New Reviews  25/04/19

Under Lock And Key ( Silhoutte Intrigue ) By Sylvie Kurtz

Synopsis :   When reporter Tyler Blackwell awoke from a minor car crash to find himself under lock and key in his prospective charge's castle dungeon, he knew he'd have a hard time proving his innocent intentions for he wasn't after a story but had been sent to protect mysterious artist Melissa Carnes from a deadly enemy intent on destroying her .

But melissa was proving more tempting to Tyler than any assignment - and being her ' prisoner ' had its advantages .  Could Tyler penetrate the wall of stone surrounding Melissa's heart and gain her trust before the killer struck ?

My Review :  An exciting quick read .  Something like this would be ideal for getting you out of a reading slump .  For a little book, it kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end !

A good intriguing story with interesting characters .  The main two being Melissa Carnes and Tyler Blackwell .  Tyler must protect Melissa from someone who is trying to kill her .  Of course there is romance along the way too ! 

I really like these Intrigue romances they give you a more thrilling read in a short, quick book

3 out of 5 

 

Returning - A Water Novella By A.L.Knorr

Synopsis :   Mira is a mermaid on a mission

It's time to leave the ocean . Mira Belshaw has been at sea for ... well, she doesn't know how many years .  It's hard to keep track of time when you live in the ocean . But after enough time, the salt water triggers the desire to procreate, and her time is up .

For weeks, she's been swimming north. Finding a mate is the most important thing to her right now, and to do that, she has to return to the place where she was last human - the coastal city of Saltford .

Equipped with everything she needs to lure her perfect mate and produce a strong siren child, all she needs is the opportunity to mingle with humans .  But when she meets Nathan MacAuley, the ONE, things start to go sideways ...

My Review :  I read this in an hour, it was a quick read .

It is the prequel to the Elemental Origins , this is the back story of Mira .  It was a nice introduction to this character, I have yet to read any more in this series but I would like to at some point to see what else is in store for Mira .

It was slow paced because it is purely to introduce us to Mira and lead us into the other books in the series .  I look forward to reading more of this story in the future .

3 out of 5

21/04/19 New Reviews

Baby Daddy:Everything I Want By Kelli Walker 

Synopsis :  Her voice opens my eyes, but her body catches my stare .  Joanna is innocent . Kind . with eyes that beg for adventure and a body that succumbs to command .  She's everything I want, and everything I don't need . I have to stay away . To enjoy the night with my friend .  To rid my life of its darkness .  But all I can think about is her body underneath those clothes . Her high notes fill my ears, but her body cushions my fall . And now, she's carrying my child .  My shadows lash out at her .  My lustful indulgence now make her a target .  I'll do anything to keep her safe .  Beat down anyone who tries to touch her . I'm savage . Fierce . with a past so dark it blinds . I'm nowhere near a daddy, but i'll stop at nothing to keep her safe .  Even if it kills me . Even if it swallows me whole .

My Review :     A good romance book . The story and characters are intriguing .  I liked that the story wasn't all romance, there was actually an exciting plot with a bit of mystery and several perilous situations .

There are several graphic sex scenes which is to be expected in this genre of book so it is for over 18's ! 

I received a free ARC copy through Booksprout in exchange for an honest review .

3 out of 5

 

Raining Men And Corpses : Raina Sun Mystery # 1 By Anne R Tan

Synopsis :  Graduate student Raina Sun is trying to keep her head above water as the bills roll in when her dashing college advisor cons her out of several months rent . Her quest to retrieve the money sets in motion a streak of even worse luck .

First, she stumbles on her advisor's dead body and becomes a suspect in his murder .  Next, the only man she's ever loved reappears as the lead detective to the case .  Raina's having trouble interpreting his signals - does he want to reignite their passion, or just stay close to his prime suspect ? Her life careens further out of control when her grandma shows up at Raina's postage-stamp sized apartment, dragging a red suitcase and trouble of her own .  As Raina summons her sleuthing skills, she discovers that when it comes to murder, there may be no place for an amateur .

My Review :   Book One of the Raina Sun Mystery series I hadn't read any of this series or by this author before but I absolutely love cozy mysteries at the moment so I really enjoyed reading this ! 

It was a fun time !  It made me laugh a lot especially the antics involving Raina's grandmother, Po Po she was hilarious .  The story is entertaining and full of mystery and had me guessing until the reveal of the killer .

I look forward to reading others in this series and I hope they will be as enjoyable as this one ! 

I received a free e ARC by subscribing to the author's newsletter in exchange for an honest review .

4 out of 5 

 

The Vampire Heir : Rite Of The Vampire Saga # 1 By Juliana Haygert 

Synopsis :   A young woman with a secret . A man with a death sentence . And a terrible fate that might destroy them both ...

" When I was invited to the secretive Castle Dumoir, I knew I'd end up dead . The guests might be excited by the exclusive tour around the estate, and the ending ball that concludes it, but I know better .

The castle's inhabitants are vampires . And they want our blood .

I must find a way to survive their feast, because i'm not here as a clueless visitor . I'm here for a reason . Undercover work can be hard, but i've been through worse .  That is until I unwillingly become a blood slave to Drake, a mysterious, brooding vampire prince .  Tragedy strikes the castle and chaos arise . Despite the new dangers surrounding us, I soon find out there's more to Drake than he lets on and feelings i'm not supposed to have stir in my chest .

But I can't afford any distractions or everything will be lost .  After all, i'm , hiding a secret - a dark secret that might save us all --- or doom us forever .

My Review :   When I went into this one I thought I knew what it was going to read like ... same old vampire story but NO it was refreshingly different !  There are a variety of different character types humans, vampires, witches , which changed it up a bit .  The main female character, Thea is a strong woman with a purpose and the main male character, Drake is a prince vampire with secrets and troubles he is dealing with .

Plenty of twists and turns, a bit of romance too .

I received an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review .

4 out of 5 

 

Knowing Is Halfling The Battle : Epik Fantasy # 2 By William Tyler Davis 

Synopsis :  A city under siege . A halfling knight . One Epik quest .

Epik thought he had found what he was looking for - Magic, adventure . He saved an entire kingdom . But at what cost ?

Without his mentor, Gabby, learning magic seems an impossible feat . And becoming a knight is proving harder than he ever expected .

Once again, the city is under attack . A new enemy rises, undermining the ten years of peace and prosperity promised to Dune All-En .  Epik must heed the call .  He and his usual band of misfit souls - Todder, Myra and Gerdy - quest across the realm . But what they find in King's Way shakes them to the core . A kingdom supposed to be seething with dark magic seems oddly vacant of much magic at all .

My review :   I recently finished book 1 ( Hero in a Halfling ) and I was straight into this 2nd one .  I loved it just as much .  These books are really fun and entertaining .  The chapter titles in this one are once again names of other books and movies or variations on them which made me chuckle .

I enjoyed being in the world of Dune All-En again sharing more adventures and humourous situations with Epik and his friends .  The pop culture references add extra fun to the story .  I can't wait until the third book .

I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review 

5 out of 5 

 

Parrots And Payback : Madigan Amos Zoo Mystery # 0.5 By Ruby Loren

Synopsis :  A publicity stunt is about to go pear shaped ...  Renowned crime writer, Stephen McClean, has chosen to launch his latest thriller from Avery Zoo on Valentine's Day . A Valentine's photoshoot in the lovebird enclosure has been planned, and the zoo is set to benefit from the extra publicity .

But the real reason the crime writer is coming to Avery Zoo has nothing to do with lovebirds ... and everything to do with love gone wrong .

Can Madigan solve the mystery and save the zoo from being dragged into a publicity nightmare ?

My Review :  This was a fun little book !  It is a prequel novella to the Madigan Amos Zoo Mysteries series and it is a good introduction to the characters and the setting .  It ticked all the boxes for me the moment I saw it .  I love cozy mysteries . I love animals and most of all birds so it was perfect .

There was no murder in this particular cozy mystery it dealt instead with an author who was being blackmailed . The story was exciting and funny , It kept me guessing who it was until the end .  I can see myself being a big fan of the other books in this series when I read them ! 

I received an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review 

5 out of 5 

 

Shadow,Shadow- Book one of The Shadow Pines Trilogy By V.B.Marlowe

Synopsis :  Harley receives a mysterious gift on her sixteenth birthday -- A shadow box .  The box gives her the power to trade someone to the shadows, meaning they will disappear and cease to exist .  Harley can't imagine doing such a horrible thing and is warned that using the box comes at a price .  Unfortunately, not using the box can be even more costly . Harley must take this life-altering decision as she discovers frightening revelations about the town she calls home .

My review :   This is a young adult paranormal fiction .  It was a fairly quick read, it was ' OK ' in my opinion .

Too much of the story was set in school and I didn't particularly like many of the characters, however the premise of the story itself was intriguing enough to keep me reading until the end .

It is the first in a trilogy but I am uncertain as to if I will continue with this series ! 

Trigger warnings for bullying ! 

I received a free E-book copy in exchange for an honest review 

3 out of 5 

Reviews Dec 18 - Jan 2019

Saiyuki Vols 1 - 9 By Kazuya Minekura

 

Journey to the max

 

It was a time of chaos, when heaven and earth were as one, and humans and demons - the Youkai - lived together in peace .  The foundations of civilization and religion were raised and reinforced in this land of Togenkyo, the paradise known as Shangri-La .

 

But now, a great evil threatens harmony in this great land . Far to the west, in India, someone is attempting to resurrect the Youkai lord Gyumaoh by mixing human science with Youkai magic .  This forbidden practice has created a minus wave of negative energy that is spreading across Shangri-La, poisoning the souls of the Youkai and turning them into mindless monsters .  The only hope lies in four legendary heroes :

Genjyo Sanzo, a high priest with low morals

Son Goku, the hungry and mischievous Monkey King, released from 500 years imprisonment .

Sha Gojyo, a water sprite with an addiction for good smokes and bad women .

Cho Hakkai, the legendary demon slayer, and his transforming dragon Hakuryu .

 

To save Shangri-La, these unlikely companions, united by fate, must travel together ...

INTO THE WEST !

 

Review :    This is a fun and action packed Manga series consisting of 9 volumes .  It is for mature readers as there are many horror scenes which are quite disturbing and gory .  The story is very imaginative and engaging as are the characters .  The art work is wonderfully drawn .  Manga are perfect for quick reads as most of it is pictures with a little dialogue and descriptions .  If you enjoy fantasy and horror as well as historical fiction you may want to try this .  

 

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

 

Morrigan's Cross - Circle Trilogy #1 By Nora Roberts 

 

Synopsis :   In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea ...

 

Belting out his grief into the storm, Hoyt Mac Cionaoith rails against the evil that has torn his twin brother from their family's embrace .  Her name is Lilith .  Existing for over a thousand years, she has lured countless men to an immortal doom with her soul-stealing kiss .  But now, this woman known as vampire will stop at nothing until she rules this world - and those beyond it ...

 

Hoyt is no match for the dark siren .  But his powers come from the goddess Morrigan, and it is through her that he will get his chance at vengeance .  At Morrigan's charge, he must gather five others to form a ring of power strong enough to overcome Lilith .  A circle of six ;  himself, the witch, the warrior, the scholar, the one of many forms and the one he's lost .  And it is in this circle, hundreds of years in the future, where Hoyt will learn how strong his spirit - and his heart - have become ...

 

Review :    I have kind of avoided Nora Roberts' writing for ages because I thought they were your typical ' Mills and Boon ' kind of romance, I hadn't realised she wrote other genres too .  I have read two by her now and really loved them .

 

This one is set in a fantasy world with time travel to the present day which is very interesting to read .  It has a wide array of different supernatural characters including vampires, gods & goddesses, magicians and witches .

I loved the different world settings in the book, we go to Ireland, America and the fantasy world .  The back of the book contains a glossary of Irish words, characters and places which is interesting and informative . 

 

This is a trilogy .  I can't wait to read the other two in this series !

 

Rating :   5 out of 5 

Reviews for Oct 2018

20 Fragments Of A Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo

 

Synopsis :    Life as a film extra in Beijing might seem hard, but Fenfang - the spirited heroine of Xiaolu Guo's new novel - won't be defeated .  She has travelled 1,800 miles to seek her fortune in the city, and has no desire to return to the never-ending sweet potato fields back home .

Determined to live a modern life, Fenfang works as a cleaner in the Young Pioneer's movie theatre, falls in love with unsuitable men and keeps her kitchen cupboard stocked with UFO instant noodles .  As Fenfang might say, Heavenly Bastard in the sky, Isn't it about time I got my lucky break ? 

 

My Review :  One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read more books by Asian authors and read more contemporary so this one ticked both boxes .  It was a quite short quick read for me and I liked it .

 

The main character Fenfang Wang is a strong young woman who wants to work in the film industry so she leaves her family and life in the potato farming village to pursue her goal in Beijing .  It was interesting to read about China a bit more and how it was to live there .  I look forward to reading much more Asian fiction and non-fiction in the future .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

 

Baguettes, Business Trips & Murder : A Bake Shop Murder Mystery Book 12 by Wendy Meadows

 

Synopsis :  In the Windy City, baguettes aren't the only scent in the air .  There's also a whiff... of murder .

 

Brynn and her best friend Lisa are jumping at the chance to head to Chicago to attend the international Food and Retail expo .  Playing With Flour is thriving, and this is the perfect opportunity to grow the business even more .

 

Their bags are packed, baguettes ready to go, and the business trip is underway .  What they don't count on was finding a dead body .

With dashing detective Alec Anders not around this time to save the day, the amateur sleuths find themselves investigating this one on their own .

 

Well not exactly, their new friends Kari and Kasi, the owners of a coffee shop and one of the Expo's vendors, are proving to be the most helpful in gathering clues .  They also have the investigating officer, one of Chicago's finest and an old friend of Alec's, doing his best to keep them out of trouble .

 

But will it be enough ?  Are the girls in over their heads this time ?

Brynn and Lisa have to solve the murder or it looks like they could be the next victims !

 

My Review :   A great cozy mystery book I hadn't read any more in this series but I don't think you need to read these in order, it read well as a standalone .

We follow the two main characters Brynn and Lisa as they travel to Chicago to attend a food and retail expo .  The characters are fun and likable .

 

This book is entertaining and exciting to read I enjoyed it .  There was a nice extra at the back of the book, the author added a recipe for baguettes which is a good fun addition .

 

I will definately be reading more from this series by this author .

I received an E book copy of this book via Booksprout in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

 

The Coming Storm : A Pax Aeterna Novel ( Call Of Command Book 5 ) by Trevor Wyatt

 

Synopsis :  Ambition .  Revenge .  Power .  The universe has met men it should fear before, but none like him .  None like Cassius Ojun .

 

Born and bred amidst poverty and disgrace, he was supposed to be nothing more than a statistic .  But you can't measure ambition, can you ?  You can't measure a man's will power .

 

While the universe struggled with war, he clawed his way out of the slums, and made a name for himself .  While the outer colonies sank deeper into corruption, he gritted his teeth and let his rage loose .

 

Foe or friend, it doesn't matter.  Soon enough, the whole universe will know of him .

Just get out of his way ...  Or burn like the rest .

 

My Review :   This sci-fi book was very well written .  I enjoyed it a lot and I read it all in one sitting .

The main character Cassius Ojun is very strong and motivated,  He knows what he wants and he will do everything he can to get it .

The story is actually quite emotional, some parts were moving, there were some tense moments too .

 

I look forward to carrying on with this series to see what happens next .

I received a ARC copy from Booksprout in exchange for a honest review .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5

 

 

Downfall ( Failpocalypse Book 1 ) by George Donnelly 

 

Synopsis :   No jobs .  Robots took them .  Citizens subsist on a basic income guarantee .  They consume their lives in drug-fuelled virtual reality gaming binges .

 

Ian Blake doesn't play games, and he won't accept handouts .  He needs to be productive and useful - but his creepy boss just fired the baby-saving hero and father of three .

 

Ian yearns to build his own robots now .  But with a job offer in hand under his old boss in a government agency, he fights his family's callous material greed and his own self-doubt to build the future he thinks we all need .

 

My Review :   This is the first book in the Failpocalypse series .  The author George Donnelly writes his characters really well .  I felt absolute hatred for horrible Uncle Larry and Ian's awful money grabbing family .  I felt sorry for poor Ian and his young son, Jack throughout the whole story .  Ian and Jack are both strong characters and are both determined to keep fighting on in life to achieve their goals and try to change the world for the better .

 

I received a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 

 

Rating :   4 out of 5 

 

 

Dark Mermaid by Madisyn Monroe

 

Synopsis :  A secret .  A sisterhood .  A revolution .

 

Seventeen year old Leira Quinn is spending her summer in Los Angeles, working at the local surf shop as a scuba instructor .  She plans on staying out of trouble and avoiding her strict aunt Ivy, the only family she's ever known .  One day when she's out scuba diving, she sees something shocking in the water .  It appears only for a moment, and then it's gone .  But it's enough .  Nothing is as it seems .  Unable to clear the image from her mind, Leira sets off to find the secret lurking beneath the ocean's surface, and becomes immersed in a dark underworld full of lies and deception .  Leira wants to help, but will she do more harm than good ? 

 

My Review :   A mermaid mystery story which was good .  I hadn't read many mermaid books before this one .

 

The main character Leira gets thrust into a dangerous situation and learns a few secrets about herself as well as the underwater world .  She is a very determined character who must find out what is happening and how to help the merfolk .

 

On the whole, it was an exciting story with lots of intrigue and mystery set mainly in the underwater world which was a nice change for me .

I will read more mermaid books now as I did like this one .

 

I received a free ARC E copy in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :   4 out of 5 

 

 

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

 

Synposis :    A princess, A traitor, A hunter and A thief .  Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands .  Four nations destined for conflict .

 

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father .  In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people .  In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town .  And in the barren Northern Territories, thirteen year old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell .

 

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war .  Who will rise and who will fall ?  And who will claim the ultimate prize ?

 

My Review :    I haven't read anything by Sally Green before but I have heard a lot of good things about this one so I had to give it a try .

I am a big epic fantasy reader I love the world building, character developments and I love a chunky book to get lost in .  This one ticked all those boxes .  I actually read it quite quickly considering its size I was really into the story .  I liked all the characters they were well invented and written .

 

The fantasy world was interesting especially due to the Demons and how their " Smoke " was almost like a drug to some people in the world and they would risk their lives to harvest it from the dying Demons .

 

This one had a cliffhanger ending so I eagerly await number two to carry on with the story .   I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review .

 

Rating :   4 out of 5 

 

 

Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland

 

Synopsis :   You can trust a book to keep your secret ...

 

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people .  If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin .  But there are things she'll never show you .

 

Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night .  Now, she finds refuge in the unique little New York bookshop where she works .

 

Everything is about to change for Loveday .  Someone knows about her past .  Someone is trying to send her a message .  And she can't hide any longer .

 

My Review :   The cover and the description of this book were enough for me to decide " Yes I need to read this !! "  I haven't read anything else by Stephanie Butland but after reading this wonderful emotional book, I would love to try more of her books .

 

It contains a variety of interesting characters, the main one being Loveday Cardew who has a troubled past she tries to hide by immersing herself in her job which is in a small bookshop .  She loves books and finds their company better than spending time with people .  She has the first lines of all the novels she loves most tattooed on her so she has them with her forever .

 

There are many book references in this book which is great .  The other characters were interesting and quirky .  This is a roller coaster of emotions, some funny, light hearted moments and some heartbreaking moments too .  Any book that makes me feel a wide range of feelings is a truly wonderful read .

 

Highly recommended to all book lovers and contemporary fans .

 

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

 

Prosecco Heart by Julie Strauss

 

Synopsis :  You can have the whole world, if I can have Italy .

 

When winemaker Tabitha Hamilton discovers her husband Royal has been cheating on her, she does what any sane woman would do :  leaves him, runs off to Italy, and has a one night stand with a sexy stranger named Giovanni .

 

Okay, she does what any sane woman would WANT to do .  And it's just what she needs .

 

But Tabitha's got a life to return to :  a winery she co-owns with Royal, a sister who relies on the winery for support, and an international wine festival competition to win -- or maybe to lose, since it turns out her biggest competition is her ex .  And when the competiton reveals long-held secrets about Royal's underhanded business conduct, Tabitha has to decide whether to protect her family's legacy and reputation, throw them away ... or take off again .

 

Running away never looked -- or felt so good .  But Tabitha's more than just a winemaker .  She's a woman who knows what matters .  And there just might be a way she can have it all .

 

My review :   My first time reading something by Julie Strauss and I have to say I enjoyed it .  It has drama, emotion, romance but with the added interesting extra of being about the winery .  Also the fact it was partly set in Italy was wonderful I love books with a foreign location .

 

Tabitha is a strong, determined character who deals with a cheating husband and his corrupt business conduct .

 

The ending of this book was good I liked it .  I would certainly read more by this author .

 

I received a free ARC from Bookfunnel in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :   4 out of 5