3 Stars

One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) – Janet Evanovich (1994)

One for the Money

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn’t get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010’s, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90’s.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990’s and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90’s, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One for the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at

If you enjoy One for the Money, you may enjoy:

To die for   Orphan X


Red Rising – Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) – Pierce Brown

Red Rising

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I love a good bandwagon. Nothing I love more than getting all swept up in the hype for a popular book, and get excited along with others about how fantastic it is and how much better my life is because I read it! This is what was made pretty clear would happen when I read Red Rising – with its 4.26 average on goodreads which is AMAZING! But. Alas. I was not so swept up. Not quite so excited.

Without giving too much away, because the plot is such an important thing, and there are so many big twists and turns that I don’t want to ruin for anyone… But the central character Darrow, is a ‘Red’. Reds are pretty much the lowest of the low class, and the colours increase in class until we reach the ‘golds’ who are the top of the food chain. So Darrow and his wife are living a pretty miserable existence underneath in the mines of Mars. Darrow is a “helldiver” or miner of Helium 3 which is being collected so that one day Mars will be able to be terra-formed and people will be able to live on the surface. So we get to know a little bit about Darrow and his life and then some bad things happen and suddenly he is plummeted into a matrix-take-the-red-pill type of situation where he finds out the horrible truth of the actual real world. So eventually Darrow is taken in by a group who want to bring down the class system, so they make him a gold. Thus begins an epic hunger games type of situation, where ‘gold’ Darrow has to fight for his life in order to rise up the social system, to bring the whole thing crashing down.

I listened to the audio version by Tim Gerald Reynolds, which I thought would be weird considering I had just finished the fabulous Riyria Rising trilogy also narrated by Reynolds. But he puts on a bit of an irish-like accent in this one which made his voice almost unrecognisable. So it was no problem. His singing was a bit of a problem though… I am sure it is more the song than the voice.

I would class it is a cross between the wool series, the hunger games and divergent series, with a bit of other dystopian YA books thrown in there too. Although I’m not sure why this is classed as YA. There is NOTHING YA about it.

So, its quite an intricate plot, and I went into it knowing absolutely NOTHING about the book, except for how great it is supposed to be. So was pretty surprised with the epic hunger games situation which I was not totally expecting.
Its a enriched world that Mr Brown creates, and he does a good job about it. The whole book is well written, filled with extensive character development and vivid scenery. It has lots of blood and gore, action, betrayal, twists and turns, ups and downs. So why then? Why was I not so caught up in this one?

Without the haters getting all “BUT THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK! F*** YOU MEL!”, I would like to disclaim that this is just MY opinion. And we can’t all like the same book! No hate mail please!

Darrow. I had major issues with Darrow. The first being, how on earth he could have been 16 years old. Just like one of my favourite fantasy novels Six of Crows, I had to willingly and purposely PRETEND that he was older so I could enjoy reading about him at all. I get that he kind of had to be that young in order for the story to progress, it just didn’t work. I couldn’t take it seriously, and it was an issue for me whenever I thought about it – so I pretended he was 25 year old Darrow, and even then it was a bit of a stretch, but it worked better for me.

The whinging. Yes, I get it. You’re all angst-y. “I’m really a red, bloody damn it!”. Yes. I get it. I don’t want to hear about it anymore. OH MY GOD HERE HE GOES WHINGING AGAIN! I did listen to the audio version, so perhaps the narration didn’t help with the angst situation, but BLOODY DAMN I was annoyed with him constantly whinging. I actually started listening to the second book too and it is STILL going on! I actually had to stop.

The women. Women in this book are pretty much objects that the male characters get to rape. The reds, rape. The gold’s in the game, rape. Rape everywhere. Even though there were a couple of stronger female characters, they were still at risk of – yup you guessed it, rape. I found it really unnecessary and almost offensive. I understand that its a tough world that they live in, but enough with the raping and pillaging already! And if they weren’t being raped, they were being spoken to or about like trash. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

I was somewhat conflicted. There were some things I really did enjoy about the book. I loved some parts even! Some of the twists were really clever, others were quite predictable. I really enjoyed how he wrote the novel and as you were reading (or listening to in my case), it was like you were listening to a book about war. I appreciated that. I really did. I just didn’t enjoy the book as a whole as much as I was hoping to.

Anyway that’s enough I think. I didn’t find it a bad book. 3 is still a good rating. And perhaps I’m overly critical because I was expecting so much. I don’t know. I am glad I read it. And I will eventually get to the second one after a bit of a break with books that aren’t quite so full on for a while.

Would I recommend Red Rising?

I think its definitely one that you have to experience if you enjoy this kind of fantasy, survival, dystopian sci fi type thing. You might be just like the majority and think it is the best book ever!

I purchased Red Rising at my own expense on


False Security – Angie Martin

False Security – Angie Martin

False Security

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I enjoyed this one. It was a good romantic suspense with a solid story line and good characters.

Rachel Thomas is running from her past. When she meets the handsome Mark, she wonders if she will be able to take a chance on a relationship with him. However her past is quickly catching up with her, and it is deadly.

This book is set out into three parts. Part one is the present, part two goes back in time to when Rachel was a child and growing into a woman, and part three is the present again. I found part one a bit slow. I felt that suddenly all these characters were introduced and it was almost as though we were expected to know them already. The romance started off sweetly but seemed to fizzle. However, it totally picked up when it entered part two. Things started to make a lot more sense and almost magically came together, and I really started to get into it and enjoyed it.

I liked that the book addressed the issue of domestic violence, and there was a lot of action and suspense. The romance aspect was cute and I enjoyed listening to how her life developed and how she got into her situation. I really  loved the characters, especially the nasty ones.

The audio book was good. I enjoyed the narrator, however I didn’t like her portrayal of the male characters. They all sounded robotic and it was hard to tell them apart at times.

Would I recommend False Security?

If you are a fan of romantic suspense you will enjoy this book. It had some slower parts, but overall it was a solid, enjoyable story.

Many thanks to Cherry Hill Publishing for an audio version of False Security in exchange for an honest review.

If you enjoy False Security, you may enjoy:

White Hot   The Obsession   Love Is Murder


Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson


3 Stars (3 / 5)

I was expecting to enjoy this one more than I did. I felt quite underwhelmed unfortunately. It had an extremely promising start but for some reason it started to fall a bit flat for me. However, I still mostly enjoyed it, what nerd like me wouldn’t enjoy a story about super villans and super heroes?! Now I know a LOT of people adored this book, so please don’t hate me if you are one of them!

David was only 10 when the world changed. “Calamity” came, and the Epics arrived. Supervillians with terrible powers, all evil and murderous. Steelheart was the worst. He killed David’s father, and now David wants revenge. He has to somehow join the resistance known as the Reckoners to bring down the epics. And destroy Steelheart.

Points to the audio version narrator MacLeod Andrews. He was fantastic! I am glad I listened to the audio version for this one. I think he made it more enjoyable in my ears than I could have made it in my head!

This is the first Sanderson book that I have read and I didn’t realise that it was YA. Not that I would have had a problem with that, I love a good YA. However I think maybe I should have stuck with his more adult fantasy books.

I found the main character David to be exceedingly annoying. He was a pompous little upstart and I just couldn’t bring myself to like him. When he wasn’t doing stupid things, he was dreaming about a girl. Because that’s all YA characters can do you know… Its all superheroes and girls. The language that all the characters used was the most annoying part of the whole book for me. “Calamity” and “Sparks” are the new swear words, and they just made it sound so stupid. Whenever I would hear the narrator say “Calamity!” I would roll my eyes.

Sure, some of the epics were well plotted, however I was still a bit bored. There was just something missing for me. Perhaps it was the atmosphere. It didn’t feel like humanity were slaves to epics now and the whole world had changed. Maybe it needed more than the viewpoint from some annoying young character to give it a bit more depth for me. People died but the atmosphere didn’t really relay that. It felt like all the awful things that happened in the book were superficial. If that makes sense.

There were a few redeeming factors, besides the awesome narrator… It had a good twists at the end. I totally saw one of them coming but the other one blindsided me. Despite the “Calamity” and “Sparks”, it was fairly well written. It was easy to get into and had a great premise. The other characters were not quite as annoying as David, and I enjoyed the way the whole thing ended.

Would I recommend Steelheart?

Maybe… If you don’t mind the corny language and annoying main character you may enjoy it more than I.

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If you enjoy Steelheart, you may enjoy:

image    Poison    The First


Artificial – Jadah McCoy

Artificial (The Kepler Chronicles #1) – Jadah McCoy


3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

I enjoyed this Young/New adult dystopian tale. I thought the cover was well designed and the synopsis grabbed me. It has amazing ratings on GoodReads so I was excited to be approved for a review copy.

