Book Reviews

Book Reviews: Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space by @CDGallantKing & Turn the Light On by @pat_garcia & Betrayed by @DeniseCCovey & Plunge by @LiesbetCollaert #IWSGBookClub #IWSG #BookReviews

We’ve changed things up with the IWSG Book Club, featuring books from members.

Learn more here.

The books for March were books from our midlist members on the IWSG sign-up list.

About the Book

Would you ever accept a dinner invitation to meet a stranger who never spoke one word to you during your time together? Would you accept that you could not even sit at the same table with them? How about, you don’t even know their name and you continue this “game” for months?

Meet Della Cartwright. A superstar at what she does professionally, but when the tall, mysterious, Italian stranger, Alessio Terracina, enters her world, she begins to question her judgment and everything about her.

In this short story which takes place over the course of one day, this otherwise savvy businesswoman is led into making decisions that could jeopardize her professional life and maybe even cost her her freedom. But the greatest danger … just might be to her fragile heart.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

This is the book club selection for March 2022.

I won’t be reading this. Going on the description and reviews, this is not my kind of book.

About the Book

Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.

Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry’s Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.

Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay.

Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?

There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II…

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

This is the book club selection for March 2022.

I won’t be reading this. Going on the description and reviews, this is not my kind of book.

The books for April were books from members on our Facebook group who signed up to have their books read by the book club. More information about that process: If you are not currently on the IWSG blog hop list and don’t plan to join, the registry is the only way for your books to have a chance to be spotlighted by the book club. Please click this hyperlink to fill out the form to be added to the IWSG Book Club Spotlight Registry.

About the Book

A kiss of darkness. A kiss of death.

“I want to taste you, not kill you,” she whispered. “You will be my new Blood Spouse.”


Duke Vipunin de Castellina begins his journey that will take him from all that he loves – his beloved Ciassia; his castle in Tuscany; his friendship with the powerful de’ Medici, the ruling family of Florence – into the arms of the mysterious, strangely beautiful and alluring, Alliyra.

Whispering on the wind is the dreaded word … vampire.

This is not your typical love story. Vipunin loves his chaste Ciassia, but he lusts after Alliyra, his Maker.

Come along with Vipunin on the most amazing adventure of his life … and his death.

Enjoy the mythical, the fantasy, the history!

Tired of the same old paranormal romance? Read this glittering classic vampire romance set in Renaissance Italy.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

*I had to borrow a friend’s Kindle and she’d downloaded the book for me at the end of March, so any changes made to the content afterwards wouldn’t have shown as it was disconnected from the internet. I know the author said on her blog at the start of April that she had to do some rewrites and then upload those, but as the book came out in September 2021, it couldn’t be major. Right?

*I’m using the data of cover and blurb from Amazon as it isn’t complete on Goodreads.

Okay, let’s start with the title: BETRAYED : Renaissance Vampire Chronicles Vipunin – The Kiss of Darkness (Renaissance Vampire Vipunin Book 1).

Why have this in the title and in the series title? Renaissance Vampire Chronicles Vipunin

For me, this just makes it difficult to remember what the book’s title is supposed to be. And why the double title (if that part is taken away)? Betrayed: The Kiss of Darkness

It also sounds like two titles. I know sometimes there’s a double title like this, but usually the first part is the main character’s name and this usually only happens in shared worlds where different books have different main characters.

And making it even more confusing, “betrayed” is in all-caps.

Now, the blurb. Why is it in bold? A line or two at the top/bottom in bold is fine, but the rest should be in normal font size.

And the rest of the blurb, it doesn’t really tell me why I should care about Vupunin and his adventures. If this wasn’t a book club selection, I wouldn’t have looked twice. Sorry.

And the cover… Who is Silver Tree? I thought this was a novel by Denise Covey… The cover image doesn’t scream “paranormal romance”, it looks more like an Anne Rice vampire cover published by traditional publishers (not bad, per se) and less what readers of paranormal romance (the biggest portion belonging to the indie market) expect. Bestselling paranormal romance on Amazon usually has loads of man-chest on it, a handsome man’s face, or a feisty couple – unless it’s a discreet cover with items on it (usually just the paperback).

Blurb, cover and title critique over. Now to read the book…

So it seems “Silver Tree” is Denise Covey’s pseudonym for this book. No idea why, as she makes it obvious she’s the author.

The prologue is pure horror – no paranormal romance I’ve ever read starts this way. Demons, blood, gore – these are the standard tropes of horror. It captures the attention, though.

“The door screeched. His feet hit the floor. He jumped over his spaniel, Jilani. Ran for the door. Stopped in the middle of the floor.”

Sentence fragments. Body parts doing things of their own accord. Inanimate objects making noises they can’t normally make.

So, if the packaging wasn’t enough to make me say “no”, labelling this as paranormal romance but starting it as a horror was already pushing me to close this book. And then this paragraph… No.

DNF 6 %

1 unicorn star rating

About the Book

Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir, as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.

Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a growing desire to be alone.

Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.

Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

Well-written. Love the cover!

At one point, I wanted to slap some sense into the Homeland Security guy who wanted to keep Liesbet out of the USA. I also love the dogs, Kali and Darwin. I might like them more than Mark, but that might have more to do with what happened in Central America than with him personally. Though, of course, taking his frustrations out on Liesbet instead of getting help isn’t counting in his favour. I think the wedding was as much as a surprise to Liesbet as to the reader. LOL.

Loads of fun to read. From the different travels, to relationship dynamics, to Liesbet’s growth, the story captivates.

The chapters about the dogs were heart wrenching. Every dog owner goes through that at some point and it never gets easier. So many ups and downs. I enjoyed the descriptive tours of the various islands and sailing life. Eight years! The average lifetime of a dog. I enjoyed this memoir and the photos of their island adventures.

5 unicorn star rating

Have you read these books? Have you read anything by these authors? What do you think of book clubs?

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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