#BookReview The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis

Deborah Willis has crafted one lovely group of stories in The Dark and Other Love Stories.

This collection is full of humor and intriguing content. No, seriously. I was thoroughly impressed by not only Deborah’s incredible writing style but the imagination behind these stories. Some of them were just wild! The weirdest yet most interesting was a girl falling in love with a man who wants her to be a bird. Like… what? How does one come up with THAT idea? Impressive.

My favourite was the story about a woman going behind her boyfriend’s back and trying to go to Mars. It was funny and yet really moving. My heart ached for the poor man as we watched the scenario unfold. But my gosh, so good! It’s hard to get emotions like that for a book!

I would highly recommend this book. Not only is it not your typical anthology full of love stories and dark and twisted humor, but it’s also just really well written. Deborah has a real talent and it’d be a waste for this book not to find a bigger audience (also, she’s Canadian. ReprIndigoesent!).

I do think this book may fit into a niche category for some readers, since it’s not purely about love and romance. This book is not a romance book, it is a contemporary novel written with love themes. That being said, if you go into it understanding that this isn’t a romance novel and it’s purely based on theming and creative stories, you’ll love it. I sure did! I thought it was a fun ride and I’d love to pick up more by Deborah in the future.

Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed by this book. I will continue to recommend it until my dying days, because it’s a real, secret, Canadian gem!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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Your TBR still need some love and affection? Pack it on with these delightful reads:
#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

 

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#BookReview You’re Doing Great!: And Other Reasons to Stay Alive by Tom Papa

I discovered Tom Papa when he was on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and I instantly loved his humour. When I saw that he had a book coming out, I was thrilled! Not only was I looking for more comedy books but I could support one awesome comedian! And luckily, I was not disappointed! This book is incredibly amusing and super fun.

This book is a collection of silly stories from Tom’s past. It’s funny, light hearted and made me smile throughout. There’s also a really positive message about how we’re all going our best and doing a great job. Life isn’t easy, and some of these stories go over how it isn’t (but make it way more fun sounding) but it points out that life is a series of obstacles that we can make the best of.

Tom weaves his stories to make them enjoyable, easy to follow and addicting to read. I was shocked how fast I got this book done! I couldn’t put the book down and I found myself re-reading some of the stories because they were so good, so funny and just made me feel good. I wish self help books were as fun as this.

I will definitely be keeping my copy and sharing it with all of my friends. This book made me feel so good! It’s a light, fun read that you can either binge or just read in a series of short tales.

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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Looking for more comedy in your life? Check out these other books featured on my blog:
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis
Quick Review – How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad
Quick Book Review: People Who Need To Die by Victor Rook

 

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#BookReview Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Holy. Moly!

Close to Home by Cara Hunter is one wildly epic ride that mystery and thriller lovers will absolutely be OBSESSED with! I sure was!

Eight-year-old Daisy Mason suddenly vanishes during her parents party. When the investigation about her disappearance begins, things seem fishy. The family is strange, there’s no clear leads and something just isn’t right… There were tons of guests at this backyard barbecue – friends, family, school mates. Could one of them taken Daisy? The police force won’t stop until they locate this youngling.

For my first point, I did NOT see this ending coming. There was an inkling there, but I was never fully convinced of which way this story was going to go. Cara set this story up so wonderfully that there was never a dull moment and my inner Detective was constantly at work.

I also really appreciated how Cara slowly unwound the story behind this dysfunctional family. They aren’t what they appear to be, and slowly but surely we see what’s truly going on behind the scenes. Because of this, my theories about what happened were constantly being molded and changed, which was really fun! Throw in the fast-paced nature, the epic Tweets and News Reports and the character dynamics presented and you’ve got one amazing book.

My biggest negative about this book was that there was no chapters. This book was continuous which led to me being unsure of where to stop. There are breaks in the story, but I like having a full stop at a chapter. This doesn’t affect the story at all, it’s more of a personal pet peeve.

Another note: This book features child pornography, child kidnapping and abuse, and potential child murder. It’s not for the light-hearted. Reader beware!

I can honestly say I’m surprised this book doesn’t have more ratings, reviews and people talking about it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! This book needs to get in the hands of readers because Cara Hunter is marvelously talented! Cat and mouse tales like these are just splendid.

Overall, DI Adam Fawley should be among the top mystery books out there. I’m not kidding – it was one of the best I’ve read in a very long time, and I read a fair about of thriller, suspense and mystery books. I’d highly recommend this! 110% recommendation! I haven’t had this much fun in a mystery in a very long time.

Five out of five stars.

I received an ARC version of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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If you love mystery, thrills and suspense, check out some other books recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio
#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes
#TopBooksList Briar’s Crime, Mystery & Thriller Reads

 

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#BookReview Naked 2 by Kay Brandt

Oh boy, they’re back!

Cadence has a chance to go back on the naked survival show that she survived last time around. She’s very tempted, especially since there seems to be something between her and Jackson, but her boyfriend and job might be left behind. Chris, her boyfriend, isn’t too comfortable with Jackson and Cadence’s closeness from the previous time around which makes this more difficult.

This book is a great sequel in this series, and it leaves me grasping for more. I’m truly intrigued if they will go back for the show or if something more will develop between Jackson and Cadence. It left on a bit of a cliffhanger though, which is going to drive me mad! I am so invested in these characters and I need to know what’s going to happen! That only happens when you’ve got some good quality writing, so kudos to Kay. Either way, I’m one hundred percent going to be sitting around and waiting for book three! Gimme more, to quote Britney Spears.

Kay is great at writing sexy erotica scenes, and this book is no different. The book is littered with erotic sex that will make you melt in your seat. Add in there’s a great plot that makes it not just a book of sex and you’ve got a real winner! This is how erotica should be – a great story to pull you in and some super hot scenes to keep you hanging on.

Four out of five stars!

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

 

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You can find out more about Kay Brandt on:
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Twitter – @MsKayBrandt

Here’s some other books by Kay Brandt featured on my blog. If you liked this book or review, you’ll love them too:
#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt
#BookReview At Mother’s Command by Kay Brandt
#BookReview At Mother’s Command 2 by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Naked by Kay Brandt

 

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#BookReview Seeing Colour by Amber Faucher

If you’re seeking a fun and flirty romantic comedy, then Seeing Colour is the perfect fit!

Welcome to Scotland! Evie, a young adult from good ol’ Alberta, Canada, packs her things and moves to Scotland as a bit of a rebellion against her troubles. She’s an Optician (a person who makes the lenses for glasses), and manages to find a job working for an Optometrist named Mara, and with a sexy Scot named Connie. Did I mention that she manages to hook up with Connie on night one without knowing he was her co-worker? Oh yeah, it’s awkward. And it looks like Mara and Connie are or were married? Just great! Things are getting better! Her luggage gets lost, her new living arrangements fall flat and life just seems to be giving her the book.

But don’t worry! Her internet bestie has her back, Connie is the hottest Gaelic man you’d ever see and Scotland is… well, Scotland! It’s super cool! But, things are only going to get more confusing, dramatic, funny and romantic along the way…

This book was such a fun ride! It has comedy, romance and drama all laced throughout the book. It’s hard to believe this is Amber’s first published novel because it’s so good it seems like she’s been doing this forever! I seriously need more books from Amber ASAP!

So, why did I like it?
1. There is nothing hotter than a man asking if he can have you. Go Connie for being decent!
2. “Gaelic god” kept autocorrecting to garlic god in my notes, and I kept laughing at myself and kinda wishing he would have been Italian or a vampire instead for a really funny joke in my review.
3. LGBT friendly! Yay! I won’t give it away, or else it ruins the book!
4. The ending was surprising! It was the kind of plot twist I had thought I saw coming, but was still surprised by it nonetheless! There were really two fun twists to follow, but I won’t tell you which one surprised me more. Comment or message me to find out which!

