Silver Clouds by Fleur McDonald

silver clouds

I won this book in a Goodreads “First Reads” Give-away.

Silver Clouds is the first book I have read by Australian author Fleur McDonald and it will not be my last. Everything about this book was enjoyable, being Australian myself I felt a very strong connection with the characters. Whilst I have never visited the outback I know what hardships face these people and it takes a special kind of person to live there. This story actually made me feel ashamed to have not read more books by Australian authors, I will definitely seek out more of them from now on if Fleur’s writing is anything to go by then I am missing out on a lot by, by-passing these authors.

Tessa returns to her home in the Australian outback for her Auntie Spider’s funeral, but the home coming for her is tormenting not only because of the death of her much loved aunt but the ghosts of the past that still haunted her even as far away as London. She leaves London in scandal and finds that her troubles do not stop when she gets home. Her questionable choices also continue when she gets together with Brendan McKenzie, the outback’s bad boy. Harrison the widower with a daughter could be the steadying influence that Tessa needs but will she let him in or will she continue on her path of self destruction. Her choice to leave Danjar Plains is changed when her auntie’s mysterious friend Elsie leaves a letter for her from her auntie telling her that is left to Tessa to clean out her house and her family is not what it seems and that there are mysteries to be solved. She finds clues that make her question everything even who she is. Can she fight the demons of her past and present, will this search to uncover her family’s past help her heal herself and give her hope for the future?

The story flowed beautifully, the thing that sold me on Silver Clouds was the style that the book was written in, I love the inclusion of diary entries and letters. Books written like this always catch my eye as it seems to me to let you into a characters life with more depth. Another great selling point of this book is the large print, many books now days have smaller print which makes reading for many difficult. There are so many other things I could say about this book it to me is the complete package, love, loss, mystery and beautiful settings make this the complete package.

I would recommend Silver Clouds to everyone that loves to read no matter what their favourite genre may be, if you miss reading this book then you will miss reading one fantastic story.

The Return (Cruel Imagination #2) by Trevor Couturier

the return

E-book was gifted by author for review.

This is a fantastic follow up to Cruel Imagination. We see the return of Will and his on going battle with the old bearded man. I was so impressed with the way the story progressed and how Will started using his gift/curse to a greater extent. I could tell from the way the story progressed that both Will and the author that created him have grown in confidence. Still unable to shake the old man and get his life back on track he ventures out into the world to see how and if he can release this curse that was thrust upon him against his wishes.

The game has changed now though, banned from his family and wandering trying his hardest to release himself from his fate he stumbles into one bad situation after another, but with guidance from a higher friend he finds his way again. I was so wrapped up in this story I read it like the first one in record time and i can not wait till book 3 to see what happens. Definitely another one to add to the TBR list.

Concrete Angel by Carly Wallace

concrete angels

E- book was gifted by author for review.

This little gem was a diamond in disguise. Although only 13 pages in length Carly manages to throw every emotion you can think of at you with her beautifully written characters. I have not read a lot of books where the main character is an angel but I have loved the ones I have read. In my opinion I believe they tend to get over looked with the attention being on the constant struggle between vampires and werewolves, but I believe with the calibre of writing in this short story all that will change. I also believe that if Carly wished to she could turn this story into a full length novel with ease. It is written in such a way that it could easily be extended, I am not sure if the author had this in mind when she wrote it but is something in my opinion I believe she should look into doing, maybe even turning it into a series of books.

I loved the novel idea of the concrete angel, it will certainly make me look twice when I see them in cemeteries from now on. As I said above all the characters are beautifully written but more importantly they are real. I loved all of them equally. Even though I did want to dislike Nathan I couldn’t as I knew there was a deeper story to him than just being a cold heartless man and I was right. A character rarely does anything without motivation so to believe Nathan was just evil would have been very short sighted of me, given his attitude at the start of the story.

I would recommend this to everyone to put on their TBR list.

Cruel Imagination (Cruel Imagination #1) by Trevor Couturier

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E-book was gifted by author for review.

This little diamond in the rough is a great story. I have read some of the other reviews for this thinking it was not going to be any good, one person didn’t even finish because the writer changed point of view of the characters! I would have to say that yes the punctuation and other aspects such as point of view need some work, but besides this it is a great story with strong characters. What I have said is in no way a criticism of the writer it is just the opposite. To write a first novel is hard and authors need encouragement not angst to help them along in their process.

I loved the concept of the story, the idea of getting a gift/curse depending on your take on it is a very interesting. If we are all honest at one stage or another we have all wished for something like this gift, I know I have. If I was Will though I think I would have probably done more with it. An example would be to help the homeless guy that helped him and give him something like a pile of money or something similar. I did love the angle though where he got the better of the old bearded guy or then again did he?. The aspect to the novel that most pleased me was that Will’s wife was not the “perfect” partner in too many novels you read of how her tantalizing body was trim and sexy. It was a pleasant change to have a character that a lot of people could relate to so, well done to Trevor for Mona.

Job well done on a first novel, the story flowed beautifully, and I was waiting to see what happened so much so that I started the second book in the series in the same night. This is a great story, and I only hope that it gets better as it goes along. I would recommend this to anyone to read.

When it Rains: The Umbrella Collection by Prudence Hayes

when it rains

E-book was gifted by the author for review.

The story of Nora is one that I must admit touched my heart on many different levels. Her struggle with her issues is one that is universally known but sadly not so well understood. I spent most of my time reading this book with tears in my eyes as I can relate to her tale of woe. Whilst not on the level that Nora went through I too have been to the darker side of the human psyche after a relationship break up and then the death of someone close.

I thought Prudence handled the subject beautifully and bravo to her for showing depression for what it really is, a horrible sometimes debilitating condition. I felt like I was on this journey along with Nora. I laughed when she said something smart or witty and cried along with her when her life was falling apart. When she hit her lowest point I felt I could not breath at one point, Prudence takes you right into the heart of her characters making you become one with them. I try to always connect with the characters I am reading about, and for me it was a frightening journey when Nora sank into the depths of despair. I was so proud of her when she finally decided that instead of living with the voice being her worst enemy that it was time to set things right.

I loved all of the characters that she brought to life in this wonderful tale. I would have to say that my favourite of all of them was Pops as I had a grandfather like that as a youngster so reading about him brought back fond memories. I had tears streaming down my face when he told Nora where her name came from. Even the character Darren that changed her life forever was one I could relate to, in fact I could imagine these people living in my street.

I believe that everyone should read this book at least once in their life as it deals with a subject that a lot of people run from when it is brought to light. To understand the thoughts of someone that is suffering depression I believe is very important. Having said that the depression subject is only one aspect of the story it was also a story of how true friends and family pull together through thick and thin no matter what issues arise. I only have one other sibling so reading about all those noisy males warmed my heart.

This is one story that will get a re-read from me at some stage in the future, and if you choose to take the time and read it I am sure that you will not be disappointed.

Monster by Ben Burgess Jr.


E-book was gifted by author for review

Where to start with this book? The emotions were working over time with this one. Such a personal account of someone going through such a destructive period in their lives. I have to admit I was really uncomfortable reading the majority of this book because it gave me an insight into the psyche of the male brain and how it works and for most females even if they don’t admit it a males brain is not where they want to be.

As a reader I try to become one with the characters I am reading about, and for this story the journey for me was tough, and sometimes I would stop reading because I felt drained and devoid of feelings like Ken. I have never been in the situation in life that the main character Ken has so to me most of what he went through was foreign, however I could still relate to him on some level.His story does make you think about your own life, and how the actions you have taken in your past can and do affect your life now and that is another thing I must thank him for. When I started reading this story of a life that has so many twists and turns I wanted to hate Ken to despise him with all my heart, but there was just something there that made me think there was hope for him. I love feeling that much emotion for a character it just makes reading the story all the more enjoyable.

Some might be reading this and thinking that I hated this story, but that is so far from the truth. I absolutely loved everything about it. The characters were real and so believable, and the dialogue made you feel like you were a fly on the wall. I do however have one argument with Ken feeling it was all his fault when things started falling apart. Although he did act as the title of the book suggest “a monster” it does take two to tango as the old saying goes. So for the women to blame him for everything I find a bit hard to take, that is just my perspective. I am sure that many that will read this book will probably disagree.

I must congratulate Ben Burgess on a wonderful gift that he has given the world in the form of this story, a study of human nature at its finest (and not so finest). I absolutely recommend this book to everyone that is not afraid to open themselves to a story that will more than likely make you step back and take a look at your life and hope that what happened to Ken will never happen to you. If you love a story that really gets you thinking then please give this book a chance.

Consummate Betrayal by Mary Yungeberg

(Book was gifted by author for review)

Consummate Betrayal is a book that in all honesty the cover does not give away anything of what lays beneath it. I don’t know quite how to say anything about this book without giving some of the story away. I have never read a book quite like it to be honest, it is in your face, gritty and to be honest some parts were hard for me to read without feeling uncomfortable and feeling great pain for the main character Rowan Milani. Having said that it is in no way a criticism of the author in fact it is just the opposite. Mary Yungeburg is an author that I would gladly read any books that she writes, she holds nothing back. It is nice to read about characters that have honour and care about others even if at first you think they are cold hearted and a jackass.

The research that went into the book must have been enormous because the detail that is given is unbelievable. I honestly can not believe that this is her first book, if I had been given this book and not told anything about it I would have thought that she had been writing books for years. I can only wish to have the talent of this woman.

Her characters are so real and believable that you could almost believe that if you turned on a television you would hear about them in a news story. I have to admit I do not normally read this type of story. If it bites you or howls at you or falls from heaven or is set in Yester year then I am your girl but as a reviewer I am finding my tastes expanding and going into directions most interesting.

If you love a story to have you on the edge of your seat at the turn of ever page then Consummate Betrayal is one book I would recommend that you add to your TBR list.