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review 2017-01-31 06:49
Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good.
Nica of Los Angeles (Frames, #1) - Sue Perry

Ok, so the time it took me to read this is not an indication of my disinterest or lack of engagement to the story, instead I ended up doing NaNoWriMo and a massive work project in between August and Dec.

That aside, Nica's tale certainly contained a lot of interesting and original ideas. The world building was fresh and the characters rather amusing.

I think my favourite characters were Miles and Monk, purely because of the intellectual way they spoke and sense of humour. I also found I developed a bit of a soft spot for Hernandez.

Where this story fell over for me was in a couple of ways. The length: at only 302 pages, the story felt densely packed and far, far longer than 302 pages.

The pace: the characters were rushing through from one thing to the next, and one frame to the next so fast it became a little too much and things started to blur. Perhaps a few less scene changes and story plot points would help alleviate the feeling of being rushed.

Nica's character and personality might irritate some readers. I found her mildly annoying at times, but amusing at others.

Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good.

One thing I noticed:
3% - blood-?-soaked (not sure why there's a question mark hyphenated between these two words).

*Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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review 2017-01-31 06:40
All together the book just doesn't stand up as a polished piece of work.
For the Love of Women: Volume 2 - Kat Watson,Lisa Hollett,Toira O'Brady

Individually these stories range from 1-4 stars, but all together the book just doesn't stand up as a polished piece of work. There are some really great ideas within, but they need some work to make them stand on their own, or even in a collection of short pieces. Some of the ideas really need a lot more room to develop, while others are clearly aimed at the titillation crowd but they just don't mesh well with the rest of the pieces.

I've got some comments on each piece below:

She marries her
Sweet and tender, the blushing brides are a nice read, except the end felt a bit too much for the rest of the piece. If you're going to go with sweet and tender, leave it there. Don't go for too much. There's also a few adverbs and adjectives I'd pull to strengthen the story, but overall a nice story.
3.5 stars

Are Angels Allowed to swear?
Interesting premise, nice, albeit swift lead up to and complete sex scene, but reasonable. The story on the whole was more of a glimpse than a whole story.
4 stars (really needs to be longer!!)

Scars of War
What a sad story. The beginning started so peacefully, only to be shattered by war, fighting and death. I feel this one could benefit from being longer to give the reader a better picture of the world and belief system. In the story as it is, only a small glimpse is possible.
3 stars

Beautifully exposed
Way too short, not enough of anything to really get into.
2 stars

Wava and Claire
Paranormal vampires and a heap of backstory thrown at the reader. Too short to work well, too much info dumping. Not enough characterisation to really set the tone. Some editing required to smooth the adjectives and adverbs not needed.
2 stars

The Beach
There is so much wrong with this story it's not funny. Too much gushing, both characters are experts in bed when they've only just met, they each have way too many orgasms, the intimacy is too much and in general there's just too much of everything. Totally unbelievable and clearly written for the titillation crowd, not those who might want more of a story.

One thing I noticed: '...and slowly start moving my fingers in and out of her quickly.'
1 star

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

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review 2017-01-31 05:57
I will probably read book 2, I am keen to see how things progress, but I won't rush into it.
Gifted Thief (Highland Magic Book 1) - Helen Harper

Gifted Thief is an enjoyable urban fantasy read with likable and complex characters. It is, for the most part, well written and the action is peppered throughout to allow for a reasonable reading pace.

Why only three stars then?

Unfortunately, the pacing of the story in the beginning dragged quite a lot. The content was interesting, and while most of the detail helped form the rest of the book, it felt stilted and cumbersome, rather than lithe and agile like the rest of the book.

The characters were mostly really well done. Some of the extreme stereotypes were a little annoying, but they worked in most instances.

Where things got really interesting was once Integrity delved back into the Sidhe world. I've read a number of Sidhe related books and I'd have to say this one was one of the best for creating a great deal of complexity in their belief and power dynamics. I also quite enjoyed the clan versus clan-less theme that ran throughout. It added another dimension to the story that I'm sure will come into play later in the series.

I will probably read book 2, I am keen to see how things progress, but I won't rush into it.

A couple of things I noticed:

78% - ...now it stood as docile than (delete than, insert as) Barbie.
87% - ...The only (one) who thinks you're...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through the Awesome Indies Reviewer program.**

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review 2017-01-31 05:33
The Beholder is a tightly packed and well written fantasy story.
The Beholder - Ivan Amberlake

The Beholder is a tightly packed and well written fantasy story. It's quite youthful in its tone, but its content is too adult for the Young Adult genre.

I liked the male protagonist, Jason. Especially his mental battle and emotional and personal growth. Though the Insta-love bothered me a bit.

Emily is an interesting character, but I am not sure what to think of her. She seemed a little too good to be true to start, the at the end... Well I just don't know what to think.

The puzzles that still plague Jason at the end of the book were, rather annoyingly, what I wanted to know about, so I felt a little miffed about that too.

I can overlook it though, because the second Beholder book is available already.

I liked Ivan's writing, I found that with his other book too, but I don't know if I'd call this a thriller.

I noticed a couple of things:

5% - consistency issue: Jason arrived at the office in the morning for the meeting as he walked in, then worries about recounting the afternoon's events with his boss.

60% - ...saw himself as (a) character with a...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-01-31 04:57
Nine short stories that are as distinct and unique as can be.
Riding the Dog - Sybil Rosen

Riding the Dog takes its reader along for a rather intriguing ride. The nine short stories that are lovingly enveloped within the covers of this book are as distinct and unique as can be, but at the same time ring of a realism and honesty that many books fail to deliver.

The characters are viewed, warts and all, with nothing to hide from the reader. The character arcs in each short story are varied and interesting in their own way. Ranging from the recently returned soldier travelling home, to the 90-something year old man who barely has a grasp on reality anymore. These stories speak of tales that may not align with all reader experiences, but still draws them in.

The writing is flawless and depicts striking imagery and characters that truly shine off the page and into reality. And each short story had its own tone and voice of character that felt true to them.

Why this didn't get 5 stars from me, is simply that the stories didn't possess that WOW factor, they were great, but just a little short of perfection for me.

Still a thoroughly enjoyable read, one I would recommend to just about anyone.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through the Awesome Indies Reviewer program.**

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