Blog Tour-Review: Canada Square by Carrie Elks

19 April, 2016


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Title: Canada Square
Series: Love in London #3
Author: Carrie Elks
Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: April 7th, 2016
Cover Designed by: Sylvia Frost

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Secrets have a way of coming out…

Amy Cartwright isn't sure who she's supposed to be anymore. Her family thinks she's flighty, her ex believes she's a walkover (the bastard) and her friends think she's plain crazy. But there's a different side to her that nobody sees, nobody but the cool, sexy Scotsman who just happens to be her boss.

Callum Ferguson isn't looking for excitement; he's had that and it almost ruined him. He likes things calm and predictable – everything that his new PA turns out not to be. But from the moment she walks through his office door it's as though the light has come back into his life, and he can't get her out of his mind.

Fighting against the inevitable, they both try to ignore the attraction, but the flame of desire is too bright. They're soon drawn into a steamy love affair that they have to hide from everybody, knowing the revelation could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard for, including each other.

Author note: Canada Square is the third in the Love in London series, but can be read as a standalone book.

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“I'm the youngest of three. Nothing's ever just about me.”
He blinks slowly, eyes heavy lidded. “Something should be.”
The moment twists, the humour dissolving in the frisson that grows between us. I feel it crackling and buzzing against my skin, and all I can think about is that kiss.
Soft, sure. A brief moment of everything.
“Something?” I ask, a little breathlessly.
He catches my gaze, holding it without trying. In that instant I know for sure that whatever I'm feeling for him isn't one-sided. It weaves between us, soft as silk, unbreakable as iron. It makes me feel delighted and downright scared. I can cope with a crush, enjoy it even. Treat him like the eye-candy he is, a piece of deliciousness to look forward to when I enter the office. But mutual attraction? That's dangerous. It's a lingering force that threatens everything; my job, my degree, my hopes for the future.
Here be dragons, but rather than run away from the flames, I'm letting them consume me.

My Review



Third book in the Love in London series, but it read just fine stand-alone, although I am curious about Amy's brother's romance now.

Both language and sexual content on the infrequent yet coarse side.

First-person narrative told from Amy Cartwright's perspective.

She is set to graduate college and landed a sweet-spot internship at a lucrative firm inside a London area office tower known as Canada Square.

This is where Callum Ferguson works, and right away sparks fly when Amy behaves . . . like Amy.

A twenty-three year old who wasn't high-born nor did she attend an upper-crust University, but she ends up having to work alongside quite a few snobs and manages to make friends with at least one of them.

While also managing to turn Callum's head.




I worried that Amy was too young for this type of romance to occur, and then I worried even more about her indecisiveness regarding her determination to get a degree and leave her East End lifestyle behind, (which she continued to struggle with to the very end).

Get a degree, get a job and get the hell out of here.

The author did a good job with character development and wasn't afraid to give Amy both good and bad qualities that happen to be quite frequent in a woman of Amy's age group -- one minute she felt one way and another minute she changes her mind type thinking -- and I appreciated that.

Callum proved to be just as developed and turned out to be not only a keeper but a good man with redeeming qualities someone like Amy could sure use in her life at this moment in time.

The few things that struck me as odd included the Title, which I ended up researching in order to understand. Until I had, I kept expecting some type of reference to the Country.

Carrie also poked fun at an 'American' practice (Amy and Callum work at an American-based company) of non-fraternization in the workplace, which I found both humorous and a tad insulting.

It proved to be a terrific plot device, however, to show us readers just how awesome Callum's character is.

And, while I could partially understand Amy's reluctance to warm up to her real father, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the man and wishing that Amy and her older brother would behave just a bit more understanding of his circumstance.

There were humorous moments, heartwarming instances, and as much suspense as there was romance, making this a delightful read.

My first London-based romance novel of the Contemporary variety read, and the first read by Carrie Elks, and neither will be my last.

If you're looking for a well-written Contemporary with bits of intrigue and suspense along with a heaping helping of 'romance', this is the book for you.

(I received an ARC for an honest review to coincide with the release party)





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Carrie Elks Headshot

Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

AUTHOR Q&A

Where are you from?

