Love Costs by E. B. Roshan

Love Costs (Shards of Sevia Book 3) by [E.B. Roshan]

As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of Love Costs by E. B. Roshan. Love Costs is Book Three in Ms. Roshan’s The Shards of Sevia Series and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.

Love Costs takes place in Sevia. Radoslav, the brother of Anna from previous books in the series, is working as an interpreter, after some of the Tur people surrendered to the government and are placed in Camp Peace. These people were promised that they would be relocated somewhere in Europe.

Dunya and her brother, along with an orphaned baby Dunya has taken into her care, are staying in Camp Peace. One day, Radoslav sees Dunya through the fence. She has pink hair and a shiny smile that catches his attention. In a conversation with her, she expresses concern for her missing cat.

Radoslav, his heart torn by the situation that Dunya is in because of the ongoing fighting in their country, decides he wants to do something to make her smile again. So he goes back to her neighborhood, which is a dangerous place for Sevian people, and Radoslav is Sevian. He wants to find her cat for her.

Once again, E. B. Roshan constructs a story with interesting characters facing dangers and difficult decisions in a war-torn country.

Radoslav, because I remember him from a previous book in The Shards of Sevia Series, was definitely a character of interest to me. A character I cared about and wanted to see find some happiness.

Although this story was engaging, I felt as though it lacked the depth and suspense of the other books in The Shards of Sevia Series. The story was definitely worth reading, and I don’t know if it’s because I actually read this book out of order, but I didn’t find the danger as suspenseful in this book or the characters in the story to have the depth the characters in the other books in the series had.

However, it’s still a well written book and it’s important to the series and I still recommend that readers who like suspenseful stories, stories of different countries and cultures, and stories of life struggles read this book. And if you’ve read the first two books in The Shards of Sevia, don’t skip this one.

I give Love Costs (Book Three in The Shards of Sevia Series) by E. B. Roshan 4 stars.

The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter

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The Search for Synergy is the first book in The Talisman Series by Brett Salter and as a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy. This is my honest review, and I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.

The Search for Synergy is a delightful fantasy tale of two young men who must learn to work together to rid the world of the evil lurking in the Void. Rome and Julian have unusual abilities and Rome has just discovered his. Julian is excited to find out about Rome’s abilities and is eager to use his own in accord with Rome’s to fight the evil. However, Rome needs some convincing.

Mr. Salter has created a unique story in The Search for Synergy. This entire story seems to take place in present day United States, but reaches back into the times of knights and dragons. As Julian and Rome develop their abilities and learn to work together, with the help of Mr. Jones, they eventually battle evil creatures.

The two young men come from very different families and have very different personalities, both of which add a bit of humor to the story.

The only thing that was a bit problematic to me was that the book has some spelling and grammar errors, but they were easy enough to overlook as I was engaged in Rome and Julian’s lives and the battles facing them.

The characters and circumstances they face kept me turning pages as Rome and Julian developed their abilities and fought evil creatures while learning more about their abilities and the history surrounding them. I finished reading this book in just three days because it gripped and held my attention and engaged me in the story and the characters’ lives.

The ending includes enough resolution to satisfy the reader, with enough of an open end to promise another great adventure with more evil creatures for Rome and Julian to battle.

This book is a fun easy read that I recommend to middle grade readers and up. Anyone who enjoys fantasy stories with unique characters and story lines that include battles and a bit of humor, will enjoy The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter.

I give The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter 5 stars.

The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa R. Howeler

The Farmer's Daughter: Book One in The Spencer Valley Chronicles by [Lisa R. Howeler]

As a Book Reviewer I received a free ebook copy of The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa R. Howeler and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review of this book.

The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa R. Howeler is Ms. Howeler’s debut novel as well as the first novel in her “A Spencer Valley Chronicles” series. It is the story of the Tanner family with the main focus on Molly Tanner. The story takes place in a small town and on the Tanner family’s dairy farm in rural Pennsylvania.

Times are tough and many of the local farmers are struggling to continue their farming business, and as Molly watches several family friends sell their farms and move on to something else, she begins to grow restless, wondering if farming is all she will ever know. Then Alex, Molly’s brother’s friend and her father’s farmhand begins to show a romantic interest in Molly. This makes Molly uncomfortable as she wonders why he would be interested in her. Like many women in the world, Molly suffers from a low opinion of her physical appearance. The romance that develops between Molly and Alex is sweet and very touching and both characters grow within themselves as their relationship grows.

An accident on the farm has the entire Tanner family wondering how to save the farm and keep it running financially.

I enjoyed everything about this story. Ms. Howeler is a very talented storyteller who obviously knows about farming and the struggles that come with it. In addition, she knows people, and I mean really knows people, not just on a surface level, but deep down inside. Her characters are so well developed and their struggles are so real. As I read, I was reminded of one of my favorite T.V. shows from my childhood, “The Waltons”. Ms. Howeler’s characters and the struggles they faced were reminiscent of the Walton family and their struggles. But, in addition to the struggles, the loving bond of family and the strength of that bond shines through.

Ms. Howeler also did a very good job of creating her setting. She painted pictures in my mind of cows and fields and the barn. One scene includes the birth of a calf and the description gives the reader a very clear picture, not only of the birth, but of the importance and meaning of new life.

I found myself so involved in the lives of the Tanner family and cared so much about what happened to them that they became part of my group of friends and I found the ending bittersweet as I wanted to see how things would turn out, but at the same time, was hesitant to say goodbye to such rich, engaging characters.

The ending doesn’t resolve every aspect of the story, leaving the reader the promise of another story to come, and I look forward to reading the next book as soon as possible. The characters and their circumstances in this story sometimes made me smile, sometimes laugh out loud, and once made me cry. A story that evokes these kinds of emotions are the stories I love best and the ones that will live in my memory.

I highly recommend The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa R. Howeler to anyone who loves to read stories that touch your heart and that show what it’s like to live with a family that has its struggles but works together to get through them. None of the characters are perfect. They are very much like any of us and are very realistic, which makes the story all the more meaningful.

I will add that there are some steamy romance scenes but nothing in detail and nothing overly explicit.

I give The Farmer’s Daughter a 5 star rating.

Wolves of Adalore by Morgan Gauthier

Wolves of Adalore (Mark of the Hunter Book 1) by [Morgan Gauthier]

Wolves Adalore is the debut novel of Morgan Gauthier. It is also the first book in the Mark of the Hunter series. As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review or any review.

Crispin and Salome have been raised by Zophar after their parents died. Now they must prepare for battle with their sister, Niabi, who has been ruling Adalore from the White Throne. She is responsible for many deaths. She was ready to turn her rule over to her son until tragedy struck and brought out her cruel nature once again.

It has been about 200 years since a hunter has been seen in Adalore or its surrounding lands, so no one believes a hunter exists. However, Zophar, Crispin, and Salome are assured, by a Seer, Harbona, that it is the Year of the Hunter and there is a hunter, and it is one of them.

As the four begin their journey to Adalore, they come under attack twice. Then they separate into pairs and later reunite.

Wolves of Adalore is a very well written fantasy novel. It has also been well edited. There are many characters, but it is easy to follow the characters. Morgan Gauthier made clear connections between the characters as well. It is a novel of good vs. evil.

I enjoyed this story and I love Zophar, Crispin, Salome, and Harbona, as well as Salome’s guardian, Adonijah. Morgan Gauthier not only created lovable characters, a story that kept me turning pages, and an interesting setting, but she writes engaging dialogue between characters, especially Adonijah and Salome, which adds some light-heartedness to the story.

My only disappointment in this novel is that just as they are about to enter into the battle the story has been leading up to, Ms. Gauthier brings the story to a close. However, it was not a complete cliffhanger, and I am grateful for that. I will look forward to reading the next book in the Mark of the Hunter series by Morgan Gauthier for I want to know who wins the battle and what happens to my favorite characters.

For my sensitive readers, I will mention that there are a few profane words within the story.

If you enjoy an engaging fantasy story with very likeable characters, I encourage you to read Wolves of Adalore.

I give Wolves of Adalore 5 stars.

The Spring Bride (The Masons of Brightfield Book 3) by Claire Sanders

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As a Book Reviewer, I received a free pdf copy of The Spring Bride (The Masons of Brightfield Book 3) by Claire Sanders. This is my honest review, though I was not required to write any review of this book.

Once again, I was engaged in the lives of the Mason family. The main characters from the first two books of The Masons of Brightfield still made appearances, though this book focused mostly on George Mason and a woman named Greta.

Greta was known in Brightfield as Greta Franklin, married to a traveling salesmen who never seems to come home to Greta. As George’s other siblings find their special someones and begin to marry, he wonders if he’ll ever find the right woman. Then he meets Greta and hires her as his part-time bookkeeper for his new business. He becomes very attracted to her.

The story continues as the mystery of Greta’s husband becomes part of the main story line. The Spring Bride is another wonderful clean romance by Claire Sanders, whose Mason family characters are so endearing, as I read each book, I feel like I know these characters personally. They are wonderful characters and the Masons of Brightfield stories are wonderfully crafted and well edited.

The Spring Bride is an unusual romance story with a very unique premise. The mystery, suspense, and unexpected twists and surprises kept me turning pages from the first page to the last. There is also a sprinkling of humor in the book, which adds to the fun of reading it.

However, there was one thing I found a bit disturbing, and that was in regard to a minor character named Damir. Ms. Sanders’ characters are usually very forgiving and fair in dealing with one another. Therefore, near the end of the book, in a discussion between Greta and her father, I found it disturbing that there was an unforgiving attitude in regard to Damir due to a circumstance involving Damir and another character. The unfairness came in Greta and her father’s attitudes that the other character involved in the circumstance was completely innocent in the situation which is what disturbed me, as in any argument or wrong doing involving two people, each person or character is responsible for their own choices and actions.

The disturbance, though, in no way makes the story less enjoyable. I still love the Masons and their spouses, and I still look forward to reading the next book in the series when it becomes available. Also, I think the Spring Bride is my favorite of the three already written because it is so unique, and, in my opinion, goes to a deeper emotional level than the first two books in the series.

If you love good clean romance stories with wonderfully developed characters and a plot with unexpected twists and surprises, you’ll enjoy The Spring Bride. And, though, each book can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend that you read them all.

I give The Spring Bride (The Masons of Brightfield Book 3) by Claire Sanders 5 stars.

Strangers and Pilgrims by Kristina Hall

Strangers and Pilgrims (A Better Country Book 1) by [Kristina Hall]

As a Book reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of Strangers and Pilgrims by Kristina Hall. This is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.

Strangers and Pilgrims is set in the late 1860s West. Harry Reiner left home to fight in the Civil War. The war has been over for three years when Harry returns to his hometown. But Harry doesn’t receive the warm welcome he was expecting. Everything’s changed, and one evil man controls the town. When Harry’s life is threatened, a young woman, and the girl she took in, drag him into their home to nurse him back to health. Another man the town tends to look down on is also a frequent visitor to this home. These four characters bond and do their best to survive ten miles outside of town, but soon find that even there, the threats plague them.

Strangers and Pilgrims is a well written book. The reader is immediately drawn into the story and the characters’ lives and has no problem choosing sides between the majority of the town and the four characters at a ranch not far outside town. The story is filled with conflict and suspense that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. There is a lot of action, a touch of romance, and descriptions and dialogue that take the reader back to the 1860s west. There are a couple twists and surprises before the story comes to a resolution and end.

This is also a story of faith and includes some Scripture passages from the Bible and occasional one or two line prayers.

This is the first book in the A Better Country series by Kristina Hall.

If you enjoy suspenseful stories that keep you reading til late in the night or love old western stories, you’ll enjoy Strangers and Pilgrims, as I did.

I give Strangers and Pilgrims by Kristina Hall 5 stars, and look forward to reading the next book in the A Better Country series.

For Better and Worse by E. B. Roshan

For Better and Worse (Shards of Sevia Book 4) by [E.B. Roshan]

For Better and Worse is the fourth book in the Shards of Sevia series by E. B. Roshan. As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy, and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review or any review.

The Shards of Sevia series by E. B. Roshan is a series of stories that take place in a country that is very much like a middle eastern country in our world. The country is Sevia and there are towns and cities in Sevia. Sevia is war-torn and two people groups are constantly fighting: the White Horses and the Tur people.

Caught in the middle of the fighting are Boris and Anna Merkovich, a sweet couple, who are just trying to live their lives. They do not wish to have anything to do with the fighting. Boris works hard and Anna is expecting their first child. Anna’s fear of the fighting in their town of Dor causes her to plead with her husband to move to a safer place, the town, Dovni, where her family lives, but Boris does not want to close the business that has been in his family for many years.

Boris has a temper, and soon his temper brings danger to their door. Will Boris and his family survive? Will Boris and Anna be torn apart? Will Boris live to see his firstborn child?

E. B. Roshan has traveled in the Middle East and it is clear, in the Shards of Sevia series, that she has knowledge as to what living in the Middle East is like. She has created characters that the reader comes to know deeply and cares about. The reader experiences their struggles, and hopes to see them, not only survive, but thrive.

For Better and Worse is full of struggles and conflict between Boris and people in the neighborhood as well as between Boris and Anna. It is a heart-wrenching story and it is a fast, easy read. Boris and Anna, as well as one of Boris’s employees, face many dangers in this book that also keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat, hoping they will all survive.

One thing that stuck out to me in this story, is that Boris begins to show proof of learning that he needs to change his life, or at least his reactions to things, and he offers short prayers to God for help.

Also, the book is, not only well-written, but well edited.

After four books, I thought this might be the completion of the story, but, though this book has a solid ending with resolution, I believe Ms. Roshan could still offer us more of Boris and Anna’s story. I know I will be watching for more.

If you haven’t read the Shards of Sevia by E. B. Roshan, I highly recommend the series, especially if you like to experience stories of a different culture in a different country and if you enjoy suspenseful stories.

I give For Better and Worse by E.B. Roshan 5 stars.

At War With the Wind (The Fight for Abigail) by D. Richard Ferguson

At War with the Wind: The Fight for Abigail (Walk with the Wind Book 2) by [D. Richard Ferguson]

As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of At War With the Wind: the Fight for Abigail by D. Richard Ferguson. I was not required to write a positive review or any review. This is the sequel to Escape From Paradise, and this is my honest review.

I found the beginning of this book a little slow, and at first I thought it was going to be too much like Escape From Paradise. But after just a few chapters, things picked up and became very interesting and intense. This book focused on the same handful of main characters, but also added a couple new ones. The story line went even deeper than the story line of Escape From Paradise.

Abigail was in grave danger in this book. As her friends went to her aid, they stepped into danger as well. Abigail’s predicament kept me turning page after page to see how things would turn out.

As in Escape from Paradise, Adam is one of the main characters in this story and to see the progress in his character growth and the choices he makes between the two books is encouraging. Adam is my favorite character in both books.

One scene in this book really stood out to me and included a quote that resonated so deep with me that I wrote it down to keep to encourage me and to share with others. Many people ask, “If God is such a loving God, why does he allow bad things to happen and if God is a loving God, why would he send anyone to Hell?” I believe this quote gives a very good answer to these questions: “For a man (I insert “God” here) of love, anger toward that which destroys good is a moral necessity. One who loves cares. And one who cares can never be apathetic about that which threatens the object of his love.”

These books are definitely worth reading.

I have to say that D. Richard Ferguson is an outstanding author and I highly recommend these two books to anyone who longs for a story that expresses truth and hope. And if you enjoy stories filled with adventure and suspense, these books are for you. If you’re a fan of Pilgrim’s Progress by Paul Bunyan, these books will also become favorites.

I give At War With the Wind: the Fight for Abigail 5 stars.

Join me here again tomorrow to read my interview with the author of these books, D. Richard Ferguson.

Admonition by Kathryn Amurra

Admonition (Soothsayer's Path Book 2) by [Kathryn Amurra]

Admonition is the second book in the Soothsayer’s Path series by Kathryn Amurra. As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of this novel, and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review or any review for this book.

