Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

The mineDescription: In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come

Rating: 3/5 stars

Cover: I really like it.

Review: So, I have a thing for time travelling: the possibilities, the danger of altering the past and therefore your own present… I don’t think that was on Joel’s mind that much. I can only say ‘I think’, because I didn’t really get into his head.  The book’s hero was bordering on Gary Sue. All the women want him, especially the two main love interests (the first even though she just got engaged and it wasn’t forced). Everything he does, works just fine. Everyone loves him. That’s not really interesting, now is it?

But other parts of this book were interesting. Everything had some Forties-Charm going, the dates and pastime activities for example. I liked how World War II loomed over the characters, too.

But sadly everything was just too easy-going in this book, the beginning, the middle and the end. I like a little conflict and I am not talking about ‘which girl/boy should I choose’ conflict. If that’s your thing, I am sure you’ll really like this book. The time travel aspect is probably (hopefully) becoming a more important part in this series’ next installments.

You can sample and buy it here.

The author provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.


Review: The shepherd and the solicitor by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

The Shepherd and the SolicitorDescription: When a storm is brewing, taking shelter could be the most dangerous move of all.

One careless, public sign of affection cost Daniel Pierce’s lover his life at the hands of a hate-filled mob. Grief-stricken, Daniel retreated from society to a sheep farm in the wilds of the north. Years later, Gregory Tobin erupts into his solitary life.

Sent to confirm the existence—or the death—of the Pierce family’s lost heir, Tobin isn’t sure he’s found the right man. The gruff, shaggy hermit calling himself Jacob Bennet bears little resemblance to photographs of the younger Pierce. Tobin needs more time to study his quarry.

With lambing season in full swing, Daniel grudgingly admits he could use an extra hand. Through a long, exhausting night, they parry back and forth as Tobin probes closer and closer to the truth. And something beyond casual attraction simmers between them.

They come together in a crash of desire, but ultimately Daniel must overcome the terrors of the past to reconcile the man he was with the man he’s becoming—a man capable of loving again.

Warning: Many sexy encounters on a sheep farm—NO, not like THAT!—between two adult males with temperaments as different as night and day.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Cover: Well done.

Review: If I had to summarize this book, I wouldn’t hesitate one second: UST. The main characters’ chemistry is palpable and you never know if Daniel will give in to his desires or if his fear is just too great to do so. You really can feel and understand his struggles.

While there isn’t happening much, I found myself intrigued by Daniel’s farmer’s life – just like Tobin. This story is just really charming and makes a nice afternoon read.

The shepherd and the solicitor will be published on september 29th 2015. You can preorder it.

I got it as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Me before You by Jojo Moyes

Me before youDescription: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Cover: Really, really kitschy.

Review: So I thought this would be a sweet little love story. Something where I didn’t have to think while reading it? Gosh, was I wrong!

The main character Louis your typical mc. She is rather naive, her family a little bit abusive (seriously, they make fun of her a lot) and she doesn’t know what to do with her life.

On the other hand we have Will, who led an active life until his accident and who is now very bitter. Usually she would stumble into his life and suddenly she is full of self-assurance and he can laugh again. Usually.

This book doesn’t go the easy way. It is very realistic and doesn’t skimp over the ‘yucky’ parts. The love aspect isn’t that present in this book, instead it focusses on choices; learning to make your own choices and letting other people decide what is best for them.

I have to add trigger warnings: mentioning of gang rape and (assisted) suicide.

You can buy and sample it here.

Getting back into reading/learning to love reading 101

As always this meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Go and take a look at their blog!

Sometimes you are just bored and every book you pick up, you put down after a few pages.

Some people only have read books for school and therefore see reading as a chore and not as fun.

These books may help both.


catch a ghostEvenfall 1If it drivesA story of now

1) Catch a ghost by SE Jakes

2) Evenfall by Santino Hassell & Ais

3) If it drives by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt

4) A story of now by Emily O’Beirne


Me before youThe Winner's Curse 1) Me before you by Jojo Moyes

2) The winner’s curse by Marie Rutkoski


splintershadow man

1)Splinter by Sebastian Fitzek

2) Shadow man by Cody MacFadyen


magician apprenticeThe name of the windthe way of shadows

1)Magician: Apprentice by Raymond Feist

2) The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss

3) The way of shadows by Brent Weeks

the lightning thiefCrackedthe darkest minds

the summoning4)The lightning thief by Rick Riordan

5) Cracked by Eliza Crewe

6) The darkest minds by Alexandra Bracken

7) The summoning by Kelley Armstrong

If you were teaching this 101, how would your syllabus look like?
Which 101 are you teaching this week?

Review: Bound By Honor by SE Jakes

Bound by honorDescription: One year ago on a mission gone wrong, Tanner James failed to save the life of Jesse, his Army Ranger teammate. Before dying in that South American jungle, Jesse extracted a promise that won’t let Tanner rest until it’s fulfilled—no matter what it costs him.

Damon Price loved Jesse, but problems in their relationship had come to a head right before Jesse left on his final mission. Now a reluctant Dom and a man still in mourning, he’s not happy when Tanner appears at his BDSM club. And even less happy with Jesse’s last request—that Tanner sub for him for one night.

After a rough start, Damon realizes that the tough soldier, despite his protests, aches for someone to take control. And Tanner senses a hesitance, an insecurity in Damon that makes him wonder if he’s simply a placeholder for Jesse, or if their tentative connection could grow into something more.

For Jesse’s sake, they agree to try one weekend together. Then duty calls, and a series of attacks that have been happening near the club hits too close to home, making both men wonder if giving their hearts is a maneuver fraught with too much risk…

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Cover: Nothing special but not bad

Review: I am a big fan of SE Jake’s Hell or High Water Series, so I had really great expectations for this one. Maybe a little too great. Bound by Honor was written before that series and you notice it. The writing’s not that flowing – although it gets somehow better at the end? – and there were some editing mistakes like a false name.

But if you can overlook those issues you’re in for an interesting and hot ride. I liked how subspace was handled (especially the sub drop part of the story) and how the dom’s side is featured as well. They have needs and make mistakes, too, you know?

Damon and Tanner dance around each other for months, which I really liked. If you are learning something new about yourself, you don’t just accept it.

I’ll read the other parts too and not only because it’s SE Jake’s work. This series promises to get good.

I want to add trigger warnings: Expect rape mentioning and a character gets slipped drugs.

You can buy it here.

Review: Slate (Breaking the Declan Brothers) by Kelly Gendron

SlateDescription: “Some boys will keep it, some will break it, and some boys, they just won’t want it. You gotta be careful who you give your heart to…” Slate Declan

First loves, we all got them. Mine is Slate Declan. He was kind, gentle, and caring. Still, he managed to break my heart. So I put miles between us, and eventually, my heart healed.
I haven’t seen Slate in years, but a couple friends and I are going back to the Bayou for the summer. While I’m visiting my hometown, I’m going to look up Slate Declan. And I plan to break his heart, just as he did mine. I’ll remind him of what he has lost, and then I’ll prove to him that I’ve moved on.
It should be real easy, right?
Well, let me tell you, Slate Declan is not the same guy that I left behind. And there’s another problem. How do you break someone’s heart when they no longer have one?

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Cover: I love it although the way Slate is pictured here, is a little bit deceiving.

Review: This book contains two parts in my eyes. The erotic part is very well done and if that would have been the whole book, the star rating would have been 5.

Sadly (in this case) there is a story behind the sex. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the flashbacks to the characters’ childhood and how they fell in love. Their present is the thing I have a problem with. Rayna isn’t consistent in her personality and actions. She wants Slate, she doesn’t want him, she wants sex, no she doesn’t, yes she does too… She keeps switching from blushing virgin to sex-crazed kitten and back with no reason. And the way Slate’s drug addiction was done? She forces him to go cold turkey and three days later he is ‘healed’. No cravings anymore, no struggling…. it’s a miracle! Apparently you only need sex while you’re in withdrawal (how did he do it?! That didn’t make sense to me) and everything is fine.

Still, if you like romance series with changing main characters, this is the book/series for you! The other two novels deal with Slate’s brothers.

You can buy it here.

I was provided via NetGalley with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Witches & Wolves by Kelly D. Smith

Witches & wolvesDescription: Life in the woods is usually fairly quiet, which suits Tory perfectly. She can focus on her witchcraft without the noise of the city or nosy neighbors, and the only visitor she gets is her ex-boyfriend—until late one night when she opens the door to find an unfamiliar wolf who promptly curls up in Tory’s bed and falls fast asleep.

Long used to wolves, Tory lets her be, and has no complaints at all when the morning reveals the wolf to be a beautiful woman. New to being a wolf, out in the woods to learn control and get more comfortable with her new life, Gee eagerly accepts when Tory offers to help her—and she doesn’t seem opposed to any other offers Tory might make.

But not everyone approves of werewolves, and Gee isn’t the only new visitor to the woods…

Rating: 2/5 stars

Cover: Sooo beautiful, I want it framed on my wall

Review: This is a story I won’t remember for very long. I wasn’t able to lose myself in it and I had the feeling there were some mistakes in it? I can’t tell you more without spoilering, so I’ll only say, that A is stated and a few pages later the opposite of A is said (and then it goes back to the original A). And I was really surprised how badly werewolves – or at least Gee – hear. The witch notices everything but the werewolf sleeps undisturbed?

The relationship between Tory and Gee doesn’t make sense in my eyes, because everything is happening so fast and there is no true development (kinda insta-love-y).

If you are interested, the book will be published on September 23rd. You can buy it here.

I was provided an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Giving it raw: Nearly 30 Years with Aids by Francisco Ibanez Carrasco

Giving it rawDescription: 30 years ago, the world was a very different place. That’s when Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, a native of Santiago, Chile, moved to Vancouver, discovered he was HIV-positive and was faced with the question of how to seize his life. In 1985 terms, he had an unsurvivable illness. In his own terms, he had new license to face his mortality with grit and dark humor.

A a no-holds-barred account of the irreverent, dirty, and illuminating escapades in Carrasco’s three decades of living, working in HIV clinics, and being involved in the BDSM and fetish community. Giving It Raw, is the first memoir from the celebrated novelist and beloved enfant terrible of Canadian literature.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Cover: Let’s call it… artsy, shall we?

Review: Good things first, right? Even though the theme is a difficult one, it’s an amusing read. I smirked more than once. The whole book’s more like a talk than a book. I got the feeling like I was sitting somewhere with the author and he just told me his story. Okay, he gave a little lecture, too.

But not everything is fun and games. You hear the hard, ugly truth too. If you are sensitive I don’t think this is the book for you. If you don’t mind reading about death, drugs and sex… go for it.

The reason I gave three stars is the rambling. The book is not in chronological order – which I don’t mind. It just reinforces the whole talking thing, I’d say. But sometimes there were just too many words in my eyes and it got not exactly boring… more like exhausting?

Still, it was a very interesting read.

You can buy it here or here.

I was provided by Transgress Press with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Discussion: Review Requests – do’s & don’t’s

discussionI was ready to post the following discussion days ago and then some things happened and I felt like I was forced to rewrite it. Okay, so that sounds way more dramatic than it is…

Anyway, thing is I filled out this form to be added to the Indie Book Reviewers List. I didn’t think I’d get that many requests, unknown blog and all. But I got them and don’t get me wrong, it is flattering! So far so good. Because of ‘all’ the requests I got, I couldn’t help but notice how they were worded. Most of them could have been done better. So I thought I should make my thoughts about it known. The following things I have experienced myself, I am sure there is more to be done wrong and to be done right.

And please don’t be afraid of the Indie Book Reviewers List. It is really, really great and you get to know nice authors and interesting books.

I couldn’t help but notice – again and again – how often this is done wrong. The following things? Don’t do them!

  • no personal address/no addressing at all

I thought that would be a given, but apparently not? Most book bloggers have their name on their site and it is not hidden. You can find it out with absolutely not problems. Of course some don’t tell you their name – which I am not damning at all! – but you can write something like dear [insert blog’s name]. Congratulations, you have now addressed the book blogger personally!

  • mass e-mail

You know those spam e-mails, that get send to many, many accounts? You know how you take a little glimpse at an e-mail like that and you know instantly that it is a mass e-mail? Guess what, book bloggers do too! You don’t feel really appreciated if you get a review request which has been send exactly like that to many, many accounts.

It’s like you’re saying If 5% are stupid enough to review my book/click on that link and therefore download my virus on their computer, that’s enough for me! (being deliberately mean here of course). It really dims your chances of a positive answer.

  • unread/ignored Review Policy

It hasn’t been written just for fun. There’s a reason a book blogger put it on their blog. Hint: It’s for you to read it and follow it. Writing something like All the other reader’s loved my book! or I am sure you’ll like it! isn’t following a review policy if your book’s genre isn’t listed as a wanted genre or even worse as an unwanted one. But of course you only know that if you have read said review policy.

  • attached book file

First of all, you don’t know which file format the book blogger likes and/or needs. But let’s put that problem aside, because there is a worse one.

Attaching your work without the book blogger’s permission is like you’re implying that they haven’t anything better to do than read and review your book. So why should they say no? It’s such an honour to be chosen as a reviewer for your book. Sadly it reminds one more of those flyers you get in your letterbox. Those you put in the trash without reading them.

  • Lying

Again, I thought this one would be a given. But it’s not. You can’t state you have read a book bloggers blog if you haven’t read it. They know you’re lying! Little hints are for example: Book blogger’s name isn’t used even though it is on their blog or an ignored review policy.

Now that we know the bad things, let’s take a look at what should be done.

  • Try to learn the book blogger’s name
  • Put something personal in your e-mail

You could tell them why you have chosen them for example. Maybe you have read a review by them and you really liked it (hint: you should say why you liked it). Or you can refer to their policy, tell them how you got to know their blog… there are a lot of possibilities.

  • give information about your book

A summary/description is a must of course. But tell them more. I know a book blogger can research them themselves but why should they? You want them to review your book! And you should know the pages count for example. Since you have written it. Those things can be copy & paste, don’t worry.

  • ask which format they’d like to have if they approve of your request
  • be polite

Maybe you’re asking yourself why you should put so much work in each request. Well first of all, book bloggers put a lot of work into their review. And those are a lot of work (if you don’t believe me or are just interested in it, take a look at Jenny’s blog post about it).

I’m assuming writing your book was a lot of work. So many hours you sat and wrote, wrote certain things again, trying to improve it… don’t you want the book bloggers who review your book to be a good choice, tailored to your book? I’m thinking yes. So you have to read their blogs, otherwise you won’t know their likes and dislikes, their reviewing style, the sites they’re using to talk about your book….

Writing hi, please review my book, it’s great! I’ve attached it, thanks! may be quick, but it really dims your chances of having your book reviewed. Do you really want that?

Looong blog post is nearly finished. Now I’m asking you, dear readers… What are your experiences with getting reviewing requests? How do you think about them?

As of now I have declined every impolite request. Call it pride, call it headiness. I’m wondering if I were to get a request to review a book I really, really want to read and said request would be like the bad ones I described above… would I accept it? Or would I decline it? (I’m thinking and hoping the latter.) What about you?

Teaser Tuesday: Me before you

Have you read Me before you by Jojo Moyes? If not, maybe this will change your mind.

Sometimes it even seemed like a relief to him that there was someone prepared to be rude to him, to contradict him or tell him he was being horrible. I got the feeling that everyone had tiptoed around him since his accident – apart from perhaps Nathan, who Will seemed to treat with an automatic respect, and who was probably impervious to any shape of his sharper comments anyway. ~ page 82

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!