ARC Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens

book-review

Heralding by Faith Rivens 5/5.

6tag_201117-052007Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.

My thanks goes to the author for sending me a free ARC copy of this book.

Review:

I always worry that I’ll be disappointed when I read the sequel to a book I really enjoyed, but those worries were unfounded in regards to Heralding. Eleonore is back with just as much sass, demon ass-kicking skills, and mothering as in book one. The story progressed beautifully from the end of book one, and yet again, Rivens’ writing is brilliant.

I found the growth of Etienne was mastered effortlessly. He is witty, humourous, and mature, but still holds that innocent, naive heart of a child. That is all thanks to Eleonore’s protection of him. As I said in my review of book one, Eleonore really speaks to me as a mother, and I found myself anxiously sitting on the edge of my seat and getting appropriately angry when anything or anyone so much as spoke of Etienne in a way I didn’t like. It is rare to find a book with a demon hunting protag who is also a fully involved parent.

The cast of sub characters are all well rounded with distinctive voices and play vital roles in the progression of the narrative whether big or small. I enjoyed the blurring of the line between good and evil as it allowed for some shock twists and relationship dynamics.

If you haven’t jumped on this series, I recommend you get your hands on book one, Eleonore, and pre-order Heralding right now.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

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5 in 1 Review: Christmas Stories

book-review

 A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce 3/5

21078618A quick, christmassy read with humour and relatable characters. The christmas rules that kept popping up (pretty much after Ruth made mistakes or bad calls) were a hilarious touch. I didn’t understand the purpose of Gideon or why she was dating him, but the other characters made for a dynamic family.

Stories for Christmas by Various Authors 3/5

51WNG1NQZRL._SY346_This book is advertised as a free sampler of Christmas stories, but I was shocked to find them imcomplete. It was just a marketing ploy to get the readers to buy the complete story which felt a little cheap. The stories were well written, but there wasn’t a huge Christmassy vibe about them. I won’t be buying the full stories.

Twelve Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep 4/5

61l23Qxe-ML._SY346_An intriguing Christmas, romance mystery. The concept is well conceived and written, and you find yourself sucked into the story/era. There is a definite Dickens and Christie vibe to this story.

 

Santa Baby, I Want a Bad Boy for Christmas by Justine Elvira 3/5

51-Xss1A6EL.jpgGunnar’s character stole the show in this book. I would have liked the book to have been from his POV. There are steamy scenes, but as for narrative, I wanted a little more believability. I don’t mind insta-love if done well, but a few nights together, and then declaring feelings felt forced.

A White Hot Christmas by Adrianne James 3/5

5103uATGDmL._SY346_You can’t go wrong with a Christmas read that involves a hunky fire-fighter. This story was a quick, steamy read, but that abrupt ending didn’t offer much in the way of a conclusion. Could have done with being longer.

 


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Finn by Liz Meldon

book-review

Finn by Liz Meldon 5/5

6tag_031117-053309Skye Summers: Museum Studies grad, yoga enthusiast, sushi fanatic, self-proclaimed cat lady…

Sugar baby hopelessly falling for her sugar daddy.

Unfortunately for Skye, internet security billionaire Cole Daniels, professional workaholic, has always been more like a best friend. When they were paired through an online sugar daddy service in Skye’s most desperate hour, Cole rescued her from financial ruin and a stress-induced breakdown. In return, she has kept the press off his back by posing as his girlfriend for the last four years.

But Skye wants more. Not money or fame, but more of him. Cole: sweet, funny, and ceaselessly charming. At times, even he seems to crave a shift in their relationship to something a little messier—before swiftly pulling right back into the friend zone.

Things take a turn for the scandalous, however, when the latest gift from her sugar daddy arrives: a new dress. He’s taking Skye to a swanky soiree that evening, and the accompanying note has a titillating aside:

PS: Wear something underneath that makes you feel sexy.

Thrilled, Skye obliges with her most daring lingerie. But when Cole’s ulterior motives for the night surface, she’s forced to swallow her disappointment and seek out her own fun—which arrives in the form of the sinfully handsome heir to a chocolate empire, Finn Rai.

Review:

A well written, steamy, erotic romance that can be read in one sitting. If you enjoy an erotic romance with a solid narrative and interesting relationship dynamics, then I highly recommend you read this novella.

This short read was fun and light hearted despite the tangle of relationships between Skye, Finn, and Cole. Skye’s mix of feelings toward her sugar daddy doesn’t stop her having fun with a stranger, but Cole’s mixed messages and stand offish nature makes me keen to read book two in the trilogy, Cole.

Meldon manages to make the reader like all three characters. I’m still not sure who I think would be good for Skye in the long run, if any. I am interested to see where the author takes this narrative for the rest of the series.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Rising by Brian Rella

book-review

Rising (Second Death Novella 0.5) by Brian Rella 3/5.

6tag_301017-055309When fourteen-year-old Jessie steals a book from the eclectic book shop in her sleepy home town of Beauchamp, Louisiana, she unleashes one of the Fallen, Arraziel, and takes revenge on her tormentors.

But Jessie also awakened an ancient evil imprisoned in the Realm of the Second Death. Now a group of supernatural guardians must stop her and the bloodthirsty creature she has awakened before it can return.

Review:

This prequel can be read in one sitting and takes the reader on an intense, supernatural journey via various POVs. The pacing is fast, and where this is important for building suspense, it needed to slow down a little at the end.

I wasn’t so much scared as I was freaked out by the intense level of gore and violence. I liked Jessie’s character to begin with, and her home life made sense with how she was feeling, but the mild tempered, bullied girl has a one hundred and eighty degree personality twist without full explanation. I would have liked the influence over her to be explained a little more to make the narrative a little more believable.

Baring in mind that this is a prequel to a larger series, I am intrigued to see what characters and narrative the author has carried forward, and hopefully garner a little more insight into Arraziel.

A gory, Halloween read that is not for the squeamish.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

3 in 1 Review: Short Stories

book-review

After Dark by Mikey Campling 3/5

This book had an interesting concept. I enjoyed the various POVs and how they linked up at the end of the narrative. It’s not often that you get the POV of an animal. I can’t say that I found this story scary, and I’m a big wuss.

Three Men and a Maybe by Katey Lovell 4/5

Three proposals, three back stories, and only one can get a yes. I enjoyed this short and sweet story. There was no competition in my eyes. It was obvious who Cerys should accept, and I’m glad she didn’t give a definite yes. The lucky guy has a year to prove that he means what he said. A feel good, romantic tale that can be read in one sitting.

The Apple Orchards by Veronica Henry 3.5/5

A short, bittersweet read. The narrative follows a man who is down on his luck and how the locals feel about him. There is a powerful message about greed, helping neighbours, and how society treat people living in poverty. Does a lack of material possessions constitute poverty? Are you rich if you’re contented with your little slice of life?


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

 

ARC Review: Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

book-review

Wardens of Archos (Relics of Ar’Zac #2)  by Sarina Langer 4.5/5

6tag_081017-065905Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC copy.

Review:

Langer is back with a bang. I have been patiently anticipating book two after devouring book one. Rachael finds herself dealing with her new role as queen, assassins, prophecy, dark magic, and awkwardness with Cale. I loved the awkwardness, it only heightened my need for them to grow and strengthen their relationship in the long run. I was a sucker for their relationship dynamic in book one, and book two played on that beautifully.

The world building is brilliant, and Langer’s writing style is incredibly visual. I could easily picture battles, the differing Kingdoms, and most importantly, those relentless Mothers. I was not left wanting in all things fantastical.

The relationship dynamics between Rachael and the sub characters were fresh and raw. Not knowing who to trust, following her gut, and developing friendships despite her self-doubt added more depth to the narrative. Kaida was a fast favourite of mine, despite Rachael’s frequent misgivings. I’m also intrigued by Reeve. More from him in book three, please.

There was a little repetition toward the start of the book, but I understand the purpose was to bring elements of book one forward to refresh the reader’s memory. The ending was brilliantly paced, and I was highly impressed with the revelation that I didn’t see coming, but upon looking back, I realised the clues were there all along.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Out of the Shadows by Dana Fraedrich

book-review

Out of the Shadows by Dana Fraedrich 4.5/5

6tag_011017-072256When the Allens rescue Lenore from certain torment, she’s offered a new life, a life that can save her from the underworld of crime in which she’s forced to live. The universe is keeping score, however, and Lenore isn’t the only one caught in this web of debt. Can she truly escape her past when it comes to find her or will she be drawn back into the darkness?

Homeless, orphaned, living in secret as a thief–Lenore Crowley just wants to survive, but the city of Springhaven has no sympathy for cases such as hers. She chose her path, and the consequences are hers alone. Being caught would mean certain death; her odds of survival are beginning to look bleak. When she meets the Allens, she’s offered a new life. In a world where debts and oaths carry very real weight, however, this second chance comes at a price. Lives entangle, and Lenore soon find that her secrets aren’t so secret. Someone is looking for her, someone who knows who she really is. One wrong move and everything around her might fall.

Review:

Steampunk is not usually my genre of choice, but after reading Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer, I jumped at the chance to read Dana Fraedrich’s Out of the Shadows. Fraedrich’s worldbuilding is extensive. The world of enforcers, thieves, magic, oaths, the old world- new world dynamic, and the society, is carefully woven together to bring a strong visual and emotional element to the reader.

The characters were well-rounded and distinctive. Rook was the character to keep me intrigued, even more so than mysterious Kieran. No spoilers, but I like me some Rook. Lenore’s character had that anxious, never fully relaxed edge to her that suited her personality and circumstance brilliantly.

Fraedrich’s prose is smooth and easy to read. Questions are answered, and then more are peppered into the plot. I enjoy reads that don’t give everything away in one swoop. The sub plots running alongside Lenore’s main narrative were subtly guided along without hindering the reading experience. The pacing at the start was a little slow, and it took me a while to get into the meat of the story, but once you’re in, the pace picks up, and you’re sucked into Lenore’s world.

Do you like steampunk, strong main characters, and fabulous worldbuilding? Then, this is the book for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

September Reads Round Up

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab

6tag_070917-204220Full Review: A Gathering of Shadows

I gave this book 4.5/5. This book built on the foundations set in book one. The worldbuilding and magic was stretched and fleshed out, and the chaacters and relationships well developed. I’m looking forward to book three.

 

Timewalker by Justin Stanchfield

6tag_140917-114552Full Review: Timewalker

I gave this book 3/5. The narrative moved at a slow pace for the first part of the book, but picked up toward the end. The family dynamics between the boys and their father were believable, but the realtionships with Kyr felt a tad forced. The Stranger Things vibe was strong in this book.

 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

6tag_200917-072801Full Review: Everything, Everything.

I gave this book 5/5. I have all the feels for this book. It really took me on an emotional rollercoaster, and I felt like I had the worst book hangover when I finished. Maddie and Olly’s interaction was captured beautifully by Yoon, and the heart break anvil continuously hung over my head whilst reading. I won’t tell you if it dropped.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Review: Timewalker by Justin Stanchfield

book-review

Timewalker by Justin Stanchfield 3/5

6tag_140917-114552.jpgSean thinks he’s going crazy when a girl from his nightmares appears to him on a lonely road. But the deadly enemies that are chasing her across time and space are no dream-and they will stop at nothing to destroy the future of the human race.

Sean agrees to help the girl, but there’s something she is still hiding from him… The truth is, Sean is the only one who can save mankind. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Review:

I picked up this book from the sci-fi section in my library, but it would be more at home in the young adult section. Young teens would appreciate this book and relate to the young characters. The beginning is a little slow, but there is a definite Stranger Things vibe: teen brothers harbouring a strange girl with powers who appeared from nowhere.

Many questions arise throughout the narrative, and are all answered as you move forward. Some are predictable, some not so. I enjoyed learning more about Hamilton and his intentions, or rather the intentions of his ‘bosses’.

Some relationships felt a little forced to me. Sean admits to ‘falling’ after knowing Kyr for a few days. Seeing her in his nightmares isn’t quite the makings of love. However, the switch up in Kyr’s affections, and the relationship between the boys and their father, was well developed and believable. It held weight where everything else was spiralling into the unknown.

I’d recommend this to teen readers who enjoy all things science fiction.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

August Reads Round Up

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Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier

5528155Full Review: Black-Eyed Devils

I rate this book 5/5. Historical truths, teamed with believable characters and back story make for an interesting read. Everything is against Amy and Tom. He is a ‘Blackleg’ brought in by mine bosses to fill the jobs of the striking miners. Amy’s father and brother are striking miners. Need I say more?

A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee

6tag_130817-200747Full Review: A Shining in the Shadows

I rate this book 5/5. A brilliant interpretation on the vampire genre. Effortless plot twists, relationship growth, and character development. Highly recommended, and I can’t wait for book three.

 

Never Too Late by Jane Laird

6tag_190817-073513Full Review: Never Too Late.

I rate this book 2/5. This readd is very short, and left little time for character development. The story is swett, but I found the ending forced.

 

Hellfire by Drew Avera

6tag_190817-073430Full Review: Hellfire.

I rate this book 4/5. This scifi, military tale drew me in and kept me enthralled. I would love to see this addaptedd into a full length novel. The ending was brilliant and unexpected.

 

I Still Love You by Jane Lark

6tag_190817-073804Full Review: I Still Love You.

I rate this book 2/5. The writing was fine, but the topic was far too depressing for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, the topic is important to highlight, but this book was just not my cup of tea.

 

The God Machine by Mikey Campling, Drew Avera, Christopher Godsoe, and Jamie Dodge

6tag_190817-073558Full Review: The God Machine.

I rate this book 3/5. A unique concept that could easily be expanded. Considering this is the work of four authors, it didn’t jar with me, and the writing styles ran smoothly throughout.