Review of ‘Finding Sheila’ by Anne Hagan

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I can’t believe we are at No. 11 in the Morelville Mysteries Series already. I have loved every one so far and ‘Finding Sheila’ is no exception. When Dana is deputised to bring Sheila Ford back from the Tennessee Prison she has been in for the last few years it seems like an easy job. The transport will be in a fully staffed ambulance so Dana willingly agrees to do it for her wife, Sheriff Mel Crane. Not all goes to plan though and Dana finds herself using her investigative skills to find out exactly why it all went wrong. I could never have guessed what was behind it all and I love that Anne Hagan can do that time after time. Her stories are so well thought out and she combines great mysteries along with fascinating and likeable characters and settings. There were plenty of twists and turns and a fair element of danger for Dana. And as always I was left with hope for another story in the series. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but the next story promises to be a must read.

I was given this ARC for review.

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Review of ‘Proxima Five’ by Missouri Vaun

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‘Proxima Five’ by Missouri Vaun is a powerful and brilliantly conceived sci-fi story. Leah Warren, a geologist, finds herself the only survivor of her colony ship and is immediately in danger on an unfamiliar planet. She owes her life to Keegan, a warrior and member of the ruling house. The story deals with a violent society where women are seen as property and the whole construct is so alien to Leah. Why is the society like this? Who are the raiders and why are they attacking Hadyn City, Keegan’s home? Finding out the answers took me by surprise. It was thought-provoking. The descriptions of the planet and life there were so well written. I could picture the dry, hot, unforgiving landscapes and the dangerous and rough city streets. The relationship between Leah and Keegan was intense and sexually charged. Leah found herself being expected to be a certain way but she was not some subservient weak woman – she was intelligent, strong and capable. Keegan came across as the usual military type at first glance but she was so much more than that. She was caring and decent and showed Leah a side of her that really appealed to me.  The story screamed hope. I loved it and highly recommend it.

I was given this Arc by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for review.

Review of ‘Family Ties’ by Amanda Radley

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‘Family Ties’ by is a really great start to a new series. Secrecy surrounds Sarah Stuart, the beautiful Scottish doctor, who also happens to be a Lady with connections. When an old friend sends her a puzzling message she finds herself embroiled in  something that appears to have links to a foreign conflict. The corridors of power close to home seem to be involved too – but how?

I loved how the story built and had me wondering who Sarah Stuart was and why people knew her. I liked Sarah a lot. She was  calm under pressure and engendered trust in others. She was willing to give anything a try and didn’t expect others to do it for her. I admired her. The story was pacey and kept my interest throughout.  The mystery was fascinating and I couldn’t wait to turn the page and find out where it was going. It was quite an adventure.  I also liked the easy banter between Jack and Sarah and the humour and growing appreciation of the part each had to play.

What struck me was just how well this story would transfer to the screen. I could imagine a Sarah Stuart series on TV.  When I  got to the end I just wanted more of the same and I’m glad that Amanda Radley plans to make it the first in a series.  I’ll be waiting patiently for the next instalment. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Chosen’ by Brey Willows

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Brey Willows makes me feel, really feel – and that’s a rare skill in a writer. It’s her attention to the small intimate moments as well as the overall arc that stands out for me in ‘Chosen’. A group of scientists from all over the world have been chosen to escape the predicted extinction of the human race as the planet slowly dies. Devin Rossi and Karissa Decker meet on a compulsory convoy to the base where the planned move to another world will start. But will they want to go – and will they get any say in the matter anyway? A raider group trying to help those destined to live out their lives on Earth may change everything.

The journey the scientists take is fraught with danger. The descriptions are so brilliantly drawn, I could feel the rain and was in the storms, experiencing it all with them. Climate change is in full force and so much worse than anyone thought. Following those dealing with the results was engrossing and immersive. The writing was faultless and took me to the places the author imagined. I was gripped and didn’t want to let go. I needed to know what happened next.

The love story through it all took place amidst chaos and difficult life-changing decisions. I ached for the women as they dealt with their growing feelings and passion, never knowing how it would all end. Finding someone to love and being faced with such huge dilemmas was truly emotional. ‘Chosen’ is an excellent novel and makes me realise that Brey Willows can write in any genre she wants -I’ll be first in line to read it.

I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes for review.

Ellcon Photos!

I couldn’t resist getting some Polaroid prints of my trip to Ellcon. It was an amazing event and I hope it becomes a yearly fixture.

The bottom two photos were take by Bev Rawlinson of Froggydog Photography (froggydog.co.uk).

Review of ‘Watch City:Waltham Watch’ by Jessica Lucci

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‘Waltham Watch’ is a steampunk novel with strong female characters, wondrous inventions and a fight against evil and oppression . Tess is a professor, an accomplished scientist and inventor. She finds herself spending time in Waltham unexpectedly and soon discovers that she can’t sit back while turmoil reigns around her. I found the group of women who become her friends a fascinating bunch. They each had a contribution to make and their strengths were vital to the fight. The language is formal and certainly fits with the era. It is also poetic and the story itself is imaginative. I enjoyed reading about the modes of transport and the different mechanical inventions. An interesting novel that kept me reading.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Take Your Time’ by VK Powell

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‘Take Your Time’ is the third in the Pine Cone romance series and rounds off the series in a way that pulls all of the threads together and answers so many questions. VK Powell, D Jackson Leigh and Missouri Vaun each took one couple and told their story. Seeing the events from all different angles was fascinating. ‘Take Your Time’ was the story of local cop, Grace Booker and her growing attraction for new vet to town, Dani Wingate. Grace and Dani get off to a bad start when Dani makes assumptions about law enforcement officers and assumes Grace is typical of the species. Finding out about Dani’s backstory made me understand her a lot more and I could see why she acted the way she did. Grace was sweet, caring and fun and the kind of woman anyone would want to be with – so why did Dani keep backing away? I loved how all of the stories of the triumvirate of friends – Grace, Trip and Clay- were woven through each other. I had gotten to know Trip and Clay in the previous books and they were strong characters  whose love lives impacted on each other. This was a big strength in this story as it gave depth and made the town of Pine Cone come alive for me. I felt that ‘Take Your Time’ was the most emotional of the three stories and I really appreciated how the author dealt with some difficult issues. A very good story.

|I was given this ARC from Bold Strokes and Netgalley to review.

Review of ‘The Amnesia Project’ Audiobook by Barbara Winkes. Narrated by T.J. Richards

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This is a story that will stay with me. Dani, Alice and Joy are friends planning a trip to New York before careers take them in different directions. Alice’s sister Paige is foisted upon them and Dani seems more affected than the others by this. When Paige disappears they are all distraught but Dani can’t stop looking and dedicates her life to finding her.
‘The Amnesia Project’ is a fantastic dystopian romance with a story that has so many layers. I never knew who to trust or where it was going to go. I learned not to make assumptions when reading this novel. Barbara Winkes surprised me again and again.The reason for Paige’s disappearance was shocking but worryingly not at all unbelievable. Once you’ve read it you will know why.

Dani was tenacious and her loyalty to Paige never wavered. She found herself in peril, threatened and warned off but never gave up. Paige had an underlying strength and maturity that shone through. I liked her approach from the start and was with Dani all the way as she tried to find answers to where Paige had gone and why.

I really liked T.J. Richards as the narrator. I have listened to other books read by her and find her delivery very engaging. She brings the story alive and I was glad to find she was narrating this book.

I was very impressed with this audiobook and give it 5 Stars.

Review of ‘Fury’s Bridge’ by Brey Willows

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‘Fury’s Bridge’ is the first in the Afterlife Inc Series by Brey Willows and is wonderful. Selene Perkton is a philosophy professor who likes life to be safe and dependable. When Alec Graves, a fury, comes into her life nothing is ever the same. The gods work out a building in Santa Monica, California and Alec’s job is to save their very existence. What does this have to do with Selene? And what will this mean for her when she does find out?

The story is beautifully written, with such honesty and passion that it quite took my breath away. I loved Selene and I understood her. She was different and she knew it. I liked that about her and so many people will recognise themselves in her. I have always thought Dani (Death) was my favourite character in this series but Selene is vying with her for first place. She is thoughtful and intelligent and I wondered how she would manage to accept something that she could never imagine as a logical thinker. There is something so  intriguing and compelling about the whole concept of this book. The imagination and knowledge of ancient myths, religions and the classics that went into telling this story is seriously impressive. Alec was strong and powerful but when confronted with Selene her life was turned upside down. The intensity of their feelings was emotionally gripping and the heat leapt off the page. There is something to be said for complete acceptance and Brey Willows managed to show how life changing that can be. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Review of ‘Paper Love’ by Jae

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‘Paper Love’ is set in the city of Freiburg, a place where local folklore says stepping in a Bachle, an ancient water channel running through the streets, results in marrying a local and living there forever. High powered business analyst Suzanne doesn’t believe a word of it. We meet this Ice Queen as she temporarily moves to Freiburg to help her Uncle Norbert save his ailing stationery business. There she meets his assistant Anya, who is more like a daughter to Nobby. Neither woman is looking for a fling but sometimes love has a way of changing our best laid plans.

I loved seeing how Suzanne and Anya began to enjoy each other’s company. Suzanne just needed someone to warm her up – the Ice Queen soon began to melt. Anya wasn’t one to take risks with her life but sometimes you just have to make a leap, take a chance. Or you can spend your whole life wondering. She was sweet and caring and deserved to be happy with her forever someone. But would it be Suzanne?

The story being set in a stationery shop was fascinating but it has left me with one problem. I think I’m even more hooked on beautiful stationery and journals than I was before, so Jae is going to cost me a fortune on my new obsession. She has ignited in me a serious stationery addiction. Thanks Jae!

‘Paper Love’ was a wonderful love story in a very different and unique setting. It was beautifully done and Jae never fails to leave me with a happy, joyful feeling in my heart. Highly recommended.