Thursday, 20 June 2019

REVIEW - THE GLASS ROAD - SECOND CITY BY KATIE FRENCH

Title: The Glass Road
Series: Second City
Author: Katie French
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 28th February 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
Kidnapped. Separated. Far from home.

Meg is in trouble. Big trouble.

Meg, Murphy, and Hope have made it to Second City and found the renowned scientist and town leader, Fulton Tally. But, as soon as they’re inside the gates, guards descend and weapons are drawn. Meg finds herself locked up, alone and confused. And they took her favorite gun, goddamnit.
Plus, why is everyone calling her friend, Hope, by another name?
She soon learns Hope isn’t who she claimed to be. She is Gloria Young, singer and beloved celebrity of Second City who was reportedly abducted months ago. And she’s engaged to Fulton Tally, a man nearly thirty years her senior.
When she started this quest, Meg thought Tally would save her town and her sister, but Meg soon realizes Tally doesn’t care about her plight. He only cares that his fiancĂ© is back and he will do anything in his power to keep her.
Even murder.
Tally puts Meg and Murphy to work in his factory, where they’re no better than slaves, and locks Gloria in a gilded cage. All three need to escape his oppressive reign before Tally makes his next move and puts them out of commission forever.
 


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK

REVIEW
As soon as I finished reading The Night Road I knew Bk 2 The Glass Road was going straight onto my Must read list! The cover has a rather dilapidated, ramshackle buildings in the background with the two main characters front and center. There’s red haired Meg and Murphy the guy she met on her travels in The Night Road. I find the cover to be quite striking and I think it would catch my eye on a book store shelf. I would know by looking at the cover that it has a post apocalyptic setting and would pick the book up to read the blurb. Although the genre is listed as dystopian YA, I absolutely loved reading it and yep I am not a young adult!



This book picks right up where the first one ended with a little recap in case you have forgotten exactly where you are in the story. It’s good to have a small refresher at the very beginning. Meg still needs to find a way into Second City and give Fulton Tally the note that Trax wrote. Meg is naturally worried about how long the journey has taken to get to Second City, as she has no way of knowing if her sister Shannon is alive or not. Nor how many other residents of Shiprock have succumbed to the strange flu like virus.


Hope reveals she knows a way they can get into the city and persuade Fulton Tally to help. Hope isn’t exactly who she has been saying she is. In fact Hope isn’t even her real name. Her real name is Gloria! Gloria is engaged to Fulton Tally and she knows he will be desperate to get her back, as her presence makes him look a softer more caring leader to those that live in Second City. Sadly things do not go exactly to the plan Gloria has. In fact things go downhill rather rapidly. Gloria is taken back to her lush apartment that though it has everything she could ever need or want feels like a prison! Murphy and Meg are separated, and firstly put into cells and beaten up to keep Gloria in line. In fact Gloria going into Second City with them turned out to be a very bad decision, as Fulton Tally knows Gloria must be fond of her friends so he uses them to blackmail her into doing his bidding.

All is not lost as Gloria did have inside help to escape Second City before and those that helped are willing and able to do so once again. Meg has been put to work in a sewing factory and has to learn how to work the sewing machine pretty quickly as if you fail to sew your quota of garments you don’t get to eat. Murphy is imprisoned at the men’s factory which is putting together electrical components together. Regularly beaten Murphy is not in great shape when the time comes to follow the escape plan Gloria and her friends have put together.

We have the three main characters from the other book, Meg, Murphy and Hope/Gloria. I still liked the plucky Meg determined to do whatever is needed to obtain help for her sister and the residents of Shiprock. Murphy is still great book boyfriend material, in fact even more so in this book as he shows he would truly give his own life in the place of Meg. We do learn much more about Hope/Gloria in this book and we learn it is a large sacrifice on her part when she voluntarily returns to Second City and surrenders herself to Dr Fulton Tally. To those just looking on the surface, it would appear that Gloria has an easy life. Which compared to characters like her maid Biddy, or the women in the garment factory she does. Then you take a closer look, she has luxurious apartment, with lots of swanky gadgets, such as a tv, a food printer, and smart, lavish clothes to wear. However, she cannot come and go as she pleases. There’s the guard Dorsky on duty on the other side of her locked door. She has TV access but the news etc on it is censored and only what Fulton Tally approves of her seeing. Her only friend is Biddy. Biddy becomes a target for Fulton Tally. He knows she is dear to Gloria so threatens Biddy’s life to keep Gloria in line with what he wants. I came to adore Biddy maybe almost as much as Gloria did in the book. She is not just a maid but a mother figure, confidante and friend to Gloria.

My immediate thought upon finishing the book were that it was action packed and just when you think things are looking up for the main three characters, then some other challenge appears for them to tackle. The ending of the book leaves a great cliff-hanger and sets up Meg’s next trial. I am certainly looking forward to The Fever Road.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

WISHLIST WEDNESDAY - I AM NOT A NUMBER BY LISA HEATHFIELD

I am trying to get into doing more posts on my blog, I will of course still be adding my reviews and hopefully partaking in a few Blog Tours. I also thought I would like to add a Wish-list Wednesday post too.

I'm not sure how I missed this soon to be released book as I have read and truly loved Lisa Heathfield's other book titles,  
Seed  
(the links lead to my reviews)
The Traditionals have been voted to lead the country, winning people over with talks of healing a broken society, of stronger families and safer streets. They promised a happier future for everyone. They didn't promise this.
When Ruby is swept up with protesters from the opposition, her life is changed forever. Locked in a prison camp far from home and with her belongings taken from her, she's now known by the number 276. With horror escalating in the camp, Ruby knows that she has to get her family out - and let the world know what's happening.
Set in the present day, I Am Not A Number is a powerful and timely book for both young adults and adults alike.


PURCHASE LINKS




Friday, 14 June 2019

REVIEW & SERIES PROMOTION - A PACK OF BLOOD & LIES - THE BOULDER WOLVES BY OLIVIA WILDENSTEIN

Title: A Pack Of Blood & Lies
Series: The Boulder Wolves
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Teens & YA
Publisher: Twig Publishing
Release Date: 18th April 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender. 

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him. 

Except Ness. 

Thus begins a treacherous game. 

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.


Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
I felt ready to revisit the “shifter”/ “were-wolves” genre and came across this book. The cover certainly caught my eye with its green and orange colours with the female silhouette that represents the rather kick butt female character of Ness. I think if this book was on a book store shelf It would catch my eye and interest enough to make me pick it up to read the blurb. The genre’s listed for this book are Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Teens & YA, and it fits well into all of them, though I should admit I am definitely not in the teens & YA age group and I read and thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The book’s main character is Ness and at the beginning of the book she is at work with her friend and neighbour Evelyn. Ness’s mother has died but through working more than one job Ness is managing to pay her rent and continue living next to Evelyn who proved to be a good friend to both Ness & her mum. Evelyn has unofficially taken the role of guardian for Ness. Ness & her mum had been forced to leave their first home by Ness’s Uncle Jeb. So, it is a complete surprise to Ness when her Aunt, Uncle & cousin Everest turn up. There’s some arguing but eventually a compromise is made that Ness will return to the Boulder pack home and live with her Aunt & Uncle in their pub so long as Evelyn can come with her.
There’s lots of prejudice and unpleasant history as Ness is the only female in the Boulder Wolves Pack. The reason for this is shrouded in secrecy and Ness is treat and thought to be inferior to the male wolves in the pack. There’s been some major changes within the pack and at the present there is no Alpha in position to lead the pack yet. The previous disliked Alpha is dead and his son Liam Kolane has offered his name forward as the next Alpha. This infuriates Ness who treats Liam with the same hatred as she has for his father. Ness tries to talk first her cousin Everest and then her friend August Watt to stand against Liam Kolane.

