Beauty and the Boss – Ali Vali (Review)

beauty-and-the-bossCharlotte has a precocious daughter, a deadbeat ex, and a dream of working in the fashion industry. Ellis has a reputation for womanising,  a high-fashion company, and several enemies.

When Charlotte lands a coveted spot as Ellis’ latest intern, everything seems to be looking up; she has a less dead-end job, and her daughter is in a more stable and suppotive environment. But there are problems, too – her growing attraction to her enigmatic, closed-off boss and the machinations of people who will stop at nothing to destroy Ellis and her career.  Continue reading “Beauty and the Boss – Ali Vali (Review)”

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Top Ten Tuesday – Monsters that it is difficult to be angry with

Top Ten Tuesday“Top Ten Tuesday” is a feature started by “The Broke and the Bookish“, in which people list their top ten books that match some given criterion. It changes every week, and happens on a Tuesday. Lots (a frankly ridiculous number) of bloggers take part.

This week, the theme is Halloween, without further elaboration. In the spirit of that then, I’ve chosen to list monsters who it is difficult to actually be angry with, regardless of what they do. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Monsters that it is difficult to be angry with”

The Doll House – Phoebe Morgan (Review)

5168zmN6fdLCorinne is fragile. Her father’s death hit her hard, and repeated attempts to get pregnant have trapped her in a cycle of tentative hope followed by crushing disappointment. Sometimes the world is all too much to cope with.

When strange things start happening, no one really takes her seriously. She’s just highly-strung, over-anxious. Little worrying signs that Corinne sees as part of a larger, menacing pattern seem like coincidence to everyone else.

Is Corinne being stalked by someone unknown and malevolent, or is her mind creating monsters out of nothing?
Continue reading “The Doll House – Phoebe Morgan (Review)”

The Machinery – Gerrard Cowan (Review)

41ctGTurmuLThe Overland have just finished conquering the Plateau on which their civilisation exists. No-one else stood a chance; the Overland select their leaders according to the whims of an omnipotent (and titular) Machine, which has given them an edge for the last ten millennia. Hegemony beckons.

But overshadowing all of these achievements is a prophecy that the government have done their best to stamp out. A faction of Doubters claim that the machinery has begun to break down and soon will halt completely. A secret police of hideously-masked Watchers scour the crowds for signs of this heresy, disappearing and torturing anyone they deem guilty. Among all of this a range of viewpoint characters, including Katrina Paprissi, a young woman whose brother vanished in mysterious circumstances, navigate a complex web of power games mediated by the machine’s whims. Continue reading “The Machinery – Gerrard Cowan (Review)”

Tough Travels – Minions

Tough TravellingEvery month, Fantasy Faction runs a feature where they seek out examples of fantasy tropes. Other bloggers are welcome to join in, finding their own books to match the given topic. This week’s topic is minions:

Minions of the DARK LORD can be male or female, though he tends to favour males (who seem to be more susceptible to the Evil One’s wiles). They can take many forms: BAD KINGS, ENCHANTRESSES, HIGH PRIESTS, EUNUCHS, DUKES, REGENTS or WITCHES. Additionally, there are the non-human minions, such as ORCS, TROLLS, GOBLINS and random OTHER PEOPLES . . . not to mention MUTANT NASTIES, carefully selected MONSTERS, UNDEAD, and DEMONS.

Continue reading “Tough Travels – Minions”

Her Hometown Girl – Lorelie Brown (Review)

hometown_girlTansy is supposed to be getting married. Instead, after discovering her ex-fiancée having sex with one of the wedding caterers, she’s getting a tattoo. The tattoo she’s always wanted and her controlling partner has always stopped her getting.

Cai doesn’t do commitment. She’s happy on her own, independent and invulnerable. But when an adorable, impertinent, and deeply damaged Tansy appears in the tattoo parlour where she works,  she’s tempted to reconsider.

Her Hometown Girl is a love story that’s also about rebuilding identities and recovering from abusive relationships. In case it wasn’t clear from the set-up above, both of the main characters are women.  Continue reading “Her Hometown Girl – Lorelie Brown (Review)”

Tough Travels – Dragons

Tough TravellingEvery month, Fantasy Faction runs a feature where they seek out examples of fantasy tropes. Other bloggers are welcome to join in, finding their own books to match the given topic. This week’s topic is dragons:

The Tough Guide advises that Dragons are ‘very large scaly beings with wings and long spiky tails, capable of breathing fire through their mouths. They can be almost any colour or combination of colours, though green, red and black are preferred. They are always very old. Most of them seem to have flown to Fantasyland aeons ago across the void. This migration was almost certainly to get away from our world, where people would insist that they were dangerous monsters that had to be exterminated. Dragons, as all Fantasyland knows, are no such thing.’ Or are they?

Continue reading “Tough Travels – Dragons”