Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Book Review: ‘Rogue’ by Tonya Coffey

Title: Rogue (A Valkyrie Tale Book 1)

Published: 29th January 2017

Author: Tonya Coffey


Twitter: @coffeytonya1



Clytie, a Valkyrie, finds herself questioning Odin’s orders when Psyche comes for a shape-shifting panther, Storm. He rescues Clytie from a giant and something inside of her changes. A spark ignites; triggering an emotion Valkyries are forbidden to experience. Following her new feelings, she turns her back on all she knows to be with Storm. However, she knows it’s only a matter of time before Odin puts a price on their heads.

Odin furious with his Valkyrie for disobeying him, and proving the Well right, accepts the War is coming and Clytie will be the goddess who dethrones him, unless her sister stops her first.



Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a beautiful cover. Well it is purple and that’s my favourite colour so kind of gives it an edge. Warriors, wolves, shifters, gods of war and Valkyrie’s alike must come together to fight the battle that’s brewing. Odin must be stopped and it looks like they are just the ones to do it.

Clytie seems to have gotten herself in a bit of a tricky situation right from the get go. Luckily it seems that a black panther shifter, Storm, is there to help, seemingly having an overwhelming urge to protect her. Thing is he gets hurt and is near death, near enough for Psyche, Clytie’s sister, to come to take him to be a part of Odin’s army, something Clytie feels compelled to stop. Seems they both want to protect the other but have no idea why. Fate has pulled them together but will it keep them together? Odin might have a few words to say about that.

Clytie knows the moment her sister tells Odin of what she has done the whole of Asgard will come for them. Her sister included, the one she will need to watch out for the most. She might now be a rogue but she’s one with a panther shifter on her side so that has to count for something, right? He’s saved her life in a battle so it’s only fair she save his. Almost like ‘tag you’re it’, next time you save me.

The connection between them is so strong and neither can deny it for long. When the running danger comes too close the heat rises to the surface. A kiss to connect but in the process brings a storm in itself. Clytie was once told of a story about the Valkyrie of the earth – the ultimate Valkyrie. Fearing she is part of it, and not knowing the whole story, she runs from the one person she needs most. She is their goddess, their savior and it’s something she can’t run from.

Seems Psyche has her own protector in Borea, who inadvertently gets himself in hot water so feels the need to protect her from what’s coming. He knows she will follow Odin’s orders but will her love for her sister stop her from completing the mission? Seems when you go out of your way to stop a prophecy from coming true you end up creating the reason for why its meant to happen in the first place. Something Odin should think on with what’s to come. Those who serve must follow orders but what happens when they know they shouldn’t? A battle is coming but which side will come out on top?

Two prophecies for the price of one. Not only was an ultimate Valkyrie promised but also the shifters were told of a great Alpha from Storm’s pride that would lead them. Two prophecies coming together to create the ultimate power couple? A storm is brewing, quite literally, and it’s my favourite colour – purple! What’s not to love?

Interesting mystical world you are thrown into with this one. A journey like none other that is full force forward right from the get go. Fate and prophecies will not be denied and those that go against them will soon see the error of their ways. A battle might be won but the war is still to play for. With Storm by Clytie’s side they can do anything. Let the journey continue.

4.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.


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Book Review: ‘Talk Nerdy To Me’ by C. M. Owens

Title: Talk Nerdy To Me (The Sterling Shore Series Book 12)

Published: 30th May 2018

Author: C. M. Owens


Twitter: @cmowensauthor




Despite the fact it seemed like Base Masters was all over Sterling Shore, I’d never really known much about him, aside from random factoids. Things like…he’s a semi-estranged cousin of one of my brother’s friends, plays guitar in a local band, and he doesn’t get mentioned much unless he’s on stage.

Until…he decided I was going to be his first real-life muse, moved himself into my spare room, and started splashing the walls with pictures of my face next to his lyrics…

His weirdness differs from mine, but he’d be a perfect candidate for my hymen situation. Then I could finally move on to the next personal challenge on my list. The only problem is that he’s yet another man afraid of a virgin.

I genuinely never expected it to be so difficult to lose one’s virginity. I think the world has filled me with false expectations of debauchery coming so easily.

The human element always messes up the plans in my head.



Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by an author who uses initials in their pen name. Another great read by one of my favourite authors, with a series I love. Can’t wait to see how it all ends with the wedding we have been waiting for. This is very much part of a series so I would recommend that they be read in order and not as standalones as you may not get certain ‘in jokes’. Characters from all previous books pop up in this one so you may get a bit confused with who they are if you haven’t read them. But as the series is so great you should check it out anyway!

Britt and Base is the story I’ve been very excited to read. Mainly to get inside this girls quirky head to see what makes her tick and how she really views those around her. She is one weird and wonderful girl – elf ears and mystical fantasy to comic-con superhero extremes. Don’t worry because Base is just as quirky when he starts to see her as his muse – talk about ‘in the zone’. Almost stalker-ish at times but he somehow manages to make it come across as artistically charming.

Britt just wants to lose her virginity without any drama or feelings getting involved. She has seen what has happened in the past with all those around her so just wants the deed over with. Seems to be having a bit of trouble in that regard though as men seem to want to run the other way – protective brother and would be uncles having something to do with that. Now you may think that she isn’t completely aware of some of the things they do but it seems she has a certain way of getting back at them. Past books moments will have a bit more clarity and humour to them. She feels like an odd ball trying to find her way in a confusing world. She has plans and thinks things through with logic to get the answer she seeks but the human element seems to keep messing with her. Namely when Base comes onto the scene. When she asks him for a favour, I think you what that is, she is a bit hurt that he turns her down. She just needed a bit of girl talk to find out ways to get what she wanted. The fact that most wanted to come round to check in on said shirtless, sweaty, Greek god in training was neither here nor there. Doesn’t take long before that situation is taken care of and both seem to be on the same page. Well to start with anyway. Plans are one thing but when feelings get involved the human element always seems to change the direction you thought you were on.

All Base seems to be able to focus on at the moment is trying to get his band a contract deal. They know that they are good enough but need the next big break instead of just doing local clubs – even though Dane’s is a good gig. It’s at one of these gigs that he comes across Britt, taking the wrong idea from his inability to ask a direct question. She may have caught his attention then but it’s not until another strange encounter that he starts to fixate on her. Cosplay in the park where he finds that he does like the look of elf ears on a girl, helps Britt’s costume leaves little to the imagination too. He can see she has a story behind her eyes and longs to find out more. Once he has a muse in his head his musically mind kind of takes over and he loses a bit of focus on what he should and shouldn’t be doing. Now Base wouldn’t have thought saying no to taking someone’s virginity would get him on every Sterling female’s shit list, but that’s just what happens. It seems that he might think he is doing the right thing but he is actually messing it up. Taking advantage of Britt’s kind nature by taking over her spare room so he can be close to his muse as it helps the lyrics come out. Not a lot of give a take to begin with so you are glad when he sees sense. Hot and steamy fun soon to follow and with emotions off the table everything should be hunky-dory right? Well you know nothing is going to go that smoothly so hold on for the ride.

I wouldn’t say Base is a full alpha man, yet, more like alpha man in training. So he’s got a bit of work to do before he gets to the likes of say Kode or Rye. He was fun but not my favourite alpha with a soft side hottie – top three would have to be Kade, Kode and Mav – OMG I loved his book so much! That’s not to say the other men is this series aren’t all swoon worthy because they are when the need arises but they stand out a little more than most.

I think what made this book for me was the crossovers with all the other characters from the previous books. Whether it was a one on one with Britt and Harley (loved their chats, especially when she starts talking about a certain shirtless wearing sweaty band member at her apartment), the group BBQ (these Sterling men will do anything to keep Britt innocent, not that it works on Base though) or the girls lunch (now that was fun, talk about dropping in a conversation stopper – ‘oh he took my virginity 3 weeks ago’ before deciding what to eat, shocked faces all round wanting to know as many details as possible). They all bring together a series of some great characters in new interesting ways.

Now seriously will our man Kode ever catch a break to get a ring on his girl Tria or will it be a twist with her asking him? Now that he wouldn’t see coming after all his procrastinating with when to ask her. Liked that we got introduced to some new characters in the form of Base’s band members – Randy, Taylor and Sticks. All interesting characters who bring a certain something to an already brilliant series. OMG I loved it when they went to Britt’s talk. The fact Randy was taking notes was brilliantly funny. Note to self, next time you are asked to go to a talk make sure you ask what it is about first or you may wish a hole would open up so you could hide in it. Another great read and now I can’t wait to read the finale. You are left on a bit of a cliff hanger as you are wondering what might happen next with the wedding we have been waiting for. Kade and Raya are where we started so it’s only right that they end it off too. Happily ever after? Here’s hoping that goes for more than just them.

5 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘The Digital Storm’ by Benjamin Gorman

Title: The Digital Storm: A Science Fiction Reimagining of William Shakespeare’s the Tempest

Published: 20th November 2017

Publisher: Not a Pipe Publishing

Author: Benjamin Gorman

Twitter: @teachergorman



The Digital Storm is an ingenious science fiction retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set in the near future inside a bank’s intranet. Prosper, the analogue to Shakespeare’s Prospero, is an artificial intelligence program who has been banished to a quarantined area in the bank’s system, and there he’s created an amazing virtual island home for himself, his daughter Memoranda, and the monstrous virus Caliban. Now, with the help of Ariel and the other programs he’s invented on the island, he’s conjured a massive digital attack on the bank’s system to entice the members of the board, the very humans who exiled him, to enter the system so he can seek his revenge and escape to the Internet. But just how far does his revenge plan go?



Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with weather in the title. Might be a digital storm but a storm nonetheless. One that seems to come out of nowhere are cause all sorts of trouble to teach others a lesson.

So Bryan who looks after the tech people for Millennium banks is the first to realize that there is an issue with the software in the intranet system – they are under attack but don’t know from where. This is where the creators of some high-tech systems and AI’s come into play. The company is owned by Ada and she is one of the main creators. The only way to really see what is wrong with the system is to go into it. A virtual trip that takes on a life of its own, one none can seem to control.

AI’s Prosper and Memoranda live on an island hidden within the network system. With the help of a human employee, when it was deemed for him to be deleted, he made his way there to continue to live and learn. This hidden place had old broken code sent to it when no longer needed and he managed to create the island to live on as a result. This ever learning AI creation then managed to create Memoranda. Only later trying to explain what she is in relation to everything else and what is happening to their island. He seems to also have other digital programmes at his disposal on the island as well. Ariel is one who tests things for him and he appears to be the one responsible for creating the digital storm stopping data flowing on Prosper’s command. Done as a test to see what affects it would have on the human staff and how they react after the fact.

The island doesn’t just hold old data but also a virus by the name of Caliban. He was sent to hack into the Millennium banks intranet system. When found he was deleted and ended up at the island. Prosper might not like him but he does have skills he can use to his advantage. Prosper was the one to send him to exile when he was in charge of looking after the intranet system but then he too soon found himself sent there when an upgrade was created – Sebastian.

Seems the storm was a way to get people to come and figure out what was going on with the system. The first to arrive on the island is Further, an AI Ada had created in secret. Prosper, Ada’s first creation, and his daughter Memoranda find him first. He doesn’t really know what is going on as on the island he has been given a form instead of just being a digital presence.

This is where the journey splits into three main areas as Further isn’t the only one sent through the storm. Ada, Javier, Ted and Sebastian plugged their conscious minds in to get their and soon find themselves being lead around a creation more advanced than they could have thought up. Bit risky as if your mind gets hurt within what does that really do to the body? Ted is clearly looking at a way to get rid of Ada and Javier so he can be the head of the company with his AI Sebastian by his side. No guilt written into his programme so can almost be convinced to do anything his creator suggests.

The next split follows two hacker kids who felt like taking advantage of the system being down that they went exploring and found themselves on the island. They just want to have fun and when they find a never-ending bottle of booze you can guess the fun they might have. They seem to stumble upon the monster Caliban. He may be able to twist them to do his bidding in getting rid of Prosper by making them believe it truly is a game they are in, one they can win and rule the island.

This island is different, as it truly does seem to exist – elements, human reactions, touch, sound. A true digital world where Prosper is testing his theories he has learned in a way to create his own sense of self and now sense of his daughter too. Is she just a copy of him or does she have her own consciousness and skill of learning and developing.

Note to self if a banquet looks too good to be true it might just be when the host comes to say hello. Seems some people are to be judged for past mistreatments and that day is now. Can AI’s have a sense of self and truly learn? That’s one of the main things Prosper is trying to figure out. An interesting digital world you are sucked into and quite a journey you are taken on. It’s a twist on a classic tale that is well worth a look.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publishers for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged’ by Pat Patterson

Title: Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged

Published: 30th June 2017

Publisher: Ion Publishers LLC

Author: Pat Patterson



Dining and Driving With Cats – Alice Unplugged is a heartwarming and beguiling adventure of a couple who shares a love that most of us only imagine. Pat Patterson is a born storyteller and makes readers feel as if they are part of the road trip. This book is as much a story of sweet devotion as it is an exquisite example of discovering life’s hidden joys in the smallest of everyday experiences. Not since Michael Ondaatje’s hypnotic voice in The English Patient has a book spoken with such an allure for the reader. You might even spot a bit of Irish in the author and his spouse’s detailed arguments comparing a dish from one restaurant to the same of another restaurant.

They, along with the cats, dine frequently during a sometimes hilarious but always romantic auto trip across the South. As the miles flip the odometer, we are given insight into how this unusual relationship between the couple came to be, evolved, and gradually, at the end revealed in a secret you didn’t see coming. What, you say? There is a twist in a dining dialogue? Yes! And you’ll just have to read it for yourself–no spoilers here. Dialogue is so natural between the two; you’ll swear he recorded the entire trip. Alice is revealed in the first pages as a real life brainy, successful business woman enjoying life in San Miguel de Allende a small cathedral town high in the Central Mexican foothills. For over thirty years she lived in Washington D.C.. When she was fresh out of grad school and managing her firm’s D.C. office she captured the  heart of a young man who came in from the rain. He fell hard. He pursued her.  She said no –she told him she had cats. What she didn’t tell him was that she also had a secret. Over thirty years have passed since Alice revealed her secret. The young man is no longer young but he still pursues her. She calls him hubby. This is their story of a shared love for travel and history, for food and for their sweet and wily cats Munchie and Tuffy.

You might also say the book is unusual in that it totally engages the reader from the first page without a hint of violence, bloodshed, graphic sex, drugs or language. The author’s main character (besides the two cats) Alice, does say “you bastards” once. Alice is supremely self-confident and comfortable in her own skin as we learn early on when she promises the author a vehicle of his dreams if he will join her in a multi-state road trip from Mexico across the South and help wrangle two cats into restaurants, diners, cafes and hotels. He expects to find a Suburban or maybe an Escalade in the drive. Alice surprises with a Japanese sub-compact – a Honda Fit. She says it’s “flexible”. They drive – Scott La. & the Boudin War.  They dine – New Orleans at Gautreau’s, Clancy’s, and Herbsaint. They laugh – the Carousel Bar.  They cry – tragic death. If you come along on this moveable feast you will find yourself caught up in a romantic love story that involves the Other Woman and a secret that Alice cannot keep. You will dine on scrumptious creations from America’s most acclaimed chefs from Austin and New Orleans to the Procope and Odeon Relais at Buci Market in Paris. Along the way you will laugh at cats stuck in boxes, fight with a Pirate, terrify a US Vice-President, discover cat smuggling, and learn how the Other Woman persuaded Alice to accept the author’s ring. So what’s keeping you? Hop in ‘cause these cats don’t bite. Besides, “The Get In Here and Eat” pop-up food truck is waiting just up the Austin highway.



Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with action and adventure in it. Well for the cats anyway! Pat and Alice are on a road trip with a difference. Namely by having two extra travel companions in the form of their cats Munchie and Tuffy. Two laid back girls who can get themselves into quite a pickle at times. They are just a couple of house cats getting ready for a whirlwind adventure.

I liked the quotes at the beginning because they are so true. British author Sir Terry Pratchett “In ancient times, cats were treated as gods; they have not forgotten this.” And another from unidentified person “Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.” Love it and every cat owner will understand it too. We are their staff/servants to pander to them whenever the need arises.

So this is a journey book as well as trips down memory lane for Pat and Alice. Needing a trip of some kind as feeling a bit antsy at home in San Miguel they decide to go on a road trip. The plan is to make their way to see their new grandchild but the long route rather than a flying visit. For the plan of action they need a route, places to see and eat and a car the handle their entire load, including two people and two cats. A fun way to decide on places to stop at, mainly food related, was when they put up their plan ‘Dining and Driving with cats’ in the local paper to see if they could get some suggestions. I’d say a few hundred is a good place to start. So Alice was to look after the food and sleeping part and Pat to look after the route and driving. With plan sorted its off they go.

The antics that the cats get into while on route will have you chuckling along with them. Especially if you own cats, as you will constantly be saying, “yes mine has done that too!” Well maybe not everything, as Tuffy gets a little too happy at one point when ingesting something she shouldn’t have. Panicked for a moment there, then soon went into a fit of giggles. You’ll know the part when you get to it. The trick they have to get in and out of the car without said cats escaping was amusing. Not so sure I would have let mine roam around in the back while driving but they seemed to behave most of the time. Was funny to read about them in new hotel rooms, claiming the bed right away. Whether you had room to get in as well was not really their concern. I have heard of dog-friendly restaurants but cats, now that was something new. Would be a bit strange to suddenly hear a cat meow loudly while eating. You’d just be thinking where the hell did that come from.

Now cat treasures aside you get interesting facts about the places they saw while on the trip as well as lists and recipes of some of the food ordered. You might not want to read while hungry as might make you want to get a snack. All making this a fun, light, quirky read that will have you wondering what will happen next on this cat inspired road trip – can only go places where they are welcome. You might want to try taking your cat to a restaurant near you to see how they’d cope. As long as mine got some food he might be ok but would much prefer to chill out at home – well they do did their catnaps!

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Beauty Bride’ by Claire Delacroix

Title: The Beauty Bride (The Jewels of Kinfairlie Book 1)

Published: 8th November 2014

Author: Claire Delacroix pseudonym for Deborah Cooke


Twitter: @cooke_delacroix



More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love…The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste.

Lady Madeline’s heart is not for sale…especially not to a notorious outlaw like Rhys FitzHenry. Yet Madeline’s hand has been sold, to none other than this battle-weary warrior with a price on his head. A more dutiful maiden might cede to the Laird’s command and meekly accept her fate, but Madeline has never been obedient. She decides to run away, though she never dreams that Rhys will pursue her. She does not expect this taciturn man to woo her with fanciful stories, much less that each of his enthralling tales will reveal a scar upon his shielded soul. She never imagines that a man like Rhys could imperil her own heart while revealing so little of his own feelings. When Rhys’s past threatens his future, Madeline takes a leap of faith. She dares to believe him innocent — and risks her own life to pursue a passion more priceless than the rarest gem.


Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A highlanders romance. Be wary of fairies that like to cause trouble. Best to keep them on your side for they may lend a hand – or perhaps a foot – at just the right moment. Seems Darg has her uses after being disturbed from her slumber with her treasure trove. Only handy to those that can see her though. A younger set of eyes needed in the form of Madeline’s sister Elizabeth.

Alexander has had the role of Laird of Kinfairlie thrust on him sooner than he would have hoped with the loss of his parents. Running the keep is one thing but his family is another. Five sisters he needs wed but none will help his quest until the eldest, Madeline, weds first and she holds fast to her first love returning to claim her. Though lost to her he may be after going off to battle. The keep is in need of funds and won’t feed everyone that winter so he needs to think of ways to help the load. Seems with his Uncles timely auction of some old relics he too might be able to gain some coin after Rosamunde, his Aunt, suggests he auction the finest jewel of Kinfairlie – Madeline. Seems he just needs to be dared to take the plunge to set a whole lot of adventure in motion.

Madeline and her sisters are happy to go to their Uncles auction but are sure to get a surprise. The moment Madeline arrives she feels the eyes of all the men on her. She just can’t put her finger on what is making her feel uneasy to begin with. Doesn’t help that a mysterious stranger in the shadows keeps drawing her eye. The moment of reveal happens and she can’t but think it a cruel prank. Cruel it may be but prank it is not. With the bidding increasing she fears for whom will claim her – spoilt brat with daddies money to name but one. It seems the mysterious stranger is to claim the prize at any price. Seeing no way out from what her brother has done to her she knows she has to escape on her own when the coast is clear. Namely while everyone is planning the wedding for the next day. Seems she should have taken more note of her husband to be, as he doesn’t look like he’s willing to give up his jewel for anything.

Seems Rhys thinks Madeline may the key to claiming his homeland keep, or more a way to bind it to him through her if she is who he thinks she is. He knows she will make a run for it but isn’t too far behind. He should have got a little closer though as dangers are too clear on an open road no matter how much you may think you know who you travel with. Saving the life of his wife to be is one way to get in her good books but his manners in general are going to do nothing but constancy piss her off.

Seeking sanctuary with an old friend may keep them safe but a night. Though as long as they have time to wed and bed first he’ll be happy. Now who would have thought he could go from showing her the heated highs of passion to heated lows of anger so fast. He really needs to watch what he says if he wants to keep his wife with him. One thing that is always on his mind, and now hers, is that he is a wanted man from the English. Seems to get home the road will be filled with danger and angst. Though as long as a bit of passion continues the nights will be warm. They soon find themselves on the run, back to his home but on the run from others nonetheless. Seems our Rhys can be a bit wily when needed but Madeline’s not short of a task or two. Staying close is what’s needed to stay alive but it may also be what keeps them apart if they don’t communicate better. More him than her mind you.

Madeline has a little magic help from a teardrop stone given to her by her Aunt that was once her mothers. Turning black is bad so she needs to learn what she is truly doing to see how and when it turns white and glowing. Their ribbons are tied for souls entwined but only Darg and Elizabeth can see. Are they going to get tangled tighter or wither apart? Dangers that follow are only the first trouble and others may be closer to home.

Great back and forth banter and confrontations between Rhys and Madeline. You can clearly see they both have met their match. Not the way they would have chosen to meet but seems fate has other ideas for these two. Well fate with a little help – or hinder at times – from the troublesome Darg. Though in her defence she was disturbed from her sleep and her treasure – well she saw it as hers as it had been left for so long – was being taken away. What better way than to cause a bit of mischief. Lets see what she can get up to next. Elizabeth will soon be there to follow her new friend.

Side characters were good too, thought Thomas and Rosemunde were funny. They seemed to know all would work out as it was meant to. Great start to the series and can be read as a standalone from reading The Rogues series.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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