#BookReview The American Crusade by Mark Spivak

The American Crusade by Mark Spivak was a fast-paced thriller full of excitement!

I normally don’t go for political thrillers, but I like to spice up my reading shelf once and a while. Mark Spivak’s novel, the American Crusade, seemed like the perfect fit! And man, was it ever! I can honestly say this book makes the genre seem WAY cooler than I was led to believe.

In this novel, we follow Vice President Hornsby. This man is brutal and wants his time in the spotlight. VP Hornsby, President Cane and the government make some harsh and disgusting decisions in relation to a terrorist attack that crashes into the Mall of America. The worst part? The government most likely knew this attack was coming.

We follow two point of views: the American government and a young radicalist. The battle between liberty and freedom against utter control is showcased. Especially the fact that deception can be so easy…

One interesting part of this book was the take on the Fourth Crusade. This wasn’t my favourite part of the book, but it was unique and made the book stand out.

I’m honestly impressed. While this book might not make me the newest fan of all political thrillers, I’m glad I picked this one up. It’s fast paced, full of thrills, takes some wild risks and is just really cool. I like Mark Spivak’s writing style and his different take on 9/11.

Overall, this book is an excellent read for lovers of political thrillers!

Four out of five stars.

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

 

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

Find out more about TCK Publishing and the author, Mark Spivak, by clicking the links below:
https://www.tckpublishing.com/
https://markspivakbooks.com/
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter – @eatdrinkjourney

 

If you love political thrillers, here’s some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett
#BookReview The Rainbow Vintner by Geza Tatrallyay
#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

 

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

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

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#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year.

Family drama, generations of Irish men & ladies, comedy, tragedy and character growth. What more could a girl ask for in novel? Not much else!!

I was truly surprised by how amazing this book was, considering it has so few reviews. It’s by far one of my favourite reads and it will sit high atop my shelves. Kathleen MacMahon has a beautiful sense of writing style and her prose is just magnificent. I can’t get enough of this book and I want more by her.

This story follows the MacEntees – an Irish family with four generations of men and women trying to deal with a long, hot summer. Deidre and Manus were once married, but Manus is now with his male lover and at Deidre is grasping with the fact that she is now “old” and in her 80s. Alma, Acushla and MacDara are their children and they all have to grasp with their own choices too. Alma and Acushla married twin brothers, and somehow their lives are echoing each other. The girls’ children, Constance and Nora, are also dealing with their own lives choices. The entire book follows these characters one by one and lets us into a world of family drama, insanity and growth.

I would have loved to read a book like this in high school, when you have the opportunity to pick apart lines and themes within the story. I loved seeing how each character interacted and how life didn’t end up the way they quite expected it. Lots of humors is thrown in with the tragedy, family drama is addressed in a very real way, and this book shows just how tough life can be (yet also how fruitful and silly we can make it). In summary, it’s all about perspective.

Kathleen does a great job showing the differences between the generations and how they interact with one another. The conflict felt so real and the book felt like it could have been a non-fiction retelling (but it’s not!). I really want to read more by Kathleen because she has a real knack for story telling. I was so attached to these characters and I was furious that this book had to end (and in the way that it did! I cried! I never cry at books!).

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you love fictional dramas, stories set in Ireland, and books about being a family.

Five out of five stars! I would give it more if I could.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out another book (or review!) that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

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

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview The Rainbow Vintner by Geza Tatrallyay

 

Geza Tatrallyay has made another fantastic and thrilling novel!

The Rainbow Vintner follows Morgan and Alex on one wild ride in Bordeaux, France. The story of this novel is influenced heavily by recent terror events and puts a brand new lens on these incidences. When Morgan and Alex get caught up in a giant plot against France, will they be able to alive and together?

There’s also a lot of politics in this book. It’s a political thriller, so it was a given (in my opinion). I like how Geza approach politics and political commentary in his book. I feel like I learn a different view of the world every time I grab one of his novels.

This book felt like Geza wrote it for me – I seriously loved it that much. Combine the fact that Geza always puts something knowledgeable and new in the books (and that lets me learn!), he also has amazing references. The reference to his own book, Twisted Reasons, had me giggling. The world views about terrorism had me intrigued. And, of course, throw in a Beatles reference and I’m an instant fan.

If I had to pick one thing I liked about this book it would be the paranoia. Somehow, Geza makes the paranoia real in this book. Who can be trusted? Should everyone be trusted? Going with my own gut, I ended up having a pretty good guess for what was going to happen (I wasn’t entirely accurate though). Watching Morgan question if she should answer any phone calls and if she should change her look made it painstakingly obvious that this book was high stakes. The entire book grew progressively more exciting and built it’s way up to the ultimate thrill ride.

If I had to pick one thing I didn’t like it would be that it took a while for the book to really get into the action. The initial explanations were needed for this book to move and flow as good as it did, but that was a little con for me.

Side note: There seemed to be a lot of reference to read wine in this book. Like, a clear obsession…

I believe this book would be a solid read for the New Adult or older audience. We followed teenagers in this book, but it felt a little darker than purely YA. A teenager could read it no problem, but it felt like a book written for adults. There are some really rough and unsettling scenes in the book, so reader beware – if you have a light heart or stomach, maybe do a little research into the book first. That being said, it’s not as R rated as Twisted Reasons. It felt like a couple steps lower on the rating steps, if you know what I mean.

Overall, I think this book was marvelous! There’s lots of thrills, twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, a splash of romance, and lots of paranoia. It was a really fun ride and I can’t wait for Geza to throw more books my way!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Geza Tetrallyay, in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo – Canadian Retailer

 

Check out more books by Geza on his website: www.gezatatrallyay.com

Check out some more of Geza’s Books  on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Twisted Fates (#3) on Amazon.com

Twisted Fates (#3) on Amazon.ca

 

And check out Geza’s Goodreads Page for more information!

Why not give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review? @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore

I love Michael Moore’s documentaries – they are funny, reflect on real events and always get my mind moving. With that in mind, picking up this book just seemed so natural! I found a copy at a local charity book sale and I figured, why not read it?

Unfortunately, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would have. I really think this book would have been better in film form (for me, anyways). I loved Michael’s unique and funny style of crafting the narrative in this book but I just couldn’t keep a hold on it. I had to read it a little bit at a time, and some of it just went over my head (that’s what I get for keeping up with Canadian politics instead of American).

This book takes a look at the September 11th terror attacks and all the strange occurrences around it. The highest praise I can give this book is that it really got me thinking, and that is high praise!! Not often do I get to pick up a book that makes me think and connect the dots. The funny commentary made it even better since it didn’t make the book feel like a textbook. If I had history classes with this sort of humor then I would have loved those classes!

In my opinion, this book is in a niche market. People are either going to get butt hurt over the funny commentary laced with terrorist attacks or they are not going to understand the humor. Michael Moore has a very specific sense of sarcasm that some people just don’t get. I do think this is a great book and if you enjoy Michael’s past work, then you’ll enjoy this one! If you’re easily offended, this book won’t be for you!

Three out of five stars!

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

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Check out this book on: Goodreads, Kobo, Barnes & Nobles, Indigo, Amazon.com, & Amazon.ca.

 

Here are some other reviews and books you might enjoy:
#BookReview Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books

#BookReview Uninvited Quests by Lex Wilson

#BookReview Elves & The Argo Adventure by Katja Vartiainen

#BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

Murderous May Book Review: From Birth to Death: Mommies Who Murder by Mindy M. Shelton

#BookReview Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin from the Rogue Nights Anthology Collection

Due to time constraints, I was only able to read Hudson Lin’s story. But, if the rest of these stories are half as good as Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin, then this anthology is absolutely fantastic!

This story follows Diego and Derek, two laws students, and their growing bond. Diego is a DACA recipient who learns the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Not only is there some super sexy scenes between Diego and Derek (because, we all know how magical Hudson Lin is with her romance/sexy writing abilities) but there is a lot of character growth within this short story.

I would definitely recommend this anthology series – I’ve read many of the previous ones. The political themes that are mixed in with romance (and sometimes erotica) make this a unique set of stories that don’t fit the typical romance mold. Not all stories will work for all readers, but you are guaranteed to have at least one story you love or can relate to.

My biggest problem was that this story was way too short! I want more from each of these stories!

Five out of five stars!

I received an advanced reader’s copy because I am apart of Hudson Lin’s ARC review team!

 

If you are interested in this book, you can locate it on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

 

Check out my other review of the Rogue anthology series:

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

#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!

#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter and Facebook!

#BookReview The Wife’s Tale by Aida Edemariam

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The Wife’s Tale is a beautiful history of a family that will pull at your heart strings.

My goodness, this book was impossible for me to put down. This breath taking recount of a woman’s life in Ethiopia was truly incredible. I’m Canadian and I haven’t left North America, so reading about other people’s lives has always been something I enjoy. Seeing into this woman’s life and the troubles and triumphs that occurred… It’s so incredible that there are hardly words.

This memoir is worth every second and needs to be read by everyone (in my humble opinion). The life of this stranger and how she lived will give you insight to a world you might not have been aware existed. Yetemegnu’s life and journey is so mind blowing! I highly recommend this book and it’s a must read for me!

This woman was married young, had many children, learned so much and felt so many emotions throughout her life. It was mesmerizing and made me really think about my own life as well. The reflection this novel brings on is worth every penny.

This book may be difficult to follow – some words are not in English, but in my ARC there was a little dictionary at the back. Additionally, it’s not some action packed story – it’s following a woman’s life, so at times it’s not super exciting. It’s a slice of Yetemegnu’s life.

This story of bravery, determination and love is one of my top books of the year now. I want to see it on every bookshelf in town! If you’re looking for a book to open up your horizons, pick this book up! Seriously, make it one of the few books you read this year!!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book in ARC form via Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out Aida on twitter: @AidaE

Give me a shout out too! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview So Near the Horizon by Jessica Koch

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Strange

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Jack Strange is, yet again, the master of the comedic horror genre.

“Having a dead chef as a front man would be a television first…” – a quote that perfectly summarizes this entire book in a nutshell.

I’m always impressed by Jack Strange – he is a unique writer that is easily able to attract an audience’s attention. His mixture of horror and comedy somehow works and draws me back to his work each and every time.

Some of the humor in this book really killed me – a pair of marigolds to get rid of the smell of rotting, human flesh? I always plant marigolds in my garden, and I know they are VERY strong smelling, so this made me chuckle. Even some of the comments said by the characters come off in a hilarious manner – most seem to be said with a hint of sarcasm (or pure stupidity on the character’s part), but it’s so good! It’s my type of dry yet dark humor, and I love it!

I also loved that Henderson is one of our main characters. He’s a cat. An undead cat, but still a cat! It’s something I don’t see very often (animals being main characters or having a personality that isn’t some weird talking/animated animal plotline), which adds some points to this read.

The insanity of this plot is exceptional and outstanding! It’s unique, strange and oddly satisfying. I would have never come up with like this! Zombies, celebrity chefs, a zombie cat, and R rated mischief? It’s a must read for those readers who are looking for something different that they have never come across before! That’s one of the best parts about Jack Strange’s writing – he’s so incredibly creative!

If I had to put this book in specific genres, it fits in many. Horror, comedy, satire, political satire, and fantasy are all shelves I could put this book on. There’s sex, gore, and sarcasm galore ridden throughout this novel. Even when the action is at it’s highest point, there’s a few fantastic one liners that will have you laughing and cringing all at the same time.

My cons are as followed:
1. My own personal con is the font was small in the version I received. Does that affect my scoring? Heck no! Was I slightly annoyed? Yeah. Is this a reason to not read the book? Nope! But I’m gonna include it as a way for Jack Strange to “improve” in his future writing endeavors!

Overall, this book is a true masterpiece! It’s clever, ingenious and seriously funny. I highly recommend this book to fans of horror, comedy and satire. You’re not going to be able to find another book like this unless it’s from Jack Strange’s catalogue.

Four out of five stars.

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

 

Purchase this book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – CCZA

Amazon.ca – CCZA

 

Find out more about this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30120566-celebrity-chef-zombie-apocalypse

Or find out more about Jack Strange on his website: http://www.jack-strange.co.uk/

While you’re at it, why not give us both a shout out on Twitter if you read this review? @JackStrange11 & @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite horror novel!!

#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Badge

 

 

The Mountain Man’s Badge (book #3) packs a real punch as the third book in this spectacular series.

This series is one of my recent favourites, and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t picked up a great thriller novel in the past year! Gary Corbin makes an exciting, fast paced novel with characters that pull at your heart strings. Seeing Lehigh and Stacy develop over these three books has been a truly magical journey, and I love that Gary put a lot of effort into making these story lines.

This time around Lehigh is becoming the Sheriff (and is being voted into a position). Politics, drama and hysteria ensue throughout this novel that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat and wanting more! I was a little saddened that Stacy wasn’t as involved in this book as I would have liked (or the dogs for that matter), but the book still kept the thrills alive following Lehigh.

When Lehigh has to arrest his father-in-law, his relationship with Stacy is on the rocks. Having this relationship change and not just be true, happy-ending romance was nice to see. It changes these characters and makes for a more interesting plot. This also assists in introducing new characters and unique plot devices to add to the intensity.

There are some unique twists and turns in this book that I didn’t see coming. These books tend to make me examine every little comment and try to come up with the ending. If you’re really keen, you might be able to figure these little mysteries out! It’s a nice change to be able to let me imagination run wild while reading these books.

Now for the real question – can you read this book without reading the other three? Yes, but it’s not as good. While I think jumping in at the second book of the series would work fine, I don’t recommend jumping in from this book. I found it less easy to jump into without the background information, and it wouldn’t pack as good of a punch. While Gary is the master of filling in the blanks, I just don’t think this book would be as good to the reader without seeing this series as a whole. All three books tie the story together very well, and I think this series is meant to be read as just that – a series.

I really hope there is more to this series – I find Stacy and Lehigh truly incredible: Each book ups the stakes for these characters! I’m not sure where they would go next, but I think Gary is creative enough to add more to that story. Although, this also felt like a really nice, dramatic closing for these guys. Either way, I want to see more by Gary Corbin and more people need to pick up his books! This man has a real talent for telling a great story!

Who would I recommend this to? Those who love mystery, crime and thrillers! It has a slight pinch of romance, but not so much that you’ll be wondering why “romance” isn’t one of the tags. That is simply a side plot that adds to the characters and their development. The book isn’t R rated by any means, so I think it’d be safe for teenagers to hop into!

Overall, this series is an A+ rated series by my standards. It has everything I want in it – real drama, character development, some action, and a dash of politics. Stacy and Lehigh aren’t Mary Sue’s or Plain Janes, which really adds to the rating for this book.

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Check out Gary Corbin on his website: http://www.garycorbinwriting.com/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garycorbin1

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-corbin-176b17

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GaryCorbin/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2046490-gary

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/GaryCorbin

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @GaryCorbin & @ReviewAlholic

 

Check out this book on Amazon (out June 20th, 2018): Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Badge , Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Badge

Haven’t read the first two books in this series? Find them on Amazon now!

The Mountain Man’s Dog (#1): Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Dog , Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Dog

The Mountain Man’s Bride (#2): Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Bride , Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Bride

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gary Corbin?

 

 

#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin

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The Mountain Man’s Dog is a thrilling read!

This book is a fantastic mixture of action, romance, mystery and a dash of politics! We follow Lehigh (Lee) and his dog Lucky as he woos an old friend named Stacy and gets involved with the wrong people…

The fast paced momentum of this book will keep you hooked at every turn, and the even mixture of action, mystery and romance will also keep you on your toes. I like that it didn’t stay to just one “genre” throughout this book, because this style worked so well with this story. Gary makes you feel for these characters and yearn to know what will happen next.

There were some cheesier or soap opera like situations that happen, but I think it worked well enough. I kind of liked the dramatic plot points because it made the characters go through emotional changes and grow their characters, but some readers may not.

One aspect of this book that made it stand out for me was Lucky. Not many books involve animals as an actual character, which made this book step up above the rest for me. I really liked Lucky being involved and essentially being her own character! But hey, I’m an animal lover!

This is the first book in the series, but it ends on it’s own note to fulfill the story. Having a book coming to a close (and not a cliffhanger) is a real positive note for me – it only makes me want to read the next novel even more. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series!

I would highly recommend this book – it’s fun and kept me interested. If you like mysteries, thrillers, and a story with a little bit of romance, then this book is for you!!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Want to purchase this book? Find it on Amazon:

Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Dog

Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Dog

 

Check out Gary Corbin’s website: http://www.garycorbinwriting.com/

Give him a shout out on twitter! @GaryCorbin

Check Briar’s Reviews out on twitter: @ReviewAlholic

Comment below – what is your favourite thriller novel?

#BookReview Carry Me by Peter Behrens

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Carry Me by Peter Behrens is a beautifully woven tale of the world wars that gives a unique perspective into the life of people in those times.

The first half of this book was incredibly addicting to me, and I could hardly put it down. It was a solid five out of five stars, and I wish I could have kept reading! Unfortunately, life hit me and I came back a week later to this novel. When I started reading at about page 243 I found myself not as interested and the story began to drag on and on and on. Some of the information could have been left out and the story would have felt just as full when I got to the end.

While this book seemed a little to long, I think the descriptions Peter wrote were divine. I couldn’t believe how clear I could imagine this story in my head! The beauty in Peter’s words truly wow-ed me, and if you love a descriptive author/book then this one is for you! It’s truly exquisite, and I’m surprised this book hasn’t won many awards for it’s intense descriptions.

The story goes back and forth between World War 1 and World War 2. Sometimes I found it hard to distinguish between the time lines (even though it stated which was which), and I almost wish Peter would have written the timelines in different tones. This wasn’t a major issue, but it did make this book a little more confusing for me (personally).

There is a small bit of romance in this novel, but you can hardly call it romance. While that was part of what drew me to the novel (you read the back of the book and it makes it seem like an epic war story with a splash of romance), yet there wasn’t much there in terms of romance. There was attraction and sweet comments, but it was more just happening in the story – there was no focus on the romance specifically. This could be a pro or a con for you, but to me I felt the marketing portrayed the romance as more than it was.

The battles in this story were well written – the war itself, the battle between leaving and staying in a place you love, and the troubles of complete opposites (woman vs men, idealisms, romanticism, etc). If you’re into themes and like reading into a book, there is so much potential to pick apart in this novel.

And then the ending is somewhat expected (I mean, most people know about history so we kind of know where it was going), but it still blew me away. Without spoiling, I think the way Peter tied this story together and increased conflict was truly incredible.

Overall, this piece of writing is a definite must read for fans of history, war stories, descriptive fiction and historical fiction. I normally stray far away from novels about history, but this one was fantastic!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Comment below with your favourite historical war stories!

Check out my review on Goodreads: Carry Me Review by Briar’s Reviews

Find Peter Behrens on his website: http://www.peterbehrens.org/

Or give us a shoutout on twitter! @PHBehrens and @ReviewAlholic

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett