Shatterwing by Donna Maree Hanson #Review

Deliciously Dark Fantasy

“Shatterwing has all the fantasy ingredients I love: tormented heroes, a truly twisted villain – and a brand new take on dragons!” Glenda Larke, (award winning author of The Stormlord Trilogy)

“Dark and compelling, with strong characters and a sense of grim inevitability that pulls you along with the story.” Craig Cormick, (award-winning author of the Shadow Master Series.)

The world of Margra is a desolate wasteland after one of its moons shattered. Factions fight over resources as pieces of the broken moon rain down, bringing chaos, destruction and death.

Dragon wine is a life giving drink imbued with the essence of dragons. It is what keeps people alive. But the prison vineyard where Salinda works to grow grapes is in jeopardy. Not only does the Inspector, the sadistic ruler of the prison vineyard, make her life and the life of others a misery, he wants to rule the world by hoarding all the dragon wine. But Salinda has a secret power, an ancient gift called a’ cadre’, that may one day save the world.

When the Inspector suspects that Salinda has secrets, she may have to die to protect the cadre from falling into his hands…

The world of Margra has been dealt a devastating amount of damage as one of its moons. Ruel has been shattered. The moon is now in two major pieces, Rueline and Ruelette, but a belt of lumar chunks also exists. It’s from this debris field, known as Shatterwing, that meteors fall from and rain devastation on the land below. Civilization
is failing, and it’s in this fantastic setting that several characters try to survive and accomplish their own goals, from restoring vitality to the world to learning about the age and the role that dragons have to play in this critical time.

Donna Maree Hanson has created one of the most unique fantasy settings that I have run across in my recent reading. The book has different plot threads that start to interweave in this environment, each one involving different characters. As the tales continue, the reader learns more and more about the world and the danger that it suffers in its current state. The ideas presented are ambitious and are very reminiscent of the writings of Anne McCaffery.
The main characters are developed well, though it becomes obvious that this world is not a kind one very quickly.

My main contention with this novel is that it is indeed a start to this tale, but there’s no real resolution at the end of the book. Obviously there are more books in this series, which explains why things stop in the middle of a couple of different arcs. Personally I wish that there had been even a temporary sense of resolution at the end, and I have to wonder  if people who start in the middle of this series will have all the information required to catch everything. But the book is worth a reading and some consideration, based on that environment alone.

(I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Romance Authors That Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2594860035

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R27YB5ZJL9SO8N/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_rvw_ttl?

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.)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R297K7BIDE8972/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01LY0K5RX

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2558471001

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

https://www.amazon.com/review/R2FFO0EQ5J642G/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

 

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.

Excerpt: 

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Hearts
Review: Rose meets Tom in a cemetery. Not your typical spot for finding someone to love, but they are both dealing with loss and turn to each other. Rose isn’t entirely sure about Tom, especially after he tells her the reason why she is invisible to everyone else, but not to him. This was a fast, clean read that was a very enjoyable way to spend an hour or so. The concept behind the story reminding me of the Nicole Kidman movie, “The Others”, but you’ll have to read the novella to understand why. I will be seeking out other work by this author, especially in this series.
Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock

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.

As a blacksmith’s apprentice, Eva keeps her hands busy and her head out of the clouds. When she stumbles upon a stolen gryphon egg, she must leave the safety of her quiet life behind and join the Windsworn. As Eva train among the warriors to earn her place, she learns secrets from her past might come back to haunt her and bring down Windsworn. Eva must uncover the truth of her mysterious origins before the kingdom plunges into all-out war and save her new friends before it’s too late.

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

https://www.amazon.com/review/R1MC7KAGKD1TRX/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

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

Nathan and Aura have had feelings for each other since they were little… But there is one thing keeping them from telling each other how they feel… Her mother married his father…Aura has looked up to her big brother from the beginning now he is injured and coming to stay at her and her mother’s place to recuperate..
I enjoyed this book… The way Alyssia Leon wrote this book… Was wonderful… This is the first book I have read by Alyssa and I will be reading more… This book drew me in I loved how Nathan and Aura came to show how they cared for each other… This book has plot and romance… And a HEA…
Amazon

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/review/R5JA95LF5771X/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B077DZ7DR7

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2548301791?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

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…

– – – –

Excerpt:

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2H4S1IY1FY0X6/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07B2L9QL7

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2548297700?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

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