Book Review Risking Forever

Title: Risking Forever: Vol. 1
Author: Tara Gallina
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon

Risking Forever: Vol 1 (The Forever Series) by Tara Gallina

My best friend has been obsessed with Sebastian since our freshman year in college. She wants him to herself, which is fine by me. He’s a paycheck, a means to an end goal. He’s temporary. But he’s also tempting—the way he looks at me, the things he says, the way he touches me… If I’m not careful, I might do something I’ll regret. ~Ainsley Belle

THE FOREVER SERIES
At twenty, Ainsley knows it’s time to follow her own dreams and not the future her that was planned for her—a future she never wanted. Losing her job couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Sebastian Gianni isn’t the ideal boss, but he has a position to fill and Ainsley is desperate. The sexy twenty-two-year-old comes from money, owns a successful business, and graduates from college in three months. He has his life together in a way Ainsley could only dream.
No wonder her best friend is obsessed with dating him. Even his ex-girlfriend is determined to get him back, although threatening him seems like the wrong approach. Ainsley would be a fool to fall for the guy, too.
By no means, should she trust him. He has more secrets than anyone she knows, which makes her wonder if the mafia rumors about him are true. It doesn’t matter that he’s a good listener, and sweet and protective at times. That playful flirty side he shares with her alone means nothing. Right?
When a kiss turns into a secret romance neither can give up, Ainsley learns the truth about Sebastian’s corrupt family and why his ex-girlfriend won’t go away. A future together is near impossible and comes with a risk that could get them both killed—or give them everything they’ve ever wanted.

Risking Forever was everything I expected when reading the synopsis, and much more. Main character Ainsley is at that point in life that most of us, if not all of us, have to cross when we’re growing up from young adults into adulthood: where you have to decide who you really are, and what you want your future to be like.

When she loses her job, she’s desperate enough to start working for Sesbastian Gianni: a man her best friend has been obsessed with ever since freshman year in college, and whose ex-girlfriend just can’t seem to get over. With this kind of track record, Ainsley would be stupid to fall for him too… Yet, that’s exactly what happens. Sebastian is playful, confident, flirty, yet he’s also protective and caring, and the more time Ainsley spends with Sebastian, the more she feels attracted to him, until attraction turns into something much more. But can they have a future together, or will secrets from Sebastian’s past drive them apart?

Ainsley’s personality is very engaging. She truly wants to better herself, she’s ambitious, but she’s also kind and caring, and she’s genuinely just a friendly, inviting person. I also liked Sebastian, but he’s more of a mystery – that’s a good trait for a romantic interest, though, since it allows readers the time to get to know him slowly. The writing was solid too, and overall, this was an entertaing romance story that I really enjoyed reading. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

 

Book Review: The Sanctity of Sloth by Greta Boris

Title: The Sanctity of Sloth
Author: Greta Boris
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Series: The Seven Deadly Sins
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

There’s one thing more dangerous than testifying to a crime—staying silent.
Locked in the ruins of a California Mission, Abby Travers watches helplessly as a girl dies outside her window. As she struggles between her moral obligation to come forward as a witness, and her commitment to a Medieval religious practice that requires her to retreat from the world, the situation spins out of control.
Abby’s hesitation starts a series of catastrophes. She finds herself at the center of a deadly cover up where every minute counts and indecision could be fatal. She questions all her beliefs and everyone she knows becomes suspect. To save herself and those she loves, she must break free from her self-imposed prisons of stone and fear.
The Sanctity of Sloth is a taut, psychological thriller that answers the question: What happens when a good woman does nothing? Fans of Paula Hawkins and A.J. Finn will enjoy this third book in Greta Boris’s Seven Deadly Sins Series.

 

The Sanctity of Sloth is the first book I’ve read by Greta Boris, but I’m already certain it won’t be my last. This book is the third book in a series, but even without reading book one and two, I could follow the story easily enough.

Abby Travers is forced to watch helplessly when a girl dies outside her window, while she’s locked up in a secret room in the ruins of a California Mission. Abby doubts between coming forward as a witness, and her commitment to the practise of the anchorites (and for those unfamiliar with the word, an anchorite is someone who withdraws from secular society for religious reasons). The practice sounds a little bizarre, but when woven into the story and connected with the personality of someone like Abby, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Abby’s hesitation to come forward has disastrous consequences, and Abby starts to question everything she’s ever believed in.

The pacing is great, the tension is nail-biting, and overall the premise is intriguing. Abby makes for a complex, but well-defined and recognizable character. A suspenseful mystery that certainly leaves the reader guessing.

