Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review 29: Cowboy Valentine

Cowboy Valentine. Mia Hopkins. 2015. [August] Samhain Publishing. 84 Pages. [Source:Netgalley]

First sentence:  At half past midnight, Cora decided to start closing down the shop.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.
Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?
The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.
After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.
From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.
Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

My thoughts:  Ok where to start.  We have Cora a studious ‘good girl’ she has worked very hard to get out of her small town she meets Caleb the former high school crush.  Now then I will admit that most girls have the fantasy of being swept off their feet by their crush however I can not really imagine going from not seeing someone for 3-4 years to getting in their truck and proceeding to engage in a extremely sexual relationship mind you she is a ‘good girl’ which translates into virgin (not really a spoiler you find out within like 10 pages or so.)  The writing was extremely descriptive in ALL aspects of this book so my hat is off to Mia Hopkins on that!  One huge drawback for me though was that the sex seemed to be at the forefront of the book and the storyline secondary.  But it is a novella so I excuse that due to that fact.  All in all it is a very quick read and a very shall we say fun read as well.

Rating 7/10

Recommendation:  Novella fans will enjoy this.  Romance fans that like lots of steamy sex will definitely enjoy this!

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review 28: His Blushing Bride

His Blushing Bride. Dani Collins. 2015. [May] Tule Publishing. 115 Pages. [Source: NetGalley]

First sentence:  Piper Tierney saw the email from her parents as she was tidying up the band room, after the final bell.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?

My thoughts:  I enjoyed this novella quite a bit.  This was pretty much a by the books romance with one small difference she’s a virgin looking for no strings attached not typical in my opinion but not bad.  The sex was steamy without being overly graphic in my opinion.  I did enjoy reading Sebastian’s change even while he was fighting his feelings he still did embrace them in the end.  Piper had her own demons to fight and she did conquer them in the end.  Over all it was a satisfying read.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation:  Contempory romance fans will enjoy this novella

*I received a digital review copy for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review 27: The Gift- Knight's Quest

The Gift-Knight’s Quest. Dylan Madeley. 2015. [May] Matador. 288 Pages. [Source:NetGalley]

First sentence: Derek urged his ride up the path as fast as the horse would go.

Premise/Plot: From Goodreads - Welcome to Kensrik, a world vividly imagined by Dylan Madeley, in which his debut fantasy novel The Gift-Knight’s
Quest is set. His book follows the youngest descendants of two families that have traditionally been enemies: the
Kenderleys, who now rule the world’s largest empire, and the Wancyeks, who have been reduced to common status.

“Chandra had yet to fathom why Jonnecht could not have lived and ruled for many long years, or why it was so urgent that she ascend immediately.”

Chandra never asked to rule Kensrik, but fate took a strange course. Known as a usurper and sorceress by most and traumatised by all that has transpired, she is forced to make use of the few loyal allies she has in order to hold together her restless empire. In an attempt to identify and defeat the conspirators who inadvertently landed her in power, Chandra risks putting the lives of many in mortal danger, as well as her own.

Derek is an aimless wanderer – the youngest in a lineage that has long fallen from nobility. He finds himself summoned by tradition to serve a family historically considered his bitter enemy. As he journeys down the same path a fateful ancestor once travelled, he struggles with personal demons and begins to reconsider his loyalty to the mission.

Duke Lenn found one true cause in love and it cost him everything. His legacy shaped the present in which Chandra and Derek find themselves. Now their choice will shape the future of Kensrik...

The Gift-Knight’s Quest is set in a new and vividly imagined world, written with delicate prose that will allow the reader to explore with their imagination. Inspired by authors such as Michael Moorcock, J. G. Ballard and Roger Zelazny, it will appeal to fans of fantasy and historical fiction.

My thoughts:  This book was very enjoyable to read.  I loved the political intrigue, the descriptions of the characters and places, and most importantly of all, the story!  I will admit to being underwhelmed with the beginning as it was very slow and at times a little tedious to read; however, that was only the first few chapters then the story took off and just kept going.  I am crossing my fingers and hoping that the author is planning on a sequel because I need to know what is going to happen next!!

Rating 8.5/10

Recommendation:  Fantasy fans will LOVE this book

*I received a digital review copy for free  from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review 26: Going Home

Going Home. James D. Shipman. 2015. [July] Lake Union Publishing. 350 pages. [Netgalley Ebook:]

First sentence:  Joseph woke to the high-pitched shrieking of the rebel yell.

Premise/Plot: From the back cover - Brought to the New World from Ireland, young Joseph Forsyth is soon betrayed by his alcoholic father and separated from his beloved family. As he grows older, he finds his kind nature exploited by others—including an alluring young woman named Lucy—until he gets swept away by the conflict that divides a nation.
After the bloody siege of Petersburg, Joseph floats in and out of consciousness at a Union army hospital. Keeping vigil at his side is Rebecca Walker, a nurse and widow all too familiar with the horrors of war. As Joseph fights for his life and Rebecca struggles to follow her heart, both face a devastating choice: whether to hang on to the wounds of the past or move on to an uncertain future.
From the fields of Ireland to the metropolis of Quebec to the battlefields of Virginia, Going Home follows one man’s quest for his place in a world still healing from the wreckage of war

My thoughts:  From the first chapter I was pulled into the world of young Joseph and all of his trials and tribulations. This story unfolds by telling two stories simultaneously the present in a war hospital and the past following his journey from Ireland to Canada to New York.  All while trying to find the family that abandoned him to a like of enforced apprenticeship.  This is a brilliant read learning about the persecution that Irish immigrants suffered when coming from Ireland to the United States back in the mid 1800’s.  I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed reading this book!  The struggles that the main character faced first being so blindly loyal to his father then selflessly giving in to his young wife’s every demand.  The qualities that he demonstrated time and time again, selflessness, his work ethic, loyalty, leadership, never give up attitude, and most importantly his ability to love no matter what the popular beliefs are.

Rating 9.5/10

Recommendation:  Anyone that enjoys historical fiction specifically the Civil War era of American History.

*I received a digital review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review 25: Affliction Z: Patient Zero

Affliction Z: Patient Zero. L.T. Ryan. 2013. [December] CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 167 Pages. [Source: Free book on Amazon]

First sentence:  Sean Ryder prepared himself for what would end up being the final HALO jump of his career.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - Something dark lurks in the wilds of Southern Nigeria. An experiment has gone horribly wrong and threatens to wipe all traces of humanity from Earth. 3rd Ranger Battalion, Bravo Company is sent in to assist, clean up the mess before it gets out of control.

They've vanished.

Sean Ryder is an Air Force Pararescueman. Attached to SEAL Team 8, he believes he is on a routine rescue and recovery mission. Less than half an hour after landing in Nigeria, he knows that is not the case. And the further his mission leads him, the harder it becomes to get out alive.

My thoughts:  I enjoyed this book!  I am a fan of zombie stuff, movies, TV, books, video games you name it I love it.  This book did not disappoint.  It is rather typical man messes with virus, man lets virus out, zombies take over.  This one did have some interesting aspects since not all zombies are created equal in this universe.  The two main characters were complex and enjoyable they were both men’s men military guys; leave no man behind save as many as possible types. You need that kind of character to balance out the sudden loss of equilibrium in the world.  I WILL definitely be getting the other books in this series because I have to know how it all turns out.

Rating 9/10

Recommendation: Zombie fans will enjoy this, people new to this type of genre should enjoy this.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review 24: Celtic Viking

Celtic Viking. Lexy Timms. 2015. [April] Dark Shadow Publishing. 162. [Source:Free Kindle Book]

First sentence:  The fog hung in the air like a habit belonging to a monk, as if never meant to depart from the body.

Premise/Plot: From Amazon - In a world plagued with darkness, she would be his salvation.

No one gave Erik a choice as to whether he would fight or not. Duty to the crown belonged to him, his father's legacy remaining beyond the grave.

Taken by the beauty of the countryside surrounding her, Linzi would do anything to protect her father's land. Britain is under attack and Scotland is next. At a time she should be focused on suitors, the men of her country have gone to war and she's left to stand alone.

Love will become available, but will passion at the touch of the enemy unravel her strong hold first?

