Most Popular Reviews 2017: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney @jamescudney4 @CreativiaPub

This week, I am sharing the five most popular reviews this year by visits to the blog. Thank you to all of you for visiting and supporting me, and the blog, but most importantly your support for all of the authors I’ve featured.

I was over the moon when I was going through the stats to find which reviews nailed the numbers for these posts and saw Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney was number two. James is a good friend as well as being an outstanding author and to see that my review that I posted as part of his blog tour on 16 November was well-received really gave me a big smile. I also chose not to tell him about this post so… Surprise!

Description

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband, but when Ben’s will reveals a long-held, life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for the answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change the dynamics of an already grief-stricken family. During the visits, Olivia learns that each of her sons has been harboring a painful secret, just like his father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?

Review

Where do I start with this? I still weeks after finishing this novel get riled up with emotion just thinking about it. Olivia Glass, the matriarch of the Glass family has just lost her Husband Ben. At the will reading with her five sons (Five! Seriously who has five kids?!) a secret is revealed from beyond the grave to her alone via a letter. A second letter left for her to pass on to the one son that it pertains to when the time is right.

Her way of dealing with this is to follow Ben’s secretive instructions, keep the sons in the dark, and to visit them all over the next few weeks and spend some time with them, which totally backfires as she discovers, even more, secrets that they are keeping from the family. It’s a big potluck of secrets and lies in this family people!

So, I hated Olivia, seriously hated her. She’s a fantastic character, and she plays her part to perfection. But my God that woman drove me nuts. She’s a control-freak, her need to know everything about everyone and to be the one who decides everything for everyone was infuriating. I swear if my Mum was like Olivia I would disown her, I couldn’t deal with all that bossiness! Wowsers!

The sons though, they are a different story, lets talk about the sons for a bit shall we?

Teddy is the eldest, a lawyer who has worked with their Father. A very serious man and in a marriage that appears to be rocky from our initial introduction to him. I found him hard to connect with for much of the book but I kept thinking there were hidden depths that there were things we weren’t seeing, as his secret unfolds a different side of him unfolds and you see a bigger personality emerge.

Matthew is the character I felt a huge affinity with, I had a LOT in common with Matt and completely connected with the secret he held. I fought his fight with him and was willing him through his situation hoping for him to come out of it. He is a wonderful character and I spent almost every moment he was on the page wanting to wrap my arms around him.

Ethan is training to be a Doctor, he’s the youngest of the brood and came across as happy and loving. His secret is moving. I know someone who went through the same thing Ethan went through and I think that may be why I was so deeply moved by his storyline, it really hit me hard and reminded me of some difficult memories. Ethan has probably the hardest secret to deal with but also the most beautiful and the one most full of love.

Caleb, oh Caleb, I would like a Caleb please. He is adorable, sweet and kind and funny. He’s also been keeping a huge secret from his family for years. I think his secret is pretty darn special, and I wouldn’t mind keeping it for myself as well, but as it’s Caleb secret I’ll let him have it.

Finally, there is Zach. I really fell for Zach, with his tattoos, and Harley. He’s a DJ and just plain yum! His secret is probably the least explosive of all of them, it’s also the one that Olivia gets most hung up on (Mom’s!) He has a wonderful attitude, not taking any shit, with a daughter he loves to the ends of the earth and an ex who he is fighting for custody.

Be warned this is a sob-fest, I cried solidly for the last two hours of this novel, not gentle tears either these were big ugly sobbing tears. Every time I thought I was stopping I turned the page and bam they would start all over. This is an author who doesn’t give us a moment to compose ourselves before dropping another emotional bomb. It’s not all sad though there are moments where I laughed out loud, one scene sticks in my mind and can dissolve me into laughter even now and secured my love of two characters in particular.

