Monday, 26 November 2018

REVIEW - DARK RETREAT - EMP LODGE SERIES BY GRACE HAMILTON

Title: Dark Retreat
Series: EMP Lodge 
Author: Grace Hamilton
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Release Date: 7th February 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Three months after life as she knows it was decimated, Megan Wolford has only one goal: protect her daughter, Caitlin, at any cost. When a mysterious illness strikes Caitlin down, Megan is forced to forage for medical supplies at a remote lodge. The last thing she wants is help from her fellow survivors when so many in her life have let her down—but soon she'll find herself with no other option. 
 

Ex-Navy SEAL Wyatt Morris is doing everything he can to hold his family together after the tragic death of his prepper Dad, so when Megan enters their lands, he is mistrustful at first despite feeling drawn to her. He won't turn away an ill child though--no matter how deadly the world has become. But the arrival of another stranger named Kyle soon gives them all a new reason to be suspicious. Wyatt knows he’ll have to forge alliances in order to keep his family safe, but trusting the wrong person could be a deadly mistake. 
 

When Megan and Wyatt discover her daughter’s illness may be linked to Kyle’s arrival, it sets off a race to discover the truth before it’s too late to save Caitlin—and the rest of the Morris clan. Can they work together for survival . . . and something more?



PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I felt I was ready and this may sound odd but I had a craving for an impressive post apocalyptic read and as I had this one waiting to be read on my kindle I decided, after reading the blurb that hopefully this would be the perfect book for me to read now! I think most visitors to my blog will know I totally adore the post apocalyptic & dystopian genres, though I do like reading other genres too. 

The cover depicts a scene from the book very well, showing Megan and Caitlin gazing at what must look like heaven or an oasis to them after being off grid so long. The dark thunderous looking sky really fits the post apocalyptic genre of the book. I think the cover sets the scene for the book very well. The genres I have seen listed for this book are Outdoors & Nature, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic. The characters are having to get used to the elements of their changed world and within the book herbal remedies are used so I'd guess that's what the "Outdoors & Nature" label comes in. I would add the genres "survival" & "action/adventure" as both suit the content in this book along with post-apocalyptic

The book follows two different groups to begin with. Though as the book continues we follow them all as a group.

There is Megan and her daughter Caitlin who is ill. Megan is desperately searching homes, cabins, whatever she can come across for medicines, for something to help her precious daughter. It is this search that ends up with Megan and Caitlin meeting the other group in this book who are a family who are managing to survive in the lodge that is pictured on the book cover. Megan literally stumbles upon the lodge hoping to find some sort of medication to help her daughter, as well as hoping to stay inside the lodge for a few nights.

Wyatt has taken over as head of the Morris family now since his father died. Though the group take a democratic approach with large decisions. Wyatt's father was an organised prepper, so the Morris clan did have a good base and a stock of supplies to begin with. When Wyatt and his family see Megan's daughter Caitlin and how sick she is they immediately open there door. Despite the world now running on the survival of the fittest, or who is the strongest wins, Wyatt and his family cannot find it in themselves to turn Meagan and Caitlin away, despite the risk that both Caitlin and Megan could be contagious or carriers of whatever illness Caitlin seems to be suffering with. Luckily for Mega, Wyatt's mum has a great knowledge of herbal remedies. Having said that there is a battle ahead to work out what is wrong with Caitlin before she can be treated with the correct herbs.
Even the dog in the Morris family welcomes Megan and Caitlin, he refuses to leave the side of Caitlin, staying alert and guarding his new young friend. Megan soon finds herself torn between what she sees as "giving in" and trusting the Morris family and staying with them. Or leaving what could very well be the answer to her prayers for herself and her daughter and moving on out into the unknown once again. Megan also has fast developing romantic feelings about Wyatt and it seems those feeling are reciprocated. Caitlin has already made firm friendships with those in the Lodge especially Wyatt's young nephew who is around her own age. 

Later in the book another stranger, this time a lone male called Kyle happens upon the Morris clan though can he be trusted. . . sadly for the Morris Clan it turns out he cannot and once again Wyatt's mother has to use her knowledge of herbal therapies to save those who have been maliciously made ill. It also turns out that Kyle is not on his own he has traveled from his nearby settlement to create havoc and threaten the safety of the Morris settlement. Once the reason behind the visit from Kyle is disclosed "someone" (no specific name = no spoiler) feels extremely guilty about leading this extremely dangerous man to their safe haven.

