Book Review – ‘Chasing Stars’ by L. Duarte.


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Chasing Stars by L. Duarte
Crossing Stars #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Chasing Stars by L. Duarte


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SYNOPSIS

As a pampered Los Angeles teen, Portia McGee once created a bucket list with her best friends Tarry and Niki. Though falling in love topped their list, it was the last thing she could ever imagine doing.

Through the rejection of her parents, Portia learned early in life that love is elusive. Now a famous and frivolous A-list actress, Portia has a Hollywood pedigree sealed in gold by a celebrity actress mother and New York mogul father. When Portia’s latest role requires an elaborate temporary tattoo, she meets Will, a gifted tattoo artist with a tortured past. The attraction is electric and immediate, but Will refuses to take the encounter to the next level-a decision Portia associates with the ring he so clearly wears on his wedding finger. Those old, familiar feelings of rejection take hold, and Portia now realizes that she must face the past in order to forge a new future. As their deep bond ignites in Portia an unexpected spirituality, can she finally free herself to once again chase the stars of her early days? B

oth richly glamorous and rich in meaning, Chasing Stars is a sparkling celebration of how faith and love can conquer even the most challenging of circumstances to uplift the human soul. Chasing Stars is the debut work of romantic fiction by L. Duarte that charts the improbable, rousing romance between two star-crossed lovers, and the journey both must take to open their hearts to renewed hope and lasting love. At once soulful and playful, it’s certain to transport anyone who still, deep down, has faith in the abiding power of second chances.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Intended for adult readers. Sexual content and strong language.

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Book Review – ‘Chasing Stars’ by L. Duarte ~ 5 Stars!

I’ve had ‘Chasing Stars’ on my to-read list for a while, eagerly awaiting its release. I was lucky enough to win a Kindle copy in a giveaway by the author, and that’s where my love affair with this book started.

Chasing Stars was a phenomenal and emotional read which has stayed with me for days after finishing it. It tells the story of Portia, a young, troubled and misunderstood actress and the journey of her growing love and relationship with Tattoo Artist Will. I was very impressed with L. Duarte’s ability to portray a character who in any other circumstances would be quite unlikeable, as a sad and lonely character whose deep rooted self-esteem issues lead her to live an empty life of drugs, sex and partying that she thinks she deserves. Discovering the inner Portia was a wonderful journey as her relationship with Will leads her to realise that she can be a better person.

Will is one of those book boyfriends who just captures you immediately and his every kind word and action tugs at the heartstrings. I felt so emotionally engaged with his journey, and liked the religious elements that were infused into his storyline, without being too in-your-face, or pushy. I loved how the author connected two very different people and had them both bring different essential aspects to their relationship. The clashes the two had as Portia travels down a route of self-destruction after believing she deserves no better was beautifully put together and I found myself on tenterhooks as I wondered whether they would be able to overcome the storm brought about by Portia’s stubborn, selfish and sensitive nature. Her reaction to Will’s ex Pamela was great fun to read as I loved seeing the jealous side of Portia that she would have always kept under wraps if it were not for Will having made her more human.

Without giving too much away, I loved the opening prologue that was set in Portia and Will’s future, and seeing how this unfolded in the later chapters. I read with tears in my eyes and my heart pounding painfully. There was some clever and frank writing by L. Duarte and it made for some exceptional read.

One of my favourite aspects of this book was how real the issues that the story dealt with were portrayed. This was particularly poignant in the epilogue where we hear of what has transpired for all the main characters in the last year. Whilst some characters get their happy endings, others still struggle with drug addiction, loss and marriage to a man who it was suggested once beat them. This gave the story a satisfying and realistic ending which was refreshing to read.

Unfortunately there were a few typos that slipped through the editing process, but this doesn’t stop ‘Chasing Stars’ from being a wonderful book  and it was truly a pleasure to read, and one of my favourite reads for 2013.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read.


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L. Duarte

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Cover Reveal ~ ‘Undying Love’ by Teresa Mummert.

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Undying Love - Teresa Mummert - med res

Revealing the stunning new cover for Teresa Mummert’s ‘Undying Love’, designed by ‘Berto Designs’.

‘Undying Love’ by Teresa Mummert.

Genres: Romance, New Adult


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Synopsis

The Story of a young girl with a chip on her shoulder, braving it in a world in which she feels utterly alone.

She is forced to fight for her survival in a small town that is quickly being overrun by vampires. That is until she meets Caleb who does whatever he can to protect her.

Nothing is what it seems and soon Kat must decide if it is better to follow her heard or her heart.

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Cover Design by Rebecca Berto at ‘Berto Designs’.

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NaNoWriMo Project 2012!

After a busy month of editing and rewriting my NaNoWriMo 2012 project, I finally have something to show for all those hard nights writing away! Although I didn’t manage to edit my entire novel, finding myself more exhausted after finishing University than I expected, I am still proud with the final product, which I am now editing in full.

It is always exciting to hold a paperback copy of your book, whether it is a published book or just for self. So I’m going to take a moment to show off mine 🙂

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Poppy Field: Innocence (Poppy Field #1)

Book Review – ‘Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom #1)’ by Marie Hall.

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Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall
(Kingdom Series #1)
Genres: Romance, Fantasy

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SYNOPSIS

Alice is all grown up. Running the Mad Hatter’s Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe is a delicious job, until fate–and a fairy godmother with a weakness for bad boys–throws her a curveball. Now, Alice is the newest resident of Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter fuels her fantasies and thrills her body with his dark touch.

The Mad Hatter may have a voice and a body made for sex, but he takes no lovers. Ever. But a determined fairy godmother has forced Alice into Wonderland–and his arms. Now, as desire and madness converge, the Hatter must decide if he will fight the fairy godmother’s mating–or fight for Alice.

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Book Review – ‘Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom #1)’ by Marie Hall ~ 4.5 Stars!

‘Her Mad Hatter’ was one of those books that is just mindbogglingly clever. The story shouldn’t work, but Marie Hall somehow manages to crack this story, and it was a great read.

I’m one of those people who has always found ‘Alice in Wonderland’ quite disconcerting. As a child, the whole concept of Wonderland confused me, so it was a strange experience for me to read this story and find myself engaging with characters we know from childhood and seeing a different side of them portrayed.

It took a little while for me to get used to seeing The Hatter as a male sex symbol and maybe that is why I couldn’t quite give this book five stars despite it being a really great read. I feel like if the book had been a little longer and more backstory was given about the Hatter, and a little more description of his looks, I might have warmed to him earlier in the story. I loved the amount of focus the author put on the psychological aspects of the Hatter though, and I loved reading the passages of the story from his perspective as his narrative was full of riddles and rhymes and the author so cleverly put herself in his shoes and really looked inside his head.

In a nutshell; I can’t wait to read the rest of the Kingdom Series!

A great, fun read that I would recommend to any lovers of ‘The Alice in Wonderland’ who would like to see a happy ending for Alice and the Hatter.

4.5 Stars!


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‘Her Mad Hatter’ is the first book in the ‘Kingdom Series’ by Marie Hall and is FREE to download on Kindle.

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Follow Author Marie Hall

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Book Review – ‘The Elephant Girl’ by Henriette Gyland.

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The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland
Genres: Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Choc Lit

The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland


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SYNOPSIS

Peek-a-boo I see you…
When five-year-old Helen Stephens witnesses her mother’s murder, her whole world comes crumbling down. Rejected by her extended family, Helen is handed over to child services and learns to trust no-one but herself. Twenty years later, her mother’s killer is let out of jail, and Helen swears vengeance.

Jason Moody runs a halfway house, desperate to distance himself from his father’s gangster dealings. But when Helen shows up on his doorstep, he decides to dig into her past, and risks upsetting some very dangerous people.

As Helen begins to question what really happened to her mother, Jason is determined to protect her. But Helen is getting too close to someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden …

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Book Review – ‘The Elephant Girl’ by Henriette Gyland ~ 5 Stars!

There is always something about Henriette Gyland’s writing style that draws me into her books, making me unable to stop reading until I get to the last page. It was like this with ‘Up Close’ and the same with ‘The Elephant Girl’ which was a wonderful, intense read that had me guessing right until the end.

One of the reasons that I loved this story is because of how realistic the characters are. The main characters instead of being portrayed as instantly likeable, are instead very real. They make choices that we as readers may or may not agree with and they have real issues, things that affect everyday people, and this I feel is what made me instantly connect to this story.

Similarly to Gyland’s debut novel ‘Up Close’, the prologue made the hairs on my arms stand up. With simple, yet powerful prose that brilliantly portrayed the thought processes of a young child, we get to see the horror of what the story’s heroine, Helen, witnessed as a child, and how this has obviously affected her in the time between her childhood and her next appearance as an adult.

I loved the psychological elements to this story, especially seeing how having epilepsy made Helen shy away from forming attachments, from fear of disgust or being viewed differently. It is a sad reminder that people are often afraid of things that they don’t understand which causes perfectly innocent individuals to be shunned due to a condition that is not their fault. I also loved the idea of Helen moving into a half-way house. In suspense and thrillers we see a lot of the bad side of criminals, but I loved how in ‘The Elephant Girl’ we were able to see that not all criminals are necessarily guilty of the crimes they have been committed for, or that because they have done wrong in the past they do not have hope, or the right of redemption. My favourite characters in this book were Charlie, a young girl who just made the wrong choices, and Lee, a mugger with a stutter who loves dogs. I love how they are depicted as human rather than as a ‘criminal’.

Which leads me to Jason. *sigh* First Aidan and now Jason, Henriette Gyland’s wonderful male creations have ruined me for all real-life men. I love that Jason believes that everyone has the chance of redemption and his fierce loyalty to his friends is breathtaking. Even when he doesn’t know everything about somebody, he sticks by them and defends them, which made me really admire him. His and Helen’s growing relationship was great fun to read, and I absolutely loved how he took care of her after she had an epileptic fit, and instead of running away scared of the implications of her condition, he accepted that this was a part of her and stuck by her.

‘The Elephant Girl’ is a clever, intense romantic suspense, that is a beautiful story of love, friendship, revenge and the hope of redemption. 5 Stars and a definite recommended read!


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‘The Elephant Girl’ is available on Kindle and in Paperback

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Henriette Gyland

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Book Review – ‘A Bit of Bite’ by Cynthia Eden.

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A Bit of Bite by Cynthia Eden
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
A Standalone Short

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SYNOPSIS

A killer is stalking the streets of Crossroads, Mississippi, and it’s up to Sheriff Ava Dushaine to stop him. But when suspicion falls on werewolf alpha Julian Kasey—Ava’s ex-lover and the man who still haunts her dreams—Ava knows that she’ll either have to prove his innocence…or watch the whole town go up in flames.

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Book Review – ‘A Bit of Bite’ by Cynthia Eden ~ 4 Stars!

This was a fun, quick read that had some solid writing and story telling. I liked the predicament of ‘Who can you trust’ that Ava found herself in, her unwavering loyalty to her co-workers and her disbelief when she discovered that they were the ones who were targeting her. I really admired her strength of character and how she stil wished to help her fellow officers when she discovered that they had been double-crossed and how she put herself in danger to save them.

Her relationship with Julian was fiery and great fun to read. It’s always amusing to read the interactions between two very stubborn individuals, and Cynthia Eden delivered some brilliant backstory that explained the underlying tension between the two.

The only reason that I gave this book 4 rather than 5 stars is that I kept feeling as though I was missing part of the story. Although this was only meant to be a short book, I feel like there should have been a couple of extra pages that better described the town and how the Vampires, Werewolves and Humans all came up with the plan to live apart in different dwellings as it were.

A good solid read, and I would definitely read more from this author. 4 Stars!


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‘A Bit of Bite’ is FREE to download on Kindle.

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Cynthia Eden

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