Monthly Archives: October 2018
The Forgotten Painting by Gabriel Farago #Review
When celebrated author Jack Rogan stumbles upon a hidden diary, he can’t resist investigating. Honouring the last wish of a dying friend, he is irresistibly drawn into a web of intriguing clues, hinting at a long forgotten treasure.
Joining forces with Cecilia Crawford, a glamorous New York journalist, and Tristan, a remarkable boy with psychic powers, Jack soon finds himself on a precarious journey of discovery, exposing dark secrets from a distant, violent time, when life was cheap and cruelty ruled without mercy.
Meanwhile, Emil Fuchs, an enigmatic Swiss banker with a murky past, has an agenda of his own. Ruthless, and determined to defend his reputation at all cost, he threatens to expose a fraud that could destroy everything.
Will Rogan succeed? Can he find the forgotten treasure he has been searching for, or will it be lost forever, depriving the world of a masterpiece that belongs to all mankind?
The Forgotten Painting is a novella written by Gabriel Farago as a bit of introduction to his three longer works. It IS a complete, if shorter, work on its own that features many of the characters that can be encountered in his works. The idea, as revealed in the Author’s Notes, was to give people a taste of what his other works are like. However, it is an entertaining story on its own and should not be discounted.
I haven’t read any of Mr. Farago’s other works, but I found this story about the intrigues around the recovery of an unknown work by Monet had a similar feel to novels by Dan Brown. I found elements of adventure, history, suspense, intrigue and more. Even though this piece is a novella, there’s a lot that goes on and it does require a measure of focus reading through it. I could see some people seeing the story as rough in places, and perhaps a bit jumpy. But due to the constraints placed upon its creation, I can’t blame the author heavily.
Perhaps some other readers might find this work a little dry as well, though I thought it was written with craft and style. I will say that The Forgotten Painting succeeded in its goal of whetting my interest in the other related titles. I would also recommend this short piece for anyone looking for a taste of adventure in his or her reading.
(I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Romance Authors That Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Alpha London by Midika Crane #Review
I’m not exactly sure where this book sits in the Alpha series but I believe it is first. As much as I like this book I was just as much confused about it. There is no real background for a leading series book into why the packs lead different lives or what Althea and Landon’s pack believes in besides power. The cliche romance was cute but at times to me it seemed it little overdramatic if you will with they’re actions and words. Kale’s character has been a bit of a mystery that I’m wondering would be solved in future books. Minutes a few spelling and sentence errors in my copy it wasn’t a bad story but I wanted more connection and storyline. Based on content this book is for an mature audience. As an independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock with her own thoughts and opinions I give this story 3.5 Hearts
The Ghost Who Loved by S. H. Marpel #Review #Ghost
Rose doesn’t know why she survived the accident and everyone else was dead.
It was horrible. And she hasn’t been able to cry since. Even at the graveyard where she was now.
And then she looked over a few rows and saw a guy standing in front of a grave marker of his own. He looked too sad for someone that good looking.
She came over to see if she could console him, help him somehow. His name was Tom, and he had the most amazing eyes she’d ever seen.
But something was different about him, something that would haunt even her.
It was Father’s Day. They were all still dead, and I was again dry-eyed over their grave.
I came this way every year, for the past few, as it was also my birthday. Such as it was.
Growing older just meant more sadness for me.
Father, Mother, and younger sister all passed that night. Horrific car accident. All decapitated or crushed instantly, head on collision with another car, that seemed to come out of nowhere.
I was the only one remaining.
And I couldn’t even cry anymore.
Of course my heart ached. But it was almost the dull, screeching tear of some massive pump whose bearings were failing and overheated from lack of grease. The greece of kindness, of human love.
Why was I still here? What reason did I have for existing? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I kept going from day to day, month in, month out, and then showed up back here again – once a year.
Graveyards are funny things. Why they exist is such a morbid concept. Small and huge monuments erected to incite the memory of the fallen. Like it was the old Japanese ancestor worship. But just because they weren’t remembered after a few centruries, didn’t mean the ache went away. Only the persons who had the ache. To their own plot of earth and monument – or not.
People visited. And opened up that ache fresh to the sting of memory once again, like a wound opened to the air. Painful, abrupt. The ache continuing long after the bandage was re-applied.
