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Ink’s Devil (Satan’s Devils MC Colorado Chapter #5) by Manda Mellett – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Ink's Devil: Satan's Devils MC (Colorado Chapter) #5Ink’s Devil: Satan’s Devils MC (Colorado Chapter) #5 by Manda Mellett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ink’s Devil is the fifth book in Manda Mellett’s Satan’s Devils: Colorado Chapter series. It begins at Pyro and Mel’s wedding, picking up where the previous book left off. The book then follows Beth, Mel’s best friend, and Ink, one of the bikers, as they realise that their post-wedding one-night-stand has left them both wanting more.
For me, this story got off to a slow start. I wasn’t really hooked and was struggling to get through it. Then things kicked off and I couldn’t put it down! Ink and Beth’s relationship is just starting to take shape when an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night sets off a chain of events that turns everything upside down. It’s tense and dramatic and there’s mystery and action and all the while you’re left wondering if Ink will ever get to teach Beth to ride a bike.
What I particularly like about this series is how we get to see all the characters we’ve fallen in love with in previous books. It’s good to know there’s something beyond just a simple HEA – they’re still together, still figuring things out, while other stories take centre stage. It’s also fun guessing who will get to be in the spotlight next. In this one, Dirt and Nails were my favourite minor background characters so I’m really hoping they get their own book soon!
For me, this is a four star book. It’s a fun series, and this one had me on the edge of my seat at times! If you’re new to the series, good entry points would either be the start of the main Satan’s Devil’s series or the first book in the Colorado Chapter. You can dive in anywhere, but it’s nice to get to know the characters!

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Lillie (Maggie Trilogy Series Book 3) by Mya O’Malley – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Lillie (Maggie Trilogy Series Book 3)Lillie by Mya O’Malley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lillie is the third and final book in Mya O’Malley’s Maggie Trilogy. This series has gripped me from start to finish – so much so that I started reading Lillie within a day of finishing Naomi.
The series’ protagonist, Naomi, is particularly sensitive to ghosts and throughout the series has helped a number of them avenge their deaths and find peace. Naomi has had her abilities since she was a child, something which is brought to the forefront in this book when her supposed imaginary friend returns to her life. When Lillie’s mischief threatens to tear Naomi’s new family apart, Naomi has to figure out what exactly it is the ghost needs to be able to move on.
Like the others, this book is a real page-turner. Again, I couldn’t put it down and had to read it in one sitting. It’s short enough to keep my attention, but packed full of story. Lillie takes us further back in time than the previous books, while also giving Naomi a glimpse of what lies in her, Holly and Bryce’s future. It’s got history, mystery, tragedy, romance and so much more.
For me, this is a five-star book. It’s definitely worth reading the series as a whole – the other books are also fantastic and the stories very much lead on from each other. I’d recommend it to fans of ghost stories and murder mysteries.

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Naomi (Maggie Trilogy Book 2) by Mya O’Malley – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Naomi (Maggie Trilogy Book 2)Naomi by Mya O’Malley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Naomi is the second book in Mya O’Malley’s Maggie trilogy. It is a ghost story, centring around the protagonist Naomi who has the ability to see ghosts. In the first book, she solved the mysteries surrounding the death of a young woman who was buried in the graveyard at the end of her garden. In this book, it gets a lot more personal and dangerous with a ghost seemingly bent on ruining the happiness Naomi has found.

This is an enjoyable, gripping series. There’s lots of mystery and the reader is dropped enough clues that, over time, we begin to piece things together. Naomi is often in danger making for a tense, thrilling read. I couldn’t put the book down!

Naomi is a great continuation of the series. It builds on what we’ve already learnt of ghosts and what they want and after capable of. We get to see the development of Naomi’s relationship with Bryce and Holly too, and see Bryce struggle to accept and support Naomi’s calling in life.

For me, this is a five star book. I’d recommend it to fans of ghost stories and mysteries. It’s definitely worth reading the books in order as the events of Naomi very much follow on from the first book, Maggie.

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Second Chance (The Flowers in December Trilogy, book 3) by Jane Suen – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Second Chance (Flowers in December #3)Second Chance by Jane Suen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Second Chance is the third and final book in Jane Suen’s Flowers in December trilogy. The previous book, Coming Home, saw Connor giving up on the city life that he’d worked so hard for in favour for a healthier, happier life for himself and his cat Tom. Mary Ann struggled to get over Connor when she thought he’d moved back to the city for good and now needs to decide whether to give him a second chance.
This is a warm book that’s easy to enjoy. At times cliché – a chance encounter in the grocery store followed by a snowstorm that forces them to spend time together – but enjoyable nonetheless. There are misunderstandings that the characters need to overcome and over the course of the book they learn to communicate with each other.
It was nice to see Alana and her mother, Mrs Rainer together and see how their relationship has continued to develop after the end of the previous book. Mrs Rainer is one of my favourite characters in this series and is a reassuring presence in the story and Connor’s life.
For me, this is a four star book. A comforting read for a winters evening. It’s definitely worth reading the trilogy in order – the books aren’t very long and it’s good to see the characters and their relationships develop over time.

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Singles and Other Singularities (The woman Scientist Trilogy 2- The Italian Saga Book 8) by Gaia B Amman – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Singles: ...And Other Singularities (Woman Scientist Trilogy 2, The Italian Saga)Singles: …And Other Singularities by Gaia B Amman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Singles And Other Singularities is the second book in Gaia B Amman’s Woman Scientist trilogy, a continuation of her Italian Saga. The Saga follows the life of Italian scientist Leda as she grows up. At this stage in the story, Leda is settled in Buffalo conducting research under the unforgiving guidance of Dr Scrui. Working hard to keep up with the constant demands of her studies, Leda is also involved in an array of romantic dramas.
With a series like this, it is hard not to get attached to the protagonist. The story is told from her perspective, mixing first person narration with epistolary emails and the poetry Leda is writing. This keeps things varied and the emails are a great way of keeping us up to date with what’s going on back in Italy!
Like in the other books, there’s a huge amount of romantic drama in this book. It’s not all Leda’s own drama – with many friends confiding in her she gets tangled up in their dreams and woes as well. With the stress of her academic work, and an ill sister to worry about, Leda really needs stable friendships she can rely on which is hard with all the drama.
For me, this is a four star book. It’s similar in tone to the Adrian Mole series – if you liked that you’ll love this! It was great reading about Leda’s childhood in Italy and seeing her getting to grips with American culture is very entertaining.

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Maggie (Maggie Trilogy Book 1) by Mya O’Malley – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

MaggieMaggie by Mya O’Malley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie is the first book in Mya O’Malley’s Maggie Trilogy. It’s a thrilling ghost story with plenty of mystery and suspense.
Our heroine, Naomi, finally overcomes her writer’s block when a ghost from the cemetery that backs onto her garden starts haunting her. Determined to tell Maggie’s story, Naomi is torn between creating a fictional version of events and uncovering the truth. With spooky dreams giving Naomi and the reader glimpses into Maggie’s fate as the book progresses, we are drawn into her story.
I particularly like Zelda, Naomi’s cat. Zelda plays a hugely important role in the story by first drawing Naomi’s attention to Maggie’s grave, and is always up to various antics. Full of character, Zelda is a great companion for Naomi and a catalyst (CATalyst!) for events.
There’s also a strong cast of (human) secondary characters. I was amused by Naomi’s friend Amy’s unfortunate attempts to set Naomi up with dates. I was entranced by little Holly’s instant affection for Naomi and her father Bryce’s warmth.
For me, this is a four star book. It kept me on edge throughout – a real page-turner. I’d recommend for fans of the paranormal. A great book to snuggle up with on a cold, dark night!

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Misplaced (Joined Book Two) by Mara Gan – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Misplaced: Joined: Book TwoMisplaced: Joined: Book Two by Mara Gan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mara Gan’s Joined series is one that moves between different genres. The first book was science fiction, with a space opera feel to it. The second book, Misplaced, is a mythological fantasy set in Ancient Greece. They are held together by character and story but the world has a completely different feel to it.
I particularly liked Meda in Joined and love how her character is developed in Misplaced. She has woken up in this strange world with no memories of her past, besides her name. She is struggling to survive, going to desperate lengths to protect others and herself. The world she has found herself in is one of corrupt power and unjust rules, where doing what is right can get her into a lot of trouble.
As before, the world building was fantastic. There were plenty of recognisable figures and events from history and mythology, as well as vivid scenes such as markets and forests. I could really picture the environments Meda was in!
For me, this is a five star book. I’d recommend reading from the start of the series if you’re after a rich fantasy that will take you to some wonderful places.
I’m really excited to see where this story goes next, and how it develops further. After Joined and Misplaced, it feels like anything could happen!

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Earl of Darby (Wicked Earls’ Club) (Once Upon A Widow Book 4) by Aubrey Wynne – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Earl of Darby (Wicked Earls' Club) (Once Upon A Widow Book 4)Earl of Darby (Wicked Earls’ Club) by Aubrey Wynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earl of Darby is the fourth book in Aubrey Wynne’s Once Upon A Widow series. It’s a historical romance with a bit of tragedy and mystery thrown in. The eponymous hero, Nicholas the Earl of Darby, is haunted by his fateful marriage that ended with his wife’s death on their wedding night. He is seeking revenge, struggling to trust any women after being lied to by his mother, and is generally a bit of a mess.
Hannah is more than a match for Nicholas and, when she is in danger of meeting a similar fate to his wife, his protective instincts kick in. With Hannah’s friendship with Nicholas’ young sister, Mattie, she is more than just a love interest and her character is developed and interesting.
Although part of a series, this book can work as a standalone. The series follows different characters in each book, with the characters then appearing as side characters in each other’s books. But if you enjoy this, you’ll love the others so you might as well read them! This one’s kind of a Christmas story but you could get away with reading it at other times of the year.
For me, this is a four star book. I’d recommend it to fans of regency stories, with a warning that it does feature rape and suicide.

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The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne (Book 3) by C. L. Schneider – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Magic-Borne (The Crown of Stones, #3)Magic-Borne by C.L. Schneider
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magic-Borne is the third and final book in C. L. Schneider’s The Crown of Stones series. It is an epic fantasy series that centres around Ian Troy, a Shinree whose fate is intertwined with that of the magical Crown of Stones.
This series has fantastic world-building. I’d definitely recommend starting at the beginning to get more of the details. There are many different races and species characters with different motivations and alliances. There is a long history that influences current and future events.
One thing that I particularly like about this series is that all magic comes at a cost. Troy, and others, do not use their powers without careful consideration – the benefits are always weighed up with the consequences. This is particularly true for Troy, whose magic usage is gradually turning him into a monster. As someone who regularly finds himself in situations when lives – his or others – are on the line, he often has to make the choice between saving lives or staving off his seemingly inevitable downfall.
I’ve really enjoyed this series. For me, this is a five star book. Fans of big fantasy series like Lord of the Rings and Eragon will love this magical, action-packed story.

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The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

The Unholy: A Supernatural TaleThe Unholy: A Supernatural Tale by Paul DeBlassie III
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III is a supernatural horror story that draws on a number of spiritual traditions to provide a rich background to the characters and their experiences. The title refers to the antagonist, Archbishop Anarch, whose quest for power and fortune within the church has led him to moral and spiritual corruption.
Claire is one of the few people working at the Ecclesia Dei Psychiatric Hospital who isn’t a member of Anarch’s congregation, and so is outside of his control. She brings to the hospital her in depth knowledge of both natural therapies and mental health work, drawing on her educational background and her upbringing amongst medicine women. She is committed to her patients and critical of some of the hospital’s approaches to caring for them.
As well as her battle against the corrupt Archbishop, Claire is fighting against her own destiny. She is called to follow in her mother’s footsteps to be a medicine woman but has resisted this call as she is afraid that it will lead to her death. Having reached the age of 25, the age her mother was when Claire witnessed her violent death, Claire is increasingly worried about what her future holds.
One of my favourite characters was Francesca, Claire’s spiritual guide and foster mother. I liked how down-to-earth and observant she was, and how often Claire referred to her wisdom.
For me, this is a four-star book. If you’re looking for a battle between good and evil with a deep spiritual background and some interesting characters, this is worth a read!

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