Book Review – My Life as A White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie #1) by Diana Rowland

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – My Life as A White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie #1) by Diana RowlandMy Life As a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Series: White Trash Zombie #1
Published by DAW on July 5, 2011
Pages: 321
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon, Secrets of the Demon

three-half-stars

Angel Crawford is a loser

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she's hungriest!

Angel's going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn't, she's dead meat.

Literally.

Angel Crawford was your typical white trash chick with a pill popping addiction living with her alcoholic dad in Lousiana. That is, until she woke up in the hospital after being in a car accident with no memory of what had happened to her. She finds a note addressed to her telling her about a job that she is required to take or she’ll end up dead… thinking this is a note from her parole officer and that she’s being threatened with jail she opts to take the job instead. The job turns out to be a driver for the Coroner’s Office.

Angel starts noticing odd changes like how she’s somehow able to stand the sight of the dead bodies when before the accident she was squeamish from just the sight of blood. She also starts noticing that the bodies have a pleasant scent to them… ’The smell was like chocolate and cookies and biscuits and gravy and everything else that was delicious.’ That’s when she realizes that what was smelled so positively tasty were brains and only zombies ate brains. Bodies start turning up all over town with their heads missing and it begins to look suspiciously like a rogue zombie just trying to get his next meal. Angel thought she had figured out who the killer was when he turns up as the next victim.

Angel was a very realistic character and instantly likeable for me. The story had this underlying sadness with Angel staying off the pills, being able to hold a job, and finally getting her shit together… she just had to die to do it. And between the mysteries of who turned her into a zombie and who was leaving headless bodies all over town, it had me scrabbling to finish just to find out if my guess was right. (I was right! Yay!) The ending was good, (minus the slightly corny part when she kind of OD’d on brains) and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

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Short Story Review – For I Have Sinned (Charley Davidson #1.5) by Darynda Jones

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 2 Comments

Short Story Review – For I Have Sinned (Charley Davidson #1.5) by Darynda JonesFor I Have Sinned by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1.5
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 12, 2011
Pages: 77
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

three-half-stars

 

 

Darynda Jones revisits the sexy, suspenseful world of supernatural shenanigans she created in her Grave series with For I Have Sinned.  In this Charley Davidson story, Charley helps a woman find out how she died and gives her the closure she needs to pass through to the other side.

 

 

Charley Davidson series

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) {Purchase}

After finishing First Grave on the Right I was still craving a bit more Charley and Reyes so I jumped right into this short story. For I Have Sinned tells the story of Jo Anne Montgomery, a recently deceased woman who is having trouble remembering how she died. Charley helps her find the answers she requires in order for her to fully be at peace and pass through.

I was a little disappointed compared to First Grave on the Right and it wasn’t just because of the short length. I didn’t much care for the story being written from Jo Anne’s point of view. I think because I had just finished First Grave on the Right I was used to it being in Charley’s POV so I missed that… I also missed her hilarious commentary. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it, and will anxiously await the next in this series.

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Short and Sweet Review – Firewalker (Stormwalker #2) by Allyson James

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Firewalker (Stormwalker #2) by Allyson JamesFirewalker by Allyson James
Series: Stormwalker #2
Published by Berkley on November 2, 2010
Pages: 342
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

 

Mick must face the dragon council for breaking their laws, and while he doesn't seem too worried about his upcoming trial, but Janet will do anything to keep him safe. She'll need a little help from her friends, old and new: Nash and Coyote; Cassandra, a powerful witch turned hotel manager; and Colby a sort-of-trustworthy dragon. But now a new, dark power is stirring in Magellan that Janet must face, but even more frightening, one is stirring within herself.

 

 

Stormwalker series

Stormwalker (Stormwalker, #1)

Stormwalker (Stormwalker #1) {Purchase}

I hadn’t realized how much I missed Janet and Mick until I decided to pick up ‘Firewalker’, the 2nd in Allyson James’ Stormwalker Series.

Firewalker opens with Janet managing her hotel, without Mick; he’s been missing for a few weeks with no word. Shortly afterwards a shifter informs Janet that she discovered where Mick is and Janet leaves immediately to help him; taking Nash with her. Together they are able to break Mick free of the magic prison that the dragons placed on him; however, as they are leaving they are attacked by demons and the new dark power growing with Janet is released and they are saved… but Janet is having more and more difficulty controlling it.

A corpse is found near Janet’s hotel and she immediately becomes a suspect. The revelation of what happened, who did it, etc… gasp! Be prepared. Lol I can’t wait to be able to get my hands on the 3rd in this series.

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Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 8 Comments

Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 1, 2011
Pages: 336
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: For I Have Sinned, Second Grave on the Left, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

five-stars

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from Darynda Jones, an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

Charley is a grim reaper. Or THE grim reaper. She is the portal that allows the deceased to pass through to the other side. Charley is also a private investigator and in addition to helping the deceased pass through to the other side she also helps them tie up loose ends whether it be passing on a final message to a loved one or solving the mystery of who murdered them. Plus, Charley is hilarious. She’s this super snarky and fabulously funny chick. She also has a mysteriously handsome supernatural stalker named Reyes Farrow. He’s certainly something. 🙂

This book had me rolling with laughter, so if you’re in that kinda mood, this is so the book for you. I had to stop myself from doing about a gazillion status updates just to share my favorite quotes; so instead, you get some of my favorites in my review!

“What twirly nugget are you from?” (Okay this one is taken out of context, so it might not make sense, but just on principle it’s funny!)

Because my apartment was roughly the size of a Cheez-It, it didn’t take me long to feel my way to the kitchen in the dark.

Maybe if I hovered over the pot, it would develop an inferiority complex and brew faster just to prove it could.

• “So, then, what are you?” I wondered if your worst nightmare would sound silly.

“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a bookcase or something.

Okay, so here I am stopping myself again. Because those were my favorite lines from like… half of the first chapter. I’m writing a review here not a novel. Suffice it to say, I loved this book!

I don’t recall having ever read a novel about a grim reaper before, so I don’t actually have something to compare it to, which is nice. When I first read the summary of this book it made me think of the HBO series ‘Dead Like Me’ which I was a super big fan of. The lead characters are both girls, both grim reapers, bot hilarious, and they both have boy names. (George and Charley). Hmm… just realized that. Anyways!

Darynda Jones wrote a fabulous story, it was extremely intriguing, had me laughing inappropriately at work for two days straight, and I absolutely CANNOT wait for the second book.

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Short Story Review – Shambling With The Stars (Living with the Dead #2.5) by Jesse Petersen

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 1 Comment

Short Story Review – Shambling With The Stars (Living with the Dead #2.5) by Jesse PetersenShambling With the Stars by Jesse Petersen
Series: Living With the Dead #2.5
Published by Orbit on June 15, 2011
Pages: 34
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Eat Slay Love, Married With Zombies, Club Monstrosity

three-half-stars

 

Avery Andrews is her name and directing celebrity telethons after tragedies is her game. But the Northwestern Zombie Outbreak isn't your average tragedy... and once the infection spreads to the studio, Avery and her crew will have to worry about staying alive, not ratings.

 

 

Living With the Dead series

Married With Zombies (Living with the Dead, #1)Flip This Zombie (Living with the Dead, #2)

Married With Zombies (Living with the Dead, #1)
Flip This Zombie (Living with the Dead, #2)

‘Shambling with the Stars’ is a short story by Jesse Petersen; number 2.5 of her Living with the Dead series. I’m a huge fan of this series. Her zombie series kicks off with Married with Zombies, one of my favorite books of all time.

‘Shambling with the Stars’ opens to character Avery Andrews directing a celebrity telethon for the recent ‘sickness’ outbreak. Her lead host Blake is in the middle of conducting an interview with Dr. Lithstone when he attacks him and begins a chain reaction of reanimation.

This short story definitely leaves you with wanting more awesome zombie action! It’ll be interesting to see if she expands on Avery and Kyle’s characters since this short story definitely leaves you hanging! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future novels.

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Book Review – Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 3 Comments

Book Review – Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac MarionWarm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Series: Warm Bodies #1
Published by Atria Books on April 26, 2011
Pages: 256
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Funny-ha-ha, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Burning World

three-half-stars

R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, noidentity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.

