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Review: Last First Kiss by Lia Riley

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Last First Kiss
Series: Brightwater #1
Author: Lia Riley
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: 23 June 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

A kiss is only the beginning…

Pinterest Perfect. Or so Annie Carson’s life appears on her popular blog. Reality is… messier. Especially when it lands her back in one-cow town, Brightwater, California, and back in the path of the gorgeous six-foot-four reason she left. Sawyer Kane may fill out those wranglers, but she won’t be distracted from her task. Annie just needs the summer to spruce up and sell her family’s farm so she and her young son can start a new life in the big city. Simple, easy, perfect.

Sawyer has always regretted letting the first girl he loved slip away. He won’t make the same mistake twice, but can he convince beautiful, wary Annie to trust her heart again when she’s been given every reason not to? And as a single kiss turns to so much more, can Annie give up her idea of perfect for a forever that’s blissfully real.

REVIEW 

I honestly don’t know where to start with this review. I read Last First Kiss some time ago and have really struggled to put my thoughts into words. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t that I didn’t like the story, in fact I loved it. The thing is Annie is such a realistic and relatable character, I don’t feel as if I can do her or the story justice with my words alone. The story encompasses the theme of identity in a way all women and especially mothers will relate to.

Growing up in a small town as the outsider, her free-spirited artistic family classed as Kooky by the local popular crowd. All Annie has ever craved is to be loved and accepted for who she is. With a hundred year old feud to contend with and childhood cruelty; Annie escapes to college following the final blow to her self-esteem in the form of her only friend, Sawyer.

Growing up without a mother and an absentee father has left Annie longing for a relationship filed with affection and belonging. Overwhelmed when an older, sophisticated man takes an interest in her. Escalating quickly to marriage and parenthood; however, the dream is quickly crushed due to the narcissistic nature of said older man :(

Annie is a wonderfully strong, independent woman struggling to come to terms with the dysfunctional relationships in her life. Questioning her judgement, she pours herself into motherhood and in turn her parenting/lifestyle blog. Again, another completely relatable aspect for me, Annie uses blogging as an outlet and as a way to relate to her peers when she is unable to do so in real life.   Although, and again I am sure we are all a little guilty of this, Annie’s online persona only shows a small part (generally the good bits) of the person she is as opposed to the warts and all variety people get in the real world 😉

It is so easy to lose sight of yourself and even in taking pride in your appearance when every waking moment is  taken up with providing for your child while simultaneously navigating all the crap that daily life tends to throw at you. Loss of self-esteem is a really difficult thing to alter and ultimately it is only something that can be achieved by yourself. No-one else can do it for you. Although, once regained is something that is highly valued.

The story is told in third person narrative allowing the reader to gain much-needed perspective from all sides. Looking at family relationships and how fate takes you to where you should be.  The narrative brings alive the idea that divine providence exists to step in when required to pave the way to your own personal happily ever after. Lia cleverly lays the foundations for the other storied due in the Brightwater series. The use of a social media persona within the narrative reflects todays society perfectly especially how easy it is to measure your self-worth as a direct reflection of the online presence you have.

Sawyer is swoon-worthingly old-fashioned where courtship is concerned. He has never really recovered from Annie and although he tried to move on, events left him a little distant. He has accepted his life lacks the type of loving relationship he craves but he values himself to highly to accept anything less. See what I mean utterly swoony :) Determined to make the most of the opportunity when Annie returns to her family home in order to sell it.

Annie and Sawyer are absolutely perfect for each other. Although past incidents on both sides cloud their judgement, the journey to a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship is beautiful to follow and provides a deep sense of hope for the future.

I really hope we get to see more of Annie and Sawyer in the rest of the series ♥

Review: Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Wintercraft
Series: Wintercraft #1
Author: Jenna Burtenshaw
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: May 2010
Source: Gifted
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Ten years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort.

Now the wardens are back…and prisoners, including Kate’s uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane – the High Council’s most feared man – recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace.

The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft – a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.

REVIEW BY FRASER 8:3

I have just finished reading what I think is a splendid book called Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw. I have been reading this book for roughly two weeks and every single moment has kept me lost and absorbed inside the storyline and wanting more.