Like that guy over there, a few rows over. Downcast young face. Blue jeans, black sweater jacket, high-top basketball sneakers. And that cute brown hair, those nice cheekbones. Why did he come here? Did it ever help him move on – or was he like me, a magnet for more punishment?
– – – –
“Well, Sis, how did this year go for you – wherever you are?” I visited my sister every chance I got, knowing that it wasn’t really her. She was long gone, only some ashes remained now. Buried under ground somewhere near that stone.
She was the only one who had left, and the rest of us carried on. Somehow.
So I came to talk to her, tell her all the things I’d learned in college, of the people I’d met, of the charities I worked for in her memory. Just to live her life as well as mine.
But it never seemed to help. That stone just sat there and looked back at me. It wasn’t alive, neither was she, so what was the use.
“Hey.” A girl came to stand beside me. I’d seen her earlier, a couple of rows over. “I just thought that I should come talk to you. Of course you can’t see or hear me, but you looked like you could use some comfort. Some people feel that. And it feels good giving it, at least to me.” She was wearing dark brown slacks and with thick off-white shawl collar sweater and sensible flats. Her blond hair center-parted and naturally curled in long waves. A looker for sure.
“Who says I can’t hear or see you?” I asked, looking directly at her.
Her Artist by JB Trepagnier #Review
Our only job is to find Rook and protect Misty. But I don’t have the skills my friends do to protect the woman I love.
Rook has threatened Misty. We sent his Queen on the run and she nearly killed Casey on her way out. I’m not a computer genius or a cop. I’m an artist and I was a military medic. I don’t have the skills to do anything except help Casey heal and just be moral support while my friends do what I can’t. I feel helpless and powerless to protect Misty.
Rook can’t get to us in Andre’s compound. He hits us where he can. He wants to get to Casey and Misty through me. He starts by trashing my tattoo shop with his queen. Everything I worked for is in ruin and my partner, Badger, is losing money because Rook decided to come at me. I thought my shop was the last of it. I should have been more vigilant in protecting those I love.
Rook takes his game even further and totally guts me with his next move. I’ll never fully recover and if he’s willing to go that far, I don’t want to think about what he will do to Misty if he gets his hands on her
Dangerous Chess-A Contemporary Reverse Harem Series Fugitive (Misty) Her Cop (Casey) Her Artist (Aiden) Her Guard (Gareth) Her Knight (Andre) The Rook Takes Their Queen
This book is the 3rd in the Dangerous Chess series and ends with everything all up in the air. This book is not a standalone in the series. The characters and unusual reverse harem situation is hard to understand without having read the previous 2 books. Character names are thrown out and previous situations mentioned, but never explained, causing the book to turn into sex scenes surrounding a lot of discussion about people and situations that don’t make sense.
>Misty has agreed to a relationship with 4 roommates. Her character is less human and more like a robot. All she wants to do is sleep and sooth each of the men. She is up for whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want. Her personality never comes through. The reactions of the men all seem like they are only tolerating the situation because they benefit from it. These reactions are not based in love, causing this story to be erotic, but not at all romantic.
>The mystery involves unknown characters from previous stories. More about the bad guys is discovered, but more secrets remain. The mystery is always discussed after the action has taken place, slowing the pace of the book.
>I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Romance Authors that Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book is appropriate for an adult audience. I am giving this book 4 stars. The story is novella length. If all of the parts of this series were in one complete book, I feel the story would be better.
>Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2555572418?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
>Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/review/R13GXWWRSFUSLT/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8
Windsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway #Review
An unlikely young hero. An incredible destiny.
Eva has never swung a sword. She’s never flown through the open sky on a gryphon or dreamed of being a hero. She’s content with a quiet life — two feet firmly on the ground, working in her foster-father’s forge. But that’s all about to change.
When Eva discovers a young thief hiding in her woodshed with a stolen gryphon egg, the shy, timid girl is forced to leave everything she’s ever known to become Windsworn — elite warriors who ride fierce gryphons into battle. As she struggles to learn the ways of the Windsworn, Eva finds herself caught in a plot to destroy the gryphon riders and plunge the kingdom into war, a plot that somehow involves her deceased parents.
In the face of growing danger, can Eva conquer her fears and unravel the secrets of her past in time to save the Windsworn?
Fans of Eragon, Harry Potter and the Dragonriders of Pern will love this fast-paced coming of age fantasy, set in a world of majestic gryphons and ancient magic.
