Monday 31 July 2017

Review: My Name Is Not Isla

My Name Is Not Isla My Name Is Not Isla by Eliza Freed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes you get a book you’re mildly interested in but do not pick it up straight away. Then, when you return to the book, you’ve completely forgotten the details. Such is what happened with My Name Is Not Isla. I was interested by the synopsis, but not crazy so. I opted to read other books first, and then when I came back to it I could not remember what kind of story I was to be given. Thus, I went in blind.

Having now read the book and gone back to look at the synopsis, I can honestly say the book is so much more than the synopsis had me believing. I can understand why I was interested but not crazy so. The synopsis left me intrigued, yet it failed to highlight the amazing story contained within the pages of this book. In other words, this story was so much more than it appears to be.

A lot of stories dealing with fame are rather light and fluffy reads. There’s always plenty of drama, but unless it’s a hardboiled thriller we miss out of the gritty details. This story gives those details. It was much darker than I anticipated the story to be. It is not the level of dark you see in the aforementioned hardboiled thrillers, but it was much darker than most romances that deal with fame. In all honesty, this story was much closer to being a romantic suspense novel than it seems. The first couple of chapters I expected a drama filled fame read, but then the details started coming in – details that were much darker than anticipated – and I was truly gripped.

I loved the surprise of this read being darker than anticipated. It was exactly what I wanted to break up the large number of lighter reads I have been working through recently. Usually I need a lighter read to break through all my darker reads, yet my advance read books as of late have been on the fluffier side of things. This book worked to remind me why I favour the darker reads. Light and fluffy is good for a while, but these deeper reads certainly pull me in much deeper.

This story is very much one that pulls you in deep, once it has a hold on you it is impossible to put down. The storyline grips you, leaving you curious as to how everything will come together. The characters are wonderful, as you quickly come to love them. The romance is great, playing out in a fashion that will leave you experiencing all kinds of emotions. Everything comes together so well with this one, the story being truly addictive.

Honestly, I had so much fun with this one. I’m annoyed I waited a while before diving in, as it was such a fun read. I’ll certainly be looking to read more of the author’s work in the future, as this one has certainly left a mark.

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Blog Tour: Grinding My Gears.

C.M.Moore dystopian romance.
Title: Grinding My Gears
Subtitle: An (Off the Rails) Ice Era Chronicle 1:30 AM
Author: C.M.Moore

Facing the end of his life, Adam, aka Gears, searches for answers. Even though he’s a brilliant scientist and doctor, he’s forced to admit that he will die, probably sooner than later. After choosing to leave his water base, Gears has a chance meeting with a rival gang member who throws his quickly shortening life off course. A road trip with this mysterious woman, takes him beyond what he thinks he knows and makes him question his ideas of right and wrong. Love is the most unscientific thing he has ever faced but worth the discovery.

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About the Author
C.M. Moore is a retired solider, and a romantic at heart. After being blown up in Afghanistan and receiving a purple heart; he began writing. Connor’s first book 1:05 am is a mixture of love, sex, and action. Today if you are looking for Connor, you can find him volunteering with veteran organizations, and harassing his military buddies. You can also find him attempting to “hunt” in the woods and ponds of Minnesota. In the event you find him in the woods, don’t be scared, he can’t hit anything. 
If you want to contact him message him at ...OR...

1.05 AM (Ice Age Chronicles: Book 1)

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Sunday 30 July 2017

Review: Silwan

Silwan Silwan by Philip Graubart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Silwan is a difficult book for me to rate. I had a great deal of internal debate regarding whether this book was deserving of a three star rating or a four star rating. It is one of those books where I would give it a half star rating were such a thing possible, a solid three-point-five star read. Alas, such is not possible with most rating scales. In the end I had to settle for three stars. This is not because there is more bad than good, it is simply a reflection of my reading preferences at this moment in time.

Silwan was quite different to my usual reads in this genre. Whilst it had all you would expect from a mystery novel, it didn’t have the same feeling as you would expect. The story focuses more so on other aspects, such as clashing views and the mistakes of the past. All the elements come together really well, yet my reason for rounding down is that I feel as though the mystery aspect took a backseat at times. I really enjoyed all the different elements of the story, but as I was feeling in the mood for a heavy mystery I didn’t quite receive what I had expected. Those who go in with such a warning will not experience the same surprise as I did, hence my need to point out the fact.

A lot of the story focuses upon the clashing narratives of Jerusalem’s Jews and Muslims, allowing for an in-depth look at what is happening in the world through a fictional tale. It’s always wonderful when real world elements are brought into the story, giving it the extra power to make you stop and think about the world. Depending upon your knowledge of the situation, certain elements of the story may be a bit confusing, but the story is told in such a way that you do not need an extensive knowledge of the situation to understand what is happening. As the story progresses, you come to understand more and more about the situation. It may be a fictional tale, but it does open your eyes to the world.

Another large element of the story is the details of our main character’s past. The details of the past are intertwined with the situation of the moment, meaning a lot of time is spent focusing upon days gone by. As much as I enjoyed these elements of the story, as much as it added to our characters and made them more real, at times I did feel as though they distracted somewhat from the mystery of the present. There were moments when I was thinking ‘those days are over, move on’, yet for those who enjoy such details it is a lot of fun. For me, I simply would have liked for the details to have been lessened somewhat. I wanted more of the present and less of the past at certain points in the story.

The present day mystery is a lot of fun, though. It keeps you guessing throughout; throwing in many twists and turns. This is not the kind of story where you’re facing action on every page. The unravelling of the mystery happens in a much calmer matter. We get some action filled moments, but it’s a lot more realistic in that a great deal of time is spent going back and forth listening to stories. It was extremely refreshing, providing a mystery that keeps you entertained until the final red herring has been pushed aside and the truth is set free.

Honestly, this book was so well written. Although it took me a while to get into the actual story, the writing had me from the very start. The writing style grips you, pulling you deep into the story, making the world come to life.

As I said, the rounding down is more so a reflection of my current reading preferences rather than a reflection of this book. Plus, three stars is a good rating despite what a lot of people seem to think. Knowing what I now know of the author’s storytelling, I’m certainly interested in reading more of the author’s work.

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Review: The Truth About Love: Vol: III

The Truth About Love: Vol: III The Truth About Love: Vol: III by Anna Bloom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Truth About Love series are the stories that introduced me to Anna Bloom. Since reading volumes one and two, I have since gone on to download more Anna Bloom books. Sadly, between the release of volume two and volume three, I have only been able to read The Game. However, reading volume three of The Truth About Love has simply reiterated how I need to go and jump into the other Anna Bloom stories I have sitting on my Kindle.

Volume one of The Truth About Love focused upon the story of Eve and Cameron. Despite my prejudice against short stories, I really enjoyed it. I fell in love with the characters, I was pulled into the storyline, I experienced a wide range of emotions, and I was left wanting more. The cliff-hanger of an ending had me jumping straight into volume two.

Volume two of The Truth About Love told the story of Cherry and Jared. Going into the story, I wasn’t crazy about the change of focus. Despite this, I came to love the story. I enjoyed volume two even more than I enjoyed volume one. It’s a very different kind of story, but it linked back to volume one so well.

Volume three of The Truth About Love brings everything together. Whilst it was a great end to the series, it didn’t quite top volume two – it was wonderful, I love the way things came together, but the award for my favourite volume in the series is being handed to volume two.

Picking up where volume two left off, we’re thrown back into the drama that is the relationship between Eve and Cameron. As with the prior volumes in the story, Anna Bloom fits a lot of drama into very few pages. We bounce from one event to the next, we get to experience so much, and the rollercoaster of their relationship reaches the conclusion we’ve all been hoping to receive. There are plenty of moments in which we’re left hanging, our emotions are played with, but the story leaves us with the smile on our face that we’ve been waiting to experience.

Overall, it was a great conclusion to a wonderful little series. If anyone is looking for a quick sweet read, The Truth About Love is a series to pick up. You need to work through all three books, as each is connected and based heavily upon prior events, but you will not regret grabbing all three and enjoying the ride.

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Review: Changeless

Changeless Changeless by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Changeless is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series and I enjoyed it even more than I enjoyed the first book. I’ll be completely honest by saying I wasn’t wholly content with this book, but for the most part I really enjoyed it.

As with Soulless, Changeless is one of those easy reads you can complete in no time at all. It’s one of those books you pick up when you need something lighter, when you need a break from the heavier books of the world. It still has many interesting elements but it does not require the same amount of brainpower that other books in the genre often require, allowing for a much more relaxed read.

Changeless takes us deeper into the Parasol world, giving us plenty more reasons to fall in love with the characters and the storyline. I’ll admit things were overly predictable from the start of the story (there was one element that was clear from the onset, preventing the ending from being the big shock it was probably intended to be), but this did not stop me from enjoying the read. As with Soulless, there are multiple elements to this story that will keep you entertained throughout.

Moreover, it was so nice to see familiar faces from the Finishing School story. Although this book was written prior to Finishing School, I read the books in order of the timeline – thus, I was revisiting favourites years later. It was so nice to see where their lives had gone, even if certain information broke my heart.

As a second book, this one was a lot of fun. It opened up so many possibilities for the future of the series, and we now have an idea of what kinds of drama to expect in the future books. The ending will certainly leave you picking up Blameless instantly.

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Saturday 29 July 2017

Review: Soulless

Soulless Soulless by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My friend is a huge Gail Carriger fan and through the sharing of books, I have been welcomed into the wonderful Carriger steampunk world. Even before my friend let me borrow her Gail Carriger books, Soulless was sitting on my to-read list. I enjoy steampunk stories, yet I have read a shockingly low number. With Gail Carriger being such a big name in the genre, I knew I needed to read her work.

My introduction into the Parasol world actually came through the Finishing School series. Chronologically it takes place before Soulless, even though it was Soulless released prior. Reading them chronologically is perfectly fine, if anything reading the Finishing School series made me even more excited to jump into the Parasol Protectorate series. The Finishing School series was a lot of fun, and I was promised even greater things with the Parasol Protectorate series.

I’ll be honest and say it took me a while to be pulled into Soulless. You can tell this book was written earlier in Gail Carriger’s writing career. It is not a bad book, not at all, it simply has a different feel to it. Like a lot of authors, Gail Carriger’s books seem to get stronger with each new release, and this book is proof of that. It’s a great read, but it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as some of her later books. Despite this, it is a great read.

It is hard to pinpoint what it was that made it a bit more difficult to get into this book, but even harder is to pinpoint the moment where I slipped into the realm of addiction. I was ambling along just fine and then I was lost – I was sucked in and nothing could pull me away from the book. I complained when people wanted attention from me, I ignored requests, and I allowed the book to become my world. I was lost. Completely and utterly addicted.

This book has so much to it. The characters are a lot of fun (there are so many great characters throughout, both main and side characters you will love). The world building is wonderful (it has all you expect from a steampunk world, the supernatural and the science mixing wonderfully in an alternate history). The mystery is engaging (I would never place this book into the mystery genre, but there is an undercurrent throughout that will keep you interested in how the events will come together). The emotions run rampant (I honestly chuckled so many times, the laugher booming out of me, even in moments of dire stress where I was on the verge of speed reading to make sure things played out well). The entire thing comes together so well.

Without a doubt, Soulless is a great start to the Parasol Protectorate series. As soon as I finished I jumped straight into Changeless, needing more of the world and characters I came to love so much.

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Review: His Rules

His Rules His Rules by Dani Wyatt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

His Rules is the second book I have read in the HIS Collection. Whilst I enjoyed His Rules a lot more than I enjoyed His Obsession, it still wasn’t quite enough to blow my mind. At a push, I would give this a possible three-point-five star rating. However, that rating would be based solely upon a comparison with the prior story. I was disappointed in His Obsession because it did not feel like a full-length novel, thus receiving a complete story pleased me greatly.

Dani Wyatt is a name I see quite often. I keep meaning to pick up some of the author’s work to try. In fact, I have a couple of the author’s books sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to pick up. Although His Rules did not blow my mind, it was enough to show me Dani Wyatt can write a gripping story, and I’m certainly interested in jumping into the other Dani Wyatt books on my Kindle.

The story itself was gripping, and it kept me turning the pages. I was interested to see how things played out and enjoyed the dynamics between the characters, yet I felt as though the story wasn’t quite all it could have been. To me, it felt a bit rushed. There were plenty of enjoyable moments throughout, but it felt as though it was peppered with clich├ęs that were not as smoothly introduced as they could have been. They popped up to move the story to the next point, without giving us the depth that I usually like. In part, this is a reflection of how picky I am when it comes to stories of this length. I wanted things to move slower, to be given a deeper insight, as a way to allow me to appreciate the story more.

Overall, it was more enjoyable than my prior read in the HIS Collection, but I still wasn’t crazy about this one. I’m thinking this collection was not for me. I’ll read more as I had more, but they’re not high up my to-read list.

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Review: His Obsession

His Obsession His Obsession by Roxie Brock
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In all honesty, this is more of a two-point-five star rating than a three star rating. I knew going into this story that it was extremely short, but even for the length I had expected something slightly more from it.

His Obsession had the potential to be an interesting taboo romance. It was well written, it was an intriguing notion, yet it didn’t have the necessary substance to sustain my interest. It read more like a preview of a story, a snippet, mere scenes, rather than a complete story. It was okay to pass a bit of time, but some of the essentials were lacking. If I was reading this as a snippet I would go ahead and read the entire book, but as a complete story – there really wasn’t enough for it to blow my mind.

Overall, there was potential but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

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Review: The Lying Planet

The Lying Planet The Lying Planet by Carol Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The synopsis of The Lying Planet really grabbed me, and I instantly knew it was a book I wanted to read. Despite my interest, it took me a while to start the book. I kept delaying it to read other things, kept bumping it down my to-read list. I’m rather annoyed with myself for doing such a thing because once I started reading the story I came to really enjoy it.

I’ll admit that it took me a couple of chapters to be gripped by this story. Things are a bit slow at the start, and I found myself waiting for the action to begin. Once things started to open up, once the information started to come together, I found myself truly addicted. I went from mere interest to addiction, finishing the book in a single sitting. Honestly, it was so addictive – I needed to know how everything played out, I needed to know all the details.

Mixing two things I love – dystopian societies and aliens – together, this story gives us a wonderful science fiction read. As much as I love dystopian tales, I do find myself questioning them as of late. The trend has been going on for quite some time, and it’s rare for me to find one that holds my attention. Whilst The Lying Planet has the standard necessities of any dystopian tale, there were enough unique elements thrown in to keep me addicted and intrigued throughout. The seamless blending of a dystopian society and an alien world made this one a wonderful read.

With great characters and an interesting storyline, The Lying Planet grips you from the moment the first major piece of information is dropped. You’re constantly left with questions regarding where the story will head, you’re pulled in as you hope for the best, and you cannot help but keep turning the pages. The story runs so smoothly, giving you everything you expecting from an engaging read.

Despite my enjoyment of the story, there was one element I was never overly pleased with – the romance. Over the last couple of years, I’ve started reading a lot more romance novels and, if anything, it has made me pickier when it comes to romantic subplots in stories. I really have to buy into the stories to enjoy them. With this one, things felt a bit forced. Personally, I think this story would have been better had there been less drama in the romance department. At times it felt unnecessary, as though it were overshadowing the other elements of the story I was interested in. I know it did play a role in the story, but I would have liked for there to be a lesser focus upon it.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this one. It was an addictive story, and I’m certainly interested in seeing what else the author has to offer.

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Friday 28 July 2017

Review: Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming Lucid Dreaming by Cassandra Page
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lucid Dreaming is one of those books where I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about what rating I was to give it. It’s a three-point-five star read for me, meaning I needed to make the decision of whether I was rounding up or whether I was rounding down. In the end, I opted to round down. Whilst it was an enjoyable read, it wasn’t quite at the point where I was rounding my rating up.

From the moment I read the synopsis, this book grabbed my attention. I was intrigued, wanting to know more. It seemed like such an original read, and I’m always eager to jump into unique novels.

Whilst it was an original read, I wasn’t as pulled into the story as I had hoped to be. I was interested, yes, but I was able to put the book down for extended periods without feeling as though I was losing something. I was able to come and go from the story, never really pulled in to the point where I was completely lost to the world.

It was a unique and interesting tale, I cannot deny that, but it didn’t have the hold over me I had hoped it would have. For me, I found it to be rather slow. Events were happening, yet I failed to experience the pounding heart related to an action filled read. I found things to be a bit predictable. I loved finding out the elements relating to the unique storyline, but the plot twists were somewhat commonplace. There were some unexpected details, but a lot of things have been done before. I found the romance to be a bit forced. It felt forced, as though it was shoved into the story for the sake of it. Although I came to enjoy it more as the story progressed, I never really brought into the relationship. It felt like a convenience rather than a relationship based upon emotion. I found the ending to be rather sudden. Everything came together well, but it all happened extremely quickly. I would have liked more details. I would have liked to spend more time exploring what transpired, yet it seemed to be over in the blink of the eye.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it. I simply expected something a little bit more from this one. It kept me entertained, but it wasn’t quite everything I had hoped it would be. In other words, it had the potential to be more.

I’m certainly interested in reading the second book, though. With the way things ended in this one, there’s many possibilities of where the next book could take us.

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Cover Reveal: Limitless Love.

Book: Limitless Love (Lotus House #4)
Author: Audrey Carlan
Publisher: Waterhouse Press
Release Date: January 16, 2018 #limitlesslovecoverreveal
I’m a good person. At least I try to be. After my husband left me, I picked up the pieces of my broken heart and tried to move on. One shattered piece at a time.
Just when I thought things were looking up, that I had suffered enough at the hands of fate, my past came back with nothing to lose and a blade that cut…deep.
Figuratively and physically scarred, I had nothing left to hold on to. That’s when Clayton Hart entered my world. With his blue eyes, spikey blond hair, and a body packed with muscles, I never stood a chance.
Clayton pushed his way into my life, my bed, and my heart, proving that only the truest love can be limitless.
Meet the Author
Audrey Carlan is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She writes wicked hot love stories that are designed to give the reader a romantic experience that's sexy, sweet, and so hot your ereader might melt. Some of her works include the wildly successful Calendar Girl Serial, Falling Series, and the Trinity Trilogy.
She lives in the California Valley where she enjoys her two children and the love of her life. When she's not writing, you can find her teaching yoga, sipping wine with her "soul sisters" or with her nose stuck in a wicked hot romance novel.