They Mostly Come Out at Night by Benedict Patrick

Summary

He locked himself away from the dark, but in the Magpie King’s forest nowhere is safe…

Lonan is an outcast, accused of letting the monsters that stalk the night into the homes of his fellow villagers. Now, he will not rest until he wins back the heart of his childhood love and reclaims the life that was stolen from him. However, locked safely in his cellar at night, in his dreams Lonan finds himself looking through the eyes of a young prince…

Adahy has a destiny, and it terrifies him. How can he hope to live up to the legend of the Magpie King, to become the supernatural protector of the forest and defender of his people? But when the forest is invaded by an inhuman force, Adahy must rise to this challenge or let the Wolves destroy his people.

Watching these events unfold in his sleep, Lonan must do what he can to protect his village from this new threat. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to earn back their trust or watch the monsters kill everyone that he holds dear.

They Mostly Come Out At Night is a Dark Fantasy novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. If you like Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss then you will love this captivating, dangerous world in which ordinary people struggle to find their place in a land ruled by stories.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of dreams, fables and monsters!

Characters

I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the characters, except for maybe Adahy. Lonan is a redeemable character (by the end but I loathed him in the beginning), but this entire colorful spread of characters are not easy to like. However, this gives them all a special charm. It matches them as brooding and gloomy as the setting of the book. The characters feel like they are straight out of a folklore or fairytale – all of them. They are steeped in a world as varied and dark as they are.

I did not love this book for its characters, but they were well rounded and well written. On second thought, I did like Mother Ogma all the way through.

Plot

This is a story within a story within a story and it is amazing! So, I’ll admit it didn’t start out that way. It like putting together a puzzle where you don’t know what the picture is. You do the outside, then you build it in until the picture starts to become clear. Once that happens you go screaming through the rest of the puzzle (or in this case a book) until you put all together. That is what They Mostly Come Out at Night did. It takes about halfway for you to realize that all the pieces the author has been slowly handing you fit together.

It is one of the cleverest plots I’ve read in a long time. It isn’t often that I miss a major plot twist and this book has tons. The setting also has a surreal spookiness to it. Some parts are dark but others make you want to sleep with the light on. I don’t like horror at all, it doesn’t delve that deep but there is for sure a haunting quality to the novel.

Overall

If you love fables/fairytales, the darker Grimm versions, you will love this. I was hooked about half of the way through when an offhanded comment by one of the characters made me realize something more was going on. Good luck figuring it out even knowing a head of time that this author is clever. The chapters are constructed to bounce back and forth between a true fairytale style story and a more fantasy based story. They meld together in an ending one normally doesn’t seek but finds fitting.

Rating

5 Stars

I love it. This is a must read. Don’t read it for the characters, read it for the plot. The author does and amazing job weaving a story that will leave you pondering for days afterward. I will for sure be on the lookout for more books by this author and I can say Benedict Patrick has a lifelong fan out of me!

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Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth

Summary

In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

Characters

Caro is a feisty but desperate woman. She doesn’t want to abandon all home so instead she assumes the persona of another. Angelica has some freedoms that Caro does not – like speaking her mind. Tobias is a bloody mess. Being the youngest he hasn’t found anything worth while to invest his time or energy in so he just drifts. Rebecca is adorable – I loved her more than Caro most of the time.

Despite the fact that in the end and over all I like Caro, she could be down right wishy washy and irritating. Actually I didn’t like her very much for the second half of the book. Especially after her secret gets out. Instead of rising up – she had to be saved by the men around her. That was the most frustrating thing about this entire book. I thought it would be more about her saving herself but no. So fair warning there.

Plot

Caro’s double life as Angelica catches up with her. There wasn’t a lot of lead in to the bad guy being a bad guy but it was believable. Entitled and malicious. Surprisingly the romance is as important as the rest of the plot. I believe that even some men would enjoy this book due to its duel plot nature. The romantic aspect was really secondary for most of the book – only the last 25% really felt like a historical romance. Which was the worst part of the book in my opinion.

Overall

Absolutely gripping read. The writing flowed well and was at a fast paced tempo. It did a good job of sticking with the era and its colorful vernacular. At times the author overshadowed that something (mostly bad) was about to happen, which took me out of the book. There were a few POV shifts as well but also minimal. Not to mention that the grammatical errors were almost non-existent.

The characters were alright, Rebecca being my favorite and frankly Caro being my least favorite. At least the ‘bad guy’ (don’t want to give away who it is) is consistent – Caro isn’t throughout the book. She is all over the map. The only consistency is her inconsistency. The setting was well done, although more than once breaking the rules of proper society. Which may or may not be a good thing! The scenes between Caro and Tobias are very sweet though and by the end I went from not really liking to Tobias to loving him.

Rating

4 stars

The duel plot and fluid writing that is gripping and interesting is the reason for this rating. Fantastic read for any vacation!

I received a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

 

Rise by Jayelle Morgan

Summary

He gave her a night she would never forget…And a child too.

A year ago, Emory met the handsome, mysterious Ajax and threw her good-girl nature aside for one night of passion. She was fine accepting the consequences for her actions, and loves her son more than life itself. She never thought she’d see Ajax again, but now she desperately needs to find him. There’s something wrong with their baby…

She’s the only woman who’s ever taken his breath away.

Ajax never forgot Emory after their one night of passion. But he couldn’t keep her, because she is perfectly, completely human. And he’s not. But when she walks back into his life, it’s for the last reason he expects. Emory says the baby is his, but there’s just one problem: He’s sterile. All elite Elemental Warriors are. Which means she’s playing some kind of dangerous game, and he needs to know what it is.

When Chaos rears its ugly head, he’ll have to choose between protecting his new family and protecting his secret. One choice will take away everything that is important to him as a Warrior. The other could take away everything that is important to him as a man. Can Emory find something meaningful with the extraordinary father of her child? Or will he sacrifice them in his mission to save the world?

Characters

Ajax is a jerk. A likable jerk, but a smug womanizer. He is intolerable…until Emory. Emory is a no-nonsense kind of person. She doesn’t do one night stands: Except once. With Ajax. They are disgustingly cute together. Emory is a little wishy washy at times about what she wants but the woman it tough! I love their family dynamic with Jackson, their baby, is adorable.

I was happy to see Levi and Brooke back. Plus Walker and Micah. All great supporting characters. I was surprised that Emory didn’t have some sort of friend to give me some perspective on her though.

Plot

Much like the last book there is a threat from Chaos. They want Jackson because he is a very powerful Erratic. Furthermore he is very out of control, making mini cyclones every time he gets upset. No wonder Emory was half out of her mind with worry about her very special baby!

Ajax realizes what could happen if his commander finds out. Walker would have to take him back, which means no more playing family with Emory and Jackson. So now he is torn between protecting his family and losing them when he is forced to return home. Will he be able to keep them safe or will he decide to sacrifice himself?

Overall

Great writing. There were some errors but most of them were minor and easily overlooked, but some of the flow was off. Also it was a little repetitive at times, mostly Emory’s lamenting and trying to deny her lust, but overall still very enjoyable. The paranormal world and its sexy elementals were as flawless and wonderful as last time. The romance was great and the steamy scenes undeniably sexy. This author always delivers those!

My biggest rub was the ending was anti-climatic. There was all this build up and then it was just over. I felt as though the author took the easy way out. I don’t want to give anything away but after the threat to Emory, it sort of just winds down. The big threat just seemed to be overcome easily.

Rating

4.5 Stars (rounded down)

Fantastic read! If you love paranormal romances this is a must read. A fantastic follow up to Burn!

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Where the Waters Turn Black (Yarnsworld #2) by Benedict Patrick

Summary

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

Characters

Kaimana is a likable character but more importantly she feels real. Her decisions aren’t always perfect but there is something of a dreamer in her that is to be admired. Rakau is the tanwha and has a big personality. He reminds me of a big intelligent dog. The supporting characters are varied but most seems to be morally reprehensible characters. From her parents that can’t understand to her ‘mentor’ Eloni (who is a real twit).

Plot

This book was such an array of themes. At its core I felt this was about the power of love/friendship. That it doesn’t matter how different  you may be from another person/creature, sometimes there is a connection that only you and the other person/creature can understand. It was a beautifully refreshing novel. There wasn’t any romance, it was just the story of a girl and her monster.

