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A Tendency Dark and Dangerous by Emmalyn Danvers – Review by Sarah Oakes

A Tendency Dark and DangerousA Tendency Dark and Dangerous by Emmalyn Danvers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

a great read about temptation. Evangeline is happy with her life until she meets Landon Kelly at an art gallery showcasing a friends work. Upon meeting him, she is instantly drawn into a world od fire and temptation without even knowing his name. She tries her best to resist the call, but her heart betrays her. As events unfold, will this temptation make her happy or ruin everything?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that i just couldnt put down. Well developed characters like Evangeline trying to put herself first but still vulnerable or Jesse as kind and caring. Great cast of supporting characters like the control freak June or the calm Mira.
i loved the visual detail throughout the novel with the sense of art bright and colorful in vivid colours of pinkd and oranges as something more and to tell a story. i also loved the imzgery of destruction with the shipwreks and fire as conduming but emotive. Or the house by the lake as one serene moment in all of life with the sunrise and the cool waters. Or the busy sense of the cafe bars and Evangelines work fill of life and people all conveyed through verse was wonderfully written. Or the use of the sense throughout with smell and touch and taste as ifyou were actuslly there.
Setting the novel in free verse was a brillaint idea to display Evangelines thoughts and feelings. The lack of punctuation in short stanzas was a brilliant addition, for a fast paced feel that even pulled the reader into the spiral of events and was also easy to follow. Overall, a great read and i would give it five stars.

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Bad Things Happen: Gripping Psychological Suspense (Ashes to Ashes) by Rowena Holloway – Review by Sarah Oakes

Bad Things Happen (Ashes to Ashes, #1)Bad Things Happen by Rowena Holloway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about wanting more to life . Charlotte Ashe is a weather girl on TV, not content with life. Dreaming of a career in journalism, she is over the moon when a rare opportunity lands in her lap. Despite everyone doubting her, she follows up a lead from her source, Joey. When he turns up dead, Charlotte realizes there is more to the football club than it seems. Can she uncover the truth before its too late?
A great read. Well developed plot. Well developed characters like Charlotte ambitious and standing up for herself but kind underneath or Joey trying to protect the ones he loves and do the right thing. Great cast of supporting characters like the full of life Maddie or the kind Tam or the annoying Piers.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel with the lights over the water and London bridge lit up as urban but also beautiful in their own way. And with all the traffic being busy and full of life but making up the character of London. Or the colourful nature of the wine bar and its homely feel contrasting the hospital white walls and emptiness that was beautifully written. The theme of wanting more to life and stuck in a career that doesn’t excite them was emotive and perfectly written.
The switch of perspectives between chapters worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow. The use of the past and foreboding later on was a great idea to show what happened and for the events to unfold. Also to draw out the suspense as you kept reading to find out what happened stretched over chapters. I also liked the times and dates with the title chapters for a sense of time passing quickly and fast paced action. The only issue I would raise is that it felt slow to start the action despite the fast paced nature of these chapter titles. There was also some repetition in places especially concerning Charlotte’s relationship troubles and if this was resolved it would be five stars. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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A Christmas Wish (A Manhattan Dream) by Engy Neville – Review by Sarah Oakes

A Christmas WishA Christmas Wish by Engy Neville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about struggling. Amy McKinsey has it all, with a successful career and a job she loves. While holidaying with her friends, she runs into Richie and falls in love with him. Things are going really well on holiday but it’s a different story when they return home. Work gets in the way of their relationship and makes Richie stressed and distant. In desperation, Amy makes a Christmas wish to help but will it come true?
A great read with a well developed plot. Well developed characters like Amy standing up for herself but caring underneath or Richie as the successful businessman but kind underneath.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel with the beauty and calm of the beach and the bright colourful sunset in wonder and beautifully written in moments of peace.  And the Christmas scenes in the town with the lights and market is colour-full and filled with life and people with the sights of lights and smells like the cider and touch of the soft scarf. Or the sense of magic and wonder at Christmas and snow at Central Park perfectly written.
I liked the very day sense of the novel with two ordinary people struggling through life. The only issue I would raise is that there was often a lot of repetition in places. If this was resolved, it would be five stars. Overall, a great read and I give four stars.

