Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway (The Dukes of War #6) By Erica Ridley (2015)


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Love or Justice (Protect and Serve Book 1) by Rachel Mannino (2015)

Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss…

After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is in grave danger, and it falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa—assuming he can be captured. 

Dante knows he’ll lose his job if he becomes romantically involved with a witness…

But when he has to comfort her through constant nightmares, he finds it nearly impossible to fight his attraction to the beautiful, strong young woman he is sworn to protect. Laurie feels it too, but aware she’s in a high-stress situation and that when the danger is past she’ll never see Dante again, she tries to ignore his easygoing smile and the security he offers.

Laurie and Dante are forced to flee again…

When Kaimi’s men descend on their hideaway, they escape to a second safe house, only to be tracked down there as well. Dante now knows there’s a mole inside the US Marshal Service, and the only thing left to do is disappear.
Kaimi will never stop looking for Laurie, and if he’s caught, showing up to testify could be the last thing she ever does. 

With each choice as dangerous as the next, Dante and Laurie must confront the boundaries of what they’re willing to sacrifice, and which is more important…

Love or Justice.


A suspense filled debut novel from Rachel Mannino.
There is plenty of action and twists and turns in this romantic thriller to keep you reading into the wee hours. The romance between Laurie and Dante was sweet and didn't take away too much from the main plot. 

I liked the supporting characters especially Dante's parents. I enjoyed Laurie's character as she isn't a total damsel in distress. She is a strong, independent person and proved herself to be an asset during dangerous situations.

I didn't quite believe the events surrounding her witnessing a kidnapping. I found it strange that such a high profile and dangerous criminal would just let her walk away and then spend months hunting her down to kill her. I also lost interest in the story about half way through as nothing was happening except Laurie and Dante hiding out with his parents. The pace and suspense picked up again towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed Love or Justice and I will be looking out for the rest of the series as it gets published.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Shamrock Case (Amelia Moore Detective Series #2) by Linda Weaver Clarke (2014)

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specialises in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her new partner, her business is flourishing. 

When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years? Why did her parents leave Ireland suddenly and move to America? Is there more to this case than meets the eye?

There is much that I enjoyed about this simple, sweet, mystery romance. It is a quick and easy read. Amelia and Rick's quest to locate their client's grandparents was an interesting story and it had an unexpected twist at the end.
The story is set in Ireland and the author did a lovely job of writing about it. The characters have an almost childlike appreciation of all the sights, tastes and sounds they experience during their visit. You almost feel like you are on the tourist trail with them. Rick and Amelia make a cute pair and their romance blossoms a little bit more during their trip here. There are a few humorous scenes as Amelia keeps forgetting her raincoat and they have to brave the weather together. I felt like telling her to get a mini umbrella for her handbag!
Although the pair enjoyed the folk music in the pub they didn't get to experience true Irish traditional music and dance. After all Danny Boy is only a hundred years old. I think the couple would have had tremendous fun at a céilí dance. 
There is less suspense in The Shamrock Case compared to their first adventure in The Bali Mystery but fans of the series should enjoy it no less.


There are a few things that I would edit if revisions were ever being made. 
We don't have ranches here in Ireland. They are simply called farms. 
We also don't have vacations. We go on holidays or come home on holidays. 
The currency in Ireland is the Euro and not Pounds. The Pound is the currency of England. 
We don't refer to Ireland's many rebellions and struggle for independence as religious wars. Our political history and relationship with England is much more complex than this.

There is the inevitable stereotyping that goes on when writing about Ireland. Everyone is very religious. One of the characters is a wealthy horse breeder. All the characters speak with a 'thick Irish brogue' and on their first day in Ireland Amelia is the subject of harassment from two drunk men.

The mystery surrounding the couple who eloped to America just didn't ring true to something that would happen in modern Ireland but rather something that would happen in the nineteenth century. We are told that the author was inspired by events that occurred in her own family and those events happened in the 1800s.
I would have updated the story a little bit to tie in with a modern Ireland that has moved away from the religiosity and stranglehold that the Catholic Church had on this country for generations.

I was a little confused about the religious background of the characters. Kate's father was Catholic. Her mother's records were found in the Anglican church but both abandoned their Catholic faith to join an unnamed new religion. Did she convert to Catholicism when she married? I found this a bit confusing. It would have made more sense for the family to have fallen out because a Catholic was marrying a Protestant. This would have been more realistic for the time period especially if the location was Northern Ireland, instead of County Cork, placing them in the middle of The Troubles. 

Amelia and Rick were excited to try Irish food. I found it strange when Rick excitedly announced that for his first Irish dish he wanted corned beef and cabbage. I've never eaten this. I don't know anyone who eats it and I've never seen it on menus either. It doesn't sound like a culinary delight. But I don't live in the touristy areas that Rick and Amelia visited. A little Google search cleared it up for me and I found a couple of interesting links about food and Irish emigrants in America. 

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Dead by Midnight (An I-Team Christmas) by Pamela Clare (2015)


Marc and Sophie Hunter, Gabe and Kat Rossiter, Holly Andris and the rest of the I-Team gang find themselves in the same historic Denver hotel celebrating the approach of Christmas at different holiday parties. What starts out as a fun winter evening with friends soon becomes a brutal fight to survive when the hotel is taken over by a group of ruthless narco-terrorists who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
On the outside, Julian Darcangelo, Zach McBride, Nick Andris and others join together with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team in a desperate bid to free their friends, knowing that if they fail, the people they love will be…
Dead by Midnight.
Featuring cameo appearances by the men of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, a series by New York Times bestselling author Kaylea Cross.

Suspense filled and action packed. Dead by Midnight is sure to entertain whether you are new to Pamela Clare's I-Team or an avid follower since their first adventure. 
The author does a great job of writing different roles for the multiple heroes in the story.  Each action scene, the characters and sequences of events are all easy to follow. The stress and fear that the hostages experience jumps from the page and the terrorists are sufficiently nasty and believable.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Available now Amazon

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Out of the Shadows by Tiffany Snow (2015)

Ivy Mason is no stranger to trouble—though so far she’s always managed to outrun or outsmart it. Now a nasty man-made virus and an FBI manhunt have her desperate for a cure and on the run for her freedom. Even her romance with British secret agent Devon Clay may have deadly consequences, placing her squarely in the crosshairs of a shadowy international assassin, Vega.

Devon is determined to take Vega out, but first he must make sure beautiful Ivy is out of danger. When she escapes FBI custody, the couple rekindles their passion and sets off on a pulse-pounding adventure across the United States and around the globe. En route, Ivy and Devon discover new truths about their nemeses—revelations that will test the limits of their love.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Tangled Ivy trilogy, Ivy Mason learns that the path to justice—and love—is more complicated and fraught with danger than she ever could have imagined.

The long awaited conclusion to 'Tangled Ivy' didn't fail to entertain.
Devon and Ivy are finally together but they are on the run from assassins and the FBI. Time is also running out for Ivy as the virus she is infected with is killing her.
I loved that, right from the beginning of the book, Ivy plays a central part in determining her own fate. She takes control of situations and doesn't wait around for a man to save her. I liked that we also see a softer side to Devon as he takes care of Ivy during her illness. 
The reasons for Vega's obsession with Devon is revealed but I thought the history surrounding Vega and Devon's family were slightly convoluted and contrived. I wasn't completely happy with the ending regarding Vega. For such an evil character she deserved a really grisly end.
           I enjoyed reading 'Out of Shadows,' and the previous books in the series. I'd recommend reading the whole series. 

Tiffany Snow writes in a very formulaic way. I don't really mind this as the time between publications puts some distance between them and my memory of the story fades somewhat. I quite like her action packed and suspense filled tales along with the alpha males and love triangle tropes. Her formulaic style may disappoint new readers though who are only now discovering her work and are maybe expecting something new when they dive straight into a new series after finishing the first. 

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Wild Games by Mila Rossi (2015)

Despite warnings of annoying mosquitos and beastly spiders, Becca Glover couldn’t be more excited about her expedition to Costa Rica. Rooming with Matt Ritter, however, is an inconvenience she doesn’t see coming. He wields a machete, shaves with a knife and needs to wear a decent amount of clothes to cover the muscles she can’t stop staring at. 

Hired to lead a group of scientists through the jungle, Matt is convinced the fiery redhead is intent on making his job harder than it needs to be. Rebecca doesn’t listen and seems to invite danger at every turn. Her attitude is as much of a distraction as her curves and emerald green eyes. Now if he could only pay as much attention to his job as he does to her, their one-month adventure would fly by without a hitch. 

Hot temperatures, wild animals and a shared tree house are just the beginning of Becca and Matt’s obstacles. The real challenge lies in surviving each other.

This is a short, fast paced and entertaining read. 
Matt is very much a take charge and take action kind of guy. He is very capable in the jungle and can handle anything that comes his way. That is until he meets Becca who is a walking disaster and needs rescued at every turn. She doesn't appreciate his cave-man/Indiana Jones attitude and the pair constantly bicker and snipe at one another. It doesn't help that they have to share accommodation.
It was fun watching these two argue whilst trying to ignore their attraction to each other. I haven't read many books with a jungle theme but I felt that it worked well in this story.
I'd recommend Wild Games for anyone looking for for a quick romantic read.  

Available to buy now on Amazon Kindle
It is also free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Chance of a Lifetime (Anderson Brothers #3) by Marissa Clarke (2015)


Gen Richards is tired of living down to her family’s expectation of the helpless blind girl. Resurrecting her high-school bucket list that begins with “kiss a total stranger” seems just the thing until she finds herself in a panty-melting lip lock with her big brother’s best friend.
Chance Anderson thrives on adrenaline, but Genny’s the one risk he’s not willing to take. His recklessness a decade ago landed her in the hospital and ejected him from her life. He’s bad for her and everyone knows it—especially her big brother.
Chance reluctantly helps Gen complete her bucket list in order to keep her out of trouble. Running through a freezing fountain, playing spin the bottle while fending off a mad horde of stinging insects, and skinny dipping with homicidal attack swans don’t hold a candle to the real danger: falling for the one person he can never have.

Review     5 *****
A fast paced, romantic, feel good story. Chance of a Lifetime was a really fun and entertaining read that had me smiling from start to finish whilst reading this book.
There was great chemistry between Gen and Chance. I loved the witty banter between them and there were plenty of moments during the story where I was laughing out loud. Chance exchanges a few smart quips with his brothers which had me laughing as well. 
I enjoyed the whole back story of Gen and Chance's childhood friendship and how things got messed up between them. Both are great characters, easily likeable and good hearted. Gen is strong and independent despite her blindness and interfering family. They make a great couple and you can't help but cheer them on as you follow their story.

This is the third in the series but it can be read as a stand alone. After reading this one though I definitely want to read books one and two.

Available in paperback and ebook 

Book Depository   Amazon Kindle

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Jason's Ladder by John Cruickshank (2015)

Fly back to 1957 when Jason Roberts was beginning his career as a young San Francisco lawyer. This fast paced story explores the destruction of myths and collision with reality that are the central focus of this novel, a polyglot of actual events molded into the fantasy of the writer's imagination. The elegant restaurants of the day, the beatnik clubs on upper Grant, the lives of the people of the city come alive as the plot unfolds. 

Lorraine MacPherson, illegally in the United States from Canada is facing imminent arrest by the immigration service. Wendy, the wife of Lorraine’s boss, suggests she marry to avoid deportation. Lorraine and Jason meet the fellow Wendy has chosen to marry her in a second story gay bar discretely hidden from public view. Jason is overwhelmed by the encounter and eventually understands that he has fallen in love with Lorraine himself and they marry. They rent a quietly classic apartment on Nob Hill, its windows overlooking a Regency mansion next door, the only one left in the area privately owned and still occupied by one family. Lorraine becomes obsessed with the neighbours, secretly monitoring their movements, wanting to meet them but lacking either opportunity or social connections to achieve it. Two men live there and one woman other than the servants. The development of the relationship between Jason, Lorraine and the next door neighbors, Jackson, his brother, Jeremy Stoddard and Jackson's wife Viola form the essence of this novel. 

Strolling through the pages we meet a coterie of unique characters, Susan St. John, her name pronounced CINJUN a prominent socialite, believed to have bedded even presidents. There is Whitney Hill, the fey yet charmingly elegant, wealthy gentlemen considered an essential guest at any party regardless of his affected manner of speech. 

Jason becomes more focused after marrying Lorraine. His professional success is propelled forward when the Stoddards suggest he help them in the take over a new bank being formed by Nate Silverstein. Nate is crass and overbearing, yet highly successful in the banking business. The developments of the bank, the inter-relationships between the various personalities, the intrigue, struggles for control and approach to business are treated in depth leading to a surprising and unexpected twist as the story concludes.

It's true what they say. Don't judge a book by its cover but at the same time it doesn't do any harm to have a cover that stands out and this one is a bit uninspiring. The blurb is also too long and if I could, I would delete some of it e.g. the first paragraph and rephrase much of the rest. 

Once you start the story though, you'll be glad you did.

The tale centres around an ambitious young couple who have moved into an affluent area. Jason is starting out as a lawyer and through good luck and knowing the right people he is asked to help take over a new bank and be involved in its day to day operations.

Jason is married to Lorriane. I didn't really warm to her as a character as she is spoilt, shallow and overly concerned with prestige and money. However, it came across that she genuinely loved Jason and the pair worked well as a couple. I liked how Jason held his ground and didn't allow Lorraine to dictate to him.

The story is very focused on the characters and their relationships to each other. I liked the Stoddards and I wanted their venture to succeed. I also enjoyed seeing the dodgy characters get their comeuppance as their irregular banking practices were uncovered towards the end of the novel.

I also got a good sense of the time period in which the story is taking place. The characters' actions and prejudices reflect the era very well. For the time period, Jason and Lorraine appear to be very open minded and accepting.
As the blurb states, there is a little twist at the end but it isn't entirely unexpected. I liked how that revelation was left until the very end and it ended the story on a nice note.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Available from Amazon
It is also free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Monday, 30 November 2015

The Iron Web - Discovery by Kristin Ravelle (2015)

Bryn’s never been a regular sort of small town Welsh girl. She’s intrigued with ancient manuscripts, scrolls, and arcane secret books. When Penrith University library acquires the mysterious N800 texts, being junior librarian gives her quick access to the texts and she starts to spend all her spare time studying their strange and frightening message. 

The very secretive Luxent is also interested in the N800. Daveithe draws Bryn into the underground group as they fear that One Earth Dynamic, the global agency that tracks all human life, has insidious ties to an ancient evil written about in the N800 and they need her help to expose it. 

Terrifying secrets about One Earth Dynamic are brought to light when gorgeous OED fugitive, Curran Reithe, runs to Luxent for sanctuary. And Bryn’s strange ability to throw condensed light becomes a weapon in a growing struggle for supremacy between natural earth magic and other worldly forces as new truths emerge. 

But Bryn’s rising emotions for Curran and learning the horrifying reality of the OED can only lead down one road, and that goes straight into an ancient and evil web. 

The Iron Web- Discovery is a fast paced dystopian novel. It is quite different to anything I've read before and I really enjoyed it. It also has some paranormal aspects to it in relation to Bryn's special abilities. Other characters also have the ability to communicate with each other through trees.
Bryn is an intelligent and independent young woman who isn't afraid to question the role of the OED in her life and she braves the consequences for refusing to register with them on her next birthday. She gets embroiled with an underground rebel group who oppose the OED. They discover that Bryn has a talent of projecting her inner light which can be used as a weapon and as a cure for a virus that is spreading.

This is the first book in a series and the author does a great job of building up the story and developing the characters. There is a sprinkling of romance with an attraction between Bryn and Curran. It will be interesting to see how this develops. Tension and excitement mounts as Bryn becomes more involved with the rebel group and at the end of the novel we see her on the run from the OED. The story left me wanting to read more and I can't wait to see what happens next with Bryn and the rest of her friends

Highly recommended. 

Available from Amazon and it's free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Death in a Scarlet Gown (Murray of Letho Book 1) by Lexie Conyngham (2011)


1802. An ancient Scottish university is wracked by murder. A vindictive professor, a man seeking ministry, and an uncouth student lie dead. But who wanted to kill them? Charles Murray, a student with enough problems of his own, is drawn into the mystery, where neither tragic accidents nor good friends are what they seem. Death in a Scarlet Gown is first in the Murray of Letho series.

This novel was quite slow to start but life in and around St. Andrews and the relationships of people within the university made very interesting reading. The first murder didn't take place until halfway through the book which I thought was a little too far in, but, the writer makes good use of this time to introduce and fully flesh out the characters. We get to know Charles very well and we learn of his difficulties with his father who is threatening to cut off all financial support if he doesn't come back to run the family estate and get married. Charles has no intention of doing either. Not yet anyway.
Charles is very resourceful though and by the end of the book he has secured a way of funding himself until graduation.

I liked that this book was set in Scotland and not the usual ballrooms of regency England. The tone of the writing was serious and literary in style which complemented the academic setting of St. Andrews. I also enjoyed reading some familiar Scottish colloquialisms that we in Donegal, Ireland also have in our dialect.

This is a very cleverly written murder mystery and I was completely clueless as to who the murderer was until it was revealed in the last few pages. I will definitely be following the rest of the series.

Death in a Scarlet Gown is book one in a seven part series.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ties that Bind by Anne Patrick, Narrated by Leonor A. Woodworth (2015)

Ties That Bind Audiobook

Jo McDaniels has an unusual gift, a special tool she uses in her job. Jo is an FBI profiler with the ability to sense what victims felt prior to death; not only their emotions, but their pain as well.
Sheriff Austin Garrett is willing to try anything to catch the vicious serial killer decapitating victims in his jurisdiction. He's never faced such a monster and is happy to accept FBI help, particularly from this beautiful, sassy agent.
Working together, they come closer to the killer with each body - but will the monster change the game and decide Jo would be the ultimate kill?

Ties that Bind was difficult to put down and I would highly recommend it to all fans of romantic suspense or murder mysteries.

The way in which the killer goes about selecting and killing his victims is both chilling and creepy. The only downside was that I figured out too early in the story who the killer was. The attempt to throw suspicion in a different direction towards the end of the novel came too late and it just didn't convince me. Despite this I enjoyed the serial killer storyline and the whole process the police went through in order to catch him. But, what I liked most was Jo and her story. She is a very interesting and well written character. The fact that she is an FBI profiler is an interesting aspect of her life in itself but she also has a rocky relationship with her family which plays a big part in the story. I loved the fact that she had a psychic connection to the murders and we got to see into the minds of the victims as well as the killer.

There is also a little bit of romance involved as Jo and Sheriff Austen become friendly. I liked that it was only a small aspect of the story and not overdone as the writer focused more on the murder mystery plot.

Leonor A Woodworth is very easy to listen to and she does a fantastic job of narrating Ties that Bind. She did a great job of portraying male and female characters and she gets across their emotions very well.  
This is the second of Leonor's productions that I have listened to and I have been impressed both times. 

I received a copy via audiobookblast.com in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Ahoy, Out There!: Volume 2 (Ahoy, Mischaps!) by Miss Mae (2015)


It’s time to set sail once more with that confectionary plantation owner Sir O. Yuri Wiseguy-eh and his crew from Gum Drop Island. Thrust upon an adventurous journey into parts unknown, they meet new, and not very friendly…okay, they’re some downright ornery— characters. Their mission —which they accepted with many a hesitation— includes a hair-tingling encounter with a family of widowed spider sisters, a dispute with the furious mob of ugly Babes, and a creepy, chilly, evil laughing confrontation with the one-and-only I.B. Nosey seeking mad scientist Dr. Ag O. Nee. (Whew. That sentence is a mouthful, dear readers!) And will our heroes discover what they seek? Will they save the day? Will anyone care? Don’t you think it might be kinda fun to join us on this venture and find out?


A fantastic sequel to Ahoy, Gum Drop. Miss Mae has once again filled her story with a super, imaginative adventure and lots of humour. The gang have a new mission, to save Silliness and Imagination who are being held captive by the Techno Monster. Once they embark on their journey they meet an array of unusual characters who also need help with various problems.  
                 The book is fast paced with every page packed with action so I loved that there was a little recap at the beginning of each chapter. For a child listening to a chapter each night, the recap is a nice touch.

I was thoroughly entertained and amused by this light hearted tale and I would highly recommend it to anyone, young or old, who are looking for humour in their next read.

Ahoy, Out There is available in paperback Amazon 
and in digital format from  Smashwords
The audio version is currently in production.

The Bali Mystery by Linda Weaver Clarke (2014), Narrated by Diane Lehman (2015)

A COZY MYSTERY: Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her business is flourishing. When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.


I loved the flirtatious friendship between Amelia and Rick. A lot of their interactions were humorous and adorable. The mystery involving a missing person which brings the pair to an exotic location provides the perfect backdrop for their burgeoning romance.

Rick and Amelia were great characters. Both are well written and well performed. I loved how Diane Lehman could so convincingly perform such a variety of characters from an elderly woman's voice to Rick's male voice and switching back to Amelia again.

I gave the story 4 stars instead of 5 because I thought they had quite an easy time with their actual detective work. William, the missing man, left a heap of breadcrumbs for the pair to follow which included a brochure circled with all the places he was going to visit in Bali and everything else they needed to know was written in a journal detailing why he had decided to disappear. Despite this I really enjoyed the suspense and mystery surrounding the people who were following and threatening Amelia.

I didn't really like the singing. I just found it a little annoying and unnecessary. It starts with Rick singing 'Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,' and continues with Amelia sporadically singing songs from the movie South Pacific, of which she is a big fan.

But these minute flaws were easily glossed over as the story simply pulled me in from the beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I listened to it in one session. The narrator does a fantastic job and this is definitely a series that I will want to follow.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Snow Job by Debbie Brown (2015)

When NY divorce lawyer, Sarah Lindquist, stepped out of her office to clear her mind before her next client showed up, the last thing she expected was to come to in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, with two park rangers standing over her. The ex-military rangers are convinced someone wants her out of the way, but how do they find out who, without putting her life at risk and letting that 'someone' know they've missed the target?

This was such an entertaining read. Its fast pace and non stop action made it unputdownable. I read it in one evening.

Sarah has amnesia after being attacked and left for dead in the Colorado Rockies. She is completely confused, concussed and doesn't know what is going on. I have to say that, on occasion, I shared her confusion and empathised with her. The park rangers who save her are tight lipped and bossy! Jim looks after her and is quite protective of her but he does annoy her with his habit of answering each of her questions with a question of his own. I enjoyed the light hearted banter between them and their developing friendship as Sarah learned to trust him. There was one scene involving an ear piercing that I found quite amusing and sweet.

Jim has a team of military colleagues on whom he calls to help with Sarah's situation. They do some investigating behind the scenes on her behalf but only tell her little bits at a time. There are quite a lot of secondary characters in the team but Jim, Ty and Mike stood out as being the most likeable and heroic. There are numerous attempts made on Sarah's life and this leads to lots of intense action involving Jim's team. At some points I wasn't too sure if my favourite characters were going to make it out alive. 

The romance between Sarah and Jim was nice and slow. Their attraction to each other developed slowly into romantic feelings for each other. Romance took a back stage as the action driven plot took over.

On a side note, I love the gorgeous cover on this book. It would look great on the bookshelf.

Snow Job is available now in paperback 
Book Depository Amazon  
and in digital format for Kindle also at Smashwords and Kobo

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lady of Intrigue by Sabrina Darby (2015)


London, 1814

Lady Jane Langley values logic and reason over passion and emotion. Her intellect has given her value in the eyes of both her father and society. Logic gives way to terrible, icy fear when Jane finds herself in a devastating carriage accident... an accident in which she is helpless to do anything but watch as her aristocratic companion is murdered.

But this was no mere accident. This was an assassination. Spy and grandson of Lord Landsdowne, Gerard Badeau is methodical in his dark, shadowy work, knowing that any display of emotion could get him killed. Something about the mysterious woman and her cool blue eyes stays Gerard's lethal hand. Now he has both a witness and a hostage. 
And if he doesn't kill Lady Jane Langley, he risks a fate that is far, far worse...falling in love with her.


Lady of Intrigue is a completely different approach to the traditional regency romance. Gerard, the hero, is untitled, illegitimate and an assassin. From the very beginning we see the depth of his sangfroid when he causes a carriage accident and murders his targeted victim. He is not the typical hero I'd be rooting for but the writer develops his story and character in such a way that gives us hope for his redemption. The source of this redemption comes in the guise of Lady Jane Langley, who is a surviving witness to the carriage 'accident' and subsequently Gerard's hostage. 

As they get to know each other, we learn of Gerard's upbringing and the hardships he has endured over the years. He is actually quite a likeable character who feels guilty about Jane getting hurt in the accident and he takes good care of her. Gerard begins to question his lifestyle and hopes that he can start a new life, preferably a life with Jane. But, the fact that Jane is a surviving witness who won't be silenced about the death puts her in the line of fire from the very people who ordered the murder. There is no end of intrigue and suspense as the pair try to sort their out of trouble.

One aspect of Jane's character that I wasn't too enamoured with was her refusal to marry Gerard until he could procure a title to allow her to maintain her position in society. This puts him in a very awkward and dangerous position. Her realisation that she loved Gerard enough without a title came too late in the story for me. Apart from this flaw in her character, I enjoyed Jane and Gerard's story. I also loved the supporting characters. Each one of them had their own very interesting life story behind them. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a series as I'd like to continue the excitement and adventure with Gerard's diverse family as they flock to live with him in his new home.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Available now on Kindle £2.36 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Le Tour de Paris: The Chronicles of Tavara Tinker by Sharon Skinner & Bob Nelson (2013), Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2015)


TAVARA TINKER—LE TOUR DE PARIS, Steampunk/Alternative Historical Fiction. Bob Nelson and Sharon Skinner are a dynamic co-writing duo.

Tavara Tinker leads a double life. By day, a proper Victorian lady. By night, deep in the heart of industrial London, she maintains a research laboratory and a steam-powered factory where she creates the clothes and weapons for a new generation of adventurer.

Tavara and her quirky band of intrepid heroes visit Paris on a quest to obtain a rare fabric for a client, only to discover they’re not the only ones with an interest in it.

This first installment of the Chronicles of Tavara Tinker is a literary tour de force of drama, humor and excitement.


This was my first foray into the steampunk genre and I enjoyed it immensely. Le Tour de Paris was an ideal title to start me off as it is a short read/listen. It had all the descriptions, details and paraphernalia that I would associate with steampunk. 

The story is action packed and the reader/listener is thrust into all the excitement right from the beginning. Because this is a short story, there isn't an abundance of information about the characters except for their looks and what they are wearing. The writers have, instead, concentrated on the series of action scenes which are very well written and entertaining. The narrator, Melanie Fraser, added a some extra pizazz with sound effects.

I was surprised at how much detail and activity the writers were able to jam into such a short piece but they managed it superbly. I'm hoping that the current storyline continues into the next installment as I'm keen to find out what happens next. I'd also like to see the characters develop more as the series progresses so that I can gain more insight into their relationships with each other. However, the installments would need to get a little bit longer in order to facilitate this without sacrificing the action and adventure scenes.

I loved the narration by Melanie Fraser. The narration is well paced and crystal clear. The little snippet of French she spoke was impressive and I found myself listening that extra bit carefully to see if I could remember my secondary school French. By the third listen I had it translated in my head, happy in the knowledge that the language is still rattling around in there somewhere. 

Le Tour de Paris is not a story that will bore you. I have listened to Le Tour de Paris three times to date and I enjoyed it even more each time. With so much going on in the story it is easy to miss a bit of the action if you get distracted so I found myself wanting to go back and listen to it again.  

If you want a short listen that is high in entertainment, I would definitely recommend Le Tour de Paris. For anyone, like me, who has yet to venture into the steampunk genre, Le Tour de Paris is a great place to start.

Le Tour de Paris is available in ebook format Kindle 99p and Audio Audible UK £3.09

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton (2012)


Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children's Story. For Adults.

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.”
Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.”
    Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

. "…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy." -- Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” --Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” -- The Baryon Review

Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program in the author's home state. http://www.childhswv.org/ A listing of services that are supported can be found here: http://mountainrhinestones.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-giveaway-rarity-from-hollow-by.html.  

My Review

Rarity from the Hollow is not my usual kind of read but I thought I would try out something new.
Reading Rarity from the Hollow is like reading two books. The first third of the novel is dark and revolves around Lacy Dawn surviving the childhood trauma of being raised by an abusive father and an inept mother. This is where the realism ends. The rest of the book makes for strange reading. Lacy Dawn converses with trees, the ghost of her friend Faith and a robotic boyfriend called Dotcom. Lacy Dawn plans to cure her parents by plugging them in and downloading an upgrade. When she succeeds, she is then given the task of saving the universe.
                  The story is fast paced, very imaginative and quite entertaining. There is humour in the story but it wasn't anything that made me laugh out loud. If you like toilet humour then you'll like this book.
I'm not a fan of sci-fi and probably some of it went over my head. I would have enjoyed this more if it had have been more of a gritty tale of Lacy Dawn overcoming her family difficulties in a more realistic way. I didn't like the idea that a child could cure her parents and save a marriage. The parents faced no repercussions for their actions. Not one of the adults in this book was likeable and they became even more unlikeable after they were cured and helping Lacy Dawn to save the universe. I really didn't like how inappropriately they behaved in front of her and the inappropriate conversations they had with her.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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