Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman: Book 4) by Wilkie Martin


Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman #4)

Title: Inspector Hobbes and the Bones

Author: Wilkie Martin

Publisher: The Witcherley Book Company

Date of publication: December 16th, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Number of pages: 319

POV: 1st person

Series: Unhuman

Inspector Hobbes and the Blood – Book 1

Inspector Hobbes and the Curse – Book 2

Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers – Book 3

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones – Book 4

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

There’s going to be trouble. Andy Caplet’s wife goes away, someone is out to get him, and he loses nearly everything in a storm. Amazing both himself and his unhuman friend Inspector Hobbes, he heroically rescues flood victims and uncovers something shocking.
Is Andy being set up for blackmail by the apparently charming young woman who attempts to seduce him, or is something even more sinister afoot? Hobbes certainly believes so, and he’s getting worried.
This is the fourth in Wilkie Martin’s unhuman series of cosy comedy crime fantasies.

My review:

As most of my regular readers know, I absolutely hate getting a book to review and finding out that it is 2nd, 3rd, or 4th book in a series. 9 out of 10 times, I get so lost that I just want to put the book down and DNF it. But, I usually push through the book and I usually am totally confused about what is going on. Luckily, with the last few books that I got and were part of a series, they were pretty easy to follow and gave information about the earlier books in a way that didn’t underwhelm or overwhelm the current book. Happily, I can group Inspector Hobbes and the Bones in with them.

Now, this is a book that is set completely in England and there is a ton of dry English humor (which I love) and a lot of English vocabulary. Luckily, my Kindle’s English (not American English, English English…lol) dictionary was downloaded because I had to use it a few time. Not that it took away from the story but it did add some time to my reading. Not complaining, though, because I did learn some new words.

This book is a paranormal mystery. Now, if I hadn’t of read the blurb, I wouldn’t have believed the paranormal part of the book. Trust me, it’s in there but the author chose to focus more on the mystery part of the book with the paranormal part really not coming into play until the last half of the book. There are paranormal elements in the book (the vampire and Hobbes’s habit of eating bones are two) but the focus is on the many mysteries that Andy and Hobbes happen upon.

Now speaking of the mystery part of the book, I loved that the author was able to handle a few mysteries at once and then was able to merge them with the main storyline. I have read other mysteries that attempted to do that and then they just lose track of the sub-storylines and those are never resolved or merged with the main storyline. Again, something else I really liked about this book.

Andy came across as an idiot. I mean, how can someone get into that many predicaments and how can someone be that unaware of their surroundings? Plus, he also had a huge knack for ticking people off and just plain doing/saying the wrong thing. I mean, who would pack chocolate in their wife’s luggage when she was going to a dessert and then wonder why she was so upset because ants bit her and her clothes were ruined. His bumbling antics really didn’t do it for me in the story and I was truly waiting to see if he was going to get knocked off.

Hobbes, however, I was fascinated with and I really wish that more was revealed about him other than he policed the supernatural. I mean, he ate bones and according to Andy, he had a ferocious temper, unlike anything that he (Andy) had ever seen before. Also, he never seemed to age. So what is he? Now, this is where I wish I had read the first 3 books. I am sure that more insights to who/what he is in there.

The secondary characters were written awesomely too. From the little person who moonlighted as a ninja (OMG, did I die laughing during that scene) to the bar owner who had a temper and liked to fight to the vampire banker to Hobbes housekeeper and dog to the literal man killer and her cousins…..I absolutely loved them. Honestly, a good book has excellent secondary characters and this book definitely did.

I will say that the end of the book did surprise me and the mysteries were solved. There were really no twists, which for once was refreshing. I also liked that while those storylines ended, the book was left open for potentially a 5th book.

How many stars will I give Inspector Hobbes and the Bones: 4

Why: This was a great mystery with paranormal elements. I was genuinely kept guessing about who killed the bodies that Andy and Hobbes found. I was also guessing that the other sub-storylines.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen

Why: Mild violence and some adult themes/jokes

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

New Blood (Thoroughbred Breeders: Book 1) by Christine Meunier


New Blood (Thoroughbred Breeders, #1)

Title: New Blood

Author: Christine Meunier

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: November 22nd, 2016

Genre: Romance, Christian, Young Adult

Number of pages: 103

POV: 3rd person

Series: Thoroughbred Breeders

New Blood – Book 1

No Hoof, No Horse – Book 2

Recessive – Book 3

Where you can find  this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Savannah Reynier is doing exactly what she wants in life. After finishing a horse breeding course she has landed a job and been working on a thoroughbred stud for the past year.

Her days are made up of looking after mares and foals, witnessing births and helping to breed horses. Plus, one day a week she holds horses for the farrier men who come to trim the horses’ feet.

Savannah has sworn she won’t date farriers – not ever again. Not after Jackson.

So what is she to do about the new apprentice in town? With an attractive frame, gorgeous smile and green eyes Savannah knows she’s already in trouble. Add a clever mind to the mix and she knows she needs to stick to her resolve. But looking never hurt anyone, right?

My review:

What a cute book and a great beginning to series. I have been fascinated (scratch that, obsessed) with Thoroughbred horses since I was about 8 or 9 years old and I was first introduced to Walter’s Farley’s the Black Stallion series. I devoured those books and I believe that I had the entire series. Unfortunately, my mother tossed them when I moved out, and I still feel the loss of those books. So when Christine approached me to review this book, I jumped on it.

I thought Savannah was cute but also felt that she was missing something when reading her. While I definitely connected with her, I felt that something was missing. She almost felt a little flat to me. There were no real emotions that came from her. Everything was on an even keel. I mean, even when the mare was having a difficult labor and she, with the help of the new farrier, helped the mare deliver the foal, I didn’t get a real sense of joy from her. Like I said, flat. I couldn’t even get a good reading if she was interested in Craig, other than her stomach flip-flopping back and forth when she saw him

I also liked that while this is a Christian romance, religion wasn’t pushed down your throat. It was mentioned and just left at that, a mention. The only time that it even came up was when the new foal that Savannah delivered needed to be named and Craig suggested Twenty Three. For the Twenty-Third Psalm.

I do have a couple of questions that will probably be answered in the next books. Like, who was Jackson? I know he was a farrier but what on earth did he do to Savannah. Where was Savannah from? I get the feeling since Creole was mentioned, that she is from the States but it really wasn’t gotten into.

Other than my minor complaints,  I did enjoy reading the book. The end of the book was not a cliffhanger but it did leave room for book 2.

How many stars will I give New Blood: 3.5 (rounded up to 4 for Goodreads/Amazon)

Why: I enjoyed reading this book but I did have some issues with Savannah being flat. I also have some questions that were not answered in this book (see above). Other than that, this was a great read and I enjoyed reading about life on a horse ranch. This is a book that I would feel comfortable having my 11-year-old read…even though it is not in middle-grade categories.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Tween

Why: Very clean book. No swearing, no sex, no violence. There is a Christian element but it is not pushed down your throat. Like I said above, a book I would be comfortable having my tween read.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Jocked Up by Summer Cooper


Jocked Up

Title: Jocked Up

Author: Summer Cooper

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: August 20th, 2016

Genre: Romance

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Drake, NFL superstar.

Six years ago, I left town for football…at least that’s what everyone thinks. The truth is, I couldn’t face what I did. I just wanted to be with her, my soon-to-be stepsister.

It was wrong, and the only thing I could think to do was to pack up and run! Just as I thought I had it all, running into her again made me realize that she is the only thing I’ve ever wanted. And this time, I will never run away.

I deserve my second chance in love, with her… only her.

Bethany, the good girl.

Talented, tall, ripped and with smoldering good looks that could burn your soul. Sounds like a deal too good to be true, right?

He is the biggest mistake I ever made in my life. His mum and my dad were going to get married, what was I thinking getting in bed with him? Lucky me, he left town the next day. Lucky me, our parents called off the wedding; otherwise, I would never have been able to forgive myself.

The only problem is, he is back in town and wants to take me out!

My best friend Amelia, who happens to be his sister, insists that he has changed. Do men like Drake ever really change? Maybe. Maybe not.

The thing is, I can not afford another mistake like this. Not now that I have him… my son, my only joy.

A romance full of twists and turns. Ready for an emotional roller coaster?

Note: This story contains mature language and themes, intended for adults only!

My review:

I have a soft spot for reading secret baby romance. Ever since my teen years and I was reading Harlequin Romances (yes, I will admit to that), I have always loved reading about men finding out that they have secret babies and laughing at their reactions. I distinctly remember one guy going “How did this happen”, almost bust a gut laughing and thought to myself “Did you take sex ed? How do you think this happened?”.  I am very happy to say that in Jocked Up, there is no confusion on how Bethany gets pregnant….lol.

While Bethany was had some justifiable anger towards Drake, I think her anger towards him was a little extreme and to be honest, she was very rude. But, if I was in her shoes, I think I might have acted the same way. Actually, to be honest, I would have acted worse. I also got why she didn’t want Drake around Peter. She was trying to protect Peter from getting attached and getting hurt when Drake would eventually leave. I did get slightly annoyed with her when she refused to tell Drake she was pregnant and was hiding her pregnancy from everyone. But again, I understood why she did what she did.

Drake, I couldn’t get a handle on him at first. He was a self-admitted reformed man-whore but that didn’t stop him from having unprotected sex with Bethany when she decided to out on a date with him. When she freezes him out, he goes back to doing what he does best….loving the ladies. But when he finds out that she’s pregnant, he stops it all and is all about her, Peter and the baby.

The sexual part of the book was sizzling hot. The chemistry between Bethany and Drake was obvious from the first disastrous date that they had. When they finally had sex, it was insanely hot.

The tiny plot twist that was revealed before Drake proposed to Bethany was good and it explained a lot.

The end of the book was definitely an HEA!!

How many stars will I give Jocked Up: 4

Why: This was a great book. Not something  I would read in a Dr’s office because of nosey people but I enjoyed reading it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Billionaire for Christmas by Em Brown


Billionaire for Christmas: An Erotic Billionaire Romance

Title: Billionaire for Christmas

Author: Em Brown

Publisher: TCK Publishing

Date of publication: February 6th, 2017

Genre: Interracial Romance, Erotica, Romance

Number of pages: 167

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Who knew a male escort could be so much fun?
Audrey Jones can’t believe her best friend gave her a gift card to a male escort service for Christmas. A successful finance executive, Audrey doesn’t feel like there’s anything missing in her life. But when she finds herself alone for the holidays, she decides to take a chance and embark on a personal journey that is both unexpected and highly erotic.

For billionaire Rance Durand, women have always come easily into his life, so why can’t he seem to get the time of day with the woman whose apartment unit is right next to his? When he overhears her calling the escort service, Rance decides to take their place, but he only has three days to seduce her.

More About the Book

In this contemporary erotic romance, billionaire bachelor Rance Durand, owner of a luxury boutique hotel, decides to impersonate a gigolo to seduce his workaholic neighbor. But what he thought would be a good joke turned into something he never expected.

When Audrey Jones, who hasn’t had the best luck with romance, decides to have a weekend of sex with a stranger, she gets the erotic experience of her life.

Neither expect to fall in love, but when Audrey is presented with a promotion that will take her across country, both of them have a big decision to make.

This erotic billionaire romance book contains frequent and explicit sex scenes.

My review:

I used to have a ban on reviewing erotica. The reason: I was embarrassed about advertising that I read these books. Then one day, I had an epiphany. Why be embarrassed about reviewing books that have all sorts of sex in them? So I dropped my restrictions on no erotica and I am happy I did.

Billionaire for Christmas takes place over Christmas in San Francisco, which instantly I liked. San Fransisco is a city that I have always wanted to visit and seeing it featured in a book was awesome. Audrey and Rance did visit a few well-known areas (read the book to find out)!!

I really liked Audrey and how relatable she was. She was packing extra weight, she didn’t hold to her New Years Eve resolutions, she was very picky about men and she was a very hard worker. She also had a crazy bestie who gave her a gift card to an escort service. Which made me laugh out loud when I read that and made me wonder….if there even such thing as gift cards to an escort service. There probably is, now that I think about it….lol. I actually couldn’t believe that she called. But hey, she wanted to go out with a bang for her last couple of nights in San Fransisco. She asked for Denzel but instead got Colin (which made me laugh my butt off).

Rance was so hot but I wasn’t a fan of his deception at first. I mean, he lived next door to Audrey. How hard would it have been for him to actually just go, knock on her door and talk to her? But no, he had to pretend to be from the escort service. I was almost waiting for him to say her real name, not the fake one that she gave when they were having sex or out on dates. I did like that he was made to be a decent person too. He was the best man at his friend’s wedding, he had family that he talked to all the time in France (and yes, I read the book with him having a very slight French accent) and he was a great friend.

The sex scenes, they are written in great detail, were hot. Burning off the page hot. Like, fan myself because I was getting flushed hot. They had anal sex, vaginal sex, public sex (the one against the window….oh lordy) and unprotected oral sex (her going down on him). They couldn’t get enough of each other.

The ending, which was an HEA, had me going for a minute because I thought that it wasn’t going to be one. So I was very surprised when it ended up the way it did.

How many stars will I give Billionaire for Christmas: 4

Why: Besides the obvious hot sex, I thought that the backstory was fantastic. This is definitely a book that you should read at home, though. The sex scenes and there are plenty of them, are pretty descriptive.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes but with a warning about the ultra hot and very descriptive sex scenes.

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Door to Forever (The Land of Magic: Book 2) by Shirley Martin


The Door to Forever (The Land of Magic #2)

Title: The Door To Forever

Author: Shirley Martin

Publisher: Books We Love Ltd

Date of publication: November 9th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 218

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Land of Magic

The Door To Forever – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

As a teenager, Kaylee suffered an attempted sexual assault. Now a woman, she remains fearful of men. She vows she’ll avoid the opposite sex.

When her dreams take her to an alternate world, a land of peace and harmony, she wishes she could stay in this world. There, a psychic with a crystal ball tells her she will find love, for he sees a man reaching out to her. He tells her she must learn to trust men.

Kaylee has no idea who this man is, and she knows she can never put her faith in a man. The memory from her teenage years is too painful.

Then she meets Logan. Will he be the man to change her mind? World-weary and cynical, Logan declares a respite from women. When he meets Kaylee, he knows she is a woman like no other. His head tells him to stay away from her, but his heart refuses to listen.

My review:

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started reading The Door To Forever. I honestly, don’t think that the blurb does this book justice at all. There is more meat to the story than what is described. This is one instance that I would say, don’t go by what the synopsis says….read the book.

Kaylee did have some major issues at the beginning of the book. She was deeply scarred from an attempted rape at 13 and then another attempted sexual assault when she was in college. After those experiences, she didn’t trust men. Which I don’t blame her. But then she starts dreaming of a land that she can only get through by opening a door in a dark, dismal forest. The land is called Vestoria and it is the home of elves. On her first journey there, she meets an elf called Nemek. After a few visits, she tells Nemek about her tragic past and he is appalled that men are allowed to treat women that way in her society and not be punished. It was at this point that I put the book down and applauded the author for putting this in because it is the truth. Sexual assault and attempted sexual assault are not like other crimes and only a small handful go to trial.

Vestoria is a land of peace and tranquility. Just reading about it made me wish that Vestoria was real. Violence towards women (or anyone really) was not tolerated and was swiftly dealt with. But it was a backward society. Women were expected to stay at home until they found their lifemate (ie got married). But it called to Kaylee (like me). After a few visits, she was granted a visitation with the king and he told her that she needs to heal. To learn to trust men again and to find love.

I think Logan was the right person for her. He was the 1/2 owner of the restaurant she worked at and he taught English at the local university. He also came from money but he didn’t rely on his parents to pay his way in life. He was attracted to Kaylee but he didn’t want to go too fast because he sensed that she had been hurt in the past. He was the one to find out who was behind all of Kaylee’s mishaps at work and he was the one who stuck up for her when his friend wanted to fire her. Which he should have. I mean she didn’t come into work for a few days.

The romance between Kaylee and Logan was very sweet. To be honest, I was surprised when certain events happened because, honestly, I didn’t think it was going to happen. I really thought that Kaylee was going to end up with Nemek or someone from Vestoria.

The bad guys in the book, Gitta and Drummond, kinda annoyed me. Drummond seemed like he was a tool and Gitta, well she was power-hungry and didn’t double-check to see if the people she killed were really dead. Because she was surprised when she met up with her arch nemesis, Zurina, a witch from the first book. I was also a tad disappointed at how easily Gitta was defeated. But, Drummond escaped and I know he will make an appearance in the next book.

I liked the ending and loved how everyone was so happy. Normally I am a poop and I don’t like super happy endings but I loved this one!!

How many stars will I give The Door to Forever: 4

Why: I really liked this book. This is one of those books that you could read at the pool or a beach. The plot wasn’t too involved and the characters likable. While rape and attempted rape are mentioned, it wasn’t thrown in your face the entire book. It was part of who Kaylee was and the author didn’t dwell on it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen

Why: Some violence and both of Kaylee’s attempted sexual assaults were kinda graphic. There is one sex scene, at the end of the book, but it isn’t very detailed.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

 

Beyond the Sapphire Gate (The Flow of Power: Book 1) by R.V. Johnson


Beyond the Sapphire Gate (The Flow of Power, #1)

Title: Beyond The Sapphire Gate

Author: R.V. Johnson

Publisher: Lost in New World Publishing

Date of publication: March 8th, 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 438

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Flow of Power

Beyond the Sapphire Gate – Book 1

Beyond Terra – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Raw power. Dark betrayal. A family shattered.

On a world where a frothing river of magic underlies the land, Crystalyn may become Astura’s greatest power if she can master her ability of using symbols though she seeks no glory. She wants only to find the dear sister she raised; the sibling she lost on another planet by her own doing. Dark Users of magic, political Light Users, and a horde of deadly creatures stand in her way. But when had it ever been easy for one afflicted with an unbalanced, broken mind?

The epic first book in the thrilling Flow Of Power fantasy saga!

My review:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a welcome change from the books that I have read. A change that was definitely needed.

The world-building in this book was beyond fantastic. This was not a one-dimensional word. It was a three-dimensional world.  It was like an onion. When one layer was peeled back, another aspect of the world was revealed. Which is what made is such a good read. You never knew what was going to be revealed and that, along with other things, kept me glued to the book. I did like small twist towards the end of the book about what Astura was. The way the author explained it was fantastic!!

Crystalyn had to be my favorite character in the book. From the beginning, when she was studying the book with symbols to her journey to Surbo, where the Circle of Light is, she was spunky and wanted to do things her way. When it was decided that she would go to Surbo with Lore Mother, Lore Rayne, Cudgel, Hastel and Atoi, she started to find out that she could use her symbols in new ways….from healing to defense to attacking. But using them came with a price. I also loved her fascination with Darwin Darkwind. He was a bad boy (I think). Also, I loved Broth. Just saying to have a bond mate who could talk to you in your head is pretty sweet.

Jade was my other favorite character. She was unfortunate enough to end up in the Dark Citidal. Actually in an armory, of all places. She meets Cameo shortly afterward and he decides that he would help her escape after she told him what images she could see in his aura. I think Jade might have had it a bit rougher than Crystalyn about how bad her journey was. Jade had to crawl through a sewer to escape…..yucky. Cameo wasn’t a joy to travel with either. He was so distrusting of her and Burl it wasn’t even funny. It was only when Burl saved both of their hides, that he was coming around.

I wish Garn was featured more in the book and that he was reunited with his daughters at some point. But, I can see why the author chose not to do it and I do hope that he is reunited with his girls in the next book.

The fantasy/sci-fi element was very well written. The magic usage in the book was either very subtle or in your face, depending on who was using symbols. Crystalyn’s magic was in your face while Jade’s was more subtle. It was those differences that kept me glued to the book. I also liked that while there were deadly magical creatures, they weren’t all over the book. The wraiths and spiderbees were really the only one’s that were detailed. To be honest, the spiderbees scared me.

The end of the book was a bit of a shocker. I was not expecting certain things and when they were revealed it did throw me for a loop. I do have some questions and I hope that they will be answered in the next book!!

How many stars will I give Beyond the Sapphire Gate: 4

Why: This is a very well written fantasy that I got really into reading. While I did put the book down, I really didn’t want to. I needed to know what would happen with Crystalyn, Jade and everyone else.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: Violence. Otherwise, it is a very clean book. There is one kissing scene and a couple of scenes where Crystalyn is very aware of Darwin but nothing that would hold me back from allowing a 13-year-old to read.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Not Dead Enough: Tales of Windhaven by Watson Davis


Not Dead Enough: Tales of Windhaven by [Davis, Watson]

Title: Not Dead Enough

Author: Watson Davis

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: September 20th, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

Number of pages: 99

POV: 1st person

Series: The Windhaven Chronicles

The Devil’s Library – Book 1 (review here)

Not Dead Enough – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

 

Book synopsis (through Amazon):

A Vampire Assassin and a Book of Evil.

With the Empress’ soul bound into the pages of a book, all Gartan the Cursed has to do is destroy it to be free of her forever, free to wreak his vengeance on those priests and nobles who treated him like a subhuman animal, free to return home to the ruins of a city he ruled centuries before.

But the Empress did not escape from Hell by accepting Her fate, and She is nothing if not cunning.

In this collection of sword and sorcery short stories set in the world of Windhaven, Watson Davis takes us on a harrowing series of adventures through ghost towns and vibrant cities, into the mouths of angry volcanoes and across stormy seas filled with monsters.

Continue reading