Copy Boy, by Shelley Blanton-Stroud – 4 Star Review!!!

41RgN1IsnVL._SY346_

Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A

When I first starting reading Copy Boy, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a vague idea it would be something similar to a coming of age adventure, but that isn’t how it ended up at all, really. This book was absolutely fascinating, and I can’t honestly think of a book to compare it to (that I’ve read before). There are twists and turns at every corner. Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, you’re taken for another loop.

Copy Boy takes an honest, raw look at walks of life we don’t always hear about. It takes a realistic look at a heroine who is far from perfect – and realizes that herself. The characters are ALL dynamic. Like in real life, the cast is constantly shifting, growing, falling back on hard times…

I highly recommend this story for anyone who wants to read a book that will surprise them, or who enjoys a raw, gritty look at the past. If you want a bad A main character and a story you could easily both see happening (and not), this book is well worth the read.

The cover is eye-catching and offers an accurate depiction of what readers should expect to find inside.

Buy Now

Legacy of Secrets, by Helen Starbuck – 4 Star Review!

41S+LP2n9QL

Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A

This story was filled with twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that the way I thought things would be resolved changed a hundred times. I can usually figure out “who dun it” by halfway through a story, but that wasn’t the case with Legacy of Secrets. I did figure it out, eventually, but only about five pages before Starbuck has the big reveal.

As for the romance portion of this story… I found it enjoyable. It isn’t at all what I was expecting. What I was EXPECTING was your typical “big strong hero saves poor helpless heroine.” What I was HOPING for was “strong, capable heroine saves herself and gets the guy.” This book delivered neither.

Instead, it delivered an emotional depth I rarely find in romance books, but which I absolutely love. The hero/heroine split was about even, and I liked that even better. It was one saving the other, but the two of them saving each other. Absolutely beautiful.

Now, any time I don’t give a give star review I like to mention the reason I deducted any stars whatsoever. My singular complaint with this story was that I found some of it a little repetitive. That may simply be my own personal taste and others might not find it bothersome at all. I will say the repetitiveness wasn’t so bad I put the book down (and yes, I’ve had that happen), and it didn’t ruin the story. But it was enough that I found it noticeable.

All in all, however, I really enjoyed this book and would be excited to read future books from Helen Starbuck.

The cover is eye-catching and offers an accurate depiction of readers should expect to find inside the story.

Buy Now

The Takeaway Men, by Meryl Ain – 4 Star Review!

41lvceciJhL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A+

Let me start by saying that I *technically* give this book a 4.5 star rating. When I was first given an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I was ecstatic. History is one of my favorite things to learn about, and I’d done extensive research/reading on the holocaust. That desire for more knowledge had been stoked by The Diary of Anne Frank, which was one of my favorite books growing up. But this book? The Takeaway Men? It talks about what happened to Jewish (and Polish) families after the holocaust. I can’t think of any really great stories that talk about life after. Yes, I’ve read some nonfiction titles and while I enjoy those, it isn’t quite the same as getting lost in a story.

I have only a single complaint about the book. The beginning dragged a bit for me, although honestly, I can’t say why. I placed the book down and restarted twice because of this. But, about the second or third chapter, the story pulls you in and holds you  hostage. Again, I’m not sure why the beginning didn’t draw me in the same way, but it may just be a “me” thing.

The characters are well-developed, believable, and flawed. Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows I’m a sucker for humanly flawed characters – and Mrs. Meryl Ain delivered. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the book in any form. BUT she has her characters doing realistically “bad” things and yet, you can’t help but love them nonetheless. Ain has you feeling for all of them – side characters and primary alike. The entire neighborhood came alive before my eyes and I lost a few nights of sleep.

The underlying mystery adds to the plot. What happened to the twin’s parents during the Holocaust? It’s a constant “background plot” that keeps you reading in the hopes you’ll learn. Of course, I can’t say whether you find out or not, but I can say that I would definitely be interested in reading anything else the author writes in the future.

The cover is intriguing and gives you a realistic idea of what to expect inside the story. The cover receives my ultra-rare “A+” rating (given to, I think, only three other covers ever) because it fills me with a sense of bittersweet melancholy… yet somehow also gives me the sense of hope. This feeling the cover gives me (and gave me before I ever began reading) is exactly how the story feels when you’re reading it.

Buy on Amazon

Halloween Monsters, by Eric Guth – 4 Star Review!!

41VfJrR-gQL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A

This was an interesting book, filled with fun facts about varying types of monsters. There’s also a section at the back of the book dedicated to different types of animals that hold a place in folklore or superstition. My kids both really enjoyed the book. The two-year-old was fascinated with the images, and my 11-year-old loved the interesting facts. Even I learned a few things in this book.

The illustrations were enjoyable. My daughter especially enjoyed that the illustrations were in the shape of the monsters, but compiled of certain elements or attributes creating the monster’s story.

I had just one complaint about the book. The fonts used throughout the book were difficult to read in certain instances. If I could suggest a singular thing to improve the book, I’d suggest aiming for more readable fonts – especially since the book is meant for children, as they may find it even more difficult to read. That, however, is my singular complaint and myself and my kids really enjoyed the book.

The cover is eye-catching and offers an accurate depiction of what readers should expect to find inside the book.

Buy Now

Ghost Revelations by Aspen Black – 4 Star Review!

51bVJIWtnrL.jpgStory Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A

I love the writing style in this book. It’s upbeat and bubbly while still portraying the darker aspects of the story line in a way that tugs at your soul. The characters are well-defined – and I’m pretty sure I have to steal Akira. Positive, actually. The overall story arc is full of twists and turns, action and adventure, so the readers stays hooked from the first page to the last.

The cover is eye-catching and offers an accurate description of what readers should expect to find within the story.

Purchase: Amazon US   /   Amazon UK   /   Amazon CA

The Devil and Dayna Dalton by Brit Lunden (Bulwark Anthology, #9) – 4 Star Review!

41Era9d4rGL.jpgStory Rating: *****
Cover Rating: A+

This book was short, but thrilling. I read it in approximately three hours (reading almost straight through), and I really don’t think I could have put it down had I wanted to. My only complaint was that the story was a little too fast paced for my personal tastes in a few sections. It was fabulously written, otherwise. In fact, I’ve added the entire Bulwark Anthology to my TBR list because I’m now hooked. Although this is the ninth book, it can easily be read as a standalone, which is how I read it. LOVED the twists in the story – always love it when an author can keep me guessing!

The cover has received my rare A+ rating. Why? It is both eye-catching and gives a good idea of what to expect from the story. The “+” is in the details, and has been given to this book because of the second-glance details in the eye. Look close! Love it!

Purchase: Amazon US   /   Amazon UK   /   Amazon CA

Wait For The Wind by Brynna Curry (Elemental Magic, #3) – 4 Star Review!


Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A

This was another quick, couple hour read in the Elemental Magic series, and this one just might have been my favorite so far. I love the sense of family and togetherness that Curry has created for the Mulligan family, and I loved the beauty second-chance-at-love bit in this one. Plus, I always loved Ryan. I hope Skye and Devin get stories, too, because I’m totally in love with them, too. I can’t wait to read the next book and find out more! There was a lot of loose ends in this one that I hope the next book takes care of!

The cover is eye-catching and offers an accurate depiction of what readers should expect to find within the pages.

Purchase on Amazon

To Take Up the Sword by Brynna Curry (Elemental Magic, #2) – 4 Star Review!

Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: B

This was a great follow-up and a short, easy read. It took me about two hours to read from start to finish, and even if it had of taken longer, I’m not sure I could have put it down. This second volume in the Elemental Magic series ties up a lot of loose ends while bringing us another beautiful love story that has an incredible swoon-worthy ending.

The cover is eye-catching and offers a moderately accurate depiction of what readers should expect to find in the book.

Purchase on Amazon

Earth Enchanted by Brynna Curry (Elemental Magic, #1) – 4 Star Review!


Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: B

This book was packed full of action, intrigue, and a beautiful budding romance that had a truly swoon-worthy ending. I loved how the magical aspects of the story were entwined flawlessly with the modern lives of the characters. I felt the book, although a romance by definition, held strong elements of both fantasy and crime thriller. My only issue was that there were a few places where the story became difficult to follow – but it was short-lived and I was able to figure it out without too much issue. Definitely super excited to read the second book!

The cover is eye-catching and offers a moderately accurate depiction of what readers should expect to find in the book.

Purchase on Amazon

The Dark Underworld by D.L. Blade (Chosen Coven, #2) – 4 Star Review!

518qqIB+gWL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: B

Okay, what? This story had me guessing from the very first page to the very last, and now I must get my hands on the third book. There are so many loose ends to wrap up, and the second volume leaves off on a cliff hanger. The story in this second volume was packed full of action, and the intertwined romance was intense. I kept wondering how that would be resolved, and I feel like nothing happened the way I thought it would – which, by the way, I absolutely love.

The cover is moderately eye-catching and offers an accurate depiction of what readers should expect to find within the story.

Purchase on Amazon