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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 Ahoy, Mummy Mia! (Ahoy, Mischaps!) (Volume 3) by Miss Mae

Ahoy, Mummy Mia! (Ahoy, Mischaps!) (Volume 3) - Miss Mae, Miss Mae

The Mischaps ride again! Actually, they sail again. Into a dimension far, far, far away where you can’t find it. Why can’t you find it? Because the dimension is lost. Yes, the Mischaps sail into The Land of Lost Directions. But guess what they find there? A prophecy! Yes, a prophecy about them! What does the prophecy say? What does it mean? Can the Mischaps discover the secret of fulfilling the prophecy…and destroy its evil, dangerous, stinking curse?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the third book in the Ahoy, Mischaps! series. I absolutely loved it!

 

I usually do character breakdowns in my reviews, but I have a little trouble doing this for the main character, who narrates this story in the style of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, as she actually doesn't have a name and is only known as The Narrator. However, we join Sir O Yuri Wiseguy-eh and well known Pukelitzer prize winning journalist, I.B. Nosy on another zany adventure, this time in the Land of Lost Directions.

 

This story has a fantastical plot, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. There are several references and play on words that would go over a child's head, but adults would pick them up with ease. The Mischaps gang find themselves lost in the Land of Lost Directions, where a greedy and ambitious cat called Mia has placed a curse on Gum Drop chocolate, turning it into mud. Or has she? In order to break the curse, the Mischaps have to fulfil a prophecy. Let the adventure begin!

 

This is a story full of adventure that is so nonsensical and humourous, I found myself highly entertained.
There are some old faces from previous books that appear in this tale. There's Moose, the chocolate loving plantation worker; Heathcliff, a possum who happens to be a fantastic detective (a secret is revealed about this character in this tale); Speck and Spang, two eagle-eyed vultures, and Spit, a small purple snake with the largest set of eyelashes known to adorn a snake. The reader is also introduced to some brand new characters, ranging from a crocodile called A. Buncha Crock to a swamp rat called Louie, who wants to be a pirate, and a chef called Chef Mac A. Roni. We also get to meet a Mummy named Ralph, and Dr. Ag. O. Nee and his Igor assistant Mandibles tumble into the adventure too.

 

I found myself turning the pages in an effort to find out what happens in every chapter, which is introduced by the narrator and is told in such a witty and engaging way that I found myself smiling even through the dangerous parts. I could picture the scenes in my mind's eye with ease. I didn't see the scenes as live action but as an animation though. I think this would make a fantastic children's animated movie, along with the other two books. I reached the end of the book with a bittersweet feeling; I didn't want it to end. However, I think there's another adventure on the way as the story ends in such a way that, although not a cliffhanger, it infers that it will continue. I can't wait!

 

I am not sure what age range this book is aimed at, but I sat with a smile on my face for most of the story. This story, however, would be ideal for children to listen to at bedtime.

 

Miss Mae has written a wonderfully imaginative story that will enchant adults and children alike. I love her writing style, which is fast paced enough to keep even the most fidgety youngster enthralled, and the flow was wonderful. I am a huge fan of Miss Mae and I will be keeping an eye out for more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to children aged 5 upwards and to adults looking for a quick, light read. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of NEST: Retribution: An Alivia Morgan Story by David Antocci

NEST: Retribution - David J Antocci

The Rally for US was meant to be a day of camaraderie and awareness. Instead, that crisp October morning turned into the bloodiest terror attack to strike the city of Boston in more than a decade.

 

In the wake of the attack, the New England Special Terrorist Division—NEST—turned to their most senior and capable agent, Alivia Morgan. She was unwillingly ripped from her home and family, but didn’t have a choice. Though she had no idea just how deeply personal the fight would become.

 

Now, it was up to her to find the extremists and stop another catastrophic blow that would drive the death toll higher. She was captured, alone, and armed only with her years of training and experience in Special Ops and the elite Army Rangers. Alivia quickly realized she was in a race against time as she struggled to escape with her life and stop the impending attacks. Could she do both?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in a new series which follows the New England Special Terrorist Division (NEST for short). I loved it!

 

Alivia Morgan is a fantastic character. She is capable, strong and determined. When a terrorist cell targets her in retribution for her killing one of their leaders in an earlier mission, Alivia finds herself in a fight to the death. Held hostage, but knowing her team is looking for her, she is determined to bring the cell down. As the danger increases and the threat to innocents rises, can she stop them in time?

 

Having read this author's previous Escape trilogy, when he contacted me with regards to reading a complimentary copy of this book, I eagerly accepted as I knew I would be taken on an amazing roller coaster ride of not only danger but emotion. However, I also purchased a copy of this book when it became available to pre-order and re-read it as soon as it was released. This review is based on my own opinion and have not received remuneration for it.

 

As I said previously, I knew I would be taken on an emotional journey. However, I wasn't expecting the intensity, though in hind-sight I should have anticipated it. The story is told through mainly Alivia's point of view, but other characters, including the bad guys also have their say. I was pulled in from the first page and didn't put the book down until I had finished it.

 

The reader is introduced to the NEST team. NEST is one of several anti-terrorist task forces set up after the 9/11 attacks. The leader of the group is Director Luis Huerta and he is hands-on in his approach to leading the team. An ex-sniper, he has lots of experience in war. Then there are several other operatives that work under him, including Alivia and JJ. There is a hint of romance to go along with the danger as Alivia and JJ are involved in a forbidden relationship.

 

Then there are the bad guys. They are not the most pleasant of people and have the intention of causing as much chaos and terror as they can. The leader of the terrorist cell, Syed Ashear, has a personal grudge against Alivia and is determined to use her as a pawn in his deadly game against those he sees as infidels and nonbelievers.

 

I found myself holding my breath several times when reading as the intensity was almost unrelenting. There are some lighter scenes to counteract some of the more gruesome aspects of the storyline, but the fast pace kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. Although this book has a fast pace, it is not rushed. The author has a talent for describing scenes in such vivid detail that it made it easy to picture and it ran like a movie in my mind's eye. In fact, I think this book would make a good movie thriller or TV series similar to NCIS. There are scenes of terror, as well as car chases, gun fights and explosions. Just when I reached the end of the book (or so I thought) with a feeling of happiness, the author throws a curve ball and ends the story on a chilling note in the epilogue. It doesn't quite end in a cliffhanger, but it's close and sets the reader up for the next book. I hope he's busy writing it because I am dying to read it!

 

David Antocci has written a thrilling first book to what looks to be a fantastic new series. His characters are extremely lifelike and this made the story feel incredibly real. I said in my review of Escape: Dead End that this is an author to watch, and I was right. I love his fast paced writing style, and the story flow is fantastic. I have already added this author to my favourite authors list, and will definitely read more of his books in the future.

 

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to young readers, or those of a nervous disposition, or those who may be affected by a triggering event due to extreme violence and/or abuse and/or terrorism. I highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers, suspense novels and/or military fiction. - Lynn Worton

ARC Book Review of Reign Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #6) by Dianna Hardy

Reign Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm Book 6) - Dianna Hardy

Day by day, Lydia's mastery of her storm-wielding grows. But whether gift or curse, her achievements are dampened by recent losses, and Taylor's inability to fully heal from his near-death experience. As worry for their future increases, Ryan faces his past once more in a bid to secure the happy future he glimpsed for them all.

The full moon is upon them. The Trident are unstoppable in their savage expansion; Selena is all but gone.

 

However, secrets are still being uncovered amid the whispers of time and its shifting sand - an ancient, mystical past is about to catch up with the present. Sarah might be carrying more than she'd bargained for.

 

Meanwhile, Lawrence has his own battle to face and life-altering decisions to make - and not just to his life. His duties as King could yet overrule his duties as mate. When the outcome is the sure extinction of the species you are responsible for, what do you sacrifice to keep it alive?

 

Reign Of The Wolf is the last book of the Eye Of The Storm series.

 

Review 5*

 

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

 

Reign Of The Wolf is the sixth and final book in the Eye Of The Storm series. I absolutely loved it!

 

Lydia is a fantastic character. I have really liked her from the start. She is a strong and stubborn woman, but she has not had it easy throughout the series, what with her mating pains in the first book, finding out that she's not human but a wolf and, not only that, she's a storm-wielder to boot. Mated to three sexy werewolves (Lawrence, Ryan and Taylor), she has faced many challenges and overcome most of them, but now she has to fight for not only her survival but her mates and pack too as the Tridents increase their numbers and threaten their very existence. Will she and her mates survive, or will the future glimpsed by Ryan be smashed into a million pieces?

 

In the immortal first words of the song Love Story: where do I begin? OMG! This book rocked! I have been awaiting this book with both dread and excitement. Dread because it is the concluding book to the series and I knew I would be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride of emotion, and excitement for the very same reason.

 

The story picks up right where book five concluded, give or take a few days, so there is no awkward transition with regards to plot. This book has several twists that I never saw coming. I am not one to swear, but as I was reading I found myself going 'holy hell!' and 'sh*t!' in my head more times than I thought possible. Then there is the emotional side to the story. I found myself laughing and crying in several places, there is tenderness, love, loss, anger and every other emotion you can think of. The story arc throughout the series has been building up to one final climax and what a climax! Jaw dropping comes to mind, so does heart breaking and amazing. The significance of certain things that happened in the previous books are subtle, but they gain greater significance as the story arc unfolds.

 

I love all the characters, even Selena oddly enough. I know she's had a rough deal, but I still think that she made some really bad decisions that led to her being mated to Gabriel, the head of the Tridents, in the first place. All the characters have grown throughout the series, which I love, and watching Lawrence struggle with the revelation that Gladys made to him in Rise of the Wolf broke my heart. I'm glad that he has his mates to strengthen his resolve. I am also glad that I got to know Pete a little more. He and Beth make a lovely couple. I would love to read their story one day.

 

Reign of the Wolf is the perfect ending to an amazing series; all loose ends are tied up. Having said that, I reached the end of the book in a state of shock. I was left completely emotionally wrung out and speechless. It has taken me a few days to sit and process this story enough to write this review. I am incredibly sad that this series has ended; it has been an amazing journey from the first book until the last and I have loved every minute of it!

 

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; ripping your heart out with them, but also filling you up with them too. 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.

 

Due to the explicit sensual content and some bad language, I do not recommend this book for younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love HOT erotic paranormal romances with sexy werewolves. Please note there is m/f/m/m action in this book, as well as violence, and may offend some readers. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Ros by Dee DeTarsio

Ros - Dee DeTarsio

 

An out-of-this-world love story . . .

 

Ros is a supernatural encounter with a female from our cosmos: E.T. meets Starman. With the clock ticking, Micki tries to save Ros, who only has a few days left to find her way back home. The bonds of this most unlikely friendship are tested on the run, as they realize that love truly does transcend time and space.

 

Review 3*

 

This book has been sitting on my Kindle for quite a while. I bought it when I first bought my Kindle way back in 2012 and it was on free promotion at the time. I was originally intrigued with the blurb because I love a good space romance. Unfortunately, due to my long reading list, it has taken me longer than I anticipated to get to read it.

 

Micki Cramer is a character I must admit I didn't connect with at first. I initially found her rather annoying. However, as the story progressed I came to like her a little more. She is a divorced mother of two who unexpectedly has a close encounter of the third kind when an alien spaceship crashes close to her house. As she tries to help the alien, Ros, get back home, she finds herself running from the US Navy and facing a dangerous cult who will stop at nothing to capture the stranded alien. Will she succeed in helping her new friend?

 

The blurb is slightly misleading. I thought I would be reading a space romance. However, the story is more about friendship than romantic love. Having said that, I really enjoyed watching the sisromance (can't call it bromance) grow between the two main characters. Ros's character comes across a little one dimensional in my opinion. I think this is because the author may have struggled to imagine what an alien is like, while trying not to make her too human. There is an ET type feel to the story, with action and adventure thrown in along with some quirky characters. I actually loved Micki's ex mother-in-law, Rhoda. She's an eccentric character with the beginnings of Alzheimer's, but she's as sharp as a tack when she wants to be. There are also a few other interesting characters, like Captain James Kerk of the U.S. Navy, and Stanley Brower, Micki's neighbour.

 

I must admit that although the story was interesting, I found it easy to put it down and read something else and then come back to it. I'm not sure if this was down to the author's writing style or if it was my mood at the time of reading. There are some scenes that had me laughing, but I think the author was trying too hard to use wit and it fell flat at times, especially where there was a need to ratchet up the feeling of suspense for some of them instead. Having said that, I especially loved the scene where they steal Stanley's RV and find him in it. Then there's the one... Nope, you may just have to read it to find out more. I did find myself becoming rather emotional near the end and even shed a tear or two. The ending was slightly unexpected, but it left me feeling satisfied.

 

Dee DeTarsio has written an intriguing story. Her writing style is not particularly fast paced, but it kept me turning the pages. The flow of the story was pretty good, but some scenes could have been shortened for more impact. Would I read more of her books in the future? Perhaps. I am not ruling it out completely. I need to reduce my reading list first.

 

Due to some profane language, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I recommend this book if you love chick-lit or science fiction genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Blue Diary by Shannon Allen

The Blue Diary - Shannon Allen

*PLEASE NOTE: THE AUTHOR DETAILS ARE WRONG FOR THIS BOOK ON THIS SITE. IT SHOULD READ SHANNON ALLEN AND NOT SHANNON WATTERS, NOELLE STEVENSON, GRACE ELLIS AND BROOK A ALLEN. *

 

Sometimes the most simple, but most endearing, moments are treasured in unexpected ways and methods.

 

Review 4*

 

I must admit that I am not a huge reader of memoirs. However, I was asked if I would be willing to read this one. I agreed and received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review. This is a short memoir based on the memories of the author at a young age and is dedicated to her grandmother.

 

At the age of eleven Shannon (the author) kept a diary to record events she wanted to remember. This story gives us a glimpse into her thoughts and feelings of her younger self as she re-reads her entries now that she is older. As the story was short, I found it interesting to read, but it is more of a reminiscence than anything else. It only took me roughly ten minutes (if that) to read and didn't engage me emotionally. However, this is probably because I am used to reading novels rather than short stories.

 

After I finished this tale, I remembered that I tried to keep a diary as a child, but I never got the whole idea of writing down the events of the day. Most of the time I forgot to write in my diary and so it remained empty for the most part. I am envious of people being able to write their thoughts and feelings down every day. I'm generally too exhausted or have nothing of interest to say about the day's events now that I'm older to even consider keeping a diary. I'm sure reading back your diary's entries would bring back memories, but it would be the readers in the future who would probably be intrigued by the social aspects, or scratching their heads at some of the entries that wouldn't make sense to anyone but the writer of the diary.

 

Diaries are a snapshot into the social (mostly), as well as economic and political aspects of our lives. Today's diaries are now available in the virtual world as online blogs and vlogs. However, I feel there are some things that should never be made public. Diaries, blogs and vlogs can have both positive and negative aspects to their use. Future scholars may or may not find your diary, blog or vlog of great significance due to the contents. For the most part, it is still the best way to record your thoughts and feelings about the events (or non-events) that happen in your life. I wouldn't consider keeping one now, but I would encourage others to keep one if they feel the need to express their thoughts and feelings, either on paper or on a computer. It can be a useful tool for therapy or just to unload the detritus of everyday life. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Treasured by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 14) by Felicity Heaton

Treasured by a Tiger - Felicity E. Heaton

Despised by his tiger shifter pride as an abomination, Grey has ventured far from home, deep into the bowels of Hell in search of answers about the machinations of Archangel, the mortal hunter organisation who held his twin captive. With no knowledge of the realm, and little skill with the local languages, he quickly finds himself at a dead end—until he crosses paths with a beautiful hellcat female who rouses his darkest most dangerous instincts.

 

Lyra has been a fool, falling for the charms of a male whose only desire was to make a fast buck by selling her. Shackled and collared, her strength muted by magic, she awaits her time on the stage at a black-market auction, but before it can come, all hell breaks loose and she seizes a chance to escape—and runs straight into a majestic warrior who steals her breath away and tempts her like no other as he battles alone to free everyone.

 

When Lyra offers her services as a translator to repay Grey for saving her, will he be strong enough to resist the needs she awakens in him and spare himself the pain of her inevitable rejection when she discovers the truth about him? And when the powerful male in charge of the slave ring starts a bloody hunt for Lyra, can she escape another collar and find the courage to trust the tiger who is capturing her heart?

 

Review 5*

 

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

 

Grey is a wonderful character. Having met him in Turned by a Tiger and then again in Tamed by a Tiger, I am glad that the author has chosen to tell his story, as I really liked him. As Talon's twin and Maya's brother, Grey has been plagued by his prides' attitude and disdain to his different colouring for most of his life. Rather than being the usual orange and black, Grey is a white tiger. Unfortunately, the constant disapproval of being different has left his self-esteem really low, and this story sees him struggling to adjust to freedom from his duties as a bodyguard/guardian of the pride now that Maya has a mate. I must admit that I wanted to shake Grey (or bash him over the head) for believing that he was an abomination, but since he's fictional, this would pose a problem. He volunteers to go into Hell to track down the secret behind the door hidden in Archangel's basement for his brother Talon. What he didn't expect was to meet a beguiling Hell Cat.

