26 February 2015

Book Review: Alex (Cold Fury Hockey, #1) by Sawyer Bennett

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Format: Kindle 
Publishers: Loveswept
Published: 14th October 2014
Pages: 224
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, 
Main Characters: Sutton, Alex   
Date Read: 20th February - 24th February 2015

Rating Given:
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Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn't afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn't so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves. As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people--like Alex, who's been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team's effort to clean up his image. What she doesn't expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn't one to cross professional boundaries--and besides, Alex doesn't do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex's bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers."

 I was given a review copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I do love the look of this model..I mean cover ;) I can definitely see him as Alex as that's how he is described in the book. I love the sepia tone to the cover as it makes a change of either too bright or black and white which I like as well but the tone works for this cover as well as the book.

As soon as I started this book I knew I was going to be hooked and I wasn't wrong as throughout the book I just needed to know what was going to happen next. This will be my third book by Sawyer Bennett and the third that I loved I think this may even be my favourite of the bunch as well as being up there with my favourite book of the year so far. I loved every minute of this book because not only was the chemistry between the two main characters smoking hot it also brought up some difficult issues which I felt where done brilliantly. The interaction between Sutton and Alex sizzled from the very beginning but not only that but they also brought out the best in one another and the banter that they had had me laughing out loud at times. I would have to say the last few chapters where one of my favourites ever especially the part that used inspiration from Love Actually which I adored as what was used was also my favourite part of the film so I was swooning a LOT. It may have been cheesy but I didn't care what so ever as it was so sweet and romantic that I couldn't bring myself to care I just loved it. I absolutely adored this book and now I can't wait to read Garrett's book I just hope it live's up to this book.

I liked that this book had the two main characters that had a similar childhood yet they both turned out completely different. I really liked Sutton as she didn't have the best of starts in her life but she made up for that in the way in which she helps others. She was such a sweet person I especially loved her relationship with her family. The way Alex was portrayed at the beginning you would think that I wouldn't like him but in the end I loved him especially the softer side that Sutton brought out in him. I did love some of the side characters especially Garrett as he brought some much needed light relief and I'm so glad that his books next. I also loved Sutton's little brother as he was so endearing.

Overall another hit for Sawyer Bennett as I for one loved every minute of this book and I can't wait to read more from her.

25 February 2015

Book Review: Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2) by Veronica Rossi

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Format: Paperback
Publishers: ATOM
Published: 8th January 2013
Pages: 341
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance, 
Main Characters: Perry, Aria   
Date Read: 14th February - 19th February 2015
Rating Given:
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Aria has struggled to build a life for herself outside Reverie. It hasn't been easy adjusting to life in the wilderness but that struggle has been worth it with Perry by her side. 
But Perry has other challenges. His people are looking to him for answers. Answers about what happened to his nephew and what's happening to their world. And they don't trust the priviledged Aria, one of the enemy, in their midst. 
Soon he'll be forced to chose between the tribe that looks to him for leadership and the girl that looks to him for love.

 I received this a little while ago from ATOM publishers in exchange for a honest review.

This cover was just as beautiful as the first book and I may even like it more than the first one as the backdrop looks absolutely stunning. I am also a fan that each of the books in this series match but also have their own feel about them.

Through the Ever Night picked up from the very last moment that Under the Never Sky finished which I liked as it flowed better without any going back to the moments that where missed. I think I like this one just as much as the first one maybe even a smidgen better which I think had a lot to do with Roar being in it a lot more than the previous book. This was an action packed novel which some of the things that had happened I hadn't expected. Even though there is a lot of sadness in this book (more than even the first one) there is still some moments that had me chuckling along or awwing away at some of the things that had happened. I loved the relationship between Aria and Roar as it was nice to see a guy and girl being just friends and thats what they where the best of friends as this doesn't happen often in the books that I read. I also love the growing feelings between Aria and Perry but with things happening I don't think we got to see enough of them together. I liked the ending as it did leave me wanting more but there wasn't a huge cliff hanger, however I still have gone on to read the last book straight away.

