#BookReview Night School by Mari Mancusi

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Night School is another hit by Mari Mancusi that will leave you hooked and breathless.

So we’ve seen vampires, and we’ve seen lycan…but can you believe that Mari Mancusi added in another magical creature? Yup. She did! Fairies! When I initially read these books when they came out, I’ll admit I didn’t like the fairies that were added. But now, as an adult who constantly sees giant film and book universes I understand the need for such an addition – and it does, oddly, work!! I think it’s a cute addition, and I would like to see Mari build more into these ideas in future installments.

Rayne is our lead in this book, and her sassiness is there (as always). And, as always, this book is fast paced and kept me interested. Plus, on top of it all, Mari tops her plot lines and goes a little crazier. She always seems to know how to go bigger and better.

One thing I really like about these books is Mari seems to understand that it can be lengthy between the times you read her books – so she summarizes what happened last. In the first couple books it annoyed me (because I was reading them back to back) but when I realized that there is typically a wait in between and you might forget what our heroines were up to, then I was all on board! If this is something you don’t like, you can always skip!! But I think this is a nice addition that’ll help readers out.

I did have an issue with this book – we’ve grown to love Jareth and Magnus so much, and they weren’t in this book as much as I would like. Yes, they weren’t integral to the story but it was a shame to pick up this book and not have some epic storylines with them. They were still there, but not as much as they could have been.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari’s roster of books on Goodreads!  Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or visit her website – Mari Mancusi’s Website

See what Mari’s up to on Twitter – @MariMancusi

Did you enjoy this series? Check out it’s website!  Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

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#BookReview Guessing at Normal by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Guessing at Normal is a roller coaster ride of emotions from the ever-fantastic author Gail Ward Olmsted.

Gail’s writing just clicks with me – it pulls at my emotions, it keeps me hooked and has me addicted to every word on the page! Picking up this novel, which follows a rock star and his girlfriend, was a true delight that I have to share with everyone!

Jill Griffin is your everyday, normal girl working the hotel night shift. Then one day, in walks a rock star – James Sheridan. Everyone knows his name and his band Nomad, including Jill. These two fall in love, and their lives unravel throughout this soap opera-like story. This book isn’t your Harlequin, perfect romance – it follows the ups and downs of relationships and the rock star life. Relationships aren’t perfect, and this book highlights the true insanity that relationships can be.

The character arcs and development are to die for! Seriously, these characters go through so much throughout this novel. And on top of that, they aren’t perfect (which is a good thing)! The characters have flaws, there’s bumpy roads and fights that happen, and sometimes they aren’t squeaky clean Plain Janes. As the novel progresses, you can see Jill changing and learning to deal with the life she has chosen to live, and you can see how James embraces his rock star life. The book is mostly focused on Jill’s side of the story, but we do venture into other character’s lives briefly as well.

This book is an easy read, and has lots of drama to keep you busy. You’ll be guessing what will happen next, and Gail’s epic plot twists will keep you on edge. I find Gail’s writing to be descriptive yet soft – it’s not a book that you will struggle to understand. She picks the perfect words to describe the situation, but nothing so difficult that you are dragging out the Webster’s dictionary to understand the book.

I’d say this book is PG-13. There isn’t any hard romance scenes or erotica mixed in. It’s a fun book that even teenagers could enjoy. There are some drug and alcohol comments, but nothing too brutal that most teens haven’t heard about already.

Forewarning: bring a box of tissues if you are the light of heart! There are some sad scenes in this story, but it’s worth it in the end!

Overall, this is another gem that I’m putting on my must read romance pile! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance novel, some juicy drama, or celebrity/rock star based plots! It’s a fun book for a fantastic summer day!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this novel from the author Gail Ward Olmsted in exchange for an honest review.

 

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com: Amazon.com – Guessing at Normal

Amazon.ca : Amazon.ca – Guessing at Normal

 

Find out more about Gail Ward Olmsted on:

Her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gwolmsted

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gail Ward Olmsted?

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Batman:Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison

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I love comic books, but this one didn’t do it for me.

I didn’t like the art style, even if it was quite beautiful. For me, this style of comic didn’t do Batman justice. It seemed very messy to me, and it didn’t let me focus. I think this art style could work well with other characters, but not one where I want to pay attention to detail. It just felt to fuzzy.

There’s footnotes in this edition, which seems really weird to me. Why does a comic book need footnotes? Shouldn’t you be able to get the point across within the story?

At least there was a script at the end to understand what was going on. It just seemed really weird to me that I had no honest idea what was happening. It didn’t seem like a Batman comic, more like a parody of a Batman comic. Having to go back and forth between the comic and the script also left me incredibly frustrated. I don’t understand how this comic book was supposed to hit audiences.

The idea of having the inmates takes over Arkham Asylum seems awesome and this could make for the best story, but this art style didn’t do it justice. I could barely tell what characters were who, and I’m obsessed with Batman. I also didn’t understand the haunted part of the plot.

I get this book was supposed to be a psychological thriller/horror that was supposed to attract adult and mature audiences, but it just didn’t feel that way to me. The allusions and references went over my head, and I felt like there could have been so much more added to make it flow better.

Overall, this book was super frustrating for me. I wanted to love it (especially when I paid way to much to get my hands on this book) but I just couldn’t. I had high expectations and it came short.

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another? #BookReview AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire 1.5) by K.D. McQuain

Why not give me a shoutout while your at it? @reviewalholic

Check out Grant Morrison on Goodreads! Grant Morrison on Goodreads

#BookReview Literature® by Guillermo Stitch

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Literature is a unique read that whisks you away to a dystopia where fiction is no more!

The writing style and plot line of this book work so well together. I had never imagined a plot like this, and I loved it’s creativity! Guillermo came up with such an interesting idea and it’s not to be missed! This book can be seen as a drama or comedy in my opinion, or a lovely brand of satire.

Billy’s life felt like it could have been a short black and white or noir film that we’d see at Cannes or a big festival. I would love to see more in this universe, because the critique of art was so cool! I couldn’t see the ending coming, which was also a nice change.

I highly recommend this read! It makes fun of today’s art yet feels like something that could happen. The word choice by Guillermo also paints this story’s beautiful picture inside of your head – I felt like I was in the story. This commentary on today’s society is a must read from me!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

About the book:

We don’t know exactly when Literature® takes place and we don’t know exactly where. All we know is that Philip Marlowe would fit right in. We don’t get Marlowe though. We get Billy Stringer. And Billy is on nobody’s trail. He’s the prey. The day hasn’t begun very well for Billy. He just messed up his first big assignment, he’s definitely going to be late for work, his girlfriend won’t get back to him and, for reasons she has something to do with, he’s dressed like a clown. Also, he’s pretty sure someone is going to kill him today. But then, that’s an occupational hazard, when you’re a terrorist. He’s a bookworm too, which wouldn’t be a problem–or particularly interesting–except that in Billy’s world, fiction is banned. Reading it is what makes him an outlaw. Why? Because people need to get to work. It’s fight or flight time for Billy and he’s made his choice. But he has to see Jane, even if it’s for the last time–to explain it all to her, before she finds out what he has become. That means staying alive for a little while. And the odds are against him.

Publisher: Nineveh Editions

You can check out the website at www.guillermostitch.com 

Find Guillermo on twitter! @GuillermoStitch

And give me a shout out on twitter too while you’re at it! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

Comment below – what is your favourite novella?

#BookReview Thrown Off Track by Tamsen Parker

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“It sounds serial-killer creepy” = the best quote of this entire book (and it’s pretty darn quote worth).

Here’s the thing – I don’t normally like M/M romance. Not because I don’t enjoy M/M romance stories, but because every book I’ve ever read that involved M/M centered around stereotypical men and always made M/M seem like a joke. But this book? It has characters that felt real, with awkward situations that would actually happen, and doesn’t make M/M look like some weird fairy tale full of characters without personalities.

I loved it, like normal. Tamsen clicks with me, and all of her nerdy references make me fangirl beyond believe. Narnia? Schrodinger’s cat? Heck yes!

Continuing on with this series (some characters from SIG, and now LtL) is an excellent way to keep these characters alive. I love Tamsen’s creativity with her series – Olympics, boy bands. What’s next?! This fantastic author is filling my childhood obsessions up, now she just needs to make a story about a swimmer and she’s hit almost every point in my childhood (because I was a highly competitive swimmer…most readers won’t understand that reference if you don’t know me). Essentially, these series feel like throwbacks, and I love it!

This book is fun, lovable and about boy bands (of all topics…) and raises this genre to a new high for me. I was hooked and addicted (yes, I got side tracked often by the nerdy references and had to tweet Tamsen about it, but what can you expect from me? I embrace my nerdiness). Although, this book isn’t as R rated as her past books (the deleted scene is very hot and heavy, but I’m not sure if that will be in the final copy).

Thank you for including LGBT characters in this story – I have never heard of the term demisexual before, and I’m so thankful you’re introduced me to more terms that I can totally understand and relate to. On top of that, having these male leads with personalities and likes and dislikes and not being perfect? It makes it even better. It felt more realistic (within the realm of a superstar boy band, realism).

So, delving into these characters – Teague and Christian are a really different/unique pair (in a good way). Teague is a superstar, rock star who is a demisexual. Christian is the drummer (in the same band of Teague) and is a little more shy and awkward (and always JUST on time). Christian likes guys, Teague’s been with both genders. And then Teague develops a little crush on Christian, who’s been crushing on him for a long time and sexy antics ensue! I feel like everyone saw this coming with the boy band theme, but that doesn’t make it any less cute! They’re awkward together at first (which felt wildly refreshing, since everyone just seems to mesh well the first time and BAM they’re a couple, which isn’t always the case in real life) and slowly grow.

Even though most readers could see a relationship between members coming from a mile away, the bassist and the drummer? I wouldn’t have seen that pair coming.

If you haven’t read anything by Tamsen before, I highly recommend her (as a fan). But, she might not be for you (because it happens). I find her books are fun and uplifting, and are never too serious. They move fast, are full of romance, and will open your eyes up to different worlds (religion, sexuality, lifestyles, etc). I keep praising over and over, and I’ll do it again in this review – she doesn’t stick to the same old story. There are some really fantastic authors (who I love and still read) that do that, but Tamsen changes it up and keeps me on my toes! The likelihood that there will be one book you like (because she has so many different types of romance books) is high! Read through her catalogue and find the topics you like, but keep in mind all books might not be for you!

My reading style and Tamsen’s writing style just click, and the nerdy references on top of that lift these books up. This is definitely a must read and a recommendation from me, as I think it’s one of her better books (at this rate, I can’t pick a best. It rotates depending on the day and how I feel, but this book will be included in that “top tier”, ever rotating list).

On a side note, I really like the little guitar symbol that was above the names of when the characters switch back and forth between point of views. My copy is an ARC, so I’m not sure if that will be on the final copy, but I thought it was a nice addition and looked aesthetically pleasing!

Five out of five! Ten out of five! Fifteen out of five! I’m pulling an Oprah with these stars! Every gets one! Five for every boy in the boy band and Rowan gets six for a surprise cameo!

I received an uncorrected proof from the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Thrown Off Track on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40144194-thrown-off-track

Want to purchase this book? Find it on Amazon!

Amazon.com – Thrown Off Track

Amazon.ca – Thrown Off Track

Find out more about Tamsen Parker on her website: http://www.tamsenparker.com/

Give Tamsen and I a shout out on Twitter!@TamsenParker & @ReviewAlholic

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out part of my collection of reviews of Tamsen Parker books:

#BookReview Rogue Hearts (Anthology) by Tamsen Parker, Amy Jo Cousins, and more

#BookReview Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

Book Review: The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

 

#BookReview Shadow Walker by M. Garnet

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Shadow Walker by M. Garnet is a compelling action read mixed with a splash of romance.

This is the second book I’ve read by M. Garnet, and it’s always a pleasure! This time around we are following the fourth, slightly disgraced son named Justus on his action-packed journey. Along the way he meets a Queen who needs his help and a beautiful Princess as well. We find out Justus has magical powers that can help the people he is working with, otherwise known as a “Shadow Walker”. Most of his story is full of action and adventure, with a tiny bit being romance.

I enjoyed this book, but it did have it’s faults. The biggest fault for me was the way Aila spoke – the way it was written was in bits and pieces (to portray her accent) but I would have much preferred the accent to be described and the words to be in proper English. Half the time I was struggling to figure out what she was saying (ma, la, single syllables, etc). That pulled me out of the story quite a bit and left me struggling to finish the book.

My other fault, which is from the business/marketing side of me – it’s marketed as love and romance, and that’s not a big part of this novel. That’s the side story of the action/fantasy plot. This doesn’t negatively affect me, but I wouldn’t want readers going in expecting an epic love story and coming out with an awesome adventure instead.

If you look past that, the book is truly fantastic. It’s fast paced and has a nice mix of fantasy and action together. Additionally, the characters are unique and make you more interested in them as the story progresses. It felt like a hint of Game of Thrones (royalty, action, fantasy) which is never a bad thing!!

In the future, I’d like to see more from the character of the Queen. I was really into her character and she wasn’t heavily involved – the focus was more on Justus, Danor and Aila.

I definitely want to see more of M. Garnet floating around the reading world! She’s talented and makes epic stories. I highly suggest this read if you like royal story lines, fantasy and action, and just a splash of romance (since it’s not heavily involved in this story).

Three out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this novel from the author M. Garnet in exchange for an honest review.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Just released THE SHADOW WALKER at:

https://www.newconceptspublishing.com/product-page/shadow-walker

A history love story with a strong touch of magic. How does a mistreated son get sent away to a Queen as a servant and become her favorite warrior? In her service he finds his magic, his love and his future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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The author lives in Florida and under the pen name of M. Garnet (Muriel Garnet Yantiss) spends all her time writing, reading or talking to writers and readers.

She writes SciFi, Fantasy and Contemporary Mystery with her new award winning 50th released book, THE STORM TAMER.  Visit her web site at www.mgarnet.com to see other books she has written.  You can find her on Amazon at her Author’s site at: https://www.amazon.com/author/m.garnet

She loves to hear from you at mgarnet2@yahoo.com.  She answers all her emails and if you would be kind enough to drop a note where you got this book, it helps others decide what to read.

 

Check out Shadow Walker on Amazon:

Shadow Walker on Amazon.ca

Shadow Walker on Amazon.com

 

Give me a shout out on twitter if you read this review, using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – have you read any books by M Garnet?

 

#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

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This set of short stories is a must read!!

Each set of short stories is linked by a generalized setting (bedroom, cafe, park, funeral home, bus), but each individual story is unique all on it’s own. I found most of these stories to be amusing and a fun ride! Honestly, a couple I literally groaned at how silly or unexpected the twists were. As with most short story collections, there were some stories I couldn’t get into, but that was only two of the entire collection. Most of these stories were so incredible that I wanted K. Kris Loomis to make entire books out of them!

In total, there are 15 stories. They are not interconnected, so if you want to read one by one or take your time with the book, you’ll be able to leave it easily. I chose to binge the book in one sitting, and it worked just as well!

What I liked most about these stories was the themes and morals behind each one. If you read more into the stories and actually think about them, there are lessons to be learned. But, if you want to just read them for enjoyment, they are great for those kinds of readers.

Keep in mind, some of the stories are a little morbid. This is definitely not an R rated novel since there is nothing graphic or gorey, but there are some “adult themes” like death. This may not be the best set of stories to read to your small children! I think it would be much better suited for teenagers in a school setting due to the incredible themes K. Kris Loomis intertwines with these stories.

I definitely recommend this collection! It was a fun ride that kept me interested throughout the book. Hopefully K. Kris Loomis writes more, or even expands on some of these ideas in the future!

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

Find this book on:
Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Check out @KKrisLoomis on twitter! Give me a shoutout too while you’re at it! 😉 @ReviewAlholic

Comment below with your favourite short story collection! Have you read this one yet?