Watching Glass Shatter is an absolutely outstanding debut, I couldn’t put it down, I sobbed most of the way through, and I wanted to keep half the characters for myself.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

Title: Watching Glass Shatter #1
Series: N/A
Author: James J. Cudney
Genre: Family Saga, Mystery, LGBTQ, Romance, Mental Health
Publisher: Creativia
Publication Date: 8 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 297
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

#BlogTour: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney @jamescudney4 @CreativiaPub #Review

As a book blogger, you get to know a lot of people, other bloggers, authors, even publishers. Then you get a few, just a few who you become really good friends with. James, Jay, Cudney is one of those few for me. He’s become the kind of friend I turn to for everything, I need to know what colour the sky is? I ask Jay. I need help with my writing, I ask Jay. So you can imagine the bursting pride I felt when his debut novel was picked up by a publisher and how great it was when I was able to hold a physical copy in my hand.

To be part of this blog tour is an absolute honour, as always my review is my honest opinion, I just happened to really like it!

There are a couple of cool happenings going on elsewhere connected to this tour. Jay is running a poll to see who is the most popular character. After reading my review (which will give you some insight) check out the poll here it’s open until the 20th.

There is also a giveaway on Goodreads to win a copy of the book so you definitely want to get your hat in the ring for that. You can enter that one by heading here. The giveaway closes on the 30th!

Jay was also interviewed by Artist First Radio a few days ago. I listened to the show live and it was interesting, funny, informative, and full of information about Jay who really opened up, you can listen to the recording of the show here.

Description

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband, but when Ben’s will reveals a long-held, life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for the answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change the dynamics of an already grief-stricken family. During the visits, Olivia learns that each of her sons has been harboring a painful secret, just like his father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?

Watching Glass Shatter - Tour Banner

Review

Where do I start with this? I still weeks after finishing this novel get riled up with emotion just thinking about it. Olivia Glass, the matriarch of the Glass family has just lost her Husband Ben. At the will reading with her five sons (Five! Seriously who has five kids?!) a secret is revealed from beyond the grave to her alone via a letter. A second letter left for her to pass on to the one son that it pertains to when the time is right.

Her way of dealing with this is to follow Ben’s secretive instructions, keep the sons in the dark, and to visit them all over the next few weeks and spend some time with them, which totally backfires as she discovers, even more, secrets that they are keeping from the family. It’s a big potluck of secrets and lies in this family people!

So, I hated Olivia, seriously hated her. She’s a fantastic character, and she plays her part to perfection. But my God that woman drove me nuts. She’s a control-freak, her need to know everything about everyone and to be the one who decides everything for everyone was infuriating. I swear if my Mum was like Olivia I would disown her, I couldn’t deal with all that bossiness! Wowsers!

The sons though, they are a different story, lets talk about the sons for a bit shall we?

Teddy is the eldest, a lawyer who has worked with their Father. A very serious man and in a marriage that appears to be rocky from our initial introduction to him. I found him hard to connect with for much of the book but I kept thinking there were hidden depths that there were things we weren’t seeing, as his secret unfolds a different side of him unfolds and you see a bigger personality emerge.

Matthew is the character I felt a huge affinity with, I had a LOT in common with Matt and completely connected with the secret he held. I fought his fight with him and was willing him through his situation hoping for him to come out of it. He is a wonderful character and I spent almost every moment he was on the page wanting to wrap my arms around him.

Ethan is training to be a Doctor, he’s the youngest of the brood and came across as happy and loving. His secret is moving. I know someone who went through the same thing Ethan went through and I think that may be why I was so deeply moved by his storyline, it really hit me hard and reminded me of some difficult memories. Ethan has probably the hardest secret to deal with but also the most beautiful and the one most full of love.

Caleb, oh Caleb, I would like a Caleb please. He is adorable, sweet and kind and funny. He’s also been keeping a huge secret from his family for years. I think his secret is pretty darn special, and I wouldn’t mind keeping it for myself as well, but as it’s Caleb secret I’ll let him have it.

Finally, there is Zach. I really fell for Zach, with his tattoos, and Harley. He’s a DJ and just plain yum! His secret is probably the least explosive of all of them, it’s also the one that Olivia gets most hung up on (Mom’s!) He has a wonderful attitude, not taking any shit, with a daughter he loves to the ends of the earth and an ex who he is fighting for custody.

Be warned this is a sob-fest, I cried solidly for the last two hours of this novel, not gentle tears either these were big ugly sobbing tears. Every time I thought I was stopping I turned the page and bam they would start all over. This is an author who doesn’t give us a moment to compose ourselves before dropping another emotional bomb. It’s not all sad though there are moments where I laughed out loud, one scene sticks in my mind and can dissolve me into laughter even now and secured my love of two characters in particular.

Watching Glass Shatter is an absolutely outstanding debut, I couldn’t put it down, I sobbed most of the way through, and I wanted to keep half the characters for myself.

Rating

Watching Glass Shatter - Tour Schedule

About James J. Cudney

James Cudney - Author ImageI live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I spent ~15 years in a technology career in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. After leaving my position in 2016, I directed all my energies towards re-invigorating a focus on reading, writing and publishing.

Author
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current genres include family drama / saga, contemporary and mystery fiction. My first novel, Watching Glass Shatter, was published in October 2017. I am currently in the process of writing my second novel, ‘Father Figure,’ which will be released in early 2018.

Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share book reviews, write a blog and publish fiction: In the blog, I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher
I want to be a researcher or historian. I want to reach back into the past to figure out why someone made the choice he or she did and what the consequences were. I want to feel the pressures and culture of hundreds of years ago. I want to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I want to watch my ancestors from a secret place to know how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll learn why I do things the way I do them.

Book & Buy Links

Title: Watching Glass Shatter #1
Series: N/A
Author: James J. Cudney
Genre: Family Saga, Mystery, LGBTQ, Romance, Mental Health
Publisher: Creativia
Publication Date: 8 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 297
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

#BlogTour: The Lido Girls by Allie Burns @Allie_Burns1 @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

I’m so pleased to be kicking off The Lido Girls blog tour today with a review. There is also a fab giveaway at the end of the post that you absolutely don’t want to miss. Huge thanks to Allie Burns and Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for having me.

Description

Escape to the inter-war years in this emotional story where opportunity can be found at the pool-side in your local lido… Perfect for fans of Pam Evans and Gill Paul

Change is in the air…

London, 1930s:

Natalie Flacker is tempted by the glamour of the new keep fit movement, but when she is dismissed from her prestigious job in PE she loses the life she so carefully built. Echoes of the war’s destruction still reverberate through her life, and now she is homeless, jobless and without prospects.

But connections made on a summer holiday, with her best friend Delphi, create opportunities. When Natalie is offered a summer job at a lido at the seaside, she jumps at the chance. But is she up to the challenge of taking on a group of unfit women in need of her help?

Set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good reminder of just what’s possible when you find the courage to follow your heart.

Spend a very British summer with The Lido Girls!

The Lido Girls - Tour Banner

Review

Natalie is a PE teacher in 1935 England when she loses her job she loses her sense of purpose but a job offer from her best friend’s brother to spend the summer at a lido in St Darlstone is the best one she has. So she and Delphi get set for a summer by the sea.

Set at a time when life was dramatically changing for women the historical elements of this book were fascinating and the supporting cast in this book is wonderful, full of life and laughs all the way through. Jack and Delphi are fantastic characters, Jack with his rugged charm and obsession with diving, Delphi with an unusual illness and need to break away from overprotective parents. Both embracing Natalie close and wanting her to feel a part of their family.

I struggled with Natalie though, I found it hard to connect with her emotionally, and so as she made decisions along the way I questioned them and wondered why. There are a couple of significant decisions she makes and I don’t understand what drives them, or what her own emotion is behind them. The words are there but I didn’t feel it, and being a feeler this fell flat for me and meant that I lost some of the enjoyment from the read.

I loved the way the book was directed, I loved the premise and I especially love how the book resolves itself I just really wish I could have felt more emotion from it.

Sending huge thanks to Allie Burns, HQ Digital and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

The Lido Girls - Tour Schedule

About Allie Burns

Allie Burns - Author Image

Allie lives in Kent with her family and two tortoises. When she’s not writing for business or penning her Women’s Historical Fiction, Allie enjoys swimming and yoga. She has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and The Lido Girls is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second interwar years novel, which is due for publication in the summer of 2018.

  

Giveaway

International

Boden beach towel, St Tropez fake tanning face bronzer and a signed postcard – worth £40.

Click Here to enter

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Lido Girls
Series: N/A
Author: Allie Burns
Genre: Romance | Historical Romance | LGBTQ
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 2 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 384
Buy: Amazon UK | Speedy Hen

#BlogTour: The Rainbow Player by David Kerby-Kendall @dkerbykendall @Authoright #Excerpt

Today I have an excerpt to share with you from The Rainbow Player, this looks like a deeply moving book about love and self-discovery for a professional football player.

Description

England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life’s endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy………

David Kerby-Kendall’s joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man’s journey to self-knowledge.

The Rainbow Player - Tour Banner

Excerpt

This scene happens in Sammy’s bedroom. He and Georgina are both fifteen, and virgins, but have decided to ‘study’ each other. Georgina is considered the classiest girl on the estate as none of her family are in prison. Sammy is VERY nervous.

 

I undid the buttons of my fly, shimmied my jeans down to my knees and begin to extract my left foot, never once taking my eyes off her, desperate that the moment would be lost and she would change her mind. Unfortunately this caused me to lose my balance. I vainly attempted to grab the edge of my desk, executed a perfect double axel, smacked my head on the wall, nutting the poster of Michael Jackson squarely in the testicles, finally lost my grip on the table, and reality, and fell rather unceremoniously to the floor, leaving me with a red face, a pounding forehead and an Action Man up my arse.

 

“Are you OK?” she asked.

 

“Fine,” I replied, as though I’d intended to be in this position from the outset, “I thought you’d like a comedy trailer before the main film. Er, would you like to…” I said, gesturing toward the bed in the manner of a supermarket assistant showing you where the eggs are.

 

“Oh, yes, thank you,” she said.

 

We lay on the bed and I wondered if this could be real. Also, what the hell I was supposed to do now? But, just as I was about to suggest we get dressed again and help each other with our algebra homework, eureka, she seized the day. Carpe Diem! Or Carpe Testiculum in this case. Several seconds later, when I thought things couldn’t get much better, she grabbed my penis and I realised they could. As she rubbed her delicate fist up and down, I tried to think of chemistry exams or The Antiques Roadshow so that it wouldn’t be over quicker than it takes a Ferrari to get from 0 to 60. After a short while, I realised I should try to return the compliment but, due to her lack of a penis, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I fumbled as professionally as I could for a while but hadn’t a clue how to find the appropriate spot. After a brief period of my hand movements resembling someone rewiring a plug, I elicited a small moan from her, which made me think I was at least in the right area. Now I could stop concentrating so hard and remember that she had been playing with my penis for the last two minutes, seemingly to no avail as I hadn’t even murmured ‘oh that’s nice’. So I tried to make up for it by letting out a sexy noise, which actually came out sounding like a cross between a Red Indian battle cry and a vacuum cleaner starting up.

 

At this point I also remembered the need for romantic, ambient background music; so I rolled over to the CD player and hit ‘play’. I suppose the Spice Girls singing Spice Up Your Life in no-part harmony was appropriate to what we were doing, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t appropriate to the atmosphere I wanted to create. As soon as the song started, she took her hand away and said:

 

“That was lovely. Thank you.”

 

About David Kerby-Kendall

Originally from Leicester, David Kerby-Kendall now lives in Muswell Hill, North London. He is an actor who began writing in 2007. From the success of his first play, Save Your Kisses For Me, he became the in-house writer for Heartbreak Productions, writing and adapting plays for national tours, including three David Walliam’s novels (Mr Stink, Ratburger and Billionaire Boy) as well as several other novels: Pride And Prejudice, The Secret Garden, Peter Pan and Dracula. His second play, The Moon Is Halfway To Heaven, was produced at Jermyn Street Theatre, London. He has two new plays in the pipeline: 20:40 which deals with depression and Gay Pride And No Prejudice, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous novel.

 

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Rainbow Player
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles #1
Author: David Kerby-Kendall
Genre: Romance | Sports | Contemporary | LGBTQ
Publisher: Whiteley Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 20 June 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 345
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

#BlogTour: Cry Wolf by Greta Stone @gothamgremlins @XpressoTours #Review #Giveaway

Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Greta Stone’s blog tour for Cry Wolf, you can catch my review below. You can follow the tour at Xpresso Book Tours.

There are two giveaways for this blog tour, one is a rafflecopter which you will find at the end of the post as usual. the other is for this blog… Greta Stone is kindly giving an eBook copy of Cry Wolf to the first 5 people to comment on this post today! It’s that simple! Good luck!

Description

Peter is a kitsune. Chaos follows him wherever he goes. Good intentions, bad intentions—it doesn’t matter. Even mimicking the howl of a friend he hasn’t seen in over a decade turns out to have disastrous consequences.

The wolf doesn’t have a name. For now, he goes by Luca. He has no past, and as an escaped slave, if he can’t stay hidden in the shadows, he’ll have no future. When someone steals his howl, he’s drawn to investigate, and ends up saddled with a mouthy fox who insists they used to be friends once upon a time.

Petty problems and a dubious reunion are pushed aside the longer they’re stranded together. The Underwood is a dangerous place.

They have two choices: work together or die.

Join Greta Stone in a dark paranormal MM romance retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and David P. Mannix’s classic novel, The Fox and the Hound.

Cry Wolf - Tour Banner

Review

Greta Stone has taken a story which doesn’t get retold much and created a new world around it. Peter and the Wolf was one of my favourites as a child and I was keen to see how the story was developed for this full length novel.

Peter is a Kitsune, a Japanese shapeshifter, he appears as a fox but can imitate any animal. He is the eldest foster child of the Grandmother who takes in orphan monsters (think the old woman who lives in a shoe…yes the house is a shoe). The world Greta has created is Old Gotham, a world within our world where ‘monsters’ or paranormal beings are real, and live in their own society.

Luca has just escaped his pack, a slave pack, he has no memory before waking up a slave. So when he meets Peter and Peter remembers him, tells him they were friends as children, before he went missing he doesn’t know what to believe. And then he finds himself saving Peter and their friendship blooms but not without it’s problems.

I loved how these two were so mis-matched, they didn’t have anything in common, Peter was mouthy and playful while Luca was serious and tight-lipped. Yet despite their differences they managed to find common ground and a beautiful attraction grew between them. It was so lovely to read their relationship growing through the book. There are some really beautiful moments in this novel.

I found some of the scenes a little long and drawn out, and I felt some of the scenes weren’t strictly necessary. But overall I really enjoyed this novel and I loved the LGBTQ angle rather than the usual boy on girl romance. I will definitely read more books in this series.

Sending a huge thanks to Greta Stone and Xpresso Book Tours for the eARC so that I could honestly review this book.

Rating

About Greta Stone

Greta Stone - Author Image

Greta is the unruly offspring of a tiger and a dragon. She spends most of her time reading, stalking her favorite musicians, and harassing other authors with pranks.

Underwood District Series (MM Romance/UF)
Cry Wolf – Book 1
Cry Wolf: Mating Season – Book 1.5

Take a Tour of New Gotham: http://www.brimstonepub.com

Sign up for GRETA STONE’S MAILING LIST and receive access to a bonus adventure featuring Peter and Luca.(Their fates might be changed forever.)

Copy and paste to join my newsletter: tinyurl.com/l99rh6m

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Giveaway

  • Giveaway ButtonKistune Gatestone Necklace
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • 5x “Character” Signed Print Copies of Cry Wolf
  • 10x Elderstone Keys

Giveaway note from author:

Take a trip to New Gotham!

A paid vacation to New Gotham is an expensive affair. I found a witch who specializes in crafting gatestones. These magical pendants are used for traveling between dimensions. The bauble offered as a contest prize should take the winner to Avaline’s Trees. Keep in mind, gatestones are touchy things. It might not do anything at all. Or you might up in oblivion. Good luck with that. We’ll read about it in the papers, no doubt.

Elderstone Keys – What’s the big deal?

There is a house in New Gotham that is rumored to be haunted. No one has lived in it since the Great Depression, and no one can recall what its last occupants looked like, what they did for a living or where they went. Only one is fated to enter and learn its secrets. Anytime I host a contest, I give away keys to Elderstone. The person who collects ten of them is fated to own the house. Among their keys, they’ll have the mystical key that opens the door. (More information)

Book & Buy Links

TitleCry Wolf
Series: Underwood District #1
AuthorGreta Stone
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Erotica | LGBTQ
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 1 March 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 408
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: The Art of Forgetting: Rider by Joanne Hall @hierath77 @Kristell_Ink

Description

A young boy leaves his village to become a cavalryman with the famous King’s Third regiment; in doing so he discovers both his past and his destiny.

Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit stationed in the harbour town of Northpoint. His training reveals his talents and brings him friendship, love and loss, and sexual awakening; struggling with his memories of his father who once ruled there, he begins to discover a sense of belonging. That is, until a face from the past reveals a secret that will change not only Rhodri’s life but the fate of a nation. Then, on his first campaign, he is forced to face the extremes of war and his own nature.

This, the first part of The Art of Forgetting, is a gripping story about belonging and identity, set in a superbly imagined and complex world that is both harsh and beautiful.

Review

I’ve had this on my Kindle for at least a year, and in my effort to read more Fantasy this year and to clear down my TBR pile I finally picked it up and boy am I glad I did, because not only did I love it I finally understood Joanne Hall’s Twitter handle!

Rhodi, has been brought up by the family who found him wandering the woods as a young boy. People in his village are convinced he is fae and treat him like a leper, the other children bully him. When the King’s Third ride through town and a few key members of the regiment take a liking to Rhodi, he see’s his opportunity and joins up seeking a chance to discover the truth of his past and a more rewarding future.

Rhodi has always been convinced he was the son of someone important, nobility, and he wants to remember more and find his Father. This novel takes us on the journey through his training to become one of the King’s Third rider’s. As Rhodi changes from an insecure boy to a strong and capable man.

Not only does it tackle the expected military fantasy topics of war, swordplay, and some supernatural elements. The book also tackles sexuality and gender in very comfortable and natural way.

The worldbuilding was exquisite and the city itself became vivid as I read through the book. There wasn’t as much travel as I had expected but there was some and the locations through the travel sections were well described keeping the images flowing.

There is a great mix of characters with some you will love and some you will hate, I find this really important, you don’t want to like everybody in a book of this size!

The only thing I wasn’t keen on is the way the book ends. I felt like I had hit a brick wall. I was still very much in the flow of the story and then I was “is that it”? I know this is because this book is the first of two parts but it was a very sudden drop off a cliff rather than a cliffhanger!

That being said I will definitely be buying book two so that I can finish the story!

And as this book is currently free on Amazon/Kobo etc I highly recommend picking it up and getting started as a special treat to yourselves (just leave Joanne Hall a review as a thank you)!

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Art of Forgetting: Rider
SeriesThe Art of Forgetting #1
Author: Joanne Hall
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | LGBTQ
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 30 June 2013
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 330
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | iBooks