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review 2018-06-22 16:12
Strong ‘girl-power’ message, as well as one of loyalty and friendship, in this exciting adventure on the high seas in ‘Seafire’
Seafire - Natalie Jane Parker

This book about a ship full of fierce, brave, loyal women ready to take on any battle on the high seas, is definitely an adventure with a strong girl-power message (as promised). 

 

Captain Caledonia Styx takes charge of the ship Mors Navis after losing her family to a corrupt and vicious warlord, Aric Athair, and his fleet of ships who he fills with ‘Bullets’, boys and men who he doses up with the drug Silt. Caledonia vows to avenge her loss, and all those of her ‘sisters’, and leads them on mission to find her two brothers, who she finds are still alive (and also now Bullets), after capturing one ‘boy’ called Orna. 

 

The characters on the Mors Navis are tight friends and fighters, loyal to the end, and they are all written with fascinating idiosyncrasies (and names!). What is so great about this book in general is that this is a story about family, friendships, the importance of bonds and loyalty, and how that carries these self-professed sisters through such adversity together.

Parker has written the book with a lot of sailing lingo (I just read that she grew up in a Navy family), so that took a bit of getting adjusted to, but is totally necessary for it to feel authentic. It’s interesting that she has chosen to have the book read as though it’s in some sort of past, but it’s written with talk of the ‘Old World’ and there is some interesting tech, ie the electromagnetic field around the Bullet ship.

 

The conflict that Caledonia has within herself, that makes her so hardened, is most interesting; I struggled with it a little though, in connecting with her, but it would be appropriate since that’s how it would be in reality. Other characters are also just as fascinating, and Parker will hopefully develop these further when this adventure continues. The pacing was a bit slow in parts, but when I think about that, I think about how the crew has to actually wait as they sail on the high seas, and would spend time preparing to reach their next port or venture. 

 

Overall, this is an exciting take on a sea adventure, and I expect the reader will end up gunning for the crew of Mors Navis like I did. And unsurprisingly, the ending has left the reader with a major cliffhanger. 

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review 2018-06-13 03:13
Starblind by D. T. Dyllin
Starblind (The Jane Sevis Chronicles #1) - D.T. Dyllin

Ha! This story wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I still had a lot of fun with it. Jane is all woman, reveling in her sexuality as much as she revels in being a bounty hunter. Set in a far future where Earth no longer exists and pure humans are a thing of history books, Jane travels around the galaxy sweeping up criminals and getting paid handsomely to do it.

Her latest bounty comes with specific instructions. Jane likes the idea of the challenge and she takes off after Ash, a Phoenix. He’s got special powers that make it hard to keep him in custody. And Jane would love to have him in custody all right. He’s a handsome attractive man with muscles in all the right places. Sex is never far from Jane’s mind and while I found this amusing most of the time, sometimes I did role my eyes. I could have used a little more plot and little less innuendo.

Then there’s Jane’s skimpy steampunk outfit. We don’t get much description so it’s mostly left up to the reader’s imagination. Jane does use her curves and legs and other feminine attributes like a weapon… or a snare. While I’m all for using whatever you have to hand to get the job done or get yourself out of trouble, I do wish we could have seen some of her other skills in action.

Zula was a fun sidekick. She’s Jane’s second in command on the Pittsburgh and she’s a bit snarky with that high IQ of hers. There’s 2 other crew members (Masha and Tamzea) but we don’t get to know much about them. Perhaps that will change as the series moves forward.

The baddies for this book are the Denards. They have a thing for annihilating whole planets and whipping naked captives for personal satisfaction. I also hope the series expands on this alien species and their motives (as individuals or as a whole culture).

All told, it was a fun, fast paced action-packed scifi flick. While I would have liked a bit more on plot and character development, it was still entertaining. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Ashley Holt has a unique cadence. Initially, I thought this was just a unique voice for Jane but Holt uses the same cadence for all her characters for the entire book. It reminded me a little of William Shatner’s unique cadence. Mostly she had unique voices for each character but sometimes the voices got a bit muddied and the clarity of who was saying or doing what was muddled. Her male voices were masculine. I did find the narration a bit slow as some syllables are stretched out for emphasis. So I did something I rarely do – I sped up the narration to 1.25X. The narration was much smoother at this speed and increased my enjoyment of the book. 3.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ashley Holt. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-06-08 23:55
Thrills Abound in A Secret to the Grave by Jane Blythe @jblytheauthor
A Secret to the Grave (Detective Parker Bell Book 1) - Jane Blythe

 

Jane Blythe is a suspense/thriller writer that is on my must read list. I eagerly anticipate each book I receive from  her and she has never failed me. I am beginning her Detective Parker Bell series and know I am going to have many hours of thrills and chills.

 

So….let’s begin.

 

Cover by QDesign

 

A Secret To The Grave (Detective Parker Bell #1)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

Beware! Once I started, I couldn’t stop and I recommend locking your doors and turning off your phone before beginning.

 

Just looking at the cover for A Secret to the Grave has chills running up and down my spine, as I rub by hands together with glee, eager to dive into another series by Jane Blythe.

 

Detective Parker Bell and his friend and partner, Detective Skylar Wyatt are on the case and it will not be easy to unravel the who, what and why. The kidnapper has taken his first victim and left rules to the game he wants to play. Follow the clues and save some faceless women and Jane will die. Do nothing, let the women die, and Jane will live. What do you think?

 

The first brutal, savage, grotesque murder creates a sense of urgency for all of them…and me.

 

Parker struggles with his past, nightmares making sleep something to be avoided, but nine women’s lives are at stake and they are counting on him and his cohorts to save them. So, buck up. The clock is ticking…

 

I can hardly wait to see where Jane Blythe will take me to next. I want dark, gritty, truly terrifying suspense and death and there is no short supply of it here.

 

Jane Blythe kept me guessing the why of it. I love that. The women are geniuses that have their own nightmares and I keep wondering why they don’t fight back.  No matter what the maniac does to them, the women keep the secret he so desperately wants to know. Why are they willing to go peacefully (?) into that good night? They are damaged goods and I wonder, how far will they let this go before someone decides enough is enough. I love the twists and turns Jane has created. I am curious…so very curious about the secret, the real mystery.

 

I sure do hope curiosity doesn’t get this cat. LOL

 

Romance? Oh yeah…and she fights it every step of the way. Both Parker and Tessa had a hard life and remain aloof in the love department, though they have cherished friends.

 

The fire alarm went off at the police station, my heart began to beat faster.

 

A shot rings out…Oh, please, please, please, don’t let it be her.

 

The slow, agonizing suspense in this riveting, action packed thriller made ME want to go after HIM myself. I wanted to scream at Parker, HURRY, HURRY!!!!!

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of A Secret to the Grave by Jane Blythe.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4  Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY REVIEWS FOR JANE BLYTHE’S BOOKS

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/thrills-abound-in-a-secret-to-the-grave-by-jane-blythe-jblytheauthor
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review 2018-06-05 10:25
Laber, laber, sülz, sülz
Emma - Helga Schulz,Jane Austen

Bedauerlicherweise muss ich Euch gestehen, dass ich schon wieder eine total berühmte Person des Schreibhandwerks und eine Schriftstellerin, die man angeblich gelesen haben muss, für mich persönlich total abmontieren und bösartig verreißen muss. Dabei geht es nicht darum, dass das Werk schon sehr alt ist und um die Sitten, als der Roman entstanden ist, denn eine der Bronte-Schwestern, die ich auch erst vor zwei Jahren gelesen habe, hat mir durchaus nicht schlecht gefallen (Ok die Brontes sind um eine Nuance jünger, aber wirklich nur marginal), sondern tatsächlich um die massiven Schwächen, die dieses Werk aus meiner Sicht aufweist.

Ich möchte mal kurz zusammenfassen:

In der Fadesse des Lebens in den Häusern der britischen Upperclass: Laber, laber, Sülz, sülz, viel Stolz, viele Vorurteile, nichtiges höfliches Geschwätz, dumme kindische Manipulationen und versteckter Zickenkrieg von Gänsen, der so versteckt ist, dass es die Beteiligten gar nicht mitkriegen und der nicht mal anatzweise einen Funken von Spannung aufweist, ein Pygmalion Projekt aber nicht im Sinne der Bildung, sondern dem einzigen Zweck geschuldet, eine Frau nach oben zu verheiraten, gähnende Hirn- und Geistlosigkeit der Gentlemen. Ein Anti-Enwicklungsroman, dessen einzige Entwicklung der Figuren darstellt, sich möglichst zu verheiraten, was auch überhaupt nicht spannend ist, weil in dem Ringelpietz der Reise nach Jerusalem leider nicht mal ein Sessel fehlt und somit jeder langweilige Topf auch seinen faden, öden Deckel bekommt. Was noch? Außer Missverständnisse, weil die Leute im Andeuten und interpretieren von Andeutungen auch noch gar so schlecht sind, keine einzige Handlung. Die vom Verlag auf dem Buchrücken versprochene Ironie konnte ich nicht mal mit einem Elektronenmikroskop finden. Dafür nimmt Austen ihre Figuren viel zu ernst. Schon komisch, wenn etwas grottenschlecht erzählt ist, dann wird es oft als Ironie und Satire bezeichnet.

Auch wenn das Werk alt ist muss es nicht so altbacken in der Handlung und der Formulierungsstil der Dialoge nicht so massiv gehirnerweichend daherkommen. Extrem viele Werke von der Antike bis zu Austens Zeiten hatten weit mehr Inhalt, Geschichten zu erzählen und auch besseren Stil.

Bei solchen Büchern wünsche mir ständig sehnlichst diesen Satz: "Und plötzlich ein Erdbeben (Meteorit, Tsunami... was auch immer) ..." der alle diese Trotteln endlich hinwegmeuchelt - ich will sie leiden und sterben sehen diese nutzlosen fiktiven Kreaturen!".

Fazit: Wie mir schon einige auf meinem Leidensweg durch dieses Buch versichert haben, das mit mir und der Frau Austen wird ebenso sicher zu meiner Lebenszeit keine Freundschaft mehr - aber eine weitere Bronte-Schwester werde ich mir mit Vergnügen noch zu Gemüte führen, damit ich auch wirklich mitreden kann. Ach ja den 2. Stern gibt es weil es gar so leicht und seicht war, dass es mich nicht ganz so nerven konnte wie andere Bücher und weil ich auf Grund eines Krankenhausaufenthalts so derart unter opiathaltigen Schmerzmitteln gestanden bin, dass ich alles etwas zu locker und fluffig gesehen habe.

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review 2018-06-05 02:08
And this time the journey is being made on the ocean...
All the Way to Shore - C. Jane Elliott,Tim McKiernan

That's right I'm still traveling and so are the MCs in my audiobooks...

 

This time I'm going on a cruise with Jonathan Vallen and Marco Pellegrini as each man attempts to get a break from the life they lead and maybe find a little romance along the way only to discover that the love and romance they were looking for was right there in their life all along if they were brave enough to reach out and grab it...sometime you don't need to look any further than your own back yard to find what you want.

 

Jonathan gave up what he truly wanted from life when he thought that it would earn him the approval of the one person who he was certain he could never please...his father. When Jonathan's father told him it was time to step up and learn how to run the family business...Jonathan did it without hesitation...his father needed him of course he wouldn't let him down. Unfortunately life just isn't that simple and when Jonathan's father brings in Marco Pellegrini to 'train' Jonathan...well, that's when Jonathan decides to exit, stage right. Clearing the way for Marco to turn things around at Vallen Industries. While Jonathan does the same with his personal life. 

 

It's one year later and neither man is fully satisfied with where his life has gone so Jonathan grabs his good friend and cousin Anthony and heads out for the Caribbean on an LGBTQ cruise not knowing that one Marco Pellegrini and his sister are about to do the same. Jonathan's changed so much in the past year that Marco literally doesn't recognize him, but that doesn't stop him from liking and wanting the man he sees either and a shipboard romance begins. 

 

I really enjoyed how Jonathan and Marco's relationship developed. They spent time together actually doing things...that didn't involve begin naked...not that this didn't happen, but the relationship between these two was built slowly with time and while Jonathan was the driving voice behind events as they happened we got to know Marco through his journal entries making for a slightly unusual reading/listening experience but definitely one that I enjoyed. 

 

Jonathan and Marco made for a really adorable couple and while the disagreement that saw them separated for part of the book was inevitable I liked the resolute that brought them back together it was sweet...the kind of sweet that leaves you smiling and sighing in happiness. So overall this was  fun story to listen to and surprisingly this was my first CJane Elliott story and my first time listening to a book narrated by Tim McKiernan but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be my last time for this author or this narrator. Together they gave me a really enjoyable listening experience and I'm looking forward to finding out what more they have to offer both separately and as an author/narrator pairing in the future.

 

The icing on the cake for this one aside from a pair of well matched MCs were the supporting characters...Jonathan's cousin, Anthony was adorable and I really liked him. He was a good and loyal friend to Jonathan and honestly, I'd be more than happy to read a book or even a story about him getting how own HEA and then there was Marco's sister Sophia...I don't read much outside of the m/m realm these days but i think for Sophia, I could be persuaded to make an exception and Jonathan's father...well, every story needs a villain, right? The guy as a total and absolute douche and he just didn't deserve to have Jonathan for a son...that's all.

 

'All the Way to Shore' is the first book in this authors series 'Stories from the Shore' and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next..so sign me up for the cruise...anyone care to join me?

 

*************************

An audio book of 'All the Way to Shore' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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