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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 Legacy of Ra (Blood of Ra Book Three) by M. Sasinowski

Legacy of Ra - M. Sasinowski

The epic conclusion to the best-selling Blood of Ra Trilogy

 

TWO HEIRS. AN AGE-OLD BATTLE. ONE TRUE LEGACY.

 

The Rathadi, defeated and ravaged by illness, are in hiding.

Alyssa must awaken Horus's last memory to unlock her potential and claim her birthright as his Legacy.

 

Can she overcome her greatest challenges and fears, both from outside and within, and lead the Rathadi to victory in their fight against Nephthys?

 

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

 

The Legacy of Ra is the third and final book in the Blood of Ra trilogy. I loved it!

 

Alyssa Morgan is an interesting character. I love her take no prisoners attitude, but she also can be a little reckless. Alyssa has faced many challenges throughout the series and grown as a character. I love reading books like this. However, the final challenge she faces may be the biggest yet.

 

I have been eagerly awaiting this book. The story continues from the end of the second book. It sees Alyssa facing hostility from her half-brother, as well as from some of the Rathadi. With the death of Horus, Alyssa will need to unlock the last memory of his to gain her powers. Meanwhile, Paul and Natasha are in the clutches of Nephthys. As danger surrounds them all, will the Rathadi be able to cure the illness created by Nephthys? And will Alyssa manage to rescue her friends and gain her legacy?

 

As I said in my review of Heir of Ra, I love a good YA thriller/mystery, and this book has it in spades. I began to read it, and the action starts immediately and doesn't let you go until the last sentence. I love myths and legends, especially Egyptian folklore about their gods and goddesses, stories about Atlantis, and even alien origin theories, and this story has a fantastic mix of all these things.

 

Legacy of Ra continues in the same vein. Several twists and turns shocked and surprised me. There are also a couple of scenes that had me in tears. I loved meeting all the characters once more, some more than others. I reached the end of the book as an emotional wreck — that ending. I will not give anything away. However, I will say that I had mixed emotions and was left a blubbering idiot as I knew I would miss these characters. They have become friends. Although one could consider the ending as final, the author (in my opinion) has left room for him to potentially write another book or series following one of the other characters. Whether that was intentional or not, I cannot say. Nevertheless, if he does decide to do this in the future, I would be happy to read it.

 

M. Sasinowski is a fantastic author. As Heir of Ra was his first book, I think this author is one to watch. I love his fast-paced writing style. His characters come to life on the page, and I can picture the scenes in my mind's eye with ease. I also love the story flow, which runs smoothly from scene to scene. I am considering adding him to my favourite author's list.

 

This time, there are scenes of a sexual nature (not explicitly shown), and there is some violence, so I feel that parental guidance may be required. I highly recommend this book (and series) to teens and adults alike who love YA science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, thrillers, mysteries, mythology, and romance genres. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Ascension: A Darkest Nights Novel by Lee Ferrier

Ascension - Lee Ferrier

Lucy Beaumont is dead; but in a world of Gods and Monsters, death isn't the end. Passing over into the afterlife, Lucy soon finds out that she and her friends are part of something bigger than any of them could imagine. The legendary Crystal Wand can help Lucy in her mission to find a way back to the world of the living, but only if she can fix her incomplete soul and regain her missing memories...

 

Ascension -A Darkest Nights Novel- serves as an intermediary between "Darkest Nights -Awakening-" and its follow-up "Darkest Nights -Ashes to Ashes".

 

Review 4*

 

Ascension is a bridging novel between Darkest Nights - Awakening and the next book in the series. I guess you can call it Book 1.5 in the series.

 

Disclaimer: I had the great honour of being one of the first people to read this book in its raw form while editing it. This review is my own honest opinion, and I have not received remuneration for it. I pre-ordered a copy of this book as soon as I heard it was available with my own money and read it in my own time. The author did not influence me or my opinion.

 

Ascension follows Lucy Beaumont's journey into the afterlife. It is told through her point of view. I am glad the author decided to write this story as I was so upset with him for *spoiler alert for those who haven't read Darkest Nights - Awakening yet* killing her off. I felt Lucy was a fantastic character and her shocking death affected me badly. It felt like I had lost a friend, and my heart had shattered.

 

Ascension sees Lucy coming to grips with her altered reality. She discovers that she is crucial to the fight between good and evil, and is the Dark Totem in a triumvirate destined to defeat an incarnation of the devil. As she struggles with her new powers, her personal life also takes a surprising turn. The reader gets introduced to new and old characters. It was a pleasure to see how Lucy's and Peter's friendship developed, as well as her interaction with the angel, Gabriel, and her girlfriend, Jordana.

 

This story took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion from beginning to end, which does end in a small cliffhanger, but this just made me want to read the next book as soon as possible.
Please note: This book is written in British English, so some terms and spellings may confuse American readers.

 

Lee Ferrier has written a fantastic YA dark fantasy/horror story. I love his fast-paced writing style, and the flow was excellent. This is an author who is not afraid to tread into dark places and kill off characters. In this respect, he is similar to George R.R. Martin (so I have heard, as I haven't read his books yet). This is one British author whose career I will follow with interest and would read more books written by him in the future.

 

There are some scenes of violence (fighting and/or bloodshed) and, on occasion, gore that may upset sensitive readers. There is also mention of sex (F/F), implied in some scenes and explicitly shown in others. Therefore, I do not recommend this book to those who would be upset by this. However, I highly recommend this book to teens aged 15/16 upwards and those adults who love dark young adult supernatural/paranormal horror novels. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Secrets and Surprises: From a Spark to a Flame (The Chateau series Book 3) by Emma Sharp

Secrets and Surprises: From a Spark to a Flame - Emma Sharp

More for Escape to the Chateau lovers

 

Join Laura and her friends as she continues her exciting and unpredictable roller coaster ride at her beautiful Chateau in the South of France.

With Laura and Xavier’s relationship having more stop, starts than a journey on a London bus, she’s beginning to wonder if the decision to continue with her pregnancy was a good idea.

As if that isn’t enough, Laura has to deal with two conmen who repeatedly turn up to harass her. As well as a spate of natural disasters. Will she find any more treasure, and where will that lead her?

 

Read on to find out how she deals with a foe from the past. Who she had hoped she’d seen the last of. And how the repercussions of the savage acts from the war years are still affecting the community today. The accumulation of these stressful events eventually takes its toll.

 

Review 5*

 

Secrets and Surprises is the third book in The Chateau series written by Emma Sharp. I am not sure if there will be any further books in the series or whether the series remains as a trilogy. I enjoyed it!

 

Laura Mackley is a character I struggled to like in the first book of the series. However, in this book, I found myself admiring her a lot more and enjoyed watching her grow and flourish as the story progressed. Laura is an ex-nurse from England living in a chateau in France she inherited from her Aunt Mary.

 

Most of the characters from the first book appear in the consecutive ones. Xavier is a French farmer, working for Laura. He comes across as intense and broody at first, but he seems to soften as this story unfolds. Alice is his elderly mother. Who, after recovering from her stroke, is now helping Laura and her son with the running of the farm. Then there is Gus, Xavier's ten-year-old young son. He helps around the farm when not at school and is a lovely character. Jenny is Laura's best friend from England, who is a nurse and is in a relationship with the mechanic from the French village. There are a few more characters that make an appearance, which gives the story a lovely realistic feel, and a shadowy figure behind the break-in attempts revealed.

 

The story picks up from the end of the second book. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read the first two books. Therefore, all I will say is that Laura finds herself facing many more challenges as she tries to get her new business established, as well as dealing with her conflicting feelings for Xavier. And she is dealing with her pregnancy, among other things. The story told through her eyes. The story also continues about the history of the chateau. And the involvement of the inhabitants of the village during the Second World War. I still found this aspect interesting.

 

The book ends satisfactorily with no cliffhanger, but the author has left it ambiguous enough that if she wanted to do so, she could continue adding to the series.

 

Emma Sharp is a debut author who has written an intriguing story. Her writing has improved considerably since the first book. It's not often that the second or third book is better than the debut, but this one shows the growth of the author as well as the characters. It is still not as fast-paced as some books I've read, but it was enough for me to keep turning the pages. The story flows well, which makes it more enjoyable too.

 

Although there are some scenes of violence, and there is some mention of a sexual nature (which fades and is not explicit), I do not recommend this book to younger readers, as I feel they may struggle with it. I do, however, recommend this book to readers of women's fiction, historical fiction, literary humour and romance. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Faking It in the Kitchen: A bully boss romantic comedy by Emily James

Faking It in the Kitchen: A bully boss romantic comedy - Emily James

She’s an accidental chef. He’s her hot-headed A**hole boss. Will they discover the recipe for love or are they heading for disaster?

 

Unemployed actress, Hannah Brooks, is applying for a waitressing job when her luck changes. Mistaken for a chef, she's offered a position at twice the pay, but there's a slight problem. She can't cook, but she can act.

 

Tom Hadleigh is determined to make a success of the restaurant he inherited from his father, despite attempted sabotages against it and his reputation. Tom’s a hothead and not looking for love, but when Hannah walks into his restaurant, he can’t help but turn his head. With so many problems in his life, is she the answer?

 

When their worlds collide, will their passion ignite, or will the heat force them out of the kitchen?

 

FAKING IT IN THE KITCHEN is a standalone, romantic comedy, suitable for readers aged 18 or over, due to mature content and sexual themes.

 

Review 4*

 

Faking It in the Kitchen is a fun romantic comedy. I really enjoyed it.

 

Hannah Brookes is an unemployed actress looking to make it big on the West End in London, England. I liked this character a lot. She has a sunny personality and is optimistic (maybe too much at times) and desperate for work. When she hears of a potential job as a waitress at Hadleigh's, a prestigious restaurant, she heads to the interview and meets Tom Hadleigh, the boss. What she didn't expect was to be hired as a chef. And have to fake it in the kitchen as she can't cook.

 

Tom Hadleigh is determined to keep his late father's restaurant running after his death. Unfortunately, someone is determined to close it down. I liked him even at his most a**hole-y, especially when he did things that made me want to smack some sense into him. Tom, still grieving, is understandably upset at both his father's death and the sabotage, but when he accidentally knocks Hannah out, he hires her in the mistaken belief she's a chef. As danger stalks ever closer and his attraction to Hannah grows, Tom will have to decide what is more important.

 

I started to read this book, told through both Tom's and Hannah's viewpoints in alternate chapters. Faking It is a light read with humourous events mixed up with a suspenseful twist. The characters are lifelike and likeable.

 

I enjoyed the interaction between Hannah and Tom, which is intense, and the heat level between them sizzle on the pages. I also enjoyed Hannah's camaraderie with the other characters in the kitchen, especially Jack. She needed a friend badly, and he acted as one immediately. Tom's nemesis was a surprise twist. I had another person lined up initially, but as soon as the author introduced the character, I went 'Ah!' even though there was no hint of their involvement immediately.

 

I did feel the scene near the end where Hannah confronted the perpetrator was a little weak and didn't have the punch it could have. However, it resolved the mystery even if unsatisfactorily (my opinion). I do feel that the scene was a little rushed as if the author wanted to get back to the romance, which was understandable. The story ends satisfactorily, with no cliffhanger as it's a stand-alone.

 

Emily James is a new author to me. I have never read one of her other books before. I like her fast-paced writing style, and the story flowed well. The author's warmth and humour shone through her writing. Her characters are lifelike and likeable. I would consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

Due to scenes of an explicit nature, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and sassy and sexy main characters. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Sam The Speedy Sloth: An Inspirational Rhyming Bedtime Story about Being Unique, Acceptance and Confident Kids [Illustrated Early Reader for Toddlers, Pre K, Elementary School Children] by Matthew Ralph

Sam the Speedy Sloth - Matthew Ralph

Sam’s Mom hugged him and looked at her son. “There’s no one like you. You’re the only one. Comparing yourself to others, won’t get you far. Learn to love how unique you are.”

 

Packed with colorful rain forest and animal illustrations, this rhyming picture book follows Sam the speedy sloth as he goes on a jungle adventure. Challenging the other rain forest animals to a race, Sam learns some important life lessons along the way about being unique, self-confident and not comparing yourself to others. Children will also find a bunch of fun learning activities, including spot the difference, a word search and even fact files for the jungle animals in this book.

 

Perfect for ages 3-8, children will love listening to Sam’s adventure, which makes Sam the Speedy Sloth ideal for bedtime stories, group reading, or one-on-one with loving parents or grandparents.

 

Review 5*

 

Sam the Speedy Sloth, is a super illustrated children's book. I loved it.

 

Sam is a sloth, but not a typical one. He likes to race around and is the fastest sloth in the forest. In this story, he challenges several different animals to race with him. I love this sloth. He is super cute and determined.

 

This storybook is an ideal stocking filler for Christmas if you are still looking for presents. The author has cleverly rhymed the words, so the story flows off the tongue as one reads it. It is also beautifully illustrated by Khansadk. The pictures are bright and vibrant and show the story for those who cannot read yet and need a little help from the parents, and it compliments the author's words entirely. Sam is a superb character who learns a valuable lesson as the story progresses. The child/children reading this book also learn that it is not always essential to be the fastest or the best at everything they do. However, I feel they will enjoy Sam's journey as it also encourages children to be self-confident but not arrogant, kind and humble.

 

At the end of the book, there are a few puzzles and activities for the children to complete. It may work better with the paper versions rather than the ebook, but they can still be lots of fun to do. Not sure I'd recommend doing this section at bedtime, but it depends on the parents, so I'll leave that decision up to you.

 

I highly recommend this book to children aged 3 to 8, and to adults who are looking for a fun, educational book for their little ones. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Seduced by a Demon King (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 17) by Felicity Heaton

Seduced by a Demon King - Felicity E. Heaton

Saddled with a crown he never wanted, King Tegan of the Second Realm of demons is a warrior born for war stuck ruling in a time of peace, bound by the pact that cost his brother his life. Chafed by the ties that have held him shackled to his throne for the last thousand years, Tegan plans an escape from his prison—one stolen night meant to give him a taste of freedom, but one that will lead him to the greatest battle of his life.

 

A fight to claim the heart of a bewitching fae female who might be his fated mate.

 

According to many in her clan, and the idiotic incubi who infest the fae town where she lives, Suki puts the suck in succubus. Down on her luck, and in danger of being kicked out of the family she loves, she’s determined to prove her worth by bagging and tagging a powerful male. When she sets eyes on a mysterious, panty-melting demon warrior in a nightclub, things finally seem to be going her way, but his shadowed aura and guardedness warns he won’t be an easy mark.

 

Seducing him is going to be the fight of her life.

 

When the battle is done, will the victor have the forever they want, or will this war cost them both everything?

 

Review 5*

 

Seduced by a Demon King is the seventeenth book in the Eternal Mates series. I loved it!

 

King Tegan is someone we have previously met (but only in passing) in one of the earlier books in the series. He is the reluctant king of the Second Realm. This character is such a breath of fresh air to get to know. He is a warrior at heart, but with the death of his older brother over a thousand years previously, he has shouldered the burden of ruling the kingdom. Tegan is determined to break free from the shackles placed on him by his advisors and travels to the mortal world for treasure. Books. He is committed to enriching the lives of his people by bringing modern technology to Hell. What he didn't expect was to meet Suki.

 

Suki is another fantastic character. She is a succubus, though not a very good one. She has trouble with everything to do with being a succubus. I found Suki to be interesting. She struggles to feed, which means she feels that she's letting down her clan. So, Suki's full of angst at the beginning. However, as the story unfolds, she realises that she's stronger than she initially thought. I like watching a character like her grow into her potential. When she meets Tegan, she plans to seduce him but finds herself charmed by him instead.

 

I fell in love with this story. Recently, I have had issues with this series lack of momentum concerning the plot not moving forward. However, as I began to read this book, it made me look at the series as a whole. I still love it, and this book is an excellent addition to the series. Tegen and Suki's relationship is fun to watch as it develops through the book. Both characters are likeable and relatable. They both have baggage to deal with from their pasts before they can move forward into the future. There is kick-ass action both on and off the battlefield (one of the author's strengths is descriptive fight scenes).

 

One thing I love about the Eternal Mates world is the potential it has in bringing new characters and sub-plots into it. I also love the inclusion of characters from previous books and series. It was terrific to meet Payne from the London Vampires Romance Series once more. It made me wonder what the characters from that series are up to. Will the author include them in the potential final showdown with Archangel? I hope so!

 

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.

 

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 vampires, elves, werewolves, cat shifters, succubi, incubi, angels, dragons, demons and demonesses. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure by Chris Goodyear

Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure - Chris Goodyear

A brightly illustrated book that features best friends Bodgit bear and Fixit rabbit.
Created and written by Chris Goodyear, these best friends share their amazing imaginary adventure to the moon, and back in a rocket, they build together.
Also featured in this book are Bodgit and Fixit's furry facts and 5 interactive missions for the reader to complete.

 

Review 5*

 

Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure is a fantastic illustrated children's book. I loved it!

 

Bodgit and Fixit are the best of friends. Bodgit (5) is a teddy bear, and Fixit (6) is a rabbit. They both have a vivid imagination, and one day during the holidays they decided to ride a rocket to the moon. But first, they need to build it. Their space adventure is exciting, and they have a lot of fun. However, they have to be home in time for tea (dinner), so they return to Earth.

 

This book is only fourteen pages long, but there is a lot packed between those pages. I don't know if the author is also the illustrator, but if so, the author did a fantastic job. (Edited to say: the illustrator is Sam Jones). The pictures are beautifully drawn and coloured and complement the story perfectly. At the end of the book, there are five fun activities for children to do: a counting puzzle, a Word Search, a Maze puzzle, a Spot the Difference, and Trace the Line puzzle. Plus there are facts interspersed throughout about various subjects. One thing I can see is the potential for Bodgit and Fixit to become real as plush toys. They are so cute! I'd buy them, so children would love them too.

 

The story is engaging. I feel that children would love to read this book. It is difficult to say what age range this book would attract. The artwork would appeal to children aged 4 upwards, but the font used and the way the writing is presented would confound a new young reader. In my opinion, I feel that depending on reading ability, this book would be suitable for children aged 4 to look at with parents, but for children to read it on their own, I'd say they would have to be at least 6, 7 or 8 and above.

 

Chris Goodyear is a debut author and judging by this book, is well on the way to be a fantastic children's book writer. Although I am not the intended audience, I love the intricate details (though simple language) the author uses to tell a story. I will be interested to see what the author comes up with in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to children and adults alike. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Avenged by an Angel (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 16) by Felicity Heaton

Avenged by an Angel - Felicity E. Heaton

Duty should mean everything to the Fourth Commander of the Echelon angels. It did before he met her. Now, the only demon he wants to slay is the one that haunts the enchanting mortal huntress, and the temptation to hunt him in Hell, a realm that might kill him, is becoming impossible to resist.

 

Held captive by a dragon shifter in Hell, Emelia survived a torment that changed her in ways she hates. She wants her strength back. Her life back. To do that, she needs closure. To get that, she might have to trust not only a man again but an immortal.

But when the price of vengeance is the soul of the angel bringing her back to life, will Emelia be willing to pay it?

 

Review 4*

 

Avenged by an Angel is the sixteenth book in the Eternal Mates series.

 

Emelia is a character who has appeared in earlier books in the series. I am glad she gets her own story, as I wondered what had happened to her when she was kidnapped by a dragon and subsequently rescued. Emelia is a hunter working for Archangel, the company/corporation who acts as a human police force over the other paranormal and supernatural species of the world in this series. She is a friend of Sable and Olivia's.

 

The Fourth Commander of the Echelon angels is another character who appeared in a previous book in the series. I liked this character a lot. He is a typical Alpha, but he has a dark side (temper-wise) that can sometimes make him into a hot-head. He is given a difficult task by his superiors. He needs to bring the half-human, Sable into the Echelon fold as they are a rare breed and their ranks are a little on the thin side. There are only six of them currently. Unfortunately, his task is interrupted when he meets Emelia and instantly feels a connection to her.

 

I absolutely love the Eternal Mates world. I started to read this book, and I was quickly pulled in. It kept me riveted from beginning to end. Unfortunately, I also had a feeling of Deja Vue as the beginning is a repeat of scenes from previous books. This repetition, although helpful in one way (to help set up the story), also made it feel like it didn't move forward as it should. The timeline is fixed between after the battle in Hell in Claimed by a Demon King (Book 2) and Turned by a Tiger (Book 12). However, the second half of the story picked up in pace, and it got exciting again.

 

The story arc with Archangel seems to be dragging on a bit too much now. As I said in my review of book 15, Unchained by a Forbidden Love, and I quote: "I am also a reader who would like more progression on the story arc front. The series is on book fifteen, and each story in the series is a stand-alone, but since there seems to be a vague story arc, there must be a conclusion. However, it seems to me that the author is drawing it out a bit too long. I can understand why she is doing this. I too love the Eternal Mates world and don't wish it to end either, but when the story arc is dragged out in this fashion, I start to lose interest in a series. This doesn't mean I won't read any more of the series, only that, in my opinion, the series is becoming a little tired."

 

I find that Book 16 is also struggling to keep the story arc going forward though it's moved on slightly. Maybe Book 17 will have more forward motion with the story arc. I am not sure how many books the author intends in this series. But if it's twenty, then she may need to pick up the pace with regards to revealing what's hiding in Archangel's basement prison. Perhaps the author is just as in the dark about that as we readers are. However, I'm still looking forward to finding out. As I've said before, I would much rather have quality over quantity when it comes to a book series, especially one I love.

 

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.

 

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 vampires, elves, werewolves, cat shifters, succubi, incubi, angels, dragons, demons and demonesses. - Lynn Worton

Audio/Book Review of The Vampire wants a Wife: Volume 1 (Supernatural Dating Agency) by Andie M. Long.

The Vampire wants a Wife (Supernatural Dating Agency Book 1) - Andie M. Long

Running a dating agency can be a killer… Shelley Linley is sick of sickos. Yet another prankster has applied to her dating agency. This one says he’s a vampire and he wants Shelley to help him find a wife. Meeting him for a second interview against all her better judgement, Shelley discovers that he has no clue about women. A shame because he’s super-hot, amusing, and has a lot of single friends he could recommend her struggling business to, even if he does say they’re werewolves and demons. She has to help him, even if he’s crazy. If she can ignore his delusions, she’s sure she can help him meet someone. But when death threats start arriving on her doorstep, Shelley’s not sure she’s cut out for the job…then her dating algorithm states she’s his ideal partner. Now she’s not sure if she should take the risk for love, or run like hell.

 

Welcome to Withernsea and the Supernatural Dating Agency, for readers of Michelle Rowen, Gerry Bartlett and Michele Bardsley who like their humour to have bite. Buy The Vampire wants a Wife to see if Theodore gets his happy forever after.

 

Review 4*

 

The Vampire Wants a Wife is the first book in a paranormal/supernatural comedy romance series.

 

I purchased a paperback copy of this book after reading the blurb several months ago. However, the audiobook version was recently gifted by the author, with no expectation of a review - positive or otherwise. I have not received payment for this review, and it is my honest opinion. This review is based on the audiobook as I haven't had a chance to read the paperback yet.

 

The audiobook is narrated by Angela Doll. I found her voice to be concise and clear. Unfortunately, I also found it a little monotonous. I struggled to differentiate between the different characters as well as the overall narration of the story. There was very little in the way of inflexion in the speech, so I couldn't tell if the characters were happy, sad, angry or otherwise. I'm not sure how many books this narrator had read previously, but I hope that she continues narrating. However, she needs to learn how to bring the characters to life by using different tones and inflexions. Maybe acting lessons may help?

 

Shelley Linley is an interesting character. I struggled to like her at first, but as the story unfolds, I find myself warming to her more. She's a single woman who runs an ordinary dating agency. However, one of the potential clients claims to be a vampire. This vampire is looking for a wife. However, Shelley thinks its all a big con. Determined to uncover the hoax and denounce the fraudster, Shelley agrees to interview the man. Unfortunately, all hell breaks out when danger threatens her life, and she finds out something about her past that will change her life forever.

 

The story is told mainly from Shelley's perspective, but Theo (the vampire) and Ebony (one of Shelley's friends) have a chapter each from their point of views. I think that if I had read this book instead of listening to it that I would give it 5 stars. Unfortunately, because of the narrator, I have had to mark it as a 4 star read instead. I love a good paranormal comedy romance, and this story is light and funny, with an entertaining plot.

As I mentioned in the character profile, I struggled to like Shelley, as well as connect with all the other characters. I think this had something to do with the narrator rather than the author and the story itself. There are several characters in this book that seem interesting, Theo, especially. It's a pity the author only wrote one chapter from his perspective. I would have liked to know more about his thoughts and feelings toward Shelley and his past life.

Nevertheless, I did feel sorry for Frankie. He's another character who has a minor role but who is pivotal later on in the story. I'm glad that there was a solution to his problem, which I won't divulge. I'll leave it to you to find out for yourselves. In the meantime, I am going to re-read this using my paperback copy because I feel that the narrator didn't do this book justice.

 

Andie M. Long is a British author who has written a lovely supernatural/paranormal romance. I haven't read any other books by this author, but I intend to change that in the future, as I love her writing style.

 

I highly recommend this book (but not the audiobook) to readers of paranormal romance and to those who love a little British humour with their rom-com. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of How To Make a Mom by Claressa Swensen

How To Make a Mom - Claressa Swensen

The easy to follow recipe book on how to make a perfect mom. Note: Every mom is special and unique, you may need to change this recipe a little to fit your own needs.

 

Review 5*

 

How To Make a Mom is a fantastically sweet childrens book. It is a recipe book with a fantastic story of how to make a mom. Beautifully illustrated by Alena Paklina, this recipe book engages with children. It is easy to read for those just beginning to learn, as well as those slightly older children who have now grown big enough to help bake in the kitchen. Each page has an instruction for the child to follow, and before they know it, they've made chocolate chip cookies. The last page of the book has the full recipe and method. I felt like making them myself as it made me feel hungry. I guess this was the intention of the author, and she did an excellent job in imparting a recipe in an engaging and fun way.

 

This story is the second book I've read from this author. Claressa Swensen has a talent for telling a story that is simple but has a message behind it. The collaboration between herself and the illustrator is seamless. Alena Paklina's illustrations convey most of the story and complement the author's storytelling perfectly. I would consider reading more books by them both in the future, even though I'm not in the targeted age range.

 

I highly recommend this book to children between the ages of 4-8 for the story, though older children and parents may enjoy using the recipe at the back too. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Sweet Pea: Plant a seed and watch it grow... (The Chateau Book 2) by Emma Sharp

Sweet Pea: Plant a seed and watch it grow... - Emma Sharp

JOIN LAURA, AND HER FRIENDS IN ANOTHER ADVENTURE PACKED JOURNEY AT HER CHATEAU IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE.

 

Following her accident in the snow, Laura wakes up in Enzo’s bed. How did she get there? Is Enzo her ‘happy ever after? And, where is Shadow, her faithful companion? Follow her antics, as she experiences her first Christmas in the beautiful Ardeche, with exciting visits to Paris to attend the auction of her hidden treasures. Her struggles with builders, as the campsite is under construction and the Chateau refurbished. She also finds herself involved in an emotional court case and must deal with some eccentric guests along the way. Will the ghost of Aunt Mary make another appearance, and does Laura manage to find any information about the resistance in the war years? Read on to find out how Laura deals with her belligerent neighbour, Xavier, and much, much more!

 

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

 

Sweet Pea is the second book in The Chateau series written by Emma Sharp.

 

Laura Mackley is a character I struggled to like in the first book of the series. However, in this second book, I found myself admiring her a lot more and enjoyed watching her grow and flourish as the story progressed. Laura is an ex-nurse from England living in a chateau in France she inherited from her Aunt Mary.

 

The story picks up from the end of the first book. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read the first book, so all I will say is that Laura finds herself facing many challenges as she tries to get her new business up and running and the story is told through her eyes.

 

Most of the characters from the first book appear in the second one. Xavier is a French farmer, working for Laura. He comes across as intense and broody at first, but he seems to soften as this story unfolds. Alice is his elderly mother. Who, after recovering from her stroke, is now helping Laura and her son with the running of the farm. Then there is Gus, Xavier's ten-year-old young son. He helps around the farm when not at school and is a lovely character. Enzo is a Scottish vet working in France, and Jenny is Laura's best friend from England, who is a nurse. There are a few more characters that make an appearance, which gives the story a lovely realistic feel.

 

This story is an easy summer read. As mentioned above, Laura grows as a character, and I love reading books when the MC does do so. The challenges she faces are realistic and could happen to anyone, so makes them relatable. The title is apt because there is growth in all aspects of this story - in relationships, and farming, amongst other things. Speaking of relationships, I enjoyed watching one in particular flourish. I will not mention who, as I will leave it to you to read the story to find out. The story also continues about the history of the chateau. And the involvement of the inhabitants of the village during the Second World War. I found this aspect interesting.

 

The ending has a little twist, and I am now looking forward to reading the next book to see how it all works out.

 

Emma Sharp is a debut author who has written an intriguing story. Her writing has improved considerably since the first book. It's not often that the second book is better than the debut, but this one shows the growth of the author as well as the characters. It is still not as fast-paced as some books I've read, but it was enough for me to keep turning the pages. The story flows well, which makes it more enjoyable too.

 

Although there are no scenes of violence, there is some mention of a sexual nature (which fades and is not explicit), I do not recommend this book to younger readers, as I feel they may struggle with it. I do, however, recommend this book to readers of women's fiction, historical fiction, literary humour and romance. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Daughter of Ra (Blood of Ra Book Two) by M. Sasinowski

Daughter of Ra - M. Sasinowski

In the heart-pounding sequel to M. Sasinowski's award-winning Heir of Ra, Alyssa's wit and resolve--and sanity--are put to the test once again.

 

Alyssa thought her fight was over. She was wrong.

 

The memories come unbidden.

 

Plagued by visions from the past, Alyssa struggles to discern myth from reality.

 

Desperate to uncover the truth about her ancestry and her mother's tragic disappearance, Alyssa must reunite with old friends--and old foes--to discover that her only hope lies in a secret world, hidden in plain sight.

 

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

 

This story is the second book in the Blood of Ra trilogy. I loved it!

 

Alyssa Morgan is an interesting character. I love her take no prisoners attitude, but she also can be a little reckless. Alyssa is a mature seventeen-year-old, but also is incredibly impulsive at times. She works with her archaeologist father and professor, Kade Morgan. After the events that happen in the first book, Alyssa finds herself troubled by visions from the historical past. As she tries to unravel the puzzle of the secrets in her blood, Alyssa faces danger once more. Determined to put a stop to the Society (a group of people who loathe the hybrids), Alyssa, as well as her boyfriend Paul, will come face to face with old and new enemies, as well as make new friends.

 

Heir of Ra (the first book in the series) took the reader on a fantastic roller coaster ride from beginning to end. This book, I felt, lacked the punch of the first one. However, this doesn't mean that it wasn't exciting. On the contrary, it was but in a different way. Alyssa is still trying to make sense of her new reality, and it was a pleasure going on the journey with her. As I said in my review of Heir of Ra, 'I love a good YA thriller/mystery, and this book has it in spades. I began to read it, and the action starts immediately and doesn't let you go until the last sentence. I love myths and legends, especially Egyptian folklore about their gods and goddesses, stories about Atlantis, and even alien origin theories, and this story has a fantastic mix of all these things.'

 

It all still applies to this book. However, as I mentioned, this book lacked an indefinable something. I can't put my finger on what it is that's bugging me about it, and it's making me a little crazy. Maybe its got something to do with the mysterious woman from the first book? With her identity revealed in this one, I think some of the mystery has gone for me, and it's left me feeling a little flat. Or it could be that it felt a little rushed. However, it was a pleasure to meet Paul and Clay once more, though. Lord George Renley and his daughter, Tasha, also play an essential role. And new characters are introduced as the story unfolds. Daughter of Ra is an exciting addition to the Blood of Ra series, it will be interesting to see how things evolve in the third and final book. I can't wait!

 

When I reached the end of the book (which finishes on a small cliffhanger), I felt a mixture of emotions - sad that the book ended mostly, but happy that there's another book to come.

 

M. Sasinowski is a debut author. As Heir of Ra was his first book, I think this author is one to watch. I love his fast-paced writing style. His characters come to life on the page, and I can picture the scenes in my mind's eye with ease. I also love the story flow, which runs smoothly from scene to scene. I am considering adding him to my favourite author's list.

 

Although there are no scenes of a sexual nature, there is some violence, so I feel that parental guidance may be required. I highly recommend this book (and series) to teens and adults alike who love YA science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, thrillers, mysteries, mythology, and romance genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and met the grandfather she never knew, she realises that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life. Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbour, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, offering them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth - but also in the hope of rekindling a love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily's backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

 

Review 5*

 

The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a lovely tale. I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Emily Benedict is an interesting character. I liked her as soon as she was introduced. After her mom passes away, she arrives in Mullaby, North Carolina, to stay with her grandfather as he's now her legal guardian. Her mother never discussed her childhood, so Emily is eager to learn about it. Unfortunately, many of the residents of Mullaby blame Emily's mother for the death of one of them. As Emily delves into the mystery surrounding her mother's past, she meets the mysterious Win Coffey, whose relative died all those years ago.

 

This story is told through the eyes of several characters, though Emily is one of the main ones. The other characters involved are her grandfather, Vance Shelby, Julia, a young woman who owns and runs a barbecue house and bakery, Sawyer Alexander, a school mate and old fling of Julia's, and Win Coffey, a teenager with a family secret.

 

When I first read the synopsis in my local library, I thought that this book would be a young adult paranormal fairy tale, so I borrowed it. However, I was completely wrong - in a good way. It is a story about loss - lost love and opportunities - and love and redemption. There is magic in the pages, not just the wallpaper that changes in Emily's bedroom.

 

The story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, and once I began reading it, I didn't put it down until I'd finished it; I am finding it difficult to articulate my feelings about this book. Emily's journey to uncover her mother's possible role in the suicide of Wyn's uncle because of a family secret, and the sweet romance between the two teens, touched me deeply. I also loved the subplot of Julia and Sawyer's past, present and future. The author artfully pulled me into the story, and when it ended, I was left with mixed feelings - happy at the way it ended but sad that it had finished. *Spoiler* Though I would have liked to have seen what happened when Maddie met with Julia and Sawyer. Nevertheless, I was left with a bittersweet feeling.

 

Sarah Addison Allen has written a heart-rending, as well as a heart-warming tale that held me captive from beginning to end. I love her writing style but found the shift in viewpoints a little unsettling at first, though I enjoyed the pacing. The story flowed well too. I would definitely consider reading more of this author's books in the future.

 

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, there is mention of it. However, I would highly recommend this book to young teens (13 up) and adults who love literary fiction, family sagas or romance novels. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of No Freedom: An A.I. Thriller by Inge-Lise Goss

No Freedom: An AI Thriller - Inge-Lise Goss

Will humans survive the android uprising?

 

Paislee Hobson is born into a world struggling after a war that killed most of the world’s population. Rebuilding has been accomplished through androids developed by and under the control of The Institute. The human population has been divided into strata.

Paislee, a legal clerk, is a member of the upper stratum. Her recent boyfriend dumped her. To avoid another heartache, she purchases a human-looking android companion, Pellegrin. No one suspects Pellegrin is not human. He arouses and satisfies all her desires and is a polished companion and conversationalist in public.

 

When strange things begin to happen around the courthouse, people start acting mysteriously. Some disappear, and others are murdered. Pellegrin’s true identity surfaces as he slowly and methodically takes over all aspects of Paislee’s life. She is in turmoil trying to find a way out. The love of her youth appears, and she longs for a life that is denied to her.

 

Can Paislee regain her freedom or is she doomed to a life under Pellegrin’s control?

 

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

 

This book is a fantastic dystopian thriller. I loved it!

 

Paislee Hobson is a character I struggled to connect with at first, but as I read more of the story, I liked her a little more, though her paranoia began to annoy me, even though it was justified. Paislee is a paralegal living in a future world that has gone through a cataclysmic war that left the humans struggling to cope with the aftermath. Androids were developed by The Institute to help the remaining citizens rebuild the world. When Paislee's boyfriend dumps her, she purchases an android as a companion. But as Pellegrin's hold on her life tightens, an old flame reappears, and strange and deadly events threaten her life.

 

When I heard that this book had been released, I purchased it without reading the synopsis. The reason for this is that I've read other books by this author and knew I was in for a thrilling adventure. I wasn't wrong!

 

I started reading this book, told through Paislee's POV, and was immediately hooked. As the story unfolded, I found myself convulsively reading, but dreading it at the same time. Have you ever sat watching a movie with your hands over your face because the suspense is killing you and you can't watch it, but you don't want to miss anything either? This is what I felt while reading this book. The author skillfully builds the suspense so you don't know whether you should be cheering for Paislee or not, or liking Pellegrin or not. This story has the futuristic feel of Minority Report and iRobot but also reminded me slightly of one of the author's other thriller series, Tegans. There are several twists that kept me guessing, and I found myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Pellegrin is a scary villain. He's a control freak, and his attitude is one of a dangerous psychopath and master manipulator, but this could also be Paislee's paranoia talking. His identity and role at The Institute is a mystery, but I had a feeling when reading this book that it's not what I think it may be. Then again, he could exactly be who I think he may be. I love books like this. I've always been interested in robots/androids as a concept but would be completely scared if AI ever got this powerful. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but it's my fear of the unknown talking, and until I learn otherwise, I'm keeping my worries alive. I guess I'll have to read the next book to find out what happens next, as the book ends on a small cliffhanger, and I can't wait.

 

Inge-Lise Goss has written an intriguing dystopian thriller full of mystery and suspense. I love her writing style, which is fast-paced, and the flow's fantastic. I am curious to see what this author comes up with in the future.

 

Although there is mention of sex, there are no explicit scenes and tends to fade out. I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to some violence. However, I highly recommend this book if you love science fiction, dystopian, horror, suspense, and thriller genres. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Blanket of Snow (After the Storm Book 1) by Dianna Hardy

Blanket of Snow - Dianna Hardy

 

An Eye of the Storm Novelette

 

Four months have passed since the night of the fatal storm, and "peace on earth" has never felt so good despite the pack's sorrow at the loss of family and dear friends; sorrow that cut deeply over Christmas, and during last week’s wedding.

 

Mated to three, and now married into the Gunvald lineage, Lydia has taken comfort and security in her she-wolf, the animal's strength and wisdom taking her deep into the still-uncharted territory of Lawrence's wooded home – now her wooded home.

But storms come in many guises, and as the January snow clouds gather overhead, Lydia's finally forced to confront the secret she's been keeping from everyone, including herself.

 

Publisher's Notes: After the Storm is a series of novelettes that take place at relevant points in the immediate months and years after Eye of the Storm. They concentrate on the healing our characters need to go through after everything that happened. They all stand on their own and do not need to be read in any order, nor do they need to be read to understand any of the other series set in this world - they are additional reads for fans. And for anyone who doesn't wish to read them, the healing simply takes place off-stage.

 

Review 5*

 

Blanket of Snow is a novelette in a new series called After the Storm and is an off-shoot of the Eye of the Storm series.

 

Lydia and her three mates, Lawrence, Ryan, and Taylor, have weathered the storm that threatened to tear them apart. In this novelette, Lydia is hiding a secret and worried about it being exposed, and what her mates would think about it. She flees into the woods and stumbles onto a mystery - a deserted house with a terrible history. As snow begins to fall, Lydia must find the courage to face the future while dealing with the tragic past.

 

I've been wanting to read more about the mated four, so when I heard that this novelette was in the works, I was excited. It is hard to write a review to this book without giving out spoilers, so all I will say is that I loved this story. Told through Lydia's POV, it was a pleasure meeting the four wolves once more. I was a little disappointed that this story is only a novelette but glad that the author decided to write it to show a little more closure for the characters, as the two spin-off series continues without them (much). I am looking forward to reading the next novelette in the series - I think it's from Taylor's POV and I can't wait!

 

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance), she has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words - they're incredibly moving. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

 

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content, though what scenes there are, aren't as detailed as other series written by her. I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Letter (The Chateau series Book 1) by Emma Sharp

The Letter - Emma Sharp

On yet another wet morning in Yorkshire, Laura, a newly qualified nurse, orphaned at a young age and brought up by her late grandma, is struggling financially and emotionally since the death of her beloved gran. That is, until one morning, when, out of the blue she receives a mysterious letter. With life changing decisions to be made, will Laura take up the challenge of starting a new life in the French sunshine? 
Join her on the rollercoaster adventure, as she experiences highs and lows, opens new doors, makes new friends; and enemies along the way. Who can she trust in this unfamiliar country with the secrets that she uncovers? And, how is she going to deal with her belligerent, new neighbour?
So much more than a rags to riches story.

 

Review 4*

 

The Letter is the first in The Chateau series written by a debut author. I really enjoyed it!

 

Laura Mackley is a character I struggled to connect with at first, but as I read further into the story, she grew on me. By the end of the book, I liked her, even though some of her internal monologues made me want to roll my eyes or slap her silly. She is a nurse in England, who receives a letter that changes her life. Inheriting a chateau in France, she finds herself facing many challenges and decisions. As she delves deeper into the history surrounding her inheritance, Laura uncovers a family history previously unknown to her. Will she find her answers?

 

I don't usually read a lot of women's fiction. However, as I am trying to broaden my reading horizons, after reading the synopsis, I decided to give this book a try.

 

This story is told through the eyes of Laura. There are a few interesting characters in this book. Xavier is a French farmer, and neighbour to Laura. He comes across as intense and broody. Alice is his elderly mother, who has had a recent hospital stay and required care. Then there is Gus, Xavier's young son. There are a few more characters that make an appearance, which gives the story a nice realistic feel. There's even a piano playing ghost!

 

I started reading this story but wasn't instantly sucked in. I found it easy to put this book down, do something else, then pick it back up. This doesn't mean that I wasn't enjoying the story. As I said above, my problem lay in liking (or in this case, disliking) the main character. As I read more of the story, I became intrigued with the history of the chateau and Laura's family connection to it. There is a mystery hidden within the pages of this book, but as this is the first book in a series, some mystery remains towards the end. Xavier and Laura seem to have some chemistry, but I'm unsure if it's love or hate. Laura certainly emotes hate, but Xavier is an unknown quantity. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops.

 

The author describes the scenes quite well, and this made it easy for me to picture in my mind's eye. Some dialogue feels a little forced, but for the most part, makes the characters come alive. There are a few twists thrown in, and the one near the end completely surprised me. I definitely didn't see that scene coming! Although the story doesn't end in a climatic cliffhanger, it does end on a small one. The author has added a teaser for the second book to tempt the reader into continuing with the series. I will be doing so in the future.

 

Emma Sharp is a debut author who has written an intriguing story. Her writing is not particularly fast-paced, but it is enough for me to keep turning pages. The story flows well, which makes it more enjoyable too.

 

Although there are no scenes of violence or any of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to younger readers, as I feel they may struggle with it. I do, however, recommend this book to readers of women's fiction, literary humour and romance. - Lynn Worton