Friday, January 28, 2011

Ring of Lies by Victoria Howard

         4 CUPS
This book is rousing and suspenseful.  Jack is a personable champion and an honorable man. Grace is a plausible heroine. There were a few times, though, I thought her a bit too na├»ve. Still, she had tried to be a dutiful wife and Daniel had been an unusually controlling, aloof partner.  I especially enjoyed the description of the marshy, Florida Everglades. Jack and Grace’s sojourn there one night while a killer hunted them held me in thrall.  For everyone who craves dangerous armchair adventure with a dash of romance, this book is just the ticket for a thrilling ride. Read Full Review


The Last Watcher by Misty Burke

         3 CUPS
Written in a minimalist style, this is a fast-paced story that sometimes seemed to bull-doze ahead too frantically. I felt that many of the scenes could have benefitted by the inclusion of more descriptive phrases. The problems faced by the protagonists could have been more fully realized before being resolved.  As soon as one issue was dealt with there was another jumping up demanding attention.  For me, the scarcity of descriptive detail and break-neck speed made this read less engaging than it otherwise could have been. This was, though, an action-packed quick read with an entertaining premise and generally likeable characters. Read Full Review
                                                                                       
Laurie                                                         

Monday, January 24, 2011

Forbidden by Robin Badillo


     4.25 STARS
Set in the Australian Outback, populated with characters that lived fully in my imagination, and filled with thrilling action and tender moments; this book held my rapt attention from start to finish.  The conversations were believable and sometimes quite witty.  This is the 2nd book in the Journey of the Damned series but was entertaining and surprisingly readable on its own.  There were a few references made to earlier events from the first book, but they just whet my appetite, and made me more determined to read it, also.  I was somewhat disappointed that Forbidden ended with a bit of a cliff-hanger, but that is alright, since I actually want to read more of this series anyway.  I genuinely liked the sassiness of the leading female character, and I loved the way in which she told this story. Read More

Reviewer for Night Owl Reviews

Huntress by Jim Richards & Trinity Knight

      3.75 STARS

The attraction between Kiera and Amris was palpable. Both characters were remarkably easy to like and to relate to. I thought the descriptions of pack society were intriguing and entirely relevant to the story. There were quite a few secondary characters, but they were easily identifiable. In particular, I loved Silas. Silas grew up during the story; it was a pleasure watching him change from a scared, malleable boy into a young man of fortitude and fine character. I was completely wrapped up in the adventures and escapades Kiera and Amris shared until the final portion of the book.  Personally, I thought the Bonding Ceremony was a let-down. However, the book ended well, and I look forward to reading the next book, Traitor.  Read More
Reviewer for Night Owl Reviews

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dead People by Edie Ramer

ASIN: B004D4Y5Y6
Nov 2010
Self Published
E-Book
$2.99
193 Pages
Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5 Cups

I have never had the pleasure of reading a book quite like this one. The concept is delivered in a delightful manner that is fun and made totally believable. I found all the characters interesting. They are flawed but most are still quite substantive. Joe, Cassie’s ghostly sidekick is valiant and loyal. Erin is a sad, conflicted waif trying to find her way in a maelstrom of emotions that many adults would find daunting, yet she perseveres. Erin’s loyalties are misguided but so recognizable and heart-rending.  And have I mentioned the ghosts?  The way in which this author portrayed these ethereal beings, giving them life, is nothing short of wondrous! Read Full Review

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Other books by Edie Ramer I want to read (if I ever get any time to do so):

Cattitude
The Seventh Dimension  (short story)


 

Images courtesy of the author's website

The House on Blackstone Moor by Carole Gill

ISBN: 978-1-907-36614-7
Dec 2010
VAmplit Publishing
http://vamplitpublishing.com
E-Book
$4.99
138 Pages
Paranormal Romance/Gothic Romance
Rating: 4 Cups





This is an unusual horror tale told from the perspective of a beautiful young woman who endures ghastly abuses and unimaginable loss yet still manages to cling to sanity even under the most insane conditions and circumstances.  At its core is the great, eternal power struggle featuring demons and fallen angels.  Underlying it all, though, is the question if redemption is never possible, what point is there in an eternal existence?  I loved the gothic tone that is carried throughout the entire book, flawlessly. The story flowed very well with seamless transitions and believable dialogues. There was nothing ethereal about the dark movie playing in the recesses of my imagination as I rapidly clicked through the pages on my kindle; the images that were invoked in my mind were substantive, very well-formed and often gruesome.  This is truly an outstanding horror tale that provokes deeper thought even as it scares you out of your wits. Read Full Review

Lycan Love by Anastasia Maltezos

 ISBN: Unavailable
Jan 2011
The Wild Rose Press and Wilder Roses
E-Book
$3.50
82 Pages
Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

I am amazed at the range of emotions I felt while reading this short novel. Jen’s humiliation made me want to cry right along with her. I, too, fell in love with Lucas even as he faced almost unbearable torment after realizing the grave error of his lusty, precipitous assignation with Jen; she who had so easily, unknowingly, beguiled him, heart and soul. And yet, in spite of everything, the two are somehow compelled to embrace the destiny that awaits them. The world, as Ms. Maltezos envisions it, is a dark, dangerous maze liberally peppered with evil in many guises – evil that sometimes leers behind the beautiful countenance of a teasing temptress or pounces with tooth and claw to attack the innocent or unwary.  This book is sure to please fans of paranormal romance everywhere. Read Full Review

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She Smells The Dead by E.J. Stevens

Spirit Guide Series, book 1

4.5  Stars

Fabulous, Fun and Quirky

Yuki is pretty much a typical teenager; she is a senior in high school,  infatuated with a great looking boy who barely notices her, and has two loyal friends who are behaving strangely.  Did I say typical?  Let me rephrase that just a bit. Yuki is just coming into some very special powers and she smells dead people.  The smells can sometimes haunt her dreams as well as her waking hours.  As the book opens, Yuki discovers she is being stalked by the ghost of an old farmer who recently passed on but refuses to pass over. The strong vinegary smell is impossible to ignore and that is how the mystery begins.

Spirit Storm: Spirit Guide #2This is a fun and clever story that will have you cheering for the off-beat, unflappable Yuki as she tries various methods of dealing with her strange gift and prophetic dreams.  I laughed aloud at the funny scenes describing her special spirit guide then later as she is gently teased about the sacred scarab...I bet you will, too.  Yuki is a resourceful heroine who embraces the idiosyncrasies and foibles of her friends with equanimity. Her wardrobe choices are as unique as she is.  Emma, her best friend, is a staunch and loyal ally even though she and Yuki seem as different as night and day. Then there is Calvin, her steadfast and true friend, who is also her anchor and defender. Yuki, Calvin and Emma each come into their own in this outstanding break-out novel for young adults and the young of heart. This is the first book in the Spirit Guide series. The next book, Spirit Storm, has just been released in print format (it is available in Kindle format, too).  The third book, aptly titled The Legend of Witch Trot Road will be out later this year. 
 
Laurie-J 
* I purchased this book in Kindle format on Amazon

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shadows of the Past by T.L. Lawrence

         5 Cups
This was an exciting book. When I was forced to put it down I just wanted to hurry up and do what I had to do quickly so that I could back to the story. Wilton Falls is an Idyllic, small, close-knit community populated with characters that I came to care about. The conversations were believable and I felt that the numerous characters were portrayed with realistic traits; they interacted well together. I also loved the description of the old, abandoned lighthouse and appreciated that several important segments of the book took place there. If you enjoy romantic suspense, filled with memorable characters, this is a must read. Read Full Review

Reviewed by Laurie

First Degree Innocence by Ginger Simpson


         5 Cups
This book took me on a wildly emotional ride as I rapidly turned the pages until I had consumed the entire book down to the final satisfying sentence. The story is told in a straight-forward, matter-of-fact way that, for me, makes Carrie’s internal angst all the more powerful and believable.  I feel like I was there with her, surrounded by dingy gray walls and cold steel bars.  The various character interactions are portrayed realistically. All have well-defined motivations and it was quite easy for me to picture the on-going action like a movie in my head. Speaking of which, this story would make an awesome movie!  Highly Recommended!  Read Full Review  

Reviewed by Laurie

Wolf Dance by Lorraine Kennedy

                   4 CUPS
The beginning of a new series, this book is packed with adventure, Indian lore, shape shifters, passion, and vengeance.  The characters are richly detailed and, for the most part, seem to be caught up in events beyond their control.  The beauty of the wild forests and golden, hidden cities are breath-taking; the descriptions are succinct yet every word seems to have been deliberately chosen to capture the essence of the place perfectly. This novel is technically and conceptually well-constructed with a complex plot that leaves me eager for the next installment. Read Full Review


Reviewed by Laurie
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

The WILCO Project by Daniel Springer

      4 CUPS
Image courtesy GoodReads
The characters are likable and are depicted with believable goals, aspirations, motives and characteristics. The dialogues sounded authentic and were helpful in moving the story forward. I especially liked the description of the game and its various play modes. It seemed like a game that college age students, in particular, would enjoy playing. All-in-all, I found this novel to be a nicely-structured mystery that conveyed a realistic and quite visceral sense of atmosphere throughout. For example, in the huge, ice-cold room filled with the ear-deafening noise of enormous mainframe computers, I could feel the goose bumps rise on my arms as Bobbi gleams information from an unattractive computer geek. Later, playing the game, she is outside in the hot, humidity of a dark night, running across campus, I felt my heart-pound and my pulse race right along with hers, as she races to capture the prize. The realistic descriptions kept my eyes glued to pages as I read with a voracious, gluttonous appetite, greedily devouring the words until, at last, reaching the thrilling conclusion, I was sated. Read Full Review

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Friday, January 7, 2011

Guardian of the Jewell by LaVerne Clark

       4 CUPS
 Image courtesy eReader.com
This is an easy-to-read suspense that kept me engrossed to the very end.  The chemistry between Gabe and Amy was fine-honed and honest.  I also enjoyed the scenic tour of the old ghost town and abandoned mine.  Amy’s relationship with her precocious twelve-year-old son pulled at my heartstrings a few times, and I appreciated that Daniel was truly Amy’s greatest treasure.  This short novel will appeal widely to readers who love romance in exotic locals and under dangerous conditions.  Read Full Review  

Haunted Hearts by Corinne Davies


       4 CUPS
Gwen has been forged by past events to be distrustful and skeptical. She puts up a brave, strong front for her young brother even as her tempestuous thoughts roil about in her head like sharp shards of glass, giving her but occasional respite from their cruel edges. It is only in Mac’s arms that Gwen feels a measure of safety.  As the story unfolds, Gwen clings by her fingernails to the crumbling walls of her protective barriers. I loved Mac’s tenacity and fortitude as he struggled patiently to understand and accept her demons, and as he fought valiantly to earn her trust - and ultimately her love. I was wonderfully pleased by this book; the characters that live within its pages have also become welcome residents within my heart.  Read Full Review 

Sasha's Calling by T.C. Archer


      4 CUPS
This was an exciting, action-packed space adventure filled with unexpected twists and alternate life-forms. The motivations of the characters were especially well-conceptualized, as were the sophisticated weapons, tools and gadgets used throughout the escapade. I enjoyed the heat that is always present between Sasha and Dirk. I am routing for them both and hope they will have further adventures together.  Read Full Review

Warning: This book contains explicit, graphic sexual content.

Laurie                                                

The Unlikely Candidate by Kathryn Keller

    3 CUPS

This was a charming contemporary romance that, at times, was cute and comedic, while at other times made me feel frustrated with the emotional turmoil and head games. The story flowed smoothly and took a few unexpected detours that added depth and interest. I particularly enjoyed the description of the island where Luke and Krista took refuge during the storm and would have liked to been given more detail of their sojourn in the dilapidated house.  I enjoyed reading this story, finding it both humorous and poignant.  Read Full Review

Druid's Dawning by Lark LaTroy

     3 CUPS 
 
This story is quite original, and I enjoyed it much more after Mitch and Jill start their clandestine relationship, despite the fact their sexual encounters are more sweet than heat.  The early graphic sexual scenes during the initiation and then with Jill’s masturbations are not particularly useful in moving the story forward. I get that the magical aspect of the initiation ritual was enhanced by the sexual aspect, but it just did not quite work for me. I would have found the spice more sensual if the secret sexual ritual and Jill’s self-pleasuring had rather just been hinted at or implied while the tension and heat were allowed to build toward full-ignition in later chapters.  Instead, it seemed that, after the first few chapters, the fire fizzled. The final battle held me breathless and I finished the story quite replete and satisfied.  I look forward to the next installment in this series. Read Full Review

Castlegate's Legacy by Tammie Flowers

       3 CUPS
Photo courtesy New Concepts      This is, with one exception noted below, a beautiful story - romantic and sensual - that is marred by poor sentence structure. Conjunctions, especially, were overused and misused in run-on sentences. I was also aghast that Lord Cade would ask the physician to check that a stranger’s hymen was intact when she was in his home, unconscious, being treated for a concussion. I deliberately chose to overlook the way in which the story was written and concentrate instead on the emotions it invoked after Kate awoke.  The love and loyalty shared by Cade and Kate made me care about them, as well as the various supporting characters.  I relished being transported back in time when life was filled with simpler pleasures. I reveled that their love transcended centuries and that neither ever gave up on their perfect love. It is my hope that the author will hone her technical skills; that in future endeavors her imaginative ideas may be conveyed more adeptly.  Read Full Review

Reviewed by Laurie
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Talion By Mary Maddox

    3.5 STARS
At first, I felt as if I was scrambling to catch up even though the story had just started. That changed, however, after Lisa and Lu met.  After that, I found myself compulsively flipping the pages as I became enthralled in the story and the diabolical planning and actions of a madman.  This book has some exceptionally dark passages that I found very disturbing.  There were several times when the point of view abruptly changed.  When that happened I was yanked out of the entrancement that had ensnared me and was forced to contend with a few seconds of disorientation. These interruptions were unwelcome; they played havoc with the cadence and flow of the story through my mind.

I never really grasped the reason for the supernatural elements in this novel.  I am still clueless as to Talion’s true identity. Is he an angel, a fairy, or simply a figment of an abused child’s imagination?    Read the Full Review