Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review - In That Other Dimension by Matty Millard

In That Other Dimension
by Matty Millard
Published 2014
205 Pages

This book is different from stories I usually read, and the author did warn me. But I was still surprised, both by the tale itself, and by how much I enjoyed the journey of these odd yet fascinating characters!

I took so many notes and I'm not sure where to begin... The story went in a lot of unexpected directions, and it didn't really start to come together until about a quarter of the way through. But it was a well thought out tale, and one that held my interest! We learn that every red telephone box in England contains a portal to a parallel dimension, and once our travelers embark on a journey all sorts of strange events unfold. From the villages made of cake and candy, to the giant unicorn mountain, each world is intriguing, and rich with detail. And the obstacles they face on their journey are filled with humor, terror, and adventure!

Carlos and Maria, who were well acquainted in England, reunite in another dimension, and -- along with a hyena, a turtle, a baby cake dragon, and others -- attempt to defeat the evil scientist, Dr. Funk, who is out to destroy one of the dimensions along the way. But the hurdles are great, and the manner in which they must go about saving the land is as unconventional as the rest of the story. An adventurous fantasy that would appeal to anyone who enjoys a story that is truly an escape from reality!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

3.75 STARS

Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Review - Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway

Hearts of Fire (Hearts, #2)
by L.H. Cosway
Published 2015
281 Pages

Hearts of Fire can be read as
a standalone, but I highly recommend starting with the first book, Six of Hearts, which tells the story of Jay Fields, illusionist, who works his magic toward solving a mystery surrounding a childhood tragedy. In this second installment we meet Jay's brother, Jack McCabe, a performer with the Circus Spektakulär, who is gruff and filled with raw passion. Jack is holding onto a dark secret, which unfolds in this spellbinding tale, rich with detail, and set in a captivating world of the circus. This is by far one of my new favorite books! 
"Old vaudevillian piano music played from speakers that had been set up all around, making you feel as though you were stepping through a portal back in time."
When the Circus Spektakulär arrives in a small town in southeast Ireland, Lille Baker is busy working at her summer job as a waitress, where she paints children's faces on weekends. Craving adventure, Lille meets two strangers -- an interesting older woman, and a handsome young man -- and is given a flier for the evening's performance, which is set in a large, colorful structure made from canvas and wood, known as a spiegeltent.
"His eyes held a thousand dark, carnal promises, and I felt completely lost."
Eager to catch a glimpse of the mysterious young man who caught her eye, Lille has no idea she is about to become part of the act. So, when she is called to the stage to assist Jack with his knife throwing, she hesitates, but manages to find the courage. Seeing him up close, she is pulled into thoughts of a world of wonder beyond the boundaries of her small town.
"Life twists some of us in strange ways that shape us to always be alone, and I'm one of them."
Jack wasn't exactly friendly. In fact, he was a bit brash, and seemingly unreachable. But there was something in his eyes that made Lille want to know more about the man behind the knives and flames. And soon, she finds herself with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Will she find a way to get Jack to open up? She knows there is at least a part of him that holds very real danger. But Jack may not be the biggest danger in the Circus Spektakulär.

What an incredible tale! I was enthralled with the story, and with the main characters, Lille and Jack. Lille is relatable and real, with flaws that are fully integrated into her character, rather than put there as an afterthought. And Jack is amazing -- handsome, but broken, with a tragic history that affects him in every way, without being the focal point of his character.

There were a number of other characters that stood out, too, including the circus owner, Marina, who had been with the circus for many years, and had a fascinating backstory. Lola, the 22-year-old concessions worker, had a different reason for running away with the circus than I expected. King's story was another one of mystery, and I'm excited to see he will be getting his own book! The sizzling hot romance, along with some kink, 
kept the scenes fresh and original. Wow! I absolutely loved this book, and didn't want it to end. A must read!!!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

Read my review for the first book in the series:
Six of Hearts (Hearts, #1)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Review - Drowning in the Dark by Pippa DaCosta

Drowning in the Dark (The Veil, #4)
by Pippa DaCosta
Published 2015
218 Pages

Another fantastic installment in the series! Drowning in the Dark is set in Boston, where Muse continues to struggle in her role as a half-demon in the human world. The veil that shields humans from the dangerous netherworld is thinning. And as the battle to save Boston begins, the Princes of Hell are making their way toward the city, led by the most sinister demon of all... Valenti. The encroaching demons are enough to keep Muse on her toes. But it's the one inside her that may be the biggest threat of all. 

On a mission to protect the humans, and the city she loves -- the city that saved her from a torturous childhood -- Muse seeks answers from those who have seen what is coming. Loyalties are tested as the Institute questions her motives, and takes drastic measures to gain the upper-hand. With the Prince of Greed, Akil, at her side, they might have a chance at survival. But Akil's behavior is leaving her scratching her head. What is he up to? And as for the Institute... Muse has a hunch about what is really going on behind the closed, guarded, and secretive doors. If her hunch is correct, the netherworld is the least of their worries. 

Muse finds herself turning to Stefan, the ice half-demon, who has transformed into someone she doesn't recognize. But will she rediscover in him the man she once loved? More than likely, he will be her downfall, as Valenti has warned. Stefan is on his own mission, and has his own reasons for returning to Boston... and Muse's very survival may depend on the choices he will be forced to make.

Muse is an extraordinary character, who can hold her own in life and in battle. I am still torn between the two sexy demons, Akil and Stefan, who are so different, but equally charming and mysterious. Each installment has its own appeal, and weaves together a series that is rich with detail, and filled with enticing reveals and enchanting characters. The next book will be the final installment in the series. And although I am sad to see it ending, I am eager to see how it will conclude. Anyone who enjoys breathless, action-packed urban fantasy will love this book!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie


Read my reviews for other books in the series:
Wings of Hope (book #0.5)
Beyond the Veil (book #1)
Devil May Care (book #2)
Darkest Before Dawn (book #3)