Reviews

Blog Tour: A Week To Be Wild by JC Harroway (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis

A daring game of temptation

She’ll play his game-but only by her rules!

Alex Lancaster is an adrenaline junkie. He’s also a sexy British billionaire who should come with his own warning signs. When Libby insists she is done with men who live on the edge, Alex coaxes her out of her comfort zone-professionally and very, very personally. Libby’s taking a high-stakes gamble, but the pay-off could win her everything…

 

Review

So, I’m one of the stops on the blog tour for A Week To Be Wild! I’ll start by saying that there are both things I liked and disliked about this book. I read it over the course of a week or so, so it definitely wasn’t a page turner, but it was an overall enjoyable read. There is quite a bit of sexually explicit writing, so if that bothers you, I’d give it a miss. Going into this book, I knew that there would be some. But if I’m honest, I found it was a bit rushed and I actually had to skip those parts the majority of the time as I found it a bit too much and it made me cringe a bit. That’s just me though, if erotica is your thing, then this is the book for you!

I did like the characters, Libby especially. I liked how she was powerful without a man, she was successful and I think that’s great. However, it seemed like her professionalism just went out of the window after taking one glance at Alex Lancaster. Just didn’t seem very realistic in my opinion. Other than that, though, I really liked her and thought she was an interesting, well-written character. Alex was intriguing too. Not the stereotypical English billionaires you get in books at all. I usually get bored of them, and he’s certainly not a character that inspires boredom.

I found the plot a bit slow, but it was pretty interesting once the pace picked up a bit. I do wish that we had been able to get to know the characters a bit more, however.

Overall, A Week To Be Wild is the type of book I’d recommend if you like the billionaire trope, erotica, or just want a quick read. I give it three stars.

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-Books&Belle xx

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I’d like to thank Mills & Boon for sending me a copy of A Week To Be Wild in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Reviews

Book Review: Evalene’s Number by Bethany Atazadeh (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis

Everyone in Eden is assigned a Number, tattooed on their neck, which determines their value and place in the world.

On her Numbering Day, Evalene Vandereth anticipates joining the élite. Born in an upper-class family, she knows exactly who she is and what she is worth. Even as the needle breaks her skin, she is blissfully happy. She never considers another outcome, until it’s too late.

Now 18-year-old Evalene lives in fear, struggling with her new identity, stripped of her freedom and basic human rights. Can she escape her Number? Is anyone else asking the same question?

Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will love Evalene’s Number and its incredible dystopian tale.

Review

I was sent this book to review a while ago now, and I wish I had read it sooner, because I loved it. I read it in only three sittings. There were definitely similarities to The Hunger Games, however, Evalene’s Number is without a doubt unique. The plot and characters were both written really well, and I loved Atazadeh’s writing style.

The point of view switched between Evalene and Jeremiah, which I liked, as it allows the reader to see the dystopian world that they live in through the eyes of more than just one character. Evalene was definitely my favourite character in the book. You can see clear character development from when she was the child of a high Number before the age of 13, to being the 18 year old she is now. What made her so likeable to me is her strength. It must take incredible willpower to keep going after everything she has faced. The mistreatment, neglect, and betrayals would have, in my opinion, brought most people raised the way that she was down. Jeremiah, I liked for the same reasons, his strength and bravery. He was still kind, despite everything that he had endured, which I know can be rare, seeing as hurt people, hurt people. The relationship between these two characters is promising too, and I’m hoping to see more of it (desperately, desperately hoping) in the next book. I also want to mention Olive, she is the type of friend that I want. She’s lovely!

The plot kept me hooked, too. The suspense at certain points was almost unbearable. I had to actually put the book down and take a break as I was so worried at one point! I came back to it pretty quickly, however. I needed to know what happened. I think the way that inequalities between the Numbers is written is so relevant to inequalities in our own society, too. Oh, and the ending! I’ve been left on a massive cliffhanger, and honestly? I just want to jump off if it’ll mean finding out what happens next. It’s safe to say I am very eager to read the next book, Pearl’s Number.

I give this book 5 stars. This is the second book this year I’ve given five stars to, I think that might mean 2018 is going to be a good reading year for me!

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Bethany also signed my copy of Evalene’s Number, which I was really happy about!

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-Books&Belle xx

Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal – Rafferty Lincoln Loves… by Emily Williams

So, I am very happy to be one of the bloggers revealing the cover of Emily Williams’ newest book, Rafferty Lincoln Loves… This is my first ever cover reveal, so I’m really excited. So, here we have it, the cover!

The Reveal

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Amazing, right?!?! The little paper horse is so cute! If you read the sentence at the top, you’ll see that this book is supporting a charity, The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre. If you wish to support this charity, click here.

Some more information about the book:

The synopsis of Rafferty Lincoln Loves…

Rafferty Lincoln doesn’t like horses. Not one bit. But when the popular high school girl of his dreams, Liberty Ashburn, pulls him into a world of lead ropes and horse brushes, who is he to say no? Except this isn’t any old horse. This is the missing racehorse, Profit’s Red Ridge. The horse Rafferty and three of his friends are hiding from the world. And Liberty Ashburn isn’t just any ordinary high school girl. How far will Rafferty go to win her over?

An intense, witty and powerful coming of age story with startling
consequences.

About the charity ‘The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre’

 

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The proceeds from the novel ‘Rafferty Lincoln Loves…’ will be donated to The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre.

BTRC is dedicated to improving and promoting the welfare of retired race horses through education, retraining and suitable rehoming in order to ensure that our Thoroughbreds have a rewarding and valuable life after their racing careers have ended.

Each year thousands of horses leave racing, some because they reach the natural end of their career and others through injury or lack of ability. Established in 1991, The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre was the UK’s first charity dedicated to ex-racehorse welfare, retraining, rehoming and protection for life.

I am thrilled to have written this novel for the BTRC and to be donating the proceeds to such an important and dedicated charity for the welfare of retired racehorses.’ Emily Williams

Author Bio

Emily Williams lives by the seaside in West Sussex with her family and a
menagerie of small pets. After graduating from Sussex University with a BA in
Psychology, Emily trained as a primary school teacher and teaches in a local school.

Rafferty Lincoln Loves… is her first YA novel after the success of her debut
adult novel, Letters to Eloise, released in 2017.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this cover reveal, and I’m sure you love the cover just as much as I do!

-Books&Belle xx

Reviews

Book Review: A Cactus In The Valley by Olivia J. Bennett (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis

When withdrawn Terra Lombardi wakes up in a smoking airplane in the middle of the remote Arizona desert, she realizes the only other survivor is the arrogant Wyatt Hartman. Clouded with the uncertainty of how they crashed, the two strangers head west, in pursuit of civilisation  Amidst the environment and dangerous animals against them, they must band together to survive, and even thrive in the rocky, sun-drenched Southwest. However, the elements force them to confront their inner demons.

Told through dual points-of-view and intermittent flashbacks, teenagers Wyatt and Terra brave the sun and sand alone. But it is through the hardest times in which we grow the most.

Review

Warning: there are mentions of sexual assault and pedophilia in this book.

So, last night I sat down with a cup of tea and this book, intending to spend half hour or so reading the first few chapters of A Cactus In The Valley. This, however, did not happen. Instead, I plowed through the whole book in the space of four hours, only taking breaks to use the loo and make myself more tea. I can say with the utmost certainty that I enjoyed this book.

If I had to use one word to sum up A Cactus In The Valley, it would be intense. From the first page, I couldn’t stop reading, having to know what happens. This is definitely no slow-burn book, it jumps straight in to the plot. It switches point of view between the two main characters, Terra and Wyatt, allowing the reader to know what the both of them are feeling and thinking. I couldn’t help but put myself in their situation. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with someone you’ve never met before? No thanks! Doing this definitely helped me connect with both Terra and Wyatt though, and I was preying that they’d make it home alive.

While both characters inspired a lot of feelings in me, Terra was the one I felt for the most. She’s hasn’t had an easy go of life so far, and now a plane crash? I was wondering what she had done in her previous life to deserve what she had dished out to her. Despite this, she is still so hopeful and optimistic and I just love her character so much. I think with Wyatt, if I hadn’t read from his perspective, I wouldn’t have found him so likeable. However, knowing what he was thinking and feeling makes it very easy to end up rooting for him. He’s definitely a little damaged, but he still manages to be selfless and protective, so I admire him for that.

The things these characters had to overcome in terms of the plot were astonishing. They’re both broken yet still brave and determined to make it home to their loved ones. This book had me feeling so much! Hope, fear for the characters, pity, happiness, sadness and about a thousand other things. Bennett truly has a gift for story telling and I can’t wait to read any work of hers in the future.

Overall, I give this book 5 stars. I’d give it 6 if that was a thing.

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I’d like to thank Olivia J. Bennett for sending me a copy of A Cactus In The Valley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Theatre

A Review of Disco Pigs (Spoiler-Free!)

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“Born at the same time on the same day in the same hospital, Pig and Runt have been inseparable ever since. They speak in their own language, play by their own rules, and create a world for themselves in which boundaries blur between truth and illusion. Until, on their seventeenth birthday, they discover something more. As night falls, and the disco and drink take hold, they spiral violently out of control.”

Review

This review is most definitely long overdue. I went to see Disco Pigs in London in July last year, and as soon as I walked out of there I knew that I had to write about it on my blog, without a doubt. It just took me a little longer than anticipated to get around to it.

As anyone who knows me knows, I am a very big Harry Potter fan. So when I saw that Evanna Lynch (who I also like very much) was going to be in the theatre production of Disco Pigs, I booked tickets as soon as I could. I had front row seats, and it was brilliant. It wasn’t what I expected, I will say that, but I still really enjoyed it. I did get a little lost at times, but I got the general gist of what was going on and I couldn’t help but feel for the longtime friends.

The plot is very fast-paced, and there are moments that are hilarious, moments that are harrowing, moments where you can’t help but pity the characters, and moments that are just plain odd. I think the absurdity of some of the situations is what made me like it so much, it’s unique, which is definitely something that is rare.

Pig and Runt’s relationship was interesting, to say the least. I thought that Campbell’s take on Pig was amazing. He was very energetic, jumping and dancing around the stage. Honestly, I don’t know how he didn’t have to take a sit down half way through! I know I would’ve. Campbell and Lynch’s performances combined were astonishing, they seemed so in sync with one another, you’d almost believe that they really were life-long inseparable friends, which is what I think I liked so much about the production. Campbell and Lynch kept the audience captivated throughout the whole 75 minutes.

Overall, Disco Pigs is something that I would see again given the opportunity. Unfortunately for me, but fortunate for Americans, Disco Pigs is currently in New York. So if that’s somewhere you can get to, I would recommend seeing it.

-Books&Belle xx

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Second Hand Challenge

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The second hand challenge is something that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, but just haven’t had the time. What you do is, you go into a charity shop, or in my case, more than one, with £10 and see what you can get. This was so much fun, and the amount of books I came out with was amazing! I didn’t even spend my full £10 budget and I came out with several books that I can’t wait to read.

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The first charity shop I went into, I came out with one book. The Time Travellers Wife. I’d heard of this one before, but never really considered reading it. However, when I saw it on the shelf for only 50p, I decided to give it ago. After all, even if I don’t end up enjoying it much, it’s not like I’ve spent a small fortune on it!

The next charity shop I went into, I came out with a few more books. I spent quite a while in this one browsing their selection of books. There were just so many, I wish I had taken a photo of their shelves, but I was far too busy. The Roanoke Girls is one I’ve wanted to read for a while now, so I was so happy to find it for only 50p! I know eventually I would’ve caved and spent the £4 on it in Tesco, so I saved myself £3.50! Room is another that I’ve been considering reading, so I couldn’t pass it up when I found it for 50p. The last two, I hadn’t heard of before, but they intrigued me so I decided to give them a go.

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This next charity shop provided me with my two favourite finds! Villette by Charlotte brontë, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. They were £1 each, which I thought was amazing. I already have The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but it’s paperback and not nearly as beautiful as this edition, so I couldn’t leave it sat in a charity shop! I love the classics, and I can’t wait to get around to reading these two.

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The final book I picked up was The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. This one caught my eye because I’d seen some people in the book community saying how good it was, so I decided to give it ago. It was 50p, and I love the cover!

I finished this trip with eight new books, and having spent only £5, half of my budget! I’d definitely recommend doing this, not only did I get some amazing new books for practically peanuts, but it was really fun. I know that my cousin, who I dragged along with me, got a bit annoyed when I was taking what she called an ‘eternity’ to pick my books, so I’d recommend taking someone with a bit more patience! This is definitely something that I plan to do again in the future.

-Books&Belle xx

Reviews

Book Review: Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis:

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .

Review:

I read this book a while ago now, and I’ve just been so behind with writing up reviews! Despite some time having passed since I read this book, I can still remember vividly how much I loved it. I read through it so quickly because it was one of those that I just could not bring myself to put down!

The characters are really interesting. Both the protagonist and the antagonist were brilliantly written, and I constantly found myself wanting to know more about them. Isabel, Jessica’s sister, was also an intriguing character. Without spoiling anything, there were things that she had done throughout her life that I needed to know more about. Bolton wrote several characters in Dead Woman Walking that were mysterious and left me needing to keep reading. The way the antagonist is written is also great, he’s dark, yet there are things about him that really surprised me.

The plot was the perfect speed for me. Sometimes with Thrillers I’ll find the author either dives into it too quickly, or it’s too much of a slowburn for me. This was not the case at all with Dead Woman Walking. There were twists that left me shocked, and I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. This book was without a doubt one of my favourite reads of 2017!

Overall, Dead Woman Walking was a very enjoyable read, and has definitely made me want to check out some of Sharon Barton’s other books. I give it 5 stars.

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I’d like to thank Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of Dead Woman Walking in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

-Books&Belle xx