#BookReview Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira

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Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira is a unique mix of suspense, thrills and fantasy!

This book surprised me with how fantastic it was – not often do I pick up a book with no reviews on Goodreads and it be absolutely magical in all the best ways! I feel like a really lucky reader who gets to yell “First!” in the comment section since I’ve found such a truly unique and addicting read!

Now, to the review:

This story is full of incredible descriptions that paint this story onto your eyes. The descriptions of the characters, their wardrobe, the food and the history of Portugal and it’s culture were just breathtaking! As someone with little experience or knowledge of the Portuguese culture, I felt like I connected and understood so much more from just this book! The portrayal of the culture and locations were respectful and made me feel like I truly dove into this world. Suzanne just has a way with words that makes you connect so well with the story and it’s characters. If anything, I’d suggest this book alone for the way Suzanne paints the narrative for the reader.

Some of the little quirks of this novel was the different aspects of the culture – burning ears means someone is gossiping about you, and black cats being good luck because they will absorb all of the evil. I really liked the little tidbits of information that were sprinkled around the plot development. I felt like those really enhanced this book up a notch on the review spectrum.

Now onto the plot! This book, at first glance, seems like a typical thriller set in an exotic land to the average fiction reader. But alas, good reader, this book mixes in so many genres in a truly unbelievable way that it should be in it’s own subgenre. First of all, our lead Talia is a journalist who is seeking out murderers of twin girls – check off that crime and thriller box on your checklist. Next, there’s a healthy helping of the black arts, a cult, some voodoo and omens to check off the fantasy or supernatural check box. There’s a teaspoon of romance (just barely a teaspoon), some murder and drama to mix all of the plot line together into an epic journey.

Talia goes off to Portugal with her boyfriend Jared and her friend Caryn after a family member dies. There’s a little romance and a little conflict that sends all three characters on their separate ways – Caryn chasing a man & Jared and Talia breaking up. Talia meets the super sexy Nuno and sets off on her journalistic adventure. The family drama left behind after the funeral ignites this journey for Talia, since she also wants to discover some of her family’s secrets. Once she goes off with Nuno though, her world unravels and the plot travels like a B&M roller coaster (lots of flips, turns and crazy speeds).

The plot itself sounds like a mess, but it’s just because this book is so hard to summarize! There is so much going on, but it all works so well together! Suzanne has crafted this excellent epic that I really loved! There’s so much drama and suspense throughout the book, I couldn’t even put it down!

If I’m tearing apart the speed of the novel, I felt like it was pretty even paced until 3/4ths through the book. Suddenly, it picks up speed and the action goes nuts! I really liked that aspect of it, because I do tend to get bored near the end if nothing exciting happens. Alongside that point, I feel that Suzanne made the story slowly unfold at a good pace. Each little important plot tidbit is thrown in to make the reader catch up to what is really happening, and I thought it was perfection! As I slowly began to piece together what was happening, a little tidbit was thrown in that made me go “Yes! I was right” and then the plot continued to bounce along.

But, dear reader, you may be asking if there were negatives – and of course there were! No book is ever perfect. Here’s my list.

1.For a journalist, Talia is really trusting of people! That does set of the plot, but to me she was a little too trusting…
2. Jared/Talia’s relationship was SO GOOD. I wanted more! This isn’t a bad part of the book because there wasn’t really room in the narrative to expand about their relationship and relationship issues, but I would have loved to see more of them! Their dynamic was so intriguing! Ugh!
3. The ending just seems to stop suddenly! Just like a snap of the fingers and it’s over! I really wanted to know what happened – who survives, who doesn’t, what was the point of the dreams/omens and what was a dream/omen, the fallout of all the action, etc. I liked this book to the point I wanted more (which is a rarity).
4. Evil villain explaining all the evil plans – it worked really well within this book, but I feel like it’s a cliche some readers might not like. Was it a negative for me? No, not at all! I actually liked it, but I know a lot of readers cringe at that thought so I threw it down here.

Overall, this book was really good! It really surprised me that more people aren’t picking it up because it is so good! It’s the perfect mix of action and suspense! I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love thrillers, mysteries and action!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Find out more about Suzanne Ferreira on:

Goodreads – Author Page

http://www.suzanneferreira.com/

Twitter – @sferreiradixon

Facebook – @sferreiradixon

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Cursed Vines

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Canadian Book Seller

 

If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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#BookReview The Cuckoo House by Andre Harden

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The Cuckoo House is a thrilling horror novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This book has everything you’d expect out of a creepy novel – an old house, a murder in that house, creepy old man, spiders, animals going missing, old wive’s tales, sex, objects moving, silence, a frustrated wife, bones, hot summer days, more murder, and a lot of suspense.

Andre’s writing made me feel Jane’s frustration. As a reader, I couldn’t help but develop strong feelings for this woman and want her to succeed in her goal. While it seems like a simple thing to do, connect reader’s with your characters, often time it isn’t. Good job on Andre’s part for being able to draw the reader in to his characters! That’s a feat all on it’s own!

Additionally, I could feel the suspense in certain chapters. As an avid reader of thrillers and horror, I knew something bad was coming. Andre was able to keep me hooked and anxiously waiting, then would surprise me with the lack of scares or abundance of them. That’s another bonus of this novel – Andre was able to play with my emotions in a way other horror novels haven’t been able too.

The reference to The Shining (“REDRUM”) is a nice touch, especially since I just finished the book and can actually understand the reference. I won’t lie, when I read the shining I was confused at first as to why RED RUM was a problem, but when you realize that’s MURDER spelled backwards, it makes a lot more sense!

The title relating to a comment in the book was another nice touch – it’s a fantastic reference that some readers wouldn’t understand. Having the title has a metaphor for the novel is a really nice touch, in my opinion. It always impresses me when the title has something to do with the novel instead of just be randomly generated.

Now for the ending….. it’s insanity! I want another book chronicling what happens after, but at the same time it was perfectly horrifying.

Side note: The old creepy man’s name is Jasper, which personally makes me giggle. There’s a poodle that lives down the street from me named Jasper, so all I could imagine was the poodle.

This book has one con for me, but it doesn’t take much away from the story. I would have liked more description – I’m a sucker for description, and when I do my own creative writing I tend to explain a LOT. I think if there would have been just a little bit more description instead of talking (or have the communication between characters have a bit more depth in word choice), this book would hit it out of the park and be up their with the best! That being said, Andre Harden’s writing style is excellent for this genre. Just because my reading style and his writing style aren’t perfectly matched, doesn’t mean that he isn’t fantastic. I think he’s extremely talented and the more he writes, the better he’ll get (just like with every other author). And this book is off to an incredibly strong start!

The book is definitely rated R for the horror. The sex isn’t erotic, there isn’t any scenes full of excessive gore, but the horror mixed with the sex might be a little too much for some readers. So, I’ll settle on the R rating, but just barely an R rating.

Overall, this book is an intense read! It’s packed full of horror and insanity, and it’s worth every page! Short but sweet!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

About The Cuckoo House:

After the violent death of its owners, a small house sits empty and forlorn until it is bought by a young couple looking for a new start.

Jane has had a series of miscarriages and wants only to concieve and start a family. Steve, a budding author, hopes to research the deaths of the previous inhabitants and write a thriller inspired by the events.

As the hot summer stretches out, their goals collide and Steve begins to suspect that an evil presence lurks in the house, turning their dreams toward its own dark purpose.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36429551-the-cuckoo-house

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – The Cuckoo House

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – The Cuckoo House

Find out more about Andre Harden on:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17242642.Andre_Harden

His Website: andreharden.com

 

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

And comment below! What are you reading this week?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda

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A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda is one of the best books I’ve ever read!

