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Smashwords book reviews by Sheri

  • The Mating: The Original Law of the Lycans Story on Oct. 19, 2011

    I liked the concept of the arranged mating and reading about the struggles that the couple went through in trying to make the mating work, and the plot itself was good, if not a bit far-fetched. The only thing I really didn't like was Elise, the main character. Her character was so mind-numbingly stupid that I wished, more than once, that I could reach into the book and slap her. Other than that, if you are looking for a quick, interesting read over an afternoon, I would definitely recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading the next two in the series.
  • The Keeping on Oct. 20, 2011
    (no rating)
    Although I liked the first book in this series, The Mating, I enjoyed the second book even more! After The Mating I was left wondering what would happen to Ryne and the other two males who left with him. A big "thank you" to the author for carrying on the story. I thought the author did a better job at putting this story together. The overall writing was better, and the characters were better developed. Melody was a very likable character, and I enjoyed reading the book from her point of view, and I was very, very pleased in this book to get Ryne's point of view as well. I love being inside both of their heads to know what each is thinking throughout the story. That was one thing I really missed with the first book, not getting to see things from Kane's point of view as well. Only two things I didn't like about this book... 1)I was pretty sure about what was going to happen and how it was going to end pretty early on in the story. Although the author did throw in a couple of little twists, it was pretty predictable. Still, though, a very good read. I found myself staying up a little too late to try to get an extra chapter or two in each night! I cannot wait to read the third book, The Finding (Bryan's story). 2)Why did Lucy have to die?? I really liked her!! In all reality, she could have stayed behind in Stump River instead of going to Chigaco with Melody, and the story would have been exactly the same, minus the few lines about her being killed. It didn't change anything else about the story, and I really liked her!!
  • Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles on Nov. 09, 2011

    On the surface, Keegan is your typical 16-year-old girl. She spends her time hanging out with her friends, shopping, texting and dating. But Keegan is an elf. She is really living a secret life, trying to fit in with the humans, all the while just passing the time until she turns 18 so she can meet her chosen mate. I liked this book. I thought this was a fun story. I liked that we got to meet both Keegan and Rourk and see the story from both of their point of views even though they did not get to meet right away. I thought the plot made a great story. The characters were fun and overall likeable. This is the first story I have read focusing on elves, and I liked the elfin world that the author created. One thing I really did not like about this book was the overall length. The book was short, and it just felt too rushed. I would have loved to see the main characters been given more depth. Some of the supporting characters, such as Anna and Donald, seemed almost a passing thought. You get their point of view very quickly one or two times in the story, and that is really all you get to see of them. It would have been nice to have a little more background on them as well. There were too many scenes that also felt too rushed, and I would have liked to have them elaborated on as well. The other thing that bothered me was the very quick changes in point of view. There was no transition between the thoughts of one person to the next. Sometimes I would have to actually back up a couple of sentences as I was reading because all of the sudden I realized that the point of view had changed, and then changed again, without warning. Overall, I liked this story; I just wanted more of it.
  • The Finding on Dec. 11, 2011

    The Finding is the third book in the Law of the Lycans series by Nicky Charles. This book was definitely my favorite in the series. This book picks up three years after The Keeping. You would think we would have missed a lot in that timeframe, but the author does a great job of going back and filling in details without it being tedious. This story is about Cassie who has run away from the only home she has ever known and is now basically in hiding, in fear for her life, from the werewolves. She has been helped by Kellan and is now living with him, trying to live a normal life while also struggling to keep her werewolf under control. Cassie is terrified of letting the wolf out, because she has seen first hand how dangerous wolves can be. Bryan, who has never given up his search for her, finds out where she has been living and goes to claim her under the law of The Finding, determined to make her part of the pack. There was so much I loved about this book. First, I really liked that we got all the different points of view. I can see the progression of the author's writing from the first book in this series to this one. The author did a great job switching back and forth between multiple people without ever getting confusing or muddled. These books are a new take on werewolves from anything I've previously read. The pack dynamics are complex and very interesting. I loved the complex relationship between Cassie and Bryan; her not wanting to love him, or even like him, but she cannot help herself, as her inner wolf is and has been in love with him for some time. I really liked the sweetness of their relationship; instant attraction but not automatically jumping into bed. I really liked Cassie. Though she appeared weak and helpless on the outside, when it came down to it she stood up for herself and was able to take care of herself. She really was a strong lead character, struggling for so long to stay in control of herself, her wolf, and her surroundings without having anyone to really help her or know her inner struggles. ~ "She sighed in frustration. God, she hated standing around like some pathetic character in a romance novel." ~ I enjoyed watching Cassie struggle to control her wolf and ultimately live with it and even embrace it. This book even had the surprise element of being a little tear jerky. Cassie's relationship with Kellan brought a new twist to the love triangle. She was not in love with him, and she knew it, but she did love him and felt a sense of duty to him because he had helped her for so long, and he was the only friend or family that she had. It was heart wrenching to watch her struggle to decide what was best for her and ultimately play out her decision. One more thing I liked is that we got to see the previous characters again, too. It was fun seeing how their lives were now, a few years down the road from when we initially were introduced to them. I thought all of the characters were very well developed and written. They had such depth and background to them that we really got a sense of their personalities. This book wrapped loose ends up quite nicely, but still left some open ends for a possible future book. I really hope there will be another book in this series. I would love to read more about Sam and Damien. The only question I have is why is Nicky Charles giving away these books for free? I would have considered it money well spent to have paid for this series.
  • Symphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case on Dec. 20, 2011

    Hank Mondale is your typical wanted to be a cop, down on luck, drinks too much, in need of quick cash private investigator. Hank is desperate for work when he is contacted by Thomas Blake who wants to hire him to find the "monster" trying to kill his daughter. Although I liked this book, I found it hard to connect with the characters. Hank is a typical cliche. We walked with him through a few days of his life, but we never really got to know anything about him. He wanted to be a cop, but could not because of something in his past, but we are never told what that was. Information like that would have given him more depth and helped us get to know him better. The rest of the characters are very superficial. None of them have any depth or background. The monster is different in a good way, but we never really find out what it is. It was interesting to be able to get inside the monster's mind and see things through its point of view. That was a refreshing break from Hank's view, but I think this section was just too long. I did not like having to go back and review things we already knew. I think it would have done more for the story to have the monster's point of view dispersed throughout the whole story rather than one long section.
  • The Very Thought of Him on Feb. 11, 2012

    This short, steamy story is incredibly well written. Short stories, I think, are often so hard to write because it's hard to develop personalities and back stories that are necessary to hold a reader's interest in so few words. The author did an excellent job in this story building the scene that we read and using descriptive language that helps you to imagine clearly what's happening. Dara's character is very well developed and fun. There was also a nice little twist at the end that I was not expecting. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
  • The Goat and the Heathen, 2nd ed. on March 01, 2012

    This is the second book I've read by Jessa Callaver, and I loved it as much as the first! She has such a way with words; her descriptions are absolutely amazing. The Goat and the Heathen is a short story about two roommates who agree to have a threesome, so the more bold of the two finds a guy and sets it up. Needless to say, things get hot and steamy and deliciously romantic. As I said, the author uses amazing descriptions. It's so easy to picture what you're reading in your head. The writing is clean and very well developed. In writing short stories it's often hard to bring out personalities and get a complete story, but this author does an amazing job. I love the characters she creates. Aja is a little unsure of herself but willing to try new things, Olivia is obviously outgoing and fun loving, and Hayden is sweet and sexy. I had always wondered about the title of this book…it seems rather odd. But, at the end of the book we get to find out the meaning! I really hope Jessa will someday write a longer novel, or at least keep writing short stories! I will read everything she writes!
  • Meeting Destiny on March 21, 2012