There's not much more I want to reveal as I don't want to give spoilers and soil your own enjoyment of the action how and when it happens within the book reading journey. I became quickly immersed into this book and I felt like I instantly loved Megan, Caitlin and the Morris Clan. I love the hints of the possible relationship and future together for Wyatt and Megan. Megan and Caitlin quickly find a place within the loving Morris Clan but will they decide to stay or move on. Can anyone be truly safe if they stay in one place? Though can you really live a decent enough life constantly moving around?

As I have already said above I felt I loved the characters of Wyatt, Megan and Caitlin almost instantly. All the Morris Clan are brilliantly written characters and all like-able in their own ways. I do have to give a special mention to another Morris family member, Wyatt's mum. I suppose some would call her the unofficial head of the Clan, she clearly cares and loves all members of the Clan, both the ones related by blood and the "adopted" members too. Her experience with old wives tales and prepping along with herbal medicine/remedy knowledge is truly invaluable. 

So what were my first thoughts upon finishing reading this book? They were, do I have the next book? Where/When can I buy it? I went straight ahead and bought it to read when ever I was ready. The only reason I did not read it straight away was I has a book to "read and review" by a set date. 

I definitely recommend this book to all post apocalyptic lovers. This is the first book I have read by this author but I plan on reading many more!

Monday, 19 November 2018

REVIEW - TIMES CONVERT BY DEBORAH HARKNESS

Title: Times Convert
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Headline
Release Date: 18th September 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
From human to vampire ...
Marcus Whitmore was made a vampire in the eighteenth century. Over two hundred years later, he finds himself in love with Phoebe Taylor, a human who decides to become a vampire herself.
But her transformation will prove as challenging now as it was for Marcus when he first encountered Matthew de Clermont, his sire.
While Phoebe is secreted away, Marcus relives his own journey from the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War, through the treachery of the French Revolution to a bloody finale in New Orleans. His belief in liberty, equality and brotherhood challenged at every stage by the patriarchy of the de Clermonts.

What will he and Phoebe discover in one another when they are finally reunited at Les Revenants, beneath the watchful gaze of Matthew and his wife, Diana Bishop?

PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I initially thought that this book was part of the All Souls Trilogy, until I read that wasn't the case and that this book was set in the same world. I haven't read any of the All Souls Trilogy yet this book really caught my eye and interest so I decided to go ahead with my gut feeling of wanting to read this on.

The cover is certainly striking! It is an eye-catching bright red clock & surround and the inside is a beautiful night sky blue. This cover was the first thing that attracted me to the book and encouraged me to want to read the blurb, To be totally honest until I had read the blurb and decided I wanted to read it I hadn't even noticed who the author was.

The genre I have seen listed for this book is Historical Fiction however I would also add Paranormal, Fantasy & Romance too. I really enjoyed the mixture of paranormal's featured in this book. It primarily has Vampires, Witches, Daemons and Warmblood's. Warmbloods is what humans are referred to in the book.

So I guess most people will have been watching the Discovery Of Witches on Sky TV. I probably should point out I have neither read the book or watched the TV program, though I have pre-ordered the DVD as I have heard so many book friends enthusiastically recommending it. 

Within the first few pages I felt drawn into the book I enjoyed being introduced to all the different characters. 

I guess you could say the book is kind of told from three different points of view. There's the "present" day with the character of Phoebe who is to become a vampire to be with Marcus her chosen love forever. Phoebe and Marcus have decided to do Phoebe's turning and transition the more old fashioned way. An older vampire will bite Phoebe and give her blood in return as well as mentoring her until she is under control enough to safely go among the worlds normal citizens without putting anyone's life at risk.

Another of the viewpoints is also set in the "present" that of Diana, a witch mated with a vampire called Matthew De Cleremont. Their pairing is an unusual one and did go against convention, but they have so far proven they are mates. They have twins, a boy called Philip, Pip for short and a girl called Rebecca and called Becca for short. These two children are an unknown entity really as they are half vampire and half witch. No one is sure which trait will be dominant or how the children will turn out. In fact some vampire members of the family believe that Diana should cast some sort of spell on her children binding their powers so they cannot use them at all. The De Cleremont twins are involved in some rather funny situations. For example, Becca is a biter! Which most warmblood children go through a phase of biting but the fact Becca is a vampire and may accidentally bite another vampire is a worry as any vampire bitten by Becca could retaliate and kill her.

The third section or point of view of the book is when Marcus discusses his past with Diana who is really keen on history. Despite Matthew saying no one should ever ask a vampire about their name or their past Diana cannot help encouraging Marcus to reveal his past when he starts talking about it. We learn the reason Marcus had to leave his home in Hadley, when he shoots and kills his father Obadiah whilst attempting to protect his mother, Catherine and his sister Patience from further abuse and another beating. I loved how Marcus' name seemed to change regularly and sometimes quite accidentally.  

The sections describing how Phoebe is discovering and coping with her new vampire talents such as the hearing, the vision and stronger feelings were quite detailed and so descriptive. They were certainly interesting, such as Phoebe befriending the cat whom she is supposed to feed from as a "baby" vampire and is told not to get too attached to as she will probably kill the cat. Phoebe has other idea's and names the cat,and manages to feed without killing it. 

I should admit I did have a bit of difficulty with some of the historical dates, jargon etc. At one point I actually thought about leaving the book for a while and coming back to it. I was even advised that I should have probably have read the All Souls Trilogy prior to starting Times Convert. I stuck with it and once we as readers started to get to know more about Marcus and his life, or maybe I should describe them as his lives I felt compelled to read on to learn more about this man who was fascinating and had many names and had reinvented himself before he became a vampire. The book reveals how Matthew sired Marcus and how with the help of the rest of the De Cleremont he taught Marcus the very rules Miriam is teaching Phoebe in the present day. It is really interesting seeing how things have changed or sometimes not changed between the era Marcus was made a vampire and the present day and the issues she has to overcome and the rules she must learn to obey. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the vampire etiquette through the eyes of Marcus, also observing the different members of the De Cleremont family and how their etiquette expectation slowly change or adapt and then seeing the most modern vampire etiquette through the eyes of Phoebe.

I really liked a lot of the characters such as Phoebe's family being surprisingly understanding about her decision to become a vampire to be with Marcus forever. I enjoyed disliking the rather jealous sister of Phoebe who it seems has always been the centre of attention and is quite willing to reveal her sisters secret if she can benefit from it in any way. 

I loved the relationship between Matthew and Diana and their stand against interfering in what ate will decide about their children's futures. Philip and Becca sound adorable and I thought it amusing that Becca has the big tough guy vampire Baldwin around her little finger, he really dotes on her.

Another character I loved was Ysabeau the strong female vampire who is head of the family and to be feared, admired and loved by the rest of the De Cleremont family. Ysabeau is mother to Matthew and grandmother to Marcus.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were that I couldn't believe that I almost stopped reading this book! I am so glad that I stuck with it and in the end I really did enjoy it. This book has certainly made me want to read the All Souls Trilogy as well as hoping for more following the Times Convert book.

So now my dilemma is do I try to read the Discovery Of Witches before I watch the TV show? I think I probably should. . . .I have purchased the All Souls Trilogy ebook ready to read. I have so many books to read. . . like most other book lovers I would love more time to dedicate to reading and reviewing!


Monday, 12 November 2018

REVIEW - ALPHA TURNED - WOLF APPEAL BY KB ALAN

Title: Alpha Turned
Series: Wolf Appeal
Author: KB Alan
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters
Publisher: Second Shift Publishing
Release Date: 5th January 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Not all men are bad… 

Strong, independent, and happy on her own, Hillary has grown from the na├»ve person she was four years ago after a brutal rape turned her into a werewolf. The normal life she’s made for herself is only upset once a month when the moon calls to her and she has an uncontrollable urge to turn furry and chase small creatures. And she doesn’t need a man for that. Until she finally meets another werewolf, this one a gorgeous, sexy guy who is determined to change her mind about one furry man in particular–him. 

No, some men are very, very good… 

The minute Zach scents Hillary he knows she’s the mate he’s been searching for. Though both the wolf and the man are itching to claim her, first he has to convince her that he’s one of the good guys, and that there are certain benefits to being an alpha werewolf. And there’s no better way of making Hillary see that, than giving her himself—body, mind, and soul.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I felt like I was in the mood to read a shifter genre book so had a look at some of my purchases listed in my Amazon account and chose Alpha Turned as it is book one in a new series called Wolf Appeal.  

The cover depicts the typical hunky looking guy that turns into a wolf, with trees and woods in the background. The cover is okay and along with the title gives you an idea of what the book is about. Would this cover make me pick up the book from a bookstore shelf? I'm not totally sure it would. The truth is it would depend what else was on the shelf. Maybe the addition of a wolf, or two on the left hand side of the book in the background would make it more appealing.

The genres listed for this book are Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance & Shifters which all fit well. I would point out that this book is definitely 18+ in content and was a little too explicit with the language and descriptions for my personal reading taste. For me, I would class this as being somewhere between steamy+ and erotica.

The main character in this book is Hillary, a young woman who finds herself in an okay-ish relationship with a guy called Jeff who is persistent she go with him for the weekend and to attend a family barbecue. Though really not wanting to go Hillary finds herself railroaded into attending the weekend as Jeff is so eager and persistent. Upon arrival Jeff's parents seem to be making an extra fuss over her and Jeff's mother says the barbecue is to be that evening. Jeff seems surprised but really happy and perhaps too eager for a simple family barbecue. Hillary has a sinking feeling in her gut that Jeff may be going to propose to her. Hillary's gut is right to have a sinking feeling but its much much worse that Jeff has in mind. Jeff's Uncle Ken Cage is "in charge" of the barbecue. He does a rather loud introduction of Hillary to the others around the fire that has already been set up and lit. Something awful happens to Hillary, that changes the course of her whole life. Jeff and his family are wolves, and Jeff is convinced that Hillary is his mate. When that is not the case other members of the pack are encouraged to try to "mate" with her. 

I felt easily drawn into the book and wanted revenge and retribution for what had happened to Hillary at the hands & jaws of Jeff and his family, but this doesn't happen immediately as the book then jumps ahead in time where Hillary has her own furniture making business. Hillary has lived her life keeping away from those that horrifically attacked her and any other wolves too. Hillary has been extremely careful to keep a low profile, choosing to live in a much smaller place called Slade that has no werewolves. Hillary has created as normal a life as she can possibly have when she has to change into a wolf every few weeks. Hillary loves her job, and her home now and is totally settled until a customer asks to come and see her to discuss and see some drawings of a piece of furniture he wishes to commission as a gift for someone in his family. When the guy arrives Hillary instantly knows he is a wolf. She doesn't know what to do but the male shifter whose name is Aaron calms things by telling her she is safe etc but that they need to talk. Hillary closes her workshop for the rest of the day and sends Stephen who has worked with her for years home. 
Aaron explains it is the law that any lone wolf must contact and meet the Alpha of the area. Aaron explains though Hillary has never been correctly informed about the laws etc Hillary is classed as a lone wolf because she hasn't reported to Zach the Alpha of the local Mountain Pack.

When Hillary and Zach finally meet he is struck hard by the fact he knows she is his mate. It takes a while for Zach to gain Hillary's trust but there is no denying the mate bond they both feel. There's not just one romance in this book, as Stephen that works for Hillary finds himself falling for a member of the Mountain Pack too.

I loved the scenes where Hillary meets Aaron and Tracy, and then I adored the fact Zach is a tough Alpha, but freely shows his softer side along with plenty of patience to the still wary Hillary. I also thought it was great that the males in the Mountain Pack created a secured area around Hillary their instinct was immediately to protect her. 
 
It's not long before it becomes apparent that the pack Jeff belongs to is a rebel one. They have not registered their pack as they should with the council or any local packs either. It is also discovered that Hillary was not the only human they tried to change thinking they would make a suitable mate. Hillary has become much stronger and takes part in the action that is decided to be taken about the rebel pack.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were that it was more explicit and detailed in the steamy scenes that I would usually read but it did also have a great plot and was a good start to a series. After the ending of book one and even though this book was a little more detailed and explicit in language and scenes that I really like part of me still wants to read book two.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

REVIEW - TYPHON - WEREGIRL BY CD BELL

Title: Typhon
Series: Weregirl
Author: CD Bell
Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Teens & YA
Publisher: Choosecco
Release Date: 1st November 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Three sisters, together for the first time since birth: Nessa, a werewolf with powers she can now control. Delphine, whose mastery of technology borders on magic. And finally: the chimera, a construction of their fathers lab built from the Kurland sisters DNA, whose very existence threatens them all. Nessa has begun summoning a new skill that she does not understand: halos of color are appearing around people and animals, but what do they mean? And why are the darkest shadows surrounding Delphine? Who are the kids that lurk in the dark corners of the woods? Are there other wolves and shifters that Nessa doesnt know about? Daniel Host, Nessas father, has called together a group of special researchers and scientists to view the ultimate creation. All eyes are on him. And a storm is coming...In this epic conclusion to the Weregirl trilogy, Nessa must battle science and magic, leading her family away from the evil that threatens them all.


PURCHASE LINKS


REVIEW
Well I have been eagerly awaiting this books release as I enjoyed the first two so much, just a shame this is the last book in this trilogy! 

I absolutely love the cover showing the background woods and trees which feature heavily in this book. I think the female face and the white wolf face and their position is great, this cover would really make me notice it on a book shelf! I'm not sure what the title of the book refers to at first glance but it is thoroughly explained within the book.

I totally agree with the genre listings I have seen for this book which are, supernatural, fantasy, sci-fi, teens & YA. I am definitely not a teen but I enjoyed this whole series from the point of view of an adult reading the book. I guess I would add shape-shifter, and werewolf to the list of genres.

This book has Nessa the weregirl, sister Delphine and younger brother Nate still grieving or their mother and getting used to the upheaval of living with their scientist father, Daniel. Also, at the very centre of the book and in the majority of the action is Daniel's living genetic experiment, the Chimera that was developed from the same egg as Delphine which in a rather disturbing way makes them twins. In act during certain parts of the book the chimera is referred to as "Delphine chimera". The really disconcerting thing is that Delphine chimera really has a striking resemblance to the fully human Delphine. Delphine chimera is soon referred to as CM. Like I said there really is a lot going on. Nessa speaks to Delphine and they decide to ask their father to allow CM to live in the house with them as part of the family, as genetically she is. There are still some issues within the "humans" already in the family. Delphine has really withdrawn from Nessa and has to work through other issues too. Add CM to those other issues and you wonder if she will ever become integrated into the family unit or will she be the other element in her personality take over, making her a monster that some of the scientists believe she truly is.

In this book Daniel is hosting a group of foreign scientists who want to come and look at CM. It’s kind of sad really because CM is still more of a project than a valued member of the family. CM is put on show in a new high-tech lab/home for all the other scientists to discuss whilst Daniel draws her blood, and injects her with various things. There is an interesting section in the book where Daniel is given a choice rather like the one he had to make when Vivian and he were together. The choice between his genetic experiments and his wife and children resulted in Vivian leaving and him continuing his scientific experiments. Who/what will Daniel choose this time?

Of course, this book has most of the great characters we have come to love in the first two books of the series. Bree is in this book despite living back in Tether. Bree and Nessa facetime each other regularly and its clear to see that their friendship can and will survive the distance between them. Nessa still turns to Bree or support when she isn’t sure about things. Nessa has even more changes to deal with and as few people know of her ability to change into a wolf. Nessa has to confide in Bree and Professor Halliday. Professor Halliday provides Nessa with any information she has on these changes Nessa to try to help her accept and use this new ability. I found her new talent/power fascinating and enjoyed reading along as she learnt how to adapt, come to terms with it and use it well too.

Nessa still tries to keep her ears open about the Paravida wolves and their new leader Luc. It’s a shame he didn’t feature more in this book but hey we had new characters.
The new characters that are introduced into this book are the young runaways that live in the woods. Bo, the leader of the forests dwellers soon becomes rather close to Nessa. Delphine finds herself being drawn to these runaways as she can identify with them.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were that this had an amazing build up to a tension filled climax that affects a lot of people and their future lives and careers.


After completing the Weregirl series of books I have to say I really enjoyed it rom the first book to the last. I’ve seen other reviews that have compared this book to the Teenwolf TV show and I do agree it is a good comparison and I could certainly imagine this as a film or TV Show. It really is that good. There’s lots more I could have told you but I don’t want to reveal anything too spoilery.