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Book review: The Knowing – JB Straton’s Story – Brit Lunden (@caroleproman )

JB had known from the moment his eyes first met Ellie’s that they were meant to be. His The Skull Piratesgrandma had called what he experienced the knowing. He was drawn to her beyond anything he had before experienced. She was a rich Yankee, he a poor peanut farmer with only the promise of an unfulfilled dream as a football star. He was talented, but was certain he was trapped, forever destined to remain a farmer. Ellie wouldn’t listen as he told her to find someone better, she wanted only him, and would even defy her parents for his love. Fate, however, had other plans for the lovers.

The Knowing – JB Straton’s Story – is volume one in Brit Lunden’s, A Bulwark Anthology. It is a beautifully written love story encompassing the present, past, and even past lives. It is a romance, with a hint of supernatural. It is well-written with a level of area building and character development often unseen in shorter books. It was easy to read this is one sitting, the story is sweet, intriguing, and sometimes moving. It has certainly piqued my interest in other books by this author, especially the Bulwark, which this anthology stems from. Intrigue, obstacles, fate, and supernatural combine to present a gripping tale bound to satisfy anyone who enjoys a character orientated, well-constructed read. There are little touches throughout which caught my interest, and have no doubt referenced events in the main book. I thought the conclusion of the book made the perfect ending to a tightly-knit tale. I look forward to seeing more work from this author.

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Book review: Alexa Padgett – Sweet Solace (@AlexaPadgett )

Dahlia had been with her husband Doug for what had seemed liked forever, committed reviewto the vows she made to the musician as a teenager. Even if he didn’t take them as seriously. He had betrayed her trust, hurt her, destroyed her in ways she didn’t think possible, and that was before his diagnosis, things had only got worse after. His death had opened more wounds, despite everything she had loved him, once. When her path crosses with Asher’s, an old crush and famous rock star, she begins to feel things she thought were long lost in her. But she never thought her feelings had been, and still were, reciprocated. The problem is, neither of  them are in a place where they feel they can pursue a relationship. After Doug, Dahlia swore to never love, especially not a musician, she knew all too well the price she paid, and she couldn’t do it again. Will she pass up her chance of happiness because of the fears and betrayal of her husband, or will she take the risk, will she give love one final chance?

Sweet Solace (Seattle Sound Series Book 1) is a slow burn romance by Alexa Padgett who is certainly an expert in their craft. I was hung on every word, loving the steady pace and involved plot of the lives of Asher and Dahlia as they are brought together, both with their own complications. I loved the slow change in Dahlia’s character as she began to reclaim who she had once been before things had turned sour with Doug. There is plenty to enjoy, and the erotic scenes were well scripted perfectly attuned to the book without becoming over the top, they were no more or less than was needed. I can honestly day it has been a long time since I have enjoyed a book in the romance genre as much as I enjoyed Sweet Solace I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, and I can certainly see myself picking up some of the other books from the talented Alexa Padgett It has everything you could ask for, passion, doubts, insecurity, longing, and the fears that come with someone already deeply hurt. and more.

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Book review: Alix Nichols – The Traitor’s Bride (@aalix_nichols )

Major Areg Sebi dared to dream of a better life. Where people had access to level-two reviewtechnology to make their quality of life and chance if equality better. He dared to voice this, his punishment was swift, swifter than any war criminal. First he was publically lashed, then  forced to confess to a crime he did not commit. Etana, a laundry maid who shared his vision of the future, had but one chance to prevent this execution, invoking an ancient law. What she hadn’t realised was the lengths his captors would go to in order to ensure he was no longer a threat, or what the dangers stacked against her hero would unlock within her.

The Traitor’s Bride is the first book in Alix Nichols’ romantic science fiction series Keepers of Xereill. It is a romance with no lack of passion, all of which is tastefully executed and portrayed. The stakes are high as Etana tries everything within her power to save her hero, Major Sebi, and unlocks a gift someone of her class should not possess. You will love, you will hate, and you will pray that certain characters to get their just desserts. As the first book in the series you are given an excellent, but not overwhelming, sense of the world, social structure and way of life for the people of Eta. The Traitor’s Bride is a love  story, but that is not all it is, it is an engaging, tense, and thrilling exploration of new worlds, the heroes and villains within and, of course, the many obstacles in love’s path. I certainly won’t hesitate to pick up the next book in this series.

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That’s all for now, snuggle down with a good book and don’t forget to KS the Dreamer x

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill author of The Forgotten Legacies Series

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Book review: Eichin Chang-Lim, The Lovelock (@EichinChangLim )

Childhood devastation had brought together the two hearts of Violet and Dylan, reviewreuniting them when the time was correct. They were the perfect match for each other, and a token of love, a lovelock, was shared between them. This token offers a memory of good times as fate once more separates the two lovers and they go their separate ways, each living their own life. To say they did not go as they had planned would be an understatement. Their lives spiral out of control, and whilst they are no longer part of each other’s lives, they retain the token of their past, a source of comfort and despair. Can they take control of their own lives before they hit rock bottom, and will fate once more reunite those who remain connected through time?

The Lovelock is one hell of an emotional read. The first few chapters alone are enough to stir deep emotions. Eichin Chang-Lim knows how to write wrenching, gritty emotion that plays the reader like a fiddle forcing them to experience the highs and lows of the deep, vivid, flawed, and believable characters. The Lovelock is a heart-breaking tale of shattered dreams, uncertainty, despair, regret, romance, and just a touch of the supernatural. This book is written in parts, and each one is its own gem. Get a box of tissues at the ready, and see what plans fate has in store. I wouldn’t hesitate to read more work from this talent author who excels at infusing such raw emotion into their writing. Unquestionably a five-star read.

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Book review: Possessed by a Shadow by Ron Williams

Danielle doesn’t know much about her father, only that he must have been a bad man. reviewHer mother rarely spoke of him, only that he had hurt her. At the time she was too young to understand her conception had been the result of rape. On a visit to her uncle, her mother’s brother, Danielle’s life is changed forever. One minute she is telling her uncle how the other children tease her because of her unique eyes, the next he teaches her the real way to wish and something bizarre happens.  She finds herself somewhere else,  and something shares the  space with her. Time moves, and Death’s hand is cruel to Daniel as she grows into a young woman. But as the Death card in a tarot reading revealed, it could also signify a new beginning. Danielle is on the verge of losing everything, until she find something she had never expected, an ancient fetish, hidden away beyond sight, and if the book with is reads true, it could fulfil her every desire, however, everything comes at as price.

Wow, what a gripping and fantastic read. I  loved the portrayal of Danielle’s character, and  watching her pass from child to woman was great. Ron Williams writes with masterful poise and style, bewitching the reader with a thoroughly enjoyable tale. Heartbreak, love, magic, mystery, and horror collide to form a story that is nothing short of masterful. Without a doubt I’ll be keeping an eye out for more work from this author. Prepare to be whisked away in a tale that once it catches you in its thrall will refuse to let you go. I rarely openly recommend a book, but Possessed by a Shadow gets my full recommendation, it is a must read and a credit to the genre.

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Book review: Finding Forever by Amanda J Evans

Liz, had her fair share of problems growing up, events that gnawed at her confidence, review imageleft her questioning her own value. So when she met, and married, Charles, a man intent on loving her, helping her grow, she couldn’t have been happier. But the happily ever after was cut short before it even begins. Washed ashore following a tragic accident, wearing the tattered remains of her wedding dress, Liz as wakens holding the hand of her husband, his cold, lifeless hand. Her world begins to crumble, nothing makes sense. She just needs someone to believe her, but when they do they uncover a horrific truth. Start the clock, because time is running out. Liz must become more than she ever thought she could be if she wishes to discover what really became of Charles, before it is too late.

Brilliant. An engaging and well-written romantic suspense with more than a few twists. It is certainly a book that will keep you turning the pages. Written in alternating first person perspective from Liz and Charles’ viewpoint (with a special devational reward at the end) Amanda J Evans has no difficulty portraying the two unique personalities of her leading characters, as well as using them as tools to give depth and development to the rest of the cast. A brilliant debut novel from a clearly talented author.

I initially read this on KU but picked up a copy to keep as well

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Finding Forever

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Book review Sometimes it rains in California by Jennifer Strom

Dr Brad Hubbard was the leading neurosurgeon in his field, possessing a god-like 51nkdzv9gslconfidence in his own abilities. He liked to be in charge, everything had to be just so and by his command. There were those who joked he was nothing more than a humanoid robot, never showing emotion. Some thought him to be Dr Perfect, except when it came to women. He loved his women. Supermodels, colleagues’ partners, nothing was taboo. Then a fateful encounter changed his life for ever. He had been determined to leave, but was thrust into the chaos of A&E before a woman about to be pronounced dead. One look at her changed him. He did all he could to wrestle her from the thoes of death, and he had succeed. Leaving people to ask what it was about this woman that broke his steely, infallible nature. The answer was simple, she had been the love of his life, long before he came to work within these walls. Their meeting now, when he could save her, seemed like fate. But he had changed so much from that love sick teenager, life had hardened him, he had grown into a man she would not recognise, least of all because amongst all the changes he had opted to also change his name. She was unaware of their shared history, only of the man before her wanting to help her heal. He loved her more than any other woman, but he could not help but wonder if he should reveal his secret and pursue redemption, or allow her to simply move on and lose her again.

In places the first person narrative of this book was reminiscent in places of the TV series Grey’s Anatomy had it been from Derek Shepherd perspective. But it, of course, has its own tale to tell. One of mistakes and regrets, love and loss, perhaps even amends. Dr Hubbard was well-written, and his inner turmoil reflected well. The character’s reactions in certain circumstances and relating to specific events didn’t enhance the plot, or aid their personal development, like they could have. However it was a book I really enjoyed reading, especially the non-generic ending.

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Sometimes it rains in California 

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Book review: Gillian’s Island by Val Tobin

Gillian loved her island resort, it was all she had dreamt of and more. It was all she 51yqcxlkullwanted. The same, however, could not be said for her husband, Josh. He was content at first, ever the social butterfly, but soon this humble life and tomboy wife, was not enough. He started an affair with a younger woman, Candi, and finally decided she was what he wanted, her and his share of the resort. As part of the divorce proceedings he forced Gillian to sell, as if the heartbreak of his betrayal hadn’t been enough. Worse still the buyer was a millionaire playboy with a reputation for tearing things down and building anew. The time had come to show the new owner Daylin, the ropes, but would he be the image of how the media portrayed him, or was there perhaps more to him? It seems Gillian isn’t the only one reluctant to hand her home over to the stranger, since his arrival strange things have been happening, each time escalating. It is only a matter of time until someone gets hurt, or worse.

The first thing I want to say is how incredibly well-written this book is. For me, Gillian’s Island has raised the bar for all future books I read in this genre. The interesting and humanly flawed character cast aside the cookie-cutter casting and invest the reader in a thrilling and addictive reading experience. It is a romance, but it’s also full of suspense and mystery, a perfect combination. I can easily say there was nothing I didn’t like about this book, not even the characters I was made to dislike.
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Book review: The Healing Touch by Tita Horvat

Tina goes the gym, teaches at the local school, and is the friendly neighbourhood dog lady. 51oiireq0jlNot in the sense she keeps them, but even after her own dog died she continued to carry dog biscuits, relishing in the joy such small tokens gave. She had, like any woman, had her fair share of heartbreak, and was done looking for Mr Right. That was until she laid eyes on David. David was handsome, there was just one catch, he lived with her neighbour, Rob. Still, even with Romance off the table she found his company enjoyable. Then one night she sees her neighbour Rob, with another man, she learns from David he has apparently taken a job elsewhere, leaving him alone, without even the dog for company. The two bond, helping each other through their own different hardships, and experience a friendship like Tina has never known.

At 97 pages this romance tale manages to create a good idea of character Tina, dog lover and all around nice person. Being written in first person grants us insight into her personality through her thoughts and actions. It is certainly a good fit for the younger audience, (think teen/young/new adult) as the content is clean and sweet.
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Book review: Waiting for You by Allison Williford

Up and coming go-to advice girl, Kylie Lewis, is something of a loner. She has her best 51qduht1eblfriend Cat, and her mother, Sarah. Since her last relationship failed she has found it hard to offer that part of herself to someone again. She used her heartbreak as an excuse to further shut herself away from the outside world. But what are best friends for if not to tear you from your comfort zone? Cat drags Kylie to a concert, here in the pit, amidst the crowd she meets Adam, who literally knocks her off her feet. Just as Kylie begins to feel she could, maybe, trust this man with her heart, she is told the most devastating news and nothing from will ever be the same again. Can a new relationship survive, as Kylie pulls away from everyone?

This was a nice story with very real character interaction. It focuses on love and heartache, hardship and comfort. The characters all have their own detailed past brought into play through the events of Kylie’s story. We learn about them, and see how their own experiences shaped their lives. Well-written at a slow and steady pace, this contemporary romance is sure to appeal to young adults as well as the more mature reader.
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