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Book news: Three new books from Jessica Sorensen!

27 Jul

I was very excited to see Sphere announce three new books from Jessica Sorensen earlier this week and one of them is already available as an ebook!

jessica new

The Probability of Violet and Luke is out now and will be followed by The Certainty of Violet and Luke on 16th September. And finally, Callie and Kayden are back in The Resolution of Callie and Kayden which will be published on 30th September! Get your e readers ready!

All three books will be published in paperback in 2015.

Find out more about Jessica Sorensen and her books at:

Book review: Harder by Robin York

1 Jul

harderCaroline still dreams about West. His warm skin, his taut muscles, his hand sliding down her stomach. Then she wakes up and she’s back to reality: West is gone. And before he left, he broke her heart.

Then, out of the blue, West calls in crisis. A tragedy has hit his family—a family that’s already a fractured mess. Caroline knows what she has to do. Without discussion, without stopping to think, she’s on a plane, flying to his side to support him in any way he needs.

They’re together again, but things are totally different. West looks edgy, angry at the world. Caroline doesn’t fit in. She should be back in Iowa, finalizing her civil suit against the ex-boyfriend who posted their explicit pictures on a revenge porn website. But here she is. Deeply into West, wrapped up in him, in love with him. Still.

They fought the odds once. Losing each other was hard. But finding their way back to each other couldn’t be harder.

Having been gripped by Caroline and West’s relationship in Deeper earlier this year, I was eager to find out what happened next to this troubled couple next so I was very eager to get my hands on a copy of the follow up, Harder. It’s difficult to review this book without giving spoilers for book one so you might not want to read on if you are planning to read the first book in the series. That said, I think you could read this book without having read book one as there is plenty of recapping and this story has a different focus to that of book one.

In Harder I felt that we got to know Caroline and West, but particularly West a lot better. Whereas book one was about Caroline dealing with the trauma of her ex boyfriend posting naked photos of her on the internet of her and felt to me very much Caroline’s story, book two is very much West’s story. The narrative picks up a few months after the end of the first book with West now back in his hometown of Silt.

West’s Silt is a pretty downtrodden and underprivileged town where his large and complex family fight to survive. It was great to finally meet West’s family and although the majority of them weren’t particularly likeable, it certainly added to my understanding of West’s character and his actions. Harder definitely isn’t a light-hearted New Adult read and there were some scenes that I found very difficult, particularly those involving Frankie, West’s ten year old sister, but it is a gripping story and Robin York surprised me a number of times with the twists in the plot!

If you’re looking for a pair of flawed lead characters I don’t think you could do much better than Caroline and West. I felt that Caroline had grown up a lot in this novel and it was interesting to see the role reversal between her and West. I also loved Caroline’s relationship with her father which is a really positive one. But the character that I cared most about in this book was West’s ten year old little sister Frankie.

Harder takes on the full spectrum of emotions from its characters; it’s dramatic, shocking and sad yet very believable; the romance is still hot and all the more gripping as Caroline and West face new challenges. I was impressed by the strong message that this book had about standing up to the bullies (in all forms) and not being afraid to trust yourself to know what’s right for you. Highly recommended!


Harder is released today in paperback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank Poppy at Little Brown for sending me a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Robin York and her books at:

Book exerpt: Come Back To Me by Mila Gray

20 Jun

I’m delighted to have a little extract of Come Back To Me by Mila Gray to share with you today. Mila is the pen name of author Sarah Alderson and this is her first New Adult novel which was published as an ebook by Pan Macmillan yesterday and will be out in paperback on 23d October.

I love the cover for this book and am very much looking forward to reading it!

come back to me

Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him.

Always. The very last thing he said to me.

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend’s sister, Jessa – the one girl he can’t have.

But Kit’s not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way, and soon Jessa’s falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first-times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer’s over and it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa’s finally following her dreams and Kit’s discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

Jessa’s prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart, they’re forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.


‘You’re such a gentleman,’ I say as he sits back down and puts his arm around me.

‘I have four aunts and fifteen female cousins. I had manners beaten into me.’

‘Not by your dad?’ I ask, twisting to face him. My dad still yells at us if we put our elbows on the table or start eating before he’s done saying grace.

‘No,’ says Kit smiling. ‘He was browbeaten by all the women in the house. My mom and all her sisters. He gave up trying to win against an ocean of oestrogen.’

I like the image of Kit’s dad being overwhelmed by his mom and her sisters. It’s easy enough to picture. Whenever I’ve met Kit’s family I’ve never been able to get a word in edgeways.

‘What else did they teach you?’ I ask.

‘To put the toilet seat down.’

‘Always a good habit. Could they teach Riley, do you think?’

‘I’ll ask.’ He twists a strand of my hair around his finger. ‘I can braid hair too.’

I narrow my eyes at him. ‘You can braid hair?’

‘Oh yeah. French braids, normal braids, you name it. Just don’t tell anyone in my unit because my reputation is on the line here. If they ever found out that would be it for me.’

‘OK, I promise,’ I say. ‘Though you might have to make it worth my while.’

‘What? Buy your silence?’ he asks, sliding his eyes in my direction. ‘With money?’

‘No,’ I whisper. ‘Maybe some other way.’

‘Some other way?’ he asks, his lips now against my ear. ‘I can think of a few ways that might work. Except …’ He pauses, his voice so low it gives me chills. ‘I’m not sure you’d be able to stay silent.’


Find out more about Mila and her writing at:

Follow Mila on Twitter @MilaGrayBooks


Event news: Romance Festival 2014 – 7th and 8th June

5 Jun

This weekend Harper Collins and a host of other excellent romance publishers and authors will be hosting the UK’s first digital romance festival! The brilliant news is that it is free to attend and you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home :-)

The full line up has just been announced and has a whole host of sessions and events for both authors and readers including a Twitter interview with Sheila O’Flanagan, a Google Hangout with Lindsey Kelk and a ‘Romance in YA’ discussion hosted by Liz De Jager!

romance festival 2014

Head on over to: for more details and to register.

I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Book event: Join in with #BookADay in June

2 Jun

Publisher Borough Press has come up with a fab idea to get everyone talking about books this month with #BOOKADAY. It’s really easy to join in – just tweet your book each day under the headings below.

photo (1)

I’ll be tweeting mine each day but I thought it would also be nice to record my answers here on the blog with a little more on my choices. Do feel free to join in by leaving a comment in the box below.

faraway tree1st  Favourite book from childhood 

The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. My Mum read these and The Wishing Chair stories to me and my brother when we were little and they bring back magical memories for me. I’m looking forward to sharing them with my boys now. My other childhood favorite when I was a little bit older was What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge!

2nd Best bargain photo (24)

I often buy bargain books in charity shops because they have lovely or unusual covers. I found this beautiful version of The Life and Death of Charlie St Cloud by Ben Sherwood in a local charity shop for 99p. Bargain indeed!

3rd One with a blue cover

4th Least favourite book by favourite author

5th Doesn’t belong to me

6th The one I always give as a gift

7th Forgot I owned it

8th Have more than one copy

9th Film or tv tie-in

10th Reminds me of someone I love

11th Secondhand bookshop gem

12th I pretend to have read it

13th Makes me laugh

14th An old favourite

15th Favourite fictional father

16th Can’t believe more people haven’t read

17th Future classic

18th Bought on a recommendation

19th Still can’t stop talking about it

20th Favourite cove

21st Summer read

22nd Out of print

23rd Made to read at school

24th Hooked me in to reading

25th Never finished it

26th Should have sold more copies

27th Want to be one of the characters

28th Bought at my fave independent bookshop

29th The one I have reread most often

30th Would save if my house burned down

Book review: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

15 May

Ella’s best friend Lila has always been a good girl who likes pretty clothes and preppy boys. But ever since the first day she met Micha’s best friend Ethan, she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him.

Girls have always flocked to Ethan — but never princesses like Lila. And until Lila came into his life he never wanted them to. From the outside the two couldn’t seem more different, but somehow they have a connection deeper and more intense than anyone could have imagined.

Can two people from such dramatically different worlds really have a love that lasts?

I’m a big fan of Jessica Sorensen’s Ella and Micha stories so I was very much looking forward to reading her latest novel, The Temptation of Lila and Ethan which focuses in on Ella and Micha’s best friends who were thrown together when Ella and Micha got together.

Although this book is part of the Ella and Micha series I do think you could read it as a stand alone as it focuses on Lila and Ethan and their pasts and lives in the present and neatly recaps how they met and the progression of their friendship to this point. That said, for fans of the series, there are updates and even appearances from Ella and Micha in this book which will make it essential reading!

