Book Review: The Gifts of Christmas

About the book:42444686

 

Title: The Gifts of Christmas

Author: Tori L. Wilson

Published: September 17th 2018 by Books To Go Now

Source: received from the author, in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

Audrey, a twenty-four-year-old dance teacher, moved to her dream town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from her home in Florida to teach at Ms. Linda’s Dance Studio.

Christmas is fast approaching and, because Audrey spent all of her money moving out to Wyoming, she cannot afford to fly back to spend the holiday with her family. It seems that Audrey will be spending Christmas all alone in her small home, until something amazing happens. Audrey finds a small gift, just a simple red rose placed carefully outside of her door. A million thoughts race through her mind. Was this just a strange coincidence? Did someone leave the rose outside her door on purpose? Did someone actually have a crush on her? If so, then who could it possibly be?

The next day, when Audrey receives another gift and a letter stating that the gift was from a secret admirer, she realizes that the rose was no accident. When her best friend and local beauty salon owner, Lindsay, pays a visit to Audrey, the two determine that Audrey has a secret admirer and that they should make a list of every person who could possibly be behind the gifts and letter.

Together, they attempt to solve the mystery of her secret admirer through various schemes, looking for clues in even the smallest of details. Could it be the handsome, older, wealthy entrepreneur, Edward Sinclair, her sweet yet shy friend and neighbor, Danny Wess, the flower shop owner’s quiet and brooding son, Jackson Choi, the passionate Puerto Rican dance teacher, Carlos, local coffee shop owner and genius, Brandon, or somebody else entirely?

The world is filled with possibilities, and, in her small town, Audrey isn’t lacking in secret admirers. Will Audrey and Lindsay be able to solve the mystery before Christmas, or will Audrey be truly alone this year? Find the true gifts of Christmas in this cozy and heart-warming mystery filled with love, friendship, and of course, presents!

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

This is one of those stories that should be read during or around Christmas and this is exactly what I did. Let me tell you, it was great and it set me in the perfect mood for holidays. Short, quick, with a little bit of romantic mystery, “The Gifts of Christmas” brings to its readers that beautiful celebration feeling.

You already know enough of what it’s all about from the (quite) log description, so instead I will talk about the atmosphere. This is the best thing in this book. The author has the perfect descriptions to create that small town comfort, with friendly neighbors, everybody knowing everybody else, the warm welcoming and so much more. Audrey started teaching at Ms. Linda’s dance Studio just a few months ago and her move to Jackson Hole has been quite a pain for her financials. Her fear of not being able to fit in was quickly forgotten when she met the friendly townsfolk, especially her best friends Lindsay and Danny.

When gifts start appearing at her door, Audrey and Lindsay are more than anxious who is this mysterious admirer. Audrey will come to realize that in such a short time she has managed to gain the attention of some of the most eligible bachelors in town. The gifts are a proof of how well this unknown person knows her and how honest his feelings are. As in any short story, the conclusion comes quick, but (almost) unexpected.

I feel that there was room for more exploring, at least a few more pages so that the revealing of this admirer can be better appreciated.  But other than this, I have nothing to complain about. A quick Christmas book that will set the mood for presents, love and other beautiful emotions.

Thank you very much to the author for kindly gifting me a copy of the book and I hope you guys will write it down for the next holydays, or for any time during the year, when you need a reminder of the Christmas spirit or just because you are in the mood for something quick and lovely. Happy Reading!

 

About the Author17055741

Tori Wilson is a young author who began her writing career at only nineteen years old. She is now twenty one years old and has had three books published. Tori lives in a small town and is attending college, majoring in art education. In her free time, she enjoys singing, dancing, painting, modeling Japanese fashion at local anime conventions, and studying foreign languages. Tori’s latest book, The Skeleton Lady, is a romantic suspense filled with action-packed twists and turns.

Book Review: Veins Of Ice

About the book:veins

 

Title: Veins Of Ice

Author: Ahmad Dagher

Published: September 30th 2018

Source: received from the author, in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

Maya was just a child when her parents were murdered in cold blood 10 years ago.

Her heart grew colder as everyone she once knew turned their backs on her and left her to die in the cold of these streets.

Since then she and her brother Sebastian learned to survive on their own.

Life was finally turning out good for them until one day, their past came back to haunt them once again.

Only this time Maya wasn’t the vulnerable naive little girl she once was…

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review

Not the book you’d expect me to review on the second day of Christmas, but it’s still an interesting and intense one. It’s one of those books I don’t know how to review.

The blurb shows quite enough of what “Veins of Ice” is all about and I won’t get into the action that much since we have only 71 pages (as per Goodreads) to go on. Speaking of the length, don’t let it fool you. These pages are loaded with action, but the way it’s condensed, it doesn’t feel like too much too soon. All is well spaced and well thought.

Power is a castle that stands for a thousand years without falling, it is the river that never dries, the darkens that lingers even around the brightest of lights.

The plot is very intense and it grips you right from the start. Sebastian is left taking care of his little sister, after witnessing a traumatic event. Both are still recovering, but Maya is the one whose character has been most affected. Two kids and their strong will of survival leave the innocence behind and become something else. And here is where this book excels. We have such a great evolution and the change in their demeanor is so well represented. We see first a carrying big brother, then the little sister as a cold and bitter person.

Except our main characters, we have a deep analysis of the other characters as well. The author tells us clearly with whom we are dealing and what they are capable of. These are really messed up people, but interesting in the same time.

Humans were a despicable race of creatures that were selfish enough to ignore the youngs of their own kind.

I have one complain to mention and that is in regards to the writing style. Somehow, it felt more like a retelling of actual facts than a novella. I did not dislike it, but I would have expected a different tone of the narration.

With all these items in mind, I cannot but give 4 stars to “Veins Of Ice” by Ahmad Dagher – a dark story, with an incredible twist of events. The ending will blow your mind and I cannot wait to hear your opinion, should you decide to give it a try 🙂 Until next time, Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

Book Review: Hurst

About the book:hurst

 

Title: Hurst (The Hurst Chronicles #1)

Author: Robin Crumby

Published: April 11th 2016 by Novatum Group (first published April 1st 2016)

Source: received from the author, in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

What would you do to survive during an outbreak? Where would you go? Where would you be safe?

At the end of the world, surrounded by the tidal waters of the Solent, the survivors of a pandemic flu virus hide behind the high walls of a Tudor fortress. Scraping a living far away from the smoking ruins of the cities, they wait in hope.

Hurst Castle stands alone. Its seventy-four occupants united in a struggle for survival against all the odds. The Millennial Virus is the least of their concerns.

When the arrival of outsiders threatens to tip the balance of power, the people of Hurst are faced with a desperate choice: set aside their differences and join an alliance that promises new hope or unite against the newcomers and their plans for reconstruction. Who can be trusted? Only time will tell.

The battle for Hurst has begun.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review

 

This is one of the best dystopian novels I have read, as it presents a multitude of societies and different types of leaders with their own visions. In my opinion, this is the most important argument to attest for how interesting this book is.

The author has managed to create a world after a virus has destroyed humanity and has managed to create unique characters, each having qualities and flaws. I see something I like in each of them, so I cannot say I have a favorite.

We have a society in which no man is allowed, but only to contribute to reproduction, we have the people living at the Hurst castle – closer to normal, hoping to become the inhabitants of the new Earth and we have a society struggling to become powerful, with a leader whose only focus is to gain control over the only thing that will ensure his “ruling” – the cure. This diversity of mentalities and characters is so overwhelming and also quite close to reality.

We also gave a diversity of genres, from drama to mystery. So I can easily say this book is addressed to different fans of literature.

Well to close up quickly, “Hurst” is a different kind of dystopian novel. It is much closer to reality, it includes different genres and a wide variety of societies. This is definitely a refreshing book, that will send you in a battle for survival. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

About the Authorrobin

 

Robin Crumby is the author of The Hurst Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic series set on the south coast of England in the aftermath of a flu pandemic. Since reading John Wyndham’s ‘The Day of the Triffids’ as a child, Robin became fascinated by end of the world dystopian literature and was inspired to start writing by Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ and Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven’. Why? Because post-apocalyptic fiction fires the imagination like nothing else.

Pondering what comes next, who would survive, what would life look like? Much of the best fiction in this popular genre focuses on brain-eating zombies or events unfolding in the USA so Robin determined to write a story set in the UK. His Eureka moment came wandering the shingle beach at Milford-on-sea, inspired by the beauty and rich history of the Solent.

Where better to survive the end of the world than a medieval castle surrounded by water? Robin spent much of his childhood messing about in boats, exploring the many waterways, ports and military forts of the Isle of Wight, where The Hurst Chronicles are set.

Book Review: Hot Pursuit

About the book:Hot Pursuit

 

Title: Hot Pursuit (To Catch a Thief #1)

Author: Kay Marie

Published: August 27th 2018

Source: Received from the author in exchange for a review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days meets White Collar in this sassy and sweet romantic comedy, new from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie.

All Jolene Carter has ever wanted is to own a bakery of her own. There’s only one problem. Her father, Robert Carter, is a world-renowned art thief and she’s, well, sort of his protégé. But he’s promised her that this next job in New York will be their last, and she won’t let anyone get in the way of her dreams…especially not the distractingly delicious FBI agent hot on her tail.

Agent Nate Parker has been on the Robert Carter case for years, and if the rumors of the aging criminal’s retirement are true, this might be his last chance to nail him. With the legacy of his late father in the back of his mind, the stakes are more personal than anyone realizes. He won’t let anything stand in the way of justice…especially not the red-headed vixen who keeps giving him the slip.

He’s a cop who’d never bend. She’s a con who’ll never break. But all’s fair in love and larceny…

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

You can grab the ebook for only $0.99 until Monday or it’s free in KU!

My Review:

 

Kaitlyn Davis sure knows how to bring tension up a 100 times and knows how to build intense moments. The fight that goes into our characters’ minds is so vivid. The feeling moved over from the pages to the reader and BAAAM! Mission accomplished! It’s my first book by her that is not fantasy based and she has not let me down (Well, I was expecting a great book and got exactly that).

“Hot Pursuit” follows agent Nate Parker and Jolene Carter, a great hacker and daughter of a renowned art thief. Nate wants justice and she wants… a bakery. Somewhere along the shores of Bahamas, the plan changes. It all starts with coopies and a very provocative photo. But things are not always what they seem and there are stories and reasons behind every action. Nate and Jo will have to trust one another and play “cat and mouse”, with different rules.

Every word brought them closer togheter and farther apart. Her mind and her heart were at war, two opposite forces tugging and tugging against each other, fighting for dominance.

The writing feels natural; it is a normal flow of words. This makes the book so comfortable and easy to read. But I took my time, enjoying, no, savoring every page. The dialogue was easy to follow, the descriptions are more of feelings and emotional states than of places. I like how the author uses short sentences that capture so much of what each character is thinking or feeling.

Jo is such a tease, strong and innocent and naive at the same time. Nate is determined to finish his mission, but also get her out of this mess well and safe. Will she turn on her family for his sake or for the sake of her freedom? Will Nate be able to see her as more than a criminal? Will he be able to destroy the walls between their worlds? And how will this work out?

“No problem at all, Parker. I wouldn’t like a little thing like an international crisis get in the way of your busy social life. Answer it. I don’t mind.”

There is one small detail that the reviewer in me should mention though. The attraction between them becomes something more pretty quick and it felt a little bit forced. The fan in me doesn’t care!

“Hot Pursuit” is a great story, with funny moments, with tension, passion and adventure. It has great characters, great plot and an ending you will not see coming. I loved every page and every sentence. I cannot wait for more in the series ! 5 stars for sure!

But maybe there was a different sort of glory to be found in shades of grey. A different kind of beauty, if he’d just open his eyes and see, if he’s only let her show him.

It is a great feeling reading one of your favorite authors’ latest book. It is a great feeling being able to write an article saying over and over again how much you enjoy their books. I am happy 🙂 If you have not yet read a book by Kaitlyn Davis aka Kay Marie, you don’t know what you’re missing!

P.S.: Are you telling me that Thad and Addison meet? Oh my God, what a sequel!

 

About the Authorkaitlyn davis

 

Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publisher’s Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”

To learn more about her young adult novels, visit her Goodreads author page for Kaitlyn Davis here: https://www.goodreads.com/Kaitlyn_Davis

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com

Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases and more! http://bit.ly/AuthorNewsletter

Like her on Facebook here: Facebook.com/KaitlynDavisBooks

Book Review: Vesta’s Clockwork Companions

Hello my bookish friends,

 

I am back with a review, hopefully with a lot more reviews and fun stuff, but for now, I have a review for a very interesting book. A book that kept me so engrossed, I did not know when time flew by. This was my first read for the 24 in 48 Readathon (wrap up can be found here) and it was such a great decision to start with it. Time to reveal the title…. Hold it, hold it (stop scrolling down to check the cover for a sec! ), and here we are:

 

Vesta’s Clockwork Companions

By Juli D. Revezzo

vestas clockwork companions

 

Published: July 20th 2018 by Raven Queen Publications

Blurb

When Vesta Bartlett, a wealthy alchemist and inventor, arrives in England to finalize an arranged marriage and help overhaul a family friend’s outdated ironworks, she never expects to find the family so secretive, nor to develop feelings for her fiancé’s younger brother, Henry.

But the growing attraction between Vesta and Henry is just the beginning of their troubles. Things really heat up when they’re drawn into a secret project for Queen Victoria’s military, one that requires Vesta’s knowledge of clockwork and Henry’s iron.

An epidemic has wiped out all the dogs in Britain, and beyond. If the military fail in their effort to restore the species, a clockwork creation may be all that stands in the way of a world without canine companionship.

Are Vesta and Henry up to the challenge?

 

My Review

Before proceeding with my thoughts on the matter, allow me to thank the author for providing an ARC of this book for my delight and review! Please read through the end of this review to check more titles by the same author, she is incredible and her characters are so likeable!

Back to the issue at hand. “Vesta’s Clockwork Companions” tells the story of one lady that dares too much and one young man who just can’t stay away from trouble (that includes his family). The plot is so complex and complete and makes you follow all the leads in all directions. We have a beautiful relationship between father and daughter, we have attraction that may become more, we have people that dare too much, creative minds and mischief and secrets and … oh, so much more.

The main characters are so likeable and alike. I loved how the author managed to show their compatibility not only through the dialogue, but as well when describing them. Even in their apparel, Vesta and Henry have the same attitude or carelessness. Well, they are focused on much more important things.  I loved their exchanges, so funny and so bold at the same time. Henry is an intelligent young man, who’s intention is to save his family’s affairs, in the honorable way. Vesta is a match to his mind for sure. And this compatibility between them makes it impossible for her to fall in love with her future husband. Yup, she’s supposed to marry Hanry’s brother.

Except the romance, we have people who dare to think outside the box. We have inventors, creators, minds that dare to wonder the paths of science. In a time where society dictates if a person is honorable enough, when women should sew, read and walk graciously around town (with the proper company of course!), Vesta dares to go against these principles. She looks for answers in science. Her father encourages her to do so. They are innovators not only in their creations, but as well in their relationship as a family.

There are so many concepts here that blend beautifully in this amazing story. I loved every page, the characters the dialogue, everything related to the writing. And the cover is gorgeous as well. Please check this book out, it’s really worth your time! 5 out of 5 stars!

 

And if my review has convinced you, fell free to purchase this book on Amazon here

About the Author

 

JuliJuli D. Revezzo writes fantasy and romantic stories filled in with elements garnered from a lifetime love affair with magic, myth, witches, wizards, and fated lovers and legend. She is the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, steampunk historical romance WATCHMAKER’S HEART, and short stories published in ETERNAL HAUNTED SUMMER, LUNA STATION QUARTERLY, among others. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour. To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at: www.julidrevezzo.com

I took the liberty of checking more of her books on Goodreads and all of them have such impressive covers! I’m thinking of Changeling’s Crown or Watchmaker’s Heart (oh, I love how this one sounds!!!). Oh and Celtic Stewards Chronicles Series, with some interesting Celtic items. There are so many!!!! For those of you who are not so keen to Romance, check out her books, you will find something for you for sure!

celtic

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and ramblings. Please let me know if you have read any of Juli’s books or if any of her titles sound interesting to you. Enjoy  and read while doing that!

Book Review: The Art of Fully Living

banner_theartoffullyliving

 

About the book:tyhe art of fully living

 

Title: The Art of Fully Living: 1 Man. 10 Years. 100 Life Goals Around the World

Author: Tal Gur

Published: October 8th 2017

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

Do you want to experience your one life—your whole life—to its fullest measure?

In this stirring book, author, blogger and lifestyle entrepreneur, Tal Gur offers his own transformational journey as an inspiring example and practical guide to implementing the art of fully living to its fullest potential. You’ll learn how to actualize your potential by forging all aspects of your life through the process built into your life goals.

Once you discover “the art of fully living,” there is no going back; it will feel unacceptable to settle for less than your dreams—and what’s more, you’ll dream even more wildly, aspiring to action with greater clarity of purpose, broader horizons of possibility, and holistic vision across all areas of your life.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

This is a book from which we all have something to learn. The author as combined his life experience with advice that we can easily follow, while there are aspects in common for these kind of books (that speaks of life changing and motivation), which I will detail in the following lines, “The Art of Fully Living” has a beautiful touch to it. There are tips that we can all implement in order to make our life easier and that help uncover our potential.

The author speaks of how he decided one day that he needed a change, he needed to return to a time when he enjoyed his life, when he felt completely satisfied. And while doing that, he made a list of things to achieve in the next years. He speaks about his failures and how he managed to achieve these goals. The positive notes of the narration, the positive and powerful message are very well transmitted.

Everything begins with an analysis of our current life of what we have and what we need to achieve or where we want to be in the following years. The rhythm of the story is very easy to follow and the experiences detailed are full of lessons learned. Young Tal travels to amazing places and develops his personality.

The story is very motivating. Using a friendly language, it encourages us to self-education, to open our mind to new possibilities and expand our potential. Reinventing ourselves, cleaning our space, mind and life of things and thoughts we don’t need and be involved in all our activities are just some of the ideas highlighted by Tal Gur.

Every story like this one starts with our protagonist abandoning the current lifestyle, quitting his job and travelling all over the world. However, for most of us financing such a journey may be an issue. But the steps we are encouraged to take are, most of them, very easy to take starting now.

After finishing “The Art of Fully Living” I felt more empowered and more decided to achieve my goals and to take the steps towards them. This is a book I will keep very close, as it deserves more than one reading. I recommend it with all my heart and I would like to thank the author for sharing his experience with us!

 

About the Author

Website | Twitter

 

 

Book Review: The Dating Diet

thedatingdietbanner

About the book:21. dating diet

 

Title: The Dating Diet

Author: by Daralyse Lyons

Published: May 22nd 2014 by Createspace

Source: Received from the author in exchange for a review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

What if you found yourself climbing out of a bedroom window, naked, in the middle of the afternoon, to avoid being caught in bed with your married lover? Would you have second thoughts about dating? After Shayla Ross discovers that yet another potential “Mr. Right” is, in fact, incredibly wrong for her, she decides to go on a diet. No. She’s not going to forgo her much-loved, sinfully-delicious girlscout cookies or her (admittedly too frequent) trips to McDonalds. Shayla is going on a dating diet. An incredibly hapless and infinitely loveable heroine, elementary school teacher Shayla Ross decides to take her summer vacation from teaching as a period of self-discovery. Much to the chagrin of her meddling mother, Shayla sets out to find herself and, in the process, bumbles into a series of successive funny and heartwarming interpersonal interactions that will have readers falling in love with her.

Check it on: Amazon & Goodreads

My Review:

This book was something else entirely. I am (very) long overdue for a review, especially because this is a 5 star read that I’ve finished last month. Sometimes, these are the most difficult to write, as I am trying to express my emotions as best as I can and it never seems to be enough.

Shyla has had her fair share of heartbreaks and after her last experience she decides to go on a diet. No men, no dates, and just some time she can dedicate to herself and her best friend Brice. During this time, she meets Dunkin, who becomes her friend and kindred spirit, since he is also on a recovery path after an unsuccessful relationship.

The story has a lot of irony and most of all humor. I found myself laughing out loud and in the same time feeling sorry for the poor woman. Her bad luck does not all have to do with faith, but also with her choice of men. Our main character is desperate for a relationship and thus her potential boyfriends don’t go through a good screening process and are not all she would expect.

The writing is friendly and comforting. It feels as if your best friend were telling you all about her love life. The author did not try to create a perfect woman. On the contrary, she is clumsy and a bit irresponsible. This goes against her job as a kindergarten teacher, where she has to maintain a reputation. But she is a really good friend in all her flaws. Her relationship with Brice (gay best friend) is strong and honest. While she does not approve of Brice’s boyfriend she is there for her best buddy, and the other way around.

I have not mentioned too much about Shyla and Dunkin since I see the book more about her than her relationship. But they are very funny and a lot of crazy things happen when they are together. Yes, amazing!

“The Dating Diet” has a sweet message, which we all should follow. Even if the ending was a bit rushed for my taste, this book made me fill good. It’s the perfect story if you want to distress, laugh and simply enjoy someone else’s struggles for a while. Loved it! Happy Reading!