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