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Beachcomber Enemy: a Romantic Thriller (Beachcomber Investigations Book 10) by Stephanie Queen – Review by Sarah Oakes

Beachcomber EnemyBeachcomber Enemy by Stephanie Queen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about danger. Dane and Shana’s lives are in danger after someone bombs their house. In an attempt to find justice and bait the perpetrator of the crime, they go undercover. With help from friends, they go on the run while being hunted from faces from the past. Can they find the truth and stop who is behind it before its too late?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Dane trying to keep calm in a bad situation despite his feelings or Shana standing up for herself but vulnerable underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the bubbly Peter or the understanding Vendi or the helpful Cap.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the vibrant and colourful red flames against the blue of the lake wonderfully written. Or the use of the senses with the smell and the heat of the fire so strong its as if you were actually there. Also loved the use of small spaces for dramatic scenes like the helicopter or the bus increasing the tension perfectly written. I also liked how the book started straight into the action with the explosion to grab the readers attention and make you want to keep on reading to see if they made it. And also liked the use of time passing swiftly for the feel of the chase whilst they’re on the run which was a great addition. 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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Fierce Emotions (The Marcy Series Book 8) by Linda Burson – Review by Sarah Oakes

Fierce EmotionsFierce Emotions by Linda Burson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about family. Marcy has finally found happiness living with Brad and her son Evan. They go on a trip to see her parents in Philadelphia for Independence Day. Whilst there, she discovers she is having similar nightmares to before. They try to get to the bottom of it all and whilst doing so, Marcy overhears a phone call that turns her world upside down. Can her family stick together despite it all?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Marcy standing up for herself but still vulnerable underneath or Brad as caring and protective or Liam trying to please everyone and do his job aswell. Great cast of supporting characters like the fun sister Katie or the supportive Dr Banjali.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the beach with the calming nature of the water and the soft sand for a sense of peace wonderfully written. Or with the park wit its homely feel of the benches and the swing comforting and familiar with the trees and their colourful leaves so vibrant its as if you were actually there beautifully written for a sense of it ebing their own little world.
I also liked how the narrative stuck to being written in Marcys perspective to display her thoughts and feelings about the events of the novel. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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Rage (The Marcy Series Book 1) by Linda Burson – Review by Sarah Oakes

Rage (The Marcy Series, #1)Rage by Linda Burson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about anger. Marcy has been struggling at life with constant nightmares filling her dreams. This sleep deprivation makes her aggravated and his anger invades her life, making her explode over the smallest things. When her boyfriend leaves her over it, she gets even more angry.. One night when trying to get some petrol, she is held at gunpoint and her anger full explodes. Afterwards, she meets Liam, a man on a quest for revenge. Following on this quest for revenge, Marcy uses her anger to help him find the answers. But along the way she discovers love and feelings. Can anger truly solve all your problems?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Brad trying to be supportive but having a breaking point or Jill wise and kind but also funny and caring. Great cast of supporting characters like the charming Rita or the chatty Sal. However, I felt that Marcy was too angry to be likeable. I felt this anger was too melodramatic, as sleep deprivation and nightmares only make you so grumpy and not to that extent. If this was toned down, it would be more believable and relatable.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the coffee shop full of life and people and colourful décor comforting and welcoming with its smells of coffee and tastes of lemon meringue pie so strong its as if you’re actually there. Or the sense of the busy city with its traffic fullof noise and people. I also liked the contrast from the bright yellows of the past and the grey rains and blacks of the present to indicate her mood changes wonderfully written.
The flashbacks worked well to display how things have changed and didn’t disrupt too much from the narrative of the present. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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That’s a Wrap (Paranormal Talent Agency Book 3) by Heather Silvio – Review by Sarah Oakes

