Book Review: The Genesis of Evangeline

cover-review-the genesis of evangelineTitle: The Genesis of Evangeline [The Lost Royals Saga 1]

Author: Rachel Jonas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Evie Callahan is positive there’s something strange going on in Seaton Falls, her new home. The locals are bigger, stronger, and faster than most. That includes Nick, the boy next door who’s become her silver lining in this godforsaken town.

She wants to trust her instincts–about Nick, about what she suspects in Seaton Falls–but rumors of wolves and dragon shifters makes it hard to tell what’s real. With a history of odd dreams and the nagging sense that she’s never belonged, Evie fears she’s losing touch with reality. Her concern only grows when someone who’s haunted these dreams is suddenly tangible… and claims to hold the key to unlocking her true identity.

Finding out her entire life has been a lie is scary enough, but what’s downright terrifying is discovering who she’s destined to become.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

The Genesis of Evangeline by Rachel Jonas was a solid, fast-paced read. I immediately sank into the story and fell in love with the characters. The author did a good job of making the reader empathize with all of the different characters, particularly the love interests. I’m a firm believer that love triangles only work if both choices are equally appealing, and the author managed to pull that off.

The world building, though cryptic in this first installment of the series, hinted at a depth that I look forward to expanding upon in the subsequent books. The characters were authentic and smart – none of the ridiculous choices and actions you find plaguing young adult fiction these days. My only complaint really is that I did run into a handful of spelling errors. That aside, I would easily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys supernatural YA stories. This book was well worth the price for a fully-fleshed out read hinting at a larger saga.

International Book Fairs 2019 – Kotobee Blog

The wonderful Reem Habbak of Kotobee sent me this link to have a look at, and I decided to share it with you guys – they’ve created a comprehensive list of book fairs around the world for 2019. Have a look!

“The annual Kotobee International Book Fair Calendar 2019 brings you all the dates and events at book fairs around the world.”

Source: International Book Fairs 2019 – Kotobee Blog

Book Review: Adored by the Mountain Wolf

cover-review-adored by the mountain wolfTitle: Adored by the Mountain Wolf [Mountain Wolf Protectors 2]

Author: Emilia Hartley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Two weeks after she started living on the Compound – the home of the Mountain Wolves – Amara was getting anxious to return to her life. She had a job, friends and family to return to. Not only that, she had to make sure her sister was safe from her psychopath boyfriend, Kal. If only she could tell Sadie the truth, that he was the wolf shifter who wreaked havoc on Strathford for all these years.

As much as he wanted to protect her, Nova knew that he couldn’t keep Amara from her life forever. He and the Mountain Wolves have been vigilant in the fight against the Valley Clan, but they begin to lose their footing as the attacks increase in frequency. When Nova is reminded he has to protect his pack he has no choice but to bring Amara with him, for her safety.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Adored By The Mountain Wolf by Emilia Hartley was a solid addition to the Mountain Wolf Protectors series. The book was fast-paced and easy to sink into. The characters were familiar from the previous book and the romance was just as sexy and heated as I’d hoped.

If anything, my one complaint about this book is that it wasn’t long enough. I read through the story in less than 2 hours, and even though it was a great read, I couldn’t help but feel that there should have been more to it. The book ended abruptly and the tension of the war between the wolf clans kind of petered out. I wish more time had been spent developing the characters, their relationships, and the plot’s tension – I think we only scratched the surface here.

All that aside, it was a solid read, perfect for readers looking for something sexy and short to sink into, and I recommend it to all paranormal romance readers looking for a new shifter book to get into.

Book Review: Professor Next Door

cover-review-professor next doorTitle: Professor Next Door

Author: Summer Cooper

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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At the time of this review, Professor Next Door is FREE on Amazon.

Description/Synopsis:

I f@ck my students… I just can’t seem to keep it in my pants when these young sexy women throw themselves at me!

But now, I must stop behaving like such a d**k, not that my dead wife would care…

If I get caught sleeping with my students, I’ll lose my job.

And if I don’t get my s**t together, they’ll come for the only good thing in my life… my daughter.

But I have a plan to fix all that. I have a plan for the girl next door…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Professor Next Door by Summer Cooper was NOT what I expected. Given the blurb and the straight-forward title, I figured this was going to be your regular dime-a-dozen raunchy romance – a barely veiled erotic novel. That wasn’t what this was. Not at all.

Instead, I found Professor Next Door to be a heart-warming read about a young widowed professor trying everything in his power to keep his parental rights to his 2-year-old daughter, even if that meant striking a bargain with his mousey next-door-neighbor. Don’t get me wrong, there was still some pretty sexy scenes, but there were also some brief thrills and a whole lot of heart-touching romance and friendship.

Although there were a few moments where the author was a little on-the-nose with pushing a formulated romance upon us, for the most part, I found the book a fun, sweet read, with a little bit of danger mixed in just to make it spicy. It was a quick read that was easy to sink into, and if you’re looking for a fun little romance to sink into, I have no problem recommending it.

Book Review: Speak of the Devil

cover-review-speak of the devilTitle: Speak of the Devil [Speak of the Devil 1]

Author: Shawna Romkey

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?

After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the crash and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she discovers who…what they really are and learns they are falling too.

Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, figure out how to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Speak of the Devil by Shawna Romkey was a fast-paced intriguing twist on the battle between good and evil. The writing was clear and easy to follow, the characters were interesting, and the plot was fresh and entertaining.

All that being said, the book wasn’t all rainbows. There was some very serious subject matter handled in this book and it may be a bit triggering to some. The main character deals with the death of her friends, depression, and thoughts of suicide. There is a brief scene of a near-sexual assault. However, I do think that the author handled these well. They weren’t egregious or used to spur on drama. A lot of care was taken to put the reader in the main character’s mind so we could understand her feelings. It never got whiney or over-dramatic.

Overall, I enjoyed how this book was handled and I found it both interesting and entertaining. It isn’t going to be for everyone – as it deals with some heavy subject matter – but if you enjoy good vs. evil YA fiction, I recommend you give it a try.

Book Review: Forgiving Keven

cover-review-forgiving kevenTitle: Forgiving Keven [The Kennedy Boys 7]

Author: Siobhan Davis

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

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Description/Synopsis:

Cheryl

They say you never forget your first love, but I’m determined to prove Keven Kennedy is just a random boy from my past.

It’s not like I still think about him after all this time. Or daydream about how hot his kisses were and what it felt like to have his hands on my skin.

Nope, that’s not me. I’m in a happy place in my life. Engaged to a great man and finishing the last year of my photography degree.
But since I returned to Massachusetts, everything reminds me of the boy who ripped my heart to shreds. Especially when my fiancé’s constant business trips, and dwindling attention, raises old fears to the surface.

And then the unthinkable happens—Keven saunters back into my life, turning it upside down once more.

It’s ironic he thinks he’s protecting me when the only one I need protecting from is him.

Keven

They say you never forget your first love. In my case, it’s true. Most everyone in high school thought Cheryl and I were a match made in heaven and that nothing could tear us apart. Until I messed up spectacularly and lost the best thing to ever happen to me.

Years have passed, girls have come and gone, but no one has laid claim to my heart in the way Cheryl did.

I thought she was lost to me forever when an unexpected encounter with an uptight FBI agent, and an intriguing proposition, brings the beautiful blonde back into my life.

I didn’t hesitate to sign on the dotted line.

I let Cheryl down once before. I’m not going to fail her this time.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I wanted to like Forgiving Keven by Siobhan Davis. The writing was clear and easy to follow, and it was a contemporary romance, which, in my eyes, is hard to screw up. The story had a fully developed world and complicated plot. It should have been an easy win…. but at 23% in, I set it aside.

The narrative voice ruined this book for me. The author’s voice was so clear and ever-present that it overtook the characters. All of them, male and female alike, sounded the same – a definitively female voice. The narrative was constantly explaining backstory and what was going on in the character’s heads – to the point that it felt like I was having the story explained to me, rather than sinking into the narrative and living in it. There were a multitude of time jumps as if the author couldn’t be bothered to let the scene play out. I even spotted a writer’s term or two being used by the characters who had no business knowing what that term meant.

There came a point when I was bored, and I realized that what really bothered me about the story, was that the book lacked depth or texture. It didn’t feel real to me. The characters conveniently spewed out all their feelings. There was no tension to it. The author gave away all the story’s information before I even knew I needed it, and it became predictable.

There will be readers out there that will enjoy this book – if I could have gotten through it, it probably would have gotten three stars, because… well, it was okay – but as an avid reader, I think the writing lacked that spark that makes a great book. I found it bland.

Book Review: The Binding

cover-review-the bindingTitle: The Binding [The Velesi Trilogy 1]

Author: L. Filloon

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Two nights after her eighteenth birthday, Lily is attacked while out jogging, but is saved by Tharin Lunar, a Sidhe prince. When she discovers that her attacker is her own brother, Lucas, who disappeared four years ago, Lily refuses to believe that her brother would truly hurt her and becomes determined to find Lucas and bring him home. Lily finds that Lucas’ disappearance is somehow tied to Tharin; so when he informs her that she is his betrothed and must return with him to Velesi, fulfill a treaty between their families and unite the two strongest clans through their marriage, Lily agrees. However, she’s not going to Velesi for a wedding, but to bring home her only family, Lucas.

On their journey to the borders of Velesi, the realm of the Thirteen Clans, they’re pursued by a Sidhe assassin group call the Ange, meet with an ogre crime lord that ends badly, deal with a sleazy troll motel manager, and when they discover that there’s a bounty on their heads, they must keep one step ahead of every assassin, bounty hunter and low-life criminal in Velesi.

Protecting Lily has become the biggest challenge of Tharin’s life. Lucky for him he has help in the form of his twin brother, Tolan, Lily’s best friend Julia and his three bodyguard cousins.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Although I liked the overall premise of The Binding by L. Filloon and for the most part, I enjoyed reading it, the book wasn’t without its faults.

The book was easy to read and moved at a nice pace but contained a multitude of misspellings and tense issues. The errors were obvious and I stumbled a few times as I read on. It was clear that the book lacked a solid editor.

The characters, though fun and likable, lacked a real sense of depth – they all read about the same, and some were completely unnecessary. The character Julia, the main female’’ lead’s best friend, was one of these. She was an over-written side character with an exceptionally rough past that instantly falls in love with the second prince. It was unbelievable cliché and needless to have her in the story, and I spent more time rolling my eyes at her character structure than I did enjoying her sass.

Overall, yes, I was entertained, but the book was just okay. I feel like a good editor and some constructive time spent re-working the characters wouldn’t go amiss.