Tagged: Women’s Fiction

Good Luck with That

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Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

About the Book

Good Luck with That, Kristan Higgins
Adult, Humor, 480 Pages
Berkley (August 7, 2018)

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults. 

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her. 

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves. 

A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. If you want to keep up with Kristan’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at www.kristanhiggins.com.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Jenn’s Review

I had the good fortune of attending a writing class taught by Kristan Higgins over the summer, and when I had the opportunity to read one of her full novels, I jumped on it. Good Luck With That is warm, witty and honest women’s fiction with a hefty dose of romance in the second half.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met at “fat camp” in their teens and became fast friends for life. Georgia and Marley share a house (kind of), but try to stay in touch with Emerson over the years. But the best of intentions go awry, and Georgia and Marley are called to Emerson’s hospital bedside just hours before their friend passes away. In their grief, they agree to follow the instructions in an envelope that they aren’t allowed to open until after Emerson’s funeral.

Good Luck With That is an honest and compassionate look at life with obesity and eating disorders, as well as a window into how society treats women based on their weight and size. As a woman who’s struggled with weight and eating disorders all my life, I found myself between the pages of this book. I’ve lived so many of the experiences that the protagonists endure, and their eventual triumph is heartening. The book also prompted some honest conversation at home with Hubby and Daughter (who is 13 and already struggling with society and her weight). These conversations will continue and battles will be won and lost, much like the trio in this book.

Have a hanky handy for this book, and be compassionate with yourself and others as you read. Five stars and highly recommended!

Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle, Library Edition, paperback,  and in audio book editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Forbidden by Faith – Review

Thrice Read Books - Jenn reviews interfaith romance FORBIDDEN BY FAITH by Negeen Papehn - ownvoices, authors of color, multicultural, Iranian-American

About the Book

Forbidden by Faith,  Negeen Papehn, Forbidden Love Book 1

Adult, Multicultural Romance

City Owl Press (February 20, 2018)

Sara knows her life would be easier if she married a man of her faith, but when has love ever been easy?Raised by her immigrant Iranian parents, Sara has been taught that a good daughter makes decisions based on her family’s approval, and she’s spent most of her life in their good graces. Until she meets Maziar, and her world is turned upside down.
An instant electricity ignites between them, and it seems like fate when she discovers he’s also Iranian. Just as her mind begins to soar with the possibilities, he shatters her hopes.
Sara is Muslim. Maziar is Jewish. Will faith tear them apart?
Despite centuries of unrest behind them, Sara and Maziar embark on a forbidden love affair, attempting to navigate through cultural and religious prejudices.
Deep within the trenches of their battle, Sara finds herself more empowered and careless than ever before, but will her love and newfound life be worth the ultimate cost–her family?
“FORBIDDEN BY FAITH shows how family, love, and faith can collide, even in this modern age.” – Romance Author, A. K. Leigh ★★★★★ 

“Rich in culture, this first book in the Forbidden Love series immediately draws the reader in to this modern take on a familiar star-crossed lovers tale.  The chemistry between Sara and Mazair sparks white hot immediately and every interaction sizzles.” – InD’Tale Magazine 
Be sure to scroll up and hit that BUY NOW button to discover a world in which love faces the ultimate test.

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

When this book slid into my scope for possible review, I got really excited. I’d just come from a conference where diversity in romance was a hot topic, and FORBIDDEN BY FAITH was exactly what I was looking for to feature on our blog.

I wasn’t disappointed, though this book rides a fine line between women’s fiction and romance.

Sara is a grown woman, working through the rigors of post-graduate pharmacy school. While she was born in the US, her parents are Iranian immigrants with their own tragic love story. She’s been raised on the Iranian Muslim traditions of her parents and her mother’s extended family, though she doesn’t consider herself religious. When she meets Mazier at a party, she has just one question for him, “Are you Jewish or Muslim?”

Like Sara, Mazier was raised in the US by Iranian immigrant parents. He insists that his Jewish parents won’t be bothered by her family’s heritage. She opts to ignore the small warning voice in her head telling her that a relationship with Mazier is doomed at best. This turns out to be her biggest mistake, ignoring this voice…

Mazier’s family is unwelcoming to Sara, to say the least. Downright hostile would be more accurate; and ultimately, they cause enough friction between the star-crossed lovers that Sara can no longer take it, and she walks away.

Enter Ben, the calm, solid comfort of friendship from a fellow pharmacy student, just when Sara is trying hard to get over her broken heart – this section of the story is what leads me to place the whole book in the women’s fiction category. Ben and Sara have a relationship that evolves from friendship to lovers with a future, but that bond takes hit after hit when Mazier shows up unexpectedly from time to time, ripping open all the barely healed wounds in Sara’s heart.

Ultimately, tragedy strikes and Sara is forced to choose between the two men she loves, and takes on a battle she expects she’ll never win.

FORBIDDEN BY FAITH is a debut novel, and ultimately, that shows in the writing style – long descriptions, awkward dialogue… But in the end tally, this is a book worth reading, especially because of the intimate look inside other cultures, other religions, and the ugly face of deeply ingrained prejudice. This long, winding story, contains deep, well-developed characters living real-life struggles. I’m already looking forward to reading the next book this author puts out.

Thrice Read Books - Jenn reviews interfaith romance FORBIDDEN BY FAITH by Negeen Papehn - ownvoices, authors of color, multicultural, Iranian-American

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Other Books in this series:

Forbidden by Destiny (Book 2 – Leyla & Ben’s story)

Forbidden by Time (Book 3 – coming soon)

Unfinished – Review

Thrice Read Books review blog post - UNFINISHED by Amy Snyder - Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction

About the Book

Unfinished by Amy Snyder

Adult Contemporary Women’s 262 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC July 25, 2017

Mirabelle is a writer who just can’t finish any of the stories she starts. When her twins leave home for college, they take with them Mirabelle’s sense of identity. As she strives to adjust to her empty nest she is visited by someone unexpected: a character from the very first novel she ever attempted to write.

Characters from all of her unfinished works begin to materialize in her home, in her car, at her job. They talk, yell, and some even throw things at her. Mirabelle can see them, smell them, touch them and though she knows they’re not real, she can’t help but engage them. She created them, after all. They become part of her daily life and she finds herself alternating between hiding them from and sharing them with her almost-always-doting husband, Alex.

Some of Mirabelle’s characters are like good friends, encouraging her to finish something she’s started. Others manipulate her for their own needs and storylines. Good and bad, these characters are part of her and Mirabelle discovers she needs to both fix and finish them before they destroy her life, her sanity, and her marriage.

About the Author

Amy Snyder began writing when she realized the strange things that happened in her imagination were far more interesting than the things that happened in her real life. After earning her degree in Radio, Television, and Film from Northwestern University, she worked at a financial brokerage house, a nationally published magazine, an advertising agency, and most recently, an elementary school as a Math Tutor, Substitute Teacher, and Library Paraprofessional. But she’s always been a writer. UNFINISHED is her first novel. Read more at www.amysnyderauthor.com.

Jenn’s Review

A cautionary tale for aspiring authors, Unfinished is a tense tale of dreams deferred and the high price of leaving projects incomplete. While this isn’t the first story of its kind that I’ve read, it’s the first that hit close to home for me.

Mirabelle is facing middle age, an empty nest, a job she hates, and the sudden appearance of the characters she’s written into the collection of unfinished fiction sitting in her closet.

As one protagonist after another shows up to confront their creator, Bella alternatively wants them to leave her alone and considers that she might be going insane. The problem escalates, forcing her to confess to her husband, who starts out understanding, if dismissive and progresses to taking Bella to a mental health professional for help. Ultimately, Bella has to choose between her creativity and her marriage as the plot develops.

As I dived into this story, I found myself alternately wishing the protagonist would stop whining, and seeing far too much of myself in the story (12 manuscripts on my WIP shelf… Yup). This is more than a story about a middle-aged woman on the brink of insanity – it also touches the tender points of finding balance in a marriage and standing up for your own dreams.

This is told in first-person, and while the dialogue is snappy, there were moments when I wished the protagonist would quit complaining to herself and DO something. The author definitely captured the troubles that we married writers face (we’re not always free to stop and capture great ideas, after all), and the timeless space that many of us slip into when deeply absorbed in writing a story.

This was a fast-paced story that kept me turning pages, even when it felt a bit draggy. A must-read for aspiring authors and women headed towards that scary, middle age/empty nest time.

Thrice Read Books review blog post - UNFINISHED by Amy Snyder - Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction

Buy This Book

This book is available from Amazon in paperback format only. [affiliate link]

To Discover a Divine – New Release Review

new Release banner - To Discover a Divine

About the book:

By Tessa McFionn     Rise of the Stria Book 1

Fiery Seas Publishing     March 20, 2018

Sci-Fi Romance

When Kahlym cal Jhuen, freedom-fighting leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship controlled by the Rimmarian Thrall, he only expected to rescue two of his crew. But when he discovers a terrified female during his escape, he is immediately captivated by her unique beauty and makes a snap decision to take her with him. However, his good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.

Down to her last dollar, Evainne Wagner expected nothing out of the ordinary when she stepped out of her Boston apartment. Instead, she found herself in the middle of an intergalactic firefight, complete with strange soldiers with deadly weapons pointed directly at her. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.

Safely on board his ship, he learns more about her and her rare skills, triggering the memory of a half-forgotten prophecy spoken at the time of his cursed birth. Outcast because of a cruel twist of fate, he finds unexpected acceptance, even affection, from his new passenger.

Could she be the one who holds the future of his people, as well as his own heart, in her tender hands?

Buy Links:

Amazon     Kobo     Barnes & Noble     iTunes

About the author:

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. 

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

Social Media: 

Facebook     Twitter      Website      Blog

Jenn’s Review:

Holy guacamole, Batman! Tessa McFionne smashed her debut novel out of the park. You might already know that I’m a huge fan of Science Fiction Romance, and I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since we did the cover reveal back in December.

I was not disappointed.

The book kicks off with a hefty dose of WTF, as the hero, Khallym tries to figure out why a woman, a civilian woman of all things, is in the middle of his planned jail break.

The woman in question? Yeah, she’s having a mighty big WTF moment, too.

Khallum has a lot on his plate already – the rejected, disowned son of a ruling family, he’s taken to working with the Rebellion to knock an emperor off the throne. And now, he owes a life-debt to a female; an utterly foreign concept to his ship full of battle hardened soldiers.

Evainne, for her part, is utterly lost. She woke up in Boston, went through her normal morning routine, and stepped out her front door for her morning run – and found herself in the middle of a battle zone. Something, somewhere, went horribly wrong.

Evainne and Khallum have to bridge their communication and cultural gaps as they try to unravel the mystery of her appearance on the other side of the universe, and as they do, Khallum’s initial duty to protect her  morphs into something deeper.

To Discover a Divine is a fast paced, action packed, steamy adventure. Ms. McFionne focuses more on the mysteries surrounding Evianne’s sudden appearance than she does on the developing relationship, but the quick plot pace and intense attraction between hero and heroine more than makes up for that. 

I will venture a guess (and will confirm this in my interview with Tessa), that this is book one of a series. Khallym and Evianne don’t exactly get a happy ever after in this book, and the ending definitely left me hungry for more of these two.

Check out our author interview in a recent edition of Between the Pages.

Break the Line – Review

About the Book:

Break the Line by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance   Fiery Seas Everlasting

February 13, 2018

As a pro-fisherman, Benson Howell’s days are spent on murky lake water, reeling in largemouth bass and winning first place trophies. At twenty-nine, life is easy and carefree. His only job is to stay in the top rankings during the fishing circuit, and keep the sponsors happy. That is, until he meets hot tempered, fiery haired Danni-Rose in small-town Alabama. He has never backed down from anything too big to reel in.

Danni-Rose has spent the past six years of her life burying her past. When Benson Howell literally plows his boat right into her life, armed with simmering anger, she fights the current pulling her closer to him. With a past she can’t let go of, and the sexy fisherman breaking down all her walls, Danni-Rose does everything she can to break the line connecting her to Benson.

Will Danni-Rose be able to let go of the past?  Can Benson change her mind about him? Or will they both miss the catch of a lifetime?

About the Author:

Allison Mullinax photo

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters. 

You can find Allison on Social Media here:

Website     Facebook     Twitter

Buy this book:

ISBN: 978-1-946143-43-3  ~  eBook  ~  $3.99

ISBN: 978-1-946143-44-0  ~  Paperback  ~  $10.99

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes

Jenn’s Review: 

Head’s up, Romance fans! This is a quick read, but you might want a box of tissues to get through it.