This novel is a mixture of murder mystery, drama, suspense, thriller and romance. Camilla and Sebastian, our main characters for this novel, are a truly intriguing pair that will resonate with you! The roller coaster of emotions these characters go through, mixed with the epic murder mystery, makes one epic story that is an absolute must read!

This book started off fast and had me hooked instantly. Normally it takes me a while to get into a book, but Ruth Miranda did an excellent job at grabbing my attention and keeping it. Sebastian, who used to be a famous photographer and has since fallen out of grace, is grieving over the loss of his wife and daughter. Camila, a disgraced woman whose life is filled with scandal, literally runs into Sebastian and suddenly their lives are entangled. Was Sebastian’s family murdered? Can the two of them ever come back into good graces?

This story is a unique spin on the murder mystery meets celebrity aspect of this genre. I really liked the pacing, the character growth and development, and the plot itself. I truly hope Ruth makes a sequel to this book, because I am in love with these characters and I need more! It leaves off in a way that makes me yearn for more, or at least have Ruth tell me what happened because it’s oh so good!

As for the ending, it’s an epic conclusion of twists and turns. I had my suspicions of what was going to occur, but it still came as quite the surprise!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves an epic drama, suspense and murder mysteries, or a little splash of romance in this book. It’s definitely an adult novel, but mature teenagers could easily love this book just as much as the adults. There are some sexy scenes, but no brutal gore.

Overall, I loved it! I would give it six out of five if that was a possible score! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read!

Five out of five stars!

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

Amazon.com – A Study for Love / Amazon.ca – A Study for Love

 

Find more books by Ruth Miranda on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Ruth Miranda

 

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

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#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 Twisted Traffick by Geza Tatrallyay

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Twisted Traffick is an incredible sequel in the Twisted Trilogy, and oh my gosh does Geza step it up!

Most of the time, the second book in a series is quite dull – it’s prepping the reader for the third, exciting, final act. Yet, Geza makes the second book top the first one and ups the antics!

I honestly liked this book WAY more than the first novel (and the first book was phenomenal). It delves further into Greg, Anne and Julia’s story and gets them heavily into the action.

This story is not for the light-hearted – it’s about the sex trade and human trafficking side of our dark world. There’s some really brutal sex scenes in this book, so I wouldn’t recommend it for readers who like the lighter side of thriller novels. But, if you’re okay with a little brutality in your story, this book is perfect! It’s thrilling, it’s fast paced and it delves into serious issues. And, oh boy, it’s descriptive. You feel like you’re there (which at some points, I don’t think the reader really wanted too)!

I liked how the story progressed overall. It starts out how you’d expect, with Anne and Greg enjoying their lives, and suddenly they are thrust back into the action. The plot seems realistic within the story it’s set, and it even goes back into the past to give us insight into the drama. The book also ends in a way that can make the book stand on it’s own, which is a big plus for me as a reviewer. I believe that most readers would be able to jump into this book and not be totally confused, but I would recommend reading the first one.

My main con was that Julia definitely gets the short end of the stick again, so I hope in the next book she isn’t needing a knight in shining armor. Other than that, the book is a real hit!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

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

Check out this book (Twisted Reasons) the first in the series on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Check out the sequel (Twisted Traffick) on Amazon:

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Stay tuned for the third book in the series, coming June 2018!!!

Give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

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And the Wolf Shall Swell by Joni Dee

Summary:

Summary: John Daniel, just a regular Joe, a foreigner who works in the City of London, is entangled with a political plot which tracks all the way up the corridors of Westminster. Aided by retired MI6 agent Adam Grey, the duo will set off to an adventure which will take them throughout London. A nuclear threat, terrorism in Oxford Street, Israeli Mossad and the British government, are all working against them. Will they unravel the plot in time?


This thriller felt like a mix of Jason Bourne, James Bond, Man from U.N.C.L.E and Jack Reacher. It was a fast, thrilling ride that will keep you hooked until the last page!

The book is fictional, but felt oh so real. Joni Dee’s descriptions and plot lines mirror reality, which thoroughly impressed me. Additionally, the settings were so beautifully described – I felt like I was in London (and I’ve never been there before). Mixing in the well-written, well developed characters made this book all around fantastic. Joni Dee is someone to watch for the future, because this book rivals the top spy thrillers.

I really liken it to the new Man from U.N.C.L.E movie – it gave me those epic thriller vibes that had me hooked to that movie. The book was also just long enough that it kept me interested. There wasn’t anything I’d remove from the novel, and I wouldn’t ask for much more. Somehow, Joni managed to find that perfect medium (for me, anyways).

This isn’t a mind-blowing new genre, it’s pretty “typical” when it comes to the thrillers I’ve read. That being said, Joni has his unique spin on it that made this book feel like it’s own entity. If you’re looking for some new “spin” on the thriller genre, this book isn’t it. If you love spy and thriller novels, this book is perfect for you.

One element that was “missing” was romance, which some readers might not like. I felt like this book didn’t need romance, so Joni did well in that aspect. Almost every thriller or mystery novel I read, there is always some romantic element in there that doesn’t need to be. The tension between characters is awesome, but that lack of romance made this book go to a new level for me. Joni didn’t need to follow the stereotypical norms of these books, so A+ for Joni!

Overall, for a DEBUT NOVEL (seriously? That doesn’t even seem right! This book was so good!) I am blown out of the water. Five out of five stars for sure! Joni Dee needs to write WAAAAY more soon, because his talent is only going to sky rocket with each book he writes.

Five out of five stars!! A definite recommendation from this reviewer!

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


 

Message from the author: All “verified purchase” reviewers will enter a raffle to have 1 of 2 characters named after them in the sequel. see https://jondbooks.com for details.


Get this book on Amazon:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

Find Joni Dee on his website: https://www.jondbooks.com/ or give Joni Dee and myself a shout-out on Twitter! @ydital  & Briar’s Reviews on Twitter: @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite spy thriller!!

#BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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One Word: Wow!

Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay was an epic, suspenseful thriller that kept me hooked at every turn!

This thriller novel follows an international story revolving around stolen uranium – trailing across Russia, Vienna, Georgia, and other beautiful landscapes. While I don’t know much about those areas or the atomic bombs, I found Geza’s retellings to be enough to get me really hooked to the story. Mix in Geza’s skill of weaving a beautiful story, epic character arcs and the suspenseful twists and turns and you’ve got one awesome novel!

DISCLAIMER: There were some R rated scenes in this novel (both sexual and horrific in nature), so if you are not comfortable with brutal topics, this book might not be for you.

My pros: The chapters are short (which makes it great for little caffeine breaks for this reviewer!), relatable characters who grow over the novel, epic twists and turns (some I saw coming, but I’ve watched too many soap operas), incredible descriptions (landscapes, history, etc), and the story comes to a “close”. There is a sequel, but I like when a book can be it’s own entity and have an ending.

My cons: The cover is boring. I am the type of person who will pick up a book because the cover looks cool (yeah, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover but some covers are just SO awesome), so I might have skipped over this book. Luckily, I didn’t, because this book is a real gem and a must read for those who love suspense and thrills!

Overall, this book was intense and awesome. I really enjoyed it and I want to read more! I liked it more than most famous/popular thriller novels are out there. It felt more real and not “typical”. While it does have a “typical” story line – thriller, suspense, mystery, politics, war – it felt unique by the way Geza wrote it. He knows his material, he is clearly a very talented writer, and he makes characters we get invested in. Most stories follow the same old, same old path with the same story arc – Geza made this feel different, and I really enjoyed it. That being said, I will definitely be picking up the sequel!

Five out of five stars!!

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

 

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

Check out this book (Twisted Reasons) the first in the series on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Check out the sequel (Twisted Traffick) on Amazon:

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Stay tuned for the third book in the series, coming June 2018!!!

Give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic