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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

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The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah Eden

Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school and a well-respected author of “silver-fork” novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories—the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Mr. King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Mr. King started taking all of his readers–and his profits. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher’s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the rights of the less-fortunate.

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King’s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered.

For the first time, Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.

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About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today Bestselling author of witty and charming historical romances, including Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, as well as 2014 Whitney Award winner for “Best Novel of the Year,” Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.

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My Review

5 Stars

Elizabeth Black works as a headmistress of Thurloe Collegiate School. She also writes Silver-Fork novels that are for the upper class ladies of Victorian society. But she also writes Penny Dreadfuls under the name Mr. King. Elizabeth has slowly been gaining more and more fame for these books and is using the money to help the school.

Fletcher Walker grew up a street urchin and is very well known as a Penny Dreadful author too. He would take the money from his books and send it to the Hogg School, the only school for street kids, and help where ever else he can. But Mr. King has been cutting into his profits. Fletcher is part of the Dreadful Penny Society whom he enlists to help him find Mr. King.

Fletcher meets up with Elizabeth since she works around the upper classes in the hopes that she will help him find Mr. King. Elizabeth decides to partner up with Fletcher to try to keep her identity hidden. But the more time they spend together the closer they get.

This is a great read. Although Elizabeth’s real life may be dull her stories are full of action and adventures. I really like Elizabeth and the stories she comes up with. The Lady and the Highwayman is part of this book and I just love it. Fletcher has grown so far from where he started in life and I could understand why he wants to stop Mr. King. His story, The Vampire’s Tower was not as finished as Elizabeth’s story and kind of drug the story down.

I love the play between Elizabeth and Fletcher, completely against traditional views of that time and just added that realistic level to the romance between the two of them.

This is a wonderful story and one that I recommend checking out. You will definitely be surprised.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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I would like to thank Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Secrets of Hawthorne House
by Donald Firesmith
Genre: Teen Paranormal Mystery
Matt’s life changes forever when a family of druids moves into the
dilapidated Victorian mansion next door. The story of an unlikely
friendship, the clash of two completely different cultures, secret
magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.
Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable.
Matt’s misery started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then his father moved
him and his twin sister to the small town of Hawthorne in rural
Indiana, as far as his grieving father could take from the ocean that
Matt’s mother had loved. At the new high school, three bullies are
determined to make Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learns
that the recluse who lives in the ‘haunted house” next door is
none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and
murderer. Matt’s terrible summer is turning into an awful autumn
when something quite unexpected happens. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece
and her three children arrive, and Matt meets Gerallt.
**Only .99 cents!!**
A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer
helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive
systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books,
written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers,
and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He’s
also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the
Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered
somewhat by his fear that the term “distinguished” makes
him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer
whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.
By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal
fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and
relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and
mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical
Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick
Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his
wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.
My Review
5 Stars

Matt Mitchell has had a rough year. His mother died in a car accident and his father has moved him and his sister to a small town of Hawthorne in Indiana. Because Matt is the new kid there are a group of guys that have decided that they are going to bully him and make his life even more difficult. Then Matt learns that he lives next to the Old Lady Hawthorne, the towns witch. But when the woman’s niece and children move into the house Matt learns about their story. He makes a new friend and starts looking into the story of Hawthorne.

This is a great story. Matt is a great kid and just had his world turned upside down with the loss of his mother. Of course the sadness felt by everyone is just heartbreaking and I understand why his father moves them. Unfortunately this is not going to give the now new kid in town an easy time with other boys his age.

Gerallt is a great guy and the perfect friend for Matt. Add in a little magic and this book just keeps getting better and better. The rich history of Hawthorne also adds to this story. I love how the story goes into bullies, rumors, family, and magic. I recommend it to any child and adult that would like a little magic added to their world.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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The Experiment

The Experiment

by Robin Lamont

on Tour August 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

The Experiment by Robin Lamont

Jude Brannock is a brash and single-minded female protagonist for today’s readers who believe that nature and animals deserve our respect and must be protected. In The Experiment, author Robin Lamont brings these forward-looking themes to her newest suspense novel.

Jude is an investigator for an animal protection organization. When the young man she has trained for an undercover job suddenly vanishes after a tantalizing text that he’s “on to something,” Jude rushes to the quiet, farming community of Half Moon, only to discover that her trainee might have perpetrated an elaborate con job on her. Determined to get to the truth, she unearths a biopharmaceutical company’s deadly secret, and in doing so, comes up against dark secrets of her own.

 

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Published by: Grayling Press Publication Date: May 15th 2019 Number of Pages: 288 ISBN: 0985848588 (ISBN13: 9780985848583) Series: The Kinship Series Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

John Harbolt wasn’t easily shaken. With over forty years of medicine under his belt, there was hardly an injury, disease, or fatality he hadn’t seen, and he’d treated just about everyone in the small town of Half Moon at some time or other. But on that late summer day, young Tori Lacey showed him something that baffled him. Her symptoms were inexplicable and downright scary. She was his first patient of the day, a young woman who had battled her weight for years. In between the earaches and the sore throats, Harbolt had gently counseled her about diet and exercise. He hoped she wasn’t here to ask him about diet pills again, because as far as he was concerned, they were off the table. After removing her file from the plastic holder bolted to the outside of the examination room, he adjusted his wire rim glasses and straightened his lab coat. The younger doctors often wore khakis and a short-sleeved shirt at work, and maybe it put the kids more at ease. But Dr. Harbolt stuck with a freshly starched white coat, believing that it made his patients feel more confident in his abilities. And confidence in one’s doctor was important to the healing process. “Tori Ann Lacey,” he announced jovially as he shambled into the room. “Hi, Dr. Harbolt.” The morose girl before him sat on the table. She had taken off her running shoes but left her sweatshirt and shorts on. “I haven’t seen you for a while,” he said, noting with some surprise that she had slimmed considerably, her round face now leaner and more mature. “How is college life treating you?” “Ok, I guess.” Her voice and posture belied this. “What brings you here today, my dear.” “I don’t really know. But we thought you should look at these.” She pushed back the sleeve of her sweatshirt and held out her arm for inspection. There were several bruises that vandalized the translucent skin of her inner arm. Dr. Harbolt held her wrist and peering over his glasses, looked closely at the red and purple marks. He pressed lightly on one of them. “Does that hurt?” She shook her head no. “What happened?” “That’s the thing. Nothing happened. They just appeared.” She showed him another set of bruises on her other arm. “Did you fall?” “No.” “Knocked into something?” “No,” she exclaimed, as though he didn’t believe her. “My mom thinks it’s my diet. That I should be eating meat.” “And you’re not?” “No. I needed to lose five more pounds for the track team, which I was having a hard time doing, so I switched over to a raw food diet. And it really helped because I made my goal.” “And you were selected for the team?” She nodded, anxiously chewing on a nail. “Congratulations. You getting enough protein?” he asked, studying the bruising and letting her answer drift past him. This wasn’t because of her diet. She rambled for a moment about nuts and spinach, then peeled off her socks and lifted her bare feet to the end of the examination table. “And then yesterday after a run, I found this,” she said. “I didn’t even show my mom ’cause she’d freak out.” Dr. Harbolt caught his breath. It looked as though someone had taken a baseball bat to the soles of the girl’s feet. Fiery maroon blotches screamed out some kind of violence. Three of her toes had turned a dark purple. “Good Lord!” he blurted out. “What happened to you?” “Nothing! I’m telling you nothing happened,” wailed Tori. “They just … showed up.” *** Excerpt from The Experiment by Robin Lamont. Copyright © 2019 by Robin Lamont. Reproduced with permission from Robin Lamont. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Robin Lamont Before becoming a novelist, Robin was a popular Broadway actress and singer, turned private investigator, and then New York prosecutor. She draws on these diverse careers for her work, infusing suspenseful plots with character-driven drama. Robin’s prior work has garnered awards and recognition, including Suspense Magazine’s Best of the Indies and a Gold Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards for her novel If Thy Right Hand. Her book The Chain, which introduced Jude Brannock to readers, was a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalist. Her screen adaptation of the book, Six Seconds, is currently under option.

 

Catch Up With Our Author On: thekinshipseries.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

 

My Review

5 Stars

Jude Brannock is an investigative reporter for the animal protection group The Kinship. They are not as dramatic as other big name groups and prefer to work in the shadows. Jude is worried about the rookie reporter, Tim Mains was to go undercover as a vet tech for Amaethon Industries, a company using mice, rats, and dogs to test their new medicine. They have had a couple violations in the past and Tim was supposed to get evidence to get some serious attention on the company. Be he has disappeared.

Jude is very worried about Tim and goes to Vermont to find him. There she is surprised to learn that Tim was caught giving a sixteen year old girl heroine. But this doesn’t sound like Tim to Jude and she keeps digging. It seems there are a lot more secrets that Amaethon has been keeping from people and Jude is going to expose them, if they don’t stop her first.

This is the first book in the Kinship series that I have read and I instantly fell in love with it in the first chapter. Jude cares for animals, more than humans and is determined to stop their abuse. Against her common sense she falls for Tim and becomes very concerned about his disappearance. But she has her own problems that she is ignoring that may come to bit her at the wrong time.

As an animal lover I wanted to read this book but was hesitant because I knew I would have a hard time with the testing and treatment of animals. But this part was well written and portrayed. I loved the mystery and how this was so much bigger than just some testing of a new drug.

This book could have easily been a standalone novel instead of the third book in the series. I loved this book and can’t wait to read the first to books in the series to see what I missed. It’s definitely one that I recommend checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Tour Participants:

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Special Paws

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Special Paws: The Family List by Tracey Kusinitz Altman

When Boston finds herself in a shelter, Hunter becomes her friend in the neighboring crate and offers to help her make a very special list. Enjoy reading how these two adorable, rescue dogs figure out who they want to live with and why! What does your family list look like?

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About the Author

Author Tracey Kusinitz Altman was 50 years old when she got her very first dog. Before going to the shelter to look for a pet, a friend had helped Altman put together a list of qualities that she wanted in a dog. Boston, a beautiful terrier and pit bull mix, fit everything on the list and more. The spots on Boston’s back formed the shape of a heart, and for Altman it was love at first sight. She drew from her own experience with the local animal shelter to write Special Paws, the first in a planned series of children’s books that feature shelter animals. She also founded Special Paws, a nonprofit that raises money to support animal shelters. Altman lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her two rescue dogs, Boston and Harper. You can connect with Altman on Facebook at Special Paws.

My Review

5 stars

Boston finds herself in a shelter and not understanding the situation. Next to her cage is a beagle called Hunter who explains what is going on. Hunter tells Boston that before she can go to a home she should make a list of everything that she wants in a family. Together they work on Boston’s list and find her the perfect family.

This is a cute and beautifully illustrated story of two dogs in the shelter. I felt so sad for Hunter when I learned that he had been there for four months but I liked the twist with how no one had fit his list. Of course there is a happy ending for both dogs.

I think this is a great book for any kid but especially one that would like to adopt of puppy or kitty from the shelter. I really like how a portion of the proceeds goes to the shelter. This is a great message for kids too.

Are you or your kids thinking about adopting? This would be a great book for anyone’s library but could also be in shelters to help educate children.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Ascot Media for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Ration

Ration
by Cody T. Luff
Genre: Horror
Set in the far future, Ration is an unflinching take on the ways society
can both thrive and go wrong as pressure to survive builds.
All the girls who live in the Apartments are forced to weigh their own
hunger against the lives of the others living in the building. When
Cynthia is wrongly accused of ordering an “A” ration, she
punished by the other girls. Eventually, she is forced to leave the
Apartments along with Ms. Glennoc, one of the former managers who has
tormented and abused her for years. Together, they encounter a world
of even more scarcity, but one filled with politics and intrigue.
Cynthia struggles to return to the Apartments and help the girls who
are still there.
Forced to reconcile her role in the destruction of these girls with the
greater needs of society to find any sustainable source of calories,
Ms. Tuttle makes one bad decision after another while she grapples
with a mother who is growing more and more impatient with her
mistakes.
Ration is a dark and forceful book, written in a surprisingly nuanced and
accessible way. It combines the darkness and despair of The
Road
and The Handmaid’s Tale, but has notes of
charm like Lauren Oliver’s Replica.
Cody T Luff’s forthcoming novel, Ration, will be released by Apex Book Company in
2019. Cody’s stories have appeared in Pilgrimage, Cirque, KYSO
Flash, Menda City Review, Swamp Biscuits & Tea, and others. He is
fiction winner of the 2016 Montana Book Festival Regional Emerging
Writers Contest. He served as editor of an anthology of short fiction
with twelve contributors titled Soul’s Road.
Cody teaches at Portland Community College and works as a story editor. He completed
an intensive MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Cody grew
up listening to stories in his grandfather’s barber shop as he
shined shoes, stories told to him at bedsides and on front porches,
deep in his father’s favorite woods, and in the cabs of pickup
trucks on lonely dirt roads. Cody’s work explores those things both
small and wondrous that move the soul, whether they be deeply real or
strikingly surreal.
My Review
5 Stars

This is a world of Women and Girls. Cynthia and Imeld are two girls that live in the Apartments. Their world is ruled by calories and the girls constantly starve. They can request A, B, and C rations to eat. But the A rations get more girls sent to the Wet Room. Cynthia is falsely accused of eating an A ration and punished by the girls on the third floor.

This leads to Cynthia getting bloody revenge and punishment from Ms. Tuttle, the woman that runs the Apartments. Thing go from bad to worse when Ms. Tuttle is punished by the counsel and Cynthia and Ms. Glennoc, Ms. Tuttle’s assistant, are sent away to the Commons to live or die.

This is a new and brutal world. All men, animals, and plant life have dies many years earlier leaving only women left. There are not many options for food or any form of health care. The Girls were a solution to the problem but as the years have gone on other problems have arose from them.

This is an amazing and dark read. I had a hard time putting this book down and constantly thought about what I read and couldn’t wait to get back to the story. I felt for Cynthia the more I learned about this world and yet I wanted to bash her head in with her insistence to get back to Imeld. Ms. Tuttle and Me. Glennoc are pure evil but are born from this world.

I would have liked to learn more about the Clear but I also understood why we don’t know more. This book is an amazing read that brought the movie Soylent Green to my mind. I would love to read more about this world and what happens to Cynthia and Imeld. I can’t wait to read what Cody Luff comes up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win $20 Amazon
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Becoming Superman

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Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood by J. Michael Straczynski

In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder and a terrible secret.

For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has been one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, one of the few to forge multiple careers in movies, television and comics.  Yet there’s one story he’s never told before: his own.

Joe’s early life nearly defies belief. Raised by damaged adults—a con-man grandfather and a manipulative grandmother, a violent, drunken father and a mother who was repeatedly institutionalized—Joe grew up in abject poverty, living in slums and projects when not on the road, crisscrossing the country in his father’s desperate attempts to escape the consequences of his past.

To survive his abusive environment Joe found refuge in his beloved comics and his dreams, immersing himself in imaginary worlds populated by superheroes whose amazing powers allowed them to overcome any adversity. The deeper he read, the more he came to realize that he, too, had a superpower: the ability to tell stories and make everything come out the way he wanted it. But even as he found success, he could not escape a dark and shocking secret that hung over his family’s past, a violent truth that he uncovered over the course of decades involving mass murder.

Straczynski’s personal history has always been shrouded in mystery. Becoming Superman lays bare the facts of his life: a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who became the hero of his own life.  It is also a compelling behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful TV series and movies recognized around the world.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

J. Michael Straczynski

About the Author

Michael Staczynski was born in Paterson, NJ in 1954, from a lower-middle-class blue-collar family that moved 21 times in his first 18 years. He began writing in earnest and selling at the age of 17 and hasn’t stopped since. He graduated San Diego State University with degrees in Psychology and Sociology.

As a journalist, he has written over 500 published articles for such periodicals as The Los Anglees Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Penthouse, Writer’s Digest, San Diego Magazine, the San Diego and Los Angeles Reader and TIME, Inc. He has also published numerous short stories in Amazing Science Fiction Magazine, Pulphouse, and various anthologies.

As a television writer and producer, he has written over 200 produced episodes, including workj on The New Twilight Zone, Nightmare Classics and Murder She Wrote. He also wrote, created and produced the series Babylon 5, Crusade and Jeremiah.

Moving from TV to film, he wrote Changeling (directed by Clint Eastwood), Ninja Assassin (produced by the Wachowskis), provided the story for Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh), wrote Underworld 4 (starring Kate Beckinsale), and has written numerous other films that are currently slated for production.

He has won the Hugo Award (twice), the Saturn Award, the Eisner Award, the Inkpot Lifetime Achievement Award, the E Pluribus Unum Award from the American Cinema Foundation, the Space Frontier Foundation award, the Ray Bradbury Award, the Christopher Award, and over a dozen others.

He was also nominated for a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his screenplay for Changeling.

He writes ten hours a day, every day, except for his birthday, New Year’s Day and Christmas Day.

My Review

5 Stars

When I received this book in the mail I didn’t know what to think about, I hadn’t officially requested it but I try to review all books that come my way. By reading the blurb on the back of the book I was interested but still didn’t really know who J. Michael Straczynski was and kinda thought this would be another biography about how this famous person just struggled with life and are now rich. Boy was I wrong.

The first pages sucked me in with the story of a young boy that grew up rough with some of the worst people I can think about. The constant moving and abuse was hard to read the brutal honesty of it. But that is just the beginning. Not having friends, constantly on edge about what is going to happen next and where he was going to be dumped made me sympathize with Straczynski.

All of this helped shape him for his many trials and for Hollywood. Watching Straczynski rise about the beginnings and fight through everything until his film career and beyond is nothing short of inspirational.

This is a wonderful read. Difficult in some places but very encouraging. No matter what Straczynski faced he kept fighting and kept working. I learned so much that I have a new found appreciation for J. Michael Straczynski. What an amazing individual!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read it and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Harper Collins Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Roam

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Roam by Erik Therme

When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly.

Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Audible US     Audible UK     Goodreads

About the Author

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Website      Goodreads Author Page     Facebook     Twitter

My Review

5 Stars

Sarah Cate is out with her boyfriend for her twenty-first birthday when their car breaks down. Matt is drunk and belligerent and Sarah can’t take any more and starts walking for help. She is approached by Kevin and Mark and decides to get a ride home. On the way she starts thinking about her relationship with Matt and realizing how things are not very good.

When Sarah gets home things go from bad to worse and she leaves. She gets back in the car with Kevin and asks him to help her find her friend Scott. But things are never easy and Matt warned her that if she left him he would make her pay. And Scott might not be the savior that Sarah thinks he will be.

This story is filled with characters that you feel both good and bad for. My heart broke for Kevin and I really hoped things would work out for him. I had a hard time liking Sarah on the other hand although she does show some improvement. Then you have Scott, part of me liked and understood him and the other just wanted to get away from him.

Although it is a simple premise, there is a lot happening in this book from a budding romance, abuse, to simply learning from ones choices. I was easily sucked into this world and had a hard time putting the book down. The book is a lot deeper than just following around Sarah and Kevin as they roam about.

I loved I Know You and was very excited to read Roam. This is a great story and one that I recommend checking out. I can’t wait to read more from Erik  Therme.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Enter for your chance to win either a digital copy of Roam which is open world wide

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An audio copy of the book of which is only open to UK & US readers.

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I would like to thank Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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