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

Book Review: Southernmost Murder ~ C.S. Poe

Southernmost Murder


Title: Southernmost Murder
Author: C.S. Poe
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance
Publisher: DSP Publications
Date of Release: January 9, 2018
Pages: 200
Format: PDF (The Romance Reviews)

We get Aubrey’s story!

We meet Aubrey in the Snow & Winter series. Aubrey is a great friend to Sebastian and is located in the sunny location of Florida, providing a nice backdrop to a well-told and hilarious murder mystery. Aubrey is the property manager of Smith Family Historical Home. He’s ready for a bit of downtime with Jun Tanaka, FBI agent, and partner to Aubrey’s ex-boyfriend. There’s a skeleton in one of the closets and this sets off a series of events. You don’t have a “Sebastian” level of interference from Aubrey, but you do get to see the investigation play out… with some instigation from Aubrey.

An interesting aspect of this story was Aubrey’s narcolepsy. Like with Sebastian’s colorblindness, you get details of the condition and it plays a small part in the storyline. It doesn’t overwhelm the story, but it was interesting to get a day-to-day rundown of what it would be like to have narcolepsy. Aubrey and Jun were perfect for each other. They balance each other very well. Aubrey had “in your face” style of humor, whereas Jun’s was nice and subtle. While this could be read as a standalone, you can read it along with Sebastian’s series. (Read it after “The Mystery of the Curiosities”. This takes place directly after book 2). I hope this is the start to a series, it’s that good!

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

Book Review: Haunted Souls ~ Kathryn Knight

Haunted Souls


Title: Haunted Souls
Author: Kathryn Knight
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Date of Release: June 1, 2016
Pages: 336
Format: Kindle (Author)

Love, distrust, family, ghosts… just a few topics Haunted Souls touches on. Emily and Brett had a fling 4 years ago. They decided to end the fling due to his deployment. What neither realized was Emily was pregnant. Fast forward, Emily is a single mother of a son named Tyler. Brett’s deployment is over and he finds out he is a father. Tyler makes a friend with ghost name Josiah. There’s hurt, angry, and fear. Can the 3 (technically 4) save each other?

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I can say… I truly enjoyed the story I got! It was difficult to walk away from this story. Both Brett and Emily showed such a vulnerability which made you feel for them and root for them. You completely understood their feelings toward each other and the emotions they were dealing with. Their relationship was complicated, yet had an ease to it which made you want to grab one of them (and at times grab the other) and give them a little shake. While this was a GREAT second chance romance, this was also a really good ghost story. I was slightly surprised with myself that I enjoyed this aspect of the story. I, generally, don’t like horror, but this element added to the story and showed me different sides of this story and the romance.

Kathryn Knight’s writing isn’t overly complicated, yet it isn’t simplistic by any means. She can write and twisted, yet beautiful story of love and forgiveness, you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. I recommend Haunted Souls to anyone who loves complexed and damaged characters who you’ll love.

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

Book Review: Order of the Sun ~ Alesha Escobar

Order of the Sun

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Title: Order of the Sun (The Diviners, Book 2)
Author: Alesha Escobar
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Creative Alchemy, Inc.
Date of Release: July 2, 2018
Pages: 126
Format: Kindle (Lizzy Black)

Kelsey is still trying to find a way to get her father’s powers back as a shaman, but she’s not alone this time. Grandma Anriette and Uncle Bo are here to help. Just when you thought things couldn’t get more complicated, the Order of the Sun have shown up and things go from bad to worse. Can Kelsey still help her dad get his powers back and stop the Order of the Sun? It’s a tall order!

This book was non-stop, action on every page. Kelsey has gotten a little better at her magic, with the help of Uncle Bo. However, Uncle Bo is not what he seems. To be completely honest, I like Uncle Bo. While he is the complete opposite of Kelsey’s dad, he does have her best interest at heart. Kelsey’s development has come a long way from the first book and she’s still that awesome young lady you meant in the first book. She’s still sympathetic and empathetic… she’s truly grown. Again, it doesn’t quite leave off on a cliffhanger, but I can’t wait for the next installment!

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

Book Review: House of Diviners ~ Alesha Escobar

House of Diviners

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Title: House of Diviners (Book 1)
Author: Alesha Escobar
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Creative Alchemy, Inc.
Date of Release: March 1, 2017
Pages: 138
Format: Kindle (Lizzy Black)

Kelsey Jackson Diviner is a shaman-in-training who witnesses an attack on a fellow shaman. There’s a shadow-in-black out to get all shamans, Kelsey is no exception. Her father, a fellow shaman, is attacked while helping Kelsey with a client. Can she help save her father and potentially the world?

Escobar writes an interesting group of characters, with each one serving a purpose. In the beginning, Kelsey’s father seems overly protective, until he’s attacked and not only do you see and understand why her father was always “butting in”, but you also got to see just how much training Kelsey still needed. This caused Kelsey to draw on an inner power she didn’t know she had within her. It wasn’t magic, she had plenty of that (although not fully trained with it), it was grit and determination. She was sympathetic and empathetic, with sometimes not a clear plan to achieve her goal, but she never gave up. Kelsey does have a hard time figuring out who can and can’t be trusted. No one wants to walk around feeling suspicious all the time; this is where her strengths were sometimes her weakness. Some magical details about shamans and gods could have been explained more, but it’s possible to learn more about them in the next installment. Overall, she achieves her goal, but not her end goal. This was written in such a way there was no true, clear cliffhanger… but just enough to get you excited about the next installment.

18+, Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, YA

Book Review: A Million Junes ~ Emily Henry

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Title: A Million Junes
Author: Emily Henry
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Magical Realism, YA
Publisher: Razorbill
Date of Release: May 16, 2017
Pages: 350
Format: Kindle (First to Read)

This is a modern rendition of Romeo and Juliet with a twist. Do you believe what happens in the past can and will effect your future? What if what happened was generations before you were born? What if a misunderstand stood in your way of happiness, and it was a misunderstanding before you or your parents existed? This is what Jack (June) and Saul are facing, and they decide to face it head on!

This story requires you to use a bit of imagination. There’s a hint of magical realism, which is beautifully executed. Each character served a purpose, even if you didn’t understand what their purpose was in that exact moment. This story is witty, whimsical, and fun. The writing is superb in a way the author creates such a spellbinding world, characters, story, and you can’t help but to get caught up in the whirlwind that is Jack and Saul.

I will be completely honest with you, this book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea… and that’s okay! Read this book with an open mind and a bit of imagination, and you’ll love this book as much as I do. I thought this was absolutely fantastic.

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

Ghosts of Witch’s Past ~ Corinne O’Flynn

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Title: Ghosts of Witches Past (Witches of Tower Hill, Book 1)
Author: Corinne O’Flynn
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: YA, Mystery, Paranormal
Publisher: Big Ink Books
Date of Release: February 20, 2017
Pages: 248
Format: Kindle (Author)

How far would you go to help save the child of an outcast family? What if that child was with your mother when she died? And the only way to solve her murder would be to unravel secrets of the past that tie the two families together. Would you still help? That is the problem presented to 17-year-old Waveria, affectionately known as Wavy to her family. Wavy can see ghosts and that starts her journey into the outside world, where she meets Niall, 17-years- old and child of the outcast family, The Tobins. Niall escapes a deadly plot to clear his family’s name at his expense. Together, Niall and Wavy must defy the odds (and their families) to solve the old murder mystery and save Niall’s life. It’s a race against the clock… can they crack the case and save Niall? If so, at what expense?

This was quite the enchanting story! As the story unfolds, you feel the magic flow throw your veins as you are transported with Niall and Wavy across the ocean and back in a race against the clock. This was great storytelling. Each character was interesting and kept you guessing… Friend or Foe? Ms. O’Flynn grabbed me from the first page and refused to let go and I’m so glad she didn’t! I can’t wait to read more!  (Psst… click the cover to purchase the book!)

 

I was voluntarily provided this ARC by the author for an honest opinion.

18+, Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, series

Dead of Haggard Hall ~ Marie Treanor

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Title: The Dead of Haggard Hall (Darke of Night, Book 1)
Author: Marie Treanor
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Date of Release: July 26, 2016
Pages: 197
Format: PDF

What a great start to a series! There’s nothing I love more than a smart heroine and an anti-hero that loves with everything he has! Ms. Treanor has written two characters, who are quite flawed, perfectly. Both have scandals in their past (that keeps getting brought up)! Barbara is a medium and Patrick is a skeptical journalist that’s fascinated with her. There’s a series of strange events happening in Haggard Hall, and Barbara is there to help!

The character of Patrick is written so EXTREMELY well, it leaves you guessing whether or not he’s the villain. Patrick is a broken man still dealing with the death of  his wife, in which he was rumored to have murdered. While Patrick may be the most complexed of the characters, he is quite possibly my favorite. He’s unconventionally beautiful and he tore me to pieces. For me, Patrick was the most likable (although mysterious) character. However, the secondary characters are equally just as fascinating. These characters provide mystique and humor and keeps the book flowing at a steady pace.

Once you start this book, you won’t be able to put it down! Highly addictive… great chemistry between Barbara and Patrick, with a great mystery. There is non-stop action with moments of humor and love. I look forward to the rest of the series!