Stalking Jack the Ripper. Book Review.

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Published: James Patterson Books

Year: 2016

“He murdered women in cold blood. He terrorised an entire city. He taunted those of us who hunted him down. But despite all these horrors, in the end, i could not deny it…I was the girl who loved The Ripper.”

Stalking Jack the Ripper.jpg

I am the girl who loves Jack the Ripper. I studied him in school when we were given the option in English to choose any topic to write about, i chose him. I got an A plus for the assignment in which i included the postmortems of the victims and pictures of the murders, but i also received a concerned comment from the teacher who thought my interest went a little bit too far. I didn’t care. I’ve loved all things horror since i was 8 years old and watched my first horror movie with my best friend, Benjamin. Since then i have always had a deep interest in serial killers, especially real ones.

I connected to Audrey Rose instantly, if any character were written specifically for me, it’s this one. I absolutely adore Kerri’s writing and as a long time fan of James Patterson, buying this book was a no-brainer. It took me so long to find, all my local bookshops were sold out of their stock, i ended up having to order it online, i mean yes i could have bought the Kindle version but HAVE YOU SEEN HOW GORGEOUS THE COVER ART IS? Sorry for the caps but seriously, IT’S BEAUTIFUL. So i had to have the proper copy. One of my favourite things about this gorgeous novel is how accurate it was and how she included sketches throughout the book on how the postmortems were conducted. She also created sketches of what the notebooks the students used would have looked like and images of the actual letters left by Jack the Ripper in 1888. Incredible.

sketch from JTR

I imagine sketches like these could make some queasy, i myself found them an excellent addition to the story and really helped put me into the mind of Audrey and Thomas. 

So a little about the story…

Audrey Rose is a student of forensic medicine, taught by her Uncle, she is also a lady, a lord’s daughter in the year 1888 in London. Her life as a student has been forbidden and as such is kept secret from the strict father. Another student by the name of Thomas, is her counterpart and also her love interest. The moment she lay eyes on him the attraction was there and vice versa, though she will let nothing get in the way of her studies. Her Uncle allows her to attend school under him however she must dress as a boy and behave as such so no one knows otherwise, only Thomas knows who she really is. A string of savage corpses keep showing up and the students are to examine them which drags Audrey and Thomas into an investigation of a serial killer. They must be careful, smart and cunning, just like the killer. 

There are so many twists and turns in this story, i love how Kerri keeps a sense of humour throughout even though some events are so gruesome that you can’t help but get goosebumps! I truly did not expect the way the story ended. The connection between Audrey and Thomas and also Audrey’s connection to her brother really had me intrigued. I also want to thank Kerri for keeping true to the events of the past. I’ve read many books and seen all the movies regarding Jack the Ripper, I’ve also downloaded the postmortems which are available to all online nowadays, and the accuracy of all the tiny details is immaculate and the way she was able to manipulate those details to suit the fictional aspects of the story is truly what makes this book shine. It took me all of 5 hours to finish this book, i spent my day off reading it and only put it down to make a cup of tea! I can absolutely see why it is a New York Times Bestseller. I urge you to grab a copy as soon as you finish reading this, you will not regret it!

Rating out of 10: 11

You can find copies here: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Face the Fire (Book Three in the Three Sisters Island Trilogy). Book Review.

Title: Face the Fire

Author: Nora Roberts

Published: Piatkus

Year: 2001

“The Truth is finally revealed…”

Nora Roberts Face the Fire

Mia Devlin, sister, witch, savvy businesswoman and all around amazing being is our centre for book three. Years ago she loved with her whole heart, Sam Logan and Mia shared an incredible bond built on passion, legend and fate. Until one day he fled Three Sisters Island and left Mia alone, mending her heart and promising to never love another again. Mia is facing her toughest challenge yet as Sam returns to Three Sisters, determined to win back Mia’s heart. But Mia is determined too, or just stubborn, but she will not admit her feelings for him, she will not risk letting him back in and having her heart torn out all over again. And yet she must, if she is to fulfil her fate and save Three Sisters Island, she needs to join her magic with his and break the centuries-old curse or doom them all.

My second favourite book of the series. Mia is amazing. I need Mia’s house on the cliff and fairy garden, i picture it so clearly each time i read about it. Mia and Sam’s love story is so passionate and so heartbreaking, it had me in tears several times. Mia is the kind of person and witch i would want to be. I was so content with the way Nora brought this series to a close but i was so sad it was the end! I’ve read this series multiple times now and it just gets better each and every time. I fall in love with the characters and the stories over and over again. Even the people of Three Sisters, you don’t know much about them but you still care deeply for them. There are very few books I’ve read where characters insignificant to the major story have had an effect on my heart. I feel full of magic when i read these books and i hope you do too.

