Book Review: What Happens at Con: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts Book 4) by Cathy Yardley

What Happens at Con: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts Book 4) by Cathy Yardley

A Romantic Comedy published by RYW Publishing (07/31/18)

Summary:

Ani is prepared to spend the next two years in her grad program dealing with a sexist adviser and a nearly insurmountable amount of work in addition to her own thesis. After one night of recklessness, one night of abandon, one night of worry-free sex with a stranger Ani still won’t set aside her goals for a fling, but maybe she can find the time for a relationship.

Abraham is starting to feel tired and alone without a partner. One night stands just aren’t cutting it anymore and when he meets Ani, he can’t get her out of his head.

He’ll have to fight to win her over. She’ll have to decide what’s worth her time and energy. Will either of them survive Ani’s thesis adviser from hell?

Keywords:

Convention, Fantasy, Coding, Gaming, Doctorate, Research, Lab, Bad Boss, Busy, Hardworking, Romance, Sex, Sexist

My Review:

I read this fast-paced romance in one sitting. As soon as I finished, I wanted to read more.

Yardley reels the reader in with her vibrant characters and their believable problems. I was riveted during the entire story.

I was pleased that Ani wasn’t your run-of-the-mill damsel, but none of Yardley’s characters are in any of the books I’ve read. Ani is such a great role model to read about. She’s a hard-working, nose-to-the grind woman who’s in STEM and going for her doctorate. She knows what she wants and she does what she has to do to get there. And yet society is still there pushing back at her for being a woman in STEM.

Abraham wasn’t a cut and dried male lead, either. Yardley gave him depth. There was much more to him than met the eye and I’m glad Ani didn’t immediately fall for his good looks. Scratch that, because she totally fell for his good looks! Even though she saw him as only his good looks to begin with (I see what you did there Yardley), she eventually saw past his surface level attractiveness to his personality.

This novel was published by RYW Publishing on July 31, 2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Cathy Yardley’s Website

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Book Review: Aftan Whispers (Estalia) by Phil Williams

Aftan Whispers (Estalia) by Phil Williams

A Steampunkian-Dystopian Novel published by Rumian Publishing (01/16/18)

Summary:

“People who can do something to help others should!” Tyler said. “This is big. We can change the sky. We can change the world. It’s more than just doing the right thing, it’s the only thing.”

Tyler is a young roofer that gets pulled into Deni’s story after she drops a precious message. Tyler won’t stop at returning the message because Deni is in trouble. She’s on the run from the slavers and the Guard and someone more sinister than both combined. After figuring out the message together, they will work together to find a rocket, return what was lost, and take down the evil in their town.

Keywords:

City, Weapons, Post-Apocalypse, Friendship, Evil, Power, War, Fighting, Knives, Guns, Science, Secrets, Crowds, Village, Traitors, Government, Guards

My Review:

The pacing is excellent. The first scene is intriguing and will immediately pull you in. Most post-apocalyptic novels push ordinary folk into roles of heroism amidst a great and powerful evil. This novel; however, is different. Instead of the ordinary folks being up against an insurmountable enemy, Tyler and Deni are up agains the government of one town. Their home. As the plot unfolds, the stakes get higher, and the lies unravel, it is up to the two of them to uncover the evil and show those who can fight that there is a fight and that it is worth fighting.

Deni and Tyler are both conflicted. Deni wishes the world was an exciting place with good people, but realizes the world is full of people who don’t care about others or only care about their own plight. Tyler wants to think people do things for good reasons, but is slowly starting to see that not everybody has good intentions in mind. I espeically loved the scenes where Deni and Tyler commented on each other’s actions. Especialy telling was when Deni commented on Tyler ‘helping’ the lamp lighter guard in one of the beginning scenes.

Tyler is extremely empathetic – he feels the pain of others so clearly that he drops everything to help those in need. tyler is driven by a need to do right! he is the good in the world and becomes Deni’s driving force. He shows Deni that all is not bad in the world. He is the smile that brightens each moment and the embodiment of hope and life.

This novel was published by Rumian Publishing on 01/16/2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Phil Williams’ Website

Book Review: The Time Mechanic by Victoria Bastedo

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The Time Mechanic by Victoria Bastedo

A Fantasy Novel published by Amazon Digital Services Inc. (07/16/2018)

Summary:

“I’m the new Time Mechanic. I was chosen, just like you, to take on an important mission. We’ll journey, risk our lives, and perhaps never return. But we’ll save this present time from encountering wreckage so catastrophic that history is shattered here. We’ll save many lives.”

Jeremy lives a simple life. He works hard in an honest job and saves as much of his income as he can. That all changes when he gets the urge to buy a new coat. His life changes don’t end there with the coat. Jeremy must soon deal with an ex-fiancee and confront an old friend before everything he knows and counts on changes. Life as the new Time Mechanic is chaotic and dangerous. Still, Jeremy will find new friends and form a team. Together they will fight new enemies on their new adventures together.

Keywords:

Simple Times, Action, Adventure, Thievery, Ordinary, Secrets, Gifts, Fighting, Capture, Rules, Friendship, Family, Steam, Mechanics, Engineering

My Review:

Jeremy may be simple and plain, but he reveals himself to be smart, levelheaded (most of the time), honest, and caring. Though “it’s from ordinary friends that Time Mechanics are made” Jeremy is not ordinary. His life may be ordinary before he encounters the mysterious steam that changes his life forever, but he is a larger than life character who embodies the characteristics of a do-gooder. He picks up the mantle of savior and Time Mechanic naturally, though he continually questions his own role and and choice as the Time Mechanic.

I liked how the book was grounded in the relationships between Jeremy and his team and the plot that unfolds as the evil plans of the bad guys are slowly revealed. Jeremy is granted special powers as the Time Mechanic and the book is set in some undefined time period in a fictional place called Tonturin where there are no cars and life appears to operate on a much simpler plane of existence. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fantasy book that was grounded in the characters’ reality.

Jeremy takes on the responsibilities as Time Mechanic, but he does so willingly and with full knowledge of the rules and potential dangers. I liked how the rules of the Time Mechanic were revealed immediately, but the mystery surrounding how Time Mechanics came to be is revealed slowly. I especially liked rule 2 – “accept the help and company of others who are so compelled.” The way those “compelled” people resisted at first was very entertaining.

This book was grounded in some alternate past and the way women were viewed (by the narrator Jeremy) as more delicate and needing to be protected threw me off even though Kannikey and Ffefferpip both proved more able and crafty than Jeremy and Miles at times.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services Inc. 07/16/2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.25

 

Links for more information:

On the web

Victoria Bastedo blog

Book Review: A Case of Serendipity by K.J. Farnham

A Case of Serendipity by K.J. Farnham

A YA Teen Drama Novel published by K. J. Farnham Publishing LLC (03/20/2018)

Summary:

Ruth never signed up for Bucky’s Beans promotional tests and if they keep spamming her with their discounts, she’s going to go nuts! After failing to stop the messages herself, she resorts to a final plea on the company’s Facebook page. The company isn’t the one to respond to her, but a lawyer trying to sue Bucky’s Beans. At her wit’s end, Ruth signs up with the lawyer, Henry Mancuso. After adding him as a Facebook friend, Ruth and Henry keep bumping into each other offline. As they create the legal case against Bucky’s, their friendship grows. They both like each other, but can their relationship be more than professional?

Keywords:

Coffee, Lawyer, Suing, Biking, Running, Farmer’s Market, Spam, Promotion, Facebook, Romance, Friendship, Exes, Flirting, Quirky, Workaholic, Unsubscribe

My Review:

Another adorable and well written novel from Farnham. Every book I read from this author is better than the last. This book’s writing style was seamless. The romance was adorable and well-built. This book was a fun and lighthearted easy read.

I absolutely loved the quirky characters. I loved seeing Ruth from Henry’s perspective and from her own. She became more quirky through Henry’s eyes and I loved that about her (and the writing).

I enjoyed the lawyer talk, and thought the balance between the plot against Bucky’s Beans and the budding romance was done well. I did think some of the plot dragged a bit through the middle of the story.

This novel was published by K. J. Farnham Publishing LLC 03/20/2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

K.J. Farnham’s Website

Book Review: The Call: A Baseball Novel by Laurie Boris

The Call: A Baseball Novel by Laurie Boris

A Women’s Fiction Sports Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (9/01/07)

Summary:

Margie is the first female umpire in the minor league of baseball – but it was an uphill battle. Without support from some progressive folks, she never would have made. Every step of the way she is disrespected, insulted, and worse because some people think baseball is a man’s world.

Keywords:

Baseball, Umpire, Season, Enemies, Sexism, Major-League, History, Historical, Women, First Female Umpire, Man’s World, Resistance, Career, Male-Dominated, Learning, Personal Growth

My Review:

The baseball scenarios went right over my head, but because of the excitement of being a part of the game, I didn’t care. I could feel the tense atmosphere in the stadium when the ball connected with the bat. I could feel the sweat from the players. I could sense the emotion and love Margie felt for the game and her role in it.

I loved Margie. I loved her conviction and her love of baseball. I loved her stubborn personality and her willingness to learn from her mistakes. She was an amazingly full and rich character. She is an excellent role model. She sticks by her calls.

I absolutely loved every scene with Margie and Wes. Their friendship was awesome and I liked that Margie had a relationship with a man that was not romantic.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on 9/01/07 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Laurie Boris’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Nocturne by Heather McKenzie with Book Blitz

Nocturne by Heather McKenzie

A YA Novel published by Clean Teen Publishing (04/20/18)

Summary:

Kaya, free from her father, is not on her own. She has Luke and part of his crew. Hiding out in a random motel, they think they’re safe but it proves much harder to disappear then to run away. Kaya must leave behind those she loves to keep them safe and truly disappear. Or so she thinks.

Keywords:

Suspense, Romance, Love Triangle, Self-Discovery, Hate, Secrets, Mystery, Loyalty, Family, Hiding, Running, Escape, Heiress, Protection, Discovery, Past, Power, Corruption, Fight, Motivation, Money

My Review:

Nocturne starts off with a bang – right where Serenade left off. Kaya is still with Luke and all the problems revealed in book one are pressing down on her. She doesn’t just want to be normal anymore. She can’t have the normal life. Not with both her parents trying to find her – and not necessarily alive.

Kaya really comes into her own with this book. She is still young and ignorant of the wide world, but she is learning. She grows so much throughout this book, accepting who she is and what she must do. She is part of a larger conspiracy between her parents. A lesser person would slink off and disappear into whatever normal life is left for her, but Kaya shines. She is stubborn to a fault, but she almost always does what’s right. Even when it puts her in danger. Especially when it puts her in danger, it would seem.

Everyone falls in love with Kaya and her do-what-she-believes-in attitude. She wears her heart on her sleeve, will dig in her heels when she needs to, and will do anything to protect those she loves. Kaya is the heroine everyone wants to be and the woman all the men fall in love with.

I couldn’t put this book down and I can’t wait for more of Kaya’s story.

This novel was published by Clean Teen Publishing on March 20th, 2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Heather McKenzie’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Nocturne
Heather McKenzie
(Nightmusic Trilogy, #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult

I am hunted.
A pawn in a vicious game.
The only way I can protect the ones I love…
…is to disappear.

Finally free of her father, Kaya has the one thing that keeps her heart beating—Luke.

Blissfully content in his arms, everything seems perfect…until their world is shattered by a deadly invasion. When an old ally comes to the rescue, Kaya wants none of it. She is devastated to learn the identity of her attacker, and that she must do something truly heartbreaking if she wants to save the ones she loves. Sacrificing everything and sinking into bottomless sorrow, Kaya finds solace in an unlikely friend—one who shows her a different kind of love, and helps her discover an inner strength she never thought possible.

A heart-pounding journey of self-discovery, Nocturne is the transformative second installment of The Nightmusic Trilogy by Heather McKenzie.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Grab book 1 – Serenade – for FREE!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I flew out the door into the cool night, took four steps, then stopped—the latest enlightening news about my father had sent me over the edge. Tears burst from my eyes. The last shred of hope I’d been hanging onto that Henry wasn’t all bad had been completely obliterated; he was an actual monster.

I dropped to the curb and put my head in my hands. The rain started falling, lightly dusting my shoulders at first, then becoming a downpour just to add to my misery. I became soaked head to toe, but I didn’t care. I stayed where I was, wishing the rain would melt me into a puddle that would drain into the gutter and then just disappear into the earth…

“You left something in my truck,” said a voice from out of nowhere.

