Book Review: Born to Liberty (Light from Aphelion #3) by Martine Carlsson

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Born to Liberty (Light from Aphelion #3)

by Martine Carlsson

Lissandro is in danger in the Windy Isles. To rescue their closest friend that they haven’t seen since their dispute, Louis and Selen must leave the safety of the progressive capital. Louis requests a diplomatic visit to King Dywel, a man he publicly humiliated when he spurned Howell’s beautiful daughter to crown Selen—a man—as his queen.

From their arrival in the Howells’ castle in the coastal city of Kilcairn, the tension between the royals is on the edge. But beyond the nonstop petty humiliations that Louis and Selen have to endure, a far greater threat is being hatched in the Isles. When young girls go missing, Selen is resolute to expose the mysteries hidden within the castle’s walls.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Born to Liberty (Light from Aphelion #3) 


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 stars

The Kingdom of Trevalden is thriving under King Louis’s rule and the changes that he is introducing to the medieval society to guide it towards a republic. However when Louis and Selen fear that their old friend Lissandro is in danger they do not hesitate to depart the capital on a rescue mission to the Windy Isles disguised as a diplomatic visit.

King Dywel has not forgotten how Louis rejected his offer of his daughter’s hand in marriage and subsequently crowned a man as his Queen. From their arrival Selen is subjected to humiliation at the hands of their hosts, however this is only the beginning. Soon the royal couple is forcibly parted and each has their own mission. Reuniting with former friends and allies, they soon realise that the Howells are not the only and greatest threat to everything that they have built and hold dear.

I literally could not wait to start reading book 3 in the Light from Aphelion series and it did not disappoint. The first novel in the series combined two genres; historical and fantasy and book 2 and 3 added a supernatural element which I absolutely love. This is expanded on so much more in Born to Liberty. You learn so much more about Lissandro, his past and his complicated relationship with Grimmr. Grimmr is the antagonist in this story, however, I felt as though he was as much of a lost soul as the other main characters in some respect and I could feel some empathy with him. You could still feel how much he cared for Lissandro despite of everything.

The author’s decision to part Louis and Selen for the majority of the novel was right one as it gave both characters a chance to stand on their own independent from each other. Due to the stereotype of his title and the mind-sets of many of the supporting characters, Selen was beginning to lose himself in Louis’s shadow, and it was great to see how he overcame this. He was never the weak person that he feared he was and it was so good that he got the chance to prove it to himself. His relationship with Louis is as strong as it always was, but deep down Selen had his doubts. These are finally put to rest and it was done in the most touching way possible. I think that scene was possibly my favourite of the entire series. And of course I was overjoyed when they were finally reunited once more.

The world that author created was expanded upon much further in book 3. The rich and vivid detail that she compiles into her work is without fault and I found myself easily immersed into their world. I won’t say too much about the ending as I do not want to spoil it, but it is absolutely perfect for Louis and Selen given what they had been through. Despite it being the end of the series, the door is left open and I would love for the author to revisit them in the future or perhaps even a prequel!

Book Review: The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen

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Planet Tage is dying, and the best hope of saving it is gone.

Seventeen-year-old identical twins Evan and Simon share an extraordinary bond, a trait that’s both useful and invasive. They use their connection in their work at Scientific Innovations. Evan is a Mindbender, someone who enters the minds of scientists to spark ideas, join thoughts, and battle nightmares. Simon is a science prodigy and Tage’s best chance of survival.

Unfortunately, their unusual link often bleeds into their private lives. When Evan discovers his brother is keeping a secret from him, he lashes out and ignores requests to talk, and even pleas for help. By the time Evan tunes back in, he finds their connection severed and Simon missing.

He suffers a terrible case of survivor’s guilt. Moreover, he’s desperate. The fate of the world rests on Simon’s return, and Evan is willing to do anything to get him back—even working with his greatest rival, who also happens to be Simon’s boyfriend.

Evan finds allies among enemies and adversaries among friends. When nothing is as it seems and everything is depending on him, he must explore a dangerous aspect to his twin connection he never knew he had.

