#BookReview Boston Metaphysical Society by Madeleine Holly-Rosing

Steampunk. Ah, steampunk. I have a love-hate relationship with this sub-genre, but man do I love drowning in it. It’s such a guilty pleasure for me, but it can be so hard to find a good steampunk read. Luckily for me, this wonderful graphic novel is the perfect collection of steampunk.

I’m not the end all be all when it comes to this genre. I don’t read much of it so I’m not super accurate in knowing how well steampunk is portrayed. That being said, I adored this little graphic novel and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I was reading it. I can totally appreciate the work Madeleine put into this series. It’s worth the read if you love a little steampunk in your life. Have I said steampunk enough yet?

This graphic novel is packed tight full of fantastical, paranormal instances dealing with evil and mystery. It’s thrilling, action packed and super fun. There’s lots of science and history hidden in the lore as well, which made me a happy little nerd. Since I’m not typically the biggest reader of this genre, it was nice that it was so easy to jump into and enjoy.

There was constant drama and movement in the plot, which kept me thoroughly enjoyed. I also enjoyed the old time costumes and scenery in the illustrations, so when I wasn’t focused on the story I was admiring the lovely pictures.

Overall, this was super enjoyable! I’d highly recommend it if you love graphic novels and steampunk!

Four out of five stars!

Thank you to Madeleine Holly-Rosing who sent me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

Here’s some more reviews of Madeleine’s books:
The Scourge of the Mechanical Men – Goodreads
Amazon.ca – Scourge of the Mechanical Men
A Storm of Secrets – Goodreads
Amazon.ca – A Storm of Secrets

Find out more about Madeleine Holly-Rosing on:
Goodreads
https://bostonmetaphysicalsociety.com/
Twitter – @MHollyRosing

 

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#BookReview Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly was a beautiful contemporary drama.

This novel follows a family through their treasures and troubles. Cassie and Coco are sisters whose Mother left them when Coco was only one and Cassie was eight. That memory hurts and shapes them as adults, leading to a lot of the conflict in this novel. Pearl is their grandmother, who took care of the girls with the help of their Father, when their Mother left.

As adults, Cassie is married and is a strong, working woman. She has two beautiful daughters, Beth and Lily, and seems to have it all: a nice house, a loving husband, two beautiful girls, a lovely sister and a helpful grandmother. Alas, that is not true. Cassie enjoys the drink when life gets tough, and life has been very tough lately. Shay, her husband, seems to be more interested in his Mother than Cassie. Even when Cassie brings it up, Shay doesn’t seem to realize that he doesn’t spend anytime with his wife or kids anymore.

Coco is thirty, flirty and thriving… or so we think. She owns her own vintage clothing store (life goals, much?) and has an awesome bestie named Jo, and is close to Jo’s daughter. A few years back, Coco broke up with her fiancee Red when she thought he was cheating on her. Ever since, she’s had some dates but hasn’t settled won. But, Red has been seen around town… is she over him? And what will she do when tragedy strikes close in her life?

I absolutely LOVED Cassie and Coco. Their story lines kept my hooked to this book like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t help but binge their stories because I needed to know how they turned out. I felt these girls were very relatable (either hurt or thriving in the loss of a parent) and dealt with realistic scenarios in realistic ways. I did find their intertwined stories very sad (and I kind of want to know how a couple of them played out) but in the end I think it had a good message and moral. We can either grow, do nothing, or let the hurt define us.

The ending itself is very beautiful and I’m glad a certain plot line was able to close. There are some open ended questions left with us, but the ending itself felt… good. It felt nice and made my heart sing and soar! It’s the happy ending I won’t get, so it makes me feel very good inside.

I didn’t enjoy every plot line as much, but not because they were bad. Pearl and Pheobe’s stories didn’t intrigue me as much, but it’s because I just didn’t relate as much to them. They were still beautifully written and a marvelous addition to the book though! Don’t be scared off because I don’t relate to an older grandmother! I also really did not like Shay. Man, was he dumb… He loves that his wife is blunt and to the point, but doesn’t like it when he’s called out on his bullcrap.

If I had a negative for this book, it would be that some chapters moved at a really fast pace while others were slow. Since there was enough fast to out-weight the slow, it didn’t bother me as much. I can see some people not enjoying it though.

My biggest positive is that all storylines eventually intertwine. I love books like that! When you start the book, some of the people seem like they don’t belong… until they do. Cathy does this seamlessly and makes it super impressive! That’s one of the reasons I can rate this book so high. Not only does Cathy have excellent style in her writing, but she can also make it work!

Overall, I am so happy I read this book! It gave me a few too many tears for my own personal liking, but it’s still a gem hidden among my shelves.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) here’s some others you might enjoy:
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon
#BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted
#BookReview Literature® by Guillermo Stitch

 

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#BookReview Ten Seconds by Lucian Lupescu

Ten Seconds by Lucian Lupescu is a delightful little pack of flash fiction to fulfill your TBR shelf.

I needed something soft yet brilliant to read, and this just fit the bill. I didn’t want tons of commitment, I didn’t want something that would make my brain hurt or make me anxious with the world going into apocalypse mode. Lucky for me, Lucian Lupescu crafted a lovely collection of flash fiction that took my brain off of all the insanity going on in the world right now. Thank you, seriously.

Each story follows a slice of life, as you will. Onset tackles birth, Bad Strategy holds fury and anger, Big Brother the pain of loss, and more. They are all a little bit different, but all simple enough to read and very engaging. I found each one to have their own little ‘umph’ that had me continue with these stories. It helps they aren’t very long either, which makes it so simple to binge another one.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for something short and sweet yet also poetic and well written. I even went through this little collection twice because I enjoyed it so much, which is honestly a rare feat for me. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, take a little peek and enjoy the ride! It’s well worth it!

Four out of five stars!

Thank you to Lucian Lupescu for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Why not check the book out by clicking one of the links below?:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find Lucian Lupescu at:
Goodreads
http://lltranslator.com/
Twitter @lucianlupescu

 

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#BookReview My Soul to Give by Magali A. Fréchette

This was one of the many books that got lost among my bookshelves as I organized and cleaned my house. Lucky for me, I finally found it hidden in my house and decided to binge this baby. And oh, it was well worth the wait!

My Soul to Give by Magali A. Fréchette is a unique fantasy read packed with drama, suspense and romance. It’s an adult novel that gets steamy and sexy at times, but also includes brutal murder. It’s not for the faint of heart!

Celina gets shots, and her husband is murdered, yet somehow she survives. All she wants is revenge, and an evil demon has offered his help in exchange for her life. Celina accepts, only to learn that her husband’s past, and even her own, is not what it seems.

This book is WILD. It starts out seeming like a fantasy and murder mystery mix but then suddenly spirals out of control. There’s steamy romance, there’s suspense, there’s religious undertones – there’s so much going on! Yet somehow it all works just right. Magali mixes all of these tones in just the right way so the story doesn’t overwhelm the reader. The story unfolds a little bit at a time while keeping the reader hooked. And the final surprise ending… man, I saw it coming near the end but I was still shocked that’s how Magali decided to take the story.

Overall, this is a delightful, dark, paranormal romance. If you’re looking for something a little spicy and packed full of suspense and plot twists, grab this book! Hopefully I’ll be able to grab the sequel soon, since this book was just so darn good and addicting!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this marvelous book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

You can find out more about the author, Magali, on:
Goodreads
http://www.authormaf.com/
Twitter @authorMAF

 

Here are some other fantasy and romance books you might enjoy if you love My Soul to Give:
#BookReview Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
#BookReview Valyo Rising by R.A. Mendsen
#BookReview Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda

 

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#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi by Eugenia Chu

Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子) is a beautiful little story that should be read across the nation!

