Review | The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery

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Title | The Scent of Rain
Author | Anne Montgomery
Pages | 386 pages
Publisher | Treehouse Publishing House
Series | None
Release Date | March 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

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When asked by the author whether I would be interested in reading and reviewing her story, it was fair to say that the sounds of the plot intrigued me. So naturally, I caved and Anne Montgomery send me a wonderful digital copy of the book – something I cannot thank her for enough. A fair description of The Scent of Rain would be a haunting yet captivating account of life in a cult. Although the story is a work of fiction, the reality behind the book is sadly not – this is a reality to some people who cannot see the true horror under their nose.

The pace and tone in The Scent of Rain make it a very easy read. Despite the constant inability to do anything recently, I finished the book within three hours. Despite the sensitive nature of the story, it was very easy to carry on reading as the chapters weren’t incredibly long. While this is a risky tactic, the author pulled it off really well here. Set in third-person, the book takes a mature but simplistic approach throughout the entire story. It isn’t an incredibly difficult read, which only inspires the readers to read a little bit more. As the book is over 300 pages long, it faces the difficulty of becoming too long and boring. However, The Scent of Rain tackles this well, as each part of the story is well thought out and necessary in the unravelling of the mysteries the book hides.

Something I wasn’t completely crazy about in the beginning was the changing of personas. The book would follow one character in one character and introduce a new one in the next. While this is something that is critical to the telling in the story, in the beginning it can be quite confusing trying to remember who is who. It’s only about after ten chapters when it starts to settle down and bit and you find your footing as a reader – and as a book with around one hundred chapters, this could be something that sways readers away from completing the story. Yet towards the conclusion of the story, the switching personas was a very interesting tactic – keeping the book fresh and understandable. It could have been introduced a little better in the beginning however.

When thinking about modern society and the problems within it, cults aren’t the first thing that spring to mind. Most people see them as a minority of society, a small sector of people who believe in religion too much. They don’t see these groups as a threat to anybody’s health or wellbeing – when the sad truth is that these cults are more damaging than you’d expect. This was something I absolutely adored in The Scent of Rain. The author, Anne Montgomery, was not afraid of truthfully portraying a Fundamentalist Mormon cult in America. As an English citizen, the only cult that has touched my life is the Church of Scientology – with the closest church being situated in Manchester, only thirty minutes from where I live. What I, and many of my British citizens, fail to witness is the mass injustice and danger cults have. Perhaps I was lucky growing up, as I studied cults as part of an optional curriculum. I’m all too familiar with the People’s Temple and Jonestown – but there are so many people out there that have no idea. The Scent of Rain creates such a realistic portrayal of life in a cult.

To conclude, this was the first book I’ve sat down and read in a while. And I could not think of a better novel to ease me back into the world of fiction. Essential reading for both young adults and adults alike. There is literally nothing else I can say, except buy this book.

5 stars

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Hiatus Report | What Really Happened …

Hello my lovelies! It’s been a very long time since my last past on this blog, and I could not be more saddened by this fact. While I had a duty to keep this blog up to standard and fresh for you all, my eyes have fallen off the ball – and here we are two months without review. It’s fair of me to admit that my posting habits within the past year has been abysmal. But I want to reassure you that I am back – and while I’m not 100% sure how long for, this post is going to explain (as much as I can) my absence.

It may be no surprise to many of my readers here that I am a law student – a second year LLB law student who is just managing to keep her head above the water in terms of assignments. First semester is thoroughly kicking my arse, and as a result my head is stuck in text books instead of fiction. That doesn’t mean I haven’t got some amazing stories coming up for review – because I do! I just haven’t had any time to put into reading outside of my university commitments. This year’s results count for something in my degree – and so there is a lot of pressure behind this.

Yet the biggest reason for my absence is my mental state given the current time. Although my story is not uncommon, my parents are currently going through a separation – something that I’ve grown up seeing happen to other people but never really expected to go through. The emotion toll has alienated me from even the most of basic things, and while I struggle to find my footing again – blogging has perhaps been the last thing on my mind.

While none of these are the best excuses, they are all I have to show. And so I pledge to you all, or to whoever can be bothered to stick around to the end, that I will try to post as often as I can. Childishly Passionate is something I adore, it is my baby. I want it to be something amazing, and as 2018 approaches, this is something I am going to make happen.

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Thanks x

Series Review | Guarding Hearts by Kirsty Moseley

If you’re new to the blog, you will have not yet experienced the opportunity to understand just how much I fan-girl over self-published Wattpad authors. Recently, I was given the amazing opportunity to review the two re-releases of the fabulous Kirsty Moseley’s books! This woman is a good, and her books have had me captivated since 2010.

The books in question just happen to be her ‘Guarding Hearts’ series, which was originally published under the title Nothing Left to Lose. However, her Polish publisher decided that the book itself was too long for a standalone novel and decided to split it. As a result, Kirsty followed and re-released the book into two novels – Guarding the Broken and Blurring the Lines.

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Perhaps the easiest way to sum up Guarding the Broken is through the serious use of the word ‘intense’. There is honestly no other way to describe it. Anna has a helluva lot bad luck at the beginning of the story and you can’t help but be heartbroken for her.

The romance between Anna and Ashton is perfect and I can’t help but swoon every time I read about them. I do have to admit that at times I honestly wanted to bang their heads together, but the book is honestly such a good story that I let the book go with the flow.

This is perhaps Kirsty Moseley at her best, creating men that women can’t help but fall for – even if completely fictional. The book is a must read for all romance fans, and the best part? It’s completely free on Amazon!

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Blurring the Lines was a perfect conclusion to the story between Anna and Ashton. I think most people will fall in love with this story simply because it is so gripping that you need to know what happens.

I adored how the book flowed from the first and into the second, and these two novels only reinstate my love of Kirsty Moseley!

The series is available now on Amazon, so I recommend that you give both books a chance. You will definitely not be disappointed.

Plot | 9 out of 10 | Adorable! A real test of love.
Theme | 9 out of 10 | Forbidden love is always epic.
Characters | 8 out of 10 | Honestly heartbreaking.
Romance | 10 out of 10 | Insert heart-eyed emoji here.
Tone and Pace | 4 out of 10 | A little drawn out in places.
Cover Art | 10 out of 10 | The perfect book covers.

Overall Series Reading | 4 out of 5 | Absolutely loved the series!

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Kirsty Moseley
Kirsty Moseley

I am a traditionally published and Indie author that hails from sunny England (I lie, it’s not really that sunny here!) I’m a hopeless romantic, so of course my main writing focus is romance. I love to create swoon-worth males that steal your breath! I write both mature YA and new adult.

As well as being a writer I’m also an avid reader, mum to one little boy, proud chocoholic and an absolute beast at Lego PlayStation games.

If I had to sum myself up in one word, it would probably be ‘daydreamer’ – but unlike most of my school teachers, I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing. After all, I read somewhere once that books are like waking dreams…

Review | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr


Title | The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author | Emily Barr
Pages | 303
Publisher | Penguin
Series | None
Release Date | January 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks was a book that I didn’t expect to get read this month. I grabbed a copy on the way to Manchester and decided I’d get it read on the coach. It’s fair to admit that my assumption from the beginning of the story was that this would not be something I enjoyed – despite all the fabulous reviews I’ve seen floating around. Yet all prejudices aside, this book was something I really enjoyed reading.

I am really here. Yet I know I am not. I am inside something that must be buried in my head. I am layers deep in my own brain.

The story follows the life of Flora Banks, a girl who has anterograde amnesia. As a result she has to write down basic facts about herself on her arms for when she can no longer remember. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must be to be thinking one thing one minute, and then the next you believe you’re ten again and have no idea where you are. I’d be fairly emotional, and Flora deals with it incredibly well. So it is more than fair to say that Flora is a character of both depth and development. Her courage is admiring as she embarks on a trip that even I, a person with intact memory, wouldn’t be able to have.

