Antipodes (Antipodes Book 1) by T.S. Simons – Review by Jess Engel

Antipodes (Antipodes, #1)Antipodes by T.S. Simons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great post-apocalyptic dystopian novel! I’ve had this one on my list for a while and I’m sure glad I finally opened it up!

Since this is the first in a series, there is a lot of care taken to develop the characters and setting. It is well-researched, descriptive, and engaging. The world-building in the novel, of a post-pandemic world, is incredible and the character development is excellent. The author really brings life to this story and keeps the reader coming back for more.

The main character, Cam, is endearing and relatable. The author’s ability to fully develop characters, especially Cam, draws the reader in and enables the reader to become emotionally invested in his life and story.

I’m looking forward to the next one!

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Something About Aimee (Girls from the Street Book 1) by S.E. Smith – Review by Jess Engel

Something About Aimee (Girls from the Street Book 1)Something About Aimee by S.E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An engaging, fast-paced read. I really enjoyed this story and the writers style is engaging and draws the reader in. The story felt realistic and it was made up of everything a good suspenseful romance needs.

Aimee is a strong leading female who is unexpectedly, but quickly, well-matched with Qadir, who proves himself a great leading man! Through from different worlds, their chemistry is palpable!

I really enjoyed this one by an author I’ve never read before! I look forward to additional books from her.

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Amber Waves of Grace by Jessica Berg – Review By Jess Engel

Amber Waves of GraceAmber Waves of Grace by Jessica Berg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an engaging and ultimately heartwarming story! I really enjoyed the authors development of the characters and story.

For me, the characters and setting made this story. The small town, hardworking community that bands together and help one another is heartwarming, even in the midst of tragedies, trials, and tribulations. I was expecting relationships and romance, but wasn’t expecting the twists and turns that kept me turning the pages. I look forward to additional stories from this author!

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Enemies of Doves by Shanessa Gluhm – Review by Jess Engel

Enemies of DovesEnemies of Doves by Shanessa Gluhm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may be my favorite read of the year so far! What a well-written, researched, and gripping story!

The author developed a page-turner with their ability to create tension and the need to know what happens next in this mystery that spans across time. The characters are developed well throughout the entirety of the story and the reader finds themself rooting for and relating to them. The author also has a unique way of creating setting and bringing the reader inside the story and feel like you are really there. The details really bring this story to life.

The author tackles many challenging subjects within the context of the story and does so very well and with integrity.

Ultimately, I look forward to more by this author and encourage you to pick this one up for sure!

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The Detail by Dana Wayne – Review by Jess Engel

The DetailThe Detail by Dana Wayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read this one! What a great, fast-paced story! I loved Jessica and Seth’s story. Partners with a palpable attraction, but each not knowing they like one another. Their developing relationship and romance draws the reader in and adds an element depth to the story, enhancing the suspenseful and thrilling pieces of the story. The author weaves the suspense in throughout the story and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. I was turning the pages and read this in just a couple of sittings (and maybe lost some sleep) because I couldn’t put it down. The overall development of the characters and story culminated in an amazing read. I can’t wait to read another by this author!

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Levi (The Brothers of Creekside Ranch Book 1) by Edith Mackenzie Review by Jess Engel

LeviLevi by Edith Mackenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very well-written, fast-paced, clean romance. Levi and his brothers are triplets left to care for their sister after the death of their parents, but Levi’s past still creeps in. He also agrees to help a friend and moves Bella in to be a nanny for their sister, while also protecting her. Their love story is unusual.

This was a very good story and character development, especially if Levi and Bella, was excellent—especially considering the shorter length of this book. The story flowed well and there was romance, action, and tension, keeping the reader engaged. Excellent, quick, easy read!

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Body Checked (Astoria Bay Thunder Book 2) by CJ Cartwright – Review by Jess Engel

Body Checked (Astoria Bay Thunder #2)Body Checked by C.J. Cartwright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every bit as good, if not better than the first! I loved the second installment in this series (though it can be read as a standalone). The author continues to deliver an engaging page-turner with Bridger and Tia’s story.

Bridger is a “bad boy/playboy” who keeps finding himself in trouble and in need of an image change. Tia has sworn-off the bad boys but a trip with her best friend and the team drums up an undeniable chemistry between them.

This book has it all: friendship, spice, sass, laughs, and fun! The characters are likable and relatable and you’ll find yourself rooting for them! The author develops the characters and their relationship in a mostly realistic way and the tension draws the reader in. I just love reading her stories and can’t wait for more Astoria Bay romances!

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The Lie That Binds by Amy Argent – Review by Jess Engel

The Lie That BindsThe Lie That Binds by Amy Argent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a solid book with a good, intriguing storyline that keeps your attention. There was a lot of depth to the characters, especially the main characters, Holly and Nathan. Holly, new to town wants to fit in, but is immediately rejected but the popular group. Even so, she is still interested in Nathan and learns he’s been keeping a secret. Will it all unravel? Can real relationships be built on secrets and lies?

This was a well-written, interesting story. The authors writing style reels the reader in and the topics covered within the story are relevant to teen life today. I could see this being a popular read among teens and young adults for that reason. I was engaged in the story all the way through and enjoyed it overall.

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Burned by Fire (Firehouse 13 Book 4) by Danielle Jacks – Review by Jess Engel

Burned by Fire (Firehouse 13, #4)Burned by Fire by Danielle Jacks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an enjoyable, short read. The story is told from the perspectives of each of the main characters, Sol and Ember. Sol is trying to reckon with injury and pain of losing his life’s path and Ember’s career is starting to take off. Though younger than Sol, she’s always had a crush and it may finally be the right time to explore her crush, while also helping Sol find his way back to life. The feelings and steam between the characters is palpable.

Overall, this was an enjoyable story with fairly well developed characters; however there were time I was hoping for more depth. The story moves at a fast pace due to its length, but the reader is fulfilled in a complete story. This can be read in a single sitting and was worth the time.

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As Close to Perfect by Maria Jane – Review by Jess Engel

As Close to PerfectAs Close to Perfect by Maria Jane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an easy, good read with great characters. I enjoyed the story and development of the characters and brewing romance and chemistry between Bree and Nate, but Nate is everything Bree isn’t looking for, so she keeps looking!

I loved the quirkiness of Bree, she is an over thinker with a flare of sarcasm. Nate is patient and persisten, but how patient can he be?

Though this is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, which is how I read it. It was entertaining and I enjoyed the characters and relationships so I may go back and read the first two in the series now!

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