3.5 Stars

/3.5 Stars

Review: Foolish Encounters: A Rainbow Gold Anthology

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Title: Foolish Encounters: A Rainbow Gold Anthology
Author: Tali Spencer, Tinnean, Elin Gregory, JC Wallace, Amy Lane, Angel Martinez, and Freddy Mackay
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

An accident, a chance encounter, a thought blurted out, a boat blown off course, a change in direction that suddenly runs into the line of fire – the smallest misstep can change everything. These foolish encounters are the moments around which lives pivot and sometimes spin out of control. Join us for tales of imprudent choices and bad decisions that can lead just as easily to hilarity as they can to tragedy.


Review:

Like most anthologies some of these stories worked and a few didn’t. Overall it is a good bunch of short stories, something fun to pick up when you’re just looking for something quick to read that’s out of the norm.

A Message from the Home Office by Angel Martinez

I really liked this one. It’s a sci-fi alien shifter story that made me chuckle. Sissal, a cobra shifter and Rcrred (Richard) a dik dik shifter are great characters and I absolutely loved the two of them together. I enjoyed this story the most it was cute, sweet and funny and I would really have loved for there to be more.

Shredding the Heart by JC Wallace

This is one of the two stories in the anthology that is a contemporary romance. Nicholas is a skateboarder and Quinn is a Financial Adviser two completely opposite men that find themselves attracted to each other. I loved their romance, it was one of those sweet slow burn things unfortunately the ending was just a bit too sappy for me. It was cute though.

The Lunar Imperative by Elin Gregory

This story took me back into the sci-fi world but I couldn’t get into this one at all. For most of the story I was confused and by the time I kind of figured out what was going on and who was who the story was over. I think there was too much of everything in too small a space.

Blue and Green Persuasion by Tinnean

Another story in the sci-fi world and for the most part I loved this one! With Blue and Green Persuasion I got a good amount of history that helped me understand why the characters were in the situation they were in. It’s very different from any sci-fi story I have ever read and I laughed a lot but I was disappointed when it ended and a bit disappointed with how it ends. It didn’t feel quite complete, I’m hoping to see this one in a longer version at some point.

Well Hello, Eight Eyes by Tali Spencer

Spider shifters? Ewwww….but who knew they could be so cute? Well one of them anyway. Main character Tanner goes out on his boat and gets caught in a storm and thrown overboard. He thinks it’s the end but he wakes up on an Island he’s never heard of with people who won’t tell him much of anything. I liked this story! It’s cute, sweet and fun, I’d love for more of this one.

The Fenestra Penetration by Amy Lane

By Amy Lane….need I say more? This is the other contemporary romance in the anthology and I loved this one. The characters are great, the story is steamy and it’s just that tiny bit quirky but that made it all the more fun to read. There is a satisfying happy for now ending but I’d love for these guys to get there happily ever after.

The Nut Job by Freddy Mackay

This story takes place in the same world as Angel Martinez’s story A Message from the Home Office. While I liked that story a lot this one lost me. I couldn’t connect to the main characters or their plight. Maybe it was just too out there for me or maybe because I’d read so many other shorts in between I got confused. I wonder if I would have liked this one more if I had of read it immediately after reading A Message from the Home Office. The story idea sounds great it just didn’t work for me.

October 30th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Enigma by Lloyd A. Meeker

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Title: Enigma (A Russ Morgan Mystery, #)
Author: Lloyd A. Meeker
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating1 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was purchased by the reviewer


Blurb:

Who’s blackmailing the high-profile televangelist whose son was famously cured of his homosexuality fifteen years ago? Now in 2009, that ought to be ancient history.

It seems there’s no secret to protect, no crime, not even a clear demand for money—just four threatening letters using old Enigma songs from the 90′s. But they’ve got Reverend Howard Richardson spooked.

Proudly fifty and unhappily single, gay PI Russ Morgan has made peace with being a psychic empath, and he’s managed to build a decent life since getting sober. As he uncovers obscene secrets shrouded in seeming righteousness he might have to make peace with a sword of justice that cuts the innocent as deeply as the guilty.


Review:

So I did this backwards, I read book 2 first then just had to read book one to see how this series started. While it’s not essential to read Enigma before reading Blood and Dirt Book 2 of this series I would highly recommend you do. The mystery in each book are stand-alones but there are things in Russ’s private life that I learned after reading Enigma that helped me understand him more.

Russ Morgan is a PI and an empath and he uses that to aide him in solving his cases. I loved the premise and surprisingly I even loved that there isn’t a romance in this story but there definitely looks like the beginning of one. Enigma is all about the mystery and I thought that was well done even if a bit predictable. I love this author’s writing style and so far I’m loving this series. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

October 28th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Losing Ground by Sasha Miller

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Title: Losing Ground
Author: Sasha Miller
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Carter Bellwood’s family has Earth-claimed the Bellwood territory for generations and they’ve always had an excess of Earth energy to back it up. Until Carter, whose energy is barely a fraction of that his mother has. But he’s the only Earth wizard in his generation and set to inherit the territory—if there’s anything left of it. The territory is being ravaged by a disease that kills all plant life it comes into contact with. They can’t cure it, can barely contain it, can only watch as their territory turns into a barren landscape. Then a new Earth wizard shows up. Tai is everything Carter is not when it comes to the strength of his magic, and more importantly he knows how to cure the disease. But he’s also terrified and clearly on the run from something, and Carter’s not sure Tai’s help is worth the risk of him trying to stake his own claim on the territory—or the risk that whatever he’s running from finds him…


Review:

I really enjoyed this fast easy little fantasy. I loved the magic and the little mystery surrounding Tai and I especially loved Carter and Tai’s relationship. Tai is hiding but from what? Carter’s family territory is under attack, everything is dying but who is responsible? The mystery in this story is a good one but my favorite thing is the relationship between Tai and Carter. Tai is sweet and somewhat naïve. He has more magical power than he knows what to do with until Carter comes along and asks for Tai’s help in repairing whatever it is that’s destroying the land. Carter is the perfect leading man for Tai, he’s patient, loving and very protective. Sasha L. Miller has written two very special characters that I would have loved to read a lot more about. The pacing was good and I liked the writing style, I can’t say anything was missing. By the end everything was answered but it ended way too fast for me, I would have loved to see a whole lot more…..maybe a sequel?

October 14th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Captured at the Castle by Alexandra Ainsworth

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Title: Captured at the Castle (Scandal in Sussex, #)
Author: Alexandra Ainsworth
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Geoffrey Hammerstead always dreamed of protecting others. Geoffrey is delighted when he moves to Ashbury Castle to take on the duties of magistrate. But when his uncle, Sir Ambrose, goes missing and is accused of running a long smuggling network, Geoffrey finds himself under suspicion.

Former thief Etienne Rivaud is furious after being wrongfully thrown into prison. But Etienne is more furious when the new magistrate is assigned to protect him.

Geoffrey and Etienne are both confident they abhor each other, but somehow they cannot stop thinking about each other. Can they ever attempt to forge a future together in a world where sodomy is illegal, and Geoffrey’s job requires him to enforce that?


Review:

I loved Duke in Denial– the first book of the Scandal in Sussex series – and couldn’t wait to read more from this author and this world. While I ended up loving the main characters in this book some of the story just didn’t do it for me. The mystery wasn’t very exciting and I actually had trouble following what was going on to the point of almost losing interest in story all together. The pacing was good but it didn’t flow, as a matter of fact it took me a while to get into this story and the only thing that kept me reading was that I fell so in love with Etienne I just had to know what was in store for him and if he would get his HEA with dear sweet Geoffrey.

The main characters are wonderful and their romance is beyond sweet. There is no insta-love or intsa-lust but there is an instant attraction and that part of the story made for a pleasant read. It’s been a few hours since I finished reading this book and I’m still not sure what to think of the mystery except that I’m really disappointed, I was hoping for so much more. This in no way will stop me from picking up another book by Alexandra Ainsworth. I think she’s a wonderful writer, unfortunately I just couldn’t connect to everything in this particular story.

September 24th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Valor on the Move by Keira Andrews

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Title: Valor on the Move
Author: Keira Andrews
Cover Artist: Dar Albert
Publisher: KA Books
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating4 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart.

Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job.

Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission.

But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?


Review:

While I did enjoy reading this story there were a few things I had problems with. First I’ll start with some of the things I liked. I thought the main characters were great! I loved Rafa and Shane and they had great chemistry. Reading about Rafa’s life made me sad and as funny as this may sound I loved that, I loved the emotion it made me feel. Rafa’s family, while a bit too perfect and predictable, where there for him when he needed them the most and I really loved that! And Shane….wow! He was bigger than life and just right for his character and in the end for Rafa.

The story kept me enthralled right to the end but there were a few things I had trouble getting past. One was the age difference between Rafa and Shane, and I don’t mean the number of years I mean the maturity level. Rafa is just too innocent in many ways. He’s never had a boyfriend or any experience on his own with the outside world and I thought Shane had a bit too much experience to be so attracted to Rafa. It’s not that it doesn’t happen but for the most part Rafa came across so childlike I had trouble understanding Shane’s attraction to him. That’s not to say I didn’t see glimpses of Rafa as a mature young man but therein lies my problem, they were only glimpses.

The other thing that I had issue with – and it is a small issue – was the drama near the end involving Rafa. It all seemed a bit too pact, I would have liked for there to have been a twist that surprised me instead I saw it coming a mile away. I didn’t hate it but I was looking for something more.

Overall it’s a good story, with great characters. If I were to ignore the age thing I’d say the romance was beautiful and the guys were definitely very hot together. This story is worth the read especially if you’re looking for a sweet romance.

September 22nd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Through Adversity by Amelia Faulkner

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Title: Through Adversity
Author: Amelia Faulkner
Cover Artist: Satyr Designs
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the Promoter/Marketer in exchange for a honest review.


Blurb:

Tortured German fighter ace Lt. Siegfried Krämer has a terrible secret which could ruin him: he prefers men. Hurried, loveless encounters have armed him with a sardonic wit and a bleak outlook, and he faces a life in which his only companion is his dog, Eike.

The young and talented Lt. Valentine Westbrook should be considered an ace, but most of his victories are unconfirmed, and now that his squadron is relegated to bombing missions the chances of him ever reaching the magic number are dwindling. When he encounters an equally-skilled enemy pilot during a terrible storm, Valentine is unable to resist the hunt.

Both men soon abandon all common sense and – with a protracted dogfight at their backs – crash-land in the midst of the German Empire’s last great offensive push. Injured, stranded, and with no idea which side of the Line they are on, they must work together if they are to survive. One of them will become the other’s prisoner just as soon as they figure out where they are, but until then they are stuck with no food and no shelter in storms which don’t seem ready to end. But worse still, their mutual respect blossoms into something dangerously intimate, and their lives are about to become forever intertwined…


Review:

I liked this story but as much as I wanted to I just couldn’t love it. It’s an historical that takes place during WWI with two fighter pilots on opposite sides of the war depending on each other to get to safety after they crash and falling in love during their journey. Neither know where they’ve crashed landed and have no idea who will eventually become a prisoner but until they do they work together to find their way to the nearest town.

The main characters are great, their romance is sweet and they made me laugh. I’m a sucker for stories where one or both characters experience their first time at love and in that aspect this story didn’t disappoint. Through Adversity is a quick read with little to no angst and I do wish there had been more of Siegfried and Valentine’s romance and less talk of their flying. In my opinion that took up too much of this short story. With all of it taking place at the beginning it almost made me put the story down. I am glad that I persevered and I am very happy with the story that came after their crash but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough for me.

September 3rd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Danny’s Dragon by Sedonia Guillone

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Title: Danny's Dragon
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating4 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

A rugged, muscular cop.

A sexy computer genius.

Secret desires.

Brought together by a crime committed on a cold dark night.

From the moment they meet, their lives can never be the same again…

Wild and rugged Dave Pearce is haunted by the demons of his past. He’s done his best to make a life for himself after the devastation of his lover’s suicide years earlier, but the trauma has left its mark on his soul.

