Soles has the most original premise of any book I've read so far this year!
Roland has inherited his family's shoe shop which has gone severely downhill since the violent death of his parents. His Aunt Grace has tried to keep it going, but is finally throwing in the towel and handing it over to Rolie. Problem is, he's not interested and...oh yeah, the place is haunted.
I'm not going to act like I understood everything that went on, but honestly, I don't need to understand every little thing. The atmosphere went from slightly silly when Rolie first took over the store and hired Stephanie, to deadly serious when Stephanie's friends came to rob the store. There were some extremely creepy moments,
especially when the shop kept locking its own doors, trapping Rolie inside. For some reason, that gave me the shudders.
In the end, I'm not positive as to the cause of things, but I'm okay with that because I enjoy ambiguous stories and providing my own ideas as to what was happening :
my thoughts being that Rolie's father, literally, put his soul into the soles, (see what I did there?), and they carried it on, as did the shop itself, long after he was gone. Or perhaps the shop was haunted before Roland's dad ever took it over?
Am I right or am I wrong? That's the beauty of ambiguous stories: I don't know. Perhaps you'll come up with your own theory and we can discuss it?
Soles is an original take on a haunting and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The writing was above average and in the creative department this tale knocked the ball out of the park. As such, I recommend it-especially to readers that don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow. If this sounds interesting to you, you can grab your copy here: Soles and we can discuss it when you're done!
*I was provided an e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*
Strange and dangerous though its world might be, I was fascinated to be back in the technologically advanced, genetically enhanced, climate challenged future Manchester that Anne Charnock first explored in A Calculated Life. In that book the main character is Jayna, a simulant or lab created human who has been completely bio-engineered to have beyond genius level intelligence so she can process huge amounts of data for her employer, but in this novella we get a look at lives on the far other end of the human spectrum.
Caleb and Lexie have both been deemed unworthy for the cognitive implants that most natural born people receive to enhance their abilities. They eke out a living in the Enclave, a violent, gritty slum community far from Manchester’s hub. With a nod to current events, Caleb is a young illegal immigrant who had to flee Spain when climate change rendered his home virtually unlivable. Caleb and Lexie work together, but though they have a stronger bond than normally found in subordinate-boss relationships, the nature of their reality makes it hard for them to trust anyone.
Charnock writes what I think of as science fiction for grownups, stories in which realistic (if often futuristic) characters and thought-filled themes are as important as her high tension plots. While The Enclave isn’t exactly a sequel to A Calculated Life, those who’ve read the first book will recognize Jayna and her coworker Dave in a brief encounter they have with the characters in this novella. Even Dave’s bees make an appearance.
One thing left to explore in this world is the lives of the elite--the natural born (not lab created) humans who have been equipped with cognitive implants. They have best jobs and the nicest homes, but I wonder how life in this tenuous world would feel to one of them.
I received a complimentary copy of The Enclave from the author, with no obligation to write a review. Review opinions are mine.
Wallflower is a novella rich in character development. Unfortunately, the main character develops in a way that does little to improve his life, and the reader is along for the ride.
I'm not going to get into the plot, because this isn't a book report and because I don't want to be a spoiler. I will say that this story rang true to me and I think it would to anyone that has ever known a person with an addiction-be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything else.
The whole "I'm not addicted", or the "I'm too strong to let any drug take over my life" arguments are what I've heard and even said myself at times. But it wasn't true. I knew it, and everyone around me knew it. My addiction was only to nicotine, (I'm saying only to a drug that kills almost 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone), but it was a powerful addiction just the same. By the time I admitted that it was an addiction, it was too late, and I was hooked for another 25 years before I finally quit for good.
How does a person get to that point? What could be done to prevent it from happening, if anything? These are all valid questions surrounding addiction. Wallflower doesn't answer any of these questions, but it does tell the story of one man and tells it poignantly, with feeling and truth.
Highly recommended! You can get your copy here: Wallflower
*I was provided a free e-copy of this book by the author, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rule Breaker, Stygian’s Honor, and Lawe’s Justice presents three novellas from the “no-holds-barred”* world of the Breeds—collected here for the first time.
A Christmas Kiss
Jessica Raines would never willingly betray the people she believes in. But she did expose Breed secrets, and now someone wants her dead. Her protection is Wolf Breed Hawke Esteban—and he’s got the mating urge for a woman on the run.
Jaguar Breed Noble Chavin’s new role: bodyguard to Haley McQuire, a woman at risk after discovering a conspiracy against the Breed community. For Noble, being this close to Haley has brought out the mating heat, and she’s more than willing to stoke it.
Betrayed Kita Engalls, drawn into shady activities involving the Breeds, can trust only Lion Breed Creed Raines to help. But their mating passion reveals Kita’s fear that Creed may be guilty of the greatest betrayal of all.
I enjoyed these three very hot and steamy Breed Novellas. I previously read them, but it was a long time ago. It was nice to re-read the novellas and experience the Breed magic again. I will say if you have not read the series you may not understand or find these novellas entertaining. Fan’s will enjoy. The series is very juicy, steamy, and sensual, so be prepared for hot sex.
Christmas Heat – Rated: 4 Stars
Originally featured in ‘The Magical Christmas Cat‘ anthology.
This one takes place near Sanctuary.
We have Haley a human librarian and Noble a breed. They have been friends, but both feel more for the other, yet they don’t show it. When Haley’s life is endangered Noble is going to protect her and confront his feelings.
It was a sweet, sexy, hot and entertaining Christmas Novella. I enjoyed watching these two finally come together after denying their feelings for eachother.
A Christmas Kiss – Rated: 4 Stars
Originally featured in ‘Hot for the Holidays‘ anthology.
This one takes place at Haven.
We have Jessica a human who betrayed the breeds, but not because she wanted too. Her father concocted a drug that forced her to do this and she didn’t know. She has lost so much.
Hawke a Breed and Jessica’s mate. He’s known for almost 2 years that he’s her mate, but he had to stay way to prove her innocence and to protect her from the mating heat. He knows if he can’t tell her soon that he will lose her for good.
This one was heartbreaking. I felt for Jessica and her loneliness and everything she lost. She’s drifting. Besides these two working out their issues, we have someone on the inside trying to destroy the Breeds.
It was sexy and hot. I enjoyed seeing this couple celebrate their first Christmas together and with the other Breeds at Haven.
Primal Kiss – Rated: 3.5 Stars
Originally featured in ‘Primal‘ anthology.
This one takes place at Sanctuary.
We have Kita a human and air to a pharmaceutical company that use to help the Council that hurt Breeds. Then we have Creed a wolf Breed who does covert undercover work. He’s been hired by Mr. Engall’s, Kita’s father, to protect his daughter.
Everyone wants Kita: the Breeds, the Council, and the Human groups all because they think they can get her father to give them information on the Breeds that has been hidden away. This story gives you information pertaining to the Phylip Brandenmore storyline. There’s much more going on then Kita or Creed know about.
It was a hot and sexy novella. Very quick and good to have a storyline wrapped up.
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