Zapata – Harper McDavid

Welcome back everyone, we’re going from a cold Cornish winter setting to Mexico! I already feel warmer just thinking about Mexico.

Well the first thing I want to say is, when you get to about the 70% mark put on a full-on action movie like John Wick 3. Why do you ask? Well, I spent some time on the couch reading a good portion of the last third of the book while my partner watched John Wick 3 and the fight scenes perfectly matched the intensity of what I was reading.

To give you an idea, this is the This is War of books. This is the type of book I can see made into a movie and becoming a date night favourite. It has enough romance for the girls, while being action packed enough for the guys to love it, while also not over the top to the enough that the guys hate it.

Yes, I’m stereotyping couples. But that’s coz I’m thinking of my relationship and the types of movies we can truly enjoy that satisfy both our preferences.

Yes, the book includes kidnapping, human trafficking, the sex slave trade, drug use, various other criminal activities and unthinkable circumstances. So, if any of this triggers you, avoid this book! And I really do mean that!

If you love the excitement, not knowing what’s going to happen and those full-on action-packed stories that make you feel the adrenaline pumping through your body. Then you’ll probably love this.

For a debut novel I am amazed at the quality and I can see myself (and my partner who doesn’t normally read much!) loving her novel! I likened this to Matthew Reilly to him, but where the writing is a little bit more mature and the content is DEFINITELY more mature. But just as fun, action orientated and engaging as his books.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing #Jerk by Kat T. Masen. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

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As a child, Harper McDavid watched her mother ride the roller coaster of writing books, swearing she’d never do it herself. But some things are just hardwired, and luckily for Harper, the world has moved on beyond typewriters and ten-pound manuscripts.

Harper’s gritty romantic suspense incorporates her own background in science and engineering and work experience along the border. The result is a collection of hardhat-wearing heroines that occasionally employ the use of the little black dress.

Harper is the mother of three daughters and lives in the foothills of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a fat cat. Her free time is spent traveling the world in search of that next story and perusing her local library for funny book covers.

A Cosy Christmas in Cornwall – Jane Linfoot

Welcome back everyone, after a weirdly confusing book on Monday we’re back into the Christmas romance genre! Who can say no to Christmas in a magical castle?

In a way I felt like rather than following two character’s as they discover their love and find their way to each other, we learn several life lessons about recognising our needs, loving ourselves, not judging our lives based on what we see of others and letting love in all its forms into our lives. The whole family is involved in the development of this story and the realisation, acceptance and love of each other.

Ivy and Will/Bill are the focus of the story. However, I don’t think their story would be as great, dramatic or real without the rest of the family involved. With Bill coming to terms with a loss he thought he couldn’t control, Ivy trying to come to terms with her guilt and learn to love and accept herself again, Fliss hoping her marriage isn’t ending while trying to stay sane with two young kids, Libby running the show and leading the “perfect” life and Miranda looking like she’s about to get married again there’s a lot going on. What’s Christmas without all that drama though?

The way they come together to support, guide and give a stern talking to each other as and when needed is great. For a Christmas romance I was truly surprised at how many life lessons were packed into one book. I honestly think all teenage girls and young women need to read this to learn these lessons. I’m sure guys could get benefit from it as well.

However, I also feel that there are some uniquely female issues that are displayed and worked through that guys can only empathise with. Although, that might be a good thing to give guys a perspective of what the women in their lives are going through and how they can support them during these difficult times.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I’ll be reviewing Zapata by Harper McDavid. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jane Linfoot is a best-selling author, who lives in a cottage on a Derbyshire hillside with her family and their pets. Although she loves seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.

Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales blowing off the sea and wrote her first book by accident. While she loves to write feel good books that let readers escape, she’s always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes, and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her recent stand alone novels are all set in and around the (imaginary) seaside village of St Aidan in Cornwall. They are: Ivy’s Cornish Christmas, Edie’s Browne’s Cottage by the Sea, The Little Cornish Kitchen. Her four book Little Wedding Shop series are standalone stories, also set in St Aidan. They are: The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, Summer at the Little Wedding Shop and Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop. They are all published by the Harper Impulse and One More Chapter imprints of Harper Collins.

Check out her socials below including her Pinterest.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Welcome back everyone, we move from a Christmas love story to an award-winning fiction novel. I was given this one for Christmas last yr and was sceptical about reading it but lots of people I work with assured me I’d love it.

The way people raved about this book I expected it to be profound and almost soul inspiring. Yet I was left hanging without ever finding out what was going on with Eleanor. It’s obvious something is wrong, but it’s never explained what it is.

For a book that felt like it was going to have a strong message around mental health awareness it felt like it missed the mark by a long way. Other than the fact that she suffers yet also feels many of the same feelings as others there’s nothing unique or informative about what she’s going through. I would’ve loved to have found out what exactly she was suffering with and then seen those around her support her in a way that shows mental illness can’t hold you back.

In the end the only reason I finished the book was because I’d been assured that all Eleanor’s oddities would be explained because it’d be shoved in my face so much it’d be impossible to miss. If I had have known that I wouldn’t get any answers I would’ve DNF. But I was assured all the answers would be given to me.

If you’ve read it and can help me out, please do. Because I honestly think there was so much missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Saturday I'll be reviewing A Cosy Christmas in Cornwall by Jane Linfoot.

Wrapped Up for Christmas – Katlyn Duncan

Welcome back everyone, we’re only in October but we’re already seeing some of the Christmas new releases making their way into our reading lists.

In this case it starts off in America and spans a whole month leading up to Christmas with a young girl suffering a massive heartbreak because her boyfriend had been cheating on her. She goes home to spend time with her family and regroup over the Christmas season.

Leading into the season of giving it’s nice to read a sweet romance that embodies being with family, getting oneself onto a better path, forgiveness and giving back to others. Katlyn balances these aspects of the Christmas time in one story in a way that allows us to truly relax and enjoy it.

I read this one over a few days and found it to be a calmly relaxing read that I was able to emotionally buy into, without becoming emotionally stressed as the story progressed through its peaks and throughs. For those coming into the Christmas season with a busy schedule but still want a nice, sweet romance, this could be a great book for you to keep up your reading.

If you’re a dog lover like me, you’ll especially love the doggy love that is shown throughout this love story.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Coming from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Katlyn Duncan always had her head in the clouds. Working as a scientist for most of her adult life, she enjoyed breaking down the hows and whys of life. This translated into her love of stories and getting into the minds of her characters.

Currently, she’s a full-time author and freelance writer. When she’s not writing, she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’.

She currently resides in Southern New England with her family. Check out more about her writing and current TV addiction in her newsletter, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

SCBWI & RWA Member.

You can find Katlyn on her various social media including Pintrest and BookBub.

Giveaway - Win a book of your choice from Book Depository up to the value of $25 (open internationally)


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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome, so long as The Book Depository delivers to your country.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wrap Up – September

After having a great time off in Vietnam last month, I spent a good chunk of this month off work sick. And I don’t meant the sick where I could relax and read. I mean I type where I was stuck on the couch barely able to put two words together. So I watched A LOT of TV!

I also had my birthday this month. My family kindly bought me the Outlander series so I can read those and compare the books to the show.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I took the plunge and got my grey hair situation fixed. By dying it greyer!

Hehehehe

Let’s just say my partner wasn’t impressed. He wanted me to hide them. I quite like it though, what do you think? Can you even tell in the photo?

(Please excuse the shitty jumper and trackies, it’s still cold and since I’ve been studying so much I’ve been staying comfortable.)

I’ve had the quietest month in some time review wise. I’ve been pretty busy with study and I didn’t want to stress myself out so I put myself on a ban for new tours the involve reviews. I just couldn’t sign up for more and stay sane while trying to get back to healthy.

My Fav

OMG this is a hard one! My two 5 star ratings are so very different… I guess I go with the one I could see there being more of? And could imagine what the sequel would be like?

Which is A Different Time by Michael K. Hill brought to me by The Write Reads Ultimate Book Tour.

I loved reading this was literally finished it in one night. I was also immediately fan girling with David and a few others over how it ended.

Clue, you’ll need tissues ready!

I really do think you should read this if you’re even remotely a fan of romance.

But I really also want to give a shout out to Rewrite the Stars which I had the publisher reach out to ask if I wanted to read it. It totally doesn’t do anything that I expected and I think it broke a few tropes. So I hope you hop on over and check that out too!

My Least Fav

I need to preface this with the fact that Babe Driven isn’t actually that bad. There’s just less depth, thought and overall brain engagement compared to the others.

If I was voting on which was my least favourite easy read, this definitely wouldn’t be the one sitting here right now.

But it really was just that, I great easy read that fed you little bits of info at a time without it being overly complex.

What’s Coming

OK. So October. I’ve got a few reviews scheduled. And that’s about it…

I’m going to have a crazy month trying to finish off 5 assessments for two units and starting the last unit for my Diploma. (OMG I’m getting so close!) As I’m writing this I’m taking a break from preparing a webinar presentation using software I’ve never used before. Lets just say it has been trying experience and I’m super nervous for how the trial will go on Monday.

Also, I’m stressing coz my footy team is in the Grand Final and I dunno if they are going to win… I’ll add a bonus pic at the end IF we win… Fingers crossed!

My 2019 Goals

I’ll start with the positive. I’m only 11 books away from my increased reading goal of 85 books this year. So I feel like I’m on track to smash that out of the park as well. And I’ve realised I have a few Aussie male author’s books on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet. So I’ve got some options to be able to finish the Aussie Author Challenge.

The series reviews don’t like they will get finished this yr… I’ll see how I go for next yr lol!

And let’s just say that I’m back to the start for my weight goal… I mean… I haven’t weighed myself recently. Coz why would you when you’ve spent the last month sick and unable to exercise, then it’s your birthday so there’s lots of food and alcohol involved?

I’ll just try and pick this back up next month…

MY BOYS DID IT!!! 2019 AFL PREMIERS!!! GO TIGES!

Intimate Strangers – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’ve had some emotionally charges romance reads this month and today is no different. I mean. Wow. Just wow!

Talk about an emotionally draining read!

If anyone wants to see how an emotional rollercoaster should be written, I suggest reading this book and making notes. I really wasn’t expecting it to be QUITE so dramatic. Especially throughout the whole book.

Given that Lisa met someone online I was anticipating there to be a certain level of emotional stress leading up to them meeting for the first time. But that was just the start of it! There were a few other hits in there as well as the comedic release you need during those highly charged moments.

Lisa’s sarcastic and confident (even if she doesn’t feel it most of the time) attitude made her highly amusing. Especially when we also got to read along with the conversations she was having in her own head. As we only follow her, we don’t get to find out what’s going through AJ’s head.

In this case I really don’t think having AJ’s side of events is needed. There are quite a few stories where you need both sides. However, the way Lasairiona has written this means it’s perfect as it is. And having AJ’s side would probably just ruin it.

I’m scheduled to review the follow up book The Good in Goodbye in December. So make sure you subscribe to my mailing list if you want to know the moment that review goes live!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Wrapped up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did - with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself 'home', with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

Cold Attraction – Zoe Ashwood

Welcome back everyone, I bet you weren’t expecting a review today!

Well neither was I!

Zoe gave me the heads-up last week that she had a new release ready to be read and reviewed and I just so happened to be finishing up another book and am way ahead of schedule. So, I figured why not throw in a surprise review for you! Especially since this was released YESTERDAY! So it's really fresh off the press for you.

Zoe has written paranormal romance and sweet romance before, and I will admit to preferring the paranormal romance. But I think that has more to do with my ambivalence to sweet romance than anything else. With the new series being an alien romance, I was hoping it’d lean back towards the style I like.

Right from the start it was infused with political intrigue, sexual attraction and verbal sparring. We come in after Adriana and Taron have already had a kiss that was interrupted so there’s already some history. Meaning we skip all the awkward meeting, will it, won’t it initial kind of insecurities.

With some handy gadgets that translate any language spoken to one the wearer understands, Adriana and Taron skip a lot of potential misunderstandings that happen when people speak different languages. I was left a little confused when he understood some sayings, but not others. I mean, people from another language probably don’t understand any of my Aussie sayings and phrases, so how is it that an alien species understand half of them?

Do I seem to have some weird love of alien romance? Apparently, I do!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be back to my regular Monday reviews, this time with Intimate Strangers by Lasairiona E. McMaster.

Rewrite the Stars – Emma Heatherington

Welcome back everyone, you might have noticed that I’ve been slowing down in the Rach Random Resources tours lately. Good news is that that means I can spend more time reading and reviewing books I requested from Netgalley or from my own TBR pile.

The title of this book suggested to me that someone, or multiple someone’s, were going to be trying to re-write their love story or correct a bad choice or set of circumstances that’d happened earlier in their life. In a way, this is right. But in other ways it’s so wrong.

Many of us face the inevitable “what if” question all the time. This book explores that following a single character (Charlotte), her relationships and general life choices over the span of like 10 years. To most people I believe we’d agree that Charlotte made the right choices. But all she can see is the “what if I’d gone with him” and “what if I’d never done this”.

I really liked how Charlotte explored these choices and the impacts they’ve had on her life today. Both in the way that they’ve given her a great life, but also in the ways that she missed out on opportunities to be with her family when they needed it.

Even though things hit a kind of bad patch towards the end, I loved how Charlotte reconnected and found out what would have happened if she’d made a single choice when she was younger. By doing that, it felt like she was able to finally put those questions to bed and follow her dreams, and her heart, to the happily ever after she deserved.

That emotional rollercoaster of what if’s was so easy to relate to that I couldn’t help but feel like I was involved in her decision-making as I read it. Even the way the final decision was written left everything in the air as to what choice she’d made. So much so that I needed to re-read it to make sure I had interpreted it right.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Intimate Strangers by Lasairiona E. McMaster.

A Summer to Remember – Victoria Cooke

Welcome back everyone, after doing a book vs movie comparison on Friday I’m back to reviews! Today it’s another tour (because what else have I been doing for the past few months?) with Rach Random Resources.

Although the book starts out quite sad with Sam having lost her husband, we quickly move on to how she’s doing like 8 years after his death. She’s moved to London from her sleepy hometown, found new friends, gotten a cat and is in her dream job.

The only problem is her world is starting to change and she’s finally got the opportunity to go to America for the summer as part of a work exchange program. While she’s there she discovers new friends and finds a new joy in life that leaves her worrying about other factors. While this sounds all well and good, she needs to go home and that makes it emotionally gripping.

I found myself constantly asking “what if?” to everything. All her decisions, all the talks, all the backtracking. Everything.

Although the ending didn’t have a certain fact I was certain would be there, it was amazing as well. I found myself impressed that Victoria held back from adding that one little thing in the happily ever after, unlike so many authors. By doing that it made it feel much more inclusive and real to me.

That real element of her storytelling is something that was woven throughout, but that I hadn’t realised until I got right to the end. I love it and I hope she continues to bring it into her writing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Rewrite the Stars by Emma Heatherington. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

Giveaway - Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and chocolates (UK only)


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and Conditions
 –UK
entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The
winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and
will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7
days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative
winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as
part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be
shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This
will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the
prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the
data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.