There were Gods, and constant threats from all sides, and awesome scenes. The concept of the Knacks are back in this Yarnsworld novel, which was pleasant. The author took a completely different but enjoyable feel/plot without completely leaving the writing style or world that I loved in They Mostly Come out at Night. A fantastic adventure that not everyone will come out of the same or even survive.

Overall

The world building was breathtaking and the transitions clear. I was a little disappointed that the fairy tale like stories didn’t connect back into the story more, but it did well enough to be fantastic. The Gods were varied and complex in their own right. I cannot give this book enough praise. I don’t want to give anything away, you’ll just need to read it!

Rating

5 stars

If you love Folklore stories even a little this is a must read! I couldn’t put it down and once I started reading it I had to finish. A must read!

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

2016 in Review – Best Reads

2016 Reading Stats

Goal for 2016: 25

Number of books read: 45

Number of books reviewed: 44

Best Books of 2016:

1st place goes to:

They Mostly Come Out at Night (5 Stars)

Patrick, Benedict – They Mostly Come Out at Night (Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

Here is why: This book absolutely blew me away. It was one of those books that start out completely innocuous and by the time you realize it is amazing, it floors you. It rocked my world – I couldn’t stop talking about it for days and have recommended it countless people. It is a fairytale that the Grimm brothers would be proud of – this is a must read for all adults who like fantasy.

FYI the second one is out (not a sequal just the same world) and I am STOCKED to read it!

2nd place goes to:

Proving

Brosky, Ken – The Proving (YA Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Here is why: This book is heads and shoulders above all of the other sci-fi’s I read this year. Some were great, don’t get me wrong, but this one took my socks off. I love the characters, loved the concept, loved the writing, and the overall plot was excellent. It is a little scary for middle schoolers but anyone 14+ who likes Sci-fi needs to read this book. I find myself recommending it all the time.

3rd place goes to:

Jurassic Park

Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park (Urban Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

I love Michael Crichton. He is one of my go to authors. I really enjoyed reading Jurassic Park and it really amazed me to read this and compare differences with the movies and the books. I’ve wanted to read this for years and it is really a book everyone should read as adults. If you love the movies, the first book is a must read!

Best Crime (Mystery/Suspense):

Cover

Mayer, Dale – Tuesday’s Child (Mystery) (Review) (Amazon)

Loved this mystery. For sure a darker one but great!

Best Erotica:

Eronica

Vaughn, Scarlett – Eronica Unbound (Erotica) (Review)

There is a plot…silly…but the steamy scenes are impressive!

Best Fantasy:

They Mostly Come Out at Night (5 Stars)

Patrick, Benedict – They Mostly Come Out at Night (Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

Just yes.

Best Romance:

hart-broken

Arcane, Annie – Hart Broken (Contemporary Romance) (Review) (Amazon)

Very realistic romance. Hits you in the feels!

Best Sci-Fi:

the-martian

Weir, Andy – The Martian (Sci-fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Hilarious and educational.

 

 

Best Short Story:

Spinnings

Thorpe, Marian L. – Spinnings (Short Story – Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

I loved this collection of stories. Very fascinating!

Best Urban (anything):

Jurassic Park

Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park (Urban Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

A must read for the dinosaur lover.

Best Young Adult:

Proving

Brosky, Ken – The Proving (YA Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Really for all ages but amazing. If this could win two categories it would win for sci-fi too.

Best Wattpad:

Some Like it Ruthless (Book Review)

Some Like it Ruthless by Megan Bryce (Review) (Amazon)

I love Megan Bryce. Period.

The Sixth Gate – Chapter 6: Ashlad

The sea of faces floated below her as she walked the short distance across the stage. There was a large lecture hall set up to accommodate fine dining and even finer decorations down on the floor below her. There was something beautiful about the old building, hundreds of years old architecture and she amongst it. A wide circular mechanism was hooked into a system at the base of the stage.

“Welcome,” Dr. Elisabeth Avery said with a smile. “It is my distinction to be invited to begin this year’s gathering of the greatest minds. We are gathered to introduce our innovations and share our advancements in all fields on the scientific frontier. My focus on ectoplasm research has been very successful but I believe the best way to highlight this is by showing rather than telling.”

A few chuckled in the audience as she tried to hide the nervous shake in her hands. She was a scientist that could perform complex procedures but she couldn’t handle a room full of people. Life really did have its little ironies.

Beside her was a simple suit made of thick fabric and metal. It was a complete covering suit, a deflating suit used for containment. It was air tight with added metal details and a clear circular part for the head that looked like a cage. The metal strips had rivets but the dark blue fabric was mostly bendable and sat on the stage in a pile. Many people strained their necks to get a look at it.

“May I present A.J. Dennett,” Elisabeth said holding an arm out.

There was an awkward pause while she held her arm out. She licked her lips a little nervous and wished she had something to drink. There were some whispers and she put a fake smile on her face as she glared down at the suit.

“A.J.!” she snapped between clenched teeth.

Like magic the suit began to fill until it was completely inflated. A strange white and sparkly substance began to fill the suit. Elisabeth always loved the way he looked when he was moving around. Without something to hold him in, he would eventually return to what he was – stardust.

“My apologies, Miss Avery, I dozed off waiting for this to begin.” A.J. expressed his sympathies like a well-aged gentleman, in the same accent that Elisabeth possessed and had become as familiar to her as any voice in all of Ashlad. “I hope I haven’t caused any distress.”

“It is quite alright,” Elisabeth said lowering her arm, “I believe it still had the desired effect.”

Half the audience was slack jawed. Many held their spectacles up to their eyes, but most were leaning forward to get a better look. Her work in ectoplasm research in the field of Fringe Sciences really should have been called how to trap stardust with a conscious; that just didn’t sound as distinguished. If Elisabeth had learned anything most of the people in the room simply valued distinguished sounding things.

“Good evening,” A.J. said slapping his arms to his side as he bowed. “Miss Avery has turned what should have ended a life into a life I can give back with.”

Elisabeth could still remember the first time she had heard about the haunted house. She had been to a few haunted houses and some of them had been haunted and she had been able to dispense of their spirits. However, A.J. had been different. He had been killed by a demon. For some reason his body had gone with the demon, but A.J.’s spirit had stayed tethered to the house. If it wasn’t for Elisabeth’s unique ability he might still have been there.

Someone started clapping, and others joined with wonderment still on their face. It was difficult not to let her feeling of victory over her peers appear on her face. They had all thought her unworthy of their attention; perhaps they would pay closer attention now.

“Thank you,” Elisabeth said with a little bow of her head before she returned to her seat.

A.J. followed her; his steps were heavy because she had weighed the suit down to allow for ease of walking. When she sat down he stood next to her still waving slightly. She glanced up at the swirling stardust and sometimes A.J.’s face would form. It was the barest of moments, but it did every once in a while and that always reminded her he had been a person once.

“Thank you Dr. Avery for that shocking introduction to our convention,” the moderator said and continued to introduce additional members that were also distinguished but Elisabeth stopped listening.

She glanced up at A.J. and wondered if her choice to put him on display had been a mistake. He was a sentient being who had accidently become what he was. Elisabeth was still new to the field of ectoplasm, and had primarily focused on building a vessel for him to live in. Yet the laws of their world were specific on what had rights. It did not extend to spirits.

“Miss Avery?” Her secretary and friend, Milo said leaning over to touch her arm, “You look troubled, it was an excellent speech.”

“Thank you, Milo,” Elisabeth whispered with a forced smile. Her conscience was suddenly at war over her hurried decision to show her success with A.J. but the damage was already done. It was kind of Milo to reassure her even if he was wrong as to what was troubling her.

When the moderator finished Elisabeth stood and so did Milo as she went to leave the room. She nearly made it to the door when she was cut off. Dr. Nive Harrid and Professor Jacob Greenly stood in her path with smug looks on their faces. They were older men with outspoken beliefs on anyone who wasn’t like them – which constantly extended to Elisabeth.

“It is a miracle what you’ve done with the Fringe Science field,” Dr. Harrid said with a half-smile, “And it only took you a few years.”

“Despite your disadvantages you have overcome everyone’s expectations,” Professor Greenly said with an equally coy half-smile.

“Disadvantage?” Elisabeth said before she could catch herself.

“Why, being half demon, of course,” Professor Greenly clarified.

Elisabeth’s jaw clenched and she put on a smile that could melt faces. “I could not have advanced the technology I presented today without my gifts. By that token it is an advantage. Now if you’ll excuse me I have an early morning planned.”

She swept around them before they could reply because on this day she would not let their words dissuade her. It didn’t matter that it was early and that it would be seen as cowardice — there were too many people too close to her. Elisabeth could remember as a child when other children were afraid of her; some even throwing rocks. It had been worse at the orphanage before her adoptive father, Malthael, had taken her in. Private tutors had ended her constant contact with them, but they had still thrown stones and called curses. She sometimes believed that children were the cruelest because what they spoke was bedded deeply in truth – in some cases this carried into adulthood.

“Miss Avery,” Milo called, getting her attention, “You are walking too quickly.”

Elisabeth stopped and turned back to find A.J. struggling to keep up and Milo bridging the gap between them. She blinked, realizing she had turned herself into a human rocket like she always did when she walked alone.  She glanced down at her fingers and found they had been madly drumming against her leg. Her thoughts had consumed her and she had forgotten about her companions.

“I’m sorry, A.J.,” Elisabeth said unsteadily as she straightened her back. “I forget myself.” She sighed.

“That is quite alright, Miss Avery.” His voice rang clear as he drew closer.

“Don’t let words bother you,” Milo said softly.

“Thanks,” she replied but his words gave her little comfort. “Can you get my father on the line?”

He nodded as A.J soon caught up to them and they resumed at A.J.’s pace. They soon reached the base of the large staircase that lead up to the guest rooms. Milo handed her the telecommunication disk as they started up the stairs.

“Elsa! How is my brilliant daughter?” His voice boomed over the communication piece with his pet name for her.

“Papa,” she said as she felt the tension go out of her shoulders, “I am well. I just wanted to let you know I’m done for the night and A.J. is doing well.”

“And the presentation?” He pressed.

She smiled and glanced up as they rounded the corner on the stair’s landing. She gave a strangled cry as a man dressed all in black slammed both knees into Milo’s chest. It sent him crashing back against the stone banister. She dropped the communication device and heard it skid across the floor.

“Elsa? Elisabeth?” Malthael called out frantically, “Are you alright?”

She looked to the communication contraption as though it could help her. Elisabeth opened her mouth to answer as a long thin blade was leveled at her. Her eyes went wide as she looked up it and to the man who held it. She could hear her father yelling her name and his demands to know if she was alright. Her hands started to shake — part from fear and part from her loss of control.

“Unhand her!” A.J. said, lifting his arms.

Their attacker turned and punctured the suit in one swift jab. Elisabeth shifted and made it to two steps away from him before the blade was pointed back at her and she froze. Her hands were out by her side as they twisted in slightly circular motions. She was turned partially away from him but refused to look away. The man in black brought a boot down and crushed the communication device, silencing her father.

“Miss Avery!” A.J. said as he filtered out of the suit.

“Go back to your other suit, A.J.,” Elisabeth said as she moved her hands slightly, in a circular motion. “I’ll be fine.”

The man made of stardust and gelatinous goo spilled over the side and down through the floor to his other containment suit below. A.J. could make it to the suit before he started to dissipate. She glanced at Milo and realized that the man threatening her life wasn’t there for him or A.J.; he was there for her.

“What do you want?” Elisabeth asked, narrowing her eyes. She had to buy time — the demon dogs would come for her. She kept moving her hands in small circular motions, reaching into the spirit lines, and calling them to her.

He just continued to stare at her with his black eyes, so dark a grey that she almost didn’t notice there was any color at all. Moments passed and her chest rose and fell with exact joy in doing so. She did not like what this man could do with that blade. If he threatened her life, she feared she would not be able to contain her gift. She glanced hopefully at Milo, but he gave no indication of consciousness.

Elisabeth calmed herself as she best she could as she felt the demon dogs near. She turned and took a step back so she was abreast of him. He tipped his head to the side as she back-peddled, unwilling to turn away from him. He took a few measured and lithe steps forward but her sudden movement had caught him off guard.

Like slivers of white her guardians rose from the ground. Unlike A.J., who was something everyone could see, her guardians were half spirits that only her and those like her could see them until they materialized. She threw her arms out and touched the top of them as they solidified under her hands. They couldn’t attack in their spirit forms.

Their heads went down, with their strange curly ears and set of ram like horns, and their tails shot out the moment they appeared. They were ribbons of elastic skin with blades as the tips. They shot out like deadly whips. Her attacker narrowly reacted to their sudden strike and shifted away from the blade. Nathan, the guardian on her right, took hold of the sword and yanked it free while Duke, the guardian on her left with the chipped horn, attacked again with his deadly tail. Their hooves clacked on the ground as the man flipped backwards, out of harms reach, and pulled out his double blades.

Their forms suddenly vanished and her with them. Touching them had allowed her to transform into her spirit form. Elisabeth was only half Soul Collector — she needed help to travel the spirit lines. The man in black landed in a crouch after his backward flip and immediately jumped towards them. The blades of his daggers slammed into the ground through her body. She watched him, and his dark eyes, as she faded into the floor and was quickly far away from him.

Sunset Reads: William & Cristina by D.C. Triana

Summary

Within the doors of Sunset Reads William Jameson has come home to take over his mother’s New York publishing house after her death. He’s ready to turn things around when an electrifying encounter with the company’s sexy bestselling author makes him change his priorities to more sensual plans. While his cruel stepfather has decided he wants control of the company, William tries to remain focused as images of soft brown eyes and sensual lips continue to keep him up at night.

Cristina Cruz suddenly finds herself with part ownership of Sunset Reads. Not only has the previous owner left her with part of the publishing house, but also at the mercy of her son William, the company’s handsome new CEO, who seems to be determined to drive her crazy. Not only is he annoyingly attractive, but his alluring blue eyes continue to send shivers down her spine. Working side by side with him becomes all the more torturous as his enticing looks and their heated encounters send her senses reeling.

Characters

I really, really, really wanted to like these characters. Half the time Christina was running around throwing things and acting like a toddler in the middle of a tantrum and it just drove me nuts. I won’t even get into her super dumb moments. William was worse. He acted all over the place that he didn’t really have a personality because the moment I thought I knew who William was he would do something else. It was like the author wanted him to be too many things at once, many of which were contradictory, and it created an all over the place character that didn’t feel very believable. Christina was at least consistently crazy. Also I felt like Alyssa was more of Christina’s best friend based on what happened throughout the book, but apparently Layla was. The bad guy was the most consistent character in the entire book…and that says something in it of itself, but he too was a little over the top. Adele is great, the best character in the entire book.

Plot

Super cute idea, very romance vibe, but very contrived. The entire plot, sometimes unbelievable, forced the two characters together, again and again. For a debut novel it really wasn’t bad but the characters just ruined the plot for me. I love novels about writers, but it is a risky territory. The author did decent but there were times that my belief that Christina was a ‘bestselling author’ fell through.

That being said excellent sex scenes. Some of the banter between William and Christina were excellent. Some of the interactions of characters that weren’t between William and Christina were heartening. This book had some really good parts, which I could see all the potential of what this novel could have been.

Overall

The authors overuse of exclamation points and ‘…’ is what finally did me over. The writing was mostly sound but this book needs work. Perhaps it was the non-stop high emotions that really did me in. If you need lots of emotions in your books, this is a great book for you. For me it was just awful. If you want non-stop romance, argumentative banter, and over the top plot line, this is the romance for you! And I don’t mean that sarcastically, I know a few people who would love this book, it was just not for me. The author’s ability to put emotions onto the page to such an extreme really is a talent.

Rating

2 Stars

I didn’t like it. I didn’t hate it, but there wasn’t enough to like and this book needs too much work. I left this book feeling disappointed and annoyed. However, if you like highly emotional romances with over the top plots, this book is for you.

I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

Summary

Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World’s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Characters (Real people)

Although the focus of this book was split into two pieces the real focus of the books was on the serial killer H. H. Holmes and the primary architect  Daniel Burnham. Two men couldn’t be more opposite, while Burnham is full of wonder and hope, Holmes is full of a desire to exploit people and then possibly kill them. The difficult piece to keep track of was the slew of of people that the author threw at you, and the way in which they were presented at times (gives all the information and then drops the name at the end).

