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Reviews Written by
Claire Mill "Cem" (England)

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Redhall Riders (The Riverdale Pony Stories Book 4)
Redhall Riders (The Riverdale Pony Stories Book 4)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far, 4 Feb. 2016
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Poppy McKeever is heading to pony camp with her beloved pony Cloud, and her best friend Scarlett. But things quickly turn to disaster, and they find themselves in charge of the yard, along with the yard owners grandson, Sam. They didn't think things could get worse, and then it becomes clear someone is intent on taking Redhall stables down. Poppy, Scarlett and Sam must work to find out who's behind the sabotage, and stop them before it costs them everything.

I loved this book. It's my favourite of the series so far, and I've really enjoyed the previous three books! I was grabbed from the first paragraph, anxious to know what had happened, and what the outcome would be. And that never really let up. I pretty much read this in one sitting. The series, and this book in particular, is so strong because of it's realness. Poppy and her love for Cloud, the bond they share. The actions and thoughts of the characters, along with their growth through the series, it's all so believable. There is a strong mystery element that works very well, I wasn't sure who the culprit was until late on. I felt the unease and fear Poppy did as events escalated. And I smiled and rolled my eyes when a certain character annoyed Poppy too. Beginning to end, this story is full of horses, mystery, and excellent story telling. I think the only thing I missed in this book, is that we don't get to see Poppy's family. I miss her little brother, because the two of them are so cute together.

Any horse mad girl is bound to love this for the bond between Poppy and Cloud alone. But this is more than a simple horse story, and that's why I love it. Easily a book that can be enjoyed by younger kids, and adults alike (I'm in my late 20's and couldn't put it down). Plus, how can you not love that cover?! I'm looking forward to more of these characters and their adventures.

The Masked Truth
The Masked Truth
Price: £4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And utterly brilliant. This is quite a change from any other ..., 11 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: The Masked Truth (Kindle Edition)
Whilst this is YA in character age, I would point out that it is dark and violent. And utterly brilliant. This is quite a change from any other Kelley Armstrong novel, but I knew from when I first read the blurb for it, that it would still be excellent and I very much wanted to read it. I wasn't disappointed.

Riley and Max are two of several teenagers spending a weekend at a therapy camp. Each one of them has different issues. Riley was present when two people were murdered, and while everyone else calls her a hero, she can't stop feeling like a coward. Max has always been quiet in group therapy, when it comes to talking about his issues, he does not want to share. Always happy to spout a snarky comment on others though. But when the weekend goes horribly wrong, they need to rely on each other to get out.

I was captivated by this book from page one. Riley is just an ordinary girl, and then suddenly her life is forever altered. The tension and fear you can feel from the start is intense. And rarely does it let up. Whilst I figured out a couple of the little twists, there were some big shocks involved as well. And, rather cleverly, the odd smile and laugh, from little bits of banter. The kind that keeps you sane in tough situations.

In some ways this is, to me, a typical Kelley Armstrong book, in that it's well paced, very well written, and emotive. It's the subject matter that's so different. This is not a book with a sub-plot of mental illness. This is entirely about mental illness. Yes, it's done in a dramatic, thriller storyline, but actually that's the cover. As someone who's struggled with depression and anxiety (and whilst now doing very well, is still on medication), I've found it difficult to read books around the subject because it's too close to home. But I had little difficulty with this one. Don't get me wrong, it's a dark book, with some disturbing realities at times which may be extreme, but do reflect feelings people have (I'm talking more about the reasons behind the hostage taking that are revealed at the very end with this). But somehow, this book is about opening up about mental illness and the impact it has on people. At no point did I feel sorry for the characters. I hurt for them, but I didn't pity them. It doesn't try to explain the conditions dealt with to get sympathy. It's more real than that. It's about understanding, and maybe more about the inability to understand if you haven't got a particular condition. But that it's ok to not understand, and important still to care. To be there. In whatever form that takes.

And I suspect I'm rambling a bit and gone off on a tangent. Simply, if you want an excellent, dark YA thriller, this is one. If you want something that has deals with the difficult and delicate nature of mental illness with care and sometimes brutal honesty, this is it. And if it sounds too much? I still think this is worth a try.

Moon Crossed (Werewolf Hunter Romance): Season 1 (Episodes 1-6) (Crescent Hunter)
Moon Crossed (Werewolf Hunter Romance): Season 1 (Episodes 1-6) (Crescent Hunter)
Price: £2.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 July 2015
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I am genuinely confused by this book. The number of things throughout that didn't make any sense to me is staggering. One of the biggest issues I had, was how everyone turned on Claire. For no reason. The author clearly wanted this girl alone and suffering, fine, but you can't have the sort of relationships Claire did, with so many, and have it all instantly turn to hate. No real remorse shown by any one, no willingness to try and explain. She's just abandoned and 'woe is me' to the point where I seriously disliked her.

