Sky Heart needs Beta Readers!

Yes! I’m pleased to announce that I have finished my first edit of Sky Heart and now need Beta Readers.

Click here for the Beta Readers Sign Up Form.

NB:  Sky Heart doesn’t have an official cover yet.  The image used is my Work In Progress cover.
Beta Readers Wanted – Sky Heart

What is a Beta Reader?

You get to read the full story before anyone else, and can help shape the future version with your feedback.

Tell me if you like a character or not. You can say if a scene is too slow or too fast. Suggest what to cut or add to the story. Basically share your thoughts to help me improve it.

This version has only been edited by me. It will have mistakes. It won’t be as polished as a final version that has been professionally edited.

What type of story is Sky Heart?

Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart series but has a new main character, Keily.

You can read Sky Heart (book 2) even if you haven’t read Ocean Heart (book 1). It is a complete story, however, it will have some spoilers for book 1 as it assumes you’ve already read it. In addition, it is part of a series so although the main issue is resolved in the story, there are things that will be unresolved as they are dealt with later in the series.

Sky Heart is a YA Contemporary Fantasy. Here is the blurb:

Beta Books

I want to try out a site called Beta Books.

This site enables me to easily share Sky Heart with my Betas. It will also organises any feedback to make it more manageable for me.

Readers can share their feedback as inline comments, at the end of a chapter, and I can even ask readers questions about specific things.

If you want to help me but prefer not to use Beta Books that’s fine. Please still sign up using my Google Form and I’ll consider another option for you.

Sign up

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I’m so pleased you’re interested. Please fill in my Google Form so I can send you details on how to access Sky Heart.

Google Form: Sky Heart Beta Readers sign up

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About Ocean Heart

[kofi]

The following links are affiliate…

July 2021 – Ocean Heart is free on Smashwords in the Summer/Winter Sale

Behind the Book: Chasing Sunrise (The Sunrise Prophecy book 1)by Emily Mah

Thank you Emily for agreeing to a Behind the Book interview about your YA Urban Fantasy book, Chasing Sunrise.

This is book 1 in a trilogy. What can readers look forward to in this vampire series?

Very few vampires, actually, but the series will explain why there are so few. You’ll also learn the origin of vampires and how they fit into Judeo-Christian mythology. These books also set up a world where I plan to write a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, so I hope people like the world-building too!

Can you introduce the MC, Liana?

Liana was a nerdy, quiet, high-achieving, prep-school attending girl who had a weakness for a guy who told her he needed her. Unfortunately, what he needed was her blood, and the way she let him drain her makes her face a lot of uncomfortable truths about herself. She realizes that if she wants to be the strong, independent woman she always thought she was, she has to make hard choices. And when her father is killed and she is left an orphan, the hard choices start coming at her fast.

Can you introduce the love interest, Corban?

He’s more of a cypher to begin with. When he meets Liana he’s very hostile to her, but he also asks her a lot of questions that don’t quite make sense. Despite their rough first meeting, she comes to believe he’s one of the only people she can trust with her deepest, darkest secret. She figures out who he is by the middle of the book. Suffice it to say, it’s complicated.

What drew you to writing a YA novel about vampires?

The one common thread in my romances is making good guys sexy. It really bothers me how many male leads are abusive, narcissistic, reckless, and even criminal, and vampire stories tend to be some of the most extreme in this regard. There’s a lot in these books about what it takes for love to last a lifetime, and selfish, obsessive vampire behaviors aren’t it. While I don’t believe in preaching to anyone, especially young people, nor in writing propaganda, I do think as a writer that it is my job to be honest and to ask hard questions. The YA audience is more than capable of grappling with those.

Who do you think would enjoy your series?

I think if you like, say, Tamar Sloan or Ilona Andrews or Carrie Vaughn, you’ll probably like these books. They’re meant to be a fun ride with a few heavy topics laced in there. But first and foremost, they should be fun!

The book is set in a boarding school, what was your school life like?

