Reveries Reviews has moved to kellynroth.blog!
Author: Debra Sue Brice
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Setting: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Publisher: Debra Sue Brice
Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars
Some people can only dream of living out their fantasies. Cupcake shop owner Denie Shaw is the exception to the rule. This young, witty and charming woman seems to have a perfectly balanced life.
Years of making bad relationship decisions had given Denie, owner of Icing, the opportunity not only to become a strong, successful business woman, but also managed to involve her three best friends in her crazy cupcake adventures.
Denie’s sweet life gets turned upside down when she meets her crush, Tom Billingsly, right wing for the Cleveland Monsters hockey team. Together, Denie and Tom strike up a relationship that seems to have all the right ingredients.
Will Denie allow the fear of heartache to guide her choice, or will she take the leap of faith and trust God to provide a solid recipe for her life?
Title: London In The Dark
Author: Victoria Lynn
Series: Light of London, #1
Genre: Christian Historical Mystery
Era: 1910 (Edwardian)
Setting: London, England
Publisher: Ichthus Family Productions
Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Budding Private Detective Cyril Arlington Hartwell has a conundrum. London is being ravaged by the largest run of thefts in recent history. His hunch that it is all tied together may put him and those he loves in more danger than he could have reckoned.
Olivia Larken Hartwell is just home from boarding school for the summer anticipating time with her adoring parents.She misses her absent brother, Cyril, hoping for the day he will finally come home. But tragedy strikes, causing upheaval for all concerned and changes her life in a way she never could have imagined.
Olivia, Cyril, and their friends must bring the hidden to light, seek to execute justice, and dispel the darkness that hovers over London… and their hearts.
London in the Dark by Victoria Lynn is an exciting, mysterious story of estranged family members and baffling robberies. Though I do have some negatives (as I shall reveal below), it was a great novel that I really enjoyed and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
I found the beginning to be a little slow, but once it got going, it packed a powerful punch! There were several twists I couldn’t believe, and some things (not noted here because of spoilers) broke my heart. The end was fantastic! A few times I was a bit confused as to what was going on, but it was a mystery, after all, and I soon caught on.
I was also a little confused by the epilogue as it skipped forward quite a bit and seemed to jam a lot of information into one place, but I’m guilty of that in my own writing (I like to see my stories tied up in a nice, neat bow!), so how can I complain?
I sometimes got them mixed up (my fault …), but the characters were, overall, quite interesting. Let’s taking a look at a few of them.
Cyril: he annoyed me for the greater portion of the book. I was so angry with him. How dare he be so cold and cruel, so unfeeling, so evil? I felt that Cyril was the real villain and didn’t sympathize with him one bit. I could see absolutely no reason for it. He just seemed to be mean for no reason in particular. But then I learned about what happened, and I understood. Still, I wish it could have been hinted at a little more all along.
Note: I reread this book recently, and I loved Cyril! I know, weird, that’s such a complete turn-around. But … I think reading it and understanding his motives, I understood who he was and really sympathized with him. So I’m officially #TeamCyril
Olivia: I’m not emotional, so you’d think I wouldn’t get along well with Olivia, but she was really a sweetheart. I loved her dedication to her piano-playing, and how her emotions seemed to guide her playing. However, she did make some really stupid decisions that made me angry at her.
Dudley: I’d heard of the official Dudley fan club, and I entered this book curious … but knowing that I’m already in love with Gil, so there’s no need for me to fall for another book character. Well, I didn’t fall exactly, but I can see why girls love him. He’s really cool and fun to read about.
Mrs. Hobbs: WHO DOESN’T LOVE THIS LADY!? She’s hilarious and endearing and sweet.
I’m not going to list anymore (mostly because I would probably give away spoilers and partially because I don’t want this post to be too long), but, for the most part, they were all well-developed and interesting, even though I didn’t love all of them.
I found it difficult sometimes to remember what era we were in. It seemed modern at times … or at least a couple decades later. However, the description was excellent and I did get a good feel for the appearance of the characters, etc.
I feel a little bad about saying this, but I felt like the writing was weak. Don’t get me wrong: the style was good (amazing, even … I really enjoyed it!). There was nothing to complain about in the author’s style.
However, this book needed editing. Punctuation rules seemed to be basically ignored, there were several typos, and lots of awkward/hard to understand sentences. It wasn’t awful … but it did detract from the story.
[Note: I was just informed by the author that the copy I have was not the completed version. I wasn’t aware of this fact – probably wasn’t paying close enough attention – and so there are probably no typos, punctuation mistakes, or other writing errors in this book any longer.]
Violence: mentions of death and dying and a (somewhat described) death. Several people are shot/wounded in another manner. Stores are blown up though no one is hurt (I don’t think).
Parental guidance suggested for more sensitive middle-graders due to violence. Okay for all ages.
A decent story with an intriguing plot, interesting characters, and a great writing-style, this novel needed some work in as far as editing and setting goes, but was amazing in every other way. I’d definitely recommend it to any lover of a good mystery with well-rounded characters and a positive Christian message.
Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.
Amazing prizes, right? I love that mug … I want to make one for certain of my own characters, but I don’t want to steal Victoria’s idea. Anyway, be sure to check out Victoria’s blog to find the other great posts in this blog tour!
Thank for reading,
Author: Paul Willis
Series: The Greywood Files, #1
Genre: mystery (detective stories)
Publisher: Paul Willis
Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)
Overall Rating: 5/5
When Detective Greywood gets a midnight case from a forgetful friend, he thinks it’s just another robbery. But when he learns his client stored the world’s eighth largest diamond in a highly secure bank vault, he knows there must be much more to the case. Only the owner himself could retrieve the diamond.
A short story containing odd friends, two eventful dinner parties, and a coffee fueled detective.
A clever detective short story which I really enjoyed. I’m really looking forward to reading more about Rory Greyhood (and his crazy friends). I had the pleasure of beta-reading Diamond, and then I got to read it again in its completed form, and I enjoyed it both times!
Well-paced, clever, and exciting. I admit I had some trouble understanding certain things, but I figure you don’t need to know everything all at once (especially in a mystery), and I eventually caught on, which is what counts. 😛
For a short story, the characters were really well-developed, especially Rory and Henry. I really liked Henry (needless to say) and Rory’s “cop friend” was really cool. I hope we get to see Henry again. 😀
There wasn’t really a lot of talk about where the story was taking place or anything (some big city in the United States is my guess), but it wasn’t really necessary, partially because of the shortness of the story and partially because it just wouldn’t have added anything.
Mr. Willis has got to be one of the most amusing writers out there! His writing style is just so witty and bouncy and fresh. I was quietly chuckling at a lot of his similes and descriptions.
I honestly can’t think of a single thing. I suppose there was a (non-descriptive) fist-fight of sorts towards the end.
Okay for all ages.
A simple amazing detective story, comparable with Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown mysteries. I’d recommend Diamond to almost anyone, but especially to lovers of old-fashioned detective stories, amusing characters, and witty writing.
Yes, I do realize this is my book. 😛 Seriously, though, it’s free on Amazon today and tomorrow in honor of Valentine’s Day. Even though it’s not a romance, per se, it is about love … though not necessarily romantic love. So it’s fitting, don’t you think?
Just in case that image isn’t viewing correctly for you, here’s all the information it contains. 🙂
Judy has lived with her egocentric mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. When her father, Troy Kee, shows up at her sixth birthday party and whisks her away to his vineyard in France, Judy is more than happy to go with him. But Adele, Judy’s mother, isn’t quite ready to give up her daughter. Can Judy forgive Adele? More importantly, can Troy?
A sweet novella set in Europe, the year of 1938, this sweet story is sure to delight loves of light-hearted historical/literary fiction.
“If you’re a lover of historical novellas or 1930s European settings, this is one you won’t want to miss.”
“Enthralling, well designed, and elegantly presented.”
“Leaves you feeling happy.”
“Overall, this was a lovely, delightful read and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone!”
“If you are considering reading this, then stop considering, because you just have to.”
“Troy (the father) and Judy (the daughter) had such a cute relationship! Troy walked into Judy’s life, when she was six, for the first time, and it’s just sooo sweet seeing them interact! Kellyn did a really great job.”
“This book is set in the 1930’s, in England/France. So yes; not my ordinary cup o’ tea. But let me tell you something; and amazing new cup of tea for me.”
” It was a sweet little story. It made me laugh. It made me think about it. It made me smile with nice soft feeling. And… it made me feel like I had been sucker punched in the gut.”
“The characters, from bitter and rebellious Adele to sweet and innocent Judy to mysterious Troy, were all uniquely patterned and cleverly developed.”
p.s. we’ll be going back to regular reviews starting Thursday. 🙂
After thinking it over for a while, I decided to review A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter in a slightly different way. In honor of the Miranda/Marsh letters, this review will be in epistolary style.
First, a brief introduction the subject material:
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.
When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
Dear Lady Miranda,
Well, your story was quite amusing, wasn’t it? It’s a bit of a comedy (mostly because the very situation with the letters is ridiculous), which I totally wasn’t expecting. Of course, there’s also some mystery and some romance, but the comedy parts were something that stood out to me.
Is it just me, or was “Marlow” a little obvious? The first time he appeared, I was like, “Well, the mystery’s solved; time to close the book …” Of course, I read on though and found a different mystery to solve, but it threw me off for a minute because I was thinking, “Okay … that can’t be it … it’s waaay too obvious!”
Now, I admit that, once I get on a roll, I’ll add thousands of books to my to-read list based on the cover (or, as in your book’s case, genre/publisher). I also order books from the library based on the fact that they’re in my to-read list on Goodreads.
It’s kind of nice, like opening a surprise package, so I don’t correct my troublesome ways. Now, your book was like that. A surprise. I started reading it without even glancing at the blurb, and I was kind of bugged by the cover (which seemed a bit off to me … I just feel like the pink, faded, wallpapery trim doesn’t match with the bright dress and hat you’re wearing). So … I was pleasantly surprised.
Now, let’s discuss Marsh. Because I know you want to. 😉 He is absolutely adorable! I mean, you’re adorable together, but even by himself, he’s adorable! I mean, he’s not surpassing Gil (just so you know, Miranda darling, Gil is a friend of mine from a book I beta-read a while back), but Marsh is still pretty awesome!
Moving on to Georgina. Does she drive you crazy? What am I saying; I spent several hundred pages in your head. Of course she drives you crazy! She drives me crazy, too.
Then there are your brothers. Trent was my personal favorite. I love how he slugs Marsh! I mean, I kinda wanted you to hit him … but this was second best. Griffith was also cool, though not in the same way. He’s like a steady rock while Trent is more of a wild ride.
Then there’s your mother. Honestly, she drives me up the wall. I don’t know how you can even bear her. She’s even worse than Georgina. I wouldn’t stand it! You’re a grown woman; who needs her ‘lady lessons’? Eesh. I just wanted to shoot her sometimes.
However, we’ll move on because I bet you don’t want me talking about shooting your mother.
The whole thing with the spies … so thrilling! I mean, in a book. I imagine it wasn’t so fun for you when you were, you know, traipsing about the countryside with the, er, valet.
Anyway, this is an amazing novel, and your author is quite talented. I’m looking forward to reading more by Hunter in the future.
Onto the review!
Title: The Remnant
Author: William Michael Davidson
Genre: Christian Dystopian/Science Fiction
Setting: Semi-futuristic United States
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety. Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.
But Colton’s steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.
Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?
I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I started reading this book. I was a little wary, as I’ve never read a novel like this before. Of course, it is pretty original, so I’d probably be hard-pressed to find another book like it.
I loved it (and you can see by my rating), and I’d definitely recommend to anyone … even people who, like myself, are skeptical of this genre.
I removed one point because it got off to a slow start. I was hardly able to make my way through part one. However, after that, it quickly sped up and became, well, amazing. My favorite scene was in the Mourning Room when Selma talked to Colton. I also enjoyed everything about downloading the virus, because I find that idea intriguing, and also when Selma tells Colton about ‘Gus.’
The characters were all vividly portrayed and easy to keep track of. I especially liked Selma and Colton (more specifically, them together – they made a great team, honestly).
Selma was a unique, interesting individual. She’s intriguing, and she stands up for herself while still being womanly.
Colton is a pretty cool guy. I totally got his motivations and understood why he did what he did. I also sympathize with him about Marty. Though I’m good with kids (unlike Colton …), I can’t stand signs of weakness. It just bugs me. I’m like, “So what if you fell down and broke your arm? Get up!”
Ashton deserves to die. Hopefully there will be a sequel featuring the tragic death of one Ashton. 😉 Seriously, though, I hate him sooo much!
And ‘Gus’ was amazing, of course. 😛
Probably the weakest part of the book. Although it is futuristic, not a lot has changed. Sure, there are some technological advancements (such as the ability to, you know, plant a chip in someone’s head and keep tabs on them …), but the characters in this book use the same cars we do (albeit battery-operated) and not many social changes seem to have taken place.
For instance, Colton mentally refers to Ashton as feminine. Would they really even care enough to point that out in the post-2060 world? I don’t think so. It’s all going downhill, especially if religion is banned! 😉
But this is just me picking at little things, and it didn’t really decrease my enjoyment of the story.
Could have used a little polishing here and there, but it was overall good. Still, it was too long for my taste. I wish it could be shortened a bit. There could have been less explanation about every little thing.
No language. Mild violence (including someone almost getting choked and then a lot of talk about cyanide gas being used to kill a lot of people). Disturbing stuff, such a religion/anything religious (e.g. praying, using the word ‘God,’ etc.) being banned and people who do these things being sent to ‘the Island’ and then those people being scheduled for termination (with cyanide gas). One kiss towards the end, not-detailed, and some (barely noticeable, never a big part of the plot at all) romancey stuff.
This is one of those books that I’ll probably reread at some point, that I won’t delete from my Kindle, and that I’ll recommend to my friends. I’m hoping the author will come out with a sequel … and if not, I’d be excited to read something new by Mr. Davidson, anyway!
About the Author
William Michael Davidson lives in Long Beach, California with his wife and two daughters. A believer that “good living produces good writing,” Davidson writes early in the morning so he can get outside, exercise, spend time with people, and experience as much as possible.
A writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys stories that deal with humanity’s inherent need for redemption.
There is also a giveaway for two print copies that are available to those living in the U.S. only and one eBook copy available international. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, Feb. 26. Enter to win now!
You can find the schedule to read the rest of the posts of this amazing blog tour here.