable. Her growing attraction to him and the way she opens up to him are well done and her hesitance and confusion are all understandable and relatable. BUT we don't know much about her. Does she go to college? Does she work? What does she want in the future? Marriage? Babies? To be a professional musician? No fleshing out!!

The relationship between them is sweet and sexy and develops in a way which is completely believable... The ending is particularly sweet.

I also liked the update on Marcus & Low and seeing the other characters (Preston, Rock etc.) again.

3 out of 5 stars.

Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1)

Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1) - Abbi Glines The characters: Sadie is a likeable character, the supporting cast of characters (especially Marcus) are wonderful and Jax is yummy... even if he is a bit arrogant. However, none of them are all that fleshed out.

The story is easy to read and if you suspend reality it is enjoyable enough. BUT that was the problem, you had to suspend reality. Jax is a hot shot teen rock star. Sadie is a teen nobody with a truly useless mother. I can believe the problems and drama in this book that results from the pairing... I just can't believe the pairing itself. They go from a couple of brief meetings to "can't breathe without you" love. They are supposed to be madly in love but you just don’t really feel the love... Sadie gives her virginity to Jax and the next day (due to media related drama) Jax is gone. Relationship over. Yeah - that’s love....

Of course they end up together in the end but even that was annoying in its way. Not them getting back together, but Jax's refusal to let Sadie make up her own mind on how to finish her education. He wants her to have a normal high school experience... He never went to high school! He was busy being a rock star. Sadie just wants him, not a high school experience but apparently this isn’t her decision to make it’s his...

Don't get me wrong. I liked the book more than I disliked it, I just think it could've been so much better as what I've come to associate with Abbi Glines (strong emotional connections, red hot sex and heart-fluttery drama) just wasn't there...

2 out of 5 stars.

Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2)

Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2) - Abbi Glines This book focuses on Marcus - Sadie's friend and colleague - from Breathe.

Marcus is a lovely character. A really nice, sexy guy who isn't an ass or a man-whore - a bit of a rarity in an Abbi Glines novel!
(Not that I'm complaining about the man-whore asses, they usually come good in the end...)

Willow is a nice girl who has a lot to deal with... her relationship with Cage is weird but believable. I understood her trust issues and despite the fact she seems incapable of dealing with a crisis without running to Cage I still felt she was a strong character.

The relationship between Marcus and Low moves fast - but not fast enough. It was very sweet but not steamy...

The interconnected family drama was obvious after a bit... You felt so sad for both Marcus and Low when it finally erupted.

I liked how they worked things out but I didn't like that you didn't get to see them happily existing as a couple as the book just ends!

I liked the glimpses of other characters in this book and I like how we got a glimpse of Sadie and Jax. It's nice to know that they are making it work and that Marcus and Sadie stay friends as he was so good to her in Breathe.

Overall a better book than book 1 in the series but still not great.

3 out of 5 stars.
Faking It - Cora Carmack I’d never read a Cora Carmack book before decided to read her Novel “Faking It”. I thought it sounded interesting and I wanted to broaden my list of authors I read in the New Adult category so I gave it go... And I wasn’t disappointed as this book was great.

I read it in 6 hours. It was completely engrossing.

I hadn’t read the first book in this series – Losing It – but it wasn’t a problem as everything I needed to know about the character crossover is taken care of in Faking It.
The story focuses on singer Mac and acting student Cade (who was the character in Losing It). Cade is nursing a broken heart from the events in Losing it (the girl he was in love with, from a distance, falling in love and getting together with someone else) and Mac who has all kinds of issues one of which is her parents…

The story was sweet, touching, funny and sexy. You really felt for the characters and are routing for them from the get go. My only complaint would be that it wasn’t long enough! I wanted more Mac and Cade!

I’ll definitely go back now and read Losing It and hopefully there will be more books about the secondary characters in this novel… Spence (Mac’s bandmate) maybe?
Keeping Her - Cora Carmack So this book continues on from Losing It, Garrick and Bliss are engaged and are headed to London for Bliss to meet Garrick's family. Just like Losing It, Bliss is clumsy, dippy and generally really quite amusing and Garrick is as tolerant and sweet as ever. They really are an adorable couple.

While I enjoyed reading a bit more about Garrick and Bliss, and it really did make me laugh, a part of me once I'd finished was like "what was the point of this?" Especially when I'm reading away and my Kindle says 74% and suddenly Keeping Her is finished and the rest of the "book" is an excerpt from the next release Finding it (which is about Bliss' friend Kelsey). Just a little bit annoying.

I'd recommend you read this if you are a Garrick & Bliss fan and you need something to do for a couple of hours. Other than that you could safely skip it and not really be missing out on anything.
Frigid - J Lynn I devoured this book - like all J. Lynn / Jennifer L. Armentrout books - I devoured it in under a day.

The story was simple and focused on the relationship between Sydney and Kyler and not much of anything else...

I enjoyed it, but I have to say, I don't think it's one of her best.

Like you would expect from this author there were sweet moments, some funny moments, some sexy moments and some heart fluttery moments but something was just... missing. I just didn't care for the characters the way I usually do. I didn't feel the love between them and so I can only give this book 3 out of 5 stars, which makes me sad :-(

I definately recommend this author though - writing both as J. Lynn and Jennifer L. Armentrout - I'd just say if you are new to her work you perhaps would like to start with a different book... Wait For You perhaps?
Complete Me: A Novel - J. Kenner I stumbled across the author J. Kenner by chance in June. She was a random advert on my Facebook page. I read the synopsis and the excerpts of the first two books in the Stark Trilogy and was intrigued. So I purchased book one – Release Me – and devoured it in a day. I immediately purchased book 2 – Claim Me - and devoured that in a single day. The ending of book two left me needing book 3 and I had never been so glad that I stumbled across a series of books late, as in this case it left me only 6 weeks to wait on the final instalment… BUT! I didn’t need to wait 6 weeks on the final instalment as the lovely publisher granted me an ARC! I was so happy! And this book did not disappoint. It was quite simply wonderful.

* This review contains minor spoilers *

Claim Me begins the night before Damian’s trial begins, 3 weeks after the end of Claim Me. It is wonderfully written, you really feel Nicki’s pain, anger, frustration, fear, despair and her desperate longing for it all to go away, for Damien to be safe, for her future with Damien... As I read I felt like I was Nicki. I wanted to cling to Damien and never let go, I wanted to run away, I wanted to kick, to scream to smack Damien upside the head… I hated him for being so stubborn and I loved him for holding fast to who he was when it would have been easier to bow to the pressure of others to take his route to salvation… I often put myself in a characters shoes when reading a book but with Nicki I was jammed into her shoes the minute I started reading and I couldn’t pull back if I wanted too. An author that can do that to her reader has a true gift.

Once of my concerns before I started reading the book was that the trial would dominate the story, but it doesn’t. The trial is wrapped up before you are even a quarter of the way through and the lead up to the trial is dominated by Nicki and Damien’s relationship.

The manner in which the trial is ended (and later threats towards Nicki) provide a nice little bit of mystery that keeps the book moving along nicely and is are beautifully wrapped up in the last few chapters.

The relationship of Damien and Nicki throughout the book is as intense and sexual as in the first two novels. I’d actually say the sex was hotter in this book than in the first two of the trilogy.
I REALLY want to comment on the ending but it really would be too much of a spoiler to give any kind of detail so I’ll just say that I am glad it ended the way it did as it was the only way I could see them both living their lives together truly free.

I just wish there was an epilogue! I love seeing what becomes of characters a few years down the line... but oh well, you can’t have everything!

Starstruck - Paige Thomas I read this straight on the heels of Count Me In (which I thought was great) and so was really looking forward to another great story featuring Jerico - now one of my favourite fictional rock bands - and I wasn't disappointed.

This story has it all, great sex, sweet romance, drama, mystery and some paranormal elements... I really couldn't have asked for more! At no point did my mind begin to drift while reading this story, a few chapters in and I was hooked.

Paige Thomas has a wonderful way of writing, of turning a phrase, and it really makes her work a pleasure to read. Even when a situation isn't funny the way it is worded can make you smirk and snort with humour.

I loved the interactions between Sam and Jesse, I loved that they were simply meant to be and that they got their happy ending. I was thrilled to see Rick get happiness too as he was a cracking character in this book... I'd like to see more Rick though - hint hint with a dash of begging to the book gods!!

A must read if you like your romance with an extra splash of sexy!

5 out of 5 stars!

Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella Quickie Review:

This has to have been the least enjoyable Sophie Kinsella book I have ever read.

The novel focuses on Lottie who splits with the love of her life at the start of the novel because he doesn’t want to marry her and before you know it within a month she is madly in love with someone else and has married her ex...

Her elder sister - Fliss - is a more likeable character than Lottie and has a nice romance brewing throughout the story which is far more intriguing than Lottie and her men but unfortunately this is overshadowed by the fact the Fliss is an interfering pain in the ass.

Basically I just wanted to slap Lottie, tell Fliss to butt out - in not very polite terms - and generally just didn't care what happened to Lottie or her men at all.

The only reason I class this book as ok instead of not liking it at all is because there were a few funny moments and the secondary story of Fliss and Lorcan.


Obsession - Jennifer L. Armentrout Quickie Review:

This is an ADULT novel set in the world of the Luxen, Jennifer Armentrouts YA series and it really isn't suitable for young readers as this book is HOT!

I loved this book! From the first chapter it captures you and refuses to let you go until the end.

It is full of snark and banter between the main characters. Both Hunter (who is Arum) and Serena are likeable and the relationship between the two of them is very sweet and very hot!

I LOVED how we got a different perspective in these books than in the Lux novels... In the world of the Luxen, the Arum are totally evil and in this book you realise that they are not... Okay, they are bad but not all are evil just as it shows that not all Luxen are good. It makes the point that in a war those on either side of the war think they are correct in their actions and the only people truly innocent tend to be those caught in the middle (and who generally pay the higher price for the actions of others).

I liked learning more about the Arum, what they can do and what they are capable of, and why they have to do it. I liked the cameos from characters we have met in the Lux (YA) series and while this book is a standalone adult companion novel I can't help but wonder if Jennifer L Armentrout is setting up a possible spin off or if she is just dropping some hints as to the direction of Origin and the fifth (and final) Lux novel...

All in all, thoroughly enjoyable and well worth the money - and the time - to rea