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Jessica Jesinghaus

Random Thoughts of an Author & Book Junkie

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.

Children’s Book Review: Tyler the Fish Visits the Lorain Lighthouse by Meaghan Fisher, illustrated by Tim Rowe 


🐟🐠🐟🐠🐟 5 out of 5 fishy stars  

What a sweet and informative tale! “Tyler the Fish Visits the Lorain Lighthouse” by Meaghan Fisher and illustrated by Tim Rowe is, as the title suggests, an engaging tale about a young fish on his very first school field trip. (Get it? Fish school! My daughter and I couldn’t stop giggling about that.) Tyler and his class will be visiting an historic landmark on Lake Eerie, the Lorain Lighthouse don’tcha know, and the young fish couldn’t be more excited. As his teacher and their fish guide tell the children all about the history of the Lighthouse, Tyler learns a very important lesson… one the human children who read this book will be sure to appreciate as well. 

The style and text of “Tyler the Fish Visits the Lorain Lighthouse,” as written by Meaghan Fisher, is well composed and keeps her target audience well in mind. Geared toward children grades K thru 2, it’s is a simple, straightforward plot and narrative which manages to cleverly deliver some important historical information about the real Lake Eerie lighthouse. I read Tyler the Fish with my 10 year old daughter, seeking a youngster’s impression, and she assured me the 1st graders in her reading buddy group at school would’ve loved this book! Paired with the sweet text are the delightful illustrations of Tim Rowe. Truly charming color illustrations pull children even deeper into the story of Tyler’s classroom, the lake, and the lighthouse. Perfect for youngsters early in their reading adventures, “Tyler the Fish Visits the Lorain Lighthouse” will entertain and educate your young reader while simultaneously providing an illustrative feast for their eyes. 

This title is currently available on Amazon in paperback & hardcover formats, and is sure to delight your little swimmers!

**Reviewed for Readers Favorite**

Book Review: Rippling Red by Brigid George


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars  

Rippling Red, by Brigid George, is the third book in the Dusty Kent Mystery series and follows investigative journalist Dusty Kent and her steadfast assistant Sean O’Kelly as they try to solve a cold case (well, two actually) in Australia’s Northern Territory. In Darwin at Sean’s insistence, Dusty has been asked to look into the apparent suicide of young Cody Bongiorno. His parents are convinced the teen was coerced, somehow, into taking his own life. Doubtful, but unwilling to disappoint the grieving parents, Dusty agrees to look into Cody’s death. In short order, Cody’s investigation links to another suspicious death: that of Jerry Lewis, allegedly taken by a crocodile. But when Jerry’s missing head is finally located with a bullet lodged inside and evidence points to Cody’s involvement in his death, Dusty and Sean have their hands full sorting out what really happened.

This book paints a picture of life in the Northern Territory peopled with engaging characters and a host of possible suspects. The pacing of Rippling Red was steady, if not a tad slow, with a small handful of subplots vying for your attention. The dialogue was crisp and believable, with adorable episodes of local dialect tripping up our narrator, the Irishman Sean. The secondary characters (primarily the members of both Cody and Jerry’s families) were well rendered with unique personalities and backgrounds. All told, this was a highly enjoyable story and I look forward to Dusty and Sean’s next case. 

Wanna see red for yourself? Rippling Red is currently available in Kindle Unlimited HERE. Be sure to check it out. 

**Reviewed for Readers Favorite**

Book Review: Ramatel’s Vow (A Series of Angels #2) by Joel Crofoot


😇😇😇😇😇 5 out of 5 stars  

Building from the conclusion of the first book in the series, Michael’s Passion, Ramatel’s Vow follows -you guessed it- Ramatel. For those who haven’t read the first book *spoiler alert* Ramatel is one of the Fallen risen from Hell after nearly 2000 years of torture in the pit. Needless to say, that much Hell-time would leave anyone with scars and Ramatel is no exception. He’s a walking, talking conglomeration of scars: both physical and emotional. 

Enter Clara, a soul lifted from purgatory by the Father himself and sent back to earth, specifically our angels, to redeem herself… but she has no knowledge of who she was before or what mistakes she made to guide her. Her only guide is, apparently, Ramatel who wants nothing to do with it. 

Joel Crofoot surprised me with the first A Series of Angels book and I wondered if he could deliver the same magic again. The answer: Hell yeah! Ramatel and Clara were wonderful characters with an undeniable chemistry. She’s stubborn & headstrong. He’s equally stubborn and oh-so vulnerable beneath that hard outer shell. Through most of the book there exists a delicious tease of what could be for Clara and Ramatel if they would only let it happen. And when the sparks finally do start to fly and Ramatel let’s Clara know he’s also known as the Angel of Endurance?!? Wowza. 

Coupled with the drama of their almost-there relationship, the angels are up against some major demon schemes. The ‘baby angels’ from book one are back (yay!) and continuing to grow in strength and talents. Gabriel, Michael and Jahi were steady characters throughout, adding to the tapestry which joins the whole series. Needless to say, I’ve already downloaded the next book and will be diving in headfirst soon!

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read Ramatel’s Vow free HERE, or just download the ebook for a mere 99¢ Tust me, it’s worth every penny!

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