That's a Wrap (Paranormal Talent Agency, #3)That’s a Wrap by Heather Silvio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about the truth. Mia is a Nixie working with an acting company in las Vegas. When one of her actors is mysteriously murdered in a Facebook live video, Mia has her suspicions that something supernatural is behind it. Teaming up with a journalist, she goes on a search for the truth. Can she keep her secret hidden while looking for the truth?
a great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Mia deternined but kind and caring underneath or Liz ambitus but friendly. Great cast of supporting characters like the reserved Jacob or the fun friend Evie or the kind and helpful Catherine.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like the lakes iwith its deep blues full of life and colour with the fish and the colourful pebbles contrasting the desert around them wonderfully written. Or the use of sound with the firecrackers so vivid as if you were there. Or the bright colours like Mia’s hair or Liz’s red dresses bright and bold and colourful.
A great example of building upon the sequel with the addition of new fantasy creatures like the nixie and the djinn not usually seen in fantasy novels. These additions were a brilliant touch given the respect they deserve and true to their origins The combination of realism of journalists and policemen combine switch the fantasy of the paranormal to make a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Love and Ghosts (Crescent City Ghost Tours Book 1) by Carrie Pulkinen – Review by Sarah Oakes

Love & Ghosts (Crescent City Ghost Tours, #1)Love & Ghosts by Carrie Pulkinen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about trying to live life. Emily has been struggling to move on after the death of her sister. She goes to a masquerade ball with a friend and tries to enjoy herself and ends up dancing with a mystery man. Serendipity keeps making them bump into eachother, but problems arise when she finds out he runs a local ghost tour. Can she out her fear of ghosts behind her for a shot at happiness?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Emily stubborn but kind hearted underneath or Sean stuck between love of his profession and love of Emily. Great cast of supporting characters like Trish as the fun friend or Madeline as the kind and meddling mother.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the ballroom with the bright chandeliers and spacious rooms full of life and people. Or the bright colours of the costumes in bold reds or dark blacks or magical purples wonderfully written. Or the garden with its tall trees and shimmering fountain for that sense of peace away from the busy world. Or the bright colourful butterfly small and colourful and beautiful to repreeent reincarnation from Japanese mythology as a nice touch
The mix of fantasy of ghosts and realism of the clinic care hospital combined perfectly to mske for a captivating read. The mystery of the box was perfectly written, making you want to read on to find out what’s inside. The switch of narratives between Emily and Sean was well written and easy to follow with names at the start of the sections. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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The Mourning Islands by Douglas Wells – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Mourning IslandsThe Mourning Islands by Douglas Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about mystery. Talmon is a war veteran just looking for a job. When he answers and ad in the paper, he gets more than he bargains for with an investigation into boat owner and resort builder Rusty Wing. Living on the marina, he makes friends with Rusty and is lead on an adventure of twists and turns and dangers. Can he find out the truth before things get too complicated?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Talmon trying to make something of his life despite his struggles or Rusty as a sophisticated businessman but with his cares and worries underneath. Great cast f supporting characters like the strong and stubborn Marlene or the sweet Claire.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with its vivid sense of colour bright and bold and wonderful like the pink flamingo under the sun amongst the sand dunes beautifully written in a sense of beauty and wonder. Or the bay with its deep blue waters and white sand for the sense of peace Talmon feels out on the sea. Or the bright colours of the painting and Marlene’s tattoo, both beautiful and sorrowful at the same time wonderfully written.
The first person narrative worked well to display Talmons struggles and his search for answers. The use of suspense was wonderfully done, with details slowly revealed to make you keep reading to find it what happened. Also loved the sense of foreboding from the start making you want to read on to see if something bad does happens. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Drawing Bloodlines (The Princeton Allegiant Series Book 1) by Deborah Garland – Review by Sarah Oakes

Drawing BloodlinesDrawing Bloodlines by Deborah Garland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about love. Elizabeth goes to the doctor, Alex Manning for an appointment but gets more than she bargained for when she sees him drinking her blood. She puts it out of her mind and carries on with her life. But she soon meets up with the doctor and attraction blossoms between them. As they follow this up into dating, events from his past threaten his future. Can Alex pursue this relationship and keep his true nature from coming out?
A great read. Well developed plot. Well developed characters like Alex torn between love and duty or Elizabeth trying to raise her child by herself.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the doctors with its white walls and bright lights full of people. Or the city itself with its traffic and busy roads full of life and people and noise for a sense of vibrant life contrasting with Alex’s empty house full of silence and books perfectly written.
The mix of realism with the school bus and the fantasy of vampires combined well to make a captivating read. A good addition to the vampire genre with the powers and venom and bloodlust, in these fantasy creatures with their own rules and politics and societies and laws coexisting with those of humanity.
The switch between perspectives worked well to display bot sides of the narrative, but was sometimes unclear who held the narrative with only pronouns to go on. By adding names in chapter titles, this would make it clearer to the reader. There were also long sentences that were hard to read which could be reduced by a variety of sentence lengths.to engage the reader. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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Misfortune of Vision (Druid’s Brooch Series #4) by Christy Nicholas – Review by Sarah Oakes

