Review of ‘At Last’ by J.M. Dragon

I enjoyed this sweet and inspiring story of a town coming together to try to save the company that keeps them all afloat. Love stories abound in ‘At Last’ and I was especially enamoured by one in particular. Perfume company owner Gene has yet to find the love of her life – but if she opened her eyes she would see love was there in front of her all along. Outsider Quinn comes to town to try and sort out supply problems for her employers – but ends up finding out more about herself. I think the town of Grady had quite an impact on those choosing to spend time there. Powerful circumstances made people reassess their lives. Love, family, romance and loyalty were the themes that drew me into this story.  I felt myself rooting for the characters – be it in their love lives or in business. An enjoyable read.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Book Witch’ by Annette Mori

‘The Book Witch’ is funny, quirky and full of surprising twists. The first book in the series ‘The Book Addict’ introduced us to Elle and Tanya, who are now all loved-up. When Imara, a book witch with the power to bring characters to life, appears in town things begin to get exciting again. She wants to help Jai, a local teacher, find love at last. But she needs her friends to help. Things are never that simple though and enemies, old and new, try to put a spoke in the machine. 

Ms Mori uses some unique plot devices to take this story in very unexpected directions. Fans of the author will be thrilled to find some of their favourite characters from other series turn up. This really worked for me. In a book about the supernatural I was was surprised to find myself suspending belief and really going with the premise. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if book witches did exist and our beloved characters came to life? This was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read and I salute the imagination of Annette Mori. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Deuce’ by Jen Silver

What a wonderful story! ‘Deuce’ is the story of Jay, ex-professional tennis player, and her life after the disappearance at sea of her lover, Charley. Forced to go on without her, she brings up their child and starts a new career. But she isn’t really happy. Charley meanwhile is living in the Faroe Islands with a new name and no memory of her life before. When she starts to remember, the lives of so many people are about to be up-ended. 

The story is so well told. It has love, unexpected family complications, passion and surprises. I could not put it down. I wanted to know what happened next to these characters. They felt real and I began to care about them. They each had to face the fact that time does not stand still and people change. Sometimes that means accepting differences and sometimes it means putting yourself in their shoes. Jen Silver has a talent for crafting characters and storylines that really resonate. She subtly weaves real events into her work and that makes the reader feel more engaged. ‘Deuce’ may be my favourite of her novels so far. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Colors of Rage’ by Nanisi Barrett D’Arnuk

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‘Colors of Rage’ is an interesting story featuring Dr Kailyn DeKendran, an Acoustic Research Specialist. When violent riots break out in the lead up to important elections no-one can work out why. Even the people involved in the riots. The story goes in some surprising directions and the story is more complex than first thought. I liked that very highly advanced technical knowledge went hand in hand with ancient healing. Also the power of women came across very well. It was well written with characters that I could believe in. Kailyn was a multi-faceted character with a lot going on in her life and her past. I liked it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘True North: Strong Southern Women 3’ by Ali Spooner

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This third book in the Strong Southern Women series by Ali Spooner ‘True North’ is set 10 years after the events at the end of ‘Gator Girlz’. Cam is the head of the the family business and all of the St Angelo girls have moved on in their lives. They are still together on the homestead working and doing what they can to keep the family together and afloat. I loved reading about their adult lives and loves as well as the various activities they are involved in to contribute to the finances of the whole family.

In this book there’s a fair bit of worry for Cam and her sisters but they are such a strong unit and I hoped that they could pull together and get through it. Sandy has turned into a fine young woman and it was interesting to encounter her as an adult this time. It was a close thing between her and Cam as to who was my favourite character. I really enjoyed my time with the St Angelo girls again and I implore Ali Spooner to consider writing more in this series. I don’t want to let them go just yet!

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Gator Girlz’ by Ali Spooner

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Ali Spooner took a hold of my heart with this book and never let it go ‘till I had used up a whole box of Kleenex. To say this story was emotional is an understatement but it was worth every tear shed. Cam looks forward to a new year at college and the chance to play for the team again. Her plans are put on hold when her family need her more. The way the family pulled together was inspiring and I could completely understand why Cam didn’t hesitate when the call came. The love and warmth extended beyond the immediate family too as Tab felt part of it all. I worried for Cam and Tab as circumstances meant they would have to work hard to keep their love alive. Life on the bayou was beautifully described and the slow, meandering pace was so appealing. The St Angelo’s respect their environment and take from it what they need, while giving back tenfold. I would love this series to go on and on as I don’t feel ready to let them go yet. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC by Affinity ebook Press for review.

Review of ‘Racing for Love’ by JM Dragon and Erin O’Reilly

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Lena Corkhill is a horse trainer who finds herself attracted to her boss Kate Lawrence. Both women are strong characters who think they know exactly what they want from life. That is until they meet each other. The attraction is instant but it takes them a while to act on it. ‘Racing for Love’ is a very passionate and hot love story with a ‘boo hiss’ villain in the shape of Cordelia, an ex of Lena’s.

The story gives an interesting insight into the world of thoroughbred horse breeding and horse racing. The connection between the women is much more than I expected and was pivotal. I liked both main characters and the baddie really was a horror in the vein of a pantomime villain.

I was given this ARC by the publisher.

Review of ‘Calling Home’ by Jen Silver

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‘Calling Home’ is a lovely story set at an island writer’s retreat. Sarah Frost is a director of the Frost Foundation and along with general manager and friend , Berry Fields, lives and works there happily. Galen Thomas joins them as their handy-person whilst taking a break from her career as a vet. What seems like a normal week for them as hosts to a group of writers turns out to be something very different. The novel goes in directions I could not have predicted. The relationships between the women are intense. Some forged from a difficult and tumultuous past, others new and tender. There was something quite touching about one particular relationship that I found beautiful. Revelations from forty years ago impact them all and turned everything around. I liked Berry a lot. She was emotionally damaged but found a way to cope. Galen had a quiet strength and was a pillar for Berry. She changed too as she began to take control of her own life. The mystery element of the book really gripped me. I really appreciated the north of England setting and you can tell the author has a real affinity for the area. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and highly recommend it.

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Free to Love’ by Ali Spooner and Annette Mori

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‘Free to Love’ is a fantastic book, comprising of two linked stories by Ali Spooner and Annette Mori. Set in the 18th century in a time of slavery, it tells of the lives of some amazing women who fought against injustice and for love. In ‘ The Chandler’s Daughter’ by Ali Spooner,  Cecilia works for her family business  in the South and becomes increasingly aware of the appalling treatment of the slaves who are brought in to the harbour nearby. Her lover, Captain Hillary Blythe is equally appalled and vows to do something to help. Their love story was very hot and steamy but with a love that shone through. They are linked to Annette Mori’s story ‘Forbidden Love’ by Captain Blythe’s visit to Antigua and a Mission run by Elizabeth Allen. Elizabeth is a very religious woman and fights against her need to be with the woman she has come to love. Rescued slave Kia becomes everything to her but they risk their lives by being together at such a dangerous time .

I found these stories inspiring and full of love. The historical aspect was fascinating  and I learned so much about the history of slavery and  of the reality of same sex relationships at that time. The characters were wonderfully written and I was completely enthralled. They were strong women who had to fight to be free to love. The people around them were important too and their interactions showed the lengths to which the women were prepared to go for love and justice. The stories blended so well together and I hope that Ms Spooner and Ms Mori decide to collaborate again in the future. I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it.

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘The Dream Catcher’ by Annette Mori

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Annette Mori has the unique gift of writing unusual and interesting novels dealing with issues rarely discussed by other authors. In ‘The  Dream Catcher’ Heaven struggles to cope with her particular gift of turning her dreams into reality. She is a Dream Weaver and some of the things she dreams up are terrifying. Others are as a result of erotic dreams and rather more fun. When she has the chance of finding a solution to her problems with the help of Maya, a Dream Catcher, things begin to look up. But it’s only the beginning of an adventure involving other women in a similar position to her own – and it’s going to take everything she’s got to survive it. Bipolar women and girls have been targeted and used for nefarious ends by the government.

I liked the whole premise of the story. It was imaginative and unlike anything I’ve read before. We find out what is behind it all at the same Heaven does as it is written in the first person. This really worked well. There were a lot of secrets and by slowly teasing them out it added to the mystery. This was fundamentally about good versus evil but with Annette Mori’s trademark quirky twist. A highly enjoyable read.

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.

 

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