Fabulous collection of mystical romances with a mythological twist

Bittersweet Candy KissesBittersweet Candy Kisses by Jordan Castillo Price Sean Kennedy
Clare London

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book reminded me a lot of a collection of Agatha Christie short stories featuring a mysterious man called Harley Quinn.

While in that collection Quinn seemed to be acting as a harbinger of fate, helped along by the elderly Mr Satterthwaite to solve murders, here we have Chance – and later Hunter – dealing with the vagaries of life.

I absolutely adored nearly all the stories in this, one almost made me cry, one I didn’t really think worked as well as the others, but overall the inevitable drawing together of a multitude of different strands was so brilliantly done.

I am a sucker for mythology and this was a unique twist on the roles of some of the immortal pantheon. Originally published as the Petit Mort series.

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Amazing ending to a brilliant series

I Do, or Dye Trying (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries,#4)I Do, or Dye Trying by Aimee Nicole Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The epilogue to this book is truly wonderful, and quite unexpected, rather like this series has been. When I started reading it, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it, given the mystery element running alongside the romance.

However, I have to say that Aimee has crafted two of my very favourite book men in Josh and Gabe. I truly believe they could be out there in their small Ohio town gossiping in the salon and catching the criminals who’ve been vandalising the street signs.

This series has been a delight. I really hope we don’t leave the setting behind and we get to see Chaz and Kyle, Emory and Silver’s happy ever after too. It would be too cruel not to 🙂

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Another cracking addition to the series

Chocolate Cake and Chaos (Peridale Cafe Mystery #4)Chocolate Cake and Chaos by Agatha Frost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another brilliant addition to the Peridale Cafe mysteries from Agatha Frost, a series which is rapidly becoming one of my favourites.

There is a real lightness of style to these stories, even with the murderous themes running through them, the humour and Britishness stands out.

Julia is a delightful addition to the female “detective” cannon and she’s beginning to rank right up there with Christie’s Tuppence Beresford for me.

In this one things become even more personal for Julia when her beloved Barker’s life is in danger and, as in all the previous books, there’s a neat twist which is never obvious which gives Julia the insight she needs to discover the truth.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an unbiased and honest review.

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Not for me sadly

The Fourteenth LetterThe Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

DNF*

I have rated this as it was okay because the quality of the writing is absolutely fine, the piece evokes Victorian era London well but unfortunately, the subject matter is simply not for me.
I’ve got seven chapters in and nothing really cohesive has happened within the book, it’s like a series of vignettes about different people and, while I’m sure it’ll eventually come together, the subject matter isn’t interesting enough to me to want to continue reading it.

*An ARC of this was provided by the publishers through NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Brilliant idea, flawed execution sadly

Stolen Ink (Ink Born #1)Stolen Ink by Holly Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I so, so badly wanted to give this book a higher rating but it was just too frustrating. When it started I was absolutely delighted and felt like I was stepping into a new world with its own rules where magic simply existed as a natural thing.

The idea of tattoo magic was brilliant, I could see them coming to life on the skins of the people visiting the tattoo parlour but then the story narrative went off sideways on a ranger that just never really felt earnt or properly explained.

Two many concepts were thrown into the story without any real level of depth or any sense of how they fit into the world.
The supposed romance element was almost non-existent, there was more chemistry between Dan and Ethan than with Dan and Isaiah imho and Caiden’s weird reaction to Dan’s friendship with his tattoo partner Kiern came totally out of left field.
Oh yeah on the romance front. Everything apart from kissing, as is sadly often the case in fantasy novels, happens off page. I’m not expecting erotica or porn without plot, I do, however, expect an author to give me something on page which demonstrates two characters are supposed to be in love.

As for the ending, well let’s just say that was a huge let down given everything that built up to it and as for being abrupt, if it had been any more instant cut off I’d have thrown my Kindle out the window.

There were also a few minor typos but as this an ARC they may get ironed out before publication. Because this is book one in a series, I’m hoping for a bit of better plotting and more exploration in the narrative as the series goes along.

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