Tag Archives: book review

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Book Reviews: Nantucket Inn and Rika Outcast

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Book Reviews Week 5!

Romance book of the week: Nantucket Inn by Pamela M. Kelley. This one has been lurking near the top of several romance categories since it came out a year ago, so I thought I would check it out.

Science Fiction book of the week: Rika Outcast by M.D. Cooper. I’ve met Mal Cooper, and I’ve been looking for something not strictly military sci-fi to read. This one has a lot of military components in it, so plenty of action, but without the strict structure. Sort of.

Nantucket Inn

This book is about a widow and her four adult children. The series lends itself to continued use of the same characters. There are two “happy for now” endings at the conclusion of this book, but no real “happily ever after.”

Instead of a romance novel, this one is really a romance series where your favorite character may or may not find true love, or they might go back to their loser boyfriend instead. Read the next book to find out what happens.

These books are still doing really well, so it’s a style a lot of people must like. I prefer a solid resolution and a “happily ever after” for the characters in my romance books.

My author brain twitched at the writing. There was a lot more outlining what was going on rather than having me see it through a character’s point of view, so that bugged me.

Three-and-a-half stars

Lisa Hodges needs to make a decision fast. Thanks to her dead husband’s gambling addiction, their savings is almost gone. In her early fifties with a large, waterfront home on Nantucket to support, Lisa hasn’t worked in over thirty years, has no in-demand skills and is virtually unemployable.

Her only options are to sell the house and move off-island, or, she could use her cooking and entertaining skills and turn her home into a bed and breakfast. She desperately needs it to succeed because she has four grown children with problems of their own and wants to stay close to them. 

Her oldest daughter, Kate, has a fabulous career in Boston–working as a writer for a popular fashion magazine and engaged to a dangerously handsome, photographer, who none of them have met.

Kate’s twin, local artist, Kristen, has been reasonably content with her on-again off-again relationship with an older, separated businessman. 

Her son, Chase, runs his own construction business and is carefree, happily dating here and there but nothing serious. 

Youngest daughter, Abby, is happily married to her high school sweetheart, and they’ve been trying to have a baby. But it hasn’t happened yet, and Abby wonders if it’s a sign that maybe their marriage isn’t as perfect as everyone thinks.

Come visit Nantucket and see how Lisa’s new bed and breakfast has an impact on almost everyone in her family. It’s the first book in a new series that will follow the Hodges family, friends, and visitors to Nantucket’s Beach Plum Cove Inn.

Rika Outcast

This book promised a kick butt female character and lots of action. It delivered.

There’s a prologue sort of thing at the beginning that isn’t really needed unless you want the gruesome details of how Rika gets made into a mech soldier, but the author does a good enough job in the rest of the book that you don’t need it.

Rika’s character arch is good, but loses its own way a few times in the story. A couple of the women were too sweet/tender to me, which is strange, but there you go. The guys crack me up.

The story could have used another 10k words to flesh it out a bit, and the story seems to end at one point, then goes on. A better bridge between the sections would have helped.

All in all this was a fun read. A bit more swearing than I prefer, but I’m sensitive about that and won’t hold it against the author.

Four stars

A cyborg killing machine, created by the Genevian military and cast aside when the war was lost.

Now she slings cargo on Dekar Station, falling deeper in debt as she struggles to make enough money to keep her cybernetic body functioning. The local gangs would love to have her join their ranks, and the takings would pay her bills, but the only thing Rika hates more than what she’s become, is killing for others.

But morals don’t buy repairs and she’s at the point of utter desperation when her loan holder cashes in her debt and sells her to the highest bidder.

When Rika wakes, she’s in a warehouse on a planet she’s never heard of, and a trio of mercenaries are reassembling her body. Their mission is to kill the world’s president, and her mods and abilities are just what they need to get the job done.

Whether she likes it or not, Rika is in the business of killing once more as she joins the ranks of the Marauders.

There you go! Book Reviews Week 5!
Tune in next week for more reviews.


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Book Reviews: Her Bodyguard Swap and Constitution

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Book Reviews Week 4!

Romance book of the week: Her Bodyguard Swap by Laura Ann. I picked this one because she’s pretty popular in clean romance, and I haven’t ever read anything by her before.

Science Fiction book of the week: Constitution. I chose this one because this series is often lurking in the top 50 of Amazon’s many science fiction lists.

Her Bodyguard Swap

I really liked the premise of this one. Three brothers—triplets—all ex-military come together to start a security company. There are several other characters involved with the company, and I’m certain if you continued reading the series that you’d find romances for them all.

This story was cute and fun. The guy, Ridge, does one too many stupid things for my taste, but his poor decisions (all in the name of love) did drive the story forward. The girl is okay.

He’s admired her for a while, and her side of the romance is completely dependent on the spark that she feels the first time she sees him. I’m not a huge fan of love at first sight, so this felt flat to me.

The reveal of who the internet troll is was totally forced. Mysteries should have clues, not just whack you in the face at the end of the story.

That being said, this one is cute and clean and easy to read. I’d say four stars.

She’s falling in love with her bodyguard,
now if she could just figure out who he is!

Everly Madison loves life as an online music sensation. But it turns ugly when an internet troll posts threatening comments on her videos. When she hires a bodyguard to keep her safe, her hunky new protector makes her soul sing.

Ridge Lockwood gave up the military to help his two identical triplet brothers establish a security firm. But when one of their first clients is the online singer-songwriter he’s admired for months, Ridge is devastated when one of his brothers is assigned the case instead of himself. Determined to spend time with her, he takes matters into his own hands and pulls out the old, ‘switcheroo’.

As Everly becomes confused about exactly who she’s falling for, the predator’s actions begin to escalate. Can Ridge defend her while still hiding his secret? Or will he come clean, risking not only his company’s reputation, but the woman he’s fallen desperately in love with?

Constitution

This book is a cross between Independence Day and the more recent Battlestar Galactica. It reads like a movie, relying on jumping from scene to scene and character to character to keep the reader engaged.

I like that style, and mostly enjoyed the book.

I was surprised how short it was. There is a trend in Indie publishing to keep books shorter so readers don’t get bored, and so the author can divide their story into more books, which will make them more money.

Neither of these things is bad, but the characters suffered in this story due to the short(ish) length. The character are mostly stereotypes with little to no character arcs. There was just enough to keep me interested.

All in all this one tells you about the action instead of letting you feel it through the characters. Not my style, but considering the book has over 3,000 positive reviews, it’s a style a lot of people like.

I’d give it four stars.

The year is 2650

75 years ago, an alien fleet attacked Earth.

Without warning. Without mercy.

We were not prepared.

Hundreds of millions perished. Dozens of cities burned.

We nearly lost everything.

Then, the aliens abruptly left.

We rebuilt. We armed ourselves. We swore: never again.

But the aliens never came back.

Until now.

There you go! Book reviews Week 3!

Tune in next week for more reviews.


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Book Reviews: Never Have I Ever Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend and Star Fire

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Book Reviews: Week 3!

More books that have been lurking on my Kindle waiting to be read!

This week’s romance is a Young Adult romance called “Never Have I Ever Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend” by Juliet Bardsley. I picked it up because I’ve been toying with the idea of writing YA sweet and clean romance, and this series has been fairly popular.

This week’s science fiction novel is “Star Fire” by M.R. Fobes. I chose this book because at the end of last year, when I started poking into the science fiction world, it was in the top fifty of several categories on Amazon, and I decided to check it out.

Never Have I Ever Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend

Like I said, this series has been fairly popular, and I wanted to check it out.

First off, it’s short. Like, really short. Even shorter than my Academy books, which are about 25k words.

Because of the length, the story is painfully basic. It was fun to read, but the conflict never felt real to me, and because we all know what’s going to happen in the end of a sweet romance, the lack of convincing danger toward the love story crippled this one a bit.

If you want a really fast, very basic read that might remind you a bit of high school, then this is your book.

Just three stars for this one. I like more than just cute in my stories.

She’s crushed on him for the past six years.
He’s always seen her as his best friend’s little sister.
What happens when they’re forced together?

Gavin Mitchell is a star soccer player, the best looking senior at Cedar Oaks High, and a potential recruit for the college of his dreams. But if Gavin doesn’t raise his English grade, all his plans of playing soccer for his dream school will be crushed. Enter Kenzie Fair, his best friend’s smart little sister.

Mackenzie (Kenzie) Fair has the best friend in the world, an enviable collection of books, and the highest grades in the junior class. But there’s one thing she doesn’t have–Gavin Mitchell–the guy she’s crushed on for forever. The guy she acts like a total spaz around. The guy who also happens to be her brother’s best friend.

When the two are forced to spend time together studying Shakespeare, it’s only a matter of time before Gavin sees Kenzie as more than his best friend’s little sister.

The problem is, she still is. Is it worth risking his lifelong friendship for the chance to date Kenzie?

Star Fire

This is another book that I started and put down a few months ago. I picked it back up this week to finish it.

This is the second military sci-fi book that I’ve picked up that’s not really about space, which continues to surprise me. The story starts out as a space battle, but then everyone crashes and the rest of it takes place on the surface of a planet.

It took a bit for this one to get going, but once it did, and I was invested in the main character, then I was in for the long haul. Good conflicts, good characters, and while I hated the fact that I was right about one of them, I take a sick sort of pleasure in it.

That being said, the last chapter is a horrible cliff hanger, which made me a little grouchy.  The rest of the series is out, but I’m on to a different book and I may or may not get back to this one.

Four stars for this one, although I’m still cranky about the end.

New from million-copy bestseller M.R. Forbes. One man’s epic story of loyalty, perseverance, and hope in a galaxy at war.

Alliance Navy Commander Grayson Stone is patrolling a nearby space station when a mysterious starship appears. It emerges from a storm of fire, its shields impenetrable, its weapons overwhelming, attacking without provocation and annihilating everything in its path.

While his ship is badly damaged in the assault, Grayson manages to survive. Suddenly trapped behind the front line of the invasion, faced with gut-wrenching choices and near-impossible odds, he’ll do whatever it takes to escape the grasp of the terrifying new enemy.

Because if he fails, humankind will fall.

There you go! Book reviews Week 3!
Tune in next week for more reviews.


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Book Reviews: Finding Jack and The Messenger

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Book Reviews: Week 2!

We had a busy week, and I barely finished the second of these books a few minutes ago. Still, I finished! Yay!

Both of these came from my Kindle collection of books I’ve downloaded and haven’t read.

The first is a sweet romance called Finding Jack. I believe author Sarah Boucher recommended this one to me.

The second is a science fiction novel called The Messenger that I picked up because it has a giant mech in it, and the sci-fi book I’m writing has mechs in it. Sort of. It turns out they are very different than this one.

Finding Jack

I’ve met this author, but I’ve never read any of her work before this.

Honestly, I started this one about six months ago, got less than 20% in, and never finished. The beginning felt both rushed and manic. The dialogue and the story were being thrown in my face at a very fast rate. Plus, I didn’t love the main character.

This might be Melanie’s style, I’m not sure, but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t love the reason they couldn’t be together near the end. (Not a spoiler, we all know it’s coming in a romance book.) The idea was sound, but could have been set up better.

However, I must admit that after that 20% mark I was hooked. The character grew on me, I started liking Jack more, and reading to the end felt effortless. There is plenty of humor in this one, and the end is satisfying. The only bump was as I said above, their reason for breaking up was weak.

I did like this book, and would give it a solid four stars.

Can their online flirtation become something real?

When smart, practical Emily finds herself in the crosshairs of an Internet prankster, her orderly world goes topsy-turvy. Instead of getting mad at the handsome stranger behind the joke, she finds herself drawn to him. But Jack Dobson, though hilarious and thoughtful, has a lot of secrets. Despite her growing feelings for her new and unexpected long-distance friend, his biggest secret of all might be the one that breaks the spell they’ve been weaving around each other.

The Messenger

This book looks like a young adult book, which is why I picked it up, but it’s not. It’s fine for YA readers, if they’re okay with a little bit of swearing and gore. Oh, and space battles.

One of the authors is J.N. Chaney. I tried to read his Renegade Star series and barely made it through the first book. The main character was a whiner and a jerk, two things I hate, so I only picked this one up because there is a co-author.

Unfortunately, my author brain had an easy time picking this story apart. The beginning is so cliché I literally rolled my eyes. Picture this: A down-and-out courier, in debt, had to dump their last shipment, in desperate need of a job, and then finds the job that will take him from being a bit of a scoundrel to a man willing to sacrifice his life for the galaxy.

Sound familiar? The authors set this up quickly, then went on to the rest of the story.

Which felt like a cross between a leveling up video game and Voltron.

I didn’t hate the main character, but he was kind of bland. A little snarky, a little brave, but nothing really interesting. Until he stumbles onto a giant mech suit and becomes, the Messenger. The champion for good against the Golden…things.

Don’t get me wrong, I like chosen one stories, but didn’t love this one. This first book felt like 100% set up, not an actual story, and I skimmed the last quarter of it. I never meshed with the characters or the premise of the story, and considering it didn’t grab my attention, I probably won’t read any more in the series.

Three stars.

Dash never asked to be a mech pilot, but fate has other plans.

On the run and out of chances, he guides his ship and crew into the heart of a relic older than the galaxy itself—and find himself on the edge of an eternal war he never knew existed.

The relic is a mech, lost to history and forgotten by all who remain. Built by an ancient race to be the ultimate weapon, the machine is capable of unspeakable destruction, and its discovery could unhinge the balance of power throughout known space.

Worse still, the A.I. inside the machine speaks of an ancient evil that will soon arrive–a race whose power far exceeds anything humanity has ever witnessed.

Only the Messenger can stand against them, the A.I. tells its new pilot. Only you can do what must be done.

There you go. Book Reviews Week 2!

Tune in next week for two more reviews.


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