What Comes Around

I adore all of the Louie Thorne books by Kory Shrum, but I think this one might surpass the first as my favourite in the series. There is tons of character growth along the way, and damn if I haven’t become fond of Jabbers… There is a variety of well-written settings here, some new and some familiar from the other books in this series. As always, the author has placed us so firmly in these settings that we can smell the mustiness of the catacombs and feel the cool lick of water in La Loon.

I thought I knew who the killer in Paris was, but holy crap was I wrong! I love it when a book can surprise me that much. This book, like the others in the series, is re-read worthy. So many times over. There is angst, fear, confusion, new fondness that might be called love, there is loyalty, hope and justice. All the things that make a story relatable and binge-worthy. This one has it all and might just be Kory Shrum’s best yet.

I was so thrilled to be granted an ARC (thank you, Kory!), but I love this series so much, I’ll be buying it.
(We really should support our favourite Indie authors, don’t you think?)

You really need to get the others in the series and read those first. This is not a stand-alone. But if you like supernatural fiction with a cast of kick-ass characters who take no crap, well written stories that will keep you reading all night…this is your series!

Why are you still here? Go get it!

City Of The Lost Review

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This is a great book, very addictive. I’ve been waiting a while to start this series and now that #1 is under my belt, I can’t wait to get on with the rest of it.
The characters are memorable, real and some of them maddening. The setting is so well drawn I could almost smell the forest that surrounds them. There is danger here, terror, high emotions that draw the reader in and you don’t want to leave until the last page is turned.
As soon as I finished this one I got #2. This is a binge-worthy read, for sure.

As The Crow Flies

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I hardly know where to start gushing about this book!

I expected a typical run-of-the-mill romance. I got so, so much more than that.

Ms. Williams is a superb writer, a story-teller in the finest sense of the word. She understands the fine dance of engaging your reader, sucking them in, capturing their heart and their imagination, and does not let go until the final word.

One of the central characters is Bertha the Crow, shown on the front cover. She is unique, smart, generous and loyal. More than I can say about some people I know. Sam, Liz, Gwen, and Isabel are all so well written that I want to go and have dinner with them. They have such captivating and intelligent conversations – they discuss everything from art history, quantum physics, string theory, the multi-verse, even possession and auric attachments. Even though I already knew about multi-verse theories and auric cameras, I did learn a great deal about other topics, so rest assured, this is not romantic fluff!

The level of writing is top-notch. It’s not all seriousness either. Check out this passage,
“…Everything was fine in the straight world until, one day, while Ken was away on a business trip and Skipper was at camp, Midge came over for a swim and found Barbie by the pool. Midge made margaritas, Barbie put on music, one thing led to another – what can I say? – the whole Mattel household went to hell.”
You can’t help but laugh out loud!

The author’s skill at writing visually enchanting passages is at a level rarely seen. In fact, her words painted such vivid pictures that my heart broke more than once. (Read the book, you’ll see what I mean). There are books we read, others we are absorbed by – consumed by – but this novel drew me in until the world around me faded away and was replaced by one constructed of images painted by written words. I did not want to leave that world, and I was sorry to see the story end.
This is a rare and moving novel that will teach you, break your heart, and show you what true love is.

Get it. Read it. You won’t regret it.

Mail Order Bride

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Austin’s killed a man. Escaping his nefarious past and running from those who would force him to live as a woman, Austin dreams of becoming an upstanding man and homesteading alone on the fringes of the wild frontier.
The burgeoning tent township of Molasses Pond is clenched in the bloody fist of the deadliest gunslinger the country has ever known, Lightning Jack McKade. McKade knows who Austin is. In fact, McKade knows more about Austin’s past than Austin does. He had a hand in creating it.
On the last stagecoach until spring, a mail order bride, Sahara Miller, arrives in Molasses Pond. She claims to be Austin’s and has the documentation to prove it. But McKade’s gang will do anything to have her. Now Austin must choose: Strap on his twin six-shooters to protect the bride he never wanted, or turn a blind eye and keep his dream alive.
This is a brilliant book that meets every convention of Western fiction, but then goes far beyond. There are a couple of fascinating sub-plots that really added to my overall enjoyment of the book. The characters are all unique and memorable, and there seem to be more bad guys than good. A couple of them don’t make their allegiances clear right away, and we’re left wondering whose side they’re on. At times, it seemed like the townsfolk hated Austin, and then they didn’t, then did…so we’re left guessing. And there are twists! Twists written so well that they seemed to make perfect sense.
Now, I know a thing or three about the old muzzle-loaders. I know how to load a flintlock, and a percussion-cap, and I know first-hand how heavy Two-Feather’s Hawken is. So I can tell you that the author knows their stuff when they write about the guns in this novel.Yes, there are a couple of places that the book stumbles into a speed-bump, but overall, the pacing is great. This is a debut, and it’s not going to be perfect. it’s hard to write a book, y’all. But ignore those speedbumps and let yourself get sucked into the story.

I loved every moment of this book. It’s going to the top of my read-this-one-over-and-over-again pile.
Thank you to the author for writing the best Western I’ve read in years. Thank you to Bold Strokes for taking a chance on a Western and letting transgender folks see themselves represented. (And the cover artist needs a raise!) Thank you for letting me read such a great book in exchange for me gushing about it.

Did I mention I loved this book?

‘Where We Are’ A Wonderful Surprise!

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I almost did not get this book, but am I ever glad my partner talked me into it!

There are layers to this story that I’ve not seen in many other books. It is so much more than I expected. The characters are well-drawn and realistic, but this book’s gifts go beyond just that. They’ve each suffered a loss that had brought them to their knees, and when we meet them, they’ve learned how to pick themselves up and move forward. One of the main characters, Sid, is an art gallery curator. In the book, there is a description of a painting hanging in her father’s great room. From the description alone, without knowing who the artist was or the title of the painting, I knew which painting it was. The description was that good! Sid and Mia have a discussion about the Group of Seven, and I admit, I was surprised at the level of intelligence and depth in that conversation. I did not expect to find the Group of Seven in this book, so that was a nice surprise. Another gem was the dimes that kept popping up throughout the story. (Read it, you’ll see what I mean).

All in all, this is an intelligent enemies to friends to lovers tale. The romance is complicated, as it should be. The two main characters are both experienced in life and love, smart, headstrong, and driven. Another thing that impressed me was the love scenes. Even they were a cut above most I’ve read. There was an emotional connection, which is rare in most fiction, straight or same-gender. The physical reactions weren’t the same old thing we’ve seen a hundred times, the descriptions weren’t over-done and even I read them in their entirety. (Which my partner can tell you is rare)

This was my first exposure to this author, and I have every intention of getting every one of her books as she writes them. If I could give her more than five stars, I would. Sharp writing, great characters, dogs, and all that food… This one deserves 8 stars for sure!

Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.