Category Archives: Rhayne

4 Star and 3 Star Review for Endless Winter (Guardians of The Light #1) by J.A. Armitage #FF #Fantasy

Cover

Title: Endless Winter (Guardians of The Light #1)
Author Name: J.A. Armitage
Publication Date & Length: January 18, 2014 – 314 pgs

Synopsis

Imagine falling in love for the first time, the adrenaline, the flutters. Now imagine being told you had to have a baby with somebody else…
Trapped in an unfamiliar room with no way out, Anais has no idea just how much her life is about to change. A locked door stands between her and freedom but as she is just about to find out, the door is the least of her problems.
Anais had never believed in demons and vampires so when she is transported into a dark world that she doesn’t understand she is forced to realise that humans can be the most terrifying monsters of all. Yet in the shade of her new life she finds light in the most unexpected place of all. In this occult paranormal romance, follow Anais into the realm of The Guardians of The Light and into a mystery saga filled with temptation, loss, fear and above all love.

Review

FourStars

Reading this book could be likened to riding a roller coaster. It starts of full of excitement, which gets the reader hooked, then builds up the excitement and as it almost nears a peak it slows down. The opening chapter really was fascinating but then I began to feel as if things were getting just a little unbelievable. However, obviously J A Armitage is a very talented author because just as you begin to loose belief then a totally believable explanation is offered and so the exciting ride continues.
  All the charters are all very different and fascinating and the way they are described and the settings give this book a real ephemeral feel
A very gentle love story between the two young female adults begins to emerge and is handled in a very delicate way. Personally I felt more of this relationship would have been justified and it would have given more depth to the emotional side of the novel
Although the ending was a little predictable it did not take away from the reader the anticipation of wanting to read a further book in what is becoming a fascinating series.
Chris
ThreeStar

While I enjoyed the plot idea and overall concept of this book, it was very hard to get into. The first several chapters proved to be an overload of telling over showing and that trend didn’t lighten over the rest of the book. There were several sections I believe could have used some form of dialog to break up the long stretches of tell, tell, tell. While the characters weren’t totally flat they could have used a bit more development and I would have liked to see a little more buildup of the eventual romantic interactions between the two main female characters.

 

There were a handful of areas in the second half of the book which I believe were wasted opportunities at conflict which could have added some tension and even hilarity to the book. Without giving too much in the area of spoilers, the situation between the MC and her love interests brother could have been utilized much better I think. The writing wasn’t bad though I do believe that if the author were to make some adjustments and hire a beta reader and an editor to run through it at least once it would tighten it up and make an okay book completely amazing. The concept is strong and interesting and with some work this book could become a favorite.

~Rhayne

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5 Star, TWO 4 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Telling Lies Online by Miranda MacLeod #FF #Romance

Cover

Title: Telling Lies Online
Author Name & Publisher: Miranda MacLeod (Apple Blossom Press)
Publication Date & Length: February 1, 2016 – 216 pgs

Synopsis

When her dating app decides she’s a man, what’s a lonely lesbian to do?

Jamie Richards is a scientist who embraces reason– except when it comes to romance. Tired of her impulsive streak leaving her heartbroken, she’s determined to do everything right the next time she’s in love. But her resolve crumbles when a technical glitch matches her with perfection in Claire, a woman who lives on the opposite side of the country. Who is straight. And under the impression that Jamie’s a guy. But Jamie can’t help being smitten. Would one tiny lie be so terrible if it gets her closer to the woman of her dreams?

Claire Flores is a dreamer and a believer in signs, but she has a secret that keeps her cautious about love. All she wants is a picture-perfect family of her own, but she’s never met a man who attracts her. Until now. Throwing caution to the wind, she goes from Portland to Boston to meet Jay, her online love. Instead she meets Jamie, his work colleague, who befriends her in Jay’s unexpected absence. Claire’s heart is aflutter. Jamie stirs up feelings Claire never knew possible, but how close can she get without having to admit that she’s been lying to herself about her dreams all along?

What starts as a simple fib soon snowballs as Jamie fabricates increasingly ridiculous tales to keep her identity as Jay under wraps, until a comedy of errors threatens to topple the whole charade to the ground. Can true love prevail when it’s founded on a lie?

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Review

FiveStars

When trying internet dating Jamie and Claire get to know each other. The only problem is that Claire thinks Jamie is a man and lives nearby. A computer glitch caused the misunderstanding but Jamie is so smitten that she doesn’t correct the mistake.
The story revolves around Jamie keeping up the pretence and Claire slowly falling in love with her. I really liked both characters and wanted it all to work out for them. Jamie didn’t keep up the’lie’ about the non-existent boyfriend, Jay, out of malice, but because once she got to know Claire she was in love and didn’t want to lose her. Claire was in denial about being a lesbian but as she became closer to Jamie she couldn’t help but fall for her. They were so right for each other. But the path of true love didn’t run smoothly.
This was a really happy, funny, joyful read and I couldn’t stop reading. I love how the story unravelled and the settings also captivated me – Boston was magical and old Norwich sounded wonderful. Thoroughly recommended.

Kitty Kat

FourStars

This is a story that I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own. I’m not one for reading that story about the lies people enmesh themselves with, compounding their initial mistake with lie after lie until the whole thing topples down around them in the inevitable crash that it was all headed for from the beginning little lie. I myself am rather painfully honest, so sometimes reading about people getting themselves into these situations agitates me, especially when I really like the character. It’s almost like you want to smack them upside the face and yell at them to rip the bandaid off quickly. So I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up on my own. And I would have missed out on a very entertaining read. Yes, there is that sense of inevitability to the direction of the story, because Jamie “Jay” Lee passes on several chances to ‘fess up. And you can see the betrayal getting bigger and bigger, because Jamie is using insider knowledge to get closer to Claire.

The whole thing about this glitch with the dating chat site that Jay and Claire have both subscribed to is that it seems to bring fate into it. Even though I’m not sure that was a theme of the book itself. Because Claire seems to be lying to herself about her own sexuality, and the computer glitch is the only thing that allowed the two to actually connect in the first place. Claire seems extremely impetuous and not really very sensible. And both are hopeless romantics. So by the time we get to the big reveal, we’re actually rooting for the two of them, and wanting to smack Claire upside the head instead of Jamie. I have to give MacLeod kudos for the scope of the spiraling events that lead to Jay finally revealing herself to Claire. I was in awe, and that series of events made the whole inevitability of the plotline worth reading through in and of itself.

In the end, it seems like Claire’s “signs” help bring about a resolution that strikes me as really sweet, and again, kind of fated. Which is extremely romantic. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable story with likeable characters. And I’ll be looking for this author’s name in the future.

Amy P.

ThreeStar

This book is well written and the author obviously a very competent writer. However I found the content full of lesbian stereotypical assumptions, even if they were written in an updated context. I also found the basis of the plot, personally, a little distasteful.
I felt from the outset that the outcome was very predictable and there were far to many coincidences to be genuine or real. For me there was not enough humour to make the plot acceptable and not serious enough to make it believable.
This was a book that was easy to read and would fill in a few hours of your time in a likeable enough manner. Personally I would have preferred much more substance and reality.
Chris
FourStars

I do my best to not go into books from authors I’ve never read before with expectations. I managed to build some up after reading the synopsis for this book and I’m very happy to say that it was everything I expected it to be and more! The plot was an attention grabber and the hilarious situations the MC managed to get herself into with her love interest made me chuckle and shake my head. The entire story flowed well, had a nice arc to it and kept you interested, never knowing what was going to happen next.

 

The characters were, I felt, well planned and just as well written and they interacted beautifully, nothing coming across as overly ‘fairy tale’ with ups and downs, twists and turns. There were moments I was laughing so hard I scared the dog and others when I was on the verge of tears hoping things would work out. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you wondering ‘Will they or won’t they?’ this is definitely one to consider!

~Rhayne

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5 and THREE 4 Star Reviews for Starstruck by Lesley Davis #FF #suspense #Romance

1.1

Title: Starstruck
Author Name & Publisher: Lesley Davis (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: January 19, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Actress Cassidy “C.J.” Hayes is famous for her role in The Alchemidens, a fantasy show where she plays a kick-ass heroine. Her rising success has brought her quickly under Hollywood’s glaring spotlight. It also gained her the unwelcome attentions of an obsessive fan who wants more than just an autograph. Aiden Darrow is both a well-respected screenwriter and a writer of lesbian romances. As a big fan of actress C.J. Hayes, Aiden is astounded when the woman of her dreams ends up moving into the house next door to her. Their attraction is undeniable, but Cassidy is understandably nervous about getting too close to anyone. Aiden, meanwhile, is trying to separate reality from fiction because Cassidy is nothing like the character she portrays so well. All through her childhood, Aiden dreamed of a hero to come rescue her, but can she be the hero that Cassidy so desperately needs now?

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Review

FiveStars

This is an absolutely blistering book. One of the best books I have read in ages. It was quirky, it made me laugh and above all when I finished reading it – it left me feeling really good.
A book that it is hard to put down, I kept on thinking one more chapter, but one was never enough. The leading ladies are both really likeable with strong characters but most important was their individual streaks of vulnerability, making them both very believable. The author presents the book almost like a fairy tale but for adults. Lovely comparisons, between good and evil, brave swashbuckling heroines and courtly adventures.There is the comic best friends, the down trodden policeman and the very evil protagonist.  However when called for the tension is palatable. The growing bond between the two women is beautifully portrayed, with deep emotion and sensitivity.
The author  holds your attention throughout the book and keeps a fine balance between, humour and romance and unease and trepidation in a spell binding way. A truly gem of a book which I can thoroughly recommend to anyone looking for a well written book that is unique and compelling. I can’t wait to read more from this excellent author.
Chris
FourStars
Cassidy is a hot Sci-fi super hero actress and moves next door to lesfic writer and sci-fi geek Aiden. Cassidy is in hiding of sorts, in order to escape from a mad stalker. Aiden has been a big fan of Cassidy for years but falls hard for the real person and not the TV character. Cassidy is equally smitten by Aiden who it transpires has a huge fan base of her own. Her novels are a huge hit with Cassidy’s co-star and friend Mischa who is a brilliant character and so full of life and mischief. She was my favourite character in the book. She was funny, fun and her family were a great addition to the whole tale.
The stalker story gives some threat to the story and makes the relationship between the two women even closer. He was always in the background, his presence malevolent and creepy. The steamy scenes were really well written and their growing closeness felt authentic. I also enjoyed the sci-fi convention description. Having attended a few myself I can attest that Lesley Davis got it spot on, from the Cosplay attendees, to the star talks and the entire feeling of such an event.

I enjoyed the book. It was a light read and really quite fun.
Kitty Kat
FourStars

This story kept my interest throughout and made me keep turning pages. The story between Cassidy and Aiden is sweet, and reading about them falling in love was a treasure. At the same time, Cassidy is facing some serious problems with the police unable to catch her stalker, and that makes for some tense scenes. I loved Aiden’s geeky quirks and Cassidy seemed the perfect geek dream come true. But it was also interesting that Aiden differentiated so easily between Cassidy and the role she plays, after a bit of initial confusion. That was important for both of them. I got just as frustrated as they did that the police seemed ineffective at stopping the stalker, even though they knew exactly who he was. It was disorienting to hear what his thoughts were and compare those to the notes he actually left Cassidy, and it shows how out of touch with reality he really was.

The conclusion was tense and gripping and exciting, and just a bit scary as well. I’m glad the two found each other. Definitely a good read.

Amy P.

FourStars

This book started out a little shaky, the first three chapters left me wondering what to expect from the rest of the book. Thankfully it leveled out and the remainder of the work kept me flipping pages, interested to see what would happen next. The characters were well developed and had realistic interactions (and reactions) to situations and each other. The plot was deep, twisted and totally creepy in the best way possible!

 

I couldn’t wait to see what kind of mess the two MCs would end up in as the story progressed and I wasn’t disappointed! I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good edge of your seat type plot with a romance chaser. Well done!

~Rhayne

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TWO 5 and ONE 4.5 Star Review for The Caphenon (Chronicles of Alsea #1) by Fletcher DeLancey #FF #SciFi

1.5

Title: The Caphenon (Chronicles of Alsea #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Fletcher DeLaney (Yiva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: March 10, 2015 – 374 pgs

Synopsis

On a summer night like any other, an emergency call sounds in the quarters of Andira Tal, Lancer of Alsea. The news is shocking: not only is there other intelligent life in the universe, but it’s landing on the planet right now.
Tal leads the first responding team and ends up rescuing aliens who have a frightening story to tell. They protected Alsea from a terrible fate—but the reprieve is only temporary.
Captain Ekayta Serrano of the Fleet ship Caphenon serves the Protectorate, a confederation of worlds with a common political philosophy. She has just sacrificed her ship to save Alsea, yet political maneuvering may mean she did it all for nothing.
Alsea is now a prize to be bought and sold by galactic forces far more powerful than a tiny backwater planet. But Lancer Tal is not one to accept a fate imposed by aliens, and she’ll do whatever it takes save her world.

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Review

FiveStars

Once in a while, you come across a book that speaks to you on so many levels that you can’t rate it high enough. This book did that for me. I fell in love with the world. I fell in love with the characters. And I fell in love with the events and the way all those involved met those events head on and triumphed, whether they survived or not. Admittedly, I am a sci-fi geek, so yes, this book seems to be written for me. If sci-fi isn’t your thing, you’ll probably still like the book, because it’s that good, but you may not l-o-v-e the book like I do. And that’s a shame. Because everybody should love this book. I can’t say enough good things about it. I love the fact that we’re reading about an alien invasion from a viewpoint where we’re the aliens. I love the society DeLancey has built. I felt bad for Lancer Tal at the end of the book – she remains alone and you feel that isolation. I see that may change in the second book of the series, but part of me is afraid to read it. This was such a great book, and if the sequels don’t live up to the first, I’ll be so disappointed. But I will end up reading them, because Lancer Tal made me love her, and I need to read more of her story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I loved it. Did I say love enough? Loved it.

Amy P.

FiveStars

What a brilliantly and well written novel this was. Technical enough to be realistically based in the future but understandable for us mere mortals here on earth.
I felt there were almost two stories in one, the actual story regarding the invasion and the other the mission to seek and to find evidence. The two ran beautifully alongside each other brought together by the growing attraction of two of the main characters.
The author carefully wove a tale reflecting many similarities between the way future cultures and planets treated each other and the way we perceive and deal with different countries and cultures now. A very clever interpretation and observation.
An accomplished novel by a talented author and authority based on scientific fact and believable futuristic lives, surroundings and situations. I certainly look forward to future novels based on this one.
Chris

FourandHalfStarsThis book was everything I hoped/expected it to be and more! I was hooked early on by the description and scenarios and couldn’t stop reading it. The characters were engaging and made me cross my fingers hoping things would work out in their favor. This left me torn several times throughout the story as it seemed having things work out for one might be detrimental to another.

 

The connection between the main character and the object of her affection was intense and beautiful and I was rooting for them from the beginning. Through twists, turns, fights, make-ups and a little back-stabbing I had my fingers crossed for them. The friendships were just as intense and the connection of the Captain with her crew was a lovely thing and I truly felt they were like family.

 

The dialog was well written and moved the story along smoothly, even when shouting matches broke out. The twists had me biting my nails (literally!) and worrying everything was about to go belly up for the Captain several times. Well formatted and beautifully executed I can’t wait for the next in this engaging series!

~Rhayne

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ONE 5 stars, FOUR 4 Star and ONE 3 Star Reviews for Stuck Landing (Bluewater Bay #11) by Lauren Gallagher #FF #Romance @GallagherWitt

1.5

Title: Stuck Landing (Bluewater Bay #11)
Author Name & Publisher: Lauren Gallagher (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: December 14, 2015 – 196 pgs

Synopsis

For months, acclaimed Wolf’s Landing director/producer Anna Maxwell has been nursing a crush on Natalya Izmaylova, a former Russian gymnast and current Wolf’s Landing stunt coordinator. When Anna witnesses Natalya’s very public breakup with her boyfriend, she can’t resist inviting her over for drinks to commiserate about love and all that nonsense. Commiseration doesn’t last long, and soon Anna’s in bed with the hottest woman she’s ever touched, living out fantasies she didn’t even know she had.

Despite the amazing sex, Anna wants to proceed with caution. They’re both newly single. They’re colleagues. And there’s the not-so-small matter of Anna’s biphobia.

Natalya won’t commit to someone who clings to ridiculous stereotypes, but they can’t avoid each other at work, and there’s no ignoring their chemistry. Anna’s defenses are slowly eroding, and Natalya is willing to give her another chance. But Natalya only has so much patience, and even scorching hot sex won’t keep her coming back forever. If Anna doesn’t come to her senses soon and let go of her prejudices — not to mention her insecurities — she’s going to lose the woman of her dreams.

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Review

FiveStars

I’m always excited to see a good bi story, and I’m especially happy to see a bi FF. I took a chance on an author I’ve never read before because I liked the premise. I’m really glad I did.

As a story, I think this was just fine. It’s pretty much your typical romance, mostly focused on the relationships between the partners. This worked well, and despite Anna’s ongoing biphobia (I’ll get to that), I liked her a lot. I loved Natalya, and I could read about her forever and ever. There was excellent chemistry and very, very hot sex. So even though I tend to like more story outside the romance, this was still good fun.

Now for my favorite part: This is a bi story, about biphobia, told from the point of view of the person who is wary of bi people. That was a new perspective for me, and I loved it. I enjoyed Anna’s growth, and I liked that she didn’t go from not trusting to Sudden Activist Ally in three seconds flat. She needed time and friends to help her process. It worked well, and I felt like this book was not aimed at “educating” people about being bi but was for bi folks as something relatable. Would some people find it a bit much? Yes, probably, but likely only because they’ve never experienced it themselves.

I think this is part of a larger series, which I haven’t read (and maybe should do so now!). So some parts might have needed a bit of context. However, it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the story. I loved the little surprise near the end (which I won’t spoil, though I’m not even sure if it’s a spoiler for readers of the series).

This was definitely worth taking a chance on, and I’d say Ms. Gallagher stuck her landing perfectly.

~Amy

FourStars

The start of this story worked brilliantly. Break up. Meet a hot colleague at the gym. Hook up. Great sex. Fantastic connection. Then completely freak out? Anna’s panic and irrational angst really didn’t work for me. The woman is producing one of the hottest series ever. She comes across as powerful, confident and composed in every area of her life except in her relationships with women.

So…maybe this is a little bit realistic. Because Anna is a director and producer, she has an overview of the Wolf’s Landing production that previous characters haven’t. I really enjoyed the glimpses of Hollywood in this story. I keep thinking of Wolf’s Landing as a cross between True Blood and Game of Thrones and I love learning more about the show in each installment of this series.

I love LA Witt’s writing and the Bluewater Bay series, which is why I signed up for this one. I’m not a huge f/f fan. I don’t get on with the emotional angst, the endless conversations and the agonizing self-doubt. This author doesn’t do this to her m/m characters, so I was hoping she would find a way to free up her f/f characters. But this is still f/f. It is full of circular conversations and inner monologues where every emotion is scrutinised, every action analysed over and over and over. Urgh!

Natalya is a brilliant character. I love her back story, love her attitude, love her power. She is so great that at times I just wanted to get her away from all of Anna’s crazy. When the women are together, the sex is really hot. But I was never fully sure of the relationship. This is told in the first person, from Anna’s perspective, making it difficult to evaluate Natalya’s commitment. Anna is so hurtful that the connection between her and Natalya never fully blossoms into one of the beautifully sexy romantic friendships that LA Witt writes so well.

I enjoyed this, but I didn’t love it as much as I usually love an LA Witt story.

Sarah

FourStars

This was an awesome story. There’s the obvious conflict about the prejudice that bisexuals have to deal with, a sense that some people have that being bisexual is easy, or that they’re sitting on the fence refusing to make a choice, or that being with people of both sexes makes them promiscuous or indiscriminate or somehow lesser. But this story gets a little deeper than those surface concerns and takes a look at the truths of some of those prejudices. I found the whole thing fascinating, as well as educational. While I know logically that these prejudices are just as unfounded and ridiculous as most prejudices are, I also know that emotionally sometimes it’s hard to look past the surface. Because what this book really is about is the scary thought about opening yourself up to someone who has the power to hurt you, and the fears and insecurities that you have about yourself. It’s easy to reflect those fears onto others and use that as an excuse to not even try. But you don’t get to choose who you love. The only choice is whether you can get past your own fear and insecurity to embrace it. I learned a lot about biphobia, bisexuality, and even a bit about bisexual erasure in this book, and it opened my eyes to some things that I didn’t even know I felt. But the whole thing is done without being preachy or judgmental, which is a triumph in and of itself. Great romance, great story. I would definitely recommend it.

Amy P.

FourStars

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this book and so I had no real expectations for it. What I ended up reading was a well-planned and twisting story which kept me interested and often shaking my head at the main character. The back and forth between the two women involved in the main portion of this story was frustrating in the best kind of way. The main characters’ friendships were wonderfully deep and left a smile on my face with every interaction.

 

The dialog was well thought out and executed wonderfully, keeping things moving forward (even when the character herself was backtracking!) I enjoyed this story, the characters, the plot, the conversations and pretty much everything else involved. I look forward to reading more from this set!

~Rhayne

FourStars

If you are looking for a hot romance with plenty of sultry details then this novel will not let you down. The author has certainly written a sizzling book, so if you are looking to while away a few hours and want to be entertained by lots of sultry scenes, then this novel will not disappoint.
What Ms Gallagher did impress me with was her take on bi sexual individuals and the trials and tribulations they were subjected to. It certainly made me look and acknowledge aspects I had not previously thought about or even considered. Ms Gallagher did this in a very informative and sympathetic way.
Another plus to this book was the employment of the two leading women who both worked in what was historically considered to be a mans profession, a very nice twist.
Personally I would have like the story line embellished more and Ms Gallagher certainly laid the seeds of great possibilities, Russians looking to enter the country, a cut throat industry etc. However this was a diverting and lively novel.
Chris

ThreeStar

 Anna is a high profile producer/director on a major TV show. After an acrimonious split with her girlfriend Leigh she invites the beautiful Natalya, ex-gymnast and stunt co-ordinator on the show, to have drinks. Natalya has recently broken up with her boyfriend and the two commiserate with each other. One thing leads to another and they end up sleeping together.
Although the pair have an amazingly sexy time together Anna can’t stop over-analysing everything and is obsessed by the fact that Natalya is bisexual. She is convinced bi women will always leave you for a man in the end. Her biphobia is overwhelming her and it could ruin any chance of happiness they have.
I found the page after page of analysing the relationship relentless. I got the point after the first page of it- there really was no need to take up quite so much of the story going over it again and again. I get that the author was trying to get across a point about biphobia and how difficult it is for bi women but there was too much of it.
It was a good story though and enjoyable , if you can skip over the analysis ad infinitum. The characters were really interesting and I liked them a lot. I also enjoyed all the other characters on the periphery of the story. They helped Anna see what she was doing to their relationship.
Kitty Kat

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TWO 4 and 4.5 Stars for Sight Lines by Michelle DiCeglio #Crime #FF

1.5

Title: Sight Lines
Author Name & Publisher: Michelle DiCeglio (Ellora’s Cave Publishing LLC)
Publication Date & Length: November 6, 2015 – 138 pgs

Synopsis

While investigating a serial killer in her small town, Detective Lacey Mills meets Alison Rhodes, a potential witness to one of the crimes. But as the murders get more intense, so do Detective Mills’ feelings for Alison—and her suspicions that Ali may be more than just a witness.

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Review

FourStars

Lacey Mills is a dedicated police detective who lives for her work. After losing her girlfriend Tara two years previously, she has steered clear of any romantic involvement.
Whilst investigating a series of murders of young women in Vantage Woods, she meets Ali, a beautiful web designer and a witness on the periphery of the case. Despite misgivings Lacey allows herself to become involved with Ali.
The case under investigation was engaging as was the developing relationship between the two women. Lacey finds herself in danger more than once and revelations about the case and about Ali make her re-evaluate her life. This was all well written and kept me attention. I enjoyed the book and could see the characters develop more and series come out of it.
Kitty Kat

FourandHalfStarsThis book is a bit outside my usual reading genre but I decided to give it a chance anyway. I must say I wasn’t disappointed! The characters were well developed, the plot felt thought through and solid and the twists I was run through while reading were amazing! Great dialog, beautiful description and plenty of shocking moments made this a page turner and kept me on the edge of my seat.

 

I definitely applaud the author for the suspense brought on awaiting the reveal of Ali’s secret, as well as the terror I felt thinking Lacey might be right in her own assumption! Murder, intrigue, lies, secrets, romance and a serial killer… What more can you ask for? Well written and formatted as well as being beautifully plotted with an amazing feel a flow I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends!

~Rhayne

FourStars

I liked this book. However, as with most mysteries, I felt clueless and lost. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one. The main character seems to be going around in circles just like me. I actually liked that a little, as it made me feel like I wasn’t the only slow person on the case. The case did give me a couple of head-scratching moments though. First, if it’s been two years and 6 murders, would the police department not consider asking for help from the FBI? The only outside help they asked for was a profile of a serial killer that came back extremely vague.

Second, I’m not sure how one person, working alone, put together all the evidence that police never picked up on. I can understand some people not wanting to talk to the police, but I’m not sure I believe those people would talk to someone else who’s asking the same questions. Third, I thought Lacey’s reaction to finding out about Ali was extreme. I suppose it’s understandable after how much stress Lacey was under, but she wouldn’t even listen to Ali when she tried to explain. It’s difficult to understand shutting her out completely.

All in all, the book was interesting, and flowed really well, making it easy to read. And it kept my interest. I’d have no hesitation recommending this book to others.

~AmyP

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5, 4 and 4.5 stars for Beauty and Cruelty by Meredith Katz #FF #Fantasy @LT3Press

26758884

Title: Beauty and Cruelty
Author Name & Publisher: Meredith Katz (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 23, 2015 (174 pages)

Synopsis

Cruelty, once an evil fairy and now working in fast food, comes home one day to find the lazy, drooling King of Cats on her doorstep. Worse, he comes bearing news Cruelty would be happier not hearing: Sleeping Beauty has gotten tired of lying around and is trying to save the world Cruelty left long ago.

Any respectable Archetype knows it’s a waste of time; their chances of survival are much better if they can hide in the human world. But since nobody sent her an invitation to the world-saving, she’s practically obligated to interfere.

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Review

FiveStars

After reading this book the question I asked myself was, is this A very good true fairy tale being told, or, A good very true tale, being fairly told?
If you are looking for a happy magical light tale based on fairy tales this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a well written book that turns fairy tales on their heads and associates and aligns them  and then incorporates them into real life situations then this is a book you should read.
I found this quite a heavy book in many ways, it  touched on so many aspects, race, sexuality, politics, relationships, what is amiss in society to name but a few. It is the sort of book that allows you to make your own connections,  reach your own options, allows you so many insights into life while permitting you to reach your own judgements. I have no doubt that readers will each reach their own opinion  and conclusions.
There are some humorous interludes, many by the Cat and Rue herself. The author weaves a really intricate tale, I particularly liked the play on words with Cruelty’s name which was just one example.
I do recommend this book and think it’s one of those books that the more times you read it the more things you will identify. A very unique and original book.
Chris

FourStars

This was a rather interesting intermingling of several old fairy tales that kept me chuckling through to the very end. While I feel like there could have been more in the way of content and conflict (as in there was plenty of missed opportunity to cause mischief) it was pretty good overall. I can’t see it being one I’d read again simply because the underlying suspense wouldn’t be present in a second reading but I would definitely recommend it for someone looking for a fun, decent read. With visits from characters throughout the fairytale world it has a little something for everyone!

~Rhayne

FourandHalfStars

I’m not sure if this concept has been done before or not, but I found it refreshing and innovative, and it immediately grabbed my attention and dragged me into the book. The idea of these fairy tale Archetypes dying from disbelief, and deciding to do something about it just hit me the right way at the right time. Our main character, Cruelty, or Rue as she’s known in the human world, is a villain, only she’s not doing many villainous things these days. Whether that’s because she’s trying to survive or because the human world has changed her is a matter for debate, but I think it’s a little of both. And she isn’t the only one who’s changing. The heroine of her story, Sleeping Beauty, is changing as well, and it is changing their world.

The basic conflict is that since humans don’t believe in fairy tales anymore, the Archetypes of fairy tales are finding their world disappearing. The solution? Get humans to believe again. The way that they go about this goal changes them, their world, and the relationship between them. The best part of this is that Cruelty is a reluctant participant, in every way. The changes are making her seem less a villain and more of a kinder, gentler fairy. And she doesn’t like it one bit. But Change is rolling over her, and she has the choice of going with it, or getting flattened by it.

The story ends with hope, but it isn’t exactly a happy ever after, for Beauty and Cruelty, or their world. Which is exactly what Cruelty’s personality can accommodate, and a clever decision by Katz. I definitely recommend this book.

~AmyP

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