Book Review The Sacred Artifact

Title: The Sacred Artifacts
Author: Caldric Blackwell
Genre: Middle Grade
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Determined to uncover the secrets of a mysterious artifact, fourteen-year-old alchemy student Craig Pike and his teacher, Cornelius, journey to the birthplace of alchemy to seek the advice of a wise, ancient alchemist named Quintus. With the help of a witty archer, Audrey Clife, they trek across dangerous lands, compete in a cutthroat tournament, and reunite with old friends. They soon find out the artifact is more powerful than anticipated, and they aren’t the only ones seeking to discover its secrets….

In this adventurous middle grade novel, The Sacred Artifact, Craig Pike and his teacher Cornelius are looking to uncover the secrets of a mysterious artifact. Doing so takes them on a fantastical quest, along with the young but resourceful Audrey Clife, an archer who was actually my favorite character of the entire book!

The quest reminded me a little of Frodo’s journey in Lord of the Rings – while traveling, Craig and his friends encounter enemies at just about every corner, and even though they also meet up with some old friends, there’s an inniment danger lurking at every turn of the page.

I like middle grade books because of the level of imagination that goes into writing them, and this book is no exception. Although I struggled a bit at the start, with the book being the second book in a series, and me not really knowing the characters yet, but after a few chapters, I got the hang of it.

If you enjoy middle grade fantasy books, then I recommend you check out this series.

 
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Book Review: Turn Your Dental Practice Into A Successful Business

Title: Turn Your Dental Practice Into A Successful Business
Author: Gabriel Asulin
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

How to turn your dental practice into a profitable business.

“Turn your Dental Practice into a Successful Business” is a bestselling book that offers practical solutions that can be easily applied in every dental practice in order to increase its sales very quickly. The book (translated into Spanish, Russian and Hebrew) provides detailed answers to all the dental practice related marketing, management and sales questions or issues, which will allow you to increase the sales and profitability of your dental practice in a very short time.

The author, Gabriel Asulin, is a world-renowned expert and became a global “guru” in the field of marketing and promotion of dental practices. Gabriel is a top presenter and popular lecturer worldwide. His seminar “How to Double your Clinic’s Sales in 3 Months!” was a major blockbuster in in China, Colombia, Mexico, Russia, Israel, Bulgaria and Dominican Republic in recent years.

The strategies and methods suggested by Gabriel in his book are based on many years of experience in business consulting and training hundreds of dental practices around the world.

The unique management and marketing methods presented in this book are successfully used by many dental practices and have proven to significantly improve sales and profitability.

I was asked to review this book by the publisher, Turn Your Dental Practice Into a Successful Business, but I was a little worried at first that the contents of the book would not interest me at all: a dental practice? I’m not a dentist, far from it, so what purpose would the book serve me?

The author, Gabriel Asulin, is an expert in the field of marketing and promoting dental practices. The book gives a lot of information regarding how to attract clients, retain existing clients, improve productivity, where to advertise your practice, and so on. I’m sure that for dentists, this book is a goldmine of information.

For me, I found some of the information useful since it was a more general approach, that could be used in all kinds of businesses, and not just dental practices, but the more specific information was not that useful to me.

Book Review: The Little Prince Returns by Yoram Selbst

Title: The Little Prince Returns
Author: Yoram Selbst
Genre: Children’s Books
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Remember Antoine de Exupéry, that wonderful author and not so successful pilot, who crash landed his airplane in the Sahara desert so many years ago, with scarcely enough water to keep himself alive for a week.

Remember how a magical, curly-headed little prince suddenly appeared out of nowhere and insisted that he draw him a sheep. Remember Antoine’s enchanting description of the days they spent together before his companion disappeared as abruptly as he had appeared. And remember his anguished appeal to anyone who might meet him again to:

“Please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.”

Decades passed. Those who longed for his return could only dream. And then, one day, it fell to the good fortune of a young fisherman lost at sea, afloat on a little ship that he had stolen from its owner, to discover the very same curly-headed prince splashing in the water below him, calling for help. He rushed to help him aboard.

This book tells the tale of what happened after that moment, of the blossoming of friendship and understanding between two unlikely companions as, over many cups of tea brewed with the last of their water, they shared their life experiences and their inner feelings. It is an attempt to recapture the unforgettable magic of that earlier encounter.

In The Little Prince Returns, Yoram Selbst tells the story of a younger fisherman lost at sea, afloat on a stolen ship, and discovers the curly-head prince we all know from the story of “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Exupéry.

The fisherman and the prince form a friendship that is both unlikely and special at the same time. I was quite fond of “The Little Prince” when growing up, and this story brought back some of the magic of that original, classic tale. This “sequel” of sorts is not as great as the original, I would say, but it’s pretty close.

Book Review: The Secret of Israel’s Power by Uzi Eilam

Title: The Secret of Israel’s Power
Author: Uzi Eilam
Genre: Nonfiction, Arms Control
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The successful track record of Israeli innovation policies, told from within.

This is the inside story on how Israel became a military technology powerhouse within less than two generations, told by Brigadier Uzi Eilam. The story blends the broad view of a person who led the creation of incredibly far-sighted R&D programs, with intimate portraits of the main players in a complex strategy that spans continents, corporations and armies.

Eilam’s story focuses on Israel’s decision to add technology to the military factor when creating attack and defense mechanisms, against its threats. Eilam also tells how Israel, with its persistence, courage and “chutzpa”, made a very successful journey and was able to create an internationally competitive space program.

More than any other account, this book explains how a very small country was able to make a concentrated use of its limited assets with astute leverage of international relationships while at the same time, create the backbone of Israeli civilian technology industries.

In The Secret of Israel’s Power, the author investigates how Israel achieved a feat that not many nations did before: become a military powerhouse in less than two generations.

A lot of focus is put on the decision to add technology and combine it with military progress, creating various attack and defense mechanisms that eventually gave Israel a huge advantage over potential opponents. But it also focuses on the human component: on human’s strength and courage.

The book is nonfiction, but it’s far from dull or boring – it gives an intriguing, detailed insight and shows a thorough understanding of how the military works and how technical know-how can advance military forces.

Book Review: Where Shadows Meet by Nathan Ronen

Title: Where Shadows Meet
Author: Nathan Ronen
Genre: Espionage, Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It’s up to him to stop the assassination of the King of Morocco and stop chaos in the Middle East.

Arik Bar Nathan is head of the Israeli National Security Council. He has a direct contact with the Prime Minister. Due to the sudden death of the Prime Minister, Arik’s entire life is about to change.

The new Prime Minister seeks a better public opinion of him and demands that Arik serve this need to build a political image as Mr. Security, revealing secrets and showing off the success of military operations. Arik, an honest professional is not willing to take part in any of these fraudulent activities. The PM decides to end Arik’s duty and dismisses him, as well as the head of Mossad, from their positions.

The new head of the Mossad is a cunning character whose ties to the new Prime Minister are anything but professional.

It doesn’t take long for the new head of the Mossad to ask Arik for assistance. The Israeli Intelligence Agency has received information about Al-Qaeda operatives planning to assassin the King of Morocco during the Inauguration event of the big mosque in Casablanca.

Arik is the only one person who can put an end to this plot and is asked to use his abilities and contacts, to assist in this underground mission In Morocco, and save the King together with the French DGSE secret service.

If the King of Morocco is assassinated, there will be chaos in the Middle East and thousands of lives will be lost. Arik and his commando team must get to him first!

Where Shadows Meet is a tapestry of intrigue, wit, drama and dare that enthralls the reader from start to finish. A brilliant espionage thriller that will leave you breathless. It is the remarkable story of those who live in the shadows, working under false identities and behind masks, addicted to adrenaline and control. An intricate tale of passion and danger.

Nathan Ronen’s history with Israeli national security easily conjures the stories of extraordinary people, dedicating their lives to ensuring public security while paying a costly personal price. These people live in the shadows, functioning behind masks and borrowed time, and like many of us, remain terrified of loneliness.

In Where Shadows Meet, Arik Bar Nathan has worked as the head of the Israeli National Security Council under the previous Prime Minister, but after the sudden death of the latter, a new Prime Minister is elected who demands Arik helps him craft a better public and political image.

Arik refuses to take part in any unsavory activities, and is promptly dismissed. However, Arik is soon asked for assistance by the Israeli Intelligence Agency regarding Al-Qaeda operatives planning to assassinate the Kin of Morrocco. Arik is the only person who can put an end to this evil scheme, but he will have to risk his own life to do so.

Action, espionage, this book feels like watching a movie, and a pretty good one at that. The dialogue is fast, the scenes are action-packed, the pacing is tight, and overall, this is an excellent read!

 

Book Review: Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons by Sam Brand

Title: Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons
Author: Sam Brand
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I am trapped in the marathon world.

Help!! I cannot find any way to escape the marathon jungle world.

Stop being a case study in the runner’s world.

Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons will lead you towards a new direction so you will be able to find a way to escape from the world of marathons and move on to a new, positive sporting life.

Sam Brand thinks that the peak of the marathons may have been reached. Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons will show you the way to reinvent yourself, to become a new you, with the 26.2 loving thoughts that will change your running world.

Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons is Sam Brand’s philosophy behind sports and happiness.

You can shape your world, become a dolphin, all other animals are already taken.

Go for the human dolphin’s magic life.

So, apparently, according to Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons there are different types of people aka animals: Human Ants, who are running marathons, Human Dolphins who exercise regularly but are not overly obsessed with exercising, and Human Chimps, who do little to no exercise.

Okay, so admittingly, I’m a chimp and nowhere near Dolphin or Ant territory, although I would like to be a Dolphin, and it’s been on my new year’s resolution list for years to start exercising regularly. But something always comes up and by now, I’m an expert at finding excuses why I should not exercise, ranging from lack of time to lack of space to lack of whatever-I-can-come-up-with-at-the-time.

The book is quite simple and straightforward. It promotes running and exercise but with measure, and stresses that people shouldn’t overdo it, which sounds like a healthy approach to me.

Book Review: When I Fall, I Shall Rise by Dan Shtauber

Title: When I Fall, I Shall Rise
Author: Dan Shtauber
Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It all began in 1944 when the Germans occupied Hungary. This is when Risa Shtauber’s life turned from an ordinary life to one of surviving unspeakable horrors.
Risa was shipped together with many other Jews to the Oradea Ghetto and from there to the Plaszow Labor Camp and later to the Ober-Altstadt Labor camp. And even this was not enough… Risa was sent to the Auschwitz Death Camp to be slaughtered!
But, she survived!
Having survived, she met her husband – Mordechai Tzvi and they created a family which included 4 sons, 22 grandkids and 34 great-grandkids!
At the age of 94 and living her life in Israel, she still feels victorious when remembering those horrible years!
This book is a special gift given to Risa Shtauber during an emotional event, in the presence of all of her descendants: sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I’ve read quite a few memoirs of holocaust survivors last year, and although the subject matter is harsh and depressing, I still enjoy reading them – for in every story, there’s a glimpse of hope, there’s a portrayal of hidden strength that allowed the author to survive and perhaps even more astonishing, that allowed them to live, to continue on living life, even after all the horrors they have witnessed.

Risa Shtauber is one of these survivors, a brave young man who was shipped to the Oradea Ghetto, along with many other Jews, and then was later dispatched to the Plaszow Labor Camp and Ober-Altstadt Labor Camp and eventually to arguably the most famous camp of them all: Auschwitz.

The fact that Risa survived is nothing short of a miracle. In this book, Dan Shtauber interviewed his grandmother, Risa, and was able to write down her experience through these harrowing, traumatizing years. The book was a gift from the grandson to the grandmother, and that alone already makes it unique and inspiring. Risa is truly an awe-inspiring woman, and she definitely deserves such a thoughtful gift. It’s heartwarming to know that, even in the most terrible darkness, the strength of a human soul can survive and hold on to the light. When I Fall, I Shall Rise is a fitting, inspiring title for this memoir.

Book Review: As You Witch by Erin R. Bedford

Title: As You Witch
Author: Erin R. Bedford
Genre: Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Witches
Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
When Max gets a magic amulet that makes nearly every desire come true, she’ll learn the truth of be careful what you wish for.
However, magical hijinks aren’t all that Max has to worry about. With her hard-working parents strained to pay her tuition, Max’s only chance to stay in Winchester Academy is to win the scholarship at the big school fair. Of course, to win, she has to beat her bully of a rival, wow the entire school, and juggle four guys vying for her attention.
Nothing a few wishes, a little magic, and a lot of luck can’t handle … she hopes!

I previously reviewed the first book in the series, Witching on a Star. That wasn’t a success by any means – I rated it 2,5 stars, and while I had high hopes for a reverse harem set in a witching academy, my hopes fell flat and the book was a bit of a dissapointment.

Still, I picked up book two, As You Witch, because I wanted to see if it would get any better. The series has a lot of potential, it just never executes it well, so I thought that maybe some of those kinks would’ve gotten fixed in book two. Alas, no such luck, and I even liked this one less than the first one.

This book was filled with unnecessary drama from the start until the end. With a million possible options to pick villains when your book is set in a witching world, the author keeps on using the mean girl as a villain. It’s dull and predictable. The dialogue is so bad that I had to roll my eyes at every other sentence. Max is immature, childish, entitled, and the guys she’s supposedly in love with are so bland and boring even I wouldn’t be able to keep them apart.

There is no conflict. There’s nothing really at stake. The relationships are too perfect – these four guys are instantly OK with all of them being with the heroine, and none of them is trying to win her for themselves. Of the four guys, only two have a hint of a personality, and the other two are basically just thrown in so this would be a reverse harem and not a love triangle. Either give them more personality or focus on the two that do have developed personalities and that a reader can root for.

Look, I know I’m one of the few who isn’t fond of this series, and it has really high overall ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. So, don’t take my word for it, this is after all just my opinion. But as far as reverse harems go, I’ve seen a lot better than this one.