#BookReview My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

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My Little Pet Dragon is a unique children’s read full of fantastical fun!

I really liked the cover page with the CD art of the dragon on a skateboard. To me, that really stood out compared to other children’s books I’ve seen around recently. The entire book is continues to pack each page full of the awesome 3D art that’s on the cover.

Each page has just a few words on it and a 3D picture that matches the plot that’s carrying on.

I’d say the general age group for this book would be between 2 to 9 years old. The story is rather simplistic, but is extremely cute.

At the end of my copy, which was an eBook I found via BookBub, it has a story about how Scott got into writing. While I thought it was a touching story to include, I felt that it didn’t need to be in a children’s novel that a child might read themselves on a parent’s tablet or phone. As an adult I loved reading it, but it felt out of place (in my humble opinion). It is a motivational and inspirational set of words though!

The version I was reading also included lots of sneak peaks at his other books! While it does a great job advertising these books, it didn’t feel right sitting in a book that a child could be reading. You’re introducing them to a couple chapters and then they can’t necessarily finish it. As someone who has studied marketing, I understand the need to market and advertise your books, but it just didn’t mesh well with the way this book was set up. Maybe put sneak peaks as links at the end or on your website? Not in the book that ends up taking WAY more pages than the story itself.

The final bit (I promise!)… It asks to support the author on Patreon. Again, I totally understand the need to support artists and writers, but it felt out of place.

Overall, this book was really cute and I’d love to read more by Scott Gordon! I think he has lots of potential and he appears to have quite the catelogue!!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about the author, Scott Gordon, on:

Goodreads – Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon’s Blog

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on Twitter or my Facebook and let me know what other books you’d like to see on my blog!

 

And if you enjoyed this book, why not check out another you might enjoy? Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

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#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1

It’s time for another collection of amazing books! This time around I am focusing on books that were full of fantasy. This is only part one of my fave fantasy reads, so don’t you worry if you don’t see your favourite! Let these 10 books fill up your TBR for the time being. These books are in no certain order, but I absolutely loved all of them!

Time to get started with my elevator pitches for these sweet, sweet novels!

 

1. #BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
I have loved Katie MacAlister since my high school years! I accidentally stumbled upon her in my local bookstore and ever since I’ve been infatuated with her novels. Her books are cute, silly, fun and full of ooey, gooey romance! This book series is my favourite of all of her books – Aisling Grey’s series! Aisling falls in love with a handsome Dragon named Drake, and hilarity ensues! If you’re looking for a fun yet fantastical novel full of romance, then this is the perfect book for you!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

2. #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt
Bittersweet Symphony was introduced to me by the author, fellow Canadian Rebecca McNutt. This book fell well into my wheelhouse – horror, fantasy and Canadian roots! And man, did this book not disappoint! If you’re looking for something a little darker, then following this New York set novel full of kooky occurrences will meet your expectations! If I had to pick one book to describe this book, I’d use “gothic”.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

3. Omens and/or No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong
When you’re putting Kelley Armstrong on a list, it’s hard to pick just one book. I had a really hard time picking between these two books (because I absolutely love both of them) so I figured to add a “bonus” book to the list! No Humans Involved is Jaime’s story in the Otherworld universe. Women of the Otherworld is one epic series following strong, female leads who are witches, werewolves and necromancers. Jaime (the necromancer) has always been my fave and I have always been in love with Jeremy Danvers (the sexy, alpha werewolf) so I had to include it! No Humans Involved isn’t as cutesy as Katie MacAlister’s books, but it is a couple steps up on the staircase – it has lots of action, a splash of comedy, and some super sexy scenes. And then you’ve got Omens, which is a whole ‘nother ballpark. Cainsville has all sorts of weird and strange things going on, and is a little more R rated fantasy (and mystery). If you’re looking for some mystery in your fantasy novel, and something not so cutesy (but pretty dark), grab this book! I read these YEARS ago and I really need to jump back into these series soon, because I haven’t finished either and I love my fellow Canadian, Kelley Armstrong! Can you believe I missed the chance to meet her in my hometown years ago?!

Find these books on:
Amazon.ca – No Humans Involved
Amazon.ca – Omens
Amazon.com – No Humans Involved
Amazon.com – Omens
Kobo – No Humans Involved
Kobo – Omens

4. Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
This list is just full of my old faves! Rachel Vincent was another author I stumbled upon in my high school years (just like Katie and Kelley) and I still love her! Her Shifter series started me out, but Menagerie blew my mind! This fantasy novel involves a carnival full of strange beings. The grotesque carnival puts these human “monsters” on display, but Delilah is a little different…
I’m disappointed in myself that I never picked up the sequel yet. When I got this book in my hands, I absolutely devoured the book. I was totally obsessed and needed to read more, but my local bookstores never got a physical copy in. Rachel Vincent is an author to look out for, whether you want some good old YA novels or some super eerie or romantic adult novels! Also, she’s been super nice to me on social media so I’ll root for her everyday of the week!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

5. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Add Richelle to my “discovered in high school and still loves” list! Vampire Academy introduced me to her, and Gameboard of the Gods made me truly obsessed with her. I’m still angry this series was never truly finished, but it is worth the read! This fantasy series is for adults (a step away from the YA Vampire Academy universe) and it’s absolutely insane! Religion meets fantasy meets military. Add a pinch of romance, a dash of suspense and a barrel of action and you’ve got one of my fave fantasies EVER. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone reads this book she’ll FINALLY release the last one… Maybe? Probably not. But a girl can dream, right?!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

6. #BookReview Blood by Ruth Miranda
Blood is the first book in the Blood series by Ruth Miranda, but let this book be the placeholder for the whole series. Ruth Miranda approached me to read her books, and MAN AM I SO HAPPY SHE DID. This series is absolutely R-rated wild with vampires, fantasy and magic. She’s a genius and her writing ability is insane! If you want a really dark and gruesome story that is addicting, pick this book up. It does have some touchy subjects, so it’s not for the faint of heart. It 100% deserves a spot on this epic fantasy list!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

7. #BooKReview Fast Backward by David Patneaude
Time to switch it up a little with David Patneaude’s intriguing YA. Fast Backward mixes time travel with historical fiction together when Bobby Hasting witnesses an atomic explosion. The history of Germany, bombs and the amazing intelligence of teenagers is expressed in this book. I thought it was super cool and the time travel worked really well in this book. It’s light-hearted despite being about such a touchy subject. It’s well worth the read!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

8. #BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver
Zombies. Yes, I have finally included a book about zombies on the list! Apocalypse the Memoir is a sarcastic yet wildly addicting ride through Canada. It’s R-rated, it’s gorey, and it has some hilarious one liners you wouldn’t expect in a book about zombies! The sassiness of this book is at Level 500, so all of you sarcastic little bookworms will get a real kick out of it!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

9. Quick Book Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Asylum is a creepy YA novel based in, you guessed it, an asylum. What makes this book even cooler is the fact that there are pictures in the book to give you some epic visuals. The book is full of horror and it’ll keep you guessing at every turn. I loved picking this book up because it’s the perfect mix of horror without the crazy R rated content. Sometimes, you just don’t want the excessive gore.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

10. Awakened by Harley Austin
Federal agents, government conspiracies and thrills mixed with fantasy? Heck yes! This book is your typical adult thriller with fantasy entwined all throughout. If you’re looking for a book but don’t want to fully commit to a fantasy novel, then this book will give you all the thrills and more! I really enjoyed Harley Austin’s book and it’s a real treat if you want something a little different.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

There you have it! 11 fantasy books to top up your TBR shelves. Have you read any of these books or authors before? Which was your favourite? What other fantasy books novels should I read and add to the lists? Also, what other lists do you want to see? Comment below and let me know!

 

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#BookReview A Cup of Redemption by Carole Bumpus

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If I had to describe this book in one word, I’d use the word “journey”.

This incredibly breath-taking tale by Carole Bumpus wow-ed me more than I can say in a few words. When I started reading this book, I just figured it was another Women’s Fiction novel that would be a great ‘on the side’ read to keep my mind off of my homework. Once I got into the book, I was instantly hooked and amazed at how Carole can weave words into the most beautiful and heart breaking tale I’ve ever read! It’s an Oscar-worthy book that is shockingly under-appreciated! Seriously, this is in my Top 10 reads now from how freaking fantastic is was!

A Cup of Redemption follows multiple generations in one family. Sophie’s Mother (Marcelle) has just passed and she is asked to investigate her family tree. She goes on this wild adventure about her heritage with her friend Kate, and enlists the help of some of her siblings. Along the way, we learn about the haunting past of her, her mother and her grandmother. These tales are seamlessly written and tie in with one another throughout the story. This book will break your heart, warm your heart, and then make you believe in familial love all over again.

There’s a splash of history in this book, since it goes over the World Wars and other historical events that occur behind the scenes (or during the scenes!) of the story. There’s a wee bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, and a splash of mystery as well! If you like fiction where the story slowly unfolds and everything comes into view, then you will love this book! The ending isn’t right out there, you have to learn through Sophie and the other characters what really happened in the past – and I loved that aspect. I’m glad the ending wasn’t obvious like some mystery novels.

I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. Even when Carole is changing back and forth between the decades, she makes these characters lovable and feel real. At times, I could relate way harder to these characters than I ever expected to. That realism is what really sets this book apart from other stories like this. I almost felt like this could be a non-fiction retelling of a woman’s life. Seriously, it’s that good.

The downfalls of this book are as followed:
1. There’s a lot of characters to follow, and if you put down this book a few times like me – you might forget who’s who!
2. There are some plot points that don’t end up resolved, but they aren’t major ones. I would have liked a few more of my questions answered, but the story does come to a close so I guess that’s a bit of a positive…
3. This book can be quite…upsetting. There’s rape, sexual assault and other dark occurrences in the book that aren’t for the light of heart.

By the end of this book, I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely loved it! Even with the slow start, it slowly burned a hole into my heart and I absolutely need more by Carole Bumpus! If you haven’t picked this book up, seriously, get on it! I’m utterly surprised by how well this book connected with me and I want to make sure more readers are able to connect to books with this much talent in it!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Kobo

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – eBook

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Paperback

Barnes and Nobles – Paperback

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carole Bumpus on:

Goodreads – Carole Bumpus

http://www.carolebumpus.com/

Twitter – @CaroleBumpus

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on Twitter: @ReviewAlholic or check out my Facebook page: @BriarsReviews

 

While you’re at it, check out another book review you might enjoy! #BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

#BookReview Under The Visible Life by Kim Echlin

Under The Visible Life is a moving story by Kim Echlin that will knock your socks off!

To be blunt and up-front, this book was not the book for me. That being said, it was a truly mesmerizing story! It was very hard for me to get into this book but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I want to say that upfront since my rating is based off my opinion of the book (and I wasn’t pulled into the book) but the story is still a worthwhile read! I am sure many other readers will be able to connect with this story and fall in love with it in ways that I couldn’t. Kim Echlin is amazingly talented and I highly suggest this novel.

I did love that this story revolved around women and their realistic lives. The book didn’t feel over the top. It felt honest and real in ways that other books haven’t lately. I think this is how the book will sit well with people. Somehow, this story felt like I could have been hearing or reading a non-fiction novel. The struggles felt real and the characters felt like I could have walked by them on the street. Kim Echlin deserves a lot of recognition for just being able to do that in one book. It’s mind-blowing!

So, why was this book not for me? I found it really hard to sink into. I had to force myself to read each chapter and it felt way too slow. I like a fast paced book that gets me hooked, and this book is not that. It’s raw, real and slower paced. The book isn’t boring by any means, it just wasn’t made for me (which is a good thing!). As a reader, sometimes you have to admit that you won’t love ALL books. But that’s art! I can still appreciate how absolutely stunning this book was. And I will highly recommend it every single day because this book is definitely made for other readers!

I will say my favourite part about this book: it has a lot of culture. It will open you up to worlds you may not have known about before (Afghan culture, for example). Books that include other cultures (in a respectful manner, on top of just including them) are books that need to be read! So, I will shout from the hill tops that this book needs to be read! I liked reading about a culture that is not my own.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

If you read this book or review, give me a shout-out on Twitter or on Facebook.

And comment below – what have you read recently?

#BookReview Diamonds by K.A. Linde

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Oh. Hot. Damn.

This book is ridiculously sexy, super hot, and HAS A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER THAT KILLED ME.

I’ve been putting off reading this book (it’s in A Love Thing anthology that I bought months ago), mainly because the device I was reading it on kept dying before I could open the app. I finally put enough charge on it to get to this story, and it was the best one so far!

Diamonds is a tale of a young high-schooler falling for for an older (30-something) year old man. Right off the bat we have a juicy story that is all about forbidden love!

This book gets hot and steamy – R-rated steamy. It’s a mix of dominance, crazy hot sex, and sexual exploration. Throw in a romantic story line, an evil step-brother and the rich and famous and you’ve got yourself a home run!

I did really enjoy this book. It was the perfect mix of drama and sexiness that it somehow worked. Was it slightly creepy? Yeah, the age gap was a little much, BUT…I simply wrapped my mind around her being a tiny bit older (like, college age) and I was able to accept that this book can be just as sexy. It does cross the line a little bit, which is where readers might step back from this story, but it’s still awesome! I 100% want more K.A. Linde in my life now as soon as possible!

The one interesting part of this story was it felt like a YA story/author (due to the way Bryna’s mind was working in the book) but with a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque plot line thrown in. Honestly, it’s the Fifty Shades of Grey book I wanted in my life, because it’s WAY better and seems way more realistic. It was so addicting I finished it in a couple hours and I’m now clammering for the next book. Seriously. I need this book. If K.A. Linde wants, I’ll read every single book she has on catalogue just to get this next book.

Overall, this book is HOT HOT HOT! If you’re looking for a forbidden love with lots of angst, this is the book for you!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Kobo

Chapters/Cole/Indigo #1 / Chapters/Coles/Indigo #2

Barnes & Nobles

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about K.A. Linde on:

http://www.kalinde.com/

Goodreads – K.A. Linde

Twitter – @authorkalinde

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on my Twitter @ReviewAlholic or give me a shout out on my Facebook page @BriarsReviews or comment below!

And if you liked this book or review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview A Week In New York by Louise Bay

#BookReview Murder on Safari by Peter Riva

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Murder on Safari is a unique mystery read with in depth descriptions.

I didn’t find this book matched well with me as a reader, but the book is still incredible. Peter Riva creates an amazing tale woven in this novel that is full of mystery in Africa.

For me, I couldn’t get into the writing style. Peter Riva paints the story well with his words, but we just didn’t mash well. I’d highly recommend this novel if you love a good mystery or tales surrounding another country, but I don’t think I’ll be rereading this novel.

The pacing builds as the story goes on, becoming more and more intriguing as each page passes. Slowly, the details and mystery unravels to create an epic ending that will leave you breathless. If you pay attention well, you can connect the clues by the end of the story. But, if you’d rather just follow along and have fun, it’s easy to get lost in this story that way as well.

Pero and Mbuno are well developed characters who work well together. Some of the best comedic lines come from this duo! You’ll find yourself growing to love these characters as each page passes by. Also, the introduction of the other characters felt like it flowed well with the story as well. I didn’t find any of these characters were forced into the narrative.

The setting of Africa was truly breathtaking. I’m not sure how accurate it is (since I haven’t been there) but it felt real. Other authors could easily learn from Peter Riva’s talents in description of a location. At times, I felt it was almost TOO descriptive, but if you like that sort of writing this book might be for you!

Overall, this book wasn’t for me. I think it is an incredible read that should find it’s way onto more shelves. I would recommend this book if you are a fan of mysteries, love good quality in descriptions, or are looking for a book that is out of the ordinary (in a good way, of course!).

Two out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find out more about this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22750225-murder-on-safari

 

Find out more about the author, Peter Riva on:

His website:  http://www.peterriva.com/

On Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/peterrivaauthor

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com: Amazon.com – Murder on Safari

Amazon.ca: Amazon.ca – Murder on Safari

 

If you read this review, use the hashtag #briarsreviews on Twitter and start a conversation! @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – have you read any thrillers later?

#BookReview Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 by Rachel Kramer Bussel et al.

When I saw that my fave Tamsen Parker had a short story in this collection, I jumped on it! She is always apart of the best compilations and anthologies, so this book became a must read for me. And of course, this book did not let down! There are stories for every erotica lover (whether you love the crazy hot and heavy, or the sensual and romance).

The best part about this collection is that there are so many varieties of stories. Not only does this introduce the reader to each author’s work, but it’s just enough to get your mouth watering for more. When I read anthologies like these, I love picking out new authors to follow. You can test the waters with each little story to see the true potential of each author to open up your bookshelf for a few more readers.

I definitely had my faves from the collection – Tamsen Parker, Alessandra Torre and Mica Kennedy to name a few – but they were all fantastic! I think this is the best way to check out some new authors without committing to 12+ 300 page novels.

Each story had a few chapters to sink the reader’s teeth into, and all of them were spicy! The diverse types of stories is also a nice touch – BDSM, existing couples, new couples, experimenting, kinks and more! It dabbles in each “category” of erotica to spice up the reader’s life.

Overall, I think this is an excellent collection. There’s a little bit of erotica for every type of reader and it is truly the best way to find a new author (or two!) to add to your collection.

Five out of five stars!

I received an ARC of this book from the editor.

 

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Indigo/Chapters/Coles

Barnes & Nobles

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

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