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Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

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The Sands of Borrowed Time: Hazy Sun Days (Earth After the Supernova – 1)

by Jeffrey Winters

When two suns shine in the sky, mankind will fall… It’s easy to cover up truth amidst chaos. Those who survived the supernova blast, fight for survival, the Earth devastated, its ozone layer destroyed. Dusty storms rule the days while the night’s freeze, taking civilization back to its knees. Pockets of humans now exist in a dystopian society spread across the wilderness. Friendships are difficult and just under the burning Sun, freedom uncertain as enemies lurk on the unforgiving highways. Are these the struggles of a post-apocalyptic world or is something more sinister at work under the cover of misery and destruction? Some are getting suspicious, and one has seen a glimpse of the truth… Follow our main protagonist, Kyla, as she tries to understand what it means to be free as she travels through the ruined cities and the harsh wastelands, fleeing the clutches of her guardians. However, freedom comes at a price. Does she control her destiny or is there a hidden hand controlling her fate? And what of the ship deliberately beached at White Cove Bay. What secret does it hide? Also, the strange lights in the sky have their own tale to tell – but what are they and who is responsible? Follow the intertwining fates of our protagonists as they slowly come to realize the veil that has been placed over their eyes, in this first installment of the Sands of Borrowed Time…>

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My Review

4 stars

Between a solar flare from a supernova on Orion’s Belt and the Sun, Earth’s atmosphere has been destroyed. Most of the population of Earth has perished from the initial EMP, the heat, or the ever decreasing supplies. Now the world consists of those scavenging to survive. There are several individuals, some groups, and bandits. Many have decided to head north to try and find a better way to survive but many won’t make it due to the head or other people. But what they find there is not what any of them expected.

I love a good dystopian story and I was excited to see where this one would take me. I liked the idea of how people are trying to survive. But I did have trouble keeping up with all the different characters in the beginning. I think this is why I had such a hard time sticking with the book. Having said that, the further you go along the easier it is to keep up with everyone.

A lot of things happen that will draw you into the story. Once I got my footing, it was easy to keep reading. I loved the ending. I didn’t see that one coming and really liked the twist on traditional dystopian stories. I liked how this book ended and I am excited to see what is going to happen next.

I received The Sands of Borrowed Time from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Girl in Disguise

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Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister

For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.

In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.

Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can’t. She’s a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, or a rich train passenger, all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she’s been assigned to nab.

Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective’s rise during one of the nation’s greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman whose forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.

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 Greer Macallister

Author’s Bio

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN’S LIE was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films. Her new novel GIRL IN DISGUISE, about America’s first female private detective, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in March 2016.

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My Review

4 stars

Kate Warne is the first female Pinkerton detective and in 1856 Allan Pinkerton was not about to hire a woman. Follow along as Kate takes on many cases over the years and stands toe to toe with the other male detectives. Kate is a master of disguise and uses her talents to get information during the Civil War.

I never thought of women working for the Pinkerton’s but it makes sense. What better disguise than to work in an all male profession especially when women are thought less of a man? Kate is a smart, snarky woman that has no problem getting dirty to do her job. I love reading about strong women, especially those that step out of society’s norms.

I didn’t realize that Kate Warne is a real person. There is not much known about her since so much was lost in the great Chicago fire. I really wish I knew more about her. I am definitely interest in learning more about her because of Girl in Disguise.

This is a great, entertaining story. It’s a historical fiction that leaves you wanting more. Although I think Greer MacAllister could have made this a series, this book does leave me wanting more stories with Kate in them.

I received Girl in Disguise from SourceBooks for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Much Ado About Highlanders (The Scottish Relic Triology – 1) by May McGoldrick

In the heart of Scotland, this Highlander is about to meet his match in a brand new romance from bestseller May McGoldrick.

Highland warrior Alexander Macpherson has lost his wife. When he agreed to take Kenna Mackay as his bride to advance his clan’s power in the north, he expected a bit of an adjustment. He didn’t expect the sharp-tongued beauty to run away on their wedding night. Still, Alexander wants his runaway bride…and he has the sneaking suspicion that she wants him, too.

Kenna Mackay thought she was safe in a priory full of nuns learning the craft of healing, but when she is kidnapped by her own husband, the battle of wits begins anew. But even as passions ignite, a deadly secret from Kenna’s past rises to the surface and put their new love in jeopardy. As a heartless villain closes in, two headstrong lovers find themselves locked in a struggle between evil and the power of undying love. And this time, Alexander is determined he will not lose his wife again.

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My Review

4 stars

Alex Macpherson agrees to marry Kenna Mackay to advance his clan’s power. But he didn’t expect Kenna to be so hard-headed, sharp tongued, and to run away on his wedding night. Kenna hides out in a priory and learns to heal. After helping a woman deliver her bay, Kenna finds herself kidnapped and back with her husband. It is going to be a battle of some strong wills to get these two together. But they will have to work together if they are going to save everyone from the Ralph Evers and his quest for power.

I loved the story of Alex and Kenna, this is a great love story between two people that have a misunderstanding and are bound a determined not to love/rely on someone else. I loved the strong willed Kenna and how she was going to not love Alex, even though you could tell that she was coming to care for him deeply.

I loved the story of the relics, four portions of a table that gives it’s wearer’s abilities. Kenna has the stone that provides healing. Her mother died giving birth to Kenna so she doesn’t know about the stone or her abilities. It was great learning about them. Of course you have to have a power hungry person bound a determined to get all the stones.

This is the first book I have read from the May McGoldrick team. I received the audiobook version to listen to and fell in love with the story. Saskia Maarleveld does an amazing job narrating this story. I’m so happy that I received all three books in this series to review. I will definitely be having a highlander marathon.

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Taming the Highlander (The Scottish Relic Trilogy – 2) by May McGoldrick

This new historical romance from May McGoldrick pits one spirited lass against her biggest challenge yet: a Highland lord who has no desire to lose his heart.

Innes Munro has the ability to “read” a person’s past simply by touching them, but her gift comes with a heavy price: her freedom. Forced to stay at desolate Castle Girnigoe, Innes never expects to be drawn to the wounded warrior who haunts its dark passages and challenges her at every turn.

Conall Sinclair, the earl of Caithness, carries the scars of battles with the English and the lash marks of their dungeons, but the wounds that fester within give him even greater pain. Isolating himself from his clan and the rest of the world in a tower perched on the wild Scottish coast, Conall is reluctant to let the spirited Innes close to him, however neither can deny the growing passion that ignites with every look, every touch.

But can Conall ever love a woman who can read his darkest secrets and feel the pain he hides… and can love really tame all fears? As dangerous forces close in, Conall and Innes must take the ultimate leap of faith and forge a bond of trust that will save them both…or lose each other forever.

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My Review

5 stars

Innes Munro is a bit of a recluse. She has the ability to read someone’s past by touching them and this leads to her staying locked away in Castle Girnigoe to keep from being branded a witch. But she is asked to attend her sister’s wedding where she meets Conall Sinclair. Conall was taken hostage by the English and tortured and now keeps to himself. But Innes and Conall find themselves drawn to the other but are worried that their past and ability will cause more harm than good. We follow along as they start to love each other and the various events that draw them closer. But then someone from the past makes an appearance and tries to take away the stone that Innes has.

I loved the story with Innes and Conall. They were so reluctant to reach out to each other and watching them come together was such a sweet story. I loved the antics of Ailein and Bryce as they keep trying to get Innes and Conall together. But my favorite character was Wolf; I’m such a sucker for a fuzzy companion.

I loved Saskia Maarleveld’s narration, she does a great job. I love this series and can’t wait to see how it ends. If you like highlander romances you really need to check this book out.

Tempest in the Highlands (The Scottish Relic Trilogy #3)

Tempest in the Highlands (The Scottish Relic Trilogy – 3) by May McGoldrick

Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a “boy” who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the “boy” traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

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My Review

4 stars

Miranda MacDonnell has the gift of sight after the death of her parents. Trying to stay one step ahead of the killer, she disguises herself as a boy and stows away on privateer’s ship. Rob Hawkins, known as Black Hawk has been ordered to hunt down Ralph Evers. He knows that Evers is after Miranda and plans to find her to catch him. But the last thing he expected was for Miranda to be on his ship. Then a shipwreck leaves them on the Isle of the Dead, which is where the tablet can be destroyed.

Miranda tried to control the different situations that she finds herself in due to her sight. She tries hard to protect others especially Rob when she learns of their connection. Rob is a strong man yet is very caring for Miranda. I loved how the two of them interacted, especially when Miranda was dressed up like a boy.

Then there is the tablet. Everyone from the last two books along with Miranda and Rob are on this island to destroy the tablet. It was great coming back to these couples and finally defeating Evers. I admit that I was left a little disappointed since there were many questions that had been left open through the series that didn’t really get answered.

I really enjoyed this series. Saskia Maarleveld does an amazing job narrating the story. Over all I would say if you like highlander romances that you should check out this book and the rest of the series.

I received The Scottish Relic Trilogy from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of these books.

May McGoldrick

Author’s Bio

May McGoldrick
(a.k.a. Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick)

Two peas in a pod, a pair of halfwits, the Laurel and Hardy of romance fiction…Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick were married in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin 68 years ago before a worldwide television audience. After a honeymoon tour of their oil fields in Iran, they embarked on a writing career that has produced dozens of New York Times bestsellers, two Academy Award Winning film adaptations, and a Nobel Prize for Literature. After all this, fortune FINALLY smiled on them and they won the New Jersey Lottery. Taking their two sons, Nikoo and Jim spent a year backpacking through Africa and then seven years in Tibet, teaching the Dalai Lama the subtle intricacies of Scrabble. Upon returning to the States, these two storytellers wrote thirty adult and young adult novels, two of which were RITA finalists and three which were NJRW Golden Leaf winners. They have also written two nonfiction works. Nikoo picked up an engineering degree somewhere along the way, and Jim has a PhD in 16th Century British literature.

These two write under the pseudonyms of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey and now reside in northwest, Connecticut.

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Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka

Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.

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Book

My Review

4 stars

We start the story as a man has attacked environmental protestors and a police officer. He then proceeds to attack trees. He is waging war on Mother Nature and it’s up to one officer to help him.

This is a short story that I honestly didn’t know what I was in for. The burb interested me but the story was great. It starts with a blast from a flamethrower and goes from there. I really liked the ending. It was a surprise but worked perfectly.

If you like novellas and great twists I recommend this story. I can’t wait to read other books by Elias Zanbaka.

I received Environmentally Friendly from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Shadows on the Lake by Giovanni Cocco and Stephen Sartarelli

A new atmospheric Italian mystery novel set in Lake Como, introducing the clever and captivating Inspector Stefania Valenti
During the construction of a new road to the Swiss border in the mountains above Lake Como, the remains of a young man are unearthed on the powerful Cappelletti family’s property. On the case is Stefania Valenti, forty-five, divorced with a young daughter, and a brilliant, determined police inspector.
Her investigation takes her back to World War II and deep into the history of the region, a place that during the war attracted smugglers, deserters, secret agents, and fleeing Jews. Steeped in the beautiful atmosphere of Northern Italy, Valenti’s investigation brings to light a family’s secret, a tragic romance, and reveals a fascinating piece of Italian history.

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Author’s Bios

GIOVANNI COCCO was born in Como in 1976. AMNERIS MAGELLA was born in Milan in 1958. They are married and live in Como, Italy.

My Review

4 stars

A new road is being build above Lake Como, Italy. A body is discovered on the Cappelletti’s property. The Cappelletti’s are a powerful family and have a rich history. Stefanie Valenti is the one assigned the case and has to figure out how old the body is. It turns out the body dates back to World War II and that there is history of smugglers, deserters, and so much more. The more Stefanie digs into the past, the more of the Cappelletti’s history is revealed and some dark secrets are going to be shown the light.

This is a great story that was very easy to get into about a rich family with lots of secrets that could cause so many problems. The discovery of a body during construction draws the attention of the police. I love the story of the past. It was so easy to feel right there as people are trying to save themselves and doing whatever they could to survive. But some secrets cannot stay buried and this has the chance to do some serious damage.

If you like your mysteries with history and lots of secrets look no further. You will be kept guessing at where this story is heading and will be surprised by the ending.

I received Shadows on the Lake from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Grimm Woods

Grimm Woods by D. Melhoff

Grimm Woods by D. Melhoff

A remote summer camp becomes a lurid crime scene when the bodies of two teenagers are found in a bloody, real-life rendering of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Trapped in the wilderness, the remaining counsellors must follow a trail of dark children’s fables in order to outwit a psychopath and save the dwindling survivors before falling prey to their own gruesome endings.

Drawing on the grisly, uncensored details of history’s most famous fairy tales, Grimm Woods is a heart-pounding thriller about a deranged killer who uses traditional children’s stories as tropes in elaborate murders. Set against the backdrop of modern-day Michigan, it’s a journey through the mind of a dangerous zealot and a shocking glimpse into the bedtime stories you thought you knew.

