Pepper Owens


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Smashwords book reviews by Pepper Owens

  • Blood Warrior on Jan. 22, 2012

    I had never heard of this book before I received a copy in return for an honest review. I cannot rave about it enough and am anxious for more. This read is extraordinarily good made more impressive to be a debut. The synopsis is accurate so there is no need to put it in my own words. This is definitely not your average YA paranormal-it is mature YA with none of the angst we see too often in the genre. Although the first couple of chapters are difficult as you try to determine exactly what is going on it becomes blindingly clear as the book races toward a tantalizing ending. There was much to like in this origin story. The world was built quickly and clearly - the inhabitants were explained sufficiently enough that you could easily remember. The characters were completely multi-dimensional and brought their own identities to the party. The story was well plotted with enough drama, romance, action, and thrills to make you clamor for the next entry immediately. If this is not on your TBR pile -- it probably should be.
  • Betrayal's Shadow on March 12, 2012

    Slow start for me but I believe that was more on me than the author. This ended up being a 4star read for me. Mia Bowman’s overnight dreams resemble nightmares. In reality is she’s transported nightly to help entrapped and tortured Turen, a premier warrior of the Guardians, a race hidden from humans. As his covenant decrees, Turen protects Mia from being discovered and used by his captors as they work to unravel a mystery currently plaguing his race dating back to the systematic elimination of his previous mentor’s family. The story is however more than a quest to unravel a series of mysteries or a typical tale of good vs. evil. It is an emotional reveal and smoothly lays the foundation for what could be an exciting new series. Dramatic betrayal, murder, deceit, jealousy, love, hate, mystery, revelation, and affirmation each get a moment in the spotlight. As the primary characters of the piece Mia & Turen have palpable chemistry and their coupling seems as if it could be “natural” as opposed to the immediate bed-play quite prevalent in the genre. Together or apart they are strong enough to be the backbone and foundation of this new series. Mia’s strength made her pivotal to the story and not an incidental character. Turen’s noble warrior stance makes him a logical “father” for future entries. As for the villain and the betrayer – both wove well through the story appropriately. The peripheral characters were not explored enough to add to the story – they did however add depth. The storyline, plot and flow brought intrigue and kept everything moving well and made this a pleasant read. The setup of the next book of the series is clearly plotted. More interaction with the humans in addition to the remaining Guardians and their nemesis could make this a long running series. Summing it up in a nutshell: Great foundation for a series I would continue.
  • Awakening the Nightmare on March 12, 2012

    Nature abhors a vaccuum. This comes in as a 4star read for me. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Cory DeLacy has spent a great deal of her life atoning for mistakes made in her youth. She also hasn't forgotten those that have helped her during her very long life. Cory's adoptive father comes to her, hat in hand for a favor-please watch over an assassinated councilman's daughter (and her security team), who is slated to take her fathers place on the council. However the attraction to (Nick) Ehlena's head of security threatens to unleash all of Cory's secrets. This is very solid paranomal romantic suspense, but it is also a solid urban fantasy thriller - that careful mix is perfect throughout. The mystery and ongoing "joke" of what kind of preternatural being is Cory is well drawn and is definitely appropriate within this story. The characters both primary and secondary are strongly drawn and each contributes to the overall story. Again I say, nature abhors a vaccuum and Ms. Malone should get to writing. This story works well as a stand alone as all the strands are tied off - but it works just a well as the initial story for a series. I would read more for this series and this author.
  • Shepherd's Moon on March 23, 2012

    At most 2.5 stars. I was really looking forward to this book and was excited to get it as an R2R but by the time I got approximately 30% in I was just exhausted from the shear effort of reading it. The blurb held true statements it didn’t seem to be a really accurate description of the book – that being said I’ll just launch into what I thought was good and/or bad about the book. I love were’s and the thought of a “were-whisperer” was extremely intriguing for me. I got lost in the minutia of our heroine’s thoughts and confused regarding where I was in the story a couple of times. To say I wasn’t drawn into the story is an understatement there was too much telling and not enough doing. The character roster was bloated and they all felt flat to me. After a while I felt like I was reading a script from that show from the '60’s – Dragnet and we went from case to case. I never connected with Alex & Tristian enough to care if they got together or not and them together, well never mind. What worked was the overall premise and storyline although I felt it could have been stronger with more fleshing out to make a more cohesive story. The introduction of unusual creatures was refreshing in addition to the possibilities of what could lie ahead in a series. Another good point was that every move Alex & Tristian made was not a flimsy device for sex. In the end I was rather left with more questions than answers, but I don’t think I’ll ever get them.
  • Illicit Magic (Book 1, Stella Mayweather Series) on April 03, 2012

    I received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review. My rating is 4.25stars. I was surprised to enjoy this book as well as I did. It was written quite English and a couple of the words didn’t actually translate to American well so I still don’t get a couple of the words. Another surprise was that this was termed as YA though it reads more mature. However it was an extremely pleasant surprise. Friendless odd woman out Stella Mayweather is looking forward to her typical night alone eating a frozen dinner watching her old television in her grubby London flat when her life takes an unexpected turn. Stella is stalked on her way home by a group of men intent on harming her when she inexplicably finds herself temporarily out of their grasp. After making her way home and trying to calm down with a nice cup of tea, she finds this is only the beginning as she has a visitor that won’t take no for an answer. So begins Stella’s journey to discovering her destiny as a witch when her visitor Etoile convinces her that the men intent on harming her were actually witch-hunters. A group calling themselves The Brotherhood and that Etoile is there to spirit her to safety. Stella soon finds herself in a different country, in a romantic triangle, with friends for the first time, learning how to control her powers and deep in the mystery of solving her parents’ deaths. Basically this was a character driven piece and everything rode on being able to connect with them and their ability to connect with each other. This story succeeded and you were invested in Stella and the other characters. There was romance in the story but this is not a romance it is clearly the foundation for an UF series. That being said, this fast paced story moved quickly and all of the characters were fully fleshed and for the most part, well used. The climatic action scene was done exactly right but somehow felt as if it was unexpected because so many other things were happening. I am certainly on board for book II because I want to know if……
  • The Ninja Librarian on April 11, 2012

    A cute mind mint. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This was a refreshing, fun, breezy read that is very much serialized. There are short, short stories strung together as chapters and they are so vividly written it is as if you’re actually watching it. It was a change of pace from my normal fare and served to entertain while giving me a much needed break. It is a page turner but not in a gasp, OMG, I don’t believe they did that short of way – but in a “I love this break I’m having way”. When Tom moves to Skunk Corners to become the new librarian, the only person that seems to want him to stick around is Big Al the schoolteacher who Tom insists on calling Alice – her real name. As this cute read goes one, you find that Tom is showing and efficiently teaching the miserable town folk quite a bit without their knowledge. This is a great read-aloud book for children and a refreshing return to innocent for the older generation. I found myself smiling as I went along. In a word it was fun and I wished it went on a little longer.
  • Shades of Grey on May 14, 2012
    (no rating)
    3stars – an anthology During the first story (Shades of Grey) features a man resisting interrogation and having his place on a team reaffirmed. So we’re looking at the individual’s impact on the societal paradigm. Inside the second story (There and Back Again) our central characters are soldiers and we examine the differences between courage and cowardice with WWII the backdrop. The third story (Down the Rabbit Hole) is looking more at abuse within a family unit. Throughout the stories the common thread of an individual’s thought process and ethics when examining or working through specific violent situations and its impact on one’s societal paradigm. As the ethics of the main characters in each story is held up for examination so are the readers. This book seems to be geared to a very narrow audience and may be overlooked by the general public.
  • Children of the Gods - A Chosen Novel on Aug. 21, 2012

    A PERFECT BALANCE 4STARS The synopsis is pretty accurate and hard to expound on without giving away the pertinent and wonderfully woven parts of the book. What can be said is the lyrical prose and manner of speaking felt perfect for these characters and this setting. Reka and Jaxson were drawn with the absolute correct balance of flaws and perfection to put yourself in their places. The secondary characters were ready as well for their close-ups because just as much care had gone into their creation. The story grabbed you from the outset and kept you engaged until the end. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the length – I would’ve preferred a full length novel to the novelette version. This fantasy world took me by surprise as I found myself in Reka’s mindset and her outlook was mine. I was even more surprised that while I too despised Jaxson (just like Reka), my feelings changed toward him just before hers did. The very delicate and intricate relationship that exists here between the Gods and their Children is full of political intrigue, maneuvering, backstabbing, unrequited love and it charms you into that world until you want more of it. I really enjoyed the semi-unexpected twist which I can only hope signals another great installment for this new series and quickly.
  • Siren Song on Sep. 27, 2012

    I received this copy free in exchange for an honest review. (2.75stars actually) Make no mistake this is a very sexy book from character descriptions to situations to scenery descriptions. That is not to say there is sex on every page – it is not but there is a great deal of flirting and sensuality. Those items are detailed enough that you know much time was spent getting them just right. What I felt was lacking was character development. The leads (Lexi Darling & Duncan/D Tremain were little more than caricatures of what their fully developed selves would be. Lexi felt and read as if she was there for shock value and D came across as sex candy. I never connected with either of them because IMHO they were drawn as secondary characters. The secondary characters however were serviceable and kept the pages going between the heavy flirtation sessions of Lexi & D. Also this was presented to me as a Paranormal Romance (no fault of the author) while there are paranormal romance elements present it is insignificant to the overall storyline. There were also language errors (i.e.there instead of their or they’re; hear instead of here, etc.) which were distracting. The synopsis intrigued me, I’m sorry I didn’t like this more.
  • Angel's Kiss on Nov. 18, 2012

    Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Even after reading the very accurate synopsis, I was unprepared to be so engrossed in such an intense mystery thriller after only a few pages. I really enjoyed being in Lexi Lewis’ point of view and learning what was going on just as she was. While being marketed as a PNR/UF-mystery, I think it should be the other way around because the mystery & suspense elements are so strong, I feel it is more a suspenseful thriller with paranormal elements. I really liked the intricacy of the mystery and the pacing of revealing Lexi’s hidden heritage. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters, their relationships to each other and to Lexi. But for me Lexi was the overall weak link. I didn’t buy her actions. I was perpetually told of the closeness to some characters and the estrangement with others yet the behavior was the exact opposite. That’s either a betrayal of the character or a betrayal of the reader – either way it’s a disconnect and affects the perception of all other actions. (Easier to talk to strangers ok, but IMO it went so far as to marginalize the characters that were supposed to be important to her and elevated the ones that were not.) That is not to say that Lexi did not have some redeeming characteristics such as great fighter instincts, resourcefulness and a willingness to do the unconventional. Lexi’s full life opens the door to additional adventures and development of the secondary characters which could be interesting.