Sunday, 6 October 2013

Neither Present Time by Caren Werlinger

University librarian, Beryl Gray, is in a job in which she is seriously over qualified for, but enjoys doing. She also has a very low opinion of herself, thanks to outside interference. She’s the person everyone relies on. Work colleagues, friends, family and her partner Claire. Claire is a control freak. Unfortunately, others see this, but Beryl doesn’t. She thinks she’s happy in their eight year relationship. Until one day, Beryl finds out the truth about Claire.

Aggie Bishop hasn’t been dating since her girlfriend left her three years previously. In fact, her life is one round of her work as a teacher and watching over her feisty, independent, great aunt Cory, who is active and in her nineties.

Cory lived alone in the run down family mansion until Aggie moved in to be with her. The rest of the family want Cory put into a care facility and the mansion sold. Neither Cory or Aggie are about to let that happen.

When Beryl comes across a book with an inscription in it from back in 1945, she is curious to find out who the two women were. Little does Beryl know that the acquisition of this book will change her life, and the as yet unmet, Cory’s and Aggie’s lives forever.

It appears that not only a book, but a moldering mansion, and a love spanning decades and to eternity and beyond will have a huge impact in the lives of Cory, Beryl and Aggie.

This book is an absolute page turner from start to finish. In my honest opinion, it is a blockbuster. The well written story seamlessly traverses the decades of time, going back and forth from past to present to give the reader all the relevant background on the characters and their stories.

Central to the story is the Bishop mansion, a character in itself. I could feel the atmospheric warmth interspersed with cold radiating from the pages.

The one thing that shone through in this story throughout the entire book, is that love is an all time consuming passion that will withstand almost anything, even death if your partner is your soul mate.

Caren Werlinger is a terrific writer and a wonderful master storyteller. This book is full of love, happiness, sadness, even anger at times. To be able to feel the emotions of the characters when reading about them, means the author has got the dialogue just right.

Aunt Cory, Beryl, Aggie, Ridley and all the secondary characters are multidimensional and so easy to get to know and love. I love the humor  throughout too. It gives the story a light hearted touch just where it’s needed.

There are two love stories entwined together in this book. One past and one present. It’s the effect that the past has on the present, that for me, was a joy to behold.

This story will join the rest of Caren’s books in my re-read folder. I’m now looking forward to her next book eagerly.


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

One Foot Onto The Ice by Kiki Archer

Susan Quinn is a teacher at the exclusive, private all girls school, St Wilfred’s. The same school she had attended as a girl.

Jenna James is a Club Ski instructor in the French Alps. Jenna had also attended St Wilfred’s as a girl.

When the girls from St Wilfred’s arrive in Morzine, in the French Alps for their skiing trip, Susan, the lead teacher on the trip and Jenna, their guide, meet again for the first time in years. Although they were never friends at school, they find themselves drawn to one another. But, are their lives too different for them to pursue a romance? Especially when Susan isn’t even sure she’s a lesbian. Will the past come back to haunt the present?

Another well written page turning romance from Kiki Archer. Although this book could be perceived to be fluffy chick lit, it goes a little deeper than that. Kiki has taken the bull by the horns and written of a character that is one of the most obnoxious I’ve come across in a light romance book. I absolutely detested  Professor Marcus Ramsbottom. I’m not putting in any spoilers in this review, so I’ll just say that Kiki has excelled herself and shown her excellent penmanship in the portrayal of this lower than life person. To evoke such off the chart emotions in me, she’s done her job exceedingly well.

As much as I hated Marcus, I loved the multidimensional characters of Jenna and Susan. Although Jenna comes across as a player and a ‘love them and leave them’ girl, there is a depth to her as yet to shine, if you look beneath the surface. One of the things I really like about Jenna is, she has many faults, but she readily owns up to them. Susan is a bit of a shy introvert, it comes as quite a revelation to her to actually think she’s worthy of someone’s love, this is a first for Susan. There appears to be a lot more about her that is ready to come to the surface. Jenna and Susan are bolstered by some wonderfully written secondary characters throughout the book. Characters that I’m hoping will show up in the sequel to One Foot Onto The Ice. Champagne and Priggy certainly livened up the trip. My favorite out of all the girls is little Daisy Button. She’s adorable.

The story and a simmering romance are entwined together in a beautifully described scenic setting in the French Alps. My best friend Google showed me just how well the description was written. Another plus for Kiki Archer.

One of the really great things about this book is the laugh out loud humor throughout. I’m only too pleased I read this book indoors. It’s hilarious in places. I would defy anyone to read the scene with Susan and Jenna in the bathroom without laughing. This is a brilliantly written scene as it shows Jenna in a really different light. So, there is a whole range of emotions across the board to be experienced between the pages.

One of the things I’ve taken away from this story is, once you’ve met your soul mate, you know it and the bond is there. You just have to put that one foot onto the ice, have faith and trust and take a chance.

I have been assured that there will definitely be a sequel sometime in 2014. Hopefully not too far away now. I’m looking forward to it already.


For The Love Of Indiana by Natalie Vivien

The Chronicles of Indiana Books 1 to 3

The Trouble With Indiana

After Bella Farley broke up with her girlfriend, she found she missed their dog Booger more than she did her girlfriend. When Marcia, (Marsh) Bella’s best friend takes her to an animal rescue shelter, Bella had no idea she would be taking home border collie Indiana, a dog just about to be euthanized. It was love at first sight for Bella and Indiana. Little did Bella know the chaos the energetic and disaster prone Indiana was going to bring into her life. Nothing is safe around Indiana. Bella’s life will never be the same again.

While Bella and Indiana are walking in the local dog park, they meet Comfort Allen, a dog trainer. This is after Bella landed on top of her, Indiana once again!

Bella and Comfort are instantly smitten with one another. It seems that although Indiana is destructive, he is also the bringer of good luck.

The Disaster of Indiana

The carnage and mayhem continues with Indiana, the over active border collie, bringing yet more disaster into Bella’s life. Her apartment is wrecked, wherever Bella and Indiana go, he wreaks havoc. The fact that Bella and Indiana have a strong and loving bond doesn’t stop Indiana from his wrecking spree.

But on the whole, Bella’s luck has taken a change for the better since she adopted Indiana. She’s met the woman of her dreams, dog trainer Comfort Allen.

Unfortunately when Marsh, Bella’s best friend asks Bella to march in the Pride Parade with Indiana, he causes the biggest disaster ever. The fireworks banging overhead didn’t help either. The final straw is the thunderstorm raging. Indiana leaps the fence and runs. He’s disappeared.

The Search For Indiana

Indiana is missing. The destructive, super hyperactive border collie had jumped the fence during a raging storm and disappeared without a trace.

Bella and her girlfriend Comfort search high and low for Indiana, enlisting the help of friends and colleagues along the way.

As the search carries on, really strange and weird things begin to occur. It may sound ridiculous, but could Indiana be influencing these happenings from afar? After all, Bella literally fell across the love of her life Comfort, all thanks to Indiana. Now it appears other nice things are happening to friends and colleagues too.

This series is without a doubt the cutest, funniest, most wonderfully well written story about one of the most annoying, but loveable dogs I’ve ever read about. There is also a simmering romance smoldering away throughout too.

I love all the hilarious and well formed characters. We meet more as each story in the series emerges. But right at the very center is Indiana. A dog that would be enough to drive most people insane.

Whether you love dogs or not, Indiana’s story is well worth the read. Just try not to read it in public. The laugh out loud moments cannot be suppressed very easily.


My Fair Maiden by Del Robertson

A Novella

Swordswoman, Bodhi, rides into a tiny village. She wants to get out of the heat and to have some food and drink. She didn’t imagine she would be approached by a beautiful maiden in the tavern and invited to seduce her. But women do tend to throw themselves at her quite regularly, so she’s not altogether surprised. What is surprising is the reactions of the local people, including the gorgeous Gwen. Something is wrong, Bodhi just has to figure out what. Her mighty sword is no use without knowing what is going on in the village.

Beautiful virgin, Gwendolyn, (Gwen) is living a mundane existence, each day is filled with mundane chores. But......when an ugly ogre arrives in the village wanting a fresh and luscious virgin, Gwen is chosen as the offering served by her own villagers. Her days are numbered.

When the tall blonde swordswoman Bodhi arrives, Gwen hopes against hope that she will be the one to save her. Bodhi isn’t quite the hero Gwen envisaged saving her. She’s arrogant and rude, but she may be Gwen’s only chance against being the ogres next victim.

This is a beautifully written fairy tale with a difference. This one is for adults only. I loved both the main characters, Bodhi and Gwen. They are as different as night and day. Although this book is short, the story isn’t rushed at all and has a lot packed into it. It’s told in a typical fairy tale style. The beautiful maiden, the dashing hero and the nasty ogre. But in this case, the hero and potential rescuer of the maiden is a woman.

The story is a page turner from start to finish. The scenic descriptions enabled me to actually lose myself amongst the characters as the story unfolded. This is a sort of Grimm’s meets lesfic tale. Utterly delightful and hopefully the first of more tales in the same vein by Del Robertson. In fact, Bodhi and Gwen have only just started out on their journey, how about a sequel so we can follow them on their path?



Yak by Lois Cloarec Hart

A Novella

When you live in a small town and you are a lesbian, true love is hard to find. Leni, a blue collar lesbian, is in despair. Even a date appears to be too much to ask for. Love interests or lack of them aside, Leni likes living in the town she was born in and being with her family.

Leni’s life is about to change when she gets a new job as a nightshift chef at the Jester’s Court, a busy roadside truck stop. Leni meets a reclusive woman nicknamed Yak. Leni is in awe of Yak. But despite her best efforts, she can’t find out why Yak is a loner and why everyone is avoiding her like she has the plague. When events take a turn for the worse and Leni learns the truth about Yak, she has to decide whether falling even more in love with Yak will be worth paying the price.

A wonderfully well written story that left me wanting more. I loved the characters of Leni and Yak. They are so vastly different from each other and not only from the class divide aspect, Leni is outgoing, Yak is a loner and has an air of mystery surrounding her. I loved the interaction between the two of them.

For a short book, there is a lot crammed into it. The touch of mystery and suspense throughout kept me turning the pages until all too soon I’d reached the end.

I’ll be watching out for more from Lois Cloarec Hart in the future.


Paradox Of Love by JM Dragon and Erin O'Reilly

When Hell Meets Heaven Book 4

Parker Davis’s car gave out just as she arrived in Portsmouth. Parker had been traveling around for a while, but never seemed to settle anywhere. She has no choice now. Her car needs major repairs, so she has to try and get a job with the local police department to pay for it.

Police Officer, Olivia Santos, lives and breathes her job, she’s proudly following in her families footsteps. Only one thing comes before her job, her love for her undercover cop brother.

When Parker and Olivia meet, they are both smitten. The love bug has struck. So begins a hard, fast and passionate love affair. Soon they are inseparable. Partners at work and in love. Then a terrible tragedy occurs which threatens their love and life together. Will their love be strong enough to overcome it? What will happen to them both?

Anyone who has been following this excellent series and read the previous book, will already know the answer to this. Although this is my second time round of reading this series, I can’t see why suddenly the series went back in time at this particular point.

However, this book has cleared up a lot of loose ends about the lives of Parker and Olivia prior to their last meeting. So, maybe I’ve answered my own question.

As always with the previous three books, this has been a well written page turner from the very outset. I loved Olivia in the previous books, it was good to find out what and who has made her the person she is today. It was also good to get to know more about Parker and her previous life before she came back into Olivia’s life again in Echoes of the Past.

The actual story takes the reader on a journey that is full of excitement and surprises throughout. An added bonus is, it’s hot in parts. Red hot and sizzling.

JM Dragon and Erin O’Reilly have written another winner between them. The books in this series are so cheap that it would be a crime not to give them a try.




The Horde by Linda Kay Silva

Second in a series

Dallas and Roper are fighting an endless battle against the man eaters. For every one they annihilate, a dozen or more are created. They come in hordes, dragging their lifeless forms and squelching their way forwards in their quest for fresh human flesh. Dallas, Roper and their small band of survivors have spent a year cooped up in the Bayou. The alligators are their allies and clean up team. But now it’s time to move on. They need to do more than survive, they have to move forward, live their lives and fight back. Fight the hordes, fight the government attacks and protect the new home they’ve found, an ex prison.

Dallas and Roper collect survivors along the way. They eventually begin to build a new life, they survive the military attacks, survive the hordes and survive the barbaric atrocities caused by their fellow mankind.

Will Dallas and Roper win their fight? Can they defeat so many things all at once? Are their efforts too little too late?

This second book in the series follows on from Man Eaters as a standalone book. There is more than enough background without reading Man Eaters. But why miss out on another excellent book? I strongly recommend reading Man Eaters first.

This is a well written, edge of the seat page turner that had me hooked right from the very first page in true Linda Kay Silva fashion.

The characters from Man Eaters are all here as well as new ones added in along the way. All fully developed and well formed, they are seamlessly integrated into the story.

The scenic descriptions are absolutely terrific. I immersed myself fully into the story and didn’t emerge until I’d turned the last page. The book did conclude, but the opening is there for the third in the series, which can’t be published soon enough.

A New Leash On Life by Suzie Carr

Veterinarian, Olivia Clark, owns and runs a no kill animal shelter. After a hurricane causes substantial damage, Olivia is at a loss to know how to fund the repairs. Although she does everything in her power, including public appeals, the whole town is hurting from the devastation the hurricane brought and no one has much to spare.

At last there is hope. Chloe Homestead is Olivia’s ex girlfriend from thirteen years previously. Chloe is now a millionaire. She’s also the only girl Olivia has ever loved. When Chloe offers to help financially, Olivia at first balks at the idea. But she’s in no position to refuse. The animals have to come first.

As Olivia and Chloe begin to work together to re-build the shelter, Olivia finds herself once again under Chloe’s spell. Unfortunately, Chloe is hiding a deep dark secret. A secret she has hidden for thirteen years. If the secret comes out, it could threaten the existence of the shelter and put paid to any chances of any future relationship Olivia and Chloe may have.

I’ve often looked at Suzie Carr’s books and never bought them before. My reason being the DRM on them. I’m pleased to say that Suzie is now offering some of her books DRM free. I’ve sorely been missing out on good books if this book is anything to go by. I loved it. I may be a little biased as I love animals and they play a huge part in this story. But putting the animals aside, I totally enjoyed the whole book.

Both Olivia and Chloe are so different. Well formed and multi-faceted characters, they dance around one another throughout the book. The book goes between the past and the present so that the reader gets to know how their lives previously shaped them into the people they became. The secondary characters are equally as well written and I include the animals in with them as well, as they are essential to the progression of the story.

There is a lot crammed into this book. It is not a simple romance with animals. The story starts out on a slow and meandering path and gradually builds up in it’s intensity. It certainly evoked many emotions in me. Mainly due to Chloe. I have to say, I wasn’t endeared to her at all for most of the book. Although she isn’t my favorite character, I did warm to her in the end.

The story is told throughout in the first person. Suzie Carr has done this very well.

Although this is the first book I’ve read of Suzie’s, it won’t be my last. I hope to read them all if they become available DRM free.


Backcountry by Trin Denise

A Novella

Single, stressed and a workaholic, highflying defence attorney, Lyndsey Carlisle is fast burning out. Over the years she’s defended some of the most undesirable, prolific offenders known to mankind and her last case is the straw that broke the camels back. Lyndsey has had enough and is taking time off to go back packing with her faithful dog, Sadie. She intends to re-evaluate her life. Lyndsey and Sadie head off to Natural Bridge, Kentucky.

Brae Colson is a native of Natural Bridge. After her lover of five years, leaves her a Dear Jane letter, Brae goes off for some hiking and rest and relaxation.

After less than one day hiking the trails, Lyndsey makes a terrible mistake and ends up falling twenty feet to the bottom of a cliff. She’s badly sprained her ankle and can’t call for help.

When Brae sees Lyndsey at the bottom of the cliff, she curses her bad luck. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a woman right now. But she can’t leave her stranded.

There is immediate animosity between the two women. Sadie is the peacemaker and gradually that changes. Although there is now an attraction between Lyndsey and Brae, will they allow the flames of love to spark? Neither woman believes in a happy ever after.

Another well written page turner from Trin Denise. I love the characters. There are three main characters, Lyndsey, Brae and Sadie. All are essential to the story and interact well together. The usual Trin Denise touch of humor I’ve come to love and expect is present throughout.

This is the beginning of a new series of novellas and it’s off to a very promising start. We are introduced to the characters and have been told a bit about their backgrounds. The scene is set for the next in the series. The ending has left me wanting the next book sooner, rather than later.


Bleeding Hearts by Lindy Cameron

Book two in the Kit O’Malley series

Private Investigator, Kit O’Malley, finds herself once again up to her eyeballs in what appears to be a straight forward investigation. In the beginning, television presenter, Rebecca Jones, hires Kit to investigate who is sending her a spate of threatening poison pen letters. But as Kit’s investigation gets underway, she finds that there are other factors worming their way into her investigation. Looking out for Rebecca and keeping her safe and able to go on air simply isn’t enough. Kit is besieged by one person after another requiring her services. Soon Kit is knee deep in cases, including those thrown up by the vilest criminals she’s ever had the misfortune to meet. Murder, sexual misdeeds, kidnapping. money laundering, political misdemeanours are just some of the things Kit encounters.

Will Kit be able to sort out each case or will it all be too much?

Amongst all the confusion, Alex Cazenove, Kit’s love interest, breezes back into Kit’s life. How can Kit possibly think of love amidst all the murder and mayhem?

Another well written and exciting book that follows directly on from Blood Guilt. Both books are standalones and can be read entirely separately. The one thing I especially liked about this book is that I didn’t have endless pages of repeated ‘catch up’ dialogue from the first book. It wasn’t needed. Personally, I would recommend you read Blood Guilt for the excellent story it is. No point in missing out.

This second book was even more exciting than the first. The many twists, turns, ups and downs kept me feverishly turning the pages until the end. It’s quite a long action packed book and I had a job to put it down.

There is one mystery after another and I was kept guessing at the ending. I never did figure it out. I liked the light heartedness and the humor in the book too between the characters. They interact so well together.

If you are looking for a good intriguing, gruesome, mystery murder, with a nice romance entwined that doesn’t over power the story, with believable characters, in my opinion, you’ll enjoy this book.


A Walk Into Darkness by Jade Winters

Detective Sergeant Ashley McCoy’s latest case isn’t going to be easy to solve. Twenty five years previously a young girl went missing in South East England. Almost everyone had given up any hope of solving the mystery of her sudden disappearance. Her family had never given up wanting the closure they were so desperate for though.

When psychic Aaron Davies has a vivid vision of a murder, the cold case of the ‘woodlands killer’ is re-opened and given to Ashley and her team to delve in to.

As Ashley and her work partner Dale begin their investigation, more questions than answers are thrown up.

During the investigation, Ashley meets Tasha through the dog walking agency she contacts to walk her dog, Muffin. Both women are attracted to one another, but struggle against their feelings. Tasha has family commitments that she feels obligated to fulfil. She can’t set herself or Olivia up for the heartbreak of leaving Ashley in the near future. Both women feel that their love could be the real deal. Is there any way for Tasha to stay in England? What will they both decide? The decision may well be taken out of their hands entirely by circumstances beyond their control.

This well written mystery, murder, intrigue, romance had me totally hooked from the very first page through to the last page. To say it is a page turner is an understatement. I couldn’t get through the book fast enough to find out how it ended.

I knew Jade Winters was a talented writer from reading some of her short stories. But, she has really excelled herself in penning this full length book that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

This is the first in a series with Ashley McCoy and it’s off to a flying start. The next book can’t be published soon enough.

Ashley McCoy is a well formed and rounded character. She has her faults like anyone else. When she meets Tasha, it is very apparent they are made for one another. But nothing in life and love is simple. Whether they get together or whether they don’t is secondary to the murder mystery. The romance is gently interwoven between the on-going investigation. The balance between both is perfect.

I liked the minor characters too. Dale, Ashley’s work partner and Ashley’s family all integrate into the story enabling it to trickle along in between the gruesome findings.

There is plenty of intrigue and romance to satisfy both mystery and romance lovers.

I’ll be looking out for more from Jade Winters, hopefully very soon.