If he fails, he’ll lose both his brother and his world.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen


Review

Rating: 5 stars

Twins Evan and Simon are complete opposites. Evan is a mindbender. Someone who can enter the thoughts and dreams of others. He is the best that Scientific Innovations has yet his parents are more focused on his brother’s more academic gifts. Yet this doesn’t come between them, if anything it makes their bond stronger. Evan and Simon are also linked to each other’s minds, but when Evan learns that Simon has been keeping a secret from him he shuts his brother out when he needs him the most. A year later Simon is missing and Evan is tormented by his guilt at not heeding his twin’s calls for help. He then finds himself having to put aside his grievances with Simon’s boyfriend in order to bring his brother home and also save their entire world.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this novel from the author and I am so happy I did as its one of the best books I’ve read this year!

The Gemini Connection is a fast paced and extremely imaginative science fiction novel. It switches between brothers’ viewpoints focusing the events occurring now and also one year ago. I really liked that the author wrote the novel in this way as you learn more about both Simon and Evan as the story progresses, and also how events from the past year connect into the present storyline. The technology is very well imagined and explained so you’re not trying to work out how some of the futuristic inventions could work practically. The story was an emotional one too and you really got to feel how much the twins cared for each other and their partners too.

I highly recommend you picking up a copy of The Gemini Connection, you won’t be disappointed and I look forward to reading more books by the author!

What Day is it Anyway? Saturday 1st August 2020

My Day: Today I ventured ‘out’ out for the first time since March! Me and my parents went to West Dean Gardens which is so pretty this time of year! It gave me lots of ideas for my Animal Crossing Island too!

west dean garden

Things are still going great with Perfect World 3. I’m hoping to have it finished in a few months which is amazing! I also finished plotting Book 4 and I think it is going to be too long for one book so I have divided it into two! I am very happy about this as it means I have longer with Adam and Eric before their story ends!


Linda G. Hill came up with this great idea to keep track of the weeks and months ahead. For those who already are, and will be isolated in the coming weeks, it is important to all come together and support each other.

New Release Blitz: Supernova Soul by Matthew J. Metzger

Title: Supernova Soul

Series: Roche Limit, Book Two

Author: Matthew J. Metzger

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 27, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 41900

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA+, science-fiction, lesbian, space travel, discrimination, character study

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Synopsis

The Swift is gone.

Weeks after the catastrophic power failure that triggered the evacuation in the first place, the ship has powered up and taken flight, abandoning its jettisoned escape pods deep in uncharted space. Stranded with dwindling supplies and no way of calling for help, Hélène LeFebvre needs a plan. Or at least somewhere to bury the dead.

Hélène isn’t a people person at the best of times, and trying to build a new comms array on a hostile alien moon is definitely not the best of times. Her only help is a nurse who won’t stop praying, a pilot whose attitude adjustment could take several centuries, three maintenance crew gambling with coffee beans to pass the time, a homicidal cook, and a medical officer convinced that the unseen monsters that stalk their pods at night are there for him personally.

All too aware they’re running out of time, Hélène doesn’t have time for their flaws, or to examine her own. She can’t afford to be human if she’s going to save them.

But perhaps she needs to remember she’s human in order to save herself.

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – AMANDA MEUWISSEN

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – AMANDA MEUWISSEN

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual and happily married 35-year-old geek. Primarily an M/M romance author with a focus on urban fantasy, she has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed Creative Writing major from St. Olaf College and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Pinterest | Newsletter Sign-up

BACKLIST TOUR

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Book Review: Mountainway Chant (Coulter and Woodard #2) by M.J. Calabrese

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Adam Coulter has returned and is coping with the horrific events of sixteen months ago as best he can, but not everyone is happy about it. His best friend and new husband, Detective Eagle Woodard, doesn’t want to speak to him and it’s starting to look like his fifth marriage isn’t going to be anymore successful than his other four.

FBI Agent Rick Kessler and Navajo Reservation Police Lieutenant Carlos Aiello, Eagle’s cousin, have pulled a reluctant Adam into another case. Five bodies discovered at the site of a planned casino, all dressed and painted up as Native American mythological characters offer confusing clues. Are they dealing with another serial killer?

