Book Review, Books, Fiction, HEA, Romance

Village Books ~ Craig McLay

Village Books

Title: Village Books
Author: Craig McLay
Reviewer: Shakera
Rating: 4 Stars

This book came as recommendation and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. I will say books narrated in the first person make me a bit nervous. Sometimes I get a bit confused as to who’s speaking… it could be just me. (I accept that!)

Village Books is a bookstore that is on the verge of extinction. A big corporation wants to buy the building to tear it down! It has been around for 30 years and during its time, I’m sure it has seen some interesting characters (no pun intended). The current list of employees are eclectic and most are eccentric, but one could never say they were boring! Let’s meet the characters, shall we?

Narrator: You will never learn his name, but he is quite engaging. He’s witty, and charming. His dry sense of humor as he guides you through the story will, at times, have you laughing out loud. He has worked in Village Books for 3 years as the assistant manager, looking for something more… something different. He’s also tried his hand at being an author.

Dante: The manager and resident WebMD expert. His character lacks backbone as a decision maker, but he’s great at helping you get out of blind dates. His mother wants to see him married before she dies…he has other ideas.

Leah Dashwood: The new part time manager. She has aspirations of a career in acting. She’s smart, funny, and charming. She tells it like she sees it, but she certainly knows how to soften the blow.

Aldous: The philosophy student. In truth, he really has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s the young guy who dresses like the hippy because he believes it makes him look the part of a philosopher. He’s just as lost as everyone else.

Ebeneezer: Former English teacher who’s cranky as hell, but your inner nerd loves him because he knows all the classics! And he’s in love the owner of the cafe next door. (In the running to be my favorite character in the story).

Mina: Cashier and batshit crazy… like her husband that works for the military… and he’s missing… as in no one can find him and he’s not on his medication. As the reader, this is mildly humorous, but not so much for…

Sebastian: The playboy! He’s also the narrator’s best friend. Sebastian starts off on top of the world, however the further you get into the book, he takes you takes you through many “WTF, dude?!” moments. His fall from grace is spectacular, yet historical. (The other character in the running to be my favorite).

There are other characters that add to the story, such as the Irish pub owner… (Word of advice, don’t order any drinks that are NOT on the menu!) and helps the plot move along, but there were times I was a bit lost because I had a little trouble distinguishing who was speaking. (Not many times, that’s why I rated this a 4). This book was extremely witty and it was well written. Watching the plot play out will have you laughing out loud and wanting to visit Toronto! Good read!

18+, Book Review, Books, Fiction, HEA, LGBTQIA, Romance, series

The Mystery of Nevermore ~ C.S. Poe

The Mystery of Nevermore.jpg

Title: The Mystery of Nevermore
Author: C.S. Poe
Series: YES!
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Shakera

This wasn’t your typical “Romance/Suspense”. I truly enjoyed this story so much.

We have Sebastian Snow, an antiques dealer, who opens his shop one morning to a disturbing finding. Enter a sexy, ginger detective, Calvin Winter, lead detective. Sebastian is currently in a relationship with a cop, Neil Millet, but Neil isn’t quite ready for the world to see him. As the relationship continues, Sebastian re-evaluates what he’s willing to tolerate.

As Sebastian tries to forget the events of that snowy morning, things get weirder. Events unfold and they start to play out like stories from Edgar Allan Poe. Detective Winter is the knight in shining armor. He’s there when Sebastian needs him and the banter between the two are witty and adorable. While Sebastian wore his heart on his sleeve, Calvin was a bit more mysterious. Calvin was a bit complex and that made the relationship that much more interesting.

The dynamics of Calvin’s and Sebastian’s relationship blurred the lines between professional and personal, but it helped the story progress. With the aid of a few secondary characters, the plot came to a head and you see where Calvin and Sebastian stood with their relationship, and I couldn’t help but wonder, “What comes next for them?” I’m extremely interested to see where they go from here!

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Sci-fi, series

Jackaby ~ William Ritter


Title: Jackaby
Author: William Ritter
Review Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Shakera

It’s Sherlock Holmes meets Doctor Who! This is a wonderful start to a series! The story is narrated from the point of view of one Abigail Rook. She left home in search of adventure and boy did she find it! His name is R. F. Jackaby! Mr. Jackaby is a detective of sort. His cases tend to have a supernatural aspect to them. As his assistant, you have to be ready for anything!

Someone or something is killing people for blood and it’s Jackaby on the case! (Well not officially… he’s really just interested). As the body count gets higher, can Jackaby find the killer before Jackaby and Abigail are next?

This story was truly hilarious and witty. It was Robert Downey, Jr.’s “Sherlock Holmes” with the Matt Smith’s  11th Doctor! There was humor and mystery on every page and you meet the most interesting characters along the way. The character development was great and there were extremely likeable characters. I can’t wait to see where this series goes from here!

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi

The Gentleman ~ Forrest Leo


Title: The Gentleman
Author: Forrest Leo
Review Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Shakera

This has to be one of the funniest books I have read in a long time! Lionel Savage is not only his own worst enemy… he’s also the villain! Accidentally, of course! Marrying for money and believing this marriage has been his downfall, Lionel is at the end of his rope and feels like suicide is his only option. He says something nice about the Devil and inadvertently conjures him up. And befriends him. (He’s really not that bad of a guy… in this story!)

In discovering his wife missing, Lionel realizes he loves her and jumps the “natural” conclusion that The Devil took her and he must get her back! Hilarity ensues as Murphy’s Law takes place throughout this entire story. One event after the other introduces you to new and interesting characters.

I loved everything about this story. Each page was a page turner… as you wonder what can Lionel get himself into now! Add to that the hilarious footnotes/commentary by his cousin and you won’t be able to stop laughing!


Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Sci-fi, series, YA

Bittersweet ~ Michele Barrow-Belisle


Title: Bittersweet
Author: Michele Barrow-Belisle
Review Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Shakera

“Great Sequel!”

We pick up where we left off with Lorelei in the human world. Her healing abilities aren’t working and I’m panicking! Adrius is in the human world with her, but so is Venus, who is as beautiful as I believe her to be crazy. It’s revealed that the veil between Lorelei’s human world and Adrius’ mythical world is slowly breaking.

While I thought the book started off a bit slow, it was interesting to see more of Lorelei’s world and her friends. I have to say, the plot blew me away. I don’t usually have high hopes for sequels, but this book exceeded my expectations by far! The character developments as well as the world building left me speechless. Ms. Barrow-Belisle has created characters that are easy to love and hate… sometimes at the same time! I shouldn’t love Zanthiel, but I do! It is hard at times to tell if he is the bad guy, but I can’t help but root for him. I adore Adrius, but there were moments where he seemed a bit too controlling for my taste. While I know he has Lorelei’s best interest at heart, I felt she should have been able to make her own decisions as he gave her guidance. I will say, while I like Lorelei as a character… she drives me crazy sometimes. At the same time, she is learning so much about herself and what she is capable of; which makes it easy to forgive some of the decisions she does make. (I’m secretly hoping for a romance between Lorelei and Zanthiel!)

This was well done and thought out! I can’t wait for book 3!

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