Syl and her friends are survivors on Kepler, a colony of future Earth. By day they scavenge for food in the dilapidated city. By night they hide underground, away from the genetically engineered “Cull”, bug-like humanoid creatures intent on devouring everything in their path. Syl is kidnapped by Androids and is genetically altered, beginning to transform into one of the cull. She is rescued by an android with emotions named Bastion, who attempts to help her and the other humans who have been captured.

I really enjoyed the start of this novel. It began with a bang, and non stop action. I was enthralled! However after Syl gets kidnapped it lost a lot of its momentum for me. The storyline was still interesting, but it just lost the spark from the first part of the novel.

I liked the format of the chapters, alternating between Syl and Bastion’s point of view.

I didn’t really gel with the characters. Syl, and some things she did annoyed me and the romantic tension thing that was between her and Bastion was totally weird and I wasn’t feeling it at all.

There were some good twists and turns and the ending was not what I was expecting. There was a heap of action and a fair bit of blood and gore which was good. I liked the cull creatures. They weren’t in it as much as I was expecting in this one, I can only imagine that there will be more of them in subsequent books.

I will be interested to see how the series develops following that ending. It left a lot of questions that I would like to know the answer to!

Would I recommend Artificial?

Yes, for YA/NA fans! They will definitely enjoy the story! I will be interested to read the next one to see how it progresses.

Many thanks to the author and publisher via NetGalley for a copy of Artificial in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy Artificial, you may enjoy:

Vanquished    6x9 front ebook    Poison


What the Night Knows – Dean Koontz

What the Night Knows – Dean Koontz

What The Night Knows

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 Not one of his best I must admit. Overall it was an entertaining story but ultimately left me feeling more unsatisfied than satisfied.

John is a homicide detective who lost his entire family to a serial killer when he was a teenager 20 years earlier. He killed Alton Turner Blackwood that night, but Blackwood is back. Using the bodies of less than wholesome people, he uses person after person until his ultimate goal can be completed… Revenge on John and his family. And to finish the killing spree that he started.

I enjoyed the start of the book and how Koontz gradually gave away piece by piece of information. It kept me enthralled through the first few chapters. In fact, the whole book was quite good up until the chapters from the children’s point of view. I don’t think I have ever heard such poor portrayal of children. All three of them were so completely unbelievable it pretty much turned me off the entire book. Then some more chapters with the adults point of view would make me forget that I wasn’t enjoying it… And then the children would have a point of view again… And cue the eye rolling.

I did enjoy the diary of Blackwood. It was interesting hearing how he turned into such a monster. I just found it frustrating that every character either had some innate evil, or they were so inherently good. No character seemed to be in the middle.

It had some spooky moments, but overall it was more frustrating than frightening. And what is with all the big words that he uses!? I’m fairly sure he used his spell-check thesaurus quite a bit while writing this! And when the children started using those big words.. It was just too much for me.

I did enjoy it overall though. The storyline made up for the poorly portrayed characters, and I enjoyed the narrator of the audio version.

Would I recommend What the Night Knows?

Maybe. Die hard Koontz and horror fans would probably enjoy it. However I am sure there are better possession stories out there.

Add to goodreads



If you enjoy What the Night Knows, you may enjoy:

the servants of twilight


Guardian of Paradise – W.E. Lawrence

Guardian of Paradise – W.E. Lawrence

Guardian of Paradise

2.75 Stars (2.75 / 5)

I enjoyed this historical fiction island story. I am not the biggest Historical fiction fan, but the story appealed to me, probably because of the romance. I’m a bit of a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately there are a few things that fell short for me, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

Kira lives on a pacific island, isolated from the rest of the word. She has been there since she was a young girl. Her parents were taken by a tidal wave years earlier and she has been living alone with the natives ever since. A merchant Australian ship arrives and Kira is apprehensive. What do they want from the small island and the trusting natives? And can she trust the handsome doctor working on the ship?

The story starts out well. The scene of this beautiful island is set and Kira is introduced, along with her friendships with some of the locals. After the ship arrives and she is attracted to the handsome doctor Trevor, the romance progresses along quite well. There are some lovely moments and a few hot scenes… However there is a lot going on with  Kira attempting to discover what the nasty captain and his crew are really doing on the island. And then eventually the story starts to dwindle and become quite long winded. Even the romance and romantic scenes were getting too much by the end of it. They started to become unbelievable and a bit corny. I feel the entire book could have been a bit shorter.

Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of Kira’s character, I enjoyed the strong female lead and the unique predicament she was in being the only non native living on the island. She knew what the merchants and other settlers were like, even if she had only experienced them in Australia as a child. I didn’t mind Trevor, I did enjoy some of the banter between them. I didn’t enjoy reading the slang that a lot of the locals used, and the written Australian accent attempt. I found them both inconsistent at times.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. Religion or belief in a higher power had not really been explored much throughout the book and so when they started talking about what God wanted for them, I was thinking “Where is this coming from?”. It felt out of place, kind of like the author just wanted to throw it in there at the end.

Would I recommend Guardian of Paradise?

Despite my criticisms, I still enjoyed it. There were a few good funny moments and the author did create a beautiful island atmosphere. The romance had some touching moments and the central storyline was entertaining. I would recommend it to historical romance fans. And only for readers aged 18+ as it was very raunchy at times.

Many thanks to Book Publicity Services for a copy of Guardian of Paradise in exchange for my honest review.

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W. E. Lawrence Headshot

W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.

Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.

W. E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical romance novels filled with action and adventure. He published his debut novel Guardian of Paradise in October 2014.

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If you enjoy Guardian of Paradise, you may enjoy:

The Secret Years


Hanover House – Brenda Novak

Hanover House

Hanover House

2.75 Stars (2.75 / 5)

This novella is a prequel to a new series by Novak. I must admit I was a little disappointed with the story. I liked it, and I can see a lot of promise for the series. But this one left me feeling a little deflated.

So our main character in this novella and for the series is Dr Evelyn Talbot. Talbot is a psychiatrist who has worked to secure the opening of Hanover House, an psychiatric institute to house the worst of the worst psychopaths. Her motives are personal, she wants to know what makes them kill and attack without remorse,  as she once survived a brutal attack from Jasper, her psychopathic ex boyfriend. The house is currently under construction near a small town in Alaska, and the residents are not happy about having it so close to their door. Even state trooper Amarock is not keen on the facility being nearby. However he is slightly more keen to have Evelyn nearby because he has developed some feelings towards her. Unfortunately she is so damaged from her assault years ago that she is unable to get close to anyone. Will she be able to make an exception for the police man? Meanwhile, Jasper tracks her down, and wants to finish what he started all those years ago.

I think my main issue of this novella was the rushed romance. They had already met each other when the novella begins, and were already attracted to each other. I just didn’t particularly believe the chemistry between them and the whole romance fell a bit flat for me. And her getting drunk and coming on to him just felt unrealistic.

I also had a few problems with several parts of the storyline. If I was attacked by a psychopath who then escaped, there is no way I would keep my current name… Let alone publicly open a psychiatric institute with her story out there for anyone to know.  And her parents leaving a return address on an envelope? Really??? I felt these things could have been approached in a totally different, somewhat more believable way.

However, I did like the characters. I loved the idea of Hanover House and I am interested to see where it goes.

Would I recommend Hanover House?

It was an interesting introduction to what will hopefully be a good series. I will have to wait for the first full length book to make my mind up though!

Many thanks to author Brenda Novak via NetGalley for a copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review.


If you enjoy Hanover House, you may enjoy:

Lost Girls   the girl with no past

P.A.W.S. – Debbie Manber Kupfer


3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs… I grew up with three of them! However, I admit I am a cat person. My cat has been my constant companion and best friend for the past 11 years. So I was excited when I was approached by the author to read this book. Think the Animorphs crossed with Hogwarts and you have P.A.W.S, an entertaining YA paranormal fantasy series.

After the death of her grandmother, Miri is sent to live with her aunt and uncle who send her straight to boarding school. When she is there she discovers that with the help of an amulet left to her by her grandmother, she is able to transform into a cat. With help from a newly acquainted werewolf, she soon escapes to P.A.W.S. the Partners of Animagi, Werewolves and Shapeshifters. There, she begins to learn how to use and enhance her powers and discover some she never knew she had. However, there is conniving evil werewolf after Miri and her amulet, and Miri and all her new friends are in danger.

I enjoyed this easy to read paranormal fantasy. It was easy to read and I enjoyed the premise and the characters. It was quite complex with the different characters and their back stories and I really enjoyed that.

At times it feels like it is geared towards a very young audience, but then there would be a graphic or violent scene and it makes me think it is written for a slightly older audience.

It moved quite quickly, which is not a bad thing, except at times it felt a bit disjointed and I felt the romance between Miri and Danny was rushed and unbelievable. It had no basis, there was just an instant attraction between them, with no tension or explanation really.

I enjoyed Alistair character. He was so evil and really entertaining to read about and I loved the twist about him and his connection with Miri and her mother, although it was predictable.

You gotta love a good shapeshifting story, and CATS!!!

Would I recommend it?

Yes, for fans of quick YA paranormal reads. Looking forward to the sequel to see what happens next.

Many thanks to Debbie Manber Kupfer for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.



Debbie grew up in the UK in the East London suburb of Barking. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where for the last 14 years she has worked as a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

If you enjoy P.A.W.S you may also enjoy:

What Lies Within


Heartbound – P. I. Alltraine (BLOG TOUR)

Heartboound Blog Tour Banner

Goodreads Summary of Heartbound:


Petyr has never found it necessary to consider the humans as anything more than distant, inferior beings–until now. They are the cause of the fatal disease that has plagued his realm, taking the lives of too many of his kind. As a future leader of a realm in peril, Petyr must find a way to resist and cure the affliction. He must enter the unfamiliar realm, appear to be an ordinary eighteen year-old human, observe and learn.

However, things don’t exactly go according to plan. Instead of embarking single-mindlendly on his sober mission, Petyr meets and 18 year old girl who does things to his emotions that he can’t quite fathom or control.

Petyr is falling in love, and he almost forgets the gravity his choices have on his entire world. Despite the risk it poses to his life and hers, he wants to know her, and he wants her to know him–and his world.


My Review of Heartbound: 


I enjoyed this romantic YA fantasy.

Petyr meets Scarlett at university and falls instantly in love with her. Only thing is he isn’t exactly human. He is a being who lives in another realm and has been sent to monitor the humans. He goes against his mission and his entire race when he admits to Scarlett who and what he really is. She accepts him and returns his love, however he neglects to inform her of a darkness to his form. Something extremely dangerous to both of them The Forbidden.

I felt the story moved at a good pace. Considering it was quite a short book (less than 200 pages) it felt like quite a lot happened. However, having said that, I do feel at times it needed a bit more setting up, and a bit more explanation. Hopefully this will come in subsequent books.

I liked the characters, I enjoyed that it was only focused on one couple and didn’t have an annoying love triangle that most other YA books seem to be filled with. I enjoyed that the author kept the momentum going without the need to bring a third party into the mix to add extra FEELS.

Speaking of FEELS though, there was just a bit too much for me. I love a beautiful romance, something that moulds and develops throughout the book. However I didn’t feel that with the romance in this one. It was just sort of there… He was already “in love” with her, bordering stalker mode, which is another thing I didn’t like. It felt way too Romeo and Juliet for me. I appreciate that it would probably appeal to the youngins reading, I’m not exactly a spring chicken anymore… Maybe back in my teens or even early 20’s I probably would have enjoyed the romance more. Perhaps I’m just a bit jaded with the realistic knowledge that love like that is unfortunately only in the romance books. I couldn’t get swept up in it unfortunately.

Oh I LOVED the twist with The Forbidden! I was wondering through most of the book what the hell the FORBIDDEN was, and when it was finally revealed I thought it was really clever! I felt it really brought the story together for me. I would have liked a bit more of it, maybe more of an explanation.

I thought the whole thing was really well written, especially for a debut. It had the classic YA vibe to it which I really enjoyed and I loved the richness and imagination of the other realm and the description of the landscapes and the characters.

And the cover! What a beautiful cover! Absolutely GORGEOUS!

Would I recommend Heartbound?

Yes for lovers of typical YA romances, all about the feels!

Many thanks to P. I. Alltraine and YA Bound Book Tours for including me in this tour and giving me a copy of Heartbound in exchange for an honest review.

3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

About the Author:

P.I. Alltraine

P.I. Alltraine is a multi-award winning poet and author. She has won several international poetry
competitions, and her poems “Kites” and “The Gift” have been published in separate anthologies.
She teaches English Language and Literature in London. She earned her degree in BA English from Queen Mary University of London, followed by her Post Graduate Certificate in Educationand Master’s in Teaching at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London. Before moving to London, she lived in the Philippines where she experienced the rich culture encrusted with dark myths and enchanted tales. She draws inspiration from these in her writing. Though she has lived in different places and experienced different cultures, writing has remained a constant aspect in her life.
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