Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Reviews, Books, Reviews

Charity Beecham Reviews THE AFTER EFFECT by Rose Shababy

The After Effect Rose Shababy

The long await for the continuation of The Blue Effect, by Rose Shababy, has finally come to an end. The After Effect, by Rose Shababy, has made its debut, and it is definitely nothing like I had imagined it to be. There are so many twists and turns to the story that you never get bored while reading it. This story is a roller coaster ride through the past, present, and future.

Kasey is being haunted by the memories of his past. He is reliving the death of his family almost every night now in his dreams. These reoccurring events are not only effecting him mentally and physically, it is also effecting his relationship with the love of his life, Blue. Blue is not liking these new frustrations coming from Kasey. He has always been the one to keep them grounded, and now that he is starting to lose his cool, will he end up losing Blue too?

The group has uprooted themselves from Seattle, and decided to move to Idaho. What they did not expect to find on their new adventure was another super human like themselves, Rayne. Rayne never expected to meet a single person with abilities like herself, much less a whole group of them. Could the intimidation of the super group be enough to push Rayne away? Or can they find a way to keep her, and talk her into joining the group? Not only is Rayne`s gift unlike any of their own, they soon will learn that her gift is the only thing that can save one of their own lives.

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Reviews, Books, Reviews

Review: The Bellator Saga: First Box Set Trilogy

The Bellator Saga Cecilia London

The Bellator Saga: First Box Set Trilogy

Two souls intertwined. One epic love story.

Get swept away in the passionate romance between political opposites Caroline Gerard and Jack McIntyre in the first half of The Bellator Saga.

Cannot be read as standalones

At the end of 2015 I had finally managed to clear my schedule and dive into a series that had been sitting on my (never ending) “To Be Read” list. I had heard great things about the author, the writing, and the unique storyline and I honestly couldn’t wait to immerse myself into something new. Written by Indie Author Cecilia London, The Bellator Saga is unlike anything you have ever read before. With three books in the series already published, London brings to life a painful yet beautiful battlefield of love, power and control.

With six books in total, The Bellator Saga: The First Trilogy is set against the backdrop of a country in political disarray, whilst the romance in this novel is emphasized through detailed and extensive flashbacks, allowing each book to highlight how Cecilia London uniquely pairs suspense and romance. Unexpectedly but very much welcome, London’s writing WILL completely captivate, and you will be left with no choice but to be intensely invested in the exquisite creativity her mind has to offer.

Dissident: a person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state.

In the beginning of the series, in the most harrowing of circumstances we are introduced to Caroline Gerard and Jack McIntyre. Written in third person with ease and seamless transitions, each chapter flicks between the past and the present giving readers an essential understanding of their backgrounds, personalities and most importantly, their relationship.

We become familiar with this intellectually sassy feminist whose tenacity is everything you want in a heroine. And at the forefront of the opposing party is the playboy of politics, Jack McIntyre. Watching Jack McIntyre fall in love with Caroline will be your undoing. Sex appeal paired with swoon, let your infatuation for him begin NOW.

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Reviews, Books, Reviews

We Wear the Mask… A review of ‘Follow Me into Darkness’ by Kasia Bacon

Follow Me Into Darkness Kris Ripper J.R. Gray Santino Hassell J.C. Lillis Roan Parrish

I read a heap of anthologies last year, and while I typically enjoy short stories, going through a whole collection might at times prove to be an exhausting and challenging affair. One demanding quick mindset alternations and, in effect, causing frequent mood swings. Being of a naturally lazy disposition, I secretly vowed to steer clear from anthologies temporarily and indulge in more homogeneous reads.

Ironically, one of the first books I was offered to review in 2016 turned out to be Follow Me into Darkness, a queer anthology containing five tales of carnival romance and oscillating around a common theme of a mask. The resistance was futile, the main convincing factor being the authors, participating in this collaboration. It’s been the second time for this very crew to come together in order to work on a project. The previous fruit of their labour, Lead Me into Darkness, was a successful Halloween inspired collection, which I had the pleasure to review last October.

Let the masquerade begin!

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Reviews, Books, Reviews

Review: Laura Curtis’s MIND GAMES

Mind Games Laura K. Curtis

Romantic suspense is a really tough genre to write in, I imagine. The balance between romance and suspense can be tricky, with far too many books (at least in my opinion) asking you to suspend disbelief enough to think that the hero and heroine would be able to relax in the middle of all their danger so they can have sex. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense as a result, and so I was delighted to read Laura Curtis’s Mind Games. Mind Games does a great job of ratcheting up the romance as the action ratchets up, and there are no quickie interludes to make me roll my eyes. Here’s the blurb for Mind Games:

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Reviews, Books, Reviews

Review: Sugar Jamison’s THE BAD BOY CEO

The Bad Boy CEO Sugar Jamison

Sugar Jamison’s The Bad Boy CEO is a deliciously satisfying contemporary romance, with a sparkling-hot main relationship and plenty of interesting secondary characters, some of whom will no doubt get their own books. Here’s the synopsis:

Colt King has spent his whole life trying to prove he’s not the trash his hometown of Destiny, Nevada, thought he and his brothers were. As soon as he was old enough he left town, vowing to make a name for himself and never looking back at the place that looked down on him. But that plan goes out the window when his ailing elderly aunt asks him to come home.

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Reviews, Books, Reviews

A Few Thoughts on Santino Hassell’s STYGIAN

Stygian Santino Hassell

I intended to write this piece as a straightforward, concise and informative review.  Like normal people do. Honest.  Alas, it morphed somewhat into a collection of distracted and disjointed musings on the book itself and my personal scattered reactions to it.  Regardless of the end result, I’d like everyone to acknowledge that I started off with a plan, and the best of intentions.  Sadly, the plan quickly went to hell, which coincidentally – as my gran would say – is paved with good intentions.  Then usually a swift clip around the ear would follow.

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Reviews, Books, Reviews

Action + Paranormal Romance + Fantastic Characters = Jennifer Malone Wright’s KEEPER VS. REAPER

Keeper Vs. Reaper

Jennifer Malone Wright is my favorite new paranormal romance author. Jennifer is best known for The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter series, but my personal favorite of her books is Keeper vs. Reaper from the Graveyard Guardians series. What I love most about Keeper vs. Reaper is the combination of action, paranormal romance, and fantastic characters.

In Keeper vs. Reaper there are two rival families in conflict with each other. There is the Keeper family, whose main priority is to protect the souls of the graveyards while the souls are waiting to be transferred to the next life. Then there is the Reaper family, whose main goal is to consume souls that have not yet passed onto the next life because the souls give the Reapers supernatural strength. The Keeper and Reaper families are naturally supposed to stay away from each other. There is even a painful, burning sensation amongst the two if their skin touches. When the main man, Jack, is ordered by his mother to kill a Keeper, Lucy, he is puzzled to find he does not feel the painful sting when he touches Lucy.

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Guest Post

The Four Stages of Read Rage

There I was, all snuggled up on my couch with the most recent book in an unnamed series when it hit me: Read Rage.

Read rage is emotion that occurs when an author, usually a favorite author, does something so heinous, so bizarre, so unthinkable that the reader is immediately plunged into a rage. It’s a crippling condition that isn’t spoken about often in the Romance community.

As an avid reader, someone who works in medicine*, and as an occasional sufferer of read rage I believe I’m uniquely qualified to describe this phenomenon to you so that you can catch the signs of read rage and prepare yourself for the inevitable fall out.

Read rage, much like other emotions, is part of a wider spectrum. The lowest end of the spectrum is irritation. This is the type of emotion a reader might feel when confronted with poor editing, typos, or the overuse of particularly, flowery purple prose. These instances are irritating but not enough to make you want to do more than roll your eyes and repeatedly sigh loudly until your partner asks you what is wrong.

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Reviews, Books, Reviews


Everything I Left Unsaid M. O'Keefe

M. O’Keefe, a new pseudonym for Molly O’Keefe, is a brilliantly intense romance between two actually damaged characters. O’Keefe has never flinched for writing the ugliness of human nature, even in romance, where such scrutiny is rare. This book is actually less painful to read than some of her other books, which is interesting, given the characters’ respective situations. Here’s the blurb:

I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.

And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.

His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.

The heroine Annie is fleeing an abusive situation and her backstory is unfolded naturally, and we come to learn the hero Dylan’s story as well, albeit less completely (probably his story will be told more fully in the second book, The Truth About Him). The two embark on a relationship that occurs entirely over the phone, giving Annie a comfort level she would not have if she were meeting Dylan in person.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the story is told from Annie’s point-of-view, which is in first person, and Dylan’s, which is in third (Apparently the next book flips that, so Dylan’s POV is in first, and Annie’s is in third.)

What make this book totally work is that Annie — and Dylan, to a lesser extent — is resolved to take risks in her life, where she never did before (because her earlier life didn’t work out so well for her, as the bruises at her throat attest). It’s less a romance than a novel where there is some romance, but the focus is on Annie and her own growth — dyeing her hair, getting a job, doing some previously forbidden things, discovering her own sexuality — and although Dylan is a crucial part of that, it’s clear that Annie was primed to do this, and Dylan’s presence in her life is the catalyst, but not the sole reason. It’s edgy women’s fiction, if that were a genre. Which perhaps it is now, thanks to O’Keefe. This is the kind of book you could possibly share with your litfic-loving friend without them turning up their nose (and she might even ask for more like this).

Be warned; this book ends on a helluva cliffhanger, so don’t expect resolution. It’s got a satisfying conclusion in some aspects, but definitely leaves you dying for The Truth About Him.

TV Recaps

Recap: Indian Summers Episode 1 (1×1)

Indian Summers

Last night, Masterpiece Theatre unveiled a super-sized episode of Indian Summers. We are plunged immediately into the action in the Himalayan hill station of Simla in 1932. Alice Whelan, fleeing a faithless husband in England and passing herself off as a widow, arrives with her baby, where her brother Ralph is private secretary to the Viceroy. On the train she meets a rather nice missionary named Dougie Raworth who is traveling with Sarah, his harridan of a wife, and their young son. While Dougie is full of compassion, Sarah is definitely not a good person, a racist, and not to be trusted. The train unexpectedly stops in the middle of nowhere. Dougie and his assistant Leena leave the train to find out what the problem is. It turns out that a small boy has been left on the railway track, poisoned for being a half caste. Dougie and his assistant Leena save him, calling him Adam. Sarah is not happy at being left behind on the train without a word from her husband. It’s clear that something is going on between Leena and Dougie. I would suggest that Dougie work on his poker face when it comes to his wife.

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