It soon becomes apparent no one wants to stand against Liam, so Ness takes drastic action and puts her own name forward to become Alpha. As she puts her name forward there are two surprises thrown into contending in the form of Matthew and Lucas, both friends of Liam! It isn’t that Ness wants to run the pack herself, it’s more that she doesn’t want another Kolane to be running the pack. Matthew & Lucas putting their names into the mix just means Ness has to defeat three males instead of one! Ness is so serious she is willing to put her own life on the line. As there is now more than one contender for Alpha it means all contenders have to go through the trials. The last trial is also usually a fight to the death, which means is Ness doesn’t win she could die.

I loved Ness as a character, she has her own morals and idea’s and isn’t afraid to stand her ground. I felt immediately on side with Ness which meant auto disliking Liam, thinking like Ness that is as bad as his father, Heath. Though the more you learn about Liam and witness how he is around Ness you can’t help but begin to like and believe in him.
There’s lots of differences and misunderstandings throughout the book between Liam and Ness. However, Liam and the rest of the Boulder Pack soon grow to love Ness and want her to stay with the pack. There’s also a great secret surrounding one of the characters that I didn’t see coming from the beginning of the book. A character I did take an instant dislike for was Aunt Lucy, and I think you may agree with me by the end of the book. The old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” fits one of the characters in the book too.

The book had a good pace, there’s the introduction to Ness and her friend/unofficial guardian Evelyn, then her pack family arrive on the scene and the pace picks up from there and it is an action packed for the rest of the book. There are plenty of different clues and plotlines to follow that make the book a brilliant read that you won’t want to put down. The only thing that kind of threw me, or surprised me was how the book seemed to jump a little. One minute, Uncle Jeb, Aunt Lucy & Everest are sampling Evelyn’s taco’s and the next minute everyone is at the pub owned by Jeb and Lucy and Ness is facing off with Liam Kolane.

I adored some of the quotes such as when Ness speaks to Liam Kolane and says “Sometimes the filth is not visible to the naked eye, but it doesn’t mean its not there.” The way Liam tries to talk Ness out of the Alpha trials was quite endearing even though Ness finds it infuriating! I don’t want to reveal much more but Ness does end up changing her opinion of those around her. Those she thought she could trust and sadly can’t and those she once loathed that are revealed as only wanting what is best for her or to help her.


To sum up after finishing this book my reaction was Wow, I have possibly found another great shifter series to read! I love the Boulder wolves and look forward to perhaps more interaction between them and the Pines Wolves. As well as storylines that may see more females being born into the Boulder Pack. There are so many possibilities for this series, it is most definitely a series I want to read more of. I hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next book!!


REST OF THE SERIES 
Title: A Pack Of Vows & Tears
Series: The Boulder Wolves
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Teens & YA
Publisher: Twig Publishing
Release Date: 28th May 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
She thought the fight was over but it was only just beginning.

Ness Clark's place amongst the Boulders and at Liam’s side is compromised. First, when her cousin claims Ness helped him elude his death sentence. And then, when August Watt, Ness’s childhood friend, comes home to Boulder.

Although August’s plan was to pledge himself and return to active duty, he finds himself incapable of leaving. This becomes problematic for Liam and Ness, because a mating link has clicked into place between Ness and the ex-marine. If not consumed, the link will fade, but that’ll take months. How long and hard can two people fight a physical attraction that renders their bodies unreceptive to anyone’s but their mates?

Ness is tired of fighting, tired of having to prove herself worthy of her pack’s trust and of her Alpha’s affection. But when an enemy pack arrives and threatens the Boulders, she has two choices: step aside and let the wolves who have pushed her away fend for themselves, or step up and help them fight the newcomers.

Ness has never stepped aside…not for anyone.

Why would she start now?


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK


Title: A Pack Of Love & Hate
Series: The Boulder Wolves
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Teens & YA
Publisher: Twig Publishing
Release Date: 13th August 2019


BLURB from Goodreads
ONLY ONE CAN WIN.

Volunteering to duel alongside Liam Kolane against the ruthless Creek Alpha could get Ness killed, but the alternative, leaving her hot-headed Alpha to die alone in the dueling ring isn’t an option. Not even when he places ridiculous conditions on her, like not spending time alone with August, her intended mate.

Ness didn’t want a mate, but that was before August stepped back into her life, before he picked up the scattered pieces of her heart. Between their shared history and the magical tether that binds them, Ness finds herself falling dangerously hard for the sexy shifter.

But Liam’s heart is on the line. A heart that still beats for Ness.

Only one man can win her love, the same way only one Alpha can rise from the duel.

Let the fight begin...


Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK



Wednesday, 12 June 2019

AUTHOR INTERVIEW & SECOND CHANCE TO SEE MY REVIEW - WE ARE NOT OK BY N. D. GOMES

AUTHOR INTERVIEW
What or Who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I loved creative writing as a child, and went to theatre school in New York after Uni to learn more about scriptwriting but it wasn’t until I took a university writing class in 2011 that I really started writing seriously. I finished my first ever novel shortly after that, and eventually got a literary agent and signed a contract with HQ/HarperCollins in 2015. ‘Dear Charlie’ was published in 2016 followed by ‘Blackbird’ in 2017. I love creating characters.

How do you come up with the title for your book? Who designed the Cover of your book? Did you have a lot of input into the process?
The cover design and title were group decisions made by myself, my agent and the wonderful team at HQ/HarperCollins in London.

Did you basic plot/plan for We Are Not Okay? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?  
I usually don’t plan out my stories, I prefer to write freely for the first draft and see what comes naturally. After that, I map out each character so their stories have a flow and an emotional resolution at the end.

How long did it take you to write We Are Not Okay? 
Typically, it takes me around 3-4 months to write the first draft. Editing is what takes the most time.

Who is your favourite character from We Are Not Okay and why?
My favourite character to write was probably Lucy because there are so many different sides to her, and she really goes through some big changes throughout the story.

Are the four main character girls based on people you know?
Most of the characters in my books are a combination of myself and people I know.

What can we expect from you next and in the future?
I am currently completing a fourth YA novel with a 2020 publication date, and I’m really excited about it!

Where can your readers follow you?
I can be followed on Instagram @ndgomes and on Twitter @nd_gomes
I love connecting with readers and fellow writers so please do follow me! :)

I have seen that the following has been said to describe We Are Not Okay, "We Are Not Ok, is 13 Reasons Why meets John Green and Jennifer Niven in We Are Not Ok - a powerful novel about what happens when girls are silenced."

Title: We Are Not Okay
Author: N.D. Gomes
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd May 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
If only they could have spoken out.

Lucy thinks she’s better than the other girls.
Maybe if she’s pointing fingers at everyone else, no one will see the secret she’s hiding.

Ulana comes from a conservative Muslim family where reputation is everything. One rumour -
true or false – can destroy futures.

Trina likes to party. She’s kissed a lot of boys. She’s even shown her red bra to one. But she didn’t consent to that
night at Lucy’s party. So why doesn’t anyone believe
her?

Sophia loved her boyfriend. She did anything for him, even send him photos of herself. So why is she the one being pointed at in the hallways, laughed at, spat at when it was him who betrayed her trust?


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK

REVIEW
I never used to read much from the contemporary genre whether it be YA or Adult but for some reason this book caught my eye, I read the blurb and felt I really wanted to read it.



I find the cover rather simplistic yet striking. I love the colours on the cover and the large X makes you want to know what is being said is "no or banned". So I guess it tugs on your curiosity/nosey gene lol. At the very beginning of the book is a playlist of songs, I’ll be totally honest I haven’t heard of most of the artists, so can’t say I know any of the songs, perhaps they will be more relevant to the YA market this book is aimed at. I think the byline hints at whats to come in the book very well, "Four Girls, Four Voices, All Unheard". It is the perfect byline! I love a great byline.

The book is focused on four girls, Sophia Greer, Lucy McNeil, Ulana Alami and Trina Davis all seemingly similar and attending the same school. Yet looking at each different girl you learn all the individual secrets they have to keep....

It is a difficult book to describe and talk about without revealing too much of the plot, but I will try my best and share a little bit about each girl.
Sophia has a steady boyfriend, Steve, and is happy in their relationship but Steve wants to push things further than just kissing and touching under shirt. Sophia is managing to come up with excuses not to go any further but worries Steve will get fed up of her saying no and look elsewhere for the kind of relationship he wants. Then she wonders is she is saying no and isn’t ready, is it that Steve isn’t “the one” for her and does she just need to pluck up the courage and “do it”? To be fair Steve doesn’t push Sophia, yet at the same time wants to know if she will be saying “yes” soon or not? Sophia thinks about what she would call her own “short comings” in comparison to other girls at Birchwood High School. Sophia isn’t as fun and social as Trina, or as confident, pretty or popular as Lucy.
Lucy McNeill may appear confident but she feels different, she thinks everything seems different this year. Her dad has once again left the family home, he has another woman, in fact his girlfriend is pregnant! Lucy compares her father’s girlfriend Amber, to someone who she reminds her of from school. To Lucy people like Amber and Trina are the same, in her opinion they are sluts who steal others boyfriends/husbands. These “sluts” also wear short skirts and wear far too much make-up too. Even though Lucy thinks this way she cannot seem to be able to finish her relationship with Steve and ends up buying some lacy underwear and posing in it, then sending photos to Steve. At this stage I was "woah! alarm bells!" and "Oh you silly girl"
Trina Davis hasn’t got a very good reputation at school and Lucy blames her for “stealing” her boyfriend Rhys. Trina has been seeing Rhys during the school holidays and hopes their relationship continues, she doesn’t see what Rhys ever saw in his ex-girlfriend. Trina hates that everyone sees her as the bad person, they think she stole Rhys! Trina and Lucy used to be kind of friends, well they used to have quite a few classes together. Trina cannot understand why Lucy should have any ill feeling towards her, its not like she stole Rhys. As far as Trina knows Rhys and Lucy had finished their relationship before Rhys went out with her!
Ulana is a Muslim girl whose family is strict and all she wishes is to have some of the freedom the other girls seem to have. Ulana has a secret boyfriend, Aiden. They try to have “proper dates” but have to be extra careful not to be seen. Ulana explains to Aiden that her family would not approve purely because he is not a “good muslim boy”, they are “not the same”, they “should not mix” Then Ulana meets Aiden’s family and it seems that her family isn’t the other one with prejudices about who their child should and shouldn’t date.

The overwhelming feeling you get from each girl is that they are not happy, they want more than they have. It seems all of the girls are wanting to be like one of the others as well as more than they currently are. Which I guess lots of teenagers, in fact, most teenagers go through this kind of thing. The writing is very true to life and different parts of the story are told by the individual girls that section is about. There were times I wanted to shout at the different girls or shake them by the shoulders, but then I am well past being a teenager myself. I readily admit to feeling the pressure of wanting to fit in. Envying the popular pretty girls and wanting the fit boys to notice you too, rather than treating you like "one of the boys" or "one of the gang".

I really loved one of the entries in Trina’s diary about why is it when you don’t want to see someone, all you do is see them everywhere you go lol. Whereas Ulana is having the opposite experience of when you really need to see someone you can never find them. Thing like this made the book relatable to me and I am sure it will have a similar effect with teenagers reading the book. 

Obviously where there’s girls there’s usually boys and we have some strong male characters within this book such as Rhys and Steve who are also making their own way through puberty etc.

There is a kind of "the moral of this story is..." aspect to this book when the girls at the end of the book come to a realisation that things could have been so different much sooner, if only they had spoken to each other.

I found the book to be an enjoyable read, though at times it became a little bit confusing trying to keep things straight in my head as I went along. Things such as which girl was with which boy and then keeping track of which girl had what secret.

Also at the end of this book is a link to join in the 
Wear Blue campaign in November 2019. 
The link is: http://www.bullying.co.uk/








Tuesday, 11 June 2019

REVIEW - A VERY OUTLAW CHRISTMAS - OUTLAW SHIFTERS BY T. S. JOYCE

Title: A Very Outlaw Christmas
Series: Outlaw Shifters
Author: T. S. Joyce
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Shifter
Publisher: Wicked Willow Press
Release Date: 13th December 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Outlaw grizzly shifter, Trigger Massey, has been on the naughty list most of his life, but things are different now. He’s got a new mate, is in a race to save his ranch, and is the brand-new alpha of the Two Claws Clan. Add to that, his mate, Ava, has a serious problem with Christmas, and Trigger has his work cut out for him. This is his first Christmas as leader of his Clan, and he’s taken it as a personal challenge to make it perfect. The only problem? Ava never wanted perfect. 
Ava Dorset just needs to get through December, set up her business, save the ranch, and be the best mate she can be to Trigger. He’s a big brawler, who raises his fists first and asks questions later. They’re fresh out of a war with the local cougar clan and looking to stay on the straight-and-narrow until she can get their business off the ground, but the boys find trouble wherever they go and they’re demolishing her plans. All she needs to do is get their focus off the holiday, and back on saving the ranch, but the more Trigger works to get her holiday spirit back, the more she thinks perhaps December isn’t so bad. 


Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
I purchased and read this novella around Christmas time. I hadn’t had a particularly Christmassey themed read and this one seemed like it would fit the bill perfectly. I should point out that I did not know at the time of purchasing this novella was listed as bk1.5, for some reason I got into my head that it was a prequel!! If you check this book out now on Amazon it is listed as bk2. So yep once again I did what is becoming my specialty and read the first two books in the wrong order! However, it does state on this novella that it can be read as a standalone.  

I do enjoy a good shifter clan series and as the title suggests the shifters in this series are “Outlaw Shifters” too which I kind of interpreted as usual shifters with even more attitude! Lol! The cover depicts a hot looking human who we learn in the novella is a shifter.

The book centres on the characters of Ava a fairly new mate to Trigger Massey. Along with Ava’s brother Colton, they make up the at present small clan based on the Two Claws Ranch owned by Trigger and worked & lived on by Trigger, Ava & Colton, Kurt & his son Gunner.

Trigger has found out from Colton that Ava hates Christmas, it brings back too many bad childhood memories. So, she isn’t interested in “doing Christmas” whereas Trigger loves it and decides he is going to convert Ava into loving Christmas again. He decides they will start new traditions that they want to repeat every year. Though Trigger would love to buy her an expensive gift, money on the ranch is still too tight to enable him to do this, which is why he settles on setting up his very own version of the 7 days of Christmas! Or as he names them, 7 Days of Outlaw Christmas.

I almost immediately fell in love with the whole Two Claw Clan. It was amusing to read how the physically strong, moody shifter goes all soft and gooey over having a Christmas for his mate Ava to remember and enjoy. Ava may come across as quite nerdy and maybe quiet but when she says how something needs doing or how she wants something done, Trigger will move anything in the way of him delivering what his true mate wants.

I adored the whole sibling rivalry between Colton and Ava with their love/hate relationship. Ava may come across quiet but she can be loud and bossy when it comes to getting things done and she will go to whatever lengths needed to protect her clan.


My immediate thoughts upon finishing this brilliant novella were, wow when can I read more? I thought this was a great novella with a Christmas theme within it and certainly made me want to read much more about Ava, Trigger & Colton etc. 


Friday, 7 June 2019

REVIEW - FOR THE LOVE OF AN OUTLAW - OUTLAW SHIFTERS BY T. S. JOYCE

Title: For The Love Of An Outlaw
Series: Outlaw Shifters
Author: T. S. Joyce
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Wicked Willow Press
Release Date: 16th November 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Ava Dorset is back in town on the pleading of her brother. He’s calling in big favours for her to fix the finances of the local Two Claws Ranch, but she’s wary. She hasn’t been back to her small hometown in years because there’s something off about that place.

That and Trigger Massey, owner of the Two Claws Ranch, is too mysterious for his own good. There’s something wrong with that man. Too snarly, too moody, and every time he sets his eyes on her, he looks downright hungry. But the more she gets to know him, the more she thinks she might have been wrong about him all this time. Sure, he’s an outlaw, but there is something else he wrestles with. Something monstrous that he’s kept everyone protected from, and her respect for him grows by the day. She can’t afford to fall in love with an outlaw, and especially not one as dangerous as Trigger, but the longer she stays in Darby, Montana, the more she thinks she can handle his life… if she can only survive it...


Trigger’s had his eye on Ava since they were kids, but he made sure she never knew. That beautiful little spitfire was always going to find a big life away from their small town, and away from him. All he wants is to keep her safe, but she’s digging her claws into his ranch and his heart. But Ava doesn’t realise… the real danger to her life… is him!

REVIEW
So once again I felt myself yearning to read some shape shifter fiction along with feeling the need to read more of a book series than a lot of standalone books. Yet I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a simply werewolf/shifter book. I then remembered reading and enjoying A Very Outlaw Christmas I decided I wanted to read more of this series. It was then I discovered that A Very Out Law Christmas was in fact the second book of the Outlaw Shifter Series. I decided to still go ahead to read For The Love Of An Outlaw and just hoped I hadn’t already spoilt book by reading it in the wrong order.

I discovered that this books main characters were once again, Trigger Massey, Colton and Ava Dorset. I tried to discount/forget what I had already read in bk 2 and for the most part managed it. The cover of this book is very similar to that of Bk2 just a slight change in the male’s head/cowboy hat placement. I’d say the male on both covers has to be Trigger Massey.

In this book Colton has contacted his sister Ava and finally managed to get her to agree to come to the Two Claws ranch to help sort out its finances and its downward spiral. Ava tries every excuse she can think of for not going back to Darby, Montana. She had left straight after graduating aged 18 and had never been back since and that’s how she liked it! Ava even tells her brother that his childhood friend unnerves her, but Colt is not taking any excuse. He reminds her Trigger is his best friend and manages to beg, pester, call in all favours she owes him until Ava finally agrees to come back for two weeks only!

Ava didn’t have the very best life in Darby Montana, in fact it was her brother Colton that helped her get through school and kept her on the straight and narrow and yes she was grateful to him. Unbeknownst to Ava, her brother best friend had tried his best and had in fact secretly helped Colton whenever he could.

When Ava sees her brother’s scar’s he has some explaining to do. They soon soften somewhat towards each other. Ava is still annoyed with her brother about having to come back to what was once the place she called home. Ava is certainly irritated by the fact she has to stay in Triggers home as he has a spare bedroom. Colton has his own small one bedroomed home, so says its common sense for her to stay at Triggers home.

Being around the stubborn, awkward Trigger irritates Ava immensely to begin with. The fact the town doesn’t want Trigger around anymore and are trying to bankrupt him to get rid of him infuriates Ava whilst she is attempting to settle all his outstanding bills.

Slowly Ava remembers the “good times” she had in Darby and realises how hard it must have been for her brother to take on the responsibility of raising and providing for her. Also, as time goes on Trigger and Ava seem to mellow towards each other. Small things are revealed, like the way when Colton was working nights, Trigger would sneak in and stay in the flat hidden yet keeping watch over Ava. Slowly but surely the “chemistry” between Trigger and Ava grows and grows. There’s danger being with a shifter and Trigger is determined that Ava should know what she is getting into. It is only when someone calls Trigger and Colton “her boys” that Ava realises, they are hers and she wants to protect what’s hers and stay with them.

I really enjoyed reading this book, of course I adored the characters of Ava, Trigger and Colton and their relationships with each other. I love the feelings in the centre of shapeshifter books around the concept of “pack” and “family”. The pack in this book is a fairly small one but I am sure it will grow as the series goes on. As Colton does not yet have a mate and I would hope that the family part of the pack will increase too.

What more can I say another fantastic instalment in a potentially brilliant shape-shifter series. I anticipate great things for this series and definitely want to read more of it soon.









Monday, 3 June 2019

REVIEW - THE PINK BONNET BY LIZ TOLSMA

Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

Title: The Pink Bonnet
Series: True Colours
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: True Stories, Real Life
Publisher: Barbour Books
Release Date: 1st June 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child

Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives.
 
How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
The first thing that caught my interest about this book was the cover, the stark dark background, the homemade looking wooden rocking crib. The only colour on the cover being the pink bonnet which plays an important part in this story. I think the cover definitely does its job by pulling you in making you want to know where the child is and what has happened. The blurb then goes on catching and pulling you in more, which consequently pushes you into having a grave concern for the child who the crib and bonnet belong too. This book is also based on a true story and I admit I have watched a film based on the true events that inspired this book.

The main characters in this book are single mum Cecile Dowd, and her much loved three year old Millie Mae. Cecile’s husband sadly died and that means she is on her own looking after Millie Mae. Cecile’s family fell out with her over her choice of husband. Despite the fact he has now died and so no longer in her life they still return her letters unopened. Cecile has a part time job at a nursery but her savings and rapidly being used and her wages just aren’t enough for her and Millie to live on.
Cecile has to look for other jobs but then that means asking for help taking care of Mille Mae whilst she attends the job interviews.

Mrs Ward, her neighbour is a mixed blessing, she is a bit of adult company for Cecile and she will watch over Millie Mae whilst Cecile attends the job interviews, but she also has an opinion on everything and is nosey too. It is on one of these occasions that Mrs Ward is caring for Millie Mae that the old lady signs the three year old off to Miss Georgia Tann who runs the Tennessee Children’s Home. When Cecile returns home after her interview Mrs Ward reveals what she has done. Cecile cannot believe it and is naturally beside herself with a mixture of emotions. Cecile’s first thought is to get to the offices of Miss Georgia Tann and ask for Millie Mae back, but when she arrives the offices are closed.

Cecile tries numerous ways to gain an audience with Miss Georgia Tann to ask, plead and then beg for Millie Mae back. Miss Tann’s attitude is that Millie Mae will be much better off adopted by a two parent family who have a better financial standing than Cecile. It seems lots of people agree with Miss Georgia Tann and seem willing to turn a blind eye to the methods she uses to gain access to these children that she then sells to new parents. Cecile of course refuses to give up on Millie, and after trying to learn more about Miss Georgia Tann realises she is not the only parent to have her child stolen and sold on!

My favourite character within the whole book was of course Cecile, the way she continues to fight relentlessly to get her daughter back. Her persistence in seeing Georgia Tann. The way she eventually gains help from someone close to Miss Tann. Though Cecile is not rich in a monetary way she has overwhelming love for her daughter and that’s what keeps her going over the days, weeks etc it takes to find her daughter. I did also like the character of Percy Vance, who helps with all the legal paperwork needed to transfer the child from parent to orphanage and then to their new parents. It is Percy who uses his “inside” knowledge and his work acquaintance’s to trace the children Georgia Tann has literally ripped from their own biological parent to then sell to whomever she sees fit to sell them to. Percy Vance puts not only his job on the line but his life too! Miss Georgia Tann and her important friends are not eager to be found out and are not adverse to underhand tactics to get rid of anyone making a fuss about what they are up to.

Even though I had seen a film based on Miss Georgia Tann and her exploits, this book was still fascinating and intriguing, yet horrifying and implausible at the same time. It also makes you ponder what goes on behind closed doors nowadays. For if this harsh practice of removing children from their biological parents and then re-homing them with “better off” parents with “better homes” could happen back in the thirties it could quite well be happening these days too!