Monday, 28 August 2017

#bookreview ~ Scarred Beginnings (Scarred Series Book 2) #Military #Romance @wackyjackyful

Scarred Beginnings
(Scarred Series Book 2)
By Jackie Williams

He had trained for it, been counselled about it, seen comrades affected by it, but even as he signed up he dismissed it. Nothing was going to happen to him or any of his friends, nothing what so ever. All his sister’s worrying was ridiculous.

Nearly ten years into his service and he’d barely grazed a knuckle. His equipment was the best, his teams had his back, there was scarcely any danger at all.

And then it happened. His whole team caught up in it. Nothing could change those nightmarish few seconds that would so completely alter the rest of their lives. That it could have been a child that did it to them was almost as shocking as the event itself. He would never forget the look on the boy’s face as long as he lived.

If he thought that surviving the incident was going to be a trial, enduring the aftermath was proving to be a different sort of challenge entirely. 

What did I think of the book?

David's life is changed forever when he is caught up in a horrific suicide attack. Not only does he have to live with the terrifying image of the young boy blowing himself up, but now he has to come to terms with his disability. The last thing he ever expects to find is love, for who would want to tie themselves to a broken man?

I am a big fan of Jackie Williams because not only is she a terrific writer, but she also does not shy away from some really tough topics. Her portray of what it is like to be disabled in Briton is not only heartbreaking but sadly spot on. When David tried to do something ordinary like go to the shops or go out for dinner, it did bring tears to my eyes because I have experienced this first hand. Kudos Ms Williams for portraying the truth.

Scarred Beginnings (Scarred Series Book 2) is a wonderful story of David's journey as he not only comes to terms with what has happened to him but also how he learns to live with it. He fears that no one would ever want him and when a woman does take interest he immediately thinks he imagines it, or she is playing with him. It takes a lot for him to trust.  The story is so compelling that the pages just flew by. I loved the characterisation of David, he is so raw and so wonderfully portrayed that I could not help but fall a little in love with him myself.

Although there is a great deal of heartache and soul searching in this book, there is also moments of beautiful humour. The romance, although not a big part of this book is so wonderfully portrayed that I could not help but hope for a happy ending. I cannot praise this book enough.  Scarred Beginnings (Scarred Series Book 2) is a sit-down and finish book and one I am sure I will be reading again.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

I was born in Essex England during the mid sixties but I missed all the fun. Being only young I assumed that all Beatles were six legged creatures and Flower Power was something to do with the vigorous way my mother kneaded the bread dough.

My wonderful parents brought me up with a huge love of books. We read anything and everything. Bedtime stories were a treasured time of adventure and mystery. My sister and I sat wide eyed in wonder and to this day I worry about Dinah and Dorinda being pricked with pins because they grew so fat, and I never pull faces at the a waning moon (or was it a waxing one?) just in case my chops stay that way . (The Wind On The Moon)

I began reading romance while still at school. The fuel for many a teenage fantasy leapt from between the covers of wildly romantic books and my passion still lingers now for all those dark haired heroes.

My own beautiful teenage daughter persuaded me to write my first romance. She was only fourteen at the time and between books for children and adults. She couldn’t find anything that ticked all her numerous and particular boxes and so she asked me to write a book, with all the exact ingredients just for her. Though not just a book for teens, she enjoyed the resulting tale so much that she shared it with her friends and I eventually published A Perfect Summer as an ebook on amazon.

But I have discovered that writing is not easily stopped once you start. It has turned into a grand passion that I just cannot hold back. The fingertips start tapping the keys and ideas suddenly come flooding, far too many for just one book and so I began another and then another. Nine books later I am still nowhere near done. Book ten is on its way and only just the other night I woke from a wild and wonderful dream with book eleven fully formed in my head.

