Monday, April 22, 2019

Review: Rivers Run: Elemental Keys Book 1, by Lynne Cantwell



Genre: Urban Fantasy

Description:

Raney Meadows is an actor in a long-running TV series. It has all become a bit much for her, so she takes a leave of absence to hike part of the Appalachian Trail and clear her mind. Unfortunately, on the Trail near Harper’s Ferry, she finds a body in the River Shenandoah. But the victim did not drown. How does she know this? She is half Undine – a water Elemental. The goddess Shenandoah exhorts her to cleanse the river waters of this violent death. The plot quickly thickens. Three more half-elementals make themselves known – earth, fire and air. That seems like a quorum … and, indeed, they have been brought together to prevent a great and ancient evil re-emerging.

Author:

Lynne Cantwell has been writing fantasy fiction since the second grade, when she made a picture book, illustrated by the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. After a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or, she says, perhaps despite the master's degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. She is also a contributing guru at Indies Unlimited.

Appraisal:

I should nail my colours to the mast at the outset here – I love Cantwell’s work. I even love her romance, despite my lifelong aversion to the soppy kissing genre. Her Goldilocks writing style provides everything the reader needs to know and keeps the pages turning, turning, turning. It is her liberal use of what Cantwell refers to as ‘the woo-woo’ that sets her fiction apart and endears it to this reader. What is the woo-woo? A frisson of magic and spiritism that is always at the heart of Cantwell’s work. Sometimes – as with her ‘Pipe Woman Chronicles’ – there are whole pantheons of deities in play. Other times as with the standalone Seasons of the Fool and this first book in her latest series, the fey aspects are essential but more lightly couched.

In this book we learn what it is to be part Undine; about Harper’s Ferry and the Appalachian Trail; the other Elementals are introduced and developed, and the first part of the plot is brought to a satisfying conclusion. However, much remains to be resolved as the series unfolds. I look forward!

I happen to know that Cantwell put this out in a bit of a rush, and it does show (in my Kindle edition at least). However, then she lays down a sentence like this, “Her mournful rasp sounded like the barest trickle of moisture in a desert creek bed.” And minor imperfections are quite forgiven.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Judi Moore

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Friday, April 19, 2019

Review: Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel



Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/Romance/Young Adult

Description:

“Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she's the only one who believes Mina's death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina's death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen's past, the more she's torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she'll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.”

Author:

“Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between.”

To learn more about Ms. Laurel check out her website or follow her on Facebook.

Appraisal:

I have learned that I can trust when Ms. Laurel comes out with a new book, I am in for an excellent story. I could tell by the cover art I was in for a different sort of paranormal element than she had written before, and I could guess what that would be. But, let me tell you I was blown away at the depth of A Touch of Smoke. As the story unfolds the reader is given a dynamic story which jumps back and forth from the last three years to present day. The time warps are clearly marked at the chapter headings, so it’s not hard to stay focused. The leaps back in time are necessary to develop an understanding of each character, which is told through Rikki.

The sexual tension between Rikki and Owen is ratcheted up every time Rikki pulls away. Owen bides his time though, he has the patience of a saint, but the odds are against him. The setting in a small Appalachian town in the middle of nowhere was beautifully described and I wouldn’t mind living there. The town’s people were friendly and all knew each other. However, Rikki had plans to move away to further her education, with no plans of returning. When tragedy strikes and Rikki watches it all unfold, she withdraws and tries to forget about Owen. She’s convinced her dream come true prince has an evil side she wants nothing to do with. So, she concentrates all her energies on starting college and getting further away from Owen.

The twists in the plot are well thought out and enthralling. When Rikki returns home after three years the emotional roller coaster pulls you along by your gut. I wanted things to work out for Owen and for Rikki. Owen has ingratiated himself into Rikki’s hometown and has no plans on leaving. As far as Rikki is concerned she is just there to try to explain her sudden disappearance to her mother, a few close friends, and find closure with Owen, then she’ll be gone again, or so she thinks. However, fate has other plans for her. Owen has tried to protect Rikki from the magic but is he strong enough to protect her when several magical forces unite? Touch of Smoke has a colossal finish you don’t want to miss.  

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues in proofing or formatting.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Reprise Review: Brute Heart by Ginger Dehlinger



Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Description:

A small-town veterinarian faces a tough decision when her estranged father asks her to speed up the process already started by his terminal cancer. But no matter how you feel about him, putting down your father isn’t the same as euthanizing a horse or dog.

Author:

A native of Oregon, Ginger Dehlinger currently lives in Bend, in the central part of the state. She has had several articles, primarily about the American West, in various periodicals. This is her first novel.

For more, visit Dehlinger’s blog.

Appraisal:

A coming of age story that grapples with issues of spousal and child abuse, duty to family, and alcoholism, Brute Heart is at turns serious and lighthearted, heartbreaking and uplifting, and a tale well worth reading. Set in the part of Oregon east of the Cascades that is unlike what most people imagine when they think of that state, Brute Heart gives a glimpse of life on the dry side of the mountains. Small towns where cowboys outnumber stockbrokers, a person is more likely to make their living working the land than at a desk, and entertainment options normally involve a boat and fishing pole.

Jordan, the protagonist of Brute Heart is the kind of character I love. She is tough, because she has to be, and determined to make a better life for herself. I cheered for her when things went well and sympathized when they didn’t, all the while pulling for her to reach her goals and hoping she would make the right choice when faced with the ultimate decision.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Added for Reprise Review: Brute Heart by Ginger Dehlinger was a nominee in the Contemporary Fiction category for B&P 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran March 27, 2012

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: Riskformation: How Smart Risk Taking Will Transform Your Life by Anne Fish



Genre: Self-Help

Description:

“Think of someone you admire, someone who you wish to emulate. What makes them successful? What enabled that person to overcome their fear and go after their dream?

Quite simply: the willingness to assume a risk.

Risk taking is the life changing experience that will enable you to live your calling.

It is not enough to simply take risks. You must plan your risk with the same precision, passion, and excitement as you would the vacation of your dreams.

Creating life changing experiences does not come from wishful thinking. Of course, changing your thinking in order to focus on the positive is important, but thoughts don’t move matter. In order to live your calling, you have to take action—smart action.

That’s Riskformation in a nutshell: the process that will empower you to take a risk and live your calling.”

Author:

“Anne Fish is an award-winning speaker, author, and international risk-taker extraordinaire. Her affinity for taking risks has led her to branch out into emerging markets as an entrepreneur across multiple time-zones, countries and continents. From founding Formula Austin, which promoted Formula 1 racing to the world, to 18 years as a flight attendant and corporate trainer, a multi-million dollar career with Sotheby's International Realty, Anne has taken the leap and followed her dreams. Her own Riskformation led her to build a life overseas in many different countries as well as gave her the opportunity to collaborate with and around famous figures and professional athletes over a seven year span.

Currently, Anne inspires, encourages, and leads others to take risks that will transform their lives. She lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her husband, Jim, and their two dogs Buddy and Bailey.”

Appraisal:

Reviewing non-fiction is sometimes an interesting proposition. With fiction, if the story entertains, that’s all that matters, but with non-fiction I’ll often find myself wondering how to tell if the author is qualified to write about the subject and whether I’m in a position to judge their credibility.

Reading Riskformation I didn’t have those concerns. Ms Fish’s bio shows she’s taken the kind of risks she suggests as do the stories she uses as examples in the book, but more importantly I found that the things she suggests, her approach to planning and deciding what actions and risks make sense (the “smart risk taking” in the subtitle) fit the successful risks I’ve taken throughout my life.

The only place I found myself questioning Ms Fish and her concepts is in the area of luck although the more I think about it, the more I think we’re not that far apart in our attitude about luck. I think we’d both agree that you shouldn’t depend on it to help you succeed and it tends to even out over time. I don’t think either of us would agree with blaming bad luck for failure. But I’ve always acknowledged how good luck has sometimes made a difference in a success, along with hard work, skill, and whatever else I contributed to that success. The concept of a “parachute” and faith that it will be there if things take a turn for the worst that is discussed at one point in the book seems like luck with a different name attached.

Regardless of your thoughts on luck, I’d definitely recommend Riskformation for anyone who wants to do more than just float through life. If you want to make changes in your life or career for the better, are looking for how to approach and plan for those changes, this is a book that will help you get there.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 25-30,000 words

Friday, April 12, 2019

Reprise Review: Lost in Thought by Simon J. Townley



Genre: Psychological-Thriller

Description:

Richard Trescerrick dedicated his life to creating the Brainscape—a device that provides access to another person’s mind. When he discovers the government agency providing his funding intend to use his invention to control people’s thoughts, he hides the final algorithm that will complete the machine. During a brutal attack by a government agent at his home, Richard is knocked into unconsciousness and becomes comatose. A group of government agents, law enforcement, and psychologists, aided by his estranged son, Luke, enter his mind using the Brainscape and search for the algorithm.

Author:

The author is a freelance writer living in Devon, in the South of England, who has published a number of novels and short stories.

Appraisal:

First off, let me say this is one of the best-written books I’ve read this year. Mr. Townley has a solid grasp on the craft of writing fiction. Sentences so lean that, like the notes in a Mozart symphony, you’d be hard-pressed to pick a spare word that could be removed without reducing the story.

The opening few chapters paint a picture of the challenging relationship between Richard and his son, Luke. I empathized with Luke, and with his son who has some undefined mental challenges of his own. This ‘real world’ introduction is set against a beautifully drawn backdrop of a Cornish coastal town.
But the story doesn’t dwell in the physical world for long. Most of the words are used to follow the characters as they ride the roller coaster of Richard’s imagination inside his comatose father’s mind.

And inside the Brainscape, it’s Jumanji meets A Christmas Carol (the parts where Scrooge is taken back in time), with a smattering of Alice in Wonderland. Nothing is as it seems, and everything is triggered or controlled through metaphors that relate to the old man’s life and loves. Luke learns aspects of his father’s life hitherto misunderstood, and in the process he also learns about himself. As Luke battles the evil government agent (who understands how to control the Brainscape-world) the action is non-stop: a psychedelic happening driven by words instead of pills.

I felt certain reluctance to surrender to this imaginary world. After all, I was enjoying the introductory story, and the idea of spending most of the book in a place where there were no rules that I could fathom, didn’t appeal. However, the imagery was so strong, and the pacing so fast that I soon left my niggling Doubting Thomas behind, let go of the reins of reality, and went along for the ride.

And it was a lot of fun.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Added for Reprise Review: Lost in Thought by Simon J. Townley was a nominee in the Thriller/Suspense category for B&P 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran November 20, 2012

Format/Typo Issues:

English spelling and English settings. I enjoyed this aspect of the story because, for, me the locations were familiar. I don’t believe this would cause a problem, or lessen the enjoyment, for a reader unfamiliar with England.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Approximate word count: 75,000-80,000 words

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review: Widely Scattered Ghosts by Malcolm R. Campbell



Genre: Magical Realism/Ghosts/Short Stories

Description:

“A readers’ advisory for this collection of nine stories forecasts widely scattered ghosts with a chance of rain. Caution is urged at the following uncertain places: an abandoned mental hospital, the woods behind a pleasant subdivision, a small fishing village, a mountain lake, a long-closed theater undergoing restoration, a feared bridge over a swampy river, a historic district street at dusk, the bedroom of a girl who waited until the last minute to write her book report from an allegedly dead author, and the woods near a conjure woman’s house.

In effect from the words ‘light of the harvest moon was brilliant’ until the last phrase ‘forever rest in peace,’ this advisory includes—but may not be limited to—the Florida Panhandle, northwest Montana, central Illinois, and eastern Missouri.”

Author:

“Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism and fantasy…His work has appeared in The Lascaux Prize 2014 Anthology, Spirits of St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories Anthology, ‘Quail Bell Magazine,’ ‘A View inside Glacier National Park: 100 years, 100 Stories,’ ‘Future Earth Magazine,’ ‘The Smoking Poet Magazine,’ ‘Nonprofit World Magazine,’ ‘Nostalgia Magazine,’ and ‘Living Jackson Magazine.’

His fantasy novels were inspired by Glacier Park Montana where he worked as a bellman and from a tour of duty aboard an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War.

He grew up in the Florida Panhandle, a wondrous place often called ‘the other Florida’ and ‘the forgotten coast,’ that was the perfect environment for growing up and learning about writing and magical realism.”

You can learn more about Mr. Campbell”s books on his website, or follow him on Facebook.

Appraisal:

Widely Scattered Ghosts begins with Moonlight and Ghosts: A couple visits an old abandoned mental hospital and development center at night, to quell some troubling dreams. This story draws you in quickly and kept me on tenterhooks until the very end. It had the right amount of tension to be spooky and just enough heart to leave a smile on my face.

Map Maker: Emily is a seventh-grade girl who sees and communes with spirits. She enjoys exploring in the woods behind her family’s house and her territory has expanded to the abandoned ruins of an estate. Her father, Martin (a civil engineer) made her a personal, poster-sized street map of the area and she enjoys adding her own personal touches. The woods behind her house, which the abandoned estate sits on, she has named The Ancient and Sacred Forest on her map. Her father tells her that area is in danger of being bulldozed and sold off as lots for a new subdivision.

Sweetbay Magnolia: Emily is visiting her grandmother, who lives a few blocks away. Granny is missing her almost forever home down by the river. Later that day Emily accompanies her father to an out of town meeting. The conversation between father and daughter is engaging, entertaining, and humorous. Father leaves Emily with the truck and keys to enjoy the river and the dock as he goes to his meeting. It’s twilight and foggy which is ripe for ghosts and spirits who reveal some intimate family secrets about granny’s past. The story is compelling and engaging.

High County Painter: Emily’s family takes a vacation to a mountain resort with a lake and hiking trails. Emily communes with nature spirits and learns a little magic. It’s a little unclear if this is a dream or actually happened. It’s a fun story.

The Opera House Ghosts: This is a hoot of an adventure that includes its own ghost story. Emily’s father is helping with the restoration of an old opera house. So, while he is away with meetings, we finally get to spend some time with Emily’s mom, Sarah, as they explore the old unique theater with lots of history and colorful spirits. Emily is growing into her own, she is fourteen in this story and refuses to take guff from anyone, alive or dead.

Cora’s Crossing: A spirit is awakened on a haunted bridge to aid a young woman. This is a gripping tale with some unsuspecting friends who get lost in the heavy fog. John and Randy end up with quite a tale to tell if they dare.

The Lady of the Blue Hour: A spirit story of a different kind. The story starts out a little puzzling as we are brought up to speed of a spirit running amok. A heartwarming tale of one soul of a tragedy. Don’t tell anyone, but, Kenneth has a little crush on Melinda.

Patience, I Presume: Prudence Lowe is a college student living at home. She needs to read the book she has chosen and write a book report on it which is due the following day. When the blowing snow knocks out the electricity strange things start happening in her room. It just so happens that the author of the book she chose to read used to live down the street and around the corner when she was alive. There is a rumor that the author actually channeled a spirit for her stories. Prudence’s interest is piqued beyond being prudent. The characters are engaging, entertaining, and a little spooky.

Haints in the Woods: This story is told by Lena, mostly. Eulalie is fit to be tied. It shouldn’t take Willie all afternoon to get a quart of milk from the Mercantile. The haints are flying since the graveyard has been relocated. When Pollyanna shows up with a crate full of bridal shower gifts for Eulalie, since there was no bridal shower. While sitting on the back porch, Pollyanna and Eulalie get soused on Eulalie’s best moonshine. Since Eulalie needs a distraction from her anger the crate of gifts turns out to be the perfect solution. The crate and Pollyanna worked its magic, and Eulalie declared Pollyanna down right shameful.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK
  
FYI:

Some of these short stories have been previously published, but are now out of print.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Monday, April 8, 2019

Review: Antisocial (Book 1) by Bradley Campbell



Genre: Short Story/Thriller

Description:

“New York City Detective Tristan Andretti crosses swords with deadly enemies in the hardest puzzle of his career.

With a beautiful fiancée and a promising, lucrative career in law enforcement, Detective Tristin Andretti was living the American dream. But like all dreams, it will come to end sooner or later. Only in his case, it ended in a nightmare when the unexpected happened, and he lost it all when a horrifying act of violence compels him to leave the force with an ashy, bitter taste in his mouth.

With his life crashing down around him, Tristin finds himself distracted both by his new client, Lucia Trenta—a spoiled, up-and-coming pop star with a skewed, narcissistic view of the world—and a dangerous situation that puts her life in danger.”

