Category: Book Reviews

The Elon Musk Method

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

What makes Elon Musk so special? Dip into the pages of The Elon Musk Method to find out. - Business books, Successful People, Greatness
What makes Elon Musk so special? Dip into the pages of The Elon Musk Method to find out.

About the Book

The Elon Musk Method; Randy Kirk
Adult; Education; 154 Pages

Leaders Press (February 24, 2019)

What does Elon Musk know that you don’t?

  • Elon Musk built Zip2.com from a start-up to $22 million paycheck in three years.
  • Then Musk built X.com from a start-up to $160 million paycheck in four years.
  • Since then, he has created SpaceX and Tesla giving Musk an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

Would you like to achieve even a fraction of his success? Now you can.

Serial entrepreneur and best-selling author, Randy Kirk, exposes 16 secret principles that guide Elon Musk in his entrepreneurial decisions, including:

  • How to become a visionary that profits;
  • How to uncover the principles of running a successful business;
  • How Elon Musk uses networking to scale his businesses;
  • How you should be using your passion and persistence; 
  • How to maximize the potential of any business regardless of its size;
  • The counterintuitive thinking about quality and cost;
  • Why The Elon Musk Method works to generate successful enterprises of any kind.

Follow SpaceX’s founding member’s Jim Cantrell’s advice and read this book now because “Randy captures the essence of what drives Elon and this gives us valuable insight into what has become one of the most influential people of our time.”



Filled with dozens of Elon Musk quotes, you’ll have a rare opportunity to gain proven principles and methods that are unlike anything you’ll read elsewhere.

Jenn’s Review

What does visionary entrepreneur, Elon Musk, know that you don’t? Randy Kirk and co-author Alinka Rutkowska propose to answer that question and more in their book The Elon Musk Method. As an avid reader of business books, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in the review copy that I received. (note: I refer to the author in this review in the singular, as Mr. Kirk regularly refers to himself throughout the book. I’m not sure what capacity Ms. Rutkowska served, but as she is listed as co-author, I’m giving her billing here, as well.)

Kirk dissects Musk’s methodologies and beliefs in a straightforward, concise manner that is always welcome by the enterprising reader. He’s clearly done his research, and Musk’s quotes from the public record are liberally scattered throughout. The author lays the groundwork on a multi-point framework, and works through what he suggests sets Musk apart from the rest of the pack. (Spoiler alert: Kirk approaches hero-worship level in places. Despite his proposition that Musk is some kind of superhuman, I’m relatively certain that the man is… just a man.)

The chapters break down that framework further, discussing each point in some depth, citing examples from Musk’s career, and frequently underlined with further supporting evidence from Kirk’s career, as well. The information is useful, the insights are enlightening.

This is my first Elon Musk book, but it won’t be my last. Admittedly, the man is fascinating, and what he’s accomplished in his life thus far is astounding. With that said, though, this book left me scratching my head. I’m not a newbie to business books, by any means, and this work was less than impressive. It boils down to a lot of public-record quotes, some advice, a few references to the author wishing he could ask Musk this question or that, and not a lot else that the reader could not find in most other business books.

With all that said, this is a short and easy to digest book of business concepts. I give it three stars for its conciseness, balanced with a lacking spark.

What makes Elon Musk so special? Dip into the pages of The Elon Musk Method to find out. - Business books, Successful People, Greatness
What makes Elon Musk so special? Dip into the pages of The Elon Musk Method to find out.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback formats here.

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Aaru:Halls of Hel

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews book 2 in David Meredith's Aaru Cycle - Aaru: Halls of Hel - YA Science Fiction, Virtual Reality, Life After Death
Jenn reviews book 2 in David Meredith’s Aaru Cycle – Aaru: Halls of Hel

About the Book

Aaru:Halls of Hel, David Meredith

Adult, Science Fiction, 388 Pages

Bowker (July 26, 2018)

“… Let them have everything – health, food, a place to live, entertainment. They are and remain unhappy and low-spirited for the demon waits and waits…”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Rose is a Veda.

In Elysian Industries’ virtual paradise of Aaru, that means she’s practically a goddess. She is immortal. She is powerful. A limitless paradise is hers and her friends’ to command. They are free from sickness and pain, old age and death. She should be ecstatic over her prestige and privilege, but the gilded utopia has lost its luster. 

In a reality where anything can be hers with a thought, and Rose can master any skill instantly with nothing but her imagination, to what can she still aspire? She has all of eternity to fill, but what will her purpose be? Rose adores her sweet, Latin boyfriend, Franco. She loves wiling away endless immaculate days with her friends, but shouldn’t there be more to life than mere play? Also, Rose is dogged by deep concern for her little sister, Koren, the Elysian Industries spokes-model and reality star back in the “Before” world.

Though Koren is wealthy, famous, and idolized by millions of adoring fans, her life is spinning out of control. Her parents’ marriage is on the rocks, and the boyfriend of her dreams, Jonas Perry, seems suddenly indifferent. Koren finds her celebrity increasingly isolating, her grueling work schedule exhausting, and the constant scrutiny of her personal life unwelcomed and intrusive. To top it all off, she has regular nightmares about the death of her friend, Kiku, and the still-at-large Magic Man who nearly stole away her everything.

Koren and Rose have more to fear from this quarter than they know. Magic Man’s obsession with the teenage idol has not lessened, and he is far from defeated. With vital aid from an unexpected source, his nefarious schemes to make Koren his own and to hack the Aaru mainframe are on track and moving forward. Unless the sisters can thwart his sinister designs, everyone and everything the girls hold dear could be destroyed.

About the Author



David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Jenn’s Review

Koren and Rose Johnson are back, and scrambling to find themselves in book 2 of David Meredith’s AARU Cycle, Aaru: Halls of Hel.

Koren is still reeling from the loss of her friend and the publicity tour demands that Aaru’s board has placed on her 14-year-old shoulders is wearing her out. Not only is she trying to navigate the hassles of being a teenager, but she’s trying to do so under the microscope of public opinion, religious zealots, and her parents’ marriage falling apart.

Rose is enjoying her second life in Aaru, but she’s growing increasingly restless, learning the hard lesson that life without purpose is empty, and she’s facing a very long existence.

And the Magic Man? He got what he needed from his attack on Koren, but he’s not finished with his goal.

Aaru: Halls of Hel is a deeper dive into the fascinating universe of life-after-death. You could possibly start with this book, but you’ll get far more out of it by reading book 1 first. Multiple plots are involved, and this is not the end of the series. I definitely enjoyed this book, though it is a long read.

Jenn reviews book 2 in David Meredith's Aaru Cycle - Aaru: Halls of Hel - YA Science Fiction, Virtual Reality, Life After Death
Jenn reviews book 2 in David Meredith’s Aaru Cycle – Aaru: Halls of Hel

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Other Books in this series:

Aaru (book 1)

The Greatest Risk

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk - contemporary romance, BDSM, Erotica Romance
Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk

About the Book

The Greatest Risk; Kristen Ashley
Adult; Erotica; 592 Pages

St. Martin’s Griffin (May 1, 2018)

A woman, unable to connect, struggling to hide another part of her. A man burning to learn her truth, and make her whole. Through explosive passion and deep exploration, they are about to take the greatest risk of all. But will they be able to take that leap, and come out on the other side together? In this next passionate novel in the Honey series, New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley delivers a stunningly romantic and intensely sexy novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

About the Author

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Heroes, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation and Honey series along with several standalone novels.

She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books. 

In January, Kristen released FREE, the finale to her much-loved Chaos series. Upcoming from Kristen will be THE SLOW BURN, the final book in her Moonlight and Motor Oil series, out April 30, 2019, and QUIET MAN, a Dream Man novella coming 1,001 Dark Nights coming August 13, 2019.

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and she now resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She now writes full-time.

Although romance is her genre, the prevailing themes running through all of Kristen’s novels are friendship, family and a strong sisterhood. To this end, and as a way to thank her readers for their support, Kristen has created the Rock Chick Nation, a series of programs that are designed to give back to her readers and promote a strong female community.

You can learn more about Kristen and the Rock Chick Nation on her website: www.KristenAshley.net

Jenn’s Review

Disclaimer: this book is intended for mature audiences only. It’s recurring themes of sexuality, BDSM, domination, and sexual slavery are not appropriate for minors.

Steamy sex, domination, bondage, control, and persistent love lay between the pages of this sizable novel by Kristen Ashley. Despite its thick and intimating size, I read through it in just a few days, totally engaged in the plot.

Sixx and Stellan come from backgrounds as opposite as they come. Sixx was intrigued by Stellan’s detached air from the moment she set eyes on him in the upscale BDSM club run by her good friend and mentor, Aryas. Stellan is par excellence when he works with submissives in the club, and Sixx has her own following as one of the club’s most sought after dominatrices.

Her biggest problem? Stellan is totally out of her reach, whether he’s attracted to someone else, or just seems to not notice her at all.

And then there’s her career choice, looming in the background. If she gets involved with anyone, it could end badly for them both.

So, when Stellan challenges Sixx’s preconceived notions about herself and him, the stakes are higher than ever. Can they both move beyond the traumas in their pasts to find love stronger than any bondage they’ve ever explored?

And when Sixx takes on a job that has her exploring another BDSM club, will the danger cost her the best thing she’s ever had?

This is my first Kristen Ashley, and it is definitely NOT your momma’s Fifty Shades of Gray. Deeply empathetic characters and rich settings set the stage for steamy romance and rough sex of all kinds.

Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk - contemporary romance, BDSM, Erotica Romance
Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audio book, paperback, and MP3 CD here.

Le Remède

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Densie Webb's contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde - urban fantasy, contemporary romance, romance fiction
Jenn reviews Densie Webb’s contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde

About the Book

Le Remède; Densie Webb
Adult; Science Fiction Romance; 260 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc (November 7, 2018)

Andie Rogé craves control like some people crave chocolate. But she can’t control her feelings when she encounters Vincent Dubois at Lizzie Borden’s Bar. 

Tortured by blood lust that has ruled him for almost two hundred years, Vincent is unprepared for the pull he feels toward Andie. He can only surrender to what he knows is fate. 

Offered a cure from a rare black orchid, he faces an agonizing choice—take the only dose and join Andie in the human life he so deeply desires or give the cure to his Kindred brother to stop his bloody rampage. Fate brought them together but will it destroy their chance at a future?

About the Author

Le Reméde author, Densie Webb

Densie Webb has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books and tons of articles on the topic over the years. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and SheWrites; a contributor to Women Writers, Women’s Books; and a daily “tweeter” for WriterUnboxed. Her latest novel, “Le Remède” was published by Wild Rose Press. Her debut novel, “You’ll Be Thinking of Me” was published by Soul Mate Publishing. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York, and settled in Austin, TX, where it’s summer nine months out of the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she loves anything to do with zombies, vampires or post-apocalyptic worlds), drinks too much coffee and has a small “devil dog” that keeps her on her toes. She has arrested development in musical tastes and her two children provide her with musical recommendations on a regular basis.

Jenn’s Review

Densie Webb’s paranormal romance, LE REMÉDE, is a walk on the spicy side of vampires. No sparkles here, though Ms. Webb does put her own spin on the supernatural in this charming love story.

Andie is at the end of a very long string of bad luck. She’s finally finding her feet in the Big Apple after having to lean heavily on her best friend, losing her parents, and her fiance. So when she finally meets the unbelievably beautiful mystery man from the bar, her world upends in confusion, insatiable need, and the most amazing peace she’s felt in a long time. It figures that something is wrong with him – she just didn’t guess that he was a cursed, immortal Kindred. Those only exist in the movies, right? Right?

Vincent has used his very long life learning to curb his deadly hunger and to teach his only friend how to do the same. So when an enemy from centuries past saunters into Vincent’s flower shop, offering a cure to the curse he never wanted, Vincent is doubtful, but hope springs eternal. Hope blossoms when an irresistible pull draws him toward Andie, and the only logical explanation for his attraction is a legend about fated mates – but he’s never heard of such a thing between human and Kindred.

As Andie learns to accept who and what Vincent is, Vincent’s friend loses control and spirals into a killing spree. The three must make decisions that no one should be forced to make – lover or friend? Family or the future?

This is a tastefully written, adult romance that edges towards the sweet side of the bedroom door. Le Reméde is contemporary urban fantasy, told in the first person present POV. The author’s world-building and character development are beautifully rendered, though the pacing was slow. While I enjoyed the story, I think Ms. Webb got bogged down from time to time with backstory. This is one of those authors I look forward to seeing more from in the future.

Jenn reviews Densie Webb's contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde - urban fantasy, contemporary romance, romance fiction
Jenn reviews Densie Webb’s contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

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Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee's historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda - India history, diverse fiction, fantasy fiction, historical mysteries
Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee’s historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda

About the Book

Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda; Mala Mukharjee
Adult; Historical Fantasy; 363 pages

BookRix March 12, 2019

A historical fantasy set in the backdrop of Nalanda and the end of Gupta Empire depicts the horror of Hun invasion, and power struggle between smaller kingdoms in an alternate universe bounded by magical reality. During the political turmoil, a prince vouchsafed to save Magadha from foreign invasion with the help of Nalanda’s intellectual teachers and their secret knowledge of Celestial Weapons. However, palace intrigues compelled him to renounce his claim to the throne and he embraced the life of austerity for a greater cause. Unaware of the baffling power of his enemies, the young prince entrapped in the political rivalry of Chandraketugarh and found love in an unexpected way. His journey to Nalanda unfolded many secrets of the ancient university that changed his destiny forever. Under the guidance of his mentor, eminent alchemist Budhaditya he overcame all odds and reached his goal; but just before the final battle, he faced the dilemma of choosing duty over love. 

This is the first part of a Trilogy. 

This story is purely fictional, based on imagination, not on historical facts and figures. Any similarities of events or characters, in reality, is purely coincidental and not made to insult any individual or group. 

Jenn’s Review

I picked this book up to read a quick sample, after the author, Mala Mukherjee, contacted me about a possible review. After reading the introduction, I chose to add this story to my reading list for two reasons: first, it isn’t written from a Western perspective and second, the author is upfront and honest about where the story came from. If you’re looking for a historically accurate tale, this probably isn’t for you, however, as Miss Mukherjee explains in the book’s first pages, she’s spun a fanciful tale around an archaeological mystery.

Welcome to Nalanda, and the Indus subcontinent in the age of the Huns. Nalanda is a center of learning, removed from politics, though it will not remain untouched by the coming war that looms over the land.

Prakhashaditya is a disgraced prince who renounced his claim on the throne to retire to a life of learning, if only for enough years to secure the knowledge of elemental weapons that might stand against the Huns’ mystical arsenal.

His teacher sends him to one of the department heads of Nalanda, to specifically study alchemy, and everything goes wrong when Prakhashaditya stumbles into a confusing situation between local villagers and a merchant caravan.

Confusion ensues, as court intrigues tangle and twist around each other. Hidden plots and deceptions add up, war breaks out, and survivors emerge with the truth of their identities – few of the major players know the whole truth and even fewer know who they truly are.

This was a long read, and in the first half, I frequently found myself out of the plot and lost in long descriptions of settings and people. Miss Mukherjee has done a thorough job of world-building and character creation. However, at several points in the book, I nearly gave up, as the description frequently engulfed the story. Eventually, the author does get out of her own way, and the story flows well – leaving me glad I didn’t surrender.

As a word of caution, this book is not written by a native English speaker (I am uncertain if the book was translated or if the author wrote this in English herself), and this shows up in virtually every paragraph. At times, what the author intends to say is unclear, however, I reached a place where it simply became a facet of the narrative.

Under the faults, this is a thrilling story, with unexpected plot twists, mysteries, intrigue, and danger. Definitely worth the effort to read.

Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee's historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda - India history, diverse fiction, fantasy fiction, historical mysteries
Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee’s historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda

Buy the Book

This book is available on Kindle here.

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Assassin 13 – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Brian reviews Tom Reppert's Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13
Brian reviews Tom Reppert’s Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13

About the Book

Assassin 13; Tom Reppert 
Adult; Historical Sci-Fi; 424 Pages

Helen’s Sons Publishers March 15, 2018

In the dystopian 22nd century, Lauren Ramirez is an Assassin 13, the best at her profession. Betrayed by her employer, the President of the United States, on an off-planet op, she escapes when her spacecraft hurtles through time and crash lands in 1927 prohibition Hollywood with its silent film stars and bootlegging gangsters.

She finds herself an alien in an alien land.

Becoming friends with Pauline Windsor, one of Hollywood’s top actresses and girlfriend of mafia chieftain Benny Sorrentino, thrusts Lauren into the middle of a gangland war. Even as she clings to her burning need for vengeance in the 22nd century, her relationship with the people she meets, stunt pilot boyfriend Remy Garnett, Pauline, and Pauline’s young children Rolly and Emmy, all begin to change the hard surface of her heart.

Now she must decide whether to use her 22nd century talents and technology in their defense or abandon them to the vicious thugs and slip back into her own time to wreck vengeance on her enemies.

About the Author

Author Tom Reppert

I’m an army veteran and former teacher with a BA in English and History, as well as MA in Creative Writing and Professional Writing. I spent twelve years in Africa and Asia teaching English Literature and Composition, History and a myriad of other classes. This was an extraordinary experience. In Africa, I taught at the International School Moshi on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Waking up each morning with that massive snow-capped peak out your window was beyond stirring. The mountain, the land, the people brought to mind images of earlier storied generations in Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Kenya. “Oh, God, not another bloody sunny day.” I loved the constantly sunny days. One day on a trip to Ngoro Ngoro crater our vehicle broke down in the middle of a pride of lions. We had to get out to push it to get it jump-started. But then that’s another story.

I taught ten years at Bandung International School in the highlands of Indonesia. There could not have been a more wonderful community with which to live and work or a more beautiful country. Truly a marvelous experience.

My novels on Amazon and at selected book stores are The Far Journey, and The Captured Girl, and Assassin 13. The Far Journey is on Audible.com with Assassin 13 coming soon. Morgan’s Captivity is a short piece only on Kindle detailing Morgan O’Connor’s captivity among the Cheyenne.

Currently, I live in Sandpoint, Idaho on idyllic Lake Pend Oreille, where I’m working on my next novel, another time-travel effort. To contact me: Repptomauthor@gmail.com or my Facebook page.

Facebook Author Page Twitter Author Goodreads

Brian’s Review

When this book was first presented to me, I had my doubts.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it and wasn’t sure how a science fiction novel would go with a historical novel, but I thought I’d give it a try none the less.

Assassin 13 did not let me down.  It was beautifully written and the cross-genres were masterfully mashed together and blended very well.  I have to admit that I’m a sucker for a strong main female character and this Lauren is not only that but more.  Strong, smart, witty, and I like to think above average on the looks, Lauren is an ideal role model for any young lady. Okay, maybe not the ideal role model, but if you look past her sneaky assassin side, she’s at least an above average role model.

Tom did an amazing job moving Lauren from the future to the past, keeping it simple but at the same time very mysterious. My only regret in his decision on time travel is, well not wanting to give spoilers, missing. Confusing?  Don’t worry, read the book, you’ll understand what I mean.

This book left me wishing one thing. And that is I hope Tom decides to bring Lauren back someway, somehow in a follow-up book.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a full series dedicated to Lauren.

If the 1920s is to your liking, and yet you love a little futuristic dystopia, then Assassin 13 is a great book.  If you are like me, and not really sure what to make of something mashing two things together history and dystopia, you know kind of like mixing tomato and chocolate, then read Assassin 13, cause Tom is a master at making a classic out of a something I don’t think the writing Gods ever thought possible.

Brian reviews Tom Reppert's Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13
Brian reviews Tom Reppert’s Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook and paperback formats here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

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The Renaissance Club

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

About the Book

The Renaissance Club; Rachel Dacus
Adult; Fantasy Romance; 374 pages

Time Fold Books December 20, 2018

May Gold, an adjunct college teacher earning little more than a Starbucks barista, often dreams in her tiny, moldy office about the subject of her master’s thesis, 17th-century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who invented the Baroque. In reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and her suffocating boyfriend, Darren, who is paying her way. She feels like a precocious failure and longs for a passionate, creative life of beauty and poetry. When tour leader George St. James lends May his beautiful gold pen to take her notes, she finds herself in the year 1624, under the gilded dome of St. Peter’s, staring into Bernini’s eyes. But can she break free of her present-day life, the dead-end job, the stuffy boyfriend, and the boss who wants to thwart her rise in the Art Department? Only if she can give up everything and figure out the secret to falling through the folds of time, might she seize her unexpected chance for happiness and live in a magical future with her soul mate from another time.

A CAPTIVATING STORY illuminating love’s power over time. Perfect for fans of and Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon, for those who love Italy, art, and history.

About the Author

Rachel Dacus is a poet, essayist, and novelist who writes about love and history. In her novel, THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, a young art historian gets to meet her hero from the past, the fiery 17th century Italian sculptor Bernini. She then must choose whether she can give up everything — even the time in which she lives — to be with her soulmate. The book was praised as “enchanting, rich, and romantic”.

Dacus is at work on both a sequel and a prequel. She shows off her versatility as a writer in her four poetry collections, most recently ARABESQUE. 

She lives in Northern California with her husband and a tiny, mighty Silky Terrier. She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association and Authors18. To learn more about her news and upcoming projects, sign up for her quarterly newsletter at http://racheldacus.net. A poem in every newsletter!

Jenn’s Review

A stellar story and subtle romance! Rachel Dacus’ story weaves the past and the present together in a seamless blend of prose and poetry, with subtle undertones reminiscent of a fine Italian culinary dish in The Renaissance Club.

This was not my first time-travel romance, but Ms. Dacus is easily on par with my literary heroine, Diana Gabaldon. While the heroine travels back and forth through time, she tries to keep her present-day, dead-on-arrival, relationship with Darren together; but each trip through the portal of Time, each liason with her artistic hero, Bernini, she finds herself comparing past and present in more ways than one.

The romance between May and Bernini sizzles, and the love scenes are subtle, but pack a punch and the author moves deftly through the full range of human emotions with style and sensitivity. All the while, Dacus is describing art and Italy with a deftness that leaves even the least-experienced art historian with a clear mental image of what the characters are seeing and studying.

Her characters step in and out of time seamlessly, and it would seem that all of our intrepid travelers on this particular three-week academic tour find themselves somehow changed by the magic of Italy; its pull an irresistible dare to be something more, fly higher, try something new, inspired by the innovation in artistic styles that Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi seethe with. And who wouldn’t find themselves forever altered by meeting Masters of their time such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini?

Even those who aren’t romance fans will find something in the pages of this book to pique their imagination. Aspiring authors, poets, painters and sculptors especially, should read at least the first three chapters, and pay special heed Bernini’s advice.

You won’t find steamy sex scenes in this book, but in this reviewer’s opinion, they would have most likely detracted from the overall impact of Rachel’s work. Readers will be left with a new appreciation of art, history, love and time itself. A must for every romance reader’s book list, especially fans of time-travel romance.

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

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This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

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Forbidden by Destiny

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny - contemporary romance, interracial romance, Iranian-American fiction, OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny

About the Book

Forbidden by Destiny, Negeen Paphen

Adult, Multicultural Romance , 282 Pages

Publisher City Owl Press (February 19, 2019)

Leyla had never known what it felt like to fall in love. Not until her best friend Sara broke Ben’s heart. 

After the devastating break up, Leyla reluctantly agreed to pick up Sara’s things from Ben’s home. Leyla thought she was being a good friend, but when she finds Ben completely shattered, her loyalties are tested. He had been her friend too. An afternoon of an innocent lunch and a walk on the beach to cheer him up turns into fireworks when Leyla can’t get Ben out of her head. 

Pushed to her limits, fighting for a love she’s always dreamed of, and against a demon she never knew existed, Leyla must ultimately make a choice. Her decision will come down to loyalty to her best friend, the expectations of her family, or the desires of her wanting heart. Is love worth taking the risk? 

About the Author

Negeen Papehn was born and raised in southern California, where she currently lives with her husband and two rambunctious boys. She wasn’t always a writer. A graduate of USC dental school, Negeen spends half of her week with patients and the other half in front of her laptop. In the little time she finds in between, she loves to play with her boys, go wine tasting with her friends, throw parties, and relax with her family.

Jenn’s Review

Negeen Papehn brings back the fantastic cast of her first book, Forbidden by Faith, to continue the story of Ben (the almost-hero of book 1) and Leyla, best friend of Sara, the heroine of book 1, in her second release, Forbidden by Destiny.

After Sara and Ben end their relationship for good, best friend Leyla is tasked with collecting Sara’s things from the apartment the couple was moving into. Leyla liked Ben – they were friends while he and Sara were dating, but she’s been friends with Sara since they were in diapers. So when Leyla realizes she’s attracted to her best friend’s ex, and that she’s deeply bothered by how Sara ended the relationship, Leyla finds herself in the worst possible situation – she’s in love with her best friend’s ex.

Ben understands Leyla’s predicament, but after two years of experience with Sara’s Iranian family, their culture, and their judgment based on his heritage, he’s not up for a repeat – and he pushes Leyla to stop hiding their love.

Turns out that doing so creates an avalanche of events that threaten to tear Leyla’s world apart, distancing her from friends, family, and ultimately, Ben himself. And just as she’s finding her feet again, her world is turned upside down by a single trauma that will alter her life forever.

I enjoyed book 1, and I was just tickled pink to see how much Ms. Papehn has grown as an author in book 2. The writing and plot are tighter. The narrative doesn’t ramble at all. The emotional impact of this second book is so much deeper, that I found myself crying on more than one occasion, and I hadn’t even gotten to the black moment!