Danny Wong is what Dave considers a “nerdy Bruce Lee.” Handsome, refined, out of his league.

But that doesn’t matter.

Dave believes himself to be dangerous for any man who would love him. So he stays back in the shadows, letting the desire he harbors for the hot grad student remain unrequited.

Danny has demons of his own. Duty-bound to his family’s goals for him, he remains shy and closeted, contenting himself with his secret fantasies about the sexy Irish cop who patrols the campus building where Danny does his graduate work.

Until one freezing winter night…

Leaving the building, fate steps in and their paths cross in a new…deeper way. Neither man can turn back. Danny and Dave must face the demons rearing their heads with full force, or lose their chance at an epic love…


Review:

From the book cover, I thought it would be something about martial artist fell in love with other man or something similar to that. Turned out I was wrong, but it wasn’t the reason why it had a tad bit lower rating. I enjoyed the book and was able to connected to both characters Danny and Dave. Although, it probably would be better if Dave had a different name rather than having both starts with letter D. I got used to it eventually.

The story about Danny was really interesting and believable. He held a secret from his family about his own identity but he knew what he truly wanted. I adored his best friend Meg. She was a true friend anyone who can have when they were in a sticky situation. Meg understood and was able to be there for Danny for any type of situation. Danny did the same for Meg. So the character developmental was great.

Dave, on other hand, was a mystery character and it was a bit longer for me to reach to the point in the book where it finally explained more about Dave’s background and what happened to his past lover who committed suicide. Dave had a tough life and I connected to him quickly the minute I learned more about his background.

Now, the real reason why it didn’t have a solid five stars– the relationship between Danny and Dave were beyond too fast. It actually ruined the story for me the second Danny asked Dave something. It was too fast. I didn’t really like that type of insta-love. Other reason, the huge point of what could have possibly cost their relationship ended so abruptly and there were no close-call or a depth inspection going on. It was just done like that. It also disappointed me so much when I reached the ending of the novel. I adore Dave, Danny, and Meg so much. But the plot weren’t there to make the novel a solid five stars.

August 27th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Sangre Series: Buzz & Blow, Shave & Shimmer and Fade & Fluff by Alex Carreras

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Title: The Sangre Series: Buzz & Blow, Shave & Shimmer and Fade & Fluff
Author: Alex Carreras
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating4 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

In the city of Sangre, Florida, vampires and humans coexist happily until one ancient and powerful vampire decides to mess up the entire thing. The hairdressers at Everlasting Salon who service vampires and humans alike decide to face the threat that lands on their doorstep enlisting the barbers across the street for a fight to the finish. Chaos ensues when fists fly, but it’s not all bad when old flames reunite and new relationships take root and grow. Between the clandestine meetings and vigilante justice, the vampires find love in unexpected companions, hoping to get some TLC along the way.


Review:

The Sangre series is like three novellas in one book. It’s a fast simple read with great characters and an interesting plot. With a few small variations to the vampire world like openly living amongst humans and some vamps having powers outside the norm there isn’t anything new but I enjoyed reading this story none the less.

Each part is about a different couple but all three centre around the same plot – good versus evil with the good winning out – and all the characters carry over from book to book. Each couple had their own issues when it came to getting to their HEA but they all eventually got there. Niko and Asher’s relationship was an insta-love/lust scenario from their first date they were a couple. Tory and Ray need help from the others to get them together. I thought of them as an unlikely pairing but a bit of matchmaking put them together and I was proven wrong. Tory is by far my favourite character, his flamboyant and sassy attitude made me chuckle, I love characters like him. Jerrod and Kairon had been a couple many years back, their breakup was a bad one but neither forgot the other nor could either move on. Their relationship took some work to get back the love they lost and I felt it was the strongest of the three couples, they are definitely my favourite couple. The plot is good but very typical, an evil vamp causing havoc amongst the humans and vampires alike. It’s a bit of a mystery/suspense theme where there are a string of murders and a kidnapping which the six MCs work to solve.

The mystery solved and the all-important HEA made me a happy camper. My reason for giving only 3.5 stars is because the story is in need of something that sets it apart from others of its kind it was just a bit too typical but still an enjoyable read.

July 6th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Snared (Just For Fun, #1) by A.B. Gayle

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Title: Snared (Just For Fun, )
Author: A.B. Gayle
Cover Artist: Jay's Cover Design
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating5 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Tyler Knoll was born one wild, stormy night in April 2013.

Of course, Tyler might tell you he was born twenty years earlier, but should we believe anything he says? That’s for you to decide.

In Tyler’s first adventure—like many a gay man before him—he was SNARED by gay porn, wallowing in tales of bigger, stronger, harder….


Review:

Tyler Knoll was rather an interesting character and wasn’t something I’ve been accustomed to read either. It took me a while to get used to the writing style, but by the time I finally got accustomed to it, the book was over with a “To Be Continued…” It was hard for me to review this book as well. There wasn’t enough plot for me to be able to review it. It was as if it was a glimpse of Tyler’s hardcore fantasy. But I could easily tell you, I was really amused and found myself chuckling as I read through the novella. It was fun as well. I think it was mainly because I wasn’t used to the writing style since I’ve not read anything as similar as this. So, the author scored for writing an original novella! Being amused by it, I want to read the next book as soon as possible. I think it would worth your time to check what was all about Tyler in the book. I still would recommend to readers that want to read something that was a light, but amusing read. It certainly didn’t waste my time.

June 24th, 2015|Categories: Review|2 Comments

Review: The Ravens Crossing Book Two by Three Authors

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Title: The Raven Crossing Book Two (The Raven Crossing, )
Author: Amanda Corlies, Andi Lea, and West Thornhill
Cover Artist: Andi Lea
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, & Heterosexual
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

This is the second book in The Ravens Crossing series.
Previous book: The Raven Crossing: Book One
Next book: The Raven Crossing: Book Two

The Ravens Crossing is a serialized LGBTQ and straight ally young adult series. It is a paranormal/science fiction/fantasy adventure. TRC is written by three authors sharing a world. Books One, Two, and Three follow the adventures of thirteen high school friends. This volume contains Season Two stories in the order they were originally published at the companion website www.theravenscrossing.org.

***

Welcome back to Wildwood, where keeping secrets has become a way of life. Because being a Gaea is nothing if not complicated. But, when thirteen high school seniors come into their full powers as Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Time Gaeas, they begin to uncover a depth of deception surrounding them that may tear some of them apart. The secrets revealed will shake them to their very foundations, and just when these friends need to trust each other the most, they will end up keeping secrets from each other.

With Gaea abilities that range from astral projection to firestarting to time travel and a whole lot in between, the Thirteen must learn to protect themselves. They should be focused on college acceptance letters, but planning for their future involves Armors teaching them martial arts and swordplay. Instead of learning from a history text, they are learning the intricacies of time travel from a legendary eccentric named Amyntas. With each discovery, from Gaea genetics to ancient prophecies, to what it means to become bonded as a Tempus and Solus, the stakes get higher. Because Frederick Demetrius, Donna Holden, and a mysterious man named Jiro seem fixated on Wildwood. They want something from the Thirteen, and they don’t mind taking out anyone who stands in their way.


Review:

It took me over a year to finish the book. All in all, it’s a good book, but it was too long for my taste. There are a lot of scenes that can be easily cut off from the book and shorten it a bit. For example, one scene was repeated a few times from different POV and I got tired of reading the similar scene. I loved the characters the authors created for this world. They have gone through tough times, especially for their ages. As soon as the book ended, it left me with nothing to be honest. I thought they’d encountered something crazy with Frederick, Donna, and Jiro, but I guess I’ll need to check the third book out when I can. It’s longer than book three, so I’ll still get it and read as often as I can until I finish the book. I know it wasn’t the best review I’ve yet to write. The book basically left me exhausted and speechless. If you have plenty of time, the series is worth a checking out. The abilities the characters had were brilliant and I loved the type of powers the authors created for them.

June 17th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments