No Mercy eARC Review

 

 

No Mercy (Kent Fisher Mysteries, #5)

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GoodReads:
COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU?

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him?

My Review

Hey guys, so this is book 5 of the Kent Fisher Mysteries, but can easily be read as a standalone if you want, if not, Iw ould at least recommend reading book 4 which I’ve linked my review to for you all!

I really enjoy fun to read mystery series books, so, reading ‘No More Lies’ previously, I was really happy Robert Crouch asked me if I would like to read and review book 5!

Kent Fisher is an EHO [Environmental Health Officer] so he’s a bit of a different character for a sleuth! Writing up health and safety ratings for restaurants and catching murderers on the side, not to mention the man has an animal sanctuary as well. How cool is he?

Also, he has more personal drama than the telenovelas my Abuela would watch. Which always gives me some amusement.

Though I really had fun reading book four, I think this one did a better job with the mystery, I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who in the hell the person was that I thought had done it. Like I had a feeling I knew who did it, but the real question was, who they were in reality because it was like an expert game of cat and mouse and I won’t say more because I don’t do spoiler-y reviews.

So the mystery was better done this time for sure, and I really enjoyed Kent’s angle on solving it. There’s more conspiracy and intrigue to this round!

HOWEVER. I was still not impressed with his dealings with women. Now, granted, the drama is fun, but I think I would love to see him get knocked down a peg in the next book or so where his magnetic pull to women is concerned. Sometimes that did make me rather annoyed but not enough to want to stop reading it.  A bit like the issues I have with a certain Jim Butcher’s books. I love the mystery, just sometimes didn’t like the interactions between characters.

Overall, I am looking forward to the next one and thought this was a fun quick read. Thank you to Robert Crouch for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

Wilder Girls eARC Review

 

**This is for the UK version being released on February 6**

Wilder Girls

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GoodReads:
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

My Review

Trigger/Content Warnings From Her Site:
-Graphic violence and body horror. Gore.
-On the page character death, parental death, and animal death (the animals are not pets).
-Behavior and descriptive language akin to self-harm, and references to such.
-Food scarcity and starvation. Emesis.
-A scene depicting chemical gassing.
-Suicide and suicidal ideation.
-Non-consensual medical treatment.

No one knows, and though they’d want to care they care more about surviving. Under quarantine with supplies brought it, its survival of the fittest.
The ‘Tox’ is a dangerous illness, it changes you inside and out, and the Raxter girls are all infected. It manifests in different ways, but one thing that’s noticeable is that it seems to easily kill the teachers more than the others, there are only two adults left and the Raxter girls are dropping in numbers as well. So, what is this Tox and where does it come from?

This book was chilling from start to finish, the girls are most certainly ‘wilder’ because of the tox, but it seems some already had that ‘ability’ to be wild just tucked inside themselves.

The disease is gruesome, we’re not talking about a virus that gives you different pretty features that though weird aren’t ugly, no, we have second spines jutting out, shut/sealed eyes, bloody pus, and more.

So…if you have a delicate constitution you may want to pass on this haha.

The girls are all flawed and horrible and good in their own ways and the close relationships are great to read. I really felt connected to their plight and wanted them to persevere. BUT I also saw the dangers they were to themselves and others as they continued to morph from the Tox.

The ending got me so bad, I was shrieking haha, ‘whyyyy,’ possibly falling to my knees for dramatic effect. It was more the style of the ending than the actual content, if you’re looking for some satisfying closure, *laughs* this isn’t it.

There is what you might call a lack of humanity in this story, it’s not about that, though there are glimpses of it, it’s about the wildness that is slipping through the girls and the island they’re on. And though I was really invested in this story from start to finish I think it could be hard for some to connect with the girls, they do horrible things and though you know they’re doing them without little choice/because they’re infected it can still cause a bit of a rift for the reader and characters.

Either way, I sincerely loved this novel and found it really gripping, it wasn’t fast-paced but it did keep the intensity at about 150% the whole way through.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest review. Full review to come.

The Will and the Wilds eARC Review

 

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

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GoodReads:
Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.
Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.
Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

My Review

A fairytale at heart, reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast with some delightful twists. I loved the mysting creatures and how many different ones there were. The world-building was intriguing in regards to the mystings and humans.

[The Mystics actually reminded me a lot of the creatures in Spiderwick Chronicles, I think it was the woods and the creatures combined that made me think of the similarities.]

Though I did feel I enjoyed this, quite a lot of the story was filler which was unfortunate. There wasn’t a lot of progress with the storyline and it felt stagnant because of that. The MC was likeable but there was something missing from her, she felt not quite fleshed out, as the story felt like a filler, so did a lot of her actions. I wish we would have spent more time in ‘The Deep and that we could have gotten to know our MC, Enna, more.

Enna’s in this amazingly isolated world that her father and she have built, and we get glimpses of that but not enough to really give it the attention I think it deserves. Of course, half of it is circumstance, Enna can’t be in two places at once but some of it is also the ‘not being fleshed out’ that I felt was the main core of my problem reading it.

I really wish I could have learned about her father more, or her mom even but I know this is me having a personal preference rather than it being a ‘problem’ with the story.

Maekallus is also super intriguing as far as characters go and definitely a unique interpretation of the beast. He has no soul to start with and watching him find it or ‘gain it’ makes for some of. the best parts of the story.

The interactions between Enna and Maekallus are varied and often but for some reason, I don’t always fully connect them together which is a shame, I think I would have liked watching their relationship develop more, in between the plotline.

All in all, an enjoyable story but with slow pacing and not quite fleshed out.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Pros:
-Really neat world and creatures
-I can never get enough Beauty and the Beast retellings
-Unique Beast
-Enna is not just a reader but of a scholarly/scientific mind
-the villagers are a bit more complex than in the original tales

Cons:
-A lot of filler
-It is another Beauty and the Beast retelling which may think is overdone
-There’s not a huge connection for me as a reader to Enna [or Enna and Maekallus.]
-It felt a little incomplete at the end but I also did enjoy the ending? Idk how to explain it.
-Pacing is off

Miss Austen eARC Review

 

Miss Austen

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GoodReads:

1840
: twenty three years after the death of her famous sister Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury, and the home of her family’s friends, the Fowles.
She knows that, in some dusty corner of the sprawling vicarage, there is a cache of family letters which hold secrets she is desperate should not be revealed.
As Cassandra recalls her youth and her relationship with her brilliant yet complex sister, she pieces together buried truths about Jane’s history, and her own. And she faces a stark choice: should she act to protect Jane’s reputation? Or leave the contents of the letters to go unguarded into posterity …

Based on a literary mystery that has long puzzled biographers and academics, Miss Austen is a wonderfully original and emotionally complex novel about the loves and lives of Cassandra and Jane Austen.

Book Information:
By: Gill Hornby
Publisher: Century/FlatIron Books
Page Count: 416
Format: Hardback, Paperback, eBook
Release Date: January 23, 2020

 

My Review

This book was deeply moving, the look at sisterhood and family was perfection especially in regards to the family Hornby is writing of. The Austens. A family quite close to each other and within that closeness an even deeper bond between Cassandra and Jane. She takes a bit of a mystery angle in this, trying to give us answers in the gaps Cassandra has left by culling certain correspondences with/regarding Jane. She was the gatekeeper and that is the role she plays in this novel.

This is all from Cassandra’s perspective but fluctuates between the past with Jane and the present, as she struggles to find and get hold of letters that could be harmful to Jane’s writing legacy and reputation.

One of the most beautiful things about this novel was the fact that it highlights the absolute contentment between the sisters. Of course, there were rough times and hardships, heartache, loss, and the wish of something more, but, through it all, they were fine with having each other. It was as if Hornby and Austen are shouting through different times to say ‘it’s okay to be single, to value love of family over romantic love, that it’s not necessary to lead a fulfilled life.’ But, the story and Austen’s novels also say, it’s just as okay to choose/have romantic love. I loved that quite a bit about Hornby’s novel. She’s taken a real-life mystery and made it into a delightful work of historical fiction.

Hornby’s prose is so reminiscent of what you enjoy in an Austen novel if you’re an Austen fan, and it just flourished. There wasn’t too much focus on small details, and the characters were so enjoyable. It was just the pacing which seemed to drag on in the present without aim sometimes that really threw me, but, it paid off in the end as the present did have its own purpose.

There’s also a very Jane Austen-esque story within that concerning some of the Fowle family as I mentioned above it’s the focus of the present. I enjoyed every minute of this book. I just felt at times it could drag which is why I did not give it a higher rating as it really put the story on pause almost by doing the pacing like that. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

If you’re in the U.K. Waterstones has a beautiful edition of this up for preorder, and there’s another signed edition available at Goldsboro, but, there’s also just the regular versions of course which all have the same amazing pages within!

