Review of Broken Elements

The fantasy genre is becoming my favourite genre, so I looked forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. It is well written and the author uses clever language to explain her characters and their powers in a way that makes sense to the story line, and does not come acoss like a reference section!

Written in the first person the story follows Aidan Brook, a water elemental, who has lived in solitude for a decade. She left her old life in Lake Tahoe behind after she could not prevent the deaths of three people who got caught up in a murder spree her and her best friend, fire elemental Sera, were unwittingly caught up in.

But now Sera has found her and she has some terrible news to share; their mutual best friend, Chris, was murdered recently and his murder bears all the hallmarks of the killings ten years earlier.

The book follows Aidan and Sera as they link up with a couple of other elementals and a couple of shapeshifters all hell bent on finding the killer and bringing him to justice.
The book was a thrilling read and I found I could not put it down.

Early on in this book I thought to myself “I know who the killer is” but then dismissed my thought. Later on when the killer’s identity is revealed I discovered I had been right after all. That does not mean the author made it obvious who the killer is, I just had a gut feeling when I read a certain paragraph.

This book was a joy to read, compelling, thrilling and difficult to put down! Thoroughly recommend giving it a read – you certainly won’t be disappointed.

***** 5 stars!!!!!

Review of Just Breathe

I absolutely loved this book. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this!

Dee Nichols is a yoga teacher. She took up yoga after a terrible car accident left her paralysed, but she was determined her injury was not going to define her and so took up yoga. She gained so much from the yoga that she became a yoga teacher.

Before the accident she had the kind of man in her life that many a woman dreams about – handsome, successful, wealthy….but after the accident Dee’s ex just could not accept her and so he dumped her.
This made Dee determined never to get involved with a suit again. That was before she met Ethan Roxborough, a wealthy, handsome, successful businessman.

Dee was invited to the Christmas party of Lucy Roxborough, Ethan’s sister whom she teaches yoga to, and the moment they met they became intrigued with one another.
Lucy offers Dee a job for a health insurance company that the Roxborough company owns, and given that Dee is short of cash she accepts.

We follow Dee on her journey to success. Prior to her accident she was a radiographer and had the kind of lifestyle her socialite mother approved of. After the accident Dee became so scared of committing to anything, or anyone, that she found she was thoroughly content with her “hippie” lifestyle, much to her mother’s disdain.

After the success of the yoga commercial Dee becomes involved with Ethan, as a protege of sorts. Ethan offers Dee free business advice and promises to help her network. Inevitably they grow close and a secret romance starts up.
Ethan has a reputation of being a ladies man – he is always photographed in the media with a different woman on his arm, these women are dubbed Roxborough girls – and Dee is not so keen to fall into this category.

Inevitably their secret gets out and Dee overhears Ethan and Lucy discussing the matter, but misunderstands what they are saying. she storms out of Ethan’s appartment, hurt, confused, humiliated, not giving either Ethan or Lucy the chance to explain themselves.
It is also at this time that Lucy goes away and her assistant cancels her yoga lessons with Dee, leaving Dee to feel that Lucy does not think she is good enough for her brother.

After a couple of weeks of moping and thoroughly feeling miserable, plus having quite a few business options to decide upon, Dee decides she may as well just follow her best friend abroad to help him with his yoga tours. But her mother suffers a heart attack and this tragedy helps Dee make her peace with her mum and also face the demons that have been haunting her since her accident.

It is at this time Lucy returns to the country and gets in touch with Dee, explaining her absence – which had nothing at all to do with Dee and Ethan and everything to do with her father-in-law taking ill. After realising she had been wrong about the day she overheard Ethan and Lucy talking about the affair. After a long chat, Lucy assures Dee that her brother is interested in her and also explains about the Roxborough girls – which is everything to do with publicity shots for social functions and nothing to do with Ethan’s personal life.
She finally makes her peace with Ethan, and as is the way with this genre, they get their happy ending.

Highly recommending this book and giving it ***** 5 stars. Well worth a read!!!

Review Of Beneath Outback Skies

Paige Quinn runs the family farm in the Australian Outback. She comes across as a bit of a tomboy, certainly not one to ask for help for anything. She also comes across as a tough cookie – one would have to be to survive in that sort of job in that kind of terrain.

Her father is worried about her though. He is confined to a wheelchair after a tractor accident several years earlier, so he is unable to do any of the physical stuff. He can, however, do the paperwork and he knows that Banora Downs, the name of the family farm, is in poor financial health. Once upon a time Banora Downs used to take in paying guests, but that has not happened so much recently. Paige’s father has a plan though.

Cue Tait Cavanaugh. He turns up at the farm looking for a place to stay for a little while. Paige is pretty bewildered by his arrival as it has been sometime since Banora Downs has had paying guests. She demands to know how Tait found out about the farm, but he is pretty evasive about how he discovered the farm, blaming his secretary for looking the place up online.
Paige does not really believe his story, but she cannot be certain the farm does not still have a web presence. Tait claims he wants to spend some time out of touch with everyone he knows, and he also wants to experience life in the outback.
Paige is amused by this, Tait has arrived in a very expensive car and has the markings of a wealthy man, a man more suited to the boardroom, not the wilderness of the Australian outback. She agrees to show Tait what life is like, but she does not trust that he is being totally honest with her about his motives for being in the outback.

The story follows the pair as they grow closer and secrets are revealed. It is an easy narrative to follow and a pretty pleasant read. I enjoyed reading this book and can recommend it to lovers of this genre.

**** 4 stars.

Review of Me Before You.

Photo: Currently reading this.  Very thought provoking.

The story centres on a Quadriplegic, Will Traynor, and a woman employed to keep an eye on him for six months, Louisa Clark. Will is difficult to get along with at first but Louisa doesn’t let that deter her. She does her best to make their days interesting. Then she learns the terrible truth behind her employment and spends all of her time trying to prove to Will that life is worth living, even if it isn’t very much of a life.

Louisa is determined to change Will’s mind, without letting on she actually knows what he plans to do.  She sets about organising days out, hoping to ignite a spark of renewed interest in his own life, hoping to prove to him that life in a wheelchair is not the bleak, desolate place he is perceiving it to be.  She finds an online forum for disabled people and feels that she can turn Will’s thinking around.  If these people – people from all over the world – can manage to find interest in life then surely Will can.

Louisa is on a mission and this plays havoc with her love life.  She also must remain tight-lipped about what Will has planned, nobody must know.  She finds this hard at first because her instincts are screaming that this is so wrong.  She confides in her sister, who helps her with the daunting task of finding things that a Quadriplegic can actually do.  Before Will’s accident, he was a successful lawyer, an adrenalin junkie and had a healthy interest in the opposite sex.  In short, his life was filled to the brim with work and play.  It is because of this that Will has given up on life and Louisa knows it must be extremely difficult for him to have gone from one extreme to another, in terms of quality of life.

Undeterred she continues with her plans, consulting Will’s carer and parents along the way.  She devises an action packed holiday for him in the States.  A holiday where he can bungee jump and go white water rafting.  A holiday package that a former stunt man, now also a Quad, has created so that fellow disabled people can have as good a quality of life as possible. A package that shows that life doesn’t have to be all about remaining at home, whiling the years away.

But tragedy strikes just before the holiday, Will is rushed to hospital with Pneumonia.  Once he is out of the woods he and Louisa decide not to cancel the holiday altogether, they just won’t be going to the States, instead they will be going to a place where they can relax and Will can recuperate.

Throughout the book I found myself thinking he was never going to change his mind, only to find I actually thought Louisa had cracked it.  The book is very thought provoking and insightful.  It is quite an emotional read, I gained an insight to why severely disabled and terminally ill people choose to take their own lives.  I still do not think assisted suicide should be legalised, life is precious, even a life that is so very limited. But at least now I understand what drives people to such a point.

A very thought provoking read and I strongly recommend everyone reads it. ***** 5 stars.

Review Of Voodoo On the Bayou

Craig Thibodeaux is the ultimate ladies man.  Commitment is a dirty word to him.  That is until he dates the granddaughter of a Voodoo Priestess.    Madame LeBieu casts her magic on Craig, he will be a man by night and frog by day, unless he finds love.  The one snag is he must do so by the full moon – which is only a couple of weeks away!!!  If he doesn’t find love by then he will remain a frog forever.

Elaine Smith is a scientist in New Orleans.  Involved with a man who is cheating on her she decides to come to Bayou Miste after receiving an anonymous sample claiming there is pollution in the lake and it is killing the wildlife.  Elaine sees it as an opportunity to get away from her cheating ex, by burying herself in her work.

The story is fun and entertaining.  Madame LeBieu’s granddaughter sounds awful and I felt sorry for Craig; he was trying to do the right thing by her, but his reputation as a ladies man meant Lisa’s lies would be believed, causing the ultimate trouble for Craig.It is heartwarming to see Elaine come out of her shell, as well as Craig fall hook, line and sinker for Elaine.  There are some really great characters in this novel, as well as some slimey toads!!!

This is a great and fun read for lovers of this genre.

Rating = 4 stars ****

Recommended for all lovers of this genre.

Review of the Trouble With Charlie.

 

 

The Trouble With Charlie had me gripped right from the start. I began reading this book quite late one night, reluctantly fell asleep half way through, and just had to finish it the next morning!

 

The book tells the tale of Elle, who finds her soon-to-be-divorced husband dead in her house. Elle has no recollection of what she was doing for a couple of hours the afternoon Charlie was murdered and she almost convinces herself that she must be the killer.

With the support of her three friends and a shrink Elle begins to piece together the story of that fateful afternoon. I found myself trying to work out who the murderer was, and have to confess that I even believed it might be Elle at one point.

A well written, gripping novel that you just won’t be able to put down. A must read!!!

Highly Recommended.

***** 5 stars

Review of The Black Stiletto: Stars And Stripes.

 

 

It was only after I had requested this book from netgalley that I realised it was part of a series. I was worried that I would not be able to follow the plot and that the story would make no sense to me.

I was wrong.

The Black Stiletto series is about Martin Cooper and how he deals with the revelation his mother was the Black Stiletto – a female vigilante in the 1950’s/1960’s.
This installment sees Martin wrestle with his conscience as he debates whether to tell his girlfriend Maggie about his mother’s secret identity.

The story is exciting, the characters realistic – although I am not entirely sure Judy as the Black Stiletto is all that convincing, but if you suspend your disbelief you can enjoy the tales.

My biggest regret in regards to this book is that I have yet to read the first and second installment; again, it is easy enough to read this book without getting too lost, should you not have read the first two. However, there are characters in this book that felt quite secondary to me, but I knew little about them having not read the earlier books.

I would highly recommend reading the first two books and then moving onto this one. The series seems gripping and quite the page turner. Definitely worth your time.

Recommended.

5 stars *****

A Review Of The First Book Of Calamity Leek

 

The First Book Of Calamity Leek

 

When I read the blurb for this book on net galley I was really intrigued. I thought it sounded like a pretty cool book and couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.

My enthusiasm ends there.

This book is odd. I cannot think of another term to describe it, other than odd. I spent the first hour or so of reading thinking it was a book about a parallel universe. Then I thought it was about girls being trained as terrorists. I finally discovered what it was really about when I was maybe half way through.

I have to say it isn’t really a pleasurable read. I felt I could have given up at anytime, although I did see it through. When you begin to realise what the book is actually about you feel compelled to find out what actually happens at the end.

In the beginning the book seems peculiar, quirky and even fun. then it shifts a gear and you start to squirm a little as you read on, but not enough to put you off. Then you find yourself feeling pity for the girls in the story and you feel committed to finding out what their fate is.
Finally you just want to get the book finished and hope everything has turned out alright for them. It is that disturbing and you do find yourself pitying the girls for the abuse they have suffered.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying the book is gritty, but I would say it is quite a disturbing read once you realise what it is all about.

*** 3 stars.

A Review Of A French Affair

 

A French Affair by Katie Fforde

 

Having never read anything by this author before I expected the story to be your typical chick-lit affair. It was, but it wasn’t. OK, that is a contradiction in terms, so maybe I should say it is chick lit but it isn’t as frothy as most other books from this genre.

The story follows Gina and Sally, two sisters, who inherit an antiques stall, along with Matthew, the owner of the house where the antiques business is located.

Gina has just come out of a long term relationship and isn’t looking for love, but throughout the story you find yourself rooting for her and Matthew.
It is an easy read, thoroughly enjoyable and most of us will find we can relate to the sisters.

There were times when I wanted to shake the living daylights out of Matthew, he has an ex wife who is trying to get him to sell the house where the antiques business is, but everything comes good in the end. 

I have to admit I didn’t think I would enjoy this story, it had a theme I was unfamiliar with – the antiques business – and I imagined the story and characters to be quite stuffy. I was quite wrong and pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

**** 4 stars.

Review Of Kiss River

Product Details

 

It was only after I had started reading this story that I realised there was actually a prequel.  That said, if you do not read the first book in the series you won’t be missing out on anything really.  The book is typical romance genre, but perhaps not as sugary.

It follows Gina on her journey to Kiss River and her subsequent fight to raise the lens of an old lighthouse from the sea.  Gina has a secret as to why she wants the lens raised so badly, but she is keeping that under wraps.  Pretty early on she befriends the occupants of the house beside the lighthouse – a brother and sister – becoming romantically involved with the brother.  We find out Gina’s secret around the middle of the book and I think this really surprised me, it certainly was not what I expected it to be.

The book jumps back and forth from the present day to the 1940’s, wartime in the USA.  This part of the book acts like a diary from this era and the author of the diary has an intriguing secret too.

The book was a decent enough read, despite not having read the first in the series I did not feel there were gaps in the story that would have been filled had I read the prequel.  The author keeps the suspense going right through the book, which is always good, and I felt quite satisfied with the conclusion.

 

I will give this book 4 stars.  ****