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CarolOates

CarolOates

Fantastic Zombie Read

Love in the Time of the Dead - Tera Shanley

I came into this book not knowing what to expect. The last romance and zombie book I read wasn't very good. I was glad to find out this was human romance in a slightly future world where Zombies walk the earth.

After being bitten by a zombie, the main character discovers she carries a natural immunity, although the bite has left a interesting side effect. She can smell them, effectively making her a zombie detector and a potential cure. Tera Shanley created a kick-ass group of characters to root for and a few I wanted to punch. The writing flowed easily and the story turned over fast so just when I got settled and thought I knew what would come next, it changed.

A highly enjoyable read.

Clever twist in a well know tale.

Hans & Greta - Nicki Elson

I very much enjoyed this quick read. From the first page it is snappy with quick witted dialogue and sharp characterizations.The description is vivid without bogging the reader down in every tiny detail.

 

The fairytale setting had a modern feel to it, think Once Upon a Time and you'll know what I mean. The author very cleverly weaves in titbits from other stories flawlessly. Going in, I was sure I would know how this would play out since I know the tale. I was wrong and the author keeps the reader guessing fight up to the end.

 

Highly recommend.

 

 

The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood) - Trisha Wolfe

 

I started reading this the other day, got 2 chapters in and got sidetracked. I couldn't wait to get back to it. I spent today just inhaling the words. So, so good. I feel like the author ripped my guts out and fed them through a pasta maker, then patched me up and gave me cuddles, kittens, and ice-cream until I was all better. I've always loved books by this author but, by gum, this is one fantastic, thoroughly researched and well written story.

I loved the romance, but what really got me was the brutal honesty of the story and the descriptions of how far grief can suck a person down.

Highly recommended, especially for those who love slow burn or second chance romance with realistic characters.

 

The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood) - Trisha Wolfe     

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey A little disappointed. I read such good things about this book and expected to rave about it. I ended up skimming a couple of chapters. There was a few times I was lost in POV and didn't know who's head I was inside for a couple of pages. It's not as original as I've read in many reviews. I saw a bunch of recognizable references -- War of the Worlds, Zhuangzi(could have been The Fly since it's sci-fi), The Midwich Cookoos, maybe a little invasion of the body snatchers. Having grown up with sci-fi movies, I enjoyed that element. I also like the inclusion of the owls which I have read about in connection to alien visitations but can't recall ever seeing in a fiction book.

All in all, not the best book I've ever read but certainly worth a read. I will most likely continue the series.
Sleepers, Awake - Eden Barber I can't express enough how much I love this story. Heartbreaking and beautiful with a twist of hope.
Divine Temptation - Nicki Elson It’s impossible to give an in-depth review of this amazing book without spoilers but I will try my best. This isn’t the usual angel falls for the daughter of man story that fills the young adult shelves. (Not that I don’t love them.) For a start, Maggie is a woman of faith in her late thirties. She’s recently divorced with two kids and questionable self-esteem at times. Her life is the cliché, her husband had an affair and now she finds herself replaced by a younger model in the form of her husband friendly girlfriend at the same time she’s facing her daughter about to enter the world of dating.

But it’s not all bad. She has a job she enjoys as an office administrator in the local parish, She’s got her own place, she has a fairly decent relationship with her kids and her ex-husband. So why is she dreaming about a beautiful young man appearing in the corner of her bedroom, a man she instinctually knows is an angel in human form?

Her angel is no help in that department. When the two finally speak, he doesn’t know why he’s there or why Maggie can see him. He only knows it’s his job to protect her from an evil circling her and he wants to take her emotional pain.

There are some parts of the story I struggled with. It was difficult for me to identify with Maggie at times. She is a good person at heart, an unselfish person. She’s open to forgiveness and has a strong faith. These are things absent in me. These are also things that made Maggie and her emotional pain seem real to me. She didn’t come across as a cardboard cut out because she struggled with these things, but ultimately her innate goodness shone through. There was a moment of self-pity where she looked at what her actions might have done to prompt her husband’s affair. This is my hard line and I wanted to shake her. Fiction books with a traditional concepts of a benevolent, all seeing, all knowing, perfect God can sometimes put me off reading. Those books where God= all good and Satan= all bad.

I make no secret of my complete lack of faith in a higher power. However, the God in Divine Temptation isn’t off-putting for a non-believer. On the contrary it’s a believable God. Not in your face and not preachy despite the strong Christian themes. It’s a little more shaded in that Satan was God’s creation too. This complicated things for me because didn’t this mean the good guys could be bad?

Evan is a complex individual. He’s existed forever but in a way that’s too difficult for a human to truly comprehend. His devotion to his heavenly father is absolute. To me, he seemed to possess an almost childlike innocence about the world while at the same time being extremely wise. Even in his more human moments of interaction, it is impossible to forget Evan isn’t a human man. He has known loss and pain, something Maggie doesn’t initially take on board. When this side of him is exposed it brings a new intimacy to the friendship. Evan is there for Maggie through the ups and downs of every day life as well as being there in moments of spiritual crisis , but not in an invasive way. Maggie makes her own decisions throughout. There is never a sign of Evan telling her what to do. Sometimes he advises, when his advise is invited.

From the beginning there are sinister undertones and a few clues to why Evan is there, but nothing Maggie can put together with any reasonable certainty. As a reader, I was never sure where the evil was coming from or if what I thought was evil was good in disguise, so I could easily understand how Maggie was confused too. There were moments I suspected absolutely everyone.So when the purpose of Evan in Maggie’s life was revealed, I wasn’t expecting it. The last chapters were both shocking and satisfying.

There is romance in this book and enough hotness to keep the reader on their toes. It’s a love story but not necessarily romantic love all the time. There are all kinds of love and frailty, and all kinds of intimacy. Divine Temptation explores them all, friendship, parent and child, lover, husband and wife, sibling. All this is tied up with a unique perspective on the mythology of angels and other religious mythology.

On to the writing, the thing about Nicki Elson is she is not consistent as an author. In a good way. What I mean by consistent is every piece she produces is completely different but as enthralling as the last. Divine Temptation is another revelation to what this chameleon has to offer readers.

The descriptions are detailed but move along so quickly the reader can feel immersed in the location without being drawn out of the storyline. In particular the descriptions of Somme Park, the art gallery and the other encounters between Evan and Maggie are wonderful. Also, the subtle and yet insightful writing means quotes from the book are stuck in my head and never likely to leave.

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When it comes down to it. Divine Temptation is simply a great solid read for adults, which will capture the reader’s imagination from first to last page. It’s perfect for those seeking subtle romance, a deeper exploration of human relationships or a meaty supernatural element. Highly recommended.
Astarte's Wrath - Trisha Wolfe I'm going to have to come back and review this fully. For now it's an easy 5 stars and an absolute must read.
Return to Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie, #2) - Debra Anastasia This book is fantastic, readers who loved Poughkeepsie will adore it.
Blood Vine - Amber Belldene This book is an absolute must read for fans of The Black Dagger Brother series. I struggled to put it down once. When I picked it up again, I read the rest straight through.

Blood Vine centers of the story of Zoey, sent to create a PR campaign for a new wine. Zoey soon discovers that her new client is a familiar face, one she's been unable to forget since their almost one-night stand. While she grapple with her unwanted emotion for a man she hardly knows, she doesn't realize her boss has knowingly set her in the middle of an ancient conflict between Vampires and Vampire hunters.

Amber Belldene weaves the history and realistic folklore of her vampires flawlessly. Her writing is descriptive and emotive but doesn't get bogged down in unimportant details and as the result, the story flows effortlessly.

The characters are diverse with not a cut out in sight. Each is instilled with a personality, motive, and flaws. Love them or hate them for their actions, they jump off the page and will not be ignored. The main pairing are both shaped by tragedy of circumstance and must overcome their own barriers to be together. The internal conflict of both seemed real and heartbreaking.

As far as I'm aware, there is another book to come. That's good because there is obviously still loose ends and a huge cast of characters to explore. The ending left me satisfied and yet, craving more of this world, the story, and characters.
Lacrimosa - Christine Fonseca 3 to 3.5. I enjoyed it.
Bittersweet Seraphim - Debra Anastasia Debra Anastasia has done it again! Readers are in for a real treat. Bittersweet Seraphim is a book that will take you to heaven and hell, and everywhere in between. A word of warning-don't begin this book at bedtime. With a number of new characters and startling revelations, you won't be able to stop yourself from turning the pages. Before you know it, the sun will be creeping over the horizon. I'm not sure if there will be more Seraphim books, but I'm crossing my fingers for another.
Swim Recruit - Jennifer Lane Jennifer Lane really knows her stuff when it comes to the world of competitive swimming, a fact that allows her to easily drop the reader into her stories set around the subject.

What starts out as a simple college recruitment trip turns into an eye-opening experience for teenager, Abby Donahue. The characters she encounters are complex and feel altogether very real and human. Abby leaves with a new perspective on her own life and relationships.

If you enjoy Swim Recruit, I highly recommend Streamline, a full-length NA novel by the same author. Streamline deals with the difficult subjects of domestic abuse and obligation, set against the backdrop of a military academy and college swimming.
The Atheist's Daughter - Renée Harrell This book was hard work for me and took a while to get through. It left me a little confused because I felt like giving up on it so many times but at the same time I really wanted to know what happened at the end.

A lot goes on in this story and I got a spooky Stephen King vibe from it, which was funny because King got a mention at one point. The characters were well developed and diverse, the writing flowed like silk and the descriptions were vivid enough to place me right in the center of the story.

On the other hand, I spent 95% of the story with no clue to what the main character was, who the creatures were or where it was all headed. Then it got to the end and I felt as if I'd been slapped around the head a few times with a deluge of information. Suddenly it all seems like the entire book was a set up for a series, like a pilot episode of a show about to be filmed.

So why the 4 stars? Because if this is the pilot, I would certainly watch the series. Yes, by the end I was hooked on these characters and this story. I think this book it well worth taking a chance on.
Glimpse - Stacey Wallace Benefiel I enjoyed this book enough that I'm interested in reading the next in the series. It's original and well written. Very dark at times, this is not something for anyone looking for a fluffy YA read. My only real issue was with the adults, especially Zellie's selfish mother. I wanted to shake some sense in to her. Clearly she had read from the 'How To Damage Your Child's Emotional Well Being' handbook. I read this on the train and actually spoke out loud at one point because I was so irritated. Worth a read.
Cursing Athena  (Order Of Seven #1) - Lisa Sanchez Well, that was an entertaining read. Warning: Don't read on the train like I did. Hot, Hot, Hot. I kept looking around and giggling because I was so sure I was blushing. Honestly, Lisa knows how to write guys who blow the top clean off the hotness scale. This is one for fans of The Black Dagger Brotherhood but contains so much detail on Greek mythology and back story as to make it unique in its own right. I can't believe there is so much story packed into such a shot novella. A really great read. I will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series.
Clockwise - Elle Strauss I had this for a few weeks before I got to it. I read it in one sitting on the train. A very good read with great twists and turns. I did work out the big reveal a while before it was revealed but it didn't take away any of the enjoyment for me. I hated seeing the book end and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.