Blurb from Amazon:

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect those she loves from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles. Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

My Review:

I was drawn into Sabina’s life right from the first page. Kathryn Amurra has a way of creating characters and writing from the character’s mind, heart, and emotions that makes the reader feel as though they were one of the characters experiencing the story–not just reading it. There are two other main characters in Admonition that aren’t mentioned in the above blurb, but who play important roles in the story as well, and they are Priscilla, Sabina’s stepsister and Cyprian, a friend of Lucius’s.

Kathryn Amurra also does an excellent job of setting the scenes and painting pictures in the readers’ minds, and it’s clear that she knows her Ancient Roman history. As Sabina struggles with her feelings and her fear of what she believes her words can do, she also has to face a man who has designs on her, all while looking out for her stepsister’s safety. As Lucius is targeted in a political plot, Sabina faces a difficult decision to break her silence in an attempt to save his life. However, her reputation could also be jeopardized.

As the story comes to its resolution, some shocking secrets are revealed in regard to the plot against Lucius, as well as Sabina’s husband’s death years ago.

If you enjoy historical romance stories that keep you turning pages with their suspense and surprises, you’ll love Admonition. Also, if you like a romance story with both conflict and humor mixed throughout, you’ll love Admonition. You’ll also enjoy this novel if you like to read book that are well written and have been properly edited.

Admonition is the second book in Kathryn Amurra’s Soothsayer’s Path series, but both the first book, Soothsayer, and Admonition can be read as stand-alones. And if you haven’t read Soothsayer, I recommend that you read that one as well.

I give Admonition by Kathryn Amurra 5 stars.

The Whisper of Fire by Ben McQueeney

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The Whisper of Fire is the second book in the “Beyond Horizon” series by Ben McQueeney. As a reviewer, I received an ebook copy of this book and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.

In The Whisper of Fire, we are reunited with Fulco Garumson, a Hume, who lives among the Elphen in Tellusm, in the town of Phenii. In this book, he returns to his Elphen family after spending three weeks in prison. He tries out for the popular Portare team. He also trains to improve his Sapience power and is invited to join a girl named Nina on a quest.

The first thing I would like to address is the actual writing of this novel. I found this book frustrating to read because it has not been well edited. There are a lot of grammatical errors, missing punctuation, missing words, and additional or incorrect words. There is a famous rule in the writing world—writers have been told for years, “show, don’t tell”. Unfortunately, The Whisper of Fire is “told” more than it is “shown”.

Now, let’s talk about the story and characters. I found the first half of the book more difficult to read than the second half. The first half lacked in action. It seemed to be the build up for the second half of the book. However, because I love the character of Fulco, I continued reading and was much happier with the second half of the book.

There was also one section in the book that, seemed to me, to explain racism in Tellusm in a way that seemed to make it acceptable. This may or may not have been the author’s intention. It may have been a lack of proper editing, but I found it disturbing. However, it was a brief section, but there was a sort of “racism” throughout the story between the different types of characters.

Despite the technical issues in the writing, the second half of the book drew me in because of the action and the characters, especially Fulco. Terrible things happen to Fulco and his friends and family in the second half of the book. Two of the biggest and most terrible things that happen are unexpected and shocking. However, Fulco does not give up. Even in his darkest hour, he finds a reason to go on, and he decides he must go on the quest.

Another thing I liked about The Whisper of Fire is the way that Ben McQueeney includes his spirit world and gods in chapters he calls “Interludes”. These chapters are a glimpse into the lives of the gods and bring them more into the story than they were in the first book, The Spirit of Things.

Also, a word of caution: the book is listed as Adult Fantasy and does include some mild language, as well as some graphic violence.

If you like fantasy novels and you liked The Spirit of Things, you will most likely like The Whisper of Fire, especially if you are a Fulco fan, as I am.

Despite the problems I found with this novel, I know I will read the next book in the series, The Fear of Gods, when it becomes available, because I want to go on Fulco’s quest with him. I am invested in Fulco’s life and the lives of his friends and family. I only hope Mr. McQueeney will be sure the technical issues are well edited before its release.

Also, despite the problems with this novel, the second half definitely redeemed the book for me. Therefore, I give The Whisper of Fire by Ben McQueeney 4 stars.