 

Lyra is also a wonderful character and I really liked her too. She is a Hell Cat who finds herself captured when she trusted the wrong man and is being sold at a shifter auction. When a white tiger appears at the slave auction and rescues her, she decides to thank him by helping him as a translator, then realises that he is her fated mate.

 

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 Grey and Lyra, which gives the reader a chance to see their thoughts and feelings. 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. The heat between the main characters blazes white hot on the pages, and left me breathless at times with their intensity. There are several twists and turns that I didn't see coming, and there is an amazing fight scene with a Fallen Angel that took my breath away. I said in my review of Tamed by a Tiger that there should have been more of the story arc in it. However, this book certainly brings the story arc back into focus a little more, and there's a revelation that gives the story more direction which, I think, was missing in the previous book. We are also introduced to a dragon called Brink, whom I felt sorry for. Will he play a role in the next book of the series? I do not know, though I hope so. If not, I have a feeling that his story may be the climax of the series as the story arc seems to be heading in that direction. When I reached the end of the book, I was slightly disappointed that it had concluded. Even though it ended in a HEA, I wanted to keep reading! However, the mystery that surrounds Archangel and what is hidden behind that door has me looking forward to finding out what happens next.

 

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 Man (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 9) by Charmaine Pauls

Man - Charmaine Pauls

Olivia Reid’s death has always been in the cards. When a man starts stalking her, he brings her pleasure instead of murder. He wants more than her orgasms. He seems to want her very mind. By giving him one thought every night, she manages to push forward the deadline of her extinction. But for how long can she buy her life before her mind is empty, and her stalker has what he wants?

 

Cain Jones is the leader of a paranormal crime taskforce dedicated to protecting mankind from the revival of evil and the dawning of a second Dark Age. The team under his command uses their seven forbidden arts secretively to fight their archenemy, Godfrey Reid, a man who is set on turning immortal and wiping out the human race. Fighting battle after battle, Cain makes a breakthrough when he locates his opponent’s weakness–Mrs. Olivia Reid. She’s his only link to Godfrey, and his only chance at accomplishing his mission. He’ll break her if he has to. He’ll even steal her thoughts. As the investigation progresses Cain has to face a truth he doesn’t want to admit. He has an ulterior motive for personally keeping an eye on his enemy’s dwellings. Watching Olivia sleep, Cain soon becomes as obsessed with his archenemy’s woman as with killing Godfrey. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. But will she forgive him for killing her husband?

 

Man is the ninth and final book in the Seven Forbidden Arts paranormal erotic romance series, but also reads as a standalone. This book contains graphic language and sexual scenes. Reader discretion is advised.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the ninth and concluding book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series. I loved it!

 

Cain Jones is a fascinating character. Although he appears in nearly every book of the series, he remains largely mysterious. I am glad the author decided to use the final book in the series to focus on him. He is the boss of the paranormal task force and oversees the team on behalf of his sponsors. He is also instrumental in playing matchmaker to his team (although they don't know it). Cain and his team have been searching for Godfrey, their nemesis, in an attempt to stop him achieving his ultimate goal - total world domination and immortality. When he finally tracks down Godfrey's wife, he finds himself completely obsessed with her because he can't read her mind. But as danger lurks in the shadows, will he be able to protect Olivia and stop Godfrey in time?

 

Olivia Reid is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a determined and strong willed woman. She thought she loved Godfrey when she married him, but now she lives in terror of him. When a mysterious stranger appears in her bedroom, she only feels relief that she's about to die. But as her attraction to the mysterious stranger grows, she finds herself facing a psychotic husband who will stop at nothing to reach his goal.

 

This story is told through the eyes of Cain and Olivia. I enjoyed getting to see the other characters from the team once more too. This book continues on from the end of Chiromancist, though a month or so after the events in book eight, 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 the last two books too. The story kept me hooked from the first page.

 

I have been awaiting the arrival of this book with mixed emotions: eager to read it, but dreading it too. This is because it is the last book of the series and it means the end of watching the team facing obstacles and overcoming them, as well as finding their significant other. The characters have become like friends and I will miss them. It also means the story arc reaches it's zenith, and what a rush it is! All the loose ends are tidied up for the most part. I still had a few unanswered questions buzzing around my head relating to a character that was introduced. I don't want to say too much as it could be a spoiler. However, I found this character most disturbing and I hope that he gets the help he needs. Otherwise he will be another dangerous sociopath/psychopath for the team to deal with when he gets older. There is still the mystery surrounding the quantamancist's identity who helped Ivan in Necromancist, and it remains unsolved by the conclusion. Having said that, the story ends satisfactorily. Whether it is a HEA or HFN remains to be seen. I would like it if the author were to re-visit the team in the future to see how they are getting on, but even if she decides not to, it has been an emotional roller coaster ride from the first to the last book, and I can always re-read the series when I get the chance.

 

Charmaine Pauls has written an entertaining standalone erotic romance series. Her characters are lifelike and come alive on the page. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I have added her to my favourite authors list and am looking forward to 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

Book Review of Tegen Punishment (Tegens Book 3) by Inge-Lise Goss

Tegen Punishment (Tegens) (Volume 3) - Inge-Lise Goss

Who will be the next spider victim?

 

For over two years a treacherous Tegen has evaded capture by enforcers, executing anyone who crosses his path.

 

Newly requisitioned to assist a Tegen enforcer, Sara Jones is on a desperate hunt to stop the renegade who has no regard for human, or spider, life. To penetrate the religious compound he uses as his hideout, she must conceal her true identity. But finding the elusive Tegen is more difficult than she may have imagined, and the compound is far more dangerous than anyone could have known.

 

When a notorious crime boss shows up in town, Sara enlists his help, but he has his own agenda – one that may advance his criminal enterprise.

 

As mayhem erupts, she must outwit unsavory zealots and find the killer before her cover is blown. The clock is ticking. Can she bring the fugitive to justice before it’s too late?

 

This action-packed fantasy-thriller constantly leaves you on the edge of your seat.
Tegen Punishment is the third book in the Tegen series. After reading the Tegen definition at the beginning of the novel, it can easily be read as a standalone story.