What a truly engrossing and original novel. This will be my first of many zombie novels I have read where the story was told from the zombie, or ‘R’s’ point of view. This introduces the concept that zombies are more than the black drooling, grunting and groaning un-dead that they’ve been portrayed as in typical zombie novels. “It disquieted me at first, but it’s against etiquette to notice when one of us dies. I distracted myself with some groaning.” Zombie etiquette? Already I’m intrigued, give me more.

The storyline follows the same broken, choppy grunting and groaning that you would expect to find from your average zombie; except there’s an unexpected depth shown in ‘R’. The passages of lines where R is thinking are as in depth as a human, he just has difficult expressing his thoughts sufficiently due to his stunted vocabulary. You’ll find that the book is lacking in explanations, but it’s done that way on purpose, since this book is from the zombie’s point of view.

One line to sum it up? ‘I long for exclamation marks, but I’m drowning in ellipses.

R begins a friendship with an unlikely individual; a human girl named Julie. After attacking and killing her boyfriend Perry, by consuming his brain he absorbed his memories and he began seeing what he saw in Julie. That’s when R notices a change… a change in him, a spark of something he hadn’t felt since he died. It was as if he was just waiting for someone to come around and remind him of his humanity. This was truly a moving and touching novel in the unlikeliest of genres.

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Short and Sweet Review – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 3 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’BrienWesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien
Published by Atria Books on June 2nd 2009
Pages: 256
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O’Brien studied Wesley’s strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist’s eye—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl’s lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com­municator with whom she developed a language all their own. Eventually he became a gorgeous, gold-and-white macho adult with a heart-shaped face who preened in the mir­ror and objected to visits by any other males to “his” house. O’Brien also brings us inside Caltech’s prestigious research community, a kind of scientific Hogwarts where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animals they loved. As O’Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes astonishing discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term “The Way of the Owl” to describe his noble behavior. When O’Brien develops her own life-threatening ill­ness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.

Enhanced by wonderful photographs, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heart­warming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. Translated into eight languages and named an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice, Wesley the Owl is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

Wesley the Owl: the story of biologist Stacey O’Brien and her adoption of a 4 day old baby barn owl. The book is a retelling of the 19 years spent caring and loving for this animal and of the love and bond the two of them shared.

‘Life your life not by staying in the shallow, safer waters, but by wading as deep into the river of life as possible, no matter how dangerous the current. We have only one chance at this life.’

I have this abnormally large soft spot in my heart for animals and this novel really did a number on that spot. Going into this book I understood the story line and as it can be expected this also included the retelling of Wesley’s final days. The bond that this woman shared with Wesley was so amazing and touching and heartbreaking in the end. I was in tears. This may not have been a novel of literary genius, but the story and the message was beautiful.

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Book Review – Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1) by J.A. Saare

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1) by J.A. SaareDead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare
Series: Rhiannon's Law #1
Published by Mundania Press on May 2, 2011
Pages: 244
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Renfield Syndrome

four-half-stars

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance, she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her--until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no. But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

This book managed to hook me from the start; I loved it instantly. I think it was something about the characters, the writing style, the interesting storyline, the hilarious lines, or maybe a combination of everything. Actually, what I really think it was, was the main character Rhiannon. She seemed real to me… she wasn’t some whiny little girl, she was a bad-ass and could handle her own business, but she did get scared as a normal person should in similar situations.

The bad…

I sometimes thought that the story lacked in describing things; things just simply were, and sometimes those things didn’t make sense. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard of a necromancer that was able to ‘share’ their powers through physical contact with another person? And why did she have to touch the gross mangled bodies in order to communicate with them? But then again, the author could simply be writing a new twist to the concept, and that’s fine. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I still refuse to believe that vampires could EVER be sparkly.
I thought that the explanation given for how vampires were created was a little off. Plus the whole Sienna making deals with demons… ehh. I don’t know but it didn’t seem to fit well with the rest of the story for me.

Disco. Oh Disco. Loved the character, but his name drove me nuts. For at least the first half of the book I would cringe everytime I read it, but slowly but surely I just got used to it. I mean I guess it was meant to be a nickname, but everybody called him Disco. I mean really, what was so wrong with Gabriel? That’s a perfectly decent name.

The good…

The story behind Rhiannon and the reason for why she is how she is was crazy, but it really explained a lot. I’ve read stories before where a character is traumatized because of a past event or whatever and when the big reveal finally happens it usually causes eye rolls and a few ‘Oh get over yourself.’ But she definitely went through some fucked up shit, and it really helps to explain her actions.

I was really worried going in to reading this that the ending was going to have me screaming with frustration because I can’t handle cliff-hangers… at all. But WOW! What an ending. I was totally not expecting anything like that!! It was a cliff-hanger for sure, but now I’m really excited for The Renfield Syndrome.

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Book Review – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom Riggs

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine #1
Published by Quirk Books on June 7, 2011
Pages: 386
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Time Travel
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

As a kid, Jacob formed a special bond with his grandfather over his bizarre tales and photos of levitating girls and invisible boys. Now at 16, he is reeling from the old man's unexpected death. Then Jacob is given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the photographs--alive and well--despite the islanders’ assertion that all were killed decades ago. As Jacob begins to unravel more about his grandfather’s childhood, he suspects he is being trailed by a monster only he can see. A haunting and out-of-the-ordinary read, debut author Ransom Rigg’s first-person narration is convincing and absorbing, and every detail he draws our eye to is deftly woven into an unforgettable whole. Interspersed with photos throughout, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a truly atmospheric novel with plot twists, turns, and surprises that will delight readers of any age.

‘I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.’

Going into this book I had the impression that it would be this scary, ‘Shutter Island’ type novel. I also thought it was Adult Fiction. I was wrong on both counts; but was still not disappointed, the story was quite interesting.

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ is the story of sixteen-year-old Jacob who has grown up listening to his grandfather’s tales of his younger years living in an orphanage with ‘Peculiar Children’ on an island off the coast of Wales. Jacob stopped believing his grandfather many years ago, but when his grandfather is attacked and dies mysteriously Jacob begins to wonder if his stories weren’t true after all. His grandfather’s dying words cause him to go in search of this mysterious island and to find the abandoned orphanage even though those children can’t still be alive… or can they?

I loved how the author incorporated all the old photographs into the story. Having something visual to relate the story to, made it much more interesting. I thought that the storyline was extremely original. It reminded me of those people that performed at the circus with the extraordinary powers, except these were children with extraordinary and they were all kept in an orphanage/school all Harry Potter/X-Men style. I also had no idea that this book was the start of a new series…the ending left me anxious in anticipation of what would happen next.

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Book Review – The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Rose Garden by Susanna KearsleyThe Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on May 1, 2011
Pages: 448
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Shadowy Horses

four-stars

"Whatever time we have," he said, "it will be time enough."

Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time.

But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs.

From Susanna Kearsley, author of the New York Times bestseller The Winter Sea and a voice acclaimed by fans of Gabaldon, du Maurier, and Niffenegger alike, The Rose Garden is a haunting exploration of love, family, the true meaning of home, and the ties that bind us together.

This is the second Susanna Kearsley book I’ve read and she’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Her writing style is simply beautiful and has a definite talent for writing fascinating stories. I’m not usually a fan of wordy books but she does such an amazing job of describing the simplest of things you can’t help but love it.

One of my favorites:

“And at the window of the room the cold November rains slid down the glass and cast their shifting shadows in a room that could no longer hold the light.”

Rose Garden tells the story of Eva and her struggles to cope with the death of her sister Katrina. Katrina had requested to be cremated and have her ashes scattered; Eva decides it would be most fitting for her to scatter them where the two of them once belonged: Cornwall, England. She travels there and stays with her two childhood friends Mark and Susan. During her first night there, she wakes to the sound of two men having a conversation only to find there weren’t any men in the house. She then begins to see things that others cannot and is unable to explain it. When she finds herself thrown back in time, she meets Daniel Butler, a man who was a part of the Jacobite Uprising. Knowing what she does about the outcome of said event, she finds it difficult to not disclose information to him that could essentially change the future. The more time spent with Daniel, the closer she becomes to him, as she finds herself bonding with him as two people who have both lost loved ones. Eva’s only concern is for her inability to control when she goes back in time and how the two of them can ever have a life together based on this instability.

Lovely novel. I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books in the future.

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