Cupid’s Chance by Tina Creek

Summary

Carter Lockhart has everything going for her; a job she excels at, a wonderful home, a dog she adores, and a cat she tolerates. Everything except for someone to share it with her. She’s given up on love after a painful break-up, but love hasn’t given up on her.

Carter Lockhart. Just another name on the list of a Cupid, Archer Valentine. His job is to find Carter true love. He promises to find her perfect match. A Cupid can’t always keep his promise, but he can sure as hell try.

Characters

Although Carter started off really dull and stubborn, she did grow on me by the end of the book. I was a little disappointed in her decision making a few times but overall she really grew with the book. Archer was like a child in many ways, but he does some growing of his own. Evony felt a little silly and over the top more than once, but she did create some good definition for Archer. The rest of the supporting character were a little flat at times, but grew with the book which was nice.

Plot

It was a romance with other things happened, circling around the central theme. Absolutely unique idea wrapped around a familiar plot. I appreciated that most of the cupid lore was brought up and hinted on. I did appreciate that Carter had friends (Troy) and there was more going on in her life than falling in love. It brought another dimension to the book that is sometimes missing in romances.

It didn’t take long for Archer and Carter to just become so cute! That being said I did struggled with a few of the scenes being necessary. I remember thinking ‘I wonder when this is going to come up later’ and then it never did. (Side note I thought the epilogue was unnecessary – I would have preferred an entire book dedicated to that last little quip.)

Overall

If I had picked this up off the shelf for fun reading, I probably would have quit about 15% in because it was VERY slow and uninteresting. The author took too long to get to the starting point. That being said after that point the book really picked up steam and got better and better. By the end I was a little sad to see it end and a little frustrated that more wasn’t revealed—showing how much the book sucked me in!

Fair warning that although there is chemistry between the main characters, the sex scenes aren’t detailed. I can usually take it or leave it on these, but with how much the author built up to it, not having it was both surprising and somewhat disappointing. Also I don’t normally like to mention this in the review, but this book needs a thorough editing job—badly.

Rating

4 stars

I like it! Between the shaky start, massive amount of editing errors, and questionable filler, I just couldn’t give this book a resounding 5 stars. It was a little silly, but absolutely adorable!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review

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The Strange Life of Brandon Chambers by Scott Spotson

Summary

Ten-year-old Brandon Chambers is suddenly thrust into a national scandal when his father, a top-ranking captain in the U.S. Army, is implicated in a tragic explosion on the army base while spearheading a top-secret weapons project. During the aftermath, both his parents are labeled as traitors, and he’s haunted by visions he can’t understand.

Brandon struggles through adolescence and college, still troubled by hallucinations that are also witnessed by others, leading him to believe that someone—or something—is deliberately laying clues in his path. Doggedly pursuing one clue at a time, Brandon seeks the answers.

Characters

This story is all about Brandon. He is an affable character that you get to see from for about 2 decades of his life. There are a barrage of supporting characters: Derek, Amy, and Justin. I think the reason I liked Brandon is he was flawed but not too flawed which made him both easy to relate to and likable. I don’t want to go into too much detail other than, this is a deep dive in Brandon and his life, so hold on.

Plot

It is difficult to describe this plot without giving anything away but it is very bizarre! There is this overall feeling of “is this real or just in his head?” The author does an excellent job building up this question. It kept me guessing for most of the book on a few items. That being said I felt like this could have gone way weirder than it did, but it was an out there ending to be sure. In short Brandon does indeed have a very strange life.

Overall

The flow of this book was the most difficult part to get over. The first half of the book felt slow and overly detailed, while the  last 10% of the book felt sluggish.  That made the end feel like an information dump and took away from the overall hype and conclusion. An epilogue may have helped even out the ending.

The writing kept me engaged and was easy to fall into. There were a few areas where I questioned Brandon’s decision making, but they didn’t feel overly contrived to the plot, so they were easy to pass over. I also want to say that despite all that Brandon went through, I felt there were parts that he got off easy on (you’ll understand). That in a way his fate was not his own, but he decided to try and hold on to it despite the outside influences.

Rating

4 stars

Despite its bizarre nature and uneven flow, it is a solid 4 star book. Brandon is an interesting character to feels very human. If you enjoy speculative fiction with a flair of bizarre intrigue – this is a great book for you!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

The Tudor Heresy by Samantha Burnell

An Introduction to the Tudor Mystery Trials

A gripping Historical Adventure set in 16th Century Tudor England. Elizabeth Tudor needs a hero. Murder, Mystery & Intrigue with a Splash of Romance.

Based on actual historical events, an epic tale of a young Tudor nobleman’s courage as he tries to keep his future Queen safe in one of England’s most turbulent eras.

If you enjoy Tudor Fiction by Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir then ‘A Queens Spy’ is perfect for you. A fascinating insight into Tudor England and the life of Elizabeth I before she sets foot on the steps to the throne.

The story unfolds in 16th Century Tudor England

Richard Fitzwarren is a Tudor nobleman with a dubious past who takes risks for a living.

His close friendship with Princess Elizabeth leads to his banishment to France, but when he returns he remains loyal to her.

At his side is Jack, his bastard sibling, and their relationship is a troubled one due to a family secret and their opposite personalities.

Will he keep the future Queen safe?

Overall

I would like to start off by saying I love Tudor history. I jumped at the chance to read this and it was very enjoyable. It was a bit jerky at times following from one year to another without any introduction or transition, but I appreciated the writing style was very succinct and to the point. This made for a quick read. The brutality of the era was well depicted. I could for sure see reading and enjoying more about Jack and Richard as Elisabeth comes to power. There were a few POV shifts, but it felt more of a narration so it didn’t feel jarring after the first time it happened. The verbiage felt right for the era and I was impressed with correct terminology being applied in more than one place.

Rating

4 stars

Overall a very enjoyable historical short story to whet ones appetite. If you are in need of a short story to pass the time – I’d recommend this one!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

Little Library System – Zendar

I’d like to start off by thanking author Misty Mount for graciously adding Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand to her local free little library box! Not to mention I love the DoctorWho theme to it! It warms my heart to see my book being added to this awesome system. I hope whoever picks it up, loves it and returns it back to the system for others to enjoy!

Check out her author page on Amazon here: Misty Mount

If you are interested you can also buy Zendar for only 99 cents on Kindle and Nook.

#giveaway for The Sixth Gate

I’m giving away a signed copy and sewn bookmark for The Sixth Gate!

book1_the_sixth_gate_frontl.jpg

You could win these!

In July, The Sixth Gate released and I’d like to send a copy to someone who loved the prequel!

All you have to do is these three things:

  • Acquire a copy of The Gate Guardian’s Daughter (you get a free copy when you sign up for my MAILING LIST);
  • Read The Gate Guardian’s Daughter; and
  • Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (both to double your chances)!3

I’m only giving the opportunity to those who are on my mailing list – so make sure you sign up! You could win a copy of the book and the hand stitched bookmark.**

You have until September 30, 2017 to submit in a review. I’ll select (using a random selection program) and notify the winner the following weekend.

**If you live outside the United States (US) you can only win an unsigned copy of the book (not the bookmark).

 

Vermilion Tears by Tia Lee

Summary

Vermilion Tears is a gothic paranormal novel set in Victorian times. Lydia comes from humble beginnings living with her family in New Haven. Her life gets turned upside down when she is on a train to New York City to start her new life. Lydia is attacked by supernatural creatures she didn’t even realize existed. Now a supernatural being herself, she finds herself fleeing from a brutal captor and trying to keep her family intact. Will she be caught or will she succeed in escaping and restoring her family?

Characters

Lydia is a leaf caught on the wind of change. She seems to go with the flow…not always making the best of decisions. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like her or not. What I can say is that after she turns and is a captive, I finally felt like I got to know Lydia’s character. Edgar and Ruben were interesting supporting characters. I’d also like to mention that I had a hard time with multiple chapters being in first person, which may have further contributed to some very confusing POV shifts. As a side note: I hated Edgar’s lengthy monologues and it really hampered my overall like of them.

Plot

I love Gothic novels, especially Victorian era with a paranormal twist. Penny Dreadful always comes to mind when I see this genre. This book is no different. There were aspects of the plot I just loved. The paranormal aspect was absolutely nailed – it had all of the fan favorites. Not to mention the witches! Loved them. I actually was really enjoying the novel despite its flaws…until the epilogue. It felt rushed, choppy, and I felt like I got whiplash at the sudden change. All of which would have been great earlier in the book. I love when books surprise me, but this felt like a last minute addition to set the stage for a second book.

Overall

There were some historical inaccuracies and some of the conversations were just a little too modern to be believable in the time. Such as they ordered a Bloody Mary in the mid-1800s. Since this is marked as a historical novel, I feel it is important to point this out. That being said if you can overlook the flaws historical aspects, you’ll enjoy the plot like I did. Still loving the paranormal aspects of the story the most! Honestly I wondered once to twice why this wasn’t written in a more recent time frame.

The setting was well developed, which was why I could picture many of the scenes in my head. That being said there were many parts of the plot that felt too convenient. I struggled with how the characters knew some of the information. For example, when Lydia is attacked she immediately knew it was a vampire. I thought this was alternative history where people are suspicious of the supernatural and believe in it, but not that it is a every day place. Perhaps I missed this but some of the leaps the characters make in figuring things out was a stretch more than once.

Rating

3 Stars

It was okay. Strong paranormal story with some needed work in plot and character development. Felt more like a paranormal thriller or suspense, rather than a historical novel.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

In What Remains by K.B. Rose

Summary

When Rachel and her family make a routine stop and become the targets of a violent assault, their summer road trip descends into a nightmare. Only the intervention of a stranger saves her life, and as they flee the crime scene, she wavers between fear and self-preservation. Can she trust him? Can she afford not to? Short-tempered and wholly impatient with her, Eric was somehow connected to it all, but he’s her key to surviving in a bleak new world. The first step in doing this is running as fast, and as far, as she can.

Moving forward in a dissolute whirlwind, Rachel has just one goal: to forget that day, by any means possible. But as her tangled connection with Eric deepens, she can’t quite forgive his role in it. She can’t forget his ties to the person responsible. And she can’t let go of the anger that begins to take root, leading her into a dangerous quest she might not come back from.

In What Remains is a dark and gritty novel of loss, love, and survival in a time when everything familiar is gone.

Note: This book contains explicit language, sexual content, drug use, violence, criminal activity, and women who fight back. Intended for mature readers only.

Characters

Rachel is both the most awesome character and the worst. In my mind she felt more like a leaf caught in a current being pulled downstream. Instead of fighting it she just went along with it, choosing survival above all else. Eric was complicated and vivid. He was the center in most of this novel, the pillar that bridged all of the individuals together. Suzy was hilarious, but represented the catalyst. All wonderfully portrayed and gritty.

Plot

I struggled with this being a romance for the first half of the book. Ultimately it is for the second half of the book and I loved it. I actually think the primary plot is more of a suspense. It was nail biting and hard to put down. I stayed up late a few nights in a row to finish it! I don’t want to give anything away but this was not for the faint of heart. This is one roller coaster ride worth riding!

Overall

I was really impressed with this book. I loved the romance. I was cheering for them. I loved how unpredictable the first half of the book was. I will note that ultimately knowing it was a romance meant I knew where it was going and how it was going to end. That was both good and bad – I knew it would all work out but it also lost some of the edge because I suspected it would have a happy ending. I’m still not sure if I was completely satisfied with the ending.

There were two parts that I didn’t like. As wonderful and gritty as it was, Rachel being underage for much of the first part of the book when she is spiraling, really put me on edge. I struggled with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderfully written, but I personally almost quite twice at certain terrible parts of the book. I don’t care that she was an adult when the really bad stuff happened – I felt like the author specifically made her 18 for that scene so that I wouldn’t cringe. At that point I started to think how convenient it was that she was 18, rather than what was happening to the character. I also disliked right near the end, when she eventually faces Jimmy. I actually was disappointed with that entire part of the book – felt it was unnecessary and went too far.

Rating

4.5 Stars (rounded down)

Amazing characters, gritty realism, and nail biting suspense. The underage aspect of the main character was just too much for me when this was supposed to be a ‘romantic suspense.’ Would totally read another of the author’s book!

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.