Allison Mullinax’s debut romance novel Break the Line rocks. While this is a novella, and not quite long enough to qualify as a full novel (the paperback comes in at about 150 pages), it’s a brisk read that will keep you clinging to the pages (or your tablet) to keep turning pages. Her pacing and attention to detail could use a little polish, but the plot itself is well-turned.

The story of Benson and Danni-Rose is full of emotional tension (and a little sexual tension!), and the conflicts between them are easy to spot (but not easy to overcome). 

Without revealing spoilers, I’m going to give readers this heads up: I found myself sobbing (not just weepy, trickly tears, but full on gasping-for-air bawling my eyes out) near the end of the book. I won’t say that everyone will have this reaction – the heroine’s emotional conflict, the reason for her inner conflict over falling for Benson, is a situation I have personally seen – a life cut short in the blink of an eye due to someone’s careless “fun”.

Ms. Mullinax hits hard and hits home with Break the Line. If you’re looking for a quick read that grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until you hit the last line, check out Break the Line.

**Note: I believe Allison has another romance due to be released later this year. I’m looking forward to it with eager anticipation. She’s definitely on my “New Writers to Watch” list.

Break the Line – Promo And Excerpt

About the Book:

Break the Line by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance   Fiery Seas Everlasting

February 13, 2018

As a pro-fisherman, Benson Howell’s days are spent on murky lake water, reeling in largemouth bass and winning first place trophies. At twenty-nine, life is easy and carefree. His only job is to stay in the top rankings during the fishing circuit, and keep the sponsors happy. That is, until he meets hot tempered, fiery haired Danni-Rose in small-town Alabama. He has never backed down from anything too big to reel in.

Danni-Rose has spent the past six years of her life burying her past. When Benson Howell literally plows his boat right into her life, armed with simmering anger, she fights the current pulling her closer to him. With a past she can’t let go of, and the sexy fisherman breaking down all her walls, Danni-Rose does everything she can to break the line connecting her to Benson.

Will Danni-Rose be able to let go of the past?  Can Benson change her mind about him? Or will they both miss the catch of a lifetime?

About the Author:

Allison Mullinax photo

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters. 

You can find Allison on Social Media here:

Website     Facebook     Twitter

Buy this book:

ISBN: 978-1-946143-43-3  ~  eBook  ~  $3.99

ISBN: 978-1-946143-44-0  ~  Paperback  ~  $10.99

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes

Jenn’s Review: can be found here.

Excerpt (with permission from the publisher)

Excerpt 2 from Chapter 2 of BREAK THE LINE by Allison Mullinax

As expected, half the town is jam-packed into the mid-size barn turned restaurant. Christmas lights are strung across the large wooden beams along the ceiling, and the entire restaurant is a sea of picnic tables smashed together. The Whiskey Bayou Boys are perched on an old handmade stage toward the back of the restaurant. The fiddles, banjo, and guitars have everyone tapping their feet. Upstairs in the “hay loft” are the pool tables and dart boards. Buckets of crawfish, corn, and smoked sausage are plopped down in the center of each table. If you want to order anything else, then you might as well find another establishment.

“Pass me the hot sauce, baby.” My dad stretches his hand across the table, and I give it over. I pinch the crawfish head between my fingers, and my mouth waters when it snaps off. It’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a night out.

“I don’t wanna hear you mutter a single complaint tonight about heart burn.” My mom gives my dad a stern look as he douses the entire crawfish in hot sauce. He winks at her and tosses it into his mouth, making a sound of pleasure while he chews.

“You sure look pretty tonight, darlin’,” my Aunt Becky shouts across the table moments before the band fires to life on the other side of the room. I smile and give her an appreciative nod.

“It’s the blue, it always makes her eyes shine.” My mama smiles at me, and pats my hand beside her.

“She gets it from her mama.” Daddy gives Mama his best smirk.

“I still don’t want to hear any complaints from you tonight. No use in trying to butter me up now. And you best hope we have a bottle of antacid at home, because the drug store is already closed for the night.” Mama swats at his hand. But Daddy ignores her, reaching around and placing his arm across her shoulders.

“All right, all right.” He hands the hot sauce back across the table, and I can’t help but laugh at their banter.

The song comes to an end and the singer places his lips to the microphone. “Now if my eyes aren’t deceiving me, I believe I see Miss Danni-Rose here tonight.” The patrons of the restaurant begin cheering and clapping and I smile behind a pull of my beer bottle.

