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Smashwords book reviews by Amy Softa
- First Sight (The Ivory Series, Book 1)
on Aug. 29, 2012
First Sight is a well written vamp book, supposedly for the YA market (as tagged on Smashwords where I downloaded from), but the amount of drinking in the beginning of this book gives me pause about that. I do understand that it was based in Australia and the laws might be different there, but in the US legal drinking age is 21. The YA market is generally much younger than that (ages 12-18) and I wonder if the drinking sets a good example for that age group. This my main bone to pick with the book, other than that it is a great story. I also understand how the drinking and bar hopping is pivotal to the development of the story.
I must say that the book really didn't sink its teeth into me until around the middle then it didn't let go, I truly look forward to reading more and hope to meet more of the supporting cast of characters and learn their back stories. Much of the book reminded me of Twilight, the personality of the characters and the flow of the story. Not that that is bad because I enjoyed Twilight, but it really did feel familiar. Around half way the book started to separate itself from that and found its own identity. At first I didn't really care for Nicola, I thought she was shallow good looking party girl that cared for little in life than going out. I loved how she changed through the book and grew in character as the story progressed and her relationship with Vaughan developed. By the end of the book I had more respect for her and felt much more fondness for her. I liked Vaughan as well, although I still don't feel as if I know him very well, but I think that adds to his mystery and makes him so attractive. Of all the supporting roles I liked Ivan the most and would love to learn more about him and Cassie.
American readers should note that the Author is Australian and some of the terminology and slang might throw you for a loop for a bit, but not enough to affect your enjoyment of the book. Personally I enjoyed the dialect of the book and though it made it interesting.
For the first half of the book I though it was going to be only 3*, but once I finished I realized I wanted to read and really had enjoyed the story which bumped it up to 4*. Great job, thank you for the copy to review and I look forward to the next in the series.
- Savor, Warm Delicacy Series, Book 1
on Sep. 07, 2012
You know you are really into a new book/series/author when you go and buy the next book before you even finish reading the first one. I loved this book. It sucked me in from the first chapter, no struggling to get into this read to review book here. There was some things that I found peculiar like the fact the Claire's birth mother would let her go so easily, but with what you discover at the end of the book maybe it makes sense. This is a very interesting world Ms. Duncan has created and I look forward to learning more about this society where Vampires rule and live in the open. I really liked Claire, she makes a decision and sticks to it, she is open to learning and fulfilling her new role in society. Yet she remains true to her emotions and self as she tries to figure out how to fit in, I really liked her strength. I also liked her new friend Robin, who I am happy now has a friend and ally in the castle. I also like Dmitry, who is charming and funny. Arrick is also someone I look forward to getting to know better. For now I'm torn as to which team I am on, but I think I'm leaning towards Arrick. Ms. Duncan has done an excellent job of creating a cast of characters and an intriguing new world to explore. I really can't wait to read more. Well done!
- Preston's Mill (A Contemporary Romance)
on Nov. 10, 2012
Just want to say up front I received a copy of Preston's Mill from the author for an honest review.
To start off with the beginning of the book, it was excellent. I wish some of the other independent/self-published authors (maybe even some better known ones too) I've read would read Ms. Rhoades work, they are a great example of how to start a story. Lots of drama in that first chapter to pull you in, just enough back story to give you an idea what is happening without dragging the story down. I really felt angry for Meg and what was happening to her, the injustice of it all. No one deserves to be treated the way Meg was or should have to face that sort of humiliation. I would go into hiding too.
Up next, the setting. I live in a rural community, where you have to drive 40 minutes to reach civilization, 25 to the nearest farm supply store where, yes, I have been known to clothes shop. My surrounding isn't a mountain community, but I felt like I could have fit right in, Preston’s Mill felt like home. I know what it’s like to know most everyone in town and they are all related somehow. Main Street is far past its former glory and many buildings sit empty. The characters in this book felt like the ones I know in my daily life. I could appreciate the people's self-reliant nature. The characters in this book come off as very real, full of funny quirks, flaws and each has their own secrets some of them we discovered, but I have a feeling there is more to be learned about the people of Preston's Mill. It was amusing to watch Meg as she learned the ropes of her new community and rural life.
Some of the supporting cast that I loved: There was Annie of course, Meg's Aunt. She is one tough cookie, a little rough around the edges but you can tell she loves her family, both blood and adopted, and just wants what is best for them. I totally agree with her philosophy of hard work and fresh air being able to heal one's damaged soul. I wasn't sure of what to make of Lorelei to begin with. She has set up so many walls and comes off prickly to keep people out and herself safe, my heart hurts for her. She too has been dealt a difficult hand and doesn't really know how to escape her circumstance. I would love to read more of her story and see her get a happily ever after.
Now for Meg and JT, the hero and heroine of this book. Annie was right all along they are a good match for each other. Meg needed to find herself and learn to assert her wants and needs to others. She has been told much of her life how to live and what to think she needs to learn what she really wants out of life. JT comes from a troubled youth with a difficult home life and is freighted to really love anyone for fear of hurting them. He is afraid he can’t break the cycle and be in a healthy relationship. He needs to learn to trust himself and that he is not guilty of the mistakes of others. Unlike many of the other stories I have read their romance was slow to grow, both denying that they wanted anything too serious. You could tell where they were headed, but it was nice to read a story where the lead couple takes things at a more natural pace. We got to see all the foreplay in their relationship and watch them drive each other crazy, it was kind of fun.
Finally the end, which was as well written as the beginning. It had a nice feeling of closure for the main couple, and left me feeling happy for them and gave me hope for the future of the town as well. I would like to return to Preston’s Mill to see some of the other character’s get a happily ever after and see what comes of Meg and JT’s plans. Don’t want to give it away, but I loved the last few paragraphs about Annie.
I would recommend this book to most any lover of romance stories. As a librarian I can think of several patrons that I will/would recommend Preston’s Mill to. I will have to see if a print version is available, if not I hope one becomes available because I would add this book to our collection. It is a good story with plenty of action and a bit of humor mixed in and some steamy love scenes and well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- Echo Island
on Jan. 31, 2013
Another excellent read, now I need to go get the first one in this interesting new world to explore. First off It would have been nice if the extras at the end, the listing of character's, was in the beginning. If I had known it was there I would have checked it out before starting cause there were a lot of names to keep straight. For much of the story we bounce between the heads of only a few people so it wasn't really confusing, but it would have made it easier to remember whose who. I really liked this story. There was a little bit of everything; humor, good dialog, action, and a mystery to be solved all wrapped around the evolving romance of the two lead characters, Cass and Harper. There were a few instances where a word was off, either by tense or some other typo, but to me its no big deal, it didn't disrupt the flow of the story. The plot moved at a good pace and the story was full of twists and turns to keep you interested. Some things I could see coming, but others had me surprised. Great story, thanks for giving me the opportunity to read and review for you.
- The Alpha's Choice
on Feb. 06, 2013
First off let me say that I love this author's books. I have yet to find one that I didn't enjoy, and this one is no exception. The more I read and follow authors on Facebook and Goodreads I have found that quite often the authors I love the most are the ones that read the most, and Ms. Rhoades is definitely a reader. This love of a good story and of writing comes shining through in the story she crafts for us to enjoy. Her characters are very authentic, they have flaws and weaknesses just like you and me, and like us all they have the power to overcome....or choose not to. Buy this book, and any of her others, you won't be disappointed. These are good stories, with plenty of action and humor, twists and turns that will keep you guessing till the very end and all of this is wrapped around a juicy love story that will make you toes curl.
As for Alpha's Choice, I think I liked it better than the first one. There is just something about Charles...maybe it is his playful side, or his cockiness. Kat was an excellent pick for him, loved that this Big Bad Wolf fell for someone named Kat. She was defiantly a different from the last Mate in the previous book. Kat was a little more willing to submit to the Alpha. She also took so well to this strange new world and family she is thrust into. Happy that she finally found somewhere to belong, people to stand up for her and to love her. It was also fun to experience what it was like for her to become the wolf for the first time.
Thank you Jackie for another great story, can't wait for more!