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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-21 20:01
Broken Heart by Tammy Faith (2016 Review)
Broken Heart - Tammy Faith

Broken Heart by Tammy Faith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Phoebe Stephen's life drastically changes when she awakes from an attack - an attack she can't remember. Giving in to the fear, to the emotional insecurities, she strives to keep it hidden from all who care for her. But such brutal violence takes its toll and can't remain hidden for long, especially when love is at stake.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Tammy Faith for giving me the opportunity!

Upon being given the opportunity to read this debut novel, I admittedly had to mull over whether it would ultimately capture my interest. Romance as a genre can be a very extreme hit or miss with me, but I almost always prefer it involving paranormal aspects or erotic content as a focus point. Despite these factors however, I finally decided to give it a go even though the blurb didn't particularly appeal; which had nothing to do with the implied delicate subject matter, I might add, it simply struck me as rather flat, as Contemporary New Adult often does. I was happy I finished it though, as I detest having to leave a book before it concludes.

The story of Phoebe and Crisanto could've been considered a relationship fantasied about by the young and naive - it was mind-numbingly perfect and a little ridiculous. Sure, they battled through some serious issues, broke up and got back together more than once, but their connection was formed in childhood and they essentially needed each other to properly function. Over and over I was reminded how they were meant to be, how their souls were joined; mostly tedious ramblings that repeatedly played on my nerves. Phoebe's life often revolved around Cris and his rise to fame (she moved twice, following him as he succeeded in his sports career), as it appeared "his dream" was the only one that mattered. I foresaw the happy ending, thus the numerous occasions they appeared to be in jeopardy failed to cause uncertainty or concern. A lot of romance material shares this very trait, but I've found it can still be done whilst successfully creating sense of edge-of-your-seat excitement. Unfortunately, this one fell quite short.

It wasn't all bad however, as I found myself impressed with some of the dialogue and narrative that related to life's habit of being unfair and difficult; it was truly quote-worthy at times and I appreciated the good writing (even though as a whole it was rife with spelling errors). The sexual abuse was also handled well, and added a touch of mystery amongst the awfulness of the situation - yet in the end the identity of the rapist made little sense. She was friends with Cris for most of his life and never, even once, met his father? I believe such a glaringly questionable plot-hole should've probably been addressed, but I assume Faith wanted to shock her readers, therefore who better than the parent of the beloved boyfriend?

I can't say I came to care for the characters, nor the story to a large degree. It was a quick read, with the timeline regularly racing ahead and skimming over a lot of time. I became confused at a point when one of the scenes from the past didn't quite add up in the scheme of things, but that could've been my own oversight or just another problem on the list.

In conclusion - Whilst I definitely believe this book held potential, it needs revision and editing. Also, the lovey-dovey definitely became a bit much, as it seemed to me to be rather unhealthy. Not my thing, I can say that for sure!

Notable Quote:

I'm glad we didn't give up when things got ugly, because maybe love isn't supposed to be easy. Maybe it's supposed to be tough, to make you prove to yourself that this person is worth fighting for, to hold on tight when everything seems to want to tear you apart.

© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/21/broken-heart-by-tammy-faith-2016-review
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-21 19:02
The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
The Nightmare Room - Chris Sorensen

The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After a personal tragedy strikes Peter and Hannah Larson, they find themselves picking up their lives and moving house. Said house isn't what it seems - something lurks within, seeming to originate from the dark and gloomy basement. As the presence continues to focus upon the two, its determination only grows, causing obvious and damaging rifts between husband and wife. It appears to already know Peter in some intimate way, and shocking, deeply hidden secrets soon come to light.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Chris Sorensen for giving me the opportunity!

This turned out to be an extremely difficult book for me to form a solid opinion on and subsequently rate. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that I didn't really consider this one an outright horror novel, at least in regards to my own personal taste. When I instead thought of it as a supernatural tale with some horror elements, it made better sense in my mind. You see, in no way did I at all feel that uncomfortable, yet riveting unease that comes with something that ticks all the right boxes in the scary department. The typical tropes were there; the ghostly encounters, the ominous house, but something also felt missing and I had one hell of a time trying to figure out what. It could've been the absence of a sufficient build up, where time is given to properly establish a sense of dread, or maybe the haunting scenes merely didn't offer anything frightful. Essentially, it wasn't my sort of horror, I'd even go so far to say it was relatively tame in the scheme of things, yet I did appreciate the storytelling - twists included.

Peter and Hannah Larson were the sort of married couple you'd roll your eyes at - they were sickeningly perfect for each other. Their chemistry jumped out from the page, and despite dealing with the anguish of great loss, they found strength. They, of course, had their faults, which became evident throughout, but that only made them more relatable as people. I liked them, and I especially liked what Sorensen did with Peter. What revolved around Peter were secrets heavily linked to his past, and whilst the revelations kept coming, I too shared in Peter's shock. The two other characters that had a significant presence - that being Riggs and Ellen Marx, added a pleasant sprinkle of entertainment. I notably enjoyed Ellen's legitimacy at being an expert; she was no quack. If I could, I'd read a book all about her.

Despite the cleverness of some aspects, I can't deny that I felt that the story dragged at times. For me, there's nothing worse than feeling the onset of boredom, and there were moments that came dangerously close to that. I felt that the first half in particular could've used more time with the couple in the house, and less time in the Blind Rock bar for instance, which is where my interest really waned. I understand such scenes were for the benefit of character development, but my engagement primarily lay with Peter.

Sorensen's imagination certainly took me by surprise as I reached the end of Peter and Hannah's ordeal. Granted, the conclusion was all rather complicated, perhaps a little too complicated to understand right away, but it surely had a distinctive quality. It's rare that I come across an ending that changes everything so drastically, to the point where I need to pause and ponder over what I just read. I applaud the bold approach to implement such a memorable outcome.

In conclusion - Whilst the horror elements didn't do it for me, I mostly liked the story and background. It definitely had its ups and downs, but Sorensen is one author I'll be keeping my eye on.

Notable Scene:

The woman rushed toward him, and for a second he thought she was going to strike him him. Instead, she took his head in both of her hands and pressed her mouth over his. Peter felt her inhale abruptly - a reverse resuscitation.

© Red Lace 2018


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/21/the-nightmare-room-by-chris-sorensen
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review 2018-02-20 04:31
Xavier: The Contract (Indie Rebels) by Miranda P. Charles
Xavier: The Contract (Indie Rebels Book 1) - Miranda P. Charles

 

Charles likes to write on the edge. She's at her best when she teases with lust and tempts with danger. Xavier has all the elements to be a wild ride. The red herrings are jumping and the adrenaline is pumping. Xavier has a score to settle and name to clear. Eve has a name to make and a lot to prove. Taking a walk on the wild side is always a pleasure when Miranda Charles is at the wheel.

 

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photo 2015-01-03 14:47

Delighted to be selected as the Indie Book of the Day Award winner for 2nd of January, 2015 :-)

 

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review 2014-10-14 21:52
ENTERTAINING EPIC FANTASY
The Roads to Baldairn Motte - Garrett Calcaterra,Craig Comer,Ahimsa Kerp

The Roads to Baldairn Motte is an epic fantasy in the vein of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen, in that it has a large list of characters, each with different plots, all of whom are caught up in a continent spanning war. Where those more famous epic fantasy series are crafted by one author, however, this novel was penned by three – Garrett Calcaterra, Craig Comer, and Ahimsa Kerp, and with that in mind, this book is amazingly cohesive and easy to follow along with, even though each story is different in tone and style than its sisters’ tales.


Here the stories show a huge war being played out in a well-developed land of medieval times. There are political machinations ongoing in these realms of kings and nobility; upheaval is ripping the land apart; and armies and navies are being sent out to wage war. Where other series tend to focus on the "power players" of these types of conflicts, here the three authors decided to take a different approach, shining the spotlight on the more common folk in the tale, showing how these whores, sailors, and other "normal" people find their life impacted by the conflict between their "betters." Something that gave this fantasy a very different flavor than my normal reads.

 

The other thing that made The Roads to Baldairn Motte a bit different was the writing approach to this tale – the novel being divided into three distinct sections. Here, Garrett Calcaterra, Craig Comer, and Ahimsa Kerp each developed their own vision of this ongoing conflict with different characters in their own unique sections of the novel. Nothing about the world itself or its ongoing conflict changed, but the stories themselves were distinctly different in focus and viewpoint. And while there were recurrent characters who appeared throughout, each of these was seen in different lights in each author’s story. Something that caused the reading of this story to be out of the ordinary, feeling more like an anthology tale than a single novel.

 

Now, naturally, all was not completely rosy when three authors are writing what is basically one long tale. Honestly, there were points in the tale where it seemed the current author was trying to wrap up a lingering thread from his coauthors’ section as quickly as possible. And many times, I felt that there was not enough groundwork laid for scenes or plots that were going to continue in the next section of the book, or to put it another way, things were told to me instead of being shown to me. But other than those complaints I had no major issues with the story as a whole.

 

Overall, this was a well developed and crafted fantasy novel. It had enough world building to establish the reasons for the war and its combatant’s motives and desires as well as enough description of important events to build the story to its conclusion. There were more than a few memorable characters to keep me interested, so while this story did not blow me away, it was definitely an entertaining read and well worth a try for epic fantasy fans.

Source: bookwraiths.com/2014/10/14/the-roads-to-baldairn-motte-by-garrett-calcaterra-craig-comer-and-ahimsa-kerp
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