Tor by Jacqueline Rhoades

Book Review

 


TorBook Genre: Romance, Science Fiction

Book Series: Woman of Earth #2

Released: 9/3/16 by Author

Pages: 326  Price: $3.99 ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Always feeling overshadowed by her pretty and outgoing sister, quiet and self-effacing Wynne Donazetto dreams of college and building a life of her own were lost when Earth was invaded by two warring alien forces. Earth changed, but Wynne didn’t. Seven years later, Wynne is still living in her sister’s shadow. She’s comfortable there… until her life explodes along with the starliner she’s travelling on and she ends up in the arms of a sexy space-aged smuggler called Tor. Tor’s life revolves around his ship and his crew and both have been taken from him. He’ll do whatever it takes to get them back, even if it means sacrificing himself. Meeting the woman of his dreams is a complication he doesn’t need. Together with Tor and his eclectic alien crew, Wynne sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to retrieve a stolen spaceship and its cargo of kidnapped Women of Earth. Along the way, she’ll discover a strength she never knew she had and a love that will change her life forever.

 

My Review:

Let me just say this is my favorite indie author.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all the books that she has published and Tor was no exception!  This is Ms. Rhoades second science fiction romance and I do believe she is acclimating to this branch of the the genre romance tree nicely.  The second book takes this series into space as we race across the galaxy with Tor a rakish space pirate who captures first Wynne and then her heart.

This book took off with a bang!  We enter the chaos of a ship hull being breached as a group invades the ship Wynne is traveling on and she ends up either rescued or kidnapped by Tor.  It takes both us and Wynne a bit of time to figure out which it is.  This is probably my favorite part of the book.  I loved the cocky quick-witted attitude of Tor and as they rush to evacuate the ship and land on a planetoid.  This was simply pure gold and so much fun to read!  I knew right off I was going to love Tor.

As always Ms. Rhoades gives us a fun cast of characters with all kinds of quirky personalities to accompany the main couple in each book.  In this one Mohawk from book one joins Ish and Posy as my favorite supporting characters.  The romance was sweet and steamy and not too over the top for those looking for more plot than time between the sheets.  The plot did move along nicely, a little slow in the middle as some of the plotting (of the characters, not the author) was worked out and the two love birds go on about how it just isn’t going to work out for them…  Makes one want to smack them both up side the head so they take a look at what they are giving up.  Of course if we didn’t go through all this then there wouldn’t be much of a book.

The ending was as action packed as the beginning and almost heartbreaking.  I was about ready to worry about the H.E.A for Wynne and Tor but rest assured Ms. Rhoades makes everything right in the end.  This was a super fun read and I loved the science fiction feel to it.  We are introduced to more aliens and get a taste for what life is like in the galaxy.  There is some serious world (or universe) building in this book and while being a original work on its own front it did remind me of other works, both on-screen and in print, that I adore.  Most notably this book reminded me quite a bit of my favorite author Ms. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s League series.  It had the same feel as that one with the balance of action and romance.  I can’t wait for the next book and I wonder who will be featured next!

My Rating:5 Stars

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Wolver’s Reward by Jacqueline Rhoades

Book Review

 

XLRiver-cover (2)Book Genre: Paranormal Romance

Book Series: #7 in the Wolver’s Series

Released: 3/17/16 by Author

Pages: 275  Price: $3.99 for E-Book

Links: Author’s Site, Goodreads

Source: I received a review copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Fate has played River for a fool. Again. He thought he’d earned the respect of a decent and admirable wolver pack. He was grateful for it. He was content…until they took it all away, and left him alone and angry. Again.
Yet Fate rewards him with another pack, one that needs his survival skills, and one where he meets the girl of his dreams, but River is no longer a fool. The beautiful Rebecca is an Alpha’s daughter. She can never be his and she knows it, too. But knowing the outcome, changes the game, and both River and Reb decide to play this one on their own, but different, terms.
What Fate knows, and River must learn, is that happiness comes when you least expect it, and finding a love worth fighting for is what brings a Wolver’s Reward.

My Review:

This is another review where I am not sure how I feel about the book yet and will hold off allotting stars until I work everything out in the review.  I adore this author and truly enjoy all of her series regardless of genre.  The Wolver’s is one of her earlier ones and it seems hard to believe we have been with this world for seven books already!  I have to confess this author is the one that won me over to shifter stories, before this series I was strictly a vamp fangirl.

