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Tempt me not?!

Midnight Temptation
Ravens Hollow Coven Book 2)
Shari Nichols
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
City Owl Press
jun 30th 2020

What are the stakes for falling in love?

That’s the question tarot card reader Gillian Howe ponders when she hosts a supernatural speed dating event. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire provides her an opportunity to attend an exclusive after-party and prove she isn’t opposed to love. But she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. The night ends in a police raid and of all the vampire detectives in Raven’s Hollow, Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene. Even if he is scorching, hot, he accused her of a crime she didn’t commit and nearly ruined her life.

Fate has thrown them together again…

Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. The fact    that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Knowing who to trust and who to love becomes a matter of survival, and possibly the only way to take down the Brotherhood.

Book Cover

As this was a series, I decided to set the scene with book 1 of the series.This was useful to understand the background if not the characters per se, as they were very minor in book 1.

I also hoped that the writing would have improved as so often happens, as the authors develops the series and setting. And it had.

But only marginally.

I didn’t feel though that this book could stand alone. It needed to be set within a series. And unlike the work of RJ Blain, these vampires were standard. Mostly blood drinkers of unwilling victims. But with our hero fighting against tis sterotype.

I found the witches rather unconvincing in the spellwork – too simplistic in the word usage – and thus too easy to be misapplied. And their potions were made too easily – lack of effort all round really. Which meant that the story line lacked drama. And I found the ending unsatisfactory.

And is it a vile or a vial? What holds a potion in US spelling? Author please let me know.

As you can’t allocate half points, I’m giving this a 4 when for me it was really 3.5.

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Books and yet more to read

The Lending Library Book Cover The Lending Library
Aliza Fogelson
Fiction
Lake Union Publishing
2020-07
300

A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she's as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library. At first just a hobby, this lit lovers' haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors--and attract an exciting new romance. But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie's secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do...

A novel written by my soul sister – a bibliophile and eclectic reader. So many new authors and books for me to check out – and for my husband too. From classics to books with recipes in – and I love the idea of a reading group with recipes to try out from the book.

My fantasy bookshop would be run alongside a café and deli. Every week we would choose a recipe from a book – cookery or not just as her reading group did – and showcase it in the café, then sell the ingredients and book in the deli, ready packaged in the correct amounts. The recipes might be exotic or just simple like an apple pie with interesting spicing, it doesn’t matter – everything would support the other elements of the store.

A book group would sample the recipe and discuss the book – and the knitting group would attempt to knit a representation perhaps? But that needs really experienced knitters. There is an artist who does make amazing  knitted foods items.

And there are lots of knitting patterns to make food too.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it followed the romance trope but it was the library and descriptions of books and the book-marks that sold it for me. By the way, what did happen to her library when the real one opened?

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Late Bloomers are always sweet to find

The Diary of a Late Bloomer; A quirky coming of age novel Book Cover The Diary of a Late Bloomer; A quirky coming of age novel
by L.M.L Gil
Genres: Coming of Age, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Publication date: June 29th 2020
kindle

Every wallflower blooms at their own perfect time, but some like quirky Lo, take longer than others.

Lo is a sheltered 20-year-old who loves baking, manga/anime, and octopi. When she spots her college swim team’s tryout flyer sporting her favorite sea creature, an octopus she knows it’s a sign that she must join the Flying Octopi. The only things standing her way are her social awkward nature and the fact that she just learned to swim.

Late Bloomer is a new adult novel that is a cross between Bridget Jones’s Diary, Baywatch and Kuragehime

What LML Gill did during Lockdown – her hobby!

Like Joan in The Diary of a Late Bloomer, I love to read Tarot cards. There is something magical about creating a story based on the different cards that are out on a spread. They give so much insight, pointing out blind spots in our logic.

I can still remember how excited I was when I brought home my first tarot deck, Legend; Arthurian Tarot, which I got at Costco.It was an impulse buy, but I was drawn to it because I loved the Legend of Arthur and Merlin. One of my favorite novels when I was younger was The Return of Merlin by Deepak Chopra which turned me on to Merlin and his legend. Great novel by the way.

Learning how to read the Tarot took me a long time. I had to memorize the cards, all 78 of them, and their meanings. The pictures on the cards always helped but I felt proud when I could name the cards and what they represented. It was sort of like learning a new language.

At first, I only did readings for myself, mostly questions about my crushes and how I would do in certain classes. Then to test out my new skill I read the cards for my family. As I began to feel more confident, I read them for my friends. It was a pretty amazing feeling when my predictions came true.

Over the years I didn’t play with the tarot as much because life became hectic. But during the quarantine I found YouTube tarot readers to watch which rekindled my love of reading the cards. As a bonus I learned how to us oracle cards in my readings.

They all made tarot card reading look like so much fun and they used pretty props. I couldn’t resist joining in the fun, so I recently started my own YouTube channel where I do Pick-a-card readings. It is a whole new adventure for me.

My channel is still young and I am learning things constantly, especially after making a ton of mistakes, but like Lo I’m giving it my all. As My tarot card deck and oracle deck collection keeps growing, so does my fascination with the art of reading tarot cards.

Book trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWjmFxo5T0c&feature=youtu.be

Purchase:

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/no/book/the-diary-of-a-late-bloomer-a-coming-of-age-novel/id1509796106

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-diary-of-a-late-bloomer-a-coming-of-age-novel

AUTHOR BIO:

L.M.L. Gil is a writer, a reader, and a dreamer.

When she is not writing, editing, or thinking about her next story, she is either in the kitchen testing out a new recipe or snuggling with her fur munchkins reading.

As a glutton, she equates a good novel to a scrumptious dessert, which leaves your heart a little lighter and a smile on your face.

She hopes her novels provide a sweet treat without the calories

Author links:

https://www.lmlgilauthor.com/

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Baseball metaphors

Stealing Home Book Cover Stealing Home
(A Sweet Magnolias Novel, Book 1)
Sherryl Woods
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
November 1, 2011
400

Coming to Netflix May 2020 Maddie Townsend might live in a town called Serenity, but there's been nothing calm or peaceful about her life since her marriage broke up.

This stay-at-home mum has no job skills, an out-of-control sixteen-year-old son, a talkative fourteen-year-old who's suddenly gone silent, a six-year-old daughter whose heart is broken, an ex-husband whose younger girlfriend is expecting their baby and two best friends who think she's somehow qualified to help them open a fitness spa for women.

But if Maddie is a tad on edge with all that on her plate, it's nothing compared to the chaos that ensues when she discovers that her son's baseball coach has feelings for her and the whole town disapproves. Maddie's faced a lot of challenges lately with strength and resolve, but Cal Maddox may turn out to be more than she can handle. Then again, he could just be the one man in all of South Carolina who can help her find serenity.

This is a metaphor title, for those who recognise it, for baseball. The very special feeling that ball players get when they advances to a base which they are not entitled to, and the official scorer rules that the advance should be credited to the action of the runner – them. … Successful base stealers are not only fast but have good base running instincts and timing.

There is a film called Stealing Home and a famous book about the Los Angeles Dodgers too. So a metaphor that would be familiar to US readers – but not UK I’m afraid.

However, the story gradually explains the very special feeling that baseball runners get when they ‘steal’ this run, and how important it is for them to play.

What is also interesting is how this story explores what it means to be a woman many years older than her lover/boyfriend and society’s reaction to this  combination – yes discrimination again as it is common among men and not commented on – other than sometimes salaciously by other men.

And adolescents and their hormones and their actions and reactions to their mother with a new life.

I thought the story was told empathetically and enjoyably. Well written in its genre.

nb re-issued due to Netflix Series – but don’t think it is quite the same as the book – it isn’t!

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No more Irish Nuns

I Won’t be a Nun Book Cover I Won’t be a Nun
Michaela Francis
Fiction
Troubador Publishing Ltd
April 28, 2020
200

Everything these days is online – including how a woman is meant to meet Mr Right. But, Sonia wonders, as she joins up to the dating app, how can someone decide simply by looking at somebody’s face that they’re the right person for her? And as she swipes with little to no matches, her confidence affected as she wonders “What’s wrong with me?”

Past history meets present as she continues on the carousel, emotions building up and tearing down, being used and discarded like an old sweet wrapper and the crushing knowledge that she’s in her late 30s and her clock is ticking. She needs to meet Mr Right right now. She turns to alcohol to mask the fear that she will never find him but refuses to recognise that her crutch is crippling her – until it’s too late. As the overall pressure of society, her addiction and her own fears weighs her down, will Sonia overcome everything that is expected of her or will she succumb to her choices and live a life half-lived?

In my considered opinion, and taking into consideration that at a conservative estimate i have read over 20,000 books in my life, ranging from fantasy and romance to Dickens, Shakeapeare, French (in the original) novels, and computer science and programming books, they can start in one of two ways if they want to attract your attention and get you to read further.

They can start with a bang, as it is said in Trampolining with Dragons, see further review, or they can start subtly and draw you into a deceptively intricate story that weaves a web of intrigue so that you want to read further to find out what happens in the storyline, or to the characters or…

Poor books do neither of these things. And if by 10% or even 25% Ii am still wondering why I am reading this book, the author has failed in their job to interest me in my super power, as it says on my mug, to read.

I read voraciously. Many different genres. Many different lengths but longer being better as a book that I can finish in an hour is too light – unless it makes me laugh. Which is why I usually dislike novellas unless they are a part of a series. I read at least a page a minute as i can speed read easily and so 300 plus pages is my preferred book.

I Won’t be a Nun only half interested me and at 7% of the way through I abandoned it to read another book and then came back to see if I felt I if for a different reader it might do well. I find that I rarely get on with Irish books but occasionally they surprise me so I keep trying.

This wasn’t one to surprise me. It lacked the humour that would have encouraged me to go further.

1 for me – maybe 3 for a reader who likes Irish stories.

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