jane anne

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Smashwords book reviews by jane anne

  • Quest of the Demon on Dec. 28, 2011
    (no rating)
    3* Home alone one night Darci was suddenly woken up by a strange noise, grabbing a hockey stick as a weapon she nervously searched the house. In one of the rooms she saw an odd green light behind a flapping curtain and cautiously went to investigate. The light was a portal into another world called Nahaba, which had accidentally been opened up by a young apprentice wizard named Taslessian. Of course Darci didn’t know this so when she got too close she was pulled into the other realm. Once Darci and Taslessian realised what had happened they went to see Belderon (Taslessian’s Master) in the hope he could send Darci back home but his magic wasn’t powerful enough so he sent them on a quest to see Grisham the most powerful dragon in the land. Getting to the Dragons lair was no easy feat there were warlocks and dragons determined to stop them and claim Darci as their own prize because ‘other worlders’ were a very rare and coveted possession. Things become more complicated for the pair when they finally make it to Grishams lair only to discover even his power isn’t enough to send Darci home and there is more the pair must endure before she can go back…… Darci has a very down to earth personality, she was stressed about what she was wearing just like any normal sixteen year old would be and she was amused by Taslessians embarrassment. Sarcasm and humour were a big part of her character making her very likable. Taslessian was a cutie, he was such a prude, every time he saw Darci in less clothes than was the norm’ in his world he blushed and that made me smile…….it was so endearing!!! In the beginning he kind of felt like a bumbling fool, after all initially we are led to believe it was his error that had brought Darci here but once Belderon had sacrificed himself to save Darci, Taslessian seemed to gain confidence in himself and actually appeared to know what he was doing. It was interesting to watch how both of them grew and learned from their mistakes. There was a hint of romance but it didn’t take off really which is fine for the age range that this book is aimed at. It was really odd because when I started to read this book there was a distinct Enid Blyton feel to the writing and then blow me down did the author not make a reference to Enid Blyton’s ‘faraway tree’!!!….the irony!!!…I grew up reading ‘Naughty Amelia Jane’, ‘The Wishing Chair’ and ‘The Famous Five’ etc. and reading this book took me right back to those days. Writing styles have changed enormously since then so reading a story with that ‘feel’ about it made it seem dated somehow, it’s hard to explain…… the writing is very clean cut if you know what I mean not quite as gritty as the style we are used to today. There is action and humour and all kinds of typical other world creatures like elves and wizards and dragons that make this an interesting read and I think it is suitable for kids as young as eleven or twelve as well as YA.
  • Quest of the Demon on Dec. 28, 2011

    3* Home alone one night Darci was suddenly woken up by a strange noise, grabbing a hockey stick as a weapon she nervously searched the house. In one of the rooms she saw an odd green light behind a flapping curtain and cautiously went to investigate. The light was a portal into another world called Nahaba, which had accidentally been opened up by a young apprentice wizard named Taslessian. Of course Darci didn’t know this so when she got too close she was pulled into the other realm. Once Darci and Taslessian realised what had happened they went to see Belderon (Taslessian’s Master) in the hope he could send Darci back home but his magic wasn’t powerful enough so he sent them on a quest to see Grisham the most powerful dragon in the land. Getting to the Dragons lair was no easy feat there were warlocks and dragons determined to stop them and claim Darci as their own prize because ‘other worlders’ were a very rare and coveted possession. Things become more complicated for the pair when they finally make it to Grishams lair only to discover even his power isn’t enough to send Darci home and there is more the pair must endure before she can go back…… Darci has a very down to earth personality, she was stressed about what she was wearing just like any normal sixteen year old would be and she was amused by Taslessians embarrassment. Sarcasm and humour were a big part of her character making her very likable. Taslessian was a cutie, he was such a prude, every time he saw Darci in less clothes than was the norm’ in his world he blushed and that made me smile…….it was so endearing!!! In the beginning he kind of felt like a bumbling fool, after all initially we are led to believe it was his error that had brought Darci here but once Belderon had sacrificed himself to save Darci, Taslessian seemed to gain confidence in himself and actually appeared to know what he was doing. It was interesting to watch how both of them grew and learned from their mistakes. There was a hint of romance but it didn’t take off really which is fine for the age range that this book is aimed at. It was really odd because when I started to read this book there was a distinct Enid Blyton feel to the writing and then blow me down did the author not make a reference to Enid Blyton’s ‘faraway tree’!!!….the irony!!!…I grew up reading ‘Naughty Amelia Jane’, ‘The Wishing Chair’ and ‘The Famous Five’ etc. and reading this book took me right back to those days. Writing styles have changed enormously since then so reading a story with that ‘feel’ about it made it seem dated somehow, it’s hard to explain…… the writing is very clean cut if you know what I mean not quite as gritty as the style we are used to today. There is action and humour and all kinds of typical other world creatures like elves and wizards and dragons that make this an interesting read and I think it is suitable for kids as young as eleven or twelve as well as YA.
  • Arm Farm on Feb. 27, 2012

