Review: The Black-Eyed Susan


The Black-Eyed Susan by J.A. Clement

3 stars

Synopsis: A short story from the world of the “On Dark Shores” fantasy series.

Ten years before the action in that novel, a ship’s captain goes to Scarlock to see the moneylender Copeland, pleading for more time to pay off his debt.

Bookish Things: 8 pages. The cover is apt and rather delightful. A marked improvement on the original cover.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $0.78

My Review: 

This is a very short tale about the owner of a cargo ship ‘The Black-Eyed Susan’ who runs into trouble with money lenders.

There’s not a great deal of characterisation to go on, but I feel like a solid story could be made about The Black-Eyed Susan and its crew. Which I’m happy to say is just what J.A. Clement has done. This is book #0.3 of the On Dark Shores series. I have already read On Dark Shores: The Lady (My review).

The emotional impact was missing from this, but I suppose it can be very difficult to pack a punch in a few pages.

If you like your sailor stories, this might be the first taste of something you’ll enjoy devouring.

AWW 2016 Review: Claiming the Rebel’s Heart/Her Rebel Heart


claimingtherebelsheartherrebelheart

ReviewStars-4

Read from May 01 to 03, 2016

Note: CLAIMING THE REBEL’S HEART has been republished as HER REBEL HEART and is available in Kindle and print editions from Amazon. The copy I had was of Claiming the Rebel’s Heart.

Synopsis: War divides families…love unites hearts…

Herefordshire, England 1643

As the English Civil War divides England and tears families apart, Kinton Lacey castle is one of the brave few loyal to the roundhead cause.

With her father away, Deliverance Felton will do whatever it takes to defend her family home against the royalist forces ranged against it. She can shoot and wield a sword as well as any man and anything she needs to know about siege warfare she has learned from a book…but no book can prepare her for what is to come.

Captain Luke Collyer, soldier of fortune and a man with his own reasons for loyalty to the parliamentary cause, is sent to relieve the castle. Everything he knows about siege warfare in general and women in particular he has learned from experience, but when it comes to Deliverance Felton has he met his match?

Deliverance will not give up her command lightly and Luke will have to face a challenge to his authority as fierce as the cavalier foe outside the walls. He will do whatever it takes to win Deliverance’s trust but will he run the risk of losing his own, well guarded, heart? Continue reading

AWW 2016 Review: Lord Somerton’s Heir by Alison Stuart


LSH

ReviewStars-4

Read from January 01 to 04, 2016

Synopsis: Can the love of an honourable man save her from the memory of a desolate marriage?

From the battlefield of Waterloo to the drawing rooms of Brantstone Hall, Sebastian Alder’s elevation from penniless army captain to Viscount Somerton is the stuff of dreams. But the cold reality of an inherited estate in wretched condition, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his cousin’s death, provide Sebastian with no time for dreams — only a mystery to solve and a murderer to bring to justice.

Isabel, widow of the late Lord Somerton, is desperate to bury the memory of her unhappy marriage by founding the charity school she has always dreamed of. Except, her dreams are soon shattered from beyond the grave when she is not only left penniless, but once more bound to the whims of a Somerton.

But this Somerton is unlike any man she has met. Can the love of an honourable man heal her broken heart or will suspicion tear them apart? Continue reading

Review: A curse of Ash and Iron


ACurseOfAshAndIron

ReviewStars-4

Read from October 26 to 30, 2015 — I own a copy

Synopsis: Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets.

When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live as a servant in her own home, and he realizes how sinister some secrets can be.

She asks for his help, and he can’t refuse. Even if he doesn’t believe in ‘real’ magic, he can’t abandon her.

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful and unforgiving eye of her stepmother. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seems no one can help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with her friendship.

But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the spell before midnight on New Year’s Eve, then both Ellie and her father will be bound forever. Continue reading

Review: Guild of Immortal Women


GuildOfImmortalWomen

3 stars

Read from September 23 to 29, 2015

Synopsis: 

“When one is immortal, one should keep a low profile.”

A new comedic romp through a magical tapestry maintained by Earth’s Immortal women.

Bookish Things: 199 pages. The cover is lovely, though it does make me think this will be a high fantasy and it’s not really.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $3.06 or paperback for $15.95

My Review: 

The guild of immortal women reads like the first book in a series or trilogy.

I liked a lot of the characters, Abbey, Matt, Ruth and Boo were some of my favorites.

Robert and The Doctor were interesting characters too, not that I can say I liked them. But they kept me guessing.

The book was not what I’d expected, and that’s probably a good thing, because I think the cover lends itself to a very traditional fantasy story, where as this story has loads of modern ties, magical ties and even a small sprinkle of humour.

The humour wasn’t as pronounced as the book synopsis makes out, a fair number of the jokes were in poor taste or repeated too frequently to be funny after the first time.

I got distracted by the paragraph breaks and lack of paragraph breaks littered throughout the book. Minor things really, but they do make it harder for the reader to enjoy the story.

The ending felt like it was purposely left open for another book, but there’s nothing forecast on Goodreads about another book. It just leaves too much unsaid and unfinished as far as I’m concerned.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review.**