I won an ARC of this book in a giveaway on the author's blog and went on to purchase it on Amazon later so I could see how/if the writing improved fro...moreI won an ARC of this book in a giveaway on the author's blog and went on to purchase it on Amazon later so I could see how/if the writing improved from soup to nuts. In addition to that, when the opportunity arose to join in on a review tour, I pounced. I've reviewed Ms. Greene's work in the past and found it more than five star worthy. This book had a couple of flaws; but didn't disappoint when it came time to deliver on the story end. I have in no way been compensated for my participation in this tour and all opinions are my own. On to the good stuff.
From a Reader's Perspective: I didn't like Ms. Hoity Toity Perfect in Every Way Becky at the beginning of the book. She was too prim, too proper, and did too many things just because her parents wanted her to. As the story moves forward, we begin to see all may not be as it first seemed. Little Becky has kept secrets from her mother and father throughout the years. One big one was why Becky had a falling out with her ex-boyfriend, Lance. This is one spot I found an inconsistency in the story though. In chapter eight, Becky talks about her mother setting up dinners between the two families because she was ignorant to what happened with Lance. Later, in chapter eleven, Becky talks about how her mother knew and was okay with what he'd done. As a reader, continuity is something I expect and it did throw me for a loop when I read it.
But, the magical aspects of the story and Becky's well-kept secret helped move the story along. I was fascinated at how she'd kept that aspect of her life hidden for so long and thrilled when she discovered all may not be as it first appeared. I won't go into that because I refuse to give spoilers. You'll have to read the book to find out what I'm talking about.
There are two love interests in the book as well, and I can't wait for book two so I can find out which one wins Becky's heart and why. Neither felt added as an afterthought and both fit into the story perfectly.
From an Editor's Perspective: Pronouns! These seem to give authors the most trouble. I found no pronoun errors in Ms. Greene's first book, Twisted, and contractions were used well. Illusions Begin could use contractions to make the prose and dialogue flow more easily. There are also many commas missing between statements and names in dialogue. But those are nitpicks most people probably wouldn't pick up on.
Rating: +1 Star for giving me a truly magical story +1 Star for showing me Becky's imperfections as the book went on and not letting her remain annoyingly unlikeable +1 Star for the awesome surprises along the way +1 Star for the guys in the story -1 Star for the inconsistency in story and the need for pronoun/contraction/comma oopsie repair Overall, 4 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended for those who love an engaging story with awesome twists.(less)
I picked up this book during a free promotion on Amazon because the cover was intriguing, and I'm a huge lover of great photography. While the image i...moreI picked up this book during a free promotion on Amazon because the cover was intriguing, and I'm a huge lover of great photography. While the image is striking, I think the type could use some work at the top and bottom because it gets lost in the reddish and white background. I try to review all books I pick up for free as a thank you to the author. Now that you know why I grabbed it, I'll move on with my review.
From a Reader's Perspective: Rook is one of those girls. You never know what she's gonna do next. One minute she's shaking with memories of her past, the next, she's diving headlong into a situation you're wanting to slap her for even considering. Money is a huge motivator for a lot of people and Rook is no different. If you've never been completely broke and wondering where your next meal might come from, you probably wouldn't connect with the character in general. I think J. A. Huss did a fantastic job of showing exactly what someone in Rook's situation might think/do when an opportunity to never have to worry about money again presents itself. That being said, I could identify with Rook and her situation (all but the abusive husband).
Writing the story from both Rook and Ronin's POV was a smart move. If I'd just seen Ronin through Rook's eyes, I might have thought him a complete cad. He still wasn't my favorite character, but I could tell he wasn't out to destroy her. He's just really confused. Language is strong but the scenes aren't pornographic in the bedroom. Leadups are tastefully written and everything beyond is left to the imagination. It was well done. Kudos to the author for not falling into the trap of laying out the entire scene blow by blow. Does the author go into detail when it's not about the sex, but about the emotions and reactions Rook has to touches during the photo shoots? Yes. But that's when it matters.
My problem with the story was: I kept waiting for something to happen. It never did. I don't know if that was done purposely because it's book one of a trilogy, but it irritated me to no end. Give me something to keep me reading.
From an Editor's Perspective: This book needs a major overhaul. Sentence construction issues, punctuation problems, and incorrect details run amok. While I usually limit the editing to one star, it bled over into the storyline and will be given a heavier weight. Example: He grabs two lime wedges from a little silver bucket in the ice, and shoves down the neck of each beer. Errors like that could be eradicated with a good editor. As an aside, Corona caps don't twist off. A long time lover of that particular brand, I caught that oops where others may not have.
Rating: 1 Star for giving me a believably naive character in Rook 1 Star for showing what some will do when truly down and out 1 Star for not feeling the need to go into every bedroom detai -.5 Star for not giving me anything in the way of Rook's career -1.5 Stars for editing
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars. A book with a great plot and wonderful characters that's lacking in the editing department. Recommended to those who don't mind a couple of errors and like romance that's left to the imagination.(less)
I received an ARC from the author because I was one of the beta-readers for this book. I can assure you, all opinions are my own and honest. I'm not u...moreI received an ARC from the author because I was one of the beta-readers for this book. I can assure you, all opinions are my own and honest. I'm not usually a fan of romance, but this book reads a lot like a coming-of-age story for the MC so I got into it. Enough rambling, let's get to the good stuff!
From a Reader's Perspective: Devil Creek is told from two viewpoints: Aislin, the main female, and Gabe, the main male. Ms. Bond was wise to write it this way, because you get a deeper insight into what each character is thinking. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to reach into the pages and give them both a good shake. But making me care that much about the characters and their eventual outcome is something a good story does. I could connect with Aislin and wondered how many freaking men would have to betray her before she gave up on the gender for good. I was pulled into her world and felt what she felt as the tale moved forward. There are no loose ties left hanging at the end and that was something I appreciated a lot. Plot-wise, it was a brilliant tale and the pacing was really great. I sped through it in no time. There's no insta-love in this book. If that's what you're looking for, this isn't a story for you.
From an Editor's Perspective: I have to say, I would've read a lot faster if not for the need for one more round of edits. It needs contractions, comma attention, and pronoun checks (I also found a couple of spelling errors - wrong word or wrong tense of word used). Because of those, I did get dissuaded a time or two. But they weren't so bad I couldn't read the book and the quality of the story outweighed these errors.
Rating: +1 Star for making me cringe at some of Aislin's situations +1 Star for a heartbreaking tale +1 Star for making me want to slap both of the MCs +1 Star for tying up all loose ends and lack of insta-love scenarios -1 Star for the need for an editor
Overall, 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended for those who love romance or coming-of-age tales that make you want to choke men in general.(less)
I grabbed a sample of Sir Edric's Temple after the author pitched the book on my blog. I have to say, I wasn't sure I was going to like it from the de...moreI grabbed a sample of Sir Edric's Temple after the author pitched the book on my blog. I have to say, I wasn't sure I was going to like it from the description; but, once I started reading, I was sucked in by the excellent writing and world-building going on. When the sample ended and I was upset there was no more to read, I knew I'd hit upon a winner. On the cover is exactly what you'd expect Sir Edric to look like (crossbow and all). Now for the review!
From a Reader's Perspective: White now owes me a box of cleaning wipes. I can't tell you how many times I laughed while reading this book. Sir Edric's inner monologue will have you rolling on the floor while understanding this is probably what 9/10 of the male population is thinking at any given point in time. It's very true to life in that sense. You also start to actually like him by the end of the book, despite his womanizing ways. Plus, there are mystical creatures, zombies (yay!), and dragons (who doesn't love dragons?). When the end of the book came about, I was not only sad the story was over, but cracking up at the final outcome. It had the most beautiful twist!
From an Editor's Perspective: This book was so well written, I found no errors. That's saying something. My brain is wired to find even the tiniest slip-ups, and this book had none. Kudos to the author.
Rating: +1 Star for making me laugh like a crazy person +1 Star for making Sir Edric so darned likeable +1 Star for great world building +1 Star for the fantastic ending +1 Star for editing and lack of errors
Overall, 5 out of 5 stars! Recommended to anyone who loves to laugh and finds humor in male inner-monologue.(less)
I picked this book up during the 12 Days of Christmas event on my blog, where I ask Indie authors to pitch me their books, I grab a sample, and then I...moreI picked this book up during the 12 Days of Christmas event on my blog, where I ask Indie authors to pitch me their books, I grab a sample, and then I choose and purchase the 12 books to be reviewed over the next year. This one was another stand-out in that crowd. After the sample, I was horrified there were no pages left and zipped over to Amazon to buy it. Enough about that, let's get to the review, eh?
From a Reader's Perspective: This was an enjoyable collection of short stories. There were a couple that really stood out from the crowd and a few I wouldn't read again. I read one of them three times and still couldn't follow the story. It meandered around and jumped in time telling things that didn't seem to be pertinent. However, if you're a fan of horror, there are a ton of other really great stories in this collection. Some of them had me cringing, a couple had me doing an internet search to find out the history of the fantastical beast portrayed. I'd never heard of many, others were all too familiar. Description and world building was great for 9/10 of the tales. I do enjoy a good horror story. All in all, a very cool collection that was well worth the money and kept me entertained for long periods of time.
