Blog Stop and Review ~ ‘Now or Never’ by A.J. Bennett.

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Mrs. Potter’s Book Publicity Services Presents:
A Deluxe Blog Tour For:

Now or Never by A.J. Bennett

(Alexander Twins #1)
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Now or Never


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SYNOPSIS

Twenty-one year old Grayson Alexander finally breaks away from an abusive relationship and finds herself free for the first time in three years.

Determined to enjoy her new-found freedom, Grayson is intent on sticking with ‘no strings attached’ relationships—one-night stands, and steamy sex.

But she didn’t plan on Derrick.

Her attraction to the sexy man in uniform quickly turns into an unhealthy relationship. They both try to resist the pull, but neither can stay away.

When tragedy strikes, Grayson realizes it’s now or never—walk away or make it work.

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Book Review – ‘Now or Never’ by A.J. Bennett ~ 5 Stars! 

I was in given a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved this story. I had been in a bit of a reading rut for a for the few weeks before I started reading this book, and was so relieved when I picked it up and was immediately drawn into A.J. Bennett’s captivating storytelling. I loved how very ‘real’ the characters were, and how they had flaws that weren’t just skirted over, but made into a huge part of the story allowing for some incredible character growth. I especially loved Grayson’s character and the decisions she made after escaping from an abusive relationship, for her to come to understand what she wanted from life.

Whilst many people may find my view on this very strange, I loved that Grayson dealt with her issues in ways that may make her seem unlikable as the story’s heroine. I loved the tension between Grayson and Derrick that started out as sexual and later became more intense and confusing as they both made choices the other disapproved of. When seeing Grayson try to find her sexual self which had been dominated through years in an unhappy and abusive relationship, I kept mentally shouting at her that she ‘deserved better’. And that was why I loved this book. I really connected to the characters and whilst I didn’t agree with their actions, I could understand why they felt they should act that way.

‘Now or Never’ is a great story of self-discovery and I was pleased that A.J. Bennett didn’t merely give Grayson and Derrick an easy journey, but had them do things that young people do, and then learn from their mistakes. There were no apologies given for the way that Grayson and Derrick gave themselves, and each other, less than they deserved, which brilliantly helped to develop their characters through the course of the book as the fall-outs caused through their actions made them begin to see the error of their ways.

The style of writing was fluid and great to read, as the story flowed at a good pace and didn’t leave me wishing for a bigger build-up or aftermath to the main action. The descriptions of the town were wonderful and I really felt as though I could see the town before me, and the atmosphere and characters inside the coffee shop.

A.J. Bennett delivered a truly wonderful read, which as well as giving me the satisfaction of seeing Grayson and Derrick’s relationship unfold, also gave a realistic view on a young woman’s journey of self-discovery.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read.


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A.J. Bennett lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and bulldog. She’s addicted to coffee, popcorn and books. Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream, and she’s extremely excited about her debut novel ‘Now or Never’.


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A.J. Bennett

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Book Review – ‘A Different Blue’ by Amy Harmon.

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A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
A Standalone Novel
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

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SYNOPSIS

Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn’t attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don’t know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can’t love you back might be impossible.

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Book Review – ‘A Different Blue’ by Amy Harmon ~ 5 Stars.

It’s taken me over two months to be able to write a review for this book, because it was so phenomenal, so brilliantly written, with a story that put me through an emotional ringer, and I really don’t feel like any review I give will do this masterpiece justice. But here were go.

It feels a shame that five stars is the limit because this book deserved so much more than that.

‘A Different Blue’ tells the story of young Blue Echohawk who doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know who her parents are, doesn’t know where she was born, and doesn’t even know her name. Whilst this idea could have been a bit cliche, with a girl having to make her own story, there was nothing cheesy about the way this book was written, or how the story was approached, it was truly nothing short of spectacularly beautiful.

Blue’s relationship with her teacher Will is one that we all wish a teacher would have with us. To be supportive, fair and there for you when you needed help even if there was nothing in it for them. Unfortunately, all too many teenagers these days don’t have respect for their teachers, or the other way around, so this was wonderfully refreshing to see how Will didn’t give up on Blue even when she did everything she could to make him leave her alone.

There isn’t a lot that I can say in this review as I want to keep it spoiler free so that everyone who decides to read it will take the same emotional and incredibly moving journey that I took, but I will just say that this book has made me view so many things in such a different light, and I am so glad that I downloaded it. It is a stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking tale of a girl who struggles to find out who she is, with the bumps along the way proving to her that she is stronger than she ever knew and that sometimes it is OK to lean on somebody else. The development of her relationship with Wilson was one of the most beautiful that I have read, and this story will stay with me forever.

There’s a few lines in the book that I really want to acknowledge, but they will definitely give away a huge part of the storyline that came really unexpected. So if you haven’t yet read this book and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

*SPOILERS*

~

“Just a little more, Blue,” the doctor urged. But I was too tired. I didn’t want to think I could do it. It hurt too much. I wanted to float away.

“I can’t,” I croaked. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

“You’re the bravest person I know, Blue,” Wilson whispered into my hair. His hands cradling my face. “Did I ever tell you how beautiful I think you are? You’re almost there. I will help you. Hold on to me. It’s going to be all right.”

“Wilson?”

“Yes?”

“If I see her… I don’t know if I will be able to let her go. I’m afraid if I hold my baby, I won’t be able to let her go.”

~

For me, this was the most memorable line in the book. I can’t remember the last time I felt a character’s pain so intensely, their every emotion dripping off the page. I sobbed, I bawled, I whimpered. This is a a prime example of fantastic, stunning storytelling.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read.


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A Different Blue’ is available to buy on Kindle and in Paperback.

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Amy Harmon

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Book Review ~ ‘The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy #1)’ by Sophie Moss.

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The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss
Seal Island Trilogy #1
Genres: Romance, Fantasy

The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy #1) by Sophie Moss


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SYNOPSIS

In this modern-day fairy tale romance, American doctor Tara Moore’s life is transformed when she travels to an enchanted Irish island and discovers she has the power to break a 200 year old curse. At first, Tara laughs off the villagers’ speculation that she is descended from a selkie–a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island.

Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, Tara struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander, Dominic O’Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

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Book Review – ‘The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy #1)’ by Sophie Moss ~ 5 Stars!

Well wow! What an AMAZING book! Why did I wait so long to read this?

I absolutely adored Sophie Moss’ fluid and stunning writing style with beautifully detailed prose that linked the story together. It gave an incredible sence of place, and just her wonderful descriptions had me feeling wet sand beneath my feet and the cold foamy ocean lapping over my chilled toes. Stunning, just stunning!

The storyline was so cleverly put together with their being a perfect balance between the fantasy elements and the contemporary romance and suspense that formed the story. The care and delicacy with which Sophie Moss wrote of Tara’s marital abuse whilst also painting a harsh, terrifying and realistic view of this issue was done without fault, and perfectly balanced with the strength that Tara had to find within herself and the connection her story had with that of the Island’s Selkie.

Her relationship with Dominick was paced perfectly, and I loved the turbulent start they had when he was distrustful of her and protective of further harm to his family and friends. His continued scepticism of her intentions was great fun to read, as I loved witnessing his harsh mask occasionally falling away as he noticed her vulnerability, and he felt himself fighting between his head and heart.

I loved the balance of the story, with lots of gorgeous descriptions of the Island, the people that Tara slowly begins to trust and befriend, and the everyday life on the small Island, as well as the development of the intriguing Selkie storyline and how Tara fits into the legend. I adored how both Tara and the Selkie’s freedom were closely tied to each other, and the final chapters in which the group of main characters desperately struggle to rescue Tara from her abusive husband and free the Selkie was intense and had me gripped and on the edge of my seat.

I loved all of the characters that we were introduced to on the Island and am excited to see the relationships that are formed between them. I’m especially eager to see Sam again, as I was so intrigued by his character and he provided some great lines, impulsive actions and a hope for further romance with the brilliant Glenna.

A stunning debut novel from Sophie Moss. 5 Stars and a definite recommended read!


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‘The Selkie Spell’ is the first book in the ‘Seal Island Trilogy’ and is available to buy on Kindle and in Paperback.

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Sophie Moss

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Book Review – ‘Of Water and Madness (Dryad Quartet #4)’ by Katie Jennings.

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Of Water and Madness by Katie Jennings
Dryad Quartet #4
Genres: Romance, Fantasy

Of Water and Madness (Dryad Quartet #4) by Katie Jennings


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SYNOPSIS

His name was Liam, and he was Water.

His heart was as expansive and deep as the ocean, with emotions that could both rage like storms and soothe like a clear and quiet stream. He lived for the smell of rain, and thrived in the knowledge that it was he who made it fall.

But while most everything in his life seemed to be going great, there was still this impending doom just over the horizon, threatening to wipe his home completely off the map. All he had to do was rise to the challenge and fight once the war came.

But there was just one little problem: he had gone, quite simply, mad.

Not that he knew it, nor did anyone else. But he wasn’t himself any longer, and the truth behind the lies would eventually come out. And when it did, Liam would discover the burned bridges and the destroyed hearts he’d left in his wake.

It was a funny thing, madness. A funny, cruel, and violently destructive thing.

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Book Review – ‘Of Water and Madness (Dryad Quartet #4)’ by Katie Jennings ~ 6 Stars!

Here I am again, struggling to express just how much I loved this book, this series, and all the characters that have been shaped so wonderfully.

As I returned to the world of Euphora for its last story, I felt both emotional and desperately sad. Emotional for having witnessed the amazing journeys these characters have gone through, and sad that their stories were drawing to a close.

‘Of Water and Madness’ tells Liam’s story as a Water Dryad. Since reading Rhiannon’s story in ‘A Life Earthbound’ I’ve been eagerly awaiting reading Liam’s point of view on their relationship.

Liam’s story is both as witty and clever as I’d expected. His desire to have fun and be a good, hard working Dryad is commendable and I loved the influence his ‘happy go lucky’ personality had on Rhiannon, as we see her further blossoming though Liam’s love and devotion.

The way all of the Dryad’s were now closer, especially Blythe and Rhiannon, despite their still sceptical attitudes towards each other was heart-warming, as I’ve been hoping for a reunion between the dryads without past grievances and issues getting in their way. Blythe looking out for Rhiannon during Capri’s wedding and calling her ‘honey’ had me tearful and so happy despite the reason that Blythe’s comfort was necessary.

Liam’s story in this book broke my heart. To see him become nothing more than a puppet through dark magic, yet still fighting in his mind for Rhiannon was beautifully written. I was so connected to Rhiannon’s character that I felt her pain as my own and felt angry at Thea for not taking Liam’s out of character behaviour more seriously.

It is a credit to Katie Jennings as a writer that she can make me feel so many emotions all at once, something that I haven’t experienced since reading each Harry Potter book for the first time.

The conclusion to this story was brilliantly written as the awaited battle finally arrives, and despite the formation of cliques among the inhabitants of Euphora, and the bitter rivalries that have been forged, all of the characters fight as one for each other and for their home. It was brilliant to see characters who hated each other take arms and fight together.

Without giving too much away, I especially loved reading further about Capri and Rian, whose relationship is so beautiful and devoted that I now hold out hope for my own Rian.

All I can say now is how grateful I am to the author for taking me on such an incredibly beautiful, emotional and fantastical journey which I know will be a part of me forever. ‘Of Water and Madness’ was such a beautiful conclusion to the Dryad Quartet and reading Liam’s story was just as brilliant as I hoped it would be!

6 Stars and if you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for? Links below!


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‘Of Water and Madness’ is the Book Four in the ‘Dryad Quartet’ and is available on Kindle and in Paperback

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~

‘The Dryad Quartet Special Edition’ is a compilation edition where you can get all four books (Breath of Air, Firefight in Darkness, A Life Earthbound, and Of Water and Madness) in one book. This edition also includes beautiful illustrations and a brand new epilogue scene! The Special Edition compilation is available on Kindle and in Paperback.

~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


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Breath of Air (Dryad Quartet #1) by Katie Jennings Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00034]

A Life Earthbound (Dryad Quartet #3) by Katie Jennings Of Water and Madness (Dryad Quartet #4) by Katie Jennings


~ See My Reviews for; ~

~ Breath of Air (Dryad Quartet #1)  ~

~ Firefight in Darkness (Dryad Quartet #2) ~

~ A Life Earthbound (Dryad Quartet #3) ~


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Katie Jennings

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Book Review – ‘Sunlounger’ by Belinda Jones Travel Club.

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Sunlounger – The Ultimate Beach Read
Belinda Jones Travel Club
Anthology

Sunlounger by Belinda Jones Travel Club


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SYNOPSIS

Take a trip around the world with 44 of the hottest writers in Women’s Fiction!

This collection of sun-kissed short stories will have you boarding a millionaire’s yacht in St Tropez, exploring a sheik’s palace in Dubai, swimming with dolphins in Australia, partying in Ibiza, surfing in Hawaii, exploring ancient ruins in Turkey and Cambodia and sipping Limoncello in Italy!

Whether you read it on your favourite beach (Sunlounger features golden sands from Greece to Thailand) or on your daily commute or coffee break you will be spirited away on a variety of adventures – some will make you chuckle, some will make your heart pang, others will inspire you to live your life to the max!

Sunlounger has a matching website: www.va-va-vacation.com which features an author page for each of the 44 fab writers involved:

Katie Agnew, Valerie-Anne Baglietto, Rosie Blake, Alexandra Brown, Laurey Buckland, Abby Clements, Miranda Dickinson, Carrie Duffy, Ilana Fox, Victoria Fox, Emma Garcia, Michele Gorman, Kirsty Greenwood, Kate Guest, Kate Harrison, Lisa Heidke, Molly Hopkins, Pernille Hughes, Margaret James, Belinda Jones, Lucy Lord, Chrissie Manby, Louise Marley, Holly Martin, Nigel May, Martel Maxwell, Roisin Meaney, Kiri Mills, Nicola Moriarty, Tamsyn Murray, Emily O’Neill, Lynda Page, Carmen Reid, Wendy Rigg, Lucy Robinson, Talli Roland, Ruth Saberton, Nancy Scrofano, Cally Taylor, Sasha Wagstaff, Anna-Lou Weatherley, Julia Williams, Lara Williamson, Tiffany Wright

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‘Sunlounger’ by Belinda Jones Travel Club ~ 5 Stars!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When my parents went off on a two week holiday to Italy without me, major jealousy issues ensued. However after having read ‘Sunlounger’, when I received their postcard from ‘Sorrento, Italy’, I could only laugh and think, ‘Oh, I’ve been there, and Ibiza, Turkey, Australia, Greece, Spain, Cairo, Argentina, Paris, Mexico, Marrikesh, Mauritius, Jamaica, Thailand, Brazil, Cambodia, Iceland, Russia, Dubai and Mallorca. So there!’

This was a wonderful collection of stories to read, and I absolutely loved each one. There were those that were downright hilarious, so hilarious that I literally cackled like a lunatic whilst reading them. There were those that were shockingly sad and emotional, those that made me cry, those that gave me a warm glow and those that made me think ‘Wow!’.

But most of all, every single story made me think ‘I would love to go there.’

I loved how all the writers approached the holiday prompt and had their story give a different message. For example, some of the stories were romantic comedies, but all spoke to the reader in a different way.

All the stories brilliantly depicted the cultural barriers that travellers face when in a different country for the first time. One that really resonated with me in this way was Carrie Duffy’s ‘At First Sight’ (Holiday Destination – Dubai) where an interior designer who is married to her work, is ushered into a shop of robes and experiences a glimpse of the life of a Dubai women, where she is covered head to toe with only her eyes on display. It was a brilliant story that showed just how different life is in different cultures. A man in Dubai may fall in love with a woman after only glimpsing her eyes, whereas in other cultures, there tends to be a focus on entire body image.

