Archive | October 2015

Diverging Cadence, Cadence 2, Katie Hamstead

 

 

Diverging Cadence, Cadence 2,   Katie Hamstead

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, New Adult

I loved the first book, but was gutted that it was a two part instalment. I HATE waiting for sequels, find I lose the momentum. I had to reread the last few chapters of that one before starting this just to remember where we left Cadence and what was happening. Its not that long ago I read it  but I read a lot…

So Cadence is off to W. Australia, other side of the country where she met Austin the first time round. James hates that she’s so far away and feels he’s scared her off by asking her to marry him. He’s such a lovely man, been through so much to be with her and I so felt for him. Poor Cadence too – its not as if she can explain. All her family and friends are mystified at her decision, and its so tough for her to try to justify her reasons to them, but she feels she has to go, she has to meet Austin again.

She misses James terribly, and he’s so unhappy she wonders if she’s doing the right thing. But if she doesn’t then what about Austin, her first love and Melody, their daughter? They deserve a chance to live. Then she meets Austin and just as before falls in love. She’s so torn and to be honest I was angry with her at times, unfairly of course as she didn’t chose to be in this position, but it just seemed the way she’d gone this time round someone was going to get hurt with both James and Austin in love with her. The middle section where she has to lie to both is really gut wrenching, and that’s where I felt so angry at her. I can’t think of what else she could do though, she didn’t set out to cheat but has been forced into a position where she’s in love with two amazing men, and underneath she’s loyal to both though it doesn’t seem like it. Of course she can’t keep that secret forever and it causes some huge blowouts from family and friends.

Its an incredibly emotional read, and I just couldn’t see how on earth Katie could resolve it without someone getting totally broken. Even Cadence wasn’t without risk, whichever she chose she’d know that choice was responsible for the other one being heartbroken, and the consequences that could bring. and she truly loves them both. She knows what happened the first time though, and all this has been at an attempt to stop the events of that time round, but things keep changing and what seemed so simple when she started has become incredibly complex. She’s making decisions but so are others and they affect her choices too….

I shouldn’t have worried though, Katie does a superb finish, giving me the ending I needed but dared not hope for. There’s some surprises coming, things play out in a way I’d never imagined! These two books are a story I’d recommend for anyone who loves an angsty read, full of emotion, real people, issues lots of us face ( though without Cadence’s extra knowledge!) and a perfect, satisfying ending. Definitely one I’ll re read, and I know going straight through the two books will work far better for me than reading in separate parts.

Stars: Five, an amazing, satisfying and surprising conclusion

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Red Hot Holidays and A Very Alpha Christmas. Two great new anthologies

 

Another couple of bargain book bundles and available to preorder now. These are a great way of trying new authors at a price that’s good value. Even better all these stories are new, written for these anthologies.

Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski  From the anthology Red Hot Holidays.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

I’ve really enjoyed books one and two in JC Andrijeski’s new series Quentin Black Mysteries. ( Black in White and Black as Night). He’s a Seer, and met and employed Miri in the first book. In book two he and Miri are in Bangkok when she’s the victim of another seer and undergoes the most traumatic time. We meet her now just after that, and she’s staying with Black, he’s ultra protective and careful with her after what she’s been through. He seems to feel such guilt over it but she doesn’t blame him, she doesn’t really think about it or anything, she’s just in a kind of blank fog. Its only been a few days back in the States though and he leaves, again, and with only a few hours notice. Miri undergoes a kind of shut down then, blanks everything. I so felt for her, she needed Black. Her friends and ex-work colleagues Nick and Angel are worried for her, but nothing really seems to get through. Black is desperate, she ignores his calls, doesn’t open the gifts he’s been sending, and even moves out of his apartment.

I really felt for them both, Miri needs him there and he’s…well, not there. That’s it. Yet Black is so fixed on her, so wants to be with her I just feel that it must have been something incredibly important to pull him away when he knows he needs her and she him. What though? And will Miri eventually understand? Even though they’re apart its still a very emotional story, and I was just as desperate as Black for Miri to understand, to keep in contact, still want him. He’s an odd man in many ways, but then he’s Seer, older by far and of course their ways are so very different. Its a new world to Miri, she’s still feeling her way in it and drawn though she is to Black she’s still learning so much, and after the traumas she’s been through no wonder she’s feeling fragile and abandoned. their romance seems to take two steps forward and one back all the while, and just when I think there’s some progress something else happens. Can they find their way past this setback?

