Review: 30 Days – J.L. Leslie

30 Days Cover*****
I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

“I had a plan when I was nineteen. I would strip only until the bills were paid and I knew my sister and I wouldn’t be thrown out on the street. We would be financially stable. That was my plan. That was also three years ago. I’m still stripping.
I keep telling myself my life will change. I won’t do this much longer. I won’t need to. I don’t even believe that anymore. I still have bills. I still have a deadbeat mom. No idea where my father is. Or who he is.
Now my sister tells me she screwed up. Her future is at stake. One we’ve both worked hard for. There’s an offer for me. One I’ve refused twice now, but my resolve is slowly slipping. It’s just a job. He just wants to buy me for a little while.
He can buy me. But he’ll never own me.”

Have you ever heard of the movie Pretty Women? Well imagine Pretty Women, but with a hell of a lot of sex!!! Well, at least at first that is what was brought to mind for me and it was a little distracting, but then even the book, or the author herself even took a slight nod to this by mentioning the film. The similarities at the beginning, or at least the first half or the book, made me wonder if that movie was the authors inspiration for the book. The similarities in the initial job roles with the main characters, the female lead character who works in a role that is very revealing, (prostitute/stripper) and the male lead who works in a more higher classed job (lawyer) and has money. That he buys her for a certain amount of time, for whatever reason that is, and so on. . . I was just constantly being reminded of the film. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, because I love that film, but I didn’t think that I could separate the two. But thank God I was wrong.

This book then turned into itself and became its own book, with its own storyline, its own characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So this was so easy to forgive, even if I couldn’t forget it at times, by how great and how much I enjoyed the story. The story was different to what I was expecting it to be like, has I expected the whole book to be about those 30 Days, but it was about so much more. This story really began and opened up after those 30 Days and what happened to each of them after experiencing what happened and now trying to figure out, what is going to happen now. After all, can you really spend this amount of time, doing what your doing and not develop anything? Any feelings. A want for more. A need for more. Or self loathing for allowing this to happen to you. Either way there are going to be some feelings that need to be expressed.

The characters in this book were very believable, which is what make this book so great to read. You have the two main characters, Cameron and Memphis, and the story is told through both of their perspectives. We have Cameron Morgan, who is the son to the Morgan empire and works for one of the best law firms in the US, and goes to the Ecstasy one night on a stag do and happens to see Memphis there working. He immediately becomes infatuated and that is where the story begins. Memphis has been working as a stripper for three years to help support both herself and her younger sister, who is currently studying in NYU. Let’s just say that Memphis’ mum has never been a mum, so she has had to ensure that there was an income coming in to support and protect herself and especially her younger sister Anniston. When Memphis get’s an offer one night from Cameron, she doesn’t even think about it, it’s an immediate no, but when her sister calls to tell her that the University has called her scholarship due to poor grades and she will have to leave, then Memphis, like always, realises she will do anything to protect and support her sister.

This is just the first book in the Morgan Family series, so even though the next books aren’t going to be centred on these characters, if J.L. Leslies, follows on like she has with her other books and her other series especially, this won’t be the last you’ll see of these characters. They will make little cameo appearances’ in the other books, after all, it is the Morgan Family series.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I did initially think that I would be giving this book a lower rating, because of the whole Pretty Woman thing, but then I carried on reading it and it was just so good. Giving it anything less than five stars would be bad on me. And like I said before, I love Pretty Woman, so Pretty Woman with sex is even better 😉

Have you read any of J.L. Leslies books? Have you read anything that just completely reminded you of something else? What are your thoughts? Comment below 🙂

 

Review: The Yellow Wallpaper & Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 

IMAG2023**** (4.5 stars)

I bought this book of short stories from Amazon, for the soul purpose of reading The Yellow Wallpaper and I am so glad that I did. The Yellow Wallpaper is a title that Charlotte Perkins Gilmans may be best known for today, as this is actually a semi-autobiographical short story, which she wrote after suffering from a severe bout of post-partum depression and using this as inspiration. I hate to admit this, but the first place I had heard about this story was from Pretty Little Liars and how the mental health aspect could be a hint to who A could be. Please don’t judge. But I recently saw this book on a book on a Book Haul or a Book Wrap up YouTube video and it reminded me of it, plus it sounded really good. So Amazon I went.

