Review: Lavender Lane by Christina Jones

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Home is where the heart is…

Bob and Amy Phillips and their four grown-up children run Lavender Cabs in the small Berkshire market town of Appleford.
Everyone is involved.
The business has grown – through three generations – into a thriving taxi and garage business.
But when Bob is taken ill, he and Amy decide to retire to Devon but to do this they would have to sell the business which would throw the entire family’s lives into turmoil…

51cP-TWLOxL._UX250_Christina Jones is a much beloved and prolific British Contemporary Women’s author. I have meant to do a review on one of her books for simply ages, but never got round to it!

Lavender Lane is about the Phillips family…and its extended members. And therein lies my only complaint about Lavender Lane; there are so many characters in the book that it took me quite a while to get my head around who is who, I have to admit!
However, the book is a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The sign of a good writer is that they can get you emotionally involved and caring about the characters. So, when Bob was taken ill, despite being warned in the blurb about it, I still cried. Yes, actual tears! She even managed to have me hating a couple of the characters — read it and you’ll know who I mean. I am so glad they had their own ‘happy ending’ to everyone’s satisfaction.
I particularly love the way Christina weaves all the different threads of the tale together, with misunderstandings and arguments galore, but brings them all neatly to a satisfying conclusion too. And that’s how the book ends; in total and utter satisfaction!
I would heartily recommend her novels and I look forward to getting to the next one nestled atop my reading list!

Check out Lavender Lane by Christina Jones HERE.

Four Star

IMG_20150512_175832bandwReview by Karen Aminadra

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Review: Conner by Miranda Stork

Conner by Miranda Stork

51aVkAuyxfL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate…

Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes himself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresistible feeling that seems to bind them together…

Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that pursues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin’s lost memories.
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As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed…?

*** Please note, although the main story is concluded in this book, it is an episodic book of the trilogy, and the story continues in ‘Erin’ and ‘Filtiarn’. If you prefer standalone books in a series, this is not for you.

I have to admit this was my first ever werewolf book! I honestly had never read one before this.
I loved it completely! Totally! Honestly!
The characters are interesting, twisted, and have that element of ‘what are they going to do next’. You’re never certain if one of them will turn on another or not.
Miranda’s knowledge of Ireland shines through this whole novel and it was a pleasure to experience the Emerald Isle through her words. Miranda has a way of describing things that makes you feel as though you know the place personally. She likes detail and it is that attention that shows you that she knows the places in this novel.
One thing bothered me, though. I cannot, for the life of me, pronounce Filtiarn!! In the end, my head insisted it’s just Filty! LOL
This novel is part of a series and, although its individual story is all tied up nicely, it leaves you wanting more. Much, much more, in fact. By the end of this one, you’ll be reaching for Erin, the next in the series.
If you like werewolves, this is for you. If you like books that ask a lot of questions, make you ask questions, and take you on a journey to discover the answers, then this is for you.
Am I going to read the rest in the series? Yes!

5stars (1)

You can get this book FREE HERE!

 

 

This book was reviewed by Karen Aminadra IMG_20150512_175832bandw

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A prince disguises himself to find true love—

Prince Nolan has had enough of Princess Blythe—the woman to whom he has been betrothed since infancy—and her simpering letters. Does the princess truly not have a brain in her head? Never before has he communicated with someone who seemed so childish and spoiled. It was time he met her for himself, to decide if he could actually follow through with this marriage. But to do it right, she must not see how handsome he is. He needs a disguise—something that would show him her true nature.

Nolan asks an old herb woman to transform him into a creature that is disgusting to any female—a frog. The spell will last thirty days unless the princess does the impossible and kisses him. Now the true test begins. Will Blythe prove to be as monstrously annoying as he believes she is, or will he learn to see past his judgments and find a loving princess waiting for him?

4-out-of-5-stars

I picked up Jenni James’ The Frog Prince out of sheer curiosity. What is a retelling of a Fairy Tale like?
This wasn’t a modern version or even a retelling and reinvention of the characters, it was a filling out and a plumping up, if you like.

To be entirely honest, I put the book down three times before I persevered with it. Why? Americanisms. They grated on my teeth in this sort of story. The character names, the way they speak to each other, the way they behave; it was all so American and grating.
I had a good talk with myself saying, the author is American, what did I expect? LOL 😉

So, I picked it up again and really got into the story. In the end, it was very sweet and holds a few moral lessons for the reader; the greatest being – never judge a book by its cover!

We know the story. We know what happens, but Jenni James tells it in a way that will warm your heart and endear you to her writing style. I feel this book would not be out of place on the shelves of children, teens, and adults alike.
All-in-all, I felt this was a good read. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Jenni James.

You can purchase The Frog Prince HERE.

IMG_20150512_175832bandwReview by Karen Aminadra

Review: The Uncovering by Jes Young

Jes-Young-Author-PhotoI read this book under its old title of Tab Bennett and the Inbetween. It now has a new
cover and a brand-new title – The Uncovering.

From the blurb – At the start of this fantastical romance, Tabitha Bennett is a young woman who has her life all figured out; she’s got a steady job at the local bank, a darkly handsome fiancé she’s known since childhood, and her own cottage on the edge of the family estate. Then she starts to have chillingly graphic visions of her sisters’ deaths.

Someone is picking off members of the Bennett household one by one, and Tab is next. In order to survive, she must come to terms with her true heritage. Tab is actually an Elvish princess, heir to the throne of the Inbetween, the realm of the Light Elves, and the product of the Dark King’s rape of the Queen of the Light. These sordid origins do nothing to convince the Elven Court that she’s the woman for the job, and they have everything to do with the plot to kill her.

Her fiancé Robbin is soon usurped by a gorgeous stranger named Alexander, to whom
 she’s been betrothed since her birth. The magic that binds them is strong and sensual. He guides her in her journey of self-discovery, helping to awaken the Elven gifts that ultimately keep her alive in the final battle with the agents of the Dark. She is betrayed by both her close childhood friend and by the Elven warrior who captains the Light army, but she survives by virtue of her fiery tenacity.

The Uncovering, first in a trilogy, is a fast-paced adventure, TheUncoveringfull of sensuality, suspense and surprise.

The book starts off with Tab seeing someone dying in her dream. In fact, it was her sister or the woman she thought was her sister.

Needless to say, things go to pieces for poor Tab. What she discovers is that nothing she ever believed is true. The story is really engaging but the thing that tripped me over was all of a sudden, Tab, upon meeting a perfect stranger, flings herself at him and just about does the horizontal shuffle in front of a room filled with people! That to me was odd. I actually loved the story and I really look forward to reading the rest of the series, too. It’s just Tab and Alex were … woah!

Tab’s life turns out to be an entire lie. Despite the fact that she knew nothing and never suspected anything, this really is a good story because Jes Young takes you on Tab’s journey with her. You discover why all the lies and subterfuge, who everyone really is around her, and, ultimately, who Tab really is.

All-in-all a very entertaining and gripping read; I wanted to read it and didn’t want to put it down!

I also believe this would be great in the YA category too!

You can buy The Uncovering HERE.

Four Star

 

Happy reading!

IMG_20150512_175832bandwReview by Karen Aminadra

Review: Laiden’s Daughter by Suzan Tisdale

5406631Laiden’s Daughter by Suzan Tisdale

Right from the get-go, the book was fast paced, which continues throughout. Within a few pages, my sympathies for Aishlinn were engaged and I wanted the best outcome for her.
The Author has used her skill with words well, without being verbose and trying to impress the reader with her knowledge.
She has done her research, knows the lands, people, and language within the book and it shows even though there are some historical errors. The Author is American but has easily made the transformation so that there is nothing that grates on a Brit’s e511F4BHJl3L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ars very much, and there are no Americanisms that have us heading off to Google.
The romantic tension is very well written, both of them are respectful, and it is pleasingly realistic, despite the occasional amount of cheesiness.
I laughed aloud on occasion and I actually cried over Aishlinn. In fact, I am amazed at how much I laughed and cried over this novel. The emotional scenes were very well written and touching.
This book is excellent, very engaging and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

Buy Laiden’s Daughter here

Four Star

 

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Review by Karen Aminadra

Review: Betrayal by Michele Kallio

MichelekallioBetrayal by Michele Kallio

Carefully Written – Skilfully Crafted


*Since writing this review Michele’s book has won a B.R.A.G Medallion Award!

Betrayal is a nice long book and rightfully so. Michele has given plenty for a reader to get their teeth into. Betrayal is so carefully written and skilfully crafted that it will go down in my memory as one of the best books I have ever read.
Michele has a great way of making you feel as though you are feeling intuitively about her characters. Usually, a writer drops clues or breadcrumbs to follow, and we build up a picture of the character, however, Michele connected with me intuitively and I thoroughly enjoyed that experience. For me, that was a first and it was fascinating. Her 18365261characterisations are truly wonderful, there are plenty of them to love, and there are those you also want to slap!
This is probably the first book from a Canadian that I have read. I have learnt so much just from this one book. Although I still cannot get my head round the Maine accent. It makes me laugh, I need to go there and hear it first hand I think.
Michele clearly has done her research too. She is fully acquainted with the history within her novel, and it seems the personality traits of the people she has included in there too. Another thing I personally loved is that Michele also knows England. It would be too easy to gloss over that and generalise, but as a Brit I appreciate her attention to detail, it makes the places she writes about come to life.
From the beginning, the heroine is dealing with a rather delicate and nasty problem, and it was not long before I was engaged enough and interested enough to want to find out more.
The boyfriend had me against him at the beginning, he was a little too sneaky! Even though I could not put my finger on it or explain it at all, I was left with a feeling of dislike and distrust of him. I wanted to read on and see if my ‘intuition’ about him was right.
I love the changes through time, they are handled very well, and I connected instantly with both worlds as Michele transported me from one century to another, and there was no shell-shock from being transported through time either. Very well handled indeed.
The feeling of foreboding and danger for Elisabeth grew steadily with each page in the past so that the book turned out to be a real page-turner.
My curiosity about Lydia’s dreams grew as they also grew in intensity in the book. My suspicions and brow furrowed more deeply over Dan’s reactions. I was as curious about him as Alan Stokes was!
I actually found myself thinking about poor Lydia from time to time during the day while I was working and could not wait for my day to end so that I could curl up and read it!
The ending is lovely, it is a great and satisfying conclusion, and brings together of all the threads that Michele has woven into her story.
There is, however, one question still left unanswered, but as I have discovered Michele is writing a sequel so I am sure all will be revealed then.

Click here to buy Betrayal by Michele Kallio

Five Star

 

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Review by Karen Aminadra

Review: Mohawk Moon by N. Kuhn

81JiK31z-IL._UX250_Mohawk Moon by N. Kuhn

Mohawk moon is a contemporary tale – a mixture of crime, passion and the beliefs of the Native American Mohawks. The Native American element to this book was interesting, adding a touch of the supernatural to the suspense that the writer weaved throughout this tale.

Mohawk moon is a sad tale in essence; there is a lot of deep hurt throughout for all the characters. It’s a story of broken hearts, honour, and betrayal, with a great deal of passion thrown in.
The heroine, Jany, is a hard-as-nails woman. Her life wasn’t easy and she made very hard choices to remove herself from very bad situation, however, while she was absent that situation grew worse and she was forced to return home and face facts. That is where the tale begins.
The hero, Damien, is an interesting guy – he begins this story as the anti-hero but … well, you’ll see what happens with this steamy character. These characters are good but I was left wishing to know a little more about them, I’d love them to be deeper.17449233
The plot builds up to a climax with a lot of aggression spent along the way. The ending was nice and romantic, and the author has left it wide open (as you will see when you read it) for a sequel. I am glad of that, as this will make a great series and together will make a wonderful long read. It was too short unfortunately and I personally would have loved it to go on for longer.
N. Kuhn’s style of writing is different from that which I usually read, and although it was a challenge for me to step out of my comfort zone, I enjoyed the experience. While the story is nice and interesting, I do feel that with a professional copy-edit and some rewriting it could be wonderful. All in all, a lovely first book from N. Kuhn, and I look forward to more from her in the future. I am glad I read this and will read the second in this series when it comes out.

Three Star

Buy Mohawk Moon here

 

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Review by Karen Aminadra