Book Review: ‘Freedom’ by R.M. Gauthier.

‘Freedom’ is a real page-turner, full of intrigue and suspense.

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Renee Gauthier LM 3 FreedomThe third and final book in the Mystery of Landon Miller series, Freedom answers the questions that readers have wanted the answers to since reading ‘Control’ and ‘Bound’. Far from being about light-hearted romance and alternative lifestyles, ‘Freedom’ turns the spotlight onto Landon’s experiences and point of view in a way that raises some really important issues.

It’s really great, as someone who has read ‘Control’ and ‘Bound’, to get that different point of view that really opens up the main character and explores his motivations and concerns. It makes it much easier for the reader to empathise with Landon after having felt so much concern and sympathy for Lexi in those previous two books.

I also really appreciated the fact that the author was able to complete the story and maintain continuity with the previous books without going over old ground or telling parts of the story over again. Instead, the events in ‘Freedom’ fit neatly into that story like pieces of a puzzle, completing the bigger picture that carries with it so much more understanding.

If you enjoyed ‘Control’ and ‘Bound’, you really need to read ‘Freedom’ for the answers. If you’ve not read any of this series yet – you should! Not only do these books offer a great mystery/thriller read, they’ll open your eyes to important issues and open your mind to seeing things from different points of view.
Acorn Award I Golden

A real page turner, ‘Freedom’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Sweet Destiny’ by Aliya DalRae

Third in the Jessica Sweet trilogy, ‘Sweet Destiny’ will knock your socks off.

Aliya DalRae Sweet DestinyWhat. A. Journey.

While reading this third book in the Jessica Sweet trilogy, without a word of a lie, I have cheered, I have held my breath, I have raged, and I have wept.

Theories I had maintained from reading ‘Sweet Vengeance’ and ‘Sweet Discovery’ were confirmed and developed, and my questions were answered in unexpected ways. The sensation of looking on as the lives of people I had become close to almost burned to the ground was at times almost unbearable, but yet I had to read on. I had to know how it all worked out.

It was hard to put this book down. I read it in two sittings, and finished it with new respect for some old characters, and interest in seeing what might happen in the future with some new ones.

Of one thing I am sure: an author who can take a reader to both the heights of excitement and the depths of despair is a blessing to readers in a world where humdrum and cliche often seem to overwhelm the market. Aliya DalRae is a gifted writer, and I will one-click her books forever.
Acorn Award I Golden

‘Sweet Destiny’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Hades’ Gate’ by D.J. Doyle

I thoroughly enjoyed this grim little horror short.

DJ Doyle Hades Gate

This is an excellent short story. Doyle has done an excellent job of building the suspense and the reader’s awareness of the sinister before making them gasp and recoil as the action heats up.

The characters are all very believable, and will remind the reader of people – or, at least, types of people – they know. Their banter and conversations draw the reader in, building familiarity with the characters so that by the time the story really gets going, the reader has an emotional investment in their wellbeing and fate. This heightens the tension as the story develops, and increases the impact of the climax of the story.
Acorn Award I Golden

I thoroughly enjoyed this grim little horror short, and have awarded it a Gold Acorn.

Get your copy here.

 

Book Review: ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ by Pam Lecky

A very enjoyable short read, complete with a couple of very effective chills for good measure

Pam Lecky The Lighthouse KeeperThis story is set on the windswept coast at Black’s Bay, where Sally and Alex plan to spend their first weekend away together. The isolation of the lighthouse lends a bleak and forlorn air to the setting, and compounds the darkness and the unfamiliar when the sun goes down.

 

The reader is positioned to empathise with Sally through exposure to her thoughts, feelings and responses to the events of the weekend, which makes them in turn vulnerable to the eerie twists in the story.

 

This is a very enjoyable story, complete with a couple of very effective chills for good measure. It’s an easy read in under 30 minutes, which makes it ideal for a lunch break or a short escape into a story to break up a busy day.

Acorn Award II Silver

Book Squirrel has awarded ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ a Silver Acorn.

 

Book Review: ‘Killer of a Mind’ by Valerie Albermarle

This book is both a great story and a sensory pleasure for the reader.

Valerie Albermarle Killer of a MindA gifted writer takes the reader from whatever place and position they’re in and transports them to the setting of the author’s choice and creation.

In ‘Killer of a Mind’, Albermarle immerses the reader in the sights and sensations of various towns along the east coast of America before dunking them in the waters of the Mayan Riviera on the shores of Mexico, where the contrasts and conflicts of this story are heightened by those characteristic of Tulum, the Mexican town in which Ryan finds himself. Noise and quiet reflection, richness and poverty, sunshine and shade all reflect Ryan’s own mental and emotional condition.

Unlike Ryan, the reader understands that there is always more than one side to a story. Albermarle has woven the threads of this story together with craftsmanship and finesse, leaving nothing to either predictability or fate. The reader is not allowed to become complacent – as Ryan discovers, there is always a new challenge, a surprise or a revelation as a corner is turned or a hill is crested that shows the light shining on things differently with a change of perspective.

Albermarle’s writing is rich and vivid, developing magnificent scenery full of colour and sound, and complex characters that seem to have more shade than light to them.
Acorn Award I Golden
Book Squirrel has awarded ‘Killer of a Mind’ one of his special Golden Acorns for excellence because this book is both a great story and a sensory pleasure for the reader.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Chartreuse Spirit’ by India Emerald

India Emerald The Chartreuse Spirit
This is an intriguing story which appears at first to consist of separate and quite distinct observations and reflections from Verity and Peter during a time in which they are separated by Peter’s investigation of a case. The reader does not understand these recollections to be convergent at all until, at some indistinct point, they realise that the two characters’ accounts both relate to the same mystery.

 

It’s very cleverly constructed, and while it does work as a standalone, the reader can gain considerable understanding of the context of this story and its central characters by reading ‘Hope’s Well’ by the same author.

Acorn Award II Silver

This is a great short read that can be enjoyed in the space of a lunch break. Book Squirrel has awarded it a Silver Acorn.

 

Book Review: ‘Mystery At The Fair’ by Connie Cockrell

Readers who enjoy a good mystery will be sure to enjoy ‘Mystery At The Fair’. 

Connie Cockrell Mystery At The Fair
This book introduces Jean Hays, new to Greyson, Arizona, and the newest member of the organising committee for the annual local fair. There are complications aplenty, even before the fair gets under way, and Jean finds herself at front and centre of the story.

This is a well-crafted mystery, full of twists and turns that surprise the reader and keep them guessing right up to the end and a few red herrings thrown in for good measure. The characters are well rounded and interesting, with their flaws as evident as their strengths, making them relatable and realistic.

 

Those readers who enjoy a good mystery will be sure to enjoy ‘Mystery At The Fair’. Acorn Award I Golden

 

Book Squirrel has awarded this book a Gold Acorn.