Archive | August 9, 2013

Shadowed Threads, (Rylee Adamson #4) by Shannon Mayer. Out 16th August

Shadowed Threads: A Rylee Adamson Novel (Book 4)

 

Arc supplied by author/publisher.

I love this series, its one of those that’s so full of content and adventure, loves lost and found, sad loneliness and then friends and new family – its one that I love to read and re read, each time finding subtle clues I’d missed first time round. A novel that leaves you feeling content with what you’ve read, sad that’s its ended and wanting more from that world.
This book, fourth in series, is my favourite so far. I missed O’Shea in the last book – he and Rylee are so good for each other and she’s so much on her plate now with the responsibilities of people she’s taken in that she need someone strong. Cat shifter Will would like it to be him, he’s seems t have a real fancy for Rylee, Faris the vampire wants it to be him, he wants the power she will bring him, but it’s no good for any of them as her heart is lost to Liam O’Shea. Sadly he struggled to cope with becoming werewolf and ran off, Riley needs to track him but its difficult and others needing her help now keep getting in the way. She was asked to track children taken in the UK in the last book, and met Tracker Jack. Jack is dying from cancer and has said he’ll teach Rylee what she needs to know, but he’s dragging his feet and she’s still in UK and now been waiting three weeks. Rylee doesn’t do waiting well….so it typical Rylee form she forces the issue.
What follows is the usual roller-coaster we’ve come to expect. Jack has some dangerous magic books that indicate Rylee is the subject of a prophecy, sister Berget is still alive and seems to be happy, Milly has trapped Liam, has him under her control and is using him for her own ends. Liam is in danger the longer she traps him in his werewolf form and Rylee has only limited time to rescue him. Meanwhile Doran the daywalker comes visiting – and that’s never a good thing, the vampire Child Empress wants to kill Pamela (the child witch we met in last book who has become one of Rylees’ menagerie) the Druid leader bitch queen Dr Daniel has managed to compel a guardian to kill Rylee and time is running out for Liam. The longer he remains wolf the harder it will be to get him back to his man side with the wolf finally taking over completely. Its all business as usual for Rylee then πŸ™‚
What I love about Shannon’s writing is there is magic all through, and yet no sudden new powers or spells that Rylee pulls off at the last minute, no quick fx andswers that leave reader feeling cheated – it’s thinking and hard work, along with courage, occasional dangerous last minute risks, and answers we know from powers or pre made spells she carries that provide the solutions. I hate it when the hero/heroine in a book is in a tight spot, and suddenly gets out by way of some new power we’ve never heard about. We know about Rylee’s talents, what she can and can’t do and when something new comes to her, such a the ability to track groups of people – we learn in advance not at the last minute just when she needs it.
The menagerie she has gathered reluctantly, but through her softness of heart and inability not to help people in need have left her unexpectedly with a strongish band of helpers, Pamela is shaping up to be a very strong witch, Alex the werewolf who’s so childlike at times, is also very strong and absolutely loyal to Rylee, Eve the harpy is young in harpy years, but strong and has has knowledge Rylee often needs about the supernatural world. As usual the threats coming fast and furious and from unexpected angles and poor Rylee doesn’t always know what to do or who to trust, sometimes having to take risks with trusting those who she wouldn’t normally, and hoping it doesn’t come back to bite her on the ar se! (I’m English- we spell words differently, but Amazon often doesn’t like it)
A great book in the series, and one that was very satisfying to read. We gained some answers in this book, along of course, with more questions about Rylee and her place in the prophesies. She’s not sure how to take them. They seem incredibly dangerous but are they real, still – even if she doesn’t take it seriously she’ll be under threat from those that do, and she needs her little band of loyal helpers if she’s any chance at surviving.
My emotions were shredded in this book, tears of sadness at losses, heart in mouth at the dangers – and Shannon doesn’t wrap through danger and solution over one or two pages as so many authors do, but lets them play out naturally and in their own time, with solutions that aren’t a quick fix and often carry their own danger. Rylee seems to be between that Rock and Hardplace very, very often, having to trust her instincts and hope for the best. Sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t and there were some bad moments and amazing surprises along the journey. I ended the book with a feeling of satisfaction, many of the worrying lose ends were tied up, but its clear there’s much much more in store for Rylee and she needs her gathered band of friends to survive. Priced at Β£2.06 for 200 pages, 366kb it’s a good buy and I was so engrossed it felt like a much longer book.
Stars: Fabulous read, riveting throughout and a well earned five stars.

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Secret Sister. Emelle Gamble.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

WOW!! what a surprise this book was..I was expecting a fairly traditional HEA romance ( and I love those) – and got so, so much more. There is a happy ever after, but the journey to that point was nothing like I expected. The book begins with Roxanne and Cathy together going to yet another psych type appointment for Roxanne. The duo have been friends since they were in their early teens, but Roxanne seems to be constantly unhappy, always seeking something though she doesn’t know what. She’s a really attractive woman, so much so that Cathy sometimes feels β€œless” beside her, and yet she doesn’t see herself as stunning and sexy. She comes across at times as shallow and uncaring, but it seems to me – and Cathy I think – that’s just a protective shell around her that she constructs to avoid getting hurt. She has an off and on relationship with her boyfriend of some years, and its currently off once again. Or maybe not – Cathy can never quiet work out why the pair are so chaotic, and why Roxanne constantly takes him back after his endless infidelities. She should have been on her weekly β€œdate” with husband Nick, time they put aside for themselves, but has accompanied Roxanne as she has yet another life crisis. Then they argue, and there is a car crash…and what follows tests all your beliefs…

What I loved about this book – and there were many things in it I did – is the way we see people first through Cathys’ eyes and then through other peoples. Cathy thinks Roxanne is a good friend, and wants so much to help her lack of confidence. Yet seen through Nicks eyes Roxanne is shallow and a user of Cathy, gay friend Bradley likes her and yet sees her faults and Roxanne’s mum seems to know a different Roxanne to the one Cathy does. Is Cathy really the wonderful person everyone thinks? What about Nick, has he really cracked his alcohol addiction? Do Cathy and Nick really have the perfect marriage. Things happen that make you wonder β€œis that really true? What really happened? Would he/she really do that?” There are a myriad of questions before we can clean away the veil of secrecy, and see who people really are.

Roxanne wakes up after the crash feeling odd. Her memory is gone, she knows nothing about her past and doesn’t recognise friends and family. Michael – creepy, arrogant boyfriend is quick to take advantage and tries to convince her they really belong together. He doesn’t so much talk to her, or ask her, but assumes things in a way that leaves her taking the path of least resistance. He’s like a steamroller and she seems to be seeing him differently from how she has in the past. She feels so odd she can’t think of herself as Roxanne but keeps referring to Roxanne in the third person – as if she was someone else- and Michael and her mum don’t like that. Though we don’t see that much of him one of the best characters for me was Seth, a sort of very unusual but effective psychiatrist. Not one with conventional qualifications, but he’s able to get to the root of problems with some simple but targeted questions. He’s a strong believer of the world where we don’t know all the answers, the one where just because science says its not possible that it can’t happen isn’t true. I’m with Seth here, I think often its just that science perhaps hasn’t the answer…yet! Time will show them. Think flat earth, animals as machines not sentient beings, epilepsy being caused by demon possession, all the things believed to be true in the past but later proved wrong by science. Did you know water has a memory? I didn’t until talking to son number one a few years back – he’s very science minded and an IT specialist, I’m into alternative therapies and was talking about crystals.(we have some strong discussions sometimes!!) I’d said putting them in water, and believing the water then remembered the abilities of the crystal for healing was a step too far even for me. He then told me water has a memory and was being used in PC chip trials :o. We’ve such a β€œif I can’t see it its not there/not true/ isn’t real β€œ society and yet billions of people believe in god – someone we can’t see, who exists only in stories and the tales of Jesus raising people from the dead, feeding five thousand people with two loaves and five fishes, turning water into wine with a sweep of his hand – all things science tells us can’t happen. That’s a true dichotomy of beliefs to me. So when Roxanne regains her memory and believes she’s really Cathy in Roxannes’ body, why is it everyone only believes her appearance, what we can see and not what we can feel, and certainly not what she is telling them? They blame stress, the head injury, the way Roxanne constantly needs to be centre of attention…Its like those people who have organ transplants and then take on some of the tastes and habits of the donor – despite the best proof we’ll put any spin on the answer rather than believe the obvious simply because science can’t explain it….
As you can see this isn’t just a book to read lightly, but one that makes you think and question. I felt so much for Roxanne/Cathy, she was trapped and didn’t know what to do. In her quest to prove the truth and convince others – not least her beloved Nick – she discovers what seem to be some really uncomfortable secrets about Cathy, Roxanne, Nick and Michael and the relationships between them all, and that they may not have been as perfect as they seem. There’s scenes that had me on the edge of tears, they’re so heartbreaking and seemed to shatter all the good things Cathy believed in, and yet somehow Emelle turns the whole thing round and gives us what we need to be happy πŸ™‚ and does it in an extraordinary way, revealing secrets that I simply didn’t expect. Seth was such a fantastic man here – hi alternative way of looking at life came to the forefront and though he didn’t blindly believe he didn’t just discount things either.
Its a cracker of a book, if you want light and fluffy romance this isn’t it, but if like me you love your romance to have a deep and fulfilling story to it, some facts and ideas that make you think about the truth, a book where everything isn’t as it seems and a story that may challenge your beliefs then this is it. A really fabulous and satisfying novel, one where the ending is perfect, not just a hero loves heroine but one where they go through so much trauma and have their feelings and beliefs tested that at the conclusion they come out so much stronger. Its not a wildly erotic, sexual romance, though there is sex in it, but one where the romance is more sensual, deeper, meaningful and based on the feelings we have inside about each other and reality, learning to trust our hearts and not always listen to the brain.
Stars: Terrific, satisfying novel – a real five star read and one for the keeper files πŸ™‚ I’ve rambled quite a bit in this review ( I know, nothing unusual my family would say) but I keep thinking of different parts of the book and how it made me feel. I think its one of those that will stay with me for a while, not a read and then quickly forget book. Priced at Β£2.76 for 279 pages / 3732kb/90,000 words its excellent value for money.

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