The Unexpected Inlander – Kellyn Thompson

Welcome back everyone, at a time when we have a global pandemic, why not read a book about how the world come back to order after a worldwide war?

That’s pretty much what this is. It’s a book set about 40-50 years after a global world has ripped through the world destroying a lot of it and leaving an organised society that lives in sectors. Sounds a bit like Hunger Games right?

Well it’s not like Hunger Games! At least I didn’t think it felt like that.

We spend the whole time in the old US (the Western Sector) and follow two characters. Chris is the main character, however Jenna plays a large role in the book and is fairly pivotal to Chris, his personal development and even his professional development.

Given Chris’s job working for the government as an assassin you’d assume he’d be pretty sold on his government and whole heartedly agreed with everything they stand for. Pretty early on you get a sense that he believes in the government but is also open to hearing other views and at times disagreeing with how things currently work.

Jenna on the other hand grew up being told the government is authoritative, controlling and should be overthrown. Not exactly a recipe for a great relationship right?

Funnily enough, together they’re able to learn and develop and in a way the changes Chris is offered towards the end of the book are a perfect fit for him. I think for anyone who didn’t start with his mindset, let alone go through the learning he did, they would have struggled in that situation. Chris? I can picture him totally succeeding and being amazing at it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Four Letter Feelings by Lasairiona McMaster. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Kellyn Thompson is the author of the Unexpected Inlander series. In addition to thinking about how technology can influence society and writing fiction about it, she enjoys psychology, reading, going on walks, and cuddling with cats and dogs. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats.

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The Secret Letters – Taryn Leigh

Welcome back everyone, South Africa is a country I feel a bit of an affinity for. I’ve dated a South African, I love their accent (especially the Afrikaans one!) and in some ways, their country is SO SIMILAR to my own but at the same time, SO DIFFERENT!

My major grievance with this book was how little a part the letters played. I don’t think we even heard about a letter until almost halfway through the book. Given the blurb almost entirely revolved around the letters I really expected them to play a much bigger part.

I think when we learn about the first incident and her healing process, the letters should have been mentioned. Even if not too many details were given, just enough to know that they’d played a part in her healing process would’ve been good.

I also had some concerns with was the editing. There were a few moments where I stumbled a bit because of typo’s, or other minor grammar errors. I’m by no means perfect myself. But these were noticeable enough to frustrate me a little bit.

The story was interesting enough, characters complex and grey enough that these minor errors felt glaring. I really enjoyed the depth to this story, making those errors feel like a bit of a let down even though they really are quite small.

With some more writing experience and a good editor to work with, I really do think Taryn can write some amazing books. This is one of the few books where I actually read the author’s acknowledgment and I’m so glad I did. So many parts felt too real and like they were coming from a little while back that it felt like it had to be real. And it was.

This book is inspired by true events, although it’s still a work of fiction. And that just reinforces the security and lifestyle aspect of South Africa that I’m highly conscious of.

In terms of being a book worth reading. I do feel like it is! Reading about the impact of rape and a country with a strong rape culture is important. It’s also the second book in a row where I’ve read an attempted rape scene. What’s going on?!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Thursday (or maybe Friday) I’ll be reviewing Pirates Persuasion by Lisa Kessler.

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If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane

Welcome back everyone, I’ve got another NetGalley review for you and I hope you’ll like the sound of it.

I’m not sure how I’m going to get through writing this review without spoiling it for you. Because OMG!

I can’t believe how involved I got with this story. I mean. The girl that’s so much like me it’s not funny, and the guy who sounds like he’s trying to be something he’s not. I love the trope of the opposites attracting yet I’m not sure how that’s going to play out in this situation.

The first thing I want to say is that Laurie is a half-white, half-black. Which to me means nothing because I honestly don’t care what your skin colour is. I only care what you’re like as a person. Yet the comments she makes throughout the book (including explaining why she asked if Jamie’s parents knew she was black) tell me so much about the indecency of others.

I always thought the media was playing up how racist people were about Meghan Markle since marrying Prince Harry. Yet reading this book gave me the feeling that it might be worse than what the media has made out. I mean. How crazy is that?! Who cares if someone is a woman, man, gay, straight, white, black or any other “variation”?!

The grace Laurie displayed throughout the book in the face of blatant sexism, chauvinistic ass holes and racism is amazing. Personally, I would’ve punched someone in the face, gotten my revenge etc well and truly before Laurie (who by the way is 36). The fact that the workplace allows that kind of behaviour is astounding and makes me wonder why any woman would want to work there.

Yet the office man whore seems to be the only man in the office who doesn’t feel that way about Laurie (other than her gay mate). The transition they go through is amazing. The confidence and growth they gain is amazing. I loved it the whole way through.

Right up until the end. That ending just killed it for me. How is that going to work?! How is that a happy ending?! I can’t see it as anything other than a disaster we haven’t read yet. Just tweak it a little bit and it’d be perfect! But nope. I don’t like that last little bit. If, or when, you’ve read it, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Devoted to Destiny by Lisa Kessler.

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The Lawson Sisters – Janet Gover

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally getting onto some Aussie author’s and I’ve been lucky enough to start it with a good one! YAY!

To give you an idea on why I was surprised in the location for this book, I’ve only ever known the Hunter Valley to be a place for wineries and breweries. Having it as the prime location for a horse breeding set story was a bit of a shock for me.

Although I know some of the locations by name, and I’ve visited some, I’m not familiar enough with the region to know how accurate the descriptions were. Since the author spent time in the region while writing it, I’d assume they are on point.

Some people have marked this story as a romance, yet I feel it fits under women’s fiction a bit better. Purely because it felt like the majority of the story focussed on the sister’s relationship, their grief and their family stud farm.

The focus on the emotional growth and development of all the characters (Liz, Kayla and Mitch) is amazing. By having little snippets of the past shown it allowed me to add a little bit of knowledge and context to how the characters are feeling today as I went. They were also timed perfectly and only showed the tiny bit that would add value.

My only problem was figuring out who’s point of view, and when, I was reading at any given point in time. It only took me a page or so to figure it out, but it still tripped me up and took me longer, and more brain power, than I would’ve liked.

If it had character names and say a year at the start of each chapter, I think that would’ve really helped keep me fully involved in the story rather than trying to figure out who, and when, I was following. This would’ve been especially important the first time since I wasn’t expecting to be thrown into the past, so it took me a few pages to figure out I was reading about the past, not a dream or something.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce.

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The Cottage on Wildflower Lane – Liz Davies

Welcome back everyone, we’re so close to the end of the month with just two more reviews due to come out. Man! What a busy month!

Liz has a way of writing her stories that just captures you in the moment and the feel of the quintessential English countryside. I’ve read one or two of her other books and I always feel like I’m in amongst the beautiful countryside. This one wasn’t any different.

The sight, smell and general vibe of well developed and established garden always has me instantly relaxing and getting back to nature. Liz was able to give me this vibe without leaving my couch. Her ability to describe the surroundings the characters are in is amazing and I love it. It makes the time reading it so much more relaxing and enjoyable.

The trials and tribulations Esther goes through in this time is pretty heart breaking. I can’t believe how horrible Josh is and yet his mum thinks Esther isn’t good enough for Josh? Seriously?! How delirious can some parents be?!

Kit on the other hand is amazing. What he goes through, what he does for Esther and how he makes it through these issues is far superior to Josh. He carries himself with such compassion, consideration and confidence (I totally didn’t mean to make that 3 C’s!), all of which make him highly attractive. Especially since he listens to explanations (mostly) which things seem a bit weird.

For the most part, I loved the build up and romance of this book were so sweet, and actually doesn’t focus on the obvious romantic element of the story. My problem with the romance came at the end. I think I would’ve preferred to end the story maybe a month or two after the second last chapter where they are seeing where the relationship is going rather than the ending it got. Especially because we don’t know how much later that final chapter is. Is it one year? Or more?

For a romance taking it slow, as they said, I’d think it’d be 2+ years later. But we don’t know which annoyed me just a little.

Otherwise, it was a great romance that followed in the footsteps of The Summer of Going Topless where there’s more to romance and relationships than just meeting someone and falling in love.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

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Chants to Persephone – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally back into my series reviews so I hope you’ll forgive me for kicking it back off with The Time for Alexander series. I couldn’t help but come back to it!

Last year I read the first four books in the series and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the rest of the series coz I loved them!

After the ending of the last books I was desperate to see what Ashley would do next. Since I hadn’t read any of the blurbs for the remaining three books, I had no idea who was alive, who was dead and where the stories were set. Given how much travelling Ashley and Alexander did in the first four books I assumed that there’d be more travelling.

The overall feel of this book was that we needed context and background on the latest adventure to understand the future books. I know series need these, but it also makes me feel a little dejected when I do read them.

As we’ve seen in previous books the oracles prophecies tend to guide the actions of those in the past, but they are just plain weird! I honestly don’t know how people back then managed to decipher anything to be able to go about their lives. Yet they somehow manage to do it and find their way through horrible times.

The final thing that felt different to me was that we had a clear direction for the next book. The other books had a general direction, but nothing set in stone. This time we were left knowing exactly what we were working towards, who was going to be involved and a general idea of what the outcome is going to be.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I restart the Tamora Pierce reviews and in two weeks I’ll be reviewing Legend of Love by Lisa Kessler.

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The Cake Fairies – Isabella May

Welcome back everyone, you’re in for a wild ride of Rach Random Resource tours over the next couple of months! Think 13 reviews over 2 months! How crazy am I?

I start off this crazy two months with a story about love, second chances, family and screen addictions. Together this sounded like it was going to be a great story with lots of positive messages and a chance for me to reflect.

Instead, I found the first half of the book to be very slow paced with every conversation and thought fully played out. While the second half you were lucky to get half the conversation explained let alone all the thoughts. I think if there had have been a happy pacing medium found throughout it would have felt more engaging.

With the slow pace that suddenly turned to a fast pace it felt like either the Isabella didn’t want to cut anything out, but also didn’t want to give us a mammoth sized book. Or, she was reminded to hurry up, or maybe she got bored writing so in depth. I mean, I can’t imagine how much time and effort that would have taken so I totally get it if she got bored or tired with writing in such detail!

Yet I think the main reason I found myself in a bit of a slump with this book is because the characters core personalities seemed to change at the drop of a hat. I get that under pressure and unknown circumstances people can react weirdly. But that’s usually out of fear or panic. Although these feelings were there when you read Polly and Annabelle’s thoughts, there seemed to be a larger shift that felt weird, unnatural and inconsistent.

Although I didn’t find the writing style suited me, I loved the messages Isabella spoke about throughout the book. Using cake to get people to connect, explore their emotions, realise their screen addictions and generally make changes for the better is genius. I don’t believe the effects would be so apparent with all the gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan friendly etc etc etc requirements in todays day and age. I mean, they didn’t even leave a little card out with the cakes letting people know what they contained.

But one can wish the effects would’ve been as popular as they were in the book!

I’m not one to comment on this normally, but I feel like a little LGBTQ+ (I honestly don’t know how many letters and in what order they are meant to go so I’m sorry if I’ve forgotten anything) rep would have worked in this story. Annabelle or Ivy were prime candidates for this rep to be woven in in a way that added value to the story, so I really wish that had have been explored. It would’ve made total sense and I kept expecting it.

Overall, the messages and story were great. It was just those little inconsistencies that I struggled to connect with. I’m the type of reader who really needs consistency, so I do struggle when it’s missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Perfect Match by Zoe May. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalusia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the mountains and the sea. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic.

Cake, cocktail, churros, ice cream and travel obsessed, she also loves nothing more than to (quietly) break life’s rules.

The Cake Fairies is her fifth novel.

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Naughty or Nice – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back everyone, after a fake dating story last week we’re onto a hidden romance set in the lead up to the Christmas period. With 24 days to go until Christmas is here, how many more Christmas themed books do you think I can squeeze in?

With Rachael being the author, I knew I’d be in for some explicit sex scenes, yet I found it wasn’t as full on as I was expecting. Yes, there was still some graphic sex but nothing that made me too uncomfortable while reading on the bus. Because of course the sex scenes start when you get on the bus and end just before getting off in peak hour.

I mean, why couldn’t they have the decency to happen when I’m at home alone where no one could potentially read over my shoulder? I’m not complaining. Just making a comment that every book I read that has sex scenes seems to be timed to be explicit when I’m on a packed bus in peak hour.

The book itself kept me captivated (I read it in 3 days, and the third day only needed like 30 mins to finish the book) and kept me thinking about how tricky family and business relationships can be. Yet the one message that really stood out (there’s always a message for me in Rachael’s books) was men’s reactions to women.

Specifically, there was a scene where Eva left a part to go to the bathroom assuming Lucas would follow, and he did. When we changed to his perspective after the encounter his thoughts included references to the look she was giving him that was filled with lust and desire and that she wanted him to follow her.

In a world where SJW (social justice warriors) run rampant I can imagine how many women would be jumping up and down shouting “#METOO” and all sorts of other nonsense (I’m not against the movement, but I do believe SOME people take it too far) along the lines of “how dare he assume that’s what she wants?!”. Yet all I could think in response to that thought was “these actions are going to kill the behaviour men exhibit that is so sexy and masculine. Those women are going to push the scale so far to the other end that men are going to be scared to even look us in the eyes in case they get persecuted.

I believe there is a time and a place for those movements and thoughts. One of the times where it’s not appropriate is in a romantic setting. So long as the guy listens when a girl says no then I’m all for the kind of behaviour Lucas displayed when seducing Eva. It was hot, masculine and sexy as hell. A guy who knows what he wants and goes after it while respecting her boundaries is awesome and should be celebrated!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing the sequel to Single All the Way by Elaine Spires. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heart-warmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it’s now her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Giveaway – Win an e-copy of Naughty or Nice by Rachael Stewart (open internationally)


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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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