Jessica Jesinghaus

Random Thoughts of an Author & Book Junkie

Book Review: Skeletons in the Closet (Phantom Rising Book 2) by Davyn DeSye

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars  

Twenty years have passed since events in For Love of the Phantom. Erik and Christine’s son, Petter, has moved to London to seek his future. Suffering from depression centered around her now-empty nest, Christine’s melancholy strains their marital relationship. Erik’s attempts to cheer and distract her were endearing, relatable, and well written. 

As if struggling with this hurdle weren’t enough, shadows from Erik’s past have found him and threaten not only the life he has built, but the health and welfare of the one person he treasures above all others: Christine. When the biggest skeleton from Erik’s closet tries to force Erik’s hand, you just know you’re in for a wild ride. Hints of Erik’s devious past come to light and you are reminded of just why he was so feared within the walls of the opera house. With the help of his son and his old comrade, the Persian Faraz, he must mount a daring rescue attempt in a land where a price still hangs upon his head. 

For me, this was the best part of the book. Getting to see and learn so much more about Erik’s past in Mazenderan was such a treat. The pure evil of the Sultana and the lengths she will go to force Erik to do her bidding were quite telling. Erik’s cunning and determination were near palpable. Peter’s character was well portrayed too; a beautiful balance of his father’s courage & intellect balanced by his mother’s calm and grace. And speaking of Christine: while still very much a woman of the era, she’s no helpless female. I really loved Ms. DeSye’s portrayal of such a difficult time for our heroine. In a dark and desperate situation Christine really shines. 

Fans of the Opera Ghost and his beloved Christine will rejoice at this new chapter in their tale. 

Pick up your copy HERE (it’s a free read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers).

Book Review: Penny White and the Marriage of Gryphons (Penny White Book 3) by Chrys Cymri

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars  

Have I told you yet how much I LOVE this series? If your answer is no, then you clearly haven’t read my reviews of books 1 & 2! And if you have read those reviews but haven’t yet ventured into Penny White’s world – why in the name of heaven not?

This installment finds Penny tackling quite a few hurdles while simultaneously having one of her greatest wishes granted. 

Ever since learning about Lloegyr Penny has wanted nothing more than a full time post as Vicar General of Incursions and to spend more time with the amazing creatures who reside there. When she gets a chance to serve as interim priest for a small village in Lloegyr she jumps at it eagerly. But in no time, Penny realizes the grass isn’t always greener… Things aren’t all wine & roses in Lloegyr; it’s more like barbed wire and gasoline. 

Meanwhile Morey’s family has set a series of trials which he and his closest friends (Penny, James, Peter & Clyde) must complete. But these aren’t just simple tasks; they’re epic and thrilling and dangerous. Each of them will be tested and if they fail, Morey’s future is at stake. 

Things get dark this time around. Themes of prejudice and intolerance abound. People (and I use the term loosely) grow and mature and change in significant ways. Particularly touching were several brother/sister moments between Penny & James. And, as usual, Clyde is amazing and sweet and endearing and… need I go on?

As with all of Penny’s adventures, humor and love abound. Despite the heavier themes this is such an enjoyable read! You’ll be laughing aloud, reading non-stop, and raising a glass to Penny’s exploits. I truly cannot wait to see what Chrys Cymri has in store for us in book four. 

All three books in the Penny White series are currently available via Kindle Unlimited, so start reading today!

**I recieved an electronic ARC of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Book Review: Hart of Hers (Cale & Mickey Book 3) by Annie Arcane

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

This is yet another un-put-downable installment of the Cale & Mickey series.

I cannot get enough of these two! Their banter & ripostes are so fast as to leave you breathless, their love & passion undeniable. If you’re looking for a fast paced read with witty dialogue this series is certainly it! If you’re looking for me, I’ll just be in the corner sulking until the final installment is released. 

If you haven’t read Hart Broken or Hart of His, by all means do so! Then grab Hart of Hers HERE. All three can be read free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. 

Book Review: Written in Blood by Alex R. Carver

⭐⭐⭐⭐💫4.5 out of 5 stars  

I really enjoyed this read! Alex Carver has fashioned a breakneck-paced murder mystery full of false leads and red herrings that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from the very first page.

This is my fourth Alex Carver read, and it is by far and away my favorite. Characters were well developed, with fully fleshed personalities. I could relate to each character, but I particularly loved Constable Melissa Turner. She’s a young (read greenhorn) constable in a teensy tiny English village, so when her community is rocked by the murders of multiple teenaged girls, she is forced to learn a lot about ‘big-town’ police work in record time. Her heart and moxie almost jumps off the page, even as she’s being thwarted by her superiors. 

The village itself plays a vital character role too, one that shouldn’t be overlooked. The author created a very realistic small-town vibe, replete with the requisite nosy neighbor, town gossips, and suspicion of the new man in town… because Lord knows the killer couldn’t be a trusted local resident! 

The early scenes in which our nameless / faceless killer attacks his victims were downright terrifying. The panic. The desperation. It was all so vivid! Bravo.

