Tuesday, 15 August 2017

#bookreview ~ Under A Namibian Sky #Romance #mustread @angelinakalhari

Under A Namibian Sky
 (A Desert Love Novel Book 1)

By Angelina Kalahari

Beautiful, vivacious, independent young Naomi grew up on the edge of the Namib Desert. After she becomes a safari guide, nothing is more exciting than showing off her desert's fierceness, its raw beauty, and its exotic wildlife to guests staying at Desert Lodge.

Luca, the heir apparent to the Armati supercar dynasty, is blessed with the beauty of an Italian god and born to a life of wealth, power, and influence. In Namibia for a short holiday, he wants to fulfil his dream of photographing and painting African elephants.

Used to the wiles of such spoiled princelings, Naomi is suspicious of his motives. Begrudgingly, she feels drawn to his kindness, charm and aura. Impossibly, it appears he is equally drawn to the girl from the African desert.

But will the pain of their past experiences prevent them from being courageous enough to admit their soul mate connection? Will their love overcome the challenges they face when Luca ends up in hospital after a dangerous anti-poacher raid, and Naomi has to confront her fears about falling in love with him?

Compulsively readable, Under A Namibian Sky is an emotionally riveting romance that will enchant, fascinate and delight.

What did I think of the book?

Love under an African sky.

Naomi Smith has no interest in finding the man of her dreams, for she fears what would happen if anyone got too close to her, she fears losing someone she loves. The exception, of course, is Auntie Elsa, who raised her when her parents died in a tragic car accident. And besides, she has everything she needs to be happy. She has a dream job as a safari guide, and what could be better than to live in the beautiful Namib Desert. What on earth does she need a man for?

If it were not for the instance of Santino (his former nanny and now secretary), Luca Armati would never have taken time out of his busy schedule to spend a week in the wilds of Africa. But at least it will give him an opportunity to photograph and paint pictures of elephants. What he did not expect to find on this impetuous trip was love, but one look into Naomi's eyes and he was smitten.

But Luca and Naomi come from very different worlds. Should they allow themselves to fall in love with each other, or would it be for the best if they stop whatever this was before it started? Time would tell.

Oh. My. Days. Under A Namibian Sky (A Desert Love Novel Book 1) by Angelina Kalahari is one of the best contemporary romance books that I have ever read. I was seduced by the opening chapter, and I was enchanted by the rest of the story.

Ms Kalahari has a gift for bringing Africa to life. I could feel the heat of the sun. I could envisage the sounds of the animals, and smell the warmth in the air. It was so beautifully portrayed that it felt like I was there. Wonderful.

The romance between Luca and Naomi was very real in the telling. It was very emotional and, more importantly, believable. There is a cast of supporting actors in this book, and it really gave the story a sense of realism. The story was so compelling that I simply could not put this book down.

This isn't the average romance. Ms Kalahari tackles some very emotive issues, but she so does with elegance and compassion. Well done.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If I could give it more stars, then I would. Under A Namibian Sky (A Desert Love Novel Book 1) is certainly in the top 5 romance books that I have read this year, actually scrap that, out of the romance books I have read and review this year, Under A Namibian Sky has the number 1 spot. I LOVED it.

I Highly Recommend!

Links for Purchase

About the author

Angelina Kalahari entered this life among the red dunes of Namibia’s deserts. Her first sounds merged with the power of the massive yellow moon that lit up the vast African spaces. There, where the heavens presented the splendour that the Milky Way flung across its canvas, she found her voice.

A nomadic childhood enchanted her, as Africa presented the raw beauty of her many faces, while Angelina’s family traversed the desert in search of crops for their herds of karakul sheep. This fertile ambience, filled with strange legends, amazing animals, and wonderful people, afforded Angelina a unique opportunity to live in a world of wonder, and to develop a deep sense of self.

Her mother loved listening to Mario Lanza and other tenors of the day. A record player and records accompanied the family on their travels, and back to their farm. The gift of this divine music found resonance within Angelina's body and called to her soul’s desire to share her voice with the world. She left her magical universe to study with other voice and performance obsessives, which resulted in degrees in drama, singing, and opera.

Angelina continued her nomadic existence as an adult, enthralling audiences with her singing, acting, and directing. These activities allowed her to visit a world far beyond her beloved Africa. She shared her talents on such diverse platforms as opening the busking scheme on London Underground, to a recital at the Royal Opera House, and everything in between.

This led to an invitation to Buckingham Palace, no less, where Angelina met Queen Elizabeth as a reward, and in recognition of her contribution to the music, culture, and economy of the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, her fascination and obsession with the human vocal instrument grew, together with her knowledge of it. She found herself to be a teacher and sharer of the magic of the voice and performance, and she became co-founder of the North London Performance Academy.

Storytelling, which formed such a big part of her childhood, became an inherent element in her performances, and continued to live in her heart. She never stopped writing down her stories. When, due to illness, it became clear that she would no longer be able to share her voice in the way she had before, writing became the obvious and perfect outlet for her creative expression.

Although she has finished many novels, plays, children’s stories, and had several articles published, The Healing Touch is her published debut novel, the first in a series. George And The Gargoyle Who Lived In The Garden will be her first middle grade novel, again the first in a series.

Angelina has found a new colourful and vibrant universe in London. She now lives near a massive park, which satisfies another obsession, her awe and wonder of trees. The intoxicating world of London's artistic scene has introduced Angelina to many inspirational people who have become a close and integral part of her tribe.

The only magnificent creatures that share her home today, are her husband, her little fur cat daughter, a rapidly diminishing population of house spiders, and a smallish herd of dust bunnies.

Useful Links

Saturday, 12 August 2017

#BookReview ~ Desperate Knight (Knights of Kilbourne Book 2) #fantasy @kilbourneknight

Desperate Knight
(Knights of Kilbourne Book 2)

By Keith W. Willis

No time... No options... No plan…
No one said saving the world would be easy. 

Morgan McRobbie and Lady Marissa duBerry swing back into swashbuckling action, facing old enemies, new threats, and a diabolical conspiracy—not to mention a more personal battle, one with hearts and pride at stake.

As the pair escorts Prince Robert to the dwarf king’s court, a scheme intended to hurl men and dwarves into a devastating war is unfolding. Morgan ends up sidetracked by a kidnapped dwarf and a centuries-old feud, while a mysterious wizard’s revelations shake Marissa to her core, throwing into question everything she thought she knew about her past and future. And the advent of a rival for Marissa’s affections threatens any hope of a happy ending—if they survive.

Once again, the desperate knight and indomitable damsel must hazard everything on a single throw of the dice, gambling on untested allies and unimagined weapons to save their world.

The odds have never been worse.

What did I think of the book?

Danger, intrigue, love, romance and...dragons!

With the intention of ending a long and bitter feud, King Rhys has agreed to a treaty to end the hostilities between Kilbourne and the Kingdom of the Drawfs. But unbeknown to the King, those who want to see the treaty fail are plotting against him.

Trouble seems to always find Morgan McRobbie, especially when a certain lady is involved. Between trying to protect the King, he battles with his own heart. But time is against him. Can he reach Kilbourne in time to save the King? And has he left it too late to tell Lady Marissa of his love?

Traitor Knight was a page-turning adventure, with such memorable characters that when Keith W. Willis approached me and asked if I would like to read the sequel, Desperate Knight (Knights of Kilbourne Book 2), I couldn't say yes fast enough!

Desperate Knight (Knights of Kilbourne Book 2) picks up where Traitor Knight left off. I am pleased to say that once again Mr Willis has delivered a masterpiece in historical fantasy.

I adored the characterization of Morgan and Marissa in book 1, and I love them even more in Book 2. They are both such wonderful protagonists. They are full of the unexpected, especially Marissa, and they were so well fleshed that they were very easy to visualise. Their romance was also very sweet and helped to enhance the story.

The plot is full of twists and turns. Who is the enemy? Who can our heroes trust? The story certainly kept me turning those pages.

The characters certainly get themselves into some desperate situations, but there is also a great deal of humour in this book, which had me laughing out loud!

The antagonists were equally compelling, and they keep our heroes second guessing right up until that final chapter.

I think Desperate Knight works very well as a standalone, but to get the most out of the story, I do recommend you begin with Book 1.  You won't be disappointed.

If you are looking for quality historical fantasy, with a touch of romance, then Desperate Knight is the book for you.

I Highly Recommend.