The inside of my head is out of control. It is on fire. It is snowing. It is a wild jungle. It is an Arctic wilderness. It is everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will happen, all at once.

I expected the book to be a lot more sinister than it was. There wasn’t much foulplay, and when I first picked up this book, the synopsis led me to believe that there was a murder. However, although the book is completely different to what I first expected, I really honestly enjoyed it. I enjoyed reading about Flora and Drake. I enjoyed reading as her memory began to unravel. I enjoyed reading when Flora captivated all the strangers she met. The One Memory of Flora Banks is definitely a story that has a few unexpected twists and turns – but I love that about it. It’s completely different to other fiction I have read – and I’m pleased it became part of Zoella’s Books Club!

Don’t panic, because everything is probably all right, and it it’s not, panicking will make it worse.

Emily Barr has really set the standard with this book, and I can’t wait to read her further works! I believe that the book is well deserving of its place in Zoella’s Book Club, and I would definitely recommend this story to every other YA reader and blogger. Thank you to Emily Barr for writing such a fantastic novel!

5 stars

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Usually a book goes through several cover changes in its lifetime. Most variation depends on the publishing location. The One Memory of Flora Banks is available in the following cover formats.

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Don’t just take my word for it! Here are what a few other bloggers worldwide had to say about the book.

Emily @ A Cup of Witt Tea says “If you are looking for a new YA read, I cannot recommend ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ enough.”

Camilla @ Twenty Three Pages says “If you’re looking for a light read with serious undertones, I strongly recommend picking this up.”

Aoife @ Pretty Purple Polka Dots says “A fantastic journey of self-discovery, an intriguing look at life with amnesia, and a reminder that maybe your parents aren’t always right.”

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Emily Barr

About Emily Barr

Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, writing a column in the Guardian about it as she went, and it was there that she had an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, which won the WH Smith New Talent Award. She has since written eleven more adult novels published in the UK and around the world, and a novella, Blackout, for the Quick Reads series. Her twelfth novel, The Sleeper, is a psychological thriller set on the London to Cornwall sleeper train.

In 2013 she went to Svalbard with the idea of setting a thriller in the Arctic. The book that came out of it was The One Memory of Flora Banks, a thriller for young adults, which attracted universal interest from publishers before being bought pre-emptively by Penguin earlier this year. It will be published globally in January 2017.
She lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children.

Contact Details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Review | Obscured by C.M. Boers

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Title | Obscured
Author | C.M. Boers
Pages | 216
Publisher | None
Series | Obscured, #1
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Abby Martin thought she was an ordinary girl about to start high school. But when her mom announces that they’re moving to Arizona, vivid nightmares start plaguing Abby’s nights. As she settles into her new school and a cute guy named Pete catches her eye, she hopes that life might somehow get back to normal. To Abby’s horror, “normal” becomes a thing of the past as she’s swept up into a world of immortal protectors wielding supernatural gifts. When Abby realizes she’s a pawn in a centuries-old feud, she must figure out who she can trust before she’s caught in the crossfire.

Prepare yourself for heart-pounding suspense in the world of Obscured, where nothing is as it seems and danger lurks in unexpected places.

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It’s not very often in the world of fiction where I find myself unable to read a book. Even if I get that nagging feeling at the back of my head, I will push it away and soldier on. Sadly, this was something I could not do when I was reading C.M. Boer’s Obscured. It was simply too hard for me to read, and not because of the complexity of the book. No, I found myself struggling simply because the type of writing was not my usual form and seemed all too basic for me.

The review for this book is not going to be very long admittedly. I made it to the end of the third chapter and just felt so simply underwhelmed by the book that I had no option but to shelve it. Let it be made clear that I do not fault the author – everyone has a different writing style and sometimes some books are just incompatible with specific readers. I do have however, a large amount of respect for the author as I understand that writing and even publishing a book can be a very hard task to accomplish. Kudos to her on that ground.

Abby seemed incredibly two-dimensional for my liking. She didn’t seem to have a personality or a substance beyond what I read. In the politest way possible, Abby Martin needed more development. It came across that she was more of a draft-copy of the protagonist, lacking the direction and strength a reader could need. With improvement on her personality, and the depth she is given I could have liked Abby more. But I didn’t, and I’m quite regretful of that.

This did seem like a book would I like off the bat, albeit the out of character genre of YA Supernatural. When starting the book, it felt like I’d already read it before. This is because the beginning of the book is like something I would find on the draft novels on Wattpad.com. Most of the information I was given within the first few chapters seemed so basic and irrelevant to the novel. I could simply not finish the book, and that really sucks.

To conclude, I wish the book had been better. It is not often when I give a book one star, but I feel like the book needs redrafting and rewriting. It is a god draft, but there is a lot of development – in both the plot, the writing and the characters – that needs to be done before I could possibly make it to the end of the novel. Thank you to the author for allowing me the chance to read the book. I’m sorry I could not enjoy the book.

1 star

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Still unsure as to whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers had to say about the book!

Julie @ Fangirls Read It First says “It was well worth my time and I enjoyed reading it.”

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C.M. Boers

About C.M. Boers

I am a wife and mother of three. I grew up in the sunshine state of Arizona with a love of reading and an ambition to write. But never took my writing seriously until after the birth of my first child. After that I took up writing in my spare time and I haven’t stopped since.

Like me on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/boerscm

Contact Details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Cover Reveal | Nothing Left to Lose Relaunch by Kirsty Moseley + GIVEAWAY

Nothing Left To Lose

Guarding The Broken (Part 1)

Blurring The Lines (Part 2)

BOTH Books Release September 6, 2017

Covers by: Concierge Literary Designs

 

Nothing Left to Lose has been a big hit with over 760 4/5 star reviews on Amazon and almost 11,000 4/5 star reviews on Goodreads. With over 500 pages Author Kirsty Moseley though she would follow her Polish Publisher’s lead and split the book in two and make the first book PERMA FREE!! What this means is that the first book will be free for download on all available ebook sites.


Annabelle Spencer’s life is every girl’s dream. She has wonderful parents, great friends, and of course the perfect boyfriend, Jack Roberts. But her dream life turns into a nightmare when, on the night of her sixteenth birthday, Jack is murdered right in front of her, and she’s kidnapped by his murderer, Carter Thomas, and held for ten months.

Three years on and Anna is no longer the happy-go-lucky girl that everyone used to know and love; she’s now cold, hard and suffers from night terrors. It appears that, during her time with him, Carter broke not only her body but her spirit too.

Carter is currently serving time for the murder of Jack, a conviction that Anna helped secure. But his retrial is coming up because some key evidence appears to have been tampered with. Needing to ensure his daughter’s safety, Presidential Candidate, Senator Spencer tasks in Ashton Taylor, a newly qualified SWAT agent, to guard the broken girl and keep her safe until the end of the trial.

For three years Anna has refused to feel emotion or pain, but can Ashton help her rebuild her life and finally deal with the grief of losing her childhood sweetheart? Will he be the one to make her see that life is, in fact, worth living and that not all men will hurt her?

 

With Ashton at her side, Anna begins to feel more like her old self again. Together, they’re rebuilding her life and attempting to heal old wounds. The more time they spend together, the closer they become, but unfortunately, this only serves to complicate matters further. The undercover pretense of being boyfriend and girlfriend slowly ceases to be a game as both find themselves increasingly blurring the lines between the act and the reality.

With her father now President-Elect, Anna and Ashton are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain some semblance of privacy. With the world’s press obsessing over the future First Daughter, Ashton’s job of protecting her has just become a whole lot harder.

All the while the trial grows ever closer, looming over them both, taunting them, reminding them that it isn’t over yet. After all, Carter Thomas will stop at nothing to be reunited with his ‘Princess’.

 

 

 

About Kirsty Moseley

I was born in Hertfordshire, England. In 2000 I moved to Norfolk, it was there that I met my husband, Lee. Now, what can I say about Lee, apart from everyone should have one? He’s my biggest supporter, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his encouragement and endless support. He is my inspiration behind most of my male leads, I always try to bring a little of him in somewhere, be it his kindness, selflessness, or just his ability to make me feel treasured.

In 2005, I was gifted with the birth of my son. He is, and always will be, the best thing I have ever done in my life. As you can probably tell, I’m a very proud mummy.

I have always been interested in writing, but after the birth of my son, I accidentally came across an amateur writing site. After a couple of months of just reading on there, I finally plucked up the courage and posted one of my stories. I was shocked and overwhelmed by the support of readers on there and they gave me the confidence to get where I am today.

In April 2012, I self-published my first novel ‘The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window’ and I haven’t looked back since.

Lastly, if I had to sum myself up in one word, it would probably be ‘daydreamer’ – but unlike most of my school teachers, I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing. After all, I read somewhere once that books are like waking dreams….

 

Connect with Kirsty Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | BookBub | Website | Goodreads

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Review | 23:27 by H. L. Roberts

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Title | 23:27
Author | H. L. Roberts
Pages | 284
Series | None
Publisher | N.A
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads.

Fame. Money. Glory.

These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.

What they don’t tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don’t tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn’t what you wanted at all.

They don’t tell you about the pressure that’s always on the verge of crushing you when you’re forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.

They don’t tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.

No – they don’t tell you these things at all.

But, Lilith Rose will.

When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous. She decides that it’s time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.

The result…

“Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me.”

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Sometimes when I sit down to write a review, I don’t really have an idea on what I should say. This is normally because my thoughts are so scattered about a particular book. Today, that book is H. L. Roberts 23:27. Summarising the book up in one word would result in a strong use of the word ‘emotional’.

The story plot was something that I wasn’t expected. I was aware from the get-go that the book was a romance, but I didn’t realise it would be one of those stories that made you ball your eyes out. It reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks novel, because I simply cried that much. The book puts a very bright spotlight on the issues of suicide and racism – two things that are very much prevalent in today’s modern society. I adored how the book shows that there is still a lot of racism in the music industry, and even in the film industry. While times are changing, certain groups are being marginalised by the top people in society.

“You couldn’t believe we could let two of the most talked about members of United Misfits become a powerhouse couple? For God’s sake, you’re black and she’s white!”

23:27 is also an excellent book for it shines a light on the manipulation that goes down when becoming a famous. Everybody wants to be famous in some way, right? I loved how H. L. Roberts shows that management teams don’t always have your best interests at heart – they sometimes have their own to protect. Its sad and its horrible, but its reality, and I really appreciated this being shown in the story.

Lilith was definitely a strong character for what she had to do. Her weaknesses were used against her a lot in the story, which puts a lot of pressure on her. Its interesting to see how she deals with things, and how her outlook is on life. She’s not your everyday female protagonist. Perhaps the strongest characterisation was on Alec. Alec has to watch most of the story unfold quite helpless, and although he lost his cool a few times, his reaction is ultimately justifiable. Most of the narrative is told from his point of view, which is interesting to see. Alec is quite a complex character in reality, and his love and passion is something that only makes him even more adorable.

“Her mind may have chosen him, but her heart will always choose you.”

I must admit that I did feel that the last half of the book seemed a little unnecessary. I would have been more than happy with the first half of the book being a standalone novel. But this is not a massive criticism, and so I will not push on it. I did actually quite enjoy the book. The pacing was easy and simple, and I finished the book within three hours. This was something I’d definitely purchase, and I look forward to future works from H. L. Roberts.

4 stars

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– H. L. Roberts –

H.L. Roberts is a short story writer and a novelist from a small town in Kentucky. As she was writing her debut novel, 23:27, she was working towards getting her her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Marketing and also was working towards her minor in Psychology. When she isn’t reading a book you can find her raising awareness about mental illness, suicide prevention, and epilepsy.

You can follow her and her writing ventures at www.facebook.com/hlrobertsofficial.

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate