Tuesday 20 February 2024

REVIEW - SISTERS OF FORTUNE BY ANNA LEE HUBER

 

Title: Sisters Of Fortune
Author:
Anna Lee Huber
Publisher:
Kensington Books
Genre:
Historical Fiction, Womens Fiction
Release Date:
20th February 2024

BLURB
Based on the true story of the Fortune sisters, three young women each at a crossroads when they boarded the RMS Titanic in the spring of 1912 – and how that fateful maiden voyage would change their lives in profound and unexpected ways.

USA Today bestselling author Anna Lee Huber expertly weaves real historical figures and anecdotes into this vivid, emotionally powerful, surprising novel about the longing for independence and love—and the events that can irrevocably change even the best laid plans . . .

April,1912: It’s the perfect finale to a Grand Tour of Europe—sailing home on the largest, most luxurious ocean liner ever built. For the Fortune sisters, the voyage offers a chance to reflect on the treasures of the past they’ve seen—magnificent castles and museums in Italy and France, the ruins of Greece and the Middle East—and contemplate the futures that await them.

For Alice, there’s foreboding mixed with her excitement. A fortune teller in Egypt gave her a dire warning about traveling at sea. And the freedom she has enjoyed on her travels contrasts with her fiancĂ©’s plans for her return—a cossetted existence she’s no longer sure she wants.

Flora is also returning to a fiancĂ©, a well-to-do banker of whom her parents heartily approve, as befits their most dutiful daughter. Yet the closer the wedding looms, the less sure Flora feels. Another man—charming, exasperating, completely unsuitable—occupies her thoughts, daring her to follow her own desires rather than settling for the wishes of others.

Youngest sister Mabel knows her parents arranged this Grand Tour to separate her from a jazz musician. But the secret truth is that Helen has little interest in marrying at all, preferring to explore ideas of suffrage and reform—even if it forces a rift with her family.

Each sister grapples with the choices before her as the grand vessel glides through the Atlantic waters. Until, on an infamous night, fate intervenes, forever altering their lives . . .

Goodreads Link

REVIEW
The cover has the Titanic right at the centre of it which is fitting as that is where the plot is based throughout the book. The cover also features a young woman dressed in the style of the era complete with hat, gloves and jewellery. The cover certainly fits the book well.

The book is set on the Titanic, so obviously there are certain facts that cannot be changed but are mentioned within the book. The book also has to stick to a certain timeline as to how the events occurred. It was a bit odd reading the book but kind of knowing what was coming up in the timeline, but I did really enjoy the book.

The interior of the great unsinkable Titanic is described really well and you definitely get a sense of the opulence and atmosphere those passengers were surrounded by. The author really represents the era well in her descriptions of surrounding, etiquette, expectations of women and even the slang and sayings of the era such as 'To the berries' = all so exciting. I had to look it up!

The book concentrates of three of the Fortune Sisters who have been travelling with their parents. The family consist of 64 year old father Mark Fortune, a very proud self-made millionaire, his 60 year old wife Mary Fortune, they had six children, the eldest of which 34 year old Robert is married and lives in Vancouver. Their eldest daughter Clara is 30 years old and married to Herbert Hutton. Robert and Clara are with their own families so didn’t go on the trip. The Fortune children on the trip which ends up with them travelling home on the Titanic, are 28year old Flora who is the dutiful daughter, who has postponed her wedding to banker Crawford Campbell to go on the trip as a chaperone to her younger siblings. Alice is 24 years old but in a lot of ways is treat younger, as she was an ill child and is still considered delicate and needs to be protected, she is engaged to, and madly in love to an insurance broker called Holden Allen. The youngest sister is 23 year old Mabel, the feisty, sassy one, who wants to do her own thing, in fact she wants to continue her education, she doesn’t want to just be married like her sisters. She says inappropriate things and speaks before she thoroughly thinks things out. The youngest Fortune child is 19yr old Charlie who is super knowledgeable about the Titanic and it’s like a dream come true for him when Titanic ship builder Mr Thomas Andrews takes him on a personal tour of the ship.

Whilst sightseeing and exploring Egypt Alice Fortune is sipping hibiscus tea with Mr Sloper a friend the family have made whilst travelling Europe when she spots a soothsayer. Mr Sloper asks if she has ever had a reading, and would she like one. He waves the soothsayer across to where they are sitting and the man reads her palm and tells her she is in danger every time she travels on the sea. He sees her adrift on the ocean in an open boat. She will lose everything but her own life. That she will be saved but others will not. It certainly upsets Alice and William Sloper quickly tries to laugh it off telling the soothsayer he would be paid more if he gave people good predictions. Mark Fortune hadn’t planned on taking his family on Titanic the Ship of Dreams, but when they decided to travel home a little earlier their reservations were switched to the Titanic.

There is a kind of magic about the Titanic, I guess that’s another reason it was called the ship of dreams. The time on the ship gives each of the Fortune Sisters time to think about their individual futures and if that’s what they really want. Flora is the sister that her parents rely on, she is the sensible, dependable one. She is engaged to be married to a man her parents strongly approve of and think is a good match for her. As the trip goes on the dread she feels about her return, she has received only one letter from her future husband Alice is also engaged, to Holden, who is approved of and considered a good match, she is madly in love with him and they have missed each other whilst the Fortunes have been travelling. They have written many letters to each other, but Alice is also dreading the return home to being tied sown to one place and cossetted. Alice has had a taste of freedom and travel that she doesn’t want to let go of. The other sister on board the Titanic and kind of the reason for the trip is Mabel. Mabel is “involved” with a musician, someone her parents do not approve of, they feel he cannot provide financial stability for their daughter. Mr & Mrs Fortune planned the trip to separate Mabel and her musician, in the hopes she will forget about him, perhaps meet someone else, or change her mind. The irony is Mabel enjoys the fact her parents don’t approve and attempts to use him as leverage, to almost blackmail her father, into accepting her real dream, which is to continue her education. Mabel wants to be a more modern independent woman, not married off and expected to have children. At one point Mr & Mrs Fortune try to suggest a suitable suitor for Mabel who is also on the Titanic, the star tennis player Chess Kinsey. Unbeknownst to them Chess does have his eyes set on one of their daughters but it isn’t Mabel, it’s Flora! I really adored the Flora & Chess dislike to friendship to falling in love. Then the Shock! Horror! Mortification! Embarrassment! when Mrs Fortune catches them kissing! And in public too! Where anyone could see! Chess blames himself for ruining Flora’s reputation in her parent’s eyes and arranges a meeting wither father to put himself forward as a suitable suitor with his own suitable finances & future plans.

So along with the Fortune family drama, there’s the scandal of one young man having his mistress on the Titanic whom he plans to marry but is yet to tell his mother! They finally meet in a lifeboat as the Titanic is sinking. There’s another young man travelling with his mother but setting up poker games, which Alice Fortune ends up being drawn into.

I loved the Fortune family dynamic, they are all always there for each other and even though the three sisters, Flora, Alice and Mabel are sharing a room they each have their secrets they are hiding from the others.

I enjoyed reading how the different characters reacted to the Titanic hitting the iceberg and needing to be prepared to get on a lifeboat. There were those that just blindly believed the Titanic was unsinkable and refused to believe the possibility of it sinking. Then there were those who wanted to retrieve jewellery, pets, luggage and take it in the lifeboats with them!

The saddest stories were of the couples and families being separated because of the women & children only policy although this wasn’t as strictly adhered to by some of the crew. The chaos of losing sight or being separated from family members.


 

 

Sunday 18 February 2024

REVIEW - MATED TO CURVES - THE COMPLETE SERIES BY DV FISCHER

  

Title: Mated To Curves -The Complete Series
Author:
DV Fischer
Release Date:
15th January 2024

BLURB
It should be impossible to find their mates since packs don’t exist and they’re trying to hide in plain sight amongst the humans. But for this group of shifters, fate has a way of playing in their favor. Or does it? While they may be finding their mates, a nasty reporter is out to prove that they exist. He’s low enough to go above the law to get the proof the world needs. How will this packless group of shifters, of fated mates, find their way together if he looms over them as a serious threat? This is a curvy girl dark wolf shifter romance series.

REVIEW
In this shifter world there are no packs anymore, it’s safer that way. It's a difficult decision made to keep the existence and freedom of shifters. However, there are still humans/people lurking on the outskirts of the shifter world intent on proving they exist and wanting to reveal them to everyone in the world, wanting to put an end to the species altogether, one such man is reporter Gary Spelling, obviously detested by the shifter population.
All this keeping under the radar leaves shifters, particularly Alpha's a need to burn off energy. No longer able to shift and run in packs, or even live in packs they need an alternative.

Cade former Alpha of the Glacier Mountain Pack provides a suitable option, an underground fighting club. Though Cade used to take part in the fights in the early days of the club now he just sits at the bar talking with sometimes bartender Cruz. Cade watches the room and is around to handle the general arguments that take place in a bar as well as any fighting that overspills from the ring.The rules of the ring are, well just one rule no shifting at all, not even partially! The shifters fight in human form until one is literally knocked out or taps out. There's a healer, Aaron on hand to help with injuries as even shifters need help sometimes after a fight in the ring!!

Things begin to change around the club when first club owner Cade’s mate Avani walks in one evening looking for a fight. Having left her previous fighting haunt due to no one wanting to fight against the sure thing winner she had become. Avani and Cade lock eyes and they realise they ate mates. Avani still a little unsure on what happening then brings her friend Joyce to the club, not a place Joyce would normally go but it seems fate when she meets her mate Kye, the very man that Avani chooses to fight!

It seems like the fight club is the place to meet your mate and as the book goes on, others do so too. However, true love and meeting your mate are not straight forward.

I really enjoyed reading the individual couples love story plots, of how they met etc You also learn about the hardships the different shifters have had to endure as well as learning the lengths they go to in order to keep their other selves a secret. as well as the longer plot of the Gary Spelling issue.

Really enjoyed the reading, loved the characters, and setting of the fight club. Would have loved even more from these characters and their world set around the fight club!

Addictive reading, once you start you won’t want to put it down!
 


 

Friday 16 February 2024

REVIEW - MATED TO CURVES BK5 BY DV FISCHER

  

Title: Mated To Curves
Author:
DV Fischer
Release Date:
14th January 2024

BLURB
Does she love him? Meredith finds herself in the grasp of a kidnapper hell-bent on proving that shifters exist, and he isn’t afraid to do the unthinkable to prove it. As a cop, she thought her mind was unbreakable. It turns out, it’s not. Josiah learns that Meredith is his mate rather quickly. It takes everything he has not to tear apart the world when he realizes his mate is being held captive and what possibly could be happening to her during that time. But there’s one Even if he does rescue her, he can’t have her. Because she has a boyfriend. The question is, does she love the boyfriend? Because he won’t stand in the way of his mate’s happiness. Not after all she’s been through.

Goodreads Link

REVIEW
This book literally picks right up where bk4 left off, with Meredith and her sister Eva in the evil clutches of the local shifter hating journalist who is hell bent on revealing/exposing the fact shifters exist to the world. He is set on torturing the women until one reveals themself as a shifter so he can catch it all on camera.

Eva's mate Cruz along with fight club owner Cade nd Meredith's mate Josiah are in a race to find out where the women are being held and rescue them. Despite not even being introduced to his mate Josiah is as enraged as Cruz is about Meredith & Eva being taken.

I can't really say much more without giving away major details but its a race against time!
I love the way Cade & Avani still deny they and their friends at the fight club are a pack of any sort. It seems the pack has come about all on its own.

