Cursed City (Shadow Detective #1) by William Massa

Author’s Synopsis

My name is Mike Raven, and the weird and supernatural are my life. Monsters murdered my parents when I was eight. Turns out my folks were paranormal investigators and Hell always settles its debts. Naturally I decided to join the family business. For two decades I’ve studied the occult and traveled the world hunting nightmares. Vampires. Shifters. Demons. Wraiths. I’ve faced them all. But my greatest challenge still lay ahead…

From the moment Celeste stepped into my office, I knew she was in trouble. Black magic trouble. Her father had promised her soul to a powerful demon on the day she was born. Now, twenty-one years later, the forces of darkness were gathering to collect their long-awaited prize. Guess who’s about to pick a fight with the Devil himself?

My Views

This story is all action to the point where I was feeling a little exhausted at Raven’s exertions. The plot is good and the demon action and fight scenes are just right so I followed Raven to some seriously dangerous places. The hint of a possible romance in the future had me intrigued, if he can possibly stop fighting demons for long enough to date.

This book is the beginning of a very interesting series and it reminds me a little of the series with good old Sam and Dean in but with less humour and hotness. Don’t let the lack of humour stop you because there’s a darkness in this series that’s just waiting to be explored.

Cursed city



The Break by Marian Keyes

Author’s Synopsis

Amy’s husband Hugh has run away to ‘find himself’. But will he ever come back? ‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’ ‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’ If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . . However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . .

My Views

When Amy’s husband decides that he needs a break: six months of sea, sand, and sex and not with his wife, she falls apart. Amy loves Hugh and always has but she’s also carrying around a dose of guilt from having a crush just a few months previously.

This book is about the breaking of a relationship that had been essentially good and strong. Just a couple of bad decisions and everyone involved is hurt, but the story follows these people through their ordeal and out the other side. No one is left unchanged.

The story is thought-provoking and emotional but it has more to offer. The reader can identify with both Amy and Hugh at various different points in the story making it highly emotive. It also addresses some highly sensitive issues but not in a dark way. There’s plenty of brilliant Irish wit to carry us through the difficult bits and a glamorous granny whose crazy antics show that no matter how old you are sometimes you need a ‘Break’.

The Break

Miss Frost Saves the Sandman: A Nocturne Falls Mystery (Jayne Frost #3) by Kristen Painter

Miss Frost saves the sandman

Author’s Synopsis

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. Jayne Frost is a lot of things. Winter elf, Jack Frost’s daughter, Santa Claus’s niece, heir to the Winter Throne and now… private investigator. Sort of.

When the Sandman comes to Santa’s Workshop, the shop Jayne manages, to do his first ever book signing, it’s a major event. He’s kind of a supernatural celebrity and she needs to keep him happy. All is well until trouble shows up at the party thrown in his honor. Trouble in the form of Luna Nyx, the Mistress of Nightmares and his creepy counterpart. The Sandman’s assistant says Luna is dangerous, and Jayne believes it when her dreams turn dark. Can Jayne keep the Sandman safe from this gothic goddess? Or will Luna’s threats put them both to sleep for good?

My Views 

Jayne Frost is back along with a few friends including the adorable Spider, her talking cat. Not only is she dating two of the best-looking men in town but she’s also right at the heart of yet another crime. Who knew a winter elf could have so much fun?

I am a little addicted to Spider. Jayne is great fun, but the cat is my favourite character. This story is yet another easy read mystery with a light and breezy feel. The magic and mystery are charming as are the characters. I must admit that I can’t wait to find out who Jayne chooses out of her eager dates but my money is on the vampire.

Liar by K. L. Slater

Author’s Synopsis

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage. Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children. The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.

My Views

This psychological thriller really got under my skin and I think that is because we get a small glance at the future before delving into the character’s lives. Judi is a warm, loving parent and grandparent but with the hint of danger the reader can’t help but be frightened for her. Amber is terrifying and the shroud of mystery that surrounds her doesn’t help the reader to gauge what’s going on under the surface.