Romance will always be my first love but recently I was so influenced by a tiny polished plaque on a sea wall that I gave paranormal romance a try. (Echo Beach) Mixing the two genres was a real challenge for me but I was delighted with the result. Historical romance is going to be my next genre. All those fabulously titled and passionate men are impossibly hard to resist.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

#bookreview ~ Under A Namibian Sky #Romance #mustread @angelinakalhari

Under A Namibian Sky
 (A Desert Love Novel Book 1)

By Angelina Kalahari

Beautiful, vivacious, independent young Naomi grew up on the edge of the Namib Desert. After she becomes a safari guide, nothing is more exciting than showing off her desert's fierceness, its raw beauty, and its exotic wildlife to guests staying at Desert Lodge.

Luca, the heir apparent to the Armati supercar dynasty, is blessed with the beauty of an Italian god and born to a life of wealth, power, and influence. In Namibia for a short holiday, he wants to fulfil his dream of photographing and painting African elephants.

Used to the wiles of such spoiled princelings, Naomi is suspicious of his motives. Begrudgingly, she feels drawn to his kindness, charm and aura. Impossibly, it appears he is equally drawn to the girl from the African desert.

But will the pain of their past experiences prevent them from being courageous enough to admit their soul mate connection? Will their love overcome the challenges they face when Luca ends up in hospital after a dangerous anti-poacher raid, and Naomi has to confront her fears about falling in love with him?

Compulsively readable, Under A Namibian Sky is an emotionally riveting romance that will enchant, fascinate and delight.

What did I think of the book?

Love under an African sky.

Naomi Smith has no interest in finding the man of her dreams, for she fears what would happen if anyone got too close to her, she fears losing someone she loves. The exception, of course, is Auntie Elsa, who raised her when her parents died in a tragic car accident. And besides, she has everything she needs to be happy. She has a dream job as a safari guide, and what could be better than to live in the beautiful Namib Desert. What on earth does she need a man for?

If it were not for the instance of Santino (his former nanny and now secretary), Luca Armati would never have taken time out of his busy schedule to spend a week in the wilds of Africa. But at least it will give him an opportunity to photograph and paint pictures of elephants. What he did not expect to find on this impetuous trip was love, but one look into Naomi's eyes and he was smitten.

But Luca and Naomi come from very different worlds. Should they allow themselves to fall in love with each other, or would it be for the best if they stop whatever this was before it started? Time would tell.

Oh. My. Days. Under A Namibian Sky (A Desert Love Novel Book 1) by Angelina Kalahari is one of the best contemporary romance books that I have ever read. I was seduced by the opening chapter, and I was enchanted by the rest of the story.

Ms Kalahari has a gift for bringing Africa to life. I could feel the heat of the sun. I could envisage the sounds of the animals, and smell the warmth in the air. It was so beautifully portrayed that it felt like I was there. Wonderful.

The romance between Luca and Naomi was very real in the telling. It was very emotional and, more importantly, believable. There is a cast of supporting actors in this book, and it really gave the story a sense of realism. The story was so compelling that I simply could not put this book down.

This isn't the average romance. Ms Kalahari tackles some very emotive issues, but she so does with elegance and compassion. Well done.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If I could give it more stars, then I would. Under A Namibian Sky (A Desert Love Novel Book 1) is certainly in the top 5 romance books that I have read this year, actually scrap that, out of the romance books I have read and review this year, Under A Namibian Sky has the number 1 spot. I LOVED it.

I Highly Recommend!

Links for Purchase

About the author

Angelina Kalahari entered this life among the red dunes of Namibia’s deserts. Her first sounds merged with the power of the massive yellow moon that lit up the vast African spaces. There, where the heavens presented the splendour that the Milky Way flung across its canvas, she found her voice.

A nomadic childhood enchanted her, as Africa presented the raw beauty of her many faces, while Angelina’s family traversed the desert in search of crops for their herds of karakul sheep. This fertile ambience, filled with strange legends, amazing animals, and wonderful people, afforded Angelina a unique opportunity to live in a world of wonder, and to develop a deep sense of self.

Her mother loved listening to Mario Lanza and other tenors of the day. A record player and records accompanied the family on their travels, and back to their farm. The gift of this divine music found resonance within Angelina's body and called to her soul’s desire to share her voice with the world. She left her magical universe to study with other voice and performance obsessives, which resulted in degrees in drama, singing, and opera.

Angelina continued her nomadic existence as an adult, enthralling audiences with her singing, acting, and directing. These activities allowed her to visit a world far beyond her beloved Africa. She shared her talents on such diverse platforms as opening the busking scheme on London Underground, to a recital at the Royal Opera House, and everything in between.

This led to an invitation to Buckingham Palace, no less, where Angelina met Queen Elizabeth as a reward, and in recognition of her contribution to the music, culture, and economy of the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, her fascination and obsession with the human vocal instrument grew, together with her knowledge of it. She found herself to be a teacher and sharer of the magic of the voice and performance, and she became co-founder of the North London Performance Academy.

Storytelling, which formed such a big part of her childhood, became an inherent element in her performances, and continued to live in her heart. She never stopped writing down her stories. When, due to illness, it became clear that she would no longer be able to share her voice in the way she had before, writing became the obvious and perfect outlet for her creative expression.

Although she has finished many novels, plays, children’s stories, and had several articles published, The Healing Touch is her published debut novel, the first in a series. George And The Gargoyle Who Lived In The Garden will be her first middle grade novel, again the first in a series.

Angelina has found a new colourful and vibrant universe in London. She now lives near a massive park, which satisfies another obsession, her awe and wonder of trees. The intoxicating world of London's artistic scene has introduced Angelina to many inspirational people who have become a close and integral part of her tribe.

The only magnificent creatures that share her home today, are her husband, her little fur cat daughter, a rapidly diminishing population of house spiders, and a smallish herd of dust bunnies.

Useful Links

Saturday, 12 August 2017

#BookReview ~ Desperate Knight (Knights of Kilbourne Book 2) #fantasy @kilbourneknight

Desperate Knight
(Knights of Kilbourne Book 2)

By Keith W. Willis

No time... No options... No plan…
No one said saving the world would be easy. 

Morgan McRobbie and Lady Marissa duBerry swing back into swashbuckling action, facing old enemies, new threats, and a diabolical conspiracy—not to mention a more personal battle, one with hearts and pride at stake.

As the pair escorts Prince Robert to the dwarf king’s court, a scheme intended to hurl men and dwarves into a devastating war is unfolding. Morgan ends up sidetracked by a kidnapped dwarf and a centuries-old feud, while a mysterious wizard’s revelations shake Marissa to her core, throwing into question everything she thought she knew about her past and future. And the advent of a rival for Marissa’s affections threatens any hope of a happy ending—if they survive.

Once again, the desperate knight and indomitable damsel must hazard everything on a single throw of the dice, gambling on untested allies and unimagined weapons to save their world.

The odds have never been worse.

What did I think of the book?

Danger, intrigue, love, romance and...dragons!

With the intention of ending a long and bitter feud, King Rhys has agreed to a treaty to end the hostilities between Kilbourne and the Kingdom of the Drawfs. But unbeknown to the King, those who want to see the treaty fail are plotting against him.

Trouble seems to always find Morgan McRobbie, especially when a certain lady is involved. Between trying to protect the King, he battles with his own heart. But time is against him. Can he reach Kilbourne in time to save the King? And has he left it too late to tell Lady Marissa of his love?

Traitor Knight was a page-turning adventure, with such memorable characters that when Keith W. Willis approached me and asked if I would like to read the sequel, Desperate Knight (Knights of Kilbourne Book 2), I couldn't say yes fast enough!

Desperate Knight (Knights of Kilbourne Book 2) picks up where Traitor Knight left off. I am pleased to say that once again Mr Willis has delivered a masterpiece in historical fantasy.

I adored the characterization of Morgan and Marissa in book 1, and I love them even more in Book 2. They are both such wonderful protagonists. They are full of the unexpected, especially Marissa, and they were so well fleshed that they were very easy to visualise. Their romance was also very sweet and helped to enhance the story.

The plot is full of twists and turns. Who is the enemy? Who can our heroes trust? The story certainly kept me turning those pages.

The characters certainly get themselves into some desperate situations, but there is also a great deal of humour in this book, which had me laughing out loud!

The antagonists were equally compelling, and they keep our heroes second guessing right up until that final chapter.

I think Desperate Knight works very well as a standalone, but to get the most out of the story, I do recommend you begin with Book 1.  You won't be disappointed.

If you are looking for quality historical fantasy, with a touch of romance, then Desperate Knight is the book for you.

I Highly Recommend.

* I received an ARC of this book, from the author, for review consideration.* 

Links for Purchase

About the author

Keith W. Willis graduated (long ago) with a degree in English Lit from Berry College, which has the distinction of being the world's largest college campus. He now lives in the scenic Hudson Valley/Adirondack region of NY with his wife Patty. Keith is certain those rumbling noises attributed to Henry Hudson's crew are really just the dragons grumbling. Keith and Patty have one grown son, Matt, who actually thinks it’s pretty cool that Dad wrote a book.

Keith’s interests include reading classic mysteries, fantasy and sci-fi; camping and canoeing; and cutthroat games of Scrabble. He began writing seriously in 2008, when the voices in his head got too annoying to ignore. When he’s not making up stories he manages a group of database content editors at a global information technology firm. TRAITOR KNIGHT (Champagne Books) is his first published novel, and has won awards for both fantasy and romance.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

#BookReview ~ Quest of a Warrior #Romance @m_morganauthor

Quest of a Warrior

(Legends of the Fenian Warriors Book 1)

By Mary Morgan

"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!"

Fenian Warrior, Conn MacRoich has traveled the earth for thousands of years, guarding the realm between mortal and Fae. His deeds are legendary. Yet, one mistake will force him on a journey to fix a broken time-line. However, on Conn’s quest, he must face a human female who will eventually bring this ancient warrior to his knees.

When Ivy O’Callaghan inherits her uncle’s estate, she never imagines there will be more secrets to unravel, including the one she hides from the world. With the help of a mysterious stranger, she learns to trust and step out of the shadows. However, nothing prepares Ivy when she learns Conn's true identity.

As the loom of fate weaves a thread around the lovers from two different worlds, will the sacrifices they make lead them to love? Or will their secrets destroy and separate them forever?

What did I think of the book?

What would you sacrifice for love?

Ivy O'Callaghan has spent her life hidden in the shadows. But now it is a time for a new start, so when she learns that she has inherited her uncle's estate, she jumps on a plane and heads to Ireland.

Conn MacRoich, an ancient Fenian Warrior, has come to fix a mistake that he made hundreds of years ago. What he didn't count on was falling in love with a human. But there is something about Ivy that draws him in and makes him long for things that a Fenian Warrior has no right to long for.

Caught between two worlds, Conn must decide between his people and the woman he loves.

I was so looking forward to Mary Morgan's new Fenian Warriors series, and Quest Of A Warrior did not disappoint. The story is heartbreakingly romantic and beautifully portrayed. It is a real page turner that I simply could not put down.

I loved the portrayal of Conn. He really struggles with what he wants and what is right. He knows that he should not let himself fall in love with Ivy because in his world they have no future. He should walk away from her before it is too late. But love is not always rational and Conn goes on an incredibly emotional journey of discovery. Likewise, Ivy came across as very real in the telling. She is a really likeable person who is more than a match for the Fenian Warrior.

The story itself is full of intrigue and secrets as well as love. I thought it was a very moving story and it is one I will definitely be coming back to. I cannot wait for Book 2. Kudos, Ms Morgan.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase


About the author

Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. 

Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories. 

#BookReview — The Potential For Love by Catherine Kullmann #RegencyRomance

The Potential For Love By Catherine Kullmann When Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for ...