ARC Review – ‘Diffraction’ by Jess Anastasi

Title:  Diffraction
Author: Jess Anastasi
Genre: Romance, Science-Fiction
Date of Publication: 2nd January, 2017
Page Count: 352 pages (Kindle edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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After his unusual reaction to a weapon, Commando Varean Donnelly is accused of being a shape-shifting alien and imprisoned onboard the Imojenna. Sure, he has abilities he keeps hidden from everyone—including the gorgeous doc examining him—because the government makes sure people as different as him disappear. For good.

Imojenna doctor Kira Sasaki knows there’s something different about the handsome commando the captain’s thrown in their brig. She doesn’t think he’s Reidar, although he might have been a victim of their cruel experiments. But when Kira learns the stubborn commando’s racial make-up, she finds herself torn between defending him to Captain Rian Sherron and his crew or urging Varean to escape while he still can.

Well, I suppose my lucky streak with ARCs had to end eventually…honestly, this was a struggle to get through. I didn’t expect to have as much trouble as I did finishing this one because the synopsis hit my sweet spot – a feisty lady doctor wrangling the bad news commando sounded right up my alley. Plus I like sci-fi romance, which is a sub-genre I don’t often get to read, so I was looking forward to this story, but was ultimately quite let down.

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OwlCrate December 2016 – ‘Epic’

OwlCrate is a monthly book subscription service that provides you with a newly released Young Adult novel plus other bookish extras, such as jewelry & accessories, bookmarks, stickers & prints, toys, etc.

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OwlCrate
Cost: $29.99 USD monthly, $86.98 for 3 months or $167.94 for 6 months.
Shipping Costs: $6.99 to US, $10.59 to Canada and $19.99 internationally.
Payment Method: Debit and Credit Cards.
Mailed Out: around the 20th of each month.

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ARC Review – ‘Something In The Wine’ by Jae

Title:  Something In The Wine
Author: Jae
Genre:  LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
Date of Publication: 31st December, 2016 (first published 27th October, 2012)
Page Count: 347 pages (Kindle edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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This is a second, revised edition of Jae’s award-winning lesbian romance Something in the Wine. It includes the sexy follow-up short story “Seduction for Beginners” as a bonus.

All her life, Annie Prideaux has suffered through her brother’s constant practical jokes. But Jake’s last joke is one too many, she decides when he sets her up on a blind date with his friend Drew—neglecting to tell his straight sister one tiny detail: her date is not a man, but a lesbian.

Annie and Drew decide it’s time to turn the tables on Jake by pretending to fall in love with each other.

At first glance, they have nothing in common. Disillusioned with love, Annie focuses on books, her cat, and her work as an accountant while Drew, more confident and outgoing, owns a dog and spends most of her time working in her beloved vineyard.

Only their common goal to take revenge on Jake unites them. But what starts as a table-turning game soon turns Annie’s and Drew’s lives upside down as the lines between pretending and reality begin to blur.

Something in the Wine is a story about love, friendship, and coming to terms with what it means to be yourself.

I’m having very good luck with my lesbian romances, this makes two in a row that I’ve really enjoyed! I have to admit that my reason for requesting this was slightly narcissistic – my name is Annie, and much like the character, I’m very introverted, socially awkward and prefer books & cats over clubbing & parties! So this story was excellent wish-fulfillment for me, it was so satisfying reading about Drew falling for and wooing a character I identified so strongly with. 😀

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Book Lover Mystery Box – December 2016

The Book Lover Mystery Box provides you with a minimum of 2 romance novels (occasionally up to 4) – depending on the number of books in the box, bookish extras such as candles, bookmarks, jewelry, etc. may also be included.

Book Lover Mystery Box
Cost: $29.99 AUD for the one-off purchase box
Shipping Costs: Free within Australia (varies to other countries).
Payment Method: Credit Card or Paypal.
Mailed Out: the first week of the month

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I received a notification that my box was shipped on Friday the 2nd of December and it arrived the following Friday the 9th.

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Review – ‘Requiem For Immortals’ by Lee Winter

Title:  Requiem For Immortals
Author: Lee Winter
Genre:  LGBT, Mystery/Thriller, Romance
Date of Publication: 3rd August, 2016
Page Count: 284 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Professional cellist Natalya Tsvetnenko moves seamlessly among the elite where she fills the souls of symphony patrons with beauty even as she takes the lives of the corrupt of Australia’s ruthless underworld. The cold, exacting assassin is hired to kill a woman who seems so innocent that Natalya can’t understand why anyone would want her dead. As she gets to know her target, she can’t work out why she even cares.

Length: 80,000 words
Themes: assassin · Australia · awakening · cellist · crime · homicide · lesbian · lesbian thriller · Melbourne · murder · music · police

I really enjoyed this one! I recognize that it has its flaws, but the intriguing characters and unpredictable plot hooked me in and engendered so much goodwill, I couldn’t help but overlook any weaknesses. This is definitely a case of ‘Your Mileage May Vary’, but in my case, assassins falling in love with their marks is like catnip, I loooove that trope and this story pulled it off quite well, imo! 😀

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Geek {Chic} Monthly – November 2016: Harry Potter Box Review & Giveaway!

Geek {Chic} Monthly provides you with 4 – 5 fandom-inspired merchandise, all matching the month’s chosen fandom/theme. In addition to jewelry, you may also receive other goodies such as decals, stickers, coin purses, tea tins and cord organizers.

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Geek {Chic} Monthly
Cost: $15.00 USD per month.
Shipping Costs: $3.00 to the US / $10.00 to Canada / $15.00 to the rest of the world.
Payment Method: Credit Card.
Mailed Out: by the 15th of each month.
**Note: this subscription auto-renews and you are billed on the 15th of each month**

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ARC Review – ‘More Than Friends’ by Jody Holford

Title:  More Than Friends
Author: Jody Holford
Genre:  Romance, Contemporary
Date of Publication: 5th December, 2016
Page Count: 166 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Owen Burnett planned on a quiet, easygoing Christmas, hanging out with his best friend and neighbor, Gabby Michaelson. So when his mom pressures him to come home for the holidays, he tells a little white lie…that he’s spending the holidays with his new girlfriend. But when his family shows up unexpectedly, Owen pulls the best friend card and asks Gabby to play his fake girlfriend.

Gabby’s been hopelessly in love with her best friend Owen for what feels like forever, but playing his “fake” girlfriend when the entire boisterous Burnett clan visits is easier said than done. The more she tries to deny the attraction between them, the more obvious their chemistry becomes. But even though she’s not the only one feeling it, putting their friendship on the line is a risk she can’t take.

All the tropey goodness: pretend girlfriend, platonic pals sharing a bed (cue sexual tension), friends-to-lovers, playing happy families over the Christmas holidays! While predictable, I found this to be a cute read that helped while away the time I spend on public transport and will be entertaining to readers who aren’t expecting it to reinvent the wheel and be anything other than pleasantly predictable. The characters are likable and although I didn’t have my heart and soul invested in the outcome, I was still pleased with the inevitable happy ending.

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Review – ‘Burning Bright’ by Melissa McShane

Title: Burning Bright
Authors: Melissa McShane
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Date of Publication: 15th August, 2016
Page Count: 318 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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In 1812, Elinor Pembroke wakes to find her bedchamber in flames—and extinguishes them with a thought. At 21, she is old to manifest magical talent, but the evidence is unmistakable: she not only has the ability to start fires, but the far more powerful ability to control and extinguish them. She is an Extraordinary, and the only one in England capable of wielding fire in over one hundred years.

As an Extraordinary, she is respected and feared, but to her father, she represents power and prestige for himself. Mr. Pembroke, having spent his life studying magic, is determined to control Elinor and her talent by forcing her to marry where he chooses, a marriage that will produce even more powerful offspring. Trapped between the choices of a loveless marriage or living penniless and dependent on her parents, Elinor takes a third path: she defies tradition and society to join the Royal Navy.

Assigned to serve under Captain Miles Ramsay aboard the frigate Athena, she turns her fiery talent on England’s enemies, French privateers and vicious pirates preying on English ships in the Caribbean. At first feared by her shipmates, a growing number of victories make her truly part of Athena’s crew and bring her joy in her fire. But as her power grows and changes in unexpected ways, Elinor’s ability to control it is challenged. She may have the power to destroy her enemies utterly—but could it be at the cost of her own life?

I have a soft spot for historical romances, so this was right up my alley – you get the formal conventions of the time (where the mere brush of hands is something to swoon over!) and more verbose repartee (why use one word when you can sound like a Thesaurus?) along with magical powers, yesss! ❤

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