Zero by Jacob Whaler

Zero (The Fringe Collection Book 1) by [Whaler, Jacob]

5 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: December 2nd, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Where you can find Zero: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

He won the election. He ended democracy. He built a wall of glass 1,000 meters high. Now, 150 years later, his descendants have infinite wealth and control the Sanctuary, a high-tech paradise for the rich where money equals rank.

She’s from the slum. She has no money or rank. She vows to tear down the wall and end the nightmare.

Her weapon? Zero.


My review:

Alix has spent her entire life in The Fringe. She has spent her entire life looking in at the rich while struggling to survive. With the help of her friends and spurred on by the injustices done to her people, Alix is going to start a revolution. But, the question is, can she pull it off? Or will she become another of President Quinn’s casualties?

Link is the best of the best. He is the youngest Patrol Commander in the history of The Sanctuary. In a society where money equals rank, Link is fast approaching the top. He is dating President Quinn’s daughter. He is happy. That is until Alix arrives with her talk of injustice and suppression. Ordered by President Quinn to find and kill Alix, Link has to go to The Fringe to find her. Will, what he sees and experiences while there change his mind? Or is he still focused on being at the top?


Zero caught my attention when I first saw it. What intrigued me about this book was that I could see it happening. The middle class is fast disappearing. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor. We are becoming more and more dependent on technology. I had no problem imaging the series of events that went down 150 years earlier actually happening in the world today.

I felt Alix’s frustration at what was going on in The Fringe. She was seeing children dying from a disease that has no cure. She has seen friends damaged from doing time in the brain lab. She has seen the effects of working in the chem labs. She was sick of it and she was going to do something about it. I enjoyed reading her character. I connected with her and rooted for her.

I didn’t like Link at first. He was too focused on his rank and money to be likable. Also, I thought he was almost to gung-ho. But then he met President Quinn and a lightbulb went off. I understood why he was the way he was. For a lack of better words, he drank the Kool-Aid like the rest of the people in The Sanctuary. The talk he had with President Quinn rocked his world. It also made him want to wipe Alix off the face of the Earth. I started to like him when he was in The Fringe and saw what was being done with to the people. He saw the brain labs, the chem plants, the pits of toxic waste. He couldn’t deny it.

The secondary characters made this book. From the Presidents daughter to Merf, they added an extra depth to the book. My favorite character was Merf. He lived in the Mesh and was able to do things with it that no one else was able to do. He made me smile every time he showed up in the book. Plus, he created Zero. Which was pretty awesome unto itself.

Zero is a fast read. What I liked about that is that the author wasted no time in getting the book going. The first chapter is Link being woken up to alarms and Alix making her speech. It didn’t slow down until the last chapter. I loved it!!

President Quinn creeped me out. The more he appeared in the book, the more he creeped me out. He was also unhinged and that became more and more clear as the book went on. Knowing all that, I was still surprised by what he did. And on live TV too!!

The end of the book was fulfilling. Fulfilling isn’t a term that I use much when describing the end of the book. I liked seeing how everything turned out. I liked seeing that Zero was able to do what it was programmed to do. I liked seeing the healing that went on also. It made me happy and I was left with no questions about anything.


I gave Zero a 5-star rating. This is a fast-paced, well-written science fiction book. I was able to connect with the main characters. I got involved with the plotlines. I had nothing to complain about (which is amazing).

I would give Zero an Adult rating. There is language. There is violence. There is no sex. There are no triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Zero. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Zero.

All opinions stated in this review of Zero are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Zero?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Weekly Wrap Up: November 25th through December 1st 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Zero Front Medium Resolution.jpg

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

An Anonymous Girl—review coming January 8th, 2019

An Anonymous Girl

White Stag—review coming January 9th, 2019

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Duke I Once Knew—review coming December 31st, 2018

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Perfectly Inappropriate—review here

Perfectly Inappropriate

The Good, The Bad, and The Duke—review here

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

Rend—review here

Rend (Riven, #2)

Foam on the Crest of Waves—review here

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Keep Her Close

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Foam On The Crest Of Waves by Silke Stein

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

4 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: November 25th, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find Foam On The Crest Of Waves: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Can facing the past transform the present?

In a small fishing town on the Mendocino coast, the tides of time have washed over rumors and suspicions, yet the members of a maimed family still struggle to cope with their memories.

A broken woman, refusing to let go of her vanished husband.
Her widowed brother, clinging to the shatters of the life he loved.
His delusional daughter, planning to turn mermaid on her fifteenth birthday.

But when a young man realizes he made a mistake, secrets start emerging from the deep. Will they bring further grief, or possibly redemption?


My review:

Abalone has never recovered from the death of her mother. Becoming selectively mute, Abby communicates with gestures and through her jewelry/artwork. Because she won’t talk, Abby hasn’t let on that she plans on turning into a mermaid on her 15th birthday. She believes that her mother is alive, living with the mermaids and wants Abby to join her. Jeremy is Abby’s father. For the past 7 years, he has been in a fog of grief, only coming out to somewhat deal with Abby’s issues. He is jolted out of his fog by a series of events. He is forced to face that his wife wasn’t who he thought she was. Devastated by the disappearance of her husband, Gina has thrown herself into helping Jeremy and Abby. But, Gina knows a secret. A secret that could devastate Jeremy and Abby if they found out. Lief somehow has gotten himself into abalone smuggling without knowing how. His secret passion singing and he has a voice that rivals professionals. Lief has developed a stalker like interest in Abby after she assaults him. What will happen on Abby’s 15th birthday? Can this family survive the secrets? Or will Abby be lost to the mermaids?

Foam on the Crest of Waves is a very loose retelling of The Little Mermaid. The more accurate description would be a reverse telling of The Little Mermaid. What I liked about this book was that the author ran with the retelling. She took that fable and put her own twist on it. I also liked that she followed the original Hans Christian Andersen tale. She did mention the Disney retelling several times during the book. The mural was a huge homage to it. But the bones of the story was the original story.

There was one point in the book where I had several “WTH” moments. I didn’t understand how Lief’s parents didn’t know what he was up to. Didn’t they want to know where he was getting the extra money from? How did they not know about his amazing voice? He had to of sang when he was younger. Abby was 15, why was she allowed to wander all over the place? At one point in the book, she took a train out-of-town and she spent the night in the woods. Jeremy and Gina didn’t notice that she was gone. That drove me nuts.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the book was how it went back and forth in time. One moment I would be reading about Gina and her struggles post-accident, then I would be reading about her life pre-accident. No warning about the change in time periods. It happened. It drove me absolutely nuts.

The plotline involving Abby was broke my heart. She believed that she would turn into a mermaid on her 15th birthday. I liked how the author chose to have Abby doubt if that was going to happen. I liked how what happened the night that Fern died was leaked. It kept me guessing. But the truth of what happened was a shocked the heck out of me. I wasn’t expecting that.

Lief’s storyline was very well written also. He was so conflicted about what he should do with his life. Abby assaulting him made him think about what he was doing with his life. The scene in the woods was the turning point for him. I was afraid for him, considering what Abby was thinking when they were in the water towards the end of the book.

Jeremy was broken. Fern’s death destroyed him. Abby was the only thing that kept him going. But, as the book went on, it seemed like Fern played fast and loose with him. The news he got about Abby the night Fern died was heartbreaking. I did want to know what the DNA test results were, though. It was never mentioned again.

I did like Gina and felt awful for her. I couldn’t imagine not knowing what happened to my husband for 7 years. And the secret that she carried was soul eating. Do I think that she should have told Jeremy sooner? Yes but then the book wouldn’t have played out the way it did.

The end of the book was amazing. I loved how the author brought all the storylines together. It was perfect. The epilogue was great also. But I did worry about Abby. Her final scene bothered me. It made me think that nothing changed with her.


I gave Foam On The Crest Of Waves a 4-star rating. This book was a wonderful retelling of The Little Mermaid. I connected with each character. The plotlines were all very well written. The only thing I didn’t like was how it went back and forth in time. Other than that, a wonderful book.

I would give Foam On The Crest Of Waves an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic. There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be the death of a parent, death of a spouse, cheating, traumatic accident, and talk of suicide. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Foam On The Crest Of Waves. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Foam On The Crest Of Waves.

All opinions stated in this review of Foam On The Crest Of Waves are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Foam On The Crest Of Waves?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 18th through November 24th 2018

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

Perfectly Inappropriate

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Perfectly Inappropriate—review coming November 27th, 2018

Perfectly Inappropriate

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—review coming November 27th, 2018

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

Rend—review coming November 27th, 2018

Rend (Riven, #2)

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Zero Front Medium Resolution.jpg

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

WWW Wednesday: November 21st, 2018

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

I am in prep mode for Thanksgiving. BK and I have prepped most of the food for tomorrow (except the turkey breast and ham). We are having carrots and turnips, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Dessert is pumpkin and Dutch apple pie. Besides Thanksgiving, I am celebrating two birthdays. Mr. Z turned 11 yesterday and Miss B is turning 13 on Saturday.

Miss R had her Thanksgiving Feast last Friday at her preschool. She loved it. She goes to a private, church-based preschool and they have it catered (which is included in with the tuition. Also included, art museum lessons, a storyteller, and something called stretch and grow). So, the kids got turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce (or the yucky stuff as she calls it). She loved it. The teachers had the kids make special shirts for Thanksgiving. The 3’s class dressed up as Pilgrims and I am going to assume that Miss R’s class (the 4’s) were the Native Americans.

I also got a new phone as an early Christmas present. I got an LG Stylo 4 plus a very cool case. I was not expecting it. I had a Moto 6 before that and didn’t like it. It kept rebooting on me. All the freaking time. I was a huge LG fan before my last phone and I don’t think I won’t ever get another brand again…lol. Also (and yes, I am nerding out here for a minute), I got a new World of Warcraft calendar for 2019. What excited me the most about this calendar is that it shows the scenes from the events leading up to the World Tree burning. Everything from Jaina’s journey to Arthas turning Sylvanas to the Tree burning. I won’t lie. I squeed like a fangirl when I got it. BK just shook his head when he saw heard me.

Reading:

I am in a good place readingwise. I have caught up with all of my reviews that were past due (there were quite a few). My next project is to whittle down my books on NetGalley. And I am going to try to read some of my books on my TBR list. I have been slowly adding books from my Amazon TBR to Goodreads.


What I am currently reading:

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

click on the picture for Amazon link

First love is always the sweetest. 

For years, Abigail Linton devoted herself to caring for her aging parents and the children of her siblings. Now, eager to make her own life, she takes a position as a governess on the neighboring estate. It shouldn’t matter that her absentee employer is Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, the infamous rake who once broke her youthful heart. Surely he’s forgotten her, for he hasn’t set foot on his estate for fifteen years. At least, that is, until he arrives unexpectedly.

Max is incensed to meet his sister’s new governess. But why does Abby appear just as displeased to see him when it was she who’d rejected him all those years ago? Why is he so drawn to the independent spinster she has become? And why is there a sparkle in her beautiful blue eyes that suggests they might have a second chance at love?

I am not liking this book. I am about halfway through it and I keep eye-rolling and/or shaking my head. I am hoping that it gets better. Or at least a couple of characters leave (and not the main ones). The expected publication date for this book is December 31st, 2018. My review should be on or after that date.


What I recently finished reading:

Perfectly Inappropriate

click on the picture for Amazon link

A woman scorned and a politician with a wild side connect online—and explore their hottest fantasies in the flesh.

Olivia Watts knows that her problems are painfully average. She got engaged, and her fiancé cheated. She gave up on her dream job—street photographer—and settled on a more practical one: graphic designer. She scrimped and saved to buy a home, only to realize how empty it was. So when Olivia hears about an exclusive dating app that matches subs with highly trained doms, she does something she never thought she’d do in a million years: She signs up. The last thing she expects to find is a man whose sizzling touch reawakens the woman she used to be. . . .

Noah Grant has no time for relationships. His sole purpose is to win reelection. That’s why he pays a premium to the discreet app that satisfies all his dark desires. But after sweet, innocent Olivia is vetted and arrives for their week together in his penthouse, it’s blatantly clear that she’s running from her demons. Noah’s more than willing to be her escape—until their emotions get tangled up in their games. Now, to become worthy of Olivia’s heart, Noah will have to prove that he’s more than a fantasy.

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. There are BDSM and erotica in this book but the author was able to weave a story in with that element. It ended up being a very sweet story about finding one’s self again. Perfectly Inappropriate’s expected publication date is November 27th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review on or after that date.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

Can facing the past transform the present?

In a small fishing town on the Mendocino coast, the tides of time have washed over rumors and suspicions, yet the members of a maimed family still struggle to cope with their memories. 

A broken woman, refusing to let go of her vanished husband.
Her widowed brother, clinging to the shatters of the life he loved.
His delusional daughter, planning to turn mermaid on her fifteenth birthday. 

But when a young man realizes he made a mistake, secrets start emerging from the deep. Will they bring further grief, or possibly redemption?

I read the blurb and I knew I had to review this book. Plus, look at the cover. It is beautiful. Hoping that this book is as good as I have built it up to be in my mind.

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

This book sounds like it is fantastic. I have read a couple of books about the Goblin King but they were romances. Those books also didn’t deal with the citizens of the Goblin King’s world. I am super excited to read this book and be on the blog tour!!

An Anonymous Girl

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller, The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

I was beyond thrilled when I got accepted to review this book. I had read The Wife Between Us and loved it. So, I am hoping that An Anonymous Girl is as good as that book!!

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

An action-packed, compelling historical fantasy, from the pen of an award-winning author

The battle-scarred warrior princess Bluebell, the heir to her father’s throne, is rumoured to be unkillable. So when she learns of a sword wrought specifically to slay her by the fearsome raven king, Hakon, she sets out on a journey to find it before it finds her. The sword is rumoured to be in the possession of one of her four younger sisters. But which one? Scattered as they are across the kingdoms, she sets out on a journey to find them.

Her four sisters all have their own paths to tread, the gifted magician Ash is on a journey to find a dragon that could determine her destiny. The beautiful, unhappy Rose has left her undermagician Aunt and is speeding to the aid of her daughter, Rowan, who has been lost to her. Ivy, sold into marriage for the sake of an alliance, is now set to become the ruling Duchess of Seacaster with the imminent death of her much older and sick husband, and the power-hungry Willow is raising her infant child as a potential trimartyr king and training to be a warrior for the fanatical religious order Maava.

From the wild rocky coastline to granite-topped tors, from bustling harbours to echoing ghost towns, from halls of kings to ancient primal woodlands, this story follows five sisters upon whose actions kingdoms will rise and fall.

Another book that I had been waiting for. I had read the first book and enjoyed it. I am hoping that this book is as good as the first one.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves

Lakes of Mars

4 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: September 4th, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Where you can find Lakes of Mars: Goodreads (will update as soon as it is available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble)

Goodreads synopsis:

Aaron Sheridan doesn’t want to live anymore. His entire family had just died in a shuttle crash and he’d been the one flying it. Unable to deal with the guilt, he signs up for the Fleet expecting a fatal deployment to the Rim War, but instead ends up at their most prestigious command school, Corinth Station.

Initially, he’s detached from the brutality of his instructors and the Machiavellian tactics of the other students there, but after he sticks up for his only friend he makes himself a target of the most feared cadet on the station, Caelus Erik. Unsure of whom to trust and worried that anything he does will make others on his flight team targets as well, Aaron retreats deeper and deeper inside himself. However, when he discovers that officer training is not the station’s only purpose, it becomes increasingly clear that risking everything is the safest thing he can do.

Contains: Strong language and some violence


My review:

I am not sure how this book ended up in my TBR. I couldn’t find the email from the author/publisher requesting a review. I also couldn’t find it on my NetGalley shelf. So mysterious. So very mysterious. But it ended up on my Kindle, I am glad that it did because it was a great read!!

Aaron is determined to kill himself. After a shuttle crash that killed his family (he was flying), he doesn’t have a reason to live. He figures the best way to do that is to sign up for the Fleet and be deployed to the Rim War. That doesn’t happen. Instead, he is sent to renown command school. The school was like nothing he had ever seen. Aaron is soon questioning everything as plots and schemes are uncovered. Unsure of who he can trust, he withdraws into himself. During that time, Aaron discovers that the station serves a double purpose. Gathering the few people he can trust, Aaron decides that he needs to risk everything to expose what is going on.

I felt bad for Aaron. The guilt he was living with was unbearable. He needed someone, other than his best friend, to tell him that the accident wasn’t his fault. And therapy. He needed tons of that. As the book went on, I did question if he was reading into things wrong. The author did a fantastic job at making me, the reader, question Aaron’s sanity. I did think that he was losing it at one point in the book. His dreams were creepy. It was after Sebastian’s death that I stopped questioning Aaron’s sanity. I then started questioning what the heck was going on at that station. I also felt that he showed true courage at the end of the book.

I loved the science fiction angle of the Lake of Mars. I had no issue imagining Mars being terraformed or people colonizing it. Same with Saturn. I was fascinated with what was going on in the station and where the other cadets were from. Even the lessons taught were fascinating. Why? Because I had no issue picturing it actually happening.

What I didn’t care for was the violence exhibited in the book. Aaron and the other cadet whaled on each other. That played a big part of Aaron’s distrust of everyone. How can you trust people who turn on you? Even the instructors were in on it.

There is drug use in this book also. I was a little disturbed at how easily the kids in the book were able to get drugs and use them. The adults running the station turned their heads or contributed to it. There was an explanation about why the adults didn’t do anything and it disgusted me. Talk about self-serving.

The end of the book was insane and bloody. I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen when the shuttle landed. I also wasn’t expecting what was revealed when things were out in the open. My mouth dropped. Talk about a plot twist. It came out of nowhere. I was as stunned as Aaron was. I am hoping that the author will be writing a book 2. The end of the book made me think that.


I gave Lake of Mars a 4-star rating. This was a well-written book with relatable characters. I did have an issue with the violence in the book as well as the drug use. But other than that, I enjoyed reading the book.

