Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Waiting for Rio (Just Friends #3) by Marie Cole | A Book Review

Waiting for Rio by Marie Cole | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I got this book from Library Thing. I think this was part of the first group of books I signed up to review the first time I found Library Thing. I was indiscriminate on my clicking to request for the titles. It was not guaranteed that everyone who requested will get a copy. Fortunate for me, I got about more than ten of the books I signed up for. 

I read this last month but was unable to write a review because I  was playing catch up with my reading. It was only this week that I get to catch up on my growing pending reviews. I don't have deadlines anymore since I have temporarily stopped signing for blog tours so I can focus more on my mounting TBR. I know, excuses, excuses.

This book was originally titled Waiting for Rio. But when I checked Amazon while writing this review, I found that this was renamed to Fast Friends. How I found out was the new title came up when I searched using the old on. And on Goodreads it was noted that the title was changed. Aside from the title change, I also just found out that this is the third book in the series. I have not read the previous two books.

To be honest, this is just another romance story for me. I did not find anything extraordinary about the story. Maybe, I can't relate to the story or the story was just not able to touch me in a special way. The characters were annoying rather than inspiring. Nothing really stood out for me that would make this book memorable. I am sorry but this book just did not stir any emotions for me.

What I found interesting though was Rio and Stacy's witty exchange of difficult words to determine who's smarter between them. Other than that, I was not really into the story. 

I give this 2/5 trailer homes. I know the author is known for bestselling stories but I think this one is just not one for me. I am curious as to what other stories the author has. I want to read them. I want to know if I was just not out of sorts while I was reading this one.

Money isn't everything. It is when you don't have it. 
- Marie Cole, Waiting  Rio - 

Thank you again, Library Thing and Marie Cole for the copy.

Heir to the Lamp (The Genie Chronicles #1) by Michelle Lowery Combs | A Book Review

Heir to the Lamp (The Genie Chronicles #1) by Michelle Lowery Combs | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I have just finished this story about two days ago. This is one of those great stories that I was fortunate to came upon. I found this through World Weaver Press' newsletter. After reading the blurb, my curiosity was piqued so I signed up to review this book. They sent me the first two books in the series. Thank you!

Obviously, as suggested by the title, this is about genies or djinns. Aside from the very popular Disney's Alladin, I have only read one other book about djinns (Stone Bearers by Jacque Stevens). It was a good story too. Having not read a lot of books with the same topic just added fuel to my interest. What kind of genie story this could be?

The story is similar in a way to the story I have mentioned earlier. The main character is the also a girl and there is a genie in the story. Both stories have young heroines that are out to find and prove themselves. And this is where I draw the line separating the two stories. There could be a lot of ways in which they are different. Heir to the lamp is more current in its setting and characters. It also tends to be hilarious since it never failed to paint a smile on my face because of its sometimes annoying yet cute characters. Just like I am, you will find you can't decide if the Terrible Twosome are too cute and smart or just plain little devils. You will definitely wish that the Lawsons were your neighbors.

Again, this is a story of a thirteen-year old finding her roots only it was so freaking unbelievable and awesome. Unbelievable like crazy. Are-you-for-real-kind-of-crazy. The main character Ginn or Virginia was just finding out about her biological parents and her origins alongside just becoming a teenager with its perks and downside. Knowing about where she came from made her appreciate more the blessing of what a great adoptive family she has, even though they are loud and chaotic most of the time. She never lacked for love and support from them, even from the Terrible Twosome.

The story transported me to a marvelous adventure. There were no carpet rides but it was amazing none-the-less. This felt like a story within a story with all the other fictional and mythical characters and creatures being introduced. Turning the Grimm Brothers into the bad guys was not really unheard of but it was novel enough to me. One thing is for sure, I like this genie story and I can't wait to get on to the next book.

I give this 5/5 genie lamps. This magical journey is both entertaining and addicting. I can't help but dive into the next book because my curiosity got the best of me. I am so happy I found this book or more appropriately, this book found me. Thank you again, World Weaver Press for the copy. 

I keep my size-four figure safely enclosed in a generous layer of bubble-wrap. It's the only reason I'm wearing a size twelve.
- Michelle Lowery Combs, Heir to the Lamp -

The next book in the series:

Solomon's Bell (The Genie Chronicles #2)

The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young | A Book Review

The Break Up Support Group by Cheyanne Young | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm

I won a $10 Amazon card from one of Brenda Drake's giveaway. I used it to buy this book because I really wanted to read this. I signed up for the cover reveal of The Breakup Support Group October last year and I fell in love with the blurb. So, thank you again, Brenda Drake because I finally got my hands on this book.

