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Jessica Jesinghaus

Random Thoughts of an Author & Book Junkie

Month

July 2017

Facebook Event: Summer of Mystery 7/27-7/30

All weekend long, join authors and readers at the Summer of Mystery Facebook event. Games, prizes, FREE BOOKS… Come join the party!

Yours truly is participating and will be giving away a copy of Mirror, Mirror to one lucky winner. Will it be you?

Here’s a sampling of some of the books up for grabs:

I don’t know about you, but I love me a good mystery! And with several mystery sub-genres represented you’re sure to find some great reads! Hope to see you kicking around the Facebook event later!

If you don’t win your copy of Mirror, Mirror during the event, all hope is not lost! She’s on sale thru 7/31 for only 99 teensy tiny pennies. 

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Book Review: Angel’s Nightmare Adventure by Angel Ramon


⭐️⭐️ 2 out of 5 stars

Angel’s Nightmare Adventure is actually a pair of short stories, chronicling a (possible) zombie outbreak in New York City. The first short features Angel, a high school student going in for surgery. After awakening from anesthesia he finds himself in a now-deserted hospital full of zombified patients, staff, and a few Zombie-frogs & spiders just for variety. The second short, running on a tandem timeline, features rookie cop Luis as he’s sent to investigate a strange death in a mansion owned by the mysterious Hybrid Corporation. 

I try to avoid commenting on editing on my reviews, but this book is sorely in need of major revisions. Misspelled words, incorrect punctuation, and text that changes from present tense to past tense and back again within the same sentence… it was too much to ignore. The story’s content was fairly predictable for a zombie apocalypse survival, but I do give the author props for a fun twist at the end of each story. If you’re a fan of zombie video games, this little book will likely be right up your alley, but for me it felt like I was reading a video game walkthru. 

If you’re curious, you can check it out for yourself via Kindle Unlimited HERE.

Book Review: Loved by a Killer by C.F. Rabbiosi


⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 3.5 out of 5 stars

Okay, I’m not gonna lie: I’m a sucker (pun absolutely intended) for a good vampire story. Loved by a Killer does not disappoint in that regard. From the outset, readers are treated to a unique story told, primarily, from two POVs: the young, beautiful dancer Raina and the unapologetically monstrous vampire Marcus. When Marcus sets his sights on Raina we just know nothing good can come of it for poor Raina. 

Probably my favorite part of this book was the author’s take on the origins of the vampire race. It was fresh and new, something hard to come by in the vampire genre. Another fun addition was the fact that the story takes place parallel to the Jack the Ripper killings, events which threaten Marcus’s secret lifestyle. Readers are even treated to one chapter from the Ripper’s POV which was pure maniacal candy. 

Unfortunately, the dialogue was a bit anachronistic. Certain phrases and statements made throughout the narrative kept pulling me from the moment, while I so desperately wanted to stay in 1880’s London. Occasionally the plot felt as if it wandered, as if too many threads were trying to be woven together (an example and minor spoiler: the ghost of Marcus’s servant possessing dead bodies to exact revenge against her killer didn’t, to me, seem like it was necessary or that it quite fit with the rest of the book’s events).

That said, I still quite enjoyed Loved by a Killer. The author has a knack for writing the gruesome bits, with plenty of detail but not so much as to be gratuitous. Raina’s inner turmoil as she adjusted to her new life with Marcus was very well written, as was her body’s inclination to respond fervently to his touch. Sultry, bloody and intriguing best describe Loved by a Killer and I’ll certainly read the follow-up Loved by the First when it’s released.

Read it for yourself via Kindle Unlimited HERE

Book Review: The Heights of Perdition (Book 1 The Divine Space Pirates) by C.S. Johnson


🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀5 out of 5 stars  

What might become of our civilization after world-wide nuclear war? How might government and humanity react? What would the fallout be? The Heights of Perdition, by C.S. Johnson gives us a possible glimpse. 

Aerie St. Cloud is a dutiful student, if not a tad willful, but is eager to prove to her family unit and her government that she can be a strong member of the State military. Growing up under the strict tutelage of the State in the underground capital New Hope, Aerie knows she can never ask the questions that tumble through her head. Instead she must follow orders and become what everyone around her dictates. But when fate finds her inadvertently kidnapped by a notorious space pirate, Exton Shepherd, the opportunity to freely ask her multitude of questions and spread her wings is one she can’t give up. Exton, meanwhile, must deal with the unexpected complications presented by the strange young woman and the way she affects his long-quiet heart. 

The world created by C.S. Johnson is, eerily, one I had no difficulty picturing should nuclear world war occur. Questions raised about government, religion, and human nature were peppered throughout the narrative, elevating The Heights of Perdition from a mere space fantasy to something much more thought-provoking. The inner turmoil experienced by both Aerie and Exton were very understandable, and I particularly enjoyed their verbal sparring episodes. With themes of obedience, duty, revenge, forgiveness, love and redemption running throughout The Heights of Perdition took me on a roller coaster ride and left me eager for the second book in the series. 

I fell in insta-love with this cover. It’s just lush and had such a great manga feel that sucked me in immediately. You can check it out for yourself on Amazon & Kindle Unlimited HERE

**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: More Heat by Robin Rance

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 3.5 out of 5 stars

A mysterious fire that caused the death of a beloved ranch owner… A damsel in distress, blinded and burned trying to save her pa… A woman and her nephew on the run from a ruthless killer… just what a sexy FBI agent needs while he’s trying to relax and take a vacation. But that’s exactly what Binx Marcum finds while trying to unwind from a long undercover case. Before he knows it he’s hip deep in trouble, playing the part of a ranch-hand just to get close to, and protect, Miss Julie from the firestorm that’s a-coming.

A lot happens in this relatively short book (just over 200 pages) and in very short order. Events transpire over a period of only 2-3 days. There’s backstabbing and scheming. There’s corruption. Cattle and horses and cowboys and gunfire and insta-love. And you know what: I’m okay with it! More Heat doesn’t pretend to be a deep, philosophical read. It’s one of those books you read that makes you smile, gasp, flip forward a page to make sure everyone’s gonna be all right, and wonder when Julie and Binx will just shut up and kiss already!?! Told from multiple (somewhere in the vicinity of six) POVs, things can get a little confusing at times, but each character has a unique voice and I applaud Robin for her ability to portray them effectively.

Right now the ebook is getting a bit of a facelift, but it should be back up and running in a few days. You can check it out on Amazon HERE.

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

Book Review: Glimmer of Steel by K.E. Blaski

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars  

“Damen had two days, five hours, and twenty-two minutes left to save Nyima’s soul.” 

And thus begins Glimmer of Steel by K.E. Blaski, a story so all consuming, so breathtakingly rich as to transport a reader’s soul. On a distant planet, a bloodthirsty tyrant rules with an iron fist. Literally. Augmented through dark magic and covered by an impenetrable metal skin, Noble Tortare has his sights set on a new bride: the beautiful Nyima, Damien’s oldest and dearest friend. If marriage were all Noble had in mind, things would still be bad enough, but with his tendency to consume his brides’ souls on their wedding night… Damen will risk anything to save Nyima, even doom another in her place. But when Damien’s mad scheme to save Nyima actually works, he’s faced with an unexpected dilemma: he is unmistakably drawn to this new soul, the feisty Jennica, and must do all in his power to protect her as well. 

With Glimmer of Steel, K.E. Blaski has created an absolute feast! Brimming with intrigue and deception, readers are swiftly drawn into an alien world fraught with familiar dangers. Although so many aspects of life on planet Astrune are foreign, they’re introduced in such a way as to leave readers feeling comfortable in their surroundings. The world building is lush, absolutely brilliant, and characters are well realized. Our two main characters, Damen and Jennica, are fully rendered and relatable in their strengths and weaknesses. Similarly well portrayed is the villain Noble Tortare, as well as several minor characters of questionable intentions. Billed as Book 1 of The Books of Astrune series, I was very pleased with the ending: a satisfying conclusion with clear paths for future stories to progress. K.E. Blaski has created something special, a real treat for readers!

Ready to take this amazing journey yourself? You can download it HERE, free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. 

**Reviewed for Readers Favorite**

Book Review: Only the Few by L.N. Denison


💥💥💥💥 4 out of 5 stars  

At its heart Only the Few is a tale of courage and fortitude in the face of seemingly insurmountable, horrifying challenges. Set in an England laid waste by bombs and peopled with scattered bands of survivors, ruthless scavengers, as well as nightmarish science-experiment rejects referred to as ‘cavers,’ this post-apocalyptic dystopian story follows the travails of Corporal Catherine Hyde. After losing her entire family to the bombing which felled England, she and a small military force are sent out on a recon and rescue mission, seeking to rescue surviving humans the English countryside. After losing her whole squad to an attack by the cannibalistic cavers, she must face the daunting prospect of trekking back to the relative safety of her London barracks by foot, with little more than a lone gun and her own wits to protect her. Along the way she encounters many obstacles, a few friends, and many enemies… culminating in a shocking twist at the end that will leave you staring dumbstruck at the page wondering how you could have missed the signs. Bravo!

I haven’t read many books in this genre, but I found Only the Few difficult to put down. Admittedly, we know very little about Hyde’s past, her character outside the military, but we are given snippets and these only serve to deepen the intrigue surrounding her. I, for one, appreciated that while Hyde is tough as nails, she is still sometimes weakened by insecurities. At one point, late in the book, as Hyde contemplates a possible romantic attachment, she inspects her naked, bruised and battered body wondering “Would (he) ever find me attractive if he saw the real me?” I found her insecurities refreshing and relatable, much more so than if Hyde were simply an unflappable, tough-as-nails heroine utterly certain of herself and her abilities. 

I’ll admit, while horrifying in their actions and origins, the cavers completely captured my attention. I would’ve enjoyed more if them in this story, truth be told. The aforementioned twist at the end practically guarantees another installment and I will be eagerly awaiting the next chapter on Corporal Hyde’s journey. 

Available in Kindle Unlimited, you can check out Only the Few for yourself HERE

Book Review: Death of a Debutante (Riley Rochester Investigates #1) by Wendy Soliman


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars  

It’s summer in London, 1870. A stifling heat wave has tempers on a short fuse, and Detective Riley Rochester is about to encounter a case that will test his mettle in more ways than one. Death of a Debutante, by Wendy Soliman, introduces us to the fledgling Detective Division of the London Metropolitan Police. But Riley isn’t your typical detective; he’s the second son of a marquess, a distinguished member of the aristocracy, one of the city’s most eligible bachelors, and a conscientious detective out to prove he’s not just “playing” at police work. When a charming young socialite is found murdered while attending a musicale soirée in the home of the prominent businessman Lord Ashton, Riley must walk a tightrope between two worlds in his quest for justice. 

As the first book in a planned series, Death of a Debutante sets the stage for an addictive historical mystery saga. Author Wendy Soliman has crafted a lovely character! Riley Rochester is intelligent, determined, and suave. His dedication to his job is one which clearly comes from the heart, a choice his high class family cannot understand but one we as readers can get behind wholeheartedly. Secondary characters, such as Riley’s right-hand man Sergeant Salter and his dear friend the widowed Mrs. Amelia Cosgrove, are equally well rendered. Plus, the budding romance between Riley and the feisty Amelia is endearing. Death of a Debutante flows at a steady clip, with a plethora of viable suspects, motives and deceptions… enough to keep Detective Rochester running until the shocking conclusion. 

You can check it out HERE on Amazon. 

**Reviewed for Readers Favorite**

Book Review: Beautiful Delusions by Ember Raine Winters


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5 out of 5 stars  

Man-dango! This book gave me whiplash… in a good way. Beautiful Delusions follows a single mother, Kaylee, through a very turbulent time in her life. Kaylee’s had it rough. Her first partner, and the father of her two kids, was (is still?) a drug addict. Her second relationship was to a man who beat her and abused her, both physically and emotionally, to within an inch of her life. Kaylee’s resultant PTSD plays a major role in this story as she tries to cope with multiple crises: custody disputes, a possible stalker, and the questionable ‘support’ of her immediate family. 

When a figure from Kaylee’s past, Griffin, resurfaces in the guise of her new therapist (he’s a legit PTSD therapist, but he does have ulterior motives) it’s just one more obstacle Kaylee has to overcome. Griffin is a great guy! As a reader I liked him right away. Former Special Forces, he helps vets back on their feet, employing many in his security firm. Good thing too, because with the help of his younger brother and a handful of Army buddies, Griffin’s gonna have his hands full keeping Kaylee and her kids safe. 

The romance aspect of this book was a tad predictable, but did that detract at all from my enjoyment? Hell no! There were so many other curve balls flying toward Kaylee that I appreciated the steadfastness of their burgeoning relationship. Kaylee’s PTSD flashbacks were incredibly well written and portrayed. As someone who works in the women’s healthcare field, I applaud Ms Winters for taking on such a challenging topic as domestic violence induced PTSD. It couldn’t have been easy, but it was portrayed with aplomb. Beautiful Delusions is part of a series, however the book tidies up well, and includes a sneak peek at the next installment, thereby avoiding the dreaded cliffhanger. Needless to say, I will be reading the next book in the series soon! 

Is book is currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (my fave!) and you can snag your copy HERE.

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