ARC Review: So Far Into You by Lily Malone

Format: E-booksofarintoyou
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Hero: Seth Lasrey
Heroine: Eremia Hanley
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 1, 2015
Started On: October 16, 2015
Finished On: October 17, 2015

Set in rural Australia, So Far Into You is my first novel by author Lily Malone. Lily’s writing is fluid and comfortable to immerse oneself in. It is easy to lose yourself in the way the words flow smoothly to paint a story that made me want to keep on reading, my deadlines be damned. This is a second-chance love story, where the hero Seth Lasrey, the one in charge of steering the family business of wine making makes him as serious as they come – and that is how his mother prefers it to be.

When Seth sets eyes on Eremia Hanley (Remy) at the Margaret River Wine Festival, his interest in her is instantaneous as much as it is an unwelcome one by his mother. Seth’s flare of possessiveness about Remy proves to be detrimental when he discovers the “secret” that Remy keeps close to her heart, the secret that Seth’s mother uses to her advantage to drive the final wedge between their young and freshly blossoming romance.

Years later, Seth and Remy meet again, this time on different grounds, both more mature and wiser than they were before. It takes a while for Seth to understand what went wrong, but he does get there and eventually and these two do manage to work things out. The one thing that was memorable for me about this book was the fact that this book made me want to read! And keep on reading. And it has been a while since that has happened to me with a book. Sometimes each book seems just like the next one you would have the fortune of picking up and it tends to make me sort of a “jaded” reader at times.

I would consider So Far into You to be a good read, though not a great one. I just felt that the spark between Remy and Seth that should’ve been capitalized on during the latter part of the story never truly materialized. Lily Malone writes well, there’s no doubt about that. Both Remy and Seth and the possibilities of what could’ve been and what could potentially happen kept me on tenterhooks, so much so that I decided that my deadlines could go take a hike and I was just gonna enjoy reading till I was done with their story. Perhaps the fact that what I expected and wanted never materialized was why I didn’t love the story as much as I could have.

The most alluring character for me in the story was that of Remy’s. She’s beautiful, charming & one with a big heart that you can feel all throughout the story. Her ability to look past a lot of things, the way her past had shaped her up to be a woman capable of owning up to her own mistakes and her ability to be upfront of honest about things that mattered really went a long long way. I thought that the secret of how Remy had been forced to leave back then would play a huge part of the story. But Lily Malone surprised me by actually acknowledging the elephant in the room rather than letting the issue simmer on the back burner. That was really refreshing.

I had a bit of a tough time getting to like Seth. Perhaps because he was such a naive fool at the beginning, unable to really see through the women who seemingly on the surface meant him well. I’m just glad that everything got sorted out in the end, and that Seth didn’t beat around the bush when push came to shove. Somewhere along the way, Seth proves to Remy that they belong together and a happy ending is all anyone can ask for in a romance of the kind.

Recommended for fans who love second chance romances.

Final Verdict: Rural Australia and a story of the good variety that keeps the pages turning.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes


ARC Review: His Convict Wife by Lena Dowling

Format: E-bookhisconvictwife
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Hero: Samuel Biggs
Heroine: Colleen Mary Malone
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 1, 2013
Started On: January 13, 2014
Finished On: January 13, 2014

His Convict Wife by Lena Dowling is loosely tied to The Convict’s Bounty Bride published in March of 2013. His Convict Wife tells the story of quite the unusual couple, a recently widowed Samuel Biggs who makes his way to Australia to make a new life for himself and a convict bride.

It is during a moment of desperation that Colleen makes an attempt to impress upon Samuel to take her away from the hell she has to live in, not because she is looking out for herself but rather for the baby that she carries in her womb, whom she would not be able to keep if she were to live out the rest of her sentence in prison.

Samuel wants to stay true to the memory of his beloved wife but Colleen proves to be someone who is much more than the person she seems to be, something that makes it tough for Samuel to ignore her and designate her to the safe role of the companion that he wants her to be. Colleen sets out with one goal in her mind when she starts to seduce her husband with every trick she had learnt at the whore house, that is to secure a father’s love for her child. But what Colleen in the end gets is more than what she bargains for as feelings she had never encountered before makes themselves known, something that becomes harder to ignore as the days pass on.

Although I believe that the premise of the story and the characters were quite adequate for the story, I just felt that there were loose ends that needed to be tied up to make the story more wholesome than it ended up being. I liked Colleen’s character, her gumption and her attitude even under the most trying of circumstances. The life that she had been subjected to would have made a bitter woman out of someone with lesser character and I would say the woman she turned out to be earned her my admiration in spades.

Samuel was a bit tough for me to fall for. I felt that he was a bit too rigid at times, too judgmental of everyone and everything. The conflict that pushes Samuel and Colleen apart was one that was understandable at first but I felt that everyone involved didn’t truly get the closure they deserved. Perhaps it was the author’s way of keeping the story realistic because it is seldom in life that anyone gets the proper sense of closure from events that take place. However, I believe that perhaps an epilogue or a chapter that shows the couple somewhere down the line in the future would have appeased readers like myself, knowing that all that the couple had gone through had not been in vain.

One thing that I did like was the subtle heat that existed between Samuel and Colleen. The aspect of Colleen being way more experienced in carnal pleasures was a bit of a novelty when most novels that we come across tends to tell stories where the hero is the one who has a mountain of experience when it comes to women.

Though The Convict Wife could’ve been much better, I still managed to enjoy what the story had to offer. Recommended for those who love romance novels in an Australian setting.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Escape | Kobo


ARC Review: Lost In Kakadu by Kendall Talbot

Format: E-booklostinkakudu.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Hero: Mackenzie Steel
Heroine: Abigail Priscilla Mulholland
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 2013
Started On: June 21, 2013
Finished On: June 27, 2013

Lost in Kakadu is one of the most different romances that I have come across to date. And I mean different in a really good way. I’m a huge fan of romances that comes with the survival in the wilderness theme. I believe that when you really have no option but fight with everything you have to survive, there are no pretenses to be had and you really honestly get to know a person.

Abigail gets on the small plane that is to take herself and husband Spencer along with a handful of other passengers to Kakadu, with a sense of foreboding that she cannot explain; one that her husband ridicules and takes pleasure from. In the end, the feelings of unease that had been coursing through Abigail from the beginning turns into nightmarish reality and the plane crashes with herself and 2 others as survivors.

Abigail is a woman who has led a rich and pampered albeit a confusing and at times a heartbreaking life. She is not the kind of woman who would actually enjoy vacationing in the great outdoors, much less surviving in the wilderness with no hope of rescue coming their way any time soon.

Mackenzie Steel mourns for the loss of his lover, partner and savior who is killed on the trip. The grief that he feels is an undeniable one, but he knows deep inside of his heart that Rodney would want him to survive and to fight to stay alive at all cost. With a woman who surprises and infuriates him in equal turns as company, Mackenzie finds his hands full exploring the lengths to which he is ready to test his comfort zones in order to survive and come out victorious.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no better way to get to know the real person hidden inside than to have to depend on each other for survival. Abigail is the sort of female lead that shows glimpses of a woman who could be so much more but because of the life that she had forced herself to live till now makes it a difficult task to find that woman inside all those protective layers that she had put up to survive.

Discovering the woman that Abigail could become turned out to be one of the best aspects of the story. Neither Abigail nor Mackenzie wakes up the day after the plane crash and turns into soldiers who had been trained to live under the sort of conditions they find themselves under. Rather it is a journey of discovery on what works and what doesn’t, on learning to work together as a team and in the process discover that one can find love of the most beautiful kind even under the most trying and unusual circumstances.

Lost in Kakadu is a portrayal of how much the author Kandall Talbot loves the outdoor and adventures. And I think thats one of the main reasons why the story compelled me to keep turning the pages and let me lose myself in the wondrous journey of self discovery, love and the limits of endurance of the human body that is willing to survive at any cost. I loved the slow awakening of Abigail and Mackenzie’s emotions for one another. A case of depending on each other which had turned into friendship, mutual respect and then a love that defied all odds made for a triumphant read in my opinion.

Charlie and the letters that he had written to his family all throughout his life turned out to be another moving aspect of a story that already had a lot going for it. The epilogue that was tucked in at the end that gave a sense of closure to Charlie and his longing to be reunited with the family he had lost turned out to be an ending that provoked all sorts of mixed emotions from me. But if I were to give it all away here, well, that would mean ruining the journey that is Lost in Kakadu for you.

Lost in Kakadu is a tale of endurance, grief, survival and undying love that comes highly recommended. If you love romances featured in the wilderness and love stories that feels like a journey rather than just a happily ever after, then this one is for you.

Favorite Quotes

His arousal was swift and absolute and he leant toward her upturned face, searching for a sign. He tried to resist the throbbing in his loins but when she didn’t turn away he couldn’t wait a moment longer. As his world blurred into a haze of lust he pressed his lips against hers. She tasted of rain drops. From the very first touch his uncertainty was swept away. Abi parted her lips allowing his tongue to explore the softness of her mouth and the hairs on his neck bristled as her hand clutched his neck pulling him down to her. A groan tumbled from his throat.

He brought her to the brink of no return and then he pulled back, hovering above her on his hands and knees, his breathing ragged. She wanted him … now, and reached up to pull his mouth to hers. Their lips touched with sizzling passion. Their kiss deepened, tongues probing, exploring. She was lost in the moment, savouring the fire deep within her. He eased himself into her and she gasped, digging her nails into his muscular shoulders.
They became one, entangled in an intensity that united them with feverish appetite. Her body came alive, throbbing inside and out as he thrust himself into her.

Purchase Links: Not Available