A Touch Of Death By Rebecca Cruden

Introduction

As you guys may remember I reviewed a book by Rebecca Cruden a while ago called Haze and I had such an amazing experience reading that book that I decided to pick up another book by her. This one is called A Touch of Death and is a part of a dystopian romance series. As you guys may know romance is not my favourite genre but I do love dystopia so I decided to give this one a try.

About Rebecca Crunden

Rebecca Crunden is a writer and fellow blogger. She has written multiple books over the years all of which you can check out by clicking here. She also has an amazing blog where she writes reviews and you can check that out by clicking here. If you want to read Haze by Rebecca Crunden you can find it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Synopsis

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.

My Review

On the one hand, as mentioned above, romance is a genre I tend to avoid except the occasional cheesy romance I like to read once in a while. On the other hand dystopia is a genre I fell in love with in high school as we had to read dystopian books for our exam and write dystopian stories of our own. Ironically, even as a history student I tend to really enjoy reading books about the future and I always think it’s interesting to read about what other people think the future will be like.
I was a little unsure whether I would enjoy this book or not but I decided to give it a try since the last book I read by the author was from a genre I usually tend to avoid by all means possible and I still ended up really enjoying. This one did not disappoint either and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book- even the romance parts of it. So, I’m just going to go ahead and discuss the plot now. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum but there may be a few ahead so just giving you a heads up.
The story takes place a thousand years in the future where under a totalitarian kingdom the rich thrive while the poor are left to suffer. We are introduced to the main character- Nate, Catherine and Thom. Catherine is Thom’s fiance and Nate is his brother. Nate has always been a trouble maker and has often caused trouble some of which involved Catherine and Thom. Although Thom forgives Nate for everything including openly dissenting Catherine does not and holds a grudge against him for making her and Thom’s life more difficult.

“In all her memory, Nate had never been scared of – or reasonable about – anything.”

Catherine has always enjoyed a sheltered and privildged life- one that she quite enjoys the perks of. She is a stark contrast to Nate who although eccentric is much more aware of what is going on politically, socially and economically. I enjoyed the contrast between the two as it was often used by the writer as a symbol/metaphor for the contrast between the rich and the poor in their society.

“Small, elegant taps on the wall were filled with soaps, softeners, moisturisers, scents, dyes, delouser, thickeners, straighteners, curlers, and other various puddings,jellies and potions which would do anything desired to the hair or body.”

Unfortunately for Catherine, she is forced to leave behind her privileged life and go on the run with her much hated nemisis, Nate, to the Outlands. I just want to pause her and say that I love the way that the author described everything in this book. Personally, I feel that it takes a lot more work to describe things in dystopian novels because the vision that the writer has may not be the same thing the reader imagines as a very large chunk of things in dystopian books are the writers imagination. Therefore, description can really make or break your book and in this case the writer did a wonderful job with description which was one of the most enjoyable parts of the book for me. It really helped me imagine what the writer had in mind and it also really helped paint a more accurate picture of everything going on.

“Thunder boomed in the distance, and a crack of lightning brought a cold rush of wet wind and a streak of blinding brightness across the horizon, giving her a brief glimpse of the terrain.”

While on the run they end up contracting a disease and they are not able to touch anyone but each other. Their lives were already in danger and now the situation has gotten much worse. I admit, this twist was a really good idea because it kept me on the edge of my seat. I don’t know about you guys but I really enjoy books with lots of twists and turns otherwise I end up getting a bit bored after a while.
“…We’re not sure why. It hurts her if anyone touches her.”
The plot in general is quite interesting. As I mentioned it does have a good amount of description, twists and turns and also some quite emotional moments.
“The world did not care that everything had gone terribly sideways for Catherine and Nate”
I wanted to end this review by talking about the book in general minus the plot. Before I begin I wanted to say that I saw someone say in the comments on Amazon that the start of the book was a bit slow. I just want to address that because I know a lot of us readers like faster plots where things instantly start to happen. However, that is very difficult to do with dystopian books because you need to first introduce this world you have created to the reader in a organic way that’s not just a bunch of details showed in their face. As someone who spent months working on dystopian stories (maybe just one story- I’ve forgotten how A levels work but if anyone is doing their GCSE’s let me know in the comments) I can say that it is insanely difficult to write a very fast paced dystopian plot. With a dystopian story line you do not get the privilege of the reader knowing exactly what you’re talking about. That being said, I personally felt the writer handled it quite well and I did not think the story started out slow because I found it helpful that she took the time to give a description and explanation of what was going on. I think in the end it kind of depends on your personal preference.
I also enjoyed the writing very much. I feel like the author has a very unique style of writing and she has this gift where she takes genres that are generally not for everyone and gives them a twist and that ends up making a very specific theme/topic/genre interesting for a much more diverse audience. I don’t know if I explained that well but all I meant to say was that she writes genres that I personally don’t generally read because from prior experience I personally don’t find them interesting but the way she combines them with other genres it makes them much more interesting for me and I’m guessing for other people too. Plus, it creates a very unique combination which I love.
The characters were great- I definitely felt a connection with all of them. I found Catherine to be a little annoying to be honest but she did grow on me as the book progressed. I was definitely a little emotional when events took place that effected the characters.
I also thought the whole idea of the rich living a sheltered/privileged life and going out of their way to maintain this life by crushing all opposition was quite fitting because we see that in the past in history, we see that currently and I am pretty sure it’s not going to change anytime soon- although we should keep trying to change things of course. I love it when dystopian books take inspiration from historical events or current events.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed the book- even the romance parts which as I have mentioned is not always my favourite. I thought the idea for the plot was a really good one and it was written really well too which helped bring the authors dystopian world to life. If you are a fan of dystopian books I would highly recommend giving this one a go and even if you are not a huge fan of dystopia I would recommend checking it out because you may still end up liking it. This is part of a series so I am currently reading the next book and of course the review for that will be up as well as soon as I’m done reading it.

Thoughts

Do you enjoy dystopian books? Are you a fan of romances? What book are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below- I always enjoy hearing your thought!
Check out the book on Amazon and Goodreads. And be sure to check out the authors blog by clicking here. 


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Salt + Stilettos by Janet Walden

About The Author


Janet Walden-West lives in the southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn’t read the fine print. A member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance, she is also a founding member of The Million Words craft blog. She pens inclusive Contemporary and Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.

Summary


Sweet Home Alabama meets Top Chef when Miami’s most determined image consultant clashes with Samoa’s most uncooperative chef in a race to rebrand him as South Beach’s newest star.
Brett Fontaine learned early that appearance matters and not to count on anyone but yourself. Trading her red-dirt roots for the title of Miami’s go-to image consultant, she refuses to let anything jeopardize her new life.
Not an influential client-turned-stalker who’s up for parole.
Not post-kidnapping panic attacks.
Certainly not the stubborn, attention-phobic chef she’s challenged to transform into a celeb in ninety days.
Will Te’o can almost taste the dream he sacrificed American Samoa, culture, and cherished family ties for—opening a four star restaurant in the most cut-throat culinary location in North America. Unfortunately, that requires navigating it’s equally cut-throat social scene. When his first public performance ends in a social media spectacle, his only option is turning to the stiletto-wearing nemesis who’s invaded his kitchen.
Neither expected to share anything but barbs, yet somewhere between accidentally bonding over comfort food and office-wrecking sex, they’re named South Beach’s hottest pairing. Until Brett’s stalker engineers a reputation-shattering reveal. She may be going down, but she’s not taking Will’s dreams with her. Now Will’s pulling out all his new skills and cooking up a last-ditch event. He’ll prove to Brett that relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe—or be left heartbroken in the spotlight.

My Thoughts

As you guys know I don’t always read romance novels but I am kind of a sucker for a good romance novel once in a while. Especially when it’s about two people who are quite different from each other but grow to appreciate one another’s differences and even love them. As always I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum and not give away too much of the plot because for me the best part about reading a book is the twists that keep you at the edge of you seat.

“When his gaze drifted to her face, the last traces of a smile danced around her lips.”

Brett Fontaine and Will Te’o seem like they are very different people with different lives, different lifestyles, different priorities and definitely different personalities. When they first meet they find it challenging to be around one another and feel pretty frustrated by the other. Brett is from the South but left her roots behind to become a successful, career oriented celebrity image consultant. Will on the other hand also left behind his roots to become one of the best chef’s in North America.

“But a little work and I grew on you?”

After spending more time together they begin to bond and realise that they have more in common than they expected and that they actually have a special connection. I really enjoyed that the romance between them was not forced as I feel it is in some romance novels. It was more organic and over time which is more realistic and they kind of grow on each other which personally I find more believable.

“He was promising they belonged together.”

Unfortunately, certain things about Brett’s life are revealed by her stalker and their lives are quickly changed. However, Brett does her best to protect Will’s life and career from the turmoil in her life.
I really enjoyed that the book was not at any point slow or boring for me. A problem that I have very often with romance novels is that the parts with the main characters are interesting but the rest of the side plot sometimes seems kind of unrealistic or boring- like a distraction from the actual plot. However, with this book I found their back stories, their careers and personal lives to be quite interesting even without the romance parts of it. They both had issues that they needed to deal with, they both had certain things from the past that haunted them and they both were great people despite their flaws.
I also enjoyed that Brett was a strong, ambitious and career oriented female instead of a damsel in distress with nothing on her mind except romance and finding a man. I also liked that Will was vulnerable, insecure and emotional. The realistic description of both characters made them more lovable and allowed me as the reader to connect with them on an emotional level. I loved that they were able to grow together and learn to build one another up from their past trauma.
In conclusion, I genuinely enjoyed this book very much. The characters were all interesting including the side characters. The main characters were very lovable, fun, interesting, quirky and sweet. The plot was clearly very well thought out and cleverly delivered. As mentioned above I did feel bored at any point and I did not feel the urge to skip any pages. I was fully invested in the book and it only took me about three days to finish the book.
You get this book through any of the sites below:
Amazon: smarturl.it/lqnyyv
B&N: https://tinyurl.com/y8544ez8
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y9kjkov2
iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/ybrq7h9s
You can find out more about the author below:
Twitter: @JanetWaldenWest
Instagram: janetwaldenwest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetwaldenwestauthor
Website: http://www.janetwaldenwest.weebly.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18062729.Janet_Walden_West
Amazon: Janet Walden-West
The Million Words Blog
Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/janet-walden-west


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The Chronicles of Luxaar By Prometheus Silver

Amazon And Goodreads Summary

Luxaar, a foreigner to the desert Provence of Zariban, and his troublesome partner The Rat plan what is to be a simple heist. Nothing goes as planned as soon as they enter the mansion of Rez-Hilkta. Eccentric, never seen and collector of rare items. Once inside they are introduced to a world of magic, strange and bizarre creatures and the stolen princess. Luxaar is forced to adapt to a world he knows nothing about or die. They barely escape the mansion with their lives and the Scrolls of Nida-Darth what they were there for in the first place.
On the way to the city of Hesin where they will meet The Merchant to whom they are going to sell the scrolls. They are forced underground due to a violent sandstorm. Luxaar, The Rat and the Princess’s lives are forever changed as the past comes back to haunt them and Luxaar has his first encounter with Tatharina, the beautiful Blood Goddess.
In Hesin everything goes astray as the scrolls are stolen the day before the sale and Luxaar must find them and get them to The Merchant before time runs out.

 

About The Author

Prometheus Silver grew up in the beautiful Hudson Valley outside of New York. He left his home when he joined the United States Army. He now lives in Missouri with his four daughters and wife to be. He spends most of his days writing and having fun with his family.
My Thoughts
First of all I liked that it was not too long because I’m super busy very often but I still want to read but if the book is too long I kind of keep putting it off.  The genre is fantasy and the plot, characters and writing is all really great!
I also really enjoyed the plot of the book and I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll keep it short and simple. The plot is really fun and exciting and moves really fast which I love.
I also really liked the characters- they were fun, unique and a bit crazy (in a good way). I liked The Rat character because it was colorful and exciting and rebellious.
The story was definitely exciting and keeps you wanting to read more. It definitely is super well written and the descriptions were also really imaginative and fun to read.
If like me you want to read but not something that’s too long this is absolutely perfect for you. Especially if you’re a fan of the fantasy genre.
To check out the book on Amazon click here.
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Forbidden By Erin Crocker (Review)

Pre-orders available for Erin Crocker’s “Forbidden”

Does evil lurk in Devil’s Creek, or are residents of Paradise Grove manifesting a darkness far more sinister?

Genre: horror, LGBT+, allegory b (A story that uses a metaphor to present a moral whether it be political or just about society)

Pre-order an eBook on December 10th , or purchase a paperback on January 8th .

For more info and teasers, follow Erin on social media!
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Preorder link: https://amzn.to/2rs3Sy7

Life Story

Erin was born in Kansas City, Missouri and later moved to the small town of El Dorado Springs (That’s El
Do-RAY-Do), Missouri where she spent most of her life.
In 2007 she moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia and graduated from Germanna Community College with honors. If that wasn’t enough… she decided to enroll in courses at Mary Washington University and earned a Bachelor’s in English, Linguistics, and Communications in 2015.

Writing

From there, she published her first novel “Synchronicity” and only lost a small portion of hair from stress.
In 2017, she published the sequel, “Menoetius”, and in 2018 she became fed up with a teeny-tiny copyright incident and collaborated with other authors from the writing community to compile a multi-
genre anthology entitled “Cocky-Tales”. She is currently working on “Forbidden” to be published this winter.

Erin’s writing has placed in a variety of competitions including second place in the Sudden Denouement
Divergent Literature Competition and the CN International Flash Fiction Competition, and most recently,
her piece “The Final Battle” placed first in her heat in round one of the 2018 NYC Midnight Short Story
Competition.

In 2017, Erin was invited to sit on not only the Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer’s panel at the Fredericksburg
Independent Book Festival, she also sat on the YA panel. In February 2018, she joined the judging panel
for the CN International Pens of Roses Flash Fiction Competition and in March, joined another author
panel in Richmond, Virginia.

Erin works as an editor at FunDead Publications and offers free-lance editing on the side.

Film/TV

Think you’ve seen Erin on TV? You betcha!
Erin got her start as a contestant on Netflix’;s hot new baking show, “NailedIt!”. Following that experience,
she can be found on a variety of Investigate Discovery shows including “Unmasked” and “Dead of Night”.
Erin’s also worked on a couple of independent films due out next year.

When She Walked Away

As a survivor of domestic violence, Erin strives to give back to the community that offered her the support
and encouragement to not only leave her situation but to find her voice. This is what led to the founding of When She Walked Away. A small, but steadily growing community that places direct emphasis on
providing encouragement, information, and support to women and children who have experienced or are
experiencing domestic violence.

Pre-order the book by clicking here.

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The City of Saints: The Hood Series

“Because a ten-year-olds will to freedom is a greater threat to monarchy then weapons are.”
“I have a mind of my own, but I am not allowed to think for myself.”

Amazon- 4.7 out of 5 stars

Summary:

In a dystopian world, cyborgs have taken over. To escape persecution and genocide, a ten-year-old girl, Nuha Edel must run away from a war her elders have started. With the spread of an unknown disease and the rise of anarchy, Nuha tries to flee from the wreckage of war but instead ends up in the arms of the cyborgs, who are programmed to kill her kind.

The real problem erupts when Nuha realizes that the war she’s running away from is a part of who she is. Being born different is not a blessing but a curse and the only way to uplift that curse is to fight or fall, and Nuha is ready for neither.

The City of Saints is an unforgettable tale of kinship and betrayal, enmity and forgiveness. It transports the reader into a future where artificial intelligence and humans are fighting for humanity and morality. A future steeped in blood and revenge, loyalty and remedy. It explores how history has the ability to resurface, no matter how deeply it is buried.

GoodReads-  4.0 out of 5 stars
Summary:

After the second treaty was broken by the hoods, the cyborgs waged for; killing whoever came in their way. Its history repeating itself all over again with bans, segregation, alliances and peace treaties.

Nuha Edel, a ten-year-old girl finds herself trapped in a war her elders had started. She goes on a journey to find her father who had disappeared six months ago. But stumbles upon Specialized Assassin Military-bot, SAM who vows to protect her. On their path to safety, SAM and Nuha meet an old man, Xander who is greatly affected by a water-borne disease. Can a ten-year-old girl, a cyborg, and an old man find an escape from the extinction of mankind?

About The Author:

A. Rinum was born in Kharian, Pakistan. She moved to the United States when she was four years old but moved back to Pakistan at the age of eight. When she was fourteen years old, her family decided to move back to the states again. Currently, she lives in New York City and is obtaining her Bachelors in Biochemistry. Rinum started writing at the age of ten and is currently working on a poetry book.

My Opinion:

So I’m going to try really hard to review this book without giving away any spoilers because I felt like one of the best parts of reading the book was the twists and turns.

To begin with I thought this was a really great book overall. The writing was good, the plot was unique and fascinating and the characters were inspiring and relatable. I have been a really big fan of dystopic books since I was in high school and one of the themes we had to write on was dystopia. I think that was one of the reasons I really enjoyed the book.

The character of Nuha was a really great one too since she is a ten year old which brings out her innocence and purity. The rest of the characters are also easy to bond with and be empathetic to.

The plot was really interesting and I think the story line is really great. It’s one of those books that takes unexpected turns and twists that leave you wanting more.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of dystopic novels or futuristic books. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of dystopia I would still recommend checking out this book I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

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The Guy From Another League

GoodReads Blurb:

This is a book about a girl who made a wrong choice. It will bring her humiliation and disgrace. Her relationship will bring out the worse from her. She will gamble with her reputation, lose her friends and dignity. All for the guy who just wanted the one-night stand.

My Thoughts:

Before I start this I just want to appreciate the fact that Kristina’s first language is not English yet she has managed to publish a number of books in English which I think is really inspiring!

I am not a fan of books about love and relationships in general so I was slightly skeptical about this one. However, I knew that it would be interesting since I have read other works written by Kristina and I was impressed with them. As expected I was pleasantly surprised by this one too.

The book is about a girl, Renata, who falls in love with a man, Davon, who clearly doesn’t want the same things as her from the relationship. It’s eye opening and beautifully realistic. If you’re sick of reading about super feminine women who are portrayed unrealistically this is definitely the book for you. I would definitely recommend it and even if you usually don’t read these sort of books in general.

To get this book on Amazon click here.

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Also be sure to check out Kristina’s blog here.

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