These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Review: Seeds of Malice

Seeds of Malice Seeds of Malice by Dale Mayer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Seeds of Malice is my second Dale Mayer read. After reading and enjoying Flynn's Firecracker, I was interested in reading more of the authors work. Whilst Seeds of Malice was a decent read, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Flynn’s Firecracker.

In all honesty, I spent a long time debating what rating to give this book. It’s a three-point-five star rating, and I couldn’t decide if I should round up or whether I should round down. Although there were some four star moments in this read, I felt as though there wasn’t quite enough for me to round my rating up. Even though I opted to round down to the three stars, know it is more than a simple three star rating.

Although this is the eleventh book in the Psychic Visions series, it can be read as a standalone novel. I read it as a standalone novel, and I believe many of my issues were a result of this fact. It may work as a standalone novel, but I feel as though I did not get the full experience through reading it as such. I feel as though I would have enjoyed this one a lot more hand I read the prior books in the series.

You see, I had so many questions. Whilst some elements of the story did become clearer as it progressed, I was still lacking in a real understanding by the end of the story. I had questions about characters and the events that took place, about details that were mentioned and never explained in full detail. My questions regarding the individual storylines of the main characters were answered, but my questions about the bigger picture are still sitting there. As someone who enjoys the bigger picture, I was left feeling somewhat discontent with this one. It really does depend upon your views as to whether or not you’re willing to jump into this story as a standalone or whether you wish to read it in relation to the rest of the series. I’m not at all sure how well it links in with the rest of the series, but I am interested in finding out more.

Of course, I could not give a three star rating simply because I read the books out of order. It would be unfair to round down due to a choice I made. Due to this, my reason for rounding my rating down is multifaceted.

My other Dale Mayer read was an extremely gripping read, filled with thrills and endless action. In comparison, Seeds of Malice felt very slow. Rather than looking at the here and now, a lot of the drama was retrospective. There were some moments of action and drama within this one, but it was nowhere near what I had been anticipating based upon my reading of Flynn’s Firecracker. I wanted things to move quicker, I wanted more edge of the seat moments.

In addition, the ties that brought everything together felt somewhat forced. There were many interesting elements to this story, but I feel as though the connections between them were not all they could have been. I love it when there’s a good mystery tied together by many smaller parts, but only if it flows well. Although some elements flowed better than others, I felt as though it didn’t flow as well as it could have. Some of the details felt as though they weren’t explained quite as well as they could have been.

Due to this, some of the scenes felt as though they were lacking in the depth they could have had. The emotions weren’t as deep as they could have been, events seemed to come out of nowhere, and it jarred me out of the story. Throughout I was thoroughly addicted, curious as to how things would play out, but it wasn’t the powerful read I had been hoping to receive.

Whilst I will be reading more of Dale Mayer’s work, I’m crossing my fingers the future books I pick up will be more like Flynn’s Firecracker. Although Seeds of Malice was enjoyable, it wasn’t what it could have been.

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Blog Tour: Seeds of Malice.

Charged with murder. Betrayed by her lover. Shunned by her friends. 

After being acquitted of the murder, botanist Fern Geller runs from her past to learn everything she can about poisonous plants. She ends up doing a six month contract at the Garden of Death before finding the answer she's seeking... 

When she returns to the same conservatory where she'd worked before, the new boss is missing and several other men are dead. Once again, all eyes turn her way. 

FBI agent, London Behring hadn't expected Fern to look like she does now. Ethereal. Gorgeous. Gentle. Why and how had she been a murder suspect? Even more intriguing, how had she been acquitted of all charges? And more mysteriously, she'd come back to the scene of the crime... at the perfect time to fall under suspicion - again. 
What magic did she possess to walk away from such crimes? And how can he stay free of her charms... a lure he's finding impossible to resist.

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). 

 She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres! 

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format. 

To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at m. Or connect with her online with Twitter at lemayer and on Facebook at www.fac If you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in joining her street team, sign up here - 2660/  

Monday, July 17
Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Guest blogging at Mythical Books

Tuesday, July 18
Book featured at Chill and Read
Guest blogging at Hot off the Shelves

Wednesday, July 19
Interviewed at T's Stuff
Book featured at Cuzinlogic
Book featured at Happily Ever After Romance Book Reviews

Thursday, July 20
Book featured at The Bookworm Chronicles
Book featured at Perfect at Midnight

Friday, July 21
Book reviewed at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

Saturday, July 22
Guest blogging at Indie Wish List

Sunday, July 23
Book reviewed at Bibliophile Ramblings

Monday, July 24
Book featured at A Title Wave

Tuesday, July 25
Guest blogging at Must Read Faster

Wednesday, July 26
Book featured at A Book Lover

Thursday, July 27
Guest blogging at Comfy Chair Books

Friday, July 28
Book featured at Mello and June

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Review: Holden

Holden Holden by Julia Sykes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earlier this year I read Dark Lessons by Julia Sykes and was instantly left wanting to read more of her work. I went ahead and brought her Impossible series, the entire notion intriguing me. Another series, her Dark Grove Plantation series, also grabbed my attention. I looked everywhere for Awakened, Taken, and Broken, but I could not find them. I found out they were being extensively re-written and re-titled, and I instantly put them on my to-read list. Holden is the first of these re-written and re-titled books.

In all honesty, I’m not usually a big lover of stories of this length. I have a serious love-hate relationship with short stories. That being said, I really enjoyed this one. I had a couple of problems with this, but for the most part it was a wonderful read.

I’ll begin with the good.

The characters were great. Quickly we fall in love with both of them, and the chemistry between them was wonderful. Told from alternating points of view, we get to see inside the minds of both the characters. They’re two very different characters, but they go so well together.

The romance was swoony worthy. It was steamy, exactly as you hope for from a Julia Sykes read. As I said, the characters have real chemistry, and this always helps with ensuring the steamy scenes are great. Not to mention, Julia Sykes simply seems to know how to write the hot stuff.

The storyline was interesting. It’s a very simple tale, but it is done so well. There’s nothing overly complex, meaning you’re pulled straight into the story, and your attention is held throughout. For such a short story, there is a lot to be found in this one. Plus, it leaves you curious about the stories that are to come in the future books.

Then the things that left me feeling somewhat unsure.

It’s a case of instalove. I’m not a fan of this, and cannot help but roll my eyes at the speed of the story. Everything took place within a matter of days. For me, that is not enough time for emotions to develop. Those who enjoy instalove will like this element of the story, but those who are not fans will be less than pleased.

The final chapter could have been more powerful. I enjoyed the way the story came together, I enjoy the events, yet the ending seemed to come about far too quickly. There was the potential for lots of emotions, but it didn’t quite hit the high notes it could have.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. I’ll certainly be reading the next Dark Grove Plantation story – I already have Brandon sitting on my Kindle – as this series promises to be a lot of fun. Well worth the read for anyone looking for a quick steamy read.

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Review: Industrial Magic

Industrial Magic Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Industrial Magic is the fourth book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, and it’s easily my favourite thus far. All the books have been enjoyable, each book seems to reach a new high, and I can only imagine what I will feel as I continue to work my way through this series. In all honesty, I’m annoyed it’s taking me so long to work my way through them. I’m so close to buying all the other books in the series and binge reading them across a week, such is my level of love for the world Kelley Armstrong has created.

I was a bit unsure about Paige and Lucas in Dime Store Magic, but I came to really love them by the end of the book. Thus, I was super excited to jump into Industrial Magic. I was somewhat nervous, as I’ve read a number of reviews where people have labelled this the weakest book in the series, but I adored it. It opened up so many new elements of the world and there were so many scenes that pulled at my heartstrings. It was a quite different read to the prior books, but that only made me enjoy it more.

In all honesty, I’m now heartbroken that we’ll be moving on from Paige and Lucas in the next book. I was disappointed when book three changed our characters to the duo, but now I want to stay with them for longer. I want to see what more happens in their world. I never anticipated falling so in love with the characters, but the events that took place throughout this story earned them a spot right up there alongside my other favourite characters. I’m positive I’ll love the future point of views, but books three and four will certainly hold a high spot for me throughout the rest of the series.

What I really loved about this one is how it has opened up so many possibilities for the world going forward. The characters we are introduce to and the events that unfold promise many great things in the future books. Not to mention, they were a lot of fun throughout this book. The new characters make for extremely interesting reads, giving us plenty of drama throughout the story. The events, whilst slow at times, leave us on the edge of our seats regarding how everything comes together. I’m a big fan of Kelley Armstrong, and throughout this story demonstrated why I’m such a big fan.

Overall, it was a wonderful read. I cannot wait to read the next book in the Women of the Otherworld series and find out where everything goes from here.

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Review: First Frost

First Frost First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Garden Spells was my first Sarah Addison Allen read, and it instantly left me wanting to read more of the author’s work. With there being a second Waverley Family book, I knew exactly where I would be heading for my next Sarah Addison Allen read.

Garden Spells was a truly magical read, one that left me in love with the magical realism world Sarah Addison Allen had created. It was such an uplifting story, with so many positively feelings, that I was left feeling light and breezy for days after reading it. I went in expecting the same thing of First Frost, but I was given something very different.

Whilst First Frost is a wonderful sequel, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed the first book. It grabbed me, it was an interesting story, and I enjoyed returning to the characters; however, it wasn’t what I had imagined it would be. The feeling of this book seemed to be much darker. Not that this was a dark read – considering the gritty crime novels I read on a regular basis, I doubt I could ever label a book in this genre truly dark – but it was not the light and fluffy read of Garden Spells. Whilst Garden Spells focused upon showing us all the good in life, this book seemed to exist to demonstrate not everything is perfect.

I love a good realistic read, yet it felt unusual for the sequel of Garden Spells to have such a feel to it. Due to it being so different, it took me a while to fall deep into this story. I enjoyed the tale, but it didn’t trap me in the way the first book did. It is still an enjoyable story, it still has many of the happy feelings sprinkled throughout, but it jarred with the Waverley Family image I had in mind.

Whilst it was nice to revisit the family, I can honestly say I did not enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the first book. It was a good read, but it wasn’t what I’d expected.

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Review: Garden Spells

Garden Spells Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Garden Spells is the first of the two Waverley Family books, and it will leave you diving straight into the second book. Honestly, it was a truly adorable read, addictive in so many ways.

My friend won this book in a giveaway and positively adored it, thus I knew I needed to give it a read. When she read the second book and enjoyed that too, I knew that I’d be jumping into the series as soon as I had the chance.

Garden Spells is a truly immersive magical realism world. It’s one of those magical realism books where the magic is extremely subtle. You know it is there, you can see it all around you, and yet it is never thrown in your face. Comments are consistently made, but there is none of the fireworks you often see in these stories. The magic is merely a background to the much deeper, more wonderful aspects of this story.

This is a story of family, of love, of being yourself. It’s one of those books with many deep meaningful messages. The kind that tells you so much without feeling like a lecture from your mother. From the very start, family plays a major role in this story. There’s reconnection, finding out truths, and being there for each other. Not long after, the romance is brought into this story. It mixes in so well with the family elements of the story, never becoming an over the top tale. It’s sweet and addictive, much like the entire book. Throughout it all, we have a darkness lurking in the background. You’re constantly waiting for the penny to drop, for the secrets to come together in an explosive manner.

It really was an addictive read. So lovely and sweet. Words cannot do justice to how adorable the story was. Without a doubt, it’s a worthwhile book.

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Review: The Assassin and the Desert

The Assassin and the Desert The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having read and enjoyed the first five Throne of Glass books and impatiently awaiting the sixth, I decided it was time to work my way through the five novellas offered up in The Assassin’s Blade. I’d debated reading these stories at an earlier stage, yet I found myself too pulled into the main story to take a detour. I’m there now, though. I’m holding out that these five stories will tide me over until the sixth book is released.

Upon finished The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I was unsure whether or not the stories would do much. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was an okay read, but for the most part I really didn’t care. The Assassin and the Healer improved upon the first novella, yet it still wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. It was enough to leave me with the belief the stories would improve. With The Assassin and the Desert, I’m back at my earlier stage. It was an okay read, but I really had expected so much more from this.

Whilst this story was better than The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I did not enjoy it as much as I enjoyed The Assassin and the Healer. I think it’s because I had the highest expectations for this one. It promises us so much, I was once again holding out hope for the deadly assassin story I’ve been crossing my fingers for throughout the entire series, yet it wasn’t quite what I had wanted.

Following the first two novellas, this one continues to show us our main character in the days before the main series. It is nice to see how everything came together, to see details that are alluded to in the main series, and to be given an insight into yet another part of the world. It was fun to pass the time, but I wasn’t crazy about this story. It was so slow, and it lacked the powerful punch I had been hoping this one would deliver.

I’m positive those obsessed with Throne of Glass will love this, but for me it was simply okay.

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