The copy that I have purchased is the Dover Thrift Edition, which contains seven short stories in total, including The Yellow Wallpaper, all wrapped up in 70 pages. So this was a perfect addition to my week Book-A-Thon. I would love to give each of these short stories a little individual review of their own, so that’s what I’m going to try and do, so lets see how this goes. There may contains some spoilers sorry 🙂

The first short story was, of course, The Yellow Wallpaper. This story begins with a husband, a wife and their new born baby moving into this newly rented house, with the soul intention of helping the mother (wife) overcome her depression/post partum depression that that has recently set in. It is believed by her husband, who is also a doctor, that by getting away from friends and family, getting some fresh air, no working, exercises, and staying in this house, will help with her “temporary nervous depression“. What I loved about this story was how it was built up and created and even though it was just a 15 page story, it was executed perfectly. You get to see how everything her husband and doctor thought was going to be good for her and make her better, was actually the worse thing for her and was the thing that made her worse. That even when she tried to discuss certain aspects, he would not listen to her and talk about it, or do something as simple as change rooms. This story was written from a first-person perspective, which just made this story that much better because it’s exactly how it should be written and expressed. How else do you express and portray depression, or post partum depression, than through your own words, thoughts and feelings? It’s just done so perfectly and I’m so glad and happy that I’ve finally read this story.

The next story in this book I read was, Three Thanksgivings. This story took me a while too get into, if I’m being honest, which is a strange thing to say when talking about a short story that’s only 11 pages, but by the time I got to the end of this tale, I had a big smile on my face. What I liked about this story is what you can do when you put your mind to it, that you don’t need a man and that you are never too old. Now that might sound vague, but I feel like I gave away too much with The Yellow Wallpaper, so now I need to hold back on the spoilers.

Following this story came The Cottagette. To me, while reading this story, the beginning started of somewhat like a fairytale. You get this couple, Malda and Ford, whom you believe are in love, purchasing this “Cottagette” out in the woods, named so because of its size, which has just one big room and two small rooms coming off of it. Its pretty simple, and just about had a bathroom with working pipes in it, but it was perfect for them and suited their needs. Malda is then told, as if by society, that if she wants Ford to love her and marry her, that she needs to change and become more domestic, as this is what every man wants. Wanting to keep Ford and make him love her more, Malda changed the house to fit a new kitchen area and changed herself, becoming more domesticated, believing this is what was right, as this is what society was telling her. Was society right? Is that what Ford really wanted? Did he want a more domesticated Malda or did he want the Malda he first fell in love with?

The next story I read was Turned. This was a story that had me gripped again and had me reading every word right up until the end, waiting to find out everything that was going to happen. This story can get you thinking about certain things, how little can be thought of women, of a child, of a wife, but then it can also make you realise how strong you can become. How you can take something so negative and unexpected and turn it around and make into something positive, or at least a little less negative. There is a quote within this story, which is one of the ones that sums up this story for me; “‘This is the sin of man against woman,’ she said. ‘The offense is against womanhood. Against motherhood. Against-the child’“.

The next story in this book that I read was Making A Change. This story reminded me alot of The Yellow Wallpaper in a number of ways. From the way the wife/new mother (Julia) is with the baby, to the way the husband (Frank) is towards the wife. But, there was another presence in this story, Mrs. Gordins, Julias’ mothering law, who Julia is finally able to confide in and in the end find help in, with a well kept secret and plan between them both. This not only works out perfectly for Julia, but also for Mrs. Gordins herself, but the question is, what does Frank think of it all? See I didn’t spoil it all. . . When I did come to the end of this story, I did really enjoy it and was one of the ones I remember fondly. 

The next story in this book was, If I Was A Man. I have to admit that I read this story twice, because the first time I read it I just skim read it and when it came to reviewing this story, I completely forgot what it was about, so I had to reread it. So on my second read I was completely shocked at myself. How could I not have paid attention the first time around? I suppose that if I missed the beginning then I may have missed what this main aspect of this story was about, but during my second read I was hooked. Have you ever wished that you were the opposite gender? (Being neutral ;)) Well that’s what Mollie Mathewson always did when it came to her husband, Gerald. Only one day she is shocked when it actually happens and she becomes her husband Gerald Mathewson. However, she starts thinking and feeling like a man does, and while having all of her own memories, she also has her husbands memories which are the ones that are important while being in his body, as she in now, in fact, a man. I wonder what, if anything, Mollie will learn and take from this experience. 

