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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.

Currently reading

Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power
Kallie Ennever, John Albers, Bruce E. Arrington
The Vampire's Accidental Wife
Kristen Painter
The Dragon Finds Forever (Nocturne Falls Book 7)
Kristen Painter
Sci-fi Nights: Alpha bad boys & wild girls of futuristic romance
Mina Carter, Bianca D'Arc, Jessa Slade, Cathryn Cade, Calinda B
Release By Treaty
Travis Luedke, Kayla Stonor
Jimmy Threepwood And The Veil of Darkness
Rich Pitman
Captured Innocence (CSA Case Files)
Kennedy Layne
The Darkest Night
Gena Showalter
Mercenary Instinct (Mandrake Company)
Ruby Lionsdrake

Book Review of Hope by Jennifer Gibson

Hope - Jennifer   Gibson

Jessie has managed to defy the odds, overcoming a severe hearing loss and achieving a Black Belt. She seemed to have it all, a handsome and devoted boyfriend, success as a karate instructor…until now.

 

On the cusp of graduating from high school, a shocking injury changes her life. With her heart shattered and her faith destroyed, she finds herself headed in a new direction all alone. As she leaves for college, she needs to find the courage to conquer her self-doubt and rediscover hope before it’s too late.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the forth book in a series that follows Jessie, a teen with a hearing impediment. I really enjoyed this story!

 

Jessie McIntyre is a character I could relate to easily. She has faced many difficult challenges over the last few of years, what with being bullied at high school, competing at Karate tournaments and earning her black belt, as well as learning to deal with her extra hearing loss after her accident. Now heading towards college, Jessie is finding life even more complicated. Will she overcome the obstacles placed in her way? And can she find out what her destiny has in store?

 

It has been two years since I read and reviewed the third book, Destiny. However, when I heard that this book had been released, I quickly purchased a copy, as I was curious to find out how Jessie was getting on. This story continues on from book three and is told through the eyes of Jessie. I was quickly pulled into the lives of the characters once more and taken on a huge emotional roller coaster ride. It was lovely meeting her again, I missed her.

 

It has been a pleasure watching Jessie's character grow throughout the series. I have also enjoyed watching Jessie and Ethan's relationship grow closer over the series. They have had their ups and downs, as most couples do, but I love the way they interact; you can almost feel their love for each other, it's that palpable. But after a sparring accident causes a rift, Jessie finds herself facing a life altering choice.

 

Jessie is accepted to an art college and this see's her leaving home and spreading her wings a bit. This also introduces us to a new character, Jackson. I am not a fan of love triangles and I was worried that this would be the case in this book. However, I needn't have worried. Jackson is an art college student too, and rents a room in the same house as Jessie. They soon become fast friends. He also happens to be gay.

 

As I said above, this book is a roller coaster ride of emotion and I felt each one that impacted on Jessie. This book is full of love, joy, anger, fear, sadness, loss and, most especially, hope. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion, so I suggest you keep a tissue handy just in case. Jessie finds herself facing many challenging situations and trying new things. I especially enjoyed the fencing and Bo scenes. I am not a sporty person (though I love swimming), but these scenes are written with authority as the author obviously has an interest in these sports and either has extensive experience or knowledge of them as well as Karate. There is also a spiritual feel to the story that I enjoyed. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings; sad that it ended but happy at the way it concluded.

 

Jennifer Gibson has written an intriguing and interesting YA story based in truth. I found the story a quick read. I love the way the story flows from scene to scene; it's extremely fluid and the descriptions were described in such a way that I could picture them with ease. This is an author I have added to my favourite authors list.

 

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 12 to 16, and to adults who love reading younger YA romance or coming of age novels. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Jewel Tree: A Young Adult Fantasy Novella by Lee Summers

The Jewel Tree: A Novel in Miniature - David Lee Summers

At the heart of THE JEWEL TREE is an heirloom so precious that the last remaining members of the Ryder family will do almost anything to keep it in their possession.

But how long should a young girl work to earn back the emblem of her mother's soul? And is any task to menial?

 

When Leda sees the hummingbird charm dangling from wealthy Lord Caitiff's shriveled earlobe, she swears she will labor a year and a day to reclaim it. She is prepared to do whatever the old man asks--until the day he asks too much.

 

In a world of dark curses and ancient grudges, Leda and her handsome young uncle are sometimes hard pressed to distinguish between appearance and reality. Not all that glitters is gold--and gold is never worth more than flesh and blood. This mini-novel about the redemptive power of love will delight readers who appreciate a little magic in their lives.

 

Review 3*

 

This is a wonderful young adult fantasy novella. I really enjoyed it.

 

Leda Ryder is a young girl of fifteen when the story starts, but the tale covers a few years. She is a wonderful character and I really liked her. She was orphaned at a young age and has been raised by her uncle, Alexander. Unfortunately, he has a gambling addiction and has squandered the family money until there is nothing of value except an heirloom called the Jewel Tree (fashioned from gold), which holds little charms set with precious and semi-precious stones. He sells these charms to Lord Caitiff to pay for his debts. When she finds out what her uncle has done, she finds herself working for Lord Caitiff in an attempt to earn the charms back.

 

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

 

This is an intriguing and charming novella. I must admit that I was not sure what time period this book was set in at first, then I realised that it must be in Victorian or early Edwardian times as there is mention of horses and carriages but no cars.

 

The story is mostly told through the eyes of Leda, though Alexander and Lord Caitiff also have scenes seen through their points of view. I found myself hooked from the first page. However, I also found myself confused at the relationship between Leda and Alexander. The author introduces Alexander as Leda's uncle, but a couple of times they are referred to as siblings. It's as if the author couldn't decide what their relationship should be and kept changing it and never corrected it or missed it during editing. Nevertheless, they come across as a loving and close family even though it's just the two of them. Lord Caitiff is a mysterious benefactor and the reader never really gets to know him until close to the end of the tale. There is a good reason for this and the author uses this mystery to good effect as there is a slight twist that surprised me. There are also other characters that intrigued me, like Felicity, Lord Caitiff's daughter who is unspeakably ugly. This story has a "Beauty and the Beast" feel to it, and was further enhanced by the inclusion of a curse and a sorceress called Iona Grimm. What her relationship to Lord Caitiff is, I'll leave you to find out for yourselves.

 

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings; I would have liked for the story to be a little longer as felt it was rushed in places but happy at the way it concluded.

