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The Rise of House Valdis (House Valdis Book 1) by Naomi Valkyrie – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Rise of House Valdis (House Valdis #1)The Rise of House Valdis by Naomi Valkyrie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about protection. Xenobia Valdis is an alien being who helps young women out of situations and runs her own company. One day, a man comes into her house with a strange request to save his daughter. Xenobia agrees to help but events unravel and soon she has policemen at her door digging for the truth. Can she make sure her girls stay safe?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Xenobia determined but caring underneath or Matt with a gruff exterior but kind interior. Great cast of supporting characters like the supportive Maggie or the mysterious Javier
However soemtimes it felr like there were too many girls and characters to keep track of which could have been reduced. .
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with Xenobias and her blue skin and black eyes making her otherworldly and fascinating and beautiful. Or with the cabin later on with the trees and the lake and the quiet for a sense of peace away from everything. Or the dreams with their sights and sounds so vivid it’s a sid you’re actually there.
A great example of world building with fantatsical creatures living alongside humanity with their own rules and laws and societies. I liked Xenobias creature as was something different to the fantasy genre.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display all the different sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in chapter titles. The only issue I would raise is that the book felt more centered on romance than the supernatural which may deter some readers. There were also some long sentences in places that were hard to read which could be resolved with a variety of sentence lengths. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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Virtue & Vice (Spicetopia #2) by Phoebe Alexander – Review by Sarah Oakes

Virtue & Vice (Spicetopia Book 2)Virtue & Vice by Phoebe Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about dreams. Katya and Moon are on holiday in Greece when they meet Cyrus and Jolie. Whilst there, they come up with the idea of an adult theme park called Spicetopia filled with everything you could want. They part ways and return to normal life, thinking it will never happen. But Cyrus Sweet seems determined to make it all come true. Can dreams ever become a reality?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Katya cautious but loving underneath or Moon as more exuberant but worried underneath.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the islands with the blue waters and white sand and green palm trees as beautiful and sernee and so vibrsnt and vivid it’s as if you’re actually there. Or with the Starlight Cay on the island shaped like a star for the sense of homely but exotic. I also liked the contrast with the colourful island and the boring drab offices as conflicting worlds wonderfully written.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in chapter titles. I also liked the idea of the sequel shifting point of view form the original by focusing on other characters which was a great idea. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Diamonds & Deception (Karina Cardinal Mystery Book 3) by Ellen Butler – Review by Sarah Oakes

Diamonds & Deception (Karina Cardinal Mystery, #3)Diamonds & Deception by Ellen Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about trouble. Karina Cardinal is trying to stay out of trouble after a row with her boyfriend. But life has other ideas when Sadira, a friend of her sisters, is accused of stealing a lot of diamonds from the jewellery sshe works at. Events unravel and Karina finds herself ina search for the truth. Can she uncover the truth?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Karina cautious but still wanting to help or Jillian as loyal and determined. Great cast of supporting characters like the austere Bernard or the supportive Jessica.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the fashion catwalk at the start with bright and colourful dresses with sights and sounds as vivid it’s as if you’re actually there. Or the big house later on with the fairy lights and trees and flowers and the wide stairs for a sense of elegance and luxury and beauty. Wonderfully written.
I liked the use of suspense with Sadira and the diamonds with details revealed slowly to make you keep reading to find out the truth with Karina. Fast paced action and high stakes made for a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Toxic Blonde (A Johnny Delarosa Thriller Book 2) by David Stever – Review by Sarah Oakes