Reviewed by @sarahoakes

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Shadow’s Keep : A Novel by Meghan O’Flynn – Review by Sarah Oakes

Shadow's Keep: A NovelShadow’s Keep: A Novel by Meghan O’Flynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about being different. Deputy Sherriff William Shannahan is a police officer in a small sleepy town in America. His life is changed when he stumble over a mauled body of a kid in the woods whilst out running. Everyone else thinks it is simply a dog attack, but William senses something just isn’t right. His fears are confirmed when what was one attack turns into a series of murders even crossing counties. Can he solve the mystery before the killer strikes again?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. The use of suspense was drawn out to perfection making you want to keep reading to find out what happened.
Well developed characters like Will trying his best but still standing up for himself or Cassie trying to look after her son despite financial troubles. Great cast of supporting characters like the sweet kid of George or the prickly Paterson or the people pleaser Mike.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel in the natural imagery of the woods full of volour and life and detail and beauty but also hiding dangers. Or the sense of the small town surrounded by farmland and marshes where everyone knows eachother but is also isolated, a perfect setting for the horror events. Or the sunrise and sunsets in vibrant colours and beauty written to perfection. or the contrasts between light and dark that were perfectly written and use of shadows to gice an eerie sense to events.
I loved the use of the supernatural throughout the novel with a mix of cultures and red herrings an added sense of mystery and magic. This combination with the realism of policemen and crimes ws perfectly written and made for a enjoyable read. Fast paced action with high stakes make for a highly captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Beneath the Surface (Grey Ghost Series ) by Amy McKinley – Review by Sarah Oakes

Beneath the Surface (Gray Ghost #3)Beneath the Surface by Amy McKinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about trust. Hannah Miller put her past behind her for a new life working for the Secretary of Defense. While travelling to Cuba, their plane is shot down and a top secret prototype is taken and Hannah’s past returns to haunt her. Thrown into her old life of spies and mistrust, Hannah must do whatever it takes to survive and reclaim the prototype while special operative Jack is hot on her heels. Can she make things right?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Hannah tough on the outside but caring underneath or Jack as more than an agent with the helping the homeless.
I loved the sense of nature throughout the novel with the jungle and trees and the heat and flies giving it an exotic flair as beautiful but deadly. Also the lightning and thunder later on as something powerful and destructive but also calming was brilliantly written.
I also loved the idea of the sound wave weapon which grabs your attention as something new and thrilling and deadly to the spy genre. The switch between the past and present was a brilliant idea and showed how the past shapes you and what happened and was easy to follow with chapter titles of places and dates for extra clarity to the reader. I loved the character of Elsa as a bright and bubbly person and her contrast with Hannah was brilliantly written.
The only issue I would raise is that there were some repetition in places and long sentences that were hard to read. If this was resolved with a variety of sentence lengths, it would be five stars. Fast paced action and high stakes made for a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

Reviewed by @sarahoakes

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The Lies We Tell by Brittany Butler – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Lies We TellThe Lies We Tell by Brittany Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about lies. Natalie Conner ran away for a life as an author. Life is good to her with fame and new friends. She even falls in love again with new friend Collin but when life with Collin begins to turn sour, will she run away again?
A great read. Well developed plot. Well developed characters like the sarcastic but sensitive Natalie or Collin’s harsh exterior but kind underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like fun friend Tabatha or the humorous Jack.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel with the contrasts between a quiet home and busy spaces like coffee shops or the dinner scenes which was brilliantly written.
The jumps between past and present was a brilliant idea to show how things had changed and was fairly easy to follow. The only issue I would raise is that there was some repetition and long sentences in places. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

Reviewed by @sarahoakes

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The Memory of Us by Lisa Sorbe – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Memory of UsThe Memory of Us by Lisa Sorbe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about loss. Elena Everhart returns to her hometown for her mother’s funeral. She expects to be able to grieve and then movr away from the town once again. But fate has other ideas in store for her as the past bumps into her, in the form of her childhood sweetheart Weston Brooks. Elena left him once before, but can she do it again?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Elena standing up for herself but kind underneath or Weston as caring and supportive.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like in the feel of a small town little shops and cobbled streets and a friendly community. And also the scenes with the funeral soft and sweet with the flowers as if you were there.
The use of flashbacks worked well to portray the past but didn’t disrupt from the narrative of the present and were well written. I also liked how it was just from Elena’s point of view,(instead of o switching like many in the romance genre) to portray her thoughts and feelings as she coped with grief. The portrayal of losing a loved one was beautifully done as bittersweet and emotive. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Alive (Sundown Series) by Courtney Konstantin – Review by Sarah Oakes

Alive (Sundown Series Book 3)Alive by Courtney Konstantin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about events unravelling. Rafe Duncan works for security in a government science facility. When he helps doctor Charlie off the road, and she is burgled she stays at his house with reluctance. But when events unravel at work, suddenly they have to stick together for survival. Can they make it?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Charlie standing up for herself but kind underneath or Rafae as strong and silent but kind underneath.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the natural imagery of the snow in the dawn light or the forest and mountains as something beautiful and calming with the cows. And also the use of the senses in particular to sounds with unnerving silences and horror filled pops and cracks later on.
I loved the mix of realism with the doctors and sci fi with the apocalypse combining together to perfection. Fast paced action with high stakes made for a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

Reviewed by @sarahoakes

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Awakening Of A Soul Keeper : A Prequel to the Soul Keeper Series (Soul Keeper) by Brienne Dubh – Review by Sarah Oakes

Awakening Of A Soul Keeper - Prequel to the Soul Keeper SeriesAwakening Of A Soul Keeper – Prequel to the Soul Keeper Series by Brienne Dubh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about fate. Theodora thinks she has it all happy in a new marriage with Sam. But fate deals her a hand when she feels ill and accidnelty finds her soul mate. Lyzander has a busy schedule as head boss of vampires and no time for a soul mate. But when fate deals him a hand in Theodora, will he take a chance of push her away?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns. Well developed characters like Theodora standing up for herself but struggling with a new world or Lyzander harsh exterior but kind underneath. I loved how the story started straight into the action with the fight scenes. I loved the different take on vampires with their souls and soulmates adding to the vampire genre.
I loved the mix of fantasy with vampires and then realism of the business world and party scenes combined together beautifully. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars

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The Progeny Assassin : A Tarnished Lands Story (Forgotten Woods) by P.A. Wikoff – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Progeny Assassin: A Tarnished Lands StoryThe Progeny Assassin: A Tarnished Lands Story by P.A. Wikoff

A great read about growing up. Lara is a reckless and daring young girl. As a feathered folk, she seeks to protect her dying forest from invaders but never takes it seriously. When her master suddenly goes missing, Lara sets out to find her, thinking it will be like one of the great quest narratives she loves to read. But the world is full of surprises and dangers Lara never knew. existed. Can she survive it all and find her master?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Lara as bold and daring but vulnerable and childlike underneath or the master as the stern mentor figure.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel with the sense of destruction with the burnt out trees and dead grass and ash with memories of what was there like the pink lake or the fresh wind for a sense of loss. And the wonderful magical sense of the mist and the moon later on for Lara as a source of unexpected happiness.
I loved the sense of the bildungsroman narrative as we watch Lara grow up and find her way through thinga. This along with the childlike nature of discovery and adventure was beautifully written. I also enjoyed the metanarratives with Lara’s vivid sense of imagination and were poignant in how reality can be harsher. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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