The Definition of Icing by Aven Ellis

The Definition of Icing
Published in May 2015.

“Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she’s gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations.
All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the blond beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them.
So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she’s all about the chocolate now.
Or is she?
Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything. Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn’t want to be, for reasons that have caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what happened to him in Minnesota.
But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn’t so sure about his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide…”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. I’ve always enjoyed Aven’s books (reviews here) so I was keen to get started, especially as this one contained a sexy ice hockey player!

I wasn’t too sure about Kenley to begin with, I guess I found the whole ‘I’m too pretty to be taken seriously’ thing slightly annoying. Nate on the other hand was an instant hit and not just because he was hot but because he had a heart as well. He arrived on the scene at a crucial moment and pretty much saved the day like a true hero.

Kenley ended up being a character who I grew to care about as the story progressed. When she made an embarrassing messaging mistake I couldn’t help but cringe on her behalf – the first sign that I was beginning to warm to her.

Sometimes I felt Nate was a little too perfect and I found myself waiting for something bad to happen, something that would throw everything up in the air and cause some chaos. Both Kenley and Nate were on a journey, they needed to learn to trust again and take a risk with love. The author captured their feelings and hesitance beautifully, creating a story which was as emotional as it was sexy.

CiCi (Kenley’s mum) was actually my favourite character and made me laugh in every scene she was involved with, she definitely added the comedy factor to this book!

WARNING: The Definition of Icing contains talk of delicious chocolate. Being on a diet whilst reading this book meant that I was practically dribbling all over my Kindle as I read the descriptions of all the wonderful chocolates and goodies – yes, even the curry flavour! My name is Kate and I’m a chocoholic.

A lovely ending finished the story off nicely, it wasn’t my favourite from this author but still a great read.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis

Waiting for prince harry

“Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer. Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and fears not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry. But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option. 

Or does it? 

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger guy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this encounter. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to live in the present? “

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. I read and reviewed (here) Aven’s first book Connectivity which I thoroughly enjoyed so I couldn’t wait to get started on this one – the title really has the smile factor!

The storyline began with Kylie as bridesmaid for her brother’s lavish wedding, sadly she felt uncomfortable and out-of-place because she was the kind of person who preferred her own company.  She certainly didn’t seem to have much in common with most of the wedding guests so I could see how she would feel strange about it. On the brighter side, the wedding led to her meeting Harrison for the first time and I have to say I particularly loved the way they met.

Kylie and Harrison had fab chemistry, there were many moments between them that made my heart skip a beat – it was very easy to see what she saw in him because I personally think he was kind of perfect.  The effect that Harrison had on Kylie was lots of fun to read especially when she was trying to avoid facing her feelings. Later on their kisses were electrifying, they almost sizzled off the Kindle screen at me!

The author’s comfortable writing style made this so easy and fun to read, the references to Connectivity added some familiarity to the book and I really liked that.  I also liked the way Aven brought social media into the storyline, for me it made it so current and relatable.

This was a unputdownable, feel-good read that held my attention throughout.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Connect on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AvenEllis1 

Talk on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AvenEllis 

Visit on the web:

http://www.avenellis.com/index.html 

Check out pins on Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/avenellis/

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Simply Irresistible – Rachel Gibson

“Georgeanne Howard leaves her fiancé at the altar when she realizes she can’t marry a man old enough to be her grandfather, no matter how rich he is. Hockey superstar John Kowalsky unknowingly helps her escape, and only when it’s too late does he realize that he’s absconded with his boss’s bride. This bad boy isn’t looking to be anybody’s savior but his own. Still, a long night stretches ahead of them—a night too sultry to resist temptation.

Seven years later, Georgeanne and John meet again. She is on her way to becoming Seattle’s domestic darling and he is past his hellraising days. Shocked to learn that he has a daughter, John’s determined to be part of her life. Georgeanne has loved John since the moment she jumped into his car, but will he risk the wrath of his boss, and one final chance at glory, to prove that this time his love will be everlasting?”

I’m a big fan of Rachel Gibson’s books, I’ve reviewed a couple of them here.  This particular book is the first in the Chinooks hockey team series so obviously I haven’t read them in order (highly unusual for me), I don’t think this matters though because they work so well as stand-alone books.

When I first read the blurb I thought it sounded similar to another of her books that I have read, it turned out that I was right because there definitely were quite a few similarities, however this didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book in any way.

Georgeanne was an interesting character – I felt sad when reading about her school troubles and I loved her southern charm.  I loved how much she talked and I could almost picture her babbling on in front of this masculine hockey player who really wasn’t much of a listener.  The connection between her and John was electric, they were complete opposites and I think that is what made them so interesting together.

My first impression of John was that he was arrogant and rude but there were hints at some kind of traumatic past which, when revealed, made me look at his behaviour in a new light.  The sexual scenes between John and Georgeanne were quite full on but I felt that it was appropriate and didn’t detract from the story.

Lexie was a brilliant character and reminded me so much of my own daughter, she was extremely cute and I loved how she wrapped her father around her little finger.  The pet shop incident was one of my favourite Lexie moments, it really got me giggling.

It may have been quite obvious where the storyline was heading but I enjoyed the journey nonetheless, there were times of sadness, laughter and sometimes anger, there were even a few ‘awwwww’ moments particularly towards the end – I wasn’t expecting such a romantic finish!

This was a fantastic read, another hit from Rachel Gibson.

I purchased Simply Irresistible for my Kindle from Amazon UK.

To find out more about Rachel Gibson visit her website here.

Taking Charge – Mandy Baggot – Blog Tour

Today I am taking part in my very first blog tour!

I’m excited to be a part of Mandy Baggot’s tour for her latest novel Taking Charge which is published by Sapphire Star Publishing.  Thank you to Mandy for sending me an ARC for review.

Is going back Robyn’s only way forward?

American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it? 

Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He’s tall, dark, hot and Robyn’s noticed! But can she trust her feelings – or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her?

Robyn returns to Michigan and things aren’t quite the same. Her best friend has grown up and is thinking about marriage and babies, the ice hockey team is no longer the life blood of the community and her father is engaged!

When Robyn’s twin cousins drag up past events that hold painful memories for her, she and Cole are forced together. But are either of them ready to start something new?

With an ill father, a trailer trash almost step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Does she really want one? And is it physically possible for two people to fall in love in just three days?”

I was so looking forward to reading this, I love the cover and I have to admit that the photo of a certain ice-hockey player did raise my interest just a little bit! I loved having an image of the character in mind while I read the book, it made everything seem more real.

The start of this book was fantastic, it was intense and exciting – there was definitely a chemistry between Robyn and Cole right from the beginning!

I really loved Robyn, she has to be one of the best female characters I’ve read and I found myself completely caught up in her life.  I liked how confident and random she was, she talked a lot and was extremely determined to get what she wanted. Underneath all that though you could tell that she was vulnerable and had some personal issues that she was dealing with.

Cole was perfect, well maybe he also had some issues but who doesn’t?  He was gorgeous (just look at his photo, no further comment necessary), protective and despite having his own problems to handle he was always there for Robyn.  Mandy says she writes characters you’ll fall in love with and I totally agree – I loved every single character in this story.

I also really took to Eddie and Max, they had me laughing out loud with their hospital antics, I could easily picture them behaving like cheeky schoolboys when they were supposed to be ill and taking better care of themselves.

There were so many great moments in this story that I really enjoyed – random kissing, crazy shopping trips, an interesting changing room shower scene, the list just goes on and on.  There were also lots of secrets and some serious issues that I feel were dealt with accurately and honestly.  My eyes welled up with tears on quite a few occasions whilst reading this book as those secrets were revealed and trusts were broken.

I absolutely couldn’t stop reading this, I was so completely involved in what was going on and just had to know what was going to happen next.

This is a romantic, fun story with a perfect ending – I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Taking Charge can be purchased from Amazon UK and US

Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.  Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube – check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man. Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more on Mandy’s website or check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing.

There are still some more stops on the blog tour so be sure to visit them too:

 

Chasing Daisy – Paige Toon

“Daisy Rogers is in love – and that’s no good thing.  It’s not just that her very famous ex is neither out of sight nor out of mind, but that the man of her dreams, William Trust, has a girlfriend – a childhood sweetheart, no less.  And as a Formula 1 racing driver, he puts his life at risk every day he goes to work.

From Melbourne to Monte Carlo, and São Paulo to Singapore, Daisy and her best friend Holly travel the world as hospitality girls on the Grand Prix scene.  But with more secrets between them than Paris Hilton has shoes, life promises to be nothing short of a whirlwind.”

I’m on a mission to read all of Paige Toon’s books because the ones I have already read I’ve really enjoyed, this was the next on my list and I wasn’t surprised to find that it was just as great as the others.  I was totally addicted to this story, I just couldn’t put it down and ended up reading it in one day (I seem to be doing that a lot lately, there are so many brilliant books around).

I loved Daisy straight away, she was feisty and funny which meant that I was always wondering what was going to happen next.  I really enjoyed the banter between Luis and Daisy, their first meeting at the start of the book had me laughing out loud (always a great start to a book).  Luis is a bit of a ladies man and for some reason I always seem to prefer those characters in books so he was definitely a favourite of mine.  Will was sweet but something seemed off about him – after I had finished the book I still felt like I hadn’t worked him out.

It was great to read all the behind the scenes action from the Formula 1 world, when I think of Formula 1 I just see the cars and drivers, this made me think of all the people behind all of that, those who make the whole thing possible.

Further on in the story there was a huge unexpected twist that I honestly didn’t see coming, so on top of the fun and laughter this book also made me feel incredibly sad, I could actually feel my heart sink because I had become so involved with the characters and I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

As the synopsis suggests, there are many secrets that are uncovered throughout the book, some that I had figured out and some that I hadn’t.  It certainly kept me on my toes and prevented me from putting the book down as I was always waiting for the next big revelation.

This was another entertaining and unputdownable read from Paige Toon, I can’t wait to carry on with my mission and read more of her wonderful books!

Chasing Daisy can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.

Nothing But Trouble – Rachel Gibson

 

This is the second book of Rachel Gibson’s that I have read and like the first it was an unputdownable read, it’s one of those books that you just need to know what happens next.

There are two main characters in this story, Chelsea Ross the out of work actress/celebrity PA and Mark Bressler the injured hockey superstar.  Chelsea is hired by Mark’s hockey team management to become his PA but Mark doesn’t think he needs help, he’s in a really dark place after the accident and is very rude to most people that he meets, seeing as she really needs the money though Chelsea sticks with it.

The relationship between Chelsea and Mark is at times very funny and full of chemistry, Chelsea is used to dealing with unreasonable people so she doesn’t let Mark get the better of her, this clearly annoys him even more because he is trying to get rid of Chelsea like he got rid of all the other hired help – by being rude and difficult!

I loved the banter between Chelsea and Mark and I really enjoyed reading about how their feelings changed towards one another throughout the book.  There were some very touching moments and also some very heated, sexual ones.

Another great book from Rachel Gibson – sexy and funny with some romance thrown in too.

 

Any Man of Mine – Rachel Gibson

 

Autumn Haven goes on holiday to Vegas, she meets a guy called Sam LeClaire, they have a fabulous time together, drunkenly get married and the next day he leaves her in the hotel room alone and goes back to his normal life.  Sam is a famous hockey star who loves the ladies and the lifestyle, the last thing he wants is to be tied down to a marriage so his lawyer arranges the divorce but then comes the shock that Autumn is pregnant with his baby!.

The book actually starts years later when Autumn is successfully running her own event-planning business and bringing up their child, Conner, by herself.  Sam looks after Conner now and then when it suits him but he has never been very reliable and he never picks Conner up himself – he sends his assistant.  They run into each other again at a wedding she’s in charge of and from there on in everything seems to change between them.

I really enjoyed this book, it’s a sexy and romantic story all rolled into one.  I found the single mum storyline empowering yet sad because it’s clear that Autumn wanted things to be different and she has been incredibly hurt by everything that Sam has put her through.

At the end of the story I felt satisfied that everything was how it should be and all loose ends were tied up so it was another enjoyable read for me.

I’m now looking forward to reading more of Rachel Gibson’s work.