So in this latest addition to the Wolver’s series we revisit a character that was introduced in book three as a young man.  Seems hard to believe that enough time has passed for River to be all grown up, so either there was a time jump or I am remembering him as younger than he was in book three.  Of course we also have a visit from everyone’s favorite match maker/meddler Eugene Begley to get the ball rolling for this story as he has with the others.  His is a fun character and I would love to see a prequel of how he ended up with such a vital role for the Wolver community.  I bet he has some interesting stories to share.

Back to River and Reb… I just have to come out and say it.  I struggled with River for a good part of the book.  In the end the author was able to win me over to him, like she always does, but I spent much of the book in a love/hate relationship with the character.  Perhaps hate is too strong of a word, more annoyance.  I so desperately wanted to knock that chip off his shoulder in the first half of the book and around the middle to end I wanted to knock some freaking sense into him.  Then I would switch and really identify with him and want to make everything better for this independent wolver.  I admired him throughout the entire book but so wanted to adjust his personality half the time.  Of course I believe some of my issue with him is I see some of his characteristics (anger, fear of abandonment) in myself, the very ones I seem to be struggling with lately.

Then there is Reb, who was a very sweet character and only annoyed me with her hang-ups over swearing.  It did lead to a cute running joke between her and River, but I would have been so tempted to up my cursing vocabulary if I were to interact with her in real life.  I think Reb was the perfect match for River though and was delighted to watch them come together.

This book also featured some fun supporting characters which is a trademark style for this author.  Ms. Rhoades excels at creating a community for her stories that you can’t help but fall in love with.  The danger felt a little more subdued in this story and it was more of an inner struggle that the characters needed to overcome to reach their H.E.A.

Over all this was a great addition to a well established world.  Probably not my favorite, but I still had a fun time and know I grew a little as a reader having some of my personal flaws reflected in the characters.  That is one of the things I love about reading fiction, the stories we escape to hold a mirror up to our own lives and let us see ourselves and others through a new set of eyes.  We can then take those experiences and see how we can learn to better ourselves.  If you are a fan of Ms. Rhoades you will not want to miss her latest addition to one of her original series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Guarding Angel by S.L. Saboviec

Guarding Angel
Linked to Goodreads page.

Book #1 of the Fallen Redemption series: Release Date 5/14/14, 320 pages

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Author’s Site

Book Synopsis:

Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating-she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.
When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.
Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world–and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

My Review:

Like many book review blogs I am inundated with requests to review books; indie authors and small publishing houses both send requests for bloggers to review their books.  My policy is that I look at each request and decide if the book interests me and if I have time to read and review it in the near future.  When Ms. Saboviec contacted me with a request I was instantly attracted to the book she offered for review and accepted.

So what motivated me to pick Guarding Angel?  I have to confess the concept of a paranormal romance centering around reincarnation is what pulled me in.  I am a believer in reincarnation and wanted to see how the author worked it into her story.  Angel stories also tend to be one of my favorite branches of paranormal genre, right behind vampires and before werewolves…yes I rank them.  So the desire to work more indie authors into my reading rotation and a story that caught my attention it was the right time to give Guarding Angel a shot.  If only I wasn’t in such a personal reading slump…

Okay, honesty time let’s get the tough stuff out of the way first. It took me nine days to read this book, and I just couldn’t get excited about it.  I did like it, but I thought I would like it better when I agreed to review it.   The book was a little slow in the beginning, but it did pick up about half way through and I finished the last 120 pages in one day.  I think I might have liked the story better if it was set in the modern era or the angel’s charges were in today’s society. I’ve mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of historical reads and this is one case where it didn’t add to the story for me.  The author did a fine job staying true to the time periods and I only found one instance where I know something was not historically accurate (baling of hay did not begin until the mid 1800’s about 100 years after one of the background character’s is moving bales of hay).

I also had a tough time connecting with the two main characters and did not care for their first set of charges at all.  I though Enael was a bit too timid and naive and Kaspen was all over the place.  Both characters grew and developed throughout the story, but only Enael was able to grow on me and I ended up respecting her by the end.  Kaspen never was able to win me over unfortunately.    Their romance was very innocent for much of the book, but did develop a bit of heat near the end, but even that remained off page.  For those looking for a less graphic read in the sex area this might be a book you would like to check into.  There are some sexual situations, but they not anything that would turn off the average reader in my opinion.

So what did work for me?  What kept me reading past my 50-100 page dnf cut off.  Like I said I enjoyed the story, and perhaps it would have worked better for me at a different time, when I am not in the middle of a reading slump.   I did love the reincarnation element that the author based her story around.  Much of it was pretty in line with much of the non-fiction reading I’ve done on the subject.  It was interesting to see this concept was blended with a more traditional view of heaven/hell and angels/demons.  I tend to have a more secular belief on the concept of reincarnation, but for story’s sake this one worked well.   I also appreciated the growth Enael experienced throughout the story.  In the beginning I wasn’t real sure I could be in her head for 300 some pages, but she surprised me and in the end I did like her.    Much of the story is broken into three time periods for three different set of charges for the two main characters.  I struggled with the first setting, but the second and third were quite interesting.  I almost wish we could have spent more time exploring hell in the book, some of my favorite scenes took place there.  I don’t necessarily think that all of the creatures there are as evil as they are classified as just as I don’t think all the angels inhabiting heaven are as pure as they are assumed to be.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of historical paranormal romance.   I am at a loss of other authors to compare this one to, she has a pretty distinctive voice and style compared to others that I’ve read.  It was a good first book that finished strong and I expect will continue to gain strength in the next story as the plot develops.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Click here for the Cover Reveal for Reaping Angel, book #2 in the Fallen Redemption series!

 

 

Cover Reveal: Reaping Angel by S.L. Saboviec

Welcome, everyone, to the cover reveal for S. L. Saboviec’s Reaping Angel, Book #2 in the “Fallen Redemption” adult paranormal series.

The first book, Guarding Angel, was released in May 2014. Both covers were done by the super-fabulous Regina Wamba, of MaeIDesign.com, who’s done covers for Random House, Penguin Books, and multiple New York Times best-selling authors.

But a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s the blurb and cover for Guarding Angel, Fallen Redemption #1:

Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating–she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world–and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

But you’re not here for the first book, you’re here for the second book. So without further ado, here it is:

After the battle at the Bastille, the Council of Seraphim offers reluctant demons Enael and Kaspen a chance to return to Heaven—but only after they’ve completed sufficient penance. Ready to move past the ugly chapter in their lives, they settle into their assignments.

Until Enael’s former lover, Voctic, a powerful demon, interferes.

Voctic seduces and demeans, taunts and entices Enael, stirring centuries-old longing in her while infuriating Kaspen. Caught up in the demands of their duties, Kaspen and Enael drift apart until she finds herself isolated.

Fed up with Voctic’s harassment, Enael prepares to fight back. When he targets the new human she’s responsible for protecting, she creates her own plan. His self-proclaimed “gala of the century” will be the perfect cover for her revenge. But will a hasty decision cost her Kaspen—or even her spot in Heaven?

Add it on Goodreads here.


Get up-to-date release information by subscribing to S. L. Saboviec’s newsletter here.

About the Author

Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but became an expat for her Canadian husband, whom she met in the Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game Star Wars: Galaxies (before the NGE, of course). She holds a B.S. in Physics, which qualifies her to B.S. about physics and occasionally do some math for the sci-fi stories she concocts. Her dark, thought-provoking science fiction & fantasy contains flawed, relatable characters and themes that challenge the status quo.

She contributes to Operation Awesome, including hosting a twice-monthly flash fiction contest. She tweets both more than she should and probably not enough @Saboviec. Her fiction is being included in the Realmwalker Publishing Group upcoming anthology The Legacy. You can find out more about her at http://www.saboviec.com.

Diary of Her Disappearance by Lexi Birks

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Linked to book’s Amazon page.

Stand Alone: Published 2/16/15

I own a copy of this book.

Book Synopsis:

Riley Conner wasn’t worried about going through the woods. She had done it all school year and had forgotten about her earlier thoughts of being stalked. In her mind, she was safe, away from danger. But as soon as she heard a crunch of leaves and the familiar sense of another presence, all the stalker theories came tumbling back. She remembered trying to run, but being grabbed from behind. She had tried to break away, escape, but the second a warm cloth was pressed to her face, she knew it was over. In the struggle, the trees had swallowed her diary. She wondered now if anyone would ever find it, read it, realize how ignorant she was, and then decide she deserved to be kidnapped. Greg: Riley’s missing. To me, she was a stranger. A girl whose name I didn’t even recognize. But when I saw her picture and realized our pasts had once entwined, I knew I would have to find her.

My Review:

This is the first book by a local indie author from my area, I have heard she has a second book being published soon and I am most definitely getting my hands on a copy of that one as well.  I was really blown away by the writing and story telling skill of Ms. Birks.   I believe this comes from a point I have made in other reviews, Ms. Birks is a reader, and when an author is an avid reader it shines through in their own work.  When you crawl inside different worlds on a regular basis you learn what makes a good story with compelling multi-dimensional characters, but also how to piece together and more importantly how to reveal a captivating plot. You also get a regular dose of what doesn’t work.  Ms. Birks shows us in her first book that she has done her homework and learned how to tell a good story.

Most of this shorter novel, it is only 161 pages, is told from the perspective of Greg, but we also get to check in with Riley but mostly through her diary entries read by Greg.  Later in the book we get to delve into the mind of the monster responsible for  Riley’s disappearance as he fills in valuable background information.  The three main characters were some of the best developed I’ve read in first-book authors in some time.  Ms. Birks does a great job giving them motivation and history and shows, not tells, us aspects of their personality that brings the characters to life.  Even the supporting cast of characters were well thought out and added much to the overall story arch.

The plot was the first thing that really impressed me though.  It was quite complex with all sorts of threads that twisted and turned as they wove their way through the pages.  I love stories like this, those moments where you see all the pieces come together and you learn how everyone is linked.  I did see who the ‘bad-guy’ was before it was discovered in text, but I think it was meant to be that way.  The love-story aspect of the plot was well done too.  No pointless love triangles that are so popular, annoying and overdone.  This one was quite sweet and Ms. Birks kept us guessing till the very end about how things would end up.

This book doesn’t have any classifications on Goodreads, but I would list it as YA, a mystery/thriller with a little light romance thrown in.  It is a bit darker tale, but not graphic.

This is a great read, that is only available online, for the vast majority of my followers, and you can find the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.  I hope that many of you give this young, did I forget to mention the author is only 15 years old, indie author a try.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.  She has some serious talent and I hope she continues to share her stories with us.  I can’t wait to see what she does next!

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Throwback Thursday Review: Guardian’s Grace by Jacqueline Rhoades

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Greetings everyone!  Not sure how much longer this meme is going to be able to go one.  I’m running out of decent length reviews to share.  Will need to think of some other meme to post each week. Open to suggestions! Weekends Bookish Confessions?  Favorite Quote Friday?

This week I thought I would share a review of the first book I read by Ms. Rhoades.  I must confess this book lead to not only finding a talented author whose books I enjoy it also lead to a new friend!  I volunteered to review this book through a group on Goodreads for an honest review.  I wrote this review back when I was just starting out with reviews over on Goodreads, hence it being so short…  Reading this old reviews has been interesting.  I’ve changed and opened up in sharing what I think.  I’ve always been a wordy person, sharing way more than necessary,  but I was so nervous in the beginning.  Afraid people were going to call me out for not knowing what the hell I was doing.

 

Guardian's Grace (Guardians of the Race, #1)

 

Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book 1 in the Guardians of the Race series

Read from September 18-20, 2012

Book Synopsis:

Grace Masters always wanted a family she could call her own. Of course, in her imagination it didn’t include a pair of rambunctious and affectionate twins who can turn into killers within the blink of an eye or an aging vampire who has trouble controlling his thirst. She never expected to find a friend and mentor in a three hundred year old witch who looks like Sophia Loren. And she certainly never dreamed – okay, she dreamed but never thought it would come true – of a tall, handsome hero who would sweep her off her feet. Yet here she is, in an old Victorian home, living and loving under the cover of night.

Who knew that the source of her lifelong torment was really her gift as a Daughter of Man or that this gift could be controlled and used for something good? Who knew there was another race called the Paenitentia who live side by side with humans? Who knew that demons were real?

Grace certainly didn’t until one fateful night when her world falls apart and comes together again in a place where she finally feels she belongs. Sometimes a person just knows when something is right and destined to be. Sometimes convincing someone else of that fact is a little more difficult. Canaan ad Simeon is that someone else.

Canaan is Liege Lord to a House of Guardians whose job is to protect the Race from a demon threat many no longer believe in. Already breaking away from the outdated traditions that are depleting their numbers and threatened by a hierarchy resistant to change, the last thing Canaan needs is to fall for this innocently sexy Daughter of Man. 

But fall he does, with a mixture of comedy, drama and sexy fun that will touch your heart.

My Review (wow it’s short):

Received a free copy of this book for an honest review. Honestly it is the best written and with the most well-developed characters in a book I have received for review. I love this new world that Ms. Rhoades has created. There was a bit of everything in this book; steamy hot romance, humor, drama, and plenty of action. I totally fell for Grace and Canaan as well as the rest of the crew who inhabit the house. I couldn’t wait to see what happens next, so I bought the next two in the series before I finished this one. They are a steal for the price listed on Barnes and Nobel for a book this well written and with a great plot. There were a couple of spots in the beginning where you would jump from one character’s head to another’s and it took you a minute to figure it out, but that isn’t such a big deal and gets better as the story develops. To me most new series and authors take a bit to get used to is all. Loved the book, thank you for the opportunity to read and review. To others I suggest give it a try, especially if you like J.R. Ward, Kenyon, Alexandra Ivy, Lara Adrian or Laura Wright