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March 2016

Deadly Obsession – Nigel May

Deadly Obsession – Nigel May

Deadly Obsession

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Bookouture… Have you ever published a bad book? If you have, I haven’t read it yet… Yet another great read!

Amy and Riley Hart have it all. A fabulous marriage, and bucket loads of cash. But when one fateful night changes everything, Amy is left without her husband and also her beloved best friend. Six months later she receives a letter in the mail… From Riley… But how could this be? She watched him die… Or did she? The chase is on for Amy to find a murderer, and the truth about her seemingly perfect life.

What a delightful, fun and HOT story! Yes ladies and gentlemen, this book is not for the under 18’s. Its full of scandal and lots of sweaty romps between the sheets… Also add a bit of violence and suspense and a hell of a mystery and it was quite the page turner.

It was quite a ride – kept me guessing, almost until the very end. I figured out part of the picture towards the end, but the complexity of it still took me by surprise.

The format was slightly difficult to get used to. There was a lot of chopping and changing back and forth in time, to sometimes seemingly random points in time before and after the fateful night. But I soon got used to the format. I quite like books that do this when they are done well.

I really enjoyed Amy’s quest to find out who “tried” to murder her husband. There were lots of twists and turns, lots of sordid secrets and you couldn’t help but get into the story. There were perhaps a few too many characters and a bit too much going on for me to enjoy it to its fullest potential, at times it dragged on a bit for me. But overall it was a really good read. Even though the barrage of characters got on my nerves a bit, it was great that you literally had so many potential bad guys to choose from, all with their own motives.

Would I recommend Deadly Obsession?

Yes, who doesn’t like a good bit of drama, intrigue, sex, money, power and violence. I will have to check out more books by Nigel May, and It was another hit from the ever impressive Bookouture.

Many thanks to author Nigel May and my favourite publisher Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy Deadly Obsession, you may enjoy:

White Hot   mirror image   after the night

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Running Against The Tide – Amanda Ortlepp

Running Against The Tide – Amanda Ortlepp

Running Against The Tide

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Really enjoyed this suspenseful tale set near Adelaide. Amanda Ortlepp is certainly yet another talented Australian author to look out for!

With her two teenage sons, Erin moves away from her life in Sydney, to down to her childhood home near the Eyre Peninsula not far from Adelaide. Mallee Bay is an oyster town, many of the locals making a living from hard work at the oyster farms. But did Erin really leave her past behind her? Strange things begin to happen and Erin feel she is in danger. But from who? And what can she do about it?

I thought this book was great. I really enjoyed all the characters, especially the ones who live in the town. Jono and his wife Helen, and Puff were fabulous characters. I didn’t warm to Erin as much as I was expecting to. I thought some of her decisions were a bit silly and I really didn’t like how she dealt with her difficult son Ryan at times. But I enjoyed her character a lot more by the end.

I really appreciated that the main characters were older. I enjoy reading about characters with a bit of life experience behind them. It seems a lot of novels I have read lately have been filled with young characters so it was refreshing to read about older people for a change. Having said that, Mike and Ryan were the youngest characters in the novel yet they still had quite a depth to them, especially Ryan.

Loved the twists and turns throughout the book. However I figured out the main twist well before it happened so that was slightly disappointing. However it didn’t stop me turning the pages.

Would I recommend Running Against The Tide?

Yes, it was a good story, had some suspenseful moments and I ate it up! Womens fiction fans as well as romantic suspense fans will appreciate this one. As well as fans of books in Aussie settings by talented Aussie writers!

Many thanks to the author Amada Ortlepp and publisher Simon and Schuster Australia via NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON AU | AMAZON | PUBLISHER


If you enjoy Running Against The Tide, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   the red door   The Secret Years

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You Were Here – Cori McCarthy

You Were Here – Cori McCarthy

You Were Here

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Wow. This book totally took me by surprise! I love when I get taken by surprise!

Jaycee is still dealing with the death of her big brother 5 years ago, albeit not very well depending on how you look at it. On each anniversary of his death she breaks into an abandoned insane asylum, which was one of her brothers favourite places to do dangerous stunts. Accompanied with one of his old friends, selective mute Mik, and this year joined by some other friends with their own issues, Jaycee must start to move forward.

I absolutely adored the format of this book. Each chapter was from one of the characters perspectives, and it was not all words. One of the characters chapters consisted entirely of graffiti, another’s chapters of a graphic novel, and my goodness, it really worked for me!

Straight away I was caught up in the emotion of the story, it was gritty but not in a bad way. There is gritty and there is depressing, the latter this novel is certainly not. The grief subject matter is raw yes, but it is written in such a good way that you can’t help but become immersed in it and keep turning the pages!

Every one of the characters were so well written. Each of them had such depth to them, funny enough – especially Mik, who was my favourite character. Each character brought something special to the story and made me pine for the days back at that stage of my life, where everything was starting out and changing, and nothing was ever going to be the same.

A fantastic coming of age, dealing with issues Young Adult story with a touching story, a passionate romance, and more than a few laughs! All leading to an ultimately extremely satisfying conclusion.

Would I recommend You Were Here?

Yes! Attention YA fans! This is the best Young Adult book I have read this year. Absolutely an author to watch!

Many thanks to the author Cori McCarthy and the publisher via NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON US | BOOK DEPOSITORY


If you enjoyed You Were Here, you may enjoy:

image   Melophobia

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Like I Can Love – Kim Lock

Like I Can Love – Kim Lock

Like I Can Love

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

I have been getting really sick of series lately. It seems every book I read is the first in a series. Sometimes its good to curl up with a good stand alone novel. Thankfully this was a fabulous one! I really enjoyed Like I Can Love. Another Aussie author to look out for!

The story revolves around the present day Fairley, and her childhood best friend Jenna, whose story is told in flashbacks. Jenna was found in her house after committing suicide. She appeared to have a perfect life, with a devoted husband and gorgeous young son. But lots of secrets lay beneath the surface. Fairley must figure out what brought her best friend to do this. The story is also told through letters from Jenna’s mother to Jenna, divulging a huge life-changing secret.

I loved the way this book was set out. I really enjoyed the changes between past, present and the letter from Jenna’s mother. It was super easy to follow and flowed really well. I found it quite a quick read because I was so immersed in the story.

I really enjoyed Jenna’s story. From the first whirlwind of love with her and her husband, to reading about the absolute horrific emotional and physical abuse that he put her through. It made my blood boil and created such an angry response in me as I was reading it. In a good way! Totally lost in the story! I hated him so much! It was so well written. At first you think what a great guy he is and then you begin to see things change. Completely believable also, and I am sure it is a familiar story to a LOT of women out there who have experienced similar things.

Jenna’s experience with her new baby resonated a lot with me, apart from the terrible husband thankfully… Although I didn’t have post natal depression, that first year was HARD. Harder than I ever imagined. Some of the scenes with her son Henry really took me back!

Oh and what a twist! Totally didn’t see that coming at all! Really well done and super clever! Thought it was fantastic!

Would I recommend Like I Can Love?

Absolutely for any drama/women’s fiction/family saga fan. Great story, fantastic characters and really well written and engaging!

Many thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy Like I Can Love, you may enjoy:

The Sun In Her Eyes   The Secret Years

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School of Deaths – Christopher Mannino

School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret #1)

School of Deaths

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this YA fantasy. It was different than I was expecting.

 Suzie is thrust from her life with her family and friends in the mortal world, and is forced to become a student in the school of deaths, a school that trains ‘grim reapers’ to harvest souls to take to the after life. There hasn’t been another female student in a million years, and Suzie is faced with sexism, ridicule and violence, and she is an outcast. Thankfully not everyone hates her, and with a few friends, Suzie must make her way through her first year to pass the end of year test so that she can return home…

The story was fun and interesting and even though it bore some resemblance to Harry Potter, it was still refreshingly original. I enjoyed Suzie’s character. I thought the way she experienced sexism and isolation was quite well written. She has a lot of inner strength which is appealing for me as a fan of strong female characters.

