Sunday, 27 October 2013

Book review: The Hunt is On - Natalie Herzer (The Patroness #2)

The Hunt is On

The blurb.

Book 2 in the Patroness Series: 

Maiwenn Cadic has her hands full. 

The Turn is a few weeks ahead and the world seems to be literally coming apart at the seams - natural disasters and weird phenomena keep everyone on edge. An unusually high number of missing persons is thought to be just another side effect but is making Maiwenn nervous.
When all fingers point to the Queen of the Undead, Maiwenn is once again forced to join forces with Kylian, new leader of the Paris shapeshifter pack.
Sharp-tongued and sharp-fanged conflicts follow...

My opinion.
I was really looking forward to reading the sequel to Blue Moon Rising and I'm afraid to say my expectations were pretty high. The Hunt is On topped them all. What a novel. Forget about bookmarks, you won't need one. It's even more thrilling, exciting and addictive than part I. (I almost got mad reaching the end of the book.) Without those introductions and explanations needed in Blue Moon Rising, The Hunt is On just throws you into the middle of the fight and keeps you captivated from the very first page and leaves you wanting more.  Be prepared to feel the build op tension that announces The Turn, to feel the love and warmth from Maiwenn and her close group of friends, to be introduced to even more exciting characters... and be prepared to be swept off your feet by a certain tiger ;-)
Many thanks, again, to Natalie for letting me read and review part II.
What an addictive read!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Book review: Catastrophic - Dustin Stevens


The blurb.
College phenom running back Tyler Bentley is the ultimate success story. The son of a single mother from a wayward stretch of highway in Western Wyoming, he heads to Midwestern football powerhouse Ohio Tech and becomes a star, MVP of the Centennial Bowl, runner-up to the Heisman Trophy.

He is also the ultimate fall from grace story when a freak play occurs, leaving his knee shattered.

Seeing an opportunity, the SynTronic medical corporation convinces Tyler to use their newly-designed KnightRunner knee replacement, promising him that he'll be back on the field long before the upcoming season. Everything they promise comes true up until the product malfunctions, costing Tyler his career and his leg.

Now, leaning on the help of his one-time teacher Shane Laszlo, Tyler must take his battle from the gridiron to the courtroom. Laszlo, an Ohio Tech alum himself just a year removed from law school, has his own score to settle with SynTronic, an incident occuring years before with repercussions far greater than the loss of a limb.

Together, they will go into the biggest case Ohio has ever seen...

My opinion.
From the very beginning you're drawn into this story. It was extremely captivating and exciting. Dustin Stevens really takes you on a journey towards justice, and you just can't put the book down until justice.. is served. I love how it was truly "good vs. evil". Normally you'd just expect that good will win, otherwise, what kind of novel would it be(?) but very early on you realize it won't be that easy. Although Shane Laszlo's team has right and law on their side, they really have to fight for this case. Shane, and therefore Dustin Stevens, is extremely good with words and knows how to bring out the right reactions and emotions, not just from the jury in court, but from the reader as well.

Many thanks to Dustin Stevens for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel. 
It's one of the best books I've read in a while.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Book review: Blue Moon Rising - Natalie Herzer

Blue Moon Rising

The blurb.
Maiwenn Cadic doesn’t have a quiet and normal life. 
This week won’t be any different.

Being the Patroness of Paris and protecting its inhabitants is a full time job but unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills and so Maiwenn tries her best to make a living as a down-on-her luck private eye for odd cases.

When five shapeshifters end up dead, she knows it’s bad news and has to call in The Council. They immediately send their assassin Kylian ‘The Killer’ Tremaine, a typical shapeshifter who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and seems to see everything female as a damsel in distress - which Maiwenn is really not. 

Together they will not only have to overcome their prejudices and obstacles in the form of a trigger-happy bounty hunter and a hungry rogue, but they will also have to trust each other in order to solve the murder before more bodies pile up.

My opinion.
What a thrilling start to The Patroness series! As usual, it took a few chapters to get fully used to a new fantasy world, but once I got to understand the basics of Maiwenn's world and life, I was hooked. She has some very interesting friends and it's a pleasure to get to know them "behind the magic", throughout the story. And then the story really kicks off. Paris is in danger, including some of our beloved characters and Maiwenn has to try and 'save the day'. Don't even think about putting the book down, you just have to finish it. I liked how, very smoothly, more and more history and details about this world are introduced: although sometimes a lot of information at once, it's very promising for what's to come! I'll definitely read the sequels to this one!
Thanks to Natalie for giving me the chance to read and review this novel and introducing me to Maiwenn's world.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Book review: Christmas is Cancelled - Aurelia B. Rowl

Christmas is Cancelled

The blurb.
Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.

The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…

As the chinks in Dean's armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.

Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…

My opinion.
What a deliciously sexy Christmas love story. I loved it from the very first page. I put it down once, just to get some sleep.. only to pick it up again first thing in the morning. 
Tilly just hit rock bottom when the story kicks off. Although you don't know the specifics of her breakdown from the start, you instantly take pity on her and start rooting for a better outcome. Who would wish for someone's Christmas to get cancelled? Then along comes Dean. From the moment he makes his appearance, you're just as smitten with him as Tilly is. And just like her, you're intrigued to find out what's keeping Dean from giving in. 
It was a heartwarming, romantic, sexy and moving read. Go and get your Christmas wish-list, this novel should be on there.. somewhere at the very top.

