– by Michelle Larkin
Ok, I feel like I owe it to Michelle Larkin to write a little bit of something about my experience with this book seeing that I might’ve been too hasty in relegating it to the bottom pile of my TBR list before! But for some reason, I picked this book to read and it was nothing like I expected. At all!
First, it was funny throughout, with lovable MCs and secondary characters! Never read a shape-shifter MC to be this funny, fun, and adorably likeable all throughout the story! Usually there’d be a layer of darkness in the shape-shifter, but Aspen, who’s also the “Chosen One” of the shape-shifting community, only had light in her. I absolutely loved all the funny, flirty, cheeky, mischievous banters between Aspen and Tora (the awkward, aloof, ice queen doc). In fact I loved the natural chemistry that Aspen seemed to have with everyone, particularly, Tora, Skye and her “pops,” Oscar! Their interactions, when you read the book, were portrayed with such authenticity that I believed they were like family. That was certainly a surprise to me because I didn’t get that kinda chemistry or rapport in dialogues from Larkin’s previous book.
In terms of the shape-shifter story, Continue reading “Endangered”
– by Wendy Hudson
I know I should have read this book earlier especially with an irresistible cover like this one (more about this and the title later!) and because I thought “Four Steps” was a brilliant debut effort by Wendy Hudson, which put her on my radar in the world of lesfic reading. But for some reason, I thought I’d read it all this time until I happened to review my reading queue and surprise sur-bloody-prise, “Mine To Keep” was still sitting there staring at me with that bloody mesmerising cover taunting me! Gobsmacked, I was! Bloody hell! Reckon me mind’s done for! Too many books, too little time! Grrr! Anyway, by this time, I’d read her 3rd and latest book, “Meant To Be Me,” already. But just like everything else, things happen for a reason, don’t they? And timing is everything, innit? Won’t bore you with the deets about what it means except I can firmly attest that “Mine To Keep” is now my favourite Hudson book! Her best one, thusfar, as far as I’m concerned! Hence, this book has effectively renewed my continued interest in her writing and creativity whose craft I’ll always be looking forward to exploring! Well done, Ms. Hudson!
Continue reading “Mine To Keep”
– by Erin Zak
Erin Zak‘s latest, “Create A Life to Love,” was a story I was looking forward to exploring ever since finding out what it was about. And then the cover! Who wouldn’t wanna gawk at its splendour of colours and read its contents, eh? Well, worked for me, anyway! Gosh, lately, I’ve been gifted with really intriguing covers that caught my attention, further enhancing my reading pleasure, which doesn’t happen often, I must say. So, lucky me and well done to the authors/cover artists!! Anyway, back to the blurb, I thought it was going to be original with a very creative twist. So I was chuffed that my assumption came to fruition when I read the story! Even the antagonistic situation related to one of the MCs (elaborated more below) was crafted with a twist in the end! Everything about this book could be summarised into one word for starters: Unexpected. A word that Zak used in the story which hit the nail not just for her characters but for me as a reader, too!
In addition to the nature of the story, the big unexpected surprise was Zak’s narrative style this time! I mean, THREE first-person POVs?! As you may already know, I’m partial to POVs from both MCs, be it in first or third-person. And I’d just recently read a brilliantly crafted dual-POVs in first-person format which I utterly enjoyed and appreciated because it’s quite rare. But I never thought I’d be lucky enough to be served not two but three POVs from 3 MCs in ONE story so soon after! In first-person POV style, too, no less! I felt truly spoiled with such a reading delight! Bloody well done, Ms. Zak and bleeding thank YOU! Needless to say, I finished the book in one gulp of air, so to speak! Totally satiated, I might add!
Continue reading “Create A Life To Love”
– by Lyn Gardner
Phew! The wait for Lyn Gardner‘s new work was finally over when I got to read her latest work, “Choices,” a new romance! Again, she’s wowed me with this superbly written and remarkably told love story, with a little extra panache this time. Let’s just say, it had a certain “mysterious” air of intrigue that flowed with authority whilst amplifying the essence of the main story! I didn’t expect it, really, so I was dead chuffed upon realising Gardner’s direction to her storytelling. Ohhhhh….ahem…’nuff said! I absolutely loved the feel of it whilst delving into the book that was filled with not just the love story between the two main protagonists, Robin and Judy, but also some very relevant characters who intertwined with each other as secrets were uncovered and revelations unfolded. Talk about multi-dimensional character and story development, indeed! That’s just what Gardner once again created for this particular book…and then some!
The prologue itself already had me mesmerised! The long, “one-shot” mysterious scene along with its contents which Gardner slowly unfolded in the beginning was reminiscent of my favourite Virginia Woolf scene in the brilliant movie, “The Hour.” I won’t divulge any further but when you read this book and if you’d seen the movie, you’ll know which one I’m alluding to. And the end of the prologue was simply intoxicating. I was left with a sense of wonder and the need to discover more about what really transpired that led to the event as described. Gardner circled back to the prologue’s content at the end of the book in order to complete story which could only be done after all the secrets were revealed and truth illuminated. A perfect motif. I always get chills of excitement and joy when I see writers using motifs – be it in books or films. A motif gives the story a deeper meaning, a symbolic purpose that flows through the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of its characters, moods, subject matters, themes. It creates a solid multi-dimensional structure of the story and character development. How often do we see that form or narrative being utilised in films, let alone books, these days, eh? So, I have Gardner to thank for gifting me this artistic narrative style for my reading experience and pleasure!
Anyway…. Continue reading “Choices”
– by Caren J. Werlinger
Caren J. Werlinger‘s “When The Stars Sang” was my first book of hers since I stumbled upon several reviews of her latest, “Bittersweet Garden,” which subsequently piqued my curiosity about her and her work. Needless to say, all credit goes to Lex from GR (cheers, mate!) who thought that this book would be an ideal first one to start with in order to experience Werlinger’s writing and storytelling style. I was captivated by the story from the start. So, it was a quick read for me, obvs! Werlinger’s writing style was compelling. The story and its characters, primary and secondary, alike, weaved into each other so effortless, they formed a perfect tapestry.
“When The Stars Sang,” to me, is essentially a story about loss, guilt, love, forgiveness and letting go, personified with zeal by its main protagonist, Kathleen. Werlinger also posed this question, “What is family?“, as Kathleen journeyed through her second chance at living her life. I utterly loved that Werlinger chose a tiny, remote island as Kathleen’s sanctuary for solitude, self-reflection and self-discovery. An island that had been floating in the recesses of her mind for the past 25 years since she left, calling to her, the voice getting louder as time went by, to a point where she couldn’t ignore it anymore. It’s like two magnets attracting each other. To me, that’s so symbolic. Our path, our life journey is like a compass. We all have our own True North that completes us – our TRUE self. Only then are we able to discover life, love, family, spirituality. We’re programmed to find it as we journey through life. Kathleen’s True North was the island and its inhabitants.
Continue reading “When The Stars Sang”
– by Kim Pritekel
Well! I knew the poetic, lyrical blurb that caught my attention in the first place would give me something really intriguing to read about. But I never thought it would be THIS BLOODY FANTASTIC!! Unforgettable! Kim Pritekel‘s, “The Plan,” was beyond my wildest imagination and expectation about historical fiction considering the story was set in the depressing era of the 30’s and the baby-booming one of the 50’s, both utterly unkind to women, let alone homosexuals!
But this historical fiction about a long-lost but an unbreakable bond wrapped in a love for the ages between two women so powerful that it could survive the most impossible circumstances, the harshest environments and situations, written and weaved in the most intricately intoxicating manner truly transcends every other historical fiction I ever read! It’s Pritekel’s true masterpiece, to date, as far as I’m concerned! The most incredible thing I realised? It’s that I never expected it to turn out to be so much MORE than I could ever wish for in a lesbian romance, historical or otherwise! And that is saying a lot considering historical fiction is a tricky genre in my reading experience. Especially when it comes to this particular timeframe in America. But Pritekel changed all that for me in this brilliant piece of love story she wrote. For me, it was perfection! Simply divine!
Continue reading “The Plan”