The ideas of the story, I loved. I so wanted to love this book. And early on, I thought I would like it, despite it being in need of a good edit (simple things like stating that Claire got 2 messages on her phone, then them being written out and there are 3 of them, and a lot of repetitive phrases). But the more I read, the more ridiculous and over dramatized it became. very frustrating.

By the end, I didn't believe in any of the character, none of the actions or outcomes made any sense and I was left feeling very frustrated. Why? Because I still think the concept is good one. The connections and war between hunters and wolves made perfect sense. The girl who wants to fix the war, find a cure for the moon touched, and not be forced to kill more wolves, makes sense. I wanted that story. But it jumped from one thing, to another, back again, and threw in a hundred unneeded revelations, without enough depth to make it work. So at the end of the day, I am frustrated and disappointed, because I really wanted to like this, and it had so much early hope. But became nothing. And being just book 1 (if reading the collection of episodes 1-6) it's left with a senseless ending and "to be continued". Meaning nothing is resolved at all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 1, 2016 1:29 PM GMT

Promise to Marry (Promises Book 1)
Promise to Marry (Promises Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Twisted relationships left a very sour taste, 15 Jan. 2015
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Oh I so wish I hadn't bothered with this book. I don't like to give bad reviews, and I rarely end with such distaste for a book. But this one... well, I really liked the sound of it. It's very short as it turns out, and really just part one of a story, not complete in any way (I should have checked this before reading, it is part one of three.) I loved the idea of best friends, an issue, and reuniting. However, this book (which starts at 5% and finishes at 80%) fell completely flat. And then in to very disturbed nature. It's very rare that I finish a book and honestly wish I could scrape it from my memory. But this is one such book.

The bits of the past, when they were kids, was cute enough in a retelling a story way, rather than seeing it happen. But Chloe was unlikable from the start and when at the end, you finally are told why Jax hates her, well, let's just say I'm totally on his side!!! Except, with this kind of tale, you know it's all going to work out in end, and I can only gape open mouthed and wonder how. There is no explanation given for Chloe's behaviour and actions, and I have no desire to discover how the author intends to make this one work. The ending just grossed me out completely, and that's where it finished. Not worth the time and while I appreciate the author put work in to this, it is, 100%, not for me. If you like twisted relationships then give it a go. But if you don't, then avoid this one. Because twisted is putting it lightly.

All I Want for Christmas Is a Cowboy (Hunted)
All I Want for Christmas Is a Cowboy (Hunted)
Price: £1.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 Good stories, 23 Feb. 2014
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'The Christmas Cabin' by Emma Cane - 4.5/5 I completely adored this short!! Sandy and her young son are searching for a Christmas tree when they find themselves caught out by the snow storm. They find themselves taking shelter in a log cabin, and are shortly joined by Doug Thalberg, a cowboy also in need of shelter from the weather. I loved the depth, sweetness, and humor to this short. I went and bought the first in Emma's 'Valentine Valley' series (where this short is set) after reading, and haven't looked back!! A fantastic read, a fantastic series.

'Can't Wait' by Jennifer Ryan - 3.5/5. Set before the start of her Hunted series, Can't Wait, is the story of cowboy Caleb Bowden falling for the off limits Summer Turner. His best friend's sister. I enjoyed this story, it was sweet and enjoyable and I did decide to try her Hunted series after reading it.

'Baby it's Cold Outside' by Katie Lane - 3.5/5. This one made me laugh. It's the story of a woman turning up in a snow storm to meet the cowboy she's been chatting with online, only for things to take a sideways twist when she finds herself in a cabin sheltering from the storm. I've yet to try any of Katie's other works, but I'd certainly be interested after this one. It's a little cheesy and rushed in places, but it did make me laugh.

Overall, a very nice collection of Christmas stories to snuggle up warm and read! Really enjoyed it.

Pink Shades of Words
Pink Shades of Words

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5* for the cause, 23 Feb. 2014
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Overall rating of the all the stories: 3/5 stars.

I bought this anthology purely because I wanted to read Jessica Sorensen's short story. And seeing as the proceeds are going to such a good cause, I thought it would be well worth the money. I hadn't previously tried any of the other authors work, so it was interesting to get a taste for some different works.

Of the 17 short stories in this anthology, I read 13 of them, DNF'd 2, didn't read 1 because of the authors warning about content (I knew I wouldn't enjoy it, so I really appricated the warning), and 1 I didn't read because it's the fifth in a series, and I've not read the previous ones, so I skipped it.

The stand out stories for me:

Ruby and Finn by Maggi Myers. Very short, a snippet for a full book coming out later in the year, titled The Legend of Ruby and Finn. I really want to read the full book and see what happens!

A Bend in the Road by Tess Oliver. I really liked the characters in this one, and the story. It felt a little rushed in the second half, but I still really enjoyed it and would have liked more.

Meeting Sin by Emily Snow. A snippet of 'Wrecking Me' Savor Us vol. 2 which releases in the summer. I really enjoyed this short, and I've already bought book 1 of this series to read, but I'm more excited to read the full story with these characters at the center.

Seduction and Temptation by Jessica Sorensen. Sins 0.5. I really enjoyed this prequel. The full book is due out in the Summer and I'm really looking forward to discovering what happens to the characters from this dark beginning.

Overall, I think this was worth buying, even if I didn't like half the stories. It's got a bit of everything. While romance may be the focus of each story, they're all very different, with some very different tastes catered for. So hopefully any romance reader will enjoy at least one story in this, and with the money going to a good cause, why wouldn't you buy it?

Christmas Catch: A Holiday Novella
Christmas Catch: A Holiday Novella
Price: £2.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic, 25 Nov. 2013
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The problems with novella's, is that often it's difficult to truely care about the characters, and feel completely engrossed in the story, simply because of the short length. But not so here.

I was instantly captivated by Ivy's voice, and her story. I loved the portryal of a small town in Maine, her desire to be gone, her reluctance to be back home for Christmas, and of course the unexpected run in with her ex. It's a beautiful story, funny, heartfelt, and I read it in one sitting perfectly happily. It's got a great Christmas feel to it, with the stress and love that so often combine. But it's also a great, complete story, perfectly paced. I adored it. I just want more of these characters now!!

Keeping Secrets (Timber Ridge Riders Book 1)
Keeping Secrets (Timber Ridge Riders Book 1)
Price: £2.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, 25 Oct. 2013
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Very exciting, albiet fairly short, younger teen horse book. 14 year old Kate is struggling with the lose of her favourite horse, Black Magic, but finds herself about to spend the summer helping paralized Holly, around the barn her mom runs. Hard not to quickly fall in love with the characters or the story. I'm in my mid 20's and I love it. It's fun, fast, but with an emotional edge that stops it being silly. I really felt for Kate and her situation. And I felt that while the actions of one girl were on the over dramatic side, I could understand exactly why Kate and Holly were keeping the secrets they were.

Any horsey girls 8+ are bound to fall in love with this book. I really enjoy the realistic nature of the horse care involved in the book, something that is vital. Without it, I'd have quickly lost interest. I'm too serious a horse person to not (this may be considered a flaw, but it's just the way I am). Even if some of the riding stunts are a little out there! A very enjoying read, even if it only took a couple hours. Looking forward to reading more of this series!

Loving Spirit
Loving Spirit
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big issues, 25 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Loving Spirit (Kindle Edition)
I'm going with a 2 star rating as 'OK.' Because that's what this book was, just ok. There are bits of it I loved. And it's certainly got a good emotional depth with Ellie, I did really feel for her, and for Spirit. The connection between the two is good to read, and an emotional journey.

But. This book has a couple of big, big issues for me that I really didn't like, or understand the point of. Both issues made me very uneasy, and just about ruined the book overall for me. One involves a relationship that has no place taking part (and why there was a need for it at all, I've no idea). The other involes a question of abuse. Something I can't abide, and the lack of understanding, or explicit acknowledgment of it from the main characters, was frustrating, and something I personally believe should have been there.

The story itself is well written, and the characters engaging, even if the story isn't anything particularly original. But I'm not sure I can see myself continuing the series. And it's certainly not a book for younger readers, no matter how pony mad, because of the difficult and mature issues involved at places. I honestly believe that without the two big plot lines, which the book would have certainly survived without, this would have been a truely excellent read.

Silent Harmony:  A Vivienne Taylor Horse Lover's Mystery (Fairmont Riding Academy Book 1)
Silent Harmony: A Vivienne Taylor Horse Lover's Mystery (Fairmont Riding Academy Book 1)
Price: £3.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the horsey side, 9 Aug. 2013
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3.5 Stars.

I really liked the premise of this book. For a horsey girl like me, it certainly satisfied there. I'm sure all horse people like myself would LOVE to have the ability to 'talk' with horses as Vivienne Taylor does here. The authors authentic horse know-how clearly comes from years of experience, rather than book learned theory, coming across naturally on the page. Vivienne was pretty easy to like, and Harmony caught my heart.

However. I did have a few little issues with this. I found it hard to get on with the chapters that focused on other characters, giving their side of the story. When Viv what dealing with things other than Harmony, I often found her emotions lacking as well. I wanted more. More depth, more feeling. Any yet, when it came to the mysteries, I wanted less. Much less. There were a lot of little threads throughout the book, come connected to the mane story, some not. And while it ends with the suggestion of more books to come explaining some of these, it felt like there was just too much scattered thoughts and possibilities at times. I wanted more focus on the main story and Viv adjusting to life at this special, exclusive equestrian school. There were also times where sentences just didn't seem to fit, jumping from one thing to another without warning. Possibly this is a result of the Kindle edition format, but either way it interuppted the flow of the book and a couple of times had me clicking back a page to reread bits to see if it made sense.

Overall I did enjoy this book. It certainly satisfied on a horse front, and is sure to be a fan with the majority of horses teens and adults alike. I hope there are more to come with Vivienne Taylor, because despite my issues with the book, I'd love more of Viv's connection with horses.

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