Only the first chapter is in a boarding school. I did go to a boarding school for two years of high school, but it was the United World College, which is an unusual boarding school. It’s international, most of the kids are on scholarship, and the curriculum is the International Baccalaureate. So, it’s not much like Liana’s boarding school. Before going to boarding school I went to the public high school in Los Alamos, New Mexico, one of the big rivals to Taos High School, where Liana ends up as a total fish out of water.

Can you share a short snippet of the story?

I sat on a patch of dead grass beside Aunt Cassie’s house as the sun rose. My skin already tingled as if I’d rubbed it with heat cream. Even though it was winter and the temperature below freezing, my jacket lay on the ground behind me, leaving my arms bare. With a deep breath of clean, chilled air, I braced myself for the full force of the oncoming pain.

The desert around me was quiet, and I was glad for that. It seemed that every animal I could think of that lived out here was poisonous in some way. Scorpions, rattlesnakes, various types of spiders—and I wasn’t an outdoorsy person to begin with. I found myself taken in by the stillness of it all, though. There were no birds chirping, or leaves rustling in the wind, no distant sound of cars whooshing down the road, or buzz of an errant porch light attracting insects.

There was just the broad, flat Taos Valley with its deep, jagged line of canyon in the distance, and beyond that were the mountains, their sharp angles softened with a layer of evergreen trees. Now the sky was turning a deep, vivid pink with wispy clouds looking like they’d caught fire.

I felt more than saw the sunrise. One moment my skin burned with an annoying tingle, and the next it felt like I was laid out atop a hot griddle with molten metal poured over me. I was certain that my flesh was being incinerated this time, but I’d thought that last time and the time before. Clenching my teeth and holding my breath, I waited for the sensation to break. It had before, so it had to this time. Still I gripped my small gold cross pendant and prayed to any deity who would listen. I begged, mentally, for forgiveness for my weakness. Please, give me another chance, another day.

Tears leaked from my eyes, and that was the first sign I had that the pain was abating. Their cool tracks down my cheeks quenched the fire and that sensation spread across my face and down over the rest of my body.

And then it was all over, the external pain at least. It was just me, the silent desert, and the yawning chasm of emptiness I felt inside. Tears didn’t ease that pain though. It was bottomless.

Chasing Sunrise by Emily Mah

Where can readers go to find out more about you and your books?

The buy link for the book is: https://books2read.com/Chasing-Sunrise

My social media:

Website: emilymah.com

Twitter: twitter.com/emilymah

Instagram: instagram.com/emilymahauthor

Facebook: facebook.com/emilymahauthor

The below are affiliate links. Read Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

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[kofi]

Camp NaNo April 2021 Project

Sky Heart Coming Soon
Sky Heart by Ally Aldridge

Camp NaNo April 2021 Goal

My goal for Camp Nano will be to finish Sky Heart. I think there’s only 15k words left. It should be doable, but I have really been struggling with the ending.

If I do manage to get it done quickly, I will work on the prequel. It will be a novella in length and about told from Denny’s POV, about how she came to be friends with Gwyn.

Camp NaNo Story Snippets

@worldindiewarriors on Instagram have come up with some prompts to encourage people to share a snippet of their WIPs during April. They are a relaxed friendly bunch, so don’t worry if you can’t post for every prompt, or if you don’t post on Saturdays. The idea is to support each other and connect with others taking part. I’m going to try to do these challenges but I don’t post on Saturdays so… I’ll be posting when I can.

Follow #WIWSnippetSaturday

Wednesday Instagram Lives

Every Wednesday at 9pm UK, @worldindiewarriors will be hosting IG Lives to keep everyone motivated towards their goal. In addition, they will have a guest join them to discuss a topic of the week.

On 21 April, I will be their guest chatting about self publishing. If you have any questions or just want to join us, we’ll be happy to see you there.

[kofi]

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Book Review: Red Blood: Card Holders by Kaitlyn Legaspi

I was fortunate to be part of Kaitlyn Legaspi’s ARC team. I didn’t quite manage to finish this ARC in time but I wasn’t far behind.

Red Blood: Card Holders by Kaitlyn Legaspi released on 19 Feb 2021. Add to your Goodreads.

Setting

This novel is set in a futuristic world where there are bound and unbound people. Unbound people have powers, and those with more than one power are specialists. Specialists can learn to use cards that boost their powers.

The unbound are rules by the Card Catchers. The story starts with a tournament being held where all the unbound must compete, so the strongest are selected. The tournament can be deadly, hence Neela’s resistance to partake.

Characters

Neela is the main character. She is a feisty vigilante orphan, growing up in the slums with her brother. Neela is an untrained specialist.

Jacen is Neela’s big brother. They are super close as they’ve pretty much grown up only having each other. He doesn’t have any powers.

Brochan is to become Neela’s trainer when she is required (or forces) to compete in the Red Queen tournament. Part of his team includes wife Lily, and brother-in-law Will.

Amil is a specialist trained assassin. He also becomes Neela’s first friend. There’s a lot of flirting between them. Unfortunately, Amil’s brother isn’t quote so friendly.

Review

Neela is a feisty young vigilante, with unbound powers. She doesn’t want to compete in the Red Queen tournament, until she is caught by her trainer. On their way to the tournament they are attacked.

Neela meets Amil, a young assassin that everyone is cautious of. He quickly becomes her friend, which draws the attention of his not so nice brother.

People are targeting Neela. As they try to figure out who they are, more secrets unravel. Could the attacks be linked to her parents deaths?

My only negative is that sometimes it felt too dialogue heavy, and there were a lot of occasions thar Neela’s hair got roughed up or her head patted.

Red Blood is full of fast paced action and superpowers. It reminded me a lot of Naruto, but without the school. It’s a fun read. Kaitlyn has put a lot of thought into the magic system and World-building to bring this story to life.

Top Tip: Don’t skip the Prologue!

[kofi]

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Romance Tropes – Which are your favourites?

With Valentines Day coming up, I thought it’d be fun to share some of the romance tropes that can be found in Ocean Heart, and possibly in Sky Heart. Warning: Lots of snogging Gifs!

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link. NB: This post contains these affiliate links…

Friends to Lovers

This is a favourite romance trope of mine because my husband and I started out as friends. For us it had a HEA, we have a beautiful home and two fabulous kids, and later this year we’ll be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. But getting together wasn’t easy, and it risked our friendship if it didn’t work out.

In Ocean Heart, Mariah is crushing on her BFF.  It starts off as an unrequited love, but during the novel they deal with first kisses, jealousy, and a break up.  Can they rekindle their romance, save their friendship, or do they need to move on?  

Enemies to Lovers

Sometimes I don’t like the trope because I don’t want them to get together. It depends on why they are enemies but, I made it work in Ocean Heart. Check out the reviews of Ocean Heart.

When Mariah beats swim star Murray in a race, he doesn’t handle losing well.  After behaving like an idiot, he starts to take an interest in her but she’s not interested.  She’s heard about his reputation.  

Check out my review of A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

Bad Boy

This is the one where the bad boy falls in love and changes his ways. I’m a sucker for this one as a fantasy, but in real life not so much. Bad boys are bad news and rarely deliver a HEA.

Murray has an Instagram feed of all his conquests and he’s not ashamed to brag about it.  It’s why he’s so protective over his sister Kiely.  He knows guys only want one thing, until...

Love Triangle

Some people really hate this trope. Eek! But, not me. Throw in more hot guys, more romances, more complications, and I’m hooked turning the page.

There are technically two in Ocean Heart.  First up, when Mariah realises she’s crushing on her BFF Jace, he already has a girlfriend, Kiely.  Later, when Murray takes an interest in Mariah, he attempts to draw her attention away from Mariah. 

Check out my review of Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom.

Soul Mates

This is where two people are meant to be together. It’s common in paranormal romances, where a wolf imprints on their mate.

Mariah is a mermaid.  She doesn’t know it, but when she accidentally marks one of the guys as her mate for life, then they are bound. 

Fake Relationship

People fake relationships in books often to raise their status, or to get a reaction from someone else. In Out Of My League the MC accepts the deal to save face at a party where she catches her boy friend cheating, and in The Practice Boyfriend the MC strikes a deal to gain access to the elite parties.

In Ocean Heart, Mariah agrees to a fake relationship.  Both parties have different reasons but united on one goal; to end a romance.  

Check out my review of Out of My League by Sarah Sutton or The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin.

I’m working on book 2, Sky Heart, which follows Kiely’s story and already I can see certain Tropes appearing.

Second Chance

This is where old flames rekindle. The question is always whether their is a relationship worthy of a second chance or too much damage.

In Sky Heart, Keily is desperate to get back with her ex. She struggles to handle the break up gracefully.  

Check out my review of Duet Rubato by Claerie Kavanaugh.

Best friend’s Brother

As a teen I loved a book called Ginger’s First Kiss by Janet Quin-Harkin. It’s the first book in the Boyfriend Club series where a group of friends pact to help each other get their first kisses and Ginger realises she’s into her BFF’s brother. I got it free with a teen magazine at the time called BIG. Over the years I have lost the book and it is no longer in distribution.

Both Keily’s BFFs have brothers, and both are off limits.  It’s a rule the girls made. A rule Kiely is tempted to break when one of them offers to help her get over her ex in a way nobody else can. 

Check out my review of Amelia’s Story: The Wiccan Romances by Nicola Hebron.

Forbidden love

This trope is so exciting. There’s all the danger of getting caught, and whatever the stakes are.

It’s not just her friends that Keily needs to hide who she is seeing, it’s also her over protective big brother, Murray.  And later, she must keep it hidden from someone more dangerous than she ever imagined.  

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to like and follow.

[kofi]

Search the blog for more posts on Romance as I have interviewed romance authors and reviewed romance books.

Book Review: Cinderella is Dead

Blurb: Cinderella is Dead

I preordered this book. There was a deal on Twitter that if you preordered it you’d to get an exclusive pin. The book sounded interested and I was tempted by the deal so I treated myself. After release I received my cute Cinderella is Dead pin, and put it somewhere so safe… I can’t find it.

The setting

Imagine Cinderella was real, and following her rein some strict laws were made depicting a woman’s place in society based on her ability to be picked at the annual ball of suitors. Failure to be chosen results in never seeing your loved ones again. Everyone must learn the story of Cinderella.

The characters

Sophia is a very strong character. Her friends have come of age and must attend the ball. They are eager to be chosen, partly driven by fear and the lies they’ve been sold. Sophia wants to run away.

Sophia has romantic feelings for one of her friends, Erin, but it felt a little one sided, but that could have been the fear of not conforming. At the ball Erin gets picked by a horrid man. Her other friend’s parents couldn’t afford a fancy gown and she’s shamed in front of everyone and banished. Sophia reveals her defiance in front of the king. She has no choice but to run, and so the adventure begins.

On the run Sophia meets an outcast who helps her. Together they plan to tack down the King, and enlist the help of the elusive fairy Godmother.

My review

This is like fairy tale dystopian. It was an incredible read. You could see how people bought the lies, hoping if they did as they were told they’d be safe. There was a romantic sub plot that brewed nicely. And, I loved the twists and turns of this book. It turned a classic fairy tale on its head with corruption.

I hope Kalynn writes more twisted fairy tales. It was a brand new refreshing take. I loved it.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

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About Ocean Heart

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Launching my book feels so bizarre. On one hand it’s moving too quickly. On the other hand it feels like it’s not happening fast enough.

Release Date?

I don’t have a release date yet. I’m not setting one until I’m certain; no pressure to rush. I’ve waited a long time for this and I’m going to get it right.

As a member of my street team you’ll be the first to know everything!

Hang on… What’s a Street Team?

You’ll be my first fans and get to help out with supporting my book launch. Here are a few of the activities you’ll be invited to take part in, no pressure…

Announcements

I’d love you to be involved in sharing my book announcements like:

  • cover reveal
  • the release date
  • when pre-orders open & where to buy
  • giveaway posts (you can enter too).
  • online book tour
  • details about my launch party

Online Book Tour

I’d like you to be part of my book tour. This will take place leading up to the release & launch party.

You’ll have access to me to interview for your blog (or whatever platform you use). Feel free to share your ideas too and what works for your platform.

Members of the Street Team will be encouraged to share the Online Book Tour announcement. The announcement will list everyone hosting in the tour and how to find them.

I will promote the Online Book Tour and I will share your ‘event’ once published online.

Book Launch Party

You’ll be invited to my launch party.

I’ll be giving a shout out to those that hosted in the book tour and any Street Team members I see in attendance.

The launch party will celebrate the release of Ocean Heart. In addition, I’ve invited some authors I think you’ll love so you can discover them and their books too!

Plus, we’re planning a launch party giveaway! If you love books you’ll want to be there.

Exclusive media

I know how sometimes it’s hard to share an image as it doesn’t fit your social media style. That’s why I’m looking into a way to share with you images and text to enable you to create your own social media content to promote Ocean Heart too.

The sort of media this may include is:

  • Cover image
  • Blurb text
  • Tag line text
  • Social media details & links text
  • Author profile image
  • Author bio text
  • Where to buy text
  • Book tour details text
  • Book party details text
  • Book quotes text
  • Book quote image
  • Plus social media images I created for this

That’s just for starters…

Being in the street team you’ll hear about new ideas as they develop. For example, I’m thinking of doing an exclusive giveaway only open to my street team.

You can be as involved as you like. You won’t be penalised if you forget to share a pic or life gets in your way.

NB: If you are in the blog tour you will need to schedule your post for the date & time you promised otherwise when I send people to check it out, they’ll be disappointed.

Most of all, I want to develop a connection with you. I’m hoping that connection will last long after this adventure.

I hope you have so much fun, I’ll be able to interest you in my next book launch. Then we can do this all over again. 😍

How to join?

I almost forgot this bit. 😂

Please head over to my Facebook Group: Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

This is a private group. When you join you’ll need to answer some simple questions and wait to be approved.

If you’re keen but not on Facebook- please private message me on the platform you follow me. I don’t want you to miss out, we’ll see if we can work around it.

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Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

I took my son to the library to exchange his books (or renewal and get more books).  Whilst he was struggling with the dilemma of  choosing his new books and returning books he loves, my husband pointed this book out to me.  I have always wanted to write a novel about faeries so this was to be a fun read and research into how someone else has done it.

The MC is a boy called Ethan Chase.  I don’t read many books with a male protagonist so this was a refreshing change and it was done well.   Skip to my final thoughts it you don’t want any spoilers.

Beginning

 Ethan is aware fae exist and has a troubled past with them.   In the opening chapters he shares how they are dangerous and the result of their interference in his life has lead to him being expelled from schools and blamed for a fire he didn’t cause. 

Ethan is starting another new school. On his first day, he stands up for a boy being bullied, Todd. Nobody else can see that Todd has long furry ears but it is because he is a half-fae.  Ethan doesn’t want to be friends with Todd as he distances himself from all fae.  He also doesn’t like Todd’s wee fairy companion.

Ethan also attracts the attention of Mackenzie, who wants to interview him for the school paper.  He tries to push Mackenzie away as anybody that gets close to him always gets hurt but she is persistent.  

Middle

A  deadly new type of fairy are consuming fae and half-fae.  Todd asks for Ethan’s help.  At first Ethan doesn’t want to get involved but he takes pity and agrees.  Unfortunately, Todd is taken and now the creatures are coming after Ethan.  Ethan is at a martial arts tournament where Mackenzie is trying to get his story but during the tournament the deadly fae come for him.  Nobody else can see them.  Ethan runs.  Mackenzie follows.  

Ethan needs to keep Mackenzie safe. He makes a choice to use a special object his sister gave him to transport into the fae world.  They are greeted by a cat, Grimalkin, who knows the way to the Iron Kingdom where his sister, Meghan, is queen.   The journey is dangerous but when they arrive his sister wants to keep him safe.  They are sent to a room to ‘rest’ but feels more like prison.  When Ethan and Mackenzie get the opportunity to escape with the help of Keirran. 

On their mission to rescue Todd, there are a lot of truths uncovered which I won’t go into.  Their are fights.  There were some very interesting characters along the way.  I liked Kierran’s love interest and the exiled queen and the cheeky little gremlin.  

They travel to the earth and are attacked again. They manage to escape to the in-between and learn how serious the problem is.  They visit Hyde Park to follow a lead but things get worse for the gang when the nephew is taken prisoner.

Something I really enjoyed was the slow burning romance between the Ethan and Mackenzie. There is plenty of conflict between them and good reasons why they hold back. I couldn’t wait for them to get together.  

The Ending

The build up to a battle where Ethan has to save his friends (and nephew) was worth it.  There were also some reveals that I hadn’t seen coming and I liked that the supporting characters were well developed too. 

Finally Thoughts…

There were a few times Ethan annoyed me.  He blames himself for Todd being kidnapped but I didn’t really see why it was his fault, after all, Todd was a fairy and hung around with the fae.  Ethan made it clear that doing that meant trouble was inevitable.  I got that he felt responsible for what happened to Mackenzie but she wouldn’t leave him alone.  She did bring it on herself too.  

What I loved was how all the characters were well developed.  You could easily tell who was speaking and they all had rich backstories.  There were plenty of magical creatures and I loved the world building especially the ‘in-between’ world.  

I hadn’t realised the book was part of a series (it’s book 5 in the Iron Fey series).  I was really pleased when I discovered that as I wanted to read more.  I wonder if some of the things that didn’t click with me is because I need to read the other books.  For example, I want to know more about Meghan and why she is the Iron Queen and why Ethan holds so much resentment for the Iron Fey.  


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Book Review: Lion’s Share

Author: Rachel Vincent

Lion’s Share

The Wildcat series is by one of my favourite authors, Rachel Vincent. I fell in love with The Shifter series years ago and have since sought something equally as good.

If you haven’t read The Shifter series, I highly recommend it. The first book in the series is ‘Stray’.

Lion’s Share

This is the first book in the Wild cat series.

What is the book about?

The series is a spin off from the shifter series. It has two MCs; Abby (tabby) and Jace (an acting Alpha). The werecat world has their own laws to ensure that the prides all cooperate. As tabby shifters (girl werecats) are rare, they are highly valued and protected. However, this makes life very difficult for the girls who are constantly watched by enforcers (werecats trained to protect tabby’s and enforce the law) and cannot do a lot due to their safety. Abby is very fortunate that she has been allowed to attend university (Faythe is the only tabby ever to be granted this privilege).

Skip to ”What did I think” to avoid spoilers.

How it starts

Due to a number of shifter deaths in the territory, Jace has reason to believe a group are hunting them. Jace decides to bring Abby back to the ranch for Christmas for her safety. Especially as the hunters came after Abby and her university friends in the past, killing all but her roommate. When Abby learns the council are meeting about the hunters she accepts Jace’s offer to join his enforcers even though the offer made was a compliment when she’d defended herself against hunters. Jace has to honour his word and she becomes the newest enforcer on his force.

The middle

Abby is engaged to Brian. Brian is a safe choice and she only accepted his proposal to stop the other werecats hitting on her. Sadly, they have no chemistry. The more time she spends with Jace, the more she realises she is with the wrong man and breaks off the engagement. Things get physical and steamy between the pair. Abby keeps sabotaging the missions, to the point where she has broken so many laws she is to be sent back to her family. Abby doesn’t want to go and runs away. Jace and his guys then figure out what she’s been up to… Who she is protecting.

How it ends

Abby’s roommate, Robyn, was infected by a stray when the hunters attacked them. Never has a woman survived scratch fever. Abby knows that the council would want to test Robyn and enforce their laws and world on her. Abby kept Robyn a secret to protect her from all that. Jace and his enforcers help Abby fight the hunter and save her roommate. They then have to stand trial before the council. Jace takes full responsibility for Abby’s crimes as her Alpha – he is banished to the free territory. Abby defects (quits all prides) and takes off with Jace. The free zone is very dangerous due to there being no laws but fortunately Jace has contacts as he was working with Titus to get the free zone recognised with rights. Titus takes them in.

What did I think

Read it! It is quite a steamy novel and the chemistry between the pair is sizzling. I’ve already bought the next book in the series.

The only thing I found strange is the girl on the cover is not Abby. Abby is described as a redhead with curly hair and the cover girl has sleek brown hair. The next book in the series is about the roommate, Robyn who better fits the description. I wonder if they’ve used the same model for the whole series to give a uniformed look.

  if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Book Review: The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

Author: Bella Forrest

The Gender Game

My reading goal

For Christmas 2017, I got a Kindle and set myself the goal of reading 12 books this year – that doesn’t sound like much to some people but I have really struggled in recent years to make time for myself to read.  I’m lucky if I get to read one book a year.

Still, I am ashamed at how long it took me to get through this book.  Although, in my defense, I spent a lot of January exploring my new Kindle and was easily distracted by games.  I also downloaded a few books to get me started and was reading them all simultaneously whilst I figured out which one to go with…  I didn’t end up finishing Gender Game until 31 March 2018.

What is the book about?

The book is set in a world divided by the sexes. Matrus is ruled by women. Patrus is ruled by men.

Skip to ‘What I think’ if you don’t want any spoilers.

https://youtu.be/XsSZDrF9pg4

How it starts

The MC, VIOLET, is a strong feisty character. From the start she is keen to get her brother back but trying to save him got her sentenced to a working house for criminals. She ends up murdering another inmate – now she will be executed for her crime. But, the queen of Matrus makes Violet a deal. Violet is to go and live in Patrus as a wife to a man she’s never met and assist is stealing an egg.

The middle

As you can guess, Violet has no choice but to take the offer. LEE, her now Patrus husband, is a very private man and only tells Violet what she needs to know. He introduces her to VICTOR, a sexy rugged cage fighter, who they will frame for the crime of the stolen egg. Violet is encouraged to spend time with Victor and ends up falling for him.

How it ends

This puts Violet in a difficult situation when they steal the egg and she flies off with Lee and frames Victor. When they take the egg back to Matrus, Victor kills the queen and takes off with the egg. Violet fights him and he falls from the motorbike-plane (he built in his garage). The book ends with Violet flying off with the egg.

What did I think

The book was alright. I gave it a generous four stars on Good Reads.

I liked the concept. The contrasting counties was interesting. I enjoyed the heated tension between Violet and Victor – a steamy romance will always keep me hooked.

I didn’t like how it ended though. It felt unfinished and was definitely left open for the other titles in the series.

Violet was no better off than she started. She still had no idea where her brother was or how to get him back – he could be long dead. She had lost, Victor, the only man she loved. I didn’t find it believable how she killed her husband. She ended up with the golden egg but we never found out why it is so important. Plus, she will likely be blamed for the assignation of the Queen.

I’m not sure if I’ll read the rest of this series as Violet isn’t a character I connect with – she’s quick to violence and killing with little remorse. It wasn’t a bad read, I enjoyed most of it. There’s just other books I’d rather be reading. I would be interested in reading more by Bella as I do her enjoy her writing style (good pace, strong characters and excellent world building).