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Author’s Bio

Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town that few people have heard of and even fewer have visited. While most of his stories are for adults, he also enjoys terrifying younger audiences from time to time, as seen in his series of twisted picture books for children. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Stoker, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.

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My Review

4 Stars

Scott has had a rough past but he is trying to work through that. After an unsuccessful round of job searches, he is hired to be a counselor at Camp Crownheart which is fairytales themed. But when he gets there, Scott finds that counselors are more interested in drugs and sex instead of watching the 55 kids. But then the counselors are being discovered murdered and staged similar to fairytales. The counselors try to protect the kids from the killer and stumble upon a collection of Grimm’s Fairytales and they learn that fairytales are not the happy stories that we know, they are darker and were told to keep kids inline. It seems someone is trying to keep the counselors in line.

This is a dark, gory story that is filled with ungrateful teenagers, sex, drugs, and a bloody killing spree. I love how it is based around the original stories. They are not the warm fuzzy stories that we have come to think of as a fairytale. I love how they are used against those that are taking advantage of the situation, the counselors.

This is a purely gory horror story and I loved it. I can’t wait to read other books from D. Melhoff.

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I received Grimm Woods from iRead Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Win a copy of GRIMM WOODS by D. Melhoff

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$20 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

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The Cubit Quest

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The Cubit Quest by Trevor Leck

Twelve-year-old Charlie Watkins could have inherited his dad’s massive intellect.

He got his massive feet instead.

Perhaps if Charlie had that intellect he might have been able to figure out why so many men in suits were suddenly following him or where his dad hid the Cubit – a mythical object that men have sworn to protect and even more have died trying to possess – before his so-called accident.

If starting yet another new school wasn’t bad enough, Charlie meets Mr Leopold, a disfigured, mind-reading lunatic and discovers that he alone must find the Cubit if he is to save his dad. The Brotherhood, however, have other ideas. Led by the ruthless Draganovic, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. With the help of Mr Leopold and fellow new boy Elvis, Charlie sets out on The Cubit Quest.

Hunting for the Cubit, playing football, lessons with the dreaded Funeral Face and unsuccessfully avoiding school bully Grimshaw by day, Charlie finds his nights no less complicated. Stalked in his dreams, he’s soon immersed in a world of power struggles, battling dragons and duels to the death. With the Brotherhood hot on his heels and as the bullets begin to fly, there are no guarantees that Charlie, or anyone else, will make it to the end in one piece.

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 Royal Air Force Odiham - WO Leck C4i Studio Portrait. Taken on 14th December 2016 by SAC James Goff Image: SAC James Goff RAF. For further information contact:  Flt Lt Nyssa Cole, RAF Odiham Media Communications Officer (MCO), Royal Air Force Odiham, Hook. Hampshire. RG29 1QT. Mil Tel: 95235 7606. Civ Tel: 01256 367494. Email:

Author’s Bio

Living in Telford, Shropshire, Trevor Leck has been dabbling in writing for over fifteen years. Always a fan of gripping adventure stories he has taken inspiration from his favourite authors, including John Grisham and J K Rowling, and the towns and cities he grew up, especially North Shields, to create his Young Adult series.

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My Review

4 stars

Charlie Watkins seems like a normal 12 year old. But when his dad starts acting strangely, his family and him move to a new house and school. Then Charlie starts experiencing strange dreams he puts off as stress. But when he hears odd voices he knows something has to be going on. Charlie is a special person and may be able to save his father. He is going to do anything and everything just to have his father back. That is if he can survive the men in suits, dragons, and strange teachers.

Charlie just thinks he is a normal kid until strange guys in suits start following him around and strange dreams plague his nights. But he has the ability to save his father if he completes the Cubit Quest. Charlie is a great kid that has the opportunity to save his father and I could help but cheer him on. He has to use his wits to solves the puzzles and complete the quest. But he also has to balance his daily life with school, football, and bullies.

This is a great midgrade story. I admit that I was lost for the first portion of the story but as Charlie learns about the things happening around him so do you. But once you found out what was going on, the rest of the story flew by.

I really liked this story and think that if you are a fan of midgrade stories with quests, mystery, adventure, and mythical beasts then you will really enjoy this one.

I received The Cubit Quest from Authoright for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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