Book Review: The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard

Author: Ravina Hilliard
Release Date: 4th February 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 185
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd
Blurb: Alexandra “Lex” Granger is a private security consultant who has to go undercover to protect billionaire businessman Michael Thornton, pretending to be an escort. Michael does not think he needs a bodyguard, despite the death threats he has received from protesters against his takeover of a Danish company, but he does need protection against the predatory wife of the Danish ambassador. Lex knows that this assignment is dangerous, made more so because her client does not even know that he is being protected. 

 She doesn’t know that he thinks she is a con-artist a gold-digger who takes rich men for everything that she can get. As sparks fly, and the attraction between the two go stronger, they face a deadly danger from an unknown assailant.
Lex and Mike embark on a turbulent affair in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, with Mike realising that there is much more to the sexy seductress, her bewildering vulnerability evoking unfettered passion and feelings that he has never experienced before. Lex realises that she has committed the ultimate folly, that of falling in love with a man who despises her. Will she overcome the dangers to Michael to her breaking heart?

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard is an adult contemporary romance fiction full of steamy sexual tension between the leads and sprinkled with light thrills and chills. It’s not my usual go-to genre, but it made for a good distraction from my normal picks.

Although the book wasn’t an overly thrilling read, it made for a nice entertainer. The story was good and interesting and the idea of the female being the undercover bodyguard appealed to me the most about its plot. The characters were not very relatable but then I was not expecting them to be (I rarely expect it from romances, unless they’ve been written by the big authors who are good at what they do.) The writing though was good and that’s what made me read this book in the first place.

I’d recommend this book to romance and new adult genre readers and to those looking for a new entertaining read.


You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

Author: Lucinda Berry
Release Date: 1st March 2019
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Dark Fiction
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 364
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Blurb:
A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

REVIEW

★★★★★

HOLY–F**k!!! THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE

When I started reading this book it gave me an intense “Orphan” (movie) vibe, but then the plot started to change its track and I was like, “Okay… well, this is different, but nothing new.” But then somewhere around the last third of the book, I was completely and irrevocably mind-blown!

This book is AMAZING!!!

And the reality of how the author played with the reader’s mind using seemingly-normal characters and a seemingly-normal plot still continues to mesmerize me…

And I did NOT see that coming!!!

And that one line in the last pages of the book (where a man’s voice is mentioned) is still driving me insane! Was there really someone? Was it a supernatural presence? Was it just the broken psyche of the child? Or was it something else entirely?

OMG, I guess I have fallen in love with Dr Lucinda Berry’s intelligence and cannot stop thinking about how brilliant she is! For once, someone has dared to write about how complicated human psyche is and that some people are damaged forever and that there is absolutely nothing that can be done.

This book is full of triggers and can be dangerous if you are sensitive towards more than half of the things that is wrong with this world. But if you want to read a truly chilling work, then go for it.

Prose-wise, the author had completely re-defined the meaning of unreliable narrator for me. And it has completely changed my perspective on the subject.

This book is a gem for anyone who loves reading about sociopaths, people with psychosis and other troubled souls. This book is intense, dark and unforgivingly chilling. I loved every bit of it!

You can also read my review on Goodreads

Book Review: Ghost Tribes: The Ghost of Africa by Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr.

Author: Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr.
Release Date: 1st January 2019
Genre: African Fiction
Series: Ghost Tribes (Book #1)
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 199
Publisher: Venancio Gomani Books
Blurb:
In a semi-fictional verisimilitude of the continent of Africa, all the tribes are ruled by kings, smaller breakaway tribes are ruled by chiefs, and all are governed by the council of paramount—a legion of the noble tribes of the continent.
The principal story follows the tale of Likando and the war of the brother kings. Likando is the Lozi tribe’s princess, heir-elect to the throne, and the only legitimate child of the Lozi king, Simasiku Lumeta. However, growing without the presence of her mother, and her father never having told her the story of who her mother is or where she is or if she is even alive today, causes her to begin searching for the truth against her father’s permission and/or consent. She stumbles upon darker truths that result in her to learn that her birth may not have been a result of love or mere chance, but a carefully considered and planned series of events. This leads the princess into taking courses of action that bring her tribe, family, and overall kingdom to the brink of near-extinction.
The second part of the tale which begins eight years before the events of the first novel follows the story of Kaleya, the lost son of nothing who, after waking up alone in the jungle with no memory of his identity or his past prior, goes on a quest to discover the truth behind his stolen memories but entangles himself in a series of circumstances that result in him having to fight for his survival more often than not. The second part of the story simultaneously chronicles the Ghost of Africa, an enigma thought to be a demon that terrorizes tribes around a territory it claimed as its own three years before the events of the novel. Before the Ghost of Africa occupied the territory it occupies, there lived a thriving tribe with an organized structure and an army of possessed soldiers, ten thousand strong. However, when the Ghost of Africa first emerged, it led an army of exiled tribesmen-turned cannibal, who form the population referred to as the cannibals tribeless in the millions, against the growing tribe and thus, overwhelming its army and having the cannibals devour the raw flesh of the men, women, and children of the tribe. After wiping out of existence the tribe that existed in its territory prior, the demon goes on to fence that very territory with the skulls of the tribe’s populist on barbed wooden stakes in the hundreds of thousands all around that territory as a warning for anyone who ever dared to trespass.
The first book in the series, The Ghost of Africa, opens with Likando, the heir-elect to the Lozi throne, preparing for the maturity ceremony who gets ambushed by a gang of purported ‘mixed-breeds’. This series of events leads her to come face-to-face with the Ghost of Africa.

REVIEW

★★★★

Ghost Tribes: The Ghost of Africa by Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr. is a beautiful book that is culturally so rich that it is impossible to not like it. It is an enriched and captivating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

The book opens with a bang and ends on such a high note that I was left thoroughly impressed by the author’s ability to pull off something like this, which is conceptually so heavy, with such ease and precision. The writing is commendable and I am looking forward to reading more works by the author.

The characterization could have been better, but it is one of those books in which story is the main hero and the characters come next. So overall it proved to be a pretty good read and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes reading books with more emphasis on the story than characters.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Going All In by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley

Author: Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley
Release Date: 17th October 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Adult, Light Erotica
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 359
Publisher: Melange Books

Blurb:

Three mismatched suburban couples, Steve and Katie, Marty and Erin, and Scarlett and C. Thomas, have been neighbors and friends for years. During a pummeling Connecticut Nor’Easter, the members of the bored triptych engage in a friendly game of Texas Hold’em in front of a fire and over more than a few bottles of Merlot. The impromptu get-together eventually leads to the institution of alcohol-driven, bi-weekly poker nights.
One evening on a lark, someone suggests an alternate payout – instead of pocket change, the winner may choose a player (other than his or her spouse) with whom to spend the night. The proposition takes shape, but complications arise as these things will.
All too quickly, friendships are strained and relationships begin to crumble. Lies are told, truths are exposed, and feelings are hurt. In the end, can anyone bear the weight of this wanton self-indulgence? They are six fully consenting adults, and after all, it’s only a game. Or is it?

Review

★★★★+1/2

Going All In by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley is a contemporary fiction (bordering on erotic fiction) written very well by the husband-wife author duo and rich with authentic characterization.

When I read the blurb of this book, I was quite intrigued yet a little sceptic, but having read the authors’ previous book DeadraiserI accepted the book knowing how the writing would be. And to my utter pleasure, the book turned out to be really good!

I loved the way the story was told as the easy flow of the writing made reading this book not only easy but also very quick. There was a use of different POVs which helped me in relating to most of the characters. But the best part about this book was the characterization. The characters were so realistic that it was hard to imagine that it wasn’t a true story. All the characters were unique and had qualities that made them real and relatable. I was really vouching for Steve and Katie’s relationship but I must say that the end was nothing short of satisfying given what he did.

In this book, the authors beautifully experiments and bring us face to face with different human tendencies that anyone can or would exhibit. I’m sure that about eighty percent of the people I know are like Steve; they know what they really want but always try to do the right thing and not think about anything else really.

I’d recommend this book to all the contemporary readers and Poker lovers (you’d love the book just for the kicks alone.)

PS: The book is not outright erotica but it does have some pretty explicit scenes.

Bookstagram

https://www.instagram.com/p/BatoU9rDDgw/


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Child’s Play by Merry Jones

Author: Merry Jones
Release Date: 3rd January 2017
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Adult Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: 320
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Since her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences―like learning trapeze.
Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle’s school principal, who’d tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty’s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.
Ty’s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle’s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?
Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she’s the only adult he’s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he’s been wrongly condemned. But when she’s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?
Before Elle discovers the truth, she’s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she’s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.

Review

Child’s Play by Mary Jones is a thriller and suspense read with a strong plot and great build-up.

The plotline of this book was really good and the pacing was great, but the suspense was quite predictable. There were a lot of red-herrings, and I did like them, but certain situations gave away the main culprit a bit too early for my taste. This is one book I have mixed feeling for because in spite of enjoying the read overall there were a couple fo things that bothered me. For example, when the murderer was revealed at quite-not-the-end, for some reason, it just felt anti-climactic and the reveal’s beauty, even though being predictable, was ruined.

The build-up was good and the writing was good too. They both accented the story really well and even though the main character was built nicely and I could clearly see the efforts that were put into the main as well as the secondary characters, I was not able to feel a connection with the lead, and hence, found the overall reading experience dimmed by the very fact.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick suspense and thriller read not minding the predictability.


Goodreads, NetGalley, and Amazon

Book Review: The Forgotten Girls (Louise Rick #7)

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Author: Sara Blaedel
Release Date: February 3, 2015 
Series: Louise Rick
Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Crime-Fiction | Scandinavian Fiction | Suspense | Adult
Edition: e-book (mobi) 
Pages: 315
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley (Thanks, Tiffany!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick—the new commander of the Missing Persons Department—is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed—and hidden—n the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

The Forgotten Girls is a brilliant book with an exciting plotline which engulfs  the reader right from the beginning. The enjoyed the storyline thoroughly and would definitely love to read more from the author. This book has so many elements that it’ll keep the reader guessing at all  times. This book is what a real psychological thriller should be. The twists and turns were well timed and the intrigue factor was always present.

I loved the story from beginning to end and I’d recommend it to everyone, especially the genre lovers.

Characters:

The characterization felt a little weak to me. The main character, Louise Rick, is a decent character. I won’t say that I felt an out-of-the-world connection with the lead, but still I was able to relate to her on some level. Maybe it’s just me or the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy reading about 30 something women. Still Louise Rick, as a character, was quite good.

I enjoyed reading about her partner, Eik, and her son and neighbor. All these characters are also well-built and relatable, but again, only at some levels. but the little bit of romance seemed a little awkward as again I’m not used to reading about women with children.

Romance/Kills:

There were one or two killings, which contributed to creating the whole mystery. The killings were not really gruesome or gut-wrenchingly intense so I’d say that it’s actually a light thriller.

There was also a little romance, though it was more like flirting and it was quite awkward cause it happened so suddenly that I thought that I missed a page. It doesn’t even matter as it’s a thriller and not a romance book.

Writing:

The  book is written in third-person narrative and the writing style of the author is really simple and understandable. To be honest, I felt that the writing was decent, but the story-telling was quite weak. With a plotline this amazing I was expecting the book to be an outstanding read, though it was not quite there. And for me, that was because of the story-telling.

Having said that, I think maybe it’s because of the fact that the book is translated or poorly edited. Whatever it is, it’s the only thing that, according to me, pulled the book down a little.

Beginning:

I enjoyed the beginning of the book and was sucked into it right from the first page. Though, after the prologue the story  flowed quite slowly. But after a while it picked up the pace.

Ending:

The ending was quite unpredictable. I was completely blown off by it and it’s one of the strongest parts of the book (after the plot itself.)

Cover Art:

I love this cover art. It gives the feeling of being forgotten and the darkness of the woods really intensifies the feel.

Blurb:

The blurb is just perfect. it made me accept the book in spite of being completely packed with review-requests. I would have definitely bought it if I had stumbled upon it either on Amazon or in my bookstore.

You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Gone is coming, Gone is coming!

Highlights: Brilliant plotline.

Lowlights: Storytelling.

Final Thoughts: A decent psychological thriller with a strong plotline.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.

Book Review: The Perfect View

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Author: Carolyn Young 
Release Date: August 23rd 2014
Series: None
Genre: Psychological Thriller | Adult
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 554
Publisher: Lulu Publishing
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Mara is unaware that she is not the only one with the perfect view of her own life. Someone who has known her since the very beginning is watching her from across the lake and has been hiding in the shadows around and behind her for years, even long before she moved into her beautiful house with her husband and his daughter. The watcher has witnessed all that she has suffered and every horrible mistake that she has made in each turbulent phase of her life, but he also knows why she made them, just as he knows with certainty that she needs him to watch over her so that he can rescue her when the time comes.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Note: In most reviews when I give above 3.5 stars it’s so easy to write a review for that book, but here… Here writing the review was extremely hard. Every other word I wrote just reviled a lot of details that I didn’t wanted to share (keeping this spoiler free, lol). So it took me a while to write the review where I share what I love but without any revealing details.
Before I will start with the review, I have to say that this book is more suitable for adults due to its harsh content.

Plot/Story:

Okay, this book was a great read. I enjoyed it so much and it was a fast pace read. You get immersed in the story fast (I loved that) and your connection with the character is from the start.
This is a story that makes you want to read more with page turn. The plot here is Mara’s (the main characters fights her demons and trying hard to heal the past.
I will say that the book is mostly one flashback after another and sometimes this can be a bit overwhelming, but here the author did a great job of making it feel smooth and not overbearing as most books with a lot of flashbacks.
I normally don’t read Psychological Thriller, but I am happy that I’ve read this book. It was an awesome read.

Characters:

Mara (the main character) is struggling a lot to find her right place in the world while she battles against her own demons.
I loved how Carolyn (the author) made Mara so strong, even if she drinks a lot and self medicate to forget, but she is so strong and slowly she knows that the only thing that will help her is to remember.
You go from frowning at Mara and get upset by all the wrong choices she make and then you sympathy towards her. The author made this character so well, that Mara will not be forgotten.
Jack is another strange, dysfunctional character and when the author showed his point of view it was really scary and chilling. Trust me when I say, that these two characters will hunt you in your thoughts.

Romance/Kills:

Wow, this story is full of emotions; more like an emotional roller-coaster (I will end this here before I will start telling too much, again, lol).

Writing:

I loved Carolyn’s writing style. She writes so beautifully, it was so smooth, clean and she was able to grip my attention from start to finish. She made all the flashbacks easier to handle and they were not overbearing. Even though this story talks about abuse, affairs and addictions, the author wrote so well that your heart is immediately go out for the Mara and her story.
The author puts a lot of details on the flashbacks, but here it made the story to take shape into a wonderful book to read.

Beginning:

It’s was a harsh start as you are thrown from the beginning to the inside of Mara’s mind and emotions, but it was still a very fast pace read and from the start I enjoyed the dysfunctional Mara and was able to connect with her immediately.

Ending:

I loved the ending so much. It has a nice twist to it (it did surprise me), but in a very satisfying way.

Cover Art:

I love the cover of this book a lot. It’s so beautiful and dark just like the story.

Blurb:

The blurb sounds really nice and it does set the tone for the entire plot of Jack and Mara.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Mara was dimly awake and sitting on the edge of the bed with her feet on the floor, but she could not quite force her weighted eyes to open completely.”

Highlights: I love Carolyn’s writing style a lot and how she shows us the inner turmoil of a person so beautifully. It’s such a sad but wonderful book.

Lowlights: None!

Final Thoughts: If you like to dive into the mind and soul of a person, you will love this book. This book has it all, hard life, harsh experiences, addictions, love and so much more. The Perfect View is wonderful read, it may not be an easy read, but it is a great one!


Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together.

I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world.

Read more about Galit here.


Graphic Novel Review: A Glance Backward

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Author: Tony Sandova
Illustrator: -
Release Date: 12th May, 2015 (I received an ARC)
Series: -
Genre: Fantasy | Comics | Dark
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 90
Publisher: Magnetic press
Distributer: Diamond Book Distributors 
Source: NetGalley

Book Review: Deamhan (Deamhan Chronicles #1)

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Author: Isaiyan Morrison
 Release Date: Aug 12 2013
 Series: Deamhan Chronicles
 Genre: Adult | Paranormal
 Edition: Kindle
 Pages: 4195
 Publisher: Rainstorm Press
 Source: Author
 Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: Pet Sematary

Pet SemataryAuthor: Stephen King
Release Date: January 1, 1983 
Series: None 
Genre: Thriller | Fiction | Paranormal | Horror | Adult | Fantasy | Zombies | Suspense | Dark-Fiction 
Pages: 465 
ISBN NO.: 978-0-340-95146-0 
Publisher: Hachette India
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Blurb

The house looked right, felt right, to Dr. Louis Creed. Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago.