Zane Series – J.L. Leslie

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As I read these so quickly (which is always a good sign!) I decided to do a mega review of the series for you guys.

It follows each of the highly successful but troubled Zane siblings, Stellan, Dylan and Lennon (who is a woman by the way), as they find love. But can they let go of the past long enough to allow themselves to be happy?

Now while the overall premise for each of these books is the same, they are different. Each of the siblings deals with their trauma differently, which in turn affects their relationships. Stellan, Dylan and Lennon experience their own individual issues, and consequently find their own perfect match, who also bring something new to each story. Wren, Riley and Swift have their own problems to deal with, without the volatile nature of the Zane family weighing in. This makes each character independently distinct! Leslie is also pretty ambitious with her themes, choosing to explore the effects of child abuse, disability, terminal illness, sexual assault and PTSD, which may be a bit excessive for some readers. It did get a little heavy in places. Anyway while the stories link together (which you know I love), and ultimately build to that satisfying HEA you come to expect, they stand up against one another as individual stories, with a pretty interesting plot if a bit much at times. And yay, for alternative perspectives!

I think Lennon was my favourite character, with her strong will and serious potty mouth. Here’s to girl power! I have to give a shout out to Chris too. He’s the type of friend every girl deserves!

However, I have to admit that some of the descriptions during the sex scenes (“sleek channel”) in the first book Tame Me (Stellan and Wren), stuck out for me but that quickly disappeared into the second and third book. It’s a pretty steamy series other than that.

So why is it a 3*+ from me? Well I was super torn between 3 and 4*s. As you can probably guess Lennon and Swift (Tease Me) were my favourite, so separately it was a 4* for me. But I didn’t feel as strongly about Stellan and Wren, or Dylan and Riley (Tempt Me). Particularly Dylan, his change in character just seemed too sudden. I think I needed more development there.

I definitely recommend you check them out though, after all everyone has their favourites.

I RECEIVED A COPY OF THESE BOOKS FROM THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS IN NO WAY AFFECTED MY OPINION OF THE BOOK, OR THE CONTENT OF MY REVIEW.

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief – Rick Riordan

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Percy Jackson has always been different. He struggles to fit in, is easily distracted from school work, can’t control his temper, and things just keep getting worse when his pre-algebra teacher turns into a monster and tries to kill him. When his mother discovers what happened, she realises she can longer protect Percy from the secrets she has kept from him his entire life. She has no choice but to take him to camp Half-blood, a summer camp for demigods. Yes that’s right, Percy’s estranged father just so happens to be a god. But not just any god, he’s one of the big three (Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) but his existence sets in motion a series of events that threaten to start a war between them. Can Percy prevent this from happening? And so begins his first quest.

Why have I waited so long to read this?! Because I’m there, I get it, buy me a T-shirt, and sign me up to the fandom already! My only regret about this book is, why didn’t I read it sooner?!

I loved the way Riordan makes Greek mythology relevant to the present day. It was really interesting to see how he updated these stories as they have such a wealth of possibility, which believe me, he uses it to his full advantage. Riordan has created a rich world with a fast paced adventure that still stays true to the original premise just with a whole host of new and loveable characters.

So don’t let the age range put you off, it doesn’t read like it’s intended audience, just good fantasy fiction.

I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Eat, Prey, Decay: 7 Tales of the Apocalypse

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This is a great and varied anthology, all dealing with how the world ends. It’s exciting and compelling, each story sucking you in. I really struggled to put this down and in fact it’s set me off on a bit of a zombie/post-apocalyptic binge. The anthology contains seven tales, all unique and interesting. They made me question what I’d do in an apocalypse. How would I survive? Could mankind even survive or were we all doomed from the start?

Some are stronger than others so I’m just going to quickly talk about my favourite ones.  Also be warned most of these tales don’t have a full ending, instead setting you up for a second short story, book or novella.

THE HARVESTING:

Layla’s Russian grandmother calls her home and tells her to be prepared. Days later the world goes crazy and Layla must help protect her hometown from zombies. But that’s not all as an ancient force comes into play and threatens the small group of survivors. At the end of the world all the monsters have come out to play. This had some great twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. I loved the combination of the supernatural and post-apocalyptic elements. I also loved the inclusion of several different myths and folklores.  I think this was a fantastic opener because it had me hooked!

ODIUM:

Nina lives in a walled in community, hiding from the zombie apocalypse. But this haven isn’t all it seems; it’s become a brutal and cruel dictatorship. Cast outside the walls Nina must learn to survive, not just for herself but also for the Emily, the girl she’s travelling with.  But outside there are more than just zombies to contend with so Nina and Emily must join up with other survivors and do whatever it takes to survive. I enjoyed this tale, I found that in some parts it was a little slow but I was desperate to get to the end.

Z CHILDREN: AWAKENING:

This is told from multiple perspectives, all interwoven and is brilliant because each character has such a strong individual voice. The story centres around the idea that a vaccine has become contaminated somehow, turning all the children vaccinated into flesh eating (and sweetie eating) little monsters. I loved this original idea. What happens when our future is our demise? The parents, unable to comprehend or kill their children get bitten and turned themselves. They then act like bodyguards for their savage children, and still seem to have that parental instinct to protect. I also enjoyed the idea that there was still a degree of awareness there, that familial bonds were stronger than a virus that kills. For example a zombie sister becomes enraged when her zombie brother is killed. Very interesting.

Overall I’d give this anthology 5 stars because of the diversity, the excellent way it’s put together and the fact that I struggled to put it down.  I’d strongly recommend this if post apocalypse is your thing – especially since it’s free on KU and only 0.99p otherwise! Bargain!

New Cover Design & Sale! Below the Surface – Elizabeth Lee

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Below the Surface is a standalone novel with a HEA and no Cliffhanger!

Daniella Alvarez and Dylan McKendrie used to be in love. They used to be a team. An inseparable force to be reckoned with. But, when tragedy struck, their relationship sank faster than the ships they used to scour the ocean floor for. Now all that’s left are scattered remains of what used to be.

Dylan, no longer seeking the mysteries on the ocean floor, now goes for the sure things and the guaranteed paychecks. When a longtime friend suggests he has hard proof that one of those legends that used to keep Dylan up at night could be real, he’s torn between going after the gold and maintaining the life he’d built since leaving The Florida Keys.

Daniella was always a dreamer. She’s always been chasing what would most deem unattainable—professionally and personally. Everything she’d ever wanted seemed to slip through her fingers the day he left, which is exactly why his return has her seeing red.

Can the two of them put their past aside long enough to figure out a mystery that has plagued them both for years? Can they work together to see what lies below the surface?

 Get Below the Surface for just 99-cents until June 24th on Amazon, it’s also currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited readers!

To find out more visit Elizabeth Lee’s website.