When your heart needs mending

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae Book Cover The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae
Stephanie Butland
literary fiction, contemporary
Zaffre; 1 edition
(19 April 2018)

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.

She's only a few months past the heart transplant that - just in time - saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point and she wants to find her father.
Have her friends left her behind?
And she's felt so helpless for so long that she's let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. She barely knows where to start on her own.

Then there's Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn't make it. And now she's supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart. 

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . 

A book that contrives to be both a serious and empathetic story about Ailsa and her life-defining illness, but at the same time is an uplifting and humorous tale of her struggles as both a blue and a pink heart.

Ailsa has a rare heart defect that could have killed her at birth but through surgical intervention she makes it through her life and even takes a degree, but in her mid-twenties it begins to fail. during the latter part of this period she begins a blog about her life and struggles as someone with a life-defining illness.

The excerpts in the book of her blueheart blog are wonderful and show just how difficult it can be to live when every day could be your last.

It also tells us clearly how difficult it is to have a successful romance under these circumstances and how believing in this romance has issues.

I liked the introduction of the tango as an illustration of this belief in Ailsa’s life and future development.

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Eternally Yours – Forever

Damned and Desperate Book Cover Damned and Desperate
Eternally Yours #3
Tara West
paranormal romance, demons and devils, angels
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
1 July 2017

*Warning, this book contains scenes of dead people having sex, only really sexy dead people, not zombies or sparkly vampires. Rest assured, no body parts fell off during the making of these sex scenes, just bras and undies, and no fangs or hammers were used during foreplay.**

My afterlife has sunk to a new level of desperate, all because some badass demon banished my friends to the fourth dimension of the fiery pit.
When I signed up for this rescue mission, nobody told me about the bugs, hives, and sweltering heat. That I could handle. Add to that a sinfully sexy boyfriend with serious ex-fiancée issues, three temperamental giants, a psychotic demon dentist, and a really hungry soul-sucking dragon, and this trip to Hell has become the trip from Hell.
And I forgot to pack my sunscreen.

Here I am reviewing the next books in this series.

#3 Damned and Desperate

I always thought that Heaven would be dull but Tara West’s version is anything but. You wake up with no kinks in your muscles, no aches, and shiny hair. And you have your own valet – who takes whichever form you like – to look after you. Only problem seems to be that you eat cheesecake all the time and it has a numbing effect on your emotions and memory if you eat too much!

At first I was all for it, but after a while I thought, maybe not. Perhaps the top level of purgatory might be better where you have a job and friends and…

But first you have to rescue everyone who for various reasons has fallen into Hell and needs some serious ‘angel’ help to get back up the ladders.

This is a great fun and humourous series that I’m thoroughly enjoying.  Tara West has a wild imagination…

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Krista D. Ball
paranormal, demons and devils, urban fantasy

rom Book 1: A half-breed and a female, Lady Bethany clawed her way to the ranks of the Elven Service's top military elite. They only knew her as their champion against Magic, and not the daughter of a Goddess. She'd expected a long, rewarding life protecting those under her care. But that was before her twin sister returned from exile, addicted to brutal Magic and human sacrifice, twisted inside, and abusing ancient prophecies to overthrow their mother and destroy everything Bethany holds sacred.

The world will burn in flames and innocents will die, unless Bethany can stop it. Unless she can take the life of her own sister.


A really enjoyable epic set – despite all the  blood and guts.

Empathetically described characters with believeable emotions – and scenes that tug the heart strings.

I read all 3 books of the first set plus ‘Interlude’ in one go – over 3 days – as I was deperate to find out what happened next. How did the next war occur? What triggered it? Who was a traitor/ And more importantly, did Arrago ever marry Bethany?

And then I read the next 2 books!

The books are:

Blaze, Grief, Interlude, Fury, Schemes, Liberate.

I really look forward to the 2 final books: Ambush and Surrender.

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The babies that we never meet

The Idea of You Book Cover The Idea of You
Amanda Prowse
Womens' Literature, Women's Fiction, contemporary fiction
Lake Union Publishing
(21 Mar. 2017)

What if the one thing you want is the only thing you can’t have?

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

We don’t cry enough for the babies we lose (in early pregnancy). I certainly didn’t.

For over 20 years I ignored them and then I went into a church and saw the lists of babies that had died in early childhood and it reminded me of the babies we had lost. And I cried. I felt so sad about those children who had not joined our family.

And this book reminded me of those losses and I cried again not just for me, but for the central characters too. I empathised too much perhaps?

This is a book that starts as a second chance romance and slowly becomes a story about the children we desire through our procreation imperative  which when not fulfilled drives so many into despair and depression.

And yet there is a happy ending that is not the case for all. The author’s own experience gives this story that extra edge that rings of truth telling.

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Small but deadly

Pint Sized Protector
Bad Boy Inc #2
Eve Langlais
romantic suspense, contemporary
Eve Langlais
(10 Oct. 2017)

Now there is one thing I learnt in Judo when I was younger that being pint -sized myself gave you several advantages when fighting tall and bulky males.

1. They underestimated you. And

2. You could get under their guard and throw them down before they knew it, as your centre of gravity was underneath theirs.

So being pint sized, if you are feisty, is often a good thing.

So enjoyed this feisty kickass pint-sized female story as it had resonations…

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