April Book Reviews




[Purchase]


Be Careful What You Wish For by Laura J. Wellington is an intimate glimpse into the struggle of being embraced in the dreamy arms of fairy-tale love and abruptly robbed of the happily ever after. At the beginning of the book, Wellington prompts a challenge that she will redefine love for those who don’t believe in eternal love. I secretly whispered to myself, “Challenge Accepted”. I am a hopeless romantic, and oddly, a skeptic of love without limits. Wellington surprised me, I lost the challenge as I became immersed and she overwhelmed my senses. The beautiful sentiments enclosed within ensured “there wasn’t a dry eye in the place”.


The story revolves around the life of Evie Remington. Evie faces her share of demons and trials in a turbulent life, holding steadfast to her resolve. Her inner struggle rages in a world that was created for her. Evie’s children are her gravity as the world spirals out of control. Wellington takes readers on an endearing journey of self-discovery by painting a clear picture of what life looks like when a person’s memories are both weaponized and comforting. In the midst of chaos and confusion, Evie makes tough decisions, putting out fires and losing herself in the process. How do you find someone that is lost? Through unconventional means and whole-hearted belief.


If readers don’t believe in selfless, eternal love, accept Laura J. Wellington’s challenge to change your mind. Be Careful What You Wish For is an excellent and insightful read for anyone who needs strength to heal, forgive, grieve, and celebrate life to find their happily ever after. And their smile.



[Purchase]


Buried Instincts Book Two: Lost & Found by Lynn Henson exceeds expectations of what you would expect to see in a zombie apocalypse offering. The story begins with a mind-reeling brisk walk through events that landed characters into their current situation. After you are brought up to speed, characters are thoroughly introduced and explored as their journey unfolds. What makes this specific book a particularly interesting read is it delivers an ominous undercurrent of a brewing story while the usual bells and whistles of a zombie apocalypse plays out. That evil undercurrent is fed a continuous stream of teasers making the seduction of this apocalypse intriguing, potent, and devouring page after page.


Henson has put the time in on character development and it shows. The story is told largely from Blake’s perspective as he takes the perilous journey from west coast to east coast. There is a lot of ground to cover which makes for a colossal amount of opportunity, character engagement, and plot thickening. The dynamics of the group and events are well-illustrated which allows readers to fully immerse themselves into the world. For example, a great deal of the story for this book takes place in the Midwest--where I grew up. If I had not known better, I would have thought Henson was from the Midwest. His thorough research and attention to detail provides an incredibly accurate depiction which takes Buried Instincts Book Two: Lost & Found to next level writing.


Overall, Lynn Henson delivered a suspenseful story that is easy to read, has a unique plot, relatable characters, bouts of humor, and satiates the avid zombie cult reader, like me. There is not one dull moment throughout Buried Instincts Book Two: Lost & Found as the storyline consistently builds, which I found incredibly refreshing. I look forward to the next book and will be shelving Henson as one of my new favorite authors.




[Purchase]


Karik’s First Battle is the first book in the Legends of Karik series by Evan Oliver. From the first page, Oliver entices readers to join him in a fantastic tale--in old school bard fashion. Oliver confidently teases the audience with the promise of an epic adventure story equipped with dragons, heroes, and hardships to overcome. The exquisite scene Oliver set had me leaning forward in my seat to listen as if I was sitting around a campfire in anticipation of something magnificent. I was not disappointed. Evan Oliver delivers as promised.


In Olivers’s world, the population struggles for resources. Karik and his companions set out to find a better life and bountiful resources to ensure the survival of their people. Some in Karik’s crew wouldn’t mind making a name for themselves with glory and riches. Karik serves as the voice of reason and steady in course and focus. In their quest, the small group encounters several difficulties and a variety of people. More questions are raised than answered in a particular village which becomes their final destination before the icy claws of winter embrace the world.


Karik’s First Battle introduces a host of strong characters that are relatable and purposeful. The environment and settings are described clearly and concisely. The book is designed to immerse the reader into Karik’s world and feel every consequence of difficult choices. Karik proves to be analytical and observant. Had he not been, opportunities for adventure would have been missed. Each character that comes into the fold has skills that contribute to the adventure and bring their own mystery.


Karik’s First Battle is everything an epic adventure should be and leaves readers looking forward to the next segment in the series. Karik’s entourage entertains legends and lore in their journey. Their actions have ripples of impact throughout their world and create a launching point for several different results which provides for a hint of suspense around every corner. Each page I read, left me eager to turn to the next because I had to know what was going to happen.


The book is wonderfully edited and Oliver has done an amazing job of creating an easy, fun reading experience. Karik’s First Battle is novella length and packed with entertainment. The words flow effortlessly, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. Although this book makes for an ideal bedtime story, adults will find themselves absorbed in the adventure with the rest of us.



[Purchase]


The Call of Magic by A.R. Creagan provides a seductive glimpse into a magical realm balanced by very real consequences and ramifications. The intricately described realm is full of mystery, intrigue, and peppered with danger. Creagan introduces readers to Emma Lie, a driven, ambitious young lady lone-wolf, with a rebellious nature and impressive resolve. Her intensity and harsh edges are tempered by her love interest. The dynamic, volatile nature of Emma’s relationships is well-played and soon has readers’ hearts enveloped into the pages silently (or not so silently) pining for one character or another. Sometimes the people that seem to have life figured out are the hot messes of the world because their sensibilities strangled their hearts into silence. I loved everything about Ms. Emma Lie.


Creagan is an architect with words bringing large-scale landscapes, structures, and scenes to life erupting around the well-defined characters created. In these vibrant passages, readers are given a foundation and origin story that sets the stage for Ms. Lie’s journey of self-discovery. Emma is introduced to a world she did not know existed and threatens her plans for world domination that she had carefully laid out at a young age. Her motivation for severe focus is proving herself worthy. As Emma plunges down the rabbit hole, she carries the baggage of both her past and the future she created, unwilling to alter her plans no matter how attractive the new world and opportunities may be. Creagan does a fantastic job in presenting obstacles, challenges, and enticing you to see Ms. Lie navigate through. I look forward to seeing more from this author.



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