Interested? Read it!
I love fantasy and mystery. This story was filled with it. And on top of that gryphons and a castle built in the side of the mountain. Awesome. Based in medieval times it’s definitely a fantasy world of castles and mystical creatures.
Reviewer for Romance authors that rock
Innocence Lost by Patty Jansen #Review
A fantasy loosely based on the historical setting of the Netherlands and western Germany.
Johanna is the daughter of a rich merchant in the kingdom of Saarland. As an only child and without a mother, she has grown up with notions, such as that she wants to take over her father’s river trade business in her own name. Courtesy of her eastern mother, she has an unusual ability. She sees things in willow wood: whenever she touches wood, it shows her what has happened around the tree or wooden object. Any kind of magic is not common in Saardam, and the Church of the Triune, which rapidly gains influence in the city, forbids it.
While she goes to church, Johanna also maintains a loose network of magic-enabled people. One of those people is Loesie, a farmer’s daughter from out of town.
One day, Loesie comes to town after having been struck mute by magic. She carries a basket made from willow twigs that tells Johanna that a group of bandits with demons is about to attack the city.
But there is no non-magical proof, so she can’t tell anyone or she’d be branded a witch. The time of witch-burnings was not that long ago.
Never mind that the army is still approaching, and there are increasing signs that Saardam’s embattled royal family might have done something that has angered magical forces in the east. Add to this that the royal family seems to have fallen out with the city’s nobility, and that the recent death of the crown princess has left the family with only one heir: the mysterious prince whom no one has seen for years and who has suddenly returned home.
At the annual ball, Johanna’s father has brokered a dance for her with the prince. Johanna just wants to warn people of the impending attack.
Johanna is very strong willed. She has her own way of thinking and doesn’t mind not following what is expected of her. She also has a secret, one that would be consis|red magic and evil. But because of this, she discovers her town is coming under attack and the cause coming from a very unlikely source. How can she warn the town without actually revealing what she can do?
This is a good storyline. Reminds of the city of Salem and witches in the 1800’s. Of course, who wouldn’t love an independent want spirit like Johanna. I always love reading stories with strong female characters. The authors writing, at times, was a little a slow, too descriptive and dragged. Seemed slow and fast paced. Great story for a start, but hate cliffhangers. I gave this a four star read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from
Romance Authors that Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Be Mine by Alyssia Leon #Review
She’s loved him forever. But he wants her for just one night.
Aurora Willis has loved Nathan since she was a teenager. But he barely noticed her. Now twenty-two and still a virgin, Aurora is desperate to ditch her hopeless feelings for him and finally find true love of her own.
Billionaire Nathaniel Travers is riding high on fame, glory, and more female attention than he wants. He left Aurora behind in his past years ago. But when an accident leaves him helpless, she’s the only person he can turn to.
Just when Aurora is about to leap into a new love, Nathan comes crashing back into her life, stoking all the fire buried inside her. And he’s been keeping a secret of his own, but it has nothing to do with love.
Is Aurora ready to sacrifice her heart, her future, everything to be his for just one night?
STANDALONE Contemporary Romance | London Billionaires Book 1
Exhale by Laxmi Hariharan #Review
A destiny she won’t accept. A choice she must make.
Sofia must mate with Kris and birth a race superior to humans, but she cannot accept her fate. Can she create her own destiny?
This 10,000 words novelette is an inspiration story for the Many Lives Series
Rating: 4 out of 5 Hearts
Review: First, the disclaimer: this is a novella that does not tell a complete story. I have not read any of the other novels in the Many Lives series, but I understand that this is a prequel novella. As a result, it is assumed that the reader knows what happens next in the action and, as someone who has not read the novel(s) for which this is a prequel, I was left a little disappointed. However, the writing is good and I found the story very interesting, regardless of the fact that I only had part of the action. This is a story of destiny and what happens when you fight your destiny. Sofia had very definite plans for herself and her future, and those plans were threatened when her grandmother told Sofia about Sofia’s destiny. However, in novels of this type, one always runs into trouble when one scoffs at, and ignores, one’s destiny, and that happens to Sofia. I am very interested in finding out what happens next and I did truly enjoy the world that the author has created.
Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock
Her Eyes by J.R. Kruze #Review #dark
Short Read – 90 minutes (43 pages)
What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You.
What You Don’t Remember Can Get You Killed.
He looked into her eyes – and forgot everything about himself.
He’d done something that night, but couldn’t remember.
And she had left him like that. Until she returned as a Homeland Security agent to save him from two cops who wanted him for questioning.
Now on the run, in disguise, his memory wasn’t returning very fast. Josh depended on this mysterious Rosa to get and keep him out of harm’s way as they travelled out of L.A. and into remote backroads of Southern California.
There’s something about her Josh doesn’t understand, or just doesn’t remember. Yet.
A paranormal action-mystery with empaths, government agencies, and psi-powers.
To solve their situation, Josh will have to recover his lost memories. The secret is in her eyes…
– – – –
I looked into her eyes and my soul was gone.
Like I never existed in my own body. Or more like I had a different one, now.
I could feel her arms, her legs, the silky smoothness of where she shaved and where she didn’t. Medium height, brown hair, blue eyes – I knew these from looking at her from the outside. But from the inside out, your eyes didn’t have color, your hair only showed in a mirror or when you grew it long enough to pull out in front where you could see it. And you hardly felt hair growing where it shouldn’t unless you felt it for yourself.
I put my new hands around and over my new body to feel the textures, the curves. Alabaster white skin, like I’d never been out in the sun. A smooth rump, going up past dimples into a curved indent above the spine. Ribs, just below the skin, as my lungs expanded and contracted by their efforts.
And higher, to cup my own new breasts.
“Hey, watch it!” A voice came in, the hands dropped, arms straightened, fists clenched.
“Buddy, we’re in this together, for now, so keep it clean.” That voice was obviously in command.
“Who are you? What am I doing here?” I asked.
“I’m Rosa. This is my body and you are a visitor.” The voice named Rosa was tough, but as smooth as her hips that I could still feel through our knuckles.
“But what am I doing here?” I repeated.
“You’re a volunteer. Simple. You asked to be here.” Rosa replied.
“No. You’re kidding. This is slavery, this is…” My own voice halted.
Rosa turned to look at my own body. All 6 foot, 4 inches of it. Sandy hair, broad shoulders, tanned dark by the sun. Except those parts that never saw daylight. I was naked as the day I was born. And had a blank look on my face until I didn’t. Then I winked back at me, with a wry smile. That “me” then turned and walked over to the chair where I’d left my clothes. Denim pants, chambray shirt, scuffed leather boots, and a frayed and faded blue ball cap with a seed company logo on it.
…I was trapped in someone else’s body in a room that wasn’t also borrowed. Probably paid by the hour. But how long I would be in this body was another question. My ride that I came with had just left for parts unknown…
Rating: 4 out of 5 Hearts
Review: I really liked the premise of this novella. I kind of wish that Rosa had explained the science behind how she ended up sharing her body with Joshua, but having her just as confused as the reader made sense with the narrative, so I was willing to go with it. Rather than the last chapter being a montage, I would have truly enjoyed it being fully-fleshed out and allow this novella to become a true novel. The writing was well-done, and I am very interested in reading more by this author, especially if the other outings are more fully-fleshed out stories. There are some adult situations, so I would only recommend the novella to adult readers.
Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock
The River and the Ravages by J.M. Lawler #Review
‘Written in very clear and beautiful prose, JM Lawler’s novel is both inspiring and entertaining. This is one of the finest books I have read on women’s issues, a book with characters that are real.’
When do you risk everything for love?
Aaliya Reiner is made of strong stuff. But when her mother passes on, she seems to lose her grip on life. Things don’t seem to get better with her sister, Maddalena, who’s estranged and enjoying the benefits that come in a marriage of power and opulence.
Aaliya takes refuge in a passionate and hidden love affair, hoping to fill the void left by her mother’s death.
But desire can be deadly and the kingdom of Traegos is becoming a dangerous place. When the dark storm of politics and power begins to blow, choice and chance collide leaving Aaliya with only one option left to survive.
The River and the Ravages is a gripping story of identity and freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love.
For mature readers only.
This story is good. The characters develop fast and draw the reader right in. The way things start it just grabs the reader and keeps you wanting to read more and not put it down. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys some political intrigue with their romance. Warning this is for mature readers with sexual situations.
I’m giving this book 4 hearts
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from
Romance Authors that Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own.