So, it turned out I did not just fall in love with the blurb. The story was really swoon-worthy. I wanted to join their support group even though my soul is more broken than my heart. To be honest, the story is not so extraordinary but what made it appealing and so spellbinding is the whole support group. Without the presence of the support group this would be just another love story. But with the support group, it took the story to another level and gave it more depth and made it unforgettable. Not to mention the very intriguing title. It demands attention and is shouting "Read Me". The title and the whole story is both very clever that I think this is one of the most captivating, amusing and easy YA romance stories I have read this year. This is an absolute inspirational romance.

Emory Underwood is absolutely a book boyfriend to die for. Emory...what a lovely name. It feels so right to say it. Brooding and mysterious. Exactly my type of guy. Aaahhhh. I felt like a teenager again reading this. I imagined I was Isla. I could totally be her. It was so easy to get lost in her character and channel in the qualities that made Emory so drawn to her. This is a kind of story that I would want to read again and again just to feel better if I feel down and lonely. This will in a way make me cry but at the end will have me smiling from ear to ear. My heart will be pounds lighter. Just to remind you, I don't really do re-reads. I only do if they are incredibly remarkable. This one is.

I give this 5/5 pans of pizza or let's just have a pizza party. Let's celebrate because this book could just be what you  need. This will take your worries away. Not too heavy on the drama but very uplifting and hopeful. An easy yet very satisfying read that will have you high and floating on cloud nine. I certainly dreamed of my own Emory right after reading this. And I was in high spirits when I woke up the next day remembering this fantastic story. This book is definitely the answer or the cure to all broken hearts or even broken spirits like mine.

But I see now that waiting for a true love is exactly what the movies want you to think it is--a fairy tale.
- Cheyanne Young, The Breakup Support Group -  

Four of Clubs (War and Suits #3) by J. A. Armitage | A Book Review

Four of Clubs (War and Suits #3) by J. A. Armitage | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm

It felt weird for me getting on to this story because I don't have book two-Three of Clubs. I felt that the first book had a few loose ends that needed to be tied and my not knowing what happens after is bugging me. While waiting for Three of Clubs to be on sale, I decided I just have to get on with my reading of this series. 

This is the story of Tarragon Brodie Club. The third from the youngest of the Royal Clubs Family. Tarragon is the usual pretty boy, spoiled and treats women unfairly. Until, he met a new girl who is not falling for his charms. Tarragon is bound to learn his lessons the hard way in this story.

As I said, Tarragon is the typical good-looking, rich and confident guy. But he now meets his match. A girl who is so pretty yet immune to his charms. It was so amusing to see Tarragons so confused and baffled why this girl seems to hate his guts. This was like a cat-and-dog-fight kind of love story. Girl hates guy. Guy wants girl but realized that she is not exactly the girl for him. And in the end they found that they are not what they seem to be. This story will tickle you and can't help but root for Tarragon. You will hope that Tarragon will have a change of heart and realize that beauty within is the most important feature of a girl. And that looks definitely is deceiving. You will definitely fall in love with Tarragon in this story. He has bared his insecurities and fears and made him just like any ordinary boy. 

I give this book 4/5 treasure maps. The best part of the story was being shown into The Urbis University and some interesting places in Vanatus. The clever and impressive features like the university elevators and that magical gate in Diamas were fascinating. I wished they exist in real life. I had fun accompanying Tarragon and his team looking for the clues in the different magical places in Vanatus. It was indeed an adventure. And most of all, it was astonishing to see Tarragon transform from a boy to a man.

I felt strangely good about myself. It was a weird sensation, putting someone else's feeling before my own. I'd never done it before. The pain of giving up Izzy was massive, like grief almost, but I'd never had her in the first place. The pain almost felt good.
- J. A. Armitage, Four of Clubs -

Thank you again, J. A. Armitage for the copy.

Wolf in the Shadows (Sharon McCone #14) by Marcia Muller | A Book Review

Wolf in the Shadows by Marcia Muller | A Book Review

Marcia Muller is one of those authors who is married to another author. Amazing, right? Her husband also writes mystery, suspense and thrillers. In fact, I have read one or two of his books and they were really good. Which makes me wonder, does being married to another author who writes the same genre make Miss Muller's writing process easier or not? Does she discuss with her husband her plots and how to improve them? Do they steal ideas from each other? Or borrow? I am just curious how it's like being married to another talented author.

I have read a Sharon McCone mystery before. There are 32 books in this series. I have read Pennies on a Dead Woman's Eyes and A Walk Through the Fire. Or I think I might have read more. I am not sure. I have thing for lady detectives or PI. I just love them. Mrs. Pollifax is right on the top of my list. I just love strong and talented women making it big in a man's world. I would like to be one--not a PI or detective but make it big in a world dominated more by men like business, baking and leadership. I would like to be a successful businesswoman, a talented pastry baker and a strong and fair leader worthy of emulation.

Sharon McCone is a very successful PI in California. She has solved a lot of cases and is one of the most successful women who penetrated this manly business of detecting or investigation. This story is more personal than any cases she has handled. Too personal because this involved the mysterious disappearance of her environmental activist boyfriend Hy Ripinski. With the danger of losing her job for going off to the unknown without telling her boss, so much more is at stake here for McCone. She had to listen attentively to her instincts and fully trust her gut. Will she succeed?

Like all PI's stories, it would not do without dead bodies dropping or a person missing. This time, McCone had to rub elbows with the lowlifes and goons. She had to play on the wrong side of the court to be able to get the information she needed to find her boyfriend. She had to play dirty also in order to survive. She had to outwit and outplay the enemy without them having any clue. And true to her all her successes in her job and her persistence, with help from some shady characters, she was able find what she was looking for and get to the bottom of the whole deal. 

I think there was a part in the story where there was a lull. A sort of part that was not so engrossing to read. I might have stopped reading or I have might brushed through it just to get to the next chapter. Fortunately the speed picked up and all hell broke loose. It was good all after that. The hint of danger was so alive throughout the story which was even more intensified by the desert landscape and the baying of the wolves in the background.

I give the book 4/5 desert cacti. This was an enjoyable read. Like any books by Murcia Muller or any of my favorite mystery authors, I have always been filled with excitement every time I have any of their works in my hand. I am so fortunate to have discovered these great authors that not many in my generation or the current one have come to know. I hope younger people will come to love their stories as much as I do. This is my way of letting them know that there are a lot of great authors who are not the contemporaries of Colleen Hoover and other YA authors that they need to meet. And that mysteries never grow old or will I ever tire of them.

Well, we all harbored wolves in the shadows of our psyches, didn't we? And mine were bound to be fiercer, more bloodthirsty than most. But  what happened when one's wolf assumed human form?
- Marcia Muller, Wolf in the Shadows -  

Help the Poor Struggler (Richard Jury #6) by Martha Grimes | A Book Review

Help the Poor Struggler by Martha Grimes | A Book Review iamnotabookworm

It's been years since I last read a Martha Grimes book. As far as I can remember, the last I read was The Five Bells and Bladebone (Richard Jury #9). I can't exactly remember the first story of the author that I read. As I scanned through the titles of her books, only The Five Bells and Bladebone was familiar. It may seem that I have only read two of her books but I felt like I had been reading her works a lot more than that. As far as I can remember, I may have met the the author through an issue of The Reader's Digest Condensed Books. I have enjoyed her books so much that she had been on my favorite authors list.

As I noticed, Martha Grimes has a penchant for naming her books uniquely. For this book for example, I kept asking when will she reveal why she called this Help the Poor Struggler. I was so curious why and fortunately, it was explained almost on the last of the story. I was actually surprised where the title came from but it did make a lot of sense and in fact summarized the whole plot. I think one of the reasons why I got drawn to her was because of her very intriguing titles. And her writing is very suspenseful and riveting that you will keep wanting to read her books. Finding her books in a second-hand bookstore is like a discovering a treasure. I made sure that I hold on the copy very tightly so no one could take them.

I didn't realize that most of the author's books or almost all are part of the Richard Jury series. I didn't event realize it's a series. It only dawned on me now. Richard Jury is a Scotland Yard detective and is the main character in this story. In here, Jury is asked to help solve a series of murders of three kids. 

As the story progressed, I started to have my list of suspects and started eliminating them as soon as it was proven wrong. When all of the names on my list have been eliminated but one, I started having doubts if my hunch was correct. I was unsure until the true murderer was revealed. I was astonished because my hunch was correct but I had my doubts. The author's writing was just so unexpected and things were so uncertain until they slowly unraveled. It seemed that things could go any way possible. Anything can happen. I was really riveted to how Jury tried to leave no stone unturned. In the end, his instincts and keen attention to details paid off. He caught the killer and removed suspicion on the person who was purported to be doing all the killings. 

This was a superbly done story and the suspense and uncertainty was almost too hard to take. This was pure good old-school detective work at its best. I give the book 5/5 mugs of beer. This book just reminded me of why I came to love suspense, mystery and thrillers. 

I seem to not find any marked page or highlighted lines in my paperback of this book. So, Instead of the usual quote from the book, let me just give you an observation or trivia. It seemed that this book seemed to have a lot of covers. Per Wikipedia, a movie (in behalf of Austrian and German broadcasters) has also been made based on this story and two other stories by the same author such as The Man with a Load of Mischief and The Deer Leap.  

Monday, May 29, 2017

Twisters and Textbooks (Sunset Plains Romance #2) by Lindzee Armstrong | A Book Review

Twisters and Textbooks by Lindzee Armstrong | A Book Review

I have actually read this story before. This was part of an anthology--Sweet and Sassy Antohology: Rainy Kisses by six authors. I decided to read this again because I thought the one in the anthology was a condensed version. It turned out it was a full version already and I did not miss anything in the story.

I am a bit weird. Weird in the sense that I don't want to read and watch again books and movies that I love. It happened very rarely that I would have to do a repeat. I have this notion that if I reread a story or watched a movie the second or for the nth time that it will lose its magic. The same magic that made me love it the first time around. Well, I have actually proven that it did not do so for those that I really really love. But for those that were just good enough, I don't think they will have the same attention that I paid the first time. So, as much as possible I try to not do a repeat. And if I do, it was hell of a story or a movie to merit a second or third effort from me.

In this case, I think this book merits its own review. My review for the anthology was for the whole collection and I did not cite specifics. I did not even say which story I liked most. The collection was a very good one and I gave it 4/5 stars. 

How was this book for me the second time around? It was not as delightful as the first time I read. It just meant that I was already familiar with the story and I kind-of anticipated the next scenes. This is exactly what I meant why I try to avoid re-watching and rereading. The element of surprise and giddy anticipation was taken out of the equation since I have already read the book and can still vividly remember how the whole tale goes and ends. I think it is a good thing that I can still vividly remember the details of the story, after all I read this first in October 2016. Being able to ferret out the details from my memory after over a hundred books I have read just meant that this book actually somehow made an impression on me. I admit, I have a very keen memory though it's not really foolproof.

For the mere fact, that I can close my eyes and remember the next events in the story before actually reading that chapter, was enough for me to garner this tale a 4/5 tornado funnel clouds. I did enjoy reading this book. The scene when the two former lovers (Lauren and Tanner) met again after four years was my favorite scene. It was ripe with tension and awkwardness that I can't help but feel it too. All in all, this was an easy and sweet read. Good for a summer read. Perfect while on a swing under the shade of a tree by the beach. The sound of waves a relaxing background music to this light read.

It hadn't felt like closure--it had felt like ripping bandages off wounds that were still as raw as the day Lauren created them.
- Lindzee Armstrong, Twisters and Textbooks - 

Thank you again, Lindzee Armstrong for the copy. 

Other books by the author:

Cupcakes and Cowboys (Sunset Plains Romance #1)

No Match for Love Series

Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan by Hildi Kang | A Book Review

Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan by Hildi Kang | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I have always been fascinated with the Silk Road. In fact, it's part of my bucket list. I dream to one day walk, maybe just a part of the long stretch of the Silk Road and feel how it was like in its glorious days. Caravans and a mix of various cultures utilizing the Silk Road as a way to journey into other parts of Asia, the Middle East and parts of Europe. It's the traveler in me that is so drawn to this famous and fabled highway.

This book is about a caravan on the Silk Road. Yes, that magic word--Silk Road got me to sign up for this book. And I am glad I did because this was a very good story. This was an adventure I would not want to miss. This was as close as I can get to be on the Silk Road.

As obvious as in the title, the main character is named Chengli. A young Chinese boy of thirteen. A son of an Imperial Inspector whom he never got to know. Chengli, just like I am, was so drawn to the desert where his father traveled and did his work. The wind is like calling him and asking him to go and find his father. The vast desert is waiting for him. The call was so persistent that he can no longer ignore it and he finally summoned its call. Hence, the adventures of Chengli with the caravan across the great Gobi Desert and along the Silk Road started.

This story was a good and easy fix to my long dream of exploring the famous Silk Road. Yet, the effects are lasting. A very well-written adventure with all the sights, sounds and colors of a large caravan traversing the fabled stretch of this desert route. I was treated to an amazing scene. A satisfying journey and a very touching story of a young boy hoping to find a piece of himself that he lost in the hot and cruel sands of the desert. This is like a coming-of-age story of Chengli. Finding his heritage and knowing the father he never get to meet. A story of a boy, almost but not yet quite a man, heading the call of the desert wind to come and find the answers to his questions about his family. And he did get his answers.

I give this story 5/5 Bactrian camels in the Gobi Desert. Chengli's grand adventure of a lifetime was also a great Silk Road experience for me. I was transported to the picturesque villages dotting the Silk Road. Everything was described in detail that I was able to picture myself right there with Chengli keeping the donkeys and camels in line. It was like I was there in the market too, looking for wares that hit my fancy. This was a very entertaining and touching story for all ages. A fantastic read.

If you take from someone a thing they took from someone else...are you stealing...or rescuing it to give it back?
- Hildi Kang, Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan - 

Thank you again, Netgalley for the copy.

King of the Stars (Stella and Sol #3) by Kimberly Loth | ARC | A Book Review

King of the Stars (Stella and Sol #3) by Kimberly Loth | ARC | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

This is the third installment of the Stella and Sol series. I have read the first two books. Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for the review links.

It took me a while to write a review for this story. Not because it was hard but because I had issues with getting everything ready for this post. No, I did not have any issues reading the book in time for the release. It had more to do with coming up with the picture of the book. You see, my review process involves taking an Instagram-worthy photo of the book as the main cover for the review post. Without it, my review would not be complete. Only in really extreme and absolutely necessary cases would I do that. But since, this is not a blog tour, I do not have any cover photo to put in here. And you can just imagine what a bore the post will look without the photo. I think part of the uniqueness or identity of this blog are my photos. A post just can't do without them. So, that at least sums up my review post process.

King of the Stars. This is definitely a book with a lot of surprises. Revelation after revelation is being put out. My head was dizzy with all the fuss that just kept on coming. And this book made me scream. Yes, scream really hard because I just can't believe what the author has done. By the end of this book, I was shaking my head and saying this can't be true, over and over again. This is really crazy. This can't be happening!

On my review of the last book--Prince of the Moon, I said that Zwaantie will definitely marry a prince from Stella whom she loves and that exactly happened in this book. Yes! The author hinted it and it was bound to happen the way things were going in book two. I was so happy that it turned the way as I expected it. But...there were a lot of things that I absolutely did not see coming. They were so not written in between the lines. Totally no clue as to them being part of this story. I was shocked and I was so stunned that I might have stayed glued to where I was when I was reading the last part of this book. I think I was frozen for about five minutes trying to grasp the reality that something terribly wrong happened in the story that I just finished. Everything was going well. Everyone was trying to help Zwaantie hunt down the person who was trying to kill her. How had it gone awry? Miss Loth, what have you done?

Up to now, I still can't move on from the ending of this book. I just can't believe it. I think the author is being mean to Zwaantie and to the readers. I don't think I liked how this story ended. No! No! But, having read Miss Loth's works for a while now and at least being familiar with the way her stories go. I am pretty sure that what she did in the last part of this story was for a great purpose. I would like to believe that. I really hope so. Something bigger is about to happen in the next installment and I hope my heart could take it. As I have said in my last review, this story just gets more complicated as it goes. There's no telling what other tricks and heartbreaking surprises Miss Loth has up her sleeve. 

I give the book 5/5 deadly arrows. In spite of being heartbroken after what happened in this book, this still deserved full marks. Yes, the author pulled a very neat and unexpected trick coming up with that ending for this third installment. It was a very brave stunt which implied that more stunning and dizzying tornado of events are going to unfold. Hopefully, no more heartbreaking surprises. Please...

And because of the stunt you pulled, I am now adding you to my favorite authors list. Even though I was crushed, you very much deserved it.  King of the Stars had me so involved. It was like I am a citizen of Stella or Sol and I have a stake in everything that goes in this book and in the kingdom. Whatever happened to Zwaantie seemed like had a direct effect on me. This series just gets me more and more entranced. Falling even more ensnared in its spells, politics and deceit. And I have been gloriously enjoying the journey so far, except how this book ended. I just can't stress that enough. Congratulations Miss Loth and welcome to my favorite authors list!

Everything was at a stand still. The world was holding its breath, just waiting to exhale and allow everything to fall down. The future was grimmer than ever.
- Kimberly Loth, King of the Stars -

Thank you again, Kimberly Loth for the ARC.

Other books in the series:

The Lightning Luminary by RS McCoy | Blog Tour

Title: The Lightning Luminary
Author: RS McCoy
Genre: Urban Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Kit Foster Design
Now Available

Talia Stanley may look like the typical wealthy New Yorker, but she's hidden her secrets for more than a thousand years. One of the last surviving members of an ancient race called Luminaries, Talia has suppressed her ability to control lightning in exchange for safety. 

And for generations it worked. Talia's hermit lifestyle protected her from strong Luminaries that want her power. All that changed the day Mason Rathbone walked into her life. 

A good-looking artist, Mason is just the guy to get Talia out of her penthouse apartment and show her what it means to live again. But just as she starts to get comfortable, Talia gets sucked right back into her vicious past.

Buy Links:

To read my review of The Lightning Luminary, click here.

Dr. Hershey’s waiting room was as colorful and bright as she was. The walls were the color of fruit punch with large white polka dots. A massive swatch from Minnie Mouse’s wardrobe. The left side of the room was covered in large, multi-colored waffle pieces, with a tiny Crayola table with chairs, a box of toys, and a wall of kiddie books.

Mason froze mid-step. Clearly he was in the wrong place.

“Come on in, Mr. Rathbone.” Someone called from the depths of the office labyrinth. Mason followed the voice until he found Dr. Hershey buried behind a desk. It was cluttered with stacks of files and papers, binders and books, with jars of candy mixed in. Her pen scratched against a yellow legal pad, her brow knitted with concern over whatever it was she wrote.

“I thought I was in the wrong—”

She pointed her pen around the room without looking up. “My associate, Dr. Lemore, is a child psychologist. It helps them feel comfortable before their appointments.”

Mason looked around her white office. Various degrees and certificates hung on the walls. A few awards, even. Apparently, the sweet, little Dr. Hershey was quite accomplished. “And what about you? You pass out chocolates?”

Dr. Hershey reached into the nearest jar and fetched a fun-size Twix bar. Without looking, she tossed it at his chest. Mason caught it and smiled.

She put down her pen and leaned back into her chair. The new distribution of weight sank the chair back toward the ground. It almost looked as if she might tilt over backward. “How are you feeling today?”

Mason shrugged and thrust his hands into his pant pockets. In fact, he woke up rested and relaxed. He actually slept in a bit thanks to his appointment. “My brain didn’t try to kill itself, so I guess I’m feeling fine. And a nice lady gave me a chocolate.” He winked at her.

Dr. Hershey’s cheek twisted into a half-hearted smile. From the lively giggles of yesterday to this morning’s dreary mood, Mason could hardly believe it was the same person.

“You okay, doc?”

She nodded and put on a fake smile he was sure she used often. “One of my patients committed suicide last night. I was just going over her file—” Mason swallowed as Dr. Hershey rubbed her eyes. “But now, you’re here.” This time, the smile was easier, less forced.

“Aw, thanks doc.” His bashful act was dampened by the mention of her tragedy. Mason felt compelled to add, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

She nodded her thanks. “Who have you lost, Mr. Rathbone?”

The question made him uncomfortable, as if Dr. Hershey had known to ask. It wasn’t often he talked about his past, especially not with people he’d just met. Still, this was his doctor. “My mom. Breast cancer three years ago. My dad and brother when I was in high school.”

“Which explains why you have no next of kin.”

Mason thought that was a very polite way of saying he was an orphan.

“Any change in your condition?”

“Nope. Slept pretty well. And it’s only been twelve hours since I saw you at Sinai…”

“Have you tried using the microwave yet?”

“No, but—” Too late Mason realized she teased him. He shook his finger in the air and chuckled. “That’s a good one, doc.”

Rachel McCoy is a Texan living in New Jersey. Between binge-watching MTV reality shows and baking gluten-free treats, she writes paranormal fantasy and science fiction novels.

She is the self-published author of the Sparks Saga trilogy, The Alder Tales series, and The Extraction Files. Back when she lived in the real world, Rachel earned a degree in marine biology, which contributed to her die-hard love of manta rays. 

To connect with RS McCoy (or swap recipes), visit her on her website ( or check out her Facebook page ( You can also join her newsletter to receive release updates, free stories, and bonus extras ( 

Author Links: 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Unrequited Alice by Sarah Louise Smith | A Book Review

Unrequited Alice by Sarah Louise Smith | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I got this book from Netgalley. Yes, the title got me curious. Aren't you? Unrequited? 

This story isn't like the adventures the more popular Alice had. This is a bit sad and you will find yourself empathizing with Alice, especially if you have had an unrequited love. Yes, this is about unrequited love. Have you had one? I think, once in our lifetime, each of us will have to go through this type of unnecessary yet unavoidable emotion. It is not unheard of nor is it a phenomenal occurrence. Every person will at least have this kind of heartache or a recipient of this unwanted or undeserved feeling.

Like Alice in Wonderland, Alice here did fall but not into a rabbit hole but fall or to be correct, fell in love with the fiance of her best friend. What is more tragic than that? There is. Here it comes. As it turned out, she fell again for another guy. This time a guy who had become her best friend yet does not want to fall in love with her. Ouch! This seemed like a hopeless case, right or is Alice the hopeless one?

In more ways than one, my heart bleeds as Alice's heart was broken, twice. I can relate to her experiences in some ways, though I have not specifically fallen in love with my best friend's boy friend. Honestly, I did fell in love with a guy who I had gotten very close to but when our friends started teasing us, he admitted that he was not ready for another relationship. Believable, because he just found out that his long-time girlfriend has found another love and she never even bothered to tell him. He told me that he will be ready in two years. I was not really hopeful and I did not wait around for two years to find out. I left and worked in another city for seven years. When I moved back, I bumped into him and it was just like the song says--"I remember the boy but I don't remember the feeling, anymore."

It is really difficult and excruciating moving on from an unrequited love. Keeping that feeling hidden alone is enough to induce a coronary, much less proclaiming it only to be rejected. That is way more than double jeopardy. More like double collateral damage. I am not sure if I would still have a heart left after that. Just like what happened to Alice. But then, just like they say, everything happens for a reason and for its own season. Timing. There is such a thing as perfect timing. There are people who come into our lives for a purpose and for a specific time. Some of them are not meant to stay. Or meant to be.

As sad as the title is, this isn't all a tear-jerker. This story will also make you hopeful and not scared to fall in love. Yes, fall in love again. Hopefully, not unrequited the next time. This is a true example that the best relationships often start with friendships. I would love to fall in love with my best friend. Sadly, no (male) one matches that designation currently or for the last ten years. Maybe, I will have to make one. After all, relationships are not all measured by the length of time you've known each other (like in the story) but by the depth and intensity of the experiences you have shared and battled through together. There is still hope, yet.

I give this book 5/5 stunning pictures of Niagara Falls. Everyone is powerless against love. It's like stopping a raging waterfall. Like the saying goes, better to have loved than to have not loved at all. Not being in a relationship doesn't mean, you won't have your heart broken. There are no guarantees, especially if you have an unrequited love. 

What I love about this book is that the author perfectly captured and described in detail the exact vulnerability and heartache anyone has to go through in an unrequited love. The pain, the what if's, the maybe's and the daydreams are all vividly rounded up that you can't help but relive the pain of your own exhausting, tormenting and harsh unrequited experience, making Alice a kindred-spirit. 

And you'll never know that being in unrequited love is a heart-breaking, soul-destroying thing.
- Sarah Louise Smith, Unrequited Alice -  

Thanks again, Netgalley for the copy. I am looking forward to reading more heartfelt stories from Miss Sarah Louise Smith.

The Lightning Luminary (The Luminary Chronicles #1) by RS McCoy | A Book Review

The Lightning Luminary (The Luminary Chronicles #1) by RS McCoy | A Book Review by iamnotbookworm!

This is another series by RS McCoy. I have become an avid fan after I read The Extraction Files. Her stories are so original, even if some of them are retellings like The Alder Tales series. RS McCoy has earned a spot in my favorite authors list because of her amazing talent and skill in spinning stories that had me hooked right from the start. The Lightning Luminary is again another start one of these very gripping series.

This story is based on the ever-popular Greek mythology. And you may ask, what's so original in this story? A lot of books, novels and series have been based on Greek mythology. In fact, it's like Greek mythology is a go-to subject for almost all writers, whether bestselling or not. It's a very rich and broad subject that authors can play with it, whichever way. What's the difference in this story? These are exactly the same questions I asked when I learned that this was based on Greek mythology. But being familiar with RS McCoy's writings, I know there are always fireworks of twists and a bombarding surprise waiting. Well, what I could tell you is, this is not a book about demigods. Luminaries are a set of humans with powers. According to this book, the stories about the Greek Gods were actually about the Luminaries that were twisted, added on and changed as it was passed on through the ages. There is some basic truth to them but they are not all that accurate.

As I said, having read all the other stories from RS McCoy, I think this one was slower in pace. It seemed to take its time. There seemed to be no hurry. It has its own pace. But it doesn't mean that it was not gripping or less entertaining. The plot alone is very curious. With Greek mythology stories abounding and given a spin a thousand one times, you wonder what this story can offer. This is another unique take. The characters are all very interesting with their own personalities and quirks. The main male protagonist, Mason, I think is not all that he seems. I think he is not just an ordinary human or Void as what humans with no powers are called in this story. I think he has something more in him that even he doesn't know. I guess, I will have to find out in the next books. I am looking forward to it. 

This first book like most series starter, introduced the important characters of the series. A hint and a primer was laid to at least give the reader what could be expected in the next book. A strong, vicious and formidable enemy was established and note--he can't be killed. This alone made for a very very tasty sampler of chaos and grand quests to come. Aren't you teased?

And the ending, could it be true? Have our good friends (the good guys) found another ally? And is this one for real or he has his own motives? Questions. Questions and more questions are all I have after reading this book. This is just the start, yet our good friends are already up against a very mighty foe and if stories are to be believed, he can't be vanquished. What does this mean? Ah, yes, series are sometimes frustrating because you will have to wait for the next book to find out what will happen next. In the same way, it fuels your imagination while waiting for the next book to come out. And if it does, then the author was effective because she has roused your creative cells from their deep or temporary slumber. And we all could use a little creativity or just a little brain function.

I give the book 4/5 bolts of lightning. Four because of the unhurried pace. Four because the series is just starting and I know that a lot of surprises are in store in the next installments. I can't wait.

They were tip-toeing around the minefield of their histories.
- RS McCoy, The Lightning Luminary - 

Thanks again, RS McCoy for the copy.

Trafficked (A Mex Anderson Novel) by Peg Brantley | ARC | A Book Review

Trafficked by Peg Brantley | ARC | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

This book is about human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking of minors. And the setting is not in some third-world country but in the land of milk and honey-the US.

The hero of this story is Mex Anderson. A private investigator who was tasked to find three girls. Jayla is fifteen. A smart kid from a poor family. Her mom can't survive without a man. Alexis is seventeen. A daughter of a rich businessman and a drunk mother who can't even take care of herself. Olivia is twelve. A middle child who is hungry for attention. These three will tell their horrendous experiences under their horrible captors. Mex, along with his smart girlfriend Cade and his friend, Darius, who is a writer with a lot of useful connections, will find these girls and get them home.

This story implied that this is not Mex, Cade and Darius first rodeo. They have done this assignment before but the difference is it was not human trafficking. Saving girls from sex trafficking is a total different playing field which they found is very dangerous and very rampant. These three people will come to deal with a totally different specie of human evil. Good thing they are a lot smarter.

Oh, what horrors this book has divulged. No one is safe from human trafficking. Boy or girl, white or black, rich or poor. And you can't trust anyone. These three girls trusted the wrong people which led them to a nightmare they never even imagined. What saved them was their belief that even if their bodies and will were broken but their souls are still intact. Their souls belong only to them. They refuse to surrender everything to their captors and those that violate them. 

Books like these are what everyone should be reading. I think teens and those unsuspecting kids who are most likely the target should read this book so they will be aware. So they won't fall prey to those people who are likely to take advantage of their innocence and trust. Parents should read this too. This is a very educational story. It is not a bedtime story but I guess we are all better aware than sorry. It is indeed a difficult and scary time that we live in. We can't even trust some of those we call friends just like what happened to one of the characters in this story. 

I give this book 5/5 stars. This is a very brave undertaking.  Taking on stories of this subject is dangerous. You have to balance both fiction and reality to make the story believable and credible. Putting in the news article excerpts added in the weight of truth and stab of reality to the whole thing. Reading this did not feel like reading fiction at all, it was like listening to a painstaking recounting of a very traumatic experience. I was like praying each time that Mex will find these girls before they totally give up and lost it. 

Congratulations Miss Peg Brantley. A very well-written and scary tale but is a good doze of very hard facts. I hope this story will serve as an eye-opener to those who are still unaware of these unforgiving and indiscriminate traffickers. That parents and kids will always be very vigilant and aware of their surroundings and of the people around them. That those who were unfortunate victims of these soulless traffickers and pimps will have more strength and hope that whatever happened to them was not their fault and they should not blame themselves. They were victims and these devils deserved to be hanged over and over again for the nightmares and evils they have done. They are unforgivable.

I feel like that every day. It's like I work toward this one life and then a gust of wind comes along and pushes me towards another one, scraping off a part of me every time.
- Peg Brantley, Trafficked - 

Release Date: May 23, 2017