At the edge of my vision was Ben, rain coming down even harder now and pouring off his cowboy hat in rivers. He was holding out a paper bag, which was now soaked. It was the muffin I hadn’t eaten.

“I didn’t want it to go to waste,” he added, eyeing me with concern, then glancing at the café window where I could feel many sets of eyes on my back.

I dropped my gaze back to the gutter. My body didn’t want to move, and I still held out hope that the rain might just wash me away. Ben said something, and then he hauled me up and turned me to face him. He lifted my chin, and I had no choice but to meet his eyes. The rain plastered my hair to my face, mixing with the tears that were spilling out of me with blinding force.

He gave me a weak smile. “I tried to leave. Got in my truck and was ten minutes out of town, but then I realized…” He paused, fumbling for the right words. “I could really use some help at my ranch. Now, the job doesn’t pay much, but you’ll have your own room and all the food you can eat.
You’ll be dry.”

He waited patiently for an answer, but I was so grateful that all my words caught in my throat. He tossed the paper bag with the muffin into the garbage. After a quick glance at the internet café and the white-haired waiter watching from the doorway, his hand firmly latched onto mine. I had the sense I wasn’t being given a choice, I was going wherever this cowboy wanted me to.

“I’m taking you home now,” he said over the downpour.

Home. Home was in Luke’s arms….

The rain was falling in sheets. Since I wasn’t about to turn into a puddle and dissolve, I let the cowboy lead the way.

 

Author Bio:

Heather McKenzie is the Canadian author of The Nightmusic Trilogy. Also a professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she told stories through music for years before falling in love with novel writing. Heather pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. She is a rocker at heart, a mom of three and an aspiring painter.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Review: Electric Gardens (Robot Dystopia) by M. Black

Electric Gardens (Robot Dystopia) by M. Black

A Sicence Fiction/Cyberpunk Novel published (03/15/18)

Summary:

Lexi019 has lived most of her life under the tight control of the robots known as Tins. After the apocalypse, the Tins stepped up to herd and shelter the remaining humans. Lexi019 and some of the others aren’t so sure that the world is uninhabitable outside the Tins’ compound. The Tins’ rules are so strict that Lexi019 would rather take her chances outside. Leaving isn’t an option and escaping might prove more difficult than Lexi019 and her friends can handle by themselves.

Keywords:

Science Fiction, Robotics, Apocalypse, Technology, Dystopian, Teenagers, Strict, Escape, Rules, Secrets, Control, Power, Powerless, Desperation, Friendship

My Review:

 

The world building details in this novel were interesting and full-fledged. I loved reading about this entirely different robotically-run world. Since it’s been over a decade since the ‘apocalypse,’ I wonder what life looks like outside of the Tins’ compound and how the Tins’ technology works.

Lexi019 was very young when she joined the Tins’ compound, so her memories of the world outside of the Tins are vague and mostly unknown. This reminded me of the Maze Runner series and I sense a big reveal or a twist about the world outside of the Tins.

The pacing was a bit flat in the middle of the book and the ending was somewhat abrupt (though concluding of the main action/goal of the characters). The action and Lexi019 carried the book from the beginning to the end. The subplot with Digit was also very intriguing and I wanted to see more of that develop.

The Tins confused me. They appeared to have absolute control over the humans with their very strict rules and their very strict consequences for breaking those rules. Being meshed sounds absolutely horrible! Even with this absolute control, Lexi019 and others are able to go behind the Tins back and get away with quite the number of shenanigans they shouldn’t have been able to get away with.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

This novel will be published on 03/15/2018.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: Mind Secrets: A Science Fiction Telepathy Thriller (Perceivers Book 1) by Jane Killick

Mind Secrets: A Science Fiction Telepathy Thriller (Perceivers Book 1) by Jane Killick

A Science Fiction Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (01/11/16)

Summary:

Michael wakes up with amnesia, but he knows the agent in front of him is up to no good. Trusting his instincts, he flees. Getting away from the agent wasn’t too hard, but living without memories, identity, money, or a place to go prove much harder. The world he finds himself in is torn between those who can perceive emotions and those who are afraid of the Perceivers. Michael falls in with one of those groups of Perceivers and wants to help them as much as he wants to find out who he was.