Stars: Five, its a short read, and usually I don’t do these but it just feels to me like an extra, separate chapter from the last novel. A kind of epilogue.

ARC supplied by author

 

 

A Glint of Light ( Allie’s War Christmas Story) J C Andrijeski. 

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:   Sci-fi and Fantasy.

A novella length book featuring Cassandra and Balidor. Cass has never been a favourite character of mine. I know she had a horrific childhood, that she’s been through some awful traumas over recent years, but though she was Allie’s friend since childhood I always felt she was jealous of Allie, took every opportunity to undermine her confidence, and that she never really acted as a friend or appreciated all that Allie has done for her.

She’s now back with the group after having betrayed them to Shadow with disastrous consequences, and of course in seclusion, under Sight and physical restraints. Balidor seems to think there’s hope for her, that they can bring her back by delving into her psyche, seeking out her past and maybe finding and breaking Shadows hold. To me though Shadow just enhanced what she really felt, she was always jealous of Allie, always selfish, always out to put herself first. She uses people in my opinion and Shadow just built on what was there. Who knows though – maybe Balidor is right, he certainly has a connection with her. Its fascinating seeing how they react to each other and just who is playing who even though I don’t like Cass much. Of course all this is unsanctioned and against protocols set by Balidor himself!

Its a shortish read, interesting and with some trademark JCA sensuality. I just can’t see things the way Balidor does, but he’s got centuries on me and I guess must know best – or is he blinded by his emotions. They’re strong things in Seers. When he’s talking to Jon about why she should be given a chance he says how Revik also has done some horrific killings in his past under Shadow and yet he was brought back. Maybe he’s right and its just my feelings about her personally that shape the way I think. It’ll be interesting to see just how/if things resolve over next book.

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Stars: Four. Made me think over the emotional v the logical, and how it influences what we do.

 

ARC supplied by author

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From Ashes, Elise Faber and Such a Dance, Kate McMurray

From Ashes, Elise Faber

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Fantasy and paranormal

I really enjoyed the first two novels in this series and though you could read this without having read those you’ll understand the world setting and characters so much better if you start with them.

This is a shorter novel, though still a decent length and doesn’t have the adventure and suspense that backed up the romance in the first two, just a fairly straightforward romance between two troubled characters.

Gabby has a secret, something that she keeps hidden about her past, but its affecting her magic and her new life. She’s afraid that if she reveals it though everyone will hate her and she may have to leave. Its reaching the point though that her magic, which she is only now learning about, is getting beyond her control and potentially dangerous. Poor Gabby, she’s terrified of hurting someone, and yet can’t open herself up to anyone without revealing her secret. Awful situation. Throw in that every time Mason is around she turns into a blushing, tongue tied idiot – well, that’s how she feels anyway, and she’s in turmoil. She’s really attracted to Mason, and when he decides to help her its hard for her to hide it. What she doesn’t know though is that he also feels the pull between them…

Its a sweet story, with some strong sensuality. I so wanted things to work out for them but could see both sides, things they struggled with, and then there’s a pull that’s more than just simply attraction between them. If they give in to it there’s no going back. Time for some hard decisions.

I was quickly pulled back into the world Elise has created and really enjoyed this, not quite as much as the first two, but if you’re looking for an easy to read paranormal this book is perfect.

Stars: Four, excellent addition to the series

ARC supplied by author and publishers

Such a Dance,  Kate McMurray

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

I really enjoyed this read. Its not a breathless faced paced, dramatic romance, but a slow, meandering read that takes us on a journey. I adored Eddie. How hard though to have a career in the public eye where people are looking out for you even when you’re not on stage, and have the leanings he does. Its a time when its tough to be gay, when its not only spurned upon but actually a criminal offence, and pursued avidly by some policemen. Sadly that’s the case still in many countries : (
Eddie is part of a comedy dance duo, and though his co star has an idea of his sexuality its not something either of them mention, and they play a husband and wife on stage and off for publicity…it’s a lonely life for Eddie though, and he gives in occasionally to some paid company. Julian, a secondary character is one of those and woven into the story perfectly.

It’s Lane though that captures Eddie’s heart. Lane has his own troubled past, but unlike Eddie he believes in love. Eddie think men can’t love other men, that its sex only, so of course it shocks him when he feels more for Lane. Throw in the fact that Lane is Mafia, runs a prohibited nightclub for men, with alcohol there too,  and its in the cards that at some point its all going to fall down. For the moment though everything is perfect – until it isn’t. Then Lane, Eddie, Julian and others are all facing disaster. Eddie and Lane have some tough decisions to make.

Its a fun read, a gentle story with some incredibly moving events and pathos. It brings back the dangers of the era to people that don’t conform to what Society feels is correct. As I said its a danger faced still for far too many people . Its a great escape read though, with me wondering how on earth Kate is going to find a safe solution for them, and desperate for a happy ending. I felt as if I was living there alongside them.

Stars: Four and a half, a wonderful, gentle read.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

Angel After Dark, Kahlen Aymes and The Queen, Tiffany Reisz

Angel After Dark, Kahlen Aymes
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: Romance, Erotica

Well, my biggest disappointment of this book was that is a trilogy…I didn’t realise that, had thought it was one of those where the series consists of connected books, the ones where a couple in the first book become the mainstay of book two and a couple from there make book three but each book is standalone. Luckily books two and three are out, and fortunately not expensive. That’s the upside – I can carry on ( soon as I have time from review reads) with the story while its still fresh. I like to read duos/trilogies back to back, waiting months, years even for some I lose the momentum and there’s never the same impact.

Anyway, moving on, the book: Two terrific characters, both very intelligent, hardworking, Alpha types and neither want emotional attachment for reasons personal to them. When they first set eyes on each other sparks shimmer between them, but circumstances mean they don’t actually get to meet till six months on. By then Angel has some preconceived ideas about Alex, via his “girlfriend” who phones into her show. Even though its clear her story is very one sided Angel still thinks Alex is an arrogant jerk, and TBH he doesn’t do much at first to change that opinion. Somehow, by a bit of bribery by way of donation to her favourite charity, and encouragement on her part from her friend who thinks Alex is drop dead gorgeous and worth a fling with, they have one date, that leads to another and another. Soon they’re steaming up the sheets and there’s some sizzling sexual tension between them.

Its not just a romance though, hot though it is, there’s more going on. Alex is concerned about Angels job, she’s had a couple of incidents in the past where her decisions have been unwelcome by those convicted, and now she’s embroiled in a very nasty case where everyone feels the guy is guilty but he’s clever, knows what to say, how to get round her tests and looks to get away with it. Angel is determined he won’t but then things start getting dangerous, with threats to her and her friends….Alex is scared for her safety, its clear she’s been contacted and threatened, he’s there for some of it, but she can’t discuss it with him, simply reassures him she’ll be fine, can take care of herself. He’s an alpha too though and by now she’s more than just someone he wants to teach a lesson to, he can’t sit back and do nothing while she’s under threat.

I was expecting things to begin to wrap up by 80%, and of course when it didn’t look that way that’s when I began to suspect more books. I feel its quite a sudden, abrupt ending, though there isn’t always a neat stopping point in trilogies. I do think if books are not standalone that needs to be made very, very clear upfront, but as I said at least the next part of this is out…Its got some great side characters too, not just Alex and Angel, and a plot that’s going to be really interesting, but I did feel at times this dragged, felt a bit as though it was filling space more than moving things on. Still, its well worth reading if you want a hot, sensual story with some decent plots behind it, a book that’s more than just a romance.

Stars: Four, excellent start to the trilogy

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

The Queen, Tiffany Reisz

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, erotica

 

Well, the final book and what a fabulous series its been. The Queen fills in those missing years, more of the story behind the story. I can recall in those first four books the gaps, and thinking “ yes, but…. what happened…. why did….how did…” and finally more answers. It seems odd in a way having this written so the holes in the early books are filled in later, but if we’d known all at the time the drama, the suspense and our whole viewpoints would have been different. For me anyway! I know when I read book one, where we met Nora, as opposed to Eleanore or Elle, and Zach and Wesley, it was like beginning halfway through now I know what happened before and how Eleanore/Elle  became Nora Sutherlin. It would have spoiled things for me if the story had been told in chronological order.

I Hated Soren after that first book, just didn’t understand why Nora loved him. I was a bit like Wes, thinking of him as some abuser, a violent uncontrollable sadist, and then we met the man himself and of course like millions of others I saw he was a much more complex character, and understood why both Nora and King loved him, adored him and would give their lives for him – he was like that about them too. King had me confused, it took a long, long while before I began to understand him and what motivated him – Love and protection, that’s all, love of people he considered His and protection for anyone to whom he considered needed and deserved it. I think I could go back and read his story and rate it higher, the few reservations I had then have changed 😉 and like others he’s won me over!! Soren, Nora, King,  they really are a complete Trinity. Its not to say that there isn’t room for Juliette and Nico and others, but that the three of them together make some kind of a whole Unit, that expands to allow others in.

So here we get all that missing info, how Nora transitioned, how she became The Queen. It wasn’t easy, wasn’t without huge issues and struggles, not least the temptation constantly to return to Soren. Nora knew though that it would mean giving up her Domme persona, that she would lose part of herself and she knew that would be wrong for her – and for Soren. He deserved the whole Nora not just part of her and yet he couldn’t right then accept her.  We know from earlier books they find a way to get there, but its been wonderful reading just how the journey went, just what struggles and traumas they encountered along the way. Some terrific characters too –Thorny in this book, my heart bled for him, and I just hope that he found happiness finally and for a long time ( yes ok :-$ I know he’s not real – but these people Feel real).

Its been a wonderful journey, I’ve learned such a lot about people, human nature, just why some people  have specific needs, that its not an issue if everyone consents, that for some it is a need not a choice, and it’s opened my eyes to so much more. I’ll miss reading about all of them, and their quirks.  Still, I can always reread – I love to do that, and maybe knowing some of the gaps, the backstory I’ll see things differently this time round. I did reread the first four while waiting to the last four, and viewed some parts very differently – I saw just how easy it is to prejudge people not knowing all the background….

Inevitably this series will, like 50 shades, spawn a myriad of similar reads * sigh* Sadly I’ve already seen ads for dodgy BDSM loving priests etc but Soren rules, for me tiffany’s characters will always be the First, and the best.

I’ve seen pleas for Tiffany to continue the series but I think ending here is right – go out at the top, not drag on til stories get tired. I’ve seen good series do just that, and TV programmes where people try to recreate the magic of a popular show, it doesn’t work, there’s a start and an end and Tiffany has done the right thing in finishing this story. She promised some shorts about them – that will be perfect, there’s any number of incidental stories along the way we’d love to read, without having to have the characters move further forward.

Stars: five, a fabulous ending.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Racing Hearts, Melissa West

Racing Hearts,  Melissa West

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,
Well, I’m a sucker for anything involving horses and this had some great reviews…sadly having struggled through it – to the point I nearly abandoned it a few times – its not one for me. There’s nothing actually wrong with it, except that it just didn’t move me, I felt indifferent at best to the characters and annoyed at worst.
Horses? A book about racing that’s what you’d expect, yes? Except you’d be wrong. There’s one horse, just one, in a few scenes with a mention of a couple of others. No stables scenes  or horse training, of life in a busy top training yard. No evidence of owners, jockeys, yard boys and girls, no horse related issues – nothing. That’s a big disappointment for me, I expected the story to be set around that kind of background, but we see more of the inside of the two town cafe/bakeries that the yard life. The cover should have tipped me off ;- )
Then there’s Emery, and I understood her issues at first when she was just 17 but she’s 25 now – time to stand up to her dad, not keel over and hide like a naughty ten year old. I didn’t really understand the issues stopping her and Trip first time round, why he didn’t tell her at least, why neither tried to contact each othe,r and now eight years on they’re still letting it hold them back. Argghhh, grow a back bone people.
Emery had a bad accident – hey its racing it happens all the while. As Him Indoors likes to tell me over and over, horses and accidents go together, but he knows, if they’re in your blood that doesn’t stop you. Jockeys though take it further, hide broken bones so they can race, and get back up with sprains, bruises, concussions as if its nothing. I’m not that tough. Emery boke her leg, I broke my hip ( falling out of a wheelchair, not even on my horse, just moving the electric fence for them) I was advised not to ride for a year, and that it takes 18 months for long bones like legs to heal fully. Emery though, a top jockey, hasn’t even sat on a horse for two years…is still using a walking stick and yet expects Trip and the horses owner to let her ride him? Why? He’s a multi million dollar horse, hard to handle, giving experienced jockeys an issue, and if she doesn’t handle it that could cost them all $$$$$$$$s What makes her think they should even consider the risk? She’s not putting herself out, hasn’t even kept up her fitness, and it takes a lot of stamina to control an animal of that size. That was just so unreal I was eye rolling when she asked, and gobsmacked at the result…..
So, the horse side, a let down and unbelievable when it did happen, the romance – they were like pre-schoolers in how they acted, even though the tension and sexuality between them sizzled really well on the page. The final straw for me was the feud between the two ladies and the way the town all rallied or otherwise. Wasn’t there anything more important going on? I know small town politics likes to blow things up – its the same here in UK, but this was just too OTT for me.
All in all sadly a book that I had high hopes for was a fail for me, but the high reviews mean its not for others – another example of how we all want different things from our reading, so read the sample, read reviews and make up your own mind.

Stars: Two, a good book potentially that for me just didn’t work.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

Wicked Release, Katana Collins

Wicked Release,  Katana Collins

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Erotica.

When I read Wicked Exposure I hadn’t realised there was a prequel novel, Wicked Shots. I loved it anyway and have since read Shots ( It was free on Kindle), and seeing the story from the beginning helped make sense of it.
There are numerous characters here and all connected in different ways so its easy to get confused. Still the story races along, with hot sex, a little BDSM, and a cracking adventure that kept me guessing. I went through a number of different guesses as to “who dunnit” but got it wrong each time, and kept changing my mind as the story advances.
I loved Jess, she’s been through so much and still secrets and shocks keep hurtling up on her. She’s feeling like the sister she thought she knew was really a very different person….then there’s Sam. He’s been carrying a huge secret too, and I so felt for both of them when it came out. There’s so much going on here, the drugs issue and who is behind it, is the BDSM ring connected or just a convenient cover,then there’s the murders of Cass and the doctor, and as the story continues there’s even more danger being exposed.
It becomes clear that whoever is behind things wants Jess out, but she can’t let Cass’ murder go free, can’t let the drugs ring continue, and what she doesn’t know is there is even more going on that any of them realise. Its a complete surprise on several fronts at the end from who is ultimately behind things to who is working for different sides. That ending too…what a shock, had me completely fooled!
Is a fabulous read, breathtakingly paced and full of surprise and sensuality – a solid romantic suspense and one  loved.

Stars: Five, a great finish to a fabulous series. (Or is it the finish? There’s an opening left for more!)-

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Black As Night, (Quentin Black Mystery 2), by J.C. Andrijeski

Product Details

Black As Night, (Quentin Black Mystery 2), by J.C. Andrijeski
 
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Fantasy and Sci-fi,  Paranormal

I loved the first in this series, and this one lives up to that great start. Its got the same terrific world building and characters as the Allie’s War series, but is lighter in feel. I love that I feel I “know” this kind of world and the character types because of all the info in AW, but if you’re new to it JCA gives enough info for the reader to keep up, understand the human/seer dynamics and characteristics without boring those who already understand it. A tough thing to do but JCA pulls it off and delivers a fabulous story once again.
Like before the main dynamic is Miri and Black. She’s angry he’s left her along for over a month, no contact, nothing after all his promises and indications he wanted more from her, and then out of the blue one of his weird calls. He needs her Now in Bangkok, and is sending a car for her in 10 mins, and his assistant ( well one of them) has already packed her case, cancelled her clients etc. Typical Black style, when he wants something done he makes it happen.
Miri is furious, tired, jet-lagged when they meet and yet that charisma, that pull to him, gets her straightaway, and soon as they’re alone he’s kissing her furiously in that intense Seer way that pulls at her insides. There’s a killer to find though, traps to lay, a child to be rescued and Miri soon gets embroiled in the drama more than either of them expected. She’s in some real danger here. Warning: This part gets graphic, and is very violent. It didn’t bother me, I saw it as essential to the storyline but for those that have issues take care. JCA pulls the reader right into her  stories and here I could feel Miri’s attack, feel her hurt and despair. She’s tough though and won’t give up. Black of course is distraught, furiously pulling strings everywhere trying to find her. He’s a very wealthy man but there are things money can’t buy.
Its an exciting, gripping story, a solid tale backing up another incredibly sensuous story. Its not one of those sex every other page reads so many stories deliver, but one where a kiss can be more sensual and erotic that out and out in your face sex of so many reads. Its the emotions that come with the actions that do it for me in these books. Its as if they are erotic by accident almost, that their action within the storyline add that edge of sensuality. Some stories try so hard it seems forced but here its just Is, it feels natural and right for the characters.  I love the culture differences between Miri and Black. She’s part Seer but until very recently thought she was – just as she thought everyone was – human. She still thinks in the way she’s always been brought up, whereas Black thinks like  a Seer, after all he’s been one for many many years! Sex to them is something essential, necessary and almost an everyday thing. He doesn’t understand Miri’s reaction when after no contact for so many weeks she’s upset when his first actions are to kind of jump her, and tell her how much, how desperate he is to f uck her…..he says it like its a kind of compliment and she’s just stunned, shocked. She wants the explanations first and he’s trying to persuade her he can tell it better through sex….poor Miri, and poor Black too! You can see so many times how they float on the edge of emotional disaster simply because they don’t understand the others actions and reactions. Like USA v GB, countries divided by a common language for them its Seers v Humans, divided by culture where the same thing means different things to each. Like Miri I’d be jealous, be wondering, given the way women seem to give Black the come on constantly, and that she’s finally coming to understand just how open they are about sex.
It all comes to a head in an exciting finish where its impossible to work out what’s going to happen because it changes constantly, minute by minute it seems with Black making plans on the fly and adapting them just as quickly. Its tough fighting an enemy who can get in your head, read your thoughts and plans….A great read, one for the keepers and I’m looking forward to book three.

Stars: Five, an exciting mystery with the spice only a Seer can bring!

ARC supplied by Author

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Shifter Planet, D.B. Reynolds

Shifter Planet,  D.B. Reynolds

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

Well, I’ve read and re read all of Debbie’s Vampires of America series so when I saw she’d a new series out ( at least I hope its a series) it was a cert that I’d want to read it.

I don’t usually go for the space type sci-fi, but this isn’t all trailing endlessly through space, but concentrates on one planet Harp, where people from Earth took up habitation some 500 or so years ago. I was fine with the space bit in that context, and it allowed some new and unusual issues to arise. Amanda is a great lead, strong and independent but tired of living on a spaceship – she was born on one and has lived in space ever since. When they land on Harp for what should be a brief visit, she’s amazed that she can hear the trees singing – and it seems no-one else can….and she wants to stay, to find out more, to live with her feet on the earth ( well Harp earth anyway ) for a while.

There are Shifters here, all males, all very Alpha, and its one of the things the Harpers keep quiet about to strangers. They’re in the minority of the population with the others being called Norms. Amanda seems to bridge the two – she can hear trees, which Norms can’t, but she’s female and cant shift. She takes up an apartment in town and starts exploring, but there’s a massive secret hidden from her, and when she discovers it she becomes a target and her life is in danger. The delicious Rhodry gets involved too, and the two have a long and perilous journey involving natural dangers and those made by jealous individuals, that brings them close to death several times.

Its a fun read, quite simple in plot and most of the book covers this journey, but sets out politics and ways forward for more books – well, that’s what I hope. I didn’t love it as much as V of A, but it’s a first book and they often struggle with introducing a new world, set in the future here in the 4000’s and giving us a plot to start the series off. It felt a bit light for me even though the dangers were real and played out well, no superpowers found off the cuff, but good old fashioned slog and training! One of my pet hates is when characters get out of a scrape by some new unheard of superpower and Debbie doesn’t do that either here or in V of A.

Its a great start and I’ll be looking for more books but hoping they get a little more complex now the setting had been introduced to us.

Stars: Four, a little denser plots and this series will be a five for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

Christmas Ever After, Sarah Morgan


Christmas Ever After,  Sarah Morgan

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,Women’s Fiction

I wish I’d read the earlier reads – this was such a great book, and I’d like to know more of the other two couples. I didn’t realise it was part of a connected group when I requested it – that didn’t actually matter as Sarah gives enough info for new readers like me to keep up, without boring those who already know the story. I know when I’m reading a later book in a series the last thing I want is precious pages used up recapping events in detail for those new to the series, and here I think Sarah has got the balance just right.
Skylar, on the surface a rich girl who has it all, popular parents, fabulous career, successful and wealthy boyfriend and yet…underneath all that she’s lonely. Her parents expect their children to fit a mould suitable to her father’s position, and art doesn’t meet their criteria so that’s always a battle, with them waiting for her to get a “proper” career. Her boyfriend turns out to be – well, not right for her… She’s got two long term loving friends who live on Puffin Island who save her sanity thankfully, and though they are unable to come to the opening of her latest show in London they make Alec go. He’s friends with their other halves, but he and Skylar have never hit it off, they’re best kept away from each other. He thinks she’s a spoiled princess playing at art, and she thinks he’s an arrogant and aloof man.
Events happen that change things, we see another side to both Alec and Skylar, and I feel a little in love with both of them, understanding them much more. I just loved the time on Puffin Island and seeing the rest of their friends. That’s where I realised there were more books and what made me want to read them.
I thought this would be a light and fluffy read and to a degree it was, but it had some solid emotion, and the kind of problems many people face, family issues and expectations, career choices, and just the problems from everyday life. They all felt so real to me and I was sad to leave them. Its a perfect read for when you want a romance that’s not too dramatic, but full of fun and emotion, and a read to relax with. BTW: Alec’s gran – I loved her!

Stars: five, another winner.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

Brighter Than the Sun, A Charley Davidson Novella Darynda Jones


Brighter Than the Sun, A Charley Davidson Novella Darynda Jones 

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Fantasy,  Paranormal

If you haven’t read the Charley Davison series you’re missing a real treat. It a mix of humour and pathos, prophecies and adventure, mysteries and murders, fantastic characters – human and not so human – and a sensual, searing passion that transcends time. Literally as Reyes, Son of Satan, changed his fate to be with Charley.

Who is Charley? Well, she’s the Grim Reaper, she helps people pass, can see ghosts and runs her own PI agency, with the help of Cookie, her scatty BFF and a few ghostly sidekicks. she’s an amazing woman, incredibly generous spirited, loyal, warm hearted, funny,  and a total magnet for danger. Reapers don’t usually survive long on Earth, but Reyes is determined to change that and has the ability to drop in to her life incorporeally. He’s saved her a number of times now and she doesn’t yet realise it. Reyes thought he’d grow up with Charley but plans, even those of the Son of Satan, go awry and he ends up with the most horrific childhood. This book tells us more of his journey so far, more of what we’ve gleaned from Charley’s stories, and we see things from his side, from his first sight of Charley being born, his awful, tragic childhood, his sister Kim and long time friend Amador, he gives us the story right up to where he’s comatose and in danger of the life support being switched off. That’s when Charley finds him, I think that was about book two, maybe three.

If you haven’t read the main books read them first, find out what is so special about Charley that the Son of Satan falls in love with her, goes against his fathers plans and spends his life trying to be with her, drawn in to her Light that he describes as being brighter than the sun. Its a fabulous read, a terrific insight into the mind of the man Charley loves, who we usually see only from her viewpoint or in tiny glimpses from his.

This is a wonderful series and one I bought, not a review series!! Paid out Real Money 😉 Its one for my keepers file and the books are excellent value, being really full of story, of plots that keep the reader guessing, and some terrific humour to lighten the sadess of the murders and attacks that surround Charley. As we’ve got to later books things from the earlier ones that puzzled me have come clear. I haven’t actaully read book eight yet, its on my kindle waiting for book nine to come out, so I can read them back to back, because this one ends on a doozy of a cliff hanger and I know I need to be able to read what happens in the next book. Fortunately Darynda doens’t keep readers waiting years for next in series!

Stars: Five, a great addition to the series.
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

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