Review – Blank Space by Jennifer Young @JYnovelist

Book & Author Details:

Bank Space by Jennifer Young
Publication date: December 21st 2016
Genres: Suspense, Crime, Romance

Blank Space.jpgWhen Bronte O’Hara finds an injured man in her kitchen in the run-up to an international political summit in Edinburgh, a world she thought she’d left behind catches up with her. But once the man has made his escape, the police seem less interested in finding out where he went and how he came to be there than they are in Bronte’s past – more specifically, her ex-boyfriend, Eden Mayhew. Eden’s an anarchist, up to his neck in any trouble around – and he’s missing. The police are keen to find him, certain that he’ll come back. Who can she trust – and what has Eden’s disappearance got to do with the handsome stranger?

review

I don’t read a lot in this genre, but the synopsis was intriguing and so when the author approached me with the opportunity to review, I happily signed up.

And I’m really glad I did.  This is a decent story, with characters who are well grounded and multi layered.

The plot line left me guessing, and the pacing of the narrative added to the frenetic, panicked climax, which was handled with aplomb.  The confusion and tension was perfectly conveyed by the author.

And the ending?  Well, I’m glad that the author didn’t wrap this up with an easy route out, choosing instead to take the unhurried, yet more likely approach.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link)

About the author

I’m a writer. Is that enough?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; my first story was scribbled in pencil in a spiral bound notebook. It was called The Battle of the Black Watch and it began (something) like this: “I was woken in the early hours of the morning by my teddy bear, Thomasina, dancing a Highland fling on my tummy“.

I was eight, at most.

I read a lot when I was a child, but I wrote more. I wrote a spin-off of The Lord of the Rings, kind of prototype fan-fiction, complete with songs. I wrote about everything. In the days when you watched what was on telly because there was no choice, I watched rugby and skiing and wrote immature adventure stories about both. I went to university to study English but changed my course to do geography. At that point my stories became more heavily influenced by setting.

Then I grew up. I had to go to work, where I would jot down notes in meetings and look as if I was doing something economically sound. In fact I’d just thought of a plot point. Then I gave it all up to bring up the kids. I went to classes to keep my brain active. I went to writing classes. And someone said to me: “you should send that story off to The People’s Friend“.

I did. It was published.

I like short stories, as it happens; but my real love is novels. They allow you to develop characters and add more twists to the plot. So I moved on to writing novels. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme (because aspiring writers need help). I submitted and was rejected. Submitted and was rejected. Repeat ad nauseam.

In August 2013 the cycle of rejection broke and my first novel, Thank You For The Music, was accepted by Tirgearr Publishing. They’ve since taken four more. Just for the experienceI’ve self-published, Quintet: Dark Tales With a Twist,  a book of those short stories that grew from my writing class.

I’m still writing, novels and short stories. I’m still being rejected, more often than I like. But I’m still going. I blog. I write travel articles. I can’t help myself. Because writing is like life, a roller coaster ride.

Feel free to join me.

author links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review & #giveaway – Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor @dcompbooks @xpressotours

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Book & Author Details:

Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor
(Diamond Crier #1)
Publication date: February 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

CoS.jpgSynopsis:

Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.

Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.

In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.

“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction

review

In fantasy novels, one of the key elements to a good story, in my opinion, is the strength of the world building and the translation of that from the author’s imagination to the page.    Here, the author does a good job of that and I think that one of the fundamental reasons for this is that she has kept an element of realism throughout.  The world that Sabi is taken to is different, yes, but there is an element of familiarity for the reader to hook into.

As for the plot line, I did find this a little overly convoluted in places and tricky to keep up with the various character machinations.

Nevertheless, the underlying story is decent, even if far more questions have been raised than have currently been answered.  A promising start to the series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal) | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

 

About the author

Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.

author links

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE

Review- Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn @jquinnbooks @xpressotours

BOOK DETAILS:

Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn
(Philly Corruption #1)
Publication date: January 17th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

corrupt me.jpgSynopsis:

Izzie Rinaldi has everything going for her. All she has to do is make it through her senior year of college, and then she’ll be off to law school, one step closer to assuming her position at the head of her family’s empire. After a chance encounter with the campus bad boy, Izzie can’t get him out of her head.

Luca Marchese, the smooth-talking son of the most notorious man in Philadelphia, is used to getting what he wants. He hasn’t forgotten the girl he knew as a child, and now that he has Izzie’s attention, Luca will stop at nothing to have her.

Luca’s defiance of the law turns Izzie on more than she cares to admit. She wants Luca to corrupt her in every way possible, despite his reputation as the king of one-night stands. Their attraction is undeniable, but their desire for one another isn’t enough for Izzie to overlook visits from federal agents and the potential ruin of her family.

Linked to Luca and a criminal underworld, Izzie discovers she’s more like him than she thought. But a future with Luca could mean swapping her diamond bracelets for a pair of handcuffs.

*Corrupt Me is a standalone novel that is the first book in the Philly Corruption series.

review

There are enough machinations throughout this story to make my head spin.  And not always in a good way.

The author has crafted a story here where the expected trope stereotypes are somewhat twisted. And  what that gives the reader is a lead female who is strong, but not entirely likeable.

Additionally, elements of Luca’s behaviour are just completely self serving, and I struggled to connect to what draws these two characters together.

But despite these issues, the plot line is undeniably strong, and well mapped out, even if these characters didn’t resonate with me.

Ultimate, it didn’t send me giddy.  However, that’s not to say that won’t be the case for others.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link)

About the author

Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.

author links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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