Currently, this title is available in paperback on Amazon HERE but if you check back ebooks will be available soon. 🤓

Book Review: Step Right Up (Sirkus av Magi Book 1) by Lichelle Slater

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 out of 5 stars  

Step Right Up is a very interesting read. Part sci-if space saga, part magical fantasy, with a murder mystery to solve, and a healthy dose of coming-of-age thrown in there’s a little bit to love for everyone. I felt I could identify with the MC Crystal right from the get go. She’s young, with something to prove and a father she idolizes. So when Crystal finds her father’s dead body and tracks his killer to the spaceship of a traveling circus…what’s a girl to do? Sneak her way on board and find the murderer of course!

Along the way, she makes many friends and allies, each as likable as the last. Far and away the crowd fave though, I’m sure, will be Ite: a grammatically-challenged size-changing furball with a heart of gold. To say I want an Ite in my life is no joke. He’s adorable!

The storyline and writing bridges that young adult / adult gap nicely. It’s a book I can see my 9 year old daughter loving, same as I’m sure her brother (13) will. If you’re looking for a book to read aloud as a family I highly recommend this one!

Crystal travels to some amazing places and meets a ton of folks, not all of them human. Each was described well by the author, in such a way as to give the reader a lovely sketch upon which to let our imagination color. Brilliantly done. 

Be forewarned though: major cliffhanger ending! If that’s a big deal to you, consider yourself warned. Otherwise, this is a highly enjoyable book your whole family will love. 

Unlike most books I’ve reviewed here as of late, this one is not enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. But it’s currently available to download for only 99¢ HERE. Worth every penny!

Release Day! Fly by Night (Criminal Elements Book 2) by Cris & Clare Meyers

It’s a big weekend for Indie Authors! Today is the release day for Fly by Night, book 2 in the Criminal Elements series and written by the dynamic duo of Cris & Clare Meyers. 

I’m so excited! I snapped up my copy this morning and will be digging in soon as I finish a beta read commitment (less obligation and more honor, really, but that’s another story). 🤓

Book blurb from Amazon:

The game has changed.

Rook is a wisecracking hacker, a shapeshifter who prefers the name ‘were-crow,’ and former underling to a Talented crime boss. But as supernatural powers go, he’s no heavy hitter.

After a job blew up in his face, Rook thought the worst thing he’d have to deal with was criminal unemployment. But when he starts losing his mind to mysterious voices, being broke takes a backseat. And once his apartment goes up in smoke, Rook knows he’s in trouble.

Out of his depth and trying to dig his way out of a hole not entirely of his own making, Rook must put his survival—and his sanity—in the hands of people who have their own mysterious reasons for helping him.

With trust in short supply and time ticking down, Rook will need to find a way to make this uneasy alliance work before even more of his life goes up in flames.

Pick up your copy here and if you haven’t read book 1, Playing With Fire, you should check out my review and then get your copy

Book Review: Sweet Discovery (Jessica Sweet Trilogy Book 2) by Aliya DalRae 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 out of 5 stars  

Ebook release date: April 2, 2017

Please join Aliya for her Facebook Release Party this Sunday. 

Holy guacamole! Aliya DalRae has done it again. This second installment of the Jessica Sweet trilogy ratchets up the angst and drama while staying true to Jessica’s quirky nature and wry humor. 

Things are not all wine & roses for Jessica and Raven. Women are dying, found murdered (annihilated, really) in a manner not seen since Raven’s former bad-boy self ‘The Rapist’ was in action. Top it off with the fact that Jessica’s had a vision showing Raven-The-Rapist in action, and you’ll understand what I mean when I say things between them are a tad stressed. 

I love love loved the fact that we got to spend time in this book with both King Cat / Malcolm and Harrier. Being in their headspace was fun. These two males brought so much to the story this time! Not to mention they’re both sexy-as-sin. I call that a win-win. 

One of my fave aspects of Ms. DalRae’s writing are her short, punchy chapters. I hate having to put a book down mid-chapter, so this works for me. What didn’t work for me, per se, was the “one more chapter” mentality at bedtime… since they’re short and completely engaging chapters I kept saying one more until next thing I knew it was pretty much morning! Curses! But it was so worth it. 

**I recieved an electronic ARC of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Paperbacks of Sweet Discovery are available on Amazon now, or check back Sunday for your e-book (also in Kindle Unlimited). Don’t forget about her Release Party! It’s gonna be sweet!

Book Review: Exposed by Alex Carver

⭐⭐⭐⭐💫4.5 out of 5 stars  

This is the second short story (28 pages) I’ve read by Alex Carver, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In very short order and with concise narration, we learn a lot about Julian. I loved the twist of this ‘unique’ individual living such a mundane life and would’ve appreciated seeing that expounded on more, but at the same time the story looses nothing without it. If you enjoy revenge tales with a sprinkling of supernatural this one’s for you!

Pick up your copy HERE, and while you’re at it check out Alex’s other works. There’s bound to be a promo or two going on this weekend (3/31-4/2/17) plus his newest book “Written in Blood” is available for pre-order until April 1st for only 99¢. Don’t miss out!

It’s almost time! SIA Free & Bargain Book Event is this weekend

What better way to kick of Read Self Published month than with a whack-load of amazing indie reads? Be sure to visit the #SIAFBB event page each day for updates, one-day only bargains, and more. With over 125 titles to choose from in a wide variety of genres, you’re sure to find something stellar!

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