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.

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The Bastard – Lisa Renee Jones

Welcome back everyone, after a brief step back in time we’re back into modern times. This time in America where we have a mix of romance and suspense.

I found myself underwhelmed with this story as a whole. It had some great moments that captured my attention. But at the end of it I found I wasn’t dying to read the next book. Considering the last book I got from NetGalley I immediately bought the rest of the series this was a massive let down.

It’s not that the writing wasn’t good. We had a great mix of past and present, twists popping up at the right time etc. But I felt like I just didn’t really care. I feel like maybe there was some emotional buy in missing right at the start of the book.

If I had that buy in, I think I would’ve liked this a lot better.

Would I read the next book if it was given to me? Probably, but only if I felt like I had nothing else to read.

I’m kinda hoping that I just wasn’t in the mood to read this style, or at all when I read this. It would make me feel better about not really being interested given how highly it’s rated on Goodreads. But it just didn’t do it for me. Sorry.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley.

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The Consequence of Loyalty – Trey Stone

Welcome back everyone, this week we have a change of pace from the romances I’ve been reading so far this year. Instead, we have a bit of a complex, suspense/thriller style story.

Writing Style

I found this book an interesting read throughout. Although there were a few cases of typos (I don’t think you can ever get rid of them entirely) that had me pausing to figure out what had been missed so I could understand the meaning of the sentence. Overall, this read as a story that is meant to challenge you and keep you guessing.

What I found quite useful was the date and time stamp at the start of each chapter. Since we were swapping between various characters and went back in time at a couple of points, this made it really easy to see the flow of the story and understand when I was reading about a particular character.

Given how complex this story is, I would’ve been lost without this so I’m super thankful!


Initial Thoughts

When I first started reading this story, I got the feeling I was going to read a book equivalent to “Quantico”. And that was pretty damn complex, so I knew I’d be in for a confusing ride if this was anything like that.

I was a little bit lost to begin with, until I got used to the writing style, when we kept swapping characters. But this quickly settled as you got told pretty much at the start of each change who you were following now based on where they were, what they were feeling and what they were doing.


Final Thoughts

I will admit I powered through this one more because I got my reading mojo back and because I was trying to avoid having to study since I wasn’t feeling 100%.

That’s not to say that the story wasn’t intriguing. It was!

It just wasn’t the whole reason I read this one in like 2 days.

Anyway, as I worked through the story, I found I couldn’t figure out what direction I was meant to be heading in. Was I meant to be seeing clues as to who was behind everything? Was I just meant to be along for the ride?

If I wasn’t meant to be seeing any clues as to who the mastermind behind the shooting was, then congrats! Coz I certainly didn’t pick up on anything. But if I was meant to see clues and start to figure out (even just vaguely) who was responsible. Well, you missed the mark there.

It kinda felt like when you’re near your word limit for a uni report or essay, but you don’t wana cut out anything you’ve done so far. So you just cram the last bit of the report into the fewest possible words without actually explaining yourself properly. It honestly was like a hail Mary as to who the evil mastermind was that I didn’t pick up on until they walked into the kitchen to arrest them.

Surely, I should have had at least SOME inkling by this stage as to who needed to be arrested? I’m not saying I’m always right with these things. But normally afterwards once you know who the bad guy is you see all the clues fall into place.

And I didn’t get that with this one. Which was a shame since the rest of it was well written and kept me engaged throughout the whole story.


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Trust the Wolf by Zoe Ashwood.


Author Bio

Trey Stone is an author, reader, and reviewer. His first book, The Consequence of Loyalty, a crime thriller set in Columbus, Ohio was published in 2017. When he’s not working on his second novel, he enjoys reading, playing the guitar, and his day job as an archaeologist.

          

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The Earls Irresistible Challenge – Lara Temple

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of a towns struggle while two lost loves found each other again. This week’s book is one of those classic regency romances that just draws you in with its female empowerment.

Writing Style

The overall writing style for this one felt really cohesive and like the author had planned out each phase of the book before actually writing it as a whole. The rushing to get the couple together and happy that sometimes occurs didn’t happen. You could see moments throughout the book where both characters could feel and accept that their relationship was changing.

Although the author didn’t describe the surroundings much, they did focus on the characters emotional and physical responses to each other. I felt like I could truly see Lord Sinclair intimidating Miss Silverdale when they first met. Whenever they were having a moment, I could imagine what their expressions looked like, right down to how they held their body in that moment.


First Impressions

To begin with I was confused as to how this could be a romance given Lord Sinclair was doing everything he could to avoid being around Miss Silverdale. Also, Miss Silverdale was adamant that he was arrogant, among other not so nice descriptions, so it didn’t seem like someone so self sufficient and forward thinking could possibly want to be with someone like that.

That soon changed when I realised that this was because they had yet to spend enough time together to really start to click. I will admit I was reading this initially when I was REALLY stressed and reading it in like 2-5-minute intervals. So, I probably should have realised this sooner. But you know, when you get caught up in other things you don’t necessarily notice things properly or think straight.


Final Thoughts

I’m glad the author didn’t rush the romantic connection. And I was surprised at when and how Lord Sinclair decided to propose to Miss Silverdale. But that was a good thing. How many of these regency romances do you read when you know the exact moment the realisation of a proposal is coming?

So, the fact I didn’t know made me re-think a few other things I thought were going to happen. And yet again I was still surprised! I love it when a book can have that predictable feel but then throw a curve ball at you when you’re least expecting it. Given the genre this book is in that’s kinda hard to do! So kudos to the author for still managing to surprise me! I hope you do this with all your books!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow, that’s right! Tomorrow I will be reviewing An Unconventional Affair Book 2 by Mollie Blake.

If you liked her first book be sure to tune in tomorrow for my review of her second book! But FIRST! Continue reading for info on today’s author.

Author Bio

Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances
about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.
After moving around the world for her career as a financial analyst and
business consultant she returned to her childhood love of making up stories,
and was surprised to discover that other people don’t mind reading them.

She lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream while Oscar the dog keeps her feet warm by sitting on them as she works).

The Earl’s Irresistible Challenge (out December 2018) is the first in her Sinful Sinclair series. In May 2019 Unlaced by the Highland Duke, part of a four book series with three other Harlequin Mills & Boon authors will be released.

                    

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Miao-Shan: The Awakening – Gary Morris

Welcome back everyone, this weeks book is another author request. This time from an author who only has one other published book, so you might not have heard of him.

But if you haven’t, you should give him a go because this is a book unlike any I’ve ever read before. It’s based in Hong Kong and includes a fair bit about the Chinese culture and history which is fairly new to me.

Story overview

The story begins at the end of the 19th Century in Hong Kong with a small and happy family. Only to have the parents murdered in the first chapter and a rampant display of racism between the local Chinese people and the “Gweilo”, or English, people.

Typically both races believe the other to be savages purely because they do things differently. Of course, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is the main theme of the book. However, it’s not the key theme so I’m going to leave that there.

Lei’s need for revenge against the Triads as the long survivor of her family is what we learn to be, the key theme of the story. As such, she learn’s Kung Fu to become calmer and to learn empathy.

However, her thirst to hurt “bad people” means she never quite reaches that goal. Instead, she ends up accepting her fate and became an almost merciless killer in her quest for vengeance.


My thoughts

Throughout the story Lei chooses to fight back against those that want to oppress others. And this, I believe, is something many people don’t have the courage, and or, the skills to do. So good on her for standing up for what she believes in!

However, the examples we see of Lei’s excessive force does scare me a little. But only because that lack of compassion or regard for human life is what typically forms the basis for a sociopath’s personality.

And typically speaking sociopaths can’t change who they are or how they react to things. They can learn to mimic emotions, but they can’t feel them the same way most people can. So how can Lei truly learn and display compassion if she’s unable to truly feel it?

Surprisingly enough, she does find the ability to be compassionate. And the time she finds this ability is what truly surprises me. It’s at this moment that we really get to explore the difference between revenge, and justice. Can she live with the knowledge that she caused destruction and the loss of hundreds of lives.

That’s a lot for anyone to bear, let alone someone who’s only about 18-20 years old. I can’t imagine the guilt gnawing at her conscious and how difficult it would be to get to sleep each night knowing that she cut those lives short.

So knowing that she had to live with that for eternity I can sympathise with her need to leave China and be somewhere else. Somewhere different where she can come to terms with everything she’s done.

Gary has told me since reading Miao-Shan that there is a second book for me to look forward to. And I will, because I want to know what she does next!


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review. On Friday I will be reviewing Second Chance at the Ranch by Maxine Morrey.

Yes you read that right! This Friday! I look forward to seeing you again then. But don’t forget to read a little bit about this week’s author Gary Morris below.

Author info

Gary Morris

For most of my working life, I was in the collectables field. First dealing in stamps and then in antiques. I have always had a love for Asian art and history. Particularly Chinese and Japanese. I have also directed and produced a computer game.

I started writing fiction professionally in 2010, during which time I wrote two complete novels, of which Miao-Shan is the second one. At the end of 2010, I returned to the property industry, without having acquired an agent. For the next six years, I wrote part-time.

I currently have two other books completed (one an unusual spy thriller, and the other a time-travelling paranormal fantasy), but neither is ready for publication yet.

          

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