Category: book reviews

Worlds with Ruby: Book Review

WORLDS WITH RUBY (Ferris Wheel stories # 1)

By C P Cabaniss

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal

SYNOPSIS

When you’re already dead, why should you be afraid?

Ruby died in an accident. But instead of heaven or hell she finds herself in a place unimaginable…….

When dead Ruby finds herself on the edge of a cliff in a land unknown, with an ominous creaking coming from the nearby woods, she is left with no choice but to follow it to its source. Nothing is what it seems and Ruby soon finds herself being whisked away to worlds beyond her imagination. Worlds in need of saving. Along the way, she discovers that in saving these worlds, she is saving herself.

REVIEW

I wish to say no more about the plot than what is written already in the synopsis as l don’t want to spoil your read, because it’s​ better to go into the book blind and be surprised.

Beginning the review, the first thing I want to do is to praise the author’s ability to think, to imagine. How did she come up with this idea? I just don’t know. It’s so unique, innovative and so unlike any other story that I have ever read. 

Coming to the main character, I loved Ruby’s character a lot, she is a strong woman, she faced her enemies bravely, even in the unknown lands, she was not afraid. 

“Fear must be embraced, accepted as natural, but never run from. Never orgotten or locked away. We must overcome it. But in banishing it, we allow it to overcome us.”

I think the best part of this novelette was the climax, the end, where it is described that why she didn’t die a normal death and just went to heaven (or hell) but became a traveller, who went to different worlds. Obviously it was not something that l had expected, it was something very unpredictable.

As it is a fantasy read so I can’t help myself from commenting on its believability. I found it very much believeable, because who knows what would happen to us after death, this might be true, like we can become a saviour, or a traveller after we die.

Overall I would say Worlds With Ruby has a nice plot, is quite a pageturner, and kept me guessing till the end. So I would like to recommend this book to all fantasy readers and if you are not a fantasy reader, but would like to try one of the fantasy books, then this might be a good option.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

(-0.5 stars because I didn’t like Damen, Ruby’s​ friend’s ,  character that much.)

*Author provided me my book, free of cost with no obligations*

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Winter’s Kiss : Book Review



WINTER’S KISS

By Darlene Fredette

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Genre: Romance

SYNOPSIS

Return to beautiful Redford Falls: a woman who knows what she wants and a man who knows what he needs…

Nothing thaws the chill faster than a warm winter kiss…

She’s been on a flight from hell for over eight hours, lost four hours of daylight, and arrived in temperatures twenty degrees lower than accustomed to. Disliking winter for a reason she refuses to discuss, Danielle Lerato would rather be anywhere than in Redford Falls. She needs to get the job done and return home before getting caught up in the small town’s charm…and the arms of the handsome, brown-eyed restaurant owner.

Andrew Haley’s first encounter with the buttery blonde didn’t go so well, and he well-remembers the chill of the glass of water she dumped over his head. Now, two years later, a raging storm drops Danielle back into his life. She’s determined to leave, but he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her to fall in love with Redford Falls…and him. 

REVIEW

Danielle’s boss shifted the business to Redford Falls and wanted Danielle to move there too but Danielle is adamant that she won’t do that. To change her mind and to bring her Redford Falls he asks Danielle to train a assistant who could work in her place, accepting this offer she visits Redford Falls. There she meets Andrew with whom she shares a not so pleasant incident of of her previous visit there but soon they both discover the other side of each other and find themselves falling for each other. However Danielle won’t stay….

“She couldn’t wait to begin every day just like this— in Andrew’s arms. ‘Everything I want and need is right here.’”

I liked both Danielle and Andrew’s characters. They both have faced the loss of their loved ones in their past and are coming out of it. I especially liked those parts where they talked their pasts and found a good listening ear in each other. 

Other than Danielle and Andrew’s character I also liked Chloe’s, Andrew’s sister’s character, she is sweet young girl​ who helped Danielle and also become her really good friend. 

Apart from the characters, I also liked those instances that gave a glimpse of the small town life in Redford Falls, how endearing and caring the people of the town are and how quickly a word spreads from one ear to other in this town.

Winter’s Kiss is a nice love story but not something extraordinary that l could go on raving about. The characters are likeable, the plot is good but still somehow it is not something that kept me up all night or had a pageturner effect. But if you love love stories and if you’re​ a fan of Clean Romances then I would definitely recommend it to you.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🔸

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

*I got this book from Netgalley*

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Murder in White Lace – Book Review

MURDER IN WHITE LACE

By Karen Sue Walker

PUBLISHER: Createspace Publishing

GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

Hello, I am back from a one month long break!

SYNOPSIS

Max Walters is a busy bridal consultant with dreams of being a designer. When her boss goes on vacation, things quickly unravel when one of her brides-to-be, Jennifer collapses in the shop during a fitting and dies at the hospital soon after, apparently poisoned. When her childhood friend is accused of the murder, Max decides to investigate and clear his name. With help from her new assistant, Keiko, and the other colorful residents of Crystal Shores, Max begins to weave together a list of suspects, much to the concern of the handsome Detective Cruz. Will she be able to tie up the loose threads and catch the murderer – or will the murderer get to her first?

REVIEW 

Murder in White Lace flows very seamlessly and I got into the story and could relate to the characters quite easily. I never got bored. I like my mystery novels to be more suspenseful and more gripping, so I think Murder in white lace lacked the suspense quotient. But some parts of the last 30% were quite thrilling.

“Max looked up to see the gun pointed straight at her. She knew as soon as she signed the note she was dead.”

Max is a quite likeable character, she is smart, witty, kind and has nice sleuthing abilities.I also liked the way Max thought, because she considered her to be one of her suspects to help herself think like the police.

I was spellbound when the murderer was revealed because she was someone I had never expected to commit something this heinous.

I loved Keiko’s character but I am a bit disappointed​ with Detective Cruz’s character, as a police his character was a bit downplayed.

Overall I would say Murder in White Lace is a nice cozy murder mystery, which you can enjoy with a coffee in your hand. I surely recommend this book to all mystery lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 out of 5 stars)

*I got this book from Netgalley*

Buy here

Dead over Heels – Book Review

DEAD OVER HEELS
by Theresa Braun

Published
by: Frith Books

Publication
date: November 16th 2016


Genres
: Adult, Horror, Paranormal, Romance

SYNOPSIS

Veronica’s first date with Sebastian not only stirs up a powerful attraction, but also a series of supernatural events that will tear them apart.

After countless hours of dead end online dating, Veronica meets up with Sebastian at a reportedly haunted restaurant, since he knows she has a fascination with the paranormal. While enjoying their meals and each other’s company, they share a shocking supernatural experience. Their romantic connection is overshadowed by the ghosts of their own pasts that threaten to destroy their budding relationship. Veronica decides she must return to the restaurant to face her past and dig up more answers. Unfortunately, she realizes she must go back, this time with a reluctant Sebastian. In the end, they join forces against the evil that stands between them, but will they make it out alive?

REVIEW

​This short story opens with the narrator and her boyfriend sitting in a police station, then it goes back into the past, a month ago, their online meeting, and then a date. In the The River House restaurant, where they went for their date, they notice a couple, but the waiter firmly believes that no one was sitting on the table they were talking about. Then as their relationship proceeds, their past revisits, secrets are spilled and soon their lives goes topsy-turvy….

Dead over Heels story was actually- eerie-creepy-scary and thrilling. It kept me on the edge of my seat, almost throughout the book. Definitely it was a quite a engaging read. 

The story line was good, it was predictable at parts but mostly unpredictable. I even loved the predictable parts.

Though this story had a supernatural/paranormal angle, but it didn’t feel much unbelievable. The story just kept me so engrossed, with a pageturner effect that I somewhat didn’t get the time or desire to judge it’s believability.

“It’s not the way I wanted to spend eternity with the man I love, but it will have to do. At least we’re together. If only he could see and hear me. I won’t ever give up trying, though.”~Veronica

The climax, was chilling and horrifying, being true to the genre horror.

 The romance between the leads was sweet, a nice reprieve from the scary experience.

Overall I would say it was quick and engaging read that I recommend to all horror lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 stars)

* I got this book through the Review Opportunity of Xpresso Book Tours*


Corrupt Me – Book Review

CORRUPT ME
By Jillian Quinn
(Philly Corruption #1)

Publication
date: January 17th 2017

Genres
: New Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

Izzie Rinaldi has everything going for her. All she has to do is make it through her senior year of college, and then she’ll be off to law school, one step closer to assuming her position at the head of her family’s empire. After a chance encounter with the campus bad boy, Izzie can’t get him out of her head.

Luca Marchese, the smooth-talking son of the most notorious man in Philadelphia, is used to getting what he wants. He hasn’t forgotten the girl he knew as a child, and now that he has Izzie’s attention, Luca will stop at nothing to have her.

Luca’s defiance of the law turns Izzie on more than she cares to admit. She wants Luca to corrupt her in every way possible, despite his reputation as the king of one-night stands. Their attraction is undeniable, but their desire for one another isn’t enough for Izzie to overlook visits from federal agents and the potential ruin of her family.

Linked to Luca and a criminal underworld, Izzie discovers she’s more like him than she thought. But a future with Luca could mean swapping her diamond bracelets for a pair of handcuffs.

*Corrupt Me is a standalone novel that is the first book in the Philly Corruption series.*

REVIEW:

Luca Marchese, a Don’s son and Izzie, granddaughter of one of the richest man, know each other from the childhood. Back in the wine cellar they had their first kiss when they were still very young but soon after their families severed ties and and they got separated. They again meet eachother in the college, but Izzie kept her distance from him, because she is still a bit heartbroken and also because Luca’s manwhoring ways also came to Izzie’s ear. Also Izzie thought their families won’t agree if they start off anything between them. In senior year, Izzie bumps into Luca. Their attraction is undeniable and with Luca continuously pursuing her, Izzie may soon have to reconsider her decision to stay away from him…..

I would start off by saying that I liked both Luca and Izzie’s characters. Both had really strong personalities. Even though Luca’s father was a Don but he preferred to learn law and become a lawyer. Luca never wanted to be a criminal like his father. Izzie on the other hand, though she belonged to a rich household but she worked really hard to get into the college and also for the position in her family empire. She will never take any shit from anyone. I also liked her snappy comments.

I loved their love story. It was at place cute and funny, and at other times there were some really intense and passionate moments. I especially liked that part, where Izzie was drunk but Luca didn’t take the advantage of the situation, even when Izzie in her drunk state asked him to have sex with her.

For steam lovers, in the later half, there was also some really sexy in between sheets action.

“You are my family now. I’ve never felt like I was part of something, other than a company, until I met you. You are my everything. Without you, none of this matters to me .”~Izzie

This story also gives a kind of inside story of some big empires and how they work. I am not saying that whatever is told in this novel is the story of every other business empire, but is definitely for some. These big empires present their company as spotlessly clean but inside they can be really immoral and corrupt.

The last few chapters were especially very exciting with FBI behind Luca and Izzie’s grandfather and the only key to save them lies in Izzie’s hand, but there was a lot at stake for that key to be used. So how eventually things got sorted out, made the last bit interesting. Also some long kept secrets were spilled out and traitors in both sides were discovered.

Other than these I really liked some small characters like Luca’s mom, Mark, Luca’s friend among others.

Overall I would say I loved Corrupt Me and would recommend this book to all romance lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars)

*I got this book through the Review Opportunity of Xpresso Book Tours*


Bluff_Blog Tour – Book Review



Bluff
Julie Dill
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Chelsea Knowles is surrounded by the privileged. Michael Kors gym bags and designer shoes are part of her daily scene, but the talented cheerleader has a secret: she and her dad can barely pay the bills. Broken by his wife walking out on their family, Chelsea’s father ignores his responsibilities. Between cheer costs, grocery bills, electricity, and other regular financial burdens, it’s no surprise when a cut-off notice arrives in the mail. Chelsea knows it’ll be up to her to keep the lights on.

With the deck stacked against her, Chelsea decides to bet their future on the dubious poker knowledge she learned from her father before he gave up on parenting. Nervous but determined, Chelsea heads to a casino with very little security and wins big. Thrilled by her win, she’s quickly drawn to the casino again and again. She risks it all, especially when the attractive, young pit boss , Nate takes an interest in her.

Chelsea’s life, no longer filled with cheerleading, school, and hanging out with her friends, is now consumed by smoky casino floors and the ups and downs of a gambler’s life. True gamblers know when to fold, but Chelsea keeps betting long after her needs are met. The complicated web of lies soon begins to spin out of control, threatening to expose everything. Will someone see through her bluff?

Add to:

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Purchase at:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

REVIEW

Chelsea, a 17 yr old girl, to meet her and her father’s need for money she decides to play poker, under the false name of Chandra. When in front of casino she saw that no one is checking the IDs so she decides to give gambling a try. But soon poker transforms into something she can’t stay away from…

I think the best thing about this novel was that I was easily able to relate to Chelsea. Chelsea is like any 17 yr old girl, having dreams and desires. But in the same time, she is also very different, she has a irresponsible father, so the responsibility of the whole house, to pay all the bills is on her shoulder. Chelsea character was a really well built one.

Another thing that I liked about this book is Chelsea and Ms Stella’s friendship. Chelsea and Ms Stella met at the casino, and Chelsea was immediately drawn to her. Both have their own set of secrets, which both of them keep to themselves, they don’t ask each other questions. They both realise that friendship is more important than feeding their curiosity.

I also liked Nate and Chelsea’s romance. Their were some really cute moments between them. Nate knew her as Chandra but still when he discovered her truth he didn’t break their relationship, and understood her.
This novel showed gambling/poker addiction really well.

            “I go straight to the bank to cash it. Although it’s money already spent, it feels so nice, these two $100 bills in my hands. It triggers the memories of a big win, and the rush of having stacks of money in my purse. It’s the equivalent of an alcoholic taking that one little sip. The one little, dangerous sip that sends everything spiraling.” ~Chelsea

Sometimes a event triggered a childhood memory, so snippets from Chelsea’s childhood were thrown here and there through the book. These snippets showed Chelsea and her father’s relationship after her mother left. These were really sweet.
Even though Bluff was not from the genre mystery but it was quite a page turner for me because l found myself asking questions like When will all this end? What would happen when casino people will know about her age? What will happen when Chelsea’s dad would know about gambling? How would he react? What will happen to Ms Stella and Chelsea’s relationship? And what about Nate and Chelsea? In the quest of finding the answer to these questions I kept on reading more and more.

Bluff had a different kind of end, that is not very typical. It was quite unpredictable and really very practical. It’s kind of a end where your heart doesn’t want it that way but your brain says this is what happens in real life. But inspite of this dilemma I quite liked the end.

Overall I would say that Bluff is a different kind of story and also a very well written one, which you would surely love if you are a Young Adult fan.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars)


Author Bio:

Julie Dill lives in Oklahoma City where the wind always comes sweeping down the plains—literally.

As a young girl she always wanted to be a teacher, so she went on to receive her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and taught in elementary schools for ten years. Currently, she serves as an adjunct professor and loves helping students achieve success. One of her greatest professional accomplishments is earning her National Board Certification.

She holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Oklahoma City University and continues to work on various writing projects. From hiking in Colorado, to playing poker in Vegas, she’s always up for a new challenge. Julie is a busy mom of two teenage daughters, and any extra time that she may carve out is spent reading, writing, and rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Her debut novel, Bluff, is scheduled to be released on February 7th, 2017.

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A Country Practice_Blog Tour – Book Review

A COUNTRY PRACTICE
By Judith Colquhoun

BLURB:

A heart-warming, poignant and engaging tale about the doctors, nurses and patients of the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital, and their friends and neighbours.

A Country Practice follows the dramas, loves, secrets and dilemmas of the people in an Australian small country town. There is romance, humour and tragedy for the medical staff of the local hospital, and the rural community it serves.

A desperate woman arrives at the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital in the final stages of labour. Can Dr Terence Elliott overcome his demons to save both mother and baby?

Simon Bowen, the newest doctor in town, is frustrated at being seen as an outsider by the tight knit country people. Will he succeed in winning them around ‒ especially young vet Vicky Dean?

Vicky’s mum, Sister Shirley Dean, is courted by widowed police sergeant Frank Gilroy. But is he the man for her?

Young married couple, Brendan and Molly Jones arrive in Wandin Valley. Are they prepared for the realities of country life?

Meanwhile, a teenager in love clashes with her father and a serious car accident reveals a surprising secret about two of the town’s residents.

Based on the award-winning, international hit television serial A Country Practice, this new series of novels follows the lives and loves of the rural community of Wandin Valley, South-Eastern Australia. Set in the early 1980s it is a nostalgic look at country life, yet with all the same joys and problems we face today.


REVIEW

I highly recommend this book. Maybe this is the first time I am doing this, recommending the book in the very first line, because I want you people, all my readers to definitely read this beautiful novel.

This novel tells the story of you, me, us, the ordinary people. You maybe a teenager, a single mother, a single father or a young couple trying to adjust in a new place, you maybe anyone, but I guarantee you, that you will be able to relate to this story, find a piece of your mind, your soul in one of the parts of this awesome novel.

This is Jenny’s story, a 15 year old girl and her father’s, a single dad trying to meet both ends. This is also Terence’s story, a senior doctor, a country GP, he is an expert, a real good person at heart. This is Simon’s story, a young doctor under the shadow of Terence, who is trying to create a influence in this Countryside and not quite managing. Then there is Brendan and Molly’s story, two people trying to adjust in Wandin Valley. Also this is Shirley’s story, a country nurse, Marta’s story, the matron and many others. 

From the very first page I was able to relate to all the characters. This story is told through many point of views, the narrator jumps from one person’s head to another and you get a piece of everyone’s mind, what they think, what they feel. Pain, anger, joy, many human emotions are shown through all these characters. 

‘‘People are sometimes driven to choices which others find incomprehensible. We have to accept that.”

There were so many beautiful moments in this novel, that I was literally sad when this book ended because I just wanted more, I wanted to live their life a little bit longer.

In mere 220 pages, the author weaved so many different lives and there beautiful stories together. Seriously praiseworthy.

Overall I would say, A Country Practice is a beautifully written novel with well built characters, that I am asking you to buy just now to loose yourself into this heartwarming tale.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🎐

(5 stars)


LINKS:


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25764168-a-country-practice?ac=1&from_search=true

www.acountrypractice.info

Purchase:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Country-Practice-New-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B00Z37ROM2/

https://www.amazon.com/Country-Practice-New-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B00Z37ROM2/

https://www.amazon.com.au/Country-Practice-New-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B00Z37ROM2/


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Judith Colquhoun was born in Queensland and grew up in Sydney. She studied production at the National Institute of Dramatic Art and soon after graduating, love and a job took her to Melbourne. Later, she lived in London for a time, spent many years in country Victoria and long enough in Italy to fall in love with the Mezzogiorno. She is now back in Melbourne and may even stay there.

She started writing when she was six and from the age of twenty-three has always earned her living from it in one way or another. She was a scriptwriter for far too long, writing countless hours of television for many of Australia’s most popular shows, including Neighbours and Home & Away. Her output included one hundred episodes of A Country Practice.


Judith has worked as an editor and script producer, and in Italy was a script consultant on the serial Un Posto Al Sole. She has won five Awgie Awards and in 2007 was made a Life Member of the Australian Writers’ Guild.


In 2009 she finally gave up scriptwriting to attempt a novel. Thicker Than Water, which is largely set in southern Italy, was published in 2014. It was Highly Commended in the Fellowship of Australian Writers 2014 National Literary Awards.


She has written three novels based on the stories and characters of A Country PracticeNew Beginnings, To Everything a Season and Silver Linings.


Judith is married with two children and three grandchildren.