My only negative about the book was Mara. I wasn’t entirely sure if she was supposed to be a sympathetic bad guy, if she was just mean, or if she was doing everything out of the kindness of her heart. We don’t see her side of things often, so it’s hard to tell. I’m an analytical person, I like knowing these things!

Regardless, I love this book! I highly recommend it to those who want a romantic comedy on their TBR. It’s sugary sweet, sitcom level funny and by an indie author! Support the Indies! Insert joke about Indiana Jones here….

Five out of five stars!

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

Side note: The cute picture Amber drew in my book gives it a sixth star. IT WAS SO CUTE! Personalized books always make it on my office shelf! I can’t wait to show it off! ❤

 

You can find this book on:
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Check out Amber Faucher on:
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Twitter @FaucherAmber

If you love romance and comedies, check out these other reviews recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview After the Sack by Savannah Adams
#BookReview Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker

 

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#BookReview Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I have been eying Throne of Glass for YEARS. Quite literally, since this book has come out I’ve been wary to touch it. It’s so well hyped and sometimes that hype doesn’t live up to all of it’s praise. Not too long ago, I came across this book at a local discount store and I jumped on it. Why not just give it a try and see if it’s like what everyone says? AND IT IS. At least for me, anyways. It was so worth the hype.

Throne of Glass features Celaena, a young adult who was raised and trained by an assassin when she was found dying along a river bed. She paid her dues, and has now unsuccessfully escaped to a worse life in a mine. When the Crown Prince Dorian comes and collects her to be the King’s Champion, everything changes. Calaena must go through a series of test to prove herself worthy, but that’s not all she faces. There’s something evil lurking in the castle, and the old spirits and fae lore are whispering at her to help fix the problem. On top of all that, the handsome Captain of the Guard Chaol and Crown Prince Dorian both appear to be transfixed on our murderous leads. Annnnd, are some of these friends Calaena has made truly trustworthy? Or will they be the foe we’re all worried about?

This book has a lot going on but it’s super easy to follow. It’s definitely a young adult or even new adult novel, but the typical tropes always get me grinning along the way. The old nostalgia I got in high school for The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent – that sense of being apart of something and reading something many others have enjoyed – came back and made this book all the better.

Are there “problematic” parts of this book? Yeah, sure. Would a trained, rough and tough assassin act like a teenager? Maybe not. Did some of the rules for the competition seem to change throughout the book? Yes. Did any of that bug me? Not really. For me, this book was lots of fun and the little problems it had didn’t really phase me. I glossed over a lot of it, because this was fantastical, full of action and had those darn romance triangle tropes that I fall for EVERY SINGLE TIME. If you’re going into this book wanting to analyze all the faults, go for it. I just wanted a nice escape. Reading the other reviews, especially the bad ones, has me scratching my head. I’ve yet to meet an eighteen year old assassin who had a really tough life and actually seen their behaviour. Can’t a teenage protagonist who’s finally “free”, to a degree, be allowed to be a teenager? But, if you take a peek at the good reviews, people say the farther you get into the series the better it gets. So I’m pumped. Get me these books ASAP!

Ah, oh well. Either way, this book was a fun ride for me! Calaena was head strong, sassy, a hard worker and loyal. Chaol was super hot and my goodness she better end of with him. Dorian’s character grew a lot from the first to the last page, and I am beginning to like him more. Nehemia seemed sketchy at first but I am curious how her story would grow. Is Nox gonna come back? Because Nox seemed sweet. Also, there’s gotta be more to Cain and his back story, I’m nosy. And Elena! More lore please? SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.

Also, no cliffhanger in this book! Sarah does not want to torture me with a cliffhanger, it’s great! And the cover is absolutely stunning! I got the second cover, with the blue illustration instead of the girl – it’s crazy cool!

If you get the same copy I did, there’s a little Q&A at the back. I was surprised this book was based off Cinderella, but I was also really intrigued. It’s amazing the ideas we can get from other works and how they can mold and change over time.

Here’s my recommendation:
If you like popular YA books and diving into the hype: GET THIS BOOK.
If you’re looking for Game of Thrones: THIS IS NOT YOUR BOOK.
If you’re looking for something full of fantasy, has a fast pace, has lots of YA fun (romance, drama, the likes): THIS IS YOUR BOOK.

What I would like to see out of future books:
This book seemed to be more New Adult. The descriptions of the brutality was wicked and definitely for an older crowd. But, the talks about sex was nil. Not an exact quote here – Dorian sees many women – come on Sarah, we know what you meant. If you can talk about a man being sliced to bits and eaten then we can hear that Calaena has some sexy feelings for the boys.

Overall, I really liked this book! I want the rest of the series now. I’m pleasantly surprised and want to pick up more by Sarah.

Five out of five stars.

 

If you haven’t checked this book out yet, here’s where you can find it:
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Find out more about Sarah J Maas:
Goodreads Author Page
http://sarahjmaas.com/
Twitter – @SJMaas

If you’re looking for more fun YA novels to add to your TBR, here’s some other books featured on my blog you might enjoy:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
#BookReview The Great Grain Elevator Incident by Kevin Miller

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#BookReview Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith

Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith is an addicting, fun and thrilling ride around a small Greek village.

In this thriller, an FBI agent finds his way to a Greek island where fires keep happening. He is investigating why they are happening and who could have caused him. Along the way, he comes across local islanders and business owners trying their best to succeed and living their lives. He meets himself a fancy man who he begins to fall for, and who might not be who he says he is. Many other islanders face the same fate: there’s a priest who isn’t so saintly, a family struggling to keep their business afloat, an Albanian waiter who has lots of drama going on, and his new lover’s sister is trying to get with every man no matter the relationships she ruins for them along the way.

This book is WILD. I was instantly stuck to it and truly intrigued about the ending. It took a bit for the entire story to piece itself together, but when it does it’s absolutely marvelous. I can easily say this is one of my top 2020 reads. I couldn’t put the book down!

There are some difficult topics in this book, like suicide and rape. Reader beware – this book doesn’t go too crazy into these topics, but they are still there. The mystery and romance is much more in the fore front.

On another note: This book is LGBT friendly! Huzzah!

Overall, this book was excellent! I’d highly recommend picking this book up if you love mystery and suspense with a dash of romance.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Timothy Jay Smith and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
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You can find Timothy Jay Smith on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://www.timothyjaysmith.com/
Twitter – @timothyjaysmith|

Tim on Santorini

Here’s another Timothy Jay Smith book recently featured on my blog:
The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith – Briar’s Reviews

Check out more mystery and suspense novels to fill up your TBR:
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio
#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes
#BookReview A Woman of Valor by Gary Corbin

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#BookReview Donut Disturb by Melissa Williams

Donut Disturb is an absolutely delightful romantic comedy by Melissa Williams!

This book is sugary sweet, absolutely adorable and utterly cute! I always love a good romantic comedy, but this one just hits the spot.

We follow Cassidy Daniels, a Torontonian baker at Bake, Rattle and Roll. She owns the place with her brother and works mighty hard to make donuts there, while her brother specializes in cupcakes. She runs into Baxter DeCavhalo at the grocery store and then finds out he is her next door neighbour. How did she find this out? He basically broke in while she was blasting her music and baking donuts. The following budding friendship and romance is fun, thrilling and romantic! There’s Tangled frying pan to the face vibes, MMA fighting, a thrilling side plot and some hot sex scenes littered throughout this book.

I can relate to Cassidy. She’s a hard working woman who would die for her craft. She’s stubborn, intelligent and knows it’s hard to find a good guy sometimes.

But… be warned… this book will 100% make you hungry. The donuts sound AMAZING. It’s super not fair that Melissa would torture us with such marvellous descriptions of food. It’s truly cruel.

I love this book! It was a fun yet quick read that made me remember why I love romantic comedies so much. Melissa Williams has created a wonderful book and I can’t wait to grab more by her! I would highly recommend picking this book up if you want a fun and light read, love romantic comedies, or want to expand your TBR to include some more indie authors.

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:
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You can find Melissa on:
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter – @ReadMel6

If you’re looking for more romance to add to your TBR, here are some other books recently featured on my blog that you’ll love:
#BookReview After the Sack by Savannah Adams
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

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#BookReview Vanishing Hour by Lisa King

Vanishing Hour by Lisa King is honestly one of my fave reads of 2020.

This book is excellent! It has the coolest mix of thrills and fun all in one. It’s got hints of Up since we have an older gentleman named Matthew and a young twelve year old named Ruby. These two get stuck together during the end of the world: Everyone without some sort of brain illness or injury doesn’t get sick, but all the healthy people suddenly die. They chase after Matthew’s wife (who had Alzheimer’s) who walked off one day and are trying to figure out where the Horizon is, because Ruby’s Dad might be there.

It’s quite the ride and I was thoroughly addicted to this book. Lisa’s writing style is simple, easy and fast paced and kept me hooked the whole time. There was never a dull moment and I didn’t expect some of the exciting parts of this plot that came about. I didn’t expect there to be people trying to colonize (and maybe not doing a good job) and then that ending… Ugh. So sweet, so good, so cute! But massive cliffhanger! Break my heart Lisa!

I love that this is Lisa King’s first novel, because that means (more than likely) she’s only going to get better. This was a stellar start and I can totally see people loving this book! It needs to find it’s audience ASAP because it is just lovely. Add to the bonuses: Canadian author, actual medical terminology, and lots of character development!

I wish apocalyptic horror was more like this. I’d enjoy the genre way more!

I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who likes: fun thrillers, apocalyptic horror, a fast paced story or something to spice up their TBR.

Five out of five stars.

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

 

You can find this book on:
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Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo
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Check out Lisa King on:
https://www.authorlisaking.com
Goodreads Author Page

If you love mysteries, here are some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview In Search of Valor by Gary Corbin
#BookReview The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby
#BookReview The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith

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#BookReview Fallen: Princeborn Stolen by Jean Lee

Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee is a fabulous, fantastical, young adult novel that will keep you captivated!

This folklore tale follows a young girl trying her best to escape from a horrible situation. Suddenly, she is thrust into a fantasy world of epic proportions! All this girl wants is for her and her sister to be safe, but nothing is as it seems…

If you like world building, this story is for you. It’s full of lush lore and descriptions that will whisk you away into another universe. I was so intrigued by all that was going on, I could hardly believe I binged the whole book. This book is magical, whimsical and wild! The action and thrills just kept going and I barely had a minute to breathe (just how I like it!). On top of that, the characters are great! I felt like they were (almost) real! They had personalities, they grew throughout the story and had feelings and emotions. It was a well balanced story!

I like that Jean Lee finished this story up but left room for the sequel. Nothing kills me like a mighty cliffhanger! There’s still much to learn, but I didn’t feel like I was left disappointed.

I also feel like this book easily crosses the lines across YA, New Adult and Adult. While it does feature teenage characters, I think New Adult and Adult fiction fans will easily enjoy this book. With so much going on, it’s hard to place it in just one category.

If you haven’t picked up this book, I recommend it! It gave me great vibes and it was truly addicting.

Four out of five stars.

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

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
B&N

Find out more about Jean Lee on:
Goodreads – Author Page
https://jeanleesworld.com/

If you enjoy YA or fantasy, check out these other books you’ll love:
#BookReview Valyo Rising by R.A. Mendsen
#BookReview My Soul to Give by Magali A. Fréchette
#BookReview Boston Metaphysical Society by Madeleine Holly-Rosing

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