Keywords:

Telepathy, Thriller, Mind Power, Sensing, Thoughts, Emotions, Sanctuary, Teenagers, Power, Memory, Friends, Destruction, Confrontation, Secrets, Deception

My Review:

This book was full of action and scenes of chase and destruction. It was a fun read about a possible science fiction future where society is split between those who have a power and those who resent and fear those with that power. Of course people would turn to laws and legislation to bind those with telepathy and to erase whatever part of their minds houses the telepathy with no regard to their identity and opinions. It made me grind my teeth at times how insensitive those in power were for trying to suppress the use and future of telepathy, even when it was ingrained into the person’s identity like another sense.

I did find it hard to believe that the teenagers would be able to oppose the government like they were able to in this book. They also seemed to be able to source whatever they needed in this opposition, such as access to a lab.

I really liked the angle this book took on ‘mind control’ as it was a very soft version of telepathy, like the beginning stages of the evolution of mind control.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 01/11/16 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Jane Killick’s Website

Book Review: Guild of Immortal Women by David Alan Morrison, H.L. Melvin

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Guild of Immortal Women by David Alan Morrison, H.L. Melvin

A Women’s Fiction Humor Novel published by Book Publishers Network (10/12/14)

Summary:

Abbey doesn’t remember who she was before the ‘accident’ but she does have vivid dreams of drowning as well as burning. As she tries to recover her memories in a mental hospital, her ‘aunts’ are preparing for her return to the Bastille. It is imperative that Abbey remember who she was and what she is capable of before the faire that the Guild of Immortal Woman, AKA Abby’s aunts, put on every year.

Keywords:

Humor, Satire, Fantasy, Misdirection, Immortality, Women, Detective, Power, Comedy, Home, Castle, Home, Family, Friendship, Insane Asylum, Dead Bodies, Tapestry, Secrets, Amnesia

My Review:

This story’s plot line was so different from any other fantasy/paranormal/humor book that I’ve read. There were witches. There was a guild. There was a bad guy and a deadline. But everything in between these elements was surprisingly different.

The writing style of switching POV and not tagging all the dialogue made it a bit confusing to figure out who was speaking at times.

I loved seeing Abbey from other characters’ perspectives and to see the world through her eyes.

This was a fun and interesting read.

This novel was published by Book Publishers Network on October 12th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Game of Hearts: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts Series) by Cathy Yardley

Game of Hearts: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts Series) by Cathy Yardley

A Romantic Comedy published by RYW Publishing (01/30/18)

Summary:

Kyla runs a mechanic shop with her brother Billy, one they inherited from their now retired parents. Billy is happy to let Kyla do the paperwork and work out in the shop as well as take over all operations when he needs to take a vacation. After he breaks his arm, though, all responsibilities fall to Kyla. She had other plans. She wanted to submit costumes for a contest that’s coming up in a few weeks. This is her dream, so she calls the only person she knows to help. Jericho Salomon hasn’t been in town for years, for good reason, but he can’t ignore his childhood best friend’s little sister.

Keywords:

Mechanic, Snoqualmie, Bookstore, Geeks, Convention, Contest, Family, Friendship, Romance, Sex, Auto-Repair, Motorcycle, Family Friend, Biker Gang, Business Owner

My Review:

I loved absolutely everything about this book. Breakout Novels don’t just happen. Not every published novel out there is a breakout novel. Breakout novels are 10/5 stars. They are books you can’t put down. They are books you read entirely in one sitting. They are books you remember and enthusiastically tell everyone about. Every single one of Cathy Yardley’s books has been a breakout novel. The plot is excellent. The characters are larger-than-life, but also endearing and realistic. The stakes are real.

I adored the relationship between Kyla and all her friends. I loved the fact that the previous books’ characters showed up in this book as well as all the other Fandom Hearts books.

I got really mad at Billy for assuming that Kyla was better suited for the business paperwork than he was and for assuming her hopes and dreams weren’t as important because they were artistic based.

I can’t wait to get the next Fandom Hearts book to read!

I received a free copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.

This novel was published by RYW Publishing on January 30, 2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Cathy Yardley’s Website