    Meeting Destiny is full of action, romance and suspense. I guarantee it will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more! The book starts out with Lauren, the main character, getting shot during an attempted robbery at her job. One of the paramedics who respond to the call is Max. Lauren and Max feel an instant connection, but there are some complications that come in between them. I loved, loved, loved the characters in this story. The author did such a great job etching them out and making them seem real. None of them are one dimensional, even the seemingly background characters. The author gives them expression that makes them easy to connect to. And, wow!, she has a way with dialogue. The conversations in the story never felt forced or fake. Lauren is tough, smart, sarcastic, caring and loyal. She doesn't take crap from anyone while at the same time always standing up for what she knows is right, even when others may not agree with her. She has a deep concern for her friends and will stand behind them or stand up for them in any situation. Seth is your typical boy next door and Lauren's long-time "boyfriend." He is so sweet to Lauren, and she loves him, but not like she knows she should. The author does a great job framing out their relationship and their feelings towards one another. I'm completely in love with Max….I don't know what else to say about him. I love that the author didn't make him so perfect that he was not realistic. Max has his faults, but those things just make him all the more loveable. I really like the fact that even though Lauren and Max felt an instant connection they did not hook up right away. Their relationship was given time to develop, and they were given time to get to know each other. So, that brings me to the end of the story…and seriously, you'll be running over to Amazon or wherever you buy your books for the next in the series! I'm already looking forward to find out what happens!
  • Angel Evolution on March 24, 2012

    Taylor is off to her first year of college where she meets Gabriel. Gabriel is a mystery to Taylor from the very first time she sets eyes on him, and she's immediately drawn to him and his mysteriousness. Gabriel is not what he seems though, and Taylor ultimately has to decide if she can trust him or not. I love the characters. Taylor and Samantha had such contrasting characters but despite that, or maybe because of that, they were best friends. Gabriel and Christopher thought they were completely different, as different as angels and demons, but in fact they were actually trying to achieve the same goal. Throughout the book I never quite knew how to feel about Gabriel. His and Taylor's entire relationship was based on lies, and he told her so many lies that toward the end of the book he was not even sure what was a lie and what was the truth anymore. He seemed to be at war with himself about what he wanted and what he thought he should want. I guarantee this book will keep you guessing to the end. Throughout the story you never know who you are supposed to be trusting. I love the different play on the angels/demons and am definitely going to be reading the next two books in the trilogy!
  • Family Care, 4th ed. on March 25, 2012

    Josie is spending her spring break babysitting for the Sharps, a new family in town. While by all outward appearances the Sharps seem to be the perfect family, up close Josie finds herself in the midst of a cold and distant home. Eventually, Josie finds herself in a difficult situation when she comes between husband and wife. Family Care lived up to my expectations from this author. The story was steamy, hot, and definitely sexy. The author has such a talent for words. Her writing is vivid and descriptive. She is able to get inside the heads of her characters and she does such a great job of bringing life to her characters. Family Care is the longest story the author has out to date, and as a result, it is more in depth and more developed than the others. I really enjoyed Family Care and am looking forward to more from Jessa Callaver.
  • Shades of Grey on April 21, 2012

    Shades of Grey is a collection of three short stories, each dark and unique. The first story in the collection, Shades of Grey, is told from the perspective of John, a UK government agent. The story takes place in John's mind as he is tied to a chair, and we get to see where his thoughts take him as he waits to be questioned by an unknown captor. The author did an excellent job getting into his character's mind, and I found myself really liking John. The humor sprinkle throughout the story was great and had me laughing out loud a in a few places. There and Back Again is the story of James, a young man in the British Army during WWII. The story was well written and very detailed. I loved the emotion the author was able to evoke through this short story. Down the Rabbit Hole, the third story, was by far my favorite. Tom is a young boy with a loving mother, an abusive father, and a dark secret. This story was much darker than the first two, and I loved the way it was played out.
  • Pandora's Key on May 26, 2012

    Pandora's Key starts out as two different stories. Evangeline's story and Malledy's story. Both are equally captivating and fun to read. Evangeline's life completely changes on her 16th birthday. After going from somewhat awkward teen to someone she hardly recognizes in a mirror, what was supposed to be a special day turns into a nightmare. Nothing makes sense anymore to Evangeline and she has no on to turn to for help…no one she can trust anyway. Malledy is a superintelligent man with a disease that is slowly killing him. He is looking for something that will cure him, and he is willing to go to any lengths to get his hands on that something. When the two stories finally merge, it was like nothing I would have expected. People weren't who they seemed to be, both for Evangeline and for Malledy. Evangeline gets to the point where she just does not know who she can trust anymore, so she ends up trusting no one, while Malledy did not really seem to trust anyone from the beginning, with good reason. The characters were great. Evangeline is your normal awkward teen and easy to like as a main character. Her character was well balanced in that she was not so beautiful and popular that you wanted to hate her, yet she was not so down on herself that you got tired of her wining. I think that's a hard balance to create when writing about teen girls, but the author managed it here. Malledy I think we did not get to know quite as well, but we did get to see his motivations and his way of thinking. I loved the mythology background to this story. I loved that the author was able to take such a well known piece of mystery and create a unique story to go with it. It was fresh and entertaining, and I guarantee you'll be left guessing about what's coming next until the very end.
  • Five on Aug. 26, 2012

    Rayla is pursuing her dreams by going away to college rather than staying close to home. Despite her aunt's protests, she sneaks off with her best friend, and that's when the fun begins. The whole story line of Five was different, and I appreciated that very much. The history of the Elementals and the Fae Lords was an interesting one. I really enjoyed the whole fantasy world that was created for this story. The book was action packed and fun to read. I mean really, who wouldn't want five hot Lords fighting over you? Rayla was a great character. She was funny and sassy. The story follows Rayla as she learns of her heritage and what that means for her. I like that she didn't fall into a heap and cry after learning about the Elementals, but really, with all those yummy guys following her around, what's to cry about? I loved the twists and turns the story took and am looking forward to where the author is going to take it next. I already have book two queued up on my Kindle and am anxious to get started!
  • What Kills Me on Aug. 26, 2012

    What Kills Me is not just another vampire story…I promise. The story is unique, fast paced, action packed, suspenseful in all the right places, and laugh out loud funny. Axelia (Zee) is a 17-year-old girl studying abroad for a few months. She takes a chance on a guy who she figures she'll probably never see again, and it ends badly. Now thrown into the world of the paranormal, Zee must figure out how to survive as a vampire; not an easy task when just about everyone you meet is trying to kill you. I love the characters, especially Zee and Lucas. I really loved their relationship and how it evolved over time. There was no love at first site, no instant attraction. The way the author brought them together slowly made everything seem more realistic, and the back and forth between Zee and Lucas was hilarious. I loved Zee's personality. She was a great character and easily likable. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to find out what happens!
  • Mobster's Girl on Oct. 14, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book. I only wish it had been a bit longer. It seemed that just when things started getting exciting, there was the end. Although the characters might be a bit cliché (shy, pretty 'good girl' versus handsome 'bad boy'), it works for the story. I love Megan and Antonio and the circumstances surrounding their relationship. They've known of each other their entire lives but have been kept at a distance. This is a classic story of star-crossed lovers, which I immensely enjoyed. The author is a great storyteller, going back and forth between Megan's and Antonio's points of view. With this style, we get to see a bit of both of their worlds. The author kept enough of the story back to keep us guessing but told us enough that we wanted to know more.
  • Life of the Party on Nov. 01, 2012

    Life of the Party is one of those books. You know the type…it makes you think, and I mean really think; it sticks with you long after you have finished because you have become invested in the characters; it makes you cry. I hate it when books make me cry. Mac and Riley are best friends. Their favorite pastime is to get drunk and high. Hey, they're young, why not? Everything is great until Riley decided he needs to get clean. Mac, feeling abandoned by her best friend, delves deeper into the world of drugs, trying to forget Riley and everything that is wrong with her life. I loved, loved, loved the characters in this book (which I guess is why I felt so much for them that I was bawling my eyes out by the end). The author let us get into Mac's head and really enjoy being there. Mac, though young and stupid and obviously making mistake after mistake, was real. She had real problems and real choices and real feelings. And Grey…I so love Grey. It is obvious from the way he treats her that he loves Mac, but he is young and free and has the world ahead of him, so of course he makes mistakes, too. When he realizes, however, that things have gone too far he does the only thing he can think of to fix it, even if it is the wrong thing. We do not see much of Riley for most of the story and mostly get to know him through Mac's feelings and memories of him. Though Mac feels he abandoned her, he had always been there just waiting for the right time. I think the thing I really loved about this story was about how realistic it is. From Mac's mom and dad (just ignore the problem, it will go away) to her sister and Mac's feelings of inferiority around her (which I can relate to having two perfect older sisters myself) to the drug use. The author did an exceptional job (in my humble opinion) of detailing and describing Mac's drug use and feelings. I did find myself thinking a few times, can someone really use that much cocaine and still be alive/walking/standing/coherent? But, I have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the subject so it could be true. Even if it's not accurate, the author did a great job faking it and making me believe it was real. I sincerely hope this author writes more books in the future. I loved everything about this story from the characters to the story to the writing style. She is an amazing storyteller and I thank her for sharing her story with us.  
  • Mr. Bear on Jan. 12, 2013

    Mr. Bear is an enjoyable short story with alluring characters and an entertaining and effortless story line. I like the bear shifter – different from the usual.
  • The Athena Effect on Feb. 03, 2013

    The Athena Effect is a sweet, engaging story. It is the story of Cali, 17-year-old girl raised isolated from the big, bad world. She is perfectly happy with her life, until tragedy strikes. When she is thrown into the real world, she must find a way to acclimate herself and find a balance between the life she knew and the life she must now learn to live. The characters in this story are great. Cali is sweet and innocent, a bit naive, perhaps too much so at times. All she really knew of the outside world was what she had read about in books. Despite her innocence, or maybe in spite of, Cali is strong and independent and will do whatever it takes to survive the cruelties of the world. Cal is the ultimate bad boy; you know - the one all the girls fall for just to have their hearts broken. I know, sounds cliché, but it's really not. The author adds enough twist to the story to make it unique and incredibly enjoyable. I honestly had a hard time putting it down. The story flowed very well and was written well. The author did a really great job of making her characters come to life, so much so that you could feel their emotions build with each turn of the page. The names may be strange, but the story is a must. I will definitely be looking for the next book. Hopefully we will find out what happens with Layla and Michael! Favorite quote: "Because with a really good book you get something new every time you read it. Because…Well…Because you're a different person each time."
  • In Gods' Hands on March 16, 2013

    In true form, this short story by Jessa Callaver is hot and steamy. The story finds us at the Carnival in Italy with Cassie, who is down on her luck after a fight with her boyfriend. She runs into (literally) a couple of guys and for lack of anyplace better to go, she ends up going back to their hotel with them. However, no one in this story is how they appear, and Cassie gets the surprise of her life.
  • The Coven: Fire and Ice on March 16, 2013

    This book has a lot going on. You have the beginnings of your typical romance - girl and boy meet, girl and boy fall in love - but The Coven has so much more thrown in to the tangle, including witches and warlocks with some pretty amazing powers, a jealous ex-girlfriend, an evil minion intent on destroying humankind and controlling the world, and some wickedly awesome action-packed fight scenes. Kat moves to a new school for a fresh start and makes some new friends, and a few enemies. She falls hard for Blaze (but hey, who wouldn't?), and they have to fight against the odds to stay together. Kat is an amazing character. She is strong, independent, and does not follow the crowd. Though this was not always the case and it is not always the easiest thing for her, she is determined to make herself a better person. Blaze is used to girls throwing themselves at him, so when Kat doesn't, he definitely takes notice. Blaze is a nice guy, though he finds out he is not perfect. I have gotta say, he has got some amazingly awesome friends. I love those guys! I am very much anticipating learning more about them in future books, especially Q and Cody; they are my favorites. The Coven also takes on some very tough social issues, such as bullying and suicide. There are more issues incorporated into the story, but these are the two foremost. As I said, there is a lot going on, but the author was able to weave it all together into an engaging tale that was really fun to read.
  • Skin Games: A Crime Drama on March 23, 2013

    Sean O'Donnell is an excellent protagonist. He has a strong character, but he is not perfect. He makes bad decisions. On the outside he is the classic "bad boy," but when you understand why he does the things he does, lines get blurred. At times during the story, I was not sure if I should love him, hate him, or just feel sorry for him. But, Sean is a man of his word, always keeping a promise no matter the cost. But when he falls for the mob boss's daughter, things get rough. Disguised as a crime novel, this romance was excellently written, fast paced, and easy to follow. Though there may not always be a happily ever after, vengeance is almost just as good.
  • Mobster's Vendetta on March 23, 2013

    In the third book of the Mobster series, the saga continues as Antonio tries to take care of family business while trying to leaving Megan out of it, to keep her safe. Unfortunately, Megan is already in too deep into the mob world and won't be left behind, not when she can help. There are so many things I love about these books. First is Antonio and Megan's relationship and how it evolves over the course of the books. He is deep into the mob, the son of a Mafia boss looking to take over the family business when the time comes. In the first book, Megan is innocent to the things going on around her. By the third book, she is aware and accepting of what Antonio does and even willing to help do whatever she can to keep him safe. She's grown up a lot through the pages and that shows through their relationship and her relationships with others. Second is just the story itself. I admit I do not really know anything about mobsters, their code of ethics, or their language, but the author does such a great job immersing the story in details that she make it completely believable. Third is Vito. He is the kind of friend everyone needs. He sees what needs to be done and does it, no questions asked. He's always got Antonio's back, no matter the cost. I am glad we got to see more of him and get to know him better in this book, and I look forward to his story coming soon.
  • Love is Darkness on May 11, 2013

    All Valerie wanted was a normal life. Raised by her father to be a vampire hunter, she had always known that as soon as she was old enough she would leaving that life of death and danger behind. Starting over on her own is not as easy as she thought it would be, and running from her past is next to impossible. I really like Valerie as a protagonist. She does not come from a perfect little world where everything is rose colored and happy. Her whole life has revolved around death and fear, and her survival instinct tells her to run from the vampires, not to them. As a survival instinct she has learned to keep people at arm's length and to use her attitude to hide her true feelings. The story starts 15 years in the past and slowly brings us up to present day. I enjoyed the way the author brought out the details of the story and the interactions between the characters. With each scene you could feel the tension between Valerie and Jack, and once Lucas enters the picture everything gets kicked up a notch. I am looking forward to the next book in this series to see where the story goes.
  • Jake on Aug. 10, 2013

    Jake is just an ordinary boy who wants to be liked. This sentence sums up Jake pretty well. The story of Jake is the story of a pretty ordinary teenage boy going through his ordinary day to day life. I think that is what makes this book interesting, the fact that Jake is just like the kid next door…or just like you. He has a good home, a nice life, and satisfying friendships. He is not some secret superpower waiting to be discovered – he's just Jake. The characters are well written and believable. Jake's little brother Ben is cute. I think it is hard to write kids and make them credible, but the author is able to do it here. Overall I enjoyed this story, though it was a bit depressing. I guess life is sometimes, though. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but as Jake's story continued things and people's lives started weaving together and created an interesting narrative.