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The Abduction of Sarah Tarbell: As Her Soul Remembers by Stuart Ledwith – Review by Angela Hayes

The Abduction of Sarah Tarbell: As Her Soul RemembersThe Abduction of Sarah Tarbell: As Her Soul Remembers by Stuart Ledwith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 Stars

The Abduction of Sarah Tarbell: As Her Soul Remembers by Stuart Ledwith is an interesting historical chronicle focusing on the life of a puritan teenager abducted by the Mohawk Indians in the early 1700’s. We follow her emotive journey of strength and survival- learning much about her, and the time, as experienced by her.
This is an original story, told in an interesting way. Sarah had a difficult life- full of fear, danger, and the unfamiliar. But amongst it all is a story of strength and survival, of faith and hope, compassion and learning, and most of all- a story of love.
This book has a bit of a documentary feel to it- but also woven with real emotion. It is a thought-provoking read that had me appreciating the strength it took to survive under those circumstances.

Thank you, Stuart Ledwith!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Flicker to Fire (Crimson Sash Book 3) by Amanda Marin – Review by Angela Hayes

Flicker to Fire (Crimson Sash, #3)Flicker to Fire by Amanda Marin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Flicker to Fire is the third book in the Crimson Sash series by Amanda Marin. It is an original futuristic, dystopian, YA fantasy- with sci-fi elements, action, adventure, drama, intrigue, friendship, romance, politics, violence, social justice messages, human rights issues, emotion, and lots more.
This book follows on from the first two, with a bridging storyline and many recurring characters- so I really recommend reading the first two books before starting on this one, to get the best possible reading experience of this story.
I have followed the series from the beginning and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book to continue the adventure. So much has happened along the course of these three books- so I couldn’t help but get caught up in everything that transpired here and what the characters were going through. Amanda Marin certainly knows how to spin a riveting tale and held me enthralled the whole way through.
I don’t want to reveal any of the plot, past or present- just in case you haven’t read any of the books yet, as I really don’t want to give anything away that may spoil the story for you- except to say that if you love dystopian, YA, or future fantasy- then you probably won’t want to miss out on reading this book/series.
I wonder what Ms. Marin has planned for us next?

Thank you, Amanda Marin!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Drawn to Him by Tammy Mannersly – Review by Angela Hayes

Drawn to HimDrawn to Him by Tammy Mannersly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Drawn to Him is a sweet small town contemporary romance by Tammy Mannersly– and is my favourite of her books, so far.
The story is quite captivating, with emotion, and some danger and drama thrown in which keep me avidly reading. The story is interesting and entertaining, it has a great pace, and flows really well.
The characters are really well developed and so easy to like. I connected with them right away. Erica and Matt were so great together- just loved them.

Thank you, Tammy Mannersly!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Shattered: a Logan McKenna Mystery Book 1 (The Logan McKenna Series) by Valerie Davisson – Review by Angela Hayes

Shattered: Logan Book 1 (The Logan McKenna Series)Shattered: Logan Book 1 by Valerie Davisson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

 

3 Stars

 

“Logan tossed the letter back on her desk. She’d definitely landed in the City of Oz and was in dire need of a pair of ruby slippers.
Not for the first time this year, she wondered why anyone would work in the public school system unless they had a lobotomy or were working off jail time. It all started last October when, as a favor to her friend Bonnie, she’d taken a long-term sub job for a seventh grade teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in Tilcott, CA.
She’d spent the last two years since her husband Jack died wrapping up and selling the computer business they’d built together. The process had been wrenching. After paying off business debts—Jack had been more charmer than money manager—there wasn’t a whole lot left.
Truth be told, she needed the job.”

 

Shattered: a Logan McKenna Mystery Book 1 (The Logan McKenna Series) by Valerie Davisson is a murder mystery- with action, drama, crime investigation, art community elements, Native American characters and cultural references, and more.
This is my first read by Valerie Davisson, so I really didn’t know what to expect going into the story- but as I love a good thrilling mystery, I was excited to jump in and get going. I really wanted to love this book so much more than I did. It should have been right in my wheelhouse and should have grabbed me right from the get-go. But it didn’t. I had trouble connecting with Logan and the other characters- which in turn made it difficult to settle in and invest in the outcome of the story.
Parts of the story felt rushed- while other parts lagged, which really disrupted the flow of the story for me. At times I felt that the story got a little off track- making things a little confusing and I found myself re-reading parts to clarify where and what was happening. But, I have had a really busy and tiring week- so maybe it was just me- so I intend to revisit this book again in the near future, to see if I still feel the same way, or whether I was just having an ‘off’ day when reading it.
As it is the first book in the series, I would be interested to read the next book, or books- to see if some of the issues I had with this story have been resolved in the other additions. I did find the crime/murder part quite interesting, as with the glassblowing/artistic element.