The story begins with a prologue that focuses on a much younger Lila and Ethan and fills in some of each character’s back story. The history of the pair, their families and relationships does not make for happy reading and I thought this novel had a much darker tone than previous books of Jessica’s that I’ve read with themes including drugs and sexual abuse. This novel is firmly in the New Adult category with its descriptions and language.

I thought the prologue set the scene well and as we move to the present day for the main part of the book it is clear to see that the experiences of both characters have had a dramatic impact on their lives. Sorensen tantalisingly leaves many of the details of the intervening years unexplained and had me turning the pages as fast as I could to find out exactly what had happened to Lila and Ethan and what the consequences would be.

Although I thought both characters were well written, it took me a little while to warm to them both and as they struggled to come to terms with their pasts I didn’t like many of Lila’s actions. The romance element of the novel develops slowly but is certainly passionate when it flares and I loved the underlying tension between Lila and Ethan.

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan is narrated from the dual perspectives of its lead characters and I liked being able to see both sides of the story and get two (often very different) perspectives on events. There’s a lot of sadness in this story and I found it hard reading emotionally at times and I finished the book not feeling as uplifted as I’d expected.

As always, I found myself wondering what happened to the characters next and was pleased to see that Jessica Sorensen has released a follow up short story ebook (currently free on Amazon) to answer that question. I read Lila and Ethan: Forever and Always as soon as I’d finished this book and it was an excellent extension to the story.

I’m now looking forward to reading The Forever After of Ella and Micha which is out as an ebook now and released in paperback later in the year.


The Temptation of Lila and Ethan is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Jessica Sorensen and her writing at:

Book review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

25 Mar

Once a sinner, always a sinner…

Twenty-two-year-old Evalyn Ibarra had taken the normality of her life for granted, until the moment everything changed. Now, convicted of a horrifying crime, she will be one of the first to experience a new kind of punishment.

In the darkness of the Compass Room – an experimental prison – the morality of convicts will be tested, and they will be punished according to their performance. In order to stay alive, Evalyn must relive the events of the fateful day that has brought her here.

Consumed by her own struggle, she never expects to make friends amongst her fellow inmates, let alone fall in love. But in this new and terrifying world, such allegiances are dangerous – because no one will escape unharmed.

The Wicked We Have Done is a real page turner of a book; I was so engrossed that I read it in a couple of days and scenes from it have remained with me since. With elements of horror, thriller, dystopia and romance there’s something to appeal to a wide range of readers in this book and it’s lovely to see the ‘New Adult’ category opening up to different genres. Sarah Harian’s writing is fast paced and the story felt original, taking a clever and thought-provoking look at the notion of evil and right and wrong.

At the heart of the story is The Compass Room which is a complex technical prison designed to test its inmates’ true moral compass and decide whether they live or die. The Compass Room really is as horrific as it sounds and while I was reading this book I half wanted to hide behind a cushion but at the same time couldn’t wait to read what horror would happen next. The ‘tests’ are specifically created to have maximum impact on the individuals they are testing and they are all outright scary involving a good amount of fear and gore. Harian is skilled at building up tension and my heart was in my mouth as I read to see what would jump out of the woods next!

I found it  interesting that my reaction to the tests got more emotional as the book went on and I got to know the characters better. For the majority of the characters in the book there is more to their crimes than meets the eye and as details come out in the story, Sarah cleverly draws the reader in and I found myself rooting for certain people to survive.

The main focus of the story is of course Evalyn and as she enters the Compass Room and faces her fate the chapters set in the present are interspersed with the full story of how she got to this point. For me, the plot leading up to Evalyn’s crime was just as gripping as the actual events in the Compass Room as I tried to work out what exactly she had done and why.  The big reveal when it comes is interesting as is the twist at the end of the tale which concludes this part of the story but leaves plenty of scope for the second book in the series.

I enjoyed the romance aspect of the book which had a particular edge as the characters wondered if they would survive and tried to reason the tension between their punishment and the horrors of the Compass Room and their growing feelings for each other. The Wicked We Have Done is a gripping debut from Sarah Harian and  I can’t wait to find out what happens next and see how the relationships established develop in book two. Thankfully, A Vault of Sins is out in September so not too long to wait!


I’d like to thank Elaine at Headline for sending me a review copy of this book.

The Wicked We Have Done is out in ebook formats now.

Find out more about Sarah Harian and her writing at:

Read my interview with Sarah Harian


Book news: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

18 Mar

So, I’m a big fan of Cora Carmack’s books and a big fan of American Football so when the two come together it’s got to be good hasn’t it? This new series from Cora has been billed as the New Adult version of Friday Night Lights (another of my most favourite things at the moment!) so it’s going to be a must read for me.