Kate Guest’s ‘Hanoi Jane’ (Holiday Destination – Vietnam) was great fun as we see character Jane defy the health laws of the country and skip out onto her very own adventure with loveable American Toby. It was both hilarious and dealt with serious issues. I loved it!

Two stories that particularly express the dangers of travelling to other countries were Kate Harrison’s ‘Holiday Reading’ (Holiday Destination – Barcelona, Spain), where we see the dangers of women being prey to muggers, and Wendy Rigg’s ‘From Elvissa With Love’ (Holiday Destination – Ibiza) which describes the dangers of young girls travelling alone, being captured and forced into illegal activities in order to gain their freedom. Sadly these are real issues that face travellers today, and I liked how these stories subtly expressed these warnings without forcing the information on you.

Rosie Blake’s story ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ (Holiday Destination – Iceland) had me in fits of laughter throughout, starting with realistic glimpses of the everyday life of a couple, with them greeting each other in the morning with grunts, yet how despite their petty arguments, are still in love and can be incredibly romantic when the occassion calls for it.

Valerie-Anne Baglietto’s heartbreaking story ‘Genie of the Rock’ (Holiday Destination – Gibraltar) tells the tale of a young recently widowed woman having a miracle happen, and the story really touched me. There was an added element of fantasy that wasn’t too overpowering and gave a wonderful balance to the story, which made it both realistic and magical. Despite this being the second story of the forty-four in the book, this story stayed with me right till the end.

The award for ‘Story that had me most intrigued’ and ‘wishing for a whole novel devoted to the story,’ was Margaret James’ ‘The Anniversary’ (Holiday Destination – Tuscany, Italy). I loved the mystery infused within the story and how the reader is left guessing and pondering over what exactly happened. Who was the man and why was the woman his ‘project’? Why and how did the events happen the same day every year? And what was the woman’s accident she mentioned? It was a brilliant mysterious and heart-wrenching story that I adored!

I am a sucker for friends turned lovers stories, and loved Pernille Hughes’ ‘Fia McQueen’s Great Escape’ (Holiday Destination – Mauritius) where we see a young girl Fia grieving after being jilted by her fiancé, and is brought back to life by her closest friend Simon. It was a funny, touching and heart-warming story.

And not all of the stories had a happily-ever-after. I really connected to some of the deep emotional stories where I could feel the writer’s pain as I read, as though they had literally poured their soul into their characters. ‘Love at First Kiss’ by Lisa Heidki (Holiday Destination – Venice, Italy & Sydney, Australia) was a moving story about a woman pining after a man who she kissed whilst holidaying in Venice. Seeing her unable to move on and live in the present was sad, and although there was no romantic reunion at the end of the story, I rejoiced to see the heroine realise that she needed to find a better place for herself. A stunning piece of writing.

Holly Martins ‘One Hundred Proposals’ (Holiday Destination – Australia) was a fantastic addition to the book, which makes the reader really think about what they themselves want. What is the Perfect Proposal? And what makes it perfect? A brilliant story!

And what better way to send off the readers than with Tiffany Wright’s work of art ‘Signs from Sydney’ (Holiday Destination – Sydney, Australia).  This was a brilliant story about the journey of self-discovery and had the greatest twist at the end that had me swooning and squealing in equal measure.

‘Sunlounger’ has taken me on my very own holiday this year and has made me laugh, cry, ponder life, and rethink romantic displays of affection (I’m so climbing a tree to get a lime for a guy’s beer one day. Just to see the look on his face! As seen in Emily O’Neill’s ‘La Posada Amor’ (Holiday Destination – Mexico)) I wish I could talk about every story in detail because I loved them all so much, like Nicola Moriarty’s ‘The Red Glove’ (Holiday Destination – Australia) and Miranda Dickinson’s ‘Midnight in St. Petersburg’ (Holiday Destination – St Petersburg, Russia) but I’ll just give a mention to every other author who contributed, as I loved every single one of these stories!

5 Stars, and a definite recommended read!


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‘Sunlounger’ is available now to download on Kindle

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