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Book Reviews by Lynn

I am a copy editor and proofreader and an avid reader. Some would call me a bookworm. My favourite genres are: Romance, Romantic Erotica, Mystery, Thrillers, YA, Paranormal, Supernatural, Science Fiction, General Fiction and Children's Books. I also have a Facebook page where I put all my reviews: Book Reviews by Lynn. You are welcome to join me there too. You are welcome to follow, comment and enquire.

Book Review of Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 2) by Malia Ann Haberman

Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets - Malia Ann Haberman

After spending the summer at his grandfather's gigantic, incredibly magical house, thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker thought things couldn't get any more bizarre, or that the secrets and lies couldn't get any worse, but he was wrong.

 

As summer turns into Autumn, join Chase and his family for even more magical craziness. Craziness that will include: the sneezing of strange powers, the reappearance of the wicked Marlowe family, another frightening kidnapping, the discovery of a mysterious, magical Japanese-American girl, a dangerous rescue mission, and a secret so mind-boggling, it will lead to a shocking climatic finish that will turn Chase's world completely upside down.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the second book in The Chase Tinker series. I absolutely loved it!

 

Chase Tinker is a wonderful character and I really liked him from the first time I met him in the first book. I have enjoyed watching his development from a frustrated teen into someone who I would be proud to know.

 

In this second book, which is told mostly from Chase's point of view though other characters also have their say, Chase finds himself having to deal with new magical powers that he struggles to control. Not only that, the Marlowe's are still intent on finding the Relic hidden in the attic of the Tinker house. Shocking secrets are revealed and a new face is introduced. Nori is the same age as Chase and is a cousin to Chase, Andy and Janie.

 

This is a wonderful story full of adventure, danger and mystery, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as Chase, Andy, Nori and Persephone face danger once more. There are several twists and turns that keep a reader guessing. I found myself on a roller coaster of emotion from beginning to end. There's a huge fight scene full of action and danger, which was described in such detail that I could picture it in my mind with ease. This fight leads to a shocking accident that brought tears to my eyes. I reached the end of the book with a little bit of sadness, as I didn't want the story to end. This book doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but it still left me looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny, as soon as possible.

 

Malia Ann Haberman has written a entertaining and exciting story for middle grade children. This is the sequel to her debut book. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and imaginative. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers aged 9 to 14. However, I also recommend this book (and series) to adults who love reading middle grade fantasy, or to those who are fans of books like Harry Potter. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Giselda The Witch by J S Rumble

Giselda The Witch - J. F. S. Rumble

Giselda discovers that she will not be attending the same school as her friends; instead she will be going to Wigmore’s school for witches. Due to an unfortunate mistake she arrives a bit earlier than even she expected but soon settles in and makes a new friend through the fence.

 

Things are going well until some girls find out how she arrived at school and start to tease her about it. To prove that she is just as good at magic as everybody else Giselda agrees to travel up the mountain and steal from the dragon that lives there.

 

Review 5*

 

This is a sweet children's book aimed at children aged 4-10 years old. I loved it!

 

Giselda is a wonderful character and I really liked her. She is an eight year-old girl who finds out that she will not be attending the local school with her friends as she is a witch. Not realising water and witches don't mix, Giselda finds herself travelling to the school in a most unconventional way. When her classmates find out how she arrived at the school, she is teased badly. In order to prove she is good at magic, she accepts a dare.

 

As I said above, this book is a sweet children's book with an adventure included. It is ideal for children with short attention spans. It tackles topics such as friendship, bullying/teasing and teamwork. The school is not your typical witch/wizard school, nor is it like Hogwarts. Wigmore teaches their students to be bad (not evil) and play tricks on others. I liked meeting the other characters too. Tom is a young wizard who befriends Giselda through the fence that separates the two sections (girls and boys are taught separately). Beatrice and Emma are Giselda's nemeses and tease her unmercifully until danger in the form of a dragon makes them band together to solve a dangerous situation.

 

J.S. Rumble has written an entertaining chapter book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced though easy enough for children to follow whether reading on their own, or being read to by their parents. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 4-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Bad War (A Military Paranormal Romance) by Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston

Bad War (A Military Paranormal Romance) - Stephen Kingston, Summer Cooper

Zebadiah

Vietnam has taken my friends and almost my life.

Some days, I wish that I had died on that battlefield with them, at least they won’t have to deal with the humiliation I’m about to face when I get sent home.

What’s Mary going to say about her wounded husband?

How am I going to give her the life I promised her now?

She deserves better...

 

Mary

All I wanted was a chance to see him again, to spend another night of passion with him.

That day is finally here!

The day that I’ve most looked forward to, but also the day that I’ve most dreaded.

Now he’s coming home, I’ll do everything in my power to make him the happiest man on the planet… for as long as I can… whatever it takes.

 

Author's Note: This beautiful paranormal romance is not your usual military romance! The story contains mature language and themes, intended for adults only.

Bonus books included in this copy for very limited time.

 

Review 3*

 

This is an intriguing romance story. I did enjoy the story but with some reservations.

 

Zebadiah Rasnake is a really intriguing character. I really liked him a lot. He is a soldier fighting in the Vietnam war, but after being injured he is sent home to rest and recuperate. Waiting to take care of him is his wife Mary and baby Joshua.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a favourable review.

 

I started to read this story and was quickly pulled in. It is told mostly from Zebadiah's POV, although there are some scenes from Mary's POV, as well as another character called Cherokee Joe, who also has a part to play in this tale.

