Search

Jessica Jesinghaus

Random Thoughts of an Author & Book Junkie

Month

May 2017

Book Review: Lanie’s Choice, Survivors of Paradise Book 1 by Kimberlyn Day


👽👽👽👽 4 out of 5 stars  

What a ride (innuendo intended)! Lanie’s Choice is a unique blend of sci-fi and erotica with an undercurrent of 1970-80’s TV camp thrown in. But this description doesn’t really do it justice!

From the sci-fi aspect, this book holds its own. The ‘survivors’ are a group of human off-world colonists whose home, Paradise, was invaded and enslaved by aliens. In addition to enslavement, these aliens bring with them a virus which threatens every human in the colony. Our rag-tag group of survivors were among the few who did not succumb to the virus, but they were not left unchanged. The virus has mutated within them, leaving them permanently altered and with some nifty abilities. Escaping the remains of Paradise in an alien spaceship, they’ve set off in search of help before the alien invaders leave Paradise in search of greener pastures: namely, Earth. Although brief, the alien spaceship and its technology were well written & described. I appreciated the author’s attention to those details. 

After crash-landing on a moon they believe inhabited by aliens who may be able to help them, Lanie and her two-man crew come face to face with their possible rescuers. Again, I was impressed with the aliens created. There are three distinct groups with unique features and physiology. Lanie quickly finds herself the linchpin in a deal with the aliens to secure their cooperation and assistance. 

And this is where the story dives quickly into erotica. Lanie, with a scarred and traumatic past, must agree to ‘life bond’ with one (or more) of the aliens. But who will she choose? How can she choose, given the things done to her during Paradise’s occupation? Her hesitation is understandable, as is her quick acquiescence… I mean, come on, those aliens were hunky! Things get hot & steamy very quickly. I’m not gonna lie, I blushed. Frequently. Then I re-read a few scenes just for the fun of it. 😊

If you’re looking for a quick, steamy read then Lanie’s Choice is for you. I’ll definitely be reading on in the series. You can snag Lanie’s Choice as a FREE download via Kindle Unlimited HERE.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Curious Tale of Gabrielle (Curiosity Book 1) by Zachary Chopchinski


🏵🏵🏵🏵 4 out of 5 stars  

Curious indeed! The Curious Tale of Gabrielle is a smartly composed introduction to the Curiosity Series. The main character, Gabrielle, is an adventurous 13 year-old girl who is extremely close to her mother & father. Although neither parent make a real appearance in the book, their presence & importance to young Gabrielle is palpable – very important in a story such as this one. 

Gabrielle takes off on an unbelievable, incredible adventure, one she must figure out on her own since those around her have no idea she is from some other place or some other time. As far as they know she is their little sister and friend. While traveling through this strange alternate (?) life she sees and hears things no one else can. I’m not going to lie, every time Gabrielle heard ‘click’ my skin crawled in anticipation. 

Gabrielle is a strong, believable young heroine, extremely well-portrayed. Her actions and decisions ring with truth and I cannot wait to see where her adventures take us next!

This lovely little adventure is currently a FREE series introduction, so snag your copy HERE. Enjoy the adventure! I surely did. 

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

Book Review: Shadows of the Past by Graeme Cooper


⭐️⭐️⭐️💫3.5 out of 5 stars  
This is a tough review for me to write. I really enjoyed this book, yet there were some issues I can’t currently overlook. 

Let’s start with what worked: Graeme Cooper wrote a really intriguing fantasy. I particularly enjoyed the prologue. The shadowy cabal, meeting to discuss some nebulous, nefarious plans to overthrow the current establishment, was very quickly and effectively portrayed. It set a great tone for the rest of the action. I also appreciated the way the main characters were introduced. For such a short novel (180 pages according to Amazon) there was a lot of relevant history and world building conveyed. Truly impressive! This book is the first in a series, and the ending was that elusive blend of resolution mixed with unfinished business that leaves a reader satisfied and eager for the next book. Well done!

So what was my issue? Editing. Unfortunately, the version I read was rife with typos, past/present tense irregularities, and grammatical errors. Luckily for future readers, I made notes for the author and have forwarded all my findings for his review. I feel confident that another editing pass will provide Shadows of the Past the polish it deserves. It really is a gem. 

So, rating this tale is difficult. If I only rated the book on what I experienced while reading this version, I would have to give it 3 stars. But if I overlook the errors (which I believe will soon be rectified) then the book is a solid 4 stars. That means I will settle this rating at 3.5 stars. I will certainly be seeking out the next book, due to be released in June of this year, and look forward to re-entering Graeme Cooper’s world. 

If you’d like to check out Shadows of the Past, you can do so HERE.   

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

Book Review: Fly By Night (Criminal Elements Book 2) by Cris & Clare Meyers 


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars  

I am positively in love with the Criminal Elements series!

This installment puts us into the headspace of Rook, the sarcastically unflappable crow shifter / computer hacker. Told in first person with stabs of hilarious inner dialogue, Fly by Night is super fast paced. 

Only a couple months have passed since our rag-tag group met with misadventure and betrayal in Seattle. Rook has returned to his home turf to lick his wounds and try to salvage his ‘professional’ reputation. It’s a tall order, made even more difficult when Rook starts hearing voices. Unsure what’s happening, he calls the only person he can still count on for help. 

When Carlos (aka Medium) arrives, he can tell something big is happening to Rook, something outside their ability to understand, let alone control. Medium suggests more experienced assistance but that’s a call Rook refuses to make… until Medium winds up in the crossfire and the young Talent’s life is put in jeopardy. Watching Rook eat crow (so to speak) was highly entertaining. Hat in hand, he has no choice but to get the band back together. But gathering the Seattle team in one place comes with it’s own dangers as enemies from both Rook’s and Stone’s past come out of he woodwork with deadly consequences. 

I was devastated when I got to the end of his book and realized the ride was, for now, over. To be honest, Rook was my least favorite character from the first book. But in book two he REALLY shines. Sure, he’s still sarcastic as hell, but getting a bird’s eye view of his life really helped put things into perspective. And watching him try to repair bridges… okay, more like rebuild them from the smoking rubble of Seattle… with Grace, Renee and Stone was painfully realistic. 

Once again, I appreciated the way characters’ use of their Talents and shifting was moderated. The fantasy element is mitigated with realism in such a way as to create a palpable realism. I can picture these characters living, breathing, and walking down the sidewalk beside me. The world Cris & Clare have created is totally addicting! Strap yourself in and prepare for a wild ride. 

I can’t wait for book three!

If you haven’t read the first book, Playing With Fire, you can read my review HERE. Then get your hands on the series, available on Amazon HERE.

“Mirror, Mirror” Giveaway!

Feeling lucky? Take a shot at winning one of two paperback copies of Mirror, Mirror. This Goodreads Giveaway is valid for US residents (sorry my international peeps, I’ll catch you next time) and open to entries until May 24th. 

You can enter the giveaway HERE. Read the blurb below and then screw up your courage… I dare you to look!


Nearly twenty years ago a teenage girl was murdered… 

Samantha Carlson was just a young girl when her cousin, Emily, was brutally raped and killed in her own home. As a child, Sam’s family did their best to shelter her from the gruesome details. Now, working the crime beat for the Portland Tribune, Sam has the resources at her fingertips to investigate the case for herself.

Through the eyes of a killer… 

After inheriting a family heirloom, an antique vanity table that once belonged to her murdered cousin, Sam begins seeing visions in the mirror’s depths. Like watching an old home movie, she bears witness to Emily’s murder. As if that weren’t frightening enough, she starts to see other things too: fleeting glimpses of the killer himself! Are the things she sees just a figment of her imagination or could something otherworldly be trying to communicate with her? When the killer strikes again and leaves clues behind meant specifically for Sam it becomes a race against time to try to catch him.

Book Review: Chemistry by C.L. Lynch


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars  

Holy Hera! Where do I start with this one?

Chemistry is one of those books that defies categories and expectations. The cover screams Twilight parody, and it is, but at the same time it is something else entirely. It’s unique. It’s unapologetic. It’s zombies and romance and snark with a healthy dose of swearing. 

I am positively enamored of Stella Blunt. She’s strong and brilliant but her hard outer shell hides a soft heart you’d never expect. And who better to win that soft heart than a shambling social pariah with the ridiculously sweet name of Howard “Howie” Mullins? 

The story jangles with familiar nods to Twilight (near-miss car accident in the school parking lot anyone?) that made the closet Twi-hard in me smile. But it’s so much more than that! The dialogue is witty. Stella’s snarky attitude and foul mouth are brutally beautiful and work in perfect contrast to Howie’s calm, somnambulant demeanor. He may be a zombie, but he’s a civilized one! And he loves Stella for the right reason: her brain. No reason to worry, though. He’s a civilized Z, remember?

If you’re looking for a humorous sweet-n-sour zombie rom-com, this series is for you. I cannot wait for the next installment and would figuratively offer my heart to author C.L. Lynch if I thought it’d help speed up the process (you’ll get the joke once you’ve read the book) 🤓

Be sure to pick this one up! It’s free in Kindke Unlimited HERE. Also, consider visiting CL’s website for awesome bonus content featuring Stella and Howie. 