Fighting to stay clean and sober, Adam’s 12 step sponsor is murdered. At first it seems unrelated to what he saw in the desert, but evidence comes to light that says otherwise. Revelations concerning Adam’s past and his father, Richard Coulter’s, connections to the local crime syndicate boss, Nelson Greybill come to light.

Can Adam repair the damage he’s done to his relationship with Eagle so he can help him solve this case? Can he win back the only man he’s ever truly loved, or will the demons of his past win the battle for his soul?

 

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Mountainway Chant (Coulter and Woodard #2) 


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

When Adam Coulter returns after 16 months he is determined to get his life back on track, however he is soon drawn into another murder investigation. Forced to work together once more with his husband, Eagle Woodard, Adam soon realises that this case is tied to him in ways that he couldn’t have realised. Can Adam and Eagle reconcile in time to solve the case and if so is there a hope for a future together after all?

I liked the second instalment in the series a little less than the first book hence the slightly lower rating. As with the first novel there were aspects I really liked and aspects I didn’t.

I do love a good murder mystery and for that Mountainway Chant does not disappoint. I enjoyed reading how the plot unfolded and how all the connections to the main characters were made. The final showdown was gripping and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. The writing seemed to have been tightened up in this book as well, with less confusion over the names and nicknames of the characters.

What I didn’t like was some of the reactions of the characters as they still seemed really random and emotions seemed to change at the drop of a hat and with no warning or reason. So much so I almost got whiplash. As well it seems that everyone has slept with everyone else at some point (or still is!) and I cannot keep track of who has what relationship with whom. A lot of this seems needless drama and it would have been a lot better to have been cut out of the book completely. The novel would have benefitted from less side complications that seemed to have been only put in for drama, which it didn’t need as it has plenty of that already!

I am interested to see what happens in the third instalment of the series, but I’m slightly less enthusiastic about it than I was at the end of book one.

New Release Blitz: The Man from Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed

Title: The Man from Milwaukee

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 20, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 64500

Genre: Horror/Thriller, LGBTQIA+, horror, mental illness, grief, virgin/first time, Jeffrey Dahmer, HIV, AIDS

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Synopsis

It’s the summer of 1991 and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer has been arrested. His monstrous crimes inspire dread around the globe. But not so much for Emory Hughes, a closeted young man in Chicago who sees in the cannibal killer a kindred spirit, someone who fights against the dark side of his own nature, as Emory does. He reaches out to Dahmer in prison via letters.

The letters become an escape—from Emory’s mother dying from AIDS, from his uncaring sister, from his dead-end job in downtown Chicago, but most of all, from his own self-hatred.

Dahmer isn’t Emory’s only lifeline as he begins a tentative relationship with Tyler Kay. He falls for him and, just like Dahmer, wonders how he can get Tyler to stay. Emory’s desire for love leads him to confront his own grip on reality. For Tyler, the threat of the mild-mannered Emory seems inconsequential, but not taking the threat seriously is at his own peril.

Can Emory discover the roots of his own madness before it’s too late and he finds himself following in the footsteps of the man from Milwaukee?

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What Day is it Anyway? Sunday 19th July 2020

My day: To do lists. These are something I excel at writing and then fail epically at completing. Up until the last two weeks I had them written on my phone in the reminders app so I could check them off when they were getting done. The problem. They weren’t getting done as I could just shut the app down and ignore them. So I went back to the old pen and paper list format and it really works. As it is sitting by my laptop, every night it guilts me into action and I complete at least 2 things on it. Of course, as with all to do lists the number of items on it multiples every time I check one thing off but I feel as though I am making progress this way at least.

Speaking of progress, Perfect World 3 is now two thirds complete! I cannot believe that only a few months ago I was still on the first few chapters and now I am thinking about cover design and synopsis!  Its insane that a release date for the first half of 2021 didn’t seem possible and now it kind of is!

I saw my Sims again today for the first time in quite a while. Bella seemed a bit stressed so I took her out for a night clubbing with her friends. She had a great time but when she woke up the next morning she had that mysterious rash that they randomly get for no apparent reason! So a few days off work and resting up in bed for her! I bet her Boss thought she was hungover!


Linda G. Hill came up with this great idea to keep track of the weeks and months ahead. For those who already are, and will be isolated in the coming weeks, it is important to all come together and support each other.