 

Review 4*

 

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

 

Sara Jones is a wonderful character. When I first met her in The Tegen Cave I wanted to shake some sense into her. I feel that she has grown and adjusted well into her new life as a Tegen as the series has gone on. I love watching characters grow and mature.

 

It has been two years since I read the second book. Nevertheless, I easily slipped back into the tale. This story continues from the previous book and sees Sara facing disciplinary action for helping Wendy. However, her punishment is slightly unusual. She finds herself going undercover to locate a rogue Tegen hiding in a religious compound. She will need to keep her wits about her as the danger mounts.

 

I started this story and was hooked from the first page and didn't put it down until I'd finished it. So why the 4 stars? There were some things about the story that bugged me (no pun intended) even though I can't put my finger on the exact reasons why. I think it may have been my mood at the time of reading or the time difference between reading book 2 and this one that may have influenced me. It is told through the eyes of Sara and the reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of action, adventure, mystery and danger. I love the way the story unfolds. There are some interesting characters introduced, such as Alex Newark and the renegade Snyder. Kendall makes another appearance. He is a Tegen enforcer and is quite mysterious. He still sends shivers down my spine. The heat between Conner and Sara is still explosive, though there is not as much intimacy in this book compared to the first one, although there are a few clandestine meetings (not explicit but implied).

 

One thing I will say about this book is that the story is wonderfully written. The characters are lifelike and the storyline gripping. I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings. Although it doesn't end in a cliffhanger, the author has left me with the feeling that there could potentially be another book due to the ambiguous ending. Now I can't wait to find out what is in store for Sara in the next book.

 

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

 

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to some violence and to readers who have arachnophobia or have a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love horror/suspense genres. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Zombie Baker by J S Rumble

Zombie Baker - J. F. S. Rumble

Fred is one of those rare boys that actually likes going to school… well, he did until now. He started getting picked on for something he has no control over… being a zombie. 
Most people think of zombies as mindless creatures that roam the world searching for others to infect, in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. All Fred wants to do is bake! 

He dreams of opening his very own cake shop one day, but pastry school is extremely expensive! Then an opportunity comes along that could help his dreams become reality.

 

Review 5*

 

This is a charming children's chapter book. I loved it!

 

Fred is a fantastic character. I really liked him. He is a kind and loving boy (not sure of exact age but think around eleven or twelve). He also loves to bake and dreams of owning his own bakery one day. Unfortunately, he has to deal with school bullies.

 

This story is told in a memoir style through Fred's eyes and takes the reader on a journey of discovery. Fred may be a zombie, but he has the same emotions as the rest of us. He gets excited, happy, sad, angry and frustrated by most of the same situations as ordinary humans.

 

This book is ideal for children with short attention spans as it's only 66 pages long. This story tackles the issue of bullying and shows that it's okay to be different, and with hard work you can attain your dream (whatever it may be). There are some interesting characters introduced and I really liked Fred's friends, Ervin, James and Ben, as they stand by him even though he's different to them. They like him just the way he is. I did feel sorry for Ervin during one scene though. He had to trust Fred even though he was terrified, but it made me like him even more and wish he was my friend too. There is action and adventure, with enough excitement to keep a young reader's attention. I love baking too, so reading about the cake Fred baked made my mouth water. So much so that I ended up baking a cake for myself later. I must admit that I would have loved if the story was longer, but then it wouldn't be a chapter book. Nevertheless, I was sad to reach the end even though it ended satisfactorily.

 

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

 

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 5-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

Beta ARC Book Review of Killing Rumer by Joshua Winning @SentinelTrilogy

 

 

A ruthless gangster will stop at nothing to get his hands on an occult relic. Word is, Rumer has it...

 

Rumer Cross
Age: 19
Location: Enfield, London
Mother: Celene Cross
Father: Unknown
Likes: Black nail polish. The Dark Crystal. Stevie Nicks. Cemeteries; everybody there is already dead.
Hates: Justin Bieber. Butterflies. Teenagers who think they know everything. Impenetrable fucking mysteries.
Weird habits: Collecting bottle caps. They're everywhere.
Worst fears: Becoming her mother. Letting somebody get too close. Being buried alive.

 

Why you should care...

 

Rumer Cross is scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency. She lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the 'Witch Assassin' whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.

 

Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she's targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she's hiding an occult relic, she's drawn into the very world she's been fighting to avoid.

 

Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother's dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she's cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she's ever grown close to has died screaming.

 

Set in an urban sprawl of bullet-riddled buildings, Killing Rumer is a thriller that asks the question: can we ever really change who we are?

 

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This review is based on a complimentary Beta advanced reader copy given to me by the author with no expectation of a positive review. This book is currently being crowdfunded and will be published once fully funded. Please find the link to the crowdfund here: https://unbound.com/books/killing-rumer in hopes that you would consider funding it to be published.

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Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

 

This is an intriguing crime thriller set in London, England. I loved it!

 

Rumer is a fascinating character. I found myself not only liking her, but also feeling sorry for her, though I also wanted to shake her at times too. She is nineteen years old, but seems more mature. This is due to her upbringing I think. She has grown up in foster care, knowing that her mother was a notorious assassin. Unfortunately, she believes herself to be cursed as everyone she comes to care for dies in the most terrible ways. Working for a private detective as a shadow (someone who follows, watches and listens to garner information), she is thrown into a life and death struggle when a mobster turns his attention in her direction seeking an occult relic last known to be in the possession of her mother, who died several years previously.

 

Having previously read the author's YA work, when I was contacted about reading this book, I instantly accepted. Although not YA, this is an intriguing crime thriller that instantly caught my attention when I read the synopsis. Knowing that I would also be taken on an amazing journey was a bonus.

 

I started reading and didn't put the book down until I'd completed it. The story is told through Rumer's eyes. I found myself fascinated with Rumer and her life. I cannot imagine how knowing that you are the progeny of a criminal/assassin (even if deceased) would affect your life. Rumer emotionally distances herself from everyone in the hope that she will not 'kill' like her mother. She carries around a huge burden of guilt for things that she has no control over too. Understandable in some ways, annoying in others hence my desire to shake her at times.

 

There are several interesting characters introduced. Rumer's employer is Julian Hart and runs Hart Detective Agency, but he is only in a few scenes so didn't really get a feel for this character. Reverend Mara is the name of the mobster who is after Rumer and I found him to be a strange character. He is obsessed with locating an occult weapon called the Crook Spear. Then there is Bolt, an ex-policeman who befriends Rumer. I would have liked to have gotten to know him a lot more as there seems to be some chemistry between him and Rumer and would have liked for the author to have explored this a bit more. There are also a few other characters introduced, like George for instance and someone thought to be long dead.

 

Killing Rumer is a pulse pounding read full of action, danger, violence and potential romance. There are several twists and turns that surprised me and I found myself on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I did find some scenes disturbing, particularly the one containing George and I shed a couple of tears for not only him, but Rumer too.

The occult weapon with the weird name is not what I thought it would be. However, so as not to spoil it, I will not say what kind of weapon it is. I will say that when it was disclosed I was completely thrown; I had a completely different weapon in mind. The end of the story sent chills up my spine. There could potentially be a sequel as it finishes ambiguously and ominously.

 

Joshua Winning has written an intriguing crime thriller with a kick-ass heroine. I love his fast paced writing style, and the story flowed beautifully. He is one of only a handful of male authors who I have added to my favourite authors list and I can't wait to see what he will come up with in the future.

 

Due to the nature of the story (danger, violence, bloodshed), I do not recommend this book to young readers or those of a nervous disposition. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers with kick-ass heroines. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Tamed by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 13) by Felicity Heaton

Tamed by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 13) - Felicity E. Heaton

A snow leopard shifter in the prime of his life, the last thing on August’s mind is tying himself to one female. He welcomes a different one to his bed each night, or at least he had until five months ago when he became alpha. The duties and pressures of running his pride have his libido dead on arrival—until a trip to London to discuss business with the former alpha lands him in the path of a beautiful, bewitching tigress who awakens a passion in him that flares white hot and a need of her that consumes his every moment.

 

Promised at birth to a male she has never met, Maya has left her pride behind to go to the tiger alpha who is to be her mate, but she can’t leave without saying goodbye to her older brother, Talon. A stop in London at Underworld to see him one last time turns out far different, and far more dangerous, than how she had imagined it when she sets eyes on an alluring crimson-haired stranger who stirs new, unbidden feelings in her, desires that rouse her fiercest and most frightening instincts and demand she stake a claim on him—her fated mate.

 

Will Maya be strong enough to place her pride and her family’s safety before the desires of her own heart? And will August unravel his feelings for the black-haired beauty before it’s too late and he loses her forever?

 

Review 4*

 

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

 

August is a wonderful character. I really liked him. I met him briefly in Craved by an Alpha (Book 5) as he's Cavanaugh's cousin, so I'm glad to get to know him better. He has taken on the mantle of Alpha of the snow leopard pride due to Cavanaugh abdicating to be with Eloise as her mate. August finds being alpha rather stressful, so visits his cousin to ask his opinion and get advice. He wasn't looking for love, but when he meets a female tiger shifter, he is instantly attracted to her. However, there's a problem, she's been promised to a tiger of another pride.

 

Maya is also another wonderful character that I liked. She is strong and feisty, but when her brother (and alpha) Byron insists she fulfil the pact that she marry the alpha of a rival pride made when she was born, she sets off to London with her brother Grey to say goodbye to her other brother, Talon. Knowing it's a political marriage, she is unprepared for the instant attraction she feels for her eternal mate, August. Will she follow her brother's instruction, or will she follow her heart?

 

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 August and Maya, which gives the reader a chance to see their thoughts and feelings. The heat between the main characters blazed white hot. I would have liked to have had a scene where the two "meet" from August's POV. Maya's reaction was extreme, but August came across as rather cold and uncaring. Maybe this is because Maya realised he was her mate first. I don't really know. However, I felt that Maya came across as rather crazy. The transitional flow from that scene to the next was also not as smooth as it could have been.

 

Having said that, 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. I did feel that this story was a little rushed and I would have loved for it to be a little longer, with more of a plot line or sub plot/ story arc as I feel this series is beginning to tire somewhat. Nevertheless, I can't wait to read Grey's story, which is the next book in the series and is due to be released on the 9th September 2017.

 

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 Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

 

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

 

As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Christian keeps hidden away from public view …

 

Review 3*

 

This is the first book in the series by E.L. James.

 

Anastasia Steel is a character that found myself neither loving or hating, though I found myself rolling my eyes at her inner monologue. She is a stumbling, bumbling teen in a twenty-something young body. She is so insecure and full of angst that I wanted to strangle her. Okay, having said that, her character does grow and mature as the story progresses, which I like when reading stories. When she interviews Christian Grey on her ill roommate's behalf, she finds herself enthralled with him. When he warns her away from him, she doesn't listen to him and finds herself thrust into a world that she was woefully ill prepared for.

 

Let me first say that I bought this book in 2012, but due to my large reading list, and then the subsequent social media storm about this book, I decided to hold off reading it until recently. I still haven't watched the movie.

 

I started to read and, as many others have mentioned in their reviews, I found myself shaking my head at Ana's inner goddess monologues. However, I also knew that this was a piece of fan fiction after the author had read Twilight, so I could see some of the influence in the writing. Ana knowingly enters into a relationship with Christian. She didn't sign any contracts, apart from the secrecy one which, in my eyes meant that she went into this relationship of her own free will. Christian could have pushed her to sign the contract. In fact, if he was a complete control freak he would have. Yes, he's a controlling a-hole, but to be fair, he warned Ana on several occasions to stay away.
That contract! Goodness me! If someone handed me that contract I would run for the hills! Some of them made sense (health and safety wise) but some of the rules had me scratching my head and a red warning light flashing.

 

As for the BDSM aspect of the story, I laughed at the scenes. They were more like mild kink and not hardcore BDSM. I have read several erotic romance novels with BDSM in them and those scenes were more realistic than in this book. I do not practice this lifestyle and cannot say for definite that the other books I have read are accurate either, but this felt more like titillation rather than any real BDSM. Several people have stated in their reviews that this book promotes an abusive relationship and to some degree I agree, that one scene with the belt comes to mind. However, I also think that Christian Grey has some serious issues from his childhood that were hinted at that need addressing with major therapy.

 

Having said all that, I actually enjoyed reading this book, even though it was like watching a train crash at times. I tried not to let anyone's opinion colour mine, so I hope those who read this review and then decide to read the book will also keep an open mind. There has been two camps saying you either love or hate this book. However, I find myself not able to definitively say which camp I fall into because I didn't love it nor did I hate it. I found it entertaining but it just didn't excite me either way. Will I continue to read the other books? Unknown at this time, but I am not ruling it out in the future. As for watching the movies, I am not sure about that either. Only time will tell.

 

This was E.L. James' debut novel and as such I found her writing style rather amateurish, this is not a bad thing as one has to start somewhere and improvement can always be made. The story pace was not particularly fast, but I still found myself turning the pages to find out what happened next. The story flow could have been tightened up with some scenes being shortened, but for the most part it flowed well.

 

Due to the nature of this book, I do not recommend it to readers under the age of 16. I do, however, recommend this book if you love contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (The Elias Chronicles Book 1) by E.G. Kardos

The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (The Elias Chronicles) (Volume 1) - E. G. Kardos

WHEN TWIN SWORDS COLLIDE, an incredible power is unleashed and a new world opens. Defeating the three-headed dragon is the only way for Elias to seize his treasure. THE AMULET- Journey to Sirok is a magical adventure as Elias searches to find a sorcerer named Zoltan to reveal clues to his search.

 

Review 3*

 

This is the first book in an intriguing fantasy series. I enjoyed it but with reservations.

 

Elias is an interesting character. I really liked him. He is a young boy living in a remote village in Hungary. He is the son of a farmer, but he has no interest in being a farmer like his father or two brothers. He is an artist and loves to draw and paint the beautiful scenery and animals living in the forest surrounding the farm. When his Nattymama (Grandmother) tells him the tale of Zoltan, a sorcerer, who lives in Budapest and who can help Elias find his fortune, Elias sets off on a journey to meet him, but faces many obstacles and dangers along the way.

 

This is quintessentially a coming of age tale. When I first started reading this book I struggled with the author's writing style and it took me a while to get into it. Elias is only fifteen (nearly sixteen), so I was surprised at how harshly his father treated him. Just because a child doesn't want to follow in the parent's footsteps, a parent should encourage their child to follow their own path, not throw them out of the house. Unfortunately, it is more common than one would think. Having said that, Elias is a pretty level-headed boy and is able to keep his wits about him even when things look really dire at times. There is also a little folklore woven into the tale, with mention of monsters like the Sarkany, a three-headed serpent dragon that becomes a representation of a person's worst nature.

 

Elias meets several characters (including monsters) along his journey, but I found the majority of them to be one-dimensional and forgettable for the most part. Even the Sarkany didn't seem particularly scary or threatening. This made me feel sad. Nattymama was the only other character that felt lifelike besides Elias. However, I am not in the age range this book is aimed at, so younger readers may not have the same opinion as myself.

 

I reached the end of the story with mixed emotions. I was happy at the way it concluded, but also a little disappointed that the story left me feeling rather ambivalent to it. I don't like saying this but I don't think I will be continuing with the series. Although the character of Elias was interesting, there was not enough character development or excitement generated for me to want to read the next book in the series.

 

E.G. Kardos has written an interesting middle grade/young adult fantasy. The author's writing style felt a little stilted in my opinion, and I struggled to get to grips with it in the beginning. It is not particularly fast paced, however, it kept me turning the pages. The story flowed wonderfully from scene to scene, and is written in such a descriptive way I could picture the tale easily in my minds eye.

 

I highly recommend this book to children aged 10 upwards and to adults who love reading YA/Middle Grade Fantasy. - Lynn Worton

Book Review of Jimmy Threepwood and the Veil of Darkness by Rich Pitman

Jimmy Threepwood And The Veil of Darkness - Rich Pitman

Even heroes do bad things, but there's something really unfortunate about being selected to join the forces of evil and become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse!

 

When Jimmy Threepwood is collected to face his dark destiny and destroy the world with his supernatural powers, he is faced with a choice ... What lengths will he go to for the sake of revenge?

 

Many centuries ago the Elders designed the world we live in, but they knew that through time and the advances in medicine and technology, the world would slowly start to die and man would ultimately destroy the planet. The Elders created a prophecy that every two millennia, four children would receive a mystical mark. The children would grow and (one day) be powerful enough to release the mighty beast, Tyranacus. Together they would purge the world of man, allowing it to heal before the life cycle would start again.

Margaret Threepwood was a gentle and loving wife and was due to give birth when tragedy struck and Margaret fell severely ill. The Gatekeeper of life and death appeared in the hospital ward and provided a one-time deal so Margaret would live as long as her son Jimmy Threepwood was brought up unloved, uncared-for and handed to the Gatekeeper and his minions on his eleventh birthday, where his destiny would be unveiled to him.

 

As Jimmy approached his eleventh birthday he noticed strange and unusual things happening. Firstly, a mysterious crow started to follow him around school; this ultimately led to a Bunson burner accident and an unusual scar forming on Jimmy's arm in the shape of a number nine. This was followed by Jimmy protecting his friend against the school bully, but one touch changed both Jimmy's and the bully's lives forever...

 

Review 3*

 

This is an interesting middle grade fantasy. I enjoyed it.

 

Jimmy Threepwood is an interesting character. I really liked him. He has been brought up in a very unusual household. He is not physically abused but is emotionally neglected. His mother is emotionally cold and distant towards him. His father is more caring but still holds himself emotionally at bay. There is a reason for this. However, Jimmy grows up with a good soul and is kind and caring even though he has very few friends. When he reaches his eleventh birthday, his life changes once more and he finds himself training with three other students in dark magic to fulfil a prophecy made millennia ago.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review in 2013. Unfortunately, due to my rather large reading list, I haven't been able to get to it until recently. I sincerely apologise to the author for the delay.

 

When I began reading this story, it struck me as being similar to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter but with the characters meant to be bad rather than good. There are some major differences though. Instead of working with light magic, these students deal with dark magic, evil intentions and emotions, with the intention of freeing a demon to destroy man, whose activities are destroying the Earth with progress and technology. Jimmy is a good and kind character with a heart of gold, which leaves him in a bit of an emotional quandary about what is morally right and wrong. It is only when he is tricked (though he doesn't realise it) that his soul is tarnished by revenge. The other three students are evil or cruel due to their own upbringing. What I couldn't understand is this: if they had been brought up to be selfish and cruel/evil, how could they form a bond of friendship/teamwork? This seemed to be a bit of an oxymoron. You have to care about and trust your teammates to work together. If you are brought up to be selfish and uncaring, trust would be a problem. Having said that, this book is aimed at middle grade children and it may make more sense to them than it does to me.

 

We are introduced to some interesting characters: The Gatekeeper, who is similar to the Grim Reaper in appearance, Xanadu is the Gatekeeper's minion, Lyreco is a Dark Reefer and Jimmy's teacher, then there is Harry Hopkins, Percy Timmins and Talula Airheart, the three other children chosen to fulfil the prophecy. However, I felt that the characters were not as well developed as they could have been.

 

This story is an interesting mix of coming of age tale and fantasy and takes the reader on a journey from beginning to end. There are some fantastically described action sequences that had me sitting on the edge of my seat.

 

Unfortunately, I did find that the story was troubled with proofreading errors which caught my eye and this distracted me from the story's flow. I am hoping that along with the cover change that these errors were corrected as I've noticed that it has just been re-published as of July this year (2017) on Amazon. However, as I have the version from 2013, I can only comment on what I've read.

 

I reached the end with mixed feelings. It has a chilling conclusion which sets it up perfectly for the second book. However, I am in two minds whether or not to continue with the series as I didn't connect to any of the characters apart from the Gatekeeper (whom I felt sorry for, but only because of his innocence from the event that caused Jimmy's need for revenge). This saddens me. However, other readers may have a different reaction and enjoy it enough to continue with the series and, if you are one of them, good!

 

Rich Pitman has written an intriguing and somewhat unique debut novel. I loved the fast paced writing style, though thought that there was too much "telling" and not enough "showing" for my taste. The proofreading errors slowed the flow down, but didn't ultimately ruin my enjoyment of the story. I wish him all the best for the future and will follow his career with interest.

 

As this book is aimed at middle grade aged children, I highly recommend this book to readers aged 11 upwards. I also recommend this book to adults who love reading YA/middle grade science fiction/fantasy/coming of age genres. - Lynn Worton

 

Book Review of Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power (Josh Anvil #4) by Bruce Arrington

Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power - Kallie Ennever, John Albers, Bruce E. Arrington

The aliens were right: Josh can’t contain his powers. Not anymore, with his subconscious making monsters he doesn’t control. As Earth’s future looks darker with a catastrophic invasion just around the corner, Josh’s world is torn in two. Weaved in YA fantasy with elements of action and comedy, this fourth book in the Josh Anvil series captures the trials of a high school freshman with powerful abilities at his command.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the fourth book in the Josh Anvil Series. I loved it!

 

Josh Anvil is a fantastic character. I liked him very much from the very first book. He is a smart and curious fourteen (almost fifteen) year old. Unfortunately, he doesn't see himself the same way. He has low self-esteem, which is caused by his dyslexia and being bullied at school. However, he is an excellent story teller and basketball player, has a vivid imagination and incredible powers thanks to the aliens that saved him after an accident in the swamp where he lives. (Read book 1 to find out how that happened).

 

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

 

The story continues from the end of the third book and sees Josh dealing with the aftermath of the battle with the clones, as well as still struggling to deal with the power given to him and this manifests in a most unusual way. He finds himself having to fight against his own fears which, because of his ability to imagine things into being, begin to eat away at his sanity and confidence and takes on a life of its own. However, that's not the only challenge he faces. He still has to stop the aliens from destroying the earth. Not an easy task by any means.

 

This story is just as fast paced and exciting as the first three books. There are several twists and turns, and a few surprises that kept me hooked from beginning to end. Josh has grown as a character throughout this series. As well as gaining confidence in himself and his abilities, he has begun to believe in himself too. I have enjoyed watching him gain this confidence and it made me feel proud of him. I also liked meeting his friends Troy, Kodi, Lonnie, Libby, Jana, Axel, Sadie and Marty (the latter seven being humanoid aliens he and Troy had befriended in book 2) again. They each have their own personality, which makes them come alive in the story. We also meet Josh's new girlfriend, Lisa, and get to know the FBI agents chasing Josh a little better.

 

There is action, adventure and danger aplenty in this story and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat during some scenes. This book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion and when I reached the end of the story I felt sad, but this was only because I wanted to keep reading! The story does end in a small cliffhanger, although the story arc seems to be reaching its climax, so I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series as soon as possible.

 

Bruce Arrington has written an exciting fantasy adventure. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 10-18, but I also recommend this book to adults who love to read YA fantasy books filled with action, adventure, danger and aliens. - Lynn Worton

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