Misfortune of Vision (Druid's Brooch #4)Misfortune of Vision by Christy Nicholas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about journeys. Orlagh is a Seer to a Hibernian chief who refuses to listen to her Visions. When she sees a Vision of a terrible battle, the chief dismisses it as nothing worth concern. But this vision prompts a series of events that leads Orlagh on a quest across Ireland for an heir. On her way, she finds family and deals with Fae and Norman soldiers alike. Can she find an heir to pass the brooch to and stop the Normans aswell?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Orlagh standing up for herself but kind underneath or Declan on a run of bad luck but still trying his best. A great cast of supporting characters like the shy Clodagh or Cu-Uladh stubborn but kind and funny or the annoying Bishop Malachi or the kind Gunnar.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the halls of Strangfyorthe with its colourful shields and dragons on the roof beautifully carved for a sense of awe and wonder. Or with Orlagh’s quarters for its homely feel and full of fresh herbs with their vivid colours and smells it was as if you were actually there. or the landscape with its cold winters and icy caves and snow and ice giving the reader a feel of this harsh but beautiful island. And loved the use of the senses with the sights of the vision and also sound with Declan and his songs wonderfully written.
the switch of narratives between Orlagh and Declan worked well to display both storylines and was easy to follow with the names in the chapters. The use of an elderly woman as the heroine was a brilliant idea as something different in this genre and was perfectly written, with Orlagh given the respect and humour she deserves. I also loved the sense of equality, especially in the army camp scenes, where everyone is welcomed no matter which culture you came from, be it Norman or Gaelic or Osstman and all these heritages were given the respect and love they deserve in songs and language used throughout the novel. Once again, the list of pronunciations was a lovely touch and added to the feel of the ancient world. Overall, a wonderful read and I would give it five stars.

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Hawke (Men of Syn Book 1) Anise Storm – Review by Sarah Oakes

Hawke (Men of Syn, #1)Hawke by Anise Storm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about the past. Hawke is trying to get a his new nightclub set up in the local area. To make sure it has the best and biggest opening night, he hires a party planner company to help him out. But it comes with a face from his past with Charlotte Maxwell. Can he overcome his past or will it overshadow his future?
A great read. Well developed plot. Well developed characters like Hawke trying to build his business despite his feelings or Charlotte standing up for herself but vulnerable underneath.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like in Hawke’s office with the desk and chair all organised and a sense of control. Or the weather with its snow and slush and ice cold wild and untamable for a wonderful sense of contrast.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in the chapter titles. The flashbacks and or memories were written well and didn’t disrupt with the narrative of the present.The only issue I would raise is that there were lots of long sentences making it hard to read and causing repetition in a lot of places. If this was reduced, it would make for an excellent read. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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Hate to Love You (Baker’s Bunch Book 1) by Lily Ryan – Review by Sarah Oakes

Hate to Love You (Baker's Bunch Book 1)Hate to Love You by Lily Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about change. Sam’s brother has overdosed on drugs, but all she can think about is kissing his best friend, Cole Andrews. That night changes everything as she gets her hearts desire. But her brother always gets in the middle of things and Cole doesn’t want to risk Tyler finding out. Can their forbidden love blossom or is it doomed from the start?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Cole trying to be a good friend but also follow his heart or Sam try to do what makes her happy despite what others think.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the storm with the thunder and lightning in beauty and colour grabbing the readers attention from the start and a wonderful use of foreshadowing. Or the vivid colours used with the greens and blues of the eyes wonderfully written. Or the coffee shop with its homely feel and comfy booths for a sense of peace from the storm.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names as chapter titles. The only issue I would raise is that the conflict of Tyler not finding out felt as if it was a bigger problem than it seemed. Perhaps if this was explained, this would br more relatable. Also the reminiscences into the past felt unnecessary and often repeated things. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars

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