The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@_RebeccaRoss, @HarperCollinsAU)

What a fantastic beginning to a new series! Rebecca Ross nailed it with The Queen's Rising, and I cannot wait to return to this world!
The Queen’s Rising
Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Series: The Queen’s Rising #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: February 6th 2018

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When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Well, to start off with—WOW! The Queen's Rising built up into an amazing read; packed with crafty planning, plenty of action and a hint of a romance... I was hooked! Our main character Brienna may not have understood who she was or where she was from, but it didn't hold her back from creating her own destiny.

Right from the beginning, I could see that Brienna had a bond with Master Cartier, and although it took her a while to figure out she wanted to master knowledge, she worked hard to ensure she would graduate with the other girls. I liked her determination and the easy way she was able to interact with her master, despite their student/teacher relationship. However, Brienna's journey didn't go as planned, and soon she was on a journey of self discovery, and was involved with a plan to bring order back to her rightful country.

I really loved how this story unfolded, and even though it was a little obvious at times, it didn't detract from the way the story was headed. I liked getting to know Brienna's new Patron family and realising how important these people were to a whole nation. Special bonds between strangers were created that I'm sure will last a lifetime and a few old friends also returned who added a little extra support where needed.

For Rebecca Ross's debut novel, I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed it! She was able to create a world that I could easily get lost in. I was intrigued by the characters, and the storyline became so exciting and dangerous, that I could not put it down! It truly was a well crafted read and I'm looking forward to how things will go next for this group I've come to adore! Bring on the next book, The Queen’s Resistance due out in 2019!

Complimentary copy provided by HarperCollins Publishing Australia via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the first quote, it certainly was an important flashback. The second quote was so sweet!

“...But know that one day, a daughter will rise from your line, a daughter who shall be two in one, passion and stone. And she will bring down your House from within and undo all your crimes. But perhaps the greatest wonder of all? She shall steal your memories to do it.”

Kindle Arc Loc 4740

“I will take and love all of you, Brienna MacQuinn, your shadows and your light, for you have challenged me; you have captivated me. And I desire no other but you,” he whispered, his fingers tangling in my hair, in my wildflowers, as he drew me close to him.
He kissed me in the quiet shadows of his house, in the sweetest hour of afternoon, when light desires to surrender to evening. His fingers trailed down my back, touching every star he had given me. And I let the wonder cascade around us as I tasted each of his promises, as I woke the fire that he had long tempered in wait for me.

Kindle Arc Loc 5077

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Rebecca   RossRebecca Ross was born and raised in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, her lively Australian Shepherd, and her endless piles of books. She loves coffee, the night sky, chalk art, maps, the mountains, and growing wildflowers in her yard. And a good story, of course.

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The Pleasure of Panic by J.A. Huss ~ Review & Swoon Thursday (@jahuss)

Although I still need to read the first book in this series, I had to jump into this one, and what a thrilling ride it was! There were plenty of hot and steamy moments, but the suspense... argh! Loved it!
The Pleasure of Panic (Jordan's Game, #2)
Title: The Pleasure of Panic
Author: J.A. Huss
Series: Jordan’s Game #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: April 10th 2018

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A new day. A new game. A new girl to (try and) please.
Issy Grey is a control freak. There’s no problem she can’t solve. Issy’s also a successful self-help author, presenter, and life coach. She has every answer, every time you ask for it.
That is… until her BFF butts into her life and signs her up for a sexual fantasy fulfillment game she never asked to play!
Now she can’t turn it off! She can’t quit, because Jordan Wells refuses to admit she’s even a player!
And she can’t get rid of the man assigned to pleasure her with panic, because he’s her new bodyguard!
Just… WTF?

Every time I pick up a read by J.A. Huss, I know it is going to be one hell of a mind trip, and The Pleasure of Panic was just that and more! It was a whirl wind romance, that developed with danger building all around them. Issy and Finn both had demons in their past, that seemed to resurface after they met, which they both needed to face, together. It certainly was a fast paced read that kept me on the edge of my seat!

After Issy's meeting with Jordan, I was left dumb struck... He basically brushed her off, but why? Was Issy in this game or not? However, as things began to happen, I kept asking that question as Issy's well constructed world was tumbling down around her. As for Finn and his chaotic past, it looked as though it had caught up to him as well, and as their world's collided they had to work together and learn to trust a stranger, just to make it out alive.

I loved how strong and determined Issy was and she sure showed Finn that she could handle herself! I was seriously in stitches as she showed Finn exactly how ruthless she could be! I loved seeing Issy and Finn together as they Finn had great chemistry. Although they both had different reasons, they were more than happy to explore that growing connection between them, and boy was it hot!

After reading The Pleasure of Panic, I know I need to go back and read the first book, Total Exposure (which I now have). I'm wondering if these are a lot of little games, or whether they are all part of one grand master plan! Jordan is still a bit of a mystery to ma and I'm keen to see more of him, and to find out where Huss is going with this mind bending series!

Complimentary copy provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review.

*** Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound. Since they are no longer with us, and with permission from Trisha Wolfe, I have decided that those of us that love to swoon need a central meet up point.  So here it is ladies! I have a link up for everyone at the bottom of the post you can add your swoons to, and I’ll set it up every week! So tell all other swooners out there to come on over, link up so we can visit each other! ***

A steamy kiss ... and a sweet moment. Considering how hot and heavy these two get, these are pretty tame!

He simply bows his head and… there he is. His mouth finds mine, his full lips covering me, then he nips my lip, making me gasp in surprise. I open my eyes to look up at him. Normally I keep my eyes closed for kissing, but the unexpected pain associated with the pleasure of the kiss knocks me off my game.
Did I enjoy that?
He doesn’t give me time to decide because he takes my face in both his hands and knocks me sideways as he crushes me with his lips.
My legs almost buckle for a moment. My heart either speeds up or stops altogether, I’m not sure. My mind spins—maybe from the wine at dinner, but maybe not.
I think I… swoon.

Kindle Arc Loc 912

“Tomorrow,” she says, the word thick with sleep. “You’ll still be here, right?”
I can’t stop the smile. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to. “I’m not going anywhere, babe. At least not without you.”
I don’t see it, but I feel it. Her lips curving upward against my chest.

Kindle Arc Loc 2429
Originally inspired by YA Bound
JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (, Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (

If you're interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list ( and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

Other reviews featuring JA Huss
Turning series
Taking Turns #1
Turning Back #2
SuperAlpha series
Anarchy Found #1
Anarchy Missing #2
Anarchy Chained #3
Mister series
Five #0.5
Mr. Perfect #1

Mr. Romantic #2
Mr. Corporate #3
Mr. Mysterious #4
Mr. Match #5
Mr. & Mrs. #6
Rook and Ronin series
Tragic #1
Manic #2
Panic #3
Happily Ever After #3.5

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Hollywood Heartbreak by C.J. Duggan ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@CJ_Duggan, @HachetteAus)

I'm so excited that the 5th book in the Heart of the City series is now available! I love this little Aussie author, and the way she brings these stories to life! I cannot wait for more in the future!
Hollywood Heartbreak (A Heart of the City # 5)
Title: Hollywood Heartbreak
Author: C.J. Duggan
Series: Heart of the City #5
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: March 27th 2018

Buy Now - Amazon | Hachette Aus B&N iTunes | Kobo

Hollywood isn't all sunglasses and autographs.

Abby Taylor is heading for the hills - the Hollywood hills. All she has to do first is exorcise some old demons, namely Cassie Carmichael, the character she has been playing on Australia's number one television drama for the past three years.

Wanting to escape the fear of typecasting and malicious magazine covers, Abby is in desperate need of a change. With a new city, new friends and a sweet new condo in West Hollywood, it's time to take her career to the next level. But with disastrous auditions and countless rejections, Abby is going to need to numb the pain in the hope that her next big break comes along, and it does. She just never dreamed that it would be in the form of waiting tables and splitting tips at one of the hottest nightspots on the strip.

Action-packed late nights and VIP parties are a sure distraction, but nothing distracts her quite like her new boss, the infuriating Jay Davis. Suddenly living the dream takes on a whole new meaning, but when something in Jay's past is revealed, Abby has to question, who is the greatest actor of them all?

In the land of broken dreams, all Abby can do is hope that hers is not going to be one of them.

This Heart of the City series is a favourite of mine, each book features new characters in big cities all over the world. Hollywood Heartbreak is Abby's story, an actress that moved to America after her character was axed from a top show in Australia. She had dreams and plans that she wanted to fulfil, and was talked into moving overseas to live the dream.

What she didn't expect was Jay; a guy sent to pick her up from the airport by her friend Billie. He was dark, mysterious and had a thing against actors. I could see they had sparks, but they also had a bit of a love/hate relationship to begin with.

I loved that Abby was able to move to a new country and had such a good friend to take her in. Billie had a few secrets that both girls needed to get past, and Jay had secrets too. Abby began with a lot of confidence, but after a while it began to fade a little, but she remained true to herself. Abby and Jay together were so good together, but there were a few issues that arose that made things hard for them. However, I had hopes that they would get there in the end!

C.J. Duggan blew me away once again with her incredible world building and fabulous characters that I fell in love with. It was good to see Abby out of her comfortable zone and willing to take the plunge that so many aspiring actors only dream of. I liked how witty she was, she made mistakes, and put her foot in it a few times. I laughed a lot while reading this one and polished it off quickly! I cannot wait for another story in this series!

Complimentary copy provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Although Abby seems to get shot down in this one, I love the way she recovered!! 

I felt my cheeks blanch as I pulled away, tucking my hair behind my ears. ‘Wow, people warned me there would be rejection in this town, I just never realised how rough it would be,’ I said with half a laugh, trying to look anywhere but at him, ready to run back to my condo. Pre-empting my flight, I felt Jay’s warm grip on my arm as he motioned for me to look at him, placing his fingers under my chin and lifting my face up to look at him.
It’s not, believe me,’ he breathed out heavily, like it physically pained him to do so. ‘The things I want to do to you...’
I blinked, utterly confused. ‘Then why?’
As long as you are under my employment, last night, this,’ he pointed between us, ‘can’t happen again.’
Umm, okay. I guess I should have read the fine print. No sleeping with the boss, got it.’
It just can’t happen. It’s something I feel really strongly about.’
I breathed out a laugh. ‘I was so eager to sign on the dotted line, too.’
If it makes you feel any better, I’ve never wanted to fire someone so much in my life.’
A small smile tugged at the corner of my mouth. ‘Then why don’t you?’
I could see Jay’s jaw clench as he looked down at me, seriously considering it.
I shrugged. ‘You can rehire me in the morning.’

Paperback Pages 215-16 

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

C.J. DugganCJ Duggan is the internationally bestselling author of over ten books, including Paradise City, Paradise Road, the Summer series and the Heart of the City series. She lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.

Other reviews featuring C.J. Duggan
Heart of the City series
Paris Lights #1
New York Nights #2
London Bound #3
When in Rome #4
Paradise series
Summer series
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The Prince & The Player by Tia Louise ~ Review & Swoon Thursday (@AuthorTLouise)

I picked up my first Tia Louise read, and I need to warn you, this is the first in a series that appears to continue into the next book! There were plenty of swoon moments and a bit of suspense!
Title: The Prince & The Player
Author: Tia Louise
Series: Dirty Players #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 17th 2016

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N Kobo

Let the games begin...
Runaway Zelda Wilder will do whatever it takes to secure a better life for her and her sister Ava. Crown Prince Rowan Westringham Tate will do whatever it takes to preserve his small country.

When Zee is blackmailed into helping a vengeful statesman take down Rowan, she never expects she'll be pulled into a web of lies and international intrigue--much less that she'll find herself falling for Cal, Rowan's "playboy" younger brother.

Ava's no help, as she finds quiet walks in the moonlight discussing poetry and leadership with the brooding future king irresistible. Even more irresistible is kissing his luscious lips.

They're in over their heads, and the more time passes, the more danger the sisters are in. Shots are fired, and it's soon clear even a prince might not be able to rescue these players.

I downloaded The Prince & The Player a while ago, and while browsing my Kindle App I decided it was time to read it. This story was told from two perspectives: Zelda (Zee) and Rowan. I would've thought that it would mean that these two would fall for one another. However, after they meet, two romances begin, the plan changes and there's danger developing in the background.

Rowan and Cal are royal brothers, and Rowan is due to step up to be King. He needed to find a partner and was supposed to pick someone of noble birth. They are both introduced to Zee and Ava, and the sparks fly, but not in the way that was planned.

It was interesting to see these relationships build, and how quickly they fell for one another. They all got along so well, and soon both Zee and Ava found it hard to keep up the charade as their feelings were becoming real. Zee was under some pressure as she was supposed to be doing a job and old acquaintances returning didn't help her end game.

I haven't read Tia Louise before and I was hoping to really enjoy this one, but I found some of it a bit unbelievable and it was hard to connect to the characters. There were times where I saw the twists coming and I was like 'Don't do it!' but of course they would. Also, the story isn't over, it was left open for the next book, that I'm unsure I want to continue. Oh well, I tried... maybe one day...
*** Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound. Since they are no longer with us, and with permission from Trisha Wolfe, I have decided that those of us that love to swoon need a central meet up point.  So here it is ladies! I have a link up for everyone at the bottom of the post you can add your swoons to, and I’ll set it up every week! So tell all other swooners out there to come on over, link up so we can visit each other! ***

Here is a snippet so you can see the chemistry between Cal and Zee. This was a sweet moment.

Tearing my eyes away from the ocean, I meet his gaze. I don’t have time to think before his long fingers thread in the back of my hair pulling my mouth roughly to his. A little noise aches from my throat as he pushes my lips apart and finds my tongue with his. Heat floods my pelvis, I taste fresh water and cinnamon, and my entire body is on fire. I don’t think, I only respond, sliding a hand along the back of his neck and chasing his tongue with mine. He holds me firmly against his body, and it’s so good.
“Cal,” I gasp as our lips part.
Our foreheads touch, and I can’t open my eyes. I’m breathing so fast. His kiss singed my spine. It curled my toes. I haven’t been kissed like that… possibly ever—by choice. I take a step back, holding his forearms out and away from me. My lips are throbbing.

Kindle Loc 1148
Originally inspired by YA Bound
Tia Louise
Tia Louise is the Amazon and International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD and DIRTY PLAYERS series and co-author of the Top 10 Amazon bestseller The Last Guy.

From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to picking up USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning the 2015 “Favorite Erotica Author” and the 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.

Mermaid, Good Witch, and bonafide Beach Bum, Louise is a former journalist living in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations…

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With a Twist by Staci Hart ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@imaquirkybird)

I'm reading a lot of new-to-me authors lately, and Staci Hart is another one. I really enjoyed With a Twist, watching the characters find love in the last place you'd expect.
With a Twist (Bad Habits, #1)
Title: With a Twist
Author: Staci Hart
Series: Bad Habits #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 16th 2015

Buy Now - Amazon | Audible

Love is somewhere near the bottom of Lily Thomas’ list of life goals, right next to competitive eating and underwater cave diving. She’s spent six years pirouetting and pliéing her way up the ranks of the New York Ballet with her eye on the prize and love in the back seat. But now that Blane Baker -- Lily’s long time crush -- is finally single, she’ll throw her rules out the window without thinking twice.

Reality with Blane isn’t as epic as the fantasy she imagined, and the truth sends her spinning straight into the arms of the man she never knew she’d always wanted.

West Williams has been friends with Lily since the day she moved into their building and he saved her armoire from a swift, sudden death by staircase. Their friendship has always been easy, the boundaries clearly defined. With neither of them willing to risk their relationship, they’ve drifted happily through the years as companions, never considering more.

That is, until they do. And that realization changes everything.

With a Twist was a bit of a fun read as Lily and West go through a few situations before realising that they have feelings for one another. Neither of them were looking for something permanent, being so focused on their jobs, but soon they realise there's something there.

Lily actually had a crush on a fellow dancer in the beginning, a guy that was suddenly available and was beginning to show interest in her. West was busy with work and had a girl on the side, but it wasn't anything serious. Both Lily and West lived in the same apartment building and shared the same group of friends so they often hung out together as a group, but there were instances when they did things as a pair.

I liked seeing Lily and West as individuals, as they learned a lot about themselves and what they wanted in life. Neither of them were perfect, and made a few mistakes trying to work their lives out.

For my first Staci Hart read, I was quite happy with it. I know absolutely nothing about ballet, but I could feel Lily's passion and love for it through the pages. I was introduced to a lot of interesting characters, and I can see them pairing up for the future books. Lily and West's relationship took a while to blossom, but seemed worth it in the end. With a Twist was a sweet, slow building romance that pulls at your heart.

That moment of realisation! 

I wanted to reach for her, pull her into my lap and hold her, kiss away her tears. The beauty of her emotion held me dead still, watching her feel. I couldn’t disturb that. And if she looked me in the eye in that moment, she’d know what I’d only just realized.
No one was good enough for Lily. But I could be. I wanted to be.
I loved her.

Kindle Page 157

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Staci Hart
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom to three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey, and her favorite word starts with f, ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north in Denver, until they got a wild hair and moved to Holland. It’s the perfect place to overdose on cheese and ride bicycles, especially along the canals, and especially in summertime. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, gaming, or designing graphics.

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