“No way. Not tonight, Rickey!” I holler out across the barn, knowing I’ll more than likely give in. I’m two beers down, and the easy-going nature of the town is washing over me like a warm bath, replacing the anger I felt earlier in the day.

“Awww. Come on now, Danni, you don’t want to disappoint the fine citizens of this town. What do you say, folks? You feel like hearing Danni-Rose sing to us tonight?” Again, the barn comes to life with applause. I stand to my feet and the noise level raises another decibel.

“That’s my baby,” my dad yells to the table next to us as I scoot my way past them.

“One song,” I say, holding up my finger to Rickey, approaching the stage. He reaches his hands down and pulls me up with a grin stretching across his entire face.

He steps away from the microphone and holds his hands out in front of him for me to take his place. I wave over to the other band members, and they return with a smile. I curl my fingers around the microphone, feeling the cool metal against the palm of my hand. It’s been too long, but something in the air tonight has me feeling free, more than I’ve allowed myself to feel for quite some time.

I scan the faces of the room, and it’s then that I see him. That fisherman is tucked away in a corner booth, and his brown eyes are boring holes into mine. I feel the smile melt off my face, and I’m instantly set on fire with anger. I watch when he pulls a tumbler of dark liquid and ice to his lips, and I swear I see him smiling behind it.

The South Winds – Cover Reveal

Thrice Read Books hosts Fiery Seas Cover Reveal for Allison Mullinax's upcoming Contemporary Romance The South Winds

About the book:

The South Winds  by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance Fiery Seas Everlasting

August 7, 2018

Cassie Ray, manager of her family’s successful oyster house, has never asked for much out of life. The sun, surf, and sand are her companions. The regulars and tourists that flock to The Slippery Oyster are her livelihood. But when the Atlantic kicks up a hurricane, sending waves of black water threatening the coast, Cassie quickly learns that the south winds have blown in a lot more than debris and saltwater.

​Dean Alexander left Turquoise Isle eight years ago and never looked back. With his sister’s wedding approaching, and a hurricane churning in the Gulf, Dean returns home, where he’s welcomed with a rip tide of memories determined to pull him under.

 Will Cassie and Dean make it through the crashing waves of the past? Will they get a second chance before it’s too late or will the storm ahead be too much for them to handle?

Cover Reveal for Allison Mullinax's Contemporary Romance coming out in August, 2108: The South Winds

About the author:

Allison Mullinax - Author of The South Winds

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters. 

Allison’s Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter

The big REVEAL:

Cover reveal for Allison Mullinax's upcoming release - The South Winds (Due out August, 2018)

Apricots & Wolfsbane – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Apricots and Wolfsbane by KM Pohlkamp

About the book:

Apricots and Wolfsbane by K. M. Pohlkamp

Historical fiction (Adult/New Adult)   293 pages in print

Published October 13, 2017 by Filles Vertes Publishing

Lavinia Maud craves the moment the last wisps of life leave her victims’ bodies—to behold the effects of her own poison creations. Believing confession erases the sin of murder, her morbid desires are in unity with faith, though she could never justify her skill to the magistrate she loves.

Book club discussion guide included!

At the start of the 16th century in Tudor England, Lavinia’s marks grow from tavern drunks to nobility, but rising prestige brings increased risk. When the magistrate suspects her ruse, he pressures the priest into breaking her confessional seal, pitting Lavinia’s instincts as an assassin against the tenets of love and faith. She balances revenge with her struggle to develop a tasteless poison and avoid the wrath of her ruthless patron.

With her ideals in conflict, Lavinia must decide which will satisfy her heart: love, faith, or murder—but the betrayals are just beginning.

About the author:

K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife to the love of her life, a proud mother of two, and a Mission Control flight controller. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Houston, Texas.

Jenn’s Review:

Usually, when I get a request to read and review a book, I don’t read other folks’ reviews first, and I’ll admit that I was hesitant at first to add this particular volume to my to-be-read list for content concerns. When I judged Reading Review Wars on this book last month, my apprehension only grew.

My doubts were utterly unfounded.

I’ve never read a book with an anti-hero (in this case, anti-heroine) as the protagonist, so Apricots and Wolfsbane was a first for me. Lavinia Maud is nothing short of a badass, though, as a woman who’s taken on a career that, in 16th century England, is nothing short of dangerous and illegal. However, she refuses to settle into the role of docile wife as she is expected to do, and she pursues her nefarious trade with a passion.

Ms. Pohlkamp has nailed the inner conflict in her creation of Madam Maud with her protagonist’s conflicted morals. She’s okay with murder-for-hire, but craves absolution after each kill. Admitting to her list of victims isn’t a stretch for her, but she refuses to give up the names of who’s hired her.

I won’t say that Lavinia Maud is likable. Even after the last page, I’m still on the fence about whether I liked the main character. She is, however, (as are all the secondary characters in this story) well developed and multi-faceted.

Fans of bad-ass, female protagonists in historical fiction – this one’s for you. It’s hard not to root for a character who refuses to quietly fit into the mold and boldly takes control of her own destiny. This is the first in a series, apparently, so I’ll be watching for book 2 to come out!

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews KM Pohlkamp's historical fiction Apricots and Wolfsbane

Sam’s Review:

Murder. To many, it’s a sin. But to Lavinia, it’s her job. And it’s a nicely paying job as well. Apricots and Wolfsbane is her story, and it is a very fun to read story. The author is K. M. Pohlkamp, and I would love to thank her for sharing this book with me.

Poison is an interest of mine, mainly because it makes for a good story, so that helped boost the rating of the book. It was well written, and filled with tension at the right moments. I got chills reading this book, it was that good.

And in the negatives, well, for me, all I can say is, “what negatives?” It wasn’t too predictable, nor was it too unpredictable. I loved the plot twists, the well developed settings and characters, and I loved everything about this book.

Buy the book:

This book is available as a Kindle or paperback from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Jenn judged the Reading Review Wars for this book. To read the reviewers’ arguments, click here.

Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Book Review

In the Ichidian Universe where The League is law, most live in fear. We fight back. Welcome to a world where corrupt assassination politics dominate everyone. It’s kill or be killed. Welcome back to the future…and meet hell’s new breed of heroes.

Devyn Kell spent his life in service to the League until he learned of the double dealing and backstabbing that was costing innocent people their lives. Refusing to play those politics, he became a Runner―someone who makes sure planets get the weapons, medicine and supplies they need to survive. May the gods have mercy on any who get in his way, because he definitely won’t.

Alix Garran is a woman on the run from a past she can’t escape. Signing on to work for Devyn as a System’s Engineer, she finds a cause she can fight for―and a man she can respect. But as Alix’s past catches up to her, and Devyn’s old enemies turn lethal, they have to fight together…or fall alone, in Born of Ice, the third bestselling League novel from Sherrilyn Kenyon. (From Amazon.com product listing.)

I found book 3 to the League Novel series excellent giving it four stars.  Kenyon surely did not disappoint once again.  For a Sci-Fi Romance novel, this book and series is great.  Yes I know it was made for a lady, but it has just the right amount of action and violence to satisfy a man.  If you have read books one and two, you do not under any circumstances want to miss book 3.

You can purchase this book here.

This book is also available on Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and mass market paperback here.

Truck Stop – Book Review

Teri Campbell is on the run, on a bus ride to nowhere. An unscheduled stop on the wind-blown plains of Wyoming leaves her at M&J’s Truck Stop… and in the arms of Mike Gallagher, the young trucker who appoints himself her protector, who understands her as no one else could. But will her new life and her new-found love be enough when events take an unexpected turn? …and can even Mike keep her safe from the past that threatens to reclaim her? (From Amazon.com description)


Ms. McCormack has established herself as a storyteller with this tender, bold telling of Teri’s foray into life as a survivor of abuse and her budding romance with Mike. She has tackled the topics of teen pregnancy and child abuse with masterful skill, strong, well-developed characters and an engaging plot. Definitely worth the read!


You may buy directly from Ms. McCormack and receive a hand-autographed copy from her website www.alliemccormack.com

Also by Allie McCormack:

Wishes in a Bottle (Paranormal Romance)

Swansong (Contemporary Multicultural Romance)

A Gift of Jacinth (Paranormal Romance) COMING SOON!

Jenn Bradshaw is co-owner of Thrice Read Books and a romance and fantasy writer who writes under the name Sage Wolfsong. Her blog and crafts (including hand made book totes and jewelry can be found here.



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