* I received an ARC of this book, from the author, for review consideration.* 

Links for Purchase

About the author

Keith W. Willis graduated (long ago) with a degree in English Lit from Berry College, which has the distinction of being the world's largest college campus. He now lives in the scenic Hudson Valley/Adirondack region of NY with his wife Patty. Keith is certain those rumbling noises attributed to Henry Hudson's crew are really just the dragons grumbling. Keith and Patty have one grown son, Matt, who actually thinks it’s pretty cool that Dad wrote a book.

Keith’s interests include reading classic mysteries, fantasy and sci-fi; camping and canoeing; and cutthroat games of Scrabble. He began writing seriously in 2008, when the voices in his head got too annoying to ignore. When he’s not making up stories he manages a group of database content editors at a global information technology firm. TRAITOR KNIGHT (Champagne Books) is his first published novel, and has won awards for both fantasy and romance.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

#BookReview ~ Quest of a Warrior #Romance @m_morganauthor

Quest of a Warrior

(Legends of the Fenian Warriors Book 1)

By Mary Morgan

"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!"

Fenian Warrior, Conn MacRoich has traveled the earth for thousands of years, guarding the realm between mortal and Fae. His deeds are legendary. Yet, one mistake will force him on a journey to fix a broken time-line. However, on Conn’s quest, he must face a human female who will eventually bring this ancient warrior to his knees.

When Ivy O’Callaghan inherits her uncle’s estate, she never imagines there will be more secrets to unravel, including the one she hides from the world. With the help of a mysterious stranger, she learns to trust and step out of the shadows. However, nothing prepares Ivy when she learns Conn's true identity.

As the loom of fate weaves a thread around the lovers from two different worlds, will the sacrifices they make lead them to love? Or will their secrets destroy and separate them forever?

What did I think of the book?

What would you sacrifice for love?

Ivy O'Callaghan has spent her life hidden in the shadows. But now it is a time for a new start, so when she learns that she has inherited her uncle's estate, she jumps on a plane and heads to Ireland.

Conn MacRoich, an ancient Fenian Warrior, has come to fix a mistake that he made hundreds of years ago. What he didn't count on was falling in love with a human. But there is something about Ivy that draws him in and makes him long for things that a Fenian Warrior has no right to long for.

Caught between two worlds, Conn must decide between his people and the woman he loves.

I was so looking forward to Mary Morgan's new Fenian Warriors series, and Quest Of A Warrior did not disappoint. The story is heartbreakingly romantic and beautifully portrayed. It is a real page turner that I simply could not put down.

I loved the portrayal of Conn. He really struggles with what he wants and what is right. He knows that he should not let himself fall in love with Ivy because in his world they have no future. He should walk away from her before it is too late. But love is not always rational and Conn goes on an incredibly emotional journey of discovery. Likewise, Ivy came across as very real in the telling. She is a really likeable person who is more than a match for the Fenian Warrior.

The story itself is full of intrigue and secrets as well as love. I thought it was a very moving story and it is one I will definitely be coming back to. I cannot wait for Book 2. Kudos, Ms Morgan.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase


About the author

Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. 

Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

#bookreview ~ The King's Daughter #historicalfantasy @WriterChurchill

The King’s Daughter

Stephanie Churchill


In this gripping sequel to The Scribe's Daughter, a young woman finds herself unwittingly caught up in a maelstrom of power, intrigue, and shifting perceptions, where the line between ally and enemy is subtle, and the fragile facade of reality is easily broken.

Irisa's parents are dead and her younger sister Kassia is away on a journey when the sisters’ mysterious customer returns, urging Irisa to leave with him before disaster strikes. Can she trust him to keep her safe? How much does he know about the fate of her father? Only a voyage across the Eastmor Ocean to the land of her ancestors will reveal the truth about her family’s disturbing past. Once there, Irisa steps into a future she has unknowingly been prepared for since childhood, but what she discovers is far more sinister than she could have ever imagined. Will she have the courage to claim her inheritance for her own?

What did I think of the book?

What if everything you thought you knew was a lie…

Irisa is a nobody. She is a poverty stricken young woman like the rest of the people in her neighbourhood. Irisa and her sister are only one breath away from being evicted, but thankfully Kassia has been hired for a job, so perhaps this month they will be able to make the rent.

But the life the sisters have known is about to come to a sudden and abrupt end.

Unbeknown to Irisa, her deceased parents have a past — a past that could cost the lives of both Irisa and her sister. Irisa has many questions, but the cost of discovering who they really are will come at a terrible price.

I was so looking forward to reading the sequel to The Scribe's Daughter, and I am pleased to say Stephanie Churchill did not disappoint.

The King's Daughter is a heartbreakingly emotional journey of discovery. In The Scribes Daughter, Irisa was portrayed as the delicate sister, the one that needed looking after by her sister, but Irisa has an inner strength and a quick wit. She is as much a survivor as Kassia is.

The story itself was incredibly fast-paced with many unexpected twist and turns that kept me turning those pages with anticipation.  The world Ms Churchill has created is so vivid in the telling that it is very easy to visualise, and her characterisation of both the protagonists and the antagonists were so well drawn that they practically breathed life.

The King's Daughter captivated me from beginning to end, and it is a story that I am sure I will come back to again. If ever there was a sit-down-and-finish book, then this is it. Kudos Ms Churchill. But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

I Highly Recommend.

*I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the author for review consideration.*

Available for pre-order
Release 1st September 2017 

About the author

I used to live my life as an unsuspecting part of the reading public. Spending my days in a Georgetown law firm just outside downtown Washington, D.C., by all outward appearances I was a paralegal working in international trade and then antitrust law. I liked books, and I read them often, but that's all I was: a reader of books.

When my husband and I got married, I moved to the Minneapolis metro area and found work as a corporate paralegal, specializing in corporate formation, mergers & acquisitions, and corporate finance. Again, by all outward appearances, I was a paralegal and a reader of books.

And then one day, while on my lunch break, I visited the neighboring Barnes & Noble and happened upon a book by author Sharon Kay Penman, and while I'd never heard of her before, I took a chance and bought the book. That day I became a reader of historical fiction.

Fast forward a dozen years or so, and I had become a rabid fan of Sharon Kay Penman's books as well as historical fiction in general. Because of a casual comment she'd made on social media, I wrote Ms. Penman a ridiculously long review of her latest book, Lionheart. As a result of that review, she asked me what would become the most life-changing question: "Have you ever thought about writing?" And The Scribe's Daughter was born.

When I'm not writing or taxiing my two children to school or other activities, I'm likely walking Cozmo, our dog or reading another book to review.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

#Bookreview ~ Everything We Left Behind #EverythingWeLeftBehind @kerrylonsdale

Everything We Left Behind: A Novel


Kerry Lonsdale

wo months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

What did I think of the Book?

Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow…

The last thing James can remember is falling from a boat and trying to swim to shore. But when he opened his eyes, one morning, he finds himself in a bed he doesn't know, with two sons he can't remember. To his horror, James discovers that he has lost six years of his life. He has lost his fiancé, his identity, and has been betrayed by those closest to him. He had suffered from what the Doctors called ‘Dissociative Fugue.’ There is nothing left for James to do, but to try and piece back together his broken life. In doing so, maybe he will discover who he truly is.

Having just read Everything We Keep, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. Lucky for me, I received an ARC of Kerry Lonsdale's latest release, so I didn't have to wait at all!

I was so looking forward to reading the story from James’ perspective, and I am glad to say this book did not disappoint. I thought Ms Lonsdale was very compassionate in her portray of James, and she nailed the emotional trauma that he goes through. This is, without a doubt, a heartbreakingly beautiful story.

I really took to James in Book 1, but by the end of book 2, I adore him. His determination to keep his family together — despite not remembering them — brought tears to my eyes. His confusion, his sense of betrayal, and his grief was very real in the telling. However, this is not a melancholy read. There are moments of humour, passion and love, as well as discovery. There are enough plot twists to keep you guessing and a cast of characters that are sublime in the telling.

I cannot praise this series enough. This book is certainly in my top ten — if not my top five — books I have read and reviewed this year.

I Highly Recommend.

 *I received a copy of this book from the Publishers, via NetGalley, for review consideration.*
Links for Purchase

About the author

Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of three novels, including EVERYTHING WE KEEP. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She resides in Northern California with her husband and two children.

Useful Links

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

#Bookreview ~ Everything We Keep #EverythingWeKeep @kerrylonsdale

Everything We Keep : A Novel


Kerry Lonsdale

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.

What did I think of the Book?

Love after death...?

It was supposed to be the best day of Aimee Tierney life, for she was marrying her childhood sweetheart, James Donato. But instead of a wedding, she is standing in the aisle and watching as James' coffin is carried to the front of the church. The life she and James had planned to have together, is now nothing but a distant memory. Aimee now must find the strength to come to terms with his death. Yet, however hard Aimee tries to get on with her life, there is that nagging doubt that maybe it wasn't James in the coffin.

Everything We Keep: A Novel, captivated me from the very first page and held my attention until the last. I was drawn into the heart-wrenching story of Aimee as she battled to come to terms with the loss of the man she loved.
Kerry Lonsdale has created an incredible cast of characters that drove this story forward. I though her portrayal of Aimee was very real in the telling. Aimee's emotional turmoil at the loss of the man she loved, the guilt that comes later when she feels herself falling for another man, and the utter despair she feels when she discovers a terrible truth, gave Aimee's character incredibly depth. 

I adored the backstory to this novel, it made Aimee and James' relationship all the more believable and really brought home to me just how much Aimee had lost with James' death.

The plot itself is very fast and there are a few curve balls that take the plot into different directions, which kept me turning those pages. Kudos Ms Lonsdale.

Everything We Keep is beautiful story with a compelling plot that I simply could not put down. This is the kind of book that deserves to be read.

I Highly Recommend

*I received a copy of this book from the Publishers, via NetGalley, for review consideration.*

Links for Purchase

About the author

Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of three novels, including EVERYTHING WE KEEP. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She resides in Northern California with her husband and two children.

Useful Links

Monday, 3 July 2017

#Bookreview ~ The Indigo Rebels #HistFic #WW2 @EllieMidwood

The Indigo Rebels


Ellie Midwood

 France, 1940

The German army has marched into Paris. Three siblings, three very different people leading very different lives, find themselves face to face with new occupants of their city, and none of them can guess what the occupation has in store for them, and how it will change their lives once and for all.

Giselle Legrand, a renowned novelist and a socialite, encounters an unannounced guest in her apartment – a newly arrived chief of the Gestapo, Sturmbannführer Dr. Karl Wünsche, who is intended to billet there and who soon starts making rather unwelcome changes in Giselle’s lifestyle. Strong-willed and defiant, Giselle gets involved with one of the first Resistance cells, refusing to submit to the newly established authority despite the developing relationship between the two.

Kamille Blanchard, a new widow of the war left alone with a small daughter, is dreading the approaching army. However, she never expected that she could find love in the arms of an officer, who appears at her door as soon as the German army marches in. But will Kamille be able to trust a former enemy when he has to choose between his feelings and the duty for his country?

Marcel Legrand, a former history student and a deserter, fearing the capture by the Germans has no other choice than ask for the help from the ones he used to fear and avoid – the mysterious communists, who call for an uprising and freeing their country from the Nazi plague.
 Soon, the fates of all three siblings will become intertwined in a dangerous knot, all of them, fighting for the same goal: a liberated France.

What did I think of the Book?

In times of War and Peace.

France is under occupation. Giselle Legrand has to share her house with the Chief of the Gestapo. At first, Dr Karl Wünsche intrigues her, but soon her eyes are opened and she sees the ruthless monster that he truly is. Appalled by his behaviour towards her fellow countryman, Giselle joins the Resistance. She is determined to do her part to rid her country of these Foreign invaders.

I am a big fan of Ellie Midwood's work, and I was looking forward to her latest book. The Indigo Rebels didn't disappoint. It was exactly the kind of story I expect from Ms Midwood.

Filled with historical detail and with a compelling plot, The Indigo Rebels was a real page-turner. I simply could not put it down.

I adored the characterisation of Giselle. Giselle is a feisty, independent woman who, despite appearances, is determined to do something to free France. She is subjected to scorn from her fellow countryman who believes that she has sold her soul to the enemy, little do they know where her loyalties really lie.

I also loved the characterisation of Kamille. The complete opposite of her sister, Kamille, never expected to find love in the arms of the enemy, but Jochen is like no man she has ever met and her young daughter adores him. I thought it was a wonderful contrast between Giselle's relationship with the feared Chief of the Gestapo, Karl. Jochen is loving and kind. He is as appalled as Kamille to the German atrocities that he is witnessing.

I really enjoyed this book and I think it will be one that I come back to again and again.
If you are looking for quality historical fiction set in World War One, then you cannot go far wrong with The Indigo Rebels.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

Ellie Midwood is an award-winning, best-selling historical fiction writer. She's a health obsessed yoga enthusiast, a neat freak, an adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew and a doggie mama.

Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.