Haven Point #3
July 1, 2015
‘A rising star in the romance world. Her books are wonderfully romantic, feel-good reads that end with me sighing over the last pages.’ Debbie Macomber, bestselling author of Any Dream Will Do The perfect summer read from New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne
I recently got this book from NetGalley and Mills and Boon but then found it was first published in 2015.. and the author has since written a whole set of 11 books for this series plus a complete back story.
This book is the 3rd in the series but can easily be read alone. the story concept for the series is about healing – a lake where the native Americans used to come to heal sickness whether mental or physical but has lost its power over the years. These stories are about how the healng power was reinvigorated.
The Redemptions are an imaginary set of mountain in Idaho, although there is a Redemption Trail and a Redemption Rock at Post Falls. To my astonishment I have found that there are 114 mountain ranges in Idaho!!
It has hot springs, glaciers, mountain goats, peak bagging, salmon rivers, national forests and much more – and stretches up in a very narrow finger right up to the Canadian border. Great for the outdoor enthusiast but cold and rainy of course!
As for the story, it was a cosy second chance romance with some inter-racial element as the heroine was half-Mexican. With an unpronounceable name originally which was changed on her adoption.
It had some issues that it discussed about small towns and lack of industry and being cut-off from the main commercial routes – only 90 minutes to an airport! only… But in todays’ digital and zooming world, and considering they were thinking about a digital organisation, being close to an airport is not a big thing for most employees – just make sure you have enough band width!
Overall a nice story but are small towns really that nice to everyone? But it was supposed to be the big selling point so…
I liked the writing style but the series isn’t for me – the heroine lacked snark and her adaptation to her home was too slick and lacked believability.
The Age of Witches ,
by Louisa Morgan
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Little Brown Book Group UK, Orbit
Pub Date 23 Apr 2020
'A MUST-READ FOR THOSE WHO LIKE MAGIC, LOVE AND A LITTLE BIT OF FEEL-GOOD FEMINISM IN THEIR HISTORICAL FICTION' Library Journal
A young witch must choose between love and loyalty, power and ambition, in this magical novel set in Gilded Age New York and London.
In 1692, Bridget Bishop was hanged as a witch. Two hundred years later, her legacy lives on in the scions of two very different lines: one dedicated to using their powers to heal and help women in need; the other, determined to grasp power for themselves.
This clash will play out in the fate of Annis, a young woman in Gilded Age New York who finds herself a pawn in the family struggle for supremacy. She'll need to claim her own power to save herself - and resist succumbing to the darkness that threatens to overcome them all.
In 1890 Harriet Bishop our first witch, forages in Central Park for herbs and creates potions for healing – a traditional occupation for the Wise Woman. She has a great niece Annis who was soon to be coming into her ‘powers’ and would need instruction as to the use of them, Harriet does not trust her sister-in-law Frances to do this correctly, if at all. Frances dabbles in black magic after all. And Frances is not Annis’ real mother. It is directly down the Bishop line that the strongest magic flows and Frances is not quite a direct descendant. The Bishop women are strong but some want power more than to help others and this novel looks at how women in this time and age could find power – and use it. A novel about strength and determination and matriarchal lines of power. Written in a suitable style for a turn of the century novel without being heavy but literary and stylish.
Nutrition, Health, Preventative Medecine
March 3, 2020
In the course of research, Tim Spector has been shocked to discover how little scientific evidence there is for many of our most deep-rooted ideas about food. Is salt really bad for you? Is fish good for you? What about coffee, red meat, or saturated fats? Can pregnant women rely on their doctor's advice about what to eat? Does gluten-free food carry any health benefits at all? Do doctors know anything about nutrition? In twenty short, myth-busting chapters, Tim Spector reveals why almost everything we've been told about food is wrong. He reveals the scandalous lack of good scientific evidence for many medical and government food recommendations, and how the food industry holds sway over these policies. These are urgent issues that matter not just for our health as individuals but for the future of the planet. Spoon-Fed forces us to question every diet plan, government recommendation, miracle cure or food label we encounter, and encourages us to rethink our whole relationship with food.
Everything you thought you knew about diets and dieting is wrong. In fact almost everything you thought you knew about most foods is wrong – as this author will tell you – in great depth and citing many academic studies to demonstrate and support his statements. I won’t say ‘prove’ as nothing is ever proven, so thin about that before you believe the next dieting fad. They have all been wrong – you cannot lose weight through the paleo diet, nor the low fat diet, or the low sugar diet or the cabbage diet or.. you get the drift.
And who decided we needed to eat 5 or was it 7 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day, or a rainbow? And why? Why these numbers? What happens if you eat 8? is it better to be vegan? Is fish better than meat? How many calories of x is the same as how many calories of y? and why?
And so the questions continue.
This author, Professor Tim Spector, attempts to answer most of the questions above and many more – and how to decide what to eat in reality. Each chapter has comprehensive studies cited, a set of notes and there is a large index too.
The book concludes with a 12 point plan. Not a way to lose weight, but a way to eat including a way to source food and manage the way you eat. The 9th point is one which is becoming increasingly important – ‘eat food to improve gut microbe diversity’. The study of our guts – our stomachs and intestines and related organs has revealed an important fact – even identical twins brought up together, eating the same food in the same house, do not have the same gut microbes. Thus, each person has to have an individual diet. There is no one size fits all – it only fits one.
4 [I would give it 5 but as someone without a science degree I found some of the studies rather opaque and overall there were just too many – perhaps it could have been boiled down to just the more important ones?]
I, Angel Genres:
(Angels in L.A., #1)
by Julie Light
Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: October 19th 2020
I never asked to be an angel. Truthfully, being an angel kinda sucks.
But some angels don’t get harps. We hunt demons.
I might be a social weirdo. And okay, I black out whenever I fly and wake up naked in random places. I can only sleep in windowless rooms. I have that gun problem. Oh, and I can’t drink alcohol, since I randomly start fires.
But I, Dags Jourdain, do good. Sort of. I mean, I try.
When I’m not hunting demons, I work as a P.I. in Hollywood, California.
One night, I get in a demon fight in an alley, and accidentally save the life of a movie star, and everything changes for me.
Meanwhile, someone opened a hell portal under the Hollywood sign, a dead guy left me his dog, and a homicide detective who hates me from high school is trying to decide if I’m a serial killer.
I, ANGEL is the first book in the Angels in L.A. series, a gritty angel urban fantasy, ideal for fans of K.F. Breene, Shayne Silvers, Patricia Briggs, C.N. Crawford, Linsey Hall
A dog’s wet, slobbery, warm tongue ran up the side of his face.
Dogs liked him. They liked him a lot.
Depending on the day, it was either a blessing or a curse.
In this particular instance, it probably saved his life.
“Pick up the gun, asshole!” the woman yelled. “I threw it right at you!”
Dags stared dazedly at the weapon as it swam into focus.
It lay on the asphalt, not far from the brick alley wall he now vaguely remembered slamming into, some unclear amount of time ago. He even remembered the specific gun.
Looking at it, he recoiled, grimacing involuntarily. His head felt like someone had taken a machete and tried to split his skull open like a cantaloupe, but he still had no desire to pick up the damned gun, much less point it at anyone.
Was that cannon really hers? Had she been lugging that thing around in her purse all this time? Did she have a permit for that thing? And if it was hers, why did she expect him, Dags, to be the one to shoot someone with it? Why didn’t she shoot them herself?
And where did the damned dog come from?
Even as he thought it, some other subset of his mind catalogued the gun in rote:
Desert Eagle. Gas-operated, rotating bolt. Semi-automatic. Designed by Magnum Research Inc. This particular edition was a Mark VII .357 Magnum with a fourteen-inch barrel, stainless steel, accessory mount with a laser scope.
That thing could do some serious damage.
All the more reason to leave it the hell alone.
“I don’t do guns,” he slurred, shoving it away.
It skittered across the alley floor, sliding under a dumpster about ten yards away.
Pushing aside the dog’s cold, wet nose, he scratched its ears out of habit even as he fought to push himself up with his hands.
“Are you crazy?” The woman stared at Dags like he’d just slapped her. Or maybe like he’d just told her he was a unicorn who only ate chocolate-covered strawberries and farted rainbows. “You’re a pacifist? Are you kidding me right now?”
Dags could sympathize.
Not enough to want to go after the gun, but yeah, he got it.
He only made it about halfway to his knees, when a heavy, booted foot connected, hard, with the small of his back. The same part of his mind that catalogued the gun did the same to the weight, shape, and relative precision of that booted foot––even as the blow knocked him forward, nearly face-planting him into the asphalt.
Male. Roughly six feet, two inches.
Two hundred and forty pounds.
Fighting ability: expert. At least one black belt in some martial art or another. Probably some military-style training. Weaknesses: Drops right arm when he pulls back from jabs. Telegraphs kicks with grunts and/or heavy breaths. Has a weird habit of grinning right before a lunge. Conclusion: well-trained, but a bizarrely sloppy fighter. Too used to winning maybe, or maybe it had been too long since he fought someone good enough to challenge him.
But all that was just details. The real issue with this guy wasn’t his fighting ability, or lack thereof, and Dags knew it. Hell, that’s why he was here, instead of calling 911 and letting the police handle it.
The guy wasn’t human. Well, he wasn’t only human.
He was something else.
The boot came down again, too hard for a human of that weight and strength.
Dags caught himself with his hands.
He remembered how he got himself into this situation now.
Unlike Dags’ usual m.o., where he followed people for weeks, making sure he knew exactly who they were, what they were, researching them, studying their habits, getting a feel for them, the likelihood they’d hurt someone, this guy, Dags had more or less caught in the act. He’d seen him drag the woman into a dark alley, like something out of an old detective movie.
He saw the guy’s aura.
He knew there was something wrong with it.
By then, the not-human attacker had a hand over the woman’s mouth.
Dags didn’t have time to involve the police, even if he’d wanted to.
He also didn’t have time to game this one out.
To make matters worse, the woman stuck around, even after he gave her an opening. Even after Dagstold her to run.
She wouldn’t leave.
Why the hell wouldn’t she leave?
The guy got the jump on him, which didn’t help. Truthfully, that really threw Dags in the beginning of the fight, but somehow it didn’t bother him as much as the woman just standing there, watching him get his ass kicked.
Anyway, the other thing was Dags’ own fault.
He had the same weakness as the guy currently kicking him in the ribs. He’d gotten too cocky, too used to fighting people who were painfully easy to beat. He’d followed the guy into the alley without the slightest attempt to scope out the scene from a safer angle.
“Get up!” the woman yelled. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Dags looked up at her in disbelief.
Seeing her standing there, against the opposite wall, which was covered, funnily enough, in an enormous pair of spray-painted angel wings, he scowled.
He waved a hand at her towards the mouth of the alley.
“Get out of here!” he snapped.
“Get off the ground!” she shot back. “Are you stupid?”
“Why are you yelling at me?” He motioned again with a jerk of his hand. “And why are you still here? RUN! Don’t just stand there like it’s reality t.v. Get your ass out of here! NOW.”
Hands on her hips, she frowned.
Under other circumstances, he might have laughed.
She looked like she was about to ask to speak to his manager.
I write quirky, smart, conflicted, and unforgettable characters who live in realistically fantastical worlds. Many of those characters want redemption. A lot more want tacos, a margarita, and a beachy vacation with lots of sex. They all kind of hate me for never giving them enough of those things.
I write mostly in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, and supernatural suspense, and my books are chock full of love and magic, light versus dark, angsty, steamy romances, sharp dialogue, gritty worlds, and metaphysical and paranormal whatsits.
I’ve traveled a lot, lived in various funky places, but currently live and write full time in Los Angeles, California.
The Taming of a Wicked Rogue
(The Lords of Scandal Row, #1)
by Samantha Holt
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Publication date: November 10th 2020
Forced to leave friends, family, and a life of privilege and fun, Rebecca Fortescue’s world changed overnight nearly ten years ago. Now, with the tightening of a noose, it’s changed again, but she needs to make amends for what her father did.
Which means returning, secretly, to the place where he did the most damage.
And to the residence of one Lord Leonard Moncrieff—the only man she’s ever loved.
She’s certain she won’t see him again, though. Nicknamed a Lord of Scandal Row, it’s clear to her, he’s no longer the boy she knew, and never returns home. The last thing she needs it to be distracted by a man deemed one of the most attractive men in London.
Unfortunately for Rebecca, Leo has been practically banished from London under the orders of his mother thanks to a scandal that, for once, had nothing to do with him. Now he has to spend his days playing the country gent and trying to avoid the female of the species.
It will be harder than he expected, given a sudden influx of young ladies to the area. He might be a rogue, but he has no desire to upset his delicate mother and will, albeit begrudgingly, play the dutiful son. He can avoid a few pretty faces, surely?
At least, until he discovers the beautiful Rebecca hiding in the stables. She’s in need of help, and he cannot resist, despite the fact she once shattered his young heart. The pull between them is as strong as ever but anything between them is impossible.
WHY WAS LEO here? Rebecca had followed his pursuits in the newspapers. He never came to Langmere. Ever.
She pushed her back against the wall of the stables. A little brick dust rained down upon her. She wrinkled her nose and held her breath. The lamplight only offered her a hint of his features as he ducked into the building that was shrouded in darkness by the late hour.
He still made her heart skip. Even after all these years. It shouldn’t have surprised her that it did. He always did that to her, and the years had been kind to him, hardening his jaw and filling out his shoulders.
He wore a shirt, slightly untucked and rolled up at the sleeves, revealing muscular forearms dusted with hair. He murmured something to the horse, and her stomach did a tumble. If she closed her eyes, she would be six and ten again, listening to him speak to his horses whilst perched on a milking stool and watching him with such admiration. Their love of animals had brought them together but that had swiftly turned into something else.
Sometimes, she suspected Leonard Moncrieff would be the only man she ever loved.
However, just because he was still kind to animals did not mean he was the same man. It pained her to read every column devoted to him and his dalliances, yet she could not help herself. They had not spoken in nearly ten years and she could not help but want to know every element to his life, even while it stabbed at her heart to read of the rake he had become.
He stilled and turned, the golden light dappling over his face. She sucked in a breath. No wonder women swarmed to him. The attractive young man she had known had grown into the most handsome man she had ever seen.
She clapped a hand over her mouth when his brow furrowed. He lifted the lamp and peered at the shadows. She waited, her heart pounding against her chest so loudly that she feared he would hear it.
Then he shook his head, returned the lamp to the plinth and turned back to the horse, smoothing strong hands down the animal’s flanks.
Rebecca inhaled a shaky breath through her nostrils. And regretted it. Instantly. The brick dust and hay combined made her nose tickle and her eyes water. She pressed a finger under her nose but to no avail. A sneeze burst from her, cracking through the stillness.
She jolted away from the wall with the intention of escaping but too late. Leo descended upon her and grabbed her arm. “Who are you?” he demanded.
She tried to wriggle free of his strong grip, but he grabbed her other arm. When she went to push past him, he shoved back, and she lost her footing and tumbled onto a pile of hay. He fell with her, the sudden tumble dragging him down. The breath left her lungs at the impact of his body atop hers, his strength and height utterly apparent.
“Get off me,” she grunted, struggling against his hold.
“What are you doing here, boy?”
She stilled at the word. He hadn’t recognized her. She supposed the shadows were too dark. And that meant her disguise had worked. With any luck, she could make her excuses, leave, and he would be none the wiser of her presence here.
“Just seeking shelter,” she murmured, keeping her voice low.
He kept her pinned, fingers curled around both wrists. The awareness of his hard body atop hers sizzled through her despite herself. She squirmed once more and he cocked his head, releasing her arms suddenly. “You’re no boy.”
“You do not have to stay,” she murmured between forkfuls of lukewarm but beautifully spiced duck.
“I told Alexander I was taking a stroll about the parkland.” He lingered by the window, his hands clasped behind his back, despite there being nothing for him to view from such a position.
She sighed and gestured to the chair opposite. “You had better sit then. It feels mightily odd eating with you towering over me.”
He lowered himself onto the chair, his frame seeming too big for a piece of furniture that had likely been designed for a woman.
She forced her attention to the food. Tomorrow she had intended to hunt down a woman with whom her father had been connected, and it would likely involve walking into Grasmere so she would need her strength.
“How are your brothers?” she finally asked when the silence stretched too long.
Not that it was uncomfortable, at least not in the traditional manner. It left her feeling oddly achy and desperate for the days when they had been able to talk and touch freely.
“Well enough, though I cannot say they would confide in me were they not.”
She frowned, gesturing with her fork. “But you used to be so close, especially to Adam.”
“We are all busy these days.” He lifted both shoulders. “Alexander is forever hunting out his next adventure, probably determined to kill himself so he does not have to worry about siring an heir, and Adam still enjoys cards.”
“And you, what do you do?”
“I thought you knew all about me.” He smirked. “You have read all about me in the gossip columns after all.”
“Well, yes.” Warmth spread into her face, and she eyed the glossy table top until she could get the heat under control. “But only briefly,” she lied.
Leo leaned back and laced his hands behind his head. “Then I am sure you know it all.”
“The horses,” she blurted, motioning so fast with her fork that a few remnants of meat flung off it and splattered against the curtains. She grimaced and gently lowered the fork.
His lips curved but he said nothing of her disastrous manners.
“What I was trying to say was there are so many horses. Are they yours?”
He nodded. “We are so seldom here that Alexander does not mind me using the park land for the horses.”
“No. They are too old. I purchase those who are at the end of their racing or working careers and they live out their retirement here.”
“Of course you do.”
Rebecca should not have been surprised really, but she almost wished there was some selfish reason. It would make it all the easier to ignore this pull toward him as though he had lassoed a rope around her and was slowly hauling her in with his every word and action.
He lifted both brows. “You sound almost disappointed.”
“Well, it does rather ruin your image as the seductive rake.”
“And that disappoints you?” His gaze clashed with hers, making her chest feel tight.
“No, it is just—”
“You want to know why I bedded all those women over the years?”
“Because of you, Rebecca.” His jaw twitched. “To forget you.” He shoved a hand through his hair, leaving it in disarray. “I needed to get you out from under my skin, but I’ll be damned if I succeeded.”
She inhaled a sharp breath that seemed to sear her lungs. It all could be a lie, she supposed, but she did not think so. His confession had the loop tightening, drawing her closer still until she could fight him no longer.
Perhaps, just for now, she did not want to fight him.
“I never forgot you either,” she confessed.
The words escaped without thought and she should have regretted them, but when his gaze darkened and she knew precisely what his next move would be, she could not bring herself to.
She held herself still and waited.
USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…
▶ Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.
▶ You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.
▶ Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.
▶ Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.
▶ To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.