Review: The Story of Lucius Cane (Book 1) by Vanya Ferrerira

Category: Adult Fiction (Fantsay)

Published: February 9, 2016

Read: May 2017

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) London, 1794. Lucius Cane, a peculiar sort of vampire, comes upon an opponent the likes of which he has never seen before – a brute with remarkable abilities. But not all is as it seems as their encounter unfolds in a manner that neither of them expected.

Review: This book was given to me by the author for an honest and fair review. In no way has this changed how I feel about the book or will change the kind of review I will provide.

This was a very short read. I read it within a day or so. It’s only book one in a series but it’s also more like a short story. So first and foremost if you like really quick reads, this one is totally for you.

It’s about Lucius a vampire who people want dead and someone is hired to kill him but this someone is not what your typical “contract killer”. He also has abilities of his own, that kind of mirror a werewolf. So your classic tale of teeth vs. teeth.

You meet Lucius and the battle happens. It’s a really great battle I must say. It’s to the point and it’s one bad ass against the other.

It is written very well, and descriptive which is nice for such a short story. I would have given it a perfect score if it was more to the battle but not because it’s so short. If I get the chance I would continue this story for sure and follow more of what this author might produce.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS STORY IF YOU LIKE:

Anything by Anne Rice, or are a fan of the Underworld movies

Review: The Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Lusia Lang

Category: Adult Fiction

Published: November 29, 2016

Read: May 2017

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter.
The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him.
The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.

Review: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for a review. This has in no way reflected how I feel about the book.

This was a book that was different. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I won’t lie the cover threw me off, as it’s not the nicest but it hides a good book. Who knew a book about a talking and time traveling cat could be so enjoyable.

This cat in question, he can walk and talk and eat like a human and with his best friend the high priest they settled in America present day with Elena who has given birth (by the High Priest) to a boy who is the recantation of a pharaoh that the cat loved. They get called to England for Elena to write a story about ancient Egypt. There they find out the past has never really died and have to time travel back to see if they can fix it, but are they the real cause?

I enjoyed the time travel part of it, it was different and quite a twist on the story. Where are they going to end up as the High Priest seems to be a bit of a twit. You don’t hate him but you kinda want to hit him sometimes. You get to see Egypt to Stonehenge.

It’s suppose to be a sequel to a book but it can be a standalone. I did not read the first book or know anything about it and it didn’t affect the enjoyment of this book in any way.

The cat is witty and funny and I can honestly say that I laughed out loud at certain parts. That is why is was such a surprise. My only disappointment was the ending. It was good but it was a total WTF moment and it threw me off. It felt rushed. It wasn’t bad but it could have been better.

This author has a lot of potential and is a good writer, despite a few mistakes in the book grammar wise it was very well written and easy to read. I look forward to anything else that she might come out with.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:

Reawakened by Colleen Houck, The Other Boelyn Girl by PhilippiaGregoria

Review: Just Like Family by Kate Hilton

Category: Adult Fiction

Published: May 2017

Read: April 2017

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Avery Graham has built a life that anyone would admire. She has a brilliant career as chief of staff to Peter Haines, the charismatic mayor of Toronto. She has a devoted partner in Matt, her live-in boyfriend of 14 years. And she has a loving family and deep friendships that stretch back to childhood summers at the cottage.
But when Matt proposes, Avery’s past threatens to engulf her present. Can she contemplate a lifetime commitment to Matt after her disastrous first marriage to Hugh? And is Matt really the love of her life, when she has spent so much of it by Peter’s side? Avery could use some good advice from the women who know her best, but her closest friends, Jenny and Tara, have drifted away over the years.
When a scandal erupts at city hall, Avery must overcome her deepest fears about love and loss, and discover what it means to be a family.

Review: This book was won as part a of a Harper Collins Canada contest that I entered so I was able to get my hands on it before it’s even published. This in no way reflects on my review or what I think about it. This is an honest review of this book.

So overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a light read and fun and really hit home. I’ve grew up and lived in Toronto for many years over my sort of long/short life. I love the city and love visiting now and am invested in what goes on there. As a person who lived there during the infamous Rob Ford scandal this book was really enjoyable and really hit home.

It revolves around the main character Avery. She works as the chief of staff at Toronto city hall with her childhood crush Peter who is the current city mayor. The story goes between the now and the past when she was a child at her parents cottage with her best friends. Things happened to her when she was younger and that shaped who she is today. She is distant, obsessed with work and not friends with her friends anymore. Is it her fault or is it just the way life goes? She is also in a long term relationship with Matt who wants more and if he doesn’t get it will he leave? Than a scandal rocks city hall and will she survive?

Avery is a character who can be annoying but is someone you ultimately root for as she isn’t a bad person just made some dumb choices and has been selfish. Matt is the greatest character in the book. You can’t help but love him and how he’s written. Just an overall good guy and I love when you  meet characters like this. The mayor is a jerk, and many reasons why but I won’t go in to that too much or else I will give away a good part of the scandal.

It’s well written and easy to read. It’s not hard to figure out what time period that the author is talking about, even thou some of the chapters overlap. So in that sense it’s not confusing and I am happy for that. It’s not overly heavy content so it’s also a refreshing read as well.

My only problem with it, and why it got a four instead of a five is because of the ending. Everything was dealt with and it ended good but it felt really rushed. Things happened than were poof resolved and the book ended….(double take). Yes it happens like that and it was disappointing. It felt rushed and you feel a little cheated for putting that much effort in to this and then it’s just over and all knots are tied nicely.

I am glad I got to read this book. I do recommend it to anyone who likes these kinds of stories or knows Toronto well. It’s neat to read about places you have been and seen with your own eyes. I look forward to reading anything else this author might come out with.

 

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, A Better Man by Leah McLaren.

Adult contemporary novels. Anything to do with Toronto.

 

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Category: Adult Contemporary

Published: January 2013

Read: February 2017

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

Review: This was a really cute and quick read and overall I thought a great book. It’s funny, with a love story that isn’t so lovely dovey or anything along those lines. The best way to describe it is to compare it to The Big Bang Theory television show. Quirky characters who are clueless but super smart.

It’s about Don Tillman, a genius but a awkward man with what they describe but never outright say, a form of autism. He’s socially awkward and blunt and doesn’t have a lot of friends. He decides that he needs a companion for life and makes a survey to start to weed out bad ones from good ones. There are questions like how often they drink. Than he meets Rosie who is the complete opposite of what he is looking for. He doesn’t like her at first but helps her by testing all these men to try to find out who her biological father is. During this time they get feelings for each other but what kinds of feelings are these anyway. Can someone like Don like someone like Rosie and vice versa. 

It’s a bit slow to start but it picks up and becomes a funny and moving story. Are they going to find out who Rosie’s father really is? Do they like each other or is this just a professional thing? Is Don ever going to change? The age-old question that women have been asking since the beginning of time. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and parts that just warmed your heart. You got invested in these characters and loved them or hated them.

The writing was well done and it’s clear that the author did his research on the subjects that Don knew about. The only downside is the slow beginning but it picks up as I said. I also loved the movie type ending. You could picture it in your head and loved every second of it. It’s not overly romantic so if you’re not in to those books that are oooey and gooeey or full on romance this may be the book for you. Plus if you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory you will also really enjoy this book.

There is a second book based on the same characters and I can’t wait to read it. If this author keeps pumping out books like this I can see him becoming a fan of mine for sure. I can also see this becoming a movie…not that I have heard it will be but it would make a good one.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Funny Contemporary Novels

Review: The Sisters by Claire Douglas

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: August 2015

Read: Jan 2017

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) One lied. One died.
When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. Haunted by her twin sister’s death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets twins Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.
When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs. As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention? When the truth outs, will either sister survive?

Review: This was a disappointment of a book and I was really excited to read it so it made the disappointment even worse. It was a thriller but didn’t make sense and the ending was just horrid. I love thrillers and love all the new ones coming out, as it’s the thing right now, but this was not a top one at all which I am sorry to say.

It’s about Abi, who lost her twin sister in a accident that may or may not have been her fault. Than she meets Bea who she falls for, you never know if this is sexually or just as a friend but there are points where you are confused on which. Turns out Bea also has a twin brother, and there are feelings for him as well. All is good until things start to happen to Abi after she moves in with these twins and her things start to go missing and gross things are found in her room…where she sleeps (gasp!). Once the truth comes out she can’t handle it, or she can, or will she go crazy like she has before.

I was intrigued when I first started the book. It had so much potential as a thriller to be a really good book. Is the twins crazy or just one of them? What are they hiding? What is Abi hiding? Why is she so obsessed with certain things? I got half way through the book and it started to drag and just more what if’s happening. nice_cup_of_tea

Than we get to the ending. It was so anticlimactic. There was a twist, don’t get me wrong on that point, but it was kinda like…what the hell….and oh ew! kind of twist more than a WOAH that just happened kind of twist. Once you realised what was happening, and then it kind of just ended without any real resolution than your so over and done with this book.

The writing was good, I enjoyed that and I won’t put off this author again but I think this could have been such a better book over all. I would not read it again or really recommend it, BUT that being said I know that if you like thrillers and ones based in England you will enjoy this.

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Review: Christmas at Claridge’s by Karen Swan

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: 2013

Read: 2016/17

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) This was where her dreams drifted to if she didn’t blot her nights out with drink; this was where her thoughts settled if she didn’t fill her days with chat. She remembered this tiny, remote foreign village on a molecular level and the sight of it soaked into her like water into sand, because this was where her old life had ended and her new one had begun.’Portobello – home to the world-famous street market, Notting Hill Carnival and Clem Alderton. She’s the queen of the scene, the girl everyone wants to be or be with. But beneath the morning-after makeup, Clem is keeping a secret, and when she goes too far one reckless night she endangers everything – her home, her job and even her adored brother’s love. Portofino – a place of wild beauty and old-school glamour, and where a neglected villa has been bought by a handsome stranger. He wants Clem to restore it for him and it seems like the answer to all her problems – except that Clem has been there once before and vowed, for her own protection, never to return . . .

Review: So this was a book that I was excited to read. Karen Swan seems to have a following for her stories and puts one out every year that is Christmas based. Being the holiday season I decided it was the right time to try one out for myself and see how she writes. It was a daunting task as it is a big book and I currently have a newborn so yes it took me some time to actually finish this. This doesn’t bode well as I didn’t like it very much and it was already a struggle to get through the story.

cla-xmas-new-3wayIt’s about Clem, who is a party girl in every sense of the word and lives in England with her brother. He runs a leather business and when Clem messes things up for him really badly he gives her an ultimatum. Strighten up and go to Portofino in Italy to help a super rich man redo his house and save the business. This man of course is handsome, protective and wants her…badly. So she goes and turns out she has been there before…but what happened last time and how will it change her when she has tried to hide it for so long.

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It’s very well written and I do like how Karen describes things and really dives in to her characters. You feel like you know them and you really start to feel for them. Although, Clem did annoy me at times as she seemed like a spoiled brat that needed a good slap in the face. It was rich in details and I can see why people like reading her. You really felt like you were in these places, and with my husband being Italian himself I am now asking him to go to Portofino. rtemagicc_portofino_porticciolo_per_copertina_02-jpg

That being said, I didn’t actually like the story. It was written well, as I said, but SOOOOO long. A lot of it could have been cut out and it would be okay by me. It didn’t have the hook to keep me reading. Plus it was supposed to be about Christmas but there really wasn’t much at all. It started just after New Years and spans the full year and then at the end you have a small part about Christmas when everything comes together for our main character.

For adult women who loves stories like this, I highly recommend this book. If you like a good strong story than this is not a book for you. Will I read another of her stories, absolutely, just to try her out again and see if maybe this was just an off book for her. Will I read this one again? Absolutely not!

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Review: The House of Wives by Simon Choa-Johnston

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: May 2016

 Read: November 2016

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In 1862, a young Jew from Calcutta named Emanuel Belilios leaves his dutiful wife Semah and sets sail for Hong Kong to make his fortune in the opium trade. There, he grows into a prosperous and respectable merchant, eventually falling in love with his Chinese business partner’s daughter Pearl, a delicate beauty twenty years his junior. As a wedding present, he builds for her the most magnificent mansion in Hong Kong. Then Semah arrives unannounced from Calcutta to take her place as mistress of the house…and life will change irrevocably for all of them.

Review: This is a fiction novel for historical lovers. It is a fast read and very fast paced and full of heart and courage and a bunch of other great things. It’s an era I am not fully aware about and was glad to read as you don’t come across a lot of books regarding the Opium trade in Asian countries. 14006_934_1-201491921548_540x360

It’s a story of Emmunal Belilios and his life as a trader. He grew up in the trade as his father also grew and sold Opium, and he got in on it. Having something to prove being the 2nd son and having no expectations. He succeeds only by marrying Semah and using her dowry to gain the drug and go and sell it. Along the way he gains two business partners in doing this and is of course successful. His marriage with Semah isn’t the greatest as she doesn’t produce him an heir right away. Emmunal eventually decides to stay in Hong Kong and marries another women there. Semah finds out and travels to Hong Kong and decides to take up residence in the same house as the 2nd wife. Emmunal is generous and with a big house divides it and hence we now have the “house of wives”. It’s two women who co-exist together trying to be the number one and having everything for themselves and their children while Emmunal keeps amassing wealth.

2016-handout-simon-chua-author-of-house-of-wives-photo-byThat is basically the story, it goes between the two women and Emmunal. You get a bit of everything, what it’s like living in a plural marriage like that in that time, as well as the business of drugs when it’s completely legal to sell. It’s richly told and you get a lot of emotions out of the book like happiness, sadness and even some confusion.

It is  a very faced paced book. So much so that you have to try to figure out sometimes how old people are now and how long it’s been since we last saw the characters. That is one thing that lost a point on this book. It’s a good story don’t get me wrong, but not one I will want to read again or will pass along. That is why it got less marks than it could have been. It’s not badly written at all, overall the writing is smooth and easy to read. opium_dandy_pacha

Apparently this story is based on the author’s own ancestors which is really nice. So you know at least some of it can be true and that fiction is filled in. If you really like this type of book or historical fiction this is very for you. Not so much for anyone younger as there is a lot of sex talk and drug talk.

I would be interested to see what else this author comes out with.