Thank you, Valerie Davisson!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Her Blackened Soul (The Blackened Series Book 1) by Isra Sravenheart – Review by Angela Hayes

Her Blackened Soul (The Blackened, #1)Her Blackened Soul by Isra Sravenheart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 Stars

Her Blackened Soul is the first book in The Blackened Series by Isra Sravenheart. This is quite an original story, with a bit of a fairytale-esque feel to it. It stands apart from other ‘fairytale’ type stories in that it is all about the ‘villain’. It is a fantasy- a paranormal romance with magic, a powerful dark witch, drama, and more.
Lady Isra is a powerful witch- with a bit of a black heart. Yes, she’s dark- but she is full of complexities which we discover along the way. She has serious trust issues, and a taste for revenge. What happens here makes for an interesting read.
Whilst I did enjoy the story, it was a little slow to get going and lagged at times though the story- disrupting the pace and pulling me out of the story. I really wanted to love this book because it is one of my favourite genres- and the premise held so much promise. But I have had a crazy week, so maybe it was just me, and so I will revisit this book at a later date to see if I still feel the same way, or if I was just having an off day.

Thank you, Isra Sravenheart!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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The Trouble With Paradise (A Madeline Dawkins Mystery Book 4) by Cynthia Hamilton – Review by Angela Hayes

The Trouble with Paradise (Madeline Dawkins #4)The Trouble with Paradise by Cynthia Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

“Two women in a world of misery, both widowed by circumstances that haven’t been sufficiently explained,”

 

The Trouble With Paradise is the fourth book in the Madeline Dawkins series by Cynthia Hamilton. I am soooooooooo in love with this series- hands down one of the best discoveries I have made this year!!!! This is one of those series that you can read over and over again and never tire of it. After reading the first book and loving it so much, I was compelled to go on a one-click spree for any other books that I could find in the series. I ended up reading the series back to back, and several times over- that’s how much I enjoyed them.
I went into this book with extremely high expectations because all the previous books were so brilliant- so part of me was a little trepidatious about reading it, wondering if Cynthia Hamilton could sustain the momentum and deliver another thrilling mystery. So, I am thrilled to say that I should never have doubted her as this book is every bit as wonderful and brilliant as the previous books- setting my anticipation levels on high for the release of Book Five!!!
The story is so cleverly woven with intriguing mystery, suspense, drama, engrossing developments, action, danger, tension, romance, emotion, and so much more. Cynthia Hamilton once again puts Madeline and Mike through their paces- weaving a smart and thought provoking mystery infused with a dangerous tension that kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the story.
This story takes place four months after the events of the previous book. Madeline and Mike end up with two cases involving grieving widows who need help to uncover what really happened to their husbands. One widow is in jail, charged with the murder of her older, wealthy husband. But did she really kill him? And if not, then what really happened? The other widow wants to prove that her husband’s death definitely wasn’t suicide. But, what will our detectives discover? As I have come to expect from Cynthia Hamilton, nothing is ever simple. She always manages to weave a complex, multilayered mystery with more than a few twisty surprises to get me sitting up and really paying attention. Add in the fact that Madeline’s snake of an ex is now released from prison, had me wondering what he was up to, and when he would make his move. He seems to have turned over a new leaf- but Madeline (and I) know better- and just how underhanded and vile he can be. So what unfolds makes for quite a thrilling read!
As I have mentioned previously, I think The Madeline Dawkins books would make a fantastic television series- reminding me a lot of the old Moonlighting series with Cybil Shephard and Bruce Willis- but with more danger, excitement, and a modern ‘feel’.
So, if you love a cleverly crafted and thrilling mystery then what are you waiting for! Grab yourself a copy and dive in- but be prepared to develop an addiction to Cynthia Hamilton’s stories- you may find that one book will never be enough.
I am so desperate to find out what’s in store for Maddie and Mike- especially after the way this book ended! So, bring on Book Five!!! SQUEEEEEEE!!!! I can’t wait!
Brilliant!!!!