I would give Lake of Mars an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is some quick kissing scenes but nothing that raised my eyebrows. There is violence. Some of it graphic. There is language. There are trigger warnings. They are drug use, extreme violence, the death of parents. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Lake of Mars. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a mention of the triggers.


I would like to thank the mysterious person who put this book on my Kindle for allowing me to read and review Lakes of Mars.

All opinions stated in this review of Lakes of Mars are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**


Have you read Lakes of Mars?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Limits by Susie Tate

Limits

4 Stars

Publisher: Susie Tate

Date of publication: April 5th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Limits: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

For as long as she can remember Millie has had her limits. Staying within them keeps her isolated, safe; helps her to cope. Why then have they started to feel so stifling? Why is her loneliness starting to rival her fears?

When she watches him she wishes she could be normal; she wishes she could be like the people he interacts with so seamlessly. Pavlos Martakis is her complete and total opposite: physically intimidating, likable, naturally attractive, extremely confident, sexually promiscuous: the most uninhibited, charming, outgoing and free person she has ever met in her life. He fascinates Millie; thrills and intimidates her in equal measure.

But, as the culprit behind the invention of her nickname Nuclear Winter, Millie knows that if Pav feels anything for her it is more than likely contempt. Cold, boring, robotic: that is how the rest of the hospital sees her. So she can safely watch him from afar. He would never notice her … would he?


My review:

When I saw the blurb for Limits, I was immediately intrigued. I was eager to read it. Unfortunately, life happened and I kept pushing Limits off to read. When I was finally able to read it, I was blown away. This book is so much more than what the blurb said it was going to be. I wasn’t expecting how much it made me cry. I ugly cried for about 90% of the book.

Limits is Millie’s story. Millie works in the radiology department of a busy hospital in EnglandMillie has isolated herself from all but a few of the staff. Her cold demeanor has earned her the nickname of “Nuclear Winter“. Pavlos is a newcomer to the hospital. He is everything that Millie isn’t. Outgoing, funny and people like him. He has heard of Nuclear Winter but has never met her. Until her friend’s engagement party. He is fascinated by Millie. He wants to know why she is so standoffish, why she keeps everyone at arm’s length. As he gets to know Millie, he realizes that she is anything but cold. Something happened to her to shape her into the anxiety-ridden, self-harming person that she became. And he wants to know what. Can he handle the truth? Can Millie finally let down her guard to trust Pav?


Millie broke my heart. I wanted to reach through the book and hug her. And also slap her parents for putting her through what they did as a child. Her social anxiety and panic attacks left her unable to connect to anyone outside of 3 people. Well 4, if you count her relationship with her psychologist. The nicknames that she got at work hurt her. What got me mad was that people didn’t even try to hide their contempt for her. That burnt me up. I loved seeing her working to be able to go out into the real world and interact with people. Her relationship with Pav paved the way with that. By the end of the book, I was crying happy tears for her. She deserved every bit of happiness that she got.

I didn’t like Pav at the beginning of the book. I found that he was as rude as the other people in the hospital when it came to Millie. When he asked her to present at the Grand Round, he was told no. He pressured her to do it and she did. And look what happened to her. Seeing her have an extreme panic attack finally clued him in that something wasn’t right with her. If he had only listened to Don. It was from that point on that I started to like him, though. He realized that he screwed up and he owned it. He also got to know Millie. He realized that behind her façade was a woman who deserved every good thing that happened to her. And he was determined to make that happen. I don’t know how he held it together when he saw how Millie’s parents treated her. I would have said a lot more than what he did. By the end of the book, he realized what his mistake (read the book!!) was going to cost Millie and swooped in to rescue her. Well, him and Gammy. That’s when I loved him.

I detested Millie’s parents. I wanted to go into the book and drop kick both of them. They screwed Millie up so bad it wasn’t even funny. Because her father who he was, they were able to pay off children’s services, fire and rehire nannies and get teachers fired when abuse was mentioned. It made me see red. Then they wonder why Millie didn’t have anything to do with them. Also, to hang her grandmother over Millie’s head like they did was awful. I was glad when they both got what they deserved. The end of the book, though, did tug at my heartstrings. Not going to say what but her father realized what he was missing all these years.

The other secondary characters were wonderful and fleshed out the plot. I did think that the sudden change from disliking to liking Millie was a little much. Not everyone had to like her. Other than that, they were wonderful. I loved the strippers. They brought some much-needed humor into the book.!!


The first major plotline in Limits was Millie, her struggle with social anxiety and panic attacks and what was the cause of them. I liked how the author introduced them into the book. I also liked that the author didn’t gloss over them or make them go away once Pav was in the picture. She showed what it was like to live with panic attacks. She showed what it was like to live with social anxiety. She showed that some people need therapy to help with their issues and guess what, its OK. She showed the ugly, nasty side and I love her for it.

