Rewriting the Ending by H.P. Tune

Have you ever wondered who the stranger next to you is? For instance there are times when I sit in an airport and wonder who he is or who she is. Are they going home, a business meeting or maybe on an epic adventure? What if a chance encounter on a terrible day was really the best thing that ever happened to you?

Juliet Taylor has one published book under her belt and now the deadline on her second one is fast approaching. Her publisher wants it now but she has one hell of a case of writer’s lock. So the intrepid traveler that she is decides a change of scenery is in store. She packs her bags and is headed for Brussels. The only problem that she is having is that her flight becomes a nightmare situation. Oh you know what I’m talking about, delays, cancellations and more delays. So when a beautiful stranger asks her to join her in the Emirates Lounge in Los Angeles how can you say no?

Mia Revira is the beautiful stranger. Mia is headed to Scotland for some much needed rest and relaxation. Her life has come apart at the seams. Death, a failed marriage, angry parents are all weighing heavy on her heart. She needs time to heal and to find her path. Meeting Juliet is a godsend, this person wants her to be nothing but who she is. Finally, someone sees the real Mia.

For the first fifty percent of this book I was feeling it. Interesting plot, the dialogue was good and overall I was enjoying these two character’s journey. Then the melodrama kicked up into high gear and I just became more and more despondent as the chapters rolled on. Over the top reactions in real life and in books makes me want to run fast, the opposite direction mind you. It leads me to a sense of disbelief, especially in writing where it is over demonstrative. Come on no one acts like this is all I could think. Over and over again, it was just too much! Internal pain, then comfort and repeat and repeat and repeat…

The characters were well developed, they were likeable. The first portion of this book is so good.  To me the obstacles became too overwhelming. It seemed that every chapter had a new ordeal for Juliet and Mia to overcome. From my perspective, it became exasperating. I could not invest any one issue because it was glossed over and on to the next life altering moment.

2.75 out of  5 stars

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • www.ylvapublishing.com/

Rewriting the Ending
by hp tune
Link: https://amzn.com/B01DUQ68SI

Beneath the Waves by Ali Vali

This is my second book by the author Ali Vali.  The first, The Devil Inside, didn’t really do much for me, so I have overlooked most of this author’s work. The reason I picked this book is the cover. I thought it was absolutely stunning and I was intrigued. I though the book was going to be about diving, and well it does have that aspect. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that the book would be about a kingdom of women running the lost city of Atlantis and their heir becoming involved in the Gulf Coast’s oil industry.

Kai Merlin is the heir to Atlantis kingdom. This empire is 100% women who guide Earth’s population in unsuspecting ways. Kai after graduating from the Academy, Kai chooses her mission, accompanied by to mega great white sharks, to go to the Gulf Coast to work and guide offshore drilling to become conscientious of the environment. She must also right a wrong that she did while she was a young girl that forever changed the lives of two human children.

Vivien Palmer is one of those children. When she was eight years old she witnessed a girl near her age emerge from the water, talk to her and her brother and then swim away right into a huge swarm of sharks. For years, Vivien has searched for clues as to who this girl could have been and if she survived the possible shark attack. Vivien is also the daughter to Palmer Oil, yup you guessed it, an offshore drilling company.

I was confused for most of this book. I didn’t really understand what was going on at times especially if it involved the Atlantis portion of this book. Kai’s people, to me, ran together. There a mothers, grandmothers, an all-seeing lover, and countless other random characters making up Atlantis. They became jumbled in my brain and I felt completely disconnected. The information that I took from their scenes was minimal, jumbled and more puzzling than anything. There were times when I literally checked my Kindle to make sure it wasn’t skipping pages. Nope it was in working order.

I give credit to Vali for creating a world so unlike any other. The premise was as great as the cover. It just didn’t translate well to me the reader.

2.5 out of 5 stars

ARC from Netgalley and BSB

Beneath the Waves
by Ali Vali
Link: https://amzn.com/B01E852Z5U

Where the Light Plays by C. Fonseca

I struggled with this one, and I hate that! I hate the feeling that I am not giving a book justice, especially one that is obviously well written. I’m going to put it down to the fact that it just wasn’t my cup of tea, you that’s what I’m going to do.

Andi Rey is an artist living near Victoria, Australia. Andi paints beautiful works of art and is currently working to finish her first solo exhibit. For extra income and to support her art she freelances as a graphic designer.  Andi has been unlucky in love, she is not willing to take a risk with her heart on just anybody.

Dr. Caitlyn Quinn is an Irishwoman who has come to Australia to assist her grandaunt in cataloging her art collection. She just happens to be vacationing at a beautiful home near Andi’s. These two strike up a friendship through their love of paintings, wine, great food and the beach. They only problem as their attraction to each other grows, so does the looming fact that Caitlyn is just  in Australia for a few short months.

I have no doubt that there will be people that read this book and love it, 4 and 5 stars all the way. These people are not going to be me unfortunately. Technically there is nothing wrong with this book. I would absolutely say that this book is well written, there were not mistakes in grammar or spelling. The setting was staged well, the characters were developed, so yes, this book is technically sound. What I did not find is any emotion to the book. The characters were dull and the dialogue was dry. I also felt that there were way too many secondary characters that had insignificant roles. Literally, I was trying to keep up with all the different names thrown out, and why they were there. I literally trudged through the entire thing wondering what the point is to this book. There wasn’t much to the story, and obstacles the character’s had to overcome were tired. This book was way too long for how little happened, but hey this is just my opinion.

2.5 stars out of 5

I was provided this book by Ylva in exchange for an honest review.

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Heart of the Pack by Jenny Frame

Werewolf books have been a trend for a while now. What is it about shapeshifting individuals that we love so much? Is it because we love dogs? Is it because they are super powerful? Whatever the reason is I am drawn to reading these types of books especially when it involves a romantic element. Enter Jenny Frame’s second book, Heart of the Pack.

Caden Wolfgang is the second in command of the Wolfgang pack. She has always considered herself a lone wolf. She has never felt the pull to settle down and find a mate with any of the other wolves in her pack. Caden feels she is destined to be alone and as sad as that makes her, she has decided to put the pack and its needs above herself.

Selena “Lena” Miller is an outsider in her family. Her family refers to her as the baby elephant, a-hole alert! She has been subjected to a lifetime of ridicule because she does not fit into her family’s “perfect” image. Her domineering mother has driven Lena to the breaking point time and has chastised her time and time about the size of her thighs and how she is consistently letting the family down. This anxiety ridden accountant decides to flee her family’s clutches and comes to Venator Industries in Wolfgang County to do an audit for her accounting firm.

I as a rule of thumb I try to always pick books that I have a general interest in reading. As the years have gone on I have found a few of the werewolf books in this genre to be very fun, adventurous and have a great romance to them. So going into this book I tried to let all the preconceived notions and past stories go. I liked Jenny Frame’s last book, not love, but I did like it. To me, Heart of the Pack was a bit of a letdown, I expected more from this one.

First off the story is a little clunky. It was clunky, in the fact that it just didn’t flow all that well to me. Then there is a backstory that’s at play, and for a minute I literally thought I missed a book in the series. Don’t laugh that has actually happened to me more than once! This backstory is immediately thrust onto the reader and I felt a little lost. Factor in now a human coming into a company full of werewolves. The two, Cade and Selena are immediately at odds with each other, both harboring ill will because of their own personal hang-ups. The thing is that their interactions didn’t feel natural. Their relationship was stiff and felt artificial. I never invested in their story, and once they begin dating it got even worse. How is that even possible! Now for what really resonated with me, and honestly I wish I could eradicate from my brain is the sex scenes. If you have read any of L.L. Raand’s werewolf series you have read graphic werewolf scenes. No big deal. That is totally not it. What really sealed the deal, and made this book a solid NOPE, is when characters are in the throes of passion screaming “fill me up” or “fill up my belly” or “I’m going to fill you up mate”. What the hell, eww and total gross out. Why, just why. Who finds that sexy? Why the belly, no really why the belly!

So this book just wasn’t for me. I could totally me in the minority on this one. This is just my feelings on a book. My observations aside, the rest of the book is pretty standard. There are conflicts, but I didn’t think any of them were anything that hasn’t been done before and seemed a contrived.

2.5 out of 5 stars

I was given this book by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books in return for an honest review.

Heart of the Pack
by Jenny Frame
Link: http://amzn.com/B01E852ZE6

Personal Foul by Lucy J. Madison

I tend to be a sucker for romance novels that have a sports influence. While I love to run, I really don’t watch much in the way in sports. I definitely do not watch basketball, but I love athletics and the inner drive for success. So when I came across Personal Foul by Lucy J. Madison I was intrigued.

Kat Schaefer is a WNBA referee. This former college basketball player has spent her whole life dedicated to the game. It was literally her refuge from a terrible childhood. While basketball gave her a future and an escape from her small Midwest hometown it has also caused her personal struggles. Her girlfriend has just left her. The reason she left Kat for another woman, Kat spends too much time on the road for her job and she just can’t stand to be alone anymore.

Enter our other leading lady WNBA rookie Julie Stevens. Julie is hot right now, her shots are on fire and she is playing like the absolute superstar she was destined to be. The only problem she has is that she is terribly attracted to a ref. Yep, Kat Schaefer.

So, the book has a great premise. You definitely have the set up for a push- pull angsty relationship. I mean it’s never a good idea for a player to date a referee right. This has to be a big no-no. The only problem is while Kat’s personal strife is set-up. You never really feel a strong connection between the two leads. There is attraction, sex, conflict and then resolution. You never feel the love you just hover around.  In Personal Foul there is way too much telling, not enough showing and not nearly enough dialogue between Kat and Julie.

2 out of 5 stars

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  • Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing
  • www.sapphirebooks.com

Personal Foul
by Lucy J. Madison
Link: http://amzn.com/1943353255

Across the Pond by Cheri Crystal

Across the Pond by Cheri Crystal has a great premise, and front cover. Unfortunately this is where the greatness ends. Don’t get me wrong this book isn’t terrible, its just lacking that spark that really makes makes me want to invest in the characters and their story.

The book begins introducing Janalyn Jacobs as she prepares a romantic dinner for her partner Faith on their 13th anniversary. Janalyn is head over heals for her workaholic, always away on business partner, Faith. Janalyn goes on and on about how Faith turns her into mush with her sexiness, how they have great sex . . . you get my drift. A few chapters later, it’s all gone to hell in a hand basket. Breakup, and cue the heartbreak.

The problem with the story is the over abundance of details that have no pertinence to the story. One case in particular is our main goes on a tirade on empty calorie foods while eating at TGI Fridays. Do health nuts really eat at TGI Fridays? Janalyn is bothered by the size of her salad and we literally have paragraphs about this issue, and it’s societal effects of obesity in America. I felt as if the author was speaking her mind through her character, it just wasn’t necessary. Also, the constant need to tell the reader that Janalyn was going to the gym with her coworker Deb. Why is this here, stop distracting me. Janalyn is basically that friend on Facebook that updates her status each time she goes for a run, followed by a selfie in neon spanex. Ugh!

While there were glimmers of hope throughout the book that would pull me back in, I would find myself right back to driving the struggle bus. By the time the across the pond love interest, Robin showed up I was fading fast. I was quite surprised the two almost the hookup with in an hour of meeting each other. Whiplash much. The romance was too little too late, and the sexy talk wasn’t sexy at all. Fire up the Uhaul and story’s over.

Too much telling, not enough showing. The main character left me cold and uninterested in her overall outcome. This book could have been so much more, if it would have had better pacing and less unnecessary details.

2 out of 5 stars

Across the Pond
by Cheri Crystal
Link: http://amzn.com/B0195HQTOY

Dyre: By Moon’s Light by Rachel E. Bailey

Werewolves, werewolves and more werewolves. Only these werewolves call themselves Loup, apparently that is French for wolf, I had to look it up (this is a reoccurring theme). These Loup have an uprising on their hands, and an assassin has taken out their leader. Upon their leader George’s death he gives his power as the head Dyre of all Loup to a Hume (human) named Ruby. Still with me?

I was on the struggle bus the whole time with this one. The book is broken into three parts. The first part I was so confused it was unreal. The author uses words like, Loup, Garoul, Dyre, Hume… and I had no way of knowing what that stood for. Context clues needed to be on point. Finally in the second part of the book one of the protagonists, Des, begins teaching the human-turned Loup, Ruby about werewolf culture, and this finally clued me in. Up till that point the dictionary and previous werewolf books were my reference point. By this juncture my frustration was peaking and I almost put the book away, but I kept reading only to be completely baffled in the third and final portion of this novel.

So, Tiff did you like it? Well, if you asked me this question I will have to say yes and no. The writing is very well done, but it feels to me that this book is really a precursor to a series. That is totally fine, I have no problem with that setup. The issue I have is that I need to be into the first book to invest my time in anything that may follow. I can’t say this is the case, this book has a lot of moving pieces, but nothing that grabbed at me and made me want to care about the outcome. I never really felt like I knew either of the main characters, Ruby and Des. The whole time in the book, they have this push pull thing going, which was really the only part holing my interest. Then all of the sudden a two other love interests begin to hookup with the leading ladies. Huh? Where did that come from, and why? Then the book ends, just leaving you hanging.

So, I guess my final opinion is that this book may have just not been for me. If you are into paranormal, and are willing to put in the time you may really like this one. Like I said the writing is done well.

2.5 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • www.boldstrokesbooks.com/
Dyre: By Moon’s Light
by Rachel E. Bailey
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B019G6CSO4

 

Stone Gardens by Lois Coarec Hart

Can one terrible moment in your life, cause you to abandon everything you hold dear? Stone Gardens by Lois Cloarec Hart, will tackle that exact question.

Grae Jordan has run away from her family, friends and her old life. A tragedy Grae believes she caused her senior year in college, has caused her to abandon the life she had created for herself. For eight years she has avoided everyone she has ever known, basically becoming a ghost in her hometown. She has changed the way she looks, hiding in tattoos and piercings, and has even altered the way she speaks. Her running away has caused her to live a life of barely making ends meet. She is living in a slum, working a minimum wage job, and all the while taking care of the young man, Marcus, she rescued from the streets.

The beginning of the story Grae runs into trouble, a brawl at her job ends her up in court. Just as Grae is set to enter her not guilty plea for assault, she sees that the judge for the case is her mother, Thea. This moment causes a chain reaction of Grae dealing with her past, and including her family back in to her life. Her mother makes Grae a deal she cannot resist. One year of rent-free living, for her and Marcus, if she will enter into therapy, which she reluctantly agrees to.

Through the course of therapy Grae begins to shed more light on why she is who she is, and why she felt the need to change herself. She enters into new relationships, and works on the ones she let go for many years. Therapy forces Grae to take a hard look on what really happened in college that made her who she has become today.

Stone Gardens has a lot going on. I my personal opinion, it has way too much conflict. It seemed that every chapter had a new ordeal for Grae to overcome. From my perspective, it became exasperating. I could not invest any one issue because it was glossed over and on to the next life altering moment. While the writing is done well, the relationships between the characters is lacking. At times I felt like the dialogue was forced and didn’t sound natural. Particularly the relationship between Grae and Marcus, for some reason it did not ring true to me.

The other issue I had is that the romance of the story is flat and underdeveloped. Grae and her love interest, Kendall have little chemistry but the potential was there, it just didn’t come to fruition. They fall in love way too fast, when as the reader, you get see very little of the building of that relationship. Conversations are implied, but very few were shown. It is hard to become invested, when it is all implied. Also, glossed over was the re-connection with her family. Again, I think this book would have been much better if it has less conflict and more dialogue between the characters.

2.5 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  •  http://ylva-publishing.co.uk/
Stone Gardens
by Lois Cloarec Hart
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B018STVN46

Love in the Catskills by BL Miller

Love in the Catskills by BL Miller is a historical romance sent in the mid-1850s. The book follows the lives of two girls who could not have grown up more opposite. Divided by social standing, these two young women forge ahead to make a life of their own.

Mary Chandler is a young girl, ten years of age upon first introduction, who is spending her summer with her family at the Mountain House in the Catskills. Mary is part of the upper echelon of New York high society. Her family is beyond wealthy.

Hester Van Wyck is also a young girl, nine when the book begins, who befriends Mary while she is summering at the Mountain House. Hester’s father paints portraits for the rich, while barely making ends meet. The Van Wyck’s are uneducated and very poor, night and day from the Chandler family.
Mary and Hester form an immediate friendship as only two young people can. The book follows Mary and Hester’s summer friendship for the next 8 years. Sounds nice right, well in all truth this was super boring. The first 30% of the book is so dry. I wanted to put it down. Reading about the ins and outs of a 10 year old’s day does not do it for me. I felt like I was reading the same chapter over and over again. I pushed through and it picked up a little, once the girls became of age, but it by no means became riveting. I felt like the real issues of that time, (the Civil War, women’s suffrage), that were brought up by the author were very much glossed over.

This book did not draw emotion from me as the reader, it was another case of an author telling but not showing. Overall, the book was not my favorite, and I would pass on reading it again.

2 out of 5 stars

Love in the Catskills (Eras of Love Book 1)
by BL Miller
Link: http://amzn.com/B0157KRA2S

The Courage to Try by C.A. Popovich

The Courage to Try, hooked me on first glance. I loved the front cover, damn dogs get me every time! The body of work did not do its cover any justice. Don’t judge a book by its cover, could not be truer.

Kristen Eckert is a skeet shooting, Porsche driving, barrel racing, vet tech. She has had her heartbroken, and now the only relationships she has are out of town horse show hookups. Kristen is the caretaker to her father who suffers from dementia. She has no time for anything else, or so she thinks.

Dr. Jaylin Meyers is a vet that decides to sell her practice and move 40 minutes away. She takes a new position as the small animal veterinarian at an expanding equine clinic. The doctor has not had an easy time in life. She is a foster child and the one relationship she has had, was an abusive one. She has sworn off all women until the moment she set eyes on Kristen.

Ugh, this book was hard to push through to the end. I really wanted to delete it from my reader and move on. There are so many issues I had with it. The biggest problem is it does not read well, there is no natural flow. The way in which characters talk throughout the book sounds unnatural. It is also very repetitive in nature. The plot is lacking, the characters were boring and at times it felt overly detailed in a way that distracting. Unfortunately, this was not the book for me.

2 out of 5 stars

The Courage to Try
by C.A. Popovich
Link: http://amzn.com/B015DG8FF2