Animus by Thomas Evans

AnimusBlurb: A family is torn in half when a careless killer evades justice. Jason McDowell’s bad choice to drive to work drunk one morning leaves a father dead, a daughter in a coma and her twin sister and mother to try and pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Three years later, while Jason has gone on with his life, ignorant of the struggles of his victims, someone has decided it is time for him to face justice.

REVIEW

Animus is a great thriller with a dark edge! I really enjoyed this book. The whole story is family/social based, making it easy for the reader to connect with the characters and their ordeals in their private lives. It is an emotional read at times, and there are some scenes of violence. Some scenes were expected and others more surprising. I would recommend Animus for a more mature reader of 16yrs+.

After Jason escaping justice, he returns to his normal life of drinking and generally past caring of anyone or anything. He disrupts the lives of all around him, i.e. his wife, children, brother and sister-in-law with his drinking and aggressive behaviour. The reader feels no compassion for him, at the same time as feeling disgusted at the lack of justice his victims received.

What is quite fascinating is how the victim’s wife, Janet, and daughter Kimberly are more alike than they both realise. Regardless of what they have been through they remain strong, looking after each other, praying for Krystal to wake up from her coma and trying as best they can to carry on with their lives. They both speak about Jason and how they are feeling to a degree, and yet neither of them share their darkest of thoughts.

Despite the obvious victims of all the misery, i.e. Janet and Kimberly, I found myself also feeling sorry for Angela and Mindy, the wife and daughter of Jason. As well as coping with an abusive, manipulative layabout and erratic drunk, they find themselves having to cope with terrible ordeals later in the story, without fully understanding the whole story behind them.

Animus is clearly well-planned, well-researched and very well written. The drama is continuous, leaving no opportunity for the readers mind to wander off course. The pace is steady, making the read easy to follow and enjoyable. Every paragraph is meaningful and adds to the story, making the editing just right in my opinion.

The author has managed quite well to avoid being over-descriptive regarding crime scene evidence, court proceedings and medical terminology so as not to lose the reader’s attention, especially given his background and the knowledge of the research he has carried out. Although, everything the reader needs to know is there and so it allows for an easy read, albeit dark and serious.

When I read a novel there are usually some background characters that I become fond of, and I found some great ones in Animus. Firstly, there was the doctor, Dr. Satish, who was attending to Krystal. He was quite supportive of Janet and her needs. She had someone to talk to and all along I was hoping for some romance to blossom there.

And secondly, Officer Marrow who was able to piece information between the incidents together. He had his suspicions, along with some circumstantial evidence and gut instinct but was always needing more evidence for the detectives to go on. I did feel for him at times, but really was torn between his needs and what I felt was acceptable. Officer Morrow did appear to care for those involved which also warmed me to him. In fact, I would love Thomas Evans to write another novel, perhaps based on Officer Morrow, or another case that he works on.

There are some surprises in this story which makes for a fascinating read, but some are quite sad. I actually like the more realistic novels at times and Animus certainly did grab my attention. It makes the reader ponder on what is legally wrong/right and what is morally wrong/right. I would love to read more from this author and his knowledge in these areas could make for some more fascinating stories!

A copy of Animus was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Animus is available in Kindle edition or paperback at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Racing with the Wind and Against the Wind, by Regan Walker, Agents of the Crown Trilogy, # 1and # 2

Tina Williams:

Be sure to check out our reviews of Regan Walker’s passionate and intriguing Regency Romances in the first two instalments of the author’s Agents Of the Crown Trilogy, involving spies working for the Crown and the women that they fall for. I can’t believe that it was almost a year ago when I read and reviewed these books! My current read is Wind Raven, book #3 in the Trilogy, review to come in the next few days. Tina :)

Originally posted on areadersreviewblog:

 Passionate and Intriguing Regency Romances

In Regan Walker’sAgents of the Crown series we  experience the ballrooms and great houses of Regency England and the danger and excitement of a post Napoleonic Paris, during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. We also bear witness to the introduction of repressive laws in England, as the government believe that  revolution will spread amongst a populace who are unhappy with poor harvests and the loss of their livelihood.  Against this backdrop Regan Walker brings us tales of passion , danger and intrigue, involving agents working for the Prince Regent and the women who fall for them. I was lucky enough to be given the first two books in the trilogy, by the author, for an honest and fair review.

RacingWithTheWind_800px-001Racing with the Wind, (Agents of the Crown Trilogy # 1), by Regan Walker (scroll down for the review of Against the Wind)

The Hellion and the Spy

View original 1,516 more words

~*REVIEW*~ BORDERLAND BETRAYAL, #3 in The Borderland Legacy Series, by Samantha Holt

21403370Sizzling Passion, Secrets and Suspense!

Another sensual and romantic tale from Samantha Holt! Borderland Betrayal is book #3 in her Borderland Legacy Series set in Medieval Northumbria. It contains sizzling passion, secrets, danger and suspense and a couple who despite their apparent differences, are just meant for each other.

 

Book Blurb

To Captain James, duty means everything. He’s worked hard to ensure the safety of the people of Thornewall and now the border reiver threat is gone and the recovery from the plague is well underway, he finds himself questioning his life. The arrival of the vibrant Ellise only confuses him further. When he catches Ellise thieving, instead of wanting to let the law deal with her, he finds he longs to take a more personal approach… a much more personal approach. Having lived on the edge of society for many years, Ellise is used to scraping for a living and she knows moments of happiness are few and far between. So she leaps at the chance to spend one sensual night with the handsome captain. Just one night and then she’ll be gone. To her astonishment, fate throws her back into James’ sights when she accepts a job at Thornewall to look after the pregnant lady. Although the attraction still burns between them, she cannot give into it. One night has to be enough as she has far too many secrets. Should the honourable captain ever discover them, it would be more than her heart that would be at risk. Her life could well be at stake too.

My Review

Readers met the hero of this novel, Captain James, in the previous two books in the series, Borderland Bride and Borderland Beauty (click on the book titles for my earlier review). James has dedicated his life to protecting his liege lord Dominic and the inhabitants of Thornewall keep and also recognises his duty to his own lands and estates. I loved how the author pairs him with the unconventional and mysterious Ellise, a woman who rocks his very world on its axis! Their initial meeting and sizzling passionate encounter is pure Samantha Holt as it not only grabbed my attention and interest from the off, but left me in no doubt as to how this couple were fated to be together!

When Ellise reappears as Lady-in-Waiting, to Lucy, Lord Dominic’s wife, James is absolutely confounded as to how to deal with his unexpected passion for a woman with a mysterious past, who does not fit into his conventional plans. Although they initially both try to put the night of scorching passion they spent together behind them, they both find it increasingly difficult to maintain indifference. Sexual tension is high and it is not long before they once again succumb to their attraction in some scorching and heartfelt scenes.

As the plot develops Ellise’s past catches up with her, threatening her safety and that of those she cares for. Yet if she reveals her secrets to James will those self-same secrets drive him away? I was on the edge of my seat as the book reached its conclusion.

I loved Ellise. She is a true survivor, a bold, passionate and capable woman who has survived for a long time on her own. She tries to stop herself falling for James to protect her heart, believing that with no lands and dowry she is not good enough for him. She is also terrified of his reaction if her secrets are discovered. James must confront his sense of what he feels is expected of him and his growing feelings for this woman who has wit, charm and strength a plenty. There are a number of times in the book when I wanted to give him a good shake to make him come to his senses and claim what his heart so clearly desires, before it is too late. However, his natural caution, plus his own past do explain his actions.

I adored this read and it was a fitting conclusion to the Borderland Legacy Series. It also reuinited the couples from the first two novels, notably Jake and Isabel and Dominic and Lucy and brought me up to date with their stories.

I recommend this read to those who love a sensual romance with a strong story line and characters in an historical setting. The book works perfectly well as a standalone, but I strongly recommend the whole series to those that have not read the first two books, as they are equally awesome reads!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase links: Amazon UK   Amazon US

Find and connect with Samantha Holt:

https://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction

http://www.samanthaholt.org.uk/

http://www.samanthaholtauthor.blogspot.co.uk

Check out our reviews of Samantha Holt’s other books in The Borderland Legacy Series:

Borderland Bride small-004

Borderland%20Beauty300dpi.jpg.opt166x249o0,0s166x249[1]-001http://areadersreviewblog.com/2013/04/10/borderland-bride-the-borderland-legacy-1-by-samantha-holt/

http://areadersreviewblog.com/2013/06/03/borderland-beauty-the-borderlands-legacy-2-by-samantha-holt/

Easter Hol treat – A short intro to a paranormal written by my daughter

Hi guys, I hope that you all had a fab Easter weekend! We still have heaps of chocolate to get through, and so I am happy that my kids are off school until next Monday to enjoy some family days, and of course work their way through the choc!

My oldest, Katie (9 yrs old), has been surprising me as always and I was delighted to read the beginning of a paranormal story she has started drafting over the hols. I’m hoping my reviewing can coincide with her influences from Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Twilight, Ways to See a Ghost and The Wolfstone Curse!! I thought I’d share the beginnings of her story with you :)

“The War of Wolves and Vampires by Katie Russell (9)

Intro

Kt's storyIt was 1996 and in a dark forbidden forest no-one goes exist creatures, dark creatures. Some say they’re real, some say they weren’t. But there it is, a wolf with a limping leg. It turned into a human, then walked off with a limp. He was a teenage boy, looked like a year 8 boy (age 13). He went into a cave and there was a person with fangs who started attacking the teenage boy…….

A week later

The police found the boys body and all there was on his body was a bite mark. They drove him to the hospital. It was night and where the boy lay was nothing but blood on the pillow and then it disappeared like the pillow sucked it in.

Chapter One

Two years later

Kt's story 2Emily watched the birds tweeting as if to say ‘Good morning’. Then she got up for her first day at school in Year 8. She had had a wonderful summer, staying with her Auntie Rose and cousin, Jim. Jim was mysterious and quiet and two years older than Emily. On Monday she walked to school with Jim and when she got to school she sat down at her desk, at the back of the room in a corner. She noticed the boy from the woods was there, but she thought it couldn’t be possible. But, it must be possible as she could see the bite mark on his neck.

“Hello, I’m Tom.”

Emily listened but wanted to ignore him because he was very interested in her. In science they had to do a project and Emily had to be partners with Tom. Tom was happy about it but Emily felt a bit nervous. Then, when everyone went home she was still waiting for Jim. But he had gone so she walked home on her own. But when she got back her aunt was crying. There was no sight of Jim, or no sound but her aunt crying.

She was worried about Jim because her dad told her about what happened in the forest. He knew as he worked for the police. When she sat down her aunt said, “Jim has gone! How did you get home?” “I walked”, as she wondered about Jim.

I absolutely love the creative, imaginative side to Katie. She certainly takes note of interesting stories and explores her own. I loved reading this, and knowing she’d used her own initiative to start writing a story. In this short piece we are introduced to some interesting characters, a violent attack and a whole lot of mystery and suspense. I hope you enjoyed this little treat as much as I did! :)

Caroline Barker, a very proud Mummy xx

*COVER REVEAL* Little Things, by Madison Street

Today we are fortunate to be hosting the COVER REVEAL for Madison Street’s forthcoming release, LITTLE THINGS, a super romantic suspense. Scroll down for the book blurb, cover reveal, teasers and how to connect with the author. Tina :)

Book Blurb

Everything in Duke Grayson’s life was all he could ever ask for: A loving family, loyal friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a scholarship to his top choice college. It’s his senior year of high school, and all he needs is to focus on his grades, lacrosse, and keeping his girlfriend happy. That is until Raya walks into his life.  

From the moment they meet, Duke is drawn to her, not only for her natural beauty and her stunning crystal blue eyes, but because he’s aware there’s more to this girl than just his alluring pull to her. He senses secrecy and fear.  

Throughout the year, their bond grows stronger, and his feelings for her become undeniable. Just when he is about to express his love, tragedy strikes and Raya disappears.  

For six years, Duke is tortured by his struggles, as he’s unable to find her and blames himself for failing to protect her. Until the day, she’s found, and he’s given a second chance. Will Duke become her beacon of hope and make her see that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile? Can Raya overcome her fears and fight against the terrors that haunt her? Or will her dark and torturous past be too much for her to battle against?  

*Warning: This book contains some disturbing situations, strong language and sexual content. Suited for 18 years and over.*

 

Little Things

Madison Street

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: May 2014

Photography: Lindee Robinson Photography

Add to Goodreads

Teaser

About Madison Street

Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After 9/11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country.  

During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she’s on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog. 

Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she’s a terrible singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community.

Contact Madison

Website Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Google +

Yesterday by Sheila Norton – Blog Tour (cover, synopsis, author post/pic plus links)

YESTERDAY cover jpegAs a fan of British culture of the 1960′s I was so excited when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for YESTERDAY by Sheila Norton. I love the music (of both mods and rockers) and was a huge fan of Quadrophenia when I watched it as a teen in the mid 90′s! I feel that this will be quite a thrilling read for most that love this era and cannot wait to sink my head into all of the drama and clashes between the mods and the rockers!!

“Music, Mayhem, Mods and Rockers…

Set against the backdrop of the violent clash between mods and rockers at Clacton-on-Sea in 1964, YESTERDAY is the brand new novel from acclaimed author Sheila Norton, published as an eBook this Easter to coincide with the 50th anniversary of that notorious conflict.

Blurb: During the riots between the Mods and Rockers in the early Sixties, teenager Cathy finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the events which follow will haunt her for the rest of her life. Forty years later as a middle-aged journalist, she’s forced to revisit her past, deal with her unhappy memories and try to find out exactly what did happen back in 1964.

I am delighted to introduce you to the author of Yesterday, Sheila Norton, who has taken the time to write a fantastic and informative author post of the background and setting of the novel. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! – Caroline

The 1960s as the background to a novel

Although I grew up during the 1960s myself, and have always looked back at that era as being an interesting and exciting time, writing my new book YESTERDAY, which is set in the Sixties, really brought home to me just how much our country, and indeed the world, changed during that decade.

Sheila Norton 60sThe most obvious example was pop music. Up till then, most of the big stars were American. It’s true we produced our own big favourites – Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Billy Fury – but the whole phenomenon of Rock ’n’ Roll had originated in the States, and most pop singers owed more to Elvis Presley than anyone else. And then – along came the Beatles, and fast behind them, a whole swathe of other groups, producing their distinctive Merseyside sound. It was fresh, it was different – they were writing a lot of their own songs and they seemed to capture the mood of the Sixties teenagers with their light, catchy, beat numbers and their informal stage performances. The Beatles were a phenomenal success in the UK, but more significantly, once they went on tour, they conquered the world: Australia, Europe, Asia and America saw scenes of absolute mayhem as hysterical fans came out in their thousands to see ‘the Fab Four’.

The result was that England suddenly became ‘cool’. English pop songs were hits around the world, and even minor English groups were able to take advantage of the popularity their accents seemed to grant them abroad. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, our nation – still recovering from post-war poverty – began to flourish again. ‘England swings!’ proclaimed the lyrics of a hit song in 1965, performed by Roger Miller, an American country singer, and according to the editor of Vogue magazine: ‘London is the most swinging city in the world at the moment.’

London’s popularity and its new title of ‘Swinging London’ owed a lot to the new youth-centric fashion scene, particularly Carnaby Street, which was first known for its Modernist fashions, snapped up by the original Mods at the very beginning of the Sixties but which later became a mecca for tourists from around the world. Fashion designer Mary Quant is credited with inventing the mini skirt, and other icons of the time were models Jean Shrimpton (known as both ‘the face of the Sixties’ and ‘the symbol of Swinging London’) and later, Twiggy, and Cathy McGowan (‘the Queen of Mod’), who hosted the TV music programme ‘Ready Steady Go!’ All these became international legends.

Such was the height of worldwide interest in the Brit scene by the mid-Sixties that even our Union Jack flag became a popular symbol, appearing on all manner of consumables. Winning the football world cup on our home ground in 1966 seemed to sum up all that had gone before. Britain had shown the world we’d shaken off the misery of war and the deprivation of rationing.

Back in 1957, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan had told us we’d ‘never had it so good’ – assuring us: ‘You will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime – nor indeed in the history of this country’. For some, back then in the Fifties, it would have been hard to believe this. But during the Sixties, MacMillan’s optimism finally seemed justified.

For teenagers like myself – and Cathy in YESTERDAY – it was in the Sixties that young people first had our own fashions, our own music, and our own places to go (coffee bars, dance halls). Becoming a Mod or a Rocker was all part of the excitement of the time. Most of us weren’t interested in the fighting between the groups. But there was violence – it kicked off at Clacton-on-Sea in 1964, fifty years ago this Easter, and it forms a lot of the background to the story of YESTERDAY. I hope my readers will enjoy Cathy’s story as well as the historical background to this new book.

YESTERDAY by Sheila Norton is available as a Kindle e-book from Amazon from 17 April 2014, price £1.99.

Sheila Norton

About the author:

 shelia Sheila Norton grew up in 1960s in Romford, Essex where she spent her teenage years collecting 45s and dating boys with scooters.  Sheila is still a card-carrying member of the original Beatles Fan Club and draws inspiration from her own experiences of the 60s in her most recent writing.YESTERDAY is Sheila’s twelfth novel, she has been published by Little Brown/Piatkus (as Sheila Norton and as Olivia Ryan) and also enjoys a successful self-publishing career

 

Links:

You can follow Sheila Norton and all info on Yesterday on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/YesterdayTheBook

Yesterday is also available on Amazon UK and Amazon US (please click on the Amazon links to take you directly to the Yesterday page.)

We all hope you enjoyed this post, and checking out Sheila Norton’s ‘Yesterday’. We will be reviewing it a little later in the year. Have a fantastic Easter.

Caroline & Tina, A Reader’s Review Blog :)

All blogs taking part in the Yesterday blog tour are as follows:

17th April: http://compellingreads.co.uk

18th April:www.brookcottagebooks.blogspot.com

19th April: http://mebookshelfandi.co.uk

20th April: www.areadersreviewblog.com

21st April:  http://erins-choice.blogspot.co.uk

22 April : http://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com/

23 April: www.jeanfullerton.com/jean’s-blog

24 April: http://fenellamiller.blogspot.co.uk/

25 April: http://authorsophia.wordpress.com

 

 

Book party Friday 18th April

Caroline Barker:

Book Party for previously reviewed Pat Spence’s YA supernatural horror, ‘Blue Moon ( The Blue Crystal Trilogy)’! Meet up with author, Pat Spence, and many more!! Please check below for details. Caroline & Tina :)

Originally posted on Vampy and Racey Bookblog:

Please come and join us to celebrate a new release by Pat Spence

There’s will be lots of giveaways and book chat.

Six other authors joining us to celebrate, check out who on link.

https://www.facebook.com/events/485561168238682/?ref=22

20140417-121313.jpg

View original