Category Archives: Novel Reviews

Book #Review: Need by Stephanie Lawton (@Steph_Lawton) @InkspellPublish #New Adult

Since this is a NA title, I thought some of you might be interested in this title, and the review done by my “alter-ego”. Enjoy!

The Machenwood Chronicles and Other Tales

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Need
Need by Stephanie Lawton

Blurb: Isaac Laroche is cursed. All he wants to do is hide out and feel sorry for himself. Never mind that he got caught sleeping with his seventeen-year-old piano student, or that he abandoned her when the truth was exposed.

Isaac’s feisty high school sweetheart has different plans. Heather Swann has returned to their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to regroup after breaking up with her troll of a fiancé. She’s restless and looking for a diversion, but she bites off more than she can chew when she sets her sights on rehabilitating Isaac with her unorthodox sexual, mental, and physical plans.

The two quickly reconnect, but their happiness is threatened by family secrets, old vendettas and the death of a beloved father-figure.

Can Heather handle Isaac’s baggage, or will her own come back to haunt them both?

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars for this decidedly…

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Book Review: Charlinder’s Walk by Alyson Miers #dystopian (@novelpublicity)

Charlinder's Walk
Charlinder’s Walk by Alyson Miers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would preface this review by stating that I have not read a great deal of dystopian fiction, nor am I a huge fan of futuristic tales, but Charlinder’s Walk wasn’t quite what I expected it would be going into the novel. The story is presented with a more fantasy feel, than a sci-fi futuristic style, which I did appreciate and respond well to.

Charlinder’s walk is the tale of a teacher in 2130, Charlinder, who decides to embark on a journey to learn the origins of the plague that ravaged the planet in 2012. He is rather unprepared for what he might find, but intent to learn all he can about the past and the causes of the plague with the hope he, and his people may find a way to keep it from happening again.

Ms Miers writing style is easy to read and understand, while not losing any of it’s descriptive qualities. Some of the longer diary sequences in the novel I found a bit distracting — not for their content or the times when the author breaks to them, but the large sections of italics text were a little tough on my eyes and I found each time they popped up, I was jarred a bit from the depths of the tale and had to work my way back into it.

Im not one to post spoilers in my reviews, so I won’t go heavy into the plotline, but would state that the story explores Charlinder’s voyage to adulthood in a world much bigger than he’d ever expected when he started his trek. It also touches on religious ideals, gender roles, and holistic healing methods. All interesting stuff.

I would suggest Charlinder’s Walk without reservation to any dystopian fiction fans, or anyone interested in a well written coming of age tale with some really interesting and unique plot twists.

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Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Charlinder’s Walk? Well, there are two ways to enter…

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Charlinder’s Walk tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest!  I can’t host Rafflecopter here, but visit the Official Tour Page to enter.

About the author:

Alyson Miers was born into a family of compulsive readers and thought it would be fun to get on the other side of the words. She attended Salisbury University, where she majored in English Creative Writing for some reason, and minored in Gender Studies. In 2006, she did the only thing a 25-year-old with a B.A. in English can do to pay the rent: joined the Peace Corps. At her assignment of teaching English in Albania, she learned the joys of culture shock, language barriers and being the only foreigner on the street, and got Charlinder off the ground. She brought home a completed first draft in 2008 and, between doing a lot of other stuff such as writing two other books, she managed to ready it for publication in 2011. She regularly shoots her mouth off at her blog, The Monster’s Ink, when she isn’t writing fiction or holding down her day job. She lives in Maryland with her computer and a lot of yarn. Connect with Alyson on her website,blog, Facebook,Twitter or GoodReads.

Get Charlinder’s Walk on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Book Review: Dragon’s Teeth by Suzanne van Rooyen

Dragon's Teeth
Dragon’s Teeth by Suzanne van Rooyen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am generally not much of a Science fiction reader, tending more towards the paranormal, romance and erotica stories when I am in the mood for a good read, so I jumped into this one a bit blind, as they say.

I have to say, despite not really getting into the story or the genre as a whole, I did enjoy the read. The author did a great job of pulling me into the story unfolding and after a few chapters, I was able to really relax into the story being presented. I admit to never really identifying with the MC, but I don’t blame the author for that one. The fault there is in my own desires when it comes to the genre of stories I truly enjoy and get wrapped up in.

The prose itself was well done and smooth, and the book lacked some of the basic editing issues that are prevelant in some of the smaller press offerings. That was a welcome surprise after some of the stories I have reviewed lately.

Certainly a book I would recommend to fans of sci-fi and mystery type novels. I will be looking for other titles from this author in genres I like a bit better, as I did enjoy the “voice” the story was written in.

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Book Review: The P.U.R.E. by Claire Gillian

The P.U.R.E.
The P.U.R.E. by Claire Gillian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve never been much of a fan of the contemporary romances or any type of Mystery/suspense, so I wasn’t entirely sure how much I would enjoy this debut novel when I received the Advance Copy in my review email. As an avid reader of historicals and fantasy novels, I was curious to see if this one would really hold my interest in the same way as those types of stories generally do.

I was pleasantly surprised by The P.U.R.E. Not only did I enjoy the book a lot more than I had expected, I actually finished the novel in a day. That is how good it was. I couldn’t tell you the last time I have done that — even with a fantasy novel.

Ms. Gillian does a stellar job of drawing the reader in from the first page and keeping them hooked throughout the story. The main character, Gayle Lindley is smart and sassy, definitely not a simpering sort by any stretch, and I just loved that about her. Her love interest in the novel, her co-worker, Jon Cripps is the perfect blend of mysterious and sexy.

The best thing about this novel for me, was the fact that the mystery was so well written. I didn’t know who the bad guy really was until the last chapter, despite “thinking” I knew far before that. Some great twists and turns in this one.

Even with all that suspense and mystery, Ms Gillian still finds the time to woo us with some steamy hot love scenes and fabulous descriptive writing.

A must read for anyone who enjoys suspense peppered with a hearty helping of romance.

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Book Review: Knockout! A Passionate Police Romance


Knockout! A Passionate Police Romance by Emma Calin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’ve not read this type of contemporary police drama/romance before, so I was interested to see if this was something I would enjoy or not. Unfortunately, I had a hard time really getting into this one. The writing, though clear enough, really didn’t engage me or draw me in as a reader. I never truly felt invested in the story, and the passive voice writing and backstory elements in the beginning really made the read hard for me.

I prefer a story to grab hold of me as a reader, and not let go till the last page — with loads of active voice, strong dialog and action. This story didn’t do that for me. I don’t really like writing unfavorable reviews, but I really just didn’t get into this at all. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really enjoy it either.

I think I made it to about Chapter 4 before I decided to put it away and read something that I would find more engaging.

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Book Review: Hide and Seek by Aimee Laine

Hide & Seek
Hide & Seek by Aimee Laine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 of 5 Stars! A fantastic, romantic paranormal read.

Having always been interested in mythologies and lore, I was keen to get my hands on this new novel by Aimee Laine. Games of Zeus? What could that be all about? The mind boggled. So when the review copy arrived in my inbox, I jumped in with both feet. Easy to do with the way Ms. Laine sets the stage at the outset. We start on an intriguing high and the story never lets go.

Hide and Seek takes established Greek mythology, sprinkles it with a dash of paranormal, and then shakes it all up with a healthy dose of passionate romance. Tasty vittles!

Based on the legend of the cunning fox who never gets caught and the always successful seeker, the hound, Hide and Seek features the most hunky male lead this reviewer has come across to date. Tripp Fox is exactly the kind of man who gets my attention–sweet and sexy with a dash of dangerous. I bet you can’t guess which side of Zeus’ paradox he plays? His counterpart, Lexi Shepherd, is of course, the hound, the seeker who can find whatever she looks for.

Our star-crossed (literally) soul mates are set at opposing sides of the ultimate paradox, and must figure out a way to best the game to be together.

I absolutely loved this story. It held enough tension and drama to keep me turning the pages and the romance balanced just the right amounts of sweet and steamy passion.

The secondary characters were absolutely wonderful. They really jumped off the page, and their presence added to the beautifully described, intricate details of the story, as well as the fictional paranormal town, Rune, N.C. which was also featured in Ms. Laine’s debut novel, Little White Lies.

The only thing that stopped me from giving this novel a full 5 star rating was Lexi Shepherd’s character. True to her nature, Lexi is good–almost to the point of prude. Throughout the story she questioned Tripp’s morals and intentions, despite his behaving quite well throughout the novel (considering he knows no matter what he can’t get caught if he doesn’t want to). About halfway through the novel, I found myself annoyed when she continually refused to trust Tripp or sometimes even give him the benefit of the doubt. For all we see him doing for her when in his POV, it was difficult to switch back and be “okay” with her distrust of his intentions. That being said, I did like her overall, and was rooting for her and Tripp to “make it”. I just needed to remind myself she was only being true to who she is — the upstanding and morally solid hound.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances, and would consider it a MUST READ for anyone with an interest in the Greek myths.

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Book Review: Little White Lies by Aimee Laine

Little White Lies (Mimics of Rune, #1)Little White Lies by Aimee Laine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I took this one with me to Cape Cod this August and have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I found the writer’s style easy to read and the characters three dimensional and endearing.

I have to admit, I did have some trouble in the early going with this one — I had trouble following what was happening from a backstory perspective. I felt for the first quarter of the book that I had missed something or that sunstroke had attacked me on the beach and that was why I wasn’t following the plot as easily as I would have expected. I think some of the secrets in the book were a little more vague than I would have preferred. Coupled with not understanding the mechanics of what living as a mimic is like, well, I felt a little lost.

The author’s voice and the personality of the characters I was introduced to is what kept me reading. By the time I hit the halfway point in the book, I was completely hooked. Charley is spunky and sweet, while Wyatt is just perfectly dreamy 😛 (dating myself with that reference). The secondary characters really fill the plot out nicely.

When we get to it, the romance isn’t corny, but feels genuine, and I found myself rooting for love in a way a cynic like me hasn’t for some time. The covert operations kept me reading and turning the page, and while I had an idea who the bad guy was earlier in the story, I didn’t quite have the full story. The plot twists and surprises were a nice bonus.

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Book Review: The Glass Man by Jocelyn Adams

The Glass Man
The Glass Man by Jocelyn Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic ride!

Lila Gray is snarky, sarcastic and ballsy. A winning combination for any leading lady to my thinking. A lover of both fairy tales and fantasy, The Glass Man delivered in spades. Ms. Adams gives us a wonderfully detailed glimpse into her dystopian world while still holding true to the established lore surrounding the fae and their societal structures.

Lila’s “hunter” and nemesis, Parthalan is sexy, dark and devious. *licks lips* I guy you really hate to love. While his pain loving sidekick, Rourke is the perfect blend of powerful foe and twisted lunatic. I think he just might be my favorite character in the novel, aside from Lila, of course.

Toss in Lila’s love interest, Liam–a brooding farmer with a secret–and let the sparks fly.

I try not to toss in story details when I write my reviews to avoid spoiling anything for the readers. You will just have to get this one for yourself to see how it all comes together. Suffice to say, I loved this novel and highy recommend it for anyone. It is a must read for any lover of fantasy or romance.

About the only negative I could mention was the fact that it came to an end. If I didn’t know there were at least two more Lila Gray novels to come from Jocelyn Adams, I might just be upset about that.

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First Review: The Blood That Bonds by Christopher Buecheler

The Blood That BondsThe Blood That Bonds by Christopher Buecheler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I checked this one out, I did so mostly because it had a cool looking cover and I was into reading some horror type works. I didnt know going in what sort of tale I was getting into. Once I realized it was a vampire story, I was a bit worried, as they are not usually my kind of thing.

But I have to say that I really and thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters, especially the MC, Two were vibrant and interesting. Christopher’s writing style is active and engaging. I even fell in love with the male lead (yummy and dark — my kinda guy) and other prominent characters in the “family”.

The beginning of the book really drew me in and got my sympathy for Two going right off the bat. Heroine addict and abused prostitute in a bad situation — easy to root for an underdog like that.

As the story progresses, we get a more detailed look at the vampire family that Two has been brought into — Her Master (maker), Thereon is easy to fall for, as are the other siblings in the clan.

There were parts of this one that actually made me cry (so not going to spoil anything) and I haven’t read a book that could do that in a long time.

Will definitely be checking out the next in this series, Blood Hunt, which is due for release later this month.

I highly recommend this one if you enjoy vamp tales. However, I would say this is NOTHING like the Twighlight vamps — so if that is what you are looking for — this may not be the book for you.

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