 

Lee Summers has written an intriguing debut YA fantasy novella. However, this author has written other works under the name of Elise Chidley, though I have never read them. I love her writing style, which is fast paced. However, as I mentioned above, I found some of the story a little rushed at times. Due to the confusion over the relationship between Leda and Alexander, I found myself stumbling and re-reading parts which disrupted the flow. I think that once this issue has been addressed, the story should flow more smoothly. Having said all that, I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

There is no explicit or overt mention of sexual activity. However, there is one instance where Lord Caitiff propositions Leda. Nevertheless, this book is aimed at young adult readers and as such, I recommend this book to readers aged 12 upwards. Readers younger than this may struggle with certain words they may not be familiar with, but then again, it depends on their reading level, so parental advice is advised. I also recommend this book to adults who love to read young adult romance/fantasy or fairytale re-tellings. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Turned by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 12) by Felicity Heaton

Turned by a Tiger  - Felicity E. Heaton

On the verge of bleeding out and hunted by his merciless torturers, Talon has no choice but to seek sanctuary at Underworld, a nightclub run by a jaguar shifter liable to kill him on sight for being a tiger shifter male. What he finds in the old warehouse isn’t the grim shadow of Death though but an angel of mercy, one who offers him salvation and revenge—one who happens to be his fated mate.

 

Tending bar at Underworld is never dull when you’re a mortal surrounded by immortals, but when a gorgeous tiger shifter covered in blood stumbles into the club, and set’s fire to her boss’s temper, Sherry’s entire world is in danger of being turned on its head. Something about the mysterious warrior has her stepping in to save him, something that ignites her heart and stirs her soul, and no matter how fiercely she fights it, she can’t hold herself back.

 

When Talon reveals the name of his captors, and his plan to head back in to save his friends, will Sherry be brave enough to embrace the feelings he stirs in her and step deeper into the world of immortals? And will Talon be strong enough to resist the lure of Sherry to protect his family’s secret or will he risk everything to claim his eternal mate?

 

Review 4*

 

This is the twelfth book in the Eternal Mates series. I loved it!

 

Talon is an intriguing character and I really liked him a lot. He is a tiger shifter sent on a mission but was captured returning home. Badly injured, he escapes and seeks help from the owner of Underworld, Kyter. Not looking for his fated mate, he is stunned when he meets her at the club and realises that she is human. However, he is also hiding a secret that could potentially break them apart.

 

Sherry is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is strong, feisty and determined. When an injured stranger appears at Underworld where she tends bar, she finds herself drawn to him. Having been around shifters for ten years she is used to dealing with them, but this tiger shifter is different. As danger threatens to tear them apart, will Talon reveal his secret?

 

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.

 

The story is told through the eyes of both Talon and Sherry, which gives the reader a chance to see their thoughts and feelings. The heat between the main characters blazed white hot. I loved Sherry's teasing of Talon by calling him 'Tony'. If you've never watched the TV ad, you may not get it. However, it made me smile.

 

I love the way the story swept me up and spit me out on a roller coaster ride of emotion. The characters living within the Eternal Mates universe have a strength within them that helps them to survive. However, they also have flaws and fears, which makes them lifelike and relatable.

 

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 Hidden in Her Heart by Thomas Dellenbusch, translated by Richard Urmston

Hidden in Her Heart - Richard Urmston, Thomas Dellenbusch

Translated Version from the popular German book series
of Movie-Length-Stories

 

A young, attractive single mother moves into a small Lower Bavarian village in the Summer of 1963. She is not looking for a job, nor is she looking to make friends. When the villagers discover that several men are visiting her regularly, they are horrified. They assume that this stranger is a prostitute, and look for ways to chase her away. The only one to take her side and stand by her is a young journalist living in the village. He suspects she is hiding here. But from whom or what? And is his support genuine, or was he sent to discover her secret?

 

Review 4*

 

This is a wonderful novella. I really enjoyed it!

 

Yvonne Schmidt is an interesting character. I liked her a lot. She is a mother, newly arrived in the town of Seilersfeld, Bavaria, with her son Paul. Wanting to keep to herself, the local gossips think she's there to seduce their men away from them. But one man is determined to learn the truth.

 

Benedict Marguardt is also a wonderful character and I liked him a lot too. He is a resident of Seilersfeld and a newspaper reporter working for a newspaper in Passau. He has a deformity which some see as a disability, but he has a sharp mind and, even though he has been treated badly by some residents, he carries on as normal. When he hears the gossip about the mysterious new resident, his reporter's interest is piqued. But he also finds himself attracted to her. Determined to uncover her secrets, he digs a little deeper. However, will this lead to heartbreak or happiness?

 

Having previously read a couple of this author's other works, namely the first two books of his Chase series, when I heard that this book had become available, I decided to give this novella a try. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it.

 

This book is set in Bavaria in 1963, when single mothers were looked at as being odd and unwelcome in a small village. Seilersfield is a small community of people who are wary of strangers, especially pretty young women, and because Yvonne kept to herself and didn't seem to want to make friends even though she received gentlemen callers, gossip soon revolves around her sudden appearance in their town. The story is woven in such a way that, just like the residents of Seilersfield, the reader is left wondering as to why she appeared in the village. There is also a hint of romance as Yvonne and Benedict get to know each other. However, as Benedict investigates, the truth is revealed in a startling twist that I didn't see coming.

 

Hidden in Her Heart is a mixture of historical fiction, romance and mystery that kept me turning the pages. In a way, I wished this story had been a little bit longer than novella length, as I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters a little more. Yvonne didn't feel as real as Benedict to me, she felt more one dimensional and flat in comparison. Having said that, it is a tale of mistakes, guilt and redemption. It took me on an emotional journey (especially near the end) and I am now looking forward to reading more books in the Movie-Length series.

 

Thomas Dellenbusch has written an intriguing historical, romantic suspense thriller. I love his fast paced writing style, which had me turning the pages, and the flow was wonderful. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.

 

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature (though there is mention of it), I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to the nature of the tale. However, I highly recommend this novella if you love historical fiction/romance/thrillers/mystery/suspense genres, or you are looking for a quick, entertaining read. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Faithless by Graham Austin-King

Faithless - Graham Austin-King

The temples of the Forgefather have fallen. The clerics and defenders that could once be found across the nine lands are no more. Priests huddle in the great temple, clinging to the echoes of their lost religion. But the Father has fallen silent. There are none who still hear his voice.

 

The mines of Aspiration lie far below the temple's marble halls. Slaves toil in the blackness, striving to earn their way into the church and the light. Wynn has been sold into this fate, traded for a handful of silver. In the depths of the mines, where none dare carry flame, he must meet his tally or die. But there are things that lurk in that darkness, and still darker things within the hearts of men.

 

When the souls bound to the great forge are released in a failed ritual, one novice flees down into the darkness of the mines. The soulwraiths know only hunger, the risen know only hate. In the blackest depths Kharios must seek a light to combat the darkness which descends.