This is the first in a series of Rusk University novels and I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about it on Twitter. The book is released state-side in May by William Morrow but I haven’t been able to find any details of a UK release yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

Find out more about Cora and her books at:

Author interview: Sarah Harian

17 Mar

My guest today is Sarah Harian, whose debut novel, The Wicked We Have Done is released in the UK tomorrow. I’m very excited to be kicking off Sarah’s blog tour for this gripping (and scary!) book. Sarah grew up in the foothills of Yosemite, where she learned to fish, hike, and climb trees. She also had a soft spot for video games and fantasy novels, rounding her out to be perfectly equal parts of wilderness princess and super nerd. Welcome Sarah!

The Wicked We Have Done is your debut novel, please could you tell us a little about it?

The Wicked We Have Done is about a young woman named Evalyn Ibarra who’s been convicted of shooting up her school and killing her best friend. She’s been sentenced to a month in a Compass Room—a technologically-advanced prison that will designate whether or not she’s truly evil. If she is evil, the prison will kill her. However, Evalyn is more concerned for the lives of the inmates she’s made alliances with than her own, and the book is about her trying to save her friends.

The book combines elements of horror, thriller and romance in a futuristic setting and I loved the Compass Room; what were your inspirations for the story?

I’m a huge fan girl of so many things, and they all have heavy influences on what I choose to write about. With this book, I really wanted to write something that was uniquely scary, like Cabin in the Woods or Prometheus, but I wanted my characters to be strong, with vivid voices and fleshed-out pasts. I think a huge negative factor of my experiences with horror movies and novels is that I never care about the characters enough to fear for their lives. I really wanted to bring both of these elements into the world of the Compass Room.

It’s unusual to see a New Adult novel with a speculative and dystopian setting; why did you choose to write for this audience and how does it feel to be a published author?

I finished my first novel about five years ago. My protagonist was eighteen, and she was starting college. When I tried to get it published, I learned the hard way that a college-aged protagonist really didn’t have a place in fiction. Sure, they existed in general fiction, but trying to find them in the sea of thousands of novels was tedious. I ended up aging my characters down in order for my books to fit into the upper-YA category.

The Wicked We Have Done becoming New Adult had everything to do with my fabulous agent, Kathleen Rushall, who suggested I go that route with the book after signing with her. I was all for it, and something really magical happened when I aged up the characters. It was like they were meant to be that way all along, which was kind of a wonderful thing to uncover, considering I wouldn’t have been able to publish this book as it stands four years ago.

How does it feel to be a published author? It’s absolutely terrifying, to be honest! I’ve been writing stories since I was eight years old, and this is the first time where something of mine has gotten to the stage of being completely finished to where I can’t go back and work on it again. I’m—in lack of better words—a revision whore, so this is definitely a difficult adjustment. But the new experience is still wonderfully thrilling.

Describe lead character Evalyn Ibarra in five words.

Deviant, selfless, mouthy, protective, artistic.

Who was your favourite character to write and why?

I have to pick one?! Honestly, I love writing all of them—even the villains. A different character arose as my favourite with each new draft of the book. I think Valerie, a secondary character in The Wicked We Have Done, is by far the easiest to write. Her voice comes to me so naturally, as well as her motivation. Of course I may be biased, considering I’m working on her novella right now!

Who are your literary inspirations?

I’m a little obsessed with both Margaret Atwood and Lev Grossman. My goal by the end of my career is to write something half as brilliant as one of their novels.

And finally … what can we expect next from Sarah Harian?

I am currently working on Our Broken Sky, the novella written in the point of view of Valerie, and revising A Vault of Sins, the sequel to The Wicked We Have Done.

Thank you for answering my questions Sarah and happy publication day for tomorrow!

The Wicked We Have Done is released by Headline in ebook formats on 18th March.

Please do check out the other stops on Sarah’s blog tour this week.

Find out more about Sarah and her writing at:

Book news: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

10 Mar

I’m looking forward to being part of the blog tour for The Wicked We Have Done next week (I’ve got a fab Q&A author Sarah Harian to share) but in the meantime, check out the intriguing book trailer that has just been released:

The Wicked We Have Done is a New Adult novel with elements of horror, thriller and romance and will be released by Headline in ebook formats on 18th March.


Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room -an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

Find out more about Sarah Harian and her writing at: