Book Review: The Other Side of the Sky by Haner Bat Hannah

Title: The Other Side of the Sky
Author: Haner Bat Hannah
Genre: Romance, Drama, Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Telma confidently marches over the bridge of her life and then…

Telma is an opinionated little girl who doesn’t quite fit into the world around her. She becomes a physics professor, happily married to Uri, a bridge engineer, whose life seems secure as the bridges her husband builds. However, the little girl is not quiet; she reflects on the successful adult life from her unique point of view.

Gadi, a genius from Berkeley is attracted to Telma’s distinctive view; he hopes he has found in Telma someone to lean on. An emotional-roller-coaster-like relationship develops between them. But Telma prefers the stable ground Uri has built for her.

Can she pull together the pieces of herself and emerge whole?

Yet bridges can collapse, and Uri is involved in a serious accident that crushes not only him but Telma’s entire world. When their lives become intertwined with those of Gadi and Yael, his beautiful wife, Uri’s story, revealed to her with brutal honesty, shreds Telma’s life to pieces. Gradually, Telma reconstructs herself anew, forming a more inclusive, complete, and accurate picture. A picture in which there is no need to hide behind long black hair and one in which the little girl goes back to seeking out the emerging whole. But will she ever again find peace?

The Other Side of the Sky focuses on Telma. The reader first encounters Telma as an opinionated little girl, and watches her grow up, becoming a physics professor. Adult Telma is happily married to Uri, a bridge engineer.

When Uri is involved in a horrible accident, Telma’s entire world is crushed. Telma finds her life becoming entertwined with that of Gadi, a genius from Berkeley who is attracted to her, despite being married.

As Telma comes to terms with what happened, she has to re-discover herself, and find the strength to re-emerge from this terrible turmoil.

The childhood moments of Telma’s life are very touching and help explain why she became the adult she is today, and why she made certain life story. Romantic but also drenched in a good amount of melancholy, this is a book about childhood, growing up, about love and the choices we are sometimes forced to make, about life and how short and precious it is.

Book Review: Michelle by Ayala Yoked

Title: Michelle
Author: Ayala Yoked
Genre: Psychological, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Michelle is in trouble – but she’s fighting for her ideals!

In this psychological romance a group of university students and soldiers go underground to try to implement ideas about which they are passionate. The French police are after them. Michelle has just been released from jail in France after attempting to damage an arms factory.

Michelle has two lovers – but she’s not in love!

Michelle comes to Israel and rekindles her romance with David, a middle-aged, married professor. Tom, her student lover who had been wounded in war, and Gad, David’s son, are also among the rebels. Michelle is intellectual, arrogant and teasing – and not committed to either of her lovers.

Michelle’s rebel group depends on her – but nothing is simple!

Michelle’s friends know they can rely on her, but they each struggle with their own internal conflicts. David is terrified about his son’s entanglement in illegal activity. His own failure as a soldier still haunts him. David’s sister, Pola, comes to visit and supports their activity. These idealistic rebels will inspire you, despite their dilemmas!

In Michelle, we meet an enigmatic, charming young woman who has a rebellious streak and who is, you guessed it, named Michelle. While Michelle Cohen is the centerpoint of everything and the story, ultimately, is about her quest to fight for what she believes in, the other characters are equally as compelling and bring a lot to the table as well.

Set in Israel, the book not only focuses on Michelle but also on her love life, on the tragedies of life, and even on her time in prison – which she was sent to after getting convicted by the French court after attempting to damage an arms factory.

Michelle is vibrant, full of life, enthralling but also puzzling – to others and to herself. She often doesn’t understand the trauma that drives her to do certain things, and only in hindsight does she understand why she made certain choices. As a reader, you’re right there next to her, discovering her as she discovers herself.

Most of the book takes place in Israel, and the author does a particularly good job describing the towns, streets, and general atmosphere. Even though I’ve never been, I could imagine myself being there.

Book Review: Kedesha by Ohad Pele Ezrahi

Title: Kedesha: A Timeless Tale of a Love Priestess
Author: Ohad Pele Ezrahi
Genre: Middle-Eastern, Ancient World, Historical Fiction, Romance, Historical Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sacred sexual rituals bring Tara’s soul to the ancient Temple of Astarte

Tara is a young American who travels to Jerusalem, where she meets Yoni, a handsome Israeli who is a sexual shaman. Yoni and his wife Hagar take Tara on journeys of deep self revelation, using ancient rituals and sacred sexuality, that link her soul to the ancient Temple of Astarte, which stood in Jerusalem before the monotheistic revolution of the 7th century BC.

A priest of Yahweh is pitted against the ancient temple priestesses

In a parallel story, a sexually frustrated priest of Yahweh vows to destroy Astarte’s temple and her sexual rites. An ancient sacred scroll surfaces containing orders to wipe out any form of worship other than that of Yahweh.

Ancient and modern religions merge at the nexus of spiritual sexual secrets

Who wrote this early tome that so deeply influenced the history of religion and of the world? How did the Love Goddess priestesses respond to attempts to destroy their path? With magical vibrations, the author weaves together ancient history and modern fiction and sweeps the reader into secret chambers where sexuality and sacredness meet in awe. This book will change the way you see the history of the world, religion, culture, and sexuality.

 

In Kedesha, young American girl Tara travels to Jersulam where she meets Yoni and his wife. Both of them, and in particular Yoni, take Tara on a journey of self-discovery, of growth and of  acceptance, using ancient rituals and sacred sexuality–and accepting her own sexuality, which was long banned by religion that saw female sexuality as something demonic.

The story is a postivie one, with a deeply influential message and a journey of growth, of one’s mind and spirit. In this book, the author relays that it’s okay to enjoy oneself, that it’s all right to derive pleasure from the joy of feeling alive, from the pleasures that life – and in particular, sex – can give. Our body is not just a body, it’s part of us, of who we are, of our soul and spirit.

This book is not for everyone and if you’re not very open about sexuality, some parts of this book could definitely make you blush or feel a little awkward. Despite that, it’s definitely worth reading and quite an eye-opener.

 
 

Book Review: Song for Jess by Meg Buchanan

Title: Song for Jess
Author: Meg Buchanan
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Aspiring musician Isaac can make the violin weep, the guitar sob, and the piano talk of lives unfulfilled.

Jess dreams of becoming an artist and her paintings show real promise.

Once they get together Isaac and Jess are inseparable. They spend the summer holidays at her family’s beach house. They plan a life of travelling the world with Isaac making music and Jess painting. But when they return home, everything changes.

Will Isaac and Jess follow their dreams?

Can true love survive the choices they make?

Song for Jess is a bittersweet tale of love and loss, guaranteed to break your heart.

Although this is the second book in a series, there are no issues with reading the book as a stand-alone. I didn’t really feel as if I was missing out on something.

In Song for Jess, Isaac Coleman is an aspiring musician who has some real talent for music…unfortunately, he’s not all that at home in the romance department because although the girl he’s interested in, Jess, has a crush on him as well, he doesn’t quite notice at first. But when they connect, it’s real love, a first love, the kind that is strong and vulnerable at the same time, that makes you feel things you’ve never felt before, and might possibly never feel again.

I really liked Jess as well. She was down to earth, a little shy sometimes, and she seemed like a good match for Isaac. While at first, things are perfect between them, and their love for art – Jess is a painter – brings them together, soon it becomes clear real life isn’t just a dream and that sometimes, you have to fight for love.

An inspiring book about young love, and I really enjoyed the references to music and painting.

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Book Review: Sweet Dreams by Stacey Keith

Title: Sweet Dreams
Author: Stacey Keith
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

In a little town in the heart of Texas, the same old story can turn into happily ever after . . .

On any given day, Maggie Roby has cake batter on her sleeve, flour where the blush supposedly goes, and sore feet from standing since dawn. For her sister’s wedding day, she’s added a side of heartache. Maggie’s failed marriage taught her that love is a lie and commitment a mistake, and it was an expensive lesson. But with her bakery thriving and her life simplified to work, family, and knitting for her pug, Maggie thinks she’s bought some peace. Until Jake Sutton walks in and she realizes she isn’t safe from desire at all . . .

Jake has model-perfect looks and about a billion dollars to throw around, but Maggie also sees the same never-say-die grit she prizes in herself. The attraction between them is hotter than her oven in July. But when Jake decides to restore the old Art Deco movie theater right around the corner from her bakery, she worries that temptation is a little too close for comfort. And the added ingredient of a man from her past only complicates the mix. This time nothing less than true love will do. If she can learn to listen to her heart, she just may be able to have her cake and eat it too.

 

Sweet Dreams is a contemporary romance filled with chemistry and attraction. Protagonist Maggie Roby bakes cake for a living, and she has a sweet, caring personality. Her cake baking antics reminded me of myself last week… While I tried baking cake, and it was actually half-decent.

Anyway, with my recent cake-baking endavour right behind me, it seemed fitting I read this book, and I loved Maggie. The events in her past nearly broke my heart. She’s lived through a failed marriage, and this caused her a lot. She’s now focused solely on the bakery, her family and her pet pug. That is, until Jake walks into her store.

Jake is smoking hot, and Maggie instantly feels attracted to him. When his personality is a good match to her own, and him deciding to restore the Art Deco movie threater around the corner from her bakery, she worries she will not be able to deny the growing attraction between them much longer…

Maggie was my favorite character. I didn’t like Jake that much at first, but I soon grew to like him – his stand-offish personality at first is just an act, and there’s a reason why he acts the way he does.

This is a thrilling, adorable romance between two characters who really deserve to find their true loves.

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Book Review: Her Russian Fixer by Leslie North

Title: Her Russian Fixer (Volkov Brothers Book One)
Author: Leslie North
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The line between right and wrong blurs when a ruthless Russian becomes her dark protector.

Benedikt Volkov grew up in Chicago, but his family’s ties to the Russian Mafia run deep. So when his godfather, Pyotr Mishin, steals millions from the Bratva, it’s up to Ben to find him or his family will be forced to pay back the money. However, his careful plans are quickly complicated when an impulsive brunette forces him to become her unlikely hero. Ben hates surprises, and uncontrollable Lucy with her luscious red lips is a distraction that could get them all killed. But with an unexpected connection to his godfather, she may be the key to securing his family’s future.

Lucy Paprocki may be reckless and disorganized, but she finds a new focus when her world is turned upside down. She’s determined to find her real father, Pyotr Mishin—a man she didn’t know existed until recently—and Ben Volkov may be her best chance. One look at his tattooed skin, muscled bulk, and penetrating stare, and Lucy knows Ben is Bratva. The mafia man may be hugely intimidating and wound tighter than a string, but Lucy will have to trust him if she wants to discover the truth about where she comes from.

With danger lurking behind every door, passion quickly ignites between impulsive Lucy and methodical Ben. They may just be using one another to get what they want, but what if all they really need is each other?

 

In Her Russian Fixer, Benedikt Volkov is a member of the Russian maffia, Bratva, and he’s on a mission to find his godfather, Pyotr Mishin. Pyotr stole millions of dollars from the Bratva, and the Volkovs only have a limited amount of time to force Pyotr to pay the money back.

While on his mission, he encounters Lucy Paprocki, a young woman who is looking for her long lost father…. no other than Pyotr Mishin, the man Ben is hunting down.

Ben and Lucy are pretty much opposites in every single way. Lucy is more free-spirited, and Ben is more methodical and focused. They come from different walks in life, and ended up on the same spot but for very different purposes… Yet, the chemistry between them is undeniable.

This is a fast-paced contemporary romance with intriguing characters and a thrilling background story.

 

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Book Review: Winner Take All by Mary Rodgers

Title: Winner Take All

Author: Mary Rodgers

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Hot shot skier and unrepentant party girl Carly Carrington is on top of the world until a disastrous crash destroys her championship dreams. Can she lower her guard long enough to trust the one man who might be able to heal her body…and her heart?

When it comes to sports doctors, buttoned-up Paul Blackburn is the best of the best. But when Carly upends his carefully ordered little world, will Paul fight his one chance at true love, or go for the gold in… WINNER TAKE ALL.

In Winner Take All, hot shot skier Carly Carrington is at the top of the world. She spends her days skiing and her nights partying. That is, until a crash destroys her championship dreams.

Paul Blackburn is the best of the best when it comes to sports doctors. Yet, if Carly wants to get fully healed, she’ll have to lower her guard and put her trust in him. When she does that, she might not just risk her chance of getting healed though… She could also risk her heart.

This is a fun, romantic read of second chances, personal growth, and love even through hardships. The relationship at the core of the book seems pretty stereotypical (injured girl falling for the doctor taking care of her) but when you read the book, you’ll realize it’s about a lot more than that.

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Book Review and Giveaway Once Upon A Princess Duet


Title: Once Upon A Princess Duet
Author: Deborah A. Bailey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The Once Upon A Princess Duet

In these two sexy paranormal romance “fairy tales,” two princesses find that love with a shifter hero is not without complications – but there is always a happily-ever-after. Includes two complete short novellas.

“Heart of Stone”

In the ruins of a country destroyed by a curse. Princess Leesa goes looking for a way to help her people. Desperate to find an item of value to trade for supplies, she trespasses into an abandoned palace.

There, she finds more than she bargained for when she encounters a lonely Gargoyle who offers to provide her with everything she needs, for a price.

If she’s willing to pay it, she may find the love she’s been looking for. Or she may lose it, forever.

“Beauty & the Faun”

Kayla, a poor young woman runs away when her rich uncle and aunt arrange her marriage to a shifter prince from another land. Her uncle needs gold to settle his debts and the king is offering a great reward if he can obtain a willing bride for his son.

But Kayla’s plans to hide in the Great Forest hit a snag when two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a very sexy faun shifter who is ready to teach Kayla a thing or two about life and love.

Once Upon A Princess Duet is actually a collection of two books: “Heart of Stone” and “Beauty & The Faun”. Both of the books are fairytale romances, meaning they’re paranormal romance but read like fairytales.

In “Heart of Stone,” Princess Leesa is desperate to find a way to help her people, and on her quest to find a valuable item she can trade for supplies, she comes across an abandoned palace. There, she finds a gargoyle, Willem, who is willing to give her everything she needs, for a price. Is Leesa willing to take this risk? I really liked this novella, in particular the gargoyle, who has a quirky, funny personality. I also liked Leesa and how she was willing to sacrifice everything for her people.

The second novella, “Beauty & The Faun” was my favorite of the two. Kayla is a young woman who is, against her will, pushed into an arranged marriage by her aunt and uncle. Desperate to escape, Kayla hides in the Great Forest, where two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a faun shifter, who has some plans of his own with her. I really liked Del’s personality, how caring he was and how charming.

Both paranormal romance novellas are excellent, but the second one was my favorite. The writing is excellent overall, and I would recommend this duology to fans of fairy tale romances.

 

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Book Review: Sacred Legacy (Branded Trilogy #3) by Kat Flannery

Title: Sacred Legacy (Branded Trilogy #3)
Author: Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical / Western / Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchantge for an honest review.

Tsura is a Chuvani, and with that comes great power…

Desperate to escape the memories that haunt her, Tsura Harris returns to Jamestown, the very place her mother forbade her to go. A gifted Chuvani, Tsura has sworn off all magick, thus making her vulnerable to the Renoldi clan, who wish to kill her and take the pendant that is the key to her power.
Red Wolf is hell-bent on living his life on the sea, until he runs into Tsura on the docks. His pride wounded from her rejection years before, he hoped to never see her again. But when the evil Corsair, Romulus Black, demands to know where she is, Red Wolf must protect her, as is his duty.
But is duty and honor his only reason, or does Red Wolf still carry a flame of love in his heart? And will Tsura finally discover her destiny?

In this third and final part in the Branded Trilogy, author Kat Flannery goes above and beyond the expectations set forth in the first two books, and delivers a strong, suspenseful story that will put readers on the edge of their seat. I previously reviewed Lakota Honor and Blood Curse, the first two books in the trilogy, and really enjoyed them so needless to say, I was looking forward to reading Sacred Legacy. The book certainly didn’t dissapoint.

Tsura Harris is a gifted Chuvani, a person who can wield magick. However, she has sworn off all magick, which makes her vulnerable to the Renoldi clan who have every intent of killing her. Against her mother’s wishes, Tsura returns to Jamestown. There, she runs into Red Wolf, a man who she rejected years ago. Red Wolf hoped to never see the woman again who wounded his pride in such a terrible way, but when he sees Tsura and learns she’s in danger, Red Wolf knows it’s his duty to protect her.

The story is once again set in a historical setting, and the magick Tsura uses has ties to Native American magick and culture. I really liked the Native American theme throughout in this series. Not a lot of books focus on that setting or culture, and it’s intriguing to learn more about it. As usual, though, the real spotlight is on the characters. They’re complex, intriguing, they have their own quirks and personalities, and they feel like real, living, breathing, people.

I really liked Red Wolf too. He’s a gentle and caring soul, and cares far more for Tsura than he wants to admit, and this made me feel sympathetic towards him.

Readers interested in paranormal romance with a historical setting should definitely check out this book. Even if you haven’t read the previous books in the series, all the stories are stand-alones, so you can just pick one up and dive into the fascinating world author Kat Flannery has created in the Branded Trilogy.

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Book Review and Giveaway Blood Curse

Title: Blood Curse

Author: Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical / Paranormal Romance / Western
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Four years after the Blood Curse, Pril of the Peddlers vows to protect her child against the evil men who hunt her. With her clan unaware of the branded girl among them, Pril has to keep the identity of her daughter a secret. When her child is kidnapped, she is forced to ask Merchant runner, Kade Walker, for his help.

Kade Walker needs to find the gypsy child. Blackmailed and pushed beyond his own moral code, he is determined to do whatever it takes. When he comes across the Peddler clan, he is sure the girl is there, however all hope is lost when the gypsies capture him. Time is running out—until Pril makes him an offer he cannot refuse.

Amidst greed, lust, revenge and love, Pril will need to trust Kade. But as the evil nears and doubt creeps in, will she discover that the enemy has been standing next to her all along?

Even if you haven’t read Lakota Honor, the first book in the trilogy, you can still pick up Blood Curse and enjoy it, because it focuses on a different set of main characters. Pril is a gypsy who lives in Virginia, and who cares for her child – a child who is branded, and possesses strong magic. Others want the child destroyed, but Pril will risk her life to save her. However, saving her might involve more than just risking her own life; she’ll also have to trust Kade Walker.

While Kade vows to protect Pril and the child, this goes against his original plan and when he develops feelings for Pril, they’re not entirely welcomed. He has to focus on his task… Although it’s becoming increasingy harder as he can no longer deny the attraction between them.

The story was solid and well-researched, and the characters were amazing, in particular Pril. She was strong and capable, and extremely brave. The writing was excellent and immediately, I felt like I was part of the story. Fans of paranormal romance and historical romances will love this book.

 
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