Tag Archives: Escape Publishing

Review: Almost Mine

almostAlmost Mine by Lea Darragh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Escape Publishing via NetGalley

To be honest, just from the blurb, I would not have come near this book at all. However, when I inadvertently won a preview from a giveaway, I could hardly refuse to, at least, have a quick read. My reluctance doubled at the end of the first chapter as the scene is set for something achingly heartbreaking though I kept pushing on for a few more chapters before I reached the breaking point. The only way that I’m going to continue to read it is if the ending is worth it soooo…. Yes, I had a squeeze at the epilogue.

My hesitation to read this book is this part of the blurb, “Cate has always taken Nick for granted… She knows he loves her, but she can’t love him back… She has darkness in her that can’t handle that much light.” And as soon as I’ve read the first few chapters, I knew that this was just too close to my own personal concerns and I really didn’t need to have that fleshed out in what I’m reading. Nevertheless, I did think the ending was worth the effort so I ploughed on and finished the book.

Cate was one confused girl and it started in childhood when she witnessed her parents’ broken marriage. She began to struggle with her identity, her self-worth, and looked for it in all sorts of places. Through all this, however, Nick, was always there for her. He loves her and promises to always be there for her. Is Nick and his love enough for Cate to find herself? Is he patient enough for her to finally realise what he means to her?

Aside from my initial hesitation, I found that it was exacerbated by the first chapter being set in the present time and for the chunk of the book to being flashbacks which spanned many years. You’d have to read through all these years before finally coming back to the present (the last 2 chapters). This makes a slow reading but all the cheesy romance kind of made up for the slowness. Remember Persuasion by Jane Austen? The first reading feels so slow but that’s because we’re set up for a delicious suspense.

I love Cate and Nick because of their steadfastness to each other. I could really sympathise with Cate and was cheering her on when she’s fighting hard to keep the future bright for both of them. I love Nick for his faithfulness to Cate throughout the years and for his adoration of her. Who wouldn’t want to have their own ‘Nick’ if this is how he thinks / sees of you…

‘…when I see you, my heart races and when you leave it stops. When you smile I smile and when you cry I want to bring hell down on the reason for your tears. All I know is that I would stop at nothing to give you everything, and I’d do this because I know that every need that you have comes from the deepest part of your heart, and not from an entitled want. You’re breathtaking when you daydream as you watch the wind blow through the tree tops, and when you use the very tips of your fingers to tuck your soft hair behind your ears and when you dip your chin and blush when someone gives you a compliment–.’

Yeah… cheesy…. *sighs* but I’d definitely fall for it every time ;D

Almost Mine is most definitely a romance novel though as I identified with Cate so keenly, it has dug deeper into my soul. I feel for Cate as she went through each of her ups and downs, the angst, the guilt, and finally acceptance. To learn that to love is to forgive and to forgive is to love… I am utterly relieved of having finished reading though I want to read it again.

This was meant to be a book review though it turned out to be rather of a self-introspection but I’m posting this anyway because I’d like the author to know that she’s touched at least one random soul in the world

Thanks to Escape Publishing via NetGalley for copy of eARC

Ps: FYI, I am happily married and I have just made sure (again!) that hubby knows I love him (I do!) though he knows, by now, that acts of service is my love language so I think we’re sorted 😉

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Review: Awakening

awakeningAwakening by Lara Morgan

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: Copy of ebook courtesy of Escape Publishing in exchange of my honest review

I received a copy of this book from Escape Publishing (thank you kindly!). Hence, it is only natural to expect romance, and plenty of it, in this book. For me, Fantasy Romance is the top of my favourite reads. There is nothing better than to escape to a completely different world with the promise of romance.

First and foremost, however, this book is high fantasy. Filled to the brim with serpents, fantastical creatures, and all things magical, Lara Morgan has created such an amazing detailed and vivid world, or rather worlds. There were more than one settlement / civilization and each are so different in setting and culture but all wonderfully told.

The story is told from alternate perspectives, Shaan’s and Tallis’, as they fought to understand who they really are and struggled with the powers within them. I love Shaan’s feistiness though I was a little let down by her helplessness. For someone who has survived living on the street as child, how could she be so clueless and helpless this time? Tallis, on the other, was a lot more mature; he’s a fast learner and I gladly follow his path.

There wasn’t, however, that much of romance in this book, if at all. There were feelings or thoughts of feelings, bits of tension, and tiny bit of sparks but nothing spectacular. I would actually say there is no romance whatsoever in this book. Though it seems that we’re being set up for the next book… so I may just have to pick up book 2 to find out 😉

Thank you, Escape Publishing for copy of ebook

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Review: King Hall

king hallKing Hall by Scarlett Dawn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Harlequin Australia via NetGalley

My first reaction after I finished the book was:



Was. So. Very. Extremely. Frustratingly. UPSET.

Why?!??! I really needed that disclaimer that this book ends with the Mother of a Cliffhanger. Bah! How in the world am I supposed to survive waiting for the next book?! I don’t even know when that will be!

Before I began reading, I was actually in a bit of a rut and wasn’t in the mood to read (Sorry, what?!? I know, the weirdest feeling ever). However, the humorous beginning lured me right in and though I was worried that this world might be a little bit complicated at that time of the morning, I was totally sucked in by first the humour, Lily as MC, the idea of lifemates (I’m a sucker for that type of romance), and then broken hearted. Within a few chapters, King Hall has had me chuckling, snorting [eye-roll moments], and crying (well, quite teary at any rate). I was raving about it a couple of hours later at lunch to my colleague who probably thought I was a little bit nuts since we haven’t seen each other in a while but all I could talk about was this book I’m reading. Errm, I love you too  xx

King Hall is the name of a college for Mysticals (ie. non-humans / “Commoners”). There are 4 types of Mysticals: Shifters, Vampires, Elementals, and Mages. Whilst showing a united front to Commoners, Mysticals do not like to mix and each group has their own ruler. Lily is not supposed to be one. In fact, she’s not supposed to even exist. However, she and 3 other Mysticals are the next in line to ruling each groups. Whilst relationships between rulers are usually quite reserved and sometimes, strained, due to the segregation, a tragedy brought these 4 together and forged a beautiful friendship. Of course, due to their Mystical natures, they are all beautiful physically and ‘friendly’ –so there’s that very interesting aspect of their friendship.

The friendship between Lily, Ezra, Jack, and Pearl was amazing to behold. It was an unfortunate tragedy which truly brought them together but they stayed strong together, trusted each other and truly accepted each other as different as they are. This was one of the best bits of the book. Of course, the quirky, snappy, sarcastic comments were most entertaining. And any sparks between characters helps the total enjoyment of the story. There was always something happening and it keeps me swiping through to the end [Note: only available in ebooks so there is no turning to be done, only swiping ;)].

I’m a little confused with the world building though as I feel there are some things that weren’t explained properly (or if it was, I completely missed it). For example, each Mystical have different powers but what exactly are their nature? I don’t understand how vampires are walking around in daytime and have body heat though I love the significance of hair colour – just imagine what a colourful the world it is.

King Hall was un-put-down-able for me. I had to keep on reading just one more chapter till I suddenly reached the end. I hope book 2 will come soon with lots of answers to questions I had from this book though I wouldn’t mind (in fact, I would totally love it) if there is a prequel of some sort about Lily & Dominic. psst, Dawn, I may just forgive you for this cliffhanger ending, if I can have this prequel to tide me over whilst waiting for book 2 This book will be one of those I’d recommend waiting for the next book, unfortunately. Can’t you just tell how very upset I am…. 

Thank you, Harlequin Australia for providing copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

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