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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

Wychetts
William H. Holley
Treasured by a Tiger
Felicity E. Heaton
Ros
Dee DeTarsio
Progress: 100 %
Fury of Surrender
Coreene Callahan
Progress: 100 %

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

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