Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Body Market by D.V. Berkom

Product DetailsThe Body Market is a fast-paced thriller and a very enjoyable read. The story about human trafficking and the selling of body parts is well developed and the characters are really interesting. Liene, the protaganist, has a great back story and I liked her dedication to her job. Elise, the rich Beverly Hills girl that Liene must find, grows throughout her ordeal and becomes almost likable by the end of the book. I liked the way the book alternates POV between the two and the secondary cast of characters were engaging.
Although this is not a genre I prefer, I heartily recommend this book.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Peter Wilson's Dream Theater by John Archer

Product DetailsI received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. Peter Wilson's Dream Theater is a great adventure story for young teens. The book follows high school freshman Peter Wilson as he learns to control his dreams through lucid dreaming and go on adventures in a Walter Mitty type way. In this first of the books (I think more are planned) he travels in his dream theater as a Viking to rescue a kidnapped princess.
The book is well written and though I thought it too young for most adults, it should be an enjoyable read for teens.

 Link to Amazon

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Young Lions by Tony Maxwell

Product DetailsI was given a free copy of this book for an honest review. The Young Lions is a well researched book about the Boer War. Robert is a young Canadian who ends up in Africa to pursue diamond mining and other opportunities. He ends up  fighting for the Boers among whom he's made his home against the English.
There were many interesting descriptions of the country and cities as well as the battles that took place in the war. It seemed very realistic to me and I enjoyed the story and the characters met along the way including a young Winston Churchill.
I rated it three stars is for two reasons: the endless descriptions of guns and ammunition. This is a long book and at least one-third of it had to do with armaments. A little bit adds to the historical flavor of the era, but this excess seemed a bit Freudian, especially when I get to my other reason. It is not realistic that about every 10-15 pages Robert has a sexual encounter with women who fall madly in love with him. This starts with his aunt (with the consent of her husband) through pretty much any other woman he meets. I applaud Louisa who never succumbs although she wanted to. It was as if the author felt that he needed these gratuitous sex scenes to hold the readers interest. He was capable of doing that with just his writing so these were just unnecessary interruptions to the flow.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

View From the Sixth Floor by Ellizabeth Horton-Newton

Product DetailsThe premise of this book was good, although I had a pretty good idea of the big reveal early in the book. But the book was very slow to get there and then never really delivered. It was way too vague in the details of the conspiracy, maybe on purpose as Bill didn't want Olivia to know, but it left me hanging and slightly bored.
I probably would have given this book three stars, but it badly needed a proofreader. There were almost no commas in the entire book and it really interrupted the flow of sentences. I would often have to go back to reread to catch the meaning. For example, “I know honey." Is he referring to Olivia or is he a beekeeper? Place names weren't separate as in the example here: "Then he kissed me, right in front of one of the oldest steak restaurants in Fort Worth Texas."
This was a proof copy and maybe the author intends to correct these issues before publication.

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Candle's Christmas Chair by Jude Knight

I loved this novella. The main characters are very likeable and the romance is very sweet. It's a slightly
different type of Regency romance and I enjoyed it very much.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Bone Wall by D. Wallace Peach

Product DetailsI have read two of D Wallace Peach's books, The Melding of Aeris and Myths of the Mirror, and loved them. However, I wasn't as pleased with The Bone Wall. It's a metaphor for Heaven and Hell in a post-apocalyptic world and twin girls, Rimma and Angel, who represent evil and good. I found the pace of the story very slow and somewhat predictable, even the ending was unsurprising. I think it just wasn't my cup of tea and that others may enjoy it more than I did.
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Jezebel by Justin Hamlin

Product DetailsJezebel is a fast-paced gritty novel that tells the story of Jenny, the "good" girl (at least she wants to be good), and Jezebel, the demon creature that possesses Jenny and uses her body as a vehicle. Jenny is an A student, but her best friend Sharpie tends to lead her into trouble, whether with missing curfew, having sex with boys, or dressing inappropriately. But once Jezebel has control of Jenny's body, her really bad side come out. Meanwhile, as Jezebel identifies more and more with Jenny, her personality also undergoes a change and she becomes much nicer (for a demon).

Jezebel has amnesia and can only remember the last few years of her long existence. But the author uses flashbacks to reveal pieces of her past lives in some of the different vehicles she has inhabited over the years. I particularly liked Janice, the American girl, who really helps Jezebel find some humanity first.

Jenny and the other girls at her school are finely drawn and I think accurate as to how girls in what seems to be not the best area of town might act. The other characters are diverse and interesting, even the bad guys. There is a lot of gore and a few sexual situations that some readers might object to, but they fit within the context of the story.

I really did enjoy this book. It is not one of my favorite genres, but I enjoyed the story and would like to see what happens to Jezebel when she returns to America.

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Myths of the Mirror by D. Wallace Peach

Product DetailsMyths of the Mirror is a lovely fantasy novel with a carefully built world of beauty, both in the valley of Taran Leigh and in the mountains of the Mirror. The only dark place is the lair of the dragons, but it is necessary to show how the Belonging and the Way make everything else so lovely. 
Conall's growth throughout the story is mirrored by Treasa's and justifies their love in the end. The secondary characters are interesting and the evils of coin clearly laid out. This is the second of D. Wallace Peach's books that I have read and I will look for more.  

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Product DetailsThe Melding of Aeris is an original fantasy about a people whose vanity is such that they "meld" the body parts of animals, reptiles, birds, and people onto their own skins to enhance their attractiveness.
Aeris has been born a monster as a result of his parents melding. He only wants human skin and on his eighteenth birthday, he receives it. Unfortunately a man was murdered to provide that skin. The story continues as Aeris is revolted when he finds out about the murder and how he rebels against his parents way of life. He finds new friends who help him with the rebellion. This is a richly imagined book that I highly recommend.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Louisiana Sky by Ashleigh Zavarelli

Product DetailsBentley and Roxy are meant for each other, but they can't seem to get together permanently. You met them in Under the Cypress Tree and here their story continues.
Bentley needs to save people and now Roxy needs saving with her ex-husband back in town. I love them as a couple. This is a good romance from the author of the Love in Belle Pont series. I heartily recommend.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Adventures of JoJo Smith by Tony Duxbury

Product DetailsThe Adventures of JoJo Smith transports an ordinary Englishman to a far-off world. A wizard has cast a spell that brings JoJo to this medieval-like country. JoJo meets a cast of characters in his new world and spends most of his time drinking.
This was an interesting story told in first person narrative. I thought the book might have benefited from adding more dialog. The book dragged a little at time because of the constant descriptive narration. Some more dialog would have made the action more lively in my opinion. Still I recommend it for a quick read.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

A Meeting of Clans by Kathleen Flanagan Rollins

Product DetailsA Meeting of Clans is a fascinating look at prehistoric societies in Mexico. One clan has come from across the Pacific and the other from Africa. Their subsequent meeting and melding of their customs is the subject of this book. It combines detailed descriptions of their ways of life, including hunting, fishing, crafts, story telling, song and dance, and beliefs in the natural world. The characters were intriguing and ranged from a dwarf who was a stone carver to a woman warrior to a storyteller.

This is the third book in the series and I did not read the first two books which I feel was a real detriment. I really needed a list of the characters and which clan they belonged to at the beginning of the book. It was hard to keep track of who was who. I also didn't feel that their languages should have been so alike that they could communicate readily; maybe hand signals would have been more realistic. But it was a very interesting and informative book.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

New England Nights by Linda Lee Williams

Product DetailsI was gifted a copy of this book for an honest review. New England Nights is a story about a different kind of vampire. Born to a vampire and a human, Geoff has some vampire abilities but was brought up by his mother to shun the vampire lifestyle. When Norah shows up on his doorstep, he falls for her almost immediately. But it takes him a long time to overcome his fears about introducing her to the vampire lifestyle.
Norah seems to vacillate about vampires. She's in love with Geoff but I tired of the way she objects to something (he's a vampire, he's going to bite her, etc) and then puts her objections aside the next minute. She wavered so much that I couldn't tell if she really overcame her objections or Geoff did mind-control to influence her.
The additional family characters are lovely. This is truly a different kind of vampire story.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Under the Cypress Tree by Ashleigh Zavarelli

Product DetailsUnder the Cypress Tree is a sweet romance. Annabeth Richards hasn't seen or heard from Archer Beaufait since he left her to go to Iraq. In the last six years she has continued with her own life in the small town of Belle Pont. But that life is thrown into disarray when Archer returns home. She has secrets but she's still in love with him. And he regrets hurting those he left behind.

I really liked both Archer and Annabelle. Most of their original problems were the result of being too young. Now they've matured and really work to straighten themselves out. It's a somewhat predictable story, but you still root for them to get together. I was warned that some of the dialect is Southern but this Yankee didn't have any issues with that. A lovely and quick read to warm your heart.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Conor Kelly and the Fenian King by Ali Isaac

Product DetailsConor Kelly is a handicapped teenage boy in today's world, but in the world of Tir na Nog he is a hero. The Treasure Seeker as he is known has already completed one quest and now must help his sometimes enemy Annalee defeat the Morrigan. To do this he must call forth Ireland's greatest hero Fionn mac Cumhall to help him along with his feisty cousin Ciara and various other magical helpers. This is an adventurous tale interwoven with Irish lore. There are a lot of characters and details to keep track of, but this book is well worth putting the time into. I heartily recommend it and will go back to read the first book and then the third book of the trilogy.

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The Rembrandt Affair by Alan S Mosier

Product DetailsThis second of the Dean and Derringer Novels is even better than the first book The Van Gogh Affair. I like the chemistry between Dean and Derringer and I'm hoping that they'll eventually get together. They mystery of the stolen Rembrandt and Mona Lisa was engrossing and well-paced. I'm looking forward to the next book.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

The Van Gogh Affair by Alan S. Mosier

Product DetailsThe Van Gogh Affair takes you into the art world in a very satisfying and engaging mystery. Alexander Dean partners with Lindsey Derringer to retrieve a stolen Van Gogh painting. The pacing is brisk and the dynamics between the couple are appealing. Being from New England I really liked the descriptions of some of the locations. This is a very promising start to a terrific mystery series.  

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