5 Stars Review – Brutally Beautiful (Beautiful #1) by Christine Zolendz

20271650I just finished reading Brutally Beautiful and I just have to stand up and clap my hands for Christine. I can see she has a lot of people doing that exact thing, by the amount of people who absolutely loved this read and I’m not surprised by this.

I am a 25 year old, who is studying to be a school psychologist. I am very particular about what I read, and can be hard to please. I can be critical, but always honest, when it comes to my thought/feelings about books I’ve read.

I have read a lot of books, by a lot of authors. Some of those authors, like Christine, show the reader their commitment to providing readers with an experience, worthy of the reader’s precious time.

Authors do this by spending time writing; perfecting the story-grammatical errors are minimal, thus; there are minimal distractions from the story.

Authors also do this by bringing to life, a unique story. A story filled with human emotion and human experiences. At times, sad; at times, bitterly heartbreaking. All human emotion is worthy of expression-even the ones we would rather not have occasion to express. But love is the most precious emotion; most necessary and most worthy of expression. It can come in many forms – a most basic, and most difficult to share in writing; sex. We shy away from it in writing, and are embarrassed to share it with others; but it is essential to expressing love. While some other authors rush through these scenes, which is shown in their writing; Christine expresses these scenes beautifully (a hard feat).

I loved the Mad World series, but there was just something so realistic about this book, which makes me love it more. Gun violence is all too real, especially now, and its role in regards to this book, is one of the many things that makes this read so beautiful. Abusive relationships are also far too real, but her depiction of the struggle of Samantha’s past was executed beautifully. Those are both topics not everyone has the guts to write about, but Christine Zolendz seem to possess those guts – in spades.

I am glad I downloaded this book, as it will be an addition to an unfortunately short list of other books, that touched my heart and left me with more knowledge of the human condition.

It’s hard to find a gem like Christine.

5 Stars Review – Under Different Stars (Kricket #1) by Amy A. Bartol

19504931I am a pretty big fan of Amy Bartol, and absolutely love the Premonition series. I have to admit, I was hesitant to give the Kricket series a try; not because of Amy’s writing (because she is quite good), but because of the story premise involving Aliens.

I am glad I ignored my hesitancy. Because I pretty much fell in love with the characters. Kricket is wonderfully smart, brave and funny. I actually wish I was more like her. I liked the fact that every other main character in this story had unique personalities that never wavered from how they were depicted throughout the story. None of them were dull, which was nice.

I suppose the only negative thing about this story, was that you really have to keep up with the language used. Since it takes part on another planet (Ethar), they use peculiar words for certain things. At times, this made me pause and try to adapt to the meanings of these words. I got through it, though.

Since I am a sucker for romance, I love that this book involves a bit of that. Tasteful dialogue (very PG-13), which is perfectly fine for this style of book.

Give this book a try; especially if you like Amy’s other stuff; you will not be disappointed. Eagerly anticipating the next book in this series. Oh, and this book didn’t have a cliffhanger. It wrapped up nicely, which was something I was hoping for.

5 Stars Review – You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor

17888912There is nothing more that I love to do than sit, or lay down and read a good romance. This book certainly didn’t disappoint.

I love a book that encourages the reader to envision another place, forgetting reality altogether. This book delivers!

Set in a world where male Warlocks thrive and female Warlocks are used and abused; Serena is our main character and through her POV, the unique story is told. At first, we see her as some helpless seventeen year old girl, who is forced into an engagement with Thomas, a really influential Warlock sleezeball. Then, throughout the story, we begin to see Serena as a fearless young woman, who does not want to accept her unfair fate.

Thankfully, Thomas does not stay on the page for long and we are immediately introduced to a misunderstood and caring Warlock named Zade, who Serena is forced into betrothal with. Although their relationship is slow to develop, that fact does not take away from the story, but encourages the reader to continue.

There were times during this story, where I tried to predict what was to come next, but I soon found that most of the time, the author did not take the obvious route with the stories development. For that I am thankful because otherwise, I wouldn’t need to purchase the book to know what was going to happen.

This story combines romance, mystery and fantasy perfectly. It is tasteful with romance (no PG-13 or R scenes), which is a nice change from the type of books that I typically read. All-in-all, I am extremely pleased with this read and I feel that it is worth a chance for you to try it out!

My Only Problem

I think my only problem with this book would be the cover. I would have liked for the cover to show maybe half of Serena’s face painted in the customary tattoo and the other half as-is. This would have given me a better idea of what the tattoo looked like, since it was a pretty important part of the beginning of the story.

Otherwise, great job Janeal!

5 Stars Review – Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachern

17312777Imagine not being able to feel the sun upon your face, or the wind caressing your skin. After World War Three in 2024, Nuclear Warfare forces 567 people underground – bringing a halt to a Democratic Government and forcing people to adopt a Dictatorial Government. Almost 283 years later, Seventeen year old Sunset O’Donnell has never been above ground and she’s never been free. She will never be free, unless she rises up for what she believes in. But, she can’t do it alone. One man, Jack Kenner, who has always lived freely, will take an extraordinary and unanticipated journey with her. They will, against all odds, fight for the freedom of an entire community of peoples, uniting them against an unjust and abusive Government.

I’ve always been a big fan of dystopian novels and have read a few interesting ones, but Sunset Rising is one of the best ones I have read. What makes it so remarkable is the realism illustrated in this story. It’s not incredibly far-fetched to anticipate Nuclear War and what that would mean for desperate people seeking shelter, fighting to stay alive. As a reader, I was hooked early on in the story because I kept on asking myself, “What would I do?” It’s almost too scary to think of in great detail because it isn’t an unfamiliar fear.

One of my favorite themes in this story is the possible love developing between the two main characters because, throughout the entire book, even as they are fighting to stay alive, the possibility of love overcoming all obstacles is always beautiful. I liked how the author, S. M. McEachern, didn’t allow the main character’s feelings for each other dominate the storyline. She tastefully and realistically evolved their relationship throughout the story, which not all authors have the ability to do. I’ve read too many books, where the main characters fall in love way too easily and have an unrealistic relationship, seeming forced and unnatural.

I am honestly glad that I gave this book a chance and look forward to reading more of what S. M. McEachern has to offer, including the next installation of this promising series.

4 Stars Review – Silver Wolf Clan (Silver Wolf Clan #1) by Tera Shanley

21963509So, I am a sucker for romance and an even bigger sucker for supernatural romance. There is just something about a book that can transport you to another plane of existence that appeals to me. This book did deliver on my expectations and I have to say that I was pretty much hooked from page one. The synopsis is pretty telling of what this short book is about, so I don’t think I really have to get into that.

I enjoy the way that Tera writes, and although I did find a few typos, it didn’t really take away from the story as much as it usually does. I have read a few different werewolf stories – most memorably the series by Quinn Loftis, and I can’t help but prefer Tera’s take on this topic of story. Her writing is less juvenile, which is refreshing.

I suggest keeping an open mind when reading, as it does seem rushed at times. Since this is such a short book (about half the amount of pages of a full-length book) the character development and overall story is lacking in some depth. Completely understandable, considering its length.

If you are not happy with this book, I do suggest trying Tera’s other books, Love in the Time of the Dead (Zombies) and An Unwilling Husband (Wild West). Both quite different from each other, which is refreshing because it shows the depth of writing that she is capable of.

Happy reading.