Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: ‘Scavenger Girl: Season of Atchem’ by Jennifer Arnston

Title: Scavenger Girl: Season of Atchem

Published: 20th October 2017

Author: Jennifer Arnston

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scavengergirl

Twitter: @JennArntson and @Una_of_Ashlund

Instagram: www.instagram.com/scavenger_girl_series

 

Synopsis:

Stripped of their birthright and shunned by the people of Ashlund, Una and her family are forced to live on the fringe of society as Scavengers. There is no question that her family’s bond is strong, but the law of the Authority is stronger…and soon it will come to collect her. After all, the family is on borrowed time already.

When a night of torment and truth reveals well kept secrets, Una takes new freedoms – free from the Authority, her family, and possibly her fate. Pulled between the life she’s always known and a world where status and rituals are everything, Una struggles to understand a culture that has rejected all she holds dear. As Atchem comes to an end and she learns who she really is, will Una find the courage to do what it takes to ensure her family’s survival, or will she find the faith to follow her heart?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set on another planet. Now this world is similar to our own but different in others. More moons for one so I’m counting it as another planet. An interesting one to delve into anyway so enjoy.

Delve into a fantasy world with a family full of secrets and mystery. When these secrets come out they could turn their world up side down in a moment. Dreams could be clues and if you get a weird feeling about someone you should really listen to it.

Una, Calish, Marsh’s parents have been stripped of their birthright as Citizens, which branded them and their future children as Scavengers. They survive by picking up what others too easily discard without really being seen. Scavengers have much to be fearful of with the Authority. The first being that any daughters they have are sold at the first sign of womanhood at the festival, said festival coming up with Una soon to be attending. The other being the Talium Hunt where if her family aren’t safe behind their barriers it seems they are fair game in the hunt. All Una really wants is a way to protect her family from what’s coming. Seems a vision put everything in motion from the moment she was born. She’s different and is only now starting to figure out the world around her and her place in it.

A way for Una to save her family and get security for herself comes in the form of Blue. Now don’t get too blown over with his soft charm to begin with, as he seems to have an entitled feel to him the more you get to know him. He gets what he wants when he wants and right know he wants Una. He might want to shower her with gifts but the luxuries of the Citizens grow old when you see how twisted they have become with the gods they worship. Seems a lesson has been lost along the way. Blue says he will give her time to win her heart but that’s going to be hard to do as it belongs to another.

Una has a lot of thinking to do and it’s not helped when she is almost thrown into the deep end with what the festival is really like. Her family only has to by law attend the last evening and you can see why they would have shielded her from the other days. This is not a festival to be celebrated as some really despicable things happen there in the name of their “gods”. Things Una wishes she could unsee. Seems her mother might have the right idea to just worship the Great One. Seems we might be seeing a bit more of this in future books.

Now one brother’s story I didn’t see coming but the others and hers you could see a mile off. But that was from snippets of conversations people were either having to Una or around her when they thought she wasn’t listening. It’s giving you breadcrumb clues to try and see if you can figure it out before she does.

A good setup for the fantasy world created, very imaginative. Good at interlinking the story around the world and leading you on a journey with Una. Who she chooses and where her journey goes from here on out will be interesting to see. Is she to follow her heart for herself or her head to protect her family? Lets hope we find out soon.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Fantasy, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘Eye on the Prize’ by Dmytro Holmes

Title: Eye on the Prize: A Novel

Published: 12th February 2017

Author: Dmytro Holmes

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16371508.Dmytro_Holmes

 

Synopsis:

The story of Mikai, a talented young boxer, and Caitlyn, the beautiful woman he falls in love with. Full of action and passion, the fast-moving plot, with its twists and turns and cast of dramatic characters, all connected in intriguing and unexpected ways, keeps the reader guessing right to the end. The obstacles Mikai faces in the boxing ring mirror the difficulties he (and Caitlyn) have had to overcome in the past, and the continuing struggle that faces them in their desire to have a future together.

 

Review:

One, two, punch with this read. Hooks you in right from the start to see how it will play out. Dark gritty feel in parts but its needed to show you how far they’ve come out the other side.

Mikai has had a hard life growing up with not much outlook on life. That is until he stepped into a boxing gym and met Joe his soon to be trainer. Joe was like a father figure right from the start and soon took him under his wing. Seems he’s good at spotting someone with potential and that’s what he saw in Mikai. He took to boxing like a duck to water but to make big money off this sport you need to start at the bottom no matter how many times you win. On a winning streak but needing money his agent Miles (when you learn more about him you will agree with me that he is a piece of shit that deserves everything he gets) tells him to get a job, one that won’t interfere with his training. Seems his size and muscles help him land a security job. Easy enough to do for a couple months but turns into something harder and more tempting when he bumps into Caitlyn. From the moment he saw her something seemed to click (for her too if only she would admit it) and he knew he wanted her. Bit of a problem with wanting her though, that being the rock on her engagement finger.

Now to begin with you might think that she just wanted a bit of fun before settling down but the further in you go the more you understand her. She has had a very hard life and because of it has almost been programmed into having bad relationships because she doesn’t know what to do if someone is generally nice to her. She craves Mikai as much as he does her but won’t force something to happen. All it takes is one very nice dress and he all but pulls her to him. A few weeks of passion with a connection she never thought possible to keep her going down the path she set for herself with Patrick (a complete dick who got what he deserved).

You can see how much it pained Mikai to know she wouldn’t choose him no matter how much she wanted him. Seems this takes him to a very dark place for a long time with drinking, doing drugs and placing bets in the wrong places. All triggered with her wedding date. When something goes sideways he calls Miles to help. ‘Help’ is not what I’d call it but he doesn’t think he has a choice. He knows he needs to put Caitlyn behind him but time doesn’t seem to be helping at first. He needs to get his act together and the respect back off Joe to get his boxing life back on track. If only his love life was that simple. The woman he loves is married to another and he would do anything to change that. He might just get his chance when their paths cross again. She is in a loveless marriage where she is more property than person and it’s not till seeing Mikai again that she wishes she chose a different path.

Rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish with a group of characters interlinked more than they know. You are cheering when certain ones get what they deserved and hoping that these two damaged lost souls can find their way back to each other where they belong.

Side note: There is a name swap of fathers. Should be Michael but near beginning in flashback talk with Mikai it changes to Dave.

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: ‘Betrayal’ by Danielle Hardgrave

Title: Betrayal: Sea Assassins Book 1

Published: 20th January 2017

Publisher: Cadwell Publishing

Author: Danielle Hardgrave

Twitter: @dhardgrav3

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/15300640.Danielle_Hardgrave

 

Synopsis:

On a calm November evening, a ship disappears off the coast of Washington without a trace…

When Darcy Davies finds a handsome man washed up on the beach, he’s three things: injured, naked, and rude. And he’s got a few demands. Somewhere safe. No hospital.

Tell no one.

While Darcy takes him in, she’s no fool. She knows he was involved in whatever happened at sea that night. But is he a victim or a villain? One thing’s for certain—even if he’s not a danger to her person, this sexy stranger is a danger to her heart.

Gabriel Barnes can’t tell which is more of a pain in his side—the curvy brunette who plucked him off the beach, or the literal pain in his side.

Gabriel’s secret will be hard to keep in such close quarters, especially with injuries that are healing much too fast. But he’s got bigger problems.

It wasn’t an accident that brought him here.

It was a betrayal.

 

Review:

What better way to get over my fear of sharks than reading a shark shifter romance? Now I love shifter stories so lets see how I cope with the shark part. Here’s hoping they stay on land for the most part. Well fingers crossed anyway.

Talk about a hottie being swept right up to your feet, a nice looking naked one to boot. It’s not just muscles and hotness he’s packing but very bad looking wounds too. Looks like something took a bite out of him and it’s not till later that you find out how real that thought is. Now Darcy’s first thought with finding said naked man is panic as she fears he might already be dead and that soon turns to annoyance when he makes it known he is alive and has no intention of going to hospital. He makes her a deal, five grand to stay at her place while he heals. Now she needs the money and not for the greedy reasons he might think to start with. So she helps carry/drag him back to her place, which as luck would have it was only a stones throw from the beach he washed up at. He insists he just needs rest but she insists more that he will let her at least bandage him up. Well after he pays her that is. Half now half later as neither seem to want to trust the other. With good reason to start with as it’s a very strange situation they find themselves in.

Rest is all Gabriel can think about, well when he’s trying to not think about how good his helpers clothes seem to cling to her. If only she wasn’t so annoying to him he might be tempted. He knows it’s risky to stay there but needs time to heal while he tries to figure out his next move. Said move not being to claim the sexy helper with his version of appreciation. The more he protests, if only in his mind, the more you know he wants her.

Darcy landed herself in danger from the moment she took Gabriel in and it looks like that danger might be closer than she thought. Even from someone she would consider a friend. Though really she should just trust her dog Oscar’s instincts. He might be weary to start with new people but if he changes his mind you should trust him. The same goes for if he doesn’t.

Now it’s not just her that the hot brooding patient might be putting in danger but her sister Sophia too and that’s something she won’t take. He needs to tell her everything not matter what. Nice final words as what he has to tell – or rather show her – could have her running for the hills. Oh you know the fact that he is a shark-shifting assassin. Seems danger and truths bring forth passions also as its not long before the wall they both put round each other falls. One kiss sparks a light and its not long before they burn. Passions running high but the danger that follows is very real. Here’s hoping they don’t bite off more than they can chew. Shark wise not too bad for me so lets see how I get on with the next one.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘A Solitary Awakening’ by Kevin Cady

Title: A Solitary Awakening

Published: 29th April 2016

Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services

Author: Kevin Cady

Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Cady-Author

Twitter: @kevincadyauthor

 

Synopsis:

Elijah Warren’s world has always been one haunted by murderers. His personal life is non-existent, though it’s not like he’s noticed. Work consumes him, and he’s buried himself in the FBI’s exhaustive demands. There’s no time for romance with killers to track–that is, until the beautiful and erudite Aurelia Blanc is thrown into his life, along with the so-called “Poetic Murderer.”

The Poetic Murderer makes murder an art form, each crime scene an exhibit. To catch him, Elijah and Aurelia must decipher cryptic poems and study imaginative death scenes. They traverse the United States, into the uncharted past of a killer most twisted, whose brutal violence evokes not only empathy for the victims, but an interest in the killer himself.

In time, what these detectives discover about both themselves and the Poetic Murderer will change their lives forever. First, they must understand him. Then, they must stop him, but will a romantic liaison make the killings more personal? If Elijah and Aurelia don’t stay focused, one could end up dead at the hand of a Poetic Murderer.

 

Review:

Murder mystery at its best that will keep you on your toes till the very last page. FBI detectives Aurelia Blanc and Elijah Warren are trying to catch a serial killer – soon to be called the Poetic Murderer – the man in black. Let’s see how the twisted tale starts.

A very intricate story, one that manages to weave the man in blacks murders through a unique timeline. The moment the detectives start following and connecting the kills its almost too late as they have already be planned months/years in advance. They have been methodically planned to the last detail. Leaving breadcrumbs but only if you are smart enough to follow them. Poems from Keats are always left but its not until Aurelia and Elijah start the case that they begin to connect the dots. Might be involved in a twisted killers world but that doesn’t stop the connection being formed between the two. Romance might not be the priority but it is on the cards. More so when they have to watch each others’ backs as the killer might just start targeting them.

Very twisted kills so be wary if you have a delicate imposition, best not read right before bed or you might have some interesting dreams (which I did). The victims aren’t linked in any way, seemingly randomly picked, and the kill locations are never close enough to each other to suggest a link between them. Making it difficult for the detectives to track but not impossible if you know what you are looking for. Which is all the Poetic Murderer is really wanting. To be tracked by the smartest minds who can follow his way of thinking. Has he found who he has been looking for?

You will be trying to figure out whom the killer could be with clues given but not really have all the pieces fall into place until the detectives do. You are figuring things out at the same time, which is good as you then won’t be able to see what’s coming next. Right to the end you will be kept on your toes, which is what you want in a good thriller. It all comes back to the beginning and how it started someone on their path of a solitary awakening. Opening their mind to a new way of thinking in the most twisted of ways.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Filed under Reading Nook Blog Posts, Thriller and Suspense

Book Review: ‘Heart of Stone’ by Willa Blair

Title: Heart of Stone (Highland Talents Prequel)

Published: 26th August 2016

Author: Willa Blair

Facebook: www.facebook.com/willablair

Twitter: @willablair

 

Synopsis:

Bound home after two years away, Gavan MacNabb comes across a lass and her deerhound in a moonlit circle of standing stones. Little does he know that the garland of bluebells she weaves and the spell she sings will change the course of his life.

Marsali Murray doesn’t really believe the old wives’ tale that making a chain of bluebells by the standing stones under a waxing moon will bring true love, but she’s desperate to try anything to escape the boring, everlasting sameness of her life. Anything except marrying a man her father chooses for her. When her deerhound, Corrie, insists on following Gavan, Marsali decides that’s the excuse she needs to have the adventure she craves. She’ll go where he goes, whether he is the man promised by her spell—or not.
Gavan has already seen much of the world denied to Marsali. He’s ready to settle down. She is eager to spread her wings. Can they find what they need with each other?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A Scottish Highlander historical romance.

Marsali longs to find her true love, hopefully before her father sells her off to the highest bidder for political gain. An old tale she’s told tells of a spell that once cast will bring forth her true love. One that involves stringing bluebells together and singing a song in the middle of a sacred circle of stones. She knows its a long shot so is shocked when a man appears before her, a very handsome one to boot. Though at the end of the day maybe she should just listen to her deerhound Corrie – the fearsome beast she is lol – she seems to know who she should be with.

Gavan is on his way home when he gets drawn towards a voice singing on the wind. It’s like he feels a pull towards the voice and when he finds the one it came from a pull towards her as well. He might want her but holds back for fear of scaring her. Then he takes note that she is in the middle of nowhere by herself with only a deerhound to protect her. Said fearsome deerhound that all but bounces over to him to say hello. Good old Corrie, she knew who he was to her master even before they did. He almost wants to scare her into seeing how dangerous the situation could be but settles on offering to escort her home instead. She might insist she is fine but she secretly wishes for him to force her to be led by him spell or no spell. She may have cast it but how much faith should she have in it anyway? More than she does it seems as they meet again by chance. You can see the pull is there but not acted upon, mainly due to him leaving the next day. Thinking she has lost her chance it seems fate, or should that be Corrie, has other plans as she rushes off to follow him hours after leaving. Marsali might have longed for adventure and she is about to get it when she follows her faithful hound.

Danger is along the path she travels so its good she has a Scottish Highlander to come to her rescue. To keep her safe becomes his first priority and it seems the closest place to do that would be his home. But there awaits a long lost love, one he had hoped would wait for him. Though does he still want his past or maybe now a new future. He thinks to give Marsali time for her adventurous nature to wear off so she will go home on her own choosing but really he wants her to stay, even if he won’t say it. She longs for him to see her as his love as she has quickly come to see him as hers. They fit together no matter where they are. I mean come on even the hound knows they are meant to be. But with past lovers, family ties and hope being tested it’s a wonder if love can concur at all.

Nice short, sweet, clean, adventurous Scottish highlander romance to chill out with on a chilly evening. Would be interesting to see how others in their families get on with their own stories. Lots more tales I hope.

4 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts