Pirates Persuasion – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, after reading and reviewing Lisa Kessler’s she mentioned that she had a new book available on NetGalley. So of course I had to go and check it out!

I knew I was coming in part way through the series so a few things might be spoiled for earlier books. What I wanted to know was whether this as another series I wanted to invest time in.

And my answer is yes. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series as they’re released and looking into getting the previous books.

Immortal pirates wasn’t something I’d thought of when I’d imagined the various ways paranormal beings could be described. The piracy coupled with psychic gifts made for an interesting read! The way Heather’s ability to speak to the dead was described and used, it felt like it added a lot of value (both for the main story but also a couple of funny and sweet moments) to a few different characters development.

The bit at the end where she uses her gift had me chuckling. Trying to imagine who she could’ve been talking to has me really intrigued to read Flynn’s story now!

I also loved how Heather was able to combine something that Drake enjoys, with modern technology to gain his interest. The poor guy can’t stand modern technology and yet she manages to kinda change his mind on how bad it is.

Lisa has woven together mythology (Davy Jones and other well-known relics), the supernatural (mediums, root doctors etc) and an ongoing battle happening in the modern world in a similar way to the Muse Chronicles series. Yet still unique!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing The Unexpected Inlander by Kellyn Thompson.

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Who Wants to Marry a Duke – Sabrina Jeffries

Welcome back everyone, I’ve got a bunch of reviews over the coming weeks that I’m really excited to bring to you. It’s been a bit touch and go being able to get them all read in time but I think I’m getting there!

Returning to the Dukes Dynasty we’re on another murder mystery with just as much action as the previous books. If anything, I feel like it got amped up a little!

Olivia’s confidence in her skills amazed me given this book is a regency romance and women didn’t have many career choices. And yet she’s not comfortable moving around society like most of the women in regency romances.

Although Thorn is made out to be a bit of an arrogant rake, we know from the first two books that he’s more than he seems. As Olivia and Thorn work together we see more aspects of both their personalities coming out that, usually, complement each other quite well.

Roughly the first half of the book focuses on the romance, then as things escalate it twists into more of a murder mystery that happens to have some romance spattered in. Normally I’d find this change frustrating, but since we’re now three books into the series it’s good to see the wider story develop.

I can’t wait to find out more with Sheridan when the next book comes out next year. I really need to know who did it!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Lost Time and Dead Time by D.L. Orton.

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Summer Island – Natalie Normann

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’m finally making a dint in my NetGalley ARCs. Right in time for that to be spoiled by heaps of new review tours and a few series by authors who are giving me ARCs as well.

So much for reading more of my TBR this year. Maybe next year?

Harper Collins Digital has started letting me know more often when they have new books coming out that they think they’d be interested in. Which is how I heard about this one!

Being set in Norway on a small island I wasn’t expecting the level of drama that happened. Or should I have expected drama because it’s a small community and everyone knows each other?

I really wish I had have had more than 15 minutes here or there to read this because every time I got to read it I was loving it and enjoying the cultural differences and everything that small island life entails. I don’t know much (aka, anything really) about Norwegian culture, but since it’s an own voice kind of story, I think it’s safe to say the use of Norwegian language, culture, festivals etc would be pretty accurate.

I really wish I could describe more of this book but I’m honestly struggling because I read the book in such small snippets and it’s been almost a week since I finished it when I’m writing this review. I know I enjoyed it a lot, I loved the banter between various characters although I did find some moments and interactions confusing.

I was wondering at the time whether I didn’t like those interactions because the character was meant to be someone we didn’t like. Or whether this was something that was “normal” in Norway. The only reason I wondered that was because many of the other characters didn’t seem to mind the attitude that I didn’t liking.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Sunday I’ll be reviewing Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple.

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In Five Years – Rebecca Serle

Welcome back everyone, I think I’m finally up to date with reading the books I requested on NetGalley back in January. Now that we’re in August… Talk about taking 6 months!

I left this one to last since Rebecca isn’t an Aussie and I wanted to make sure I made progress on my Aussie Reading Challenges. But I also really liked the sound of this one. It sounds like a romance so it’s right up my alley.

But is it?

Well I don’t think so. I classify this one as Women’s Lit or Chick lit. There’s an element of romance throughout the book. And it’s the driving force for everything that happens. But that’s not what the story is about.

What I found as I got further and further into this book took me right into the feels and I couldn’t help but cry. The pain and suffering Dannie has to experience in her life is horrific. I honestly couldn’t imagine going through that myself.

A few times I had to put the book down because it was just getting so emotionally heavy I needed a break. This is by no means a “light read”.

It’s a powerful story, and one I think needed to be told. But it’s not something you should read if you need a break from reality.

This is one to read when you have the time and mental capacity to read and process everything you’re reading. For some people they may even want to avoid this book, if cancer or young death are something you want to avoid, don’t read this book.

In a way I’m glad I read this in my first week of round 2 of COVID lockdown because it reminded me that there are worse things happening to people than having to stay home. It reminded to enjoy having my boyfriend, my dog and my family around to be able to see and talk to. Even if it is only via phone.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; next week I will be reviewing Starcross Manor by Christie Barlow.

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Lovestruck – Bronwyn Sell

Welcome back everyone, after skipping a review on Monday last week I’m back with an Aussie (ok, fine, Kiwi) author! I’m still counting her as one of my Aussie authors, coz, you know. We take credit for all the good Kiwi things.

Based on the blurb I thought this was going to follow one couple (Amy and Josh) with little smatterings of the rest of the family in there as well.

Nope.

The main love stories were Amy and Josh and Harry and Sophia. Although the various love interests and stories for the rest of the family were included as well. This definitely made it a tad hard to follow!

Once I figured out we’d be following two main stories, the length of the book (for a romance) made sense to me. I got to the point where I just wanted it to be over. It just got too long. I know it’s only 500 odd pages long, but that’s like double the length of most of the books I read these days and I felt like I would have preferred these to be two separate books.

There’s enough going on in this family that Bronwyn could easily have made this a series and I probably would’ve loved them. But for a single book it was a bit much.

I think it also dragged for a bit because I got a copy off NetGalley and the texts about three quarters of the way through the book were a bit jumbled up and I had to go backwards and forwards to read them in order. I’m sure the final versions wouldn’t have that issue, but it was something that made it difficult for me to stay engaged.

All the characters had a purpose. If you learnt something about them, there was a reason for it. It played a role in the wider story. Whether it be emotional development, drama or backstory development. There was a reason which made it all worthwhile.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing You May Kiss the Bridesmaid by Camilla Isley.

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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.

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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.

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The Daughter of Victory Lights – Kerri Turner

Welcome back everyone, this review is a week behind schedule since I never go around to writing this review let alone scheduling it last week!

I was a little confused initially trying to remember what period I was reading at the time. I mean, you started in the 50s, went back to the 40s, then jumped around a little (always moving forwards in time) before making a massive jump to the 60s in Part 2.

This jumping around didn’t make sense to me until well into Part 2, roughly 3/4 of the way through the book. The first part of the book follows Evenlyn Bell, while the second part followed her daughter. Which explains where there was such a jump in time from the end of Part 1 and the start of Part 2.

Although I found that Part 2 was very anti-climatic and let the book down compared to Part 1. You must wait until the end of the book to find out why her daughter was raised away from her. What happened and why her father is so odd. None of it made sense and I almost lost interest in the book because of it.

I did push through. And I kind of wish I hadn’t. Although the writing and the story were good the ending just sucked. It could have been so much better but it just…ended! Nothing to it! Just blah.

I still rated it 4 starts because the writing was well done, and the overall story was good. I just didn’t enjoy some of the execution. It wasn’t to my tastes but I can see how some would enjoy it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce.

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The Gin Lovers Guide to Dating – Nina Kaye

Welcome back everyone, I’m sorry for being a bit sporadic recently. But I need to try and balance everything in my life which is proving difficult at the moment.

It took me almost 2 weeks to read this book, through no fault of its own! The writing was well done, the character was interesting and there was a lot of difficulties she had to face and work through. It was purely that I was lucky to find 45minutes each day to read. So it just took me forever!

One of the things I enjoyed about Liv was how real her struggles were. Much of it was out of her control, yet her reactions to them was within her control. The one I understood the most was her struggle to keep her apartment.

Having a background working in debt recovery I had one perspective that wasn’t as dire as the book made out. Especially since she never seemed to talk to the bank. So unless the UK is DRASTICALLY different to Australia. Since I knew someone who worked in this field in the UK for a few years and their process wasn’t too different to Australia’s. Which kept throwing me a bit.

Since most people don’t have this insider knowledge, I highly doubt anyone else will have that issue.

The rest of the book blended gin, emotional growth and development, workplace romance and online dating into a great story. Who Graham is was a little obvious, but the impact he had to Liv and the overall story was great.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I don’t think I’ll make my scheduled review for Monday. So please stay tuned to Twitter or Facebook to see when my next review goes live. OR you could sign up so you get an email letting you know it’s ready for you! Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Nina Kaye is a romantic comedy author who writes fast-paced, entertaining reads with a deeper edge. Nina started writing her first novel when she was 17 (locked in her room, supposedly studying). It was a short-lived experience that ended as soon as Nina’s exams did, but the dream of writing never left her.

Nina Kaye is a romantic comedy author who writes fast-paced, entertaining reads with a deeper edge. Nina started writing her first novel when she was 17 (locked in her room, supposedly studying). It was a short-lived experience that ended as soon as Nina’s exams did, but the dream of writing never left her.

Giveaway – Win a copy of The GIn Lovers Guide to Dating, a bottle of Tiger Gin and a copy of The Little Cocktail Box (UK 18+ only)

To celebrate this blog tour for The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating, there seemed no better way than to give away some gin-related goodies! Nina has teamed up with specialist gin producer, Tiger Gin, to offer one lucky winner: a copy of her debut novel (Kindle Edition), a bottle of multi-Gold award winning Tiger Gin, and one copy of The Little Cocktail Box.

To enter, all you need to do is retweet and comment (just once!) on Nina’s pinned tweet on her Twitter page (@NinaKayeAuthor), telling her which blog tour post you have read. Nina will then choose the lucky winner at random after the closing date, which is 6pm (BST) on Thurs 29th April 2020.

This prize draw is only available to UK residents over the age of 18.

Full terms and conditions apply – bit.ly/2V6AdJ1. Always drink responsibly.

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