I was born in a small town in the West of England, but moved just outside of London, England, while I was still a child. Since then I’ve lived in several different cities in the UK – including Nottingham and Liverpool, and have also lived in Geneva, Switzerland, and Virginia, USA. I’m so lucky to have friends all over the world.

What type of characters are your favourites to write?

I like characters with flaws. I love to read and write stories where the main characters have issues in the past that they are trying to overcome. They aren’t perfect, and they make lots of mistakes, but they develop as people, finding redemption in their growth. That’s so much more interesting to me than reading about perfect characters.

What is your writing process?

I’m a planner in life, and I tend to plan out my stories too. I write out a chapter summary before I start, and usually a timeline so I can envisage where the plot is going. I think of this as the bare bones of a story. To flesh it out I add characters and descriptions, and let things go off on a tangent if the story demands it.  When I’m actually writing, I tend to hide in my bedroom and sit at my desk there. I usually write a chapter –around 3000 words or so – in one sitting.

CONTACT DETAILS


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Carrie can be contacted via email carrie.elks@mail.com


SEAL's Honor by Elle James

05 April, 2016


SEAL's Honor (Take No Prisoners Series): A Military Romance

Print Length -  197 pages
Publisher -  Elle James
Published -  February 9, 2014
Amazon -  Link
Genre -  Action & Adventure,  Men's Adventure, Military Romance
Series -  Take No Prisoners Series, Book 1 of  7
Sexual Content -  4/5
Language -  coarse



Synopsis


SEAL Reed Tucker doesn’t believe in commitment, until he tangles the sheets with one hot pilot, Delaney O’Connell. His phobia against commitment is challenged when his best friend asks Delaney to marry him first.

As a helicopter pilot for the 160th Night Stalkers, Delaney knows the risks of loving a SEAL. When her lover's friend loses an arm in battle, she can’t refuse his marriage proposal when he's already lost so much. In love with one man, pledged to marry another, she’s torn.

Tuck and Delaney must come to grips with the happiness they owe themselves and the happiness of their friend who has lost so much.


Review


I've never had any interest in military romance novels for the same reason I have no interest in the military.

Having grown up in a military-style home, there are few memories that lean toward the romantic.

The predictability involved is another reason, and here is that predictable list:

Contrived: check
Tattoos: check
Lots of F-bombs: check
Blood & Gore: check
Bad to the Bone mentality: check
Livin' Large: check
Motorcycles & Bars: check
Best Buds Forever: check

And they all appear in SEALs Honor, which came as no surprise.

Still, it is important to try everything at least once, and so I did with this novel.

The story itself had merit, so I am offering a blogged review.

It is well-written but with the expected edit issues here and there, yet the author knows her military jargon at most and certain aspects of combat at least.

Trouble was, the story tended to come alive more with the combat missions than with the romance.

And while I did picture both leads clearly in my head, I still had to wonder about Delany vacillating between proclaiming to be a tough-ass 'pilot' with zero inclination to love to a suddenly swooning 'woman' yearning for real love.

It surprised me how much I liked Tucker, the male lead, and despite some of the negative reviews found at Amazon, I happened to enjoy the way these two went at it in the heat of the moment and even between missions.

I read for the romance in general, and these scenes didn't detract from or spoil any of the other action in this story.

Believable and added spice to their defensive posturing.

I'm also in the habit of skimming my way through most sex scenes but especially the graphic episodes.

The names used were a bit contrived, and she put a bit too much emphasis on SEALs being the toughest, most bad-ass military personnel on the block.

The author is listed as a *Best-Seller, and yet this novella was filled with just as much tell as there was show, and you know what? It didn't bother me one bit.

The twist ending was nice, but it might have had a bit more impact if this had not been a novella.

Still on the fence about whether I'd want to read another military-style romance novel, but Ms. James offers a ton in this series if you are interested:

SEAL'S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE
SEAL'S HONOR
SEAL'S DESIRE
SEAL'S EMBRACE
SEAL'S OBSESSION
SEAL'S PROPOSAL
SEAL'S SEDUCTION
SEAL'S DEFIANCE

Brotherhood Protector Series:
MONTANA SEAL
BRIDE PROTECTOR SEAL


 
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