The Cursed Key Blog Tour

 

 

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Blurb:
A forgotten past, a dark mage, and an unyielding curse.
Another team beat free-spirited archaeologist Olivia Perez to the dig of a lifetime, and now she’s left with the choice to wait for scraps or brave a dangerous, dusty tomb in hopes of finding other priceless artifacts. Her reward? A mysterious key she has no idea is cursed. Soon, Olivia realizes she’s brought home more than just an ancient rarity.
Malevolent visions begin to plague her. Unnerved by what they reveal, she casts away the key…unknowingly placing it into the waiting hands of a dark mage bent on destruction. Only when a shifter agent from the Paranormal Intelligence and Tracking Organization arrives searching for the key does Olivia realize what a huge mistake she’s made. 
Forced to team up with the ill-tempered shifter, her journey to reclaim the cursed key leads down a twisting path of dark histories, dangerous magic, and deadly obstacles. But Olivia’s efforts to take back the ancient relic before the dark mage can destroy the lives of humans, shifters, witches, and fae alike are thwarted by her own dark past…and a price steeper than what she’s willing to pay.
Fans of Tomb Raider and Ilona Andrews will love the blend of urban fantasy, magical adventure, and paranormal romance in THE CURSED KEY from Miranda Brock and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton!
Book Details:
The Cursed Key
by Miranda Brock & Rebecca Hamilton
(The Cursed Key Trilogy #1)
Published by: Evershade Publishing
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
GoodReads

Purchase Link

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

My Review

This was such a fun read! It’s one of those books while it didn’t have anything that ‘blew me away’ it definitely was enjoyable and filled with things I like. Adventure, a hint of romance, paranormal beings, magic, and a very Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider vibe going on.

Olivia is an archaeologist, she has wandered into the jungle, hoping to find something the other excavating teams haven’t yet, and that’s when her world gets turned upside down.

She finds a key, and suddenly I’m reminiscent of the curse of the mummy King Tut, what seems like just plain bad luck is more than that, she’s plagued with visions and it has nothing to do with heat fatigue from the climate as they persist after she returns home.

The whole time Olivia and the reader are unsure of who she is, you know there is something different to her, the mage she runs into proves as much, but, you don’t know what.

Has the key given her magical powers or was she born with them and they’ve been hiding?

I loved the mystery to Olivia and really thought the banter between her and her shifter friend was cute and fun.

The romance is slow burn which is a favorite of mine and though the book did keep me interested I felt that the magic system and worldbuilding could have used more focus. I am hoping that is rectified in book 2 as I definitely intend on reading the next one.

Again, a solid read, nothing incredible, but definitely fun and worth a snoop!

Thank you to Xpresso Tours for an eARC of this to read and review honestly as part of the blog tour.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (US Only)

A Kindle + $50 Amazon Gift Card
Rafflecopter Link Here

About the Authors

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New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Harlequin, Baste Lübbe, and Evershade. A book addict, registered bone marrow donor, and indian food enthusiast, she often takes to fictional worlds to see what perilous situations her characters will find themselves in next. 
Represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, Rebecca has been published internationally, in three languages: English, German, and Hungarian.

Author Links
Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them. (Although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her.) Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered. Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.

Author Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Someone Close to Home Blog Tour

 

 

Someone Close to Home

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GoodReads:
Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

‘Someone Close To Home’ is a story of love, malice and deadly menace.

Book Information:
Paperback:
252 pages
Publisher: Ashford Carbonel Publishing (9 Dec. 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0995696608
ISBN-13: 978-0995696600
Amazon UK Link

My Review

Content/Trigger Warnings: Rape, sexual, emotional/mental, and physical abuse. Violence/murder, and elder/medical abuse.

This book, this was nothing like I expected! I thought it was going to be more of a thriller, but that’s not to say it’s not, it’s just, so much more than that.

The past and present collide as Megan Youngblood after suffering a stroke is put into a rather low funded care home by her two children. This does give her time to think about her past though, the journey that led her to this moment, especially as she’s left unable to communicate. She is under the mercies of the caregivers, some who are sweet and caring, some who treat it sim[ly as a job, and others. Others who use their position to abuse her and others in the home.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be anything new for Megan, her life has been rife with pain. She’s been under the care of those who would do her harm before, only this time she cannot even protest it if she wanted to.

Each chapter gives us the present and the past, and I was caught up in both timelines and it was almost weird to come upon them joining to just have the present but I’m so happy it was done this way, you see just how much Megan has been through. But I also feel as if she’d been through too much. It was a very hard and heavy read, as much as I loved it, it was not something I expected to make me so emotional; in the best and worst of ways haha, you can’t help but cry for Megan and her life, but I do think the ending made it all worthwhile, but, telling would be spoilers.

The main issue I had with this, and that’s not that it was a hard read, that’s just a warning that you will be probably too invested in Megan’s life, but that it felt disjointed between the ‘scarier’ thriller part and the rest of it.

I expected Annie to be featured more prominently given her role in the book, instead that huge plot of the story doesn’t come in till 70+ % through, so that was a bit of a shock to the system and by that time it made it feel like two different stories, but, the culmination of it all brings it all back on track.

Great, difficult read. Thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for a chance to read and review this as part of my honest opinion. Four cups from me!

 

About the Author

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Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and all she can remember about it is that:
  • it was written in pencil in a book with weights and measures on the back
  • the two heroes were Prince Rupert and his brother (whose name was changed to Sam to facilitate the rhyming process.)      
  • as writer, producer and director she ‘bagged’ the part of female lead. 
When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines and since then has fulfilled her ambition to write a novel.
Someone Close to Home has won two ‘Chill with a Book’ awards – The Reader’s Award and the Book of the Month Award.
Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.  
As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her first book – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.
What else can she say?  Nothing, really. Writing this personal promotion has been very, very hard and she needs to go away now and lie down in a darkened room, preferably with a big bar of chocolate…  
She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Love Lettering Blog Tour

 

 

Love Lettering

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GoodReads:
The thing is, the letters don’t always tell me truths about myself. Sometimes they tell me truths about other people. And Reid Sutherland is – was – one of those people.
In the last year, Meg Mackworth’s beautiful hand-lettering skills have seen her rocket to social media fame, and now she has a booming business crafting stationery for the stars. But she has a secret: sometimes, she just can’t resist hiding messages in her work. Slightly unprofessional, maybe – but harmless. Right?
Analyst Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée had their future mapped out. Until he noticed a pattern in his wedding invitation that made him think twice.
When Meg looks up from her desk one day and sees Reid standing in front of her with no wedding ring, holding the invitation she created, she thinks that her career is over.
But her life may be about to begin . . .

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

This book is pure adorable fluff wrapped in witty humor, sarcasm, and ‘codes.’ To say I loved this book would be an understatement.

First off, I thought Meg was a brilliant character and the fact that we get to see the story through her eyes is just so great.

Following this thought, I actually loved Meg and Reid so much because they seemed so much like REAL people. They had faults, they had quirks, they had problems between each other in communicating and it felt like a real relationship because of this.

Reid is someone who loves numbers, and he is direct and such a solid presence in this book. I loved him as much as I loved Meg, he wasn’t just ‘swoon-worthy’ [though he was that too] he was loveable and endearing.

Meg loves letters, she is an artist, a small business owner, and someone who has learned to go with the flow no matter her feelings to avoid conflict, she isn’t direct, but she has a softness to her that really balances out Reid while still seeing her as this independent force of her own.

**This book also has some extremely steamy and satisfying scenes lol.**

I loved how much letters and Meg’s artistic sense of them came into play in this book and I love that her love of letters did not diminish just because this was a love story. Such a perfect balance, that Clayborn gives us this ultimate/perfect RomCom where you laugh, fall in love and stay on the edge of your seat through it all.

I think my only issue was that the climax of the story happened so late in the game that I wanted to see more of the aftermath of it, but the epilogue still provided me with the right sense of closure I like to have in a book.

This novel also really had me wanting to update my planner and have better handwriting haha, Meg inspires us all!

There are hardships for our lovers, and there are obstacles, but nothing that made them incompatible, and I really appreciated that. I mean I love drama, don’t get me wrong [I mean my twitter handle is Dramahuman after all…] but sometimes what happens between two people is just too much for a relationship to sustain. So the fact that this was really grounded with how their relationship worked, for the most part, made me extremely happy.

Clayborn also nails the atmosphere of Brooklyn, and I mean that she makes me want to go back to 90s RomComs, watch them all based in Manhattan and New York while binging on chocolates.

There are other characters to love, I adored the people in Meg’s life, her friends and colleagues, and I’m so glad Clayborn put together such a well rounded and amazing book.

If you can’t tell, I loved this. Four huge cups of hot chocolate for this, and guess what? It’s going on my ‘to reread’ shelf.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

The Rest of the Tour

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