Book Review: Crow Girl by J.B. Trepagnier


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars  

What starts out as an apparently straightforward story about a grumpy widower who takes in a wounded and feral child… Wait? Did I say straightforward?!? Nope. Nothing straightforward about this story!

Liam is, as mentioned, both recently widowed AND sacked from his job of over thirty years as a newspaper reporter. With nothing else to occupy his time Liam decides to take up an old hobby: writing. Perhaps he’ll write a book? Settling into the peace and quiet of his solitary cottage, brewing his own beer and gardening in his small patch, the last thing he expected was to shoot a trespassing intruder. But when that intruder turns out to be a frightened young girl, Liam’s life takes a crazy turn. 

Early on, it appears that the tale will follow a supernatural track with talk of sidhe and banshee. I mean, come on, the girl can communicate with crows! But when Liam brings her home from the hospital to recuperate things veer toward the sweet and endearing. Watching Liam, who never had children of his own, struggle with how to teach a fully grown, non-communicative young woman the concept of using an indoor toilet was adorable! 

If you’re looking for an action-packed story, this isn’t that kind of book. This is a tale to be read at a leisurely pace. It’s a story about what makes a family: the obstacles, the arguments, the struggles, and the rewards. The author did a great job investing me, as a reader, in the characters. Liam’s growth is almost as remarkable as his crow girl’s. A heartwarming read!

As with so many of the books I feature, this one’s also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. You can pick it up HERE

Book Review: Boss Unyielding by Nicole R. Locker


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love a little forbidden office romance? Especially when the hunka-hunka boss man-candy is as appealing as Rogan Rayner? Computer programming never looked sexier, I can tell you that! Muscles, tattoos, glasses, and intellect? Where can I get me one? (Just kidding, I found mine a long time ago *wink*)

For a relatively short read (150 pages) there sure is a lot packed inside! These characters have so much depth! It would’ve been easy to write a story about Farren and Rogan, with plenty of steam, and just left it at that. But Ms. locker treats us to so much more. This story has substance! Yes it’s steamy. Yes it’s sassy. Yes there’s angst and a HEA. But in between there’s just so much driving these characters! The backstory we are provided as the tale unfolds is truly satisfying. 

Grab this one right now, curl up and enjoy the ride. Get it HERE.

Book Review: Bound by R.M. Gauthier


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫4.5 out of 5 stars  

The mystery of Landon Miller keeps getting bigger and deeper! Just when I think I’ve come up with the perfect explanation, Ms. Gauthier slings something new my direction and the conspiracy theory wing-nut who lives inside me just gets all a-twitter with grander and crazier possibilities. I dig it!

Whereas the first book showed us a Lexi who was worn down and frustrated, in this book we get a Lexi who is pushed against a wall, ready to break, but still willing to fight tooth and nail for the man she lusts. That’s right – I said lust – because I’m still unsure if what they have is love… I’m rooting for love, but at this stage in the game, I think anything goes. 

Tensions are high in Bound, literally picking up moments after the conclusion of book one. For those of you who, like me, were screaming WTF at their Kindle / tablet / computer screen or throwing the paperback of Control across their bed, don’t expect any instant resolutions. Landon’s choices still don’t get any real explanation in Bound, but the possibilities are oh-so-tantalizing. Ms. Gauthier has me completely sucked in! I’ve lost track of how many theories I’ve created, and I think I’ll continue to create outlandish theories until she resolves things for me. 

With less Landon page time, there was more of an opportunity to really delve into Lexi’s past and some of the secondary characters. Hailey as the rock-solid but hot-tempered BFF is wonderful. Agent Johnson (remember him? the FBI guy asking veiled questions in book one?) is back and develops into a really likable, relatable character. Honestly, he almost stole Leroy’s spot as best supporting character. Almost. I think they’re tied at this point. 

Now, back to that cliffhanger ending from book one: rest assured, the end of Bound isn’t quite so shocking. It feels more like a cliff-dangle. Maybe because we were so steamrolled by book one’s swan dive off the peak of Mt Everest? I feel quite a bit more at ease this time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m chomping at the bit for resolution, but I don’t have that feeling that someone (*shakes fist at Ms. Gauthier*) just played soccer with my heart. 

The pacing of Bound was excellent, flipping between current events, flashbacks to “that night,” and some even bigger flashbacks to events 15 years earlier. The flashbacks were a well-used device, and readers will have an easy time delineating where in time they are as they read. 

Fans of mystery, crime, romance or suspense will find happiness in this series. Highly recommended!

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

You can read Bound (and its predecessor Control) for free on Kindle Unlimited. Grab your copy HERE.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