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


FINAL15

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

Chasing Stars by L. Duarte


FINAL3

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.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47


FINAL2

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.


FINAL6

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


FINAL8

L. Duarte

~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~


Cover Reveal ~ ‘Undying Love’ by Teresa Mummert.

FINAL7

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


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00032]

FINAL3

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.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

FINAL8

~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~

FINAL11

Cover Design by Rebecca Berto at ‘Berto Designs’.

~ Facebook ~ Website ~

~

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 🙂

popp

Poppy Field: Innocence (Poppy Field #1)

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

FINAL15

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

Image


FINAL3

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.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47


FINAL2

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!


FINAL6

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

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


FINAL8

Follow Author Marie Hall

~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~


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

FINAL15

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

The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland


FINAL3

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 …

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47


FINAL2

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!


FINAL6

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

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


FINAL8

Henriette Gyland

~Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~


ChocLit-logo-Web


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

FINAL15

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

Image


FINAL3

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.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47


FINAL2

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!


FINAL6

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

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


FINAL8

Cynthia Eden

~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~


Book Review – ‘A Life Earthbound (Dryad Quartet #3)’ by Katie Jennings.

FINAL15

A Life Earthbound by Katie Jennings
(The Dryad Quartet #3)
Genres: Romance, Fantasy

Image


FINAL3

SYNOPSIS

Her name was Rhiannon, and she was Earth.

She was graceful, intelligent, and undoubtedly a workaholic. She could put a crack in the Earth’s surface a mile wide and grow the loveliest flower ever to have existed right beside it, a contradiction she held with both reverence and pride. For she herself was something of a contradiction: a girl, seemingly free, but silently trapped within her own heart and mind, never to be released.

Or so she thought. She never wasted much time on impractical dreams or wishes she figured could never come true. But all her life one person has been there, a constant reminder of the true girl living behind her mask of cool indifference and solitude.

But the tides of her fate were changing, and her helplessness building as a master plan was in the works that would only bind her wrists further, and destroy everything she never even thought she could have.

Throw in a dash of murder, vicious accusations, and plenty of family drama, and it could very well be a recipe for freedom, or for death.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47


FINAL2

Book Review – ‘A Life Earthbound (Dryad Quartet #3)’ by Katie Jennings ~ 5 Stars!

Here I am again, completely speechless and awestruck at how much I love this series. ‘A Life Earthbound’ is the third book in the ‘Dryad Quartet’ by Katie Jennings, and quite honestly nothing makes me happier than this book, so much so that I was crying emotionally when I finished it purely because I had been so happy reading it.

Since the beginning of the series, I have always loved Rhiannon’s character and was desperately sad to see how Blythe thought of her in ‘Firefight in Darkness’. Where I feel many readers may have viewed her as self-important and snobby, I always saw through this front she presented to the world and really wanted to know more about her lonely character. ‘A Life Earthbound’ was such a beautiful tale in which we finally see the true Rhiannon.

I really connected to Rhiannon’s character in this book and maybe due to being quite similar in some respects, I really sympathised with how her hard upbringing had caused her to have a focused view of life and a unromantic view of love and marriage. Most people will identify with wanting to make their parents happy, but Rhiannon, instead of being the selfish girl that Blythe portrays her to be, is actually the most selfless person in the series. Where Capri is so easy to like due to her innocence and sweet nature, Rhiannon is quiet in her caring for others and puts herself on the line to help others silently, meaning her true kindness is not made clear to everybody, and she is misunderstood. A scene that broke my heart was Rhiannon using her own saved money to pay for a shopping trip with her sister because she didn’t want to cause any problems by asking her parents for money. Rhiannon’s scenes with Dante also showed just how much she is undervalued compared to the characters of the other dryads, despite her utter devotion to her calling, and her natural skill.

Rhiannon’s relationship with Liam was one that I have been eagerly awaiting since I started the series. If anyone could help Rhiannon become a young girl who could live and love, it is Liam. Their scenes together were beautiful and I loved seeing how their relationship developed throughout their early childhood. Unlike the other books so far, ‘A Life Earthbound’ starts at Rhiannon’s birth and follows her story until adulthood. It was heartbreaking to see how Serendipity’s indifference to her daughter caused Rhiannon to believe that she was not worthy of love, and it was somehow her own fault. Her fear of allowing herself to feel love for those around her was constant throughout the novel and I really enjoyed following her story, which although was not as action-packed as Blythe’s, showed a beautiful flourishing that had my heart pounding in my chest, and me reaching for a box of tissues at regular intervals.

I felt so strongly in this storyline, perhaps more so than in the last two books as I felt that all the hurt that Rhiannon felt, I felt too. When Jax, in passionate defence of Blythe, cruelly insulted Rhiannon, I felt my own heart break and my own tears fall as though they were aimed at me. Katie Jennings has a wonderful skill in really making the reader connect with the characters and I don’t just feel as though I have read a book, but have lived the story as the characters have.

This was such a stunning piece of literature, and I absolutely love losing myself in the world of Euphora, and this book in particular really resonated in me, and I was so glad to have facts that backed up why I have always loved Rhiannon’s character.

And a special note to Katie Jennings; thank you so much for Capri’s announcement in the last chapter, that made my day!

A stunning, beautiful tale of love and sacrifice.

Five dazzling, shiny stars!


FINAL6

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


FINAL8

Katie Jennings

Katie Jennings

~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~