From an Editor's Perspective: Most of these stories were very well edited. A couple could've used a hand in the punctuation and redundancy department. After all, it's a short story and every word matters. Having said that, I read a disclaimer in the front of the book that talked about keeping the author's voice intact (because they're from around the globe). Okay, I get it. Keeping the idioms makes sense. But it's a whole other beast to let blatant errors through. I've read books from every country, so I'm familiar with differences in writing. However, with so many authors, surely they could've shared the editing hand before going to print/publication. Those few that made little to no sense left me reeling and I don't feel like I enjoyed the other stories as much as I could have because my brain kept checking out to think about why I didn't get those that meandered.
Rating: +1 Star for a wonderfully creepy collection +1 Star for descriptive writing +1 Star for bringing me to the edge of my seat more than once +1 Star for teaching me (I love books that do this) -.5 Star for those meandering/unreadable stories (there were only about three out of twenty-six) +.5 Star for the editing on the others
Overall, 4.5 Stars! We all know I round up, so you'll see a 5 star rating everywhere ratings are used. Highly recommended for lovers of Horror.(less)
I picked this book up after the author pitched it to me during my 12 Days of Christmas event. I read the sample and the story intrigued me. I had to k...moreI picked this book up after the author pitched it to me during my 12 Days of Christmas event. I read the sample and the story intrigued me. I had to know more. I'm not a fan of romance novels, but the paranormal aspect of The Witch Who Cried Wolf snagged me. I love dark things, werewolves, and witches so I was willing to overlook that it was labeled a romance. Paranormal aspects really took the front and center stage, with the romance being like a backdrop draped over the whole thing to give it color (think: Twilight). With that said, I have to move on to the meat and potatoes of my review.
From a Reader's Perspective: This novella was told in first person, alternating viewpoints (Mia and Ethan). I kinda liked that I got to see the whole situation through two peoples' POVs because it showed me how grossly misunderstood many of the situations/remarks were. I liked connecting with the characters in this way. Mia wasn't someone I could get a good handle on, one second she's whimpering in a corner and the next she's fighting with everything she's got. I didn't see enough to really grasp the sudden change in her attitude. I could relate to Ethan and found him to be a good guy on the surface. I would like to see him with more flaws; but perhaps those are unveiled in later books. Oftentimes, the seemingly good guy has some vein of bad boy running through them. I hope to see him come into his own. World building was good for such a short book and I enjoyed discovering the hidden world of the paranormal among us. I could've done without some of the language in the book. It was pretty strong. I wouldn't recommend to those under age 18. Tenses jumped at times, and I found that rather jarring, and it felt like a lot of things were skimmed over or left out (what about Grandma?). There were also a number of sentences that made no sense at all. Which leads me to...
From an Editor's Perspective: There were a lot of noticeable grammar and structure issues throughout. I mark these on my Kindle as I go, so I'll give you two out of the many I found: Was I thrilled about my relationship as much Greg was? and I set aside the empty beer can aside, then popped open a new one. This novella needs a once over. But, the story was entertaining and something enjoyable to read on a cold and rainy afternoon.
Rating: +1 Star for giving me an entertaining read +1 Star for using alternating viewpoints successfully +1 Star for world building -1 Star for the tense hopping, and things left out that were mentioned -1 Star for the need for an editor Overall: 3 out of 5 stars. Like I said above, it was something fun to while away the time on a cold/rainy afternoon.(less)
I grabbed this title during my 12 Days of Christmas party, that special time of year when I stock my Kindle with books I intend to review over the nex...moreI grabbed this title during my 12 Days of Christmas party, that special time of year when I stock my Kindle with books I intend to review over the next twelve months. Heather is an author whose work I love reading and she showed up with a pitch for The Memory Witch I couldn't say no to (I've also been sitting on pins and needles waiting for this title to hit the shelves). So, I popped on over to Amazon and ponied up the dough. I have to say, I'm glad I did. While Amazon has this categorized as Teen and Young Adult, I don't think it's appropriate for those under the age of sixteen/seventeen because of some graphic scenes. But, enough rambling, let's get to the review.
From a Reader's Perspective: I loved the main character, Quinn. Wood has such a unique way of painting her characters so the reader can identify with them, I really enjoy delving into the mind of a new one she comes up with. That being said, Quinn seemed a bit prudish to me. According to the book, she's eighteen and a member of the dying breed known as virgins. That doesn't bother me so much, but her actions during the story threw me for a loop a time or two. I was left scratching my head and asking, "Why?" But the premise of the story and the pacing (which was wonderful and fast) made me care less about the questionable morals of a teen and more about what secrets would be unraveled during the course of the tale. I was hooked. Magic, a father Quinn can't remember, and an unanswered mystery about the past kept my eyeballs riveted to the pages. You'll cringe a number of times when the author gets to some very graphic scenes, but she wrote them well. Details were horrifying. Either way, I adored the story and stayed up late to finish it. Can't wait for the second installment! Let's move on to talk about the writing.
From an Editor's Perspective: I waited on this novel for so stinking long, I thought I'd get the best of the best of the best (Sir! With honors!) as far as writing goes. Well, not so much. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I mark errors as I go (it's an editor/proofreader thing). I found over seventy errors. Not misplaced pronouns or comma drops, but errors like: "I hadn't stay up hours each night..." and "...dating back almost thousand years." or "A startled sound broke into..." Needless to say, my head landed in my hand a lot. This isn't the norm for Ms. Wood. These errors didn't fudge with the story, but they were noticeable and did make my mind stutter over the words.
Rating: + 1 Star for a great reveal + 1 Star for pacing (fast) + 1 Star for the well written magic and horror scenes + 1 Star for hooking me with a world I felt could exist - 1 Star for editing Overall, 4 out of 5 stars. A highly recommended read if you love fantasy, magic, and curses.(less)
I snagged this book after I checked out a sample on Amazon. Felicia Tatum pitched the title to me during my 12 days of Christmas party and I really go...moreI snagged this book after I checked out a sample on Amazon. Felicia Tatum pitched the title to me during my 12 days of Christmas party and I really got into it. Needless to say, I picked up a copy pretty quickly when I hit the last page and was left screaming, "Noooo! Not yet!" I read it in an hour or so and will now give you my review.
From a Reader's Perspective: I liked the main characters, Korah and Dane. It was obvious each had their fair share of pain the in past, and a novella was the perfect way to introduce the two. Masked Encounters is a quick read with a lot of action and college-age angst between the sexes. There are a couple of graphic scenes that bordered on erotica but they never played out "just because." It seems the main characters needed the interactions to happen and the reader needed to see/feel exactly what was going on during the act(s). That being said, there's plenty of good stuff for a series starter and the characters are well developed for this to be a novella. I'll be checking out the other books in the series because I want to find out what happens between these two.
From an Editor's Perspective: There are a couple of tense hops in the beginning of the story that left me scratching my head until I worked through them. Other than those, the editing was pretty good. I did find a couple of minor errors. Here's a funny one: ...I shared with Leela and Windi, I slid my shoes off hoping they wouldn't hear me enter. Again, this is a pronoun mix-up. They is referring to shoes, not the roommates like it should be.
Rating: +1 Star for giving me a fast, interesting read that left me wanting more +1 Star for well developed characters despite the length of the book +1 Star for making me actually care what happened to the characters +1 Star for a great plot (so far) +.25 Stars for not writing "those" scenes just because -.75 Stars for the tense hops, making for a slow start
Overall, 4.25 stars! A highly recommended read if you want to lounge and indulge in something that will read fast and hold your attention.(less)
I grabbed a sample of Keepers of Arden during a December contest I ran on my blog. I have to say, the sample took hold of my mind and I bought the boo...moreI grabbed a sample of Keepers of Arden during a December contest I ran on my blog. I have to say, the sample took hold of my mind and I bought the book. I wasn't able to stop thinking about it and was happy when it was next on my TBR list. L. K. Evans created a magical world that captivated me and kept me glued to the pages. Enough about all that, let's get to the good stuff.
From a Reader's Perspective: In the beginning of the book, we're introduced to a placed named Arden. I could see the city clearly in my mind from the descriptions on the pages. Not long after the story began, I was dragged into a melee of emotional turmoil as fierce, dark creatures were described and the mother in the story showed her evil. There were times the descriptions brought tears to my eyes. As the tale moved along, it began to slow down. I kept waiting for something big to happen. As it was, this book has everything a first novel in a series should have and I'm anxious to read the second installment. But that big thing never happened. I felt the story dragged on a little, but I was so vested in the outcome, I kept reading. I love the brothers and how close they are. From chapter one, we're shown how they share a piece of one another and it's reinforced throughout the story.
From an Editor's Perspective: I'm a stickler for errors and highlight any I come across. Misplaced pronouns weren't bad. What I did find was that the text could use a good proofreader to pick up on little errors like: dropped punctuation, homophones, and incorrect tenses of words. None of it was enough to throw me out of the story, but there were over 20 errors in the book.
Rating: +1 Star for phenomenal world building +1 Star for keeping me engaged +1 Star for description of creatures that really kept my toes curled +.5 Stars for making me have an emotional reaction to the mother and son -.5 Stars for the never making anything big happen +.5 Stars for a couple of highlighted sentences I loved -.5 Stars for need for a proofreader Overall, 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended for anyone who loves magic, mages, and dark forces.
I never do this, so you know these passages moved me. My favorite two lines: "Until you place yourself in another man's shoes, do not pass judgment." and "Every man has a weakness, and one must never judge a man for succumbing to that weakness because at one point you might succumb as well. And wouldn't it be nice to have another man understand your pain and mistake?"