Cover Reveal | The Rules of Burken by Traci Finlay

I don’t think I’ve ever done a book cover reveal on my website before, so this will make it my first ever. I firstly want to apologise for in inactivity – life has been hectic and crazy and I could feel myself getting ill again. Time away from life can help. But now, I’m back. I promise.

So, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I ADORE psychological thrillers – and when I read the summary of Traci Finlay’s The Rules of Burken, I was pretty much hooked.

I’ve not got my hands on a copy yet, so I can’t tell you what I think of it. But when I do get a copy, I have a feeling its going to be one hell of a book. And below is the beautiful cover, which just makes me even more excited for the release!

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Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them. 

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game. 

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back. 

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?

“This book captured me from the start! The Rules of Burken reveals the chilling secrets behind a childhood game, and I’ve never been more disturbed by what the human mind can do.” — @colleenhoover

So what are your thoughts? The book promises to deliver, and from the reviews I’ve read so far, people are really loving the book! If you’re interested in adding it to your goodreads shelf, then just click the pretty cover and it’ll take you there!

The Rules of Burken drops April 11th! I’ll see you then.

Fresh Ink | Staci Hart Collection

I’m a shallow person when it comes to book covers. I’ve always believed that a book cover can be, (ether inadvertently or not) the difference between someone buying your book or not.

Now I absolutely love the books Staci hart writes, and I actually have a couple of reviews coming up from her in the future. It delights me to tell you that three of her books [her Lipstick Collection] have had make-overs with new covers.

Simply put – they are absolutely gorgeous and I love them.

The whole cute retro theme featuring the men and women have my heart, honestly. They replace previous covers featuring steamy males, which is a welcome change. These definitely look a little more discrete when I’m reading them on the bus.

If these have taken your fancy, you can find the Goodreads links for each here:

Piece of Work
Player
Work in Progress

But the good news gets even better, because all three books are available for FREE if you have a valid Kindle Unlimited account. How much better can life get?

For lighthearted romances, these are definitely worth the check out.

Review | Piece of Work by Staci Hart

Title | Piece of Work
Author | Staci Hart
Series | Red Lipstick Coalition, #1
Pages | 296
Publisher | Quirky Bird
Genre | Contemporary Romance
Release Date | May 17, 2018

Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum. 

His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know. 

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life. 

And maybe my heart, too. 

When I first stumbled upon Staci Hart’s work, I wasn’t one-hundred percent sure that they were for me. Reluctantly I read my first book by her and before I knew it, I was pretty much hooked. The simplicity yet depth behind these books always through me – Piece of Work was not an exception.

Following the lives of Rin and Court (whose quirky, unusual names definitely scored brownie points) as their paths collide and they fall into this heated romance had me absorbed. I will tell you right now, Rin is one of my favourite characters. She is a young Asian woman with her whole future ahead of her. [Side note: loving Asian representation in fiction.] Inevitably she finds her confidence and her empowerment is just too much to handle. Court on the other hand is definitely an arsehole, but you can’t help but feel for him. I love a character who is able to unravel and come out of their shell, or break away from their cold exteriors.

Though the book is around thirty-two chapters long, it took me two hours to complete. I would argue it was more of a novella, or even a short story. The length of the book is very relevant however, as it isn’t dragged out. The story is short and sweet – just the perfect helping of romantic office drama. Pacing in the story is good too; at no point did I find myself bored. Staci Hart’s lighthearted romances tend to be books I enjoy more in the summer, when I’m too hot and flustered for something long and exhausting.

The overall plot of the story is pretty simple – it is a romance story after all. Boy gets girl, or boy and girl are never to be. Those are pretty much your two common endings. It was a breath of fresh air however, to see a book focused around romance within the art world. Reading YA novels, I’ve grown accustomed to stories about teenagers who find love in schools.

I’m keeping this review short and sweet, just like the book. The characters were adorable, the length and pace is suitable for a light read and the plot is adorable. However, this book is definitely not for the prudish. If you don’t really vibe from sexual scenes, or graphic sexual content then I’d advise you not to read the story. Overall, I give this story 4 out of 5: not perfect, but pretty damn near for a cute romance read.

Alternatively, here are a few fresh perspectives on the book:

Holly @ Page to Page Reviews says “I really loved this story. Rin is such an amazing character and I found myself really feeling everything with her as the story developed.”

Tweety @ Purplebass says “I will surely read another book by Staci Hart after this one because I think I’ll also enjoy her other titles.”

The Escapist Book Blog says “From silly to serious and everything in between, Piece of Work has just the right mix of humor, heart, and heat, and I loved it!”

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Does this novel sound like it will take your fancy? Follow the links below to add the book to your TBR list; or alternatively to buy the book on Amazon. There’s even better news for all Kindle Unlimited members, because this book is FREE under the subscription service!

Amazon | Goodreads | Author

Series Review | After by Anna Todd

Despite all the hate I often see reviewers giving Wattpad.com, I believe it has produced some pretty damn good authors to date. The online writing website has seen the rise of writing legends such as Jordan Lynde, Natasha Preston, Kirsty Moseley and the very fabulous Bella Johnson. And now here I am, introducing the wonderful Anna Todd to you all!

The impeccable writing of the American author touched hundreds of millions of hearts on Wattpad, racking up an amazing four-hundred and eleven MILLION reads* simply on the first novel! This is incredibly amazing for a beginner and highlights the skills and talent Ms Todd possesses. Therefore, I feel it is only fair to introduce you all to the wonderful romantic series that will have you laughing, crying and wanted absolutely more!

The four-part series After follows the romantic story of Tessa and Hardin. The plot to the story was absolutely amazing, and despite the clichéd good-girl meets bad-boy, I could not put the book series down. I adored how I felt the urge to pick up the next book straight after. The pull of the story and the growing need to follow #Hessa right to the end of their journey is something I only rarely see in today’s young adult market. The After series deals with some very sensitive issues, and it is interesting to see how the two protagonists struggle to balance each other and their problems at the same time. Yet Ms Todd deals with the issues incredibly well, giving the story more reality.

As for the writing style of the book, fluid is not the word. The flow of the writing eased you from chapter to chapter, and then from book to book. My disappointment in finishing the series was not due to the way the story ends, but as to the actual ending. A part of me wanted the After adventure to continue forever. But all good things must come to an end. The laid back style of the writing allows anybody to easily focus into the story, and this would make a perfect holiday or light-reading pick!

I only have incredibly high praising for Ms Todd and her work. I expect a great deal from her in the future. She is definitely a one to watch!

* Current total was reviewed on the 04.02.17

The After series was split into four novels, and a fifth including prequel Before.

After

The first book in to the series, and one that I did have the most of a struggle with. The story is a bit slow getting off the ground, and for those who didn’t enjoy Fifty Shades of Grey, this book may not be your thing – as many have branded it as abusive. (Personally, I think people are being picky.)

Despite the struggle of this story, Tessa and Hardin are absolutely adorable and it is wonderful seeing their relationship develop. With the ending of this book, I knew I had to try the second – SO DON’T GIVE UP ON THIS ONE!

Book rating – 6 out of 10.

After We Collided


The second instalment was much better, and the real depth of the characters began to set in.  The relationship develops so much more and you begin to learn the back stories that have led up to the present.

A strong novel from Todd, this book did sway me to finish the rest of the serious. This was, ultimately, the one that hooked the story for me. So if you do make it to the second book, I doubt you’ll be disappointed 😉

Book rating – 7 out of 10.

After We Fell


From this point on, anything I say runs the risk of spoilers. This isn’t something I want do. What I do expect is that you GO READ THIS! Ms Todd got a lot of controversial reviews on this – a mix of both good and bad.

So go get the series and make up your own mind.

Because mine is set that this series was a brilliant romantic tale between two people who needed each other to invoke a change.

Book rating: 7 out of 10.

After Ever Happy

In concluding this series review, all I can say is that I do adore these stories. They’ll be something I adore re-reading over and over again. In fact, I might go read them again now!

Plot | 7 out of 10 | Cute and romantic!
Theme | 5 out of 10 | Fairly cliche, must admit.
Characters | 8 out of 10 | Deep, but ridiculous at times.
Romance | 9 out of 10 | One word: #Hessa
Tone and Pace | 10 out of 10 | Quick moving, easy read!
Cover Art | 4 out of 10 | Fairly basic…

Overall Series Rating | 7 out of 10 | A great little love story, though some abusive moments.

b-o-r-d-e-r
Copyright @ Elizabeth Weinberg, NY Times

ANNA TODD is a first-time writer spending her days in the Austin area with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. Between her husband’s three deployments to Iraq, she worked odd jobs from a makeup counter to the IRS processing counter. Anna was always an avid reader and boy band and romance lover, so now that she’s found a way to combine the three she’s enjoying living a real-life dream come true.

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