Crazy for Your Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, coming back to Jackson Harbour after not reading about it for a year was kind of weird. But I’m so glad I came back to it!

We’re down to one brother and the sister yet to meet their love match. Except of course they have met them. We just didn’t really know about it!

Teagan and Carter always seemed to be the fun ones that seemed to be in the centre of all the cool stuff and were always happy. I should’ve known there was more to their story. Especially Teagan.

Their back and forth, their fear, their inability to communicate was so relatable on so many levels. I can’t say too much without ruining the book but sometimes tragedy happens because people don’t think through the consequences of their actions. And sometimes tragedy happens because it’s been orchestrated by someone maniacal and that’s exactly how domestic violence happens and why so many women think they deserve it.

In some ways this book touches on and discusses domestic and family violence. Yet, it doesn’t really face it head on. Only the aftereffects are discussed and what happened is talked about generally, with no specifics.

The way Lexi talks about Teagan’s relationship with her family as a result of that relationship is amazing. I found it so powerful and really show’s how people can be twisted and manipulated, while also showing that even then, people can still stand by those they love.

I really enjoyed reading about Teagan and Carter, and yet I felt like something was missing compared to the other books. It wasn’t really anything tangible. It was this sense

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; next week I’ll be reviewing the final book, If It’s Only Love by Lexi Ryan.

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Wrapped in Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, we’ve reached the end of what I’d read up until now. Fingers crossed I’m able to read the last 2 before I’d planned to release reviews for them!

I kinda liked that we had a little bit of the past that we already know at the start of this story. It sets you up and orientates you as to what’s happened in previous books, who we’re following in this one and where we’re up to in their relationship. And a few missing pieces were given to us as well which was handy to put things into perspective.

Overall, I think the struggle Molly has coming back to a town where she doesn’t have a great reputation and trying to make the best life possible for her son is admirable. Braydon’s attitude that those actions don’t define who she is today is amazing.

After being kicked out of her rental because she wouldn’t sleep with the landlord, I wasn’t sure where things were going to go. Do people seriously do that? Or is that why you should always rent through an agency with a proper rental agreement?

The fact that a seemingly innocent and NICE kid decides he has a right to sleep with her was downright creepy. I really didn’t understand where this change came from. In Ava’s book (Straight Up Love) he was this really shy, quiet kid who kept his head down, got good grades and was involved in drama. What could possibly make him flip like he did?

Braydon’s actions after the kid turned into a creep was amazing. The fact that he explained it as something along the lines of “If you walked past a guy you slept with in high school and demanded he sleep with you. Would he do it? No. So they have no right to expect the same that from you.”

This is so true, and I wish more guys could understand that. There’s a line between appreciating that a girl looks good (in a friendly non-creepy way) and eyeballing her while imagining her naked. At the same time, there are plenty of decent guys who feel like they can’t compliment a girl on hard work at the gym paying off in case they get accused of sexual harassment. Braydon’s example feels like it sums it up perfectly. And I love it!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Flying Solo by Zoe May.

Circle-A Killings – Sean Heary

Welcome back everyone, the last few reviews I’ve done on Monday’s have been fantasy or sci-fi. Now it’s time to go back to Sean Heary and his suspense books!

Some sequels pick up exactly where the previous book left of. Generally speaking, the one’s I’ve read tend to have a bit of a gap. Sean’s created a little bit of a gap, but not much in the grand scheme of things. Yet emotionally, we’re way past where we left The Concordat.

The thing that intrigued me the most about this story was the motivation behind them. In The Concordat, it felt very religious. Looking back, I realise it’s more political than religious so I’m not sure how I missed that. Or maybe I forgot?

Either way, this suspense is stemmed from someone’s wealth. The richer you are, the more likely you are to die. O! And that’s the other thing! This is about a serial killer not a single object!

I think at the end of every chapter I had a suspect in mind. At several points I was partially correct in my theory for the who, why and how. Yet I never nailed it. Sean’s writing sucks you in, gives you all the clues you need (in hindsight I can see this) and yet doesn’t give you quite enough to figure it out.

The information you have to make your theories is exactly what Lorenzo and Cathy have. In several spots I had a brainwave SECONDS before I read one of the characters having the same brainwave. It keeps you involved without ever being obvious which is amazing!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll continue The Boys of Jackson Harbour series with Wrapped in love by Lexi Ryan.

Author Bio

Sean Heary is a former business executive who lived for many years a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also spent several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

Dirty, Reckless Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, I’m continuing The Boys of Jackson Harbour series and WOW!

This one threw me on a bit of an emotional roller coaster!

Not only did it turn out we didn’t know some pretty important info about 3 of the semi-main characters that have been in the previous 2 books. But one of them, Ellie has lost her memory of all her time in Jackson Harbour so we’re learning things about her, Colton and Levi at the same time she is!

Obviously, some of this was quite shocking, while others we did KIND OF know about.

It felt weird having to relearn some of these characters, but I really liked that what we were relearning wasn’t the same side of them that we’d known up until this point. It felt great that it was a completely different side and it showed their development and desire to change for the better.

There were twists and turns throughout this story that I struggled to predict, even all the way up until the final chapter or two. If you’re not really familiar with what I enjoy, I LOVE it when a book can still surprise me at the end!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Circle-A Killings by Sean Heary.

The Summoned Ones – Darryl A. Woods

Welcome back everyone, I’m continuing the fantasy/sci-fi feel this week with a young adult fantasy novel by debut author Darryl A. Woods.

My first thought once I got far enough in to form an opinion of the book was that it was a great story, engaging and interesting. For a debut author this is impressive and needed! How else do they get fans to come back for more?

After I got involved in the story and the fantasy element kicked in, I started to notice a few flaws in the writing. Not enough to say the writing was bad, or the story suffered enough to dislike it. Just little things I’ve picked up on over time being a writer for online learning and an avid reader.

The first was the way the story was written, the technical writing element. I found myself needing to read a sentence multiple times to understand what it was meant to say because it wasn’t succinct. I’m not saying I’m any better, but it’s something that takes practice, distance and often an editor or second set of eyes to pick up and fine tune.

The second was the distribution of the story, how long we focused on a group of characters. This might be a personal feeling, but it felt like each chapter spent on a group of characters should have been shorter, with more changes between the groups. That way you don’t get so involved in one group you forget about the rest and what’s happened to them.

With shorter chapters and more frequent changes between the groups, I think I would’ve spent less time trying to remember what had happened and more time being actively involved in the story. By actively involved I mean me wondering what was happening with the others and wanting to read more.

By the end I still wanted more. I still want to know what happens. I just think improvements in those areas could have made it even more engaging for me.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Dirty, Reckless Love by Lexi Ryan. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Darryl Woods has a passion for telling stories, an appetite for reading fantasy, and a love of old movies. He remembers things in scenes, picturing the background, the clothing of the characters, small details like, wrist bands, jewelry, dogs crossing the street, but most of all the emotions and actions of the each participant in the scene. He would spend time, usually as he waited for sleep, thinking through those scenes, fleshing out details the book didn’t add, or recreating the scenes with differing outcomes. So, as the story of The Flight to Bericea developed the scenes that make up the story easily flowed from his vivid imagination.

Darryl’s favorite authors include Raymond Feist, Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, Brian Jacques, David Eddings, Christopher Paolini, Terry Goodkind, and Piers Anthony. With this collection of epic fantasy authors, Darryl’s chosen genre had to include epic adventures, swordplay and magic.

Darryl’s childhood in rural Ohio, three miles from a small town, gave him plenty material for stories. Tales of his father’s many contraptions, fabricated from old parts, angle iron, and square tubing. These were lawnmowers powered by car engines, minibikes, and various types of cobbled together go-carts, including one with a bicycle front end, a car’s steering wheel and seat, and the backend of a cousin’s wrecked go-cart. His stories also included rural life; gardening, playing in the creek, helping neighbors with livestock, numerous family pets, and farm animals, or playing high school football.

As an adult Darryl graduated college with a degree in Systems Analysis, while at school he met his wife who he married shortly after graduation. Inspired by his father who never once used a repairman, and who built his own house, Darryl developed a passion for remodeling houses. He and his wife have remodeled four houses to date, after each one swearing to never start another.  While working as a computer consultant designing database, Darryl spent his evenings, weekends, and days off helping his father-in-law with his family business cutting timber, sawing lumber in his mill, and making pallets. All these activities gave Darryl an endless supply of stories. Telling and re-telling these stories over the years honed Darryl’s skills as a storyteller.

Straight Up Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, from sci-fi to contemporary romance, what a change! After finishing The Wrong Kind of Love I was in the mood to read for me, rather than read the next book in my schedule. So, I read the next book in the series for the fun of it!

I was a bit up and down with my enjoyment of this sequel, which does tend to happen a bit for me these days. I liked that it wasn’t quite the same recipe as the first book. But there were still moments when I wasn’t really sure where it was going.

The fact that our couple went through various ups and downs before getting together is pretty normal for a romance novel. But then right when I thought they were happy together, BAM!

We get blindsided by something we never expected that changes the narrative entirely.

I loved that Lexi did this. It added another dimension to the story that made it so much more interesting and threw me off balance a little bit. I love it when authors can do this to me because I usually find it to easy to anticipate the plot twists so it’s not really a surprise anymore.

Lexi also added a new element compared to the first book where she threw us back to 5 years earlier when Jake first professed his love for Ava and she shot him down. I was a little bit against this at the beginning. But by the end of it I think it added value and was done in a meaningful way. I don’t think I would have connected as much to the story without this, so I’m glad Lexi added this element in.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing The Summoned Ones by Darryl A. Woods.

Crossing in Time – DL Orton

Welcome back everyone, Dave over at The Write Reads knows how to find me good fantasy and sci-fi books. And this isn’t any different, how does he keep finding books that leave me wanting more?

I’m a fan of time travel, especially when it’s about finding your lost love. It just screams amazing, epic, love story. What other kind of story can give you all the feels and leave you wanting more?

Based on the blurb, I thought more time would be spent in the past. I thought the way time travel would work would be different.

One of the great things about time travel is that every author can make it their own thing. I’ve seen quite a few different types of time travel of the years and explored the laws surrounding it. And still I was totally surprised about how this works!

Before I talk about the ending, I want to say one thing. The prologue doesn’t seem to fit with the story and when it occurs. The information in it felt conflicting once I got to the part of the story it sat in. I’m not sure if this was just something small that got overlooked, but a couple of sentences really made it feel weird to me. And it’s something that can be easily fixed so I wanted to call it out.

Ok. The ending.

What an ending!

Of all the twists and turns we’d already experienced in the story that ending was NOT one I saw coming!

I got to the end and all I could think was “But…but…wait…no…what? What just happened?” Obviously, that means I need the next book. I need to know what happens next. I need to understand which of the theories going through my head might be right!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be starting my reviews of the Boys of Jackson Harbour series by Lexi Ryan with Straight up Love. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

DL ORTON, THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS series, lives in the foothills of the Rockies where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.♂‍

In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Promises Forged – Devri Walls

Welcome back everyone, I read the first book in this series a few months ago and I’ve just found out the third book is coming out soon. After reading this review, I’m sure you’ll understand why I can’t wait for that one!

I wasn’t sure where this one would pick up, or how fast paced it would be. The first book spanned barely 2 days, this one ended up covering almost a week. A little bit longer, but in a way just as fast paced as the first.

I learnt more about Beltran. Although I now have more theories and questions about him, his past, his motives and so many other things about him. The same goes for Tate.

What surprised me was how focussed the book was on Feena, while still having time to show us about Ryker and the general politics of the Council. Some of Susan’s comments (or repeated, exclamations) about how you “don’t mess with the fae!” make total sense. Like I already knew that, but this puts it to a whole new level!

Secrets, dark magic, illegal nefarious activities, plotting, missing families, stretching/twisting of the truth and yet romance still finds its way into the story in a way that just felt right. What all of our characters go through in this book is a prime example of a great emotional roller coaster.

I mean, even some characters that I thought might be just “side” characters are slowly having their own development. Which could even put them in line to be a main character as the series continues. I BELIEVE we might be having the tour for the third book in September, so make sure you come back then to find out what I think of the next one!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Crossing in Time by D.L. Orton. Continue to read further down to find out about the.

Author Bio

Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specialises in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny world-building skills and her intricate stroylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice.

Now gearing up for her first national release, Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organises for her readers.

Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.

The Boundary Fence – Alissa Callen

Welcome back everyone, have you ever picked up a book thinking it’s a stand-alone only to find out after you’ve started that it’s a book in a series, and that it’s not the first one?

This is exactly what happened with this book.

I got it off NetGalley thinking it was a stand-alone, only to realise when I set up all my tracking that I’d started the seventh book in the Woodlea series. Normally I hate coming into a series mid-way through, yet the way Alissa wrote this one I didn’t feel like I had come in part way.

Knowing that it was the seventh book only made one difference to my reading, it made me wonder who all the other seven couples were. I could only pick three, so it’d be interesting to go back and find out who they are and their journeys.

The self-doubt, the emotions, the second guessing that both Ella and Saul experienced throughout this book felt so natural. I think the time this was spread over helped make it believable. I’m not sure exactly how long it’s set over, but its longer than a few days or weeks.

The feel of a small country town was so palpable throughout the story. Everyone knowing each other, the community spirit etc. It all felt so authentic to small, rural towns of Australia. I’m sure these aren’t unique to Australia, but when they make references to the hay truck convoys it reminded me how hard our farmers have it at the moment.

If I remember rightly, we’ve been in draught for close to 10 years. Our farming communities are struggling to provide feed and water to their animals, let alone themselves. And then our supermarkets buy their meat and dairy at cost and price it at profit for them. Sorry for the rant, but it really frustrates me to have these communities romanticised in books like this without showing what they’re going through financially.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing the second Venators book, Promises Forged by Devri Walls.