#BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

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Do Not Ask is an excellent crime/thriller!

This book is addicting, my goodness. I love a good political, crime novel (it’s evident if you look at my book shelf or my lists on Netflix…) so getting the chance to read this book made me so excited! I’ve been more focused on romances recently that I almost forgot this genre existed!

Do Not Ask is the second book in the Warren Alexander series, but you don’t need to be caught up to understand a thing! This book was a smooth read without the background, since Elaine fills in any big holes that you need to know along the way. She also makes this book full of fast twists and turns that will keep you addicted and following every story line.

Every part of this book was fantastic – which is shocking! It’s rare to find a book that I can’t pick apart some major flaw (so kudos to Elaine!). I loved the speed of the story and I found it to be unique and thrilling. I didn’t want to put this book down! Alongside all of that goodness, I also got heavily involved with trying to guess who did what. Since there was just enough back story to get the reader going, it makes it easy to follow along and play the detective game along with the plot.

The book is also realistic, which makes it an easy read. There’s no aliens or crazy conspiracies – it’s a fiction novel that makes it feel so real. There are some aspects of this book that seem a little odd, but it’s not surprising that they exist by any means (some adult chasing after young, pretty girls might make you squeamish, but it happens).

So, the question is – where do I want to see Elaine go from here? I definitely think she’s talented and needs to keep writing! This book was excellent, and I hope she continues writing to get better. My expectations are for her to write another novel, and I hope she’s able to write it so it’s not necessary to read all of the books before it – that should help gain some more readers. And hopefully, this book goes a little more mainstream. It’s awesome! It’s so good that it could be on a shelf next to Kathy Reichs in my local book story!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author (Elaine Williams Crockett) in exchange for an honest review.

 

Comment below with your favourite political thriller novel!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

If you enjoyed this review, tweet using the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #DoNotAsk

Want to check out more by Elaine Williams Crockett? Check out her website! http://www.elainewilliamscrockett.com/

 

Purchase this book:

Amazon Canada – Do Not Ask

Amazon USA – Do Not Ask

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#BookReview On The Edge of Scandal by Tamsen Parker

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Surprise, surprise – I am reading another Tamsen Parker book. What can I say? I’m addicted, and Tamsen fills the prescription.

Oh man, oh man. Tamsen loves her taboos, and she doesn’t let us down with a Mentor-Mentee relationship (well, coach and team member if you want to get really picky). Throw in a splash of angst with all the ooey gooey romance, and you’ve got yourself a home run (wrong sport, but you get the point).

This Snow and Ice Games book is all about HOCKEY. As a Canadian, I approve! Finally a book that I will understand all the sports terms and be able to identify if Tamsen knows her stuff or is just really good at making up sports terms! Woo hoo!

Bronwyn and Ash are another great duo. I have never been so happy in my life to see a couple break up in a piece of literature – because Brody drove me insane. Coming from a formal athlete, I HATED IT when male athletes put down us female athletes. Brody drove me up the wall and made me hate him, which might be one of the cons of this book? I wish I had reasons to like Brody, but I really didn’t. I understood where he was coming from, but he just fell flat. Maybe one day Tamsen will give him a chance for redemption in another novel?

I loved Bronwyn – she is a strong woman who isn’t afraid to give a piece of her mind. I was so happy and proud of a certain moment in this novel, because honestly I was rooting for team Bronwyn the whole time.

There were some points in this novel where I was a little…uneasy. Not with the content, but imagining it actually happening. Lying down and sleeping with your coach? It was consensual, but it seemed kinda…weird? I can see it happening, but at the same time it just seemed odd to me. Does this actually happen? I’m from a small town, so things like this rarely happen (the coaches are normally double the age of any of the participants) around my area. Maybe it’s just my past experience clouding my vision.

I will say – this book is hot. It’s steamy. It’s sensual. It’s racy. It’s everything you want in an erotic romance and more. Okay, maybe it’s not EVERYTHING (this isn’t Tamsen’s BDSM series, it’s pretty calm), but it’s still a quality romance novel (with some R rated scenes). I even felt my heart jump a few times thinking about how sweet these two are (and how they finally get together).

I like this series a lot more than a lot of the romances I used to read. The Snow and Ice Games just kinda click. They are sweet, short and sexy. Tamsen doesn’t put in useless information, she doesn’t lead you astray and she doesn’t make you think to hard (Side note: don’t you hate those romance books that throw in some “Inception” like plot but don’t follow through with them?). Tamsen is the queen of easy, sexy reads! And probably the most important: her books aren’t the same thing over and over.

I respect Tamsen so much (and I’ve said this in other reviews) on how she grows as an author. Some romance authors stick to the same story line over and over and over and over… It gets excessive. Tamsen might use the same premise (romance story, erotic, a little taboo) but she changes up the characters (M/M, F/F, M/F, etc), the plot lines (dramatic storytelling vs just a romance) and how steamy these books go, and so on. These books are all different and have their own identity, which is SO NICE TO SEE. I’m tired of reading the same book by the same author over and over again!

Overall, it’s another hit for me. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out which book is my fave for far. I’ll have to wait until I read all five to actually put them in an order of how much I enjoyed them, because the first three are all fighting for top spot and rotate depending on my mood (or the day).

Five out of five stars.

I received an electronic copy through Tamsen Parker and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

What other sports book have you enjoyed? Leave a comment below!

You can visit Tamsen Parker on her website: TamsenParker.com

Or give her a shout out on twitter! @TamsenParker

And while you’re at it, tweet me too! @ReviewAlholic

Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Seduction on the Slopes (SIG #2) by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

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The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

This book reminds me of Games of Thrones if it was set in a western setting. There’s lots of death, and lots of interesting drama to keep you interested.

I’m not crazy into westerns, but I love reading in different genres so I don’t get bored reading the same old, same old. So this read was refreshing, even if I’m not the typical “target audience”.

The book’s setting is around civil war time, which is not a setting I see often of (at least in the books I typically read). For me, this setting worked well within the story. I enjoyed reading all of the descriptions of the locations and people of the time and Clifford Jackman did well within this setting.

While this book is fictional, a lot of the scenarios that happen in the book (brutal, almost R rated scenarios I might add) were situations that happened to people. It was incredible to read, but it rips your heart out knowing some of this did happen to people back in this time. The history was on point despite being fiction. It’s not totally Wild West fiction if my review makes you believe that, but it’s a “western” style near the Civil War (not men on horses shooting everyone like those old movies).

I definitely want to see Clifford Jackman write more – I thought this book did well within it’s genre and was a good read. He was skilled at writing blood and war without a hero or antihero. It was just a novel following someone’s life in a dark western-esque era. It didn’t knock my socks off and turn me to the western genre, but it was worthy read I’d recommend or suggest my local library pick up for other readers.

On point Clifford! Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to see you grow as an author!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out Clifford Jackman on Goodreads – Clifford Jackman on Goodreads

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#BookReview The Year After by Ashley Wagner

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The Year After by Ashley Warner was a tale about one woman’s experience with rape.

That seems like such a horrible way to word that sentence, but this story is a year’s worth of journals about what happened after the rape (and a few extra stories from years later). There is literally journals from every single day after, all 365, and it shows how one woman has dealt with that horrible situation. Her job, her friends, her apartment, the lawsuits, her family – it is all discussed and shown to be aspects of her life that were affected (because contrary to popular belief – this affects your ENTIRE life).

This story is just one of many about these types of situations. In our world today, it’s hard to believe people can’t understand how damaging this can feel and how this is a real life situation that can happen to anyone. Having just one story show many sides of the rape has made me feel a little better about humanity. While rape is still happening, and that’s not good (in short terms), this book does shed light on real life situations. More books like this should be read to shown this can happen to anyone and it’s not a piece of pie to deal with.