I never feel like there is much to say about the characters in a sequel that hasn't already been said in a previous review but I felt like in this book most of the characters changed and in a good way. Aria has really become this strong person mentally and physically, yeah she was strong in the first book but in this book she had really come into her own. Perry is even more likable in this book than he was in the first book as we got to see a more softer side to him especially when in the presence of Aria. With Roar being in this book more than the first one we got to know a lot more about him and the more I found out about him the more I loved him. There was a change in him at the end of the book that broke my heart I'm just hoping that in the next book he starts to become the Roar he was at the beginning but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

Overall another great book in the Under the Never Sky series and I am very eager to see how it will all come to an end.

Waiting on Wednesday - Confess by Colleen Hoover

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

Confess by Colleen Hoover
Expected Publication - 10th March 2015

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies. 
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

I've never read anything by Colleen Hoover before yet everything she releases I want to read so when I saw this book I knew that this wouldn't be any different as it sounds so good.

What are you waiting on? 

22 February 2015

Book Review: More Than Exes (Chasing the Dream, #0.5) by Elizabeth Briggs

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Format: Kindle 
Publishers: Indie
Published: 28th October 2014
Pages: 134
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, 
Main Characters: Kyle, Alexis   
Date Read: 18th February - 19th February 2015
Rating Given:
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Keyboardist Kyle Cross may look like a bad boy with his tattoos and piercings, but he’s really the good guy who’s always stuck fixing his band’s problems and never gets the girl. His band is competing in a college Battle of the Bands, but when their bassist doesn't show, Kyle must track her down with the help of the person he least expects: his ex-girlfriend Alexis Monroe. 
Kyle hasn’t seen Alexis since she dumped him in high school, and she’s dropped her preppy image for fiery red hair and a bold new attitude to match. With only hours before his band goes on stage, Kyle has to be a little bad if he wants to win both the Battle and the girl he's never gotten over. But when their old problems resurface, the good guy might just get his heart broken all over again.
A stand-alone novella that launches the Chasing The Dream series - all about finding love on reality TV!

I was given a review copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm in two minds about this cover as I do love the use of very little colours with only the girls hair a different colour making it stand out which I like. What I don't like is that the two models seem far too clean cut to be Kyle and Alexis.

More Than Exes wasn't a bad book and I did quite enjoy it, it was just that it didn't have any wow moments with nothing much happening. I think that maybe this would have been better if it was a full length novel I might have enjoyed it more as I felt everything was rushed and because of that it just wasn't believable. I liked that this book was about exes as I haven't read many books that had been together which is a nice change to slowly falling in love. I'm not too sure about the relationship between Alexis and Kyle because one minute he couldn't be with her as he didn't want to get hurt but in the next breath he forgot all about the hurt that she put him through with everyone seeming as though they forgave her. I kind of liked the ending as there was a happy ending but with loads of unresolved issues but with this book being only the beginning I'm sure more things will get resolved as we go along with the series.

I really don't know what to feel about the characters as they all seemed alright but with this only being a novella it wasn't long enough to get to know the characters the way in which we would a full length novel.

Overall a descent start to the series I just hope the rest of the series will be more interesting than this one was.

18 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) by Katie McGarry
Expected Publication: 26th May 2015

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 
Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

So excited for a new series from Katie McGarry as I have loved her Pushing the Limits series lets hope that Thunder Road is just as good!

What are you waiting on? 

17 February 2015

Blog Tour: Book Review: Thoughtful (Thoughtless, #1.5) by S.C. Stephens

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Kindle 
Publishers: Sphere (Little Brown Book Group UK)
Published: 24th February 2015
Pages: 560
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, 
Main Characters: Kellan, Denny, Kiera  
Date Read: 20th January - 1st February 2015
Rating Given:
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In Thoughtless, Kiera told her story. Now it's time for Kellan Kyle to share his side in Thoughtful . . .
The only place Kellan has ever felt at home is on stage. Gripping his guitar in a darkened bar, he can forget his painful past. These days his life revolves around his music and his band mates, and that's the way he likes it. And then one woman changes everything . . .
Kiera is the kind of girl Kellan has no business wanting - she's smart, sweet, and dating his best friend. Certain he could never be worthy of her love, he hides his growing attraction . . . until Kiera's own tormented heart hints that his feelings might not be one-sided. Now, no matter the consequences, Kellan is sure of one thing: he won't let Kiera go without a fight.

I was given a review copy via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I do like the cover for this book as I am a huge fan of black and white images with a hint of colour plus I can imagine the guy as Kellan.

With this book I had a bit of a love hate relationship with it as during the beginning I didn't like it to the point where I wanted to put it down but thankfully I carried on and ended up enjoying it although during those times I did get annoyed with it but those moments never lasted to long. I do feel like it was too long and maybe that's why I couldn't get into it at the beginning as everything was dragging on. When Kiera and Kellan where together I felt that they belonged together as they had a great chemistry that sizzled with just one look but then when Denny was in the picture I felt annoyed by Kiera and the way in which she treated Kellan and even Denny. I do think that maybe I would have enjoyed this book better if I had actually read the first book but without realising that this wasn't the first one I said I would do a blog tour with it and with it being the same as the first one but from Kellan's pov I would be ok and for the most part I was but I needed to know what on earth was Kiera thinking. The ending was great as I felt like if I didn't want to continue with the series I wouldn't need to as there was no cliff hanger but I'm sure I will finish his series including the one I missed out on.

The characters in this book was easy to love but then some of them made it hard to continue to like them. Kellan I fell in love with from the moment I started this book even if he was broken inside it just made him al the more endearing. Even though I know that Kellan was in the wrong at times I just couldn't help but still loving him plus he had such a caring side to him that outweighed his bad traits. Kiera had moments when I liked her and I could see where Kellan was coming from but then the things that she did made me not like her at times but there was one particular scene towards the end that she did something so stupid but amazing at the same time that made me forgive her plus I know I need to read the first book to see her side of things and maybe then I will feel different. Denny I kind of liked but then what he did towards the end made me not like him at all even if they did hurt him Kellan didn't deserve what Denny did to him. I loved all the D-Bags even the annoying ones was a fun addition to the story.

Overall I enjoyed this book but there was times when I didn't think I would be able to get through it.

Author Bio: S.C. Stephens is a New York Times #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She lives in Washington State with her two children. Follow her on Twitter @SC_Stephens_
For more information please contact Clara Diaz on
020 7911 8962 | clara.diaz@littlebrown.co.uk | @ClaraHDiaz

15 February 2015

Book Review: Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Paperback 
Publishers: ATOM
Published: 8th January 2013
Pages: 384
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance
Main Characters: Aria, Perry,  
Date Read: 3rd February - 12th February 2015
Rating Given:
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Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered.
This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive. 
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

I received this a little while ago from ATOM publishers in exchange for a honest review.

This cover is so much better than the original cover and for the first time I'm glad it was changed plus I never had any of the books before hand so I was able to get all the books matching. I adore the colours they really make the cover stand out. The font used for the title is also a reason why I love this cover.

With this book I wasn't actually a fan at the beginning as it was far too confusing with not much happening. It was awhile when things started to make sense and once that started to happen I found myself enjoying it more and more and in the end I did love it. Sometimes when I love a book in the end I sometimes forgive the beginning especially with it being the first book with a lot of world building but then with the last two chapters there was a huge chunk of time missing which was disappointing. As for the romance side of the story it was more of a slow builder but I didn't mind that as it felt more believable and I loved them together. This is my first book from Veronica Rossi but I know for a fact it won't be the last as I need to see how this trilogy is going to end plus anything new from her I want and need to read. Apart from that chunk of time missing the ending was great as there was a cliff hanger making me eager to read book two which as of writing this review I have already started it which I never do.

I loved the characters as they where all likable. Aria I thought was a bit of a weak character to start with but the more I got to know her the more I found that that was wrong and is actually one of the mentally strongest characters in this book. I wasn't sure I was going to like Perry as he seemed a bit mean towards Aria but again like Aria the more I got to know him the more he changed my opinion of him and in the end I loved him. Apart from the two main characters my other favourite character was Roar as he was funny and sweet, I just hope we get to see more of him in the next books as he wasn't in it that much but he still left an impression on me.

Overall a good world building book with plenty happening in the end.

13 February 2015

Book Review: Forever Fae (Forever Fae, #1) by L.P. Dover

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Format: Kindle 
Publishers: Indie
Published: 7th September 2013
Pages: 316
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance, 
Main Characters: Calista, Ryder,  
Date Read: 7th February - 11th February 2015
Rating Given:
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He leans down, lips parted, and then our lips connect ... We didn’t know that this one kiss has FOREVER changed the Land of the Fae.
According to the Prophecy proclaimed many years ago, Princess Calista of the Summer Court is destined to change the Land of the Fae from the evil determined to destroy it. Her powers are phenomenal, and she secretly trains for battle with her handsome warrior friend, Merrick, who unbeknownst to her protects her heart as well, in hopes of keeping it for himself. At least, until the seductive Prince Ryder attends the Guardian Ceremony and instantly sends a fire burning through her veins and a connection so deep they both discover a love above anything imaginable.
No one knows how Calista is destined to change the kingdoms, but there is one that does. He not only craves Calista’s power, but her body as well, and his goal is to steal her power, make her his Dark Queen, and take over the Land of the Fae.Will the evil succeed in claiming Calista’s soul? Or will the two men that fight for her heart save her from despair, and help her fulfill her destiny to become what she was meant to be.
**Does contain some graphic language and sexual content. May not be suitable for young adults.** 

I bought this book awhile back as it was really cheap on Amazon although at the moment it is even cheaper as it's free!

I absolutely adore this cover and was completely the reason why I was so drawn to this book, I'm just glad the story was just as good. The colours used in this cover are the perfect choice for this story.

I haven't read many books with fae but one's that I have read I have enjoyed and this one is no different. I pretty much enjoyed every minute of reading this book but there was a few things that had me stopping me giving it the full five stars. The instant love between Calista and Ryder just didn't seem believable even though I understand why it happened I just couldn't wrap my head around it as they where in love with each other the moment they saw one another. The action towards the end felt a little rushed for my liking. What I really enjoyed was the humour I was laughing along with it but there was moments of seriousness which I also enjoyed it was the perfect balance of light and dark.  The ending was brilliant as there was a happy ending but also a bit of a cliff hanger at the same time which has me wanting to continue on with this series.

I found the characters in this book likable but some you just know your going to hate (but in a good way). Calista was a great female character who was just as strong as the male characters which was nice to see. She also seemed like she was a nice person. I loved Ryder he was such a sweetheart but I have to admit I think Merrick was my favourite especially after his selfless act at the end. I liked most of the other side characters especially Calista and Ryder's siblings which is a good thing as I think they will be having their own books.

Overall this was my first L.P. Dover book and I know it won't be my last!

12 February 2015

Blog Tour: Book Review + Excerpt: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Kindle 
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Published: 12th February 2015
Pages: 320
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance, Thriller
Main Characters: Nic, Finn 
Date Read: 20th January - 25th January 2015
Rating Given:
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Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation.There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl.And though the killers were caught they walked free.
Now eighteen, Nic Preston - the girl who survived - is trying hard to rebuild her life. She’s security conscious to the point of paranoia and her only friend is a French Mastiff bulldog, but she’s making progress. She’s started college in New York and has even begun dating.
But then one night her apartment is broken into and the life Nic’s worked so hard to create is shattered in an instant. 
Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s killers walked free from court. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best and possibly only chance of staying alive is by keeping close to Finn and learning to trust the person she’s sworn to hate.
Fleeing across a snowbound New England, frantically trying to uncover the motive behind the murders, Nic and Finn come to realize the conspiracy is bigger than they could ever have suspected. But the closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, the greater the danger becomes.
To survive she has to stay close to him.To keep her safe he has to keep his distance.

I was offered a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I do love this cover as its bright but it's also dark which is very fitting for this book although there was a lot more dark moments but I don't think that would have worked with only a bit of brightness.

As soon as I started this book I was hooked as it was thrilling from the get go keeping me on the edge of my seat. I loved that I never quite knew what was going to happen next as usually the books I read I can guess what the outcome is but with this book I didn't. There was a few similarities between this book and Sarah's other book Out of Control but I did prefer this book to Out of Control just because the ending was way better. I have a feeling that this book was in the same world as Out of Control as I'm sure a couple of characters from that book was mentioned in this book and if that's the case I think it makes both books feel more realistic. Even though there was a lot of dark moments in this book there was a little bit of light relief with the humour of certain characters and some of the interaction between certain characters gave the lightness that was much needed. The romance side of the story was a nice slow burner and took a bit of a back seat but with all the action added to the story made for a perfect blend. I'm not sure what is holding me back from giving it the full five out five as there was not one thing wrong with this book it's just that I prefer some of Sarah's other books more than this one. I absolutely loved the ending as everything was cleared up and I got the ending that I craved for throughout the book.

The main characters in this book where great there where a few other characters that I was never sure about as I never knew if they where the ones doing this to Nic. Nic was an amazing character in the way that even though she went through so many traumatic things she never gave up, to even have a little bit of fight left in her after everything is surprising but she had more than a little fight in her. I loved Finn he had had quite a traumatic past as well and like Nic he didn't let it beat him. He was really sweet at times and so smart but he was also this strong guy that Nic could lean on.

Overall I loved this story as there was never a dull moment.

Giveaway is International and four prizes are up for grabs!
1 prize of 1 x signed copy of Out of Control, 1 x signed CG, 1 x signed The Sound, signed bookmarks
2 prizes of signed copies of CG, signed bookmarks
1 prize of having a character named after you in next book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio:
Sarah is the author of Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), Losing Lila, Fated, The Sound, Out of Control and Conspiracy Girl (all Simon & Schuster).
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home (a journey that was documented on this blog and which is shortly to be turned into a book).
After almost a year spent travelling the world, they settled in Bali where they lived for five beautiful years before the vagabonding urge became too great and they decided to embark on Can We Live Here part two. They are currently located somewhere between India, London, Canada and the US.
As well as writing young adult novels and screenplays, Sarah also writes adult fiction for Pan Macmillan (Simon & Schuster in the US) under the name Mila Gray.
Her first adult novel, Come Back To Me, was published in June 2014. The second, This One Moment, will be out in August 2015.
Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay, which is currently in the early stages of production, and continues to blog about her life and travels.
Author links:

 For a few seconds I think I must have imagined it, but then it comes again, the wooden floorboards creaking under the weight of a footstep.

     Someone is inside my apartment. 

     It takes me several seconds to process that fact. And once I do, my brain stalls and paralysis takes over, despite the adrenaline that’s making my heart smash into my ribs like fists against a door. 
     Finally, my legs unglue themselves and I dart for the front, panic fuelling me. At the very last 
moment I catch sight of the three bolts drawn across it and veer in blind towards my bedroom. 

     ‘Goz!’ I shout hoarsely as I sprint towards it. ‘Get over here!’

     Goz glances at me, then back at the door, and I see him hesitate before his training kicks in and he turns and races after me. I slam my bedroom door shut and draw the bolt, scrambling towards the panic button that’s built inside to the bedside table and ramming the heel of my hand down on it. Collapsing to my knees, I stare wide eyed at the door. Three minutes, I tell myself. The armed response unit will be here in three minutes. 

     The door is reinforced with steel. Nothing , no one, can get through it. The security guy told me my apartment was safe as the President’s nuclear bunker. Even so, my whole body is locked rigid and a sob is blocking my throat. The room is starting to close in on me. 
     Glass shatters somewhere in the apartment and I shrink back against the bed with a whimper, drawing my knees to my chest. Oh God. Not again. Footsteps make their way slowly across the living room. Where is the armed response team? How long has it been? It feels like hours but it must only have been a few seconds.
     I bury my head in my arms and cover my ears but it doesn’t matter because the voices are inside my head and I can’t get away from them. I hear my mum pleading, begging for her life. I hear Taylor - her screams echoing in my skull. Their voices drown out Goz, who is working himself into a wild frenzy, bashing against the door. 

     I want to call him over to me, but my voice won’t work. Get it together, I order myself furiously. Come on! Forcing my eyes open, I struggle to my knees and grab my phone. I dial 911. Nothing happens. There’s no dial tone. I shake the phone desperately. What the hell is going on? I dial again, terror now taking hold of my breathing, making me almost hyperventilate. Still nothing. The phone won’t connect. All of a sudden my attention flies back to the door. Goz has stopped barking and is edging silently backwards away from it.

     We watch the door handle twist slowly one way and then the other. Goz hunkers down and lets out a low growl. The door handle stops moving. I keep staring, holding my breath, half expecting the door to burst open. 

     But then, from the living room, comes a scraping sound as the bolts on the front door are drawn back. My head flies up. Are they leaving? I strain to listen. 

An explosion - what sounds like a gunshot – makes me jolt backwards. A second later I heard the front door smash against the concrete wall of the landing and footsteps careering down the stairs and then, as I huddle unmoving, unsure what is happening, desperately hoping it’s the armed response unit, I hear something else. 

     The faint sound of someone begging for help.