Book Review · Contemporary Romance

#BookReview #HolidayRomance // Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop
by Rebecca Raisin


f you are looking for a heart-warming, schmaltzy, seasonal romance then Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop certainly fits the bill. The characters were endearing, the humour pleasingly subtle, and the pace engaging. Flora’s escapades had me smiling and giggling, whilst her emotional vulnerability took me to the edge of tears.


Was the book perfect? No, but the sheer warmth and delight that it imbued made up for its very minor faults. The Flora we meet in the first few chapters was quite annoying, stubborn, and more than a little dense. It took rather a stretch of the imagination to believe she could move to another country and set up a market stall! Once Flora reached Finland I found her to be a much more amiable character, one I could warm to and get behind.


The story is told entirely from our heroines perspective, which did leave me unsure of Connor’s feelings towards her, for a very long time. The clever use of different scenarios allowed us to see the type of person Connor was, but this is a romance and in that regard, it felt very one-sided. The story ended far too soon for me, I needed more time to experience the actual romance between Flora and Connor. Flora was not the most reliable of narrators, which didn’t help matters, though the author did attempt to give us an insight into Connor’s thoughts and feelings via conversations.


Whilst the whole story is about a Hallmark-crazy heroine getting her own Hallmark-style romance, I loved that the author didn’t over-cook some aspects. For example, the conflict with Aine was kept fairly low key, used sparingly to avoid an overload of unnecessary angst. Hallmark movie without the kitsch. Flora, Connor, Noel the van and aurora have completely gotten me into the Christmas spirit.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Contemporary Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58859600-flora-s-travelling-christmas-shop

Synopsis
Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe…
Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?
Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.
Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?

The perfect Christmas romance for fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Jenny Colgan.




Book Review · Suspense/Mystery

#BookReview #MagicalRealism // A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash

A Spell of Rowans
by Byrd Nash


From the blurb, I was expecting something a little more paranormal, a little more fantasy, for want of a better word. It turned out to be a much more contemporary, a murder mystery with minor magical elements, and I was surprisingly very OK with that. I really liked the author’s voice and could connect with the main characters, so that their feelings were my feelings.


We experience the entire story through the eyes of Victoria (Vic) Rowan, a headstrong and impulsive character with a complex history. There are many truths to be uncovered in the town of Grimsby and at times it felt as though each time we discovered the answer to one question two more mysteries were spawned. The author had many different threads to weave into the story and whilst I loved the richness this provided some elements did feel a little underdeveloped.


In the story, Vic is joined by her siblings, Pip and Liam, as well as a couple of ex-boyfriends and several suspicious, and unwelcoming, town folk. The romantic element is very minor, a second chance from the protagonists teenage years. However, I felt there was a missed opportunity to convince the reader of the depth of Vic and Reed’s feelings, particularly given the huge time interval that had elapsed since they had last seen one another. Whilst I could find myself believing in the emotions Victoria was experiencing it was more difficult to imagine that those feelings had survived fifteen years apart.


I very much enjoyed the mystery element. There wasn’t a huge amount of foreshadowing, certainly no obvious pointers as to the culprit even with hindsight. We are aware of all the main players within the story, though some feature more heavily than others. All in all the story readily held my attention and left me wanting to read more of the authors work.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Paranormal Women’s Fiction

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58454895-a-spell-of-rowans

Synopsis
Raised by a narcissistic mother, the Rowan children’s magical talents were twisted to fit her needs. When Rachel dies, her children must confront the past to have a future.
Rachel Rowan could sniff out secrets and her antique shop, Rosemary Thyme, was a front to torment the residents of Grimsby. When she dies, her children are faced with the deadly fallout of blackmail, murder, and magic.
Victoria, whose empathic talent knows everyone’s hidden feelings; Philippa, whose glamour can bewitch; and Liam, the brother who touches objects to reveal their secrets, all find themselves in danger.
When her autistic brother is arrested, Vic needs to discover the truth to set him free.
A successful art restorer in the big city, Vic’s made a career of ignoring her past and hiding her strange powers. But with Rachel’s death, she must gamble away her secrets to face down forces determined to destroy her and her siblings.
And that hometown boy she dumped way back? He’s in Grimsby, and knows the truth about her.




Book Review · Contemporary Romance

#BookReview #SecondChance #TBT // Unforgivable by Isabel Love

Unforgivable
Unexpected Love #3
by Isabel Love

A “blast from the past” review.


The mistakes that will define us if we let them.

“A heartrending tale of how youthful mistakes can have lasting consequences.”

In my early days of reading, reviewing, and blogging arc books I took a chance on a new author. Her name was Isabel Love. She wrote a book called Untouchable, that book blew me away. She then released another book called Unconventional, and out of over 400 books I read last year that was in my top ten favourites. So when I saw she was releasing Anna’s book (she feature’s only briefly in Unconventional but had a huge impact on Charlie’s life) I was hoping for another good read. Actually, I was hoping for a book that would touch my heart in the same way that Unconventional had. I got everything I wanted and then some more. I got another top ten read, and maybe not just for the year but probably the decade.

Hope is a stupid, cruel emotion.

Wesley was the new boy at school, fostered by an indifferent couple and the victim of bullies. Anna, and her brother John, rescued him from those bullies and thus begins a lifelong friendship. Puberty turns childish feelings into something more, but Wes believes he isn’t good enough for a girl like Anna and eventually, she finds love in the arms of another. If you’ve read Unconventional you will know what happened between Charlie and Anna, how a rash decision of a naïve teenager changed both their lives. (Don’t worry, you find it all out in this book too, so it can be read as a standalone.) You will know how their love not only came to a crashing end but made Charlie hate Anna almost as much as Anna hated herself. At the same time, Wes makes his own foolish choices, which also have severe consequences.


Eventually, Wes and Anna find their way back to each other, but both are so broken by their pasts will they ever be able to find their future?


Quinn’s self-loathing and deep hurt in Unconventional made me cry. However, in Unforgivable we have TWO damaged and hurting characters. BOTH Anna and Wes made me cry, great huge ugly tears of the very best kind. They tore my heart from my chest, squeezed it, pummelled it, slapped it around and then stuffed it back in, leaving it feeling bruised and vulnerable. Yet they also filled it with great joy and hope.


The scenes from their teenage years were so packed with emotion. There was Anna’s desperation and longing for Wes to notice her and love her. There was Wes with all his pent up feelings for Anna and his deep sense of lacking any worth. I also totally believed in their connection, their feelings and their love. There was the clear love that Anna’s parents had for Wes, not that he could ever see it.

“Ever since you brought him home that day from school, with his nose broken and untrusting eyes, I’ve wanted to give that boy everything the world has failed to give…..”

The unfairness of so much of what happens, left me wanting to stamp my feet and demand justice for a fictional character, but a character who so wove his way into my heart that he felt real. Then we get the ‘later’ scenes when Anna is living in a deep hole of self-loathing and recrimination. Where Wes despairs that his life will ever hold anything good or joyous. Anna and Wes are such wonderful characters that you are desperate for them to have a HEA, though life (or should I say the author!) doesn’t want to make things too easy. This book repeatedly broke me and then remade me, it was quite simply an amazing read.

“I could never forget. The real challenge is to remember my past mistakes, accept them, and move on.”

There wasn’t a single page of this that I was tempted to skim. I devoured every individual page, sentence, word and letter. I just wished I hadn’t started reading it at 10 pm, as in the early hours I had to force myself to put it down and get some sleep. Not that sleep was ready to come with Anna, Wes and their battles spinning around in my head.


For quite a long story (between 4 and 5 hours to read) there are only a few ‘bedroom scenes’. They are pretty steamy but very much an integral part of the story, both feeling a very natural part of it, as well as enhancing it.


This is such a wonderful book I don’t want to limit my recommendation to one group or type of reader. It is so good I would recommend it to everyone, this author is one of the few whose books I will automatically one-click, no questions asked.


P.S.- keep a box of tissues to hand whilst reading this book.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Contemporary Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35499933-unforgivable

Synopsis
Standalone, new-adult romance about mistakes, acceptance and forgiveness.
There are certain things that are unforgivable…
Falling for your brother’s best friend is one of them.
That isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever done, though. Not even close.
Shame and guilt follow me everywhere.
Except when I’m with him. With him, I can breathe again. Smile again. Love again. But he doesn’t know what I’ve done…


Book Review · Fantasy · Omegaverse

#BookReview #PNR #Omegaverse // The Heiress and the Orc by Finley Fenn

The Heiress and the Orc
Orc Sworn #2
by Finley Fenn


The Heiress and the Orc is an unusual mix of well-written fantasy and erotic romance. One doesn’t normally see the level of world-building, character complexity, and multi-layered plot in a book that is so sexually raw and, well, filthy! There are chunks of this book that really are NOT safe to read in a public place, delightfully erotic and so hot my kindle was in danger of combusting.


Ella’s early decisions do have the possibility of alienating some readers. Despite what she witnessed at her engagement party, as a woman Ella has no real autonomy in her society, so I empathized with her thoughts. The only way to retain all that she has left, all that holds meaning and security for her, is to marry a man of standing. So I could fully understand her seemingly “selfish” choices – would you really allow everything your father had worked for to be given to a stranger? Would you happily give up your beloved home just based on a possibility? Especially when you have been practically brainwashed for the last few years of your life into believing it is the right thing to do. Sometimes we have to allow the head to overrule the heart!


Natt was harder to pin down, mainly because the book is entirely from Ella’s viewpoint. I did feel as though I knew his core character, but clearly, he had motivations and reasons to which we were not privy. That said he was solid and consistent, there were no abrupt about turns with Natt and his adoration of Ella was impossible to miss. This is quite a long book with, at times, a meandering pace. Some of this is to allow us to discover more about the characters and as a character-driven reader that suited me well. However, for someone who is more about the plot, this could feel slow.


The author does a wonderful job of foreshadowing throughout, whilst throwing enough smoke and shadows to leave the reader shattered by a totally unexpected curveball thrown at the end of the book. Whilst I didn’t quite ugly cry, I definitely shed tears for poor Ella. Despite how betrayed she had been, despite how hurt, she didn’t sully her love for Natt by acting the woman scorned, she remained the better person, she accepted her fate and she was bloody amazing. Did Nattfar need to grovel more? I don’t believe so because he was willing to sacrifice all that he had worked so hard to gain, finally (and possibly a touch late!!!) ready to give up everything to protect Ella. So despite him having been the most selfish, manipulative piece of work I’ve ever met as a hero, I found it as easy to forgive him as Ella did. Though he definitely owed her big time!


If I could wish for one thing, it would have been to better understand the origins of the conflict between Orcs and Humans. That may have been explored more fully in Book #1 (The Lady and the Orc), however in a book marketed as standalone this kind of detail needs to be creatively woven into each story. This was definitely good enough to make me interested in reading more of the series and is perfect for those who love their romance on the very steamy side.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fantasy Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50935559-the-heiress-and-the-orc

Synopsis
Once, he was her dearest friend… but now he’s a brutal, terrifying monster.
In a world of recently warring orcs and men, Ella Riddell is determined to ignore it all. She’s the wealthiest heiress in the realm — and soon, she’s to wed a lord, and become a real lady.
Until the night her engagement-party ends in utter disaster, and Ella runs for the forest — and straight into the powerful arms of a hulking, deadly orc. And it’s not just any orc. It’s Natt. The orc Ella made a secret, foolish pledge to, many years past…
He’s huge and shameless and vicious, not at all the gangly, laughing daredevil Ella remembers. And he’s here with one shocking, scandalous aim: to wreak vengeance on Ella’s betrothed. With her. With her hunger. Her surrender. Her undoing…
Ella knows she should run, even if this deadly enemy was once a friend. Even if his scent drags up a dark, forbidden longing. Even if his kisses are the sweetest, filthiest thing she’s ever tasted in her life…
But will Ella truly risk her perfect future, for an orc? Will she face the bitter truths of the past, and brave the terrifying Orc Mountain, before more war rises to destroy them all?


A dark, angsty, full-length, friends to lovers fantasy romance. Comes after The Lady and the Orc, but also reads as a standalone. Happily ever after guaranteed.




Book Review · Fantasy

#BookReview #Fantasy // Beyond by Mercedes Lackey

Beyond
The Founding of Valdemar #1
by Mercedes Lackey


I was absolutely thrilled to be able to take a step back in time and revisit the world of Valdemar. After first discovering these books in the early 90’s I was immediately a fan, though I haven’t read any more for a good 20 or so years. It was wonderful to discover the writing was as pleasing as I remembered and I soon found myself falling back in love with this world.

The book wasn’t perfect, but then no book ever is and you definitely can’t please all of the people all of the time. The pace was a little too slow and meandering at times, but because I am a character driven reader it didn’t spoil the story for me. What I would have really liked to see were flawed characters – this had an almost “Disney” feel where the good guys were all perfect and the bad guys were somewhat caricaturish and oft portrayed as stupid. Stupid people do not rise to positions of power. I’ve clearly grown up in those intervening years and I just wanted and needed a little more depth to my protagonists.

That said I’m still a big fan of this series and will definitely continue reading it!


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sword and Sorcery

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56688207-beyond

Synopsis
The long-awaited founding of Valdemar comes to life in this new series from a New York Times bestselling author and beloved fantasist.
Within the Eastern Empire, Duke Kordas Valdemar rules a tiny, bucolic Duchy that focuses mostly on horse breeding. Anticipating the day when the Empire’s exploitative and militant leaders would not be content to leave them alone, Korda’s father set out to gather magicians in the hopes of one day finding a way to escape and protect the people of the Duchy from tyranny.
Kordas has lived his life looking over his shoulder. The signs in the Empire are increasingly dire. Under the direction of the Emperor, mages have begun to harness the power of dark magics, including blood magic, the powers of the Abyssal Planes, and the binding and “milking” of Elemental creatures.
But then one of the Duchy’s mages has a breakthrough. There is a way to place a Gate at a distance so far from the Empire that it is unlikely the Emperor can find or follow them as they evacuate everyone that is willing to leave.
But time is running out, and Kordas has been summoned to the Emperor’s Court.
Can his reputation as a country bumpkin and his acting skills buy him and his people the time they need to flee? Or will the Emperor lose patience, invade to strip Valdemar of everything of worth, and send its conscripted people into the front lines of the Imperial wars?




Book Review · Fantasy · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview #Fantasy #SpaceOpera #TBT // Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta

Shoot The Messenger
Messenger Chronicles #1
by Pippa DaCosta

A “blast from the past” review.


“Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive”

Pippa DaCosta has woven together sci-fi and fantasy to build the richly complex world in which Kesh, Kellee and Talon reside. As the story builds we gradually learn more and more about Kesh, Kelly, the fae and tek. I preferred this to an ‘information dump’ as it added to the twisty plot, suspense and sense of unease.

The book is written first person and entirely from Kesh’s point of view. Kesh is just a simple messenger, caught up in someone else’s battle, or is she? Oh my word, this is an onion of a book, made of layer upon layer of amazing story, action, adventure and mind-blowing plot twists. The blurb really doesn’t do the book justice BUT that’s to ensure the element of surprise. And there are surprises galore in this book.

It’s one of those stories that is impossible to properly review without giving away spoilers, and I really want to avoid them so that you get the full impact of the book, like I did. If you have read other books by this author then you will know some of what to expect, but this far surpasses any of her work to date. It takes all the best elements of her previous stories, polishes them up, adds extra glitter to them and twists them into something else altogether. If you haven’t read her books (a) why not? you’re missing some amazing stories and (b) this is really well written, drags you into the story and doesn’t let you go, leaves your head reeling in the best of ways and will have you begging and howling for Book 2 so that you can continue the story.

A standing ovation to the author for this awe-inspiring, mind-twisting, a-m-a-z-i-n-g read. I need to go and lie in a darkened corner to mull over this book and recover from the book hangover I now have.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Reverse Harem

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38730010-shoot-the-messenger?ref=bk_bet_in

Synopsis
“Lies aren’t her only weapons against the fae…”

In the Halow system, one of Earth’s three sister star systems, tek and magic—humans and the fae—are at war.

Kesh Lasota is a ghost in the machine. Invisible to tek, she’s hired by the criminal underworld to carry illegal messages through the Halow system. But when one of those messages kills its recipient, Kesh finds herself on the run with a bounty on her head and a quick-witted marshal on her tail.

Proving her innocence should be straightforward—until a warfae steals the evidence she needs. The fae haven’t been seen in Halow in over a thousand years. And this one—a brutally efficient killer able to wield tek—should not exist. But neither should Kesh.

As Kesh’s carefully crafted lie of a life crumbles around her, she knows remaining invisible is no longer an option. To hunt the fae, to stop him from destroying a thousand-year-long fragile peace, she must resurrect the horrors of her past.

Kesh Lasota was a ghost. Now she’s back, and there’s only one thing she knows for certain. Nobody shoots the messenger and gets away with it.

A new space fantasy series where the guys are hot, the perils are many, and one rebel messenger holds the key to the survival of the human race.


Book Review · YA

#BookReview #YA #UrbanFantasy // Karma’s Return by Elin Peer and Pearl Beacon

Karma’s Return
Ancient Souls #1
by Elin Peer and Pearl Beacon


Karma’s Return is a book of hidden depths, wrapped up in an entertaining story suitable for teens and adults alike. The story is cleverly infused with deep and spiritual themes (though not religious), written in a way that is thought provoking without being overwhelming, dry or preachy in nature. Friendship, family and self-esteem are the main themes explored in the book, though it included a wonderful love story too.



The characters were all empathetically written, their flaws and imperfections making them likeable and easy to connect with. I adored Karma, loved seeing how her character helped Emma and her friends and family whilst also undergoing significant character growth herself.


YA isn’t a genre/age range that I usually chose to read, but I do enjoy Elin Peer’s work, so wanted to give this a try. I did struggle a little at times, but that was purely because this is YA so I can’t criticise something that I already knew might not be a great fit for me. The fact I did enjoy it is testament to the quality of writing this pair demonstrated.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Coming of Age Fantasy

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58851406-ancient-souls—karma-s-return

Synopsis
People say that Karma is a b..ch, but they are wrong!

As an ancient soul working to enhance human empathy Karma has served for millennia.
When her rash decisions leaves her with a bad reputation, the community of ancient souls makes a demand of her. She must return to earth and clean up the mess she made for seventeen-year-old Emma White.

For Karma it’s a rush to be back in a physical body, and life as a junior in high school shouldn’t be a problem for someone who has guided humans for thousands of years. But much has happened since Karma last walked the earth in Ancient Greece. Facing teachers, bullies, parents, and Emma’s crush, Ty, gets complicated when Karma doesn’t have her usual powers and can’t reveal that she’s a soul of infinite wisdom. And by the way, how does one answer a text message?

Ancient Souls is a breathtaking story that is a must-read for everyone who remembers what it was like to be a teenager. It’s witty, wise, and has a fast pace that will make you turn pages all night long.




Book Review · Contemporary Romance

#BookReview #ContemporaryRomance #TBT // Fresh Catch by Kate Canterbary

Fresh Catch
Talbot Cove #1
by Kate Canterbary

A “blast from the past” review.


I’ve not read many M/M books but this is top of my favourites list. In fact it’s top of my list of ANY contemporary romance books. The story really focuses on the couple and their relationship, and it blew me away with the intensity of emotion held within its pages.

If there was one think I’d learned since Cole drifted into my life it was that we mattered more than I.

Boom. Just fucking boom went my heart.

Two men who have insane chemistry but have been so hurt in the past that, for a long time, neither feels brave enough to make the first move. In many ways this was a slow burn but the heat and passion simmering just below the surface made it feel like a much raunchier read.

I’d never experienced sex like this before……It was the feeling of it all. The emotion behind every thrust, the intention in every kiss, the promise in every breathe we shared.

It was a book I didn’t want to put down. No scratch that it was a book I couldn’t put down. My mind, heart and soul were so caught up in it that my hands refused to close the book until I had read and savoured every word, and then re-read some again just for the sheer pleasure.

It’s a Kate Canterbary book, so I fully expected to cry. However I did not expect the first time to be over a dog that wasn’t even IN the book. Especially not when I’m a cat person through and through. I also cried for Cole and Owen and their fragile hearts. Sometimes Ms Canterbary makes us wait in agony for a resolution. Sam and Tiel nearly killed me when he went off to spend time in the woods. We don’t have such a tough time in this book, but that isn’t to say this story is anything less than amazing, and it will certainly stomp on your emotions. I think it’s just that the world would have stopped spinning if Owen and Cole spent too long apart.

I always wanted him wrapped around me, and I knew talk of my other life wouldn’t give me that. I knew it would come between us because it came between me and everything.

Through out the book, Owen seems the stronger and more dominant character. I guess you don’t get to the top of the tech world by being a pushover though, and Cole certainly showed his mettle when needed.

His walls might be tall but I wasn’t afraid of the climb.

I channelled a little Annette and totally fell in love with these guys. You just can’t help it.

I also, despite her only appearing via text messages, adore Neera. I’m sure she has a story to tell and would love to read it.

Cole: You knew? All this time, you knew where I was and you didn’t come and find me?
Neera: You didn’t want me to find you.
Neera: I believe you were busy finding yourself

As so often with books of this calibre, I just don’t have words enough to express how fantastic they are. I’m more of a maths person anyway so I’ll use data instead. I’ve created a favourite reads shelf, out of the 48 books I’ve read this year, this is only the third book to get put on that shelf. So that puts it in my top 6%.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

LGBTQ Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35919933-fresh-catch

Synopsis
Take a vacation, they said. Get away from Silicon Valley’s back-stabbing and power-grabbing. Recharge the innovative batteries. Unwind, then come back stronger than ever.
Instead, I got lost at sea and fell in love with an anti-social lobsterman.
There’s one small issue:
Owen Bartlett doesn’t know who I am. Who I really am.
~~

I don’t like people.
I avoid small talk and socializing, and I kick my companions out of bed before the sun rises.
No strings, no promises, no problems.
Until Cole McClish’s boat drifts into Talbott’s Cove, and I bend all my rules for the sexy sailor.
I don’t know Cole’s story or what he’s running from, but one thing is certain:
I’m not letting him run away from me.




Book Review · DNF · Urban Fantasy

#BookReview #UrbanFantasy // Fireborn by Jessa Graythorne

Fireborn
by Jessa Graythorne


DNF at 42% due to boredom


This has the makings of a good book, but the execution fell somewhat flat. As others have said the pacing is off, with parts of the story dragging – particularly in the first 25% or so. The story telling was nicely done but when it doesn’t move the plot forward, nor world build, after a while it becomes tedious. Know what else is tedious? Azrael keeping all those secrets from Halley. How on earth is she meant to “save the world”, or at least be of any use, if she’s constantly kept in the dark. It’s a very lazy writing technique that is probably meant to give an air of suspense but instead just gets annoying.


I did like that the author wrote a flawed heroine, one with a past and clearly used to being indulged. However I wasn’t convinced that at 25 and training as a doctor, one who worked in an emergency department, she would have felt quite so immature – particularly in relation to her ex-boyfriend.


I’m at 42% and still have very, very little idea of what is happening or Halley’s role in the book. I could tell you in two or three sentences what has happened so far and not miss anything important out. This was lacklustre and slow with a weak plot that left the story feeling disjointed and dissatisfying.


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Paranormal Mystery/ Urban Fantasy

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58877849-fireborn

Synopsis
Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. Focused and independent, with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had is her brother, Flynn. Whilst Halley is logical and grounded, and Flynn a reckless conspiracy theorist, they have always been able to trust each other above anything else.

The Ashwood siblings don’t believe in making promises. So when Flynn leaves Halley a message the day before her scheduled trip to visit him in Amsterdam, asking her to promise him she won’t come, she knows something is wrong. Halley arrives in Amsterdam to find her brother missing, leaving only those ominous words in his wake. Halley sets out to investigate what happened to her brother and makes a terrifying discovery. Turns out Flynn’s conspiracy theories weren’t so farfetched after all: demons are real, they’re stalking the streets of Amsterdam, and they may hold the answer as to what happened to Flynn.

Determined to find out the truth about her brother’s fate, Halley embarks on a dark journey that will force her to question everything she thinks she knows about the nature of the world, the forces within it, and even herself.




Book Review · Contemporary Romance

#BookReview #ContemporaryRomance #TBT // Blue by Elin Peer

Blue
Clashing Colors #4
by Elin Peer

A “blast from the past” review.


Elin Peer has written another unique and wonderful romance. I was totally spellbound by this book and read it in one sitting. It caught me from the first few lines and I was still wanting more when I got to the end of the book.



We briefly met the heroine. Faith, in Green but there is no need to have read previous books in the series to enjoy this. Faith is a very real, down to earth type character who seems to have it all together. As the story progresses we learn that this isn’t quite so true. Logan is a difficult character but he is MEANT to be like this, and I still liked him.



The course of true love not only doesn’t run smoothly but doesn’t seem to run at all in some parts of this book, however for me it is what made this book so good. Time was spent getting to know the characters and finding out about their lives and backgrounds and why they struggled with relationships. This made me more invested in them and also made the story so much more real and believable. I also liked that the story took place over a significant period of time and of ‘getting to know each other’. No instant love here, thank goodness.



The book is written from dual POV’s so you get to know and empathize with both main characters. The story line is has been well thought through and it flows along smoothly and at a good pace. Great care has been made to make the Scottish accent realistic (as a ‘Sassenach’ badly portrayed UK regional accents are irritating) so well done to the author.



I gladly give this book 5 stars as this wasn’t a generic contemporary romance and didn’t feel written to a formula. It was fresh, enjoyable and captivating.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Friends-to-Lovers

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33287651-blue

Synopsis
Am I the only one who purrs inside when I hear a deep male voice with a sexy Scottish accent?

Logan MacKay is a complicated man, scarred from a plane crash that left him gloomy and withdrawn.
And yet, when we speak on the phone, the confident and flirtatious man he used to be, comes out to play.

Of course, he has no idea that ‘Mary’, the stranger he flirts with on the phone, is me.
To him, I’m Faith. The too happy cheerleader who brings out his anxiety for beautiful women.

It’s not that I want a relationship with him. I just want to help him past his ridiculous belief that all women find him unattractive because of his scars.
Damaged people like Logan, are the whole reason I’m studying to be a psychologist.
With my eternal optimism, I can fix Logan. I know I can.
If only he would stop scowling at me and say yes to my brilliant idea of taking me in as his roommate.
I’m broke and need a place to stay, and he needs help with the house chores. What could possibly go wrong?

Blue is the fourth book in Elin Peer’s Clashing Colors series that has readers raving about the unpredictable plots and intriguing stories.