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-Hy√®res 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.*