Beautiful Crazy by Kasey Lane


Beautiful Crazy by Kasey Lane
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (352 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Quince

Their tension is turning up the heat—in the boardroom and the bedroom…

Kevan Landry is trying to keep her life on track and her brother in rehab. If her fledgling marketing firm can sign the hot new band, Manix Curse, it will make a world of difference. Mason Dillon heads the most successful music PR firm in Portland. He’s desperate to breathe new life into the company by signing Manix Curse.

The stakes are high when a battle for the band—in the bedroom and the boardroom—becomes a battle of the heart. But if these two can set aside their differences, they may find they’re the right mix of sexy savvy to conquer both their worlds.

Kevan Landry and Mason Dillon are complete opposites. Kevan is full of tattoos and dressed in vintage clothes. She runs a small fledgling marketing firm, she has no money, her brother is an addict and she comes from a dysfunctional family. Mason on the other hand, is all business and money. He has no tattoo, he is dressed in business suits, he works for huge PR firm and he is loaded. His family might not be full of love and affection but it is far from dysfunctional. But Kevan and Mason have one thing that bring them together; they want to sign a contract with the same band. In order to get a band they have to spend time together on the tour. The only problem with them being together on the tour is that they are enemies who like one another a lot.

I absolutely loved this book. Everything in it is perfect; characters, plot, relationship between Kevan and Mason, everything. Although it is the first book in the series it focuses solely on the relationship between Kevan and Mason without trying to make introduction into a series. The characters are three-dimensional and it was so easy to fall in love with them. Kevan is a tough girl on the outside, but so fragile on the inside. She is a fighter and I rooted for her through the whole story. Mason is typical alpha, but while he goes for what he wants, he is also so gentle toward Kevan. The relationship between two of them is emotional from the very beginning. It is so obvious that they are head over heels in love with each other from the start. Only, it took them quite some time to realize that. The plot is also amazing; Kevan’s and Mason’s relationship is put in the context of the music world, business deals, promotions and life on the road.

If you are looking for a highly emotional and intense contemporary romance Beautiful Crazy is a perfect story. Read it; it is absolutely amazing!

Rock My Body by Lee Piper


Rock My Body by Lee Piper
A Mondez Novel 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twenty-two year old Riley Sears promises herself never to fall in love unless it’s with a guy who is long-term boyfriend material. She’s not crazy, her psychologist reassures her of that, but when faced with situations she cannot control, well, her anxiety skyrockets.

Enter Dominic Mondez, the hottest creature ever to grace pecs and abs. The notorious playboy propositions Riley with the best sex of her life—his words. However, after learning he never sleeps with the same woman twice, Riley’s decision becomes remarkably simple.

No. Way. In. Hell.

Sadly, traversing the murky waters of friends without benefits is far from simple, especially since Dominic is the lead guitarist of local rock band, Mondez. He is also tempestuous, a womanizer, and—even worse—inexplicably jealous. Dominic is bad for Riley in every possible way. Bad, bad, bad.

If only her body would listen.

Rock my body (A Mendez novel) by Lee Piper is a must read. It’s as easy as that. I finished the book last night after two days of binge reading and I’m in love. First with Dominic, then with Riley and with everything that has to do with this book.

Granted, I’m not a fan of first person point of view, but Lee Piper surprised me. She has mastered the art and I was drawn into the book and into Riley’s character from page one. I immediately connected with her. Her anguish, happiness, love, lust, I could feel all of it in my own bones.

The chemistry between the characters is insane and Ms. Piper knows how to draw it out. To say I squirmed a few times is an understatement.

But there is more. Though there is obviously a strong sexual connection between the characters, we see so much more. They are characters with flaws, good things and bad, tragic stories, which made my heart ache.

This is the kind of book that once finished made me crave for more. I’ll be reading Levi’s story next (although apparently I should have done that first) and can’t wait for the rest of the series to be released.

iHunt: Killing Monsters in the Gig Economy by David A. Hill Jr.


iHunt: Killing Monsters in the Gig Economy by David A. Hill Jr.
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal, Horror
Length: Full Length (269 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

It’s like Uber, but for slaying monsters!

Lana is a monster hunter. She kills vampires, werewolves, demons and all the other terrifying creatures of the night. She doesn’t do it because she’s the chosen one. She doesn’t do it because it’s her duty. She does it because working one job just doesn’t cut it for a millenial in Southern California.

She takes contracts using iHunt, an app which freelance monster hunters use to find profitable prey. It’s like Supernatural meets Uber, Buffy meets Airbnb, and sadly, Blade meets Fiverr.

Lana’s story is about making ends meet, about economic anxiety, and about what a person’s willing to do to pay the bills. It’s a equal parts horror, dark humor, slice of life, and social commentary on the gig economy.

I’ve reviewed hundreds of books for Long and Short Reviews over the last five years. This is the by far the best one I’ve ever reviewed for them.

The character development was amazing. Lana was an incredibly complex woman whose personality could never be condensed to a few short sentences. Everything I learned about her was doled out gradually between and during her various iHunt assignments, That only made me more curious to find out more about her. I especially loved how much time Mr. Hill spent exploring her many reasons for signing up to be a monster hunter. Every single one of them taught me more about her as a person while they were also pushing the plot forward in all kinds of exciting ways.

Speaking of the plot, the pacing of it was so beautifully relentless that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page. The blurb gave an excellent introduction to this universe, but there were many new conflicts and characters introduced later on in the storyline that were somehow even more fascinating than the original idea of freelancers being hired to kill monsters.

One of the many reasons why I gave this story the highest rating possible is how much attention it paid to real-world issues. The characters dealt with all kinds of frustrating situations when they weren’t actively fighting monsters: dealing with deeply prejudiced people, running out of money well before payday, experiencing truly terrible customer service, and so much more. Some of these scenes made me laugh, while others made me wince. All of them developed this world so thoroughly that I honestly forgot I was reading a piece of fiction. It was like listening to a friend talk about her terrible or wonderful day instead.

The romance was handled perfectly. Not only did the characters involved in it have an unbelievable amount of chemistry, they also genuinely liked each other as human beings. Their strong friendship made me eager to see if they could turn their platonic feelings into romantic ones. This part of the plot was also a refreshing break from the often intense fight scenes.

iHunt: Killing Monsters in the Gig Economy was phenomenal in every single way. If you can only spare the time to read read one more novel this year, make it this one!

The Siren House by Andrew Post


The Siren House by Andrew Post
Publisher: Medallion Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (460 pgs)
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Stargazer

Once upon a time, the world ended. Or maybe not. Cassetera Robuck, survivor of the apocalypse, must find a way to stop the Regolatore: a theocratic time-shifting cult bent on ridding hers, and every other parallel universe, from scratchers, those who use molecular reconstruction machines to “jazz” new, impossible life. Too bad her new friend Thadius Thumb, proprietor of the holo-vaudevillian theater the Siren House, happens to be the most famous—or is it infamous?—scratcher of them all.

As a kid, life for Cassetera Robuck was hard enough suffering from a nerve disorder that prevented use of her legs. Then, the apocalypse happened. To survive, Cassetera and her family made a new home on an abandoned oil rig on Lake Superior. There, she and her father discover a machine. One that can take things apart molecule-by-molecule and reassemble them. Ten years later and when her family is all but lost, Cassetera heads into an apocalypse-torn Duluth to seek out a man calling himself the Fabulous Thadius Thumb, the proprietor of a holo-cast variety show staged nightly at the Siren House. Thadius is not only a ringleader to the Thickskulled Thespians and their head writer, he is also a resistance leader. Against what? Those who caused the apocalypse, of course. The Regolatore, a universe-hopping terror cult that use machines all too similar to the one Cassetera and her dad found . . .

“You have to read this book!” A phrase I uttered even before finishing the book itself.

The Siren House is not what you might expect, it is a look at what could be, what was and what should be-all at the same time. Yet, the flow of the story is not nearly as confusing as it may sound. The whole premise of the story rests on the realization that there are multiple timelines, multiple variations of existence and multiple variations of ourselves across the infinite fields of time and space.

But, the plot does not get bogged down in the ridiculous complexity of the variables of time and space. In fact, the plot itself is told from the eyes and experiences of Cassetera Robuck. Well, one of the Cassetera Robucks, in one of the dimensions where the Regolatore have set up shop to keep the people of her dimension from advancing their technology and knowledge so much that they are a threat to other worlds and ultimately other dimensions in search of raw materials to create further enhanced technologies.

The story flows so well-from the deep descriptions to thorough and engrossing conversations that keep the reader directly involved with the story, so much that I had a hard time putting the book down because I felt almost as though I had left a part of myself in the story. Although I could not put the book down, I struggled because each page I completed reading would be one page closer to the end of the story. The story, with alternate dimensions, other realities and other timelines actually flowed together and did not become confusing. In fact, the author does an amazing job at creating such explanations that the reader will most likely come to wonder if this is truly a possibility to happen today.

The many different characters, from the workers at The Siren House to Cassetera and Thadius, histories and backstories were complete, full and made each character feel fully formed. The flow of conversations, the main plot and sub plots all flowed together. The entire story moved on its own time without being rushed or feeling like it was dragging. Overall, this was a fantastic and excellent jump at the reality that there are many more realities in an ever-present universe. Then, when the end did come, there was not the pain of separation-as the author did an amazing job of sorting out the details and not leaving the reader wanting more. The best part? It wasn’t set up for a series of sequels like so many stories are, although there are ways to make a spin off- this story is not set up as a pipe to any other story. Simply, this was just one amazing read.

Just like the beginning of the story where the chapter title is “The beginning is the end is the beginning” I reiterate, “You have to read this book!”

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright


Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West!

SURPRISE BRIDE FOR THE COWBOY by Lauri Robinson

Mary McCary never wanted to be a mail-order bride, but falling off the Oak Grove train into Steve Putnam’s lap changes everything… Could he be the cowboy to tempt her down the aisle?

TAMING THE RUNAWAY BRIDE by Kathryn Albright

Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride. She doesn’t intend to actually marry…until she shares one sensational kiss with Jackson Miller!

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove was awesome! Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West. Mary and Maggie each have their own love story to tell in this one book. This is two books in one yet they are connected. The flawless writing style of each book was brilliantly blended for the reader as I got to read the same scene twice, but from the other twin’s perspective. I actually nanny for a family with three year old twin girls. There is something special about twins. They have a bond that can’t be explained and this book captured that.

The first book, “Surprise Bride for the Cowboy” by Lauri Robinson was my ideal romance book. I love when I suffer from a book hangover; the inability to start a new book because I’m still living in the last book’s world. That to me is the sign of a great love story.

The original plots were beautifully written and had me laughing numerous times. Immediately I felt I was hooked and transported into the book’s world and I couldn’t read the pages fast enough.

I fell in love with Steve, the hero and Mary the heroine. Gosh, they were perfect together. I enjoyed the situation in how they met. Mary was a spitfire with determination who does what needs to be done, yet demonstrated compassion and empathy towards others at the appropriate times. I loved how Steve was patient, thankful and forgiving. Of course he was gorgeous, strong and thoughtful. He didn’t possess any unlikable qualities. The perfect book boyfriend. Together their romance was sweet and irresistible. I must add that the description details of Mary’s cooking had my mouth watering. Do NOT read this book while hungry! LOL…

All the characters were well developed in both books and I was able to easily relate to them. The doctor was a plot twist in the end of the first book that just had me grinning like a goober. The author got me on that one. Well done, Lauri Robinson.

The second book was “Taming the Runaway Bride” by Kathryn Albright and was also a lot of fun to read. The entire book was the best reading experience and words won’t do justice to as why I would recommend this book to all my friends and family. I didn’t think the romance story between Steve and Mary in the first book could be matched but not only did the story between Maggie and Jackson in the second book match the first but it surpassed it. I fell in love with Jackson and Maggie and experienced another book hangover!

I could see Jackson and Steve becoming best friends and everyone living happily ever after as one big adventure-filled family. I can only imagine the stories they will have to tell their grandchildren.

I laughed so hard when Maggie entered Jackson’s workshop and, well, you just have to read it. I couldn’t stop re-reading that part because I love laughing so hard that I cry tears of joy and get a cramp in my side.

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove was excellent! I don’t understand how two authors could write a book sharing some of the characters and yet I didn’t feel like I was reading a book written by two authors. I highly recommend this book for a pleasurable entertainment.

Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell


Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (338 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”

Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.

This book was outstanding! Dallas Coryell is a talented author and apparently a gifted musician as well. I wish I knew the songs written in the book from Mason, the hero, to Tegan, the heroine, were real and on YouTube prior to reading the book. Never have I read a book where the story and characters were as vividly alive in the room with me as the characters in this story were. I think that if I had listened to the songs as they appeared in the book, I would have melted on the spot. Maybe even go as far as faint on the spot.

I sincerely fell in love with every aspect of this story. It was uniquely clever how the author incorporated a love story on the side through Tegan reading old love letters from an ancestor. It was sheer brilliance how the author connected the closings of those love letters with the last few pages of the book. I appreciated the detail of the key that Tegan wore around her neck to the detail of her middle name. All of these special mentions made the book remarkable in my eye.

I can’t rave enough about this story. Melody’s Key was heartwarming, sweet, sensual, romantic, heartbreaking, gut wrenching with a touch of despair, funny, sad, happy, hopeful, happy, ecstatic, hilarious, and all satisfying! I can think of a specific event for each of those feelings. This book was a great ride and one that I didn’t want to end.

I fell in love with Tegan’s entire family. Her parents were supporting and her sister was hilarious with her pranks. I’ve never been to London but if I did I’d love to see Tegan’s estate. I’d want to curl up with a blanket under the old tree with big roots. I wish the characters and places in this book were real.

Everything about this book worked. My interest was captured from the first page to the last. I couldn’t put the book down. Reading as the romance budded and blossomed between Mason and Tegan was scrumptious. The story was consistently enthralling from beginning to end.

I highly recommend everyone to read this book. I would love to see this book made into a movie. I’d pay to go see this movie the night it’d premiere. I’d buy this book. I’d actually read it more than once. Those who know me know that I never read a book twice. I’m tempted to re-read it now just to pause at the song parts. 🙂 This is seriously a major “book glow” book!

Dom of Ages by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams

DOM
Dom of Ages by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (263 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, spanking, flogging, sex toys, fetishes, BDSM
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Lilac

Eli may only be thirty, but he has had enough of pretend submissives. When he spies Jarod in a BDSM club, everything about the man screams submission. So what if Jarod is probably twenty years older than Eli. What does age matter, anyway? All he can see is what he’s always wanted—a sub who wants to serve.
Jarod spent twenty-four years with his Master before Fate took him. Four years on, Jarod is still lost, so when a young Dom takes charge, Jarod rolls with it and finds himself serving again. But he keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because there’s going to come a point when Eli realizes he’s a laughing stock in the club. Who would want to be seen with a fifty-year-old sub?
After several missteps, Eli realizes that in order to find happiness, they will need friends who will understand. At a friend’s insistence, he visits Collars & Cuffs, where they are met with open arms. As they settle in to their new life, Eli begins to see things differently and he dares to think he can have it all. Until a phone call threatens to take it all away….

An older sub loses his lifelong master and then loses his will to live. Could a younger Dom be the answer to his dilemma?

This story shows that age is not a determining factor when it comes to a person’s tendencies in either domination or submission. Here the older man is submissive and the younger man is dominant.

Jarod is a true submissive. He lives to serve in every sense. He’s been with his Master his whole adult life, so when the Master dies, Jarod is completely lost. Four years later he still mourns. And it doesn’t help that every time he tries to go out to clubs and find some relief in the form of a Dom, he gets laughed at, mocked, ridiculed, and berated for being too old (late forties), useless, and unwanted. Such hateful ageism from a supposedly accepting community. Guess such things exist in every community.

Eli is in his early thirties, and he’s tired of poser subs who act defiantly in the hopes of being punished with a spanking and fuck. He’s bored. When he spots Jarod at a club, he doesn’t hesitate to take the man home to be his sub. But… Jarod has his issues to deal with, and Eli doesn’t seem to understand what to do with a broken sub now that he has one. They find it difficult to talk about their pasts and what they want from life and each other. Their growing affection for one another, though, is a powerful force gluing them together.

This works as a standalone even though it’s the seventh in the series, Collars and Cuffs. The title refers to a BDSM club that houses some very special Doms and subs, and where Eli brings Jarod, hoping to give his sub a better experience than the ones he’s received in the past. The owners and many patrons become familiar as the story progresses, and their stories have clearly come before this one in the series. Though it’s not necessary to read the other books, I suggest you do. Just to find out what’s happening and who the numerous cast members are and what they’re all about. Hey, more reading goodies.

Not knowing the BDSM community well, I have to wonder if these kinds of situations aren’t more common, since an older Dom with a younger sub seem to be the norm. That when a Dom is with a specific sub for a long time, their age discrepancy automatically means that one of them will likely die and leave the other alone. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotional toll that takes on the survivor who is cast adrift. Apparently, though, that isn’t the whole case, since the capacity of the human heart to rediscover love is eternal, as this story proves. One just has to be willing to take a risk and put yourself out there again.

The plot unfolds slowly, revealing various facets of Eli and Jarod as they try to build a life together. But they both have unfinished business, so that’s not an easy task. This isn’t an insta-love story. Not even insta-lust. The two men find each other attractive right from the start but the first sex scene doesn’t come for a long time. So if you’re into instant gratification for your sexy-read jollies, look elsewhere. This tale takes patience.

The two authors seem to know their stuff. Not just in terms of personalities but BDSM specifics and the community, as Eli teaches us a few things during his lessons. For example, I’d never heard of using sounds for a session. Intriguing. The men feel real and the beautiful writing takes us right into their heads and lives. The book is written in first person from the perspective of both the main characters. Their individual voices didn’t come off the writing, per se, but on showing us how different the men are and how they deal with their problems. Where Eli puts things off, Jarod falls deeper into the mire of feeling not yet dealt with. There are serious matters at work here.

Spoiler warning! There’s an attempted suicide here, so if that theme offends or troubles you, be warned.

Though the pace is leisurely, the story moves swiftly enough. The writing is fluent and professional, and I was quickly drawn into the story, wanting to know more, read more, to be shown more, to be invited into this sensual world and to be taken for an emotional ride. Though at the times the feelings ran amok, such as Jarod being teary-eyed a lot, I understood that both men needed something elusive and had a lot going on. They only find balance with each other and are able to take each other to places they’ve never been.

Now, while I said this works as a standalone, it’s clear this series is reaching its end. If you haven’t read the previous books yet, I suggest you avoid reading the epilogue. It doesn’t show Eli and Jarod, but instead gives us a peek of what’s to come with the next book and the wrap-up of the series.

In any case, this is a wonderfully written tale of two realistic men who show us that most things in life are not dependent on age. Regardless of how many years we’ve lived, we can still suffer or fall in love or be a part of something greater. That’s a great positive message to take from this since none of us are getting any younger. I for one will be checking out the other books in the series. Highly recommended!

Home by Elizabeth Murphy

HOME
Home by Elizabeth Murphy
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Length: Full Length (364 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Quince

Aspen Kirkland is a slut. Or at least, that’s what she’s spent all of high school believing. So when she goes to visit her estranged father the summer after graduation, she has no reason to believe things will change. But then she finds her childhood best friend Sean again, and everything changes. Sean is smart, driven and Harvard-bound: everything Aspen isn’t. But the more time she spends with him, the more she feels their old connection. He makes her feel like the person she was before high school, before her life did a 180. But Aspen doesn’t want to change, and she doesn’t want to make any more mistakes. Between her renewed friendship with Sean, a cute local boy and the revelation that her father may not be as clueless as she once thought, Aspen feels the ground shifting beneath her every day. As the summer unfolds, she finds herself working to reconcile her past, present and future, and carve out a place in her constantly changing universe to call home.

Before I started to read Home I google the book and author and I tried to find some information on Goodreads about them. Unfortunately I didn’t find much. Anyway I decided to read it, because the blurb sounded promising and I like to read indie and new authors. And I am glad that I read it, because Home turns out to be a hidden gem; a beautiful, brilliant hidden gem.

This is coming of age story that takes place in a Cambridge over the course of one summer between high school and college for the main character, Aspen Kirkland. Aspen is confused, and a bit lost; because her parents got divorced, because she move away from Cambridge with her mother after it and because she tried to define herself by dating different boys. But instead of finding herself, her behavior left her empty. She knows that she did some bad things and she is beating herself up very hard because of that. Aspen is clever, but a bit lost. Fortunately for her the things  change upon her return to Cambridge. During the summer she will work on her relationship with her father and with her childhood friend Sean. Sean is completely opposite from Aspen. Where she is experienced, he is inexperienced; where he know his path, Aspen is clueless; where he is driven, she is not. But also he is exactly what she needs in order to define herself.

Written from Aspen’s perspective it gives a great view into her emotions and actions. The story goes back and forth, providing an insight into Aspen’s past and creating a full overview of her life in preceding four years. Home is such emotional read. The writing is beautiful, descriptions good and characters so alive. It has to be said that there is certain predictability, but the author still managed to write an interesting and captivating story.

Home is beautiful coming of age story that I highly recommend. Read it.  You will not regret it.

The Omega Chronicles by Artemis Milchon

DRAGON
The Omega Chronicles by Artemis Milchon
The Last Dragon – Book One
Publisher: Avalerion Books Inc
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (234 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Orchid

Sally has never felt truly wanted. Not by family, friends, or the few men who ever took notice of her. But a single night out changes her life forever. She is abducted from a bar into a world she could never have imagined, and there she meets Drake, a gorgeous stranger with a mysterious past. As she falls ever further under his spell, she must confront every insecurity she’s ever had about herself. But Drake has much more to conquer than just Sally’s fears. An ancient enemy has followed him, one that threatens all of the Omega Lords, and he discovers that Sally not only holds the key to his heart, but to the very survival of the Clans.

As a relentless foe works to end the Omega for all time, Drake has to convince Sally that she is worthy of the love he feels for her; she in turn must accept what she once thought was impossible. The fates of all the Clans are in their hands. Failure means certain death. With a world in the balance, can one woman find the strength to believe?

Dragons, water beings, shadow movers plus their enemies all blend together to make this a really great book.

A shy, quiet woman dominated by her siblings is kidnapped and taken to Sanctuary, the home of beings from another dimension. Drake makes her his but Sally’s quiet unassuming ways bring the outcasts close together in a way they have never experienced before.

Meanwhile an enemy is on their doorstep, waiting to pounce at the slightest opening. The outcasts unite to protect Sally, from herself, from them and from her family. Sally meanwhile is having the time of her life. She’s never felt this free and able to do what she wants instead of following orders, but at the back of her mind she knows it won’t last.

I would have thought this book was good just because it had dragons in it, but once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down, and the best thing is it’s book one of a series. All the characters have their own special personalities and abilities and despite the fact it’s a fantasy, they seem so real!

Hot love scenes combine with humour, understanding and the need to keep sane, all these combine to make an outstanding book which has punch, intrigue and love.

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

shell seekers
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (632 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Camellia

The Shell Seekers is a novel of connection: of one family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. The Shell Seekers is filled with real people–mothers and daughters, husband and lovers–inspired with real values. The Shell Seekers centers on Penelope Keeling–a woman you’ll always remember in world you’ll never forget. The Shell Seekers is a magical novel, the kind of reading experience that comes along only once in a long while.

At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling’s prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather’s work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer…and it lies in her heart.

The awesomeness of this family-love story reveals so much about human nature. It lures you in gently and holds on tight.

This is Penelope Keeling’s story, but it encompasses the lives of those who influenced her and whom she influenced. The Shell Seekers has a uniqueness all its own.

Penelope is an elegant woman even in her well-worn, often shabby clothes. Her generosity, industry, joy of life, tolerance, and caring for others never seems to falter. Her gentle, steadfast inner strength shines like a golden thread in the tapestry of her whole life. Her elegance comes from within, one sees IT as she gives unstinting love, rises above mistakes and hard times and “makes-do” with what she has to work with.

Another bright thread, ever present, is her belief that money buys, not necessarily just material things, but it also buys freedom, independence, dignity, learning, and time. As she deals with her children, she comes to believe that the greatest gift a parent can give the children is to maintain one’s independence, be self-reliant, and not witless.

The reader first meets Penelope when she is in a secure place in life, even though her good health is iffy. She takes the reader back to not-secure times when mistakes were made, when World War II governed their lives, and when never-to-be-forgotten love abided for a time.

The reader get to vicariously experience life in Cornwall, England with Penelope and her artist father and his young wife Sophie, One gets to know the village people and the evacuees Doris and her two sons during scary, deprivation times of WWII. Later, life is shared with her in London with her children and a wrinkle-in-time month visit in Spain when one gets to know her daughter Olivia and her friends Cosmo and Antonia. The reader gets caught right in the middle of the never-ending conflicts that her other two children, Nancy and Noel, have with her. But one of the best experiences for this reader was the time Penelope shared with Antonia and Danus, the gardener—made my heart feel good.

Rosamunde Pilcher makes no excuses for the sins of the characters (there are many), but the reader is privy to so much more than missteps. One sees the beauty of life through Penelope’s eyes as she copes and accepts whatever comes her way, never admitting defeat, and all the while stays true and honest to herself.

The Shell Seekers is a family-love saga—compelling , satisfying, memorable, and is beautifully,masterfully written.