The second major plotline was Millie and Pav’s relationship. Pav had to work extra to show Millie that he cared for her. Millie had to work on letting Pav in and trusting him. There were mistakes made. Their relationship wasn’t perfect but they made it work. And I loved reading that. Like I said above, Millie deserved every bit of happiness that she got.

As with the secondary characters, the secondary plotlines did their jobs and kept the book going. From Millie’s Gammy to her parents’ political bid to the book club, they all added to the main storylines.


There is NO Instalove in this book. Pav and Millie’s relationship started with them being at odds with each other. The author had them build a friendship and then a relationship. I loved it!!! Of course, they had sex. There was sexual attraction but a big deal wasn’t made of it. Same with the sex scenes. When Pav and Millie had sex, it wasn’t graphic and sweet.

The romance angle of the book was understated until almost the end of the book. It was so understated that I almost missed it. But it was there.

The end of Limits was great. I loved that Millie’s parents got what was coming to them. I would have cheered but it was 11:30pm and everyone was sleeping so I did a fist pump instead. The epilogues (there were two) were fantastic. What happened in the first epilogue should have happened a long time ago. The second epilogue was bittersweet.


I gave Limits a 4-star rating. This book will tug at your heartstrings and it will make you cry while reading it. So, read with Kleenex or tissues nearby. The characters were relatable and I came to care for all but two of them.

I would give Limits an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic. There is mild violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book. There are trigger warning that comes with this book. They are anxiety, panic attacks, emotional abuse, child abuse.

I would reread Limits. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a note about the trigger warnings.


I would like to thank Susie Tate and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Limits.

All opinions stated in this review of Limits are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Limits?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

WWW Wednesday: October 17th, 2018

 

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

A whole bunch.

Personal: I am currently not on speaking terms with my across the street neighbor. Miss B decided that she was not going to turn in ANY of her homework. Which resulted in her failing two classes and be close to failing her other two. So, I had a meeting with her teachers this morning to see what we could do about it. Michael swept through the area, canceling Miss R’s field trip to the apple orchard and causing flash flood warnings. Mr. Z had a field trip to the local science center the day Michael swept through. I need to say this “I hate rain!!!

Reading: I have fallen behind with reviews and reading. Not by much and I hope to catch up over the weekend. I finally read Limits and it is a tear jerker. You definitely need a box of Kleenex when reading this book. It was totally not what I thought it was going to be.


What I am currently reading:

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

click on the picture for Amazon link

Sometimes love is just around the corner . . .

With her dreams of being a wedding dress designer suddenly over, Arianna Bell isn’t expecting a holly jolly Christmas. Instead, her heart feels about three sizes too small. That is until her high school sweetheart Connor Gallagher returns to town and she finds his mere presence still makes her pulse race. But just when she starts dreaming of kissing under the mistletoe, he announces that he will be her opponent in the upcoming mayoral race….

Hot-shot attorney Connor Gallagher has something to prove. He’s tired of playing runner-up to his high-achieving brothers. So when the opportunity to enter the campaign comes up, he takes it. Even if it means running against the only woman he’s ever loved. But with a little help from Harmony Harbor’s local matchmakers and a lot of holiday cheer, Connor and Arianna may just get the happy ever after they both deserve.


What I finished reading:

Limits

Click on the picture for Amazon link

For as long as she can remember Millie has had her limits. Staying within them keeps her isolated, safe; helps her to cope. Why then have they started to feel so stifling? Why is her loneliness starting to rival her fears?

When she watches him she wishes she could be normal; she wishes she could be like the people he interacts with so seamlessly. Pavlos Martakis is her complete and total opposite: physically intimidating, likable, naturally attractive, extremely confident, sexually promiscuous: the most uninhibited, charming, outgoing and free person she has ever encountered in her life. He fascinates Millie; thrills and intimidates her in equal measure.

But, as the culprit behind the invention of her nickname Nuclear Winter, Millie knows that if Pav feels anything for her it is more than likely contempt. Cold, boring, robotic: that is how the rest of the hospital sees her. So she can safely watch him from afar. He would never notice her … would he?

This book is a full-length contemporary romance of approximately 90,000 words with no cliffhanger and its own HEA. 


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Nyl Jayms is tasked with kidnaping the Elder princess, to force her brother, the king, to negotiate with humans. The alternative is a war that could lead to the annihilation of both humans and Elders.

A Rider Council faction, led by Nyl’s father, is opposed to any negotiations. They will do anything, including sabotaging his assignment, to trigger a war.

Nyl and his team have to outsmart the king’s elite Royal Guard, to get to the princess, and somehow stay one step ahead of the faction opposed to negotiations. Everyone will be forced to re-evaluate ideology they were raised with, as an impending war looms ever closer.

Join these elite rebel warriors on a journey of war, betrayal, and political scheming, in Until We Are Free. In this debut novel from TM Blayte, faces of friends, family, allies and enemies will blur. Loyalties will be tested, until the determination to be free becomes the only thing that matters. After all, does one person’s freedom mean another person’s oppression?

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting right now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .

Sleepover

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.

Elle and Sawyer just look so happy. Which is, of course, exactly how they end up.

But it’s not an easy trip.

It was just supposed to be once.

It was just supposed to be sex.

But now they’re next-door neighbors. And before they can put up their fences—or defenses—their eight-year-old sons have forged an unstoppable friendship.

They’re still reeling—Elle, from a Facebook message she was never supposed to see, Sawyer, from the kind of death it’s hard to live through. A relationship seems like a terrible idea. So they make a deal. One more blazing hot night, at Elle’s ex-husband’s wedding.

You know, because the “just once” thing has worked out so well for them …

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

An action-packed, compelling historical fantasy, from the pen of an award-winning author

The battle-scarred warrior princess Bluebell, heir to her father’s throne, is rumoured to be unkillable. So when she learns of a sword wrought specifically to slay her by the fearsome raven king, Hakon, she sets out on a journey to find it before it finds her. The sword is rumoured to be in the possession of one of her four younger sisters. But which one? Scattered as they are across the kingdoms, she sets out on a journey to find them.

Her four sisters all have their own paths to tread, the gifted magician Ash is on a journey to find a dragon that could determine her destiny. The beautiful, unhappy Rose has left her undermagician Aunt and is speeding to the aid of her daughter, Rowan, who has been lost to her. Ivy, sold into marriage for the sake of an alliance, is now set to become the ruling Duchess of Seacaster with the imminent death of her much older and sick husband, and the power-hungry Willow is raising her infant child as a potential trimartyr king and training to be a warrior for the fanatical religious order Maava.

From wild rocky coastline to granite-topped tors, from bustling harbours to echoing ghost towns, from halls of kings to ancient primal woodlands, this story follows five sisters upon whose actions kingdoms will rise and fall.

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want.

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Black Diamond Fall

From the acclaimed author of CLARA’S HEART and CLOUDLAND comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead located on one of the outer campuses.

Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. Some feel that Flanders left on his own accord and is deliberately out of touch. Others, including detectives Nick Jenkins and Helen Kennedy, suspect that harm may have come to him. As the search for Luc Flanders widens and intensifies, suspicions about several different people, including his Middlebury College roommates and ex-girlfriend arise. Unfortunately, Sam Solomon an older man with whom Luc has been having a secret relationship, cannot prove his whereabouts during the hours when the younger man may have disappeared and Solomon, too, comes under suspicion.

BLACK DIAMOND FALL is at once a lush, evocative literary novel, a portrait of love between a younger and older man, and a riveting mystery that could only come from the mind of acclaimed writer Joseph Olshan.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Throwback Thursday: September 20th 2018

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This week’s Throwback Thursday is a paranormal romance:

 

My Lady Vampire - Book One (My Lady Vampire, #1)

click on the picture for Goodreads link.

She’s everything a man could want, with fiery hair and midnight eyes. The only thing she’s missing is a soul. Beneath her sexual allure is a storm of shadowed desire, where her touch inflames, and her kiss? It’s death. When she mistakenly leaves one young man barely alive, it leads to a life-affirming passion – and the first battle of good against evil. It won’t be the last either…

Where you can find My Lady Vampire: Well this is a first. The book is no longer in publication.


Have you read My Lady Vampire?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest by Antony Gregwood

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow's Quest

4 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: October 16th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse

Where you can find Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When twelve-year-old orphan Matthew injured his ankle on a school trip, little did he know that taking shelter in a cave would lead him to a strange land, drawn by a blinding light, where nothing was familiar. 
Taken in by a farming family, Matthew slowly adjusted to their peculiar ways and their strange customs and he set out on a quest to discover the truth of where he was and how he’d got there. 
As he struggled to understand the mysteries of this new land, Matthew had to face his fears and strive on through a journey of hope, danger, and adventure and he finds an important sense of loyalty to the family that took him in. 
This would become a journey that would ultimately change his life….forever. 

My review:

Matthew was an orphan who was depressed over the deaths of his parents 3 years earlier. His life at the orphanage was awful and it carried over to school. So, when he was paired up with two of his classmates, he knew that he would be ignored. What he wasn’t expecting was to be left behind when he sprained his ankle. When a storm comes through, Matthew takes shelter in a cave that is off the path. The cave ends up caving in and he is sucked into a white light. He ends up coming out of the white light in a forest. Going through the forest, he sees a farm in the distance. It is when he is caught stealing, that he realizes that he is not on Earth. Finding a home with these people, Matthew goes through many trials and tribulations. But he starts to see his own worth and he started to realize that people like him/value him. But will his peace and happiness last? Will he be able to become the man that everyone in his adopted family thinks he will become? Or will he fail?

There are a few characters in The Shadow’s Quest. So, I will keep to the main ones. Otherwise, this part of the review will be super long and a tad boring

Matthew is the main character. I felt awful for him. His life before meeting Jabo and his family was one of depression and grief. I thought that The Light taking him was one of the best things to happen to him in the book. His character growth in the book was awesome to read. He went from this insecure, shy boy to a confident, brave young man. He rose above every trial that was set before him. It was fantastic to read!!!

Jabo and family. I was very thankful that ended up with them. From the beginning, they were, for the most part, welcoming. They accepted him into their household. They stood by him when he was accused of some very awful crimes. They came to love him. For the most part, I liked Jabo and his family. The only person that I didn’t like was Azzan. I could not stand him. Every bad thing that happened to Matthew was because of him. His apology, later in the book, didn’t feel real. Put it this way: I wanted to smack him upside the head a few times.

Rammon and family. I disliked them a tad bit more than Azzan. They were at the root of every bad thing that happened to Jabo, his family, and Matthew. They deserved every bad thing that happened to them. What made me dislike them the most is that they had Azzan under their spell for 90% of the book.

Elasi. I didn’t know what I thought about him at first. I did think he spoke in riddles and came into the story at the weirdest times. When it was revealed exactly who he was, I wasn’t surprised. I also wasn’t surprised at his role at the end of the book. I wonder if he will take a bigger role in the next book.

Remash, the villain. OK, so I didn’t see the villain part coming from this guy. When he was introduced at the beginning of the book, he came across as an alright guy. So when it was revealed that he was the bad guy mid-book, I was surprised. By the end of the book, with everything he had done, I wasn’t surprised anymore. He was truly an evil man!!

The world Matthew falls into resembles medieval England in some ways. There is no electricity, they rode horses. Elasi explained it to Matthew at some point in the book. This world is the shadow of the dimension that Matthew came from. People resemble each other but that’s it. While Matthew’s dimension evolved, that world stayed the way it was.

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Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest is a fantasy. There is magic but it is not in your face magic. It is more subtle. I liked that the author left that part up to our imagination.

The other genre that I would place Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest is Young Adult. Matthew is 12. Now, I know his age would put this book into middle grade. But there are some violent things that happen to Matthew during the course of the book. Matthew is beaten. He also single handly kills people who are holding Azzan, Temah and Elian hostage. Because of those scenes, I wouldn’t think that this book would be right for younger readers.

I actually liked Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest. I was caught from the beginning when Matthew was in that depressing orphanage. My attention did wander towards the middle of the book. But the author did a great job of getting it back by introducing new plotlines and characters.

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This is a long book, 570 pages. So be ready to be involved in this book for the long haul. I don’t know about you all, but I like long books. The author gives more detail to the world and characters than your typical 200-300 page books. And the author delivered those in spades in this book. The character building was excellent, as was the world building.

The end of the book was interesting. Some storylines were wrapped up and other’s were not. But, what got me, was the huge cliffhanger at the end of the book. I cannot stand cliffhangers. Can. Not. Stand. Them. I wanted to bang my head off of something hard when I saw that it ended that way. Seeing that it is giving a hint to a book 2, I hope the author delivers soon!!

I also want to discuss something that I had seen in another review. I had only a few instances with the formatting of the book. For a couple of lines, the book would

b

e

l

i

k

e

t

h

i

s

and then it would go back to normal paragraphs. While that is annoying, it was fixed except for a few spots.

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What I liked about Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest:

A) Engaging plotline

B) Matthew’s character growth

C) Great world building

What I disliked about Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest

A) Matthew’s backstory

B) Azzan. He was a jerk almost the entire book to Matthew

C) Violent scenes. They kept me from giving this a Middle-Grade rating.

I would give Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest a Young Teen rating. There is no sex (actually nothing sexual at all in the book). There is violence. There is no language. There are a couple of scenes that would scare younger readers. I would suggest that no one under the age of 13 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest. They would be child abuse.

I would reread Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest. I would also reread this book.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest.

All opinions stated in this review of Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**