 

I felt deeply for Zebadiah as he dealt with his injuries. However, as I began to delve deeper into this story, I found myself thinking that this story is not your typical paranormal romance. It's more of a supernatural one. There are no shifters, but there are two people who love each other so much that even death can't keep them apart (think ghosts). I don't want to give too much away because there are several twists to keep things interesting. However, I did find some of the dialogue a little stilted and forced at times; it didn't seem to flow naturally. Having said that, I found myself turning the pages in eagerness to see what would happen next. The story took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. The ending was not totally unexpected, but I was a little dissatisfied with it even though it concluded neatly. My first thought after reading the book was: Is that it? In some ways this book, although entertaining, just didn't float my boat. I am sure other readers may not have the same reaction and will enjoy this book more than I did.

 

Summer Cooper and Stephen Kingston have co-written an intriguing romance. Their writing style is relatively fast paced, and the flow of the story is okay. However, I feel they need to work on their dialogue a little more to make it flow more naturally.

 

Due to scenes of an explicit sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to young readers. However, I recommend this book if you love reading contemporary or supernatural/paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2) by Thomas Dellenbusch & translated by Richard Urmston

Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2) - Richard Urmston, Thomas Dellenbusch

Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Theatre-Of-The-Mind-Stories

 

Scotland on the brink of independence: the government is planning its own Scottish monarchy. But when a member of the close-knit planning group reveals the identity of the candidate for the throne, suddenly people appear who want to prevent this royal ascension at all costs - including murder. When CHASE is called in to assist, Jérome and Chen Lu travel to Glasgow. Together with the Scotsman James Campbell, they hunt for his father’s murderer. A secretive wax seal leads them into a maze of ancient legends and lost manuscripts. Can they solve the mystery and save the king - or will old ruins become their grave?

 

Review 4*

 

This is the second book in an exciting new crime thriller series which has been translated from German into English. I really enjoyed it!

 

Enrique "Rique" Allmers is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot when I first met him in Hunt for a Mute Poetess. He runs a security firm called CHASE, which investigates mostly business related espionage and crimes. When his team is called in to investigate a potential murder in Scotland, he sends Jérome and Chen Lu. However, danger is not far behind and as the two delve deeper into the suspicious death, secrets are revealed that could shake the foundations of the United Kingdom.

 

When I heard that this book was available, I quickly downloaded a copy and began reading it as soon as I could. Set in Scotland this time, this book takes the reader on a thrilling adventure of danger, suspense and mystery. It is mostly told through Chen Lu's and Jérome's point of view (although some scenes are through other characters' eyes as well), it is a pulse pounding ride, with chases, gun fights and several twists that keep a reader hooked. There are several interesting characters in this story too. James Campbell is the oldest son of Ronald Campbell and brother to Peter, and is Jérome's friend from his Legionnaire days. However, he finds himself embroiled in a secret that has been kept by his family for centuries, and which could affect the monarchy of Scotland at a time when there is huge political upheaval from a referendum that could split the UK apart.

 

As the story unfolded, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it, but also found myself thinking that this story was not as strong as it could have been. The author has incorporated a medieval legend in with his story and has woven it in such a way that it sounds entirely plausible, which I liked. However, I was a little confused at the actions of one of the characters. This character was in a position of authority but acted like a greedy thug and bully. What he hoped to achieve with his tactics didn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm being too critical of this character, as he was no evil villain but a man controlled by fear and greed. Personally, I think I would have liked a stronger villain than Peacock to love to hate. Nevertheless, having said that, he certainly made me dislike him a lot.

 

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings, sad that it had ended but happy at the way it concluded. I am not sure if I would call this a movie-length story though, as it felt too short. Having said that though, the amount of descriptive writing made me picture this book in my mind's eye with ease and it played out like a movie in my head.

 

Thomas Dellenbusch has written an intriguing crime thriller. I love his fast paced writing style, which had me turning the pages, and the flow was a lot smoother than the first book. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.

 

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to some violence and some mention of torture. However, I highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers/mystery/suspense genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Arabelle: And The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1) by Julia Stilchen

Arabelle: And the Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures) (Volume 1) - Julia Lela Stilchen

Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series

 

Venture off into the magical land of Wistaria where there are mages, elves, fairies, mermaids, magical creatures, and more!

 

Arabelle is looking forward to obtaining her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. When the day finally arrives, her best friend Yunika goes missing. Will Arabelle be able to find her bff and still make it to the Starfall Ceremony in time to catch her first falling star?

 

Arabelle is the youngest of all mages. She doesn’t let that stop her from trying her best. Even if it means confronting dragons, traveling throughout the twists and turns in the land of Wistaria, and taking on any challenge she encounters. Seeking to improve her skills, she teams up with her besties on a fun filled magical adventure.

 

Set in a fantasy setting filled with magical adventures, each story encourages imagination while lightly addressing topics of universal themes: self-esteem, self-acceptance, teamwork, friendship, and problem solving skills.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series. I absolutely loved it!

 

Arabelle is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She is a young mage who is determined to catch her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. Unfortunately, her best friend, Yunika (who happens to be a human shape-shifting unicorn), has gone missing shortly before the event is due to begin, so with the help of her other friends, Kitsy (a furry - a human but with animal ears and tail) and Pip (a talking parakeet), Arabelle finds herself on a rescue mission. Can she find her friend in time, or will she lose the chance to catch her first star?

 

This is a fantastic children's chapter book, full of action, adventure and danger. It is told through the eyes of Arabelle. The story is the perfect length for young readers who have a short attention span. It is entertaining, but also educational. The story teaches the reader about friendship, teamwork, building confidence, solving problems by thinking things through and achieving dreams through hard work and perseverance.

 

Each character in the book has different strengths and weaknesses, and they complement each other as they face difficult challenges. I must admit that I'm not sure I would like to meet up with the Lullaweeds from this tale, they look like pretty flowers but are plant-like creatures. Once they get their leaf like arms around you, it's hard to escape. *Shudder*

 

Julia Stilchen has written a fantastic chapter book that is full of imaginative description which allows the reader to picture the scenes with ease. Her characters are lifelike and likable, and her writing style is easy for children to follow and understand. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

This series of books are aimed at children aged 6-10. Depending on a child's reading ability, this book would be easy for a child to read either with the help of a parent or on their own. It would also make a wonderful bedtime story for younger children if read by a parent. However, I think that adults would also enjoy this story just as much as I did. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Turn Tables (Reel Romance Book 2) by Stacey Rourke

Turn Tables (Reel Romance Book 2) - Stacey Rourke

Between private jets, designer labels, and lavish resorts, Tandy Owens should be having the time of her life. Her celebrity author best friend is getting married and all of Hollywood’s elite have turned out for the event. Unfortunately, Tandy’s mood is far from celebratory.

 

For over a year her heart has been torn between two men: Matthew Cruz, the brilliant, well-educated entrepreneur who makes her feel like a queen, and Mateo, his womanizing musician alter ego, who is known for collecting platinum records, and the panties of his sexual conquests. Matthew assures her that Mateo’s antics are all a show. Even so, with her being the only one to witness his softer side, Tandy begins to wonder which persona is truly the act.

 

In the sizzling heat of Miami, Tandy reaches the breaking point with their secretive romance, and finds herself asking if a hidden love is truly worth fighting for?

 

Review 4*

 

This is the second book in the Reel Romance series and is a fantastic contemporary romantic comedy. I loved it!

 

Tandy Owens is a fantastic character and I really liked her when I first met her in the first book, Adapted for Film. She is the flamboyant friend of Aubrey Evans. Now working as Matthew/Mateo Cruz's manager, and his secret lover, Tandy finds herself questioning whether her love is strong enough to survive the demands of his career.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review.

 

I was eager to start reading this book as I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of the series. It is told through the eyes of Tandy, though I would have liked to have a little of Matthew's POV too. This is because, although he was introduced in book one as Mateo, I wanted to see behind his cheesy Mateo persona and understand the man (Matthew) that Tandy had fallen in love with. Most of this story seemed to focus on Tandy and her angst about her relationship, as well as the wedding of Aubrey and Kole, rather than focusing on the relationship between her and Matthew itself. They had very little interaction for most of the story, which saddened me. Don't get me wrong, I loved the buildup to the wedding and all the comical goings on with a mysterious teddy bear mascot, but I just didn't have the same enthusiasm for this tale like I had for the first one. I must admit that there are some interesting characters that pop up, like the teddy bear mascot and a goth chick called Willa, who has a habit of popping up when things get sticky/awkward, but I felt that the story focused on the wrong things.

 

The story is peppered with the sarcastic humour and wit that I have come to love from this author, and has several twists that kept things interesting. The secret identity of the mascot was revealed and I must admit that I was surprised when I found out who it was. However, after thinking about it, I shouldn't have been. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings; sad that it had finished, but happy at the conclusion.

 

Stacey Rourke has written a fantastically comedic contemporary romance. I love her characters, who are extremely lifelike and feel like friends. I also love her writing style, which is fast paced, and the story flows wonderfully. I am a huge fan of this author. The wit and charm she brings to her books makes them a joy to read. I am looking forward to reading more of her books, whether they be YA like her Gryphon Series, Dark Fantasy like her Legend Series or Contemporary Romance such as this one, or any other genre she attempts in the future.

 

Although this is not really a YA story as such, I highly recommend this book to teens aged 15+ and adults who love light-hearted contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .

 

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

 

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. I have been wanting to read this book for some time. I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner because I loved it!

 

Cinder Lihn is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She has a strong will and determination to succeed, even though her stepmother treats her as a slave. Cinder has lived with the Lihn's since being eleven years old, when her adopted father brought her to New Beijing. Now sixteen, she finds herself working as a mechanic in the market to make ends meet. When Prince Kai visits her market stall with a malfunctioning robot, her life is thrown into turmoil and it will never be the same ever again.

 

This is a fantastic retelling of the classic fairytale, Cinderella, and is set in the future where a terrible disease called letumosis is ravaging the world for which there is no cure, and cyborgs are seen as abominations. It's a story that completely hooked me from the first page and took me on a huge emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. This book is full of action, adventure, heartbreak, romance, mystery and danger and is told through the eyes of both Cinder and Prince Kai for the most part, but a few other characters have a say too.

 

I loved meeting the various characters, even Cinder's stepmother, Adri, and her stepsisters', Pearl and Peony. Adri, I feel, blamed Cinder for the death of her husband, even though he died of letumosis. This bred resentment and she took this out on Cinder.
I also fell in love with Prince Kai. He's another wonderful character. He is only eighteen, but he has a good head on his shoulders, even if he acts like a jerk at times. However, there is a lot of responsibility on his shoulders too, so I suppose one could forgive him for it.
Adri may be horrible, but there is one character that is downright scary. She is called Queen Levana and is the ruler of Lunars, who are descendants of an Earthen moon colony which was established several centuries before. However, I found her thaumaturges to be even more dangerous and scary.
There is one character that I really enjoyed meeting, her name is Iko and she is a housekeeping droid in the Lihn household. She is almost human in personality and is Cinder's friend and companion.

 

As I said above, I found myself completely captivated by this story. I raced through this book at a rate of knots and completed it in one day. It's not exactly a small book either. I normally have a huge love/hate relationship to cliffhangers, so I was actually glad that I had the second one ready and waiting on my bookshelf, because when I reached the end I found myself eager to find out what happens next.

 

Marissa Meyer has written a fantastic retelling of a classic fairytale. I love her world building, which is extremely believable and scarily realistic. Her characters are well developed, though I would have loved to get to know Peony better, and her writing style is incredibly fast paced, though it didn't feel rushed. The flow was wonderful too. This author has found another fan and I have added her to my favourite authors list. I am now looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

 

As this is a YA novel, I highly recommend this book to young readers. However, depending on reading age, I feel this book would suit readers aged 11 upwards even though its recommended for 9-12 year olds. I also highly recommend this book to adults who love reading fairytale retelling's or books in the YA genre. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Valen (Guardians of Hades Romance Series Book 2) by Felicity Heaton

Valen - Felicity E. Heaton

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Lightning, Valen was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

 

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Cursed by Zeus to never know love again, Valen has brought up barriers around his heart to protect it, but with each new barrier he creates, the dark hold his power has over him grows, becoming all he needs.

 

Until the night he finally crosses paths with the assassin who has been watching him from the shadows, a bewitching mortal possessing the name of an angel and the skills of a devil—a woman who awakens his passionate heart and stirs dangerous desires.

Eva has built a fearsome reputation for herself in Italy’s underworld, but her latest job in her beloved city of Rome has left her feeling that she has stepped into a dangerous world and this mission might end in her death—either at the hands of her mysteriously seductive client or by the blade of the wickedly alluring warrior who is her target.

 

As the threat from the daemons escalates and more than just the Rome gate becomes their target, will Valen be strong enough to face the fears in his heart and the ghosts of his past to claim everything he desires or will they lure him deeper under their spell and into the darkness?

 

Review 4*

 

This is the second book in a new paranormal series written by this author. I loved it!

 

Valen is a wonderful character, I liked him a lot even though he has a bit of a self-pity party going on. He is one of the seven brothers born to Hades and Persephone, and has been banished to live in the mortal realm as a guardian to the portal into the Underworld in Rome. His brothers guard other gates around the world. Cursed by Zeus to never know love, he finds himself intrigued with a mysterious woman who has been sent to assassinate him.

 

Eva is an intriguing character, I liked her a lot too, She is a deadly assassin and has been tasked with gathering information on Valen. When her client changes her orders in the middle of the mission, she finds herself caught between her duty to her employer and her growing desire for her mark.

 

I love reading the Eternal Mates series, but this new series may give it a run for it's money. This story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. I must admit that I felt sad for Valen. He didn't deserve the treatment he received at Zeus's hand. Granted, he was angry and full of grief at the time, but the "curse" that Zeus placed on him left him with a "woe is me" attitude and his self pity blinded him to the truth. Frankly, I was more angry at his parents (even though Persephone did try to get through his thick skull) for not convincing their son that he would find love and that he WAS loved. Even his brothers never expressed their love for him. No wonder his self-worth was deflated.

 

The villain of the story, Benares, is an incubus, but I never got an "evil" vibe from him; he was more of a smooth operator with an agenda. Jin, his sister, was a completely different issue. However, they are both desperate to get through the gate back into the Underworld; this made them dangerous. The story arc is beginning to take shape, with even more dangerous enemies hiding in the wings. As I reached the end of the book, I found myself becoming even more excited for what is to come. I am now looking forward to reading Esher's story as soon as I can.

 

Felicity Heaton has written another fast paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her fast paced writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is on top of my favourite author's list.

 

Each book of this series could be read as a stand-alone, as this one does not end in a cliffhanger, though I would recommend reading them in order. I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of gods and daemons. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Sigil of the Wyrm: Volume 1 (Into the Weirding) by A.J. Campbell

Sigil of the Wyrm (Into the Weirding) (Volume 1) - J.A.  Campbell

Richard Lampton never believed in fairy tales, so when a stunning stranger at his uncle’s funeral warns him of an ancient family curse, he pays no heed—until a very real wyrm attempts to destroy him. Now, with the help of a homeless runaway, a fledgling jackdaw, and a key none but he can use, Richard must find the courage to meet his death or his destiny as he plunges headlong Into the Weirding.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in the Into the Weirding series. I really enjoyed it!

 

Richard Lampton is an interesting character. I really liked him a lot. He's an ordinary man (or is he?) thrown into an extraordinary adventure. I love watching characters grow in stories and Richard definitely does. When his Uncle Tom dies from a supposed heart attack, Richard finds himself inheriting a deadly curse that has plagued his family for centuries. Being a rational man, he dismisses it as fantasy at first; that is until he's attacked by a monster. As he tries to break the curse, he unwillingly ventures into a dangerous and unknown world.

 

I love reading YA dark fantasy and when I read the blurb of this book, I was intrigued. I started to read this book and I didn't put it down until I finished it. I devoured it! I found myself hooked from the first page.

 

There are several interesting characters that are introduced in this tale. However, there are a couple of them that I am still not sure of their motives. The first one is Katherine (Kate) Avery. She is still a mystery to me and I must admit that I didn't like her at first. The second one is Robin, aka the Baron. The author never really tells us much about him, so the reader is left to wonder about his identity. I did, however, like meeting Dawlish. She's a teen runaway who has been taken under the wing (so to speak) by Kate and the Baron and has the ability to talk to birds. Speaking of birds, I love Bobble, the fledgling Jackdaw that is taken in by Richard when he accidentally flies into the window and is knocked out. He has a personality and character all of his own. Crows, ravens, jackdaws, mocking birds and magpies all have an intelligence and curiosity that is sorely underestimated by us humans. This intelligence makes them extremely interesting to me. Then there is Jenny. She has a secret past that, as it was revealed, surprised me.

 

The story takes the reader on an adventure full of danger, magic and suspense. The explanation for the curse and how John Lampton's actions all those centuries ago had consequences that reverberated down through the years is woven intricately into a tale of personal growth for Richard. It takes an extraordinary man to do the impossible and undo the mess John made, and Richard steps up even though he has no idea what he's getting himself into. However, I couldn't blame John for his actions, as his choices were not exactly easy and were heartbreaking. I would have loved to have more background to Kate and the Baron, so I am hoping that as the series progresses that we get to see more of them and get to know them better. As I reached the end of the story, I had mixed emotions; I was sad that it had come to the end, but happy at the way it concluded. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

A.J. Campbell has written a fascinating debut novel. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely consider reading more of her work in the future.

 

Although this is a YA dark fantasy, I do not recommend this book to young readers under the age of 15 due to some scenes of violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book to older teens and adults who love YA dark fantasy or urban fantasy. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo

Eye of the Storm - Frank Cavallo

On a research mission in one of the most remote regions of the world, former Navy SEAL Eric Slade and Dr. Anna Fayne are caught in a mysterious storm. Catapulted through a rift in space-time, they are marooned on a lost world. Struggling to survive and desperate to find a way home, they must confront the dangers of this savage land—a dark wizard and his army of undead—a warrior queen and her horde of fierce Neanderthals that stands against him—and a legendary treasure with the power to open the gateway between worlds, or to destroy them all: the Eye of the Storm.

 

Review 3*

 

This is an intriguing science fiction / fantasy story. I really enjoyed it.

 

Dr. Anna Fayne is an intriguing character and I did like her. However, I felt she was under-utilised in the story and was not as developed as she could have been. She is an anthropologist working for a non-profit research and natural history organisation. When the body of a neanderthal is found in a remote area of Kyrgyzstan whilst the rescuers were searching for a plane that crashed/disappeared in the area, she finds herself on a dangerous adventure into an unknown world, along with an ex-Navy Seal and a group of other scientists.

 

Eric Slade is also an intriguing character. However, I didn't like him much at first. He is a typical alpha male, with a tendency towards arrogance. An ex-Navy SEAL, he is now a paranormal investigator on TV. Sent to cover the expedition into the mountains to investigate where the neanderthal came from, he finds himself trapped in a strange world where danger threatens in every corner.

 

I received a complimentary print copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review.

 

I love reading fantasy novels, so when I was contacted about reading this book, I jumped at the chance. This story is told through the eyes of several characters. And what intriguing characters they are. Threya is the new queen of the land of Tulkoras. Kerr is a servant to Threya and is afflicted with leprosy; I really liked this character and I felt sorry for him for several reasons. Azreth is Threya's priest/dragon keeper and has his sights set on ruling Tulkoras himself. Tarquin is known as the wizard of the black sun and has the ability to control the black fire/flames that create the storm anomalies on Earth. He is an enemy of the Tulkoras people. He also has the ability to use the flames to bring the dying back to life. However, they are more like vampires (though they don't drink blood), or reanimated corpses, and become immortal.

 

I found this story to be an intriguing mix of science fiction and fantasy. So why the three stars? As I was reading the story, I found similarities to Jules Verne's 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth', though there were differences too. The world building was interesting and it had a mish-mash of different elements, from prehistoric animals to sword-wielding warriors and futuristic-though-long-abandoned buildings filled with technology created by the 'founders'. The black sun seems to be a portal to/from various different worlds and transports animals and people from either different worlds or dimensions, and they end up trapped on the planet. The 'founders' either abandoned the planet or were killed millennia ago, so the buildings are all that remain of them. At one point, I wasn't sure where the story was heading. However, I found myself intrigued enough to keep reading. The plot has several twists and turns that I didn't see coming, and I was taken on a roller coaster ride of emotion. There is action, adventure, danger and romance within the pages. Some of the scenes felt a little 'dry' though, especially the ones with Anna and Tarquin. I don't know if this is because they were both scientists (of a sort), so I didn't feel any connection to them. In fact, the only characters that seemed to have a connection that sparked any emotion in me was the friendship between Eric and Kerr. Eric and Threya's relationship didn't seem to have the romantic spark or even any heated passion either. I didn't feel it, even though they obviously were in lust. The ending seemed a little anti-climatic after a huge battle between Azreth and Kerr, and it left me wondering if there will be another book or not, as it concluded in a vague manner that had me feeling rather let down. Having said that, if there is another book, I would consider reading it.

 

Frank Cavallo has written an interesting and intriguing science fiction story. I love his fast paced writing style, and the flow was wonderful. However, I felt that his characters needed more depth to them. Some of the dialogue was a little clunky in places too. Nevertheless, I would consider reading more of his books in the future.

 

Although there are scenes of a sexual nature, they are not explicit and fade out. Nevertheless, I do not recommend this book to younger readers or those of a nervous disposition due to the use of violence and bloodshed that may affect some readers. I do, however, recommend this book if you love science fiction/epic fantasy. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow (Haunted Series Book 1) by Alexie Aaron

The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow - Alexie Aaron

Little Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Haunted Series. I really enjoyed it.

 

Mia Cooper is a likable character. She has been able to see ghosts since being a child. However, her ability has left her a bit of a pariah and loner. When a ghostly sighting leads to a group of paranormal investigators visiting Cold Creek Hollow, she finds herself involved in a race against a malevolent and ancient evil that threatens the residents.

 

I actually purchased this book when I first bought my Kindle way back in 2012. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I haven't been able to read this book until recently. I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

 

I started to read the book and quickly became intrigued. I found myself completely riveted by the story, though I did find some of the characters to be a little under developed. I must admit that I did like Deputy Whitney (Whit to his friends) Martin at first. However, he also can be a thoughtless and chauvinistic jerk and I wanted to slap him on more than one occasion. He and Mia have a history (though not romantic on his part even though Mia had a crush on him - they went to school together). Whit is married to Sherry, who is an aspiring artist who wants to show her work in the Museum of Modern Art. The paranormal investigators are an interesting bunch. They are: Burt Hicks and Mike Dupree, who are the leaders, then there are Amber (presenter), Beth (researcher) and Ted (camera/soundman). Rose Malloy is the town's real estate agent and has a penchant for gossip, which she uses for her own gain. However, I think my favourite character has to be Murphy. He has a sense of humour to match his razor sharp axe. He also happens to be a ghost and can only communicate through mime to Mia, or by using his axe to chop wood.

 

The story is told through the eyes of several of the characters. This gives the reader an opportunity to see different view points, I must admit that I enjoyed this aspect. This story has a slow-burning undercurrent of suspense to it that completely had me hooked. I wasn't sure where the author was going with this story at first, but as the history of the Hollow and horror of it was uncovered, I found myself feeling sorry for the ghostly inhabitants that were caught up in a vengeful evil. I also found myself turning the pages in a effort to find out what would happen next, as there are several twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I also enjoyed the romance aspect between Mia and Burt and thought they made a lovely couple and were well suited.

 

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours and, to say it's a four hundred and forty-three page book, that's how engrossing it was. There is mystery, danger, horror and happiness within the pages and it took me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I did think that the explanation the author gave for the vengeful spirit's evil was a little disappointing, and I couldn't feel any emotional attachment to any of the characters apart from Murphy; this made me feel sad. I felt that the ending was a little anti-climatic for me, even though it concluded satisfactorily. Nevertheless, I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Ghostly Attachments, when I have the chance.

 

Alexie Aaron has written a wonderful supernatural horror. I love her fast paced writing style. However, I found the flow a little jerky at times. This is the first book I have read by this author, but it will not be my last (I hope).

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature (though not explicit), as well as violence and horror, I do not recommend this book to younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love supernatural or paranormal horror. - Lynn Worton

Audio/Book Review of The Healer by Christoph Fischer

The Healer - Christoph Fischer

When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her. Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons. casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her. Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?

 

Review 4*

 

This is an intriguing psychological/medical thriller. I really enjoyed it!

 

I received a complimentary gift copy of this book in audio format from the author with no expectation of a positive review. This is my honest opinion.

 

This audiobook is narrated by Georgina Tate. She has a clear reading voice. Unfortunately, I was not keen on her reading style. She read the story in a jerky fashion in my opinion, taking unnecessary breaths in the middle of a sentence where no comma should be, and her pacing was a little too slow for my taste. She also did not modulate her voice or change her tone often, which made some sections rather monotonous. She also didn't even attempt to give the characters different tones or accents. This, in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, as not many people can do accents. Nevertheless, it made me feel a little bored at times and I considered switching over to a different story. However, I persevered right until the end.

 

Erica Whittaker is an interesting character. She is a woman who has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. After a course of chemo that leaves her feeling extremely ill, she turns in desperation to a faith healer called Arpan, who has retired to the wilds of Wales, in an attempt to cure it.

 

I found myself intrigued with the storyline, which is told through the eyes of Erica. I also found some of the dialogue a bit clunky and repetitive, especially in the beginning where Erica first meets Arpan and tries to convince him to heal her. Arpan is an interesting character. He has retired from the limelight as a healer after a healing went wrong and his client died, which created a media circus. He is extremely reluctant to heal Erica and it's not until later in the story that one discovers the reason why. He also has an apprentice called Anuge (sorry, not sure of spelling). What got me curious about this situation is that if he's not practicing healing, why did he have an apprentice? Anyway, as the story unfolded, the mystery and suspense surrounding Arpan's apparent retirement comes to light when a drug company comes calling. I must admit there are several twists to this story that I didn't see coming, though I did have suspicions about a few things that I deduced correctly when they were revealed. The ending, however, left me feeling with a blend of surprise and disgust at how an innocent person can have their life ruined by either a potentially deadly mistake or a deliberate scam. The author has left the ending a little vague so a reader can make their own conclusion on this point.

 

Christoph Fischer is a relatively new author to me in that I've only read some of his short stories in an anthology he contributed to. Nevertheless, I love his writing style and, if I had read this book rather than listened to it, I think I would have enjoyed it better flow-wise. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.

 

Although there are no scenes of a sexual nature, violence or profane language, I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the dark subject matter. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love psychological or medical thrillers. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Survivors (A Jazz Nemesis novel Book 3) by L.M. Smith

The Survivors (A Jazz Nemesis novel Book 3) - L.J. Smith, L.J. Smith

Abandoned by her lover.
Reunited with her father.
Ardently pursued by a man who has vowed to never leave her side.

 

From within the protective walls of Sanctuary, Jasmine and her friends find themselves numbered among a throng of refugees fleeing a world under constant assault from all sides. The horrors of The Maya Virus were just the beginning as nations emboldened by chaos succumb to the temptations of nuclear warfare, religious zealots employ drastic tactics against their rivals, and Mother Nature herself seems determined to destroy all that remains.

 

As governments crumble and factions unfold, the pressure is on for Jazz to take sides and declare her allegiance, but the rules are unclear and the lines may not be as cleanly drawn as some would have her believe. An ancient secret society disguised as a wealthy corporation creeps comfortably into a position of power; a struggling republic determined to maintain some semblance of normalcy clings to what little control it has left; a faithful crowd amasses to worship a newly emerged and powerful figurehead of myth and legend; an unlikely army forms in obscurity, it’s awesome power hidden from all who would seek to destroy it; and then there’s Damien, quite possibly Jasmine’s greatest temptation to date.

 

The fiercest war mankind has ever known is percolating on the horizon. What would you be willing to sacrifice to be counted among The Survivors?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the third book in the Jazz Nemesis series. I absolutely LOVED it!

 

Jasmine Marshall (Jazz to her friends) is an intriguing character. I really liked her when I first met her in The Citizens. Thanks to the experiments done to her (and her friends) in the first book, she has the ability to feel emotions of those around her and has become an empath. Together with the others in her group: Piper (a vampire), Kaori (a teenager with power of telekinesis), Beck (a US Marine inhabited by an angel) and Gabriel (a feisty Scot with the ability to become invisible whom they met in book 2), Jazz finds herself taking shelter in Sanctuary, an underground bunker protecting refugees from the Maya Virus that is devastating the world. There she comes face to face with someone she never thought she would meet again, her father.

 

I have been wanting to read this book for some time. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, it's taken me longer than planned to get to read it. I must admit that it's been a while since I read the second book, The Refugees, and some of the original excitement I had for this series has ebbed. However, this is not to say that my enjoyment of this book was diminished, only more tempered.

 

This is a fast paced, thrilling ride of rollercoaster proportions and has had my heart pounding with dread and excitement in equal measure. The story is so well written it felt like I was actually there, watching it all happen. I found myself turning the pages, just to find out what mysteries would be solved, only to have more questions pop up! This book is told through the eyes of Jazz and Beck. This gives the reader an insight into their thoughts and feelings. This book also has more of a religious aspect to it, what with the mention of Armageddon and Beck's angelic role in it. But, there is also a feeling of an alien invasion (like Independence Day or The Day The Earth Stood Still) with a mysterious artifact from outer space threatening the safety of the world. However, to avoid any spoilers, I'll not say much more. I will say that there are several twists to keep things interesting and a few secrets revealed, though more are still lurking unanswered in the pages. Nevertheless, the author has left me eager to find out what happens next. Although the book doesn't finish on a cliffhanger as such, it concludes in such a way that it sets it up for the next book, which I am now looking forward to reading as soon as possible.

 

L.M. Smith has written a fantastic psychological thriller that also crosses several other genres, especially paranormal fiction and dystopian fiction. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful. I have added this author to my favourites list, and will read any of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book if you love psychological thrillers, paranormal fiction, YA dystopian fiction, horror or urban fantasy. - Lynn Worton

Audio/Book Review of Fire Country (The Country Saga Book 1) by David Estes

Fire Country - David Estes

In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

 

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

 

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

 

As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

 

Review 6*

 

I originally received a copy of this book in 2013 from the author in return for an honest review, which I duly posted. However, I am now editing my review to incorporate listening to it in audiobook format, which I purchased through Audible UK.

 

This audiobook is narrated by Khristine Hvam. I must admit that when I heard her narration I thought to myself, 'This doesn't sound like the Siena in my head as I pictured her.' However, as I listened to her speak, I realised that her voice is perfect for Siena's character. She brings a charm and warmth to the story. She also gives each character their own voice and accent, which brings them to life. Her diction is clear and precise and easy to listen to. I would definitely consider listening to more books narrated by her.

 

My original review:

 

OMG! This is a fantastically brutal dystopian novel. I LOVED IT!

 

Siena is a fantastic character! She is a young lady that I greatly admire. Her determination, independence and grit astounded me. As her sixteenth birthday looms, she has to make a decision that will change her life.

 

As I started reading this book, I was completely pulled in to a world that has been devastated by a disaster of biblical proportions. The Heaters are a tribe living in the most unforgiving conditions I have ever encountered in the pages of a book, but somehow, they manage to survive. Raging sandstorms, fires and unrelenting heat would sap the energy out of anyone, but these people have gained my respect with their ingenuity and sheer determination. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat more than once, as the story unraveled. I also found myself on a rollercoaster of swinging emotions; from disbelief, anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, joy, a few other mixed ones and back again! However, it is their laws that I found myself railing against. The one where they have to force girls of sixteen to procreate for their survival. I can understand the need to survive as a tribe, but it's the way they go about it that made my stomach clench! I wanted to shout "perverts", but as they are fictional characters, they wouldn't hear me! However, there are some really likable characters that redeemed the tribe in my eyes. These are Siena's friends: Circ and Veena. Circ is one of her closest friends and a wonderful character. He is a Hunter and the same age as Siena. Veena is a year older than Siena, and has already had a baby. Her attempts to get her no-good Call (mate) to take care of the baby made me giggle! This book is peppered with a whole slew of tribal slang, but it reminded me of some words I could picture the Australians saying (no offence to the Australians, I love their slang!). There are also a fair few twists and turns in this book that kept me hooked from the first page to the last! I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

 

David Estes has written a fantastic dystopian novel that has turned me into a huge fan! I love his writing style, which is fast paced and extremely fluid! His characters came alive, and the descriptions of the environs left me breathless! I am looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book if you love YA or Dystopian genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Soul Catcher by Rowanne Carberry

The Soul Catcher - http://best-book-covers.com/, Rowanne S Carberry

Spirit-speaker. Death Seer.

 

To preserve her sanity, Jemma lives her lie—that she is normal. As a child, her psychic gifts cost her everything. So when she foresees a woman's murder, she does nothing to prevent it and unwittingly helps a serial killer get away with another murder.
Guilt-ridden, she reports the crime only to find herself thrown into a world she didn’t know existed. Coerced into working with the police, battling to keep herself alive and dealing with newfound emotions, Jemma is forced to use the gifts she sees as a curse, to save the lives of others.

 

Review 4*

 

This is an intriguing supernatural horror story. I really enjoyed it.

 

Jemma is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She pretends that she is a normal woman, but she is not. She can see ghosts and interact with them. When a stranger bumps into her, triggering her psychic gift, she warns the woman of danger. Unfortunately, the woman doesn't take any notice and is found dead. Unable to live with herself after the event, she goes to the police to report her vision. What she didn't expect was to be thrown into an emotional nightmare.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review; this is my honest opinion. I started to read this book and was quickly hooked. Jemma's vision of the woman's murder is shocking and incredibly chilling. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as the story unfolded. I was intrigued with the supernatural task force that works with the police and liked meeting some of the team members, such as Ripper and Aidan, who each have special gifts of their own. However, I am not overly fond of Detective Mitchell, the team leader. He is incredibly driven and, although I am not sure what his problem is, comes across as a sadistic b*stard and not an entirely likable person. He puts Jemma through hell in an effort to find the serial killer and basically kidnaps her and holds her prisoner until she complies with his demands. This is not the best way to recruit members in my opinion.

 

The story takes the reader on a journey of horror as the team gets ever closer to the serial killer. He's a soul eating demon and is growing in strength with every soul he eats. However, there is also a touch of romance between Jemma and Ripper. There are no scenes of a sexual nature (apart from kissing) between them though, as there never seems to be enough time for anything more. I found myself on a roller coaster of emotions throughout this book, from disgust at Detective Mitchell's behaviour to sadness at the brutal murders of the innocents by the killer. There's a huge fight scene between the team and the demon, and a surprising twist I didn't see coming towards the end. Although the book doesn't end in a cliffhanger, the author has written it in such a way that it is obvious there will be another book to follow.

 

Rowanne Carberry has written an intriguing supernatural horror story. This is her debut novel. I love her fast paced writing style, which kept me turning the pages. Her descriptive prose brought the story to grizzly life and it flowed wonderfully from start to finish. My only complaint is that I felt that some of the characters needed a little more development, though this could be easily rectified as the series progresses. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

Due to scenes of graphic violence and gore and some profane language, I do not recommend this book to younger readers or persons of a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love supernatural or paranormal horror/urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Scapulimancist (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 7) by Charmaine Pauls

Scapulimancist (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 7) - Charmaine Pauls

A woman on a mission to save the elephants…
An ex-convict who won’t part with his land…
When their passions and goals collide, the crash is volatile.

 

Sara Graham has no idea what she is getting herself into when she uses her forbidden art to protect the near-extinct elephants and their habitat in the Knysna forest, South Africa. From the minute she sets foot in the woodcutters’ bar, she endangers her life. The gift hunters who would kill for her art are not the only threat. The wood smugglers will sooner murder her than let the National Parks Board ranger stand in their way. Falling for woodcutter and ex-convict, Wayne West, only further complicates matters. Can Sara trust a man convicted of the cruelest of murders?

 

Danger comes to town with a green SANParks vest and a tight body. Wayne knows Sara is all kinds of trouble from the first time he lays eyes on her in the bar. Alone, she doesn't stand a chance. If he protects her, he will not only be branded as a traitor with the woodcutters, but he may also lose his job, and worse, his land. That is to say if they make it out alive. Even then, can he forgive her for taking the only thing he has left?

 

This book contains explicit language and consummated love scenes. Reader discretion is advised. Although this is Book 7 (ANIMAL) of the paranormal erotic Seven Forbidden Art series, the story also reads as a standalone. For best reading enjoyment and character insight it is recommended that the series be read in chronological order.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the seventh book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series. I loved it!

 

Wayne West is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot, though I thought he was a jerk at first. However, as I got to know him better I began to see why he acted the way he did at times. He is an ex-con and has lost more than most. He is determined to hold on to the last remaining piece of land that he calls home. Unfortunately, his land has been marked by the government as a reserve for the last remaining elephants of the Knysna forest. He knows that its only a matter of time before someone from the South African National Parks (SANParks) arrives, but he is unprepared for the feelings that Sara stirs in him.

 

Sahara (Sara) Graham is also a wonderful character. I liked her too. She is determined to do her job of tracking the Knysna elephants to see how many are remaining in the forest and relocate them to the new reserve. She did not, however, expect to run into the farmer who's land the government had appropriated. As she gets to know Wayne, she finds herself torn between her feelings for him and her job. As danger threatens, can she trust him with her secret of being a Scapulimancist, someone able to communicate with animals?

 

Having previously read the other books of the series, I was eager to get my hands on this book. I was contacted by the author to see if I would like a complementary copy to read, which I accepted.

 

This story is told through the eyes of several characters, though it is shown mostly through Wayne and Sara's point of view. I started to read the story and was quickly hooked. I found myself on a huge emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. I thought this book to be the best of the series so far. I enjoyed watching Wayne and Sara's relationship grow. The chemistry between them is hot enough to scorch the pages. However, I thought the first scene of when they met was rather harsh on Wayne's part. Granted, he is entitled to be bitter towards the SANParks for snatching his home from under him. However, it didn't endear him to me either. Having said that, he redeems himself in my eyes as the story unfolds and the reader gets to see the tortured man beneath his tough exterior.

 

The story introduces several interesting characters. Clive Theron is Wayne's boss and Thinus's father and Nelis's uncle. I took an instant dislike to all three of them. Then there is Bella, Wayne's only friend - I liked her a lot - and Dumile, the Nkosi (Chief) of the Xhosa tribe, who also happens to be Wayne's father-in-law. My favourite character though has to be young Khwezi, who made me smile. He's only five but definitely has an entrepreneurial edge to his character.

 

On more than one occasion I found myself holding my breath as the danger had me sitting on the edge of my seat. There is a lot going on, with some really intense scenes between the characters and, as I don't want to give any spoilers, I will not say much more. I will say that the paranormal task force is not as active in this story, though they do make an appearance close to the end of the book. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings - sad that it was finished, but happy at the way it concluded. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series as soon as I can.

 

Charmaine Pauls has written an entertaining standalone erotic romance. Her characters are lifelike and come alive on the page. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend that you read this series in order. Due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes, as well as use of profane language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love science fiction, erotica, erotic romance or paranormal romance genres. – Lynn Worton