I was disappointed we didn't get a bit more Cruz and Eva in this book but I guess the main duo were Meredith & Josiah. I didn't take to Josiah as much as I had the other male shifter characters, he came across overly dominant and not as gentle and caring towards his potential mate, especially as his mate had just left an abusive type relationship with her ex.

Really enjoyed reading the book, didn't want to put it down, in fact I read it in just one go!

Would have loved even more from these characters and their world set around the fight club! 


 

Thursday 1 February 2024

REVIEW - ANNA O BY MATTHEW BLAKE

  

Title: ANNA O
Author:
Matthew Blake
Publisher:
HarperCollins UK, Harper Fiction, HarperCollins
Release Date:
1st February 2024

BLURB
THE WORLD WILL KNOW HER NAME

What if your nightmares weren’t really nightmares at all?

We spend an average of thirty-three years of our lives asleep. But what really happens, and what are we capable of, when we are sleeping?

Anna Ogilvy was a budding twenty-five-year-old writer with a bright future. Then, one night, she stabbed two people to death with no apparent motive—and she hasn’t woken up since. Dubbed “Sleeping Beauty” by the tabloids, Anna suffers from a rare psychosomatic disorder known to neurologists as “resignation syndrome.”

Dr. Benedict Prince is a forensic psychologist and an expert in the field of sleep-related homicides. His methods represent the last possible hope of solving the infamous “Anna O” case by waking Anna up so she can stand trial. But the doctor must be careful treating such a high-profile suspect—he’s got career secrets and a complicated personal life of his own.

As Anna shows the first signs of stirring, Benedict knows he must determine what really happened and whether Anna should be held responsible for her crimes.

Only Anna knows the truth about that night, but only Benedict knows how to discover it. And they’re both in danger from what they will discover. 

Goodreads Link

REVIEW
The cover fits the book really well, it certainly draws your attention and makes you want to pick up the book to learn more about it. I think the byline of “The World Will Know Her Name” adds to your curiosity about the content of the book and it also fits the content really well.

The main characters of the book are Anno Ogilvy and Dr Benedict Prince. To be honest life isn’t going great for either of them separately and becomes even more complicated after their paths cross.

Dr Benedict Prince is divorced from his wife DI Clara Fennel, he found messages on his wife’s phone that suggested she was cheating on him. They have one daughter Kitty or Kit Kat as Benedict regularly calls her though Clara hates him doing so. Clara of course kept the house so there was less disruption for Kitty and Benedict ended up in a rather drab flat in Pimlico. Benedict if a forensic psychologist and also works at The Abbey. A place where the rich and famous come to have sleep issues dealt with. Its very exclusive and does everything possible to protect the identities of these famous patients, even having a separate VIP floor away from other patients. It’s a fairly normal day for Ben when he is called into the office by head of the clinic Professor Virginia Bloom, to discuss a patient being transferred to the Abbey from Rampton Prison. The Ministry of Justice, the government, all want Ben to wake up this patient so they can stand trial for the double murder they have been holding her for.

That patient is Anna Ogilvy, comes from a relatively “well to do” family. At the time of the crime, her mother was Baroness Emily Ogilvy was a Shadow Home Secretary and her father was a Global Fund Manager, her brother Theo a “want to be” Tv Presenter. Anna herself was a journalist on a magazine she had co-founded with her friends Indira Sharma and Douglas Bute who were also her flatmates.

The crime occurred on the 30th August 2019. Anna O was found by her parents in her cabin at 3.10am at The Farm an exclusive retreat, with a 20cm kitchen knife in her hand and fast asleep. The bodies of Indira and Douglas were found in their cabin, stabbed to death. First at the scene of the crime was DI Clara Fennel and she found only Anna’s prints on the knife and that the blood on her clothing matched that of the victims.

Those that believe in Anna’s innocence refer to her as “Anna O” her Instagram handle and are known as “believers”. Those who think that Anna is guilty refer to her as “sleeping beauty”. There has been lots of coverage about what happened that night, but no one really knows the truth except Anna. One blog in particular seems to know a lot and keep the story alive by @Suspect8. This is where the byline fits really well everyone has heard about Anna and of course everyone has their opinion and thoughts about what happened at The Farm that night in August 2019. Ben’s job is to wake her up so that the justice system can put her on trial and determine whether she killed her friends and decide what to do with her.

The plot is quite intricate, and fairly complex, in that the fact Ben’s now ex-wife was first on the scene does sort of complicate things. The book was quite slow paced for my taste, I felt like I was wanting it to speed up at times and get on with it and reveal what actually happened that night. Then when Professor Bloom is murdered and someone puts Ben in the frame things become even more complicated than before.

I found the plot sections surrounding waking up Anna fascinating, and have read about some of the techniques that Ben used in the book elsewhere too. The sounds, her mums voice, the music she loved and then the smells, her favourite perfume, etc all small things that Ben builds on to coax Anna back to the world of the awake and living. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sally Turner story within the book, the way the reader is kept guessing right up to the end of the identity of Sally Turner’s child that was given a new identity.

There are quite a few “real life” references within the book about other murderers such as Dr Harold Shipman, and then laws that were changed regarding anonymity of minors involved in crimes due to the James Bulger case, all of which made the book feel “real” as if it had actually happened.

The book also covers how the crime at The Farm affected so many people in different ways, from Anna’s parents divorcing, her mother walking away from politics and turning to religion, to DI Clara Fennel and how it changed her career. When Ben is working with Anna at the Abbey, he has to consider his families safety as there are people who do not agree with him waking Anna to put her on the stand.

This book has it all mystery, suspense, twists, turns, betrayal, and revenge. There were a few times I thought I had solved the mystery of Sally Turner’s child and knew their identity. I had several theories as to what had happened at The Farm too, these varied and changed as I read more of the book! Matthew Blake really takes you on a journey leading the reader down one track of presenting the identity of Sally Turners child and exactly what happened on that August night, just when you start to believe that track there’s a twist/turn and you have to start pondering the mystery child’s identity and their involvement in the murders at The Farm.

Summing up this Author really keeps you waiting to the very end to confirm the identity of the child and the relevance of what happened at The Farm. I did enjoy the book though there were times it felt a little drawn out and slower paced than I would have preferred it to be for my personal taste. If you want a book that makes you think, makes you really, really, think then this book is a great fit for you. 


Tuesday 30 January 2024

REVIEW - TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES BY ASHLEY TATE

  

Title: Twenty Seven Minutes
Author:
Ashley Tate
Publisher:
Poisoned Pen Press
Genre:
General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date:
30th January 2024

BLURB from Goodreads
In this stunning and propulsive debut, a town grieves the loss of a young girl—but some fight to keep the truth about her death a secret.

The question

For the last ten years, the small, claustrophobic town of West Wilmer has been struggling to understand one thing: Why did it take young Grant Dean twenty-seven minutes to call for help on the fateful night of the car accident that took the life of his beloved sister, Phoebe? If he'd called sooner, she might still be alive.

The secret

As the anniversary of Phoebe's death approaches, Grant is consumed by memories of that night on the bridge and everything he lost: his future, his reputation, his little sister. And the secret he's been keeping all these years is suffocating him. But he and Phoebe weren't the only ones in the car that night. Becca was there. She knows what happened—and she will do anything to help Grant keep his secret.

The truth

Everyone in West Wilmer remembers Phoebe, but only June remembers that another person was lost that night. Her brother Wyatt has been missing for ten years and now June is alone—no family, no friends. Until someone appears at her door. Someone who may know where Wyatt went all those years ago. Someone who knows what really happened on the bridge that night. Someone who is ready to tell the truth.

Taking place over three days and culminating in a shocking twist that will leave you breathless, Twenty-Seven Minutes is a gripping story about what happens when grief becomes unbearable, dark secrets are unearthed, and the horrifying truth is revealed.

Goodreads Link

REVIEW
I think the book cover fits the book really well, the title “Twenty Seven Minutes” is the whole theme of the book, the character pondering and gossiping about what happened in that twenty seven minutes etc. The cover could be a scene from that night ten years ago with the headlights in the rain the only light in the darkness at the car accident incident.

Basically, the book tells the story of a group of people and how one particular night changed their lives and those around them. It's set in a small town that thrives on squabbles and gossip.

The book flashes back and forth 10 yrs, between the accident 10 yrs ago & the present day.

Each of the different characters has their own issues to deal with surrounding that night ten years ago. They all have their own secrets they are keeping too.

The book concentrates on two families, the Dean's and the Delroy's.

Grant & Phoebe Dean are the central characters of the book. There was a car accident 10 years ago and still that night is shrouded in darkness and mystery.
Why was Becca even in the car with Grant & Phoebe Dean that night. When the accident Grant waited a whole 27 minutes before calling for emergency services. The small town gossips say that Grant was drunk. Grant seems to be covering something up for Becca their weird on/off 'relationship' has to be kept secret even 10yrs later! I wondered at certain points in the book if the relationship was all in Becca's head the whole time.
I was also intrigued by the character of Phoebe, I wanted to know who was the real Phoebe? The straight A student so sweet & kind, helping Grant with his school work, the concerned sister wanting him to do his best, so they could escape together. Or a nasty conniving sister who saw Grant as her ticket out of their small town.

The other main character family is the Delroy's. Wyatt Delroy had argued with his father Hank the same night as the accident and disappeared. June has asked numerous times over the years where he was seen that night and where but it appears no knows anything. June nursed her sick mother until her recent death and now she is navigating her 'new life' but is still plagued by her missing brother and finding out what happened.

At times I felt frustrated with the book as sometime it does feel a bit of a jumble, with lots of twists, turns and back and forth. It did sometimes feel repetitive and irritating but I was captivated enough that I had to continue reading. I honestly admit I was feeling really irritated that at 44% of the way into the book I still didn't know what actually happened that night. It is difficult to review and say much more without revealing spoilers. On the whole I did enjoy the book though it was a 'different' read in that everything is about that one night and how the car accident changed the route of so many lives.

Summing up I thought the book had lots of twists, turns, angst, mystery and suspense with an emotional but fitting tribute in the end.








Friday 26 January 2024

REVIEW - BLOOD WEAVER - BLOOD WEAVER TRILOGY BY KARINA ESPINOSA

  

Title: Blood Weaver
Series:
Blood Weaver Trilogy
Author:
Karina Espinosa
Genre:
Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Release Date:
26th January 2024

BLURB
As the last female blood mage, many would kill to claim the power surging through her veins.

For years Leila has hidden.
Who she is.
Where she came from.
What she can do.

But the long-lost Princess refuses to run forever. Those she loves lied to her. Betrayed her for a greater good. Even in her absence, she's being used as a pawn in political power plays.

Now, Leila is determined to discover why.

As luck would have it, she has an unlikely ally on her side. Ronan, the audacious heir of a rival clan, feels the need to protect the beautiful, hidden royal any way he can. Despite the strife of their opposing lineages, theirs is a dance of passion and peril, where every stolen glance and forbidden touch sends ripples through their world.

Yet even his loyalty is tested when Leila’s fated calling is exposed.

Thrust into a world she no longer remembers, Leila must fight to discover who she can trust as malicious threats close in from all sides. In a world where the past casts long shadows, Leila will discover that the threads of fate can be rewoven … but not without a cost.

Goodreads Link

REVIEW
First of all, I love the dramatic, atmospheric cover, it introduces the themes of the book well and it piques your interest just enough to get you wanting to read the book description to learn more.

The main, strongly independent, kick butt character of the book is the last female blood mage who uses the name Leila, rather than her title Princess Lyanna of Valorian and has been in hiding for years. There are many people who would be prepared to kill to get their hands on her unique power. When a plot to kidnap her is discovered she was forced to flee her home in Valorian with her guardian Sir Eric. Over their years avoiding capture, Sir Eric taught Leila how to fight and how to use her gifts to the best of his ability. They were awaiting word that they could safely return to Valorian but Sir Eric died before that happened prior to him revealing everything about a prophecy regarding her future. Leila has been living alone as a healer with her own small successful clinic in Lomewood in the Central Plains. Apart from work she tends to keep to herself with the exception of close friend, Selene. Selene has mer-folk heritage which makes her a prized possession at the Rose Petal Lounge, a pleasure house (bar & brothel) owned and run by Madam Rose. Despite Leila offering to buy Selene's freedom, Madam Rose continues to decline as Selene is very popular and her singing voice draws the crowds in at the Rose Petal Lounge, which is great for business.

Suddenly theres a rumour that the Crimson Clan have captured Princess Lyanna and a Crimson Clan envoy are in the central plains to meet the Valorian envoy to discuss agreement terms. The Chief of the Crimson Clan has declared that if no agreement is made Princess Lyanna will be married to his son!! At first Leila is going to ignore the rumour as there have been nany over the years but when she discovers the Valorian envoy is led by her brother Prince Marcellus and her childhood best friend, half fae Prince Caelan of Eldwain she knows she somehow has to warn them.

It's not long before Leila finds herself getting into scrapes with both sides whilst trying to keep her true identity and special female blood mage powers hidden. Leila actual ends up befriending Ronan, the leader of the Crimson Clan envoy, after defeating three if his men who were intent on attacking Selene. Leila begins to see a different side to the legendary, big, tough, barbaric fighting clan. Then when the Valorian envoy arrives she see's that her brother Marcellus and once best friend Caelan have also changed during years apart. Unfortunately Leila doesn't like what she discovers and soon finds herself stuck between the warring sides not knowing who she should be siding with. One thing Leila dies know is she really doesn't want anyone she cares about to be hurt or worse killed. When Leila treats a young boy named Henry in her clinic he soon becomes the reliable source of inside information about what's going on with both sides. As neither of the envoy groups consider the boy Henry any threat they often talk freely when he is around, giving away vital information. Leila finds herself on the receiving end of poor treatment from both envoys and in one case even torture! Leila also puts herself in the midst of fights, in harm's way saving people on both sides of the looming war on more than one occasion. Just when it seems like Leila has decided where her heart lays, theres a twist, some information about the future prophecy of the last female blood weaver and Leila is faced by a heart breakingly tough decision.

The descriptions within the book set the imagery into your mind easily and really well. This means after a reading session when you are thinking over what has happened it kind of feels like you have been watching a movie too! I loved the description of Rose Petal Lounge as a 'pleasure house'. The society is well thought ought and even the currency of glints & gleams is detailed well.
I adored the friendships Leila had with Selene and Henry. I enjoyed the verbal sparring Leila has going on with Ronan, Caelan, Mykal, Orion and Madam Rose. I also enjoyed discovering more about the prophecy though I think there is so much more to come.

Favourite characters are difficult to choose as there are so many great ones, but I loved Leila, Selene, Henry and Ronan. I liked but was still super wary of Marcellus, and Orion and I enjoyed disliking Caelan though by the end of the book I would probably add him to my 'wary of'list. On the other hand firmly on the 'enjoyed disliking' list is Governor Otto. I felt a whole range of liking, being wary and disliking of Madam Rose as I guess we don't know how she ended up at the Rose Petal
Lounge and there were times she was kind and even helped Leila.

I think this series could be really popular with those that like the Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo and Lockwood & Co by Jonathan Stroud Books/TV shows.

My immediate reaction after reading the book were, Wow! Just wow! This book has it all!! Kick butt, fiercely independent female Leila whose best friend Selene has been sold and is tied to service at the Rose Petal Lounge, though Leila is determined to free her. Then the cutest little friend ever Henry who knows everything about anything going on and sells his information, though has a soft spot for Leila. Then theres the 'book boyfriend' quota which is definitely erm over flowing! Ronan, Caelan, Marcellus, Orion, Mykal, Silas ....wow. I have to say my favourite is Ronan though!! Though I am firmly #TeamRonan we still don't really know whether he is a good or bad guy regarding his intentions towards Leila.

Summing up, I honestly think this is another fantastic start to what I reckon will be a brilliant Trilogy! I can't wait to read more!!


Monday 22 January 2024

REVIEW - MATED TO CURVES BK4 BY DV FISCHER

  

Title: Mated To Curves BK4
Author:
DV Fischer
Release Date:
25th December 2023

BLURB from Goodreads
Eva is a journalist for Spokane’s newspaper and she was relieved when Spelling was suspended. She’s a shifter and hiding her shifter identity to someone on a witch hunt for their existence was dangerous. However, now he’s the least of her problems because shifter women are coming up murdered everywhere.Cruz hadn’t expected to find his mate when he went to the paper to find out more about Spelling. But there she was, frightened of him, curvy, and gorgeous as ever. However, it doesn’t take much to convince her to enter his world in the fight club, nor does it take much to convince her on a second date.But when the second date lands them being questioned by cops, the trouble begins.

Goodreads Link

REVIEW
Shifter women are being murdered, 5 dead bodies have been found so far. All the women in the community are shaken/worried.
Gary Spelling is still suspended from the newspaper for being obsessed about exposing the existence of shifters. Though the suspension hasn't dissuaded him from his quest, in fact he has been phoning his newspaper bodd Mr Binzer everyday promising he can find proof of shifters but quite abruptly the calls have stopped according to Mr Binzer leaving him wondering where Gary is. Mr Binzer is also checking to see what Eva is working on as she is picking up the slack whilst Gary Spelling is missing. Eva also gets little tidbits of news about what's going on with the current spate of murders, which Mr Binzer is eager to have in his newspaper. Luckily he doesn't know where she gets the tips/information from. Eva's sister Meredith is a Police Officer which is quite an unusual job for a female, never mind a female shifter. Meredith talks to Eva about what is going on in the investigation and they discuss the fact the murdered women are all shifters too.
Mr Binzer isn't the only one who is wondering where Gary Spelling is, Cade sends Cruz to the newspaper to see if he can get an address for Gary as they want to keep tabs on him after he attacked Cali.

In this novella, more characters find mates, the fight club is quickly becoming more like a pack headquarters than just a gathering place to let off some steam and excess energy. Theres also news of a pregnancy which makes getting the Gary Spelling problem sorted out even more important.
There is also the problem of someone on the loose torturing and murdering shifter women, though the fight club shifters would probably be more than able to sort out that situation too, they have to hold back as the Police are involved, so human laws apply, restricting the shifters for the time being. Though with Meredith also being a shifter maybe they will be called on to help at some point.

I really enjoyed this novella, the romance of the mates finding each other and becoming almost inseparable within days! Then there’s the mystery, thriller and suspense aspect of the murderer. I will admit I did have my own theories as to who the murderer is. I'm also looking forward to hopefully finding out what Gary Spelling has against shifters and why he is so desperate to expose them. I quickly became attached to the characters and love that though new ones are introduced in each novella, you still have the characters you have already learnt about involved in the plot. I love the short plots lines contained in one novella that happen alongside the continuing themes of other parts of the plot running through the series of novellas. I think it's funny how Alpha Cade has grudgingly accepted that his friends gathering around him are in fact forming a type of pack. I'd really like to see the characters in this series of novellas go on to have further adventures and issues to deal with.

The book end on a whopper cliff hanger so I can't wait to read more.