Book Review ~ ‘Stealing Snow’ by Danielle Paige.

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Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Stealing Snow #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling,
Release Date: September 20th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave.

She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate.

A wonderfully icy fantastical romance, with a strong heroine choosing her own destiny, Danielle Paige’s irresistibly page-turning Snow Queen is like Maleficent and Frozen all grown up.

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Book Review ~ ‘Stealing Snow’ by Danielle Paige ~ 4 Stars!

Stealing Snow was an exciting and engaging first installment to Danielle Paige’s new series, which showcases her ever-growing literary talent. In a very different world to Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series, Stealing Snow takes us on a very different adventure which sees the Snow Queen retold as never before.

My favourite part of this novel, strangely, was the opening chapters. The atmosphere that Paige created throughout the scenes in the Institution were brilliantly claustrophobic, haunting and nail-biting. I really got to know and root for Snow early on, even though we didn’t know who she exactly she was. Her lack of knowledge of the real world made her escape that much more exciting and frightening.

The world of Algid was brilliantly built, and I loved entering this magical world, where not everything is as it seems, and where the Snow King’s power is held over everybodys heads. Seeing Snow struggle to accept the new knowlegdge of her birth right, and the part she must play in fulfilling her destiny, was pitched perfectly, and I loved how she was unwilling to be a hero, and only wanted to save the boy she loves.

My favourite character was Kai. I LOVED LOVED LOVED him. I cannot wait to see more of him in the rest of the series, and hopefully he and Snow can be reunited.

My only issue was the love-square. Three love interests in the space of 375 pages was too much. Particularly for a girl who has spent her life in an asylum. I felt it was unnecessary to make Jagger a love interest, as their relationship would have been stronger, and more rounded without a romantic interest. I felt she needed an older-brother style protector in Jagger, and would have benefited better from that, and hurt more from his subsequent betrayal.

Nevertheless, bring on Book 2, I say!

4 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Danielle Paige

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Book Review ~ ‘Little Girl Lost’ by Janet Gover.

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Little Girl Lost by Janet Gover
Coorah Creek #4
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 2nd August 2016
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

When a little girl goes missing, an entire town comes together to find her …

When Tia Walsh rides into the small town of Coorah Creek on a Harley-Davidson, Sergeant Max Delaney senses that everything about her spells trouble. But Tia’s trouble is not all of her own making, and the dangerous past she tried to leave behind is hot on her heels.

Sarah Travers has returned home after three years of college to find that her parents have been keeping a devastating secret. Her childhood crush, Pete Rankin, is facing his own struggle with a harsh reality that will take him away from the girl and the life that he loves.

Tia, Max, Sarah and Pete are all trying to find their future, but when a little girl goes missing in the harsh outback, nothing else matters except finding her safe.

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Book Review ~ ‘Little Girl Lost’ by Janet Gover ~ 5 Stars!

Oh how I loved, loved, loved this book! Janet Gover never fails to deliver with her heart-wrenching and beautifully delivered tales of Coorah Creek, and Little Girl Lost is no exception.

First off, I read this in about five hours one evening. I knew if I started it I wouldn’t put it down until I had finished, and I was fine with that, so I chose an evening where I didn’t have work the next day. A Coorah Creek novel always means an evening locked away reading. Second off, I finished this and then couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about the characters, the place, the story. I was obsessed.

Little Girl Lost is told from the view of four different characters. Tia, Max, Sarah and Pete all have one thing in common, Coorah Creek is a town that is hard to shake from your blood. Only Sarah is native to the town, so it was great to see her perspective after returning after years at college, and to see how it differed from Tia, who at first can’t take to the friendliness of the close-knit community without fear. A delivery driver Pete who always loves when one of his deliveries calls for a trip to Coorah Creek, and Max who has happily made the place his home, despite having had different plans for his future. I connected to each character on such a deep level, and loved seeing Tia and Max, and Sarah and Pete grow closer in their own ways, and how they had to overcome personal issues of all kinds to find happiness.

Seeing the town members band together to help find a missing girl was one of my favourite sections of the book. You could see through the masks that all the characters usually wear, as they let down their own defences all to help an outsider family. To see this family grow closer because of the ordeal was equally heartwarming!

I also adored the undertone throughout the novel of the main character being the town. Janet Gover beautifully portrays the town as the mother of all who shelter there, and it is this that makes me want to revisit it time and time again through these books.

With a host of great secondary characters who fellow series lovers will recognise, reading Little Girl Lost really is like coming home again.

5 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Janet Gover

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Book Review ~ ‘You’re the One That I Want’ by Angela Britnell.

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You’re the One That I Want by Angela Britnell
(Nashville Connections #4)
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: 17th September 2016.
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

What if you didn’t want to fake it any more?
When Sarah, a teacher from Cornwall, and Matt, a businessman from Nashville, meet on a European coach tour, they soon find themselves in a relationship …

Except it’s a fake relationship. Because Matt is too busy for romance, and Sarah is only trying to make her cheating ex-husband jealous … isn’t she?

As Matt and Sarah complete their tour of Europe, they do all the things real couples are supposed to do – from visiting fairy-tale castles in Germany to recreating the scene from Romeo and Juliet in Verona. And, of course, for every picturesque destination there’s a loved-up selfie and Facebook post to match.

But as their holiday comes to an end, Sarah and Matt realise that they’re not happy with their pretend relationship. They want the real thing.

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Book Review ~ ‘You’re the One That I Want’ by Angela Britnell ~ 4 Stars!

A gorgeous little story, perfect for a cozy evening in, You’re the One That I Want is a lovely addition to the Nashville Connections series that will leave you with that feel-good vibe.

A shorter read, but no less impactful than a full-length novel, Angela Britnell creates a beautiful relationship between Matt and Sarah as they find themselves on the same coach trip on a tour around Europe with their mothers. The only two people under the age of 50, Matt and Sarah quickly get to know each other, but it’s safe to say that neither give the best first impression.

Britnell timed this story to perfection. Despite the short length, I believed the pace of the book, and could feel the claustrophobia that was getting to Matt from the hours on a coach away from his work, and how him and Sarah connected over the little snippets of information they gained of the other in the hours they had to spend together. Sarah’s annoyance at Matt’s attitude greatly echoed the annoyance she felt at herself for how childishly she was using Matt to make her ex-husband jealous.

You’ll love Matt and Sarah from the get-go, and will root for them to make it, through meddling mothers, nosy tour-guides and a distance of Cornwall to Nashville.

The only thing I hoped for was a little more closure. I had that moment of turning the last page, thinking another chapter could have seen Matt and Sarah talk through the problems of long-distance relationships and discuss a final solution to give the characters and readers some closure. Fingers crossed we’ll see a snippet of these great characters in future Nashville Connections stories to see how they fare!

4 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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Angela Britnell

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Book Review ~ ‘Girl Having a Ball’ by Rhoda Baxter.

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Girl Having a Ball by Rhoda Baxter
Girl on the Run #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: September 27th 2016
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

What if you had to learn to stand on your own feet?

Although Stevie lost her parents when she was very young, she’s always been able to rely on her brother, Marsh. But now Marsh is married and Stevie feels like she is losing him too. Determined to prove her independence, Stevie sets about transforming her life, giving up her dead-end job and following her passion for events management.

Her first assignment takes her to a stunning manor house in Oxford where she is tasked with organising a charity ball on a shoestring. Between canapé worries, celebrity guests and trying to keep the hyper-critical Lady Beryl happy, Stevie’s teenage crush, Tom, resurfaces to confuse things even further.

But ‘poor needy little Stevie’ is now ‘Stevie the strong woman’ and she won’t let a man get in the way of her dreams – will she?

Second novel in series, sequel to Girl on the Run.

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Book Review ~ ‘Girl Having a Ball’ by Rhoda Baxter ~ 5 Stars!

I went to bed one night and started reading Girl Having a Ball, thinking I’d enjoy a couple of chapters before having an early night. Four hours later, it was approaching 1am and I had just finished it. I was so engrossed in the story, the fun characters, the will-they-won’t-they between Stevie and Tom that the hours flew by as I laughed, sniffled and cheered Stevie on in her quest to organise the charity ball that could start her career.

Stevie was a great character, and it was great to see more of Marsh’s sister from Girl on the Run, as well as the great cameo’s from Marsh and Jane after their happily-ever-after. Stevie’s desperation to make her way in the world, now that she needed to look after herself, will greatly echoe the struggles of some of the young women reading this book. Wanting to be seen and treated as an adult, yet still dreaming of her perfect future, which she knows won’t be so easy to get, it was wonderful to see her grow as an adult throughout Girl Having a Ball and how getting out from under Marsh’s wing, whilst emotionally tough for her, also gaver her a new freedom.

I loved Tom for his well-hidden vulnerability, and how he felt he had let down his family, despite his Mother’s love for him. Seeing him become closer to his family, and understand that they were proud of his achievements was heartwarming, and for him to understand that a high-paid, high-stressed job doesn’t necessarily mean a happy future.

With a great cast of secondary characters with whom Stevie helps to plan and set up the ball, you’ll laugh at the small-town style politics of the charity group, (I’m talking about you Lady Beryl) you will laugh, cry and feel at one with the ladies and Tom as they make the charity ball one to remember.

5 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 


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Rhoda Baxter

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Book Review ~ ‘Aerie’ by Maria Dahvana Headley.

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Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley
(Magonia #2)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy,
Release Date: 20th October 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

Where is home when you were born in the stars?

Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world.

As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground.

When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, The Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever.

In this stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed Magonia, one girl must make an impossible choice between two families, two homes—and two versions of herself.

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Book Review ~ ‘Aerie’ by Maria Dahvana Headley ~ 5 Stars!

How far can you go to keep someone safe, before it can tear you apart? Aerie follows up to te wonderful Magonia with this question in mind as Aza Ray returns to Earth in a new body, and struggles to find where her heart and body belongs. Her boyfriend Jason will do anything to keep her with him on Earth, but what will it cost him?

An emotional, powerful and action-packed sequel to Magonia, Aerie packs all the punches, and as before, I had tears in my eyes on many occasions. Aza Ray’s devotion to her family, yet her yearning for the clouds sends a message to teens everywhere who feel torn between which way they want to go in life. I adored Aza Ray’s return to the sky and Magonia and how new alliances were formed, as the line between good and evil blurs.

The story is again told from the dual perspectives of Aza Ray and Jason, and Maria Dahvana Headley superbly puts their original and unique voices to page. Jason’s autistic and compulsive tendencies are brilliant to read and you really get into his mind. It was great to also see that Aza Ray’s internal voice hadn’t changed despite everything she had been through. Still quirky, still fun, still confused, her voice was what drew me into the story in Magonia and I loved returning to her mind again.

New characters and songs are introduced and Aerie will take you on another adventure into the skies that you’ll never forget.

5 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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Maria Dahvana Headley

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Book Review ~ ‘This Savage Song’ by V.E. Schwab.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
(Monsters of Verity #1)
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 7th June 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

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Book Review ~ ‘This Savage Song’ by V.E. Schwab ~ 5 Stars!

An electrifying and exciting first novel in the Monsters of Verity series, This Savage Song was unique, thrilling and intriguing from the word go.

Although a little slow to start the main action as we are introducted to the hero and heroine of our story and the lives they lead, there was plenty of brilliant moments that had me falling for the Flynn family and their battles, and that hurt my heart for Kate Harker and the lack of affection she received in her life. The world was set up to perfection and I really felt the fear, the savagery and the desperation of the citizens of Verity.

It’s been noted by other reviewers, but I also just have to express how happy I am that there was no romance between Kate and August. Their relationship as it was was just perfect! Any romance would have felt forced, and even friendship was something so difficult for them to achieve. In this story the focus was on their friendship and learning more about themselves and their flaws and strengths by seeing themselves as the other does. It made the story shine and I adored it!

In This Savage Song, there are monsters as you’ve never seen them before. August is a born monster, but all he wants is to be human. Having to hurt people leaves him guilty and his mission is to protect the innocent from the ruthless Harker regime. Harker is a human, but his dealings with monsters has made him one, and he can’t love his only daughter who, desperate for recognition and affection, believes she must act like the monsters he so loves. But when Kate and August meet, they must learn to trust each other, and to see the world differently for the first time. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Monsters of Verity series, as I can already tell it will be another favourite!

5 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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V.E. Schwab

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Book Review ~ ‘House of Secrets’ by Lynda Stacey.

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House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Choc Lit
Release Date: 19th July 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret …

Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy.

Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.

After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.

But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts …

Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.

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Book Review ~ ‘House of Secrets’ by Lynda Stacey ~ 4 Stars!

A beautiful tale of love and survival, ‘House of Secrets’ really strikes at the heart and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat one moment, and tearing up the next.

 Maddie’s story is heartbreaking, and sadly all to recognisable in today’s society. In an emotionally abusive relationship, whilst desperately trying to keep her family life together for the sake of her young daughter, when push-comes-to-shove she takes the chance and seeks out her long-absent father for a home and protection.

I adored Maddie’s character. Her inner strength was inspiring, and to see how much she had been manipulated through her life, yet how strong she remained for her daughter really made me respect her, and long to finish her story alongside her. Her relationship with Bandit was perfectly depicted and I loved the slow-burn, but also respectful nature of their friendship that turned to romance, a huge departure from her relationship with Liam.

With some fantastic secondary characters, like Maddie’s sister and daughter, the brilliant staff at the Hall who all rally alongside each other, this was at times funny, sad and scary. A great mix in my opinion.

However, I did feel that there was too many storylines going on at times. I adored each separate storyline; Maddie’s escape to her father’s hotel; Liam’s continued psychotic spiral; the tale from the past of a love pulled apart by war and station, but in some ways I felt that I didn’t need the World War tale in the background, as it didn’t add much to Maddie’s story.

Nevertheless, I thorougly enjoyed this story, and will be eagerly awaiting the next book from Lynda Stacey!

4 Stars!


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Lynda Stacey

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