    2.5* After walking in from school to find her mothers lifeless body covered in blood and then being told her father had also been butchered in their family home, seven year old Natalie’s life is set on a new course. She grows up with an interest in forensic science, not consciously with the aim of solving her parents still open murder, but more so she could help other victims and their families by getting answers. Natalie’s natural skills were noticed by her professors and she was given the opportunity to attend an out of state forensic conference, this made headlines and soon after Natalie found herself as the victim of a stalker. I wasn’t very impressed with the cover art for this book. It wasn’t eye catching, the colours are pale and the cartoon like drawing coupled with the strange title are quite misleading. I think to get this book noticed on the market it definitely needs a new front cover, one that will make it stand out from the crowd because when choosing a book buyers are initially attracted by the front cover. The story is quite intriguing, I like the idea of it and think with quite a bit of work this could be a very good book. Punctuation and grammar are not an issue, there was nothing in those areas that jumped out at me as being a problem but the overall writing needs to be addressed. 1) The dialogue is contrived and not very realistic:- There is quite a lot of dialogue in this book but none of it sounds natural, conversations aren’t written in a way that you could ‘hear’ the people saying them, it was as if the characters were reading from a script and they were very poor actors. 2) The sentences were stilted:- There was no flow to the writing, it became frustrating to read because it was so unnatural and wooden. Some sentences were so stuffy and structured in such an odd way that I felt like I was reading something written in the 1800’s! 3) Vocabulary :- We are treated to some ‘big’ words i.e. smorgasbord for one (surely ‘varied buffet’ would have sufficed) yet the author made the very common error of writing ‘blood splatter analysis’ instead of ‘blood spatter analysis’ (which is one of my pet hate mistakes) yet it wasn’t picked up by her pre-published readers or ‘editor?’ I don’t want it to seem as if I am really down on this book because as I said earlier I found the idea very interesting, this is where a good editor comes in. As well correcting grammatical errors an editor picks out unrealistic areas of the plot and can reconstruct sentences to aid readability. A good edit and a new front cover would dramatically improve this books saleability and I think it is something the author should seriously consider.
  • Chain Gang Elementary on March 17, 2012

    The Chaingang Elementary By Jonathan Grant 4* When Richard Gray moves his family to a new town he finds himself thrown in at the deep end as PTO president at his sons new school. Malliford is a ‘school of excellence’ but with redistricting the school is forced into taking less fortunate kids from the ‘apartments’ causing all kinds unrest amongst the parents and the staff who worry the test scores will suffer as a result. After witnessing some very disturbing incidents where staff were unnecessarily cruel to the new students Richard makes it his business to try and stop it, but in doing so he just makes himself and his son targets. ‘The Chaingang Elementary’ is not a quick read but it is a compelling one. I thought it was going to be solely about a parent teacher organisation but it was more than that. We were given insight into Richards troubled childhood and followed him through some very difficult times in his failing marriage. The story and the characters were more in-depth than I had expected. This was Richards story, and his character changed from humorous to frustrated to serious as the plot progressed and thickened. Although I enjoyed Jonathan Grants writing style, I felt some of the story line was less than believable. The treatment of the students by some members of staff was horrific and the blatant disregard for the children’s safety, happiness and well-being would not happen in western society. That said I was still drawn into the story and needed to know what happened next! This is a well written book with realistic characters and natural dialogue, there was some waffle that elongated the story and slowed the pace in parts but on the whole the tale moved along at a steady pace holding the readers attention to the last page and I enjoyed it. Copy supplied for review. Thank you
  • Brambleman on March 21, 2012

    Although very different stories I see similarities between this and JG’s first novel ‘The Chain Gang Elementary’. The protagonists in each book are men in failing marriages who work from home and look after their children while earning considerably less money than each of their ‘power hungry’ ’money loving’ wives; who by the way also share a feeling of boredom and intolerance towards their inadequate husbands. Both books have a conscientious lead character who is far from perfect and a plot that has an anti-racist theme, an issue I feel must be close to the authors heart or locality. This is a very well written novel with a varied vocabulary and structured prose, clearly Mr. Grant has the skill required to construct a sentence and write a good story with a complicated plot and a diverse set of characters. I was intrigued by ‘Trouble and Romy, they were both characters that I had to think and wonder about, and hadn’t expected to find in this book. overall I found Brambleman to be and interesting and informative read. Copy supplied for review.
  • The Rise Of Majick on April 04, 2012

    The rise of Majick by Jay Taylor 3* Amazon description:-… ‘Tarver wants to restore the world of his youth - Our world. His hopes could be crushed by the elves living in Central Park. The future depends on the liquid majick and the first dragon egg of this new Age. Whoever controls the majick and the dragon within the egg will be unstoppable. Our once great world is in transition. The future will be determined by a man and a few friends he gathers along the way’. This is a fast paced adventure story based in a land full of magical beings, trolls demons, dragons and more. The story of destiny and bringing balance back to a conflicted world is not a unique idea and I have read a number of fantasy books with similar story lines where our hero’s journey is spent fighting a number of different evils to stand up for what they believe is right. Yes some of the creatures were new to me, as were most of the names and the spelling of ‘magic’…. same theme not so varied variation! I have one major gripe that I may not have noticed if I had ‘read’ all this book but parts of it I ‘listened’ to using the speech enable function on my kindle, which I think highlighted the problem for me……… There was a section where ‘Hunt’ and ‘Barron’ were speaking with the Tar Dragon Slyth, at this point I was listening and the word ‘said’ popped up so often that it frustrated me. The odd alternative was used, ‘asked’ and ‘added’ for instance but it was already in my head and during the rest of the book I was distracted by counting the word ‘said’. On the whole this is an ‘okay’ read it was interesting enough to entertain, but not original enough to be unpredictable. The writing style is comfortable but I did find parts of the plot quite chaotic and confusing. I didn’t find excessive formatting, punctuation or grammar errors but did feel the vocabulary was limited which I felt let the book down. Copy supplied for review
  • Be Careful What You Wish For (Book 2 in The Dream Series) on April 08, 2012

    Be Careful What You Wish For by Gladys Quintal 3.5* Cassie and Alexi have managed to bring a little normalcy to their sons life. Alexi is pretending to be a human with a sun allergy making it possible for him to permanently work the night shift at the local hospital, while Cassie is Mum to AJ. The rules have been broken since Cassie knows Alexi is a vampire but he has failed to kill or change her, this makes certain people not very happy and puts all of them in danger. I had been a little reluctant to read and review this book because I had received some negative feed back over my review of the first in the series ‘Man of my Dreams’ and worried that if this title had the same editing issues I was going to be in for more stick! Luckily GQ had realised her work could be significantly improved with the help of an editor and has decided to go down that route, so hopefully my comments this time around will be considered less harsh! This book started at the beginning and gave us all the background information we needed to understand where the vampires came from and why they could only appear in dreams. I was glad of this explanation because I had found it a little difficult to get my head around in the last book and can’t help but wonder if it would have been better to include this as a prologue in ‘Man of my dreams’ instead (or as well) just to help the reader. I have to say when I compare the writing between both books in the series they are completely different. In B2 the spelling and punctuation mistakes are few and far between and the whole structure of the sentences makes the writing flow much better. As far a plot is concerned there are similarities to other Vampire stories I have read so I don’t find it all that unique. For example the V rules that state once a human knows the secret they must be turned or killed (a little ‘twilighty’) the fact that the good vampire only killed criminals (also like Edward had done in twilight before he turned ‘vegetarian’) I hate to harp on about one book reminding me of another but I can’t help myself, I am searching for a unique read and want something fresh to hold my interest, I haven’t found that here. Be careful what you wish for is and enjoyable quick read, the cliff hanger ending shows there are more books to follow and I would like to finish up the series to it’s conclusion as I am beginning to know the characters well now. Copy supplied for review
  • Legends of the Saloli: Approaching Storm on April 19, 2012

    3.5 stars This was an unusual little story, Saloli are squirrels who live their lives similar to humans they have a ‘God’ to worship named Valde Abbas, they believe in a life after death. They have marriage ceremonies and funerals and the story puts me in mind of ‘Wind in the Willows’ or ‘Bright eyes’ with it’s humanlike talking animals. Our MC Jeremy aka Blaze is a teenage boy who has been turned into a squirrel in order to save the Icefire tribe from some unknown threat that the groups prophet Faith had been warned about in a dream. He soon proves himself as an able fighter and is promoted from trainee to fully-fledged tribe member within a few weeks. Blaze happens along many threats and we watch him fight foxes, eagles and humans as well as other things in this steady paced exciting fantasy. I did notice a hand full of typo’s which I find in most books I read and didn’t find them detrimental to the enjoyment of the story. The writing flows easily and the plot if somewhat predictable is entertaining. Although there is quite a lot of violence in the story the writing style and vocabulary suggests this book is aimed at young people aged thirteen and over. We are left with a cliff hanger that implies this is the first of a series of books involving our Saloli friends and I recommend it to all young fantasy lovers. Copy supplied for review
  • Ninjas of the 512 on April 23, 2012

    3.5* Written in only 72 hours this was Laura Roberts entry in Canada’s 3 day Novel Contest. Just a week before the start of the new term, History teacher Suzie Jimenez received an E-mail from the head teacher informing her that due to Governor Nick Harry’s budget cuts their school would be closing it’s doors indefinitely and she was fired. Angry, confused and looking for answers she contacts all the other teachers and together they set up a protest march in front of the Capitol building. This is just the beginning of what turns into a full on battle between the people and the state. But it’s no ordinary war this one not only has the ‘evil politicians’ but they share the stage with ninja’s and pirates in this tongue in cheek political novella. ‘Rebels of the 512’ is a satirical novella about Texan politics. Being neither a Texan nor an American, a lot of the references are lost on me but this in no way takes away my understanding of the plot. Politicians are the same world over and the subject normally sends me to sleep. Amazingly this book didn’t have the yawn factor I imagined it would, Laura Roberts is witty and her ability to write humour kept a smile on my face to the end.
  • Weaver on May 03, 2012

    Alex Cronlord woke with a start after a nightmare where she was the victim of a murder. Shaking the dream off as ‘first day back at school’ nerves Alex went about her day as normal, that was until she met her murderer in the hall way at school and for some strange reason she couldn’t stay away from him. Weaver is a quick read, I would probably class it more of a novella than a full length novel I read it in around 3 hours. This is the second work by this author that I have read but I wasn’t as impressed by this as I was by ‘Atticus for the undead’. The idea is definitely ‘unique..ish’ I say ‘ish’ because although the children’s abilities are different the fact that these kids have been genetically engineered for ‘the greater good’ puts me in mind of a James Patterson series I once read called Maximum Ride. I wasn’t able to connect with all the characters, or at least I didn’t like them all and I found the story jumped around a bit, this could be just because everyone is being introduced and the story is quite full on and fast paced. The author did however do a good job at laying down the foundations for the rest of what could become an interesting series. At the end of the book we are given a sneak peak at book 2 ‘The Void’ which I look forward to reading next.
  • The Void on May 12, 2012

    3.5* Alex doesn’t know who she can trust anymore, even her nightmares are becoming unpredictable and confusing… Was that the present or the past she dreamt of? She can’t tell anymore. Once Sigmund shows up with his sewn-up face and his unfinished business with Ainsling something has to be done so Graves is left with no choice but to turn to the murdering pyromaniac Zach, and his friend ‘Cloak’ to help Alex travel to the Void and deal with the Xorda once and for all. This isn’t one of my favourite series’ sometimes I found it a little hard going, it was very busy with lots of things happening, different characters and their stories to keep track of. There was James and his military background, Ainsling and her issues with Sigmund, we have the rejects Zach and Cloak, Miora and her mother and then Alex who was trying to make sense of her visions and deal with watching her mothers early life unfold before her eyes. On top of that we had the Xorda attacking, the involvement of the FBI and the doctor with his syringe full of serum! My head was in a spin with it all! It was action packed that’s for sure, there was something happening or something to think about in every paragraph. There was no fluff and there was none of the descriptive visuals either…. I kind of missed having the surroundings described and seeing the characters interactions rather than just being told how they feel or what they are thinking. The book is very dialogue driven which left me needing to create Alex’s world from my own imagination with little or no help from the writer. John Abramowitz can write a great story, he proved that for me with ‘Atticus for the undead.’ ‘The Void’ book 2 in the ‘Weaver saga’ is a very different story and didn’t hold my interest as I hoped it would. All that said it had an interesting premise and an ending that ensures more books will follow. I’m sure there are fans of the genre for whom this series will turn out to be a favourite but it isn’t for me. I think I have been slightly ruined by reading ‘Atticus for the Undead’ first because in terms of grabbing the reader and feeding your imagination I find that book by the author far superior to this saga. Copy supplied for review
  • Warped Mirrors on June 07, 2012

    Young Julian is convinced he is better than the poor lifestyle his mum can give him, so with the intention of tasting his dream he befriends the headmasters son. Accompanying the family on a trip to a Scottish estate in the country Julian gets more than he bargained for when he meets his host ‘Julian’ and soon begins to realise the similarities between them are more than just their name. In parts I became a little confused, there were alternate dimensions and time travel and for some reason I’ve always found it difficult to get my head around these concepts. The way changing something in the past can have a devastating result on the future…. it’s just too ‘big’ for me to comprehend! The inclusion of a mysterious Mayan globe said to have originated from an alternate universe and a strange board game that put me in mind of the 1995 film ‘Jumanji’ made for a very complex plot with a lot of possible variables. There was one thing that got on my nerves….We were constantly being reminded of young Julian’s growing lust for ‘old’ Julian’s girlfriend, with a steady stream of instances where his desire was visible and the - not so lady like - ladies repeatedly made comments about his obvious discomfort. I didn’t find his embarrassment amusing though I think that was the intention, perhaps it’s man humour, I just didn’t see the funny side and got a bit fed up of hearing about the young lads lack of control over certain body parts. Warped mirrors (apt title) is not an overly long read, it flows well and has natural sounding dialogue with bits in a Scottish accent (which was fun to listen to on my kindle!!) It was slow to start but the pace picked up nicely as I got into the story. This is definitely a read YA paranormal and fantasy lovers would enjoy. Copy supplied as an author taster! Thank-you
  • The Guest on June 17, 2012

    This is a short story; around a half hour to read, about Monks and their belief in reincarnation. ‘The Guest’ stands alone but I understand contains a character from Dales ’Chosen Chronicles’ series. The content is very cryptic keeping us wondering and guessing about who the guest really is until we manage to collect enough clues to ‘maybe’ work it out. I found the story very emotional and touching and as a taster it has left me wanting to read more of this authors work and find out for sure just who this character is. I will definitely be doing just that in the very near future.
  • The Chosen One (Book 3 in The Dream Series) on June 18, 2012

    The Chosen One by Gladys Quintal 4* The Chosen One is a fast paced drama with non stop action and suspense throughout, it’s full of unexpected twists and turns that kept me turning the pages until I finished the whole book in one sitting. Alexi is still struggling to keep his own secret and now has the added stress of keeping A.J hidden as his sons abilities are beginning to show. Luckily he has his family and friends to support him, but the question is, will they be able to find the threat in time? The ending was abrupt and I found myself trying to turn the page for the next chapter, so with my hate of waiting I did feel a little aarrrggghhh at the fact I have to wait a while to find out ‘What the hell has been going on?’!!!! This is the 3rd instalment of the Dream series and I can honestly say I am honoured to have read them all. I have watched this authors progress and seen her grow into a great story teller. From the first edition of ‘The Man of my Dreams’ which had potential but needed a lot of work, to ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ which was so much more polished. I can see the difference and improvements in the authors writing style as she has gained experience. Gladys Quintal has definitely found her niche and I am looking forward to the rest of the series with interest. Thank you for sending me this ARC copy for review.
  • The Road to Dark Desire on June 27, 2012

    The Road To Dark Desire by Brooklynn Rivers 4* Skyler Weston and her friend Josie accidentally happen across an injured man on the road, they carry him to a nearby cabin in the forest where Skyler nurses him back to health. Skyler knew that he was some kind of highway man because of the way he was dressed but she didn’t realise he was the infamous Ellesbrooke bandit. Quentin had been forced into this life of treachery after he and his brother Douglas were conned out of their home and inheritance. Together they were determined to get it back but it wasn’t an easy task with a bounty on his head and half the county out to kill him. Innocent maidens, ruggedly handsome men on horse back, lust, danger and hero’s OMG can the scene set be anymore romantic? I loved this book! I was totally drawn in and could not stop reading, finishing the whole thing in one day (With a totally ignored and grumpy family as a result!!) The Road to Dark Desire is full of action and adventure it’s fast moving and there is constantly something happening to keep the reader turning the pages. Brooklynn Rivers easy writing style drew me in and I was quickly lost in the plot, living alongside the characters feeling their mood and enjoying the ride. I loved the fact that when Skyler was in danger Quentin would do anything, even risk his life to save her, and I especially liked that Skyler wasn’t some wimpy woman and was tough enough to do the same for him. The pair were a perfect match and the chemistry jumped off the pages. I would highly recommend this book to all fans of Historical Romance, you won’t be disappointed! Copy supplied for review
  • One Knight's Stand on July 01, 2012

    One Knight’s Stand by Brooklynn Rivers 4* Rowena’s father was an easily tempted man and couldn’t resist a wager. In a moment of weakness he used his daughters hand in marriage as his stake and lost. Rowena was not happy. The man she was being forced to marry was Lord Dreogan, an evil leader who was cruel to his minions. Having to travel for two days to her wedding venue, Rowena’s childhood friend Eadric; now a well battled knight, was to be her escort to ensure her safe delivery to the Lord. One Knight’s stand is a short story, we have a maiden in distress and a Knight in shining armour who comes to her rescue. The ‘love’ scenes are very tastefully written without the use of vulgar or crass words which is a refreshing change! The plot is simple, uncomplicated and quite predictable but is an easy and quick read for those with a romantic heart. The character development is suitable for the stories length and the story is complete within itself not leaving the reader with the ‘I need more’ feeling. I enjoyed it.
  • Yesterday's Daughter on July 21, 2012

    Yesterdays Daughter is a vampire story with a difference. We don’t have the all knowing confident mind reading male with sparkles or ‘shit kickers’, instead we have the unsure timid female who isolates herself and doesn’t know what she is. This all changes on the day she meets her soul mate Malachi. He has been looking for her for years even though everyone believed she was dead and thought he should give up his search. Malachi now has to teach Grace all about her destiny and about the dangers of the world she is a part of. This was a very slow off the mark book, it dragged for possibly half the story before anything happened to quicken the pace and it jumped around a bit from one perspective to another which took some getting used to. The characters are well developed though and we are given lots of info and insight to their thoughts and feelings, especially Grace who was easy to connect with because her traumatic childhood makes you want to hug her! The plot itself is well thought out, with surprising twists and unforeseen outcomes. Sallie Lundy-Frommer definitely has the potential to become a great story teller. This is her debut novel and it is a good book although I found the writing to be inconsistent. Some areas felt over written where other scenes felt one dimensional. I think getting the balance right is something that writers learn with experience and I would enjoy to see more work by this author. Copy supplied for review
  • Doppelganger on Aug. 26, 2012

    OMG it was a major cliff-hanger NOOooo!! Citrus and Aedan found themselves in a very unusual position when they turned up at school one morning to find themselves, or rather their doubles, already in their class. The pair soon realise that something strange is happening in their town and their class mates are being kidnapped and replaced by doppelgangers. How they avoided being taken they don’t know but the race is on to find their friends before something awful happens to them. This book had me turning the pages from start to finish, I was so curious as to what was happening and where these doppelgangers came from. I haven’t come across a storyline quite like this one before and found the whole thing totally unpredictable. Some of the scenes did drag on and feel a little irrelevant to the story slowing the pace in parts but the ‘need to know’ kept me hooked. One major twist had me really shocked, I did NOT see it coming! When I was up to 90% (I read the kindle version) and we were at a fairly crucial point in the plot I was devastated to find the book ended and the last 10% was an excerpt from a totally different book…..How can you do this to me??? Book 2 is coming soon……..but when is soon?? I need to know…NOW!!! Overall this was a very interesting read, it had humour, adventure, suspense and intrigue. It is a comfortable read with a natural voice and I enjoyed it. Copy supplied for review.
  • Conquered Shores on Jan. 04, 2013

    Conquered Shores by Brooklynn Rivers 4 Stars Shannon is left fearing for her life after Vikings invade her village, drag her away and throw her on a boat. Once they land in Dublin Shannon finds herself capturing the eye of Gunner Ravenshield, a good looking muscled warrior who decides to keep Shannon for his own. Determined not to give herself over to ‘a Viking’ she does everything possible to dislike him, but as time goes by she finds it harder and harder not to warm to him, with body and heart. Conquered Shores is a love story filled with Vikings and slaves, lust and jealousy. It is a compelling read with an easy flow and pulled me in from the start. Shannon was not you’re A-typical leading lady, she is high spirited and willing to stand up for herself whatever the cost. Her ‘take no crap’ attitude gives her character depth. Gunner is quite typical in the hero role, but no less interesting. He sees that Shannon is special from the moment he lays eyes on her, and knows it is their destiny to be together. The story moves along at a steady pace with a mixture of good times and angst to keep the reader engaged. I really liked this story and hate to take stars away but there were quite a few typo’s and mixed tenses within the script, they are not distracting but they are there and that is the only reason I give it 4 instead of 5 stars. Copy supplied for review
  • By My Side on April 06, 2013

    It is pretty clear from the start that things are not going well in Lily’s life but luckily when it gets too tough to be at home she has Andy to turn to. After yet another argument between her parents Lily drives to see Andy but when his front door opens Gabe, Andy’s older brother and Lily’s childhood nemesis, is standing there. Gabe should be in school and seeing him home was the last thing she needed. Through no fault of her own, this poor girl has some rotten stuff to deal with, from a father who doesn’t appear to care anymore, to an alcoholic mother, all the while trying to live as normal a life as possible and get through school. Her situation goes from bad to worse and she finds comfort in places she never thought she would, but that in itself creates even more conflict for her. By My Side is a very busy book with continuous new dramas unfolding, and I found it quite emotionally draining to read. I can’t say I enjoyed it because the majority of its content was depressing, but for a coming of age drama it was well written and a good read, even if it was rather typical for the genre. I found it easy to feel for the characters and was fully invested in their story and where it would take me. Stephanie Witter is a new author to me but I enjoyed her writing and will happily add her to my list of authors I would read more of. Won Copy From Author In Launch Party Event.
  • Silver on June 24, 2014

    The murder of Jaze’s father forced him and his mother to start a fresh life in a new town. What he didn’t account for was the high amount of werewolves in the area, or to walk into a power struggle where someone was trying to kill all the alpha’s so he can rule every one of the packs. Once Jaze learned who the werewolf responsible was, he teamed up with an unlikely sect to attempt to stop him. I’ve not read a werewolf story for ages so it was a nice change and I found myself totally engrossed in this book. Jaze is a well rounded character who has his heart in the right place. This coming of age drama does have a touch of romance but it doesn’t over shadow the story. A well-written novel that was just the right length to hold my attention from beginning to end and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. Copy supplied for review
  • Black on June 25, 2014

    Black (The Silver #2) by Cheree Alsop 3 Stars I always believe a book should draw you in on the first page and this one did that for me. The opening paragraphs were dramatic and set the scene for what should be a fantastic read. My heart went out to that young boy, who lived locked in a room with no care and only negative attention. After his first phase at seven years old Jet was forced to fight others of his kind and the only way out of the ring was to kill his opponent. For almost ten years this was his life, fight after fight, kill or be killed. It was only after a fight at the ‘Rumble’ that he was expected to lose, but unfortunately won, that his fate was sealed and orders to kill him were set in place. It was at this point that Jaze and other characters from book #1 were brought into the story and the connection between both books was made. Jet was rescued and though I should have been elated after seeing him suffer so much, this was actually where the book started to let me down. I became bored with Jet’s inner dialogue and self-deprecating thoughts. I know he must have been emotionally messed up but did I really have to be constantly reminded by him saying how unworthy he was because he was a killer. He was forced to kill, he didn’t choose to kill, it got old pretty quick. Some of the facts were a little annoying. Jet had been locked up for 16 years with little to no human contact, yet he’d managed to learn Spanish and English, and he taught himself to read both languages by using the subtitles on the small TV set he had in his room, not to mention he could also lip read in both languages too. That was all farfetched enough but with some of the knowledge he had apparently picked up, I couldn’t help but groan when he used conditioner instead of shampoo because he didn’t know the difference. It was such a simple thing that he would have learned from the ads on TV especially considering some of the other knowledge he had. Overall Black is a solid 3 star read, which considering its beginning, was a huge disappointment, I was really expecting the wow factor throughout but didn’t get it. Copy supplied for review
  • Crimson (The Silver Series Book 3) on June 27, 2014

    Crimson (The Silver#3) by Cheree Alsop 3.5 Stars Waking up from what he knows to have been a fatal road accident, Kaynan finds himself in a laboratory and notices some changes to the way he feels. Knowing he has to get out of there he breaks out of his room and comes across a young blind girl who begs him to take her too. Together they manage to escape. Running for their lives they desperately search for shelter, help and answers. Finding a simple message and phone number on a website points them in Jaze’s direction and the truth of their horror becomes clear. The pair have been experimented on leaving Grace blind and Kaynan, who had died a human, brought back to life and changed into a werewolf. I am enjoying this series so far, it is managing to hold my interest up to now. Each of the new wolves introduced have had a different story to tell even though they are similar in the fact that they have been held against their will and have been treated really horribly. There was a fight scene towards the end of the book that didn’t work for me. I found it hard to imagine where all the security guards, hunters and werewolves came from, it was like there was a never ending stream of them and it had me scratching my head a little trying to visualise it. I’m about to begin reading book 4 in the series, Violet, and I’m kind of hoping for a little more on the romance front to even the balance between the violence and love that we have been given in this series so far. Copy supplied for review
  • Violet (The Silver Series Book 4) on June 29, 2014

    Violet (The Silver #4) by Cheree Alsop 4 Stars Even though Kaynan and Colleen had escaped from the facility at the end of book 3, Crimson, they still aren’t in the clear. This instalment, told from Colleen’s POV, follows her journey as she tries to come to terms with being a werewolf, and Rafe, the werewolf who’d rescued her. Rafe takes Colleen to the safety of his pack in the forest where they stay happily until Rafe is attacked by a cougar, leaving him with life threatening injuries, which forces Colleen to contact Kaynan for help. Returning to society comes with its own set of problems when they have both the scientists they’d escaped from and the government, threatening them and putting everyone connected to them in danger. This is a lovely story about how love heals all. Rafe, the wild wolf who was brought up by a pack of real wolves, shows his softer side to Colleen and in the freedom of the forest, with his support she slowly learns to control her phasing. Their feelings for each other become more clear when back in the real world, Colleen and Kaynan find themselves constantly being chased by men with guns, Rafe will do anything to keep her safe. I’m not sure why this series has gripped me so completely, but it has. Even now four books in, I’m eager to pick up book five which is unlike me, I usually get bored reading one book after the other of the same set without a break in between. I’m finding it easy to fall into Cheree’s writing style, her characters have a natural feel to them and are comfortable to be around. This series is easily suited for anyone aged 12 years and over who enjoy werewolf stories. Copy supplied for review
  • Azure (The Silver Series Book 5) on July 01, 2014

    Azure (The Silver #5) by Cheree Alsop 4 Stars Continuing the theme of the series this instalment follows Vance, an alpha who had been hidden away by his parents when he was six years old to save him from the alpha killing spree that Jaze’s uncle was on. Now an adult Vance runs the camp, and looks after all the other werewolves that are sent there until they are old enough to form packs of their own. The boys all live in relative harmony until one night a group of trainee hunters happen across the camp and lives are lost on both sides. Vance’s humanity kicks in and he takes pity on one of the hunters, Nora and keeps her safe in his quarters. The problems really begin when Vance learns that Nora’s father is a rogue hunter leader, who kidnaps and tortures werewolves for pleasure, and takes Vance prisoner. When Nora finds out what is happening she seeks out Jaze for help. I am enjoying this series but have read the first five one after the other and feel the story line is now becoming predictable. There is a pattern that flows through each book that varies only by the main wolfs back-story. Jaze and his pack is the common denominator that ties the series, but his tale doesn’t seem to move on and I would like to see that happen. I’m going to have a few days break between this and the next book to give myself time to process so I can go into ‘Hunter’ with a clear mind. Copy supplied for review
  • Tangled Paths on Sep. 07, 2014

    4 Stars True love doesn’t always run smoothly and with a psycho mother and Bri’s physical health problems that was the case for her and Josh. Not to mention their one night of drunken passion five years earlier when Josh was going through his ‘zoned out’ phase and had only a fuzzy memory of their time together. When they meet again Bri is instantly taken back to the time when he treated her so appallingly, so obviously she is cold and distant with him, but he has a hard time understanding why she is so standoffish, until his memory of that night slowly comes back to him and it dawns on him that he isn’t entirely blameless for her feelings toward him now. Josh and Bri are more serious than the couple we read about in book two, An Exceptional Twist (the only other book in the series I have read). Stefan and Leah were light hearted and their story had more humour in it than Tangled Paths, which is a love story about two broken people learning to deal with their pain, understand their past and move on. It’s about second chances and hope for a better future and overall is a touching and enjoyable read. Copy supplied for review