Forbidden by Destiny can be read as a standalone, easily. Any necessary backstory is handled efficiently and doesn’t leave the reader lost. With that said, however, reading book 1, Forbidden by Faith, will deepen the emotional impact of Layla and Ben’s story. And… Spoiler alert: I am so happy that Ben got his happy ending – he’s the kind of guy that mother’s hope their daughters (and maybe sons) find to spend their lives with.

A full, easy four-star romance worth sitting down to.

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny - contemporary romance, interracial romance, Iranian-American fiction, OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction
Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here:

Other Books in the series:

Forbidden by Faith (Book 1 – Sara and Maziar’s story)

Forbidden by Time (Book 3 – coming soon)

The Philosophical Method

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

John McCone's THE PHILOSOPHICAL METHOD, reviewed by Jenn - philosophy, politics, ethics, scientific method, morality, policy
John McCone’s The Philosophical Method, reviewed by Jenn

About the Book

The Philosophical Method; John McCone
Adult; Education; 284 Pages

Jun 28, 2017

The physical sciences smoothly fit together: mathematics into physics, physics into chemistry, chemistry into biochemistry, biochemistry into biology which in turn leads to psychology. The humanities, on the other hand: philosophy, ethics, political science, economics and sociology, are altogether more fragmented…

…until now…

For the first to time ever, a single philosophical work has been developed that smoothly covers the full span of: epistemology (theory of knowledge) ethics, political science and economics. In the process, the nature of ethics is clarified, human rights are placed on a objective foundation and a conception of political legitimacy is developed that both secures our crucial freedoms, is elegant and clear, while at the same time will not lead us headlong into numerous wars all over the world. This then leads to a theory of economics that is equitable, productive, has a clear and simple tax policy, will reduce homelessness and with stabilize the boom and bust cycles that our economy is currently locked in.

For those both interested in a more coherent framework of principle that spans across multiple fields and those interested in philosophy that solves practical problems this book serves as indispensable reading material that combines philosophical rigour with a relative scarcity of jargon in most places.

About the Author

John McCone, Author of The Philosophical Method

John McCone grew up in Ireland. He graduated at experimental Physics at trinity and went on to measure vortex flow and carbon impurity in fusion plasmas at CCFE in Oxfordshire. He then worked as principle spectroscopist at General Fusion, a technology company developing a magnetized target fusion reactor.
A man of many interests, John dabbled in politics and was senator of Europe United, a fellow of the prestigious Cambridge-based E3 foundation and has served on the board of Village Vancouver, a Transition Initiative aimed at building local resilient economies and self-reliant, caring communities.
Throughout his career he was concerned by the lack of direction in moral and political thought when compared with the boundless speed of scientific progress and has pondered why this was the case and how this issue could be systematically resolved. John currently writes political and moral philosophy while serving as ambassador for The Seasteading Institute.

Jenn’s Review

What do you get when you cross the empirical scientific method with philosophy, politics, and morality? According to author John McCone, you get The Philosophical Method. This was a huge step outside of my comfort zone and an unusual reading choice for me, but overall, I’m glad I took the time to read this.

Mr. McCone proposes that philosophy, morality, and even politics, can become less mudlded if the same steps required in the scientific method are applied to language. He asserts that we can improve the extent to which we communicate can be simplified, misunderstandings reduced, if we could but whittle our words into narrow boxes, such as the scientific community has done with atomic particles, quarks, and energy. Having established that, the author continues on with explaining how clarified language can further be used to simplify laws, political discourse, and morality.

Trying to read this book simply made me dizzy. The author presents a strong case for his proposition, but to be honest, I was lost in the rhetoric – philosophy is not my strength. Repeating his case over and over didn’t help me. At all. This is also a large book, and in paperback, I found it difficult to manage in paperback format, as I have medical problems that affect my hand strength and dexterity.

In my final tally, I came to this conclusion: This is likely a good, solid book on philosophy. I stepped outside my comfort zone in reading this volume, and while I came away with some thought-provoking material, I was far too muddled in getting through it to come to any valid conclusions. That said, this is probably a great read for someone who DOES enjoy philosophical discourse. It’s certainly worth a read, if you’re interested in stepping outside of your current perceptions of yourself and life.

John McCone's THE PHILOSOPHICAL METHOD, reviewed by Jenn - philosophy, politics, ethics, scientific method, morality, policy

John McCone’s The Philosophical Method, reviewed by Jenn

Buy the Book

This book is available on Blurb here.

This book is available on Amazon in paperback here.

Thrice Read Books is also offering our signed review copy for sale to US consumers for $24 + $3 shipping. The book can be purchased by sending a message to our email: books@thricereadbooks.com.

The Other Side of God: The Eleven Gem Odyssey of Being

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn dives deep into the psyche in a psychological tale: The Other Side of God by Susan D. Kalior - psychology, metaphysics, shadow self, personal exploration
Jenn dives deep into the psyche in a psychological tale: The Other Side of God by Susan D. Kalior

About the Book


The Other Side of God: The Eleven Gem Odyssey of Being; Susan D. Kalior
Adult; Metaphysical; 210 Pages

Blue Wing Publications, Workshops, and Lectures (May 10, 2011)

“It is I . . . It is I . . . It is I . . . Don’t you know who I am?” 

Into the void; all the answers—are there.

Journey into yourself in this surrealistic adventure into the human psyche and multi-dimensional realities in Book One of the “Other Side Trilogy”. The reader is catalyzed into a personal journey as the pages are turned, inviting a meditative experience to expand awareness, deepen self-appreciation, ease personal pain, heal psychological wounds, and bring one into a more fruitful life experience. 

Packed with cutting-edge metaphysical insights and powerful psychological understandings, this story further sheds light on the human cycle, the earth, death, reincarnation, and mystical dimensions. This manuscript is a tribute to the inner sage in us all.

About the Author

Susan was born in Seattle, WA. Her first profession was a psychotherapist treating those suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, sexual abuse, family violence, and severe mental illness. She employed therapies such as communication skill building, relaxation training, systematic desensitization, bioenergetics, and psychodrama. She has facilitated stress management, parenting, and self-discovery workshops that have aided in the psycho-spiritual healing of many. She has lectured on metaphysical and psychological topics, and been an activist in educational matters.

Her education includes an M.A. in Ed. in Counseling/Human Relations and Behavior (NAU), a B.S. in Sociology (ASU), and ten months of psychological and metaphysical training in a Tibetan community.

With a background in college theater, psychology, and metaphysics, Susan writes in a variety of genres: psychology, philosophy, urban fantasy, and epic fantasy, infusing wisdom and hope even in her darkest plots. All her books are designed to uplift and enlighten by addressing the worst with a path to the best.

In her words:

I love to sing, meditate, and play in nature. I love fairy tales, going outside the box, and reading between the lines. I strive to see what is often missed, and to not miss what can’t be seen. There is such a life out there, and in there—beyond all perception! So I close my eyes, feel my inner rhythm, and jump off the cliff of convention. And when I land, though I might be quaking in my boots, I gather my courage and go exploring.

Through travel, study, and work, I’ve gained a rich awareness of cultural differences among people and their psycho-social struggles. I have discovered that oppression often results from the unexamined adoption of outside perceptions. The healing always has been in the individual’s stamina to expel outside perceptions of self and constructively exert one’s unique core being into the world. I am driven to facilitate expanded awareness that people may separate who they are from who they are told to be. Embracing personal power by loving our unique selves in our strengths and weaknesses . . . forever—is a key to joyous living.

My motto is: Trust your story. Live the Mystery.

Jenn’s Review

Who am I? Who are you? Who are we when we step back and dive deep into the darkness in our own minds? Take a deep breath and meet yourself in the pages of the first book in this immersive, bold, twisting tale of a woman who delves into her psyche in the midst of inner turmoil.

Susan learns she is not the sum of the masks she hides behind, and her long, arduous journey covers a lot of ground as she follows a part of herself through colorful (and a few colorless) landscapes to learn who she truly is.

This isn’t a fast read. It’s deep. It’s thought-provoking and antagonizing at times. I suppose it’s possible to read this as pure entertainment, without stopping to reflect, but in an era where we rarely stop to enjoy our experiences, I ask why anyone would?

The Other Side of God: The Eleven Gem Oddyssey of Being is a doorway to introspection and self-examination. It is the catalyst for asking yourself who you are trying to pretend to be, and who you are pretending you are not. A worthwhile read to enjoy slowly.

Jenn dives deep into the psyche in a psychological tale: The Other Side of God by Susan D. Kalior - psychology, metaphysics, shadow self, personal exploration
Jenn dives deep into the psyche in a psychological tale: The Other Side of God by Susan D. Kalior

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.