Jiǎo zi is a dumpling, in case you didn’t know (because I didn’t until the book told me!). Brandon loves dumplings – make them and eat them (mostly eat, obviously). One day, Brandon’s Grandma from China comes to visit and everything becomes super, duper exciting! Mistakes occur along the way, but everything is made to be fun!

Epic positives:
1. The description and quick lesson about Pinyin was super cool! I don’t know much about Chinese characters and Asian languages, so the little lesson was very much appreciated! I’ve always been curious how translations can work, so this totally spiked my interest. I can totally see families bonding over the language barriers, especially if they are learning a new language!

2. This book is really positive. It not only is educational but shows that Brandon could make mistakes and it was able to be fun and not a negative experience. I can totally appreciate that! Kids make mistakes in the kitchen all the time and they should be embraced, not ridiculed!

3. The glossary! I normally am not a super big fan of them, but I liked seeing all of the words used so I could do a little learning myself.

The pictures are also hand drawn and it’s obvious. I think it’s sweet and gives a very homey feel, but this may be a negative for some readers. So – readers beware!

Overall, this is definitely one of my top children’s reads this year! It’s short and sweet, but packed full of adorableness!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Barnes & Noble

Check out the read-through for this book:
YouTube

You can find out more about the author, Eugenia Chu, by clicking the links below:
Goodreads Author Page – Eugenia Chu
http://eugeniachu.com/
Twitter – @chuauthor

 

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#BookReview Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh

Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh is another dip into erotic horror that will steal the spotlight.

Erotic horror is one of those criss-cross genres. It’s creepy yet sexual (as the name implies) but hits in such a strange way. I don’t know whether to be scared, horrified or shocked.

A group of five get isolated on an island with sexually charged, exotic women, all being affected by a blood rain. Danger and horror await the crew as they try to traverse through the jungle and come out unscathed. Among the group, emotions are high and terror is higher.

There’s lots of women having sex with inanimate objects in this story. It’s very strange and is connected to horror, but the characters also find it oddly erotic. Add in blood rain, scary tales and an adventure, and you’ve got one wild ride (pun intended, thank you very much).

I will give Rajeev a virtual high five for his prose. His story telling ability and his word choice will make chocolate melt in your mouth. Seriously, he’s got a way with his words. The first chapter alone had me curious and interested in the story.

If you’re looking for something a little different, a little niche, totally R rated, and some truly insane erotic horror then you need to grab this book. Rajeev is such a talented writer and writes this niche market really well.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Rajeev Singh for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you’re looking for more by Rajeev Singh, click the links below:
Goodreads – Rajeev Singh
Briar’s Review’s #BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh
Goodreads – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.ca – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.com – The Erotic Muse
Books2Read : Books2Read – The Erotic Muse

 

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#BookReview Love Comes for the Army Ranger by Savannah Adams

Yet again, Savannah Adams has crafted a beautiful, little, love story that will set your heart on fire.

This series is totally in my obsession list. I can’t get enough of the characters and the sweet relationships that are built among them. Not only are we introduced to new characters, but we get to see our faves from the last book as well! Tyler and Brianna make an appearance as Chase and Lori steal the show!

Chase is a veteran who lost his leg in Afghanistan. Him and his dog Bear are back in town, and lucky him gets to see his sister Brianna marry Tyler. Little did he know that his dog would bring him back with the girl of his dreams… Lori the veterinarian. Lori is still hurting from the loss of her husband, and has a piece of her past that haunts her. Meanwhile, Chase is dealing with PTSD due to his incident in Afghanistan. These two are made for each other, but will they end up with each other?

This book is under 200 pages and it just flies by. It’s super sweet and totally addicting, to the point I binged it in one sitting and wanted to continue on with the series (but I held back, because I want to savour the taste of these delicious books).

Also, Bear the dog is super cute. Seriously, animals are so sweet. Bonus points for the pups! And kitties!

I really like the dynamic between these two characters. They have difficulties and their own pasts but they come together and learn to accept each other. Over the course of this book, we get to watch the characters develop and change, and it’s really miraculous. To top it off, the romance is super, duper sweet and totally PG. This is almost the perfect New Adult romance that wants a little more adult relationship but not R rated content.

Overall, this second chance, HEA romance is exactly what I needed in my life right now. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a sweet romance, wants a quick and addicting read, and doesn’t want to jump into erotica.

Five out of five stars!

Thank you to the author, Savannah Adams, for giving me a copy of this book to review in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Goodreads

Find out more about Savannah Adams:
https://www.savannahadams.com/
Twitter @HEA_Romance
Goodreads

Here’s a review I did for the first book in this lovely, little series!!
#BookReview Love Comes for the Bodyguard by Savannah Adams

 

If you love romance books, here’s some other reviews and books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Prisoner of the Highlander by Kate Robbins
#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Incredible Cacao (Miss Tree Tale’s #2) by Deepa Remesh

To misquote the first sentence in this book, it was a beautiful book!

Miss Tree Tales is a wonderful little series all about educating the people about the environment! Last time around we learned about coconuts and sustainability and this time we get to learn about cacao (mmmm…chocolate… cue the Homer Simpson reference).

Our heroes, Mia and Nik, are back yet again to teach the youngings about all the good things that keep this planet spinning! For one, they teach us about the Millenium Seed Bank (which I had NO idea existed, so bonus points to Deepa for teaching me something new!). Then, the duo want to plant some seeds so their Mom recommends finding a new place to plant them (because we don’t want to run out of nitrogen – let that soil sit and ferment a bit!). Suddenly, they are whisked away on an adventure to learn about Cacao trees, seeds and pods! Cherry spitting, soccer, plantains, fermentation, baking, cacao percentages in chocolate and more get discussed in this lovely educational follow-up. There’s more adventure and fun throughout this novel, as if Deepa wanted to amp this book up!

Side Note: How does one join Miss Tree’s Plant Savers Club? I feel like I need honorary membership or something.

Yet again, the illustrations perfectly match the story and are quite sweet. They add just enough spice and sass to the story. The scrabble pieces were definitely my favourite.

I was a little disappointed that the chapters didn’t have the extra educational information, but I guess all good things have to come to an end. I know some reviewers didn’t enjoy them as much as I did, but I would have loved to see more of them! It felt like a little lesson packed tight into the book. There is a Seeds for Thought section at the back thought, which kind of makes up for the loss.

Overall, these books hold up really well and are great educational tools! I would love to see more Miss Tree Tales come out ASAP and for more classrooms to utilize these tools.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out the first book in this series:
Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you love this series (or even the review) here’s some other books that might grab your attention:
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

 

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#BookReview Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

Who doesn’t love a book about a strong female character? Especially a girl like me who grew up needing some strong female influences!

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence is a wonderful, little book that is a must read for children.

To begin with, there is a super, evil villain who has decided the best way to ruin the world is to stop the spread of knowledge! This monster is big, mean and scary and seems to be content with his super devious plan. In walks Marie Curie, a woman who will turn into a superhero scientist through her amazing intelligence and experiments! Our evil villain wants Marie Curie stopped before she can get too smart and stop his wicked plans. Along the way, we will learn how Marie Curie is full of persistence in many different ways!

This little book is a wonderful mix of fiction and non-fiction. There’s lots of learning opportunities about this super scientist scattered among the pages. Definitions, facts and timelines about Marie Curie and information about the things she studied and created are all available to see. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good STEM book for their kids, especially since it’s about Marie Curie. She was a legend!

Also: references… in a children’s book… I LOVE IT.

On a side note, I thought the pictures were lovely and very unique. I haven’t seen this style a lot in children’s books, so I was impressed. It was colourful, fun and had lots of awesome details.

I am so thankful for this book. It is absolutely amazing and I wish I would have had books like this in my youth. Hopefully many kids are able to pick this book up or many educators get their hands on it! Seriously, we need more books like this – educational and fun!

Five out of five stars!

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Explore for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

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