 

Review 6*

 

This is a fantastic start to a new series. I LOVED IT!

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review. However, I loved it so much I pre-ordered a copy as soon as I found out it was available to do so and re-read it as soon as it was released. This is my honest opinion and it is not a fake review.

 

Wynn is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot. He is full of anger, sadness, loneliness and despair. He is a young boy of fifteen and the son of a farmer. When drought forces his father into selling him to the church of the Forgefather, he finds himself facing danger and darkness in the mines of Aspiration beneath the temple. As the darkness and danger threatens to crush him, he struggles to find his place within it. When the opportunity to escape the mines is presented to him, he grabs it with both hands. But has he escaped the pan and fallen into the fire?

 

Having read the Riven Wyrde Saga, I was eager to get my hands on this book, so when the author contacted me about reading an advance review copy, I jumped at the chance. However, when I received the copy, little did I realise what a roller coaster ride I would be taking. This book blew me away!

 

The story starts slowly, following Wynn as he is thrust into a strange world that is dark and isolating. This is one thing that kept me intrigued. The world building is wonderful. There is mention of the world outside (like the farm where Wynn came from), but by keeping the story to the mines and temple, it focuses the reader on the immediate and intense sense of the tale. There is another character that needs mentioning here. We are also introduced to Kharios, a novice of the temple, who is learning the art of smithing, whilst trying to complete his training to become a priest of the Forgefather. The Forgefather is the god of fire and creation. However, his voice hasn't been heard by the priests for hundreds of years and the priests go through the rituals without any belief. Thus, the title of the book, Faithless.

 

As this book is told through the dual aspect of Wynn's and Kharios's POV, I wondered at the timelines and if these two would ever meet. However, there is a huge twist that I didn't see coming and when the epiphany struck, I was floored! I will leave you to find out as I did, what the epiphany is. This story also deals with a dark subject, sexual abuse. It is not easy to read, and it made me feel rather uncomfortable and incredibly sad at the same time. I don't know what my reaction would be if it happened to me, but I felt for Wynn, as well as the other characters caught up in it. Ossan is a vile character and that's all I'm going to say about him.

 

As the story unfolded, I found myself holding my breath at the intense action and danger that threatened. As I said above, by keeping the world small, the author has created a claustrophobic atmosphere and I felt like I was there, experiencing the world too. In a way, it was a relief to reach the end of the book. I felt like I was taking a huge breath of fresh air rather than the dusty air of the mines and the fires of the forges. Having said that, the book also reflects the huge amount of research the author must have done to describe the art of blacksmithing in such detail, and I applaud him as it feels like he has actual experience in it. There is also a religious aspect to this story, even though most of the priests were faithless and had no belief in what they were doing; they were just going through the motions, and corruption was rife.

 

I reached the end of the book with bittersweet feelings; sad that it was ending, though happy at the way it concluded. Although it doesn't end in a cliffhanger, it is obvious that there is to be another book and I am looking forward to reading it as soon as it's available.

 

Graham Austin-King has written an exciting, dark fantasy novel that kept me turning the pages. This book is superb! I think that this book is a lot stronger than The Riven Wyrde Saga and shows this author's growth in confidence as a writer. I love his fast paced writing style and the story flowed wonderfully from beginning to end. The characters came alive on the page and felt extremely lifelike. This author has been added to my Favourite Authors' list and will read anything else that he writes.

 

Although there is mention of sexual abuse, it is not explicitly shown. Nevertheless, I do not recommend this book to young children or those of a nervous disposition, as there are scenes of violence and gore (battle scenes amongst others) that could be very disturbing to some readers. However, I highly recommend this book to older teens and adults alike if you love dark fantasy novels. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Throb by Vi Keeland

Throb - Vi Keeland

The rules:

 

No dating.

No sex outside of the game.

No disclosing the terms of the contract.

 

Rules were made to be broken, right?

 

Eight weeks ago I signed a contract. One that seemed like a good idea at the time. A handsome bachelor, luxury accommodations, and a chance to win a prize my family desperately needed. There were some rules though. Lots of them actually. Follow the script, no dating, sex, or disclosing the terms of the deal. After my self-imposed moratorium on men the last year, it wouldn’t be hard to live up to my end of the bargain…so I thought. Until I realized the deal I’d made was with the devil…and I was in love with his dirty-talking brother.

 

Author's note – Throb is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

 

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

 

This is a stand-alone contemporary romance. I really enjoyed it.

 

Cooper Montgomery is a wonderful character and I liked him a lot. He is the CEO of a film production company that his father had started. His brother, Miles, has his own company that produces reality TV programmes. When Cooper meets Kate at a poker game, he's immediately attracted to her.

 

Kate Monroe is also a wonderful character and I liked her too. Her father was a well known poker player. However, due to her father's debts, she signs up for a reality TV show called Throb. When she meets Cooper she is attracted to him, but because of the rules of the show and the contract she signed, she finds herself torn between following the rules or breaking them.

 

I love reading Vi Keeland's books. I have been a huge fan of this author's ever since I was first introduced to her books in 2013 and I read Belong To You. I downloaded a copy of this book in 2015. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I was unable to read it until recently.

 

I started to read and was quickly hooked. I didn't put this book down until I had finished it.

 

This book is told through the eyes of both Cooper and Kate, which gives the reader the opportunity to see their thoughts and feelings. The chemistry between Cooper and Kate is extremely explosive from the start and hot enough to scorch the pages. I also loved meeting a few of the other characters who were likeable and lifelike. In fact all the characters were lifelike, with flaws and insecurities which made them more real. Miles came across as a spoilt brat, though he didn't have a lot of page time. I must admit that I liked Flynn Beckham, the bachelor from the TV show. He seemed a really nice guy and I could fall for him myself.

 

I am not a huge fan of reality TV and I cannot see the appeal of putting on a fake show and calling it "reality". It is not natural or real. Real life is doing household chores, working, raising a family and earning a living the hard way. Not parading around a jungle doing tasks to earn food or sitting in a house full of strangers and again doing tasks to earn specified outcomes, just to earn lots of money and fifteen minutes of fame. Luckily, this book doesn't focus on this aspect, but the relationship between characters who live their lives off camera. The story took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. I loved the dialogue and the way the characters all interacted; I could picture everything in my mind's eye with ease. As this book is a stand-alone, this book doesn't end in a cliffhanger. Having said that, I am now looking forward to reading Beat when I get the chance.

 

Vi Keeland has written another exciting erotic romance. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The story flowed wonderfully too. I love reading this author's work. She is one of my favourite contemporary romance writers, and I will continue to follow her career with interest.

 

As this is an erotic romance, there are several scenes of a sexual nature that are rather hot and explicit, as well as some strong language. Therefore, I do not recommend this book for readers younger than 18. However, if you love hot, steamy erotic romances, this book is for you! - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Veiled Eyes (Lake People Book 1) by C.L. Bevill

Veiled Eyes - C.L. Bevill

 

 

A vivid waking dream of giant cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss haunts Anna St. Thais. The trees sit on a black lake that resembles a dark Louisiana bayou with an evocative aura. The dream includes the presence of a man who seems to know Anna all too well and a group of people with strange telepathic powers, sometimes called veiled eyes. An orphan from Texas, she is on her way east to help out a friend when she encounters two terrifying things. Psychically, she begins to see and hear things through the eyes of an unknown individual, a man who knows more about her than she ever would have imagined. The second thing is that she has been kidnapped by a sociopathic trucker intent on making her his latest victim. When she is rescued by Gabriel Bergeron, a member of the elusive Lake People in Northwestern Louisiana, Anna doesn’t realize that he is her psychic counterpart and she has been inexplicably pulled to the area. She shares their strange colored gold eyes and their distinctive mental powers. They are a reclusive lot and know that Anna is one of them, but has been isolated by unknown circumstances. She is drawn into their incomparable world, something between that of the Creoles and Cajuns, and much in addition to those. There Anna finds a romantic link with Gabriel and the spine-tingling fear of not knowing who to trust. Her return has disturbed the inner workings of the group and threatens to expose secrets long concealed in the murky Louisiana bayous. There are secrets to be divulged about her past and why she was spirited away as an infant. Anna isn’t safe until she discovers the answers she so desperately requires.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Lake People series. I really enjoyed it.

 

Anna St. Thais is a character I wanted to like. Unfortunately, I found her to be rather naive and annoying at times. She does some really idiotic things. She is an orphan living in Texas and working as a mechanic, but has had visions of a strange place and a young man she has never met with similar coloured eyes as herself. Drawn by the pull of the visions, she finds herself travelling across the country in an attempt to locate him.

 

Gabriel Bergeron is an interesting character and I liked him a lot more than Anna. He works as a fishing guide on the bayous near to the town of Unknown that houses the clan of Lake People. Psychically linked to Anna since her puberty, he is intrigued by her life in a land completely different to his own. As their link draws her closer to him, he is horrified when she is kidnapped by a psychotic truck driver.

 

Amazon actually recommended this book to me way back in 2012. I downloaded it, but didn't read it until recently due to my large reading list.

 

I started to read it and was quickly hooked. However, as I said above about Anna's character, I found myself wanting to either shake her or smack her for being so idiotic. Okay, I get she didn't have much money, but hitch-hiking is risky, especially for a lone woman. What I don't get is that she has a psychic link to Gabriel, but not any type of clairvoyance? What about woman's intuition? However, I think you don't have to be psychic to know that hitch-hiking across the country is a bad idea. Having said that, this part of the story was well written and I connected to Anna emotionally as she faced the harsh reality of her situation.

 

This story takes the reader on a huge emotional roller coaster ride. There is mystery, danger and romance aplenty. There are several twists to keep a reader guessing and the story had a dark feel to it at times, which had shivers creeping over my skin. There is a thrilling mystery surrounding the Bayou, the citizens and Anna's mother's past. The citizens of Unknown are wary of strangers, even one that looks much like them. I must admit that I did like Camille, Gabriel's sister, and her family. As the story reached its climax, I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see more of Goujon, the giant catfish that haunts the lake and protects the Lake People. However, he may appear later on in the series. I did feel that the story plot near the end was not as strong as it should have been, though other readers may disagree. I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the story, but am not sure if I will continue with the series.

 

C.L. Bevill has written an intriguing start to the series. I loved her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced, but it still had me turning the pages to find out what happened next. The flow felt a little jerky at times as scenes transitioned, but for the most part it flowed well.

 

Due to mention of some violence (although not graphic), I do not recommend this book to young readers. I do, however, recommend this book if you love reading supernatural/paranormal thrillers/romances. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Stone Guardian: Gargoyle Urban Fantasy Romance (Entwined Realms Book 1) by Danielle Monsch

Stone Guardian - Danielle Monsch

Gryphons flying past skyscrapers? Wizards battling it out in coffeehouses? Women riding motorcycles with large swords strapped to their backs? All normal sights since the Great Collision happened twenty-six years ago.

 

Well, not normal for everyone. Larissa Miller may have been born after the Great Collision, but as a history teacher who lives in the human-only city, she has never come into contact with any other race or species, nor has she wanted to. Her life is as ordinary as it gets - that is, until one day she walks out of her apartment and is attacked by a mob of Zombies, only to be saved by a Gargoyle.

 

Gargoyles trust no one outside their Clan, but due to a cryptic prophecy, Terak, Leader of the Gargoyles, has been watching over the human woman for months. While he can find no reason why the woman has been singled out, something about her stirs every protective instinct within him. When the attack confirms that the threats against her exist and are real, he convinces Larissa that though their races have never been allies, the best chance of discovering why she has been brought into his world is by working together.

 

In the course of their investigation Terak becomes entranced by his little human. But when he discovers why Necromancers want her and the great reward that awaits him if he betrays her, he must choose between the welfare of his Clan and not only Larissa’s life, but the fate of this New Realm as well.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Entwined Realms Urban Fantasy/Romance series. I really enjoyed the story.

 

Larissa Miller is an interesting character. I liked her a lot. She is a normal human living in a world that changed twenty-six years ago when the Great Collision (a merging of the human and supernatural world) happened. She is the only daughter of an overprotective policeman father, and sister to four overprotective policemen brothers. When she is attacked by a group of zombies on the way to a poker game hosted by her father, she finds herself thrust into a world she knows nothing about when she is rescued by a gargoyle sent to protect her.

 

Terak is the leader of his clan of gargoyles. I really liked this character a lot. He is an impressive warrior and fiercely protective of his clan. When a prophecy is disclosed to him, he finds himself guarding a human woman who intrigues him. As he and Larissa work together to uncover the mystery surrounding the prophecy, their undeniable attraction sparks.

 

I purchased this book last year due to my interest in urban fantasy romance. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I have not able to read it sooner.

 

I started to read this book and was instantly hooked. I loved the way the characters came to life. However, I felt, even though the world building was good, it was far too 'human' at times. I would have liked to have known more about the world of the Gargoyles and more of the inner workings of their society, as well as the other supernatural beings. Perhaps this will be revealed as the series progresses.

 

There are some interesting characters introduced that I liked. They are: Fallon (she's a type of warrior called a Dragon Slayer), Laire (she's a mage), Aislynn (she's an elf) and Wulver (he's a werewolf leader). They are members of the Guild and act as protectors to the humans from supernatural beings (like police but more mercenary).

 

The story is a little formulaic when it comes to the romance, but the plot is interesting. The story is told through the eyes of Terak and Larissa, though Fallon has a few scenes from her point of view too. There is action, danger and mystery mixed in such a way that I found myself becoming emersed in the tale. Unfortunately, as I got closer to the end I felt the story began to fizzle slightly. The energy and excitement I felt in the beginning began to wane about two-thirds into the story, and this made me feel sad. The ending was also not to my liking. I'm all for setting the scene for the next book in the series but, I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers and this felt a little anti-climatic and boring. It didn't end in a bang, but a whimper and didn't grab me enough to want to keep reading the series. Other readers may have a different reading experience to me, so I will urge you to make up your own minds.

 

Danielle Monsch has written a fantastic start to a unique urban fantasy romance series. I enjoyed her fast paced writing style and the flow was good. This is the first book I have read written by this author. At this moment in time, I am not sure if I will read more of her books, but I am not ruling it out as it depends on my mood and I may give her books another try in the future.

 

Due to explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. However, I do recommend this book if you love hot erotic paranormal romances full of gargoyles, werewolves, vampires, fae, druids etc. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Nolan (Leech Book 3) by james crawford

Nolan: Leech Book 3 (Volume 3) - James Crawford

Every High school has its rock star. Maybe it's the quarterback, head cheerleader, or the valedictorian--the one student who outshines the rest. The one everyone knows will be successful in the years to come. For Nolan that was a lifetime ago, before he lost his sight, before he even knew what a Leech was.

 

Now, all Nolan wants is to see Caleo survive to fulfill his destiny. A task that is becoming increasingly difficult as the government wades into the war, new enemies appear and the number of people trying to kill them skyrockets.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the third book in the Leech series. I really enjoyed it.

 

Jack Barely is a fantastic character. I loved him from when I met him in the first book, Caleo. He is a very confident young man, who usually has a great sense of humour. However, he has one regret: that he didn't tell Caleo how he felt about him.

 

Caleo Anima is a wonderful character. I really liked him. He is a warm and loving young man, but because of his pale skin and snow white hair, he is seen as an oddity and is shunned by most of his peers. He is a Leech, someone with an extraordinary power. He can manipulate temperatures and can freeze people and things with only a touch. He also has a destiny as the one true Angel.

 

Unfortunately, due to my rather large reading list, I've not been able to read this book as quickly as I would have liked. In fact, it's taken me two years to get to read it since I purchased it and I apologise to the author for the delay.

 

This book continues on from the end of Jack (Book 2) and follows on with the view points of Caleo and Jack. The war between the two camps of Leeches is still raging. Caleo is still struggling with his growing feelings for Nolan, and Jack is determined to find both Caleo and Nolan and escape the clutches of Steve.

 

Although this book is named Nolan, I found myself slightly disappointed that there were no scenes in Nolan's POV to match the other books. I loved the first two books, but this one seemed to have lost something in its telling and it didn't give me that same excited feeling when reading. This made me feel a little sad.

 

As the story progressed, I realised how much I had missed the characters. They are likeable (apart from Alix and Steve) and lifelike. There are a lot of new characters introduced, but they never really made a huge impression on me and I can't even recall their names. I was glad, however, to get to know Mickey a lot more.

 

I was completely entertained by the fast paced storyline. This kept me turning the pages to find out what was happening. There are a few battles, as well as a few touching scenes that had me riding on a roller coaster ride of emotion. There are also a couple of surprising twists that I never saw coming. I love the way Caleo's and Jack's relationship has grown throughout the series. I think Nolan being thrown into the mix may not have done the storyline any favours as I am not a fan of love triangles at the best of times. However, other readers may have a differing opinion on this point. I will leave it up to you to decide for yourselves.

 

The story ended in such a way that I was satisfied with it; it does not end on a cliffhanger in case you were wondering.

 

james crawford has written another fast paced novel that kept me hooked from the first page! I love his writing style, it's easy to get lost in the world he has created. I look forward to reading more of his work in future.

 

This is a fantastic book in an amazing series. I highly recommend this book if you love LGBT, YA/Paranormal/Science Fiction genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Sleepwalker (Branches of Emrys Book 1) by Brandy L Rivers

Sleepwalker (Branches of Emrys Book 1) - Emily A. Lawrence, Brandy L. Rivers

He haunted her dreams.

 

Savon Roantree loved and lost the man she planned to marry. Nathan Taggert disappeared, taking her heart with him and her world fell apart. His father refused to tell her what happened to Nate. Broken-hearted she left, planning to never return to Silvertail Ridge and tried to move on.

 

After a bad break-up, she finally gives in to her brother’s pleas to move back home. She never expected Nate was living next door once more.

 

Nothing changed for Nate, not when it came to Savon.

 

A tragic accident tore them apart. By the time he recovered, she was gone. When his father threatened to kill Savon if he ever went to her, he did the only thing he could—followed in her dreams. No matter how hard he tried to reach her, she always ran. She even ignored his best friend, her own brother.

 

Twelve years later, he finally has a chance to right all the wrongs—if she’ll listen.

Silvertail Ridge has changed since they were kids. Both families have been pulled into an ancient battle.

 

Together they may stand a chance.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in a new series, Branches of Emrys. I loved it!

 

Savon Roantree is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is an artist who also happens to be part Sylvan Fae and Sorceress. She is able to control wild animals, as well as other sorcerers' familiars. She can also speak to the spirits of the dead. Twelve years ago, she fell in love with Nathan Taggart, but he broke her heart and she left home. After her brother convinces her to return home, she finds herself facing her past once more when she comes face to face with the man who claimed her heart.

 

Nathan (Nate) Taggart is also a wonderful character. I liked him a lot too. He is a dreamwalker and werewolf, and also happens to be a surgeon. Twelve years ago his life changed when a terrible accident ripped him from the love of his life. With his father's threat hanging over his head, Nate let Savon go, but now she's back and he's determined to convince her to give them another chance. However, danger is not very far away and ancient family secrets could tear them apart for good.

 

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

 

I was eager to begin reading this book as I love the Others of Edenton and Others of Seattle series of books. This new series is an off-shoot of the Edenton series (though not sure if it also includes the Seattle side as I haven't had a chance to read all of the books in that series yet) and contains some old faces, as well as the new ones. Liz, Tremaine, Robert and Preston all make a welcome return. I must admit that I also liked meeting Savon's brother, Bran. He is also a wonderful character. He has his mother's Sylvan magic, but was turned into a werewolf after being shot.

 

The story is a mix of romance, magic and danger, and takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. I must admit that I raced through the pages as I was completely gripped by the story. The story is told through the eyes of both Savon and Nate, so the reader gets to see their thoughts and feelings. Although this is the first book in the series, I felt like I was meeting up with friends. This is because I have grown to love the world in which these characters live. This book has all the hallmarks of being another fantastic series. Savon and Nate have to overcome a heartbreaking past, but it's the future and what the secret group, Branches of Emrys, face that intrigues me now. I'm looking forward to finding out how the story arc develops and how the sub-plots fit in.

 

The story doesn't end in a cliffhanger, though it left me wanting to read the next book in the series as soon as I can.

 

Brandy L. Rivers has written an intriguing start to a new series. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful. Her characters are lifelike and likeable. With her ability to write in both the paranormal and contemporary romance genres, she is one of my go to authors when I'm in the mood for a sexy read.

 

Due to explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. However, I do recommend this book if you love hot erotic paranormal romances full of werewolves, vampires, fae, druids etc. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Bombshell (Hollywood A-List Book 1) by CD Reiss

Bombshell (Hollywood A-List) - CD Reiss

From New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss, a standalone romance about a nanny, a Hollywood star, and a love they never expected.

 

Hollywood bad boy Brad Sinclair always gets his way, whether it’s the role he wants or the bikini-clad model he has to have. But when a bombshell gets dropped in his lap in the form of a dimpled five-year-old from a forgotten relationship, he knows his life is about to change forever.

 

Cara DuMont isn’t exactly thrilled when she gets assigned to be the nanny for the latest box-office king. She has one rule: no celebrity fathers, especially single ones with devilish good looks and rock-hard abs.

 

But as soon as Cara meets Brad and his adorable little girl, she knows she’s in for a world of trouble. Because there’s something about the way Brad looks at her that makes her believe that some rules are meant to be broken…

 

Review 4*

 

This is an entertaining read. I enjoyed it.

 

Cara DuMont is a character that I fluctuated between liking and being annoyed by her. She works as an agency nanny, but has a rule about not working for celebrity parents. When she meets a distraught five-year-old, her heart melts. However, her father is a completely different matter.

 

Brad Sinclair is an interesting character. I must admit that I liked him a lot more than Cara. He is a successful actor who has made it to the big screen, is in great demand and loves to party. He suddenly finds himself facing the daunting prospect of being a father to a little girl who he had no idea had been born. After a messy incident creates an instant bond between his daughter and Cara, he finds himself intrigued with the woman and tries to hire her as Nicole's nanny. But she's reluctant, which only increases his curiosity and desire to get to know her better.

 

I love reading contemporary romances, so when this book was offered on Amazon Prime to members first (before it's release), I purchased my copy. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I was not able to read it immediately.

 

I started to read this book and was quickly hooked. The story is told through the view points of both Cara and Brad. The characters are well developed and lifelike. I loved Nicole. She comes across as a bright and precocious child. I also liked Blakely, Cara's room mate and friend. She is working as a nanny but hoping to get a break as an actor. Unfortunately, due to a mistake in judgement, she finds herself in the newspapers for all the wrong reasons.

 

This is a rather formulaic romance, but I loved watching the relationship between Cara and Brad grow. As I said above, I found myself annoyed by Cara's character. This is because she comes across as a bit of a hypocrite at times. She doesn't want to become involved with gossip surrounding celebrity families, but can't help but fall for Brad almost immediately. I know, forbidden fruit and all that jazz, but I still found myself wanting to bop her over the head and tell her to wake up and get her head out of her butt.

Another reason I became annoyed with this book is the way the word 'bombshell' was used. It can be a bombshell to find out that you have a daughter you never knew you had, and you can be a beautiful bombshell, but the way the author used this word over and over again had a negative connotation that made me want to scream. Whether she did this on purpose or not, I do not know. However, by the time I reached the end of the book I was heartily sick of the word. Other readers may not have this reaction, so I will leave it there.

 

The story itself was sweet and the ending satisfactory.

 

CD Reiss has written an entertaining stand-alone contemporary romance. I enjoyed her writing style, which was fast paced enough for me to keep turning the pages and the flow was good. I have never read any of this author's books before, but I would consider reading more of her work in the future.

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature that are a little on the explicit side, I do not recommend this book to young readers. I do, however, recommend this book if you love contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy by Maxine Sylvester

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy - Maxine Sylvester, Maxine Sylvester

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license and becoming one of Santa's reindeer, just like his hero, Vixen.

 

In the first adventure in the Ronaldo series, the second year flying cadets face their toughest ever flying test – The Endurance Challenge. Will Ronaldo be victorious and lift the silver cup? Or will mean brothers Dasher, Comet and Prancer ruin his chance for success?

 

Review 5*

 

This the first book in a new chapter book series aimed at 5-10 year olds. I loved it!

 

Ronaldo is a fantastic character. He is a young reindeer, trying to follow in the footsteps of his Granddad and his hero, Vixen, as a cadet in the Reindeer Flying Academy. He is determined to become one of Santa's reindeer. I really liked his determination, perseverance and courage.

 

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

 

First off, I would like to say that I love the cover. It captures the story perfectly. Secondly, the story was completely entertaining. There are some interesting characters to go with the story and one of my favourites (besides Ronaldo) is his best friend Rudi. He is funny, kind and sweet, though he would probably deny it.

 

The story is short, but it is full of action. It also full of educational tit bits about hygiene, keeping warm in freezing weather, building confidence, perseverance and determination. There is also a little bit about bullying. I found it a joy to read. Being a chapter book, it is perfect for a child to read on their own (depending on reading ability and age of course), and will keep them hooked. If you have a child/children with short attention spans, it would be easy to read a chapter or two with them before bedtime. I loved the Endurance Challenge scene as I love hot chocolate too, so I could imagine Ronaldo flying around thinking about it keeping him warm; I know it keeps me warm on cold winter nights. The story is also peppered with humourous events that will thoroughly entertain the young reader. There are also illustrations of the characters and the events that are extremely well drawn and compliment the book perfectly. Ronaldo learns a valuable lesson in the story and, hopefully, the child reading it will too. I must admit that I did feel sad when I reached the end of the book. Not because it ended sadly (because it didn't), but because the story had finished. I am now looking forward to reading more of Ronaldo's adventures when I have a chance.

 

Maxine Sylvester has written a fabulous chapter book. I love her imagination. I also love her writing style, which is fast paced but not rushed, it also has a lot of warmth and humour woven into it and is easy for a child to follow. The flow is wonderful and kept me turning the pages. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 5-10, but as this book can be read to children younger than this by their parents, I also recommend this book to children aged 3 upwards. I also recommend this book to adults who love reading chapter/middle grade books. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Dead Time (Between Two Evils Book 3) by D. L. Orton

Dead Time (Between Two Evils) (Volume 3) - Micah McDonald, D. L. Orton

Shannon fights to stay alive inside a rogue biodome and discovers something totally unexpected... Peter. Lani is forced into the role of the reluctant heroine but rediscovers her street-kid mojo and sets out to find everything she's lost. Diego receives another dirty sock (and a note) from the poorly aimed fireball express: "The window between universes is closing." If Diego has any hope of getting back to Iz, he must get to the Magic Kingdom and power up the time machine before it's too late.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

 

Review 4*

 

This is the third book in the Between Two Evils series. I think this is the best story so far. I loved it!

 

Diego is a fantastic character. I really liked him. He is kind and loving. In this book his cheesy/pun-y speech is not as prevalent. However, this is due to the more serious subject matter, as well as him not being the central focus as a main character so much.

 

This story continues on from the end of book two and the reader is taken on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. This book focuses on three of the characters: Diego, Lani and Shannon, who each have their own chapters, though Shannon seems to be the main character focused on in this tale. There are also several new characters introduced and I must say that I felt sorry for Peter and the others living under the thumb of a meglomaniac (even though he was Peter's father). I really enjoyed watching Peter and Shannon's relationship grow. They make a really lovely couple and I wish them all the best. Meanwhile, Lani finds herself facing a life changing experience and locating a man long thought dead, and Diego is still determined to return to his Isabel in his universe.

 

Again, I found some of the story a little repetitive plot-wise, but there are a few twists that made up for it. There are also a few surprises thrown in for good measure, which kept things interesting. There is also an abundance of action, romance and danger that had me sitting on the edge of my seat more than once. This story doesn't end in a cliffhanger as such. There is an epilogue at the end that sets up the next book in the series and introduces a new character. Now I'm wondering what's going to happen next and I can't wait to find out.

 

DL Orton has written an intriguing time travel romance. I enjoyed her writing style, which is not as fast paced as some other authors I've read but it still had me turning the pages. The flow of the story is a lot smoother than the first book in the series and this made it a more pleasurable read. I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

 

There are no scenes of an explicit nature, and there is no mention of sexual activity (apart for some kissing) in this story. Having said that, I do not recommend this book to younger readers (under 16) due to the nature of the story, as well as some violence which could lead to a triggering event for some readers. However, I do recommend this book if you love dystopian or time travel romances. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Chiromancist (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 8) by Charmaine Pauls

Chiromancist - Charmaine Pauls

Bono Black is not part of Cain Jones’s taskforce. He’s merely their pilot. The minute he walks into a sex club in Amsterdam, he is no longer an outsider to the war on their beautiful target, Sky Val. Bono wants her like he’s never wanted anyone, and he’s a determined man. The only snags are three major obstacles. One, Sky belongs to the most dangerous sex dealer in the Netherlands who’d see her dead before he lets her go. Two, she’s undeniably involved in the murders of a senator and president. Three, Cain has ordered her dead. But time is on Bono’s side. Before the team leader slits her throat, they need information on her boss. With the interest Sky has shown in Bono, Cain decides Bono is just the man for the job, and that seduction will be his choice of arms.

 

Life has never been good or kind. From where Sky Val is standing, life looks infinitely bad. Her existence is nothing but physical and emotional torture, but one motivation keeps her going. It is a secret she can’t give up on. Bought at the age of sixteen for her forbidden art to manipulate time, Sky’s owner constructed the perfect jail to confine her. The invisible chains he put on her are much more effective than a brick and mortar prison. She will do anything her owner or his boss demands, even make the handsome, caring Senegalese pilot, Bono Black fall in love with her. Love is, after all, a woman’s best weapon when her mission is to steal a man’s secrets.

 

Every wise person knows things aren’t always what they seem, but the truth becomes muddled in a war where the good guys suddenly seem bad, and the devil like a savior. In an upside-down world full of dangerous secrets and supernatural powers, many hearts will be broken, but only one team can win. Which one of them will walk away with their secrets and life intact?

 

* This is Book 8 of the Seven Forbidden Arts paranormal erotic series, but also reads as a standalone. The story contains explicit language and consummated love scenes. Recommended for an audience of 18+.

 

Review 5*

 

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

 

Bono Black is a wonderful character. I really liked him when I was first introduced to him earlier in the series, but never really knew much about him, so I am glad to get a chance to do so now. He is not a practitioner of one of the forbidden arts, but a pilot in the employ of Josselin de Arradon (Joss to his friends) and Cain Jones. The team is still in pursuit of their nemesis, Godfrey. Their lead takes them to Amsterdam, where a powerful Chiromancist is hiding in plain sight. As Bono is the only human in the team, he finds himself going undercover. He finds himself drawn to Sky Val. As danger threatens, can he discover Godfrey's whereabouts and save the woman he has come to love?

 

Sky Val is also a wonderful character. I must admit that I felt really sorry for her as she has not had an easy life. She is a Chiromancist, and is able to use her power to either see into the past, as well as into the future. Sold into slavery, she works for her owner, a sex dealer, by using her art to tell the fortunes of his clients. When she meets Bono she is drawn to him, but she has a secret that binds her tighter than any physical tie to her boss. Can she break the shackles of the past and find a future with the Senegalese pilot?

 

This story is told mostly through the eyes of Bono and Sky, though there are a couple of scenes told through the eyes of other characters. I enjoyed getting to see the other characters from the team once more. This book is set several months after the events in book seven and it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I said in my review of Scapulimancist that I thought it was the best of the series so far. I have now had to revise it to this book instead. It kept me hooked from the first page.

 

I found myself on a huge emotional roller coaster ride as Sky's past was revealed. I know that there is still slavery in the world (sex trafficking and other types), but have never really given it much thought apart from feeling sorry for those caught up in it and not knowing what I could do to help. However, I found myself unable to shake off the emotions this story stirred up in me that easily. Sky's story is not even unique (sadly), but the way the author wrote about it pulled at my heartstrings. Slavery may have been banned by law but it is still practiced today, though not as blatantly in the open as in the past. Unfortunately, wherever there is greed and money involved, the demand for this type of underground activity (be it slavery or even the ivory trade) will never diminish. This depravity sickens me and needs to be stopped. I am glad the author has given a voice to at least one victim (though fictitious) to shine a light on a dark practice and I commend her for it.

 

The story arc is reaching its climax, and I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings - sad that it was finished, but happy at the way it concluded. At the end of the book there is a teaser for the ninth and final book in the series and I am now looking forward to reading it as soon as I can. I must admit that once this series is over I will miss it, as the characters have become like friends to me.

 

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

Audio/Book Review of Catch Me If You Can by Miss Mae

Catch Me If You Can - Miss Mae

On an island bordering the coast of South Carolina, a convention is planned for "Catch Me" game enthusiasts. The game, designed by Stuart Harrington, wealthy businessman, is the genius behind the hottest game craze. But only ten guests are able to arrive before Brian, a category four hurricane, makes landfall. Lois Steinberg washes ashore on the beach. Amongst strangers, she has no idea who to trust and when Paul, the cook, is found murdered, events happen too eerily reminiscent of any "Catch Me" game that Stuart Harrington could ever conceive.

 

Review 4*

 

I originally read a kindle version of this book a year ago. Since then, the audio book has been released and, when I heard the sample, I decided to download it. This is a new review to incorporate the audiobook format.

 

This is an interesting dramatization of the story. This is a fully immersive experience, with sound effects and music used in such a way that felt like throw back to the old radio dramatizations/plays. My only complaint about this version of story is that the wind sound effect, although used to great affect, annoyed the heck out of me. Granted, you can't have a storm/hurricane without wind, but I felt that it drowned out some of the dialogue. I am also used to listening to audiobooks narrated by one or two performers. However, this story had a whole ensemble cast. I did think that the actors used to play the various characters did a wonderful job in bringing the story to life and they need to be commended.

 

This is a wonderful murder mystery. I really enjoyed it!

 

Lois Steinberg is a wonderful character. I really liked her. Washed ashore on Hanibel Island, off the coast of South Carolina during a storm, she finds herself in danger; a convention for a "Catch Me" game turns deadly. As the intensity of the storm increases, the danger increases too. Trapped and afraid, she will have to keep her wits about her to survive. Not sure whom to trust, she finds herself fighting her attraction to Victor, a man with his own secrets.

 

This is a fantastic murder mystery. The intensity of the tale is kept all the way through. Ten strangers (or are they?) are trapped in Wycliff House Resort during a category four hurricane. When one of their number is murdered, everyone becomes suspect.

I found myself hooked by the story and it kept me intrigued. I enjoyed meeting Victor Helm and his dog, Mite, though I felt that Victor's character could have had a little more depth. All of the other characters have their own quirks and secrets. Jenna Milford is the owner/manager of Wycliff House. Paul is her cook. Jared Steele is one of the guests, as is Tia, B.J., Cookie, Rajah Singh, Bob, Victor and Pete.

 

I must admit that when I originally read this book, I had no idea who the murderer was even up until the end. After listening to the audiobook, even though I knew who the culprit was, I still found myself engrossed in the story. There are red herrings, twists and surprises in store. When I originally found out who the murderer was, I was completely taken aback. I never expected that. I am normally pretty good at ferreting out the culprit, but not this time. This made the ending exciting. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't work out who the murderer was, but it wouldn't be a good murder mystery if I had (I think).

 

Miss Mae has written a wonderful murder mystery. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. I am a huge fan of mystery novels, and one of my favourite authors in this genre is Agatha Christie. However, Miss Mae is an author that I will be keeping an eye on in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to readers who love murder mysteries and suspense or classic who-dun-its and dramatizations and are looking for a highly entertaining read. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Lost Time (Between Two Evils Book 2) by D. L. Orton

Lost Time (Between Two Evils) (Volume 2) - Micah McDonald, D. L. Orton

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

When a faulty time machine deposits Diego in a towering evergreen, he knows he's in the wrong place—but has no idea he's in the wrong time. Naked and shivering in the chilly mountain air, he attempts to climb down, but slips, whacks his head on a branch, and falls into oblivion.

 

He wakes up inside a darkened room, crippled and disheartened, and must come to grips with the realization that he is marooned in a bleak alternate future. In this universe, what remains of the human race is trapped inside a handful of aging biodomes. With his mission failed, his world destroyed, and the one woman he loves, dead, he can find no reason to go on living.

 

But Lani, the emotionally scarred doctor who finds him, refuses to let him die, and as Diego heals, their relationship becomes... complicated. He struggles to let go of the past but is unable to get Isabel out of his head—or his heart. Just when it seems he may be able to find some measure of happiness in a world teetering on the edge of extinction...

 

Another note arrives from the future: Isabel is alive—but not for long…

 

Review 4*

 

This is the second book in the Between Two Evils series. I enjoyed this book more than the first one.

 

Diego is a fantastic character. I really liked him. He is kind and loving. There is a lot of cheesy/pun-y dialogue by him that had me rolling my eyes at times, but its all part of his charm. When the time machine (from book 1) malfunctions, he finds himself trapped eighteen years in the future. This future/parallel world has been devastated by a terrible event and the survivors are living in biodomes created by David Kirk (who is known as Dave Kirkland where Diego originally comes from). Will Diego find a way to get home to Isabel, or will he be trapped in this alternate universe forever?

 

This story is a lot less complicated than the first book and is based purely in the alternate world where Diego finds himself. The story is told mostly through the eyes of Diego, though other characters have their say too, mostly Lani, the unofficial doctor in the biodome (called affectionately the Bub by its inhabitants) and her seventeen year old daughter Shannon. These two characters play a major role in this story and I liked them both. A lot. They have a warmth about them that made them come alive, not to mention they are both stubborn and opinionated. There are also other characters that are introduced and give the story an interesting twist. One of them is Madders, a pilot who is a father figure to Shannon and encourages her to follow her dream of being an engineer. He doesn't actually make an appearance until late into the story but he too has a major role in this tale.

 

This book is action packed and took me on a wild roller coaster ride of emotion. There is even a hint of romance, and I found myself hoping that Diego and Lani would get together. However, his heart still belongs to Isabel. Diego struggles with his new reality and is determined to find a way to get home to her. I did find some of the story repetitive plot-wise to book one, which annoyed me, even though the scenes were completely different. I suppose this is the problem with time travel type stories, where the plot follows the same line even if events happen in a different way. The story does end on an exciting if somewhat heartbreaking climax and it left me in tears. Although not exactly a cliffhanger, it definitely made me eager to find out what happens next. I am now looking forward to reading the third book, Dead Time, as soon as possible.

 

DL Orton has written an intriguing time travel romance. I enjoyed her writing style, which is not as fast paced as some other authors I've read but it still had me turning the pages. The flow of the story is a lot smoother than the first book and this made it a more pleasurable read. I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

 

There are no scenes of an explicit nature, although there is mention of sexual activity. Having said that, I do not recommend this book to younger readers (under 16) due to the nature of the story. However, I do recommend this book if you love dystopian or time travel romances. - Lynn Worton