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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Book Review ~ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by Jane Lovering.

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Can’t Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering
(Yorkshire Romances #6)
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 28th June 2016.
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

Is it all too good to be true?

When Willow runs into her old university crush, Luke, she’s a new woman with a new look – not to mention a little bit more cash after a rather substantial inheritance. Could she be lucky enough to score a fortune and her dream man at the same time?

Then Willow meets Cal; a computer geek with a slightly odd sense of humour. They get on like a house on fire — although she soon realises that there is far more to her unassuming new friend than meets the eye …

But money doesn’t always bring happiness, and Willow finds herself struggling to know who to trust. Are the new people in her life there because they care – or is there another reason?

Previously released in the US as Reversing Over Liberace. Revised and edited by Choc Lit June 2016.

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Book Review ~ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by Jane Lovering ~ 5 Stars!

As part of my 2016 Reading Challenge, I had to read a book that was ‘guaranteed to bring me joy’. I spent a few months debating which book to go for when Can’t Buy Me Love was released, immediately I knew this was the book.

Jane Lovering has such a talent for bringing joy as you turn the pages through her novels, and Can’t Buy Me Love is no exception. In turns funny, romantic and sad, Willow’s story will have you bent double in fits of laughter one moment and then going on a feminist rampage the next, shaking your fist in anger. The emotions she evokes, all whilst keeping a witty narrative style is genius, and I felt so satisfied after turning the last page, like you do when you finish a fantastic story.

Willow was a heroine that I really took to. Despite her bravado and sarcastic humour, it was obvious that she felt there was a lot of weight on her shoulders, and I admired her for the way that she looked after her family, and was there for each of them in her own way. In turn, Luke was the character that I loved to hate. At first I enjoyed seeing him and Willow banter and become closer, but as the questions about him started piling up, I became suspicious, and with the arrival of Cal, Luke was quickly banished from my mind and I fell hard for the nerdy Computer whizz. Jane Lovering made him such a brilliantly complex character, with his own emotional flaws and past let-downs. But despite his lack of self-confidence, his view on life and happiness was powerful, and I loved seeing him and Willow argue about what you should do with your life.

A gorgeously funny romance with some devious and colourful characters, I can confirm that Can’t Buy Me Love is guaranteed to bring you joy!

5 Stars!

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


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Jane Lovering

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Book Review ~ ‘Before You’ by Kathryn Freeman.

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Before You by Kathryn Freeman
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Choc Lit
Release Date: June 21st 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

When life in the fast lane threatens to implode …

Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.

New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.

Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.

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Book Review ~ ‘Before You’ by Kathryn Freeman ~ 5 Stars!

SO. MUCH. LOVE!

Before You was everything I hoped for, and so much more. Sexy, funny, romantic and glamorous, I devoured Aiden and Mel’s story, and was sad to leave it behind as I turned the last page.

I don’t know a huge amount about Formula One, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book at all – Kathryn Freeman did a fantastic job at setting the scene, introducing us to the characters, the team at Delta, and the jobs they all had to do in a way that made it exciting to read; I understood a little more about how racing works as a competitive sport, and became excited to see Aiden back behind the wheel, sitting on the edge of my seat as he raced.

I adored Mel and Aiden’s relationship. Slow-burning to start, but fiery and unstoppable as it progressed, I loved seeing both Mel and Aiden’s thought processes as the relationship heated up, and seeing how the glamorous racing life could come between them. Above all though, I loved young Tom and the family dynamic he brought to the story that brought tears to my eyes and had me smiling. His role in Mel and Aiden’s life and in the progression of their relationship was so beautiful to witness and I loved the scenes where they were all together, just laughing, talking or even fighting. Together they brought out the best in each other, and I loved seeing his innocent, and broken character grow stronger and more impassioned as he enters the racing world.

A gorgeous, exciting romance with family ties weaved throughout, this was a stunning novel that enthralled me from start to finish.

5 Stars!


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Book Review ~ ‘Learning to Love’ by Sheryl Browne.

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Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne.
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Choc Lit
Release Date: June 14th 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places …

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and in the suspicious absence of her fiancé, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …

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Book Review ~ ‘Learning to Love’ by Sheryl Browne ~ 5 Stars!

Addictive, heartfelt, romantic; Learning to Love has all the  elements of a perfect feel-good romance. Author Sheryl Browne has aced it again.

Learning to Love was a rollercoaster of a story, I experienced so many emotions from the brilliantly drawn out supporting characters, as well as Andrea and David, that I became so invested in the lives and happiness of the inhabitants of Hibberton village.

Andrea and David didn’t get off to the best start, but it was this tension that made their relationship so much fun to watch grow. There were twists and turns and ups and downs, but witnessing them grow as people and parents because of their friendship was so great to see. The stresses of Andrea’s everyday life of juggling two teenage children, a toddler, and an elderly mother and a emotionally withdrawing fiancé was written to a T.

The children were my favourite characters. I loved how realistically they were portrayed, their sniping, their moodiness, their stubborness, but also in how they coped with pain and uncertainty. Sophie’s heartbreak at their dog being missing after the fire really resonated with me, and I loved her for her hope and loyalty.

A gorgeous story, with a mystery ravelling throughout Learning to Love is a fantastic, thrilling read with characters you’ll learn to love and those you’ll yearn to hate (even though you can’t!)

5 Stars!


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Book Review ~ ‘All the Birds in the Sky’ by Charlie Jane Anders.

 

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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary.
Release Date: January 26th 2016.
Publisher: Titan Books.

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SYNOPSIS

From the editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning novel about the end of the world–and the beginning of our future

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

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Book Review ~ ‘All the Birds in the Sky’ by Charlie Jane Anders ~ 5 Stars!

I came out of reading ‘All of the Birds in the Sky’ with a huge smile on my face.With equal parts charm, wit, magic, science, pain and loss, I experienced every emotion when following Patricia and Laurence as they navigate through life both together and apart.

Blending elements of fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, dystopia, and experimental literature, All the Birds in the Sky managed to beautifully bring together storylines and concepts that shouldn’t mesh, in a exciting and dynamic way. Patricia with her life as a witch, and Laurence with his life as a scientific genius, they teach each other about parts of life that they tend to forget.

I loved the pacing of this book, particulary in how we see Patricia and Laurence as children first, and how this story isn’t swept aside as a forward or introduction to their adult lives, but as the beginning of their story, which shaped how they would be in the future. I loved getting to see the struggles they faced as children in an environment that couldn’t accept them.

There are some brilliant supporting characters that you will laugh along with, hate at sight, and wish to fight alongside during this book. You will love Theodolphus Rose (whether or not you’re meant to, I’m still not too sure), and you will smile throughout.

5 Stars!

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


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Book Review ~ ‘Nod’ by Adrian Barnes.

 

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Nod by Adrian Barnes
Genres: Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Release Date: 1st September 2015
Publisher: Titan Books

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SYNOPSIS

Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream.

After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead.

Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole.

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Book Review ~ ‘Nod’ by Adrian Barnes ~ 5 Stars!

This book was sheer brilliance!

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you suddenly you were unable to sleep?

Day One, you’d be grouchy but fine; after all, students do all-nighters all the time.

Day Two? You’d be looking forward to a long sleep.

What about Day Seven?

Haunting, psychological, nerve-wracking, ‘Nod’ was a perfectly crafted post-apocalyptic style novel, which had me still thinking about it long after I’d turned the last page.

I’m not much into zombie fiction, because I don’t believe it’s realistic, so when I read the blurb for ‘Nod’ I was instantly excited. Insomnia causing a breakdown of society? Yes, please! It was a believable scenario, which gave the story so much more impact. We see people who love each other turn against each other as the lack of sleep kicks in, and we see morality take a backseat as everybody desperately tries to stay alive.

Adrian Barnes brilliantly questions what happens to human nature when the fundamental  ability to sleep is taken away from you.

It is a rollercoaster of a ride, and I guarantee you won’t be able to put the book down until you see how it finishes.

5 Stars!


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