Thank you, Cynthia Hamilton!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Center of Gravity (An Ice Tigers Hockey Romance Book 2) by Isabella Cassazza – Review by Angela Hayes

Center of Gravity (Ice Tigers #2)Center of Gravity by Isabella Cassazza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Center of Gravity is the first book in the Ice Tigers series, and my first read by Isabella Cassazza. Even though this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. But, having said that this story has intrigued me enough to want to go back and read the first book too, before continuing the series.
This is a sweet contemporary sports romance about finding love unexpectedly- with a couple of surprises thrown in to keep things interesting. The characters were well developed and endearing- making for a realistic and believable read that you won’t want to put down.
Emilia Ravelli has lived in her grandfather’s shadow for so many years trying to live up to his expectations and earn his respect. But no matter what she does, how much she sacrifices, nothing she does seems to please him. She feels like a failure. Keeping up appearances and shouldering all the expectation and responsibility is not only exhausting, but also a little lonely. So, when her latest project fails to live up to her grandfather’s exacting standards, again, Emilia is sent halfway across the world knowing that this new assignment will be her last chance to prove herself. She has a lot riding on its success. One small problem- the assignment means taking over the management of the Boston Ice Tigers hockey team, with no experience in sports management and no clue about hockey, Emilia really doesn’t like her chances of success- especially with the secret she’s carrying.
Matt Walker has thrown himself into his hockey career, trying desperately to leave behind all his personal dramas. He is focused on winning and definitely has no time for distractions. So, what happens when the new team manager arrives and turns his life upside down?
If you love sports romance, or romantic stories in general- then you really won’t want to miss grabbing a copy of this book to read, to uncover the secret and discover all the other captivating details for yourself.

Thank you, Isabella Cassazza!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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The Widow: A Dark Romantic Fantasy by Naomi Valkyrie & Rebecca E. McEwen – Review by Angela Hayes

The Widow: A Dark Romantic FantasyThe Widow: A Dark Romantic Fantasy by Naomi Valkyrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

The Widow: A Dark Romantic Fantasy by Naomi Valkyrie and Rebecca E. McEwen is quite a surprising little package- a dark and mysterious fantasy that is so much more than it first appears. I really don’t want to go into any detail as I don’t want to give away the clever and surprising twist that really gave this book an added element of intrigue.
The characters are really well developed with their own personalities, quirks and flaws. The scene setting and storytelling is quite rich, imaginative, and vividly descriptive. The authors have woven a lot into a relatively small amount of space, choreographing all the elements into quite an enthralling read. They also manage to infuse quite a lot of emotion into the storyline, making it easy to connect with the characters and invest in them and the outcome of their story.
Well Done! Looking forward to more!

Thank you, Naomi Valkyrie and Rebecca E. McEwen!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Bird in a Snare (The Lord Hani Mysteries Book 1) by N.L. Holmes – Review by Angela Hayes

Bird in a Snare (The Lord Hani Mysteries)Bird in a Snare by N.L. Holmes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Bird In A Snare is the first book in The Lord Hani Mysteries by N.L Holmes. This is an historical mystery set in ancient Egypt, which the author does an excellent job of recreating and bringing to life. I could feel the authors passion for the period shine through in her writing, which added to the whole atmosphere of the story.
Hani is a fantastic character, who along with the rest of the cast, help to bring this story alive. He is a loving father, husband, and a respected diplomat. This mystery begins when he is sent to far away Syria, uncovering a murder which could bring a great political backlash. Add in more dead bodies, corruption, politics, hidden agendas, and simmering tension- and this story really takes off.
Looking forward to seeing what Hani gets up to in the next book!

Thank you, N.L Holmes!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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The Slaughter of Leith Hall by Lexie Conyngham – Review by Angela Hayes

The Slaughter of Leith HallThe Slaughter of Leith Hall by Lexie Conyngham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

The Slaughter of Leith Hall is a well woven historical murder mystery by Lexie Conyngham. It took me a little bit to get into the story and get my head around the period language/speak that is in keeping with the times, but was somewhat heavy, time consuming, and confusing to read. The story was slow to get going and lagged a little at times throughout the book- but the mystery was quite intriguing and I did feel compelled to finish the story so I could find out how everything played out in the end.

Thank you, Lexie Conyngham!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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