Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Found (Penny Black) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

Although I haven't read any other books by Stacey Wallace Benefiel, I found this book to be quite interesting. I thought the concept of being able to pause and rewind the people and surroundings very intriguing.

What I didn't like was the ending. I know that the book is the first in a trilogy but I was a bit shocked at the way the book finished.

Penny Black is able to pause and rewind her surroundings but she isn't aware of it, she thinks that she's asleep. When she is found, collapsed at the side of the freeway after she has diverted an accident, she is taken to the hospital and held there until her uncle arrives to take her home. However the man isn't her uncle but he has been searching for her for a long time. He takes her to a school with other teens her age with similar abilities.

There she learns that she's not alone and that she's got a cousin. She finds herself falling for Wyatt, he's been assigned as her Lookout. Wyatt is a normal guy unlike the other teens, he's also related to the staff that run the school.

Penny has a vision and with the help of her new friends, tries to rescue someone who is being kidnapped. They get stopped by the staff and problems arise when the staff go to do the rescue.

Someone who Penny knows is to blame and it's all about him getting even with the staff from the school. He used her abilities to get in to the school and he wants to make them all suffer.

I liked the characters and the language was very interesting.

I really hope that the next book is as good but I really hope that the ending is better.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Concealed by Sang Kromah.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

I'm not going to break the book down and try to explain what it's about because I really don't know how to.

First of all, I couldn't get past some of the spelling and grammar mistakes, some of the sentences were repeated. Then the idea that as a coping mechanism Bijou shuffles a deck of cards constantly and without looking is a little ridiculous.

The final reason that I couldn't finish the book is because although the synopsis reads like a great story the book doesn't deliver. It's almost as if the story got away from the author as she was writing it, she kept adding extra ideas that didn't gel well. The story didn't flow and the ideas were also a bit far-fetched.

I shall not be looking for the next book in this series.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Stonefly by Scott J. Holliday

I received a free e-copy from the publisher with the intention of writing an honest review.

This book was so good that I didn't stop reading it until I had finished it.

Jacob Duke has spent the six years in a mental institute because he had no control of his curse. He was 10 years old when he killed the local bully because a girl in his class wished that he was dead. Jacob then spent two years being dragged from one psychiatrist to another. It wasn't his fault that he killed the bully but he couldn't tell them why he did it, he couldn't explain how his blood boiled and his hands trembled and he couldn't stop thinking of ways to kill him.

When he was in the institute he worked out what the rules were regarding his curse and also what the consequences were if he didn't manage to fulfil the wish. Because of this he stole a pencil from the nursing station and poked them into his ears and deafened himself so he would never be able to hear a wish and be forced to grant it.

When he is released on his eighteenth birthday, his mother tells him about his father and gives him a totem that he had left for Jacob. When his mother tells him about his father he is understandably upset, as far as he is concerned he was abandoned. He had no clue who he was but over the years he tracked down details and finally worked out who his father was but he never went to find him.

With the help of his mother he set up a tattoo shop and met Lori who he has been in love with ever since but she doesn't return his feelings.

When he was in the institute he made a promise to himself that when he was released he would return to the area for a vacation and that is where the book starts. He is stood in the river, fly-fishing, when he sees a young boy crying. Without realising it, the boy makes a wish for his father to be dead and triggers the curse. Now Jacob has six days to save Frankie's life or get him to change his wish.

The wish sets into motion a series of events that hold the readers interest all the way through the tale and you are definitely left wanting more. Luckily, it would seem that this is the first in a series featuring Jacob Duke, Lori and his dog Russ.

Charming by Elliot James

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

This is a great story with an interesting twist on the Knights Templar, Valkyries, Werewolves, Vampires and Psychics. Throw in an Episcopalian priest, a bug exterminator, a cop and a Naga and you've got a great story. This isn't a fairy tale even though the main character is called John Charming, as in Prince Charming. The Charming name was given to all the brave men in fairy tales even if they weren't Princes.

John Charming is a Knight, a monster hunter and according to the Knights Templar, he's an abomination.

When his mother was in her last month of pregnancy, she was bitten by a werewolf. Although she gave birth to John, she died whilst shifting as a lot of people do. Because of this the Knights have kept a close eye on John, waiting for him to turn into a werewolf which he never has done, the only thing that is different with John is the fact that he has heightened senses and strength. If it wasn't for the fact that he almost died when he was in his early twenties, he would most likely have been killed. Instead the Knights relaxed their watch on him and he ran away. Now he's being hunted by the Knights.

Whilst staying ahead of the Knights he still feels the need to hunt the monsters himself, due to the geas that all Knights have placed on them.

Whilst working as a bartender he meets Sig, who is hunting a Vampire. He scares the vampire off but knows it will be back later that night. When he's fighting the vampire and his hive mates, Sig turns up and saves his life.

From that point on, he knows he's going to leave town but he knows he's going to help Sig take out the other vampires because the geas will not let him leave before then.

With feelings running high between John and Sig and Sig already having a partner, well things go to hell in a handbasket very quickly.

This is a very well-written story with excellent attention to detail. It has a great cast of characters and the action is practically none-stop. I really hope that this is the start of a new series.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Big, Not-So-Small, Curvy Girls, BBW Romance, Dating Agency by Ava Catori

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

Becky Holgate is fed up with her job, she wants to be her own boss and decides to set up a dating site for the fuller figured ladies that are out there, she knows what it's like to be overlooked because of her size so she wants to help others who have the same problem, only it's not as easy as she thought. It doesn't help matters when she meets Reed Amwell, he's a photographer who helps her set up her website.

Besides being drop dead gorgeous, he's also engaged to be married. Every time she's around him she seems to have a habit of making a fool of herself. Reed doesn't make it easier either as he seems to be drawn to her too, despite the fact that he's engaged and she's not the type of girl he usually falls for.

The scenes were she ends up embarrassing herself are hilarious and the fact that it makes him laugh with her and ends up embarrassing himself are a total riot.

With the help of her crazy best friend, Becky tries not to get involved with Reed and get her business off the ground but she just can't seem to help it. When Reed finally breaks off his engagement she is the first person he tells, as he's as drawn to her as she is to him.

With her business starting to take off, she finds herself spending more time with Reed but she keeps letting her own insecurities about her weight get in the way and almost allows Reed 's ex-fiancee to drive a wedge between them.

I found this to be a fun read but at times it seemed as if the author was holding back especially during the sex scenes. It was as if she didn't want to write anything too graphic, it was all "naughty bits" and "intimate" but she didn't hold back on the embarrassing scenes. I nearly wet myself laughing at the coffee shop scenes.

If you're looking for a fun, light read then this is the book for you.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Dancing With The Devil by Keri Arthur.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publishers on agreement that I would give an honest review.

I found this to be a different take on the usual vampire tale, for a start, we have a vampire who doesn't feed off humans and we have a very strong psychic who can't trust people or let anyone close.

When Nikki is employed by Trevgard to find his daughter, little does she realise that she is being led into a trap. Not by Trevgard but by his daughter, Monica. She is being used as bait for a vampire named Jasper who is after Nikki's powers.

Jasper is also being hunted by another vampire named Michael. Michael has been hunting Jasper for over seventy five years, from before he was turned. He was a murderer when he was human and became worse after he was turned.

Between Nikki being stubborn and unwilling to let anyone in and Michael being stubborn and also refusing to let anyone get close, this story doesn't rush to get to the end. Nikki gets taken by Jasper and tormented by him and though she escapes, she still can't let Michael close. When her boss is taken in a bid to lure Nikki back to him, she still struggles with her feelings for Michael and letting him in. Although they work together to get him back she still can't trust him. She's been used by others in her past and lost others too. She doesn't want to feel that vulnerable again or be used again either.

At the end of the book I was left wondering what was going on. I thought I had several pages left but it was all a ruse, there was a sneak peek of the next book. That's not a bad thing though as I shall be now getting the next book as soon as possible.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall.

I received a free copy of this e-book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this story, I was transported to the early sixties, to a time when segregation and racial hatred was at a high point
The story of nine year old Starla, who feels so put out by her Mamie that she runs away from home with the intention of going to Nashville to be with her Momma is very touching.  On the way she meets Eula, a coloured woman travelling with a white baby.  When Eula takes her back to her house for the night, well, that's when things take a turn for the worse.

Starla learns the hard way that life isn't as easy for everyone, herself included but she soon learns how hard it is for a coloured person to get about.

The way this book has been written is so touching and handles difficult and delicate subjects with a very caring approach that it had me in tears at times.

I loved the dynamics between Starla and Eula.  How Eula taught her about how people have different gifts and how to find out what her own gifts are.

Mrs Cyrena is a wonderful character, the way she cared for Eula and Starla when no-one else would, how she helped Eula to earn money when she couldn't go out on the streets after her run-in with the Jenkins boys and letting them stay in her house.  When she paid for the tickets and explained to Starla that she and Eula would have to act as though they were strangers on the bus taught Starla that racism works both ways.
Starla learnt that what she had been taught by her Mamie wasn't how the world worked.  Mamie told her that everyone was happy with the segregation but she learned on her journey that that wasn't true.

From the very first page, I had vivid images and voices in my head.  I could picture Starla with her bright red hair and Eula with her grip in hand and baby James strapped to her chest.  I saw her parents and friends, her Mamie telling her off and putting her on restriction for no good reason.  I could even smell the pies that Eula baked.  I could quite easily see this being made into a movie.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

I recently read Deadly Sting not realising it was one of a series, I enjoyed it so much that it became a goal of mine to read the first set of the series.

I started reading Spider's Bite as soon as I got it and I barely put it down. It's a fantastic introduction to Gin Blanco A.K.A The Spider, waitress by day at the Pork Pit and deadly Assassin at night.

When she is contracted to kill someone and gets double-crossed she would have let it slide, but the person who contracted her killed her handler, the closest thing to a father she has. So with the help of his son and a detective who is also targeted to be killed, she tracks down the elemental who is responsible and exacts her own retribution.

From start to finish this is a gripping tale with non-stop action, elemental magic and dead bodies galore. I can't wait to get Web of Deceit.

Jennifer's characters are well-written, very complex and very likeable. I can highly recommend this book to anyone no matter what their preference. There's plenty of violence, sex and action for everyone to enjoy.