Book Reviews

As I set up this site to be all about reading, writing, and books, I want to provide a place for authors to come and tell me about their work. If it is something I am interested in, I will be happy to read and review it on this blog and Goodreads (I’ve stopped posting on Amazon, sorry).  For a look at my previous reviews, you may see them here.  I’ve also added a new feature that includes whips instead of stars for ratings.  Example below:


One whip = one star (I’ve only given this out one time.  It means there is nothing redeeming to the story)

Two whips = two stars (Very little to recommend the novel and a difficult one to finish)

Three whips = three stars (Not a bad read, but could use some polishing to make it better)

Four whips = four stars (A really good read with just a couple of minor issues)

Five whips = five stars (Amazing!  Something I’d possibly read again with little or no issues I could find)


The following is a list of genres I will accept at this time (my TBR pile has gotten rather lengthy so I’ve been forced to narrow the field):

Adult Novels

1) Urban Fantasy

-Must have a strong female lead for me to consider.

2) Contemporary Fantasy (with strong romantic elements)

3) Paranormal Romance (or at least light paranormal elements such as ghosts)

4) Any novel with vampires and at least some romance will be considered

-Also needs a strong female lead character

5) Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic novels (must have strong romantic elements)

-Must have a strong female lead for me to consider.

6) Sci-fi/futuristic romance

7) Time-travel romance

8) Historical romance (I’m very picky on this one, so no guarantees)

9) Erotica (must be M/F or Menage)

*Keep in mind that even if your novel falls under one of these genres, the premise may not interest me.  I am not responding right away to requests, but will keep them under consideration as I move through my TBR list.

**If your novel is the first in a series, where you have a romance that will bloom slowly over the course of the books, I will waive the strong romantic elements, but you’re going to have to spoil that for me to consider it.

Genres I WILL NOT consider:

1) YA/MG/Childrens

2) Short story collections (several novellas combined together are okay, but they should be at least 10k words each)

3) Christian Romance

4) High Fantasy (I used to allow this but it is off the list for now– blame it on Game of Thrones for setting the bar too high)

5) Hard core Sci-fi

6) Action/Adventure/Suspense/Mystery that lacks strong romantic or paranormal elements.

-This includes military fiction (especially if the Navy or 101st Airborne Division is involved), corporate, spy-thriller, detective, police-procedural, etc

7) Non-fiction (I have exceptions to this rule with memoirs/biographies, but it’s too complicated to list them)

8) Erotica/Romance where the focus is on same sex couples.  Experimenting is okay so long as it isn’t a permanent thing.  I have no problem with side characters being homosexual.

9) Poetry

10) Picture books

Other Requirements (READ CAREFULLY):

1) Novel must be at least 40k words in length, but no more than 120k words.

2) Please do not send me a copy of your book unless I request it.  I always read the sample first before making a decision on whether to read/review.

3) You do not need to have any other reviews for me to be willing to consider the novel.  I fully support new authors and have found some great work that hasn’t gotten a single review yet.  In fact, those can be some of my favorite finds.  If you have over twenty reviews, though, I may pass in favor of those who need them more.

4) It should be understood that all my reviews are honest.  If I get a couple of chapters into your book and realize it is not for me, I’ll email you and let you know (unless it is part of a tour, then I’ll contact the organizer instead). A review will not be posted in that case.  If I do reach the end, but have mixed emotions, I’ll email you and let you know of the rating I would give (and why).  You can choose whether or not to have the review posted, but please do not argue with me about my opinion.  If it is part of a tour, though, I may post it at a later date.  Remember, reading is subjective.  It doesn’t mean your work isn’t good.  It just means that it didn’t resonate with me for whatever reason.

5) I should not find any cases where the author has harassed critical reviewers.  Yes, I will check comments on reviews of your work.


If you meet and accept all the criteria above, please post the following details in a comment below:

1) Your name
2) Link to Amazon for the book
3) Genre*
4) Word count
5) Brief synopsis
6) Email where I can reach you (if you entered it in for the required info to comment on the blog that will be sufficient)

*Genres that I will give the highest consideration will be in paranormal romance and urban fantasy.



The FTC requires me to say:

All reviews on this blog are unbiased and I am in no way compensated for the reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While a small number of reviews may be based on receipt of copies or ARC copies of an author’s work, a fair and impartial review is always given by me. Most of my reviews, however, are based upon books that are purchased after publication date.

31 Responses to “Book Reviews”

  1. Thanks for the opportunity to post my work! Although it doesn’t sound like Irish-themed, historic fiction/fantasy is your thing, let me know if you’d like a read and I’ll send you either a paper book, or a Smashwords coupon for a free eBook. Your choice.

    Richard Sutton

    • Richard, I have read some in the past and enjoyed them. Mostly, it depends on the story. I will check out your books and let you know! Thanks for stopping by and posting. Hopefully this site will help draw some interest in your books!

  2. 1) Kathryn Nicol
    2) Nik’s Knacks
    3) Satirical Fantasy
    4) 65,000
    5) Bern Wood, unemployed security guard, finds a new job at Nik’s Knacks a curio shop not only filled with oddities but one itself. When he discovers the store’s ability to travel through history, he figures he’s safe from being trapped in time so long as he stays within the safety of its walls during work hours. After all, the store consistently returns him home each night.

    Then one day, Bern meets one of the many secrets the store’s been hiding in the storeroom. In a panic, he rushes outside for escape where the store traps him in an inhuman land inhabited by loons and narcoleptic fairies. To make matters worse, he’s stuck alongside his mentally unstable co-workers and no way to contact his wife to let her know he’ll likely be late for dinner. Even if Bern does make it home, there’s no guarantee that home will be quite the same as when he left it.


  3. Hi Suzie,

    Thank you for putting this together! Here’s my book info:

    Chris Howard
    Urban Fantasy
    Andin Teller can change the world with a pencil and paint brush. Teller isn’t just his name. It’s what he is—someone who can manipulate memories, reality and even shift time with the right pencil line, paint stroke, or story. But it doesn’t come without a cost, and he isn’t alone. When he discovers his mother is part of an otherworldly organized crime family in the middle of a secret war—and has been abducted by a rival family, Andin sets out to rescue her with his closest friends, Taryn, a mathematics and patterning genius, and down-to-earth, motorcycle-driving Itoshi. With their help, Andin navigates a world he doesn’t understand, taking on family betrayers, killers, and others like himself—others who have powers greater than his own.

  4. Thanks so much for the offer!

    Fate, Book One of Timeless Trilogy is a romantic suspense novel with a little paranormal normalcy thrown in for good measure. It’s roughly 58,000 words.

    Is precognition a prescription for happiness or disaster?

    The good things in life are coming together for Kristina Collins. She’s found her ideal home, her career is on track for mega success and the man of her dreams has finally come back into her life.

    In Fate, the first installment of the Timeless Trilogy, Kris Collins discovers the benefits and risks of having precognitive visions while being stalked by a serial killer. Her friends can’t help her, the FBI can’t save her; she must save herself.

    The Timeless Trilogy heroines, Kristina, Veronica and Cassandra, each deal with paranormal abilities as they discover and rediscover eternal love.

    I’m happy to gift you a copy through Amazon or Smashwords. You can reach me at My website is


  5. Hi Susan! Thanks for doing this. What a great idea! I would love to have you review my e-novella (wordcount- 24k), Bad Spirits (Books 1-5). It’s action-packed suspense and a fast read. Here’s the blurb:

    Kate Jones is on the run with a backpack full of money, intent on finding her way back to the United States from Mexico. Unfortunately, a ruthless drug lord named Salazar is just as intent on finding her, retrieving his stolen money, and making her pay for ever having left him. Is there anyone she can trust?

    Originally published as five separate short stories chronicling Kate Jones’ race through Mexico, Bad Spirits Books 1-5 is a fast-paced, action-packed novella. Just when you think Kate’s escaped one impossible dilemma, she’s thrown into another perilous situation. Can she survive long enough to make it out alive?

    If you’d like to review the book, I can either send you a PDF or a coupon for the Smashwords edition, if you prefer.

    You can reach me at
    My website is: (check out my new book trailer on the front page! It was so totally fun to make…)
    Thanks again,

  6. Susan,

    As requested, here are the links to my books for your TBR pile. If you need anything more, let me know!


    Best Wishes,

    Mark Whiteway

  7. Hi Susan,

    What a great resource! I’d love it if you could add my Erotic Paranormal Suspense Romance to your TBR list:

    Debbie L Moore

    “The Seduction of Faith” Pure Faith Series, Book 3


    Catherine Faith Valantsio, a virtuous Linguistics student, receives a cryptic phone call that will turn her world upside down. The descendant of a chosen family, she has an important destiny to fulfill, if only she was even remotely aware.
    Nash Rittic is aware, and sent to destroy her: body, mind, and soul. Faith is also in possession of two items Nash needs desperately to increase his power exponentially.
    From the moment Faith lays eyes upon Nash, he intoxicates her, awakening feelings she never knew existed. Will Nash use this to his advantage, as he has done so many times in the past, or will he succumb to the undeniable feelings Faith stirs within him?
    The answer will determine the final destiny of them both, with Heaven and Hell vying for control. The fate of the world tilts between good and evil. Which will reign supreme?

    No website yet 😦 This book is actually the 1st in the series. Books 1 & 2 will be prequels. Book 4, Faith’s Intoxication is also available on Amazon and B&N. Just let me know if you’d be interested in reviewing when you have the time, and I’ll provide you with an electronic version.

    Thanks so much for providing this medium for us!

  8. Hi
    I was asked to post this here. Thank you for this opportunity.
    1) Your name: Suzie Grant

    2) Name of the Book: Wrong Kind of Paradise

    3) Genre: Historical Romance

    4) Word count: 75,000 words

    5) Synopsis: Even the Hell’s Angel needs a guardian and English Privateer Blac Barclay is unwillingly recruited for the job in this high seas adventure.

    Blac must choose between revenge against the British Lieutenant who’d ruined his family or keeping his word to the pirate who’d saved his life. Escorting the pirate’s daughter to her grandfather’s care becomes impossible when the little wanton steals his ship. Ordered by the lieutenant to retrieve the woman they call the Hell’s Angel, Blac is determined to honor his word to his friend and use the wayward wanton as bait. But will his plan cost him the only woman to ever steal his heart?

    When Angel De’haviland’s father is imprisoned with charges of piracy, the pirate’s daughter commandeers a British privateer’s ship and plans to kidnap a high ranking official to ransom for her father’s release. But her attempted abduction is foiled by the very captain whose ship she’d stolen, and she becomes a captive herself. Now she must trust her handsome captor to free her father as he leads her right into the Wrong Kind of Paradise.

    6) Email where I can reach you:

    7) Author website:

    Thanks again!!

  9. Good morning Susan, Gee it’s been awhile since we last spoke. Just touching base to see how things are progressing. I have a new book out. I noticed you do review vampire works.

    Are you ready for vampires to regain their standing in the genre? Are you ready for them to stop “sparkling” and take on a worthy opponent? Then wait no longer. This book will satisfy even the most “bloody thirsty” appetites with an added twist; one of the clans is able to release a very nasty bacteria into their respective hosts which after ninety days or so unleashes a very ghoulish end to the recipients.

    The Third Reich has Occupied Poland. The plan of “relocating” the population is well underway with one problem the Germans could have never imagined. They unknowingly are removing the food supply of the Romanov and Boirarsky vampire clans. Needless to say, they do not care for each other at all. Too much bad blood has been spilled over the past centuries. Will they be able to unite and take on the true enemy; the Third Reich, or will they perish as the food supply quickly diminishes?

    Available in print or e-book. Let me know which you would like if interested.

    • Hey Jeff, I have so much going on at the moment that I’ve gotten rather behind on my TBR list. Thanks for stopping by and giving me the reminder. I’ll be sure to put it on my “read soon” list.

  10. Good Morning Susan,
    Thanks for the opportunity to post the details of my book. Here is the information you requested below. Should you decide to review it I will be happy to provide either a print copy or an e-copy, your choice. My contact information is Thanks again! Rick

    1) Rick H. Veal
    2) The Master of Whitehall
    3) Paranormal Romance
    4) ~108,500
    5) The Master of Whitehall is a contemporary paranormal romance novel set in historic Charleston, SC, where Katelyn Corbin, a thoroughly modern twenty-one year old college senior, faces the prospect of restarting her life after the brutal murder of her parents. She soon finds love, healing and a brand new life.
    After relocating from Atlanta to her new school Katelyn meets James Dubois a wealthy patron of the arts at her school He’s a handsome young widower living alone in a beautifully restored plantation house called Whitehall.
    But James is not the man Katelyn thinks he is. Dark secrets surface to make Katelyn question whether or not to continue their relationship. She discovers that old folklore and fairy-tales are real in a world where vampires live and love side by side with humans.

  11. Maggie Plummer, author, Spirited Away – A Novel of the Stolen Irish

    Historical Fiction (does include romance, and has female main character)

    app. 60,000 words

    Brief Synopsis:
    It’s May 1653. When young Frederica (Freddy) O’Brennan and her sister Aileen trust a stranger on an empty beach in western Ireland, they inadvertently place themselves in the crosshairs of Cromwell’s notorious Reign of Terror. Freddy awakens in the crammed hold of a slave ship bound for Barbados. She and Aileen endure the gruesome voyage only to be wrenched apart when purchased at auction by sugar plantation owners from different islands. Freddy is left alone to face the brutal realities of life as a female Irish slave on a seventeenth century Barbados plantation. As she struggles to survive the ordeal, Freddy’s harrowing experiences paint an intimate, compelling portrait of 1650s Irish and African slavery in the Caribbean.

    I think you will enjoy this good read! Thanks!

  12. Hi Susan. I have a book that I just released that I’d love for you to take a look at.
    1) Sandy Wolters – Soul Mates
    3) Paranormal Romance (Magic) Time Travel Romance
    4) 50,573
    5) Pulled Back Through Time, Shandelle Is Caught Between An Enduring Love And A Wizard’s Magic

    In the beginning of time, one soul splits into two. Lifetime after lifetime, the two souls are reborn and seek to reunite. Like a beacon of light from heaven above, their light shines for each other. Without the other, there is only darkness. A wonderful blessing that can only come from a deeply-bonded love, the sharing of one soul can also be a black curse if something disrupts the moment of their coming together.

    Ireland 1323 Donovan, chieftain of the Clan O’Brien, has unsuccessfully searched his entire adult life, to the detriment of his clan and all those around him, for that elusive possession that will bring his soul peace. He doesn’t know what it is, but he will give up everything to find it. One day, he is summoned by the Wizard and told the secret of his obsession—his soul mate. She is no longer living in his time, but there is a way to bring her back to him.

    Phoenix 2013 Shandelle and Ian are embarking on their new life together. She is everything Ian ever wanted but never realized he needed before he met her. Shandelle is a generous soul who lives to make Ian and everyone around her happy. Unfortunately for them both, evil is stalking them. The blood bond duty of a close friend brings betrayal and evil into their lives. How were they to know that the death of a six-year-old girl in the early fourteenth century could have such grave consequences on their lives today?


  13. Hi Suzie,

    here’s the info for “Daimones”

    1) Massimo Marino
    3) Sci-Fi, dystopian, post-apocalypse
    4) 93k
    5) Dan and his family awake one day in a world where everyone is dead but no evidence points to a cause. Initial searches for survivors yield nothing and, in panic, the family turns their house into a stronghold. Eventually, they find Laura, a survivor who manages to win their hearts…and leads Dan to temptation. Laura reveals her panicking encounter with strange entities which Dan recognizes in his childhood hallucinations. He forces himself to find and confront them: An older power controls the fate of men.

    All the best

    • Massimo, I generally prefer strong female leads and romance for your genre so I can’t be sure if I can get into it, but when I have time I will try.

  14. Name: Emma Faragher
    The House (Trix SinClara series) – the link seems to be different every time but there is a consistant one on my blog if that one doesn’t work.
    Genre: Urban fantasy
    Word count: 150,000 (I realise that this puts it over your word limit and understand if that means you will not consider the book)
    Shifters are going missing.
    Trix has always been part of the very ordered and very rule orientated supernatural community. Secrecy is everything. But life is starting to come apart at the scenes, between growing magic and being attacked by vampyre, she can’t just take the world at face value anymore. Then shifters start to disappear without a trace and Trix is left in charge of the House, where wayward shifters go for comfort and control.
    The witches won’t help and rules are changing. There is more at stake than any of them realise. The House may just become the centre of the biggest disaster the supernatural community has ever seen. It all seems to be up to them and Trix has more to deal with than she ever thought possible.

    • Emma, thanks for letting me know about your book. You are beyond my word count limit, but your synopsis is intriguing enough I might be willing to give it a chance anyway. I have a deep love of all things urban fantasy with strong female leads and yours appears to be exactly that! My TBR is long, but when I get a chance I’ll contact you for a review copy if that would work.

      • That sounds great, thank you. If you email me please also include instructions on formats and such to send for the book as I have basically no idea what I’m doing when it comes to technological stuff.

  15. 1) JK Walker


    3) Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

    4) 83000

    5) After a weekend party gone very, very wrong, third-year university student Jasmine Bedeau finds herself a “person of interest” to far too many interested parties. She must bring a family-inherited curse—and powerful new abilities—under control or risk the consequences of the supernatural community to which she now belongs. But between the police and the paranormal, the campus and the council, how’s a girl to rise to the challenge of just holding onto a normal life? Werewolves, vampires, and witches—and now a serial killer targeting the supernatural, setting his sights on Jasmine and her new-found friends. It’s a good thing she’s a werecat, because she’s not rolling over.

  16. 1) S. B. Redstone
    2) A Sinister Obsession – published by Black Opal Books
    3) Genres: Mystery Thriller, Strong Female Lead, Paranormal Romance
    4) Word Count – 93,000
    5) George and Lenore Marr are brutally murdered in Pittsburgh. Months later, several murders strike Baltimore County, Maryland. Undoubtedly, these seemingly unrelated killings would have become a cold case, and the killer free to pursue a deluded dream, if Detective Aubrey McKensie of the Maryland State Police had not been assigned to investigate the killings. This is no commonplace and tiresome detective story. This fabulously wealthy, dark haired Scot whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy has a reputation for solving unsolvable crimes, not only by depending on her intuitive talents, but by relying on her paranormal ability that has been invaluable in her police work, but a disaster to her social life. Susan Gardner is a clinical psychologist living in Delaware and Sherman Langston is a businessman with political aspirations of becoming president in Virginia. Both have lovely families and are respected in their fields. They have not seen each other since graduating high school and neither would have any reason to be suspicious of a stranger entering their lives through murder and deception. During Aubrey’s investigation, fate links her up with Detective Joshua Diamond from Pittsburgh whom she is highly attracted to. Struggling with her romantic feelings toward this sweet and interesting young man with a heartfelt secret of his own, her erratic behavior fluctuates between seductive and icy cold, which has Josh thinking that this charming and talented detective is a certifiable lunatic. While these two masterful detectives pursue an oddly behaving and elusive killer with a secret past and an equally secretive future an unexpected turn of events occurs—a grotesque and murderous scheme is launched that Aubrey and Josh are desperate to end before further innocent lives are destroyed.
    6) e-mail –

    Thank you for your contribution to authors.

    Steven Redstone

    P. S. – Different than your interests, I only hit things. Golf balls, tennis balls, and bowling pins. I did try karate in my youth, but fearing that all I was gaining was weight loss from the strenuous exercise, my friend assured me that wasn’t possible unless bones could evaporate!

  17. Hello,

    Thank you for this opportunity.

    RB Austin
    Paranormal Romance

    Killing Fallen to save mankind is Cade’s redemption for murder and only one human—mouthwatering and absolutely forbidden—stands in his way.

    Cade committed himself to saving lives before he learned the full consequences of his life-altering decision. It wasn’t until he was tending his sick wife that he learned the enormity of what he’d done and he was unable to save her from the monster he had become. Consumed with guilt and praying for absolution, he threw himself into killing every Fallen he could find to save the humans he’d sworn to protect. But then Emma, deliciously mortal and completely forbidden, swept into his world, stirring an overpowering desire. Now he’s not only fighting soulless creatures, but also his inner cravings, trying to maintain his distance and continue on his path to forgiveness. He won’t lose control again and lose another love.

    I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, happy reading!


  18. Hi! My name is Elizabeth Corrigan, and I was wondering whether you would consider reviewing my urban fantasy novel Oracle of Philadelphia, published by Red Adept publishing. The story does have a strong female lead, though I confess this is one of those first books in a series where the romance is slow-developing. The novel is 68,000 words.

    Synopsis: Carrie works at a diner in South Philadelphia, dispensing advice to humans and angels wise enough to seek her counsel. But there are some problems that even the best advice can’t solve.

    Her latest supplicant, Sebastian, is unique among those who have sought her aid. He sold his soul to a demon in exchange for his sister’s life, but his heart remains pure.

    Carrie has lived for millennia with the knowledge that her immortality is due to the suffering of others, and she cannot bear to see another good man damned when it is within her power to prevent it.

    In order to renegotiate his contract, Carrie must travel into the depths of Hell and parley with the demons that control its pathways. As the cost of her journey rises, Carrie must determine how much she is willing to sacrifice to save one good soul.

    Amazon Link:


  19. 1. Stacey Roberts
    3. Humor
    4. 56,000
    5. When the author was born, his mother did the unthinkable. She gave him a girl’s name—Stacey. But Stacey’s name was just the first hurdle he’d face in his uphill climb from birth to manhood. He also had to deal with an entitled older brother, the hodgepodge of different men his mother was involved with, and the nomadic lifestyle he was forced to endure for five years. And to top it all off, his mother couldn’t cook a decent meal to save her life. Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name is Stacey Roberts’ lighthearted, often hilarious account of growing up in an unstable household during the 1980s. Full of humor, history, and hope, it follows Stacey from the hospital room where he was born to the Winnebago that carried him across the country, filling in the gaps with a wit and humor that anyone with a dysfunctional family can appreciate. So go ahead and start reading. Once you hop aboard the Winnebago with Stacey and his quirky family, you’ll find that you’re in for the ride or your life, where what you learn along the way is not only entertaining, but also enormously enriching.
    7. Thank you!

  20. Hello, Susan and so nice of you to do this for indie authors! My book is post apocalyptic with strong romantic elements, and does have some strong female characters, but the POV is from a man named Alex. Not sure if that is good enough for you, but feel free to check it out.
    1) Gary Vanucci
    3) Post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy (zombies)
    4) 70K
    5) When Alex’s idyllic life becomes hell on earth in the face of a zombie apocalypse, his survival skills keep him one step ahead of danger. With the companionship of a lone wolf, Alex begins to accept this cruel existence, struggling at times to keep a moral compass, and setting out on a new quest of hope where he not only wants to survive, but also seeks to thrive in a world besieged by the living dead.

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