Making a Tinderbox (The Tinderbox Tales #1) by Emma Sterner-Radley

I don’t even know how to start with this one, but I am going to give it my best shot at articulating just how good this book was. One word summary, Wow. I was wowed, amazed, and totally spellbound by Making a Tinderbox. If I could read books like this one everyday life would be truly grand. This is one of those books you find and just turn to mush because it did everything right. It took hold of my heart and a sad as I was that the story was over, I was dazzled by its brilliance as well.

Lady Elisandrine ‘Elise’ Falk has been told by the queen that she is to marry the queen’s brother, Prince Macray in three months time. Elise, not being one to ever want to marry, especially to someone of the male persuasion is undeniably angry at the situation she has been put in. She is literally being locked in a castle until her wedding day. Elise is a character with smart, witty and a ton of spirit. She is never one to hold her tongue and it tends to land her in a heap of trouble.

Nessa Clay is the direct opposite of Elise. A commoner who has worked beside her parents in a small town, taking care of the crops to make ends meet. She is quiet, self-conscious with a bit of a stutter. What draws you to Nessa is that she is both selfless and gracious. A strong, stoic woman that when needed arrises to the occasion. When Neesa meets Elise, and Elise requests her help Nessa goes above and beyond to help the lady.

I think what really sets this book apart from so many others is how multi-layered it is. Sterner-Radley has given you a long detailed story. There are no cutting corners to save space, no rushed ending to warp it. The author takes her time and draws the characters out. Backstories are cleverly crafted, the scenes are set, and you feel the story and see it play out as you read along. What I loved most of all, and I am talking really, really fell in love with, is how the character’s chemistry between each other is just dynamite. It just jumps right off the page! You have sexiness, cuteness, agonizing angst and self-sacrifice all rolled into one epic adventure.

This is a book that has everything I look for and it does it to perfection. Fantastic characters, dazzling dialogue, a delicious plot full of adventure, angst, and romance. You cannot ask for more. Making a Tinderbox stole my heart from the very beginning and by the end I wanted to read it again.

***If I could give this six stars I would. How in the world have I read two books within a ten-day time span that have been this amazing? I have just been giving out 5 stars like nobody’s business.

5 out of 5 stars, but really a six!

36247098

 

Advertisements

Four Steps by Wendy Hudson

The prologue of this book grabs you and will send a shock of terror through you. All I could think was on my goodness that was absolutely, one-hundred percent, terrifying. The first chapter is a glimpse of everyone’s worst nightmare coming true. Grabbed your attention, right? Well, that is how this book goes, it grabs you and then tells you the story of Alex Ryan and Lori Hunter.

Lori Hunter is an interpreter for parliament in Westminster. Her day job of constantly and repetitively conversing with people makes her crave solitude in her downtime.  This is what drives her to drive hours outside of the London to climb mountains like Scotland’s Maoile Lunndaidh. Lori loves her career but finds life lacking in most other areas. Her family is scattered and barely speaks, and her relationship of eight years with Andrew is crumbling at an alarming rate.  She finds herself making decisions to change her course and on that very day she runs smack dab into Alex Ryan.

Alex Ryan came to Maoile Lunndaidh to climb that mountain but to also remind herself that her relationship’s end did not ruin her passion for this place. Rachel may have introduced her to the place, but Alex would make her own memories here too. Alex spends most of her days alone, working from home on her family’s farm as a computer analyst for a variety of police organizations. Alex is charismatic and fun but also guarded, and for good reason. Her past is tragic.

These two have instant chemistry, which they both acknowledge and decide to become friends. They build their relationship between phone calls and texts, touching base daily because this person, who they met on the side of a mountain, has become important.  All of that is happening, but you know there is a sinister plot happening as well. EEK! I wish I could tell you more but you need to read the book.  These two crush on each other and when things just begin to go their way, a mad man’s vengeance turns everyone’s life upside down.

A romance with a side of a thriller is what Four Steps is. Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. There were a few chapters I thought were bogged down with too many new character introductions, but that won’t change the overall awesomeness of the book. A really good book by Wendy Hudson!

4 out of 5 stars

I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • www.ylvapublishing.com

Four Steps
by Wendy Hudson
Link: https://amzn.com/B01KIDGB7Y

30070140

Points of Departure by Emily O’Beirne

A breath of fresh air, that’s what this book was to me. Points of Departure by Emily O’Beirne captures the spirit of friendship and adventure in the most charming manner possible. This is the story of five young women who are bonded by an epic adventure to see the world post-high school graduation.

The book starts off as the five ladies get ready to take this grand adventure to Europe and Thailand. The bad news is that Kit, the organizer and touchstone of the group is going to have to bail. Kit’s partying ways have cost her. She must spend her trip money on the neighbor’s statue that was destroyed after wild, but not epic party. This is where apprehension sets in with the four reaming girls, Tam, Liza, Olivia and Mai.

Tam, Kit’s cousin, is a cherry farmer’s daughter from Tasmania. She has spent her life in a small secluded town. Set to attend culinary school, Tami s using this vacation to study the world’s cuisine. The last year has been especially rough for Tam and her family. Her father was diagnosed with cancer and has only recently begun feeling like his old self again. Tam is impatiently waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Oliva, Kit’s best friend, is the daughter of one of Australia’s most favorite authors. Olivia has spent her life in her workaholic mother’s shadow. She has had her sight on being a successful lawyer forever the only problem is she is pretty sure she’s destroyed that chance after flubbing her final exams.

Liza, Kit’s other BFF, is a runner. Not just any old runner either, she is amazingly fast and amazingly talented on the track. She has spent most of her childhood and teen years traveling the country racing the 800M dash. Recently Liza has come to the conclusion that she may be done with racing, she doesn’t have the competitive streak or desire to run to win as a college athlete.

Mai, well she’s just Mai. Super intelligent, obsessed with social media and just wants a big party and lots of hookups before college begins. A classmate who is in the same social circle as Oliva and Kit and the one character that we do not read the perspective of.

Points of Departure is brimming with liveliness and strength. The book effortlessly hops between the friends as they deal with life, failures, success and love. There is a romance too. It’s quite good and quite touching but I’ll let you figure out who that cute couple might be.

I was given this book by Ylva in return for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Points of Departure
by Emily O’Beirne
Link: https://amzn.com/3955336980

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