50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Tease Me by J.L. Leslie

Short and Sweet

 
Genre: 
Romance, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: March 30, 2016
Pages and Format: 170 pages; mobi
Links: Author BlogFacebookGoogle+,
Good Reads

 

 

 

 

 

My Rating: 
4 Stars

Summary:
“Lennon Zane has never been one to shy away from men. A fact that her two older brothers despise. But ever since her tragic childhood spent in a foster home was exposed to the media, she’s sworn off dating for a while. Until she meets him…

Swift Cole is not the type of man Lennon normally dates. He doesn’t wear a suit and tie. He’s not clean-cut. He’s a construction worker with tattoos and he plays the drums in a band. But she can’t deny she’s attracted to him…

Lennon is under scrutiny from everyone. Her brothers. Her company. The media. She wants something just for her. Better yet, someone just for her. No one needs to know. And she knows who she wants…

But will Swift agree to her rules or will he want more than she’s willing to offer? Can she abide by her own rules? Or will she break them?”

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This is the third and final instalment of the Zane series, involving the sister Lennon. She falls for the least likely type, at least for her. Not that clean-cut, suit and tie type. It’s perfect.

Lennon is the ultimate tease. Swift has balls of steel for agree to and uphold the rules that Lennon puts in place for their relationship to progress. Granted, Swift isn’t the type that the public nor Lennon’s brothers would want for her. He, is, after all a tattooed drummer who is also a construction worker on a site that is Lennon’s project for work.

*Spoiler*
Eventually they cave and say eff the rules that Lennon sets. Takes a bit but well worth it.

My greatest issue with this book was the grammar. Whoever proofread the book needs to go back and proofread again. The grammatical mistakes did take away from the story a bit. I noticed the grammar was slipping in Tempt Me, but Tease Me needs some TLC in the grammar department. It’s worth those changes.

But other wise, this was a great “opposites attract” story!

Where to Buy:
Amazon CAN | Amazon US

About the Author:

J.L. Leslie: I am from a small town in Alabama and I’m happily married with three kids. I love living a small town life because it allows me the time to do what I love…read and write! I have just started self-publishing and Demons From My Past is my first book.

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50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Tame Me by J.L. Leslie

Short and Sweet

tameme
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: February 8, 2016
Pages and Format: 169 pages; mobi format
Links: Author BlogFacebookGoogle+,
Goodreads

 

 

 

 


My Rating: 

4.5 Stars

4 Stars

Summary: 

“Wren Davis has always been the responsible one. The caretaker. She’s always put her life on hold for others. When she takes a job as Stellan Zane’s housekeeper, she does it to take care of her sister. Her own life can wait. Only she wasn’t expecting to find him so irresistible…

Stellan Zane is used to getting what he wants, when he wants. No woman gets to him. No woman really knows about him or his past. When he lets his little sister hire him a housekeeper, Wren Davis is not what he was expecting. And she’s his employee. Yet, she’s what he wants…

Unable to fight their attraction, the two embark on a relationship that’s supposed to be uncomplicated. Allowing Wren to have the carefree life she’s never had and Stellan to enjoy the type of relationship he always gets. But when exes interfere, the unexpected happens and things become complicated, can Wren tame Stellan…and will he allow her to?”

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The story is: Sister (Lennon) plots against overbearing, overly protective brother (Stellan) by hiring a young and pretty woman (Wren) to cook and clean for him. Easy enough job, especially as it is one man making a mess.
Both are attracted to each other even though they try to stay away. Eventually, Wren worms her way under Stellan’s skin and into his heart.

Holy steamy sex scenes batman! Whoa!
There is a lot of adult content in this, especially swearing and descriptive sex scenes.
I read this while laying down with a migraine and it was well worth the read.

So, how can I get paid $70K a year to clean a house and cook for one handsome man, and end up getting the guy in the end too? Ha ha.

Stellan was a bit of an asshole at first, but as some of his past was revealed, it is any wonder how he and his siblings aren’t more closed off from life.

I definitely had some serious feels for this book, especially when Wren had to deal with her sister’s illness. I cried my heart out for Wren; such a terrible ordeal to have to deal with. Oh the feels! The feels!

giphy

For a stand alone novel in a series, this was well written and having read the series now, it is my favourite book out of the three Zane series. The author had a good story to tell here.
(More reviews from the series to come.)

I recommend this to those enjoy a good romance story.

Where to Buy: 
Amazon CAN | Amazon US

About the Author: 

J.L. Leslie: I am from a small town in Alabama and I’m happily married with three kids. I love living a small town life because it allows me the time to do what I love…read and write! I have just started self-publishing and Demons From My Past is my first book. I am currently working on a series and have just released the first book in that series, Tame Me. The second book should be available in March.

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

One Person’s Craziness by R.T. Ojas

Short and Sweet
RTOJAS 
Genre: 
Novella, Science Fiction
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Release: February 6, 2016
Pages and Format: 63 pages; ePub
Links: Author WebsiteTwitterBlogGood Reads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Rating: 

3 Stars

Summary:

“Amoli is a mysterious man with an even more mysterious past. During a recorded session with a psychiatrist, he reveals his perplexing story about survival, hope, ancient civilizations, and cosmic adventures.”

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This was an unusual novella. Very reminiscent of the Twilight Zone with alien abduction and an unusual story to boot.

Amoli and two others managed to escape being abducted by the aliens and strove to continue living on their island, when they happen upon one of the aliens. After the alien had fallen into a trap, the other villager tries to rescue him and they decide to bring him home which means boarding the alien ship. They find out from their families that they are descendants of the aliens and were removed from their island to protect them. From then on, Amoli goes back to Earth and somehow manages to live for many years and sit down with doctors to tell his story.

It was an interesting tale, but it took a long time to become interesting. The story was pretty bloated with unnecessary and irrelevant details, including a stab at romantic feelings for the one female villager. It might seem important to add those details, but it tends to turn the pace of the story to sludge. It ends rather abruptly as well, just when it started to get pretty good.

Kudos to the author, though, for I love Twilight Zone-esque stories!

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN Amazon US

About the Author: 

 
Software Engineer at day.
Writer at night.

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley

Short and Sweet

palehighway
Genre: 
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Date of Release: October 20, 2015
Pages and Format: 400 pages; ePub
Links:  Author Website, Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon

 

 

 

 

My Rating:

4.5 Stars
4 Stars

Summary:

“Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.

When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.

As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?”

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This was an extremely complex story. It touches deeply on the horror of Alzheimer’s and the decline into one’s self once it has set in.
Gabriel Schist is 70ish years old and has had an accomplished life. Having cured AIDS and won a Nobel Peace Prize for it, everyone who is anyone has taken his cure. Except himself, of course.

When a mysterious illness being dubbed The Black Virus starts attacking residents at the nursing home and all over America, Gabriel must race against his own deteriorating mental state and try to find a cure for this virus before it kills all that he holds dear.

This story touches on that question of “what is reality?” a lot. Especially as Schist begins seeing and talking with slugs. I had a NeverEnding Story 1 moment when Schist rode one of the slugs. I was waiting for someone to say “he’s a racing slug!” Haha.
The slugs and the Sky Amoeba added a really weird element to the story, however. I could understand him hallucinating Death; but the Sky Amoeba? Odd.
I suppose it has a religious backing, the Sky Amoeba being God and the Slugs being the angels or messengers.

The very sad and rapid deterioration of Gabriel Schist is very prominent in this novel as well. His moments with his daughter, where he’s remembering his ex-wife and his love for her as well as the moments where he wants to tell his daughter how much she means to him and is unable to. It was heart wrenching. Especially at the end.

It was a slow to begin kind of read and took time to build up, but it was well worth the read and oh, all the feels! I was a bit disappointed when it ended, but it was quite the climax.

But the question remains, what if the Sky Amoeba is truly real? Hmm.

Where to Buy:
Amazon CAN | Amazon US| Kobo | Chapters/Indigo | Barnes and Noble

About the Author: 


Nicholas Conley’s passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books, and horror movies. His novel Pale Highway is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox. When not busy writing, Nicholas spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit.

In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire.

Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Sunday Short and Sweet Review: Cracked but Never Broken by K.L. Holloway

ShortSweetSunday


Genre: Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Release: December 17, 2015
Pages and Format: 142 Pages; mobi

 

 

 

 

 

My Rating:

3 Stars

“Ex-Marine, Damien Payne thought life would be simpler at home on the Laughing P, his family ranch. He had a promise to keep; he was going to marry Lexi, the girl next door. Too bad life isn’t a fairytale. Treachery from friends and a former lover vie with his inner demons; leave him feeling broken. Will he learn that it’s okay to lean on family and save his love life?”

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Damien, despite being a Marine and should have some obvious disciplinary traits beaten into him, is a right jerk in this book. The actions of the people around him were a direct result of his sulky, moody jerky-ness.
The one thing I really enjoyed about this story was that it wasn’t your typical romance where the man gets away with eyeballin’ and being rude. Lexi puts him in his place a lot, as she should.

There are some issues within the book. I think it needs a little fleshing out and refinement. I definitely would like to know more about Damien’s time as a Marine, how that affected his relationship with more than just Lexi. But that’s just me. The contents of the story tended to take away from gaining an affection for the characters. A lot of in depth descriptions of actions weren’t needed as much as the character building.
However, the twist in the book though, that was great and not at all predictable.

If you’re looking for a quick, not at all predictable or typical romantic story, I do recommend this.

I hope to hear more from Laughing P Ranch and it’s men and women.

Author Links: 
Facebook | Website

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Short and Sweet Sunday Review: Rebirth of the Gangster by CJ Standal

ShortSweetSunday

Rebirth of the Gangster

Genre: Comic, Crime
Publisher: CJ Standal Productions
Date of Release: March 22, 2016
Pages and Format: 24 pages; PDF
My Rating: 4 StarsI received this comic from the author in exchange for an honest review.

“Rebirth of the Gangster is a black-and-white comic exploring the moral challenges of a young inner-city prosecutor torn between crime, the law, and family tradition.

Marcus Thompson is this young prosecutor, an African-American son of rich parents. Hunter Anderson is a poor, white man, son of a dying mom and dead dad. They both get sucked into a life of crime as they struggle with family legacies and a murder as old as themselves. And to make matters worse, Detective Lorena Sanchez is on the case trying to bring them down!”

Normally, I don’t review comics but this was a nice and rather surprising step outside my regular read. This was awesome. What a great start!
The flashbacks work into the current story perfectly. The story for the comic hooked me in, line and sinker, quite quickly. The ending left me wanting to know more. I am interested, for sure, to see where Marcus goes from here.
I also enjoyed the graphics, they’re beautifully drawn and life-like.

Where to Buy:
Selz | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes and Noble

Meet the Author:

 I love writing in all sorts of playgrounds:Rebirth of the Gangsters  is my first comic book, and I’ve been published bySlant magazine: https://www.slantnews.com/user/cj.standal

You can also find me on Philip Smith’s site promoting indie authors:
http://www.philipsmith.eu/kindle-ebook/rebirth-gangster-meet-family-marcus

I’m also a high school English teacher: next year I’ll be teaching a graphic novel course; in the past I’ve taught a hip hop course; and I educate the youth about other valuable things, like Shakespeare.

Thanks,
CJ.

Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

I’d also like to add that the author has a launched a Kickstarter to help fund the second issue of Rebirth of the Gangster. You can find it here.

Enjoy!

50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review · Uncategorized

Short and Sweet Sunday Review: Poison by Sarah Pinborough

ShortSweetSunday

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, New Adult
Publisher: Gollancz
Date of Release: April 18th, 2013
Pages and Format: 208 pages; ePub (bought on Kobo)
My Rating:
3 Stars

 

 

 

 

“A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, illustrated by Les Edwards.

Poison is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairy tale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It’s fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of Once Upon a Time,Grimm, Snow White and the Huntsman and more.”

So if you were expecting this to be a young adult friendly novel, it’s not. Warning: Sex early on!!

This an interesting retelling for sure. All of us grew up on Disney princesses but this is definitely not the Disney Snow White by any means. If you’ve had the chance to read the Brother’s Grimm fairy tales, it’s more along the lines of that with a modern twist.

The Evil Queen is named Lilith in this book. She’s still the same ol’ jealous of the younger beauty that is Snow White. But she isn’t exactly evil, just a young woman married to an old man and is unhappy with her placement in life. She uses her skills to get what she wants and needs out of her husband and others. She genuinely seems interested in reshaping the wild Snow White, although it doesn’t go according to plan for her.
Snow White, ah, she is truly wild. She drinks like a man, dresses like a man, rides like a man. She is spoiled and has been left to her own devices for too long. She balks at her step-mother’s attempts to change her. Even when she is presented with this handsome prince and he offers her marriage, she just does it. Of course that ends with a serious consequence.

The twist however, really cements this as a modern retelling of Snow White. It’s interesting to say the least.
Ms. Pinborough could give the Brother’s Grimm a run for their money with that ending.

Where to Buy:
Kobo Amazon CAN Amazon US

GoodReads

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Short and Sweet Sunday Review: The Forest by Justin Groot

ShortSweetSunday

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Release: November 25, 2015
Pages and Format: 158 pages, ePub
My Rating: 2 Stars

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

On an Earth with titanic forests instead of oceans, highly-trained rangers brave the depths to bring back footage of treacherous landscapes and ferocious beasts. It’s a dangerous job, but it has its moments: when a trio of ranger recruits stumble across a strange artifact, they begin to unravel a mystery with planet-spanning ramifications. The only problem is, if they’re going to uncover the truth, they have to survive the worst the forest can throw at them first.

This story has such great potential but it unfortunately fell flat for me. It needs some refinement, such as world building and some major character development.

One would assume that the containment of these monstrous creatures would be the forefront. Animals migrate. As our fossils and current animal migrations, they go where food and water are. I cannot see these animals and insects being part of these forests where oceans once resided. The other issue is that these creatures see us humans as food, we’re significantly smaller than them. We’re dessert on a good day.

Some of the lack of world building would be the jarring references to modern day conveniences like Google and Tinder. One would think that these forests would mean that the history and legends, myths of that Earth would be far different. Humans explored constantly throughout history, I would think some of that forest was part of the history.

It’s really too bad there was little work done on this because seriously, that’s an awesome story idea!

I know I’d never be able to be a ranger. I faint at the sight of small centipedes now, I can’t imagine them as two or three times the size of me. No thanks. Nuh uh.

Good on Justin for trying. I just hope a bit more effort is put into future novels.

Where to Buy:

 Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Indie Bound | Kobo | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Chapters/Indigo

Meet the Author:

justin_tidehunterJustin Groot is a strategy consultant and aspiring author living in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Emory University in May 2014 with a double major in International Studies and German. Someday, if everything goes according to plan, he’s going to write full-time.

Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Short and Sweet Sunday Review: You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories by Andrew Kozma

ShortSweetSunday

 

 

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Short Story
Publisher: Smashwords
Date of Release: February 8, 2016
Pages and Format: 29 pages; eBook (ePub)
My Rating: 3 Stars

“You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories is a collection of weird, speculative fiction containing four stories dealing with the end of the world, both in terms of the death of the individual soul and the running down of the universe as a whole.

The title story presents a woman who’s been murdered and still has a dinner party to prepare for. In “Teller of Tales,” a young girl must take on the responsibility of being the necessary conscience of her city. “Breach of Contract” describes the plight of an oil man who just wants to insure production quotas, but is roped into saving the world. Lastly, “The Trouble-Men” details what happens when a man trying to survive the end of the world meets up with those who are ending it.” 

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is an interesting little collection of weird and unusual short stories. You know, the kind that leaves you wishing for more? Yeah, those.

The first tale, “You Have Been Murdered,” reminds me of a zombie retaining it’s last moment memories.
The “Teller of Tales” is definitely taken from a dystopian society, where a young girl is tasked to keeping her societies secrets. It’s almost like a coming of age tale.
“Breach of Contract” was a bit weirder for me. I was also a bit more lost as to what was going on. Reminded me a little of Killer Tomatoes, haha.
The last tale, “The Trouble-Men” was my favourite tale. It’s amazing what people will tell others when they’re faced with their death.

It’s well worth the read and at 29 pages, it’s perfect.

Where to Buy: 
Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Kobo

Meet the Author:

Andrew Kozma’s fiction has been published in Albedo One, The Cupboard, Fantasy Scroll and Daily Science Fiction. His poems have appeared in Blackbird, Subtropics, Copper Nickel, and Best American Poetry 2015, and his book of poems, City of Regret (Zone 3 Press, 2007), won the Zone 3 First Book Award. He has been the recipient of a Jentel Residency, a Houston Arts Alliance Fellowship, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship, and a D. H. Lawrence Fellowship. He lives and writes in Houston, Texas.

Twitter | GoodReads

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Short and Sweet Sunday Review: Awake: A Vampire Tale by Amara Kopakova

ShortSweetSunday

AWAKE front cover

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: October 31, 2015
Pages and Format: 271 pages; free eBook through Kobo
My Rating: 
3 Stars

She is suddenly awake.  She is alone and does not know where she is is.  She is vampire and has no memory or how or why.  As she struggles with the insatiable Thirst through the night time streets of Seattle, she undertakes the quest to piece together that lost night and finds herself on a journey centuries into the past to understand strength, friendship, and destiny.

I am going to admit something here that might put my love of vampire novels to shame, however, this novel read how I wish an Anne Rice novel would read.

When you think of newly awakened vampires, I’m sure ravenous and uncontrollable beast springs to mind but not for this new vampire. Her ability to resist is strong.

Her maker leaves her to fend for herself at first, which was an interesting turn of events. She does make some hiccups along the way but in the end gains life long friends for it.

You never find out her true name as she is given a new name when she finally meets her master. He calls her Titian. He prompts her to find herself and the answers to his journey as well.

It is an interesting tale of an unknown, newly awakened vampire and those she meets along the way.

**I was asked by the author to read and review this book. I received a copy though Kobo that was free.**

Where to Buy: 
Amazon US
Amazon CAN
Kobo
24Symbols
Also available on iBooks, Page Foundry and Tolino.
The authors preferred PDF edition with illustrations is free at GumRoad.

Author’s Website:
Amara’s Website

Thank you to the author for allowing me the chance to read and review her book!