Plot

Just like the people are split, most of the chapters jump between a very historical telling, with a few personal touches, of the Worlds Fair in Chicago. The other story writes of H. H. Holmes plans, his rise to money and questionable wealth, and his ‘evil.’ One gives you the facts of the fair, bringing in well known figures that have impacted other historical stories, and all of it all tying back to the fair and mostly Burnham. The other is also written in a way of a textbook but there are stronger dramatic lines as you learn where Holmes comes from, that Holmes isn’t even his first name but is the one he uses the most. You follow him on a journey that is both fascinating and ugly. I know it was so well written that anyone who fell into Holmes’s path I would grimace – it rarely ended well for them. The fact that this was a non-fiction book only made it worse!

Overall

It was a book that stayed true to form. It was historically fascinating, a crime drama with touches of personal information to keep you invested. Although at times I struggled with the almost textbook like writing, it was inner mingled with a beautiful narrative that was difficult to put down at times.

Overall

4 stars

The writing was excellent, the plot well presented, and the choices in main focuses created a wonderful balance. The hard part for me was trying to read this at night, after a long day, and getting bombarded with facts. Sometimes I had to set it down and just walk away. Despite those moments, I did like it a lot and would recommend it to anyone who wants a mentally stimulating read that is non-fiction.

Must Read List (5 Stars)

As I review books some books deserve 5 stars and are must reads in my opinion! You’ll find them here by the year I read them in (in alphabetical order).

 

2017

Crofoot, Joel – Michael’s Passion (Paranormal Romance) (Review)(Amazon)

Johnson, A.M.H – Midnight Over Moores (Book #1) (YA Paranormal) (Review)(Amazon)

Lenore, J.S. – Burner (Supernatural) (Review)(Amazon)

Patrick, Benedict – Where the Waters turn Black (Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

2016

Arcane, Annie – Hart Broken (Contemporary Romance) (Review) (Amazon)

Brosky, Ken – The Proving (YA Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park (Urban Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Morgan, Jayelle – Burn (Elemental Hearts #1) (Paranormal Romance) (Review) (Amazon)

Patrick, Benedict – They Mostly Come Out at Night (Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

Snicket, Lemony – The Wide Window (Series of Unfortunate Events #3) (Review) (Amazon)

Swenson, Daniel – The Farthest City (Sci-Fi) (Review)(Amazon)

Thorpe, Marian L. – Spinnings (Short Story – Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

April brings May flowers…and lots of editing!

Hello all! April just zipped on by and now it is May! I have updates!

Reviews

Here is what is pending in order of my plan to read/review for my next 5 books:

  • They Mostly Come Out At Night by Benedict Patrick – Finished just need to write a review.
  • The Gift-Knight’s Quest by Dylan Madeley – Just getting started.
  • Somewhere in the Shallow Sea: A Novel of Suspense by Dennis Macaraeg- Hope to be thrilled!
  • Steel Victory by J.L. Gribble: My first vampire book in a long time.
  • Two Heirs (The Marmoros Trilogy: Book 1) by Peter Kenson: I’m intrigued.

It is always first come first serve – I’ll update this with my next 5 after I finish more reading and more reviews!

Writing

I finished book 2 in my Gate Trilogy; the Nowhere Gate is done! I can barely contain my excitement! I’ve already jumped feet first into the last book in the trilogy. I got started with such enthusiasm that this book doesn’t even have a proper name. I have to keep from bouncing up and down every time I start working on it because this is it! I am winding down towards the end.

The Sixth Gate is due out sometime in 2017! Once I wrap up Unfathomable Chance it is off to the beta readers!

Unfathomable Chance

Unfathomable Chance will come back from the beta readers this month! One who I thought sent me the whole thing didn’t so I miscounted! I actually am still at 2 and technically haf a half left still…so 2.5? SO MUCH EDITING. It hurts my brain. Regardless check out about it here: http://wp.me/P3LyhT-3z

I’m making more progress on the cover. The back is nearly done, because the back/spine are always the easiest. We’ve got some work to do but the front cover should be amazing. It is the same amazing artist that did Frost Burn! FACEBOOK PAGE

The Bear King: An Alaskan Tale

Tomorrow I am meeting with my illustrator and hammering out the story board! It should be relatively short but I’m very excited to be doing my first Children’s Book. It is a story from my childhood when I went Caribou hunting in the Denali area – deep in the wilderness. It was amazing! Stay tuned!