This story took guts, and to me its inspirational. Everyone has their dark secrets and past that they don’t need to tell, but Ashley shared it with readers. There’s nothing that can fix the hurt she faced, but if this book can bring one more reader out to understand why this shouldn’t happen and potentially stop someone it’ll have done it’s job.

This book can bring a discussion up. I almost wish this book would have been made at the time I was in grade 12 gym class. Rape was a short discussion being told “it happens” and that was all. We knew what it was, was told as girls it’ll happen to somebody and that we’ll deal with it. No, that’s not right. This book should be given to classes to understand – this is a discussion, not a “oh well” sort of situation.

While there were parts of this book I didn’t like – the super short chapters with three sentences on a page – that hardly takes away from the story. This journey is super important and I highly suggest everyone read this book or a book similar to it to understand the pain, the survival, and the changes that a situation like this can have on someone.

Thank you for this tale Ashley, what a fantastic book.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out Ashley on her website: Ashley Warner

Or on her Goodreads page!! Ashley Warner on Goodreads

She can also be found on Twitter: @ashleywarnernyc

 

 

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#BookReview The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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And now for a #ThrowbackThursday review of a book I read YEARS ago. I’ve reread this book and given a new review for it!! Here’s The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead.

 

 

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead in a great addition in the Vampire Academy universe.

Typically, when an author breaks off from the original series and creates a prequel/sequel series it’s not very good – Richelle Mead is one of the few authors that has created a hit. She stands alongside JK Rowling with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, Cassandra Clare with TMI and TID and many other greats.

Bloodlines became my guilty pleasure when it came out. After striking gold with Vampire Academy and having me hooked there, of course Richelle had to create a story centered around everybody’s boyfriend – Adrian Ivashkov. With Adrian and Sydney leading this series, we have two strong, able leads who always keep things interesting.

Our leads grow a lot within this book – this appears to be the book mainly for character development. There is still an epic plot, with fast paced action and over the top drama, but the main part of this book that kept me interested was how the characters were changing and growing. Richelle always seems to have one book in her series that has a strong sense of character development, and it always ends up being one of the better books in the series.

This book does lack a lot of the friendly side characters we grew to love, but don’t worry! They appear in later books!! This book’s main focus is Adrian and Sydney. There are a few new characters introduced to make up for that empty space – and that includes a little witchcraft! While I didn’t enjoy these characters as much as our typical brood (Angeline, Eddie, Jill, etc) they were still a nice edition to the story.

Overall, this supernatural story is a definite recommended read from me! Start from the beginning (Bloodlines) or the VERY VERY beginning (Vampire Academy) if you want some great reads to fill your time. They definitely are worth it! Keep in mind these are YA novels – so there is lots of young adult love and drama, and of course this book has vampires. Not your typical vampires, but still…vampires. There was a trend a few years back, if you can’t remember. Vampires were “the thing”.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Richelle on Goodreads: Richelle Mead on Goodreads

Or visit her on her website: RichelleMead.com

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#BookReview Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

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Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

Boy Robot is a unique read by Simon Curtis that should be a must read for young readers everywhere.

I would like to start off by saying this is not my favourite book – but it is good. Recently I’ve been finding more and more books I’m reading are fantastic, but just not in my wheelhouse. I did enjoy this book and I think it’d be a fantastic addition to another Young Adult/Young Reader bookshelf (whether personal or in a school) but I personally won’t be grasping and holding it dear to my heart.

This book has lovable characters, easy to follow story lines, deeper meanings and themes (I love a good theme <3) and a unique plot. The characters actually grow throughout the story, which is also nice to see in a YA novel. I find too often characters don’t grow, but this book fit this fantastic writing device perfectly into the story. There are layers of real things that happen to real people – not just cookie cutter back stories.

I also like that this book includes some LGBTQ+ into it. I won’t spoil, but it truly made my heart feel warm knowing that FINALLY books are realizing everyone is not a heterosexual male or female. Normalizing reality is fantastic, and Simon Curtis is earning bonus points for that alone. There are some reviews that seem to point at transphobia in this book – I didn’t read it this way, but be wary. If you need trigger warnings, then maybe this book isn’t for you? There’s rape, transgender individuals and general topics that some people just aren’t okay with. I was on the edge about reading about the rape, etc, and I still kinda am (I’m wobbling on the fence of unsure) – but I don’t see this as Simon Curtis attacking anyone purposely. I think it’s a plot device (maybe not the best plot devices…but that’s for you to decide).

