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Rani Shergill

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Bully (Fall Away Series Book 1)
Bully (Fall Away Series Book 1)

5.0 out of 5 stars Bullying - Anger, Power and Hate!, 27 Jan 2014
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I picked up this book when it was a freebie on amazon some months back because I was curious to read how the subject of bullying would be handled.

In this book Jared and Tatum are initially childhood friends and neighbours. At the age of 14 something serious happens to Jared that changes him forever. The result is he turns on Tatum - he torments, humiliates and embarrasses her at every opportunity. The result is Tatum endures and doesn't fight back for a few years. She then goes to France for a year and comes back fighting, which has to be the most satisfying bit for us readers.

The only real flaw to this story is that the reformed bully and the victim fall for each other and the hate turns to love. In real life I very much doubt someone who has been bullied and the person who has been bullying would develop this kind of relationship as the scars would run too deep. However at the same time what goes on in this story is more like obsession, hate being used as a protective shield from being hurt and underlying love and attraction that was there all along.

Despite this flaw I did enjoy this debut novel.

Until You (Fall Away Series)
Until You (Fall Away Series)

5.0 out of 5 stars Jared's Perspective, 27 Jan 2014
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This book is the second in the 'Fall Away' Series after 'Bully' which I have also read. The first book tells the story through Tatum's eyes and this one through Jared's. This book does however go beyond the story in 'Bully' and we have some more of what happens afterwards in 'Bully' . In this book we come to understand Jared much better and he does go someway in redeeming himself although it's no excuse for what he did to Tatum earlier. The book itself would come under the 'teen chick lit' category even though at the same time it deals with the serious issue of bullying.

I am giving this book 5 stars because the book was kind of 'Hot' and I finished it wishing I had an extractor fan to hand to cool me down :) . I don't think I've read many books that get me feeling overheated! Phew!

Chalk: Courtroom Comedy
Chalk: Courtroom Comedy
Price: 1.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comic courtroom caper!, 25 Jan 2014
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This is not my usual read, but I was curious enough to try this book as I was looking for something lighthearted and comical to read to the usual drama I am absorbed in.

I was not disappointed. This is a really good debut novel and would really make quite a good series of novels, although the ending to this book might be hard to top. The story is about Chalk (I like the name!) , a barrister who ends up in all sorts of scrapes both in and out of the courtroom. He also does have a very unorthodox but surprisingly very successful way of resolving the most hard to win court cases. In matters relating to people and women in particular he can be surprisingly naive and completely misunderstand them.

Points to Note:
-Chalk also has a past from when he used to live up North which he tries to hide from his current employers. It would have been good if us readers could have been enlightened as to what kind of trouble he had exactly landed in when he worked up North, although from this book I think we can very well guess.
-It also would have been interesting to have got Madeleine's (Chalk's unsuccessful love interest) point of view on many of the happenings that were occurring and her opinion of Chalk.
-A little background on the author would also be interesting for instance I am assuming that Aster has studied and practised law if I am not mistaken. Readers are always very curious about the person who has written the book :)

I am giving this book 5 stars because it did actually make me giggle in three places and smile in many more!

Sign of the Times
Sign of the Times
Price: 0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve Characters for Twelve Star Signs!, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Sign of the Times (Kindle Edition)
I picked this book because I really enjoyed 'A Christmas Spirit' and was keen on reading more by Susan Buchanan.

The story is based on the twelve signs of the zodiac with twelve characters to match those signs. All the characters are linked to each other in some way and we see this developing as the story progresses.We also get different viewpoints of the same events by different characters who are directly related to each other and this I really enjoyed. As we move from from one star sign and character to another we come across some cliffhangers at the end of each star sign story eg. when Lucy crashes the car etc which left me wanting to know what happened and not wanting to move on to the next sign but being forced to :). Once I moved onto the next character and star sign I found myself forgetting about say Lucy and getting totally absorbed by the new star sign and character. This continues throughout the book and its only at the end that everyone comes together at Holly's book launch and we find out what has actually been happening in everyone's lives since we left them earlier in the book. I loved all the characters in particular Holly, Lucy and Carl.

I had no idea that 'Sign of the Times' was Susan's first book until now. For a first book, this is ambitious and most certainly would have been a challenging book to write. Therefore its all credit to her that she has successfully managed to write a cleverly crafted and absorbing story with some incredible characters. The story is rich and colourful in content and the book has been very well researched. Each set of related characters could easily have had a whole book to themselves for instance Holly, Tom and Dario as one book and Lucy, Robbie and Carl as another book and Ben, Jennifer and Maggie in the third etc

The conclusion was quite fitting and I can see that it would be possible to write a sequel to this book with Holly continuing her journey into Andalucia and some of the characters from this book reappearing. What do you think Susan any chance of this?

This was a fantastic book. I have never seen anything like this attempted before so it was pretty unique and refreshing!

A Family Affair: Spring: Truth in Lies, Book 2
A Family Affair: Spring: Truth in Lies, Book 2
Price: 2.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Staying Married and Falling in Love!, 18 Jan 2014
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When I finished the first book in the series I had no idea another one had been planned, written and released in Sept 2013. I only just discovered this second book recently from Mary herself via twitter and I quickly downloaded it as I loved the first book so much.

We find Christina and Nate married in this book and the challenge for them is to stay married with all the plots to seperate them, by the scheming Gloria. The surprising thing for me in this book was how Nate and Christina's relationship still sizzled despite them being married. The chemistry was very powerful even in this book. You often think all that hot passion might no longer be there once a couple are married but this was not the case here!

Lily is as sweet and endearing as ever, I wish I had a sister like her, she really is a gem. A character that appears in this book for the first time is the town's 'Pop', another very warm and interesting character who has a soft spot for the Blacksworth girls. He helps Christina settle in to the community of Magdalena, who are still very suspicious of her and consider her an outsider despite her attempts to help and become part of the town.Miriam is very much in the sidelines witnessing the marital tensions between Nate and Christina but letting them find their own way out of their problems.

The character who really shines and comes into his own in this book is Harry Blacksworth, Christina's uncle or possibly even father?!

In the end does Christina and Nate's relationship sort itself out or does it permanently hit the rocks? Does Harry fall in love and make an honest woman of Greta or does he go back to his old womanizing ways? You basically need to read the book to find out.

I will say this after the first book I didn't really think the second one would equally grip me as the first was hard to beat but i was wrong. This second book matches the first in every way possible and was a really pleasant surprise!

Can't wait for Book 3 in the series which will probably appear in the summer.

A Family Affair: Truth in Lies, Book 1
A Family Affair: Truth in Lies, Book 1
Price: 0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Lies, Secrets and Truths are uncovered!, 18 Jan 2014
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As mentioned by some previous reviewers, I agree I am very surprised this book is a freebie , its better then some bestselling novels that I have paid ten bucks for! I did download the book purely because it was a freebie and I liked the synopsis but I had never read any Mary Campisi before. Suffice to say after this book I will be reading a lot more from her. So if the point of the freebie was to get us hooked on Mary's books, its worked!

I actually read this book approximately a year ago but have now reread the book prior to reading the sequel Book2.

When Christina Blackworth's father dies, she discovers that her father led a double life and had another family in the town that he was killed. He hid the truth from his family in Chicago and visited this second family for a few days each month. Although the second family knows of the family in Chicago the same appears not to be the case for the family in Chicago with possibly the exception of Christina's mother who has kept the secret hidden well.Christina travels to Magdalena to discover the truth and finds a half sister, Lily who worships her and also finds she has more in common with Miriam, Lily's mother then she does with her own mother Gloria, who is very controlling. While there she also meets Nate, Miriam's son from a previous marriage and a powerful attraction builds up between the two. As a result she breaks her engagement off to Connor and finds herself travelling up for a few days each month (like her father) to meet with people who she grows closer to with each passing moment.Other lies and truths are also discovered including some doubts over Christina's parentage

I loved this book, there were so many hidden truths and lies which had to be unravelled that it kept me gripped from beginning to end. There were also many interesting developing relationships and attractions, including Nate's and Christina's and also Harry's and Greta's.In the end Christina has to choose what she really wants - a relationship for a few days a month or something more permanent.

