Posted in Anna Bloom, Guest Reviews

GUEST REVIEW by Anna Bloom

Before I post Anna’s review, you all seriously need to add The Uni Files to your TBR list.

Anna has become a good friend and I’ve had sneaky views of this book and it really looks amazing to read! It’s my next book to read after my tour book ;). But yesss, Anna has kindly written about The Uni Files for ya’ll to know what it is about 😀

—————————————-

Synopsis

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree, prove she is a grown-up and blow a big fat raspberry at all those who doubt her, especially her dad.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be and learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

The Uni File: Year One – The Art of Letting Go is the humorous diary of a young woman in the throes of a mid-twenties breakdown. It will leave you asking the question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could, what would you do to stop it?

————————————————

Anna’s guest post

Did you know that there were two versions of The Uni File – Year One before I finally finished one I was happy with? Of course you don’t. None of you know about The Uni File yet because we are still two months away from publication and you haven’t had a glimpse into the world of Ben and Lilah yet. It is a world to me, a world that I live and breathe and spend every waking moment thinking about.

So why did I end up with the version that I did? What did it have that the others didn’t? What made it set my imagination on fire to such an extent that it would become something that I would put my real life on hold for?

Well the truth is I don’t really know. It just evolved and my characters and the storyline changed along with it, every version took the characters one step further until I finally knew who I wanted them to be. For instance in my first draft Lilah was not called Lilah she was called Jessie and the Uni File was not a diary but a blog. Jessie used to have a diary but her brother Tristan who was also her best friend got drunk one night and read it out to the whole pub. Jessie left the diary at home and decided to have a blog instead on her first day at Uni.

I don’t know when Jessie became Lilah but I guess at some point she did and I am glad of that fact. The Uni File would just not be the same with a Jessie at the helm instead of a Delilah. Just the name Delilah speaks crazy for me and opens up so many different avenues to explore. For example Lilah hates it when people call her Delilah, but Ben does, normally when he is taking the piss out of her. All of her good friends call her Lil which I would never have thought works but it kind of does all the same.

Tristan did not remain in his cuddly best friend Brother role. He is Tristan the Arse in this version, but you will have to read it to find out why.

Now Ben. Ben was initially called Ben Chase and he did not play guitar. Yes that is right and I will repeat it just to make it clear, BEN DID NOT PLAY GUITAR! I know… I thought of a premise for a story where my Ben did not play guitar? I just can’t believe it, but the evidence is there so it must be true. Ben Chase was a member of the football team who seemed like an enigma to Jessie. Always warm and friendly but legged it at every available opportunity. I cannot even tell you how far this is from my Benjamin Chambers who is strong and solid, caring and thoughtful as well as super talented and outrageously hot (of course).

In my second draft I went the other way, Lilah was Lilah by that point but she was stuck in a dramatic storyline involving blackmail and family feuds. Ben was Ben Chambers but his band Sound Box were uber famous and it was Ben that was running away to University to escape the limelight and not Lilah who was changing her life in a bid to save herself.

I was halfway into this version when I woke up at five in the morning and had an epiphany. I knew exactly the kind of book I wanted to write. I stripped it all back to just Lilah and Ben and then I started to create a world around them, I gave them friends who all have their own stories, I gave them an environment where anything could be possible and I gave them the chance to create something that could be perfect. I wanted it to be laugh out loud funny, I wanted it to be beautiful and romantic. I wanted it to be a love story but a real one at the same time, one that people would read and fall in love with the characters but also understand and accept the decisions that they had to make. More than all of that I wanted to write a novel that people would believe, a love so right that it would feel it had actually happened, a world so convincing it would all feel real.

Have I succeeded? I hope so, but I guess I will be waiting for you guys to let me know when you finally get to enter the world of Lilah and Ben and The Uni Files.

Anna’s links

Website

Twitter

Posted in Guest Reviews, Nyrae Dawn

GUEST REVIEW: Facade (#2) – Nyrae Dawn by Ella Fox

My guest reviewer this time around is Ella Fox, the lovely author whose books include The Hart Family and the Renegade Saints series.

Here is her review of Facade by Nyrae Dawn 🙂

 

16150320Synopsis

From bestselling author, Nyrae Dawn, comes Book 2 in her New Adult, “Games” Series!

Can love save them?

After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is alright. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been–and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.

To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his façade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.

Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate, carefree love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together, or tear them apart forever?

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

add-to-goodreads-button3

 

——————————————————————

Ella’s Review

I absolutely adored book 1 in the “Games” series, “Charade.” As the story came to it’s conclusion, I was hoping that Adrian would be getting a book of his own. When I found out that he was; I was thrilled! Nyrae can weave a tale like nobodies business. Her stories make their way into your heart and set up camp, permanently.

My advice before beginning a “Games” book is to have some tissues ready. Going into this book I thought that there was no way that I would have as emotional of a reaction/connection to Façade as I did with Charade. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both stories are dynamic and beautiful, each a journey that won’t soon be forgotten.

Façade is, at its base, a story about growth, forgiveness and redemption. Delaney is a girl that feels things very deeply. Her father is in jail and her mother is an abusive suicidal terror. Although Delaney is done with her father, she continues to try to save her mother. The heartbreaking thing is that her mother treats her like garbage

and makes the situation that much worse. The one family member who cares about Delaney is her brother, Maddox. He’s there for her but is fighting his own demons, things that she doesn’t know about.

With things as bad as they are, Delaney hopes that if she can find the people that had their lives ruined by her fathers actions, the suffering within her own family will end.

Delaney is easily able to find the ‘mother’ of the boy that was killed. Meeting Angel is cathartic for them both and they really open up to each other. During the course of their meeting Angel tells Delaney that Delaney’s father didn’t just killed Ashton that day- he took away her whole family because Angel’s brother wasn’t able to deal with it and he disappeared. Angel had an investigator find him and it turned out that Adrian was living four hours away, but Angel is unable to go to him because she knows that Adrian would run.

Getting into Adrian’s POV was gut wrenching. From the beginning it’s very clear that he holds himself totally accountable to Ash’s death. At the cemetery on the fourth anniversary of Ash’s death, Adrian sits in his car and watches his sister cry over his grave… but doesn’t go to her because he thinks that she must hold him responsible.

Pain grabs a hold of me, threatens to pull me under, and for the millionth time I wonder why I don’t let it. It would be so much easier than walking around in the masks I do now.

Delaney makes a radical choice and decides to move to where Adrian is. Destiny plays a little trick the day that she moves in when she meets Adrian, but doesn’t know who he is.

Later that night, she meets him again when he shows up at the diner she’s working in. There’s an attraction there on both sides from the get-go. When he tells her his name, she’s stunned.

Their relationship develops from there. Adrian is hiding behind pot and parties because he doesn’t want to feel anything, while Delaney is keeping one key piece of information about herself from him.

Adrian has never told anyone about Ash and Delaney tells no one about her father. Although they begin by keeping these secrets from each other, their relationship is real. He sees that she’s in pain and nicknames her ‘little ghost’. They let down their walls with each other- sometimes against their own will- and become something bigger.

There is so much to this story that I can’t share because it would be spoiler-ish and that’s not okay. Suffice it to say, these characters stole, then broke, then healed my heart.

I was so proud of Delaney for showing Adrian that he was a good man, and I was also proud of her for finally standing up to her mother and walking away.

As far as Adrian goes… I fell in love. Some of the deepest scars are internal and he survived something that a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to. Although he was drowning for four years, the core of him was still amazing. He just needed to learn to fight, to LIVE, and Delaney was able to push him in that direction. I cried my eyes out for him- from the shirt under his pillow to the handprint on his heart, Adrian had me- and I cried happy tears when he started to become the man that Ashton would have wanted him to be. When he lets it all out for Delaney, my heart skipped beats.

You helped me stop bleeding. You made my heart beat when I thought it was gone.

Seriously, how could you NOT fall in love with Adrian Westfall?

Next up in the “Games” series is Delaney’s brother Maddox’s story and I can’t wait. I spent a fair amount of time during this book wondering about what had happened to him and I’m anxious to get that book in my hands so that I can know.

I can’t recommend this series enough.

About Ella Fox

It seems I’ve had one story or another in my head since the day I was born. I’ve always had characters taking up space my brain, waiting to be “delivered.” Recently I decided to take the plunge, and what a journey it’s been!

I’m a romance girl. Always have been, always will be. My pet peeve is reading a romance novel that centers around a weak and spineless heroine. It’s insulting that as a society we fall for stereotypical female characters who bat their eyelashes, aren’t familiar or comfortable with their sexuality and who allow themselves to be railroaded by the men in the story.

I enjoy a heroine that sounds REAL. Women like you, like me, like my friends. Women who don’t take crap, who don’t accept emotional or mental abuse and who don’t automatically do whatever it is the man wants.

A GOOD relationship- even a relationship that includes BDSM- always involves two equals. It is true in life and it’s true in my books.

Author Links

Goodreads

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Smashwords

Amazon US

Amazon UK