Jonel Boyko


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Smashwords book reviews by Jonel Boyko

  • Reflection on Dec. 22, 2012

    Roberts’ novel Reflection is one of the most unique stories that I have read in a long while. It is full of imaginative descriptions while remaining clear in all situations. All situations and medical terminology is explained throughout the novel, without detracting from the storyline or speaking down to the audience. Roberts’ writing has a way of making you smile, even during the sad moments. Throughout the better part of the story you know that something is not right, but you do not know exactly what it is. This is coupled with a sense that one character’s reality may not necessarily be the same as the reality of the person standing next to them. As a reader you find yourself in a world full of illusions pulling you towards a discovery. The main character is living with the heartache of a true love gone wrong while dealing with the reality of rebuilding her memories. While reading her story you feel that you are living her reality rather than listening to her tell a doctor about her memories. She knows that there is something wrong but keeps fighting, trying to piece everything together. By the end of this first edition in the series we leave the main character determined to rebuild her life and relationships when everyone else has moved in different directions with their lives.
  • Riley's Curse, A Moon's Glow Prequel on Dec. 30, 2012

    Ok, so I must say that if I weren’t already a werewolf addict this novella would push me over the top. I can only describe it as “The complete guide to becoming a Werewolf: the exciting edition.” Smith combines vivid descriptions with lots of action and real life drama to set up her series in a brilliant, well written way. The character development in this story goes far beyond what you find in most novellas. You really get to know the characters that will carry on throughout the series. The main character in this story also feels real emotions: loneliness, joy, guilt, remorse, sadness are all present and real within these pages. My heart goes out to him time and time again while he fights through the trials that his life puts before him. I also commend Smith on her use of period correct dialogue throughout the novella. I have a feeling that this novella gives the reader everything that they need to know for the rest of the series while keeping the reader’s interest through every word. Oh, and can you say “Holy Cliff-hanger. “
  • The Alpha's Mate on Jan. 04, 2013

    Holy descriptionville!!! By the end of the first chapter I was so immersed in this story, based on the vivid and filling descriptions that Rhoades uses that I was standing in the middle of the woods with the characters. Even when I had to put the book down to go to work, I never left this world behind. You live this story, you do not read it. The situations are so real that you cannot help but laugh at the ridiculousness or hold your breath in nervousness, hoping that everyone will be alright. This book is jam packed with action, romance, and true friendships. Not a moment is left dull and no event is ever skimmed over. Everything is clearly portrayed. The novel is also very well written. Rhoades has a way with words that makes you forget that you are reading, and not living, the events in question. I fell in love with many of the characters the first time that they appeared. They were so vividly portrayed that you cannot help but know them as if they were a real life friend (and believe me, by the end, they may as well be). There were others that I hated with an intensity that should not be possible. This novel is, by definition, a paranormal romance novel. What I especially appreciated about it was that it was different. Yes, boy falls for girl and they get together. That’s a given. However, the relationship between the pack Alpha and his mate is completely different from anything that I’ve ever read. The Alpha, Mate, pack relationship is also different. Every difference and similarity to the genre helps to pull the story forward and to pull you into the story. This book is amazing as a standalone novel. Everything begins and ends within its pages. You can see the world outside of the novel, but don’t need to read it to thoroughly enjoy yourself while reading it. That said, am I ever glad that this is the first book in the series. I will definitely be following it as it is written.
  • Forever Fae on Jan. 05, 2013

    This was a very interesting and intriguing story. The various concepts and themes that Dover integrated into this novel were well thought out and integrated. It did take me a bit to warm up to the story, but when I did I was glad that I read this novel. I also greatly appreciated the large amount of colour symbolism that is found throughout. It complemented the already brilliant descriptions that Dover uses, creating a vivid world. The characters in this novel fell into 2 groups: the main characters and everyone else. The 2 main characters are fairly well developed. You do get to know some of their likes and dislikes, quirks and hobbies. Even though they are royal fae, they are also very human. They are both themselves, never pretending to be anything less than that. The rest of the characters seemed to be little more than stock characters, there simply to fulfill their purpose. You never learn anything about them other than what is at the surface. I will admit, however, that the dark sorcerer was very creepy. He sent shivers down my spine on more than one occasion. I really enjoyed the guardian concept that Dover works with. It is very well developed and laid out throughout the novel. It was very unique. It caused some interesting altercations throughout. It also allows the reader a greater understanding of certain characters. Forever Fae is one of those novels wherein each chapter is written in the first person from a different character’s perspective. Because of this the narrative jumps around a lot, not only from viewpoint to viewpoint, but also back and forth through time. There were also some scenes where the event and the resulting action don’t quite mesh properly. Also, at times the sentences became quite awkward and there were a few grammatical issues. I wanted to love this novel. The storyline was there. The elements were all there, they just didn’t flow together properly. By the end, it had smoothed out and I was really getting into it. It showed promise and I will definitely still be watching for the sequel in February.
  • Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1) on Jan. 11, 2013

    Holy Cow!!! I can’t believe how caught up I was in this book. I admit that at the beginning I had a chapter or two wondering where this novel was headed, but then I could not put the book down. Ibitz has a writing style that immerses you into the action of the story. I wanted to run out and help the characters with their various trials. His descriptions make all of the different areas of the realm seem so real. Everything flows together to create a dynamic reading experience for his audience. There is an entirely new mythology developed with this story. It comes complete with gods and demi-gods vying for power. Each god has their own realm within the world that is not only symbolic. The lands ruled by these gods each has distinctive features marking them. Ibitz’s very interesting explanation of global warming definitely gives you something to think about. I absolutely loved the characters. They are all well developed and seem like real people. Oh, some of them are mysterious, not giving away too many details, but they are not flat characters. Ibitz also manages to develop characters that give off a definite creepy vibe. His characters face real world dilemmas while on their very interesting journeys. The main character is constantly fighting against a feeling of not belonging anywhere, which is something faced by so many teens. She also learns that being yourself and staying true to your beliefs is more important than being accepted by the so-called “popular” crowd. I definitely felt for her when she was rejected by one of the “hall gods”, but was still left wondering if maybe, just maybe, they might get together in a future novel. The dialogue was also very appropriate for the various characters. I absolutely loved the fact that each of the Eyidoran races have their own distinctive speech patterns. I cannot believe how well put together this novel was. Ibitz is an amazing storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. I cannot wait to read the next installment. Strong Blood, here I come.
  • Strong Blood (Last Moon Rising #2) on Jan. 12, 2013

    In her brilliant follow up to Fire in the Blood, Ibitz continues with his mastery of the English language and with her well developed mythology to create a work that is difficult to beat. Her descriptions make this world vividly real. The mythology that we learn about in the first novel of the series is further developed here. We find out a great deal more about the lands and their relationship with the gods. We also find out about the connections between the demi-gods and their place in the hierarchy of the world. As with many other mythologies, the goal is to reach a balance. The characters continue on their quest to save not only their world, but the universe while battling with issues that are all too commonly faced in our teenage years. The reality of these situations brings to light the similarity of all peoples. This is made abundantly clear through the main character. She is such a realistic teenager, right down to the way that she talks and thinks. She battles through feelings of inadequacy and through trust issues on a daily basis. Even during the times that you feel she is being difficult or somewhat naive you cannot help but feel for her and see where she is coming from. Throughout this installment I did find myself right alongside the main character, questioning the intentions of the characters. I began to wonder who was really on which side of the battle. There is a veil of mystery throughout this novel that pulls you further and further into the action and deception. I found myself rooting for certain characters and wondering what on Eyidora others were up to. This novel leaves you perfectly situated to dive into the next installment in the series. Ibitz manages to finish the novel in such a way that you cannot help but need to read the next installment, but giving this one a conclusion of sorts. She does not leave us mid action sequence, nor do the characters reach the end of their quest. By the end of the novel, all I was left muttering 2 things to my dogs: (1) wow; and (2) where’s the next installment?
  • The Gods of Asphalt - Book One on Jan. 12, 2013

    Right from the first page Ellis drops his audience into an emotional rollercoaster that does not let up until the final word of the novel. Twists and turns abound in this extremely realistic, very vivid journey through the life of a teenage boy who cannot come to grips with the forces driving his life. The characters and setting of this novel were both very well developed. These were people that you wanted to, or felt like you already did, know in your real life. You wanted to root for them, or against them, depending on which characters were involved. They were not flat characters either. Each of them was well rounded and lifelike. There were some very intense moments within this story. Ellis grabs a hold of the English language and twists it in such a way that the audience is kept riveted and feels exactly what the character is feeling. That said, there were also a great deal of moments when I found myself laughing out loud, rather uncontrollably at times. The author manages to use words to evoke very strong emotions in the reader. On this surface this novel is about secrecy driving a family apart, but it is also about truth bringing them back together. Although it is a gripping tale it also contains a great deal of realism regarding difficulties within families. The characters need to learn to accept others and themselves the way that they are. There is a great deal of fighting, both verbally and physically, between the characters in this novel. There are also a large number of “bro-mance” moments that counteract them. I quite enjoyed the fact that each chapter had a song assigned to them. These songs complemented the chapters that they were associated with. Picturing or listening to the song enriched the chapter, giving it a deeper meaning. Above all, what I found the most interesting about this novel is reading about high school and high school relationships from the perspective of a guy. It was interesting to see how a situation that I would have reacted to in one manner was dealt with very differently. This book as a whole was very well written. It kept me captivated while grounded in reality. The author did not need to use any supernatural forces to keep me tied to these pages. I will definitely be checking out future works by this author in the near future.
  • Riverbend on Jan. 12, 2013

    Ok, so I definitely did not leave my chair once while reading this novel. It was brilliant. I fully admit that I spent the 1st chapter wondering “what the hell happened in the past” but the rest of the book kept me captivated within its pages. Goodson has a way with words and manages to work mystery and intrigue into her work without it becoming apparent. The descriptions and settings in this novel are great. They are real places that you feel like you could visit, or have visited. She uses her descriptions in a way that you can picture the setting for the novel very clearly. At the same time, she never gets longwinded or boring. I think what really got me with this novel was the fact that the historical, anthropological, and archaeological facts present in the book are based in reality. Goodson took the time to research this before writing. It is not simply made up information that she tries to pass off as fact. She weaves an amazing tale around these facts, but what they are is still fact (with a twist or two, of course). The characters are also heartwarming. You have a main character that is afraid to love because she lost her father coupled with her high school sweetheart who will still do anything for her. You can’t beat that, especially when Goodson takes the time to develop her characters into real people. I was, of course, left with the question “what is Richard’s deal?” Is he up to something or is he simply a skeazebag?
  • Noble Lies on Jan. 20, 2013

    In this novel Andrassy takes on organized religion with a vengeance. She illustrates the turmoil that can come from fighting against a single, overarching church. She also illustrates the possibility of corruption in the higher ranks of a system that basically rules over society. She also brilliantly shows that together a society can fight against corrupt individuals in this system. For a while, I was starting to believe that the author was going to allow individuals in the novel to be abused without anyone ever fighting back, however, she did come back from this at the end of the novel with the upper class petitioning against the Church’s disregard for propriety and safety and demanding retribution. In this novel Andrassy puts coming of age in a very different light with a very unique layout for arranged marriages. Individuals of the nobility are conditioned from birth to accept their mates based on the stars. I also found it astounding that for once it is the upper class of society that appears to be suffering from the injustice brought about by societal divisions. The imagery in the scenery within this novel is absolutely breathtaking. There is not a single setting that the characters visit that you do not feel like you walked into yourself. That said, there is never a moment that is dull with drawn out descriptions. Andrassy sneaks these brilliant descriptions upon you without the reader noticing. The characters in this novel were all very well developed. There was not a single major character that did not have a complete background. They all also had individual personalities and characteristics. However, Andrassy did not end her character development there. These characters were also physical beings that you could picture walking out of the pages of the book. They also had real relationships with each other. I don’t know how she managed it, but the author managed to work a love triangle into the novel without it being noticed by the reader until close to the end. This was not what would stereotypically be considered a suspenseful book. That said, there were so many moments where I found myself thinking “ I did not see that coming” or “how in the world is this going to end” that There was a great deal of suspense to be found in the novel. I must say that I never thought that I would ever consider something like that a happy ending, but considering the story, that was as close to a happy ending that I could imagine. This book was a definitely whirlwind. At the end of the novel I just found myself thinking “hunh, that’s it then.” I must say that I have never had that happen before. I found that I had to walk away from the novel to determine how I felt about it. I was extremely caught up in the story while I was reading it. It was an amazingly well written story; I definitely had no complaints on that front. The story itself was just such a heavy story that it is a lot to absorb. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is not a light read by any means.
  • Fated Dreams (Book One In The Affinity Series) on Jan. 21, 2013

    One thing that I absolutely love about Smith’s writing is how personal it is. Everything that is written is so realistic that you cannot help but be drawn into it. Nothing has to be set up to make you believe in the story, you believe in the story because of everything that is put into it. Smith has a way with words that allow you to picture exactly what she is seeing while writing. Some of the scenery is breathtaking, and you can just imagine line dancing with the characters in a small town diner. There is such realism in everything. Even though this story is paranormal in essence, the characters and scenes are very real. Some of the scene breaks are a little jumpy, but then you feel like you’re in a high school cafeteria where 12 things are going on all at once and you’re trying to be in on all of them. It was very nice to see a teenage character that was able to balance school and a part time job. It helped make you realise that these characters were real. They weren’t from the top strata of society, yet still managed their lives and were able to find happiness within the insanity of life. I also loved that he parents in the novel cared. They ensured the safety of their children and held them accountable for their own actions. It was a novelty that I so rarely find in current novels. The introduction of sex into relationships was masterfully done as well. The two main characters walk a fine line while waiting for both parties to be ready to take the leap. Their relationship is built on trust. Intimacy comes second. Even though they are both very committed to one another, no one assumes that sex is a requirement of the early relationship. One thing that I would have enjoyed was a bit more character development. Each of the main characters fits their role quite well; however, I feel that I do not know very much about them. Some of the minor characters have a much stronger back-story than the two main characters do. The main character, for example, always sticks to her guns, sometimes to the point of pigheadedness, which you can relate to. However, we never find out why she is this way. It is in no way detrimental to the storyline, but it is always easier to connect to a character that you know. As a whole, this novel was able to grab me and didn’t let go throughout the entire story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It even evoked a few girlie giggles from me while I was reading, to the enjoyment of my coworkers in the lunchroom.
  • Delusions (Book Two In The Affinity Series) on Jan. 22, 2013

    Wow, I have tears in my eyes and am giggling like a school girl who just spoke to her first crush all at the same time. This novel was great. It was about real people, with real lives, dealing with real issues, and then some. Smith takes the well known concept of soul mates and tweaks it to bring it forward in a new light that doesn’t seem quite as farfetched as many concepts that I have seen. It fits perfectly with the lives of real people, and doesn’t require much of a supernatural element whatsoever. I must say, Smith’s character development in this installment of the series far exceeds that of the original. Every major character in this novel has a back-story. You know who they are and why they are that way. You also learn a great deal more about some of the characters from the original story as well. The characters also display emotions appropriate to their circumstances. They stick to their decisions when appropriate and compromise (eventually) when it’s called for. The characters in this novel are also quite likeable. They all have their quirks but you never want to throw a pillow at any of them to shut them up. It’s brilliant. Smith’s writing remains as real as ever in this installment. It is the realism in her writing that draws you so far into the work. She describes things as they are in the real world. There are no illusions or metaphors. Her pages are not full of symbolism. It is completely real, and yet you can still picture it as if you were there. This book held me captive throughout. I thoroughly enjoy Smith’s work. Even within this series you can already see the evolution of her writing style. She is definitely an author to follow
  • Sunshine on Feb. 03, 2013

    Holy Cow!!! Was that ever intense? And the best part? It was intense in a whole new way. The intensity was in the different situations faced by the main character. These weren’t all life and death situations, but still rated off the charts on the intensity scale. Rae has a way with words. Her descriptions were phenomenal and were worked right into the story in such a seamless manner that you cannot help but be impressed. She was also extremely articulate in the way that she wrote. The entire novel was very clear and detailed without becoming extremely verbose. She manages to evoke a wide array of emotions in her readers. By combining reality with the paranormal the situations all seem so real that you cannot help but react to them. Rae also worked some really cool concepts, such as her version of evolving, that aren’t seen elsewhere. The characters in this book were very well developed. There wasn’t a single character that I felt like I needed to know more about in order to understand them or their role in the novel. Details about characters were interspersed in the novel where necessary. Rae never stops the forward flow of the novel in order to develop a character all at once, giving a narrative overload. Obviously, those characters that played minor roles in the novel weren’t quite as detailed as the main characters, but that also prevents unnecessary downtime in the plot in order to develop characters needlessly. This novel was an amazing start to the Sunshine series. It leaves you wanting, no needing, more but also with a feeling of completion. Cudos.
  • Preston's Mill (A Contemporary Romance) on Feb. 07, 2013

    Wow! Another brilliant read from Jacqueline Rhoades. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I’m a little bit speechless at this point in time. There were times when you could see how it would end, but couldn’t fathom how they would get there. Rhoades’ brilliant storytelling takes you on an amazing journey throughout, with just the right amount of spice. She also manages to balance the serenity of the mountain with her storyline. The story maintains a fast enough pace that when action scenes appear near the end, they do not seem out of place. Interspersed throughout the novel are some brilliant and vivid descriptions that allowed you to walk into the story, to see exactly what the characters were seeing, and to feel exactly what they were feeling. Through her writing, Rhoades also manages to evoke emotions in her reader on a scale rarely seen. The characters that Rhoades brings to life are phenomenal. They are so well and subtly developed that you feel like you have known them your entire life. No one ever seems out of place. Each person has their own niche that they fill beautifully and fully. Each character remains consistent throughout the novel. I greatly appreciated that no one had a massive personality change before the end of the novel in order for the story to reach a happy ending. I also love that the characters stay true to the local dialect throughout the novel. Rhoades doesn’t slip up once. This novel was absolutely breathtaking. By the end, you are in the novel so deep that you find yourself wishing that you were living on the mountain with the characters. I didn’t want this story to end as I found myself wanting to know what came next for everyone and to continue the journey with them.
  • Fire on Feb. 13, 2013

    This story is based on a very unique concept. I can definitely say that I’ve never read anything even remotely like it before. It was a very refreshing and exciting read. This story was exceptionally well written, especially considering that it is the first novel for this author. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that she has a well thought out and intriguing plot. This novel is going somewhere specific. It never wanders or loses its reader. I also appreciated the way that James didn’t leave anything at loose ends at the end of the novel, but yet left so much to be explained and discovered in future installments. Nothing is left in limbo, but there is more than enough to bring you back for more. The main characters were quite interesting and very well developed. They were the type of people that you could see yourself being friends with. I truly wanted to see them succeed. You find your heart going out to them on multiple different occasions. They are so real that you can’t help it. I also love the mix of interesting powers that the characters possess. They aren’t your stereotypical supernatural powers, but this makes them all the more interesting. The powers are also integrated into who the characters are and into their beliefs. They aren’t superfluous to the characters but rather an integral part of who they are. This is definitely a one of a kind story with many one of a kind characters. I was so drawn into this world of many realms and into the lives of the characters that I can’t wait to continue on this journey with them in the sequel.
  • Feyland: The Dark Realm on Feb. 17, 2013

    Holy Cow! I seriously lack hand eye coordination and any desire to become a gamer, but at the moment, I’m seriously considering it. This story was so excruciatingly real that you need to play the game with the characters. Just wow! Sharp employs vividly exotic descriptions and locales that catch you right from the get go. This story becomes so real that it is scary. You can actually picture the events occurring and you find yourself picturing what would happen if you were in the characters’ shoes. The events in question may be out of our realm, but the way that they are written makes everything so real and thrilling that you forget that it is a fantasy. The phenomenal characters in this novel draw you in to this world as well. They had personalities that you could relate to. There were definitely times when you wanted them to stop feeling sorry for themselves and get on with life, or wondered why in the world they had done something so irreversibly stupid, but they were real people struggling through their issues. I also enjoyed the fact that the relationship between the characters grew throughout the novel. They didn’t instantly go from strangers to madly in love in the blink of an eye. They got to know each other as people first. It made them that much more real and approachable. This novel was amazingly exciting, invigorating, and captivating. It is so different from your typical fantasy novel that you can’t help but be intrigued. It brought a brand new world to life and kept me captivated throughout. It was brilliant as a standalone novel as well as the first novel in a series, providing you with characters that you get to know and love.
  • Jaguar Sun (Jaguar Sun Series Book 1) on Feb. 21, 2013

    There was so much to appreciate in this novel that I don’t know where to start. The fact that Bourke took shifters out of mainstream Caucasian society and gave them very deep ethnic roots was brilliant. She dug into existing mythology and religion to develop a wildly imaginative and extremely captivating novel that puts coming of age into a very unique light. You don’t just see the world that Bourke describes in this novel; you get wrapped up in it and blanketed in it. This story is extremely well written, allowing you to immerse yourself even further into the action and reaction that accompanies it. She brings everything to life very well. It is brilliant. The main characters in this story are very well developed. You know who they are, what they’re like, and what they like. I love how real the main character seems with all of her wild exaggerations. They make her leap off of the page and into the real world. I also appreciate the fact that the minor characters are quite well developed as well. Bourke found the balance wherein you get to know these characters but they don’t accidentally eclipse the major characters. This is an extremely vivid world which is developed in such a manner that it is perfectly suited to the very vivid story that takes place within it. It is a phenomenal story that leaves you dying for more. Luckily for us, there’s a sequel.
  • Scapemaker on March 03, 2013

    You absolutely have to feel for the main character in this novel. I can’t even imagining being in his shoes, yet the author has everything laid out so clearly and vividly that I can’t imagine it not happening. I can’t actually picture myself along on this journey with him. Cypert made this all the easier because he has the ability to make the weird seem standard and everyday. Dreamscape is so fully and vividly laid out that you feel like you’ve visited it. You can picture every room and outdoor scene that the characters go into. Even all of the rules for the realm are clearly laid out so that you would know what to do and how to act when you arrive. This story is so absolutely unique and very out of this realm without seeming over the top crazy that you can’t help but want to journey there. Not only is the world vividly put together, but the story itself is well written and fast paced. Cypert’s cast of characters is also very intriguing. All of the major characters were quite well developed. You actually got to know them as if they were your high school friends. They also acted and spoke like characters of their own age. There were differences in dialogues based on age, and the locale where the characters grew up. This attention to detail was greatly appreciated. It was also very interesting to see the differences between some of the characters in the real world and in Dreamscape. They were the same, yet somehow different. As a whole, this was an awesome novel. Cypert makes everything seem so very real that it doesn’t seem like a fantastical notion. It leaves you wanting more, but in a very good way. Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • Confessions of A Corporate Slut on March 10, 2013

    This was an interesting story. It was also very informative and enlightening. I appreciated the easy flow to the storyline and the fact that it was quite well written. Each section seemed to flow naturally into the next without pause. Unfortunately I found the story a little tedious a couple of times. It began to feel like the main character found herself in the same situations time and again. Although that does happen in reality, within the parameters of a novel it begins to seem repetitive. The main character was phenomenally well developed, as one would expect with a story that follows her from childhood to late mid-life. There were a couple of times where the main character’s actions did not seem to correlate fully to her personality. That said, they did correlate perfectly with the personalities and actions of those around her at the time. You also get to know those close to her fairly well. I would have appreciated a bit more development to some of the supporting characters. I felt that there were some who were simply names on a page. As a whole, this was a very heartfelt story. I appreciated the perspectives that became very apparent throughout. It was definitely a novel that made you stop and think. It also makes you feel grateful for life as a whole. Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • Pearls in the Ashes on March 13, 2013

    This novel was very enlightening, giving you an interesting and in-depth look into life in another culture. I greatly appreciate the fact that the author took the time to do the research to give this novel a solid basis in fact. Without this, the storyline would have lost a great deal of its impact. Meagher’s work is extremely well and fluently written. The flowing descriptions make it easy to visualize the world that the characters live in. The author has a way with words. She’s able to convey a scene or feeling with clarity, without using descriptions ad-nauseum. Through her words, she immerses you in the world of the characters, and sets you off on the journey of a lifetime. The well-developed characters are very real and human, drawing the reader further and further into this world. Not only are the characters well developed, but they are also very strong individuals. It’s very hard to fathom living through the trials that some of these characters endured. This cast of characters combines to show the best and worst of humanity: compassion and prejudice. As a whole, this is a story that although heart wrenching at times, is utterly captivating. Parts of the story really made me smile, feeling content and peaceful. It is a very thoughtful work, without being overly dense that I thoroughly enjoyed. Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • Waking Dreams (The Soul's Mark, #1.5) on April 21, 2013

    Stoyanoff picks up this little novella with the same ease and flare that she writes The Soul’s Mark series. Her descriptions are fluid and vivid creating an unforgettable picture in your mind’s eye. One cannot help but be drawn in to this remarkable world, enjoying each and every minute of it. As enjoyable and light as this story was, it is also one of the most in depth novellas that I’ve ever read. By taking her characters directly from the series, Stoyanoff allows herself greater leeway for story development. She also does so with tact and class. She doesn’t ignore character development, but rather assumes that the reader knows the basics about each individual from the series as a whole, thus allowing her to tell her story. The characters are consistently the same individuals that we’ve come to love through Stoyanoff’s work. Their emotions, actions, and reactions are true to form. As a reader, you also see how they have evolved into the characters that we see in the modern day and where they were a century ago. I also really appreciated the sneak peek into the creation and development of Willowberg into the town that Mitchell runs today. Although this novella would be a quick, entertaining read as a standalone story, it works best as part of The Soul’s Mark series. It complements the storyline and to a large extent, explains events that preceded yet directly affect the characters and their actions in the series
  • The Soul's Mark: FOUND (The Soul's Mark, #1) on May 10, 2013

    Finally, a new take on vampirism. No one sparkles, no one is indestructible, and no one fights a werewolf. And don't get me wrong, I do love my werewolves too, generally more than vampires, but this book has me rethinking that. I picked this book up this morning and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I was enthralled by Amelia’s character and couldn’t believe the changes that Mitchell went through in just one book. Not one single character in the book is a cardboard cut-out place holder, but rather, all characters are well developed and can hold their own as real people. As a reader, you come to identify with many characters on a personal level, not just the main characters. They all talk like real people as well. It was refreshing not to have sentences full of colloquialisms or characters who speak like they are defending a thesis at an Ivy League college. The concept of a soul mate is also taken to a whole new level in this novel. I can’t wait to see how it progresses in the upcoming (or recently published) sequels. I also just cannot wait to read the sequel. Maybe tomorrow....
  • The Soul's Mark: HUNTED (The Soul's Mark, #2) on May 10, 2013

    I love it when you read a novel in a series and the characters continue to grow, especially when the characters are young adults. Every single one of Stoyanoff’s characters do this with abandon. They are all obviously the same person that they were in the beginning but they continue to grow and morph to fit into their ever changing circumstances. The relationships between the characters are not static either. They change in minute and in major ways right along with the characters. This installment of the series is much more intense than the first was. The love story is still very much a part of the story; however it does take a back-seat to the more action packed storyline. There is always something (or multiple somethings) happening to keep your attention on the page. This is also not a read that calls for complacency from its readers. I definitely did not expect a few of the twists and turns in this story. The author’s writing is also nearly flawless. It flows eloquently from paragraph to paragraph and from page to page. The characters’ speech is realistic, sounding the way that an individual would speak. If you liked the first book in the Soul’s Mark series you will absolutely love this one. One thing that I do have to mention with respect to this novel, however... If you don’t enjoy cliff-hangers, wait until the next installment is published before beginning to read this one. Enough said.
  • The Soul's Mark: BROKEN (The Soul's Mark, #3) on May 10, 2013

    When it comes to series, consistency is the key. Stoyanoff has nailed that on the head. The beautiful town that she created for her novels never has a face lift, becoming something different from novel to novel or scene to scene. Her descriptions remain as vivid and detailed as ever without becoming redundant or drawn out. There is also a very similar writing style that runs through the series as a whole. Above all, however, I appreciate the fact that Stoyanoff’s novels are consistently well written, with this one being no exception to the rule. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline itself definitely does not stay consistent. There are so many twists and turns in the storyline that you can barely guess where it’s going next. Stoyanoff keeps you perpetually on the edge of your seat. Looking back, you can see how the story and the characters got from point A to point B, but while reading it, you’re along for one very exciting ride. This novel is so unique that you can’t help but want to dive in and keep reading. Ok, so before I get started on characters, you should know that I’m a huge Eric fan. Like drool and fawn, want to make him mine Eric fan. That said, Mitchell absolutely kills me in this installment. He is priceless. Stoyanoff doesn’t give him a magical personality overhaul, but yet is much more engaging than he has been in the past. I absolutely love the fact that Stoyanoff’s characters remain consistent throughout all of her novels. All of the main characters were quite well developed and rounded by the end of the second novel in the series, but you still get some new tidbits about them here. These characters draw directly at your heartstrings, which pulls you further and further into their lovely world. This installment in the Soul’s Mark series is definitely a must have. It might be a bit difficult to read as a standalone novel as you would be missing some background information from the initial two novels, but that’s the joys of reading a series. It also does wonders for the storyline of the series as a whole. At the end, you’re left wondering: How in the world are they going to fix this one? Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • Waking Tide on May 12, 2013

    This is another phenomenal story from Andrea Goodson. Yet again she captivated me from the first page and kept me going throughout. I couldn’t put this novel down for a second. It was a brilliant novel and a phenomenal conclusion to the Riverbend trilogy. I love how Goodson uses history to base her novel on. Although in essence this story is about love and loss, it is also about the history of an interaction between the Western world and a Native American nation. This novel is, in essence, a work of fiction, however there is real history behind it. Goodson stays true to that history as well as the practices of said nation. I really appreciate how smoothly and clearly Goodson switches perspective from character to character. It really adds depth and mystery to the story, knowing what different characters are thinking and how they are feeling. Goodson also changes the tone and colour of her writing with certain characters to increase the feeling of suspense and possible doom that some of the characters are facing. Goodson’s descriptions continue to amaze me, putting everything into perspective while letting you see what the characters are seeing and experience what they are experiencing. Goodson also plays on the reader’s emotions, pulling them further into the conflicts of the story, both those experienced by characters individually or as a group. More than once she brought tears to my eyes, but also had times where she made me laugh out loud. I love how Goodson’s characters continue to grow as individuals. They keep finding out new things about each other and about themselves. She really takes the time to let you get to know the characters without ever dwelling on them. I am sad to see these characters go, but I am very glad to see that our star-crossed lovers now seem to be on the same path, even though that means I can’t keep Will for myself any longer. And the rest, they say, is history.
  • The Kiss Instructor on May 12, 2013

    This is one of those novellas that catch you right from the get go and don’t let go. You also forget that you are reading a novella rather than an actual novel. It is so well and fully developed that it really tells a whole story. This story didn’t just bring tears to my eyes, it made me cry. With this novel Anton brings verbal abuse to the forefront in a shockingly vivid way. She takes a hard hitting subject and turns it into a brilliant tale of surviving, overcoming, and loving. She also doesn’t mince words and really puts it out there. She also shows the topic in vivid realism and clarity. Characters involved react in realistic ways. But above all, she shows how difficult it can be to overcome the situation in a story that keeps you captivated. The characters in this novella were extremely well developed. I couldn’t believe how real each and every one of them became. I also appreciated how Anton develops each to fit their role in the story as well as their backgrounds, both sociologically and culturally. I love how the author switches perspectives from character to character, giving the reader everyone’s point of view. It really adds to the impact of the story. This was a phenomenal novella that I couldn’t put down. I was so wrapped up in the lives of the characters that I didn’t want it to end, but yet was thrilled with the ending. It was the perfect story. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • Tears of Min Brock on June 01, 2013

    Lowder creates an awe inspiring world in the first novel of this series. This world is a mix of medieval and the fantastical. It melds brilliantly in order to create a uniquely new and solidly built world as a backdrop for this awesome novel. It also has all of the usual elements of a fantasy tale – magic, war, fantastical creatures, character names that you’ve never seen before and will never see again, etc – but Lowder puts these all together with a twist. Through this tale he brings to light the importance of stories to spark the imagination in those of all ages, which is true not only in the story but in the world as a whole. It’s all about the power of the written word – something we experience every time we read but rarely, if ever, find as the subject matter for a series. Lowder also develops an intricate history of the land that is presented in the way of the bard. It is so captivatingly real that you feel yourself traveling through time with the storyteller. The main characters in this novel are quite well developed. I enjoyed that they all started together only to travel on a few separate journeys. Yet, at the same time you have the feeling that they will be reunited in the future. By following their separate trials and challenges you get to know a great deal about the characters, the land in which they live, and the challenges that they face. I love that none of the characters are intrinsically good or evil. They all had their choice. They could choose which whisper to follow. None were forced. The battle of willpower was interesting to see, and the choice was left to each and every character: to fight for good, to fight for evil, to do nothing. This novel was a brilliant escape from reality that kept me wrapped up in its brilliantly fabricated world with equally amazing characters. This is definitely a series that I’ll be following closely throughout. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • The Automat on June 22, 2013

    This novel gives a real look into everyday life with a twist, a really dark and rather twisted twist. Martin does this with her solid writing and off the wall descriptions. This is an extremely well written novel with a coherent and easy to follow storyline. That said, I spent a great deal of time just saying WTF, just WTF. The bulk of this stems from the fact that the writing style doesn’t really match the storyline. Martin has adopted a light and flowing writing style, well suited to a YA story, and told a very dark and twisted tale with it. The writing style draws you in very quickly and then clashes with the subject matter causing a bit of a vortex that I could neither get into or out of. Being that this story is well written in the 1st person it is very easy to see the world from the main character’s perspective. You get to know him quite well through this. That said, at times there is almost too much detail in his day to day activities. You get caught in the mundane. Overall Martin has an interesting manner of writing that keeps her work flowing forward. She is a phenomenally descriptive writer who tells you about each and every thing that is encountered in the story. Combined with the unique storyline this is definitely different from anything I’ve read in quite a while. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • The Alpha's Choice on July 06, 2013

    There are 5 star books, and then there are those books that you give 5 stars to because there’s nothing higher. This book most definitely falls into the latter category. Rhoades is one of those authors who doesn’t tell you a story. She paints you a picture. She Sets the scene and develops her story so wonderfully that you can’t help but be drawn in. There were definitely moments when I found myself saying ‘I should have seen that coming’ or ‘Wow, didn’t see that one coming’, but nothing every came completely out of nowhere. The details were in the novel, but Rhoades had pulled me so completely into this story that I was stuck in the same mindset as the characters (who also didn’t see it coming, I might add). Rhoades also has the ability to evoke multiple emotions in her readers. I spent time on the edge of my seat, I felt sympathy and empathy for the characters, I also laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes and an ache in my belly. There is so much truth melded seamlessly into the fiction of this story that you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. It creates the perfect basis for this very well put together story. For the first time in a long time, I don’t just feel for the main character, I actually want to be her. Not only is she a strong, yet realistic individual, the phenomenally developed male lead is to die for as well. This novel makes you want to be the Alpha’s Mate (capital A, capital M). The Wolver culture and race is so well developed that you can see it happening and you want to join in. Not only are the main characters well developed, but so is the rest of the cast. Each may be developed to suit a specific role but you get to love them all the same. One thing that I love about these characters is that although they are not all main characters, no one is ever minor. Everyone is important in their own right. No one is a name on a piece of paper, and no one is shunned. These engaging characters become part of your family and part of your reality. Rhoades is a naturally talented author with lots to offer her audience. With this 2nd instalment in the Wolvers series she has further developed her amazingly wild world to create a paranormal world that is so realistic that you just want to crawl back into the pages of the book so that you can keep living it forever.
  • The Gatekeeper's Challenge (Gatekeeper's Saga #2) on July 17, 2013

    This novel is phenomenally well written. A great deal of time was put into formatting and editing. The descriptions are spot on, while remaining quite enthralling and entertaining. I love that this novel is mythologically, historically and scientifically accurate. It adds an entirely new level to the story, making it even more complex and enjoyable. Pohler manages to seamlessly blend mythology with reality to create an awesome world for readers to get lost in. The characters in this novel were also awesome. Although most of them were quite well developed in the first novel of the series, development continues with leaps and bounds in this novel. They grow and mature the way that normal high school students do, even if some of them have challenges or fears that most of us will never face. I appreciate that Pohler attacked some very difficult topics in this novel. Not only does she entertain us throughout, but loss, drugs, sex, and abuse are brought up in ways that make them approachable and open them up for conversation. These can be very difficult subjects to even think about, but Pohler tackles them and winds them into her phenomenal tale. As a whole, I am thoroughly in love with this novel and this series. The mythology is sound, as is the writing. I cannot wait for the next instalment. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review
  • The Gatekeeper's Daughter (The Gatekeeper's Saga #3) on Aug. 17, 2013

    As always, Pohler manages to remain mythologically accurate while telling a completely unique and one of a kind tale. This novel picks up right where the previous story in the trilogy left off. Pohler weaves an intriguing and captivataing tale that tells a love story and a tale of self-worth on many different levels. As an amazing storyteller Pohler draws you in with her immaculately put together storyline. She keeps you there with her brilliant descriptions and narrative that are so clear and inviting that they allow you to walk this world with the characters. Although we got to know many of these characters in the previous novels, their true selves become even more apparent in this novel. Pohler continues to develop the main characters as they continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. She also gives us further insight into the hearts and minds of the supporting characters, allowing her readers to see why and how the conflicts in this novel and the series as a whole, came to pass. Overall, her character development is unique in that the characters, regardless of their age, learn and admit things about themselves as we learn them. Self-growth and realisation is a never-ending process in this story. This novel was a great ending for the Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, even though I still want more time with these amazing characters who have wormed their way into my heart. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • Feyland: The Bright Court on Sep. 08, 2013

    With this novel, Sharp jumps right back into the awesome world of Feyland and takes you with her. She completely immerses her reader in the world of gaming and in the land of the Fey. The distinct socioeconomic backgrounds in this story really add to the feeling of the story. It helps to develop the feeling of helplessness and of crossing boundaries. There is also lots of action in this instalment that keeps you on edge and ploughing forward. Sharp`s phenomenal storytelling skills and brilliant descriptions create a world that her readers cannot help but love. Everything comes to life in such a brilliant way that you feel like you are simming right alongside the characters. As a reader you live and breathe everything that they do. Sharp’s characters return with a vengeance in this instalment. They are the same individuals that you came to know and love in The Dark Court, but they continue to grow as individuals as they age and as they experience more and more perils at the hands of the Fey. The new characters that Sharp introduces in this instalment are also very well developed. You get to know them, human and Fey alike, as well as you would a new friend. Sharp’s character development is always natural and leads you to come to know everyone as an individual. All in all this was a fun and captivating story that kept you hooked throughout. I read the bulk of the book in a single sitting. It followed nicely from its predecessor and leaves you primed for the sequel. The reader is left simultaneously with a feeling of satisfaction and of wanting more (and a bit of a broken heart).
  • Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom on Sep. 18, 2013

    What do you get when the world of Shakespeare meets a video game? Some adventure, a few laughs, and a whole barrel full of awesome. That’s what Sharp has brought us with this final novel in the Feyland Trilogy. Sharp definitely gives her characters some unique challenges to overcome. She mixes fantasy with reality and some virtual reality gaming to create a melded world that you find yourself lost in. Sharp’s gripping yet fluid writing style allows you to flow through the story alongside the characters without missing a beat. Her vivid descriptions allow you to walk beside them through a world you not only know but can also see. The characters that we’ve come to know and love (or hate) throughout the series return here, each changed slightly from their trials and travels, but as the same individuals that we’ve always known. Sharp continues to develop these characters so that you feel like you’ve known them your whole life by the end of this novel. She also introduces some new characters to help round out the cast for this final battle of wills. These new characters are extremely well developed. They compliment and help to balance those that we already know. Overall, this was a fan-frickin-tastic conclusion to the Feyland trilogy, even if I do want to see more of these characters. It is a journey that I’m sad to see end, but it was well worth the trip (read?).
  • Lost and Found (Growing Pains #1) on Oct. 06, 2013

    This novel has some very emotional moments that are balanced with some moments that make you laugh out loud. It’s the perfect balance of drama and comedy to allow you to escape from reality while within the pages. Breene wraps this captivating story up in a brilliant package that lets you completely immerse yourself in the storyline. This novel is exceedingly well put together. The understated descriptions fit quite well with the subject matter at hand while allowing you to visualize the story, while still leaving room for your imagination to take over. The mellow flow of this story also allows you to focus on the storyline rather than simply racing through to the end. I really appreciate the fact that I liked (or fell in love with) more than one character in this novel. Both the main and supporting cast were quite well developed, but remained true to themselves. Everyone was human and acted like a real person. It was quite intriguing to see the male lead trying to walk the line between the role he’s made for himself and who he really is. You get to know both sides of him and how they don’t always fit together so perfectly. You also feel for the female lead, both with what she’s been through in the past and what she’s facing now. As a whole, this was a brilliant introduction into this series and to the author as well. I would recommend it to any who enjoy a bit of will-they-won’t-they budding romance immersed in reality. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author/publisher/blog tour company in exchange for an honest review.
  • Once Written, Twice Shy on Oct. 11, 2013

    Holy hot tamales! What a trip! I love how this novel is written in the male POV. It adds a definite twist to the story. At the same time, there is such a brilliant flow, and the story is so well put together that you can’t help but relate to the characters. Decevito is a very visually descriptive writer who draws you in to each and every aspect of the story with minimal effort on the reader’s part. Her story is explicit and vividly visual without ever becoming crass. She walks a fine line with this one and creates something that is brilliant. The main characters in this story are amazingly developed. You get to know them intimately as they get to know each other. It’s quite interesting to see how they see each other and how they see themselves together. The supporting cast fits quite well in the story, and you get to know them in that capacity. I would have appreciated a bit more development as to who they were. It would have given the story’s interconnectedness a bit more of a kick in the right direction. Overall, this is a very intimate story that draws you in and won’t let you go. Your emotions get completely wrapped up in the storyline, with some hot and bothered moments to break up the sadness. It’s a brilliant trip for anyone who wants something a little out of the norm. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author/publisher/blog tour company in exchange for an honest review.
  • Riley's Redemption, A Moon's Glow Novel, # 3 on Oct. 11, 2013

    With this novel Smith returns to the Riley saga with the same easy going writing style and down to earth storytelling that we’ve come to know her for. However, I must say that Smith’s writing has definitely stepped it up a notch with this novel. The story’s flow remains consistently open and inviting throughout. Her descriptions now really show you how the scene is set. She paints a very warm picture for her audience to enjoy. Smith does well at recapping the key points of the previous stories in the series without just summarizing them. She jogs your memory while working it right into her new storyline. She also introduces a few ‘comedy of errors’ type moments that make you giggle. Even with this being the 3rd and final novel in this series Smith continues to develop her existing characters. As in real life, these individuals continue to grow based on the things that they’ve encountered. He also introduces some new characters that you get to know rather well throughout their journey. Overall, there is a lot of action packed into this novel, which definitely brings the series to a head, but leaves the reader a bit fuzzy as to the focal point of the novel. It was entertaining and captivating and definitely concluded this series with a bang. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author/publisher/blog tour company in exchange for an honest review.
  • Broken Promises on Oct. 11, 2013

    What a phenomenal story. You have your romance, along with real world issues all wrapped up in one fantastic package. Everything was laid out in such a vividly realistic and visual manner that I feel like I lived this novel. This is one of those stories that brings tears to your eyes for multiple different reasons. I cried both sad and happy tears throughout. The novel had a very mellow & down to earth pace that fit well with the plot and subject matter while still keeping you interested and caught up in the story. The characters in this novel were brilliant. I can’t remember the last time that I was so invested in the lives of two characters in a novel, let alone the entire cast. They were all realistic and real people dealing with real world issues. It was great. My only issue with any of the characters was Rainy. Everyone knew something was up with her. Heck, the characters even know what it is. Unfortunately Pendleton doesn’t fill her readers in on this. I’m sure we’ll find out what it is later in the series, but it was talked around so many times in the novel that not knowing is driving me loopy. Overall, this was a brilliant novel that I definitely read in a single sitting. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone. The author had my emotions tied in knots and had me guessing what would happen next, while taking me on a very spectacular will they won’t they journey. I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with.
  • Dark Lullaby on Oct. 27, 2013

    Calvani has a straightforward writing style with dark undertones. This is a well written novel with a solidly built plotline. In this story Calvani takes the everyday battle of good vs evil, both in the world and in an individual, and brings it forward in a big way. She also builds the world in which her characters find themselves. As a reader you can visualise each of the different scenes based on Calvani’s awesome descriptions. There is a lot of character development at the beginning of this story, so it starts out quite slow slow and was very hard to get into. That said, Calvani ends up creating some vivid individuals to carry her story forward. The very passionate characters in this novel are real and raw. Each one is unique but still easy enough to identify with. Some real dense topics get discussed in a manner that seems completely natural. Not only does this advance the plot of the story, but it really helps to develop them mentally for the readers. As a whole this was a unique novel. Although the subject matter was very interesting I found the story as a whole hard to get into. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • Eternal Mercury on Oct. 30, 2013

    This novel definitely takes you through an emotional wringer. It didn’t just bring tears to my eyes, but actually made me cry, repeatedly. Pinter tackled some very tough topics in a very tactful yet approachable manner that lets you really see them for what they are. When all is said and done I want to say that I couldn’t put this novel down, but that isn’t entirely true. I read part 1, Chelsea’s story, in a single sitting and was so emotionally wrung out that I had to force myself to put it down. That didn’t last long, however, and then I was diving headlong into part 2, which I again couldn’t put down. If Chelsea’s story broke my heart, Blake’s shattered it and then put the pieces back together again. This was such a bitter-sweet story that you can’t help but for the characters. Pinter allows such realism to shine through her story that you can’t help but feel connected to it. The contrast between the two parts is phenomenal and highlights how different two sides of a coin can be. The author paints brilliant images with her descriptions. I quite enjoyed how she replayed the same scenes from each character’s perspective. The differences in their views really shines through in the minute differences in the way that they see the world around them. By melding their two lives into a single story Pinter really develops the world around these characters. There was also a seamless overlap between the two parts of the story. There were no discrepancies (other than differences in the characters’ perspectives). The characters in this novel were also brilliant. The main characters were fantastically developed. Because the reader gets to know them as they get to know each other they are developed in a natural manner. They also grow and change into more mature individuals throughout the course of the stories, in conjunction with the issues that they must overcome and recover from. These two characters are complete opposites yet perfect for each other. The supporting cast rounds out this novel well. Through Pinter’s development you can really see how they are a family, whether or not they are related by blood. Overall, this novel made me really think about how life can change so completely in the blink of an eye. It was an amazing, life altering story. Even though it was bitter-sweet, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone, and I am dying to read more from this brilliant author.
  • Guardian's Grace on Nov. 19, 2013

    What a brilliant premise for this novel. I love how unique yet well developed and put together everything is. The mythology behind this story is clearly set out for the audience in an entertaining manner. This fast paced novel kept my attention throughout. It is extremely suspenseful & romantic, with just the right touch of comedic relief. For all its twists and turns, however, above all this is a story about love and loyalty and finding yourself. Rhoades is a very visual author. Using a multiplicity of techniques she develops a world that you cannot help but see in your mind’s eye. Her writing style and tone change minutely based on the scene and it’s participants. She subtly evokes emotions in her readers through this. The dark and light of the storyline are entrenched in the reader’s psyche without Rhoades every having to state it flat out. Rhoades describes her scenes in explicit detail, drawing her readers further and further into the story. I love how Rhoades doesn’t mince her words. She says what she means in the way real people say it. This flows directly into her dialogue. People talk like real people. Slang and swearing make their way into her novels in the manner that it does in everyday conversation. It makes everyone seem so much more real when they aren’t speaking like a textbook or sickly sweet. Rhoades writes her novels for adults without ever talking down to them or simplifying things. At the same time, the novel is naturally written. You feel like you’re still in the real world experiencing something amazing. I found myself attached to the main characters right from the beginning of this novel. Although the cast itself is quite large, each character is individually developed. Rhoades does a brilliant job of developing everyone to suit their role. She doesn’t throw extraneous details at her readers.
  • Guardian's Hope #2 on Nov. 19, 2013

    With this novel Rhoades gets further in depth into the history and beliefs of both the Guardians of the Race and the Daughters of Man. In the broadest sense this intensely exciting story is about the interactions between them. It takes one heck of a twist on the way. This story is also quite intense, but not in the usual way. Rhoades brings forth an emotional and mental intensity that you won’t’ be able to walk away from, right until the tearjerker of an ending. Rhoades weaves an unforgettable tale that you can not only read and imagine but visualize and feel. This story is quite emotionally charged. The two main characters are learning to accept who they truly are and can be as compared to what they have learned/believed all their lives. I love the play between fate, happenstance, and the everyday in the course of relationships coming together. Amidst the supernatural turmoil of the story love and hope still shine through. It’s brilliant to see how this group of unrelated individuals come together into a family unit. Everyone complements each other in an emotional, mental, and even physical way. Even though this is far from your traditional family unit, you can definitely see the familial relationships here. My only question with regards to any of the questions is this: What in the world is up with the cat (because cats are people too). This novel is simultaneously fun, exciting, suspenseful, sinful, sensual, and romantic. It was a brilliant escape from reality that I’d suggest to anyone and everyone.
  • Guardian's Faith #4 on Nov. 19, 2013

    All I can say right now is read this book! Seriously. Go get a copy. It can be read as a standalone but is better as part of the series, so take your pick. But seriously, go read it. Ok, I must admit I’ve been (impatiently) waiting for this novel since the main character was introduced in the 2nd Guardians of the Race novel. Just when I though Rhoades couldn’t throw me for a loop, she definitely did. Even after having read the rest of this series and the synopsis for this book I still couldn’t have imagined how this was all going to play out. Rhoades’ phenomenal storytelling and overactive imagination combine to create a novel that you won’t be able to put down or to forget. By using the same voice and descriptive methods as the previous stories in the Guardians of the Race series she ties them all together. The recurring characters are not only family to each other, but by this point in the series they are becoming family to the reader as well. The main characters in this novel might just be my favourite yet. Both characters have major challenges to overcome before they can fully accept not only their relationship but who they are. It is an amazing feat to see what they accomplish together. My overall thoughts on this novel can be easily summed up: written by an adult for an adult audience, has a bit of everything, including romance, suspense, heat, laugher, you name it. Overall, well worth the time it takes to read it and then read again. This novel didn’t just meet my expectations it blew them right out of the water. Rhoades’ books just keep getting better and better. I definitely can’t wait to see what comes next. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • Rabbit Creek Santa, A Wolver Christmas Novella on Dec. 04, 2013

    This one is definitely another hit for the brilliant Jacqueline Rhoades. In this tale she returns, along with her characters, to Rabbit Creek and you feel like you never left. Her phenomenal descriptions combine with her inviting tone to draw you into a world you don’t just want to live in, but rather one that you feel like you already do. Rhoades’ amazing abilities as a storyteller draw you in and evoke your emotions. She made me laugh, made me cringe, and even brought a few tears to my eyes. It was absolutely perfect. I think that Travis and Lindy may just be my favourite wolver couple yet. They are definitely proof that opposites attract but are definitely brilliant individuals in their own rights. Rhoades brings these two characters to us as fully developed individuals who are easy to relate to, even in the short page count of this novella. The supporting cast is developed throughout the series and as they are background players in this tale they shine quite well as they are. This is definitely a brilliant holiday tale that will warm your heart. It can easily be read as a standalone or as part of the Wolvers series and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone at all.
  • Prince of Wolves, Book 1 The Grey Wolves Series on Dec. 15, 2013

    This novel takes you on a very intense and wild ride. Loftis brings this story forward with her fun loving writing style that draws you in. Although this is in essence a supernatural novel Loftis makes it easy to relate to and visualise. I also appreciate how she defines her version of werewolf without stepping out of her story proper. All of the background information is worked into the action and reaction of the story itself. Loftis has created a cast of very approachable characters. It was very unique watching the 2 main characters coming from such different backgrounds trying to work together and become one. The switching of perspectives between the two main characters allows you to know them both intimately. I also appreciate how Fane’s Romanian tongue and culture make their way into the story and how Loftis ensures all is clear without breaking the forward flow of the story. The supporting cast in this novel was priceless. I absolutely loved the best friends. The dialogue was also absolutely priceless. It was perfect. It helped all of the characters become much more authentic and real. Overall? I read the entire novel in a single sitting. If my TBR pile weren’t a mile high I would have dove right into the next novel in the series. This novel doesn’t quite end in a cliffhanger but it’s a very open ending that leaves you wanting more. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Gatekeeper's Sons on Dec. 17, 2013

    This novel was a phenomenal introduction into the Gatekeeper series and into the world of Greek mythology. I have great respect for authors who do their research before writing fictional work based on fact or existing mythology. That said, I love the fact that this story is mythologically accurate. I also like the fact that Pohler includes a variety of Greek gods in her writing, rather than simply using the Olympiad as so many authors attempting to write about Greek mythology do. And Pohler doesn't just attempt to wrote a world based on Greek mythology. She succeeds. Pohler has not only researched her facts with respect to mythology, but with her novel as a whole. Even the trail riding and equine aspects of this novel, where present, are factual. I appreciate the fact that almost everything that Pohler includes is very well researched and extremely detailed. Pohler is very detailed in her writing. Everything is precisely worded to convey a specific thought, feeling, or image. Each and every word seems to have been carefully chosen to build a cohesive overall picture. Everything is vivid and extremely well laid out. She creates a world that you can imagine yourself walking into. I also appreciate the differentiation in writing style between Earth and Olympus. Everything on Olympus is much larger and more elaborate than Earth, as it should be. Her writing also sports an intensity rarely seen in a YA novel, while also giving you some very good laughs. The characters in this novel are quite well developed. You may not know their entire life histories, but you do get to know everything that is pertinent to the story and to let you get to know the characters. It was very refreshing to read a story by an author who can differentiate between necessary development to create a well-developed character, and giving an entire life history that slows down the storyline because it isn't actually relevant to the plot. As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can't wait to tear into the sequel. Pohler manages to end this novel without a cliff-hanger but still needing to grab for the sequel to find out what happens next. Bravo!
  • Silencing Joy on Dec. 22, 2013

    Rachiele has a very personal and personable writing style. She tells a vividly raw and shockingly real story that you can’t help but get caught up in. This story is very emotionally charged. It’s cool & disturbing all at the same time. Her descriptions, as well as her storytelling, are understated yet won’t let you go. The story itself had me captivated. It’s vivid without being over the top. Rachiele flips perspective between a variety of characters. With some you’re vey engaged and caught up in the tale. With others, it’s like you’re standing on the sidelines. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the tale. You get to know all of the characters in the story without leaving anyone in the dust. Overall, this story was exhilarating, thought provoking, & thoroughly enjoyable. I didn’t ever want it to end. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Purgatorium: The Purgatorium Series, Book One on Dec. 28, 2013

    This story had me hooked from the first chapter. This suspenseful and exciting story had me guessing and running alongside the main character, engaged in an unimaginable journey. Pohler’s seamless writing and engaging storyline make it very easy to immerse yourself in this atypical story. She presents a well-developed history and mythology of the island that the characters find themselves on. It all combines into an in-depth story that’s intensely enjoyable while making you think. I really enjoyed the gradual character development, as opposed to a large information dump. You get to know the characters well and personally without feeling like you’ve read their biography. It all seems so natural. You also get to know the main character even more closely because you are on a journey of self-discovery with her. My overall thoughts? Oh. My. Gods. Could you just imagine?
  • Into the Land of Shadows on Jan. 20, 2014

    McCaffrey has yet another hit with this one. It will definitely stand the test of time. I found myself firmly placed in the time period. McCaffrey does a brilliant job of developing not only her scenery but the storyline itself in a very visual manner. The fact that her characters never take the easy route makes the story all the more compelling. I was thoroughly entranced throughout. McCaffrey’s characters are brilliant as well. Not only are the main characters compelling individuals that you want to see succeed; they are individuals with heavy pasts that they must learn to deal with. Getting to know them was very emotionally rewarding. The supporting cast was also quite varied, well developed and suited the story perfectly. I loved how they interacted with each other and how they always stayed true to form. McCaffrey makes history your present while reading her work. This was a brilliant read that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone.
  • Changing Times on Feb. 02, 2014

    This is definitely another winner for Jacqueline Rhoades. Oh God did I ever cry. My emotions were on edge. I also laughed my ass off. Rhoades is one of those authors who is never rude or crass, but is always real. She develops a scenic world that her readers can visit without ever leaving the comfort of their couch. She presents it in a well and eloquently written manner that will keep you completely immersed throughout. I definitely couldn’t put this book down. I became part of this world and found myself walking, or running, through Hidden Mountain alongside the characters. I also love the brilliant job that Rhoades does with horses and farrier work. I love how down to earth this little town is. The people stay the same and really grow on you. There is a strength to each of the characters. They stand up for themselves and for those around them without compromising who they are at the core. Sure there are ‘crazies’ but it just adds to the fullness of the town. You really get into the nitty gritty of life through the characters in this one. Rhoades doesn’t present them as perfect individuals, but as real life people who are trying to make the best of what they have. I also love the local ‘twang’ that shines through (and stays consistent in) the dialogue. That’s not to say that everyone speaks the same. It changes from one character to the next, but you can see the regionality of it as well as the consistency from character to character. Although Rhoades has written this in such a manner that it could easily be read as a standalone, reading Preston’s Mill will give you background on the characters (and it’s a brilliant read too). Will I reread this book? Probably a few dozen times. Am I dying to see what happens next? YES! But the real question is, were this my intro to the author, would I read more? And the answer is a resounding HELLS YEAH!
  • Sworn To Raise: Courtlight #1 on Feb. 07, 2014

    My first thoughts on this one? What a phenomenally unique and completely captivating tale. I couldn’t put it down for a second. And my final thoughts? Holy cliffhanger without actually being a cliffhanger. And everything that came in between was amazing too. I don’t think that I put this book down once. This was a quick read that was very easy to immerse myself in. I love this author’s writing style. It’s smooth & approachable without talking down to you or becoming simplistic. It’s eloquent yet not over the top. Edun’s descriptions paint an exciting world in front of her reader’s eyes. As a reader, you feel like you’re walking through a fantasy world while being caught up in an enchanting storyline. I quite appreciated the vast array of characters that I encountered throughout this tale. They cover many age ranges and walks of life, making the story even more interesting. The female lead was definitely brilliant. I appreciated the fact that although she went from rags to riches, she still stayed true to who she was at the core. Not only did I feel connected with her in the present, but I found myself guessing at her future, where she’ll end up and who with. Edun makes her characters even more memorable with their one of a kind names. So many of them are unique or at least uncommon, but none are difficult to remember. As a whole I was completely entranced by the story. It was exciting, adventurous, and a brilliant way to get to know this author. I would definitely recommend this novel to others and can’t wait to read more by this brilliant author.
  • The Mystery Box on Feb. 15, 2014

    This novel is simultaneously mellow and intense. Pohler mixes intrigue with suspense to keep you on your toes throughout. By writing in the present tense Pohler gives a sense of the here and now, adding to the suspense of the tale. She also flashes back to provide the background for current events in a very captivating manner. I fully admit that at the beginning I found myself wondering where the story was going, but once it took off I was hooked. The genetics and history worked into this novel really had me hooked. I love the fact that the main character was quite easy to identify with. She lives the stereotypical life of a stay at home housewife yet is quite true to herself, if only in thought. I loved journeying along with her, getting to know her family and those who have a profound effect on her life. Pohler’s character development in this novel is brilliant. Each individual is developed to suit their role perfectly. They are also true to their character. No one magically becomes someone else nor do they miraculously have a moment when they ‘see the light’. As a whole this novel was well written and thought out. It’s not a light read, but rather a work that really makes you think. It was emotional and suspenseful, combining elements that I would never have dreamed of putting together. This was an intriguing start to Pohler’s new series and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
  • The Mystery Tomb on March 02, 2014

    Eva Pohler is back with her usual eloquently written, approachable writing style in this tale that melds romance, mystery, and history together into an unforgettable whole. She takes some of the darker, less common ritualistic aspects of certain societies and brings them to the forefront in a captivating and inescapable manner. The history wound through this story is absolutely breathtaking. The past and the present come together seamlessly in this novel to create a work of sheer genius. Pohler’s intricate storytelling is highlighted by her very visual descriptions, allowing you to enter this world completely. The characters in this novel really help to drive the point home through their actions and reactions. The main characters are very well developed as individuals. It was nice to see two such individuals who would stick to their beliefs and could put said beliefs into words. The supporting cast is also quite unique. I appreciated the fact that each character had a definite purpose in the story and that purpose was integral in some way to the forward motion of the tale. Overall this was a hauntingly poignant tale that will stick with me in the long run. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series and would definitely recommend this to others. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • Drowning Mermaids on March 08, 2014

    Welcome to Atlantis 2.0. Bigger, better, and more exciting. From the first chapter of this novel I was hooked & intrigued. I was drawn in both by the author’s fantastic storytelling as well as her extremely captivating world. Her writing kept me enwrapped. I was entranced and couldn’t look away, needing to see what comes next. Scrieva was informative, building this fantastical underwater world, while remaining captivating and entertaining. As a reader I could visualise each aspect of every world visited and felt myself really falling further and further into the pages. By the end of the novel I felt like I’d known Scrieva’s characters for many lifetimes. Her character development was so real and personal that the characters were developed as friends not just as individuals within the covers of a book. Their reactions and interactions were also so real that I couldn’t help but feel for them. Passions run high amongst the characters, adding to the intensity of the novel as a whole. As a whole this was a brilliant series introduction that set up the world perfectly while entertaining readers and leaving them wanting more. I’m definitely going to be reading more by this talented (and Canadian) author and would recommend this to others without the slightest hesitation.
  • Jack and The Fountain of Youth on March 11, 2014

    This extremely well written novella really draws you in from the get-go. The writing style is very approachable and the storyline itself is intriguing to the point that you can’t let go. It is action packed while remaining approachable to younger readers. The author neither talks down to their audience nor do they attempt to use vocabulary directed at a scholarly audience. They simply tell a captivating tale in a very appealing manner. It’s a story that makes you think, dream, and feel all at the same time. The characters in this story definitely made me giggle. At the beginning, it was almost a comedy of errors, everyone being someone else and passing by who they were looking for. The characters themselves were also quite intriguingly developed. Their characteristics are revealed gradually, allowing you to get to know them through their actions rather than simply through description. The author melds history with the present, and mythology with reality in this brilliant tale that is a great read for those of all ages. The more I read from this team, the more I enjoy them. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • Once Were Friends on Dec. 05, 2014

    I quite enjoyed Young’s writing style. The easy forward flow of words allows you to focus on the story while at the same time highlighting certain aspects of it. Young writes naturally, and words things in a way that is just a little off centre, really keeping your attention. His descriptions made the story pop. I could easily picture myself sitting in the boardroom with the characters, or in any of the other aspects of the story. I loved the parallels that can be easily drawn to Shakespeare. For me it gave an extra element to immerse myself in. At the same time, this story would be equally as enjoyable without any background knowledge of Shakespearean literature. Getting to know the characters in this novel was actually quite fun. Young doesn’t simply develop characters individually, but also based on their relationships to one another. This multifaceted character development brings the entire story into vivid clarity. The dialogue has a great flow to it, and sounds the way that people actually talk. Overall, this was a fantastic novel. I found it both original and entertaining. I can’t wait to see what Young comes up with next! Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
  • Vampire Addiction: The Vampires of Athens, Book One on Jan. 01, 2015

    Pohler has a very approachable writing style that allows readers to focus on the story at hand. Her descriptions are vividly realistic. Pohler doesn’t just tell you that her characters are in Greece, her words and descriptions transport you there. The different cultures we encounter stand out in stark contrast to one another. Pohler has done a brilliant job of developing each one while building it into the storyline as a whole. She builds a fabulous and unforgettable new world for readers to get lost in. The melding of mythology, the paranormal, and a dash of mysticism is a heady mix and lends itself nicely to this story. Pohler makes Greek mythology her own here in a bit way. The pantheon is transplanted into modern day with a few very original twists along the way. I love her origins of vampires. It’s very easy to grasp for those versed in Greek mythology or simply the story of Dionysus. The main character portrays emotions in a very realistic manner. I love the fact that her decisions betray her age at every turn. She tries to follow her heart and do what she feels is right, but it rarely goes as planned for her. She can’t seem to grasp the concept that she’s pushing away those she’s trying to help until it’s too late. This is completed with a fantastic and diverse cast of characters that you not only get to know very well, but who are outstanding individuals that I’d love to meet in person. I love how Pohler’s characters have actual conversations with one another. The dialogue is fantastic and spot on. This is a novel that will be enjoyed by young adult & adult audiences alike.
  • Wolver's Rescue on March 04, 2015

    This novel is vividly written, telling a story that is both heartfelt and imaginative. I love the way that Rhoades combines a variety of subject matter, many very hard-hitting, into a story that not only captures your heart, but also makes you think and contemplate the world around you. There is an intensity underlying Rhoades’ writing that keeps you coming back for more. My heart broke for these characters by the end of the prologue, but watching them fight their way back was not only a fantastic story, but very reaffirming in and of itself. This well written and presented novel was definitely a joy to read. The heroine in this novel is possibly the most unique romance heroine I’ve ever encountered. The life she’s lived combined with her actions throughout the story in a remarkable manner. Rhoades’ multifaceted character development brought her to life in such a vivid way that I couldn’t help but feel intimately acquainted with her. Her strength and vulnerability were counterpoints to one another that really made her who she was. I really enjoyed the deeper look into who Eugene is and what he does. With that came a deeper understanding of Wolvers in general, more than simply the individual packs. This incredibly lifelike and wildly imaginative tale is by far Rhoades’ best yet. She combines the best and the worst of humanity with the fantasy of the Wolvers in a way that is uniquely hers. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.