The book is gripping, engaging, the characters are all memorable and the relationship between Christina and Nate is sizzling! This is by far the best book that Mary Campisi has written and I have read a few since I downloaded this freebie a year ago but only now writing a review for my favourite one!

Passion, Power & Sin - Book 5
Passion, Power & Sin - Book 5
Price: 3.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprises, Shocks and Thrills!, 12 Jan 2014
This last book in the series is unlike any book before it. I am not going to summarize the book like in previous reviews in this series because it will spoil the surprise, shocks and thrills that are in store for the reader and the enjoyment of the story in this final book.

The book itself was a real surprise in that I didn't expect it to take the turn that it did. Everything was running so smoothly for Heather in the earlier books that I expected this good fortune to continue. Unfortunately her plans are discovered and as a result Heather's life is not only in danger but she is subjected to some really testing moments. From this point on the story gathers pace and momentum with lots of twists and turns, thrills and action. We discover even more facts concerning Ricardo Mayo and his character which until now had been fairly subdued takes on an evil and nasty streak.

Lots of characters from previous books make a reappearance including David who had disappeared somewhere in Book 2 and Bernard also appears in a surprising new role. Gareth does his rescuing bit too :) As for Heather , there are some flaws in her character. We do at one point see hints of her adopting bits of Ricardo's personality eg. the thrill of running a successful scam, revenge etc but to quickly backtrack at the last moment, sometimes when it was too late to do anything about it. In the end I did wonder if after everything that did happen to Heather whether she would really be able to go back to living a normal life untouched by the events that had occurred to her. I suspect from her comments at the end, even she has doubts and hence why she was seeking reassurance from Gareth who at this point in time sees no change.

As a result, unlike Elaine Brogan from (Lust, Money and Murder) I don't feel Heather is a heroine and she isn't perfect. I do feel its possible to develop this series further to see how Heather 's character develops should the author want to. Its possible a future series could have Heather in a negative role perhaps applied for good purposes :)

This was a really surprising, shocking and action packed conclusion to the series !

Passion, Power & Sin - Book 4
Passion, Power & Sin - Book 4
Price: 3.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Plans, Plots and Revenge, 11 Jan 2014
The first part of this book involves Heather spying on, following and gathering as much information as she can on Ricardo Maya and the Superyacht he resides on, The Alana. Heather does a number of things to ensure she gets on the yacht - she has surgery to enhance her chest, learns to play chess and has her own unique perfume made - all things that appeal to Ricardo in a woman and likely to get her invited on board. We are also informed he likes redheads with long legs. While this is going on Gareth travels from Australia to Paris on another business trip. He arrives in at Nicole's flat in Paris and discovers that Heather is in Nice. Just as Heather's plans are coming together and she is invited on board the Alana, Gareth arrives in Nice to find Heather which puts Heather in a dilemma. Gareth expresses his true feelings for her and tries to dissuade Heather with going ahead with her plans for revenge, unfortunately for him Heather is determined.

Her plan is to get on the Alana, and somehow transfer all the stolen monies from the scammer's account to her account. She gets on board and is invited to stay for the journey to Malaga and back. While on board she encounters Ricardo's harem of yacht-hopping beautiful women and as expected she has to distract his attentions towards her. How she manages this without him off-loading her at the next port is surprising. While Heather sails off on the Alana, unbeknown to her, a miserable and love-sick Gareth stays behind in Nice, confused as to his next steps. In the meantime on board the yacht , Heather falls into a daily routine of sunbathing, pampering, meals and discos. She uses the time to observe and investigate how to put her plans into action. With some help from Shayne, the young Hacker in New York she risks her life and puts herself in grave danger to install some spyware on Ricardo's computer to obtain the passwords to get into his bank accounts. Until Heather achieves her revenge plans she has to find a way of staying on board the yacht. Heather manages to keep his interest by beating him in a game of chess which he takes very badly so she is invited to stay on board. Because she wins at chess she also wins the bet where Ricardo has to take her on a shopping spree in Nice. This book ends on a high for her due to her success at Chess and the anticipation of shopping!

So we finally encounter the scammer, Ricardo Mayo in this fourth book and get an insight into his personality which doesn't appear to be a very pleasant one. He has a poor opinion of women except as playthings to meet his needs. He is a poor loser, doesn't like to spend lots of money even though he has amassed a fortune from scamming people. He enjoys praise and likes to be admired and is prone to tantrums when he doesn't get his way. I was a bit disappointed by this as I wanted him to be one of those attractive, charming and sophisticated criminals a bit like in 'Lust, Money and Murder'! We also get some background into Ricardo's early life including how he ended up from the slums of Venezuela to the very wealthy scammer he is now.

Bernard Golay, The investigator on an Interpol mission concerning the scamming appears to be missing for the past month and his boss Noah has to explain his disappearance to his seniors. It was a shame he didn't appear in this book as I find the whole Interpol investigation involving Bernard the most light hearted and comical part of the series even though his appearance has been very brief. I'd like to know what has happened to him. We will probably find out in the next book.

The risks Heather takes in this book in the name of Revenge are quite dangerous and there were some heart stopping moments when she is dangling off a rope with the sea and the boat's propellers to meet her if she was to fall. I kept wondering whether it was really worth it. I would have preferred her to have listened to Gareth who appears to have got firmly back on his feet with the gem business but then we wouldn't have a story and the scammer would have got away with his ill gotten gains and continued to ruin people's lives. That wouldn't really be a fitting or acceptable conclusion to the story!

This book feels like a preparation and the calm before the storm.

I am looking forward to everything coming together and the conclusion in the final book of the series - Book 5!

Passion, Power & Sin - Book 3
Passion, Power & Sin - Book 3
Price: 3.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Homeless , Desperate and Determined!, 9 Jan 2014
In this book Heather initially has a close call with the loan shark,T-Bone that she owes money to but manages to escape. She also enlists the help of a hacker to find where the scam emails were coming from. For her own safety she leaves for Paris in the hope she can stay with her friend Nicole and find a job there while trying to find the individual behind the scam. Unfortunately while in Paris she finds Nicole is living with her French Boyfriend so living with her is not an option. In addition to that Heather finds it practically impossible to find a job because she doesn't have a work permit. In the process she runs out of money and ends up on the streets of Paris. These are desperate times , she encounters shady characters on the streets at night, starving , having nowhere to stay and endlessly walking the streets looking for a job . After three days her luck turns and she manages to find work washing dishes at a restaurant and is provided with food and shelter. From this point on the situation improves and she continues to track down the scammer.

She eventually leaves Paris for Nice and locates Ricardo Mayo(the individual behind the scam) based on a tip from the young Hacker in New York who is working for her. She starts to plan and plot how to get on board the Yacht, Ricardo permanently lives on and at the same time gathering as much information as she can about him. While all this is going on Gareth appears in New York on a business trip and appears at Heather's former flat.Percy fills him in on all the details and tells him that he suspects Heather is in Paris with Nicole. On top of that an individual who works for Interpol is investigating the scam and starts following a trail leading towards Heather as he suspects wrongly that she may be the scammer.

Some more notable points :
-The part of the book that touched me the most was when Heather was homeless and desperate on the steets of Paris. Its probably most people's worst nightmare. No matter how financially secure someone is, one never knows in life when fate,circumstances and events could lead to the situation that Heather finds herself in ,although Heather was in many ways to blame for her situation. I wonder if soup kitchens exist in Paris?
-As for the Interpol investigator who is hot in pursuit of Heather, prime suspect in the scam, he was a bit of a character, I wondered if his girlfriend was actually a Mannequin! I guess we will find out in the coming two books.
-Gareth appeared briefly in the book, and I was quite impressed that he was willing to travel half way round the world to be with Heather, considering their moments together were very brief and hopeless. Thats the kind of person most girls dream about!
-Finally concerning the ending to this book - I really hope Heather isn't seriously considering what I think she is considering to get close to Ricardo Mayo? It seems a bit extreme. We shall find out in Book 4!

Moving onto Book 4.

Passion, Power & Sin - Book 2
Passion, Power & Sin - Book 2
Price: 3.08

5.0 out of 5 stars All Bets are Off!, 8 Jan 2014
This is the second book in the series.

The first book ends with Heather on a good betting run and in book two she initially continues this good run. Her 'Friend in Need' gives the kok boru championship in a festival in a remote corner of Kyrgystan as the next email tip. This entails another high risk adventure to Central Asia on her own to place a bet. While there she meets a georgous Australian by the name of Gareth who appears to be there for similar reasons. He helps her place the bet and her winnings now accumulate to $100,000+, enough to pay off half the monies needed to save the family house, but she still has to tackle Georgian gangsters before she makes it back home.

On her return to New York she discovers the truth about David and the relationship between them ends as a result. This leaves her devastated and nursing a broken heart but she recovers. she is so confident in her betting success that she walks away from her PR job on the basis that this good run will continue. However she is in for a nasty shock when 'Her Friend in Need' announces the next betting tip and says its the final one. Heather is so paniced she cancels the cheque to pay off half the amount on the family home and puts it towards her final bet. In addition to that she borrows a considerable sum of money from some heavyweight loan sharks and even pawns the ring given to her by David to maximize her profit despite her best friend Percy advising her against it.

This last bet takes her to Istanbul to invest in the stock of a Turkish exploration company. Unfortunately she loses everything and is lucky to make it back to New York without being arrested by the Turkish police. On returning home she has has to go back to working in a cafe and dodging the loan sharks that she owes money to. She also uncovers some significant secrets concerning David that she tries to use to protect herself from the loan sharks. Theres a tragedy involving Heather's mum and Percy her flatmate uncovers the details of how the scam of the betting tips operate. The book ends with Heather seeking revenge for the predicament she finds herself in.

Notable points about this book:
- I was glad that the relationship between Heather and David ended , I was rather suspicious of him in the first book and those suspicions ended up being well founded.
- As for Gareth who she meets in Kyrgystan - I hope she meets him in a future book and things really take off between them!!! He was a much more warmer and likeable character then David.
- I am going to look up this kok boru championship on the web as its the first I have heard of it but knowing Mike Wells its probably for real!
- In regards to Heather's bet placed in Istanbul, her naivety concerning the stockmarket really showed, I found myself getting really frustrated by the wrong decisions she kept making throughout the ill fated day.
- As for the Scam and how it operates , great fiction - it allowed a very exciting book to be written with Heather having adventures all over the world but in practice and in real life I really don't think it would work. Not many people would go to such extremes to place a bet particulary with bets that were becoming harder to place. I could be wrong.

Heather showed herself to be resourceful, determined and a survivor in this book aswell as lucky. I am glad she finally got her feet back firmly on the ground because I feel now we are entering a more interesting phase of the series. I think now all bets are off, I am looking forward to the revenge part and I am also looking forward to finally reading about the person who has been behind the scam. I have a feeling he will be very interesting. It will also be good if perhaps we come across some of the characters in this and the previous book, notably Nicole and Gareth.

Moving onto Book 3.

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