Wintercraft makes us realise that in our average lives there are people with incredible talents that we or they never knew about. Kate is a young girl living in a large town named Morvane in the country of Albion with Artemis, her only living relative. Her friend Edgar is a cheery guy who, unknown to Kate, has a dark past. Unfortunately, this quiet world is being forced into labour by the High Council, sending Wardens dressed in black cloaks to capture and retrieve civilians from every town to Fume, a city once used for the dead but now changed to a gloomy and polluted city of slavery.

Wintercraft is full of mystery and peculiar characters such as Silas, the immortal master of the Wardens sent out to capture the ‘Skilled’. Another character near to Silas, Da’ru, is a talented yet feeble woman, needing Silas bound to her in which Silas seeks revenge for his lack of freedom.

Kate is found by Silas and captured for her ‘Skill’ in an eerie world called the veil, a place where the lost must enter but in the end finds herself losing everything from the real world, including Artemis and Edgar.

My favourite part of the book must be unmistakably when Kate decides to help her enemy in an agreement to save her uncle near the ending of the book. Here the tranquil world turns upside down with sudden drama and shattering emotions, keeping you involved within the action. Wintercraft represents the moral of ‘good overcoming evil’ and at this segment, the moral shines.

Although, all the characters have separate and somewhat unusual personalities, the character that stands out for me must be Kate, the main character. She seems more intelligent than I had originally expected, escaping from impossible situations whilst also saving all that she can, proving her sign of respect, love and devotion to her friends. On the other hand, I would have adored it if a stronger relationship was created between Kate and Silas, for example Silas becoming the carer for Kate after their adventure to stop Da’ru.

Wintercraft is utterly amazing and I would love to read another of this author’s books as the whole storyline based upon an idea in my opinion could never be recreated again in such an awe-inspiring way. This book seems suitable for children above the age of ten years old and up, absorbing the minds of all relatively good readers. The book contains no bad language, mature writing styled for pretty much all age groups. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and hope that they understand the concept of the writing style, great for readers with interest in mystery and almost paranormal activity leading me to rate this book 4/5. A really fantastic book.

Musical Moments: Song of the Month: August 2015 Chosen by M Leighton

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I am delighted to welcome Michelle Leighton ot Book Angel Booktopia with this months Song of the Month to coincide with her new release STRONG ENOUGH.

Received from Publicist

Received from Publicist

Synopsis from Goodreads

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met? And is he strong enough to let her?

How would I describe myself? Well, I’m Muse Harper. I’m a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to make—abandon everything I’ve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

That’s when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didn’t know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isn’t all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish I’d found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I don’t know if I’d have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to make—trust the man that I’m falling in love with and hope that he’ll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get.

There are no words necessary to accompany Michelle’s song choice, believe me it fits Jasper PERFECTLY ♥

Received from Publicist

Received from Publicist

Spotlight: Screwed by Kendall Ryan

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WARNING MATURE CONTENT

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

Release Date: September 15

Screwed SYNOPSIS

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​ Preorder exclusively on iBooks

Screwed Chapter 1

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About The Author

Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.

She’s a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Books I’ve Read: Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Aflame
Series: Fall Away #4
Author: Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: April 2015
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

The tables have turned. Now I have the power-and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving – something he thought I’d never do.

They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

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Please bear in mind this is the fourth book in the series and therefore, the review may contain spoilers for previous books.

I will be honest and say I was terrified to start reading this book. I live for the Happily Ever After and when Jared left to find himself at the end of Falling Away my heart broke for the both of them.

While Jared had every intention of returning to Tate, he couldn’t give a timeline and after all they had been through Tate just couldn’t continue to wait for the man who may never be ready for the life she wanted with him. Understandable, totally but how do you move on from your one true love.

Events divide Jared and Tate further until the adorable douche, Madoc, interferes throwing his two best friends together to sort out their relationship one way or the other.

I’m not going to give any more plot details away as it would really spoil all the tumultuous emotions you will experience while reading this book. While certain aspects made my heart ache I can honestly say the story doesn’t contain anything that will make you love any of the characters less.

It was great to see all of the characters from the series and how their lives and relationships have progressed from the last time we saw them.

The epilogue is utterly brilliant and I take my proverbial hat off to Penelope Douglas for providing such an ingenious closure to the series.