The Smoke in His Eyes: A Magical Realism, Musical NovelREVIEWED BY SAHARA FOLEY

Enjoyable story
The cover alone deserves 5-stars as it’s amazing. Then, there’s the story.
What I liked – This is a fast-paced tale with relatable characters. I could see myself in Isis’ shoes as bad luck follows me too. And who doesn’t love adorable cats? Though Constantine might be more than most people could handle. I thought it an interesting concept that Death’s appearance changes based on each person’s perception. How would Death look to me?
The evil witches were another story. They were just kinda clumped together and had no real definition to them. Which was one of my pet peeves about this book.
What I didn’t like – The description says it’s been re-edited. I can’t see it. Too many overuses of the same words, misspelled ones, and it reads like a second draft instead of a finished manuscript. Getting rid of all the ‘telling’ would build the characters out. They are pretty one dimensional.
Still, I enjoyed the story, and the ending brought a tear to my eye. I do want to read the next one but it’s not at the top of my list. If you love down-in-the-luck type of heroines with a snarky attitude and the supernatural, give it it a try. I give it 3.5 stars rounded to 4.
Headlines, Deadlines, and LiesREVIEWED BY SUSAN

Romantic Intrigue
This book, Wild Not Broken by Sarah Kades, the second in the series, was an enjoyable read, covering romance, intrigue and some comedy relief. It starts out right away with action and intrigue, then slowly develops into a romance with an action-packed ending. The main characters, Colt and Lillian, are polar opposites with entirely different backgrounds – one is a rodeo bronc rider and the other is an ex-M16 and former war journalist.
It’s fun to see how the relationship evolves between them since they are so different in status and backgrounds. The banter back-and-forth between the players stays fairly close to character except a few times between Lillian and her niece, Sophie, but it does not detract from the narrative. The descriptions of Canada’s scenery are not overdone and convey the beauty of their surroundings.
The only thing negative to say about this book was some of the editing. It wasn’t too distracting, but for a proofreader, such as I am, it did cause me a little discomfort. I would give a four-star rating only because I am a purist when it comes to the editing. Otherwise, this was a great, fun read that I would recommend to friends. I do regret not reading the first in this series, but I don’t think it would have changed the context of Wild Not Broken and either added or detracted from it.

Steamy suspense
This is the first book I have read by this author – and will not be the last. It is the first of a series, and I fully intend to read however many come next. I love the characters – the silent, brooding Kane and fiery, wild Brooke. Thrown together in a dangerous situation, their chemistry hit’s the roof right of the bat and never slows down. While there are a lot – and I mean a LOT – of steamy scenes, the strength of their bond grows with each page and has you rooting for the couple by the end. It felt like the action of the story was a little out of balance, as they spend a lot of time in a cabin in the woods. But, seeing as this is the first in series, I can understand the desire to establish a bond with the characters at the beginning and really hook the reader.
I recommend this book to those attracted to steamy love stories with a taste for danger and intrigue.

A different world
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I loved it! The story is compelling, and the characters well rounded. Lexil – a 16 year old Reborn woman, now a slave on a plantation – faces unimaginable obstacles as she learns what she is truly capable of. Unable to stand idly by as her new young friend – four year old Ceera – is sold to a new master who will not be kind to the child. Lexil’s decision leads to a journey of growth and self-discovery, and a feeling of hope she has never known. Together with her friend Finn – a young man Double-born (a twin) – Lexil finds herself in a world she has never seen, and yet echoes in the recesses of her memory. The world the author created was vivid in my mind as I read. Without a whole lot of flowery descriptions, she weaves a clear picture of the setting – a tree farm worked by slaves collecting leaves in the branches; a forest, dark and ominous and foreboding; a warm, but strange hut seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The reader is cast into these places with ease as the story unfolds. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy alternate-world settings, and are looking for an adventure of self-discovery and budding friendships.
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