Aurelia's website, Facebook and Twitter
Christmas is cancelled on Amazon and Goodreads

Many thanks to Aurelia for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel, 
and to fall in love along with Tilly and Dean.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Book review: Unbound - Brijit Reed


The blurb.

When Anthropologist Sarah Perry attempts suicide, she unknowingly opens a portal that allows her soul to leave her body and travel through time-- into the Scottish witch persecutions under the reign of King James.

Upon awakening in the hospital, Sarah learns that she’s pregnant and vows to live long enough to bring her child into the world despite her need to escape the suffering she sees around her. She returns to work and is soon sent on a dig in Scotland to determine the reason for two partially burned bodies left in a peat bog. Intrigued, she wants to learn their story, but questions her sanity when an amulet found on the dig becomes the catalyst that guides her spirit through the portal and into the body of the woman in the bog. Sarah begins experiencing life in early 17th Century Scotland through the other woman’s eyes and flesh. Unable to control or manipulate events herself, her soul is rendered to that of mere passenger. Does the amulet contain supernatural powers that allow Sarah to see through the eyes of a woman who lived over four-hundred years ago-- or is she losing her mind? As Sarah relives events of the past, she must come to terms with her own life in the present-- choices that ultimately affect not only herself, but those she loves...

My opinion.
I loved loved loved this "short story". It was captivating, thrilling, exciting, intriguing from the very first page until the very last. I loved how Brijit Reed was able to make the atmosphere of the story change the moment you switched between present and past. With Sarah in the present, you mostly get the feeling op hopelessness, but the moment you switch to Scotland (in the past), there's a feeling of dread, of suspense, of fear even. Loved it. The story was over way too soon, this could (dare I say "should") have been a much longer novel. I would have loved to know even more about the developments in 17th Century Scotland. This "short story" feels almost rushed. It's definitely worth reading!
Many thanks to Brijit for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Book review: The Anchoress - Paul Blaney

The Anchoress

The blurb.
Maggie has locked herself in her closet and she won’t come out. Lying in the cool, dark space by herself is surprisingly soothing. Visitors come and go – some more welcome than others. There’s Norman the nosy neighbour, who’s worried her strange behaviour may be lowering the tone of the area. A police officer drops by to offer advice on home security and issues a strange invitation. Then a reporter arrives, inviting Maggie to tell her story to the local paper. And there’s the charming pizza delivery man, who shoots the breeze with her before sliding a thin-crust with anchovies under the door. Maggie finds herself opening up to Pizza Guy about her past, and finally it becomes clear why she has taken refuge in her closet. What will it take for her to face the world again?

The Anchoress is a story about memory, childhood, grief and acceptance. It’s about what happens when you shut out the world and rediscover yourself.

My opinion.
This book surprised me. The blurb intrigued me but I wasn't really sure what to expect. Even while reading it I still couldn't really tell where the story was going, but that's probably why I enjoyed reading it: it was unexpected, intriguing and challenging. Maggie deals with a lot of difficult questions about people, relationships, life in general. Even if you're not in the same place as Maggie, her questions still challenge you to think. The philosophical reference to Socrates was dead-on.
I'm not to sure of the ending though, without giving away too much spoilers. I feel like Maggie's story isn't over... I felt like there was something more... like maybe "Pizza Guy" and Collin are more alike than Maggie realizes?
I liked reading this novel. To me, it was calming; like I was closed off from the world too for just a little while.

Many thanks to Red Button Publishing for introducing me to this novel and giving me the opportunity to read and review it.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Book review: Unravelled - M.K. Tod


The blurb.
Two wars, two affairs, one marriage. In October 1935, Edward Jamieson's memories of war and a passionate love affair resurface when an invitation to a WWI memorial ceremony arrives. Though reluctant to visit the scenes of horror he has spent years trying to forget, Edward succumbs to the unlikely possibility of discovering what happened to Helene Noisette, the woman he once pledged to marry. Travelling through the French countryside with his wife Ann, Edward sees nothing but reminders of war. After a chance encounter with Helene at the dedication ceremony, Edward's past puts his present life in jeopardy. When WWII erupts a few years later, Edward is quickly caught up in the world of training espionage agents, while Ann counsels grieving women and copes with the daily threats facing those she loves. And once again, secrets and war threaten the bonds of marriage.

My opinion.
I loved this novel. Being Belgian, you can't escape the two World Wars. In primary school, high school and even at uni. "History specials" on tv or in magazines are almost always about WWI or II. I almost lost interest in the entire subject, just because it's "all around you" while other parts of history are being forgotten. So it surprised me that M.K. Tod was able to get me this excited about the World Wars. I loved reading about it from a different (Canadian) perspective: it seems we Belgians often forget the amount of overseas troupes who 'came to the rescue'. 

I also loved that it showed you both sides of the war: the political, the fighting in the trenches (to story we all "know" best), but also the human side. The struggles that go on in their private lives. How the war effects their relationships, but also what effect it has on their family and loved ones. It was very emotional to read about the heartache those who got 'left behind' had the endure: the mothers, fathers, wives, sisters, sons, daughters. To me, M.K. Tod's writing is a tribute to those 'silent victims' of the war. Those without memorial services or statues.

What a debut! It captivated me from the very first page until the very last and frequently moved me to tears.