You can find the closure to the Three Sisters Island Trilogy here: Face the Fire

You can read my review to Book One here: Dance Upon the Air. Book Review.

You can read my review to Book Two here: Heaven and Earth (Three Sisters Island Trilogy Book Two). Book Review.

Rating out of 10: 10

Heaven and Earth (Three Sisters Island Trilogy Book Two). Book Review.

Title: Heaven And Earth

Author: Nora Roberts

Published: Piatkus

Year: 2001

“A hidden secret old as the elements themselves…”

nora roberts heaven and earth

Deputy Riley Todd is the focus of book two, she is a no bullshit, straight up bad ass. Riley is the sister of Zack, love interest of Nell from the first book. Riley and Zack are the officers on Three Sisters, their family has lived there for decades. Our other main character focus is MacAllister Booke or Mac for short. New to the island, his profession of studying the impossible and the strange, has brought him to Three Sisters. One of our other recurring characters, the beautiful Mia Devlin, is the subject of his interests that brought him to the island. Extensive research has showed she is the current island witch. Deputy Todd’s initial reaction to Mac is not so favourable, only time will tell on that one. One thing Riley is adamant against is anything to do with magic. She just wants to live a quiet, peaceful life as deputy sheriff but her powers hiding beneath her tough exterior are even more powerful than she can imagine, and her control is constantly slipping which scares her to death.

Book two didn’t grip me the way the first did, i think i just couldn’t relate as well to Ripley as i immediately did to Nell. Still a very enjoyable book, suspenseful where you need it to be, frustrating in others. Ripley’s constant denial of her powers gets a bit exhausting (for her and the reader). The book does it’s job and furthers the story of the other characters to get you ready for the big finale that is book three. Nora writes exquisitely as usual, i truly cannot fault her as an author. I’ll be posting a review on book three shortly.

You can find book two here: Heaven and Earth

Rating out of 10: 7.5

Dance Upon the Air. Book Review.

Title: Dance Upon the Air (Three Sisters Island Trilogy Book One)

Author: Nora Roberts

Published: Piatkus

Year: 2001

‘Sometimes it takes a stranger to unlock your heart…’

Dance Upon the Air

Easily in my top 5 books of all time, the pages and cover of my copy are so worn because I’ve read it at least 15 times. I read this book when I want to feel inspired, when I’m feeling like I’m not the strong woman I know I am and when I need a dose of magic from my fellow sisters. Nora Roberts is my favourite author of all time. I own just about all of her books. I love the way she writes, I love what she writes about, I particularly love her trilogies, especially when they’re centred around magic. Nora uses the same formula for most of her books, but rather than becoming lackluster and predictable, they continue to shine and thrive.

‘She had died so she could live…’

Our first main character goes by the name of Nell Channing, though that wasn’t always the case. Nell is creating a new life for herself, she’s travelled many miles and felt a magnetic pull to Three Sisters Island, a quiet, peaceful place perfect for new beginnings. I love following Nell’s journey, I love the way she thinks and feels and acts. I felt a kinship to this character from the get go, almost as if we were actually sisters. Nell stumbles across a book store-café and gets the job of cook there. She meets a handsome young cop by the name of Zack Todd. The Todd’s have lived on Three Sisters for many generations. Though on edge due to his profession, Nell can’t deny the sparks between them and cautiously explores her feelings for him. Nell discovers that the island suffers from a terrible curse, one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled on the island back in 1692. With the help of two other strong, gifted women, Nell must find the power within to save her new home, her new love and herself.

We’re joining Nell in her journey but we also have some extremely strong and interesting supporting characters, people you immediately love and care for. I cannot praise this story enough, it has everything you could possibly want in it, magic, romance, suspense, not to mention some adult scenes… You will fly through this book, you will devour it hungrily as if you’ve been starved for your whole life not knowing that this story is what you needed to satiate your hunger. As soon as you’ve finished I guarantee you’ll be picking up book two, Heaven and Earth, immediately.

You can find book one of the Three Sisters Island Trilogy here: Dance Upon the Air

Rating out of 10: 11!

Society of Wishes. Book Review.

Title: Society of Wishes (Wish Quartet Book One)

Author: Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

Published: Silver Wing Press

Year: 2018

“Be Careful What You Wish For…”

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I was lucky enough to stumble across this book via a Facebook reading event for it hosted by the authors. I read along with a schedule and each day the authors would post questions and select winners for prize giveaways (I won twice and received a signed magnet and a signed copy of the book!). I’d never read a book that way before and it was so hard to stick to the schedule and not read too far ahead especially because I was hooked from the very first line “It was hotter than Satan’s tit outside, but Jo wore a fleece-lined hoodie zipped all the way up to her chin, a necessity so she wouldn’t catch frostbite in the computer room’. Never have i related to a character so quickly. As a gamer myself I have spent many a night in a cold computer room with 10 layers of clothes to keep me warm. We then jump straight into the story, no muss no fuss so here is a brief overview…

Josephina Espinosa is a kick ass Latina chick, a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. Jo and her best friend, fellow hacker Yuusuke, are gunned down in a government raid and Jo makes a wish to save her friend’s life. Her grandmother had told her of magical lore, using power to summon a wish granter, Jo thought it was just fairytales, until it actually works. But all wishes have a cost and for Jo it is the erasure of her entire existence. Jo finds herself in a mansion and discovers it is called the Society of Wishes, here she must build a new life with her fellow wish-granters.

We are introduced to so many diverse and deep characters throughout the story, you really wish they each had their own book (perhaps we’ll get some prequel stories some day!). I love the way Elise and Lynn write together, they complement each other so well. Circle of Ashes (book 2) and Birth of Chaos (book 3) are now available so I’ll be delving into their magical depths soon! Definitely a book for Young Adults but the way it’s written makes it cross into Adult Fiction too. I absolutely adore the artwork used for all 3 books which were created by none other than Elise herself.

You can read Society of Wishes on Kindle Unlimited for free.

You can also find copies of the book here: Society of Wishes

Rating out of 10: 10

The Witches of Blackbrook (Book One of Series). Book Review.

Title: The Witches of Blackbrook (Book One of Series)

Author: Tish Thawer

Publisher: Amber Leaf Publishing

Year: 2015

“Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.”

Witches of Blackbrook

Three sisters escape the Salem Witch Trials when the eldest casts a spell that hurtles their souls forward through time. After centuries separated, fate has finally reunited them in the present day.

I flew through this book, it literally took me 4 and a half hours to read it, i was so hungry for the magic on these pages, I haven’t read a book so quickly since the Twilight series. Tish Thawer takes us on a magical but complicated journey into the lives of three sister witches. Katrine, now known as Trin, is the eldest and is living with Kit who she has found in every new life her soul leads. Together, over many centuries, they search for their other sister but something has been blocking them from finding her. Trin works as a massage therapist, using her magical powers for good. One day Trin meets a cute, local policeman named Jason and finds out he has a cousin, Caris. Immediately Trin feels a kinship with them, a magic spark if you will.

Tish takes us on a journey into their lives, she writes well, though the dialog does feel forced and somewhat stiff at times. We learnt quite a bit about Trin in this first novel but not much about the supporting characters. We are taken back and forth through time with Trin’s memories and flashbacks which were interesting and it was good to imagine the family dynamic they had in the past, it made me feel hopeful she would get to experience that again in the near future.

All in all I found it to be an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what comes next for Trin and her sisters and how this series ends. I’m really hoping we delve deeper into the supporting characters in book two, I’d love to know more about Caris. I’d definitely recommend this series for young adults, the older souls will probably find the writing to be a bit too young for them.

You can find Book 1 here: The Witches of Blackbrook Book 1

Rating out of 10: 8.5

What Manner of Love is This? Book Review.

Title: What Manner of Love is This?

Author: Dani Daniels

Published: Xlibris

Year: 2017

Fifty Shades of Grey, please take a seat.

Romance novels with mystery and a thriller aspect are my guilty pleasure, and oh boy does this novel pleasure. Dani writes with humour and passion as if she herself is telling her own story in the raunchiest way possible. A lot of authors struggle to write sex scenes and tend to use metaphors and euphemisms to make themselves and their readers more comfortable, Dani says fuck that and dives right in which I absolutely love. Dani keeps us guessing and on edge throughout, wondering where the story will go. The dialogue sometimes feels a little stiff and forced but it’s not really about how they say things and more what is said, the dynamics between some of the characters calls for dialog to be stiff because that’s the characters relationship to each other.

Our protagonist, Brianna, has so much happen to her in such a short time and as I’m reading I seriously just want to be able to get her a huge hug and then other times I want to slap her silly for letting things go over her head. She meets a handsome man named Isaac, they fall in love, they are happy and then one day he just disappears. She then meets another man and his family while trying to move on from Isaac. This man is nothing like her former love, she starts questioning herself and everything about him and his family. Nothing is as it seems.

Dani’s debut novel is a sound success, she writes with passion and confidence and that shines through her characters. Fans of Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele and E.L. James will enjoy this dark, romantic rollercoaster ride.

You can find Dani’s debut novel here: What Manner of Love is this?

Rating out of 10: 8.5