I did find this book way to long. Personally, I would rather a book be shorter and end perfectly with everything that needs to be there rather than longer, more substance but not worth it. There were some story lines that were dragged out WAY to long. Some of the scenes were exhausting to read because I knew the story would be fine without it being there. But some readers absolutely LOVE substance, so take that with a grain of salt. I prefer a book that gets to the point or only leaves what’s essential.

I’m pretty sure this book will be a series. The way it left off just seems like it will continue on, or at least I hope so for other readers sake.

Overall, this book kinda left me confused. While it was absolutely fantastic, I do agree with some readers that some of the back story was a little brutal to be put in a YA. That doesn’t mean this can’t be one of the first novels to start introducing deeper/rougher content into YA but I just don’t know where I want to stand on it…

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads

#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

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In Her Court by Tamsen Parker is a goofy, geeky read filled with

Tamsen Parker is not one to stick to the same plot over and over in every read, and that’s what makes this book so unique compared to the others. This time around, Tamsen has explored an F/F relation (or two females if you didn’t understand the acronym). Two girls at a camp fulfill a beautiful romance, in short.

These girls (Van and Willa) have character – one of them is getting a PhD, they are working at a tennis camp, and they aren’t your typical character without flaws and full of perfection. They seem realistic in the setting of this story! That’s a nice change from some of the F/F books I have read in the past – I like seeing characters who slowly build and get better throughout the story.

There is some R-rated language (a few F bombs) so if you don’t like any swears, beware! They aren’t dropped for no reason, they fit within the story, but know this book isn’t G rated. If you thought it was, you don’t know Tamsen’s writing very well…

Personal opinion: I felt like Nate and his character could have not been in the story and it would have moved just as well. Yes, he’s an introduction for both characters, but he didn’t seem wildly important – at least not to me. I would have liked to see a more interesting story line with him (a non romantic subplot, or something). I felt like there was more potential hiding in there. That being said, it wasn’t like he was supposed to be the main character of the story.

This wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (and by that I mean her super steamy romances), but it definitely ranks up in my favourite romances. I felt the introduction to the characters wasn’t the best (we found out a bit to much to fast, in my opinion) but it was still fitting and made the story work. That’s me being a picky Tamsen Parker/romance fan and nothing more. It doesn’t hurt the story, I just feel like it wasn’t Tamsen’s best out of all of her books (I remember a time when she only had three books out…just saying..now she’s all busy writing and forming a career ;D).

I found this was definitely a step out of Tamsen’s wild BDSM/crazy sexual books and more of a contemporary romance (as it says on Goodreads, which I noticed AFTER I read it – do your research first guys! Then you’ll know what you’re getting!). As a contemporary romance, it’s fantastic! It’s not the best romance in all of the world that I’ve ever read, but it’s a worthy read. A very worthy read indeed! There is still some steamy sexy scenes, just not as crazy wild as her other novels. But it’s still uber sexy and well written! And there is LOTS of it…Almost to much. At one point, there seems to be sex scenes in every single chapter!

Side Notes: I love geeky references and Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was present in this novel. Bonus points for Tamsen!

Overall, this book was great – it just wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (but can they all really be my favourite? Let’s be honest). This book is still a worthy read and I would suggest it to those looking for some steamy romances, but definitely pick up Tamsen’s other books while you’re at it. These books show how she can not only write crazy steamy BDSM, but lovely contemporary romances and some not so safe for work styled novels.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you Tamsen Parker for being amazing (as always!) and sending me a copy of this book!!

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

 

This book was also part of Camp Firefly Falls! I haven’t read it yet, but if you’re interested in more check out http//campfireflyfalls.com for more info!

 

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads