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PixelBun

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Reluctant Concubine (Hardstorm Saga Book 1)
Reluctant Concubine (Hardstorm Saga Book 1)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant read, 27 Dec. 2015
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To be honest, I would classify this more as a 3.5. in terms of enjoyment/ characters/ entertainment factor, but considering the author has managed to avoid making this an enraging reading experience, I'm happy to round it up.

The main characters are nice, if a bit cardboard cutout and perfect-mary-sue ish. The plot is reasonably entertaining, but likewise has a whiff of generic-convenient-fantasy theme. The writing style was not hard to read, no grammar/typos to irritate. My only complaint about this book is that I didn't feel the author conveyed the pacing of the story sufficiently. Everything had a very And then- and then- and then- and then quality, which made the reading experience a little bit bland, no suspense, no build up to critical scenes.

All round a pleasant read. I had fun, this was a nice bit of fluff for the price, but I'm not dying to read the sequel.


Suma Prepacks Potato Flour 500 g (Pack of 6)
Suma Prepacks Potato Flour 500 g (Pack of 6)
Price: £8.94

1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 8 Dec. 2015
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This isn't potato flour. This is potato starch. The INCI lists 100% potato starch. Misleading packaging.


The Valkyrie (The Saga of Edda-Earth Book 1)
The Valkyrie (The Saga of Edda-Earth Book 1)
Price: £4.48

3.0 out of 5 stars Promising book ruined by political propaganda, 27 Oct. 2015
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tl;dr: WARNING, if you are not a fan of casual Zionist propaganda in your fiction, this book does contain quite a bit of thinly disguised triggers.

I greatly enjoyed the author's epic Spirit of Redemption fanfic, and thus bought this sight unseen/ reviews unread. The beginning seemed quite promising, but then the author's love/ admiration for a certain Apartheid state and it's Defence Forces occupying land in the middle east starts leaking through. I'd written it off as coincidence when multiple mentions of the IDF brought up randomly in Spirit of Redemption, and hey it should be okay since this is a fantasy-history nation, but the thinly disguised Judean Defence Force/ Judea/ Judean guy from the Judean area constantly under attack from the Chaldeans, Mideans etc (also did I mention the technological advances of flak jackets from Judea?) all combined to become an annoying fingernail-screeching-across-chalkboards in my reading experience.

I've seen far too many TV shows and movies where all things about that state-that-shall-not-be-named is just shoehorned into the story, serving no purpose to further the plot or deepen characterisation other than to normalise the occupation into something Cool and Acceptable. Fair enough, it is her book and she can write how she wants, but for me this is just yet another one of those creative works that had great potential in terms of my personal reading enjoyment, marred by real life propaganda.

Maybe one day I can return to this to finish reading it, if only to get my money's worth. ALAS.


The Selkie Enchantress (Seal Island Trilogy Book 2)
The Selkie Enchantress (Seal Island Trilogy Book 2)
Price: £2.63

3.0 out of 5 stars Still a decent read, but characters feel a bit clumsy here and there, 2 Jan. 2015
A nice follow up to book 1, again with the Ireland-based romance + Irish folklore + a strong dose of Hans Christian Anderson fantasy.

Whilst the plot, grammar, writing are as good as the first book, I had to take off 1 star because I felt most of the characters had quite a strong dose of sheer bullheadedness to the point of stupidity. No one wanted to communicate, and practically most if not all of the problems that happened in the book could've been solved/ been less facepalmingly angsty with just a simple "help me/ i have a problem". I get that this was being used to forward the plot, but it was a bit too heavy handed and "convenient".

I felt both children were a bit out of character, the voice and vocabulary they speak in is indistinguishable from the adult characters, which caused a bit of a break in the whole suspension-of-disbelief thing. That, and there's a whole lot of permissive parenting going on in Kelsey's case, as she never seems to face any disciplinary (mild or otherwise) consequences from when she decides to be naughty/ disobey her parents. <--unrealistic or potential spoiled princess in the making?

So overall, a fluffy and fun (if somewhat annoying) read.


The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy Book 1)
The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy Book 1)
Price: £2.63

4.0 out of 5 stars A jolly good Irish Romance with a twist of fantasy, 2 Jan. 2015
This harks back to the romance books I enjoyed greatly in the 90's and early 2000's, where there was a very good effort at having a story to package the romance in (as opposed to the current trend for romances to be heavy on the erotica and very light on plot).

Reminds me of Nora Robert's stories (she does love her ireland/ irishmen), but with a stronger fantasy twist instead. I felt the initial formation of romance between hero-heroine a tad sudden, but the rest of the story does do well at redeeming that slight niggle.

Overall, a fun fantasy romance romp. Well worth a read!


The Witness and the Bear (Bear Valley Shifters Book 1)
The Witness and the Bear (Bear Valley Shifters Book 1)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but bland and rushed, 25 Dec. 2014
Premise and characters had some promise of being a fluffy read, but sadly let down by weak pacing and bland storytellling. Overall plot was rushed, and there was no chemistry, no buildup, no anticipation. This is a little bit like popcorn that's gone a bit stale: not horrible, but not something I'd be in a rush to read again/ read a sequel of.


Submission and Surrender (The Billionaire's Temptation Series Book 2)
Submission and Surrender (The Billionaire's Temptation Series Book 2)
Price: £2.33

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The magic wang that requires no consent., 29 Nov. 2014
1 star for good spelling and decent grammar.

-4 stars for failed alpha male hero, and bad characterisation in general. This is in essence a bad porno with some half hearted dominant/submissive elements.

Hero pays lip service to how "intelligent and independent" heroine is, while disregarding everything she wants or says. No means yes (err hello, rapey much? "Lol you know you want it" doesn't make everything okay). Everything centers around what he wants, right now, no matter what the heroine wants. The number of times he has "grabbed her" to insist on discussing sensitive matters, forcing PDA in inappropriate places, or outright forced sexual attentions on her is too many to count.

The heroine is a cardboard cutout so shallow that all she is in this book is there sexy piece of meat for the hero to vent his magical sexual favours on. Her role in the book is so empty you could replace her with a blow up doll.

Is this what other women find sexy??? I'm slightly horrified and disappointed at the same time to find women writing sexy fantasy fiction like this that demeans male/female relationships for other women to consume.


HASH: Human Alien Species Hybrid (Book #1) (Imprint Trilogy)
HASH: Human Alien Species Hybrid (Book #1) (Imprint Trilogy)
Price: £1.94

2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid if you're not into Young Adult lead characters, 23 Nov. 2014
Did not finish this as I didn't like it. Avoid if teenage romantic leads are not your thing, and if female-characters-doing-dumb-things annoys you to no end.

Technically there is nothing wrong with this book (as far as I can tell), the grammar, spelling and overall writing is decent. However I don't like romance books with teenage leads as I'm not the target market for it.

Jade behaves as expected of a naive lab raised teenager, which unfortunately to me comes off as "stupid things female characters do in movies". She constantly blabs things she should keep secret to the scientists studying her (despite her Metal telling her not to), and yes I get that unlike the reader, Jade doesn't know they don't have her best interests at heart, but this unfortunately makes her a rather annoying character to read.


Night's Honour (Elder Races Book 7)
Night's Honour (Elder Races Book 7)
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm read, 23 Nov. 2014
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I read this in one sitting, and it left me feeling underwhelmed. The book was okay, the plot was okay, the romance was okay, but I finished it and felt very little connection to the characters, and a slight feeling of I couldn't-care-less about their romantic success. I think it mainly boiled down to there being very little contact between heroine + hero, very little relationship building, and she went from "eww vampires" to "OMG I LOVES YOU". Tess and Xavier sadly came across a little bit two dimensional, and as a result so did their great romance.

I've read and loved all of the other Elder Races books (mmm Pia x Dragos is the best), where they all have a mix of very good relationship building, political intrigue and suspense, steamy satisfying romance, a bit of sassy comedy, strong female lead.... and this in theory has all of those elements but somehow just fell short. Sad but true. Not a terrible read, but it's like having a soda that's been left out a little too long and has lost most of it's fizz.


Murder of Crows: A Novel of the Others
Murder of Crows: A Novel of the Others
Price: £5.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Fun urban fantasy read with a nice meaty plot!, 5 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My only complaints about this is: the kindle edition is/was so expensive! £14 publishers??? really??? for a copy that cost nothing to print, doesn't require warehouse storage or postage??? That, and the story ended far too fast for my liking.

I loved the first book, and this was a very enjoyable follow up. The interactions between the characters are very fun, and Meg's character growth is nice to observe. As a reader I'm falling more and more in love with the characters in the Courtyard. Plot-wise, slight niggle is that I felt the "story conflict" the plot was building up to at the end was resolved a little bit too quickly

The ANGST (oh, the angst) I feel knowing I have to wait another year for the next book! Much weeping and gnashing of teeth indeed.


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