Review: The Contract Bride


3 stars

Read on 21 November 2020.

Synopsis: Nik Adersol harbors a dark belief after the death of his first wife, Lira. Having loved him from afar for years, Sirene Dulantz is thrilled when contracted to become his new bride.But Nik’s not at all pleased to be presented with her, and Sirene wonders if she’s up to the task of healing the wounds Lira left behind. (An erotic novellete)

Bookish Things: 26 pages. The cover is pretty basic.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $3.11.

My Review: 

bookshelves: 3-star-reviewa-lil-sexyfantasynovellaromance-ishsomething-missing

The first of G.L Drummond’s (A.K.A Gayla Drummond) stories I’ve read, this was merely a teaser.

The story is light, the characterisations not much heavier, but the writing was pretty solid and as such the story read easily.

This could easily be fleshed out and given much more depth of character. Doing so would allow the reader to care about Sirene and Nik.

What didn’t sit so well with me was the language used during the sex scene with Sirene. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with the c-bomb being used in erotica, but it didn’t fit the tone of the scene and really threw the whole thing off. Everything else about the scene was gentle and tender but throwing in the c-bomb says the complete opposite. Talk about a cold shower!

I noticed one typo:
71% – Sirene had vaguely becpme (become) aware that she…

Review: Cage of Light


3 stars

Read from 30 October to 20 November, 2020

Synopsis: 

Surreal dreams of love and death

Henry Dark has long believed that the world around him is a thin veil masking the true reality of existence.  Strange events start taking place, inducing him to take a trip West with his beloved wife Alice.  Their trip leads to the Lagoon of Lost Loves as well as a riddle duel with the King of the Trolls.

Is there such a thing as meaning? Henry asks himself, as he struggles to understand the very words he uses.  Is language a Cage of Light that captures meaning, or has the meaning escaped?  And does the trip they’ve taken draw Henry and Alice closer together, or is she to be a sacrifice in his search for the truth?

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is it with all these words and do they have anything to do with meaning?” then this is the book for you.  Surreal and absurd, using language to express what can’t be expressed with language, Cage of Light will have you wondering if you ever understood anything in the first place.

Scroll back to the top and start your voyage with Henry and Alice.  You never know where it’ll lead.

Continue reading

Review: Passing Clouds ~ A winemaker’s journey


Passing Clouds by Graeme Leith

3 stars

Read from 1 – 4th July, 2020

Synopsis: Graeme Leith-electrician, Italophile and jack of all trades-joined Melbourne’s theatre collective at Carlton’s famously innovative Pram Factory theatre and said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was: Graeme Blundell, Jack Hibberd, Max Gillies and many others produced over 140 new Australian plays in ten years.

Like many of his generation, Graeme left suburban Australia in the 1950s, bound for London and Europe. After a stint in Britain’s atomic weapons industry he rode his Lambretta scooter to Perugia in Italy, where he had his first taste of ‘ethereal’ wine and fell in love.

But Graeme had also fallen for the idea of making wine, and in the mid-1970s he and his partner Sue Mackinnon established Passing Clouds, a vineyard in Victoria’s Spa Country that produced award-winning wines from the beginning.

Then tragedy struck. In 1984 Graeme’s beautiful and talented daughter Ondine and her boyfriend David vanished en route to the South Coast of New South Wales. Ten days later their ute was found in Kings Cross, where it had been abandoned by their killers.

Heartfelt and heartbreaking, humorous and hilarious, Passing Clouds tells of a life fully lived-a life embracing the experience of fatherhood, of triumph and disaster, of joy and tragedy, of ingenuity and sheer hard work and, above all, an unquenchable optimism. Continue reading

Review: The Gate Guardian’s Daughter


The Gate Guardian's Daughter by K.T. Munson

3 stars

Read on 28th of June 2020

Synopsis: The interplanetary gates require guardians and the reformed demon Malthael is one of them.

His adoptive daughter, Elisabeth, is special, but her dangerous ability hasn’t awoken yet. Malthael knows it will one day and from then on her life will forever be altered. Malthael isolates her from outside world as much to protect everyone else as to safeguard her. It is all he can do to delay the inevitable.

Now that Elisabeth is ten, how long can Malthael keep her confined? Continue reading

Review: Sleeping Dogs


Sleeping Dogs by Sonya Hartnett

3 stars

Read on 9th June, 2020

Synopsis: When a stranger enters a family’s midst and insists on discovering all of their darkest secrets, the family begins a slow and painful descent into decay and madness. By the author of Wilful Blue.

Bookish Things: 144 pages. The cover is a bit obscure, but I do like it. It’s not the most eye catching cover though.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $9.99 and paperback for $14.63.

My Review:

that was sooo horrible

I am at a loss for words.

This was a gritty and brutal look into a damaged family. Both mentally and physically damaged, the Willow’s are at the same time inexplicably close and immensely lonely beings. The glimpse into their lives is tragic and taboo, covering a raft of events that all lead to a horrific conclusion.

I shudder to think that there are families like this out there, but know, sadly, that there are.

This book, which is deliciously written, will leave you feeling dirty for having read its pages. I am thankful in one breath that it only has just over 100 pages, but at the same time wishing for many more chapters of the artistry of Hartnett’s words.

Absolutely not a HEA (Happily Ever After), and very little in the way of happy moments explored within the pages, I wouldn’t read this one if you’re having a bad day or week. But if you’re in the mood for deliciously devious and stunning writing, then pick up this book and give it a try.

This is marked as YA, but I would be hesitant to give it to a young person. The themes and topics covered are quite adult in nature even though they’re not explicitly discussed or described. Definitely one for the adults to read first to gauge if appropriate for your young person.

Review: The Book of Whispers


The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr

3 stars

Read from 13 – 23 October, 2017

Synopsis: Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees, or risk another exorcism by the nefarious priest Ramberti.

Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Night after night Luca sees his father murdered, and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.

Far away in Cappadocia, Suzan has dreams too. Consigned with her mute mother to a life in an underground convent, she has a vision of a brown-haired boy riding through the desert. A boy with an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power. A boy who will take her on an adventure that will lead to places beyond both their understanding.

Together, Luca and Suzan will realise their true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.

Kimberley Starr is a teacher and author based in Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies, won the 2003 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author. She has a degree in mediaeval literature, and travelled through Turkey and Israel to research The Book of Whispers. Continue reading