Author:

“Bradley Campbell is a tattooed sci-fi enthusiast, hopeless romantic, fiction author, and self-proclaimed geek who is on a lifelong mission to inspire his readers through the infinite power of suspenseful, paranormal, dramatic, and oftentimes love-infused storytelling.”

Appraisal:

In theory this is the first short story that, based on the “(Book 1)” in the title is the start of a series. In reality, it’s part (maybe half) of a story. We’re introduced to some characters and a bit of their backstory, but it is not a complete story. The writing is okay and the characters are intriguing. The characters meet each other, we can see how an interesting and entertaining story might develop from there in a few different ways, and then … we’re left hanging. If there is a point to this first installment in the series, it eludes me. Book 2 doesn’t exist yet, so I can’t guarantee the author knows either. Leaving an audience wanting to know what happens next is okay, to a point. But not until you’ve actually been told a story with a full story arc. Building up to no pay off in Book 1 is how you insure readers don’t bother with Book 2.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: *** Three Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 8-9,000 words

Friday, April 5, 2019

Reprise Review: Hammon Falls by Dave Hoing & Roger Hileman



Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

George Hammon flees small-town Iowa with his teenage bride in 1914, setting in motion repercussions still felt almost seventy years later.
Author:

Dave Hoing lives in Waterloo, Iowa, where he works for the library at the University of Northern Iowa. He has published dozens of short stories in various publications.

Roger Hileman works as a “test development associate” for ACT, Inc.
This was the first novel for both authors. They have since published a fantasy novel, Voices of Arra.

Appraisal:

Do a search in the Kindle store for books with the title “sins of the father.” The idea that a bad decision can snowball through multiple generations is at least as old as the bible and is the basis of many stories. It is such a popular premise because it works well in illustrating consequences. Hammon Falls is epic in scope, stretching seventy years and two continents.

Hoing and Hileman spin a good yarn. I’m sure someone could point out imperfections somewhere, but they’re going to have to get nitpicky to find them. The characters are real, with imperfections, some minor and others serious. The small town atmosphere and the changes over time in both the characters and the world around them all ring true. Hammon Falls is a classic tale, done well.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Very limited adult language and mild adult situations.

Added for Reprise Review: Hammon Falls by Dave Hoing & Roger Hileman was a nominee in the Literary Fiction category for B&P 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran March 20, 2012

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant typo or proofing issues. The Kindle version I received for review had a few formatting issues, with headings pertinent only to a print version embedded in the text, and some instances of the space missing between two words.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 120-125,000 words

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Review: Alaska Night by Daisy Sweeney



Genre: New Adult/Romance

Description:

“An arrogant stranger with a mysterious past. An innocent girl desperate to heal her broken family. Thrown together by fate, they find themselves fighting a harsh Alaskan winter. Will they ignore their blistering sexual chemistry or will they give in under the skies of an Alaska Night?

Jules Harper knows that no one comes to Bright Bay in the middle of winter. But one January morning, Night Calloway proves her wrong, riding into the wild woods, ready to break hearts with his chiseled body and grass green eyes. He’s there to make fast money and get away from the dark past that’s been chasing him in the lower 48. If he warms the bed of every pretty girl in town while he does it, all the better. He’s scored logging work with the help of the town’s golden boy and he plans on sweating hard, pocketing the cash and moving on.

Then he sees her.

A sweet-faced local girl raising her little sister, begging her alcoholic father to pick life over death, forced to grow up before her time—the first real emotion Night has felt in years is to protect Jules. But she’s heard the rumors. He’s in town to steal the jobs, and the women. Yet somehow, as soon as he locks his tattooed arms around her, she’s ready to stay in them forever. She doesn’t care that she has no idea who he was before he roared into Alaska.

Just as she falls hard, her world is consumed with dangerous accusations, breathless calls and nightly disappearances. Jules wants to jump to Night’s defense, but when he’s accused of terrible crimes, she doesn’t know if Bright Bay is plotting to bring an outsider down or if she’s really in bed with the enemy. Tangled in a web of lust and law-breaking, Jules knows what her real fear is: When winter ends, will Night disappear with it?”

Author:

“Daisy Sweeney is an East Coast girl who loves all four seasons, cozy sweaters, and the endless possibilities of love. She believes a nice cup of tea can brighten a gloomy day that happily-ever-afters always prevail, and is thrilled to be making her New Adult debut with the novel, Alaska Night.

Follow Ms. Sweeney on Amazon for notifications on the continuing adventures of Jules Harper and Night Calloway.”

Appraisal:

Honestly, with a blurb like this book has, do you really need to read the book? Well… yes you should. This book is told in first-person POV through Jules Harper, born and raised in this small logging town on a bay in Alaska. She is trying to raise her ten year-old sister, take care of her alcoholic father, take college classes, and hold down a job to pay the utility bills on a small rundown cabin in the wilderness. Jules had to grow up quick when her mother died from cancer when she was twelve. You’ll find a colorful cast of characters well fleshed-out and realistic. The small community on Kachemak Bay will never be the same after Night Calloway rolls into town on his Triumph motorcycle in the dead of winter.

The plot is an emotional rollercoaster ride as Jules’s mood-swings throw you about, but she wants answers. Night keeps his mysterious past a secret. He disappears for days while cutting off all communication. Jules is determined to find out what makes Night tick and uncover all his secrets. When things take a deadly, dangerous turn Jules buckles down and seeks her answers from other sources, and ends up with some surprising allies.

Alaska Night is an impressive debut novel. I didn’t notice any plot holes during this wild ride of twists and turns where small threads could have easily been lost. I was pleased with the ending as well, even with the hopes of a continuing journey for Night and Jules.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK
  
FYI:

Adult language, including F-bombs, and lots of hot graphic sex scenes.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of proofing misses such as missing, extra, or wrong words.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words

Monday, April 1, 2019

Review: Just You by Cait London



Genre: Contemporary Romance

Description:

“Kenna Peck doesn’t trust her ex-husband now, though part of her aches for Hugh Donovan, for what might have been….

To leave the past, she heads for a new life, traveling cross-country in her RV with her friends, Olivia and Crystal, to the small town of Fresh Start.

And who walks into Kenna’s new life, her Fresh Start, demanding answers and stirring her with passion, but Hugh…”

Author:

“USA Today Best Seller/NY Times Author Cait London's book list includes romantic suspense, paranormal, contemporary, humor, western historical, and women's fiction. Always busy, she travels and loves any distraction. Her small town Northwest upbringing is relived in her stories, also her life experiences as the mother of 3 daughters and as an artist.”

To learn more about Ms. London please visit her website or her Facebook page.

Appraisal:

Hugh Donovan and Kenna have several years of history and neither one of them really knows the other. The book begins with Hugh’s point of view. He wants answers he never got from Kenna about what went wrong with their relationship. He feels like he’s given Kenna enough time for her to recover from her traumas. He’s tried to live up to her expectations to give her whatever she wanted, even the divorce she asked for out of the blue.

Now Kenna and her two friends have all bought camper type vehicles and they are going to take their little caravan cross-country, from New York to Washington State. The small town of Fresh Start is calling to Kenna. After swimming around in Hugh’s head we join Kenna towards the end of her trek across the country and are introduced to her two friends, Olivia and Crystal, who are looking for a fresh start themselves. Kenna seems dead set on forgetting about everything she left behind in New York, including Hugh and her buttinski family. You know how those best-laid plans go, right? Yeah!

Just You is a decent story and I loved the way the plot moved along, and the sexual tension between Hugh and Kenna. What didn’t set well with me was all the repetition of what happened between Hugh and Kenna. It was more than just hearing the story from their different perspectives. I’m not sure if the author was trying to reinforce their views or was afraid the reader might be forgetful and she wanted to reinforce the sexual tension. It felt like the story didn’t really start moving forward until about 40%, I was about to give up on it.

I wanted to slap some sense into Kenna several times. Hugh and Kenna’s problem was they didn’t communicate on the level they needed to. So much heartache and pain for both of them, all because of their pride. I also feel like the ending came too easily for Kenna, Olivia must have had a heart to heart talk with her that we weren’t privy to? Bottom line, I don’t think I was the right reader for this book.  However, like I said earlier, there is a good story here. If you can hang on, you’ll find it.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Just You is book 1 in Ms. London’s, FRESH START series. Clean and wholesome.
 
Format/Typo Issues:

No significant errors.

Rating: *** Three Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words