Of Poseidon Audiobook by Anna Banks | Mermaid Romance Audiobook Review

Of Poseidon
Anna Banks (Narrated by Rebecca Gibel )
Genres: Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: 22nd May 2012
Number of Pages: 324
Source: Bought from Audible.com

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Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish. What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings. Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humour, and waves of romance.

Of Poseidon starts off amazing, it’s funny, witty and different. I mean a shark attack scene which kills off one of the main characters within the first few chapters – shocking! However, after this scene the story loses the wit, the sharp comebacks and just becomes bland. It’s your typical ‘insta-love’ mermaid story; girl meets guy, thinks he’s hot, he’s not ‘normal’, she’s not ‘normal’, they have instant feelings for one another, the situation isn't simple so they can’t be together, situation changes but then leaves on a cliff hanger ending.

I’m not normally a reader who gets annoyed and bored by similar story line books but this one just didn't quite offer anything different or ‘special’ to make me want to keep listening to it. However, I did keep listening to the audio book in the hope that the sparky, witty aspects of the beginning few chapters would emerge again. Sadly they did not.

Overall this book was just ‘another book I read in 2013’, I didn't think there was anything unique with the story and I felt there was nothing special about Galen or Emma’s characters - I just found that I didn't care. I will however say that this book does seem to be loved by quite a few people though so I’d encourage you to try it yourself as you may think differently to me. Just maybe borrow it from your local library so if you don’t enjoy it you haven’t wasted any money.

The Parts I Remember by A.K. Mills | New Adult Traumatic Life Event Story

The Parts I Remember
A.K. Mills
Genres: Chick-lit, Romance, Traumatic Life Event/Experience
Age Group: New Adult (Adult Themed Content)
Publication Date: 1st March 2013
Number of Pages: 246
Source: Author

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Act first. Think never. Remember nothing. 
Welcome to Kelly Rockport’s existence at Haysville University, where responsibility is just an elective. After all, fake IDs, alter egos, and one-night stands are all part of the college experience, right? So what if she blacks out from time to time? Memory is overrated. 
When freshman year lasts about as long as a one-night stand and is quickly followed by the Year of the Blackout, Kelly projects junior year to be nothing shy of amazing. But as shots, beer, cocaine and men mesh together in an intoxicating haze, Kelly’s reckless ways get her into serious trouble. The only problem is, she can’t remember what happened. 
As she hovers along the edge of consciousness, Kelly forces herself to think past her pain to piece together the shards of her life. This is her story, told in her words: The Parts I Remember.

The Parts I Remember was one of the first New Adult books I’ve read. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I’d been warned that the majority were similar to Young Adult books but with explicit language and behaviour. However, although this is true of The Parts I Remember, this story is also much more. The story is thought provoking and it’s recollection basis from Kelly’s perspective focuses on her learning a ‘lesson’ and learning the error of her ways.

The Parts I Remember begins when Kelly awakes from a car accident she was been involved in. She is severely injured and has no recollection of how or why she was in the car in the first place. The story then evolves into Kelly retelling the events of her life leading up to the accident which include hints as to what may have happened.

The alternate time periods in this book were enjoyable and easily distinguishable at the start of each chapter. As the story evolves more and more I was constantly trying to guess who may have also been in the car with Kelly and how the accident could have happened. Being a recent graduate myself, made Kelly’s character understandably and she certainly knows how to party! I don’t think I’d ever have kept up with her! Kelly’s character at times was also frustrating though and her complete selfishness had me yelling out loud at the book so many times. This however is not a comment on a poor character because I believe that these were all important traits to Kelly and they blended with the story well and added to the learning the error of her ways aspect.

Overall, The Parts I Remember was a thoroughly enjoyable read and something I would recommend to anyone looking for a New Adult read with a twist. I’ll certainly be exploring more New Adults books in the future and I hope to discover that more are similar to The Parts I Remember rather than just all about the explicit behaviour.

Beauty by Sarah Pinborough | Sexy Adult Romance Fairy Tale Retelling

Sarah Pinborough
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Story Retelling
Age Group: Adult (Adult Themed Content)
Publication Date: 17th October 2013
Number of Pages: 208
Source: Author

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Beauty is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the ancient curse, the sleeping girl and, of course, the haunting castle) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It's fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.

See my review of the other books in this series, Poison & Charm.

After reading Poison & Charm earlier this year, I was waiting with baited breath for Beauty to be published in October. Thankfully, the months pasted quickly and I was able to launch myself into Beauty and devour Sarah Pinborough’s writing again in another gorgeous fairy tale retelling with lots of twists.

Beauty didn't disappoint in my expectations and I was absorbed into the fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast mixed with Rapunzel with added snippets of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. I love how easily the fairy tales are mixed together and added with the saucy and sexy elements. An added element within Beauty, although somewhat mildly within the other books, was a ‘dark side’ and I loved how this story took on an American Horror Story-esque nature.

The different take on Beauty and the Beast in this book was also refreshing to read and I welcome other authors to think of writing something so creative with an existing story, especially well-known fairy tales. Maybe only comparable in my mind is Marissa Meyer’s YA series, The Lunar Chronicles – see my review of the series so far.

The whole series can be read in order, out of order or just as stand-alone books and that’s the great thing about this series. The books are intertwined ever so slightly and certainly I’d recommend reading Posion before Charm (unlike myself who read it the other way round – it did not however ruin the story for me) because of the epic reveal at the end of Charm. Beauty however in my personal opinion is a prequel to Poison - aspects of the story swayed me to think this however I’m not sure whether this is accurate. Either way this series is incredible and if you are looking for an adult sexy romance fairy tale retelling, these are the books for you!

#Novemberthon - 1 Week Reading Challenge JUST READ!

Hey guys,

Just a little announcement that Amber from Books of Amber has created a readathon which starts Sunday 24th November and runs until the end of the month. No rules, just simply read as much as you can. I'm going to be participating as I haven't read much this month due to being away on holiday and then being ill so I'm going to have a final push to read as much as I can for the last 7 days in November. If you want to get involved just check out Amber's blog post and then check in via the #Novemberthon hashtag during the week.

Here's the books I'm going to be trying to read during the week (Aiming for 200 pages a day):
Cursed by Lizzy Ford - 246 pages
Crash into You by Katie McGarry - 489 pages
Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll - 400 pages
Roomies by Tara Altebrando & Sarah Zarr - 288 pages

Hopefully I finish these 4 books and get to move onto maybe another 1 or 2 but I'm being realistic to start.
Let me know if you're joining in too by leaving a comment.
Good luck to everyone participating.

GIVEAWAY | 1,000 YouTube Subscribers

To celebrate 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel I'm giving 2 lucky winners their choice of book from the BookDepository.co.uk (Up to the value of £10). If you want to enter just click the video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aRLtwgsjdg

Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson | Chick-Lit, Romance

Take a Look at Me Now
Miranda Dickinson
Genres: Chick-lit, Romance
Age Group: Adult (No Adult Themed Content)
Publication Date: 24th October 2013
Number of Pages: 390
Source: Netgalley

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How far would you go to make a new start? 
When Nell’s on-off boyfriend Aidan calls her into his office, losing her job is the last thing she expects. 
Heartbroken and unemployed to boot, she makes a radical decision to blow her redundancy cheque and escape to the untested waters of San Francisco. 
But is the glamour of the city too good to be true? And can Nell leave her past behind?

Take a Look at Me Now is one of those stories that I read at the right place and the right time. As my own feelings mirrored Nell’s at the beginning of this story, I felt fully connected to Nell and her mundane job and aspirations to start her own business. As an aspiring business-owner myself, I’d be lying if I said I hadn't dreamed about setting-up my own business whilst reading this story and all the little details involved. :-)

The story really takes shape when Nell is made redundant and spontaneously escapes her London woes and flies over to San Francisco to stay with her cousin, Lizzie for 6 weeks. Within the gorgeous setting of San Francisco (one of my favourite places), Nell re-discovers her dream of starting-up her own American Diner business and with Annie’s - the best American diner in the neighbourhood - just on her doorstep, Nell is inspired and starts to work towards making her dream happen.

The business start-up element of this story is probably the part I connected to most; however there are also a number of relationship and romance elements within this book which I also found enjoyable. Nell is in relationship chaos; in London she leaves her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Aidan (who’s actually the one who makes her redundant!), and then in San Francisco she enjoys a ‘holiday romance’ which may be more than Nell had banked for. Lizzie (Nell’s cousin) also has her own love life issues when business and pleasure appear to want to mix and there is also the heart-warming relationship of Saul & Esther Alfaro, who bicker and tease each other but after 50-odd years of marriage still love each unconditionally. These multiple romance elements add the drama to the story and keep it fast paced. I didn’t know where Nell was going to end up in the end but I obviously had my own ideas as to who was right for her! I’m not going to say whether that’s who she ends up with or not. :-)

Overall this book was super enjoyable and I’d recommend it to all chick-literature, contemporary fans. The story’s twist and turns are very predictable however I don’t think that ruined my enjoyment of this book as I was fully submersed in Nell’s dream. I’m even going to own up and say I cried at the end, even if I guessed the ending about midway through the story, Miranda Dickenson wrote the final chapter so well and undescriptive that it wasn’t until the final couple of pages that I realised my ideal ending was true. Great job!

Travelling Around Europe - Contiki European Magic Tour

Hey guys,

I've been away from YouTube, my blog and most social networks over the last 10-11 days and that's because I was away on holiday, travelling around Europe taking in the sites of the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. It was such an action packed time that I feel like I need another week of work now just to recuperate but it was so incredible! I just wanted to share with you some of the photos that I took during my trip and I've also compiled together a little video with some footage of each location :-) Enjoy. I'll be back to full YouTube and other scheduling very soon and I also have a number of reviews I need to write before I get started on too many new books!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Alps, Austria

Venice, Italy

Lucerne, Switzerland

Paris, France

Darkness Watching (Darkworld #1) by Emma L. Adams | UK New Adult Paranormal Book Review

Darkness Watching (Darkworld #1)
Emma L. Adams
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural
Age Group: Upper Young Adult/ New Adult
Publication Date: 30th September 2013
Number of Pages: 387
Source: Xpresso Blog Tours & Author

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Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back. 
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world. 
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. 
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be..

Author Bio
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Author Links:
Website: http://emmaladams.weebly.com/
Blog: http://throughthegateway.blogspot.co.uk/ 
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ELAdams12?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ELAdams12
Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6563991.Emma_L_Adams

Darkness Watching is a fantastic story set in the UK about a new University fresher, Ashlyn, who sees super creepy purple eyes staring at her in the most inconvenient places. Her first encounter of the mysterious eyes is during one of her college exams and her mind is set alight with thoughts on what they could be and whether anyone is able to see them. However, the eyes are soon the least of Ashlyn's troubles and University applications take over Ashlyn's time. As time pass, Ashlyn's starts to lose all hope of being accepted by any of them, but then she finally receives an acceptance letter from Blackstone, a rural small town University with the perfect English Literature course.

As Ashlyn settles in to the joys and not so happy aspects of being a University fresher, she also starts to learn more about the purple eyes which have continued to stalk her since that day. As events unfold she starts to mistrust her new friends and questions those who are suppose to be helping her. In the end though, not everything is what is seems and maybe her suspicions about someone where true...

Darkness Watching was such an enjoyable read and a lovely paranormal University fresher set story, not something I've come across before, especially not set in the UK. Emma L. Adams manages to capture the fresher lifestyle perfectly and doesn't spoil the story by involving lots of the mad partying and drinking. I'd certainly say this is an Upper Young Adult story due to the University lifestyle however the content was not as 'adult' as most New Adult novels which I actually liked about it. There the odd swear word and reference to sexual content but nothing you wouldn't hear in a high school playground. (Or was that just my school :-S).

The supernatural content to the Darkness Watching story was also interesting and as the story develops and I found out more and more about Ashlyn's abilities and heritage, I got more and more gripped by the story. The final few chapters were my favourites as the twists and turns just kept coming and I wasn't sure how the book was going to end. Definitely recommend for all paranormal and fantasy fans.

Grand prize giveaway
Prize (open internationally): One paperback copy of Darkness Watching

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