Tag Archive: free-for-review



SaraliSarali by Susana Gino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes I read a book and feel raw from the length of the read. Granted, this was a Kindle ARC, so I’m sure a lot of the story will improve with the reviews.

The technical problem that has probably been addressed by now, but it took me out of the story every time, the author and/or the title and page number (?) pop up often and are inserted into the tale being told. I suppose if I were strictly reading it, my eyes would skip it, but since I read via text-to-speech, it is all very jarring.

Overall, the story was interesting, though the main character seemed in her head most of the time. The erotic scenes were almost too much while sorting through her growing maturity. And though the main character, who calls herself either Sara or Sarali according to whether she was involved in a sexual pursuit or her own enlightenment.

Though the main character seeks to learn of her sexuality and help others through their experiences with her, a sort of prostitution, that wasn’t my main problem with the main character. She seeks to be with her daughter out of love, and the relationship does grow. But her daughter’s safety ought to be her chief thought. A man who has such little control of himself as to rape a young woman and force her into marriage and having the resulting child, should not be trusted with that same child to raise on his own. What could he be doing to that child? It seems to me that should have been the character’s aim, not worry about what falsehoods he may speak. It is true, Sara needed to do some growing herself, but not once in her mental ravings about how unfair it was to her, did she mention what might be happening to her daughter.

My last problem with the book is how repetitive it was. I found myself wanting to find another book to read. Still, I think in a future edit or two that would be taken care of, and the newer readings will find an interesting read. As a seeming autobiography, the story reflects the way all our brains work in circular ways coming back to the trauma and trying to overcome it all. Worth the read.

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The Second Coming: A Mythpunk Urban Fantasy Novel (The Ascension Series Book 8)The Second Coming: A Mythpunk Urban Fantasy Novel by SM Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! I love Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner! But this is the best book about them yet! Since they had entered the deity, I had supposed we wouldn’t get the same action-packed story that they used to give us. So wrong! I wish I hadn’t been so sleepy both nights (hot, miserable days can do that to you, and then even once you fall asleep you can’t stay there! Ugh!) I would have finished this one in one night! (Okay, need to put the exclamation point away!.)

Once again, Sara Reine puts the story in the Reno-Tahoe area and so I’m engrossed knowing about where she is describing and how it looks now (or at least the last time I visited last year) and how her goddesses/gods have changed it with each reincarnation of the world. This time into the future.

Though I loved seeing Elise become a human avatar, giving birth, nursing, and attempting motherhood, as I have gone through most of what was described, four times, some might not find that aspect of the book appealing. But stick with it, let it be your reason not to go through it, or learn Elise’s lessons ahead of time (better than Dr. Spock or even Dr. Sears), or see what a woman goes through. Even this goddess found that an arduous path and she’d been through all kinds of pain and suffering. Giving birth is not for sissies! Nursing can be challenging! Mastitis is real and can cause severe illness and hurts like hell! And try all that while being the target for assassination and kidnapping! <—sorry, I can’t help myself. Think of the exclamation point like Elise’s Infernal Sword of emotion!

I love that Ms. Reine included some flashbacks. I’ve read every one of Sara’s books and feel in touch with all the characters, even so, I have my favorites. Elise is one, as is Rylie, and Dana MacIntyre (hope I spelled that right). I thought I knew all Elise had been through, but I’ve forgotten a lot!

It is always hard when writing a review because some of the things I want to say would be spoilers. But there will be friends from the past. There, that did the trick!

Sadly, I have to find something else to read now. Let that be enough for you to know I highly recommend the entire collection of Sara Reine! If you can’t afford it, see if you can get your library to carry the books. Especially those in Reno! Starting with Six Moon Summer and enjoy the rest of her world beyond!

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Payback Royale (Payback Society Book 3)Payback Royale by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book was to come live on the 29th. (And Yay! It did!) I finished reading this book four nights ago. I hated finishing it. I always want to know what will happen after I close the book. I enjoyed the book, thoroughly! The most exciting part was about space travel and its purpose. I have to admit to nearly squealing as the main character promotes it.

I know I’m not the target audience missing the ages by five decades or so. Even so, I can remember being a young adult. I can imagine I would have loved, well, everything Miss Swanson writes. Her characters, world’s, and plots are fresh and fun. The books read themselves, okay, with the help of text-to-speech. But I don’t want to put any of them down until the last word! Payback Royale was no different. Loved it!

On the other hand… I hate the antagonist. I don’t see hope for him. Please let’s put an end to his story! Without killing our friends, please!

I can’t wait to read more by Cidney Swanson!

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Priest of Skulls (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #2)Priest of Skulls by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always excited to read another of Sara Reines ARCs. I must admit that I am happier reading about the old characters, like visiting with old friends. But I’m sure I am mostly alone in that. I think others prefer to have something new and exciting to read. Well, this one is for you.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy this and the first book in this offshoot series. Ms. Reine was able to bring up some delicate and scary subjects in a fantasy setting and make some important points. If you get the chance to read this one please take the time to read the notes at the beginning of the book. There are warnings of what you will find inside. There are uncomfortable situations, even triggers if you will for folks that have had sex forced on them, rape. But it is worth the read for the empowerment given.

On an aside, there are, also, some very different forms of erotica that are — fun to read. Not what we’ve expected from SM Reine. But so different that, well, you know how the fae are! I can’t wait to read the next one!

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Children's book: The Recycling Party: A happy book that turns cycling into a celebrationChildren’s book: The Recycling Party: A happy book that turns cycling into a celebration by Anat Gonen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Safety issues aside. This could be a good book to start talking about recycling. Regardless that the text speaks of a yellow bottle that isn’t in the accompanying picture. Imagination and fantastic artwork make this book worthwhile. It felt like collage-work with paints.

Children don’t play with Tim cans without an adult and talks of keeping safe. Kids can’t ride a Coke bottle like a train. But let’s talk about glass and dangers. I would have rather not had text as it wasn’t needed and often confused the pictorial story.

There were suggestions teachers and parents could use to help the students learn ways to recycle nearly everything. Recycling can become an exciting way of life.

Though I found the text inconvenient, this book is worth it for the artwork and ideas that one can glean with proper adult supervision.

By the way, I was gifted this book for an honest review.

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Children's book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestraChildren’s book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestra by Daphna Lustiger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read to review this book.

Almost. That is the best thing I can say. I was excited, as a former music major, to see a picture book about the orchestra. But on the first page, I got disappointed. Two of the instruments named were not shown.

The text wasn’t rhythmic or as fun as it could be. And I think it still needs a good editor.

The pictures were fun and I wanted the story to be as fun.

Still, I would have read it to my children. I think I could have made it more fun with sounds of the instruments lined up to actually introduce each part. It could be a fun story, if cleaned up a bit, to a field trip to a concert or an educational segment about Peter and the Wolf, and possibly pulling out triangles and fun band percussion instruments. and a good old march around the classroom.

My deepest disappointment was the piano not named as it was being called a pipe organ (not usually in an orchestra, and no pipes).

Still, the book could have hope with a bit more clean up.

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Knave of Blades (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #1)Knave of Blades by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not since the sixties have I seen such sexy flower power! Sorry, that’s all you get, no spoilers! Just this is mostly Ms. Reine’s usual story with twists and turns in the fantasy world within our own. Familiar places with unfamiliar buildings or beings.

This one is a bit more erotic than most. If that’s a turn off for you, maybe skip and read some of her other books. If not ENJOY!

I like reading about the Tarot Witches, even if this one finds herself in new places with bizarre but fun abilities.

I want to say more but don’t want to ruin the adventure of reading it yourself.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. It comes live to Amazon tomorrow. Hope you get the chance to read it. It is a new series within many series(s) and I think it could be a place to start on Sara’s writing. I still advice starting at the beginning with Six Moon Summer.

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Oh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and LowsOh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and Lows by David Daniels
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When the author asked me to review this book I stated that I mostly read books by females with strong female leads. But I took a moment and realized that this was a male nurse. He knew where I was coming from, and he’d proven himself. So I figured his book deserved my read.

It was good. If my feet and back could have handled it, I would have tried to be a doctor or a nurse. I was a candy striper with that aim. But not only couldn’t I handle it physically, when one of my patients died I found that to be too hard to take. Granted I was sixteen, not enough life experience to know people come and go from your life. But that little bit of experience made what I read in Oh, Nurse! ring even truer.

As I usually say when reviewing a biography or autobiography, this is someone’s life. It is hard to play judge and jury when watching them walk in their own shoes. I wish I would be able to say this book encourages future nurses. But, with medical marriage with insurance, I don’t think it is going to get better any time soon. The greatest profession should still be nursing. They are the patient advocate, or at least they should be. They are invaluable to doctors, at least they should be.

I have always loved shows like Greys Anatomy, ER, all those medical shows. They are there to give us all an eye into what is happening or can happen when personalities and money are involved in trying to take care of medical issues people present with.

I hope that in spite of his honest story of his life as a nurse, others will choose to go into that career. I hope his story opens the eyes of those in charge of our medical needs to how to make things right for all.

Good job, David Daniels!

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The Payback Letters (Payback Society Book 2)The Payback Letters by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Gladly. I have loved every book Cidney Swanson has written. I always admit that my favorites were the Saving Mars series. But the time travels, and Ripplers and now the Paybacks have been a delight to read, also.

Cidney has characters that are believable, relatable, even when they seem to be well to do, and going to a rich-kid boarding school. BUT this brain got confused in this book. So a warning: Clair is the main character of the first book and Fiona is of this second book. What kept confusing me (or unconfusing) were that I remembered that Clair’s parents were dead and her brother had helped in significant ways. Fiona’s aunt keeps referring to her parents helping with tuition and her brother being dead. I am horrid at remembering names But relatively good at recognizing certain aspects of a story. I had to go to the book blurbs to understand where I was getting confused. If you read book one, you remember poor Fiona going with the horrid Sly. That should lead you down the trail of the story Ms. Swanson has present us.

After I understood who the star was, I think I love her more than Clair. Yeah, she gets a little gah-gah about a guy, but in the long run, I was rooting for them as much as for Fiona’s future.

Since the Payback series is separate from Ms. Swanson’s other books, you can pick them up and enjoy them now without reading everything else. That said, I hope you read the rest, eventually, as they are all fun adventures. I wish I had someone writing these kinds of books when I was a teen.

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The Payback SocietyThe Payback Society by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Cidney Swanson pulled me in and delivered a good story, one I didn’t like to put down for the night. Cidney knows how to write stories that are believable. The characters and plot are always well developed.

As a young adult, I think I would have loved this even more. The romance is not the most important aspect of the story. Of course, it is there. They are teens. But this story goes deeper. One guy thinks everyone should worship him. When our main character refuses all hell breaks out and payback is required. The reader will feel the need and satisfaction of said payback.

I want to say more but I’m afraid I will end up slipping serious spoilers.

If you get the chance pick up any of Cidney Swanson’s work and you will be on adventures you cannot believe. Of course, my favorite still remains the Saving Mars series. All others are fun, too.

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