Friday, 18 October 2013

Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake

Title: Words Once Spoken
Author: Carly Drake
ISBN: 9780857990822
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Publish Date: October 2013


Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides.

The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.

My Thoughts:

The stunning cover of this book captured me immediately and the synopsis offered a wonderful adventure. I was so excited starting this book and fell in love with Evelyn in the first few chapters. She is a strong-willed and resourceful main character who knows exactly what she wants. But as much as I enjoyed these first few chapters I soon began to find myself frustrated and confused.

The pacing of the story is fast, so fast in fact that it rushes through the last half of the story at lightning speed leaving me wondering what exactly was going on. With some of the crucial moments rushed through, I found myself less invested in the story and losing track of who was who and even what they were supposed to be doing, to the point where I found myself having to go back and re-read parts, making it a rather frustrating read.
It seemed to settle down a little towards the end, only to reveal a plot twist that left the ending unresolved.

Overall Words Once Spoken had a solid base and so much potential, but the rushed pacing and short length left it lacking.

Thanks to Harlequin Australia and Netgalley for the ARC.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns

Title: Outback Dreams
Author: Rachael Johns
ISBN: 9781743564608
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Published: October 2013


Faith and Monty are both looking for love...but they’re looking in the wrong direction.

Faith Forrester is at a crossroads. Single, thirty and living on a farm in a small Western Australian town, she’s sick of being treated like a kitchen slave by her brother and father. Ten years ago, her mother died of breast cancer, and Faith has been treading water ever since. She wants to get her hands dirty on the family farm. She wants to prove to herself that she’s done something worthwhile with her life. And she wants to find a man...

For as long as he can remember, Daniel ‘Monty’ Montgomery has been Faith’s best friend. When he was ten, his parents sold the family property and moved to Perth, and ever since, Monty’s dreamed of having his own farm. So for the last ten years, he’s been back on the land, working odd jobs and saving every dollar to put toward his dream. Now he finally has the deposit. But there’s still something missing...

So when Faith embarks on a mission to raise money for a charity close to her heart, and Monty’s dream property comes on the market, things seem like they are falling into place for them both. Until a drunken night out ends with them sleeping together. Suddenly, the best friends are faced with a new load of challenges...

Monty and Faith are both ready to find a life partner and settle down, but have they both been looking in all the wrong places?

My Thoughts:

After years of playing 'housekeeper' for her father and brother, Faith is eager to do something 'more' with her life. Prompted by a school reunion, she sets out to raise money for a charity close to her heart and hopefully find the man of her dreams.
Faith's best friend, Monty desperately wants a farm of his own and after years of working hard and saving he now has the deposit. It isn't long before he finds his dream property, now all he needs is someone to share it with.

Once again Rachael Johns has delivered us with a fantastic portrait of rural Australia. Rachael captured my heart with Man Drought (I really must get a hold of Jilted), and she continues to impress with Outback Dreams.
The gorgeous descriptions transport the reader to the peaceful surroundings of a coastal country town and the wonderful characters make it feel like home. Despite their flaws it is impossible not to love the colourful bunch that Rachael has created.

The story progresses at a steady but relaxed pace keeping the pages turning and despite the somewhat predictable ending there were many unforeseen bumps along the road for Faith and Monty.
Outback Dreams was a fun and relaxed read about love family and acceptance. Outback Dreams is the perfect book to lose yourself in for a few hours. I can't wait to read the next one in the series.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

Title: The Demonologist
Author: Andrew Pyper
ISBN: 9781409122586
Publisher: Orion
Publish Date: April 2013


Professor David Ullman is among the world's leading authorities on demonic literature. Not that he's a believer. He sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when offered a luxury trip to Venice to consult on a 'phenomenon', he accepts, taking his 11-year-old daughter Tess with him.

Amidst the decadent splendour of the city, David makes his way to the address he's been asked to visit. What he witnesses in the tiny attic room shakes him to the core: a man restrained in a chair, clearly insane. But what David hears the man say is worse. The voice of his father, dead for 30 years, repeating the last words he ever spoke to his son. Words that have left scars - and a mystery - behind.

Terrified, David is determined to leave with Tess as quickly as possible. But he can't shake the feeling that something is following him. And then, before his eyes on the roof of their hotel, Tess disappears. But before she falls into the Grand Canal's waters, she utters a plea: Find me.

My Thoughts:

The Demonologist is a book that jumped out at me, but I ummed and ahhed over reading it as I am not heavily into scary books, so after much deliberation I caved and bought it. Unfortunately (or perhaps that should be fortunately) it was not the 'I can't sleep with the lights off' fear inducing read that I was expecting. In saying that though it did have a high creepiness level.
I think the biggest downfall to this novel for me was that I did not feel emotionally invested with the characters. I really didn't find myself caring enough about them which made it very easy to distance myself from the story and the 'horrors' that they faced.
The plot was intriguing and mysterious but as much as I wanted to find out what was going to happen it certainly wasn't a book that I could not put down, therefore it took me a lot longer to finish it than I had expected.
The Demonologist is a creepy tale of mystery and demons that endeavors to make you change the way you see the world and the battle between good and evil. But it is certainly not a spine-chilling read.