The last story in this book was, Mr Peebles’ Heart. What a story to finish this book of stories on. I will admit, yet another confession, that while reading this story, I thought that this was going to take a different turn. I am so glad that I was wrong! I really enjoyed this story. I don’t want to give away too much with this story, as I feel because these stories as quite short, that my reviews might be containing spoilers. So I’m sorry for that. So what I will say is; a visit from a sister-in-law changes everything. 

 All in all, I really enjoyed this book of short stories, especially the main story, The Yellow Wallpaper. There were some other stories that really stood out to me, such as; Turned, Making A Change and Mr Peebles’ Heart. I am so glad that I have finally read The Yellow Wallpaper and have this book in my collection, and I am even looking into more of her work, stories and her life as this just doesn’t seem to be enough. I love it, but as there were one or two I didn’t enjoy as much, that’s why I rated it 4.5 stars out of 5 (and now I hate myself and I wish I could rate each one individually). 

Review: The Dare – John Boyne

****

I haven’t read a John Boyne book in a while, which is shocking to me because the books I have read by him, I have really enjoyed, especially The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. That book just filled me with so many emotions and was the first book to officially have me in tears. OMG the emotion! 

Just like some of John Boyne’s previous books, this story also has his unique style and is told from the point of view of the twelve year old boy named Danny. Danny is on his summer holiday from school, and he wants a normal summer holiday, but that’s not what he is about to get. His mum is brought home one day, escorted by the two police officers after she has hit a boy with her car, an event which as not only changed her, but has had a knock on affect with the whole family. We get to see this story told through Danny’s eyes, and how deep this accident truly affect everyone, and we get to see how there could be more to the story. How not hiding something and not telling somebody something could really have a knock on reaction to other people’s lives. 

I’ve really missed John Boyne’s writing, his style of writing and how he chooses to use the narrative of a child to tell the story, through their perspective and point of view. This book is a short story and I love how you have to learn what is happening as you are reading and feel like you are a part of the story. Even though this is a short story at only 103 pages, there is so much within this story to keep you gripped and it is all done so brilliantly. I would have honestly have loved for this to have been longer and for it to have not to have felt slightly rushed, but maybe that’s my problem with the whole short book thing. But I picked a short book for my Book-A-Thon so I could read more books and now I really want to dive back into another John Boyne book, an in depth book this time.

You get to know each of the characters through the eyes of Danny, his thoughts and how he feels. You get to know his family and how this crash and accident as effected and possibly changed his family members, including himself. You get introduced to new characters, such as the family of the boy that his mum had hit with the car, especially the sister. So you feel like you are Danny, and learn and are exploring everything as him. 

I did enjoy this little book and the storyline was easy to read and gripping in parts, as there was mystery created, that made you want to keep reading. I do recommend this book and it’s definitely 100% a quick read. This isn’t my favourite John Boyne book, but God now I need to read more from Mr John Boyne. 

Review: Finding Dawn (Book 2) – J.L. Leslie

Finding Dawn 1

*****

I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

This is the second book in this series and picks up from a certain part of Let The Waves Come In and continues with Drew and Vella story. But as this is the second book in the series, and i don’t wish to give any spoilers away for Book 1, I am going to include the Goodreads Description of Finding Dawn:

“Moving to California is the best decision I’ve ever made. I no longer work for my ex-fiancé’s father. I’m hundreds of miles away from my ex-fiancé. And I met a woman who completely intrigues me. Dawn. No last name.

Yeah…moving to California was a great idea.

Only I can’t seem to get Dawn out of my head. The way we met. The way she acts. The night we had together. Now she’s just gone.

She bailed on me. But I don’t give up so easily. I’ll find her.

I just wasn’t expecting what I’d find…or who…

**Due to mature language and strong sexual content this book is intended for mature audiences only.**”

This book could be read as a stand alone, as there is necessary information from the previous book mentioned and included in this book as a little background information, especially if you have forgotten what has happened between the release of the two books. However, I would defiantly recommend reading Let The Waves Come In first, as you get a better idea and a much wider character development of all of the characters, including the two main characters in this book and the subtler ones mentioned as well. The great thing about these books is that they’re only short, so doing this won’t take you that long to do this, as they are fast paced and a quick read and never a disappointment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I loved reading it as a sequel. How it picked up from the previous book, and how it all blended and put was together and how it all worked out. We already knew certain aspects of each of the characters that were mentioned in this book, if you read Let The Waves Come In, but with this book, it goes into a great deal more detail with Drew and Vella’s characters. I loved how it included sectioned of each of their past, as they just mixed and blended so perfectly with each their storyline of the present time.

This book is told from two different peoples, or rather two characters, perspectives; from Drew’s character and from Vella’s character. This book took me by complete surprise, which is something that should not be happening anymore with J.L. Leslie’s writing and books. From the cover of this book, I expected this book to be something completely different in a way from what it was. But then again, this cover fits this book perfectly in another than I was expecting. The characters are so believable, and there is so much history and depth just hidden within them both and how this is expressed, it’s just done so well.

You get some drama and action, from both of these characters lives, which is again to do with their past and how it now links up with their futures and where they are now and especially where they are now with each other. Just when you think that everything is done and sorted, something else pops up and bang, another surprise that you weren’t expecting. This is just one of the reasons I think that this might be my favourite book out of the two, that if I had to choose. But overall, I love them both, even though I do have to admit that Drew has got to be my favourite character from these two books.

I definitely recommend this book, but highly recommend that you read it as a series and not as a stand alone. It’s only two books, live dangerously and read them both 😛 and see what you think. Check out my review on Let The Wave Come In as I give them both a massive 5 out of 5 stars for them both! Comment below 😀

Review: Let The Waves Come In – J.L. Leslie

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*****
I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Aubrey Somers has slowly gotten her life back on track after what happened two years ago. She may take an anti-depressant every day, see a therapist every other week and still lacks the confidence to drive, but that’s okay. She has her dream job, even if it comes with a “bitchy” boss, a fantastic apartment and she’s still in touch and very close to her best friend from childhood, Drew, even if they do live in different cities to each other and their closeness is constantly being brought into question. Then on a night out with the girls, a blast from the past comes back to Aubrey, but does it bring back good memories? Only time will tell… 

WOW! I have to say that this is one of my favourite storylines from this author, and I have been lucky enough to have been able to read and review each and every one of her books in advance. There were parts that I could completely relate to and empathise with and I believe that many people may also be able to. Maybe that’s what makes this book so great, its relatability, but also because of how great its storyline is. There were parts where I had tried to guess what was about to happen and was actually a little shocked when something else occurred in the book, in a good way. There were other parts when, without giving away spoilers, things were mentioned a little too much, that I wasn’t too surprised when the book took a turn and Aubrey was faced with yet another decision to make.

Just like J.L. Leslies’ other books, you get to see this story told from the two main characters perspectives, Audrey and Declan. I love this aspect of the book. I love it when you get to see multiple characters perspectives in books, knowing exactly what each of the characters are thinking, feeling and what’s happening. You get a clearer picture of who the character truly is, in my opinion, compared to just a first person narrative, where they could have a biased opinion of a character, providing you with a judged or biased character picture. The characters are also another great part of this book. They are so strongly developed, especially for a book that’s only just over 100 pages. We get to see some of the characters developing and growing up over and through different times and periods in their lives. From 2010, 2014 and 2016, the major events that occurred during their lives. We see strong relationships developed, not just with the two main characters  as you would expect but with so many more. You can see the strong and extremely close relationship between friendship, the relationship between brothers, between brothers in arms and the complicated relationship you just want to scream at.

I then got to the end of this book and was glad to get the ending that I wanted and finished reading it with a massive smile and with no disappointment whatsoever! In fact, I even got some exciting news. What I thought was just a stand alone book, turned out to be the first book in a series and there’s going to be another book :mrgreen: The second book is going to be following one of the other characters, who we have met, Drew, called Finding Dawn! That’s all anyone knows so far. So I am super excited for the second book, after enjoying this one so much.

I loved this book and I read it within hours, never putting it down once I started reading it. I loved the characters who just seemed so real and engaging and dealt with some everyday issues, such as problems at work with a boss you hate, plus a question that has always baffled me, “Why can’t a man and woman be just friends?” I’ve never understood why people always question that. This book also dealt with mental illness, which is linked into the title, in a way that never discriminated against it. It mentioned it as an everyday thing and the treatments are a thing that were necessary for the character, never once considering never taking them, or going against them. She saw the benefits of them and actually looked forward to certain parts, such as her therapist appointments. It was good to see this because I would say that the majority of people are diagnosed or hiding a mental illness, so it’s nice to see it included in this way.

J.L. Leslie was the first author whose book I first read in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, giving her feedback on her book, which also prompted me to set up my blog. Looking back on her first book, Demons From My Past, which was a stand alone book, it’s amazing to see how great her books have come along. Her books have just gotten better and better. Check out some of my other reviews of some of her other books.

Definitely a 5 star rating and I highly recommend you give this book a read and that you check out some of her other books, especially the Zane series. *I do warn you that they do contain mature content*

Have you read any of J.L. Leslies books? If so, what have you thought? Comment below ☺

Review: From A Poison Pen – B.P. Smythe

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****

I was sent a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

“From A Poison Pen” is a book consisting of multiple short mystery stories, all of which are written by the author, B.P. Smythe. I didn’t know what to expect when I got sent this book from the author, asking for me to review his book, all I knew was that it contained short stories, and that they were mystery thriller based stories. There are ten stories, to be exact, each with their own unique plots, storylines and characters for you to love and very easily hate, in some stories and circumstances.

I am usually a reader who is not easily surprised when it comes to plot twists. This doesn’t only come with reading, but with movies, games and so many other things. So when I read a book and I am taken aback and do get genuinely shocked about the sudden twist that’s just occurred before my eyes, I love it!! This didn’t happen just once, but this occurred quite a few times when reading these stories. There was times and stories which were predictable, but then you would get these parts that you wouldn’t have expected, that were just thrown straight in your face, in the best possible way.

There were some of the stories that I obviously enjoyed more than the others and for their own specific reasons. For pure shock value, I loved “The White Room”. That was the first story in this book that took me by complete surprise and therefore truly made me want to keep reading this book, to discover what more was within. “Girls of the BDM” was a story that I really enjoyed reading. It was longer than some of his other stories and you could really see the amount of research and effort was put into it. I found myself fully engrossed and saddened when the story ended, as I wanted more, forgetting that they were short stories. The last story in this book has to be my favourite, entitled “We’ll Meet Again”. Again, just like “Girls of the BDM”, this story was based around the war, was one of the longest of all the stories and would’ve required research. But the way this story was written, the story itself and the way it ended, just created so many emotions and was the story that will stay with me the most out of them all. It gripped me from the moment they split the cufflinks, right up until the end, making me feel just how Karl is feeling.

Each of these stories are quick and easy to read, and will make you want to keep reading the next story, until you’ve read them all, at least that’s what happened with me. Some of the stories are shorter longer than others, there are some you may prefer more than others. There are some editing and spelling mistakes throughout all of these stories, which can be distracting at times when reading.

The ten stories in this book, in the order they appear in the book, are:
1. Constricted Love
2. The White Room
3. Mint Imperials
4. The Letter
5. Abigail’s Closet
6. Girls of the BDM
7. Love Me Do
8. Bath Night
9. Lovers Leap
10. We’ll Meet Again

Each of the ten stories have their own little plots and storieslines, from war, concentration camps, betrayal, murder, love, a snake, and so much more, in ways you can’t think of. Definitely a 4 out of 5 stars and a recommendation to those who like mysteries and thrilling stories.

Do you have Amazon Kindle Unlimited? Then you can read this book for free on Amazon, yay!!! 😀

Read and discover your favourite story, then come back and share which one was your favourite.

Review: The Rose Killer – Gary Pearson

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****
I received this book for free thanks to Story Cartel in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

This short story or novella, is about a serial killer, was has been strangling blonde women for the past three years, yet he is only known to the police and the public as The Rose Killer, for the single red rose that he leaves on the his victims. He is yet to be caught, there have’t been any leads or clues and there hasn’t been a new body in eight months. Now that’s about to change. The Rose Killer has decided he wants to play a game with Detective Ian Harlow! Can Detective Harlow catch The Rose Killer before it’s too late? And why the sudden interest in Harlow?

This novella wasn’t that long, being only roughly 115 pages, yet I was still able to get fully gripped and emensend into this story. There were some great characters that were developed in such a short space of pages, including a great story and a plot. It was also greatly written and the killer took me by surprise and it all seemed well thought out and developed brilliantly. I was gripped by mystery of it all. Why the sudden change of the murder, by taunting the police? What was his plan? Was he going to get caught? Why his interest in Harlow? Then with me asking myself all of these questions, I never saw the end coming, taking me by shock, which I loved.

The reason I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, instead of 5 stars (which I wanted to), is because this seems like a brilliant outline, and even though this was executed great, I would have loved it if this was longer and was a 300+ page book. It has everything it needs to make it happen and it would have just made it that extra bit perfect.

I would definitely recommend this book!! Especially if you love mystery, thriller and crime books. How you read this book? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below 😀