I liked the other characters, her friends and teachers and the “mentals”. There were a few good twists and turns throughout the book that I really enjoyed. And I appreciated the ending, leaving it ready for the next one.

It was easy to read and well written, and would absolutely appeal to a wide range of young readers. There were a few adult themes and some violence, I think the majority of YA fans will really enjoy it. I thought the romance was cute and lovely. Death itself is dealt with in an interesting way. I thought it was a really great concept having a school for deaths. And I really enjoyed Suzie learning her way through different aspects of her classes.

And YAY! No love triangles!!! WOOHOO!

Would I recommend School of Deaths?

Yes it was a fun, different yet familiar kind of YA read that I enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading the next one and seeing what is in store for Suzie!

Many thanks to author Christopher Mannino for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Mannino is currently working an adult science fiction novel, and editing the end of The Scythe Wielder’s Secret series.


If you enjoy The School of Deaths you may enjoy:

Eerie Finalhigh res   Return Once More

The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Well, it took me long enough to get there, but I have finally finished The Wise Man’s Fear! What an EPIC audio book! 43 HOURS long!

It is day two at the Waystone Inn, and Kvothe is telling Bast and Chronicler the second part of his tale. Back at the university, a young Kvothe is just beginning his adventures. He leaves the university in search of a patron, trains with the Amyr and learns their secrets, gets taken by Felourian to have her way with him, continues on his quest to avenge his parents, and starts to make a name for himself.

The world that he has created in this series is just enchanting. I love how the story is told. The first book for those who have not read it, begins with the innkeeper agreeing to have his life story documented by a scribe. However it will take three days to tell his tale. The first book is day one, the second book is day two and the third book will be day three (when it is released… 2017 apparently! WAHHHH). In between the story there are interludes back to the present day at the Inn, starting to get glimpses of what Kvothe is like now, how he has changed, and how he has stayed the same.

I have read reviews of The Wise Man’s Fear and many reviewers found it to be slower than The Name of the Wind. I disagree. I actually enjoyed it much more than the first one. Maybe it was because of the ease of getting back into it. The first one took me a good 2 hours to really start enjoying the story. However this one was right back into it straight away. Like an old friend. I also began to feel like the story really moved along. It seemed to take him forever to venture out from the university, so I was utterly excited when he did! I enjoyed that he went into the Fae. At the time I thought it was a little strange, however I think it really helped Kvothes character mature, and became pivotal to the story.

There is something magical about Rothfuss’s words. Something amazing about the way he tells this tale… It sucks me right in. And with Nick Podehl as narrator, yet again I was listening to this book at every opportunity, trying to absorb as much of the story as I could, as quickly as I could!

Kvothe is really developing through the novels. In the first book I found him to be quite annoying, the younger version anyway. Arrogant and at times painfully stupid, despite his intelligence. The Wise Man’s Fear had me starting to like him and see glimpses of what he will be like as he grows older. His character was much more tolerable. I enjoyed his countless adventures. All the characters are engrossing to read about, both the new and the old ones. I really enjoy the relationship he has started to develop between his friends, and his romantic conquests. However one character I never warmed to and found in this one I began to dislike more and more, was Denna… I don’t understand his attraction to her, or her role in the whole saga. She is absolutely annoying and I would almost cringe whenever there was a scene with her in it. However, I am interested to see what happens with them in the next one.

I am very sad that the next one isn’t out yet, but you cant rush a good thing!

Would I recommend The Wise Man’s Fear?

Absolutely! A wonderful book! Just read The Name of the Wind first or you will be hopelessly and utterly lost!

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If you enjoyed The Wise Man’s Fear, you may enjoy:

The Name of the Wind

The Awakening – Melissa A Craven

The Awakening (Emerge #1)

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Summary from Goodreads:

2015 Dante Rossetti Awards Finalist
2015 International Book Awards Finalist
2015 USA Best Book Award Finalist

The AwakeningAllie Carmichael has always believed life is simple.
You’re born.
You live.
You die.
She has no cause to believe that equation works differently for her, but there has to be a reason the world treats her like a pariah.
When an unexpected move to Kelleys Island brings Aidan McBrien crashing into her life, Allie is thrown by his reaction. He doesn’t shrink from her touch. He doesn’t stutter or make a quick exit. He smiles and welcomes her into his circle of friends, who aren’t exactly comfortable with Allie, but they seem to get her in a way most people don’t.
Finally, Allie has a real shot at normal and rides that high right up to her sixteenth birthday when she wakes in agony—an experience Aidan insists they have all faced. She struggles in ignorance, uncertain of what is real and what isn’t. When she emerges, Allie is different. She has always been different, but even among her extraordinary friends, she and Aidan are special.
As Allie struggles to maintain her tenuous grasp on the power that threatens to overwhelm her, she worries she will lose herself in this strange new world. A dangerous world where she will have to fight tooth and nail to defend the power and freedom that is her birthright.
…only Allie hates to fight. 

MY REVIEW OF THE AWAKENING

I enjoyed this YA fantasy tale!

Young Allie moves with her family from place to place around the world for reasons unknown to her. Finally she settles in Kelleys island, only to discover that the reason her family have been on the run, and that nobody ever really feels comfortable with her, is because she isn’t exactly normal. She is developing powers that she doesn’t know how to handle. Together with a group of new friends, she must discover who she really is, and what she is capable of.

I think The Awakening will really appeal to the younger readers, it has normal kids developing powers and realising that they are not exactly as normal as they thought they were, it has a trademark YA love triangle and an exciting plot. Exactly the recipe YA fans love!

I tend to get extremely annoyed at love triangles, this one wasn’t too bad. There is something about needy young love that drives me crazy, but this wasn’t done like that. It was more respectful and much less “I will die without you”, although her bantering with Aiden got extremely frustrating at times, overall I liked it. Definitely leaves the potential for a lot more depth to the saga in following books.  I enjoyed all the characters. However, I don’t think I liked Aiden as much as I’m sure everyone else does. I didn’t see him as the “dream boat” I think he was meant to be. I didn’t like how he was really pushy towards Allie when she was telling him to back off. I understand that all the characters are so young, and there is something so appealing to readers when young people are pushed into circumstances way beyond their emotional maturity level. But the ‘relationship’ didn’t particularly work for me, however it was still enjoyable none the less.

I enjoyed the developing powers that all the different characters had, some more established than others. I liked the action scenes and fighting scenes. I also really enjoyed all the history that the older characters had. It really enriched the story.

The writing was fantastic! Easy to read and it flowed really well.

I thought the ending was really well done, leaving it wide open for the next book!

Would I recommend The Awakening?

Yes, to avid YA fans. Although I didn’t “love” it, I really liked it! I would absolutely be interested to read the next one to see how the story progresses! Overall a solid 3.5 Stars!

Many thanks to the author via YA Bound Blog Tours for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

 

 

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About the Author
Melissa A. Craven (the “A” stands for Ann—in case you were wondering) was born near Atlanta, Georgia, but melissa a. cravenmoved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of seventeen. She still thinks of Cleveland as home, so it was only natural for Emerge to take place there.
Today, she is back in Atlanta—for some reason she can’t seem to stay away from the ungodly heat that makes her long for things like “lake effect snow” and wind that will knock you flat.
Melissa decided a long time ago that the “life checklist” everyone else was clutching so tightly in their fists, just wasn’t for her. She does everything backwards because she is weird like that, but then, she is an artist and artists are notoriously “unique” and “quirky.”
She is an avid student of art and design, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of West Georgia in 2009. She worked as an interior designer for several years, but she’s always thought she might like to be a writer when she grows up.
In her spare time, if she has any, she enjoys shopping for derelict furniture she refinishes to exercise the interior design part of her brain.

If you enjoy The Awakening, you may enjoy:

 

 

Eerie – C.M. McCoy – BLOG TOUR

Eerie Tour Banner

I’m really starting to enjoy doing these blog tours. They are opening my eyes to books that I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise and I am really enjoying finding new authors. Plus YA is totally a guilty pleasure of mine.

Eerie
by C.M. McCoy
Genre: Mature YA/ Fantasy/ Romance
Release Date: December 19th 2015
Omnific with Simon & Schuster

Summary from Goodreads:

Hailey’s dreams have always been, well…vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid.

When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds the only thing keeping her safe from a murderous 3,000-year-old beast is an equally terrifying creature who has fallen “madly” in love with her. Competing to win her affection, the Dream Creature, Asher, lures her to the one place that offers safety—a ParaScience university in Alaska he calls home. There, she studies the science of the supernatural and must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive heEerie Finalhigh resr ParaScience classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from an evil immortal doesn’t decide to kill her himself.

“EERIE, full of voice and romance, is a thrilling and beautifully crafted story that had me up late, racing through the pages to get to the end. ” – Author Brenda Drake 

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MY REVIEW OF EERIE

This was quite a difficult book to review. The 16 year old in me absolutely loved it! However the 33 year old found it not quite as enjoyable.

Hailey and her sister Holly are living out their lives when suddenly Holly goes missing. Presumed dead. Hailey then goes to university on her own, something they had planned to do together. There, she comes in contact with Asher, who she had met before in her dreams, and discovers her old friend Fin is also at the university. Asher is a ‘creature’ that has fallen in love with her through their contact in the dreams. He is also supposed to kill her. The university itself is akin to Hogwarts with its teachings of magic and the supernatural. Except is WAY weirder, and deals with a few more adult themes.

I only had one small problem with the novel, the love triangle with Hailey and the two main male characters. Now, I understand one of the main drawcards of YA adults is usually a heart wrenching love triangle, so I was expecting one. I don’t like love triangles in general, they are a pet peeve of mine. Sometimes they can be pulled off in a good way that I like, sometimes they dont. This one didn’t work for me unfortunately. They both treat her badly, they both toy with her emotions and humiliate her, one of them pretty much physically assaults her and was involved in the death of her sister. Yet she is still MADLY in love with both of them. I didn’t buy the attraction she had with either character.

The book starts off in one direction, and you think you get a feel for what its about. I quite enjoyed the first part of the book. But as soon as she heads off to University it abruptly changes. It becomes a bit disjointed and at times I struggled to understand what was happening. It was incredibly strange at times, not in a bad way mind you! Just totally different than what I was expecting, and that was quite refreshing at times.

I enjoyed some of the secondary characters. I loved the budding friendship between Hailey and her flatmate Giselle. I also really liked all the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. A lot of them resonated with me and I really enjoyed reading them!

Eerie was well written and quite quirky and fun in places. Great for a debut! The series holds a lot of promise!

Many thanks to the author via YA Bound book tours for a copy of Eerie in exchange for my honest review.

3 Stars (3 / 5)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m an Irish dancer and former military officer living in the Great White North. Though B.S.’d in chemical engineering and German, I’m far happier writing stories involving Alaska and a body bag (with an awkward kiss in the mix.) While working 911 dispatch for Alaska State Troopers, I learned to speak in 10-codes, which I still do…but only to annoy my family. In the writerly world, I’m the PR Manager at Inklings Literary AgencC.M. McCoyy. My debut novel, EERIE, is fantasy adventure with romance and released 15 Dec 2015 through Omnific Publishing/Simon and Schuster. My memoir is out on sub through Martin Literary Agency, and my fiction is represented by Michelle Johnson.
Author Links:
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If you enjoy Eerie, you may enjoy:

Return Once More   Melophobia

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