My thoughts:  This is a new author for me and a pleasure this was!  I loved this book I kept turning the pages as quick as I could.  I have always had a soft spot for this time period and a strong fondness for Vikings.  So that combination was a win-win for me.  The characters were well developed and I rather liked how we went back and forth between his and hers view points and thinking.  I can not wait to see how this will all turn out and will be getting the next book in the series.  Erik and Linzi’s story is extremely compelling and I feel like its going to be challenge after challenge for the next 2 books.  There are a couple of characters that I don’t like but I believe that that is intentional by the author they are typical “villains”.

Rating 9/10

Recommendation – Everyone that loves romance and Vikings should read this book!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Review 23: Block 10

***Content Warning*** This book does contain rape while not described it does happen.

Block 10. Stacy Childs with David Niall Wilson. Narrated by Cory M Snow. 2015. [May] Crossroad Press. 9 hours 50 minutes. [Source:Audioblast]

First sentence:  Luke shambled through the Toulon-Hyères Airport like a zombie.

Premise/Plot: - From Goodreads - Luke Cooper dreamed of flying. He was an Olympic caliber skier with a bright future, when a freak accident ruined his knee and sent him into suicidal depression. A stranger, Dr. Henri de Salvo, gave him a reason to live, and a new set of "wings," thanks to an experimental medical treatment. With new focus, Luke turned to a career in medicine, a career that led him to accept an invitation to a secluded clinic in France where de Salvo continued his cutting edge - if morally questionable work.

Lured by the chance to help other athletes recover their lives, intoxicated by a world of smooth cognac, beautiful women and dark intrigue, Luke finds himself drawn into another world. De Salvo has a shadowed past, and powerful enemies, and the French city of Toulon has it's dark side. Through amazing medical breakthroughs, run-ins with the Corsican mob, and clubs where men fight for big money - and women, he searches for his own path. The question is, will he survive the journey, and can he live up to the age old medical adage, "First, do no harm," while following the message of his own heart - "First, do something..."

My thoughts:  Let’s see.  I enjoyed the narration by Cory Snow I thought he did an excellent with the different voices for the different characters.  I liked the medical part of the story.  I would have preferred more medical and less fighting, mafia, and even sex.  The medical theory was excellent but I felt like it was more secondary then primary to the story.  I will actually read this book to evaluate it in written form vs. audio.  I think some books possibly much different reading instead of listening.  The characters were all very well developed and the plot complicated enough to be enjoyable without being overwhelmingly so. 

Rating 6/10

Recommendation Violent, mafia, sexual content you will like this if you like those things.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher courtesy of Audioblast in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review 22: Speed Metal Blues

Speed Metal Blues. Dave Stanton. 2014. [August] LaSalle Davis Books. 310. [Source: Bostick]

First sentence: When I finally tracked down Billy Morrison, he was in the middle of the mosh pit at Zeke’s Bar off Highway 50.

Premise/Plot:  From Goodreads -  Bounty hunter Dan Reno never thought he’d be the prey.

It’s a two-for-one deal when a pair of accused rapists from a New Jersey-based gang surface in South Lake Tahoe. The first is easy to catch, but the second, a Satanist suspected of a string of murders, is an adversary unlike any Reno has faced. After escaping Reno’s clutches in the desert outside of Carson City, the target vanishes. That is, until he makes it clear he intends to settle the score.

To make matters worse, the criminal takes an interest in a teenage boy and his talented sister, both friends of Reno’s. Wading through a drug-dealing turf war and a deadly feud between mobsters running a local casino, Reno can’t figure out how his target fits in with the new outlaws in town. He only knows he’s hunting for a ghost-like adversary calling all the shots.

The more Reno learns more about his target, the more he’s convinced that mayhem is inevitable unless he can capture him quickly. He’d prefer to do it clean, without further bloodshed. But sometimes that ain’t in the cards, especially when Reno’s partner Cody Gibbons decides it’s time for payback.

My thoughts:  This was my first taste of Dan Reno or as Cody likes to call him “Dirt”.  I have to say that I was not disappointed in the least!  This story had enough twists and turns and seemingly small plot lines all dragged together at the end very nicely.  This was a book that was extremely enjoyable to read the characters were well developed and you knew enough about even the minor of minor players so you weren’t left scratching your head.  This is the 3rd book in the series but it appears that they do not form one continuing story line so there is no worry about being lost starting at this one.  I can see future Dan Reno books in my to be read pile!

Rating 8.5/10

Recommendation Absolutely anyone that loves adventure, mystery, bounty hunters, and saving damsels in distress will enjoy this book.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the author courtesy of the Bostick Communications program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review 21: There Goes the Bride

There Goes the Bride. Catherine Mann/Joanne Rock. 2015. [May] Tule Publishing. 139 Pages. [Source: Netgalley eArc]

First sentence:  Lindsey Ballard wasn’t superstitious.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - Hair stylist Lindsey Ballard hates answering questions about her family's country music roots in Nashville. She's been avoiding music producer, Myles Emery, at all costs, who's trying to write a book on her famous relative. But he can't get to her today. It's her wedding day. Or so she thought...

When Lindsey suddenly needs to call off the ceremony to Atlanta's popular mayoral candidate, she makes her getaway with the persuasive producer, all the while trying to ignore the chemistry between them that had never existed with her ex.

Myles Emery has his own reasons for needing the truth about a country music legend-secrets the Ballard family keeps closely guarded. But when he happens to catch Lindsey running out on her wedding, he knows his luck is about to change. Too bad Myles wants Lindsey on first sight and the attraction is making it complicated to stay on task. "Uncovering her secrets" begins to take on a whole new, delectable meaning...

My thoughts: Sweet, short, simple.  Those sum up my feelings for this book.  It is a nice relaxing romantic novella.  You have the bride running away on her wedding day and meeting her real Prince Charming.  This really was a by the book romance with the added twist of the mystery surrounding Lindsey’s step-grandmother.  All in all I would say go for this if you want a nice relaxing non stressful afternoon of reading.

Rating 7.5/10

Recommendation- Fans of the series Runaway Brides, novella fans, romance fan, all will enjoy this book

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review 20: Man Eaters: The Last Refuge

Man Eaters: The Last Refuge. Thomas Jacob. 2015. [April] CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 216 Pages. [Source:Amazon Purchase]

First sentence: The KG-D6 experiment is a success!

Premise/Plot: From Goodreads - The age of man is over. The age of the man eater has begun.

It's Year 3 of the Great Infection and the human race is on the brink of extinction. Seven foot man eaters roam the world, preying on anything that moves.

The Neneks are a tribe of reindeer herders living in the remote Siberian Arctic. Katya, a 15 year old boy, the son of the chieftain, comes of age in the midst of growing threats to his nomadic tribe.

After his father's sudden death, he has to lead the tribe and a ragtag group of American high school survivors across the Tundra safely. Everything is complicated when he falls in love with the beautiful Kiara.

Battling enormous odds, as he fights for his loved ones, he realizes that the greatest danger the group faces might be from the monsters within themselves.

This is a coming of age story set in a post-apocalyptic world.

My thoughts:  This book is a very quick and satisfying read.  I wish it had been longer but it has whet my appetite for more books set in this world.  The characters were believably flawed.  You had villains and no I don’t mean the man eaters I mean the humans; then you had the heroes of the story bringing their people to a relative safety.  Reading this made me both glad to not be living up in the frozen wastelands of Russia and also worried because if something inexplicable like this actually happened I would have no where to hide.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation:  Zombie fans and fans of dystopian apocalyptic futuristic fiction

Friday, July 3, 2015

Review 19: How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days

How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days. Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock. 2015. [April] Tule Publishing. 69 Pages. [Source:Purchased as a free Kindle book on Amazon]

First sentence:  Buying a wedding dress off the clearance rack twenty-four hours before the Big Day had not been Melanie Webb’s brightest idea ever.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - He thought their love was a grand slam, until his bride called foul...

After an impulsive courthouse wedding with one of baseball's rising stars, Melanie Webb wonders if she's fallen victim to lust at first sight. She hardly knows Grady Hollis, the Atlanta ball player who swooped into her Florida hometown and charmed the socks--and more!--right off her. She couldn't resist when he proposed under the stars right on the outfield. But when the aftermath means moving to Atlanta and following him around the country for his eight-month a year travel schedule, she gets cold feet.

But Grady has never been a man to give up on a dream and Melanie is everything he ever hoped for in a woman. He knows if only he can convince her to come along for the ride, he'll convince her that their forever can be something special... and sizzling too. The road trip brings them both deeper understanding, surprise revelations and a love every bit as fiery as the passion.

My thoughts:  I loved this story!  The ending brought me to the brink of tears but I got the happy ending which prevented the tears from falling.  This story though short was very well written and executed.  The characters were well developed and believable.  The story of Melanie and Grady I think will hit home with a lot of couples that experienced that whirlwind love.  This is definitely worth the read especially to experience a new author!  Really and truly the only negative I could find was the fact that it was short; I would have loved to see some of the relationship before the marriage.

Rating 9/10

Recommendation:  Contemporary romance fans will love this!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review 18: Sailor Man

Sailor Man. Del Staecker. 2015. [April] Hellgate Press. 124 Pages. [Source:Bostick email copy provided by the publisher]

First sentence: “I loved him more than I love my mother and father,” she said with a heartfelt sigh that bridges time.

Premise/Plot: From Goodread’s - SAILOR MAN is the illuminating account of James Preston Nunnally, a teenager who lied about his age to enlist in the Navy, endured combat service in World War Two’s Pacific Theater, and returned home. What sets SAILOR MAN apart, making it an invaluable addition to the canon of World War II, is that it also reveals the lesser known dark side—the psychological trauma so many of these brave young men experienced as a result of their repeated encounters with the horror of war—what we now call Post Traumatic Stress.

My thoughts:  This is a short book.  It was something that I could have read very quickly in a matter of hours I chose to read it over the course of several days because I wanted to think about and absorb what JP went through at such a young age.  I am thankful that we recognize PTSD for what it is and try to help our returning soldiers I wish that it was not something recent but had been happening for much longer back to JP’s time.  I enjoyed reading the letters the most but appreciate that the author expanded and explained more about each set of circumstances. This book has made me wonder just how many other soldiers suffered the same thing and treated it the same way that JP did.  I am truly glad that I had the chance to read this and hope that more do so.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation: Anyone that likes true stories from WWII.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Bostick Communications. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review 17: Mirage

Mirage. Monica Burns. 2015. [June] Samhain Publishing. 318 Pages. [Source: Netgalley eGalley]

First sentence: Good Heavens, you’re a woman.

Premise/Plot:  The hunt for the lost city of Per-Ramesses.  The fulfillment of an ancient and I do mean ancient prophecy.  Learning to trust in spite of a very rocky start.  We will follow Alexandra Tablot and Altair Mazir on the adventure of a lifetime.

My thoughts:  This was an enjoyable read.  It takes us from a brief glimpse of late 19th century London all the way to the height of the Egyptian archeological period.  We have intrigue, love, sex, and best of all adventure!  We meet Alexandra Talbot American archeologist trying to find her place in the male dominated field.  Then we have Lord Altair Mazir half Bedouin half English. The descriptions in the book were very on point on I could feel myself transported to each scene as I read it.  On the bad side I felt in some ways that the attraction that the two main characters felt was very over the top.  From almost the very beginning they basically wanted to rip each others clothing off and for the time period that just wasn’t done.  Then the first time they do finally give in she is very knowledgeable in what to do and I find that very unlikely.  But, over all I did enjoy the book the extremely steamy scenes between the lovers and the story itself regarding the hunt for the lost city.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation:  If you love late 19th century period literature then you will enjoy this.  If you like adventure in the desert and looking for lost Egyptian cities then this is for you.

*I received a digital review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review 16: Up and In

Thank you Goodread's and Deborah Disney for letting me join the fun on this buddy read!
Up and In. Deborah Disney. 2014. [December] Harper Collins. 320. [Source:Contest through Goodreads copy provided by Netgalley]

First sentence: There is was again. That damned full stop.  How does so much passive aggression fit itself into such a tiny punctuation mark?

Premise/Plot: From Goodreads - A wonderfully wry tale about the pressure women put on themselves and one another to fit in, measure up and look glamorous while doing it. Distinctly middle class parents, Maria and Joe have committed all available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria finds herself thrust into a high society of champagne-swilling mother-istas she hasn't budgeted for. Saturday morning netball is no longer a fun mother-daughter outing, but a minefield of social politics. While the increasingly neurotic Maria struggles to negotiate the school mum hierarchy, Joe quietly battles a midlife crisis and Kate attempts to grow up as gracefully as possible (without having her life ruined by embarrassing parents). For every woman who has ever felt she may be wearing the wrong shoes, this is a book that will remind you - you're not alone

My thoughts:  First off let me start by saying that I participated in my very first buddy read with a group on Goodreads.com.  I enjoyed this book even though I kept bouncing back and forth between liking the main character Maria and shaking my head in abject disapproval for her handling of situations.  I personally have never been one to obsess about other people’s approval of me or their disapproval.  She is extremely flawed which makes her more believable and relatable I think.  She is so focused on what the other mothers of her social circle think and mean by every text, email, and face to face exchange she can’t see the forest for the trees.  We have her husband Joe supportive even while struggling with his own crises.  Then we have her daughters Kate and Sarah, Kate is the daughter that the drama centers around.  Then we have the wise sister-in-law who dispenses little tidbits of insight just at the right time.  Finally we have the ‘Bea’s’; Bea (the queen), Sonya (OCD control freak), Caitlin (the social brownnoser), Jen (follower), Nic and Lauren ( down to earth non-snobs). Ultimately this is a book from which we can all stand to take away the larger picture you just never know what someone else is going through at any given point so don’t take everything to heart all the time.

Rating 9/10

Recommendation:  Chick lit fans will like this, fans of character growth.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the author through a contest  in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Review 15: Raveled (Audiobook)

I am trying out a new Q&A segment for part of the review process particularly on the audiobooks I will be reviewing!!

Raveled. Anne McAneny. 2013. [January] Farrington Press. 12 hours 5 min. [Source:AudioBlast and the Author]

First sentence:  Sixteen years since my last trip to this park, and not a tree had changed. 
Premise/Plot:  What's a girl to do when her imprisoned brother begs her to delve into their father's 16-year-old murder conviction? How about peel back the lies, upend the fairy tales, and roil the populace of Lavitte - a sweet apple of a town with a wormy, festering core? That's what Allison Fennimore chooses. Despite her infamous surname and people's wilted memories, this jaded cynic of a daughter sinks her teeth in and refuses to let go. She can practically taste the bitterness of that long-ago, twisted night when two teenagers died, linked to her father by bad luck and a few strands of rope.
Ignoring the dense local atmosphere, where image trumps substance and lies become legend, Allison stirs the pot. The more layers she discards, the more elusive the truth becomes. And when a key source of information turns up dead, the dark edges of resentment coil in around her like a slowly tightening noose. As revelations get ugly, Allison may wish she'd never ventured toward the forbidden fruit of truth.

My thoughts:
If you could sum up Raveled in three words, what would they be?
Twisty, turny, and enjoyable.

What did you like best about this story?
The plot and how you would get snippets of what happened 16 years ago through out the story.

Which character – as performed by – was your favorite?
Charlie, I adored how Rebecca Roberts acted him out it was spot on to how I would have heard him if I hard read the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The interactions that Allison had with her mother were extremely touching.

I enjoyed listening to this book.  The narration by Rebecca Roberts was enjoyable.  The plot twisted and turned enough to keep me guessing til the end!  Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen I had the rug pulled out from under me!  I can imagine that a crime like that happening in a small town even 16 years later it would still be an open wound so my hat’s off to the heroine for never backing down no matter what!

Rating 8/10

Recommendation: Mystery fans, seekers of an enjoyable way to pass the time.

*I received a digital review copy for free through Audioblast and from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review 14: Insylum

Insylum. Z. Rider. 2015. [June] Dark Ride Publishing. Pages 122. [Source:Netgalley eArc]

First sentence:  “We’ve made progress,” Dibbock says, but she’s skeptical.

Premise/Plot: From Goodreads - A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years.

They're last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in.

And they may never come back out.

Warning: Some tentacular activity. (Also body horror. And maggots.)

My thoughts:   I have sat on this review for a few days now trying to untangle the web of my emotions regarding this book.  So it is a horror story and it is horrific to the extreme.  I have read many books and this is the first one that actually made me have a real reaction there was a part of the book that made me feel physically nauseous so kudos to the author and the descriptive writing that she used!  The ending was a little lack luster but made perfect sense in the whole scheme of the book.  I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it.  I give credit for the skill in the writing and I will have to read another book to see if said skill continues.  Be prepared when reading this book to be scared, nauseated, and edge of your seat.  I will never be able to go into a haunted/fun house again!

Rating 8/10

Recommendation:  For those that love scares and good descriptive writing.

*I received a digital review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review 13: Outage

Outage. Elissa Barr. 2014. [May] Parker Heritage Press. 223 Pages. [Source: Netgalley]

First sentence:  Dee sat outside the farmhouse and peeled slivers of pain from the old porch swing.

Premise/Plot:  From Goodreads - When fifteen-year-old Dee is left at her grandpa's farm in rural Washington, she thinks life is over. She may be right.

A high-tech electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack destroys the country's power and communication grids, and sends the U.S. hurtling back to the Dark Ages. Can Dee learn to survive without the basics: electricity, clean water... even her cell phone?

The chaos caused by the EMP isn't her only problem. A sinister plot by a corrupt official threatens Dee and all she holds dear. She will have to fight if she wants to survive in this hostile new world.

My thoughts:  This book was a surprising and refreshing look at a dystopian future.  I know I know refreshing and dystopian do not belong together however it’s true.  Unlike other dystopian books this one has a very believable and altogether possible chance of happening.  An EMP burst has taken out the power grid and shaken the people of Lookout Falls to their core.  It was surprising and worrisome just how quickly people showcased their most heinous of characteristics.  The book was eye-opening and has made me consider preparing for the eventuality of a disaster (not long term but short term).  Dee the main character was a bit of a whiner at the beginning however she showed growth has a person, as with most people she felt doubts about what she could do but she persevered.  Now there was a slight medical concern for me and it stretched the limits of possibilities but that is really one of the only negatives that I can think of right now.  Overall I was quite pleased and happy to have the chance to read this book.  I look forward to continuing the series.  Another facet of this book that I enjoyed was that fact that one of the main characters openly prayed and encouraged others without beating them over the head religiously.  It was one of the few times I have encountered this in this particular genre and refreshing it was.

Rating 8/10


*I received a digital review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review 12: Elijah Hael: The Genetic Code

Elijah Hael: The Genetic Code. Steve Goodwin. 2013. [May] Software Development Pty Ltd. 304. [Source: Author through a Bostick email]

First sentence:  Nya, laying on her queen-size bed in the early hours of the morning, in silky maroon pajamas, whispered into the mobile phone held gently against her ear in her native Irish brogue: “Take your right hand and start undoing your shirt buttons from the top down – slowly: one button at a time.”

Premise/Plot:  From Goodreads - A dazzling, thought provoking, combination of faith versus secular beliefs, science fiction, spiritual warfare, action adventure and romance.

Yesterday’s gone. Tomorrow is a distant hope. Now means everything…

Nya struggled to believe her accomplishment. Nearly a decade’s work was all coming together. This was her moment. The Nobel Prize would be hers for the taking. Her work was going to change the face of bio-science forever.

The only problem was someone with an exceptionally dark desire wanted to twist her work for sinister purposes that would change the face of life on earth forever. And he was prepared to go to any lengths to get it.

Thus began a chain of startling events that would force Nya to place her trust in an unknown man whom she discovered from archived news reports … had died years ago.

Journey with Nya, a believer, as her faith is tested. Join Isaac, a non-believer, who questions his existence. Discover how they face death together in a remarkable adventure. An emotionally rich, adventure story which will delight those who quest personally challenging and thought provoking reads.

My thoughts:  Let me start by saying I loved this book.  It had a nice steady pace that kept you wanting more.  The interaction between the 3 main characters; Elijah, Castiel, and Sophia is believable.  This book is the second book in the Elijah Hael series however, you do not need to have read the first book to get this story it is completely stand alone.  This book was very emotional and I did find myself crying so be prepared for that.  Character development was spot on pacing was excellent and the story was engaging and immersive.  I just wish that it had ended that is really my only complaint I love falling into Elijah Hael’s universe.  Again I can not state how much I truly enjoyed this book!!!

Rating 9.5/10

Recommendation: Genuinely good writing and story telling seekers will find what they are looking for with this book.  Fans of the Elijah Hael series will love this installment. 

*I received a digital review copy for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review 11: Winter's End

Winter’s End. Clarissa Cartharn. 2013. [November] Sweet Poisons. 210 Pages. [Source: Purchased]

First sentence: She was once told a good life almost always kept wrinkles at bay.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - Sometimes it takes a third to mend two broken hearts

Tormented by the rumors plaguing her once loveless marriage, young widow Emma Winston escapes to Breakish in the Isle of Skye with her two children. But her hopes of a new beginning is shattered as she finds herself torn between the man she once loved, her brother-in-law Richard Winston and wealthy, handsome playboy, Chris Cameron who threatens to destroy everything she's accomplished if she doesn't accept his offer of a convenient marriage.

Will Emma finally learn to follow her heart?

My thoughts:  I rather enjoyed reading this it was quick and not really stressful.  However I personally did not like how the male main character verbally attacked the heroine of the story.  It made me feel terrible for her regardless of his history he shouldn’t have done what he did.  I loved how the children were portrayed, rather like my own daughter.  It was a quick entertaining read

Rating 6/10

Recommendation:  Fans of contemporary romances set in the UK, fans of movie stars falling for normal people, and just people looking for a quick read.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Review 10: Corr Syl the Terrible

Corr Syl the Terrible. Garry Rogers. 2015. [May] Create Space. 120 Pages. [Source: Bostick]

First sentence: Near the center of the North American continent, among the wooded foothills on the western edge of the great eastern forests, two travelers trotted eastward along the right bank of a small stream.

Premise/Plot:  From Amazon - This Sci-Fi story for teens takes place in the wake of the July war that destroyed the long-standing peace between Humans and Tsaeb. As the story begins, Corr Syl the rabbit warrior questions his place in the world. He longs to run away from the killing and explore the Earth, but a desperate call interrupts his plans. Unidentified Tsaeb traitors have kidnapped Rhya Bright, his friend, fellow warrior—and secret crush. Corr springs into action, tracking down the lynx descendent Able Remington, who betrayed Rhya to protect his own kidnapped family. Able denies any involvement and seems to have fooled everyone, except Corr Syl.

Corr sets out to find Rhya, who has been transported by helicopter. In desperation, he locates and commandeers an ancient warcraft from a nearby museum. Z99, as the ship introduces itself, is sentient and constructed with fantastic technology borne from theories on dark matter and imaginary relationships. The ship proves an invaluable asset as Corr’s journey takes him to Xi'ou, the capital of the Taoso nation. Though ostensibly ruled by the Emperor, the nation’s true power lies in the hands of Ya Zhōu, the Human Minister who commands a network of Tsaeb assassins and spies. His second-in-command is General Yang, a fellow Human under the complete control of an ambitious black widow spider named Lactella. Together, they plan to rule the world through military might.

My thoughts:  I liked this quick short novella.  It was a nice paced read not to fast and not choppy or fragmented.  It has definitely whet my appetite for more of the series.  I am going to pick up the first book Corr Syl the Warrior soon so I can see what happened to the characters previously.  Thankfully with this novella you don’t need to have read the first book to know what was going on in the second!!  Big bonus points for that!!  The characters were well written and well developed the only issue I had was towards the end of the book when the bad guys ending was wrapped up in a paragraph It seemed a little rushed but I am looking forward to another part in this series.

Rating 8.5/10

Recommendation:  Fans of science fiction, alternate reality, animal characters, and/or just a good fast read then this is for you.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review 9: The Amazing Journey

The Amazing Journey. Author/Illustrator. 2015. [May] Wisdom House Books. 322 Pages. [NetGalley:]

First sentence: During the summer of 2011, I wondered what type of family trip to plan before our oldest son Austin went off to college the following year.

Premise/Plot: From Goodreads.com - The Amazing Journey is the true story of Grady and Austin Hicks, a father and son who travel the world for twenty-eight days before Austin attends college. Austin is the first of three Hicks children who embark on this globe-trotting tradition with their father.

My thoughts:  I do not read many memoirs just to be upfront.  This particular book was a memoir wrapped up inside of a travel guide wrapped up like a season of The Amazing Race.  I can relate to both father and son in this journey of exploring the world.  I leave this book with a new respect for some very old cultures.  One day I hope that I can do half of what I read about in this epic adventure!  It did feel as though it dragged slightly for me but I appreciated what the author was trying to convey about the sights, sounds and experiences that they witnessed.  Hawaii, China, Nepal, Tibet, India, London, and Paris I hope to make it to these locations one day.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation:  Fans of memoirs, travel inspired books, and good old fashioned adventure lovers will enjoy this book

*I received a digital review copy for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*