Archive | July 29, 2013

Eye of the Beholder Jackie Weger .

 

Arc supplied by author.

I love romance but there are now so many duo’s and trilogies, many ending on horrible cliffhangers that I’m feeling a bit fed up of it all, so was really thankful to receive three standalone novels from Jackie for review. At one time this was the norm, but since fifty shades it seems that writing romance in sections has become popular. That may be fine for some – but I know from comments on my reviews that there are many, many readers fed up with that, especially when we aren’t warned ahead of purchase, and who want stand alones, where we get the whole story, not one in parts where we wait months for next bit at unspecified price.
Anyway – this is my first read of Jackie’s books, and I really enjoyed it. It was fresh and unusual, something a bit different from the norm of contemporary romances around. Its set in a time past – I’m not sure how US works but if it was set in UK I’d guess at 1930’s or thereabouts, a time when you could work for cash daily, and renting a home or room was far simpler.
The description tells a good synopsis so I won’t repeat it. Phoebe; what a great lead. Strong and wiry, she loves her family, works hard and has a fierce pride. I loved her. She’s one of those tough on the outside people who have a hidden soft, self concious centre. I felt for her so much when she worked so hard, and Gage gave one of his cryptic put downs, and when her hard work and plans went awry. I even cried towards the end when all began to fall apart on her through no fault of her own, it was a very emotional section.
Gage; tough, quiet man, devoted to his daughter but unsure of how to raise a child, widowed when his wife drowned with her lover, he’s very cynical about Phoebe and her motives at first, but her personality and hard work slowly wear him down, but not without some major hiccups.
The kids, May-dean; 12 going on 22, obsessed with looks and trying to evade Phoebes fierce discipline, sharp of tongue and quick to try to get out of anything she didn’t want to do and yet underneath is an insecure child, Willie-boy; five years old but sharp and bright, and yet longs to just be a boy and explore, he suffers from asthma though and Phoebe watches him like a hawk. Then there’s Gage’s daughter, who misses her mum, and feels a bit lost. She stands up to Phoebe at first but soon comes to love and appreciate her.
The crab dressing – I’ve done that, smelly, tough and hard to earn good money, I felt for Phoebe trying to learn that. There was so much humour too in this book, a real mix of emotions, from sympathy and tears, to laughter and love. It really gives a flavour of how tough life could be in days past with no welfare, no free healthcare, and no helps for people with Mental health problems.
It’s a gentle romance, but with some steamy and funny moments..tally-whacker 🙂 and the way Phoebe is insatiable once she’s found sex, and poor Gage is worn out! He has a dry wit at times, and was a perfect foil to the intense, quick witted Phoebe.

I loved this story, its a change to read something so different to the endless college or billionaire romances – I like those, but its good to find something so different. Its definitely a book I’d re read, a real treasure and at 224 pages for £2.03 its good value.

Stars: five, a fabulous unusual romance.

Dancing With the Devil Nikki and Michael Book 1 Keri Arthur

 

Dancing with the Devil (A Nikki and Michael Vampire Novel)

I received this from the publishers in return for an honest review.

Ohh – Paranormal romance, vampires, adventure – what more could I ask for. This is book one of a series and I quickly became enmeshed in the story. Its urban fantasy at its best, and I look forward to reading more of the series. Nikki is a private investigator and in this book we begin with her using her psychic powers to find a missing teenager. Sound easy doesn’t it – but of course things are not what they seem. Nikki seems to have more powers than she realises, and a very dangerous vampire Jasper is out to get her to use them for himself. She’s unknowingly under the protection of another supernatural organisation and a 300 year old vampire called Michael is tracking her for them – he discovers Jasper is involved and knows just how dangerous he is.

Michael and Nikki find an attraction developing between them and both fight it, Nikki has been independent for many years after living on the streets and Michael shys away from any relationships. Despite that they are drawn to each other and the dangers they face bring them together time and time again. They need to find a way to trust each other and work past their issues if they are to survive.

They make a great pair, Nikki isn’t some sweet devoted heroine but a strong, bolshy, independent lady and Michael can’t help admiring her. They both have secrets though and that doesn’t help, along with Michaels natural instinct to control which jars with Nikki’s need for independence.

Its a riveting read, taking us along an adventure that is face paced and full of danger. The romantic elements are there but they add to the story not detract from it and as a reader I can’t help but wish for a good resolution for the pair. Though its a series its not one of those awful cliffhanger types – this story has a proper ending thought we see a bit of what is going on with Nikki and Michael in book two.

Its well written and edited and will join my keepers file for re reading.

Stars: four and a half star – just the sort of book I love.

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