Toxic Blonde: A Johnny Delarosa Thriller (The Delarosa Series Book 2)Toxic Blonde: A Johnny Delarosa Thriller by David Stever
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great reas about intrigue. Johnny Delarosa returns to investigate a new mystery..he takes a case where a young woman wants revenge on her cheating husband by any means necessary. But there is more to the story with technological giants and Russian mafia get involved. Can he solve it all?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Although at times it felt a little complicated with a lot going on and was hard to read. Well developed characters like Johnny determined to get to the truth but caring underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the feisty kate or the supportive Mike.
I also liked the use of suspense throughout the novlr as details were revealed slowly to keep you reading to find out what happened and who was behind it. The only issue I woolf Roade is that there were many long sentences that made the book hard to read which could have been reduced with a variety of sentence lengths. Fast paced action and high stakes made for a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars

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Dark Feathers by Natalina Reis – Review by Sarah Oakes

Dark FeathersDark Feathers by Natalina Reis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about darkness. Phoenix is a dark angel. One night when collecting a soul, a woman sees him and speaks to him, things which have never happened before. His boss Asmodeus thinks it is a threat and orders Phoenix to follow her. Phoenix accidently ends up being her roommate and discovers new experiences and finds himself. Can he sirll follow orders or is he something more than a minion?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Joan stubborn and sarcastic but caring underneath or Phoenix trying to find himself but also follow orders.
Great cast of supporting characters like the bubbly brother Caleb or the loving Sky. A great villain in Asomedeus cold and cruel and manipulative done just right.
I loved the visual detial throughout the novel like the the bay with its blue waters and clear sky with the boats and seagulls for a sense of calm for both Phoenix and the reader, beautifully written. Or with the coolies with their tastes and smells sosl vivid its as if you’re actually there as you experience new things with Phoenix, wonderfully written.
A great example of world building with fantatsical beings living alongside humanity with their own rules and laws and societies. I loved the idea of the dark angels, with evil creatures not being demons for a change was fresh and exciting. Phoenix’s journey of finding himself and his insecurities was relatable and emotive. The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in chapter titles. Fast paced action and high stakes in a fantasy story made for a captivating read. Overall a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Sugar and Spice (Spicetopia #1) by Phoebe Alexander – Review by Sarah Oakes

Sugar & Spice (Spicetopia Book 1)Sugar & Spice by Phoebe Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about business. Cyrus Sweet is the youngest son of Carden Sweet, owner of the kids theme park called Sweetopia. To force him to pull his waight in the company, Cyrus is made to go undercover. He is meant to find out about an employee uprising. But instead he finds more to the story and has his eyes opened. Can he choose between what he wants and what his family wants?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Cyrus arrogant but finding his feet and caring underneath or Jolie as independent but vulnerable underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the manipulative Carden or a good friend Colleen.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the theme park with the silver castle or the jewelled throne of The Red Velvet Queen for a sense of awe and magic, wonderfully written. Or the bold sense of colour with the bright pinks and deep reds and colourful arch so vivid it’s as if you’re actually there.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in chapter titles.I also liked the mystery with the employee upprising, with small details revealed slowly to make you keep reader. The only issue I would raise is that there was some repetition with Cyrus wanting his money which could have been reduced. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Journeys Through SpaceTime (Journeys Through Book 1) by James Talisman – Review By Sarah Oakes

Journeys Through SpaceTimeJourneys Through SpaceTime by James Talisman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about adventure. A mysterious voice calls out acrosss the universe, sounding in the heads of a multitude of people from different planets. It brings together a series of characters as events unravel and they are taken on a quest of adventure and danger. What does the voice really want from them all?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. A series of well developed characters like the brave warrior Cassius or Hirisho trying to make his father proud or the wise and kind Nerities. However, at times it felt like there were a lot or characters to keep track of and this could have been reduced to help the readee follow the story.
A great example of world building with a wide range of fantatsical beings and worlds with their own rules and laws and societies wonderfully written. I liked the feel of different worlds having different feels to them like the Egyptian or samurai soldiers, making the universe feel diverse and full of culture and life and people, wonderfully written.
I liked the mystery of the voice and what it wanted, making you want to read on to find out answers.
However at times, it felt like the book was more concerned with characters than describing the details of the planet in question to engage the reader. The switches between worlds were often jarring and hard to follow and could have deserved a chapter each to give this and the description justice. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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Hitting The High Note (A Four Horsemen Novel Book 3) by C. A. King – Review BY Sarah Oakes

2Hitting The High Note (A Four Horsemen Novel Book 3)Hitting The High Note by C.A. King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about music. Bekka just wants to run her music shop and dreams of playing in an orchestra. Her plans are always put on hold and are disrupted by a series of robberies and a strange man dressed as a cowboy. As events unravel, she finds herself centre stage. Does music have a magic of its own?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Uriel the jester but vulnerable underneath or Bekka standing up for herself but anxious underneath.
I loved the visual detial throughout the novel like with the shop with the glass and sheet music fluttering on the wind, making destruction beautiful. Or the scenes in the gala with the colourful dresses and music full of colour and sound that was so vivid it’s as if you’re actually there.
I liked how it was Uriel’s story, switching the focus to another horseman for this book. The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in chapter titles. I also liked how the artefact was something different from the usual chalice or spear usually found in these kinds of books made it fresh and exciting. The only issue I would raise is that it felt unclear why Uriel was dressed as a cowboy as it felt unnecessary. Fast paced action and high stakes in a fantasy story made for a captivating read. Overall a great read and I would give it four stars.

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To Kill A Fae (The Dragon Portal Book 1) by Jamie A. Waters – Review by Sarah Oakes

To Kill a Fae (The Dragon Portal Series, #1)To Kill a Fae by Jamie A. Waters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about secrecy. Sabine is a Fae living in disguise in the city of Akros. One night, she is tailed and ambushed by a group of men. She is saved by a man who is more than he seems. Sabine seeks to find out the truth of who is hunting herd despite the safety risks, fearful someone knows her identity. As events unravel, powerful forces come into play and the past returns to haunt her. Can you ever turkey stay hidden forever?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Sabine fierce and brave but caring underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the overprotective Dax or the more tender Bane.
I lived the visual detail throughout the novel like with the crypt with winding paths and standing stones for a sense of ancient magic and mystery. Or with the bar with the tree with the glass and the vines as beautiful in a deadly place. Or with the kaleidoscope with ti’s bold beautiful colours for a sense of wonder so vivid it’s as if you’re actually there..
I loved how the book drew the reader in at the start with the action and magic in a fantasy world. I also liked the use of suspense as details about the attackers and or Savines past were revealed slowly to keep you reading to find out what happened.
A great example of world building with fantatsical beings and creatures living alongside humanity with their own rules and laws and societies and customs. I loved the wide range of creatures like goblins and fae and demons giving the feel of a mixed society full of life and character and wonderfully written. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Ailey of Skye by Wendy Hewlett – Review by Sarah Oakes

Ailey of SkyeAiley of Skye by Wendy Hewlett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about recovery. Aileen MacEwan heads to skye after her grandmother dies and leaves her a house there. But when she arrives, someone is already living in it. Annoyed, she tries to have him removed but discovers they have more in common than she thought. As time goes on and events unravel, she discovers both herself and new friends along the way. Will she return to Canada the same person or sleill she be changed by Scotland?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Ailey standing up for herself but vulnerable underneath or Brodie as stubborn but caring underneath
Great cast of supporting characters like the sweet mother figure Lianie or funny and charming Alec.
I loved the visual detsil throughout the novel like with the house with blue door and stained glass panes and cream walls for a sense of comfort. Or the scenes in the fairy pools with the waterfalls in the sun with its blue waters and green trees as hidden kingdom full of magic wonderfully written.
I also liked the use of Scottish culture throughout the novel with its language and customs given the respect they deserve and adding a sense of character to the novel. I also liked the use of suspense as detials about Ailey were revealed slowly to make you want to keep reading to find out what happened to her. I also liked how the book was Aileys journey as she grows and changes through the story emotive and powerful and moving.. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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