Review of ‘Not the marrying kind’ by Jae.

Ashley Gaines is a florist adamant to remain in the closet as she lives and works in a conservative small town. Her neighbour and bakery owner Sasha Peterson is a pansexual who likes to stay away from relationships. Living in a small place, they know each other but aren’t friends. When they are asked to help organising Leo and Holly’s wedding, they start sharing more time together and eventually realise that they are attracted to each other. But Ashley is determined to stay in the closet and Sasha isn’t the marrying kind anyway. Will they find their happily ever after?

This is book two of the ‘Fair Oaks’ series which started with ‘Perfect rhythm’. Even though this novel reads as standalone, many events refer to the previous book and it catches up with Leo and Holly’s relationship. Having said that, Ashley is not a likeable character in ‘Perfect rhythm’ so, if you read that first, it might take you long to warm to her in this new book.Read More »

Review of ‘The Soulstealers’ by Jacqueline Rohrbach.

3.75 Stars. ‘The Soulstealers’ was a well written, YA fantasy book. I do have to admit that I didn’t love the story as much as I wanted to. However, I’m still rating this on the higher side because it’s a well done, quality, YA book.

In this world, magic comes at a steep price. When Druids come of age they steal and trap the soul of a person to leach magic off of. Arnaka is turning 16 and it is now time for her to get a soul familiar. The problem is the girl that must die to have her soul trapped by Arnaka is her best friend. Arnaka promises her friend that she will do everything in her power to stop any more people having to die for magic. Can Arnaka fight all that stands against her to keep her promise?

While this is a YA book, it is on the darker side. If librarians are considering this I would suggest it for older teens. One of my issues with the storyline is that I felt it was pretty depressing. There is friendship, hope, and even a teeny tiny baby f/f romance, so it’s not all doom and gloom, I just wish there were a bigger amount of lighter moments. I felt like this book weighed on me a bit.

The imagination of this book is very well done. While a floating city and palace above a ravaged land is not a new concept, the rest of the book felt pretty fresh. I have read a lot of mainstream and LGBTQ fantasy books so it’s always a pleasant surprise for a book to have really new ideas.

The characters are all pretty well done even the more secondary ones. It was a good cast of heroes and villains. As I mentioned before, there is a baby romance but nothing more than a couple of kisses. I wish there was time to develop the relationship between the characters more but with so much going on in the book, there just wasn’t.

This sort of leads me to one of my issues which is time. I wish there was more time for expanding on things in the book. I didn’t feel enough time was spent between Arnaka and her best friend to really cement their strong friendship connection. I wanted more time for the romance even if it was kept G-rated and I wanted more time at the end of the book, the ending was a tiny bit of a letdown.

This book has some great adventures, some good magic battles, and well thought out characters. The story itself felt refreshingly new. It did make me feel a little melancholy because it is on the sadder side. Overall I would still recommend this to YA fantasy fans.

NineStar Press really has some of the best covers. They impress me more and more every time I see a new book out.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.

Review of ‘Alone’ by E.J. Noyes.

4.5 Stars. There are only a handful of authors that I will drop everything to read as soon as a new book comes out, and Noyes is at the top of that list. While I pride myself on being a fair reviewer, I know I can be a little picky at times. But every time Noyes puts a new book out she manages to blow my mind just a little more. While I do admit the storyline of this book is not my favorite by Noyes (it’s hard to compete with one of my all-time favorite books in ‘Ask, Tell’ or the sweeping romance of ‘Gold’) but this might actually be one of her best written books. It’s hard to show growth, as an author, when your debut is fanfreakingtastic, but it is clear to see Noyes’ writing just gets better and better with every book she writes.

This book is quite different than any Noyes has written before. Actually, if you look at her complete body of work no two books feel the same which I think is really impressive. It’s hard to pick categories to fit this book into. It is a romance, but again it’s different from the norm. It is also psychological but not a psychological thriller; there really aren’t other lesfic books out there like this. And while Ask Me Again was absolutely heartbreaking at times, I think this is the most emotional book Noyes has written. It sure took me on a ride and messed with my feelings. This is what a good first person story is supposed to do. It is supposed to draw you into the character and make you feel. Well I was feeling something alright. I cried, I smiled, I was angry and disgusted, and I was sad but also relieved. This book put my emotions through a wringer and it was exactly what I wanted.

When it came to the romance I thought it was well written. Again, it is very different but here’s that word again, emotional. With the way the two characters meet, the chemistry does build slowly, but when the characters are together it was almost powerful. It made you feel like you were reading about two people that were meant to be connected to each other. And the sex scenes… my gosh were they steamy. But it’s not just the steam factor, they were intimate and consuming. I’ve always been impressed by the sex scenes Noyes writes but these seemed like a noticeable step-up.

I do have to point out this is a slower paced book. The story is about someone living in isolation for years. So there is plenty of just everyday living and someone trying to keep sane in the face of complete loneliness. And there were even some parts you could see coming as a reader, but even with some parts being a little telegraphed, the outcome still almost wrecked me. Again, this is the testament to the excellent writing skills of Noyes.

If you are a Noyes fan, don’t hesitate to get this. If you are a romance fan but want to read something different, get this. It seems no matter what Noyes writes she doesn’t disappoint. I will eagerly be waiting for whatever she writes next.

An ARC was given to me for a honest review.