Review: Silent Symmetry (The Embodied Trilogy #1) by J.B. Dutton

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Title: Silent Symmetry
Author: J.B. Dutton
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 194
ISBN: 978-1484067468
Source: Author
Genre: YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Series: The Embodied Trilogy
Best Read in Order: yes
Stars: 4
Purchase Now:  Amazon § Barnes&Noble

About the Book:

The Embodied glide through the busy streets of New York, uttering barely a sound. Their eerie beauty comes from their perfect symmetry. Are they flawless humans, the epitome of evolution? Are they a genetically modified super-race? Are they extra-terrestrials? Once prep school student Kari Marriner becomes aware of their existence, she is driven to seek out the answer and finds herself ensnared in a web that reaches further than she could possibly have imagined.

Kari’s earliest memory is her father’s death in a car crash back in small-town Wisconsin. Now, 12 years later, her mother has been hired by a pseudo-religious organization in Manhattan called the Temple of Truth (a.k.a. the ToT). At Chelsea Prep, Kari develops a crush on classmate Cruz. But when she realizes that Noon, another attractive guy at school, is involved with the ToT, her curiosity gets the better of her.

Kari stumbles upon a secret tunnel leading from her apartment to another in the building, where an ancient book holds images she can scarcely believe, and a cavernous room contains… something inexplicable. As Kari pieces together the incredible evidence, she discovers that the ToT is run by other-worldly beings called The Embodied who influence human behavior and have established a global long-term human breeding program. But why? And what is her role in all this?

Just as she starts wondering whether the love she feels for Cruz is genuine or if her emotions are being controlled by The Embodied, her mother is kidnapped and Kari has to figure out who is human, who is Embodied, and who she can count on to help rescue her mother.

Book Review:

Kari and her mother move to New York City for a new prestigious position, after leaving her small Wisconsin town and memories of her father’s accident there behind. For a teenaged protagonist, Kari was easy to relate to and care for: her sad past and her eagerness to find the new life, opportunities and possible love interests for her mother were endearing. As with many things, nothing is ever quite what it seems, and that also relates to the wonderful opportunities: scholarship to a prestigious high school, the beautiful people and the ease with which they seem to incorporate a major metropolis into their lives without great distress.

As Kari starts to feel seeds of unease, the questions start to arrive in a fast and furious manner: although the answers are far less apparent. Just what is the ToT and just how much influence it has on this world, and on the live of the people who work for them is a slow-developing reveal, mixed in this smoothly paced story that demands you read on.

I will be the first to admit that Kari is often far more mature in her approach, speech, thinking and behavior than one would expect, or want to see in a high school teen. However, when you take into account her life experience and her only child status, it did fit her well, even as it may be problematic for some readers. Aside from that and my wishing that there was more of an explanation and solidity built to give more substance to the characters of the Embodied, I did enjoy this read. I think that many YA fans would appreciate this story, and be ready to read the second book in the trilogy when it comes available.

I received an eBook from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:

After graduating from film school in London, I emigrated to Montreal in 1987, where I still live with my two young children and their even younger goldfish. I spent over a decade as a music TV director before moving into the advertising industry as an award-winning copywriter and translator. In parallel to my corporate work, I’ve written novels, short stories, blogs, screenplays and a stage play. I also write Young Adult and Children’s fiction under the name J.B. Dutton.

Website § @johnbdutton

Pre-Release Review: Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable

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Title: Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
Author: Benjamin Constable
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-1451667264
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Literary Fiction / Mystery
Publication Date: 4 June, 2013
Stars: 5
Pre-Order Now: Amazon §  Barnes&Noble

About the Book:

What writer Benjamin Constable needs is a real-life adventure wilder than his rampant imagination. And who better to shake up his comfortable Englishman-in-Paris routine than the enigmatic Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, who has just sent a cryptic suicide note?
She’s planted a slew of clues—in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.

But Butterfly’s posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they’re full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship.
Book Review:

I devoured this book, and then went back to read it again a few days later: it was that good. Constable is a master puppeteer, leading the reader by their emotions on a scavenger-hunt like quest as he seeks clues in the backstreets of Paris and New York with beautifully written prose, intriguing and imaginative hiding places, and a clever presentation of the juxtaposition between dark thoughts against humor and good intentions that are meant to lighten the moment.

What emerges is a complex and layered story of a friendship, and the subtle effect one’s personal interior dialogue and self-awareness will influence the need to know more. When Tomomi disappears yet again from Ben’s life, and all he is left with is a suicide note and a series of clues that may lead to the ‘why’, he immediately starts to unravel the story of her Why.

There is never a moment that doesn’t work in this book, as readers are led through twists and turns both metaphorical and actual, Ben becomes the tour guide and guidepost, The descriptions are lush, while I will admit to being lost in several side streets, I was able to enjoy the wander, not caring that I was lost.

This was a gripping and cleverly crafted story that demanded I read on to the end. If you are looking for something completely different, beautifully written and wholly entertaining – this is the read for you.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

Review and Giveaway: Deceived, Part 3: Chloe’s Revenge by Eve Carter

DeceivedReviewTour

 

Today I have the pleasure of presenting a review  for Deceived, Part 3: Chloe’s Revenge  by Eve Carter.

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Deceived Part 3 Chloe’s Revenge by Eve Carter
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Carter Publishing House (Self-Published)
Format: eBook
Length: approx. 130 pages
Purchase Now:  Amazon § Barnes & Noble
Stars:  4

You can enter this Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of 5 sets of the COMPLETE series
Deceived, books 1 – 3 by Eve Carter IF you live in the US, and you enter by 28 March!

Book Description:

The steamy Deceived romance trilogy by Eve Carter, in the bestselling tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James and The Blackstone Affair by Raine Miller.

When Chloe Swanson, an innocent mid-western college graduate, lands her dream job in New York City, she doesn’t realize what kind of a ride she’s in for.

It doesn’t take long before her boss, the charming and sharp businessman Patrick Collins, deceives her into being part of his plan to land the biggest account of his life.

However, he never expected that he would fall for her. Suddenly, he finds himself trapped between a ruthless billionaire client, who has her own eyes set on Patrick, and his deep affection for the beautiful Chloe.

What follows is a sensual and passionate journey of self-discovery, as Chloe faces the harsh reality of jealousy, love and money in the big city.

Stimulating, amusing and highly arousing, Deceived is a romance that will excite and titillate your senses.

Purchase Deceived Part 1 – New York: Amazon
Purchase Deceived Part 2 – Paris:
Amazon

Book Review:

On a last minute ask I took this review, and I am glad that I did.  Although this is the third in the series, I found it focused more on characters and their interactions, so I wasn’t at a great loss having not read the first two books in the series. BUT, I do highly recommend that you read all three (and I am going to get them now) for the best flow of the story.

Chloe and Patrick are an on-again off again couple, and they are currently working to renegotiate their relationship and tie up the loose ends after her rescue.  As characters, both Chloe and Patrick are adorable: created with depth and display a logically felt and defined connection that goes from cute and sweet to highly steamy and erotic at a finger snap.

This is an adult’s series, written with care and a solid sense of real-world issues: complaints about packing and picking up souvenirs are the first hint at the sense that there is something real and tangible about Chloe and Patrick.   While there are liberal inclusions of sexy scenes, many are made even more sensual by the connection between the characters and their obvious enjoyment in one another.

I’d certainly recommend this book to readers, with the caveat they read the series in order.

I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review for Full Moon Bites blog tours. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

About the Author: 

Eve Carter is a true romantic at heart and with a modern contemporary erotic twist to her romance novels, you had better fasten your seat belt, as the ride is always fun, exciting and fiery. 

Living in Southern California, but a mid-westerner at origin, Eve finds plenty of inspiration for her books in her own exciting life. Eve has always loved the arts and as a young girl, she took dance classes and spent the summers reading books from the local library. Fascinated with the written word and its power to guide the imagination, Eve started writing short stories and later took Creative Writing classes in college. Eve graduated from The University of Iowa with a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Higher Education. She also has a Teaching Credential from Chapman University in Southern California.

 

Website/Blog | Author Facebook | Series Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Cover Reveal: Deceived, Part 3: Chloe’s Revenge by Eve Carter

DeceivedTour

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the cover reveal for Deceived, Part 3: Chloe’s Revenge  by Eve Carter.

Deceived 3Cover2

Deceived Part 3 Chloe’s Revenge by Eve Carter
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Carter Publishing House (Self-Published)
Format: eBook
Length: approx. 130 pages
Release Date: March 15th 2013

Book Description:

The steamy Deceived romance trilogy by Eve Carter, in the bestselling tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James and The Blackstone Affair by Raine Miller.

When Chloe Swanson, an innocent mid-western college graduate, lands her dream job in New York City, she doesn’t realize what kind of a ride she’s in for.

It doesn’t take long before her boss, the charming and sharp businessman Patrick Collins, deceives her into being part of his plan to land the biggest account of his life.

However, he never expected that he would fall for her. Suddenly, he finds himself trapped between a ruthless billionaire client, who has her own eyes set on Patrick, and his deep affection for the beautiful Chloe.

What follows is a sensual and passionate journey of self-discovery, as Chloe faces the harsh reality of jealousy, love and money in the big city.

Stimulating, amusing and highly arousing, Deceived is a romance that will excite and titillate your senses.

Purchase Deceived Part 1 – New York: Amazon

Purchase Deceived Part 2 – Paris: Amazon

Review: Blue Rose in Chelsea by Adriana Devoy

I was approached by Adriana Devoy, and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her novel, Blue Rose in Chelsea.  After a quick look at the book, I was instantly intrigued by both the title and the cover art. How could I not be? Today I present

About the book:

Haley Barrett senses that her life is about to forever change when she spies a blue rose in a Chelsea gateway.

She drops out of Princeton, heeding an intuition that there is something she must find before it is too late, and takes a job as a nanny for an Upper West Side family. In a blues club one night, she falls for the charismatic Evan Candelier, an actor whose star is rising. Evan’s façade of perfection begins to crack when he meets Haley, yet he keeps her at a mystifying distance. 

Haley’s dashing rock musician brother conspires to keep them apart and return Haley to the Ivy League. Haley finds a “fairy godmother” in the irrepressible Sinclair Wellington, a costumer and Scottish count. Sinclair sews for Haley an enchanted velvet coat, entangles her in elegant misadventures to win Evan, all the while insisting that in matters of love, nothing is impossible. Until, one snowy day, Sinclair’s lost love from decades past reappears to upend his world.

From brownstones to bookshops, cafes to cathedrals, artist garrets to glittering avenues this circle of bohemians wend their way through late 80’s Manhattan. No fairytale is complete without a castle (in Scotland), a ball (at Tavern On The Green), and a revelation, (in a vineyard at twilight) that will surprise and delight.

My Review:

Alternately described as a modern day Cinderella story or a romance; neither quite does justice to this beautifully written tale.  A book that will capture the imagination of both younger and older readers, ripe with the inclusion of beautifully detailed imagery that makes free and frequent use of New York City as a character.

Haley is a child of books; all readers will understand and relate to her instantly.  A reader that is capable of integrating the books she knows and loves into her personality, and draws on those favored lines frequently in her interactions.  It is a trait that could be quite pretentious and affected if overdone, and yet she is so earnest and guileless in her delivery and manner that it is merely a unique characteristic.

We are allowed to see her develop from an Ivy League dropout, unsure of fitting in, and certain that she has to do “something” impressive to be valued into a woman on the cusp of 40, still maintaining that tie to the young girl who saw the world as full of magic and miracles, to be greeted with anticipation.

It’s truly difficult to point to any one character as a favorite: all of the characters are unique and lively, full of the good and bad that truly creates a human being.  Yes, there is a love story, but there are many – it isn’t just about a happily ever after for one pair.  The story is very much a faerie tale in feel, although there are moments of sadness and loss, the hopefulness and vision that Haley views the world also is strongly present for those around her.

Once opened, this book was difficult to put down, and all distractions were unwelcomed and intrusive.  In the midst of a metropolis, the author created a story-line that muffles the noises and sweetens the smells, putting the city and its scenery into a snow-globe vision that is filled with moments of recognition.  From these odd moments of cityscape, the blue rose appears, rare, unique and special. Much like this book.

I give Blue Rose in Chelsea 5 of 5 stars!

Get your copy now at:

Amazon