Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review of Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James



Book Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Pages: 530
Author: E.L. James
Date Published: 19 March 2012

Synopsis:

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Christian keeps hidden away from public view …

Review:


Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the series by E.L. James.

Anastasia Steel is a character that found myself neither loving or hating, though I found myself rolling my eyes at her inner monologue. She is a stumbling, bumbling teen in a twenty-something young body. She is so insecure and full of angst that I wanted to strangle her. Okay, having said that, her character does grow and mature as the story progresses, which I like when reading stories. When she interviews Christian Grey on her ill roommate's behalf, she finds herself enthralled with him. When he warns her away from him, she doesn't listen to him and finds herself thrust into a world that she was woefully ill prepared for.

Let me first say that I bought this book in 2012, but due to my large reading list, and then the subsequent social media storm about this book, I decided to hold off reading it until recently. I still haven't watched the movie.

I started to read and, as many others have mentioned in their reviews, I found myself shaking my head at Ana's inner goddess monologues. However, I also knew that this was a piece of fan fiction after the author had read Twilight, so I could see some of the influence in the writing. Ana knowingly enters into a relationship with Christian. She didn't sign any contracts, apart from the secrecy one which, in my eyes meant that she went into this relationship of her own free will. Christian could have pushed her to sign the contract. In fact, if he was a complete control freak he would have. Yes, he's a controlling a-hole, but to be fair, he warned Ana on several occasions to stay away.
That contract! Goodness me! If someone handed me that contract I would run for the hills! Some of them made sense (health and safety wise) but some of the rules had me scratching my head and a red warning light flashing.

As for the BDSM aspect of the story, I laughed at the scenes. They were more like mild kink and not hardcore BDSM. I have read several erotic romance novels with BDSM in them and those scenes were more realistic than in this book. I do not practice this lifestyle and cannot say for definite that the other books I have read are accurate either, but this felt more like titillation rather than any real BDSM. Several people have stated in their reviews that this book promotes an abusive relationship and to some degree I agree, that one scene with the belt comes to mind. However, I also think that Christian Grey has some serious issues from his childhood that were hinted at that need addressing with major therapy.

Having said all that, I actually enjoyed reading this book, even though it was like watching a train crash at times. I tried not to let anyone's opinion colour mine, so I hope those who read this review and then decide to read the book will also keep an open mind. There has been two camps saying you either love or hate this book. However, I find myself not able to definitively say which camp I fall into because I didn't love it nor did I hate it. I found it entertaining but it just didn't excite me either way.
Will I continue to read the other books? Unknown at this time, but I am not ruling it out in the future. As for watching the movies, I am not sure about that either. Only time will tell.

This was E.L. James' debut novel and as such I found her writing style rather amateurish, this is not a bad thing as one has to start somewhere and improvement can always be made. The story pace was not particularly fast, but I still found myself turning the pages to find out what happened next. The story flow could have been tightened up with some scenes being shortened, but for the most part it flowed well.

Due to the nature of this book, I do not recommend it to readers under the age of 16. I do, however, recommend this book if you love contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:


                   

About The Author:


E L James is a TV executive, wife and mother of two, based in West London. Since early childhood, she dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.

E L James is currently working on her next novel...

Author Links:




Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Review of The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (The Elias Chronicles Book 1) by E.G. Kardos



Book Title: The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (Elias Chronicles #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 165
Author: E.G. Kardos
Date Published: 19 July 2017

Synopsis:

WHEN TWIN SWORDS COLLIDE, an incredible power is unleashed and a new world opens. Defeating the three-headed dragon is the only way for Elias to seize his treasure. THE AMULET- Journey to Sirok is a magical adventure as Elias searches to find a sorcerer named Zoltan to reveal clues to his search.

Review:


The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (Elias Chronicles #1)The Amulet: Journey to Sirok by E.G. Kardos
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book in an intriguing fantasy series. I enjoyed it but with reservations.

Elias is an interesting character. I really liked him. He is a young boy living in a remote village in Hungary. He is the son of a farmer, but he has no interest in being a farmer like his father or two brothers. He is an artist and loves to draw and paint the beautiful scenery and animals living in the forest surrounding the farm. When his Nattymama (Grandmother) tells him the tale of Zoltan, a sorcerer, who lives in Budapest and who can help Elias find his fortune, Elias sets off on a journey to meet him, but faces many obstacles and dangers along the way.

This is quintessentially a coming of age tale. When I first started reading this book I struggled with the author's writing style and it took me a while to get into it. Elias is only fifteen (nearly sixteen), so I was surprised at how harshly his father treated him. Just because a child doesn't want to follow in the parent's footsteps, a parent should encourage their child to follow their own path, not throw them out of the house. Unfortunately, it is more common than one would think. Having said that, Elias is a pretty level-headed boy and is able to keep his wits about him even when things look really dire at times. There is also a little folklore woven into the tale, with mention of monsters like the Sarkany, a three-headed serpent dragon that becomes a representation of a person's worst nature.

Elias meets several characters (including monsters) along his journey, but I found the majority of them to be one-dimensional and forgettable for the most part. Even the Sarkany didn't seem particularly scary or threatening. This made me feel sad. Nattymama was the only other character that felt lifelike besides Elias. However, I am not in the age range this book is aimed at, so younger readers may not have the same opinion as myself.

I reached the end of the story with mixed emotions. I was happy at the way it concluded, but also a little disappointed that the story left me feeling rather ambivalent to it. I don't like saying this but I don't think I will be continuing with the series. Although the character of Elias was interesting, there was not enough character development or excitement generated for me to want to read the next book in the series.

E.G. Kardos has written an interesting middle grade/young adult fantasy. The author's writing style felt a little stilted in my opinion, and I struggled to get to grips with it in the beginning. It is not particularly fast paced, however, it kept me turning the pages. The story flowed wonderfully from scene to scene, and is written in such a descriptive way I could picture the tale easily in my minds eye.

I highly recommend this book to children aged 10 upwards and to adults who love reading YA/Middle Grade Fantasy. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:

              

About The Author:



I grew up loving fantasy and couldn’t get enough whether it was in books or movies. Art, too, of all kinds has played an important role in my life as long as I can remember.

I've written several books both for readers who are young and young at heart. My inspiration comes from the beauty that surrounds all of us—both in nature and in each other.

I am an avid “student” of Joseph Campbell and have read and studied the many books Campbell wrote. It fascinates me that the “hero’s journey” is so embedded in all cultures for thousands of years. THE ELIAS CHRONICLES are true to form of Campbell’s hero’s journey, as I explore what’s most important in our lives today with the mythology and magic that are the fabric of who we are as a people.

Author Links:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review of Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power (Josh Anvil #4) by Bruce Arrington



Book Title: Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power (Josh Anvil Series Book 4)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 288
Author: Bruce E. Arrington
Date Published: 4 March 2017

Synopsis:

The aliens were right: Josh can’t contain his powers. Not anymore, with his subconscious making monsters he doesn’t control. As Earth’s future looks darker with a catastrophic invasion just around the corner, Josh’s world is torn in two. Weaved in YA fantasy with elements of action and comedy, this fourth book in the Josh Anvil series captures the trials of a high school freshman with powerful abilities at his command.

Review:


Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power (Josh Anvil, #4)Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power by Bruce E. Arrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Josh Anvil Series. I loved it!

Josh Anvil is a fantastic character. I liked him very much from the very first book. He is a smart and curious fourteen (almost fifteen) year old. Unfortunately, he doesn't see himself the same way. He has low self-esteem, which is caused by his dyslexia and being bullied at school. However, he is an excellent story teller and basketball player, has a vivid imagination and incredible powers thanks to the aliens that saved him after an accident in the swamp where he lives. (Read book 1 to find out how that happened).

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review.

The story continues from the end of the third book and sees Josh dealing with the aftermath of the battle with the clones, as well as still struggling to deal with the power given to him and this manifests in a most unusual way. He finds himself having to fight against his own fears which, because of his ability to imagine things into being, begin to eat away at his sanity and confidence and takes on a life of its own. However, that's not the only challenge he faces. He still has to stop the aliens from destroying the earth. Not an easy task by any means.

This story is just as fast paced and exciting as the first three books. There are several twists and turns, and a few surprises that kept me hooked from beginning to end. Josh has grown as a character throughout this series. As well as gaining confidence in himself and his abilities, he has begun to believe in himself too. I have enjoyed watching him gain this confidence and it made me feel proud of him. I also liked meeting his friends Troy, Kodi, Lonnie, Libby, Jana, Axel, Sadie and Marty (the latter seven being humanoid aliens he and Troy had befriended in book 2) again. They each have their own personality, which makes them come alive in the story. We also meet Josh's new girlfriend, Lisa, and get to know the FBI agents chasing Josh a little better.

There is action, adventure and danger aplenty in this story and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat during some scenes. This book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion and when I reached the end of the story I felt sad, but this was only because I wanted to keep reading! The story does end in a small cliffhanger, although the story arc seems to be reaching its climax, so I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series as soon as possible.

Bruce Arrington has written an exciting fantasy adventure. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 10-18, but I also recommend this book to adults who love to read YA fantasy books filled with action, adventure, danger and aliens. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:


              

About The Author:





Bruce enjoys taking your average, everyday characters and upending their lives through unusual and powerful circumstances. He authored the teen Josh Anvil series, the Fallen Powers series and shorter stories. Currently Bruce teaches in a small K-12 school, and enjoys challenging students to be their creative best. He writes mostly during the summer, but throughout the year is drawn back into his writing adventures as time allows.

Author Links:

Visit online at www.pipedreambooks.com and
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PipeDreamBooks/

Connect with his Patreon page here:
https://www.patreon.com/BruceArrington/

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review of Hope by Jennifer Gibson @charmedchickJG


Book Title: Hope
Genre: YA Romance/Coming of Age
Pages: 253
Author: Jennifer Gibson
Date Published: 1 July 2017

Synopsis:

Jessie has managed to defy the odds, overcoming a severe hearing loss and achieving a Black Belt. She seemed to have it all, a handsome and devoted boyfriend, success as a karate instructor…until now.

On the cusp of graduating from high school, a shocking injury changes her life. With her heart shattered and her faith destroyed, she finds herself headed in a new direction all alone. As she leaves for college, she needs to find the courage to conquer her self-doubt and rediscover hope before it’s too late.

Review:


HopeHope by Jennifer Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the forth book in a series that follows Jessie, a teen with a hearing impediment. I really enjoyed this story!

Jessie McIntyre is a character I could relate to easily. She has faced many difficult challenges over the last few of years, what with being bullied at high school, competing at Karate tournaments and earning her black belt, as well as learning to deal with her extra hearing loss after her accident. Now heading towards college, Jessie is finding life even more complicated. Will she overcome the obstacles placed in her way? And can she find out what her destiny has in store?

It has been two years since I read and reviewed the third book, Destiny. However, when I heard that this book had been released, I quickly purchased a copy, as I was curious to find out how Jessie was getting on. This story continues on from book three and is told through the eyes of Jessie. I was quickly pulled into the lives of the characters once more and taken on a huge emotional roller coaster ride. It was lovely meeting her again, I missed her.

It has been a pleasure watching Jessie's character grow throughout the series. I have also enjoyed watching Jessie and Ethan's relationship grow closer over the series. They have had their ups and downs, as most couples do, but I love the way they interact; you can almost feel their love for each other, it's that palpable. But after a sparring accident causes a rift, Jessie finds herself facing a life altering choice.

Jessie is accepted to an art college and this see's her leaving home and spreading her wings a bit. This also introduces us to a new character, Jackson. I am not a fan of love triangles and I was worried that this would be the case in this book. However, I needn't have worried. Jackson is an art college student too, and rents a room in the same house as Jessie. They soon become fast friends. He also happens to be gay.

As I said above, this book is a roller coaster ride of emotion and I felt each one that impacted on Jessie. This book is full of love, joy, anger, fear, sadness, loss and, most especially, hope. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion, so I suggest you keep a tissue handy just in case. Jessie finds herself facing many challenging situations and trying new things. I especially enjoyed the fencing and Bo scenes. I am not a sporty person (though I love swimming), but these scenes are written with authority as the author obviously has an interest in these sports and either has extensive experience or knowledge of them as well as Karate. There is also a spiritual feel to the story that I enjoyed. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings; sad that it ended but happy at the way it concluded.

Jennifer Gibson has written an intriguing and interesting YA story based in truth. I found the story a quick read. I love the way the story flows from scene to scene; it's extremely fluid and the descriptions were described in such a way that I could picture them with ease. This is an author I have added to my favourite authors list.

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 12 to 16, and to adults who love reading younger YA romance or coming of age novels. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:


              


About The Author:



Jennifer is an award winning photographer, Illustrator, book cover designer and published author of the unique trilogy series featuring a hearing impaired teen. www.jennifergibson.ca

Awards:
SWAY - Silver in the 2014 Literary Classics Book Awards for Young Adult
- 2014 Literary Classics Seal of Approval recipient
- Stargazer Literary Prizes Honorable Mention winner for Young Adult.
- 5 star review from Readers' Favorite Book Reviews

COMPASS - Finalist at the 2014 InD'Tale RONE awards
- Stargazer Literary Prizes Finalist award winner for Young Adult
- 2014 Literary Classics Seal of Approval Recipient
- 2015 BTS Red Carpet Best Book Award Finalist

DESTINY - 2015 Literary Classics Seal of Approval recipient
- 5 star review from Readers' Favorite Book Reviews
- Official selection in Young Adult for New Apple Book Awards


Author Links:




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Release Blitz: Billionaire Unveiled by Author J.S. Scott @AuthorJSScott







What happens when a man you've always hated turns out to be the one who saves you, risking his own life to rescue you from certain death?

Lines are blurred.

Everything you've always thought was true isn't quite so clear anymore.

Dani

I've always hated Marcus Colter. I have since high school. We antagonize each other every time we meet, and I thought our dislike was mutual, until he ends up saving my life on a suicide mission to rescue me from my captors, men who would have killed me if not for Marcus. Everything that happens after that successful, crazy, and dangerous mission confuses me.

Turns out, not only is Marcus incredibly brave, but he also has a gruff kindness that I never knew existed. His quiet strength sees me through my pain and fear after he pulls me out of the danger zone.

I'm not sure what to think of Marcus Colter anymore.

He's still the bossy alpha male who drives me crazy, but I eventually discover that there's so much more to Marcus than what's on the surface.

Apparently, I've never known the real Marcus Colter.

Maybe nobody does...

Please Note: Billionaire Unveiled is a full-length novel of approximately 65k words. Bonus material is included at the end Billionaire Unveiled, so if you liked this novel you can also enjoy Come Away With Me by Ruth Cardello, and a sneak peek of The Billionaire's Secret by J.S. Scott.

The Billionaire's Obsession Series:

The Billionaire's Obsession - (The Complete Collection) - Simon
Heart Of The Billionaire - Sam
The Billionaire's Salvation - Max
The Billionaire's Game - Kade
Billionaire Undone - Travis
Billionaire Unmasked - Jason
Billionaire Untamed - Tate
Billionaire Unbound - Chloe
Billionaire Undaunted - Zane
Billionaire Unknown - Blake
Billionaire Unveiled - Marcus






Coming Soon

Billionaire Unloved


Pre-Order Available Now 



Not started the series yet?
You can now get books 1-4 in a fantastic new boxset 
  
Amazon AUS~ http://amzn.to/2tui2NN


LINK TO GIVEAWAY (will be live from 9am EST on July 25th) - 

https://www.facebook.com/authorjsscott/posts/1397360347027419

J.S. Scott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romance. She's an avid reader of all types of books and literature. Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary steamy romance stories and paranormal romance erotics. They almost always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she just can't seem to write them any other way! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review of The Jewel Tree: A Young Adult Fantasy Novella by Lee Summers



Book Title: The Jewel Tree: A Young Adult Fantasy Novella
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 90
Author: Lee Summers
Date Published: 2 June 2017

Synopsis:

At the heart of THE JEWEL TREE is an heirloom so precious that the last remaining members of the Ryder family will do almost anything to keep it in their possession.

But how long should a young girl work to earn back the emblem of her mother's soul? And is any task to menial?

When Leda sees the hummingbird charm dangling from wealthy Lord Caitiff's shriveled earlobe, she swears she will labor a year and a day to reclaim it. She is prepared to do whatever the old man asks--until the day he asks too much.

In a world of dark curses and ancient grudges, Leda and her handsome young uncle are sometimes hard pressed to distinguish between appearance and reality. Not all that glitters is gold--and gold is never worth more than flesh and blood. This mini-novel about the redemptive power of love will delight readers who appreciate a little magic in their lives.

Review:


The Jewel Tree: A Novel in MiniatureThe Jewel Tree: A Novel in Miniature by Lee Summers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful young adult fantasy novella. I really enjoyed it.

Leda Ryder is a young girl of fifteen when the story starts, but the tale covers a few years. She is a wonderful character and I really liked her. She was orphaned at a young age and has been raised by her uncle, Alexander. Unfortunately, he has a gambling addiction and has squandered the family money until there is nothing of value except an heirloom called the Jewel Tree (fashioned from gold), which holds little charms set with precious and semi-precious stones. He sells these charms to Lord Caitiff to pay for his debts. When she finds out what her uncle has done, she finds herself working for Lord Caitiff in an attempt to earn the charms back.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, with no expectation of a positive review.

This is an intriguing and charming novella. I must admit that I was not sure what time period this book was set in at first, then I realised that it must be in Victorian or early Edwardian times as there is mention of horses and carriages but no cars.

The story is mostly told through the eyes of Leda, though Alexander and Lord Caitiff also have scenes seen through their points of view. I found myself hooked from the first page. However, I also found myself confused at the relationship between Leda and Alexander. The author introduces Alexander as Leda's uncle, but a couple of times they are referred to as siblings. It's as if the author couldn't decide what their relationship should be and kept changing it and never corrected it or missed it during editing. Nevertheless, they come across as a loving and close family even though it's just the two of them. Lord Caitiff is a mysterious benefactor and the reader never really gets to know him until close to the end of the tale. There is a good reason for this and the author uses this mystery to good effect as there is a slight twist that surprised me. There are also other characters that intrigued me, like Felicity, Lord Caitiff's daughter who is unspeakably ugly. This story has a "Beauty and the Beast" feel to it, and was further enhanced by the inclusion of a curse and a sorceress called Iona Grimm. What her relationship to Lord Caitiff is, I'll leave you to find out for yourselves.

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings; I would have liked for the story to be a little longer as felt it was rushed in places but happy at the way it concluded.

Lee Summers has written an intriguing debut YA fantasy novella. However, this author has written other works under the name of Elise Chidley, though I have never read them. I love her writing style, which is fast paced. However, as I mentioned above, I found some of the story a little rushed at times. Due to the confusion over the relationship between Leda and Alexander, I found myself stumbling and re-reading parts which disrupted the flow. I think that once this issue has been addressed, the story should flow more smoothly. Having said all that, I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

There is no explicit or overt mention of sexual activity. However, there is one instance where Lord Caitiff propositions Leda. Nevertheless, this book is aimed at young adult readers and as such, I recommend this book to readers aged 12 upwards. Readers younger than this may struggle with certain words they may not be familiar with, but then again, it depends on their reading level, so parental advice is advised. I also recommend this book to adults who love to read young adult romance/fantasy or fairytale re-tellings. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:


              

About The Author:


Lee Summers writes dark and twisty fairy tales under condition of complete anonymity. She would like you to know nothing at all about her, except that she talks to dogs, loves chocolate, and cannot hold a tune. Please picture her writing with a quill on parchment.

Author Links:

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho




Click on the pic for the Amazon.com purchase link.

The language used is brilliant, lyrical mostly but...
The book is deceptively overly complex and overly simplified at times.  I get the message and found THE BOY's struggle to be both interesting and curious but not life changing.  

I don't know.  I think my expectations were to high.  Don't get me wrong, not a bad read but not something that spoke to my inner soul or that I could not put down.

Here is my advice.  Read it for yourself and then judge.

Here is my rating.


There was an error in this gadget