BOOK TOUR: Review: “Blackheath” by Gabriella Lepore

Blackheath by Gabriella Lepore

 A review by Maria.

I would like to thank author Gabriella Lepore for letting me be apart of her book tour for her gothic novel Blackheath.

Maggie Ellmes always seems to be burdened with bad luck, whether it’s missing her alarm clock or getting busted for tardiness and getting detention; it seems to follow her around. Bad boy Joel Tomlins both fascinates her as much as he repels her. At a carnival, Maggie finds out she doesn’t have just the odd case of bad luck, she’s actually cursed. She knows that there’s only one person with any hope of helping her: Joel.

I absolutely loved Maggie’s character. Her woe-is-me inner voice was hilarious, along with her sarcasm and wit. It was when she played a particularly brilliant prank on Joel to get out of detention that made me start to love her. She was smart, witty and not afraid to speak her mind to anyone or about anything.

Joel was harder to like and it wasn’t any fault of the writing of the character. His family dynamics were very bizarre and hard to keep track of. There were a whole host of brothers, a semi-present father, an absent mother, and scores of “possibly related” aunts in their family, aka a coven. So almost any scene with Joel featured a member of his family and I spent too much time trying to figure who it was rather than getting involved in the scene. Once I could separate him out in my mind from his brothers, his character started to grow on me. He was intelligent, brave, and selfless. He was fiercely protective of his brothers and his candor about his family dynamics was hilarious.

Blackheath was a very short and fast read. The strange family dynamics and the curse were the focus of this story but it was also supposed to be a romance. I never felt real chemistry between Joel and Maggie. They teased and tortured each other adorably, but I never really felt the characters fall in love.  It felt to fast and convenient to be real since they used to hate each other.
This book is appropriate for young adult readers and adult readers alike.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $15 Amazon Gift Card
Book details:
Blackheath by Gabriella Lepore
Publication date: December 21st 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Maggie Ellmes is dogged by a case of chronic bad luck. She figures that’s just her lot in life—that is, until the psychic at Blackheath’s annual carnival reveals that Maggie’s problems are caused by more than just ordinary misfortune; she’s actually been cursed.

Desperate to shake the hex, Maggie has no choice but to seek out the help of Joel Tomlins, a rebellious classmate who’s descended from Blackheath’s most powerful line of witches. After breaking all of his coven’s conventions to help her, Joel discovers that the curse isn’t as bad as Maggie fears. In fact, it’s much, much worse.

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Gabriella Lepore
AUTHOR BIO:
Gabriella Lepore lives on the coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. She began writing at an early age and grew up with a passion for all things supernatural—especially witches! She currently has six Young Adult books in print: Evanescent, The Blackheath Witches, How I Found You, Secrets In Phoenix, and The Witches of the Glass Castle books 1 & 2.
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BOOK TOUR: Review: “Here They Lie” by D.K. Burrow

Here They Lie by D.K. BurrowA review by Maria.

First off, I would like to thank author D.K. Burrow for allowing me to read and review her book Here They Lie for her online book tour.

Reese Everett comes to Devil’s Veil to pack up and sell her aunt’s antique shop and house. However she discovers her aunt was quite the hoarder so this process will take awhile. Once there, she keeps having mysterious run-ins with the locals; both the living and the dead kind. She meets two mysterious and alluring men; and discovers some ghosts going bump in the night at her aunt’s house. If that wasn’t enough, other mysteries keep popping up around her in this small town and Reese and the mysterious Colton are determined to figure everything out, never believing all they’ll find.

Reese was a fascinating character, her family is already involved in ghosts and legends. But her family had told her that aunt Kate had no power and that her house wasn’t haunted. But Reese did have the power to perceive ghosts around her, and quickly figured out the house was haunted. Reese was content to let the ghosts be, until they started to become hostile. And then there’s the weird way everyone refers to her as a Polk, even though her last name isn’t that, but they still refer to her having Polk blood. Reese begins to believe everyone in the town might be a little odd; everyone but her handsome and enigmatic handyman, Colton, that is.

Colton is related to the three founding families in this town, The Waters, the Polks, and the Graves. He’d prefer to get to know the fascinating Reese without his family name attached. He agreed to help Kate with repairs to her house while he’d be on school break. And after Kate’s death he still feels the need to help, and views it as a chance to clear his head after finding out that he’s been denied access to medical school. And to help his grieving friend, Max Graves, who had just found out that his father, Coach Graves, committed suicide. His family has bigger goals for Colton than to just be a handyman, and want him to take up the coaching spot. Colton is content working for Reese right now and exploring the attraction they have.

I liked how this book was more about exploring the connection these two characters had to each other than delving right into a romance. It made the romance sweeter, hotter, and well worth the wait by having these characters care about each other first on an un-intimate level and just enjoy each other’s company.

I really enjoyed the main characters in this novel. I liked them both immensely and the side characters were all mysterious enough to remain interesting. I also enjoyed the many elements to the story. I loved the gothic, dark feel to the story; and adding in ghostly occurrences only added to the creepy, scary feeling. However I felt the story itself, very unforthcoming. Both Colton and Reese spent most of the novel in the dark about everything around them. This made the pacing seem to start and stall quite a bit as the book became more mystery novel than gothic romance; which made it a frustrating process as a reader. The focus instead was more on the characters. But revelations did eventually occur, and the secrets were well worth it. Now that those secrets are out, I’m looking forward to the next book moving faster and having all the pieces together.

Here They Lie would be acceptable to adult readers.

 

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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Giveaway:

2 $15 Amazon Gift Cards (INTL)
2 signed copies of Here They Lie (US only)

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Book & Author Details:
Here They Lie by D’Ann Burrow
(The Bloodstone Legacy #1)
Publication date: October 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Southern Gothic
Synopsis:

Reese Everett’s aunt picked a bad time to die.  Just weeks after a car accident left Reese’s mother unable to travel, her aunt’s house needs to be emptied and sold, leaving Reese as the only member of the family who can do the job.  She typically wouldn’t balk at the opportunity to sift through her aunt’s collection of antiques, but when she arrives in Devil’s Vale, Georgia, she discovers the family house in a state of disrepair she won’t be able to handle alone.

Colton Waters is back in Devil’s Vale – whether he likes it or not.  After he loses his acceptance to medical school with no explanation, he’s left with a single job offer… one that will return him to the hometown he’d hoped to escape.
When an errand to help his sister ends in a meeting with Reese neither will easily forget, Colton takes a job as her temporary handyman.

The longer Reese stays in town, the more she realizes the condition of her aunt’s house isn’t the only thing she hadn’t expected when she made the trip to Devil’s Vale.  Reese isn’t the only gifted member of the family – her aunt Kate has been practicing the family business…the business Reese has been sworn never to discuss.

After a ghostly visitor arrives one night, Reese and Colton learn Kate wasn’t the only one practicing the darker arts.  They begin to uncover secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Here They Lie won the Young Adult Romance Writer’s 2014 award for New Adult fiction.

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DAnn Burrow
AUTHOR BIO:

D’Ann Burrow once told her preschool teacher she wanted to be a witch when she grew up. That simple comment signaled the start of a life-long fondness of things that go bump in the night. As she grew older, she could most often be found with her nose buried in a book, and she was especially fond of the Nancy Drew series as well as anything by Christopher Pike or Stephen King.  Occasionally she’d take a trip to the world of the classics where The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Little Princess reigned among her favorites.  She’s lost count of the times she’s read Little Women.

Today, D’Ann enjoys the world of Supernatural, stories about guys with fangs, and she’s seldom met a disaster film she hasn’t liked.  When she grows up, she’d like to work at the Haunted Mansion. Until then, watching Ghost Hunters will have to count as research.

D’Ann writes about secrets people keep.  Even the bravest heroine or a guy with a heart of gold has a few skeletons in the closet they’d rather not share with the world. When those secrets get out, things get interesting.

A Texas native, she knows making great guacamole is an art form. As a theater mom, she’ll happily chat about Broadway musicals by the hour.  Molly and Lizzie, the family furry ones, are frequent stars of her Instagram account.

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