My Rating: 4 Stars
A fast, fun, comic read filled with supernatural characters and creatures. The life of Cassandra McKenna isn’t in a good phase. Duncan, her ex demon-hunter is back and determined to make her life very difficult. Not only he broke her heart over two centuries, he hunts Demonoid sorcerers like herself and also baths naked in her river every day. What’s a poor sorceress to do? Things take a sudden turn for the worse when a werewolf attacks Cassie. When Duncan comes to her rescue, they discover that other evil things are on the loose and more are about to come out. Can they stop evil from taking over? Can Cassandra forgive Duncan for his past mistakes?
A cosy fantasy novel filled with romance and many supernatural creatures. It’s not usually my type of reading but it was a good story to just enjoy the ride.
The plot is simple and easy to follow. There are some twists which keep the story interesting and the constant action peaks are an addition to the quick narrative. Lexi George did a great job with the chemistry between the main characters. Their unfinished business of more than two centuries old is a big part of the story and their interactions go hand in hand with the evil mojo. There is humour, funny moments but also heated passion and moments of true friendship. It’s not your typical teenage romance. These characters are mature and as adults, their interactions take a different turn.
The style of writing was acceptable even though there were moments where I struggled to get the meaning of certain phrases and was forced to re-read them several times. Even so, there is a certain charm to it.
The characters are very likeable and it’s easy to enjoy their interactions and individual adventures. The main female character, Cassandra is great: she’s strong, intelligent and doesn’t take hasted decisions, she thinks things through. She can also hold a grudge though. She’s feisty protective of the people she loves and will do anything to protect them. Duncan, the main male character, is, of course, a very handsome devil with two very different faces: the playful and tensing but also the cold warrior with an iron determination. He will anything to mend his relationship with Cassie after he broke her heart and left her to deal with a monster herself. The secondary characters add colour and humour to the story. Jeb is great, he definitely brings out fun times even when the reader doesn’t see him coming. The albino Sasquatch named Sugar is just something else.
An enjoyable cosy, mature, fantasy/romance book a bit different from most but still recommendable.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Lyrical Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 2 Stars
An averagely good thriller that keeps the mind engaged but doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
After a traumatizing encounter that left her adjusting to the new physical and mental scars, Cat Connolly, the first female detective in the Garda Síochána, has seen enough action to last a lifetime. When her friend and training partner Sarah Jane fails to show up to their training session, Cat decides to investigate. Sarah’s home was turned upside down, and her father, a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, admits to having warned her against pursuing a story. Things get even more complicated when a dead body is found in a brutal state but it turns out it’s not Sarah. Can Cat and Detective Inspector Dawson O’Rourke find her before it’s too late? Is it just a kidnapping or is there something darker laying in the dark alleys of Dublin?
I didn’t get to read the previous novel and the first adventure of Cat and DI O’Rourke, but still, I felt that this novel could be read as a standalone.
The plot is well structured and developed. The author explores the complex world of forensics and police procedures with enough detail to make the story believable. The pace is slow in the beginning and slowly begins to get more suspenseful and picks up a bit of speed. The end was unexpected and the mystery was tightly resolved, no loose ends.
The style of writing is easy to follow and it flows easily. The deep research on forensics and police procedures is definitely a plus, it gives depth to the plot. The descriptions at times were acceptable but in others, I thought there was too much detail. There were some conversations that, for me, didn’t add anything to the story or the characters.
With the characters I found myself having mixed opinions, but may that’s because I jumped the first novel. Cat Connolly is a badass main character. After going through hell in her previous adventure, she has to endure a long road of physical and psychological recovery. I could feel her passion for kickbox, her motivation to get better and to find objectives to help her move on. I think she wanted to feel useful and when her friend goes missing, she found a way escape her nightmares and to keep her mind busy. DI Dawson O’Rourke is a fine male character and his relationship with Cat makes even the reader feel safe in his ‘presence’. For Sarah Hansen, I didn’t see the depth or felt her connection to Cat. I would have liked to read more about her background story and her relationship with the main character. I felt a bit indifferent to her disappearance: If it were a member of Cat’s family or one of the male characters, it would have had a deeper impact for me.
I didn't connect with the book or it's characters, even if I do admire Cat for her strength. Hopefully the third one will be a bit better.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Zaffre Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A touching, memorable novel that goes into the horror of the Holocaust, how people lost everything and how it marked their lives. Be prepared to grieve and to hope.
This novel tells the story of two different people, Arthur Mandelkorn and Suzy Kohn. Arthur is desperately trying to find the sister that he was separated from during the war. At the same time, he tries to rebuild a life for him and his family in Israel. His story takes him around the world from London to Canada and back home where he tries to find lost family members. Suzy Kohn is a young teenager living in Toronto, whose life is turned upside down by the sudden death of her uncle. As her family shatters, Suzy finds comfort in the arms of a musician, but their relationship is far from being smooth. Their stories eventually intertwine in Israel by a love and an understanding that will change their lives forever.
This novel is truly something else. The storyline goes back and forward between the past and the present without being confusing. The reader is able to follow the story of each character in each timeline without losing the line of thought or mixing them up. For me, it was easy to understand how the two stories were connected almost right from the beginning but it didn’t damage any of the story’s beauty. The narrative moves at a steady pace and I just couldn’t get enough even when it brought tears to my eyes.
The settings change but the main treed of the story is always the same: the carnage and the suffering of the Jewish people. The author doesn’t sugar the facts of this horrifying time and even though I’m fully aware of what happened and the dimension of the damage, it was still not easy to read. The book not only gives the dark side of WW2; it also shows the length of the human endurance and the strength when hope and life seem lost. There is a contrast of settings in the novel, which completes the plot perfectly. On one side, we have Palestine in 1947; on the other, Toronto in the late 1960s.
The style of writing is beautiful and it definitely helps in the transition between timelines. It’s descriptive but not too much as to bore the reader. The writing flows and brings out all the right emotions throughout the story. I was taken on a rollercoaster of emotions with this book.
Sharon Hart-Green did a great job in creating and developing these characters. You really want to know more about them and walk with them through the novel, which is why the novel is so hard to put down. For me, it was easier to fall more into Arthur’s story than Suzy’s.
This novel is very well written and it portraits perfectly the struggles of the survivors of the Holocaust. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Thank you Sharon Hart-Green for reaching out and sending me your book in exchange for an honest review.
Social Media Just for Writers: How to Build Your Online Platform and Find and Engage with Your Readers by Frances Caballo
My Rating: 4 Stars
A great book for specialist and non-specialists of social media with great tips and strategies for social media management.
Frances Cabello outlines in 140 pages the details on setting a profile, develop a healthy network and gain a digital presence in order to promote books. As she uses different authors, strategies and tools to compare and recommend different possibilities, Cabello takes her readers on a simple, comprehensive journey through the best social media skills needed to have literary digital success.
The style of writing is simple, fluid and easy to follow. Together with the great organisation of the topics, Cabello created the perfect guide to navigate through social media.
The digital channels outlined in the book are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs and offline marketing. All the instructions are presented with screenshots and tips that are easy to understand. The level of knowledge develops through the chapters, going from creating profiles on the digital channels to which types of post are more effective and analysis of posts, followers and types of audience. Additionally, the author chooses dedication in pointing out add-ins, programs that give a boost to the reader’s knowledge.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for new strategies and simple tricks to boost their digital traffic and for writers looking for tips on how to sell their books more efficiently.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher ACT Communications and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great sequel to The Carver! A gripping adventure that gets better and better with each installment.
Enzo, Zack, and Rosana continue their exhaustive search for their family members. As they end up in Wonderland, their journey takes a turn to the crazy and the unpredictable. In a place where nothing is what it seems, friendships and trust will be put to the test. On the other side, the lost relatives are stuck in the Old World with no way of getting out. King Bellamy declares no one can leave. They have to join forces with old allies and enemies to escape imprisonment, find their children and defeat Queen Avoria. The queen fled from Wonderland and left the power to the King of Heart. His mission: to break Enzo and his friends. As she grows in power, the threat of war between kings too. Is there still hope of stopping her before it’s too late? Can the war be stopped? At what cost?
The Unseen takes a deeper dive into the story of Enzo, Rosana, and Zack. The reader gets to know them better and the character development is incredible. Each of them has come to accept their identity and the truth about their parents’ lives and their identities. With the past behind them, they now have to take a leap of faith in their own destinies and take a journey that will test their friendship and their courage.
The plot is very engaging and very well developed, much like the first one. The adventure is exciting, filled with humorous moments and dangerous tasks. It keeps the reader on their toes. Devlin is a master of connecting worlds and not losing track of the characters and the plot itself. Each individual mission comes together beautifully to complete a bigger picture. It’s exciting to see how they all fit: everything is connected and in the end, there aren’t loose ends. A dynamic and amusing story while enough twists to leave the reader running through the pages. The story is addictive!
The author is a great storyteller: the way he builds this fairytale world is fresh and it pulls the reader into the plot without much effort. The references he uses gives richness to the story. Characters are given depth, a consciousness and a character that will change the view of how fairytale characters are seen.
His style of writing flows perfectly and raw emotion jumps off the words. The setting is a place that readers are familiar with but Devlin’s re-imagines them but at the same time, the feeling of going to that world is the same. Keeping track of the different storylines comes naturally and no extra effort is needed to understand or follow them.
I highly recommend the reading of the previous novel of the Order of the Bell series and its sequel! I can’t wait for the next adventure of Enzo and his friends.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Blaze Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
A fun, cosy-mystery, perfect for a relaxing evening filled with laughter.
Maddie Kosloski shouldn’t be surprised when the Christmas Cow of San Benedetto’s goes up in flames. Every year the same thing happens and she can’t say she doesn’t feel a little bit happy since the cow moves the attention from her paranormal museum. However, this year proves to be a bit different. One of the guards of the Christmas Cow is found dead with an arrow through the chest. When the haunted cowbell in her museum starts developing a weird behaviour, the spirit animals in the place also start going a bit out of control. Can Maddie discover the truth before the killer puts a hole in someone else and madness takes over her museum?
This novel, just like the title indicates, is very amusing and fun. This was the second novel I read from this collection (yes, I still didn’t read the first book) and the auhor Kristen Weiss never ceases to surprise me with her humour and her different plots.
The cast from the previous instalment is back and it was nice to see the evolution of these characters compared with the previous novel. They are still a delight to accompany in the adventure and their depth makes the reader want to get to know them better. Maddie is a great main character, determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, together with Detective Slate. Her best friends
The plot is easy to follow but not easy to predict. There are enough twists to keep the reader guessing and all the weirdness of it makes the read very enjoyable. It was a treat to read and a delight to go deeper into the murder. You’ll never see San Benedetto’s the same way!
This book is definitely a good addition to the collection of the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Collection. I recommend it to the fans of a weird-in-a-good-way cosy-mystery type of book.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Midnight Ink and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Honourable Miss Fisher is back and this time for a story that considered one of the best.
Miss Phryne Fisher is approached by her two friends Cec and Bert to investigate the suspicious death of two of their army friends. Paris, 1918: Seven comrades walk through the station of Montparnasse after the war. Now, only five remain. When the number grows even smaller, it’s up to Miss Fisher to discover the truth of why they are getting silenced years later. Phyrne is forced to come face to face with her demons while investigating the disappearance of a young girl. Moreover, she might also need to find a new butler, as Mr Butler threats to leave if she doesn’t permanently cut ties with Mr Lin, who is about to get married. Does the life of a lady detective ever to be easy?
As I wrote on my previous Miss Fisher review, I’m a big fan of the TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and of Miss Fisher as a strong female character. Even so, I will not compare them, as they are a bit different.
The plots are well developed and integrated amongst each other. The main plot is the death of the two soldiers, followed by a mystery in Miss Fisher past and then the case of the missing girl. Kerry Greenwood did a great job in going back and forward in time and not losing track of characters and details. The historical details and the integration of known individuals give depth to the novel and add colour to it too.
The style of writing is simple but classy, just like everything else in this novel. It flows through the pages and the way the descriptions are made, for me it seemed like a painting on sale in the small streets next to the Seine. It’s charming by its simplicity.
The characters are, as always, the best part of the novel. Miss Fisher is an amazing character that stands out for her strength of character, her class and her ability to help anyone in need. She’s resourceful, completely unafraid to break the rules and, at the same time, she’s also vulnerable and afraid of the ghosts of her past. In this novel, the reader gets to have a glimpse of her difficult past. As she remembers her time during the war, we’re introduced to her time as an ambulance driver, to her lover and abuser that left deep scars about to get reopened. It’s an emotional part of the book that made me feel more connected to her than ever. She is truly one of the best female characters ever created for me.
I highly recommend this book to all the fans of Miss Fisher and/or of a strong charming lady detective.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Poisoned Pen Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A memorable, unique historical thriller packed with action and an impressive research of historical poisons. It’s very hard to believe this is a debut novel.
This is the tale of a female assassin on the 16th century that uses different poisons as weapon of choice. Lavinia Maud craves for the death fashioned by her own creations, her preys both poor and rich. However, fame brings risk to a higher level. Between avoiding the anger of her patron and struggling between love and death, Lavinia finds out the hard way that the heart is hard to silence and that revenge is served better with a tasteless poison.
Now, this is a new, refreshing novel with an original plot and a fantastic main character. A femme fatale that murders all levels of society, aiming for the ultimate game of her career: what is there not to like? It’s darkly compelling and addictive until the very last page.
The plot is brilliantly thought and developed. It’s fast paced with twists and turns that will swep the floor from under your feet. The originality of the plot is a breath of fresh air in the world of historical thrillers and the level of suspense is enough to make any heart skip a few beats.
The setting is perfectly chosen, the research made by Kara Pohlkamp on the time period and the poisons are impressive and perhaps even a bit scary. The Tudor era is one of my favourites in English history so I was more than pleased to jump into the story. The author provides just the right amount of detail to give the reader the perfect view of this dark tale.
The seductive and hypnotic style of writing pulls the reader deep into the story of this murderess and turns this journey of sin, obsession and murder into a pleasant ride. Pohlkamp is a magician with words, so smooth and seductive that will make readers fall for her novel like clockwork.
The main character is great and memorable. I know she’s an assassin and I know she has an unhealthy obsession with poisons and killing, but at the same time, the way the author presents her, it’s impossible not to connect with Lavinia and admire her. She is a powerful, deadly intelligent woman that uses everything she has to survive a world ruled by men. Her battle between cold logic and her heart is mesmerising to read and her struggles give her an incredible depth as a character.
I can’t wait to see what other tricks Kara Pohlkamp has up her sleeve!
For all the fans of historical thrillers looking for something new and exciting, you can’t let this one get away.
I want to thank the author Kara Pohlkamp for reaching out and sending me a digital copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 4 Stars
A nice, light cosy-mystery to read after a long day at work.
After finding her boyfriend cheating on her in the library where she works, Amy Webber decides to run for it. Returning to her hometown in Virginia, she is content to run the local library and forget all about men. That is until she meets her young, handsome next-door neighbour Richard Muir, a dancer and choreographer. When Richard shows interest in finding more information on an old murder case, Amy sets out to help him. Until, they find a dead body of the old Doris Virts, a regular library client, in the library archives. Instead of an old murder mystery, they investigate a modern one where the killer will do anything to stop them from finding out the truth.
This was my first novel written by Victoria Gilbert and it was both fun and relaxing mystery novel.
The plot is well thought and explored, mixing both the past and the present murder cases. Gilbert manages to weaver between them while keeping all the strings attached and the reader entertained. The story develops at a steady pace and the spark between the main characters keep things interesting all the way.
The characters are credible and very well developed. Amy is a good main character that is struggling to get over a bad relationship. It’s easy for the reader to get to know her and enjoy her company throughout the story. The secondary characters definitely bring something different to the table. Each one adds something to the story: colour, humour and depth. Amy’s aunt Lydia is a great supporting character and I enjoyed every bit of their interactions. The characters are very easy to get along with as the author gives them just enough depth to make them more real. At the same time, Gilbert does a great job in describing them and their individual interactions. She gives a clear image of both the setting and the characters themselves.
The style of writing is engaging and simple, which makes the book very easy to read. The descriptions are just enough to pull in the reader inside a painting with letters. It was hard to put it down and even harder to get out the story.
An enjoyable, quick read that I recommend to the fans of cosy-mysteries.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Crooked Lane Books and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This is the type of comic that never disappoints! Beautiful art mixed with a great story.
The tale starts with Lady Mechanika on a journey, trying to put a tragic event behind her. In the small town of Santa Catrina, it’s that time of the year, the celebration of the Dia de Los Muertos. As she learns more and starts enjoying herself, a mutilated boy comes into town before collapsing. He is the latest victim of the Jinetes del Inferno, a group of gods that require sacrifices every year. If they don’t get what they want, they torture children as the warning. This time, they get more than what they bargained for. Lady Mechanika makes it her mission to put a permanent end to them.
I read and reviewed the previous volumes of the Lady Mechanika collection and this one can be read as a stand-alone. There is enough background story in the plot to make sure the reader doesn’t feel lost.
The storyline is very nice and dramatic. For the readers of the previous volumes, you will know there is nothing new to that. The story is simple, easy to follow and very compelling just as the style of writing.
The art is memorable as usual. The excellent graphics, the steampunk mixed with the typical Mexican art is simply amazing. The lines, the colours and the attention to detail blend perfectly with the story and the character of Lady Mechanika. The reader ends up being pulled into her world and her adventures.
Another great read, one that I recommend to the fans of the series and of steampunk art.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Benitez Productions and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.