13 Nov 2018

Review: The Artisan Heart


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

From Goodreads:
Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organized by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.

As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.


This is one of those books you know is going to have a happily ever after. Still, you are perched on the edge of your seat until the very end.

30 Oct 2018

Review: The Helm of Darkness (War on the Gods #1)

'' 'When the world is taken back, and monsters rule the trees, blood of a demigod will spill. Two mortals will rise, two from the Before, reborn from sacrifice. And when the sky is black and green, and the heavens cry, they will lead a war. A war on the gods.' ''


★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


From Goodreads:
Andy and Zoey are two normal teenagers living in the modern day—that is, until they’re knocked unconscious in a freak storm sweeping the United States.

When they wake up, the world they know has been tossed away. Their city is in ruins, strange creatures walk the earth, and worst of all, everyone is gone. They stumble across Diana and Spencer, two kids around their age who possess incredible magical abilities, and who claim to be the demigod children of Greek gods. Not only that, they also claim the year is 500 AS, five hundred years after the gods conjured a massive storm that destroyed most of humanity and helped them take the world as their own once again.

Andy and Zoey are soon handed an impossible task: To save humanity. To lead a war on the gods.

They’ll have to battle monsters, death, and their own inner demons to survive and to protect the people they love.


This middle-grade fantasy will begin by telling a story about the two most average mortals from the Before. The Before when the world was as we now know it, not the one where an apocalyptic storm killed almost entirely the population on earth. The Storm was caused by the Greek Gods, taking revenge on the humans who had forgotten all about the Greek Gods, causing them to fade away piece by piece.

16 Oct 2018

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1)


'' Why is it so hard to say no to him? Is this what it's like to be in love with somebody? ''


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


From Goodreads:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Looking for the perfect beach read? The book to read on your commute home? The companion for rainy-days and cups of tea? You've found it. And the best part? It's a trilogy.

9 Oct 2018

Review: The Unexpected Inlander


★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Agent Christopher Rockford has been the best assassin in the agency for eight years, and he loves his job. He loves his solitary lifestyle. He loves eliminating criminals. He loves his comfortable life as a member of society’s wealthy coastal upper class.

But in pursuit of a target, he meets Jenna, a mysterious civilian who belongs to society’s lowest and most shunned group. Being around her is fun and intriguing, but it forces him to see things through her eyes—causing him to reconsider the world around them and The Order he so obediently serves. As he falls in love with her, he fears telling her the truth about his profession may cause him to lose her.

But Jenna has her own secrets to keep.


I feel kind of betrayed by this book. It's a funny feeling, really. I went in with zero expectations like I try to do with each and every book I read from a new author. The synopsis promises the reader an assassin in love with his job. And that we get, but we also lose him quite shortly after the beginning.

Review: Between the Shade and the Shadow


'' ''Between the shade and the shadow lies a bond. Two minds intertwined. Two hearts beating as one. Two creatures who breathe and bleed together. And the stronger the shadow, the stronger the bond - the stronger the bond, the stronger the sprite that emerges.'' ''

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
In the deep heart of the forest, there are places where no light ever shines, where darkness is folded by pale hands and jewel-bright eyes, where the world is ruled by the wicked and kept by the wraiths. This is where the Sprites of the Sihl live.
But Sprites are not born, they are made. On the path to Spritehood, spritelings must first become shades. They do so by binding a shadow: a woodland creature, who guides them through their training. Together, they keep from the light and learn to enchant living things, to bind them, and, eventually, to kill them.
Yet, not all spritelings are born with malice—they must earn it or they are condemned. What happens then to the spriteling who finds a shadow where she shouldn’t? What happens if that particular spriteling wasn’t born with malice at all?
Ahraia was that spriteling. She ran too close to the light and bound herself to a wolf, a more powerful shadow than any that came before it. Now a shade, her shadow marks her for greatness. But a test is coming, and the further they wander out of the darkness, the deeper they wander into danger. Ahraia’s time is coming and what awaits her at the end of her test will either make her or kill her . . .


I have to begin with saying that I did not finish this book entirely. Most of the time, I had trouble keeping up with the surrounding world so much, that I couldn't concentrate on the plot. Here's the reason why:

2 Oct 2018

Review: The Lion of Ackbarr



★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Mika is to be married to a foreign boy she has only met a few times, despite her family mourning the recent and unexplained disappearance of her twin brother, Kaylan.

Forced to live in a strange land, far from her home in Cassai, she is resigned to her life as a lady until the day she discovers her new family dead around her. Mika escapes the city and disguises herself to travel to Ackbarr, certain she will discover the real reason for her brother’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, her dreams are filled with a predator stalking the forests of her homeland. Dreams that make her wake, trembling with the feel of iron blood filling her mouth.


Was I uncomfortable reading this book? Yes.  Was it necessarily a bad thing? Yes and no.

25 Sep 2018

Review: The Gilded King (Sovereign #1)



★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.


On first sight, you might not understand what the book is about. Or anything about the characters' true natures, which I realised quite late in the book. Was it carelessness or something else, I don’t know. But being clueless for the better part of the beginning really took a toll on the plot.

18 Sep 2018

Review: One of Us Is Lying


'' ''Everybody's got secrets,'' he says. ''Right?'' ''


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


From Goodreads:
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them.

Withdrawals from the Gossip Girl series? Fret no more, this book is here to lift you from that awful pit of desperation.

11 Sep 2018

Review: Love & War (Alex & Eliza #2)

'' ''It is not just these men who need you, Colonel, nor even your country. You have a wife now. You have a future.'' ''

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


1780. Albany, New York.

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon's over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington's right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided--much like the colonies' interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza's relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama
.

The love story continues. The wedding was six months ago and the happy couple still lives in Pastures, the Schuyler estate. They haven't really had the time to spend time together since the war requires Alex's presence.

4 Sep 2018

Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1)

'' ''I've had enough of being around all these crazy rich Asians, all these people whose lives revolve around making money, spending money, flaunting money, comparing money, hiding money, controlling others with money, and ruining their lives over money'' ''

★★★★★

From Goodreads:
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.


Imagine the richest of the rich, then make them even richer. You're probably half-right how rich these people are. Weekend in Paris, coming home with a half-a-million spent on a few additions to your wardrobe? That's not even a sliver of their wealth spent.

28 Aug 2018

Review: Fated Loss (Red Rose & Black Ash #1)



★★☆☆☆


From Goodreads:
For two years, her memories were lost.
For two years, she believed a lie.
For two years, thousands of lives rested in her hands. But she didn't even know.

Because she can't remember her past, Rose Kristal thinks she is an ordinary girl until her sixteenth birthday. On that day she discovers she is far beyond ordinary. On that day she remembers what she had forgotten. Now with thousands of people in peril, Rose needs to take back what has been stolen from her.
Second by second, time ticks down and challenges pile up as Rose struggles to reclaim her kingdom from a vile tyrant. One who is determined to vanquish her. And to make matters more complicated, she is falling for a kind guy with a deadly secret.
But Rose's biggest fear—losing the one she loves to the prophecy.


She finds a diary in her locker at school. Deciding to read, she first finds something unbelievable, a diary about fairies! And then she sees it, the entry is signed with her name, a name combination not so often seen.

14 Aug 2018

Review: The Stolen Generation



★☆☆☆☆

From Goodreads:
Between 1972 and 1993 the Global Sector Council forced single mothers to have abortions.When those babies were aborted, their souls were stolen and attached to lab made children. Those children, together with a group known as the Rebellion are now fighting back. Freya 'Freddie' Faith Raner takes us on a whirlwind adventure as she and her soul sister search for their soul mother, look to over throw the global government, and make friends, and enemies, along the way.

A dystopian novel set in a parallel universe which split from our own timeline in the aftermath of the Second World War. Utopia isn't all that it seems, in a world where religion has been abolished, LGBT people have rights the world over, and food, shelter, and education are taken as given.


I try not to rely on the information given to me in the synopsis. The same info should be in the story as well. And here I am, reading the synopsis again and realising why the setting was confusing me from page one.

7 Aug 2018

Review: Save the Date


'' ''Charlie?'' He looked up at me, his expression grim. ''I think we have a problem.'' ''

★★★★☆

From Goodreads:
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.


Nothing is going according to plan. Almost every chapter could either begin or end with the sentence ''I think we have a problem.''

3 Aug 2018

Review: The Last Cleric (The Blackwood Saga #3)

★★★★☆

From Goodreads:
Trapped in a world where wizards rule, the Blackwood brothers from New Orleans have become entangled in events that threaten to upend the Realm.
Oldest brother Val, sentenced to die in wizard prison, is forced to undertake a quest for the Congregation to try to win his freedom—but which might cost him his soul.
Reunited with an old companion, Caleb must overcome his personal demons as he braves the dangers of the Barrier Coast to warn his ancestors of the coming invasion.
And in a distant unexplored jungle, Will must find his warrior spirit as he and Mala lead a party of adventurers in search of the Coffer of Devla, a fabled artifact thought to reside in the lost pyramid of Yiknoom Ukab K’ahk, the most powerful sorcerer king who has ever lived. Used to annihilate the enemies of its possessor, the coffer might be the only hope for the struggling revolution.
Yet even if Will’s expedition is a success, prophecy holds that the coffer can only be used by a cleric of Devla.
And no true cleric has walked the Realm for centuries . . .


The third instalment doesn't 't leave anyone cold. Keeping the readers on the edge of their seats the entire length of the book requires talent and maybe a little bit of magic, and Layton Green has them both.

The brothers are back at again. Separated to walk their own paths for a while, two of them by choice, the eldest not so much. Their journeys are full of life-threatening battles with the dangers of the world they currently have to call their home.

The character development in the books published so far is astounding. Looking back to the first book The Brothers Three there has been no downhills nor lulls in their development. Neither has there been any of those in plot development or in the writing style at all. I enjoy the way all the books are written and especially the way The Last Cleric was written. There is no gap between the previous books, they are respected and honoured and brought up in the third. The story flows throughout all of them creating a continuum which promises there is much to come.

The cliffhanger, in the end, left me craving for more. I have to know what happens next, I need to. You got me hooked in this series, Layton Green, and I couldn't be more grateful.

27 Jul 2018

Double-Review: After Sunrise (Never Lose Sight #1.5) & Out of the Dusk (Never Lose Sight #3)



★★☆☆☆

After Sunrise on Goodreads:
After receiving a call from his commander, Sergeant Brett Parker rushes overseas to the military hospital, where two of his Marine brothers are recovering after an IED explosion decimated the rest of their unit. Struggling with survivor guilt, Brett's thoughts are dark and tortured until he encounters the beautiful brunette in the cafeteria. Lauren Cage always dreaded getting "the call" every military family fears. Flying to Landstuhl, Germany to her wounded brother's bedside, she battles the grief threatening to overtake her. Being in a foreign country is intimidating for a young woman traveling alone, but when she meets one of her brother's best friends and comrades, her anxiety subsides. After five emotional days, Brett is forced to return to war and Lauren goes home to New York. For over a year, they secretly burn up the internet with a scorching love affair neither time or distance could deny. When entanglements from the past threaten to pry them apart, Brett is faced with a personal dilemma and is forced to embrace his heart's desire.

Out of the Dusk on Goodreads:
After many long years as a Marine, Brett Parker knows the meaning of war. Hardened and tired of death and destruction, he prepares for the most important mission of his career: to win back the woman who has his heart. He was certain he would never hold her again—until a promise to his dying mother takes him on a journey to reclaim the love he lost.
Lauren Terrelli would never forget the boy who broke her heart. Finding happiness after Brett was hard enough; losing it again almost destroyed her. Unexpectedly widowed, Lauren’s sole focus became her bakery, but a voice from the past changes everything.
Lauren soon learns Brett is not the same man she knew all those years ago. As his world spins out of control, hers begins to right itself for the first time.
Brett is ready to fight for his Beauty, but the demons in his head are far worse than he could ever imagine. Is he strong enough to let Lauren lead him out of the dusk?