Slater’s use of the innocent to extract the maximum amount of fear from her audience is admirable and effective. If you like a good thriller and you get a kick out of feeling uncomfortable, you will love this book; I did although I did have to stop reading a few times until I ready to continue.


The Chalky Sea (The Chalky Sea #1) by Clare Flynn

Author’s Synopsis

Two troubled people struggle to find their way in a turbulent world.
In July 1940, Gwen Collingwood drops her husband at the railway station, knowing she may never see him again. Two days later her humdrum world is torn apart when the sleepy English seaside town where she lives is subjected to the first of many heavy bombing attacks.

In Ontario, Canada, Jim Armstrong is debating whether to volunteer. His decision becomes clear when he uncovers the secret his fiancée has been keeping from him. A few weeks later he is on a ship bound for England.

Gwen is forced to confront the truth she has concealed about her past and her own feelings. Jim battles with a bewildering and hostile world far removed from the cosy life of his Canadian farm. War brings horror and loss to each of them – can it also bring change and salvation?


My Views

This is an emotional story about a woman who has spent years suppressing her feelings and a man who runs headlong into danger when his heart is broken, but it is more than that. Gwen’s story begins by her saying goodbye to her husband as he sets off to war but it isn’t long before the war finds Gwen in her hometown of Eastbourne which is just a few miles from me.

Jim sets off for his new life in the military but it isn’t the tonic he thinks he needs. Not only do his troubles follow him to England but him and his fellow Canadians are far from the war, leaving him plenty of time to explore his surroundings and get into trouble.

The historical element of the novel is well-researched, and it fits well into the romance and emotional ties the characters form. It is a good portrayal of life on the home front without getting bogged down with details.

The Chalky Sea

Broken Melody: A Twisted Vampire Tale by Jospeh Kiel

Author’s Synopsis

Carefree student Melody Freeman has just woken up with a hangover from hell, no memory of the night before and two bite marks on her neck. With a nagging desire to find out just what she got up to last night, she again hits the city with her best friend Rachel to retrace their steps.

What follows soon descends towards another night of forgotten debauchery until Melody learns the truth: last night she was infected… by a vampire. Worse still, a group of vampire slayers have captured her and when the sun comes up the next morning and fangs sprout from her mouth, Melody will be executed.

But that is unless she can undo the transformation by finding the very vampire that infected her and killing him. Melody and Rachel set out on the hunt into the forbidden corners of Meridian on the ultimate all-nighter. It will be a night of warped challenges and perversions, filled with sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. A twisted race against time before she turns…
My Views

This full-action book is refreshingly British. Melody isn’t the kind of character you want to fully identify with but secretly you get her, you’ve been her, and you still hanker after her zest for life. Kiel has created a seedy underground world within a fictional, albeit typically British, city and filled it with mysterious paranormal creatures and regular human lowlifes. The story is a journey where Melody’s life remains precariously balanced but that doesn’t stop her on her quest.

This novel is darkly funny, intriguing, and strangely emotional. The cover really suits the book and I hope Kiel creates some kind of series out of this standalone story because the characters are desperate to come out to play.

Broken Melody

Crash (Westside Wolf Pack #1) by Zoe Perdita

Author’s Synopsis

The sexy tattooed wolf threw away his chances of ever becoming pack alpha at seventeen, and Ben, the pack’s omega, has no idea why. Ben Singer has been in love with Axel from the time they were teenagers. Ben thought they were mates, but Axel tore Ben’s heart into pieces and stomped that dream into the mud.

When Axel’s uncle kicks Ben out of their Pittsburgh pack, it’s the chance the omega has been waiting for. Then Axel demands to accompany the smaller wolf. He’s determined to go with Ben, even if the omega doesn’t want him around. While desire stirs between Axel and Ben, years of heartache haunt them. Can the alpha and omega let go of their past in order to find a bright new future together?


My Views

This book captivated me immediately. Ben’s character is warm and eternally hopeful and as the story progresses we see just how strong he is. Axel’s hardship is heartbreaking but the tough character wears it like a badge of honour as any knight in shining armour would. Perdita unfolds pieces of backstory along the way and it flows smoothly against the current time plot, creating a highly emotive and un-put-downable novel.