As always, The Novel Approach will also be offering the opportunity for one lucky reader to win their choice of TWO e-books from our selected titles this month. Just leave a comment below and tell us some of the best books you read in May, and you'll automatically be entered in the contest.
Comments must be received my Midnight Pacific time on Friday, June 5, 2015. One winner will be selected at random on Saturday, the 6th, and notified by email for prize delivery, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
Sammy – Pieces of Jack by BJ Sheppard – “The mystery element in Pieces Of Jack is center stage and riveting. The action is swift and pulls you along, the terror and fear palpable and slowly ramps up until your heart is in your throat. As each piece of this novel unfolds, you watch with horror as death takes center stage, and the final scenes, where all is revealed, is just gorgeous in its insanity.
Pieces Of Jack is a real testimony to how a writer works hard to ply his craft and just gets better with each story he shares. BJ Sheppard has arrived, and his fans will no doubt grow in numbers with the release of his latest fascinating story. I highly recommend this novel to you.”
Read Sammy’s full review HERE
Karen – Meant for Me by Ann Lister – “To say that this book is better than the last, or the first, or any in between isn’t exactly an accurate statement for me. I honestly love each and every one of the books in this series. As I go back and do a reread of the series (because I know I will soon), I do think I may have a slight soft spot for this book, though. I am a sucker for friend-to-lovers, and, off the top of my head, I can’t think of one that can top Jared and Tony’s story. The struggle as they realized how they felt about each other, scared of losing what they had but knowing that they couldn’t stay away from each other, just pulls you in. Watching them care for each other, and be each other’s strength, and support each other through illness and loss had me teary a couple times while reading. A whole range of emotions raced through me while reading this; I laughed because of the banter between the guys, exactly what you would expect from a bunch of “brothers”. Oh, and I may have forgot to mention these two together are HOT! At times they were sweet and caring, but they sizzled together.”
Read Karen’s full review HERE
Lana – Hawaiian Lei by Meg Amor – “How do I describe Hawaiian Lei? The only way I can is to say that it’s all about the feels! I suggest having a box of tissues and a pint of ice cream handy, because this is a very emotional story that you will not soon forget. I had goose bumps while reading it, and kept thinking about it long after I was done. Yes, I loved it.
The story is set in Hawaii, and after reading another Hawaii story, I think I have to plan a trip there soon! Hawaii itself is such a character.
Two men, Matt and Beau, are brought together through fate, destiny, or whatever you want to call it, but nevertheless, they were meant to be together. I do believe that sometimes there are forces at play that just cannot be explained. If you are not as open minded, though, this book might seem hokey. But, if you are open to the unexplained, you’ll be left with goose bumps as I was.”
Read Lana’s full review HERE
Jackie – Wrestling With Passion by DH Starr – “As usual D.H. Starr takes us on a journey with Scott and Derek, both of them having to dig deep and be up front with each other about their deepest, darkest fears. Once they lay all their cards out on the table, though, it seems like they are better than ever. Wrestling With Passion is a great continuation to Scott and Derek’s story. I truly love the fact that these two haven’t just had an easy path to happiness, but have had to work hard to get where they are today. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts, and the love they feel for each other is one that seems to be able to overcome any obstacle that comes their way.
The believability of their relationship, and the fact that their love leaps off the page, is the direct result of the author’s writing ability.”
Read Jackie’s full review HERE
Sadonna – Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain – “The resolution to this story is so very rewarding. I really enjoyed every single second of this book. All the secondary characters are really well written – even that PITA mother. I loved the rest of Billy’s family and Shaz’s “family” as well. This story is really about being true to yourself and finding what makes you happy then just going for it, even if you don’t think it maybe fits all your visions of what your life would be like. What a great lesson! I wish I had learned that lesson a lot sooner in life. :)
This may be my new favorite story from this author, and I have loved quite a few of her books. I’m so looking forward to the other books in this series that are planned. There is a lot of material to be mined here, and I think this is the author to do it. Well done!”
Read Sadonna’s full review HERE
Jules – Love Me Tomorrow by Ethan Day – “This was one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read. Some people will definitely take issue with the fact that Jake is still with his boyfriend of many years when he and Levi start to fall in love – but I had no problem with it whatsoever. People grow apart. That’s life. And sometimes you’re not with the right person for you, and stay with that person for the wrong reasons. The relationships were all handled with care, and though it was painful for Levi and Jake to not be together – the tension and the longing was gooooorgeously written, by the way – nothing was truly pursued until things were cleared up. The way Levi and Jake felt about each other was undeniable, though, and the last quarter of the book was just beyond romance.
If you want to smile, and laugh, and feel good all the way down to your toes, read this book. If you love romance and timeless love stories, you should absolutely read this book. In fact, I can’t think of a single reason for you to NOT read this book. I know I’m so glad I did!”
Read Jules’ full review HERE
Kim – Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell – “Have you ever had something on your TBR shelf that’s just been sitting there gathering dust, figuring you’ll get to it sooner or later? Well, I’ve challenged myself to finally read that backlog of books this year as part of a personal challenge, and dang, I came across this cute little jewel that has been out and circulating for awhile.
Apart from being a chinchilla shifter, August is basically an ordinary person, and I easily fell in love with the character.
Alex Kidwell, you now have a new fan, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. I also would love to listen to Gumption & Gumshoes in audio. It’s a reread for me.”
Read Kim’s full review HERE
Angel – Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z. – “The heroes, some mentioned only by name, made me want to know their stories, too. Freight Train, our “hero” of this story, seemed to have that same aspect—the fully justified arrogance about being a hero, with a bit of “Aww shucks, just doing my job” thrown in for good measure. This is what makes them our supposedly beloved heroes, and despite the fact, he made my skin crawl. Some of the other villains are over-the-top creepy, and it made me wonder about the speculation that, for all intents and purposes, it seems the city made both the heroes and the villains. Even the exposé writer SuperTruther is a viable presence, and I so wonder who it is.
I loved the world building Cari Z has done for this verse. The city of Panopolis is recognizable as both a regular city and one from a popular superhero series, be it Gotham or Metropolis. It has that adult, gritty and realistic feel to it. I’d say it was The Incredibles on steroids and totally mean that as a compliment. I am a first time reader of this author, but I will definitely be going back for more of her work. Thanks for a wonderful tale, Cari Z, I’m looking forward to reading more!”
Read Angel’s full review HERE
Chris – In the Fire by Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin – “This was a good follow-up to In the Raw, which introduced these two characters. In the years that have passed, Ethan and Jaime have grown up in so many ways, but they do still have some of the same issues from the first book. Ethan still has a temper, hates to ask for help, and still worries about others before himself, which really puts him in a bind a few times in this book. The story was solid from start to finish and kept a good pace with both points of view. This book did offer closure for Ethan and Jaime, which is ultimately what I’d wanted from both stories.
I recommend this for anyone who loves a man who knows their way around the kitchen, and is able to admit when he’s wrong, or didn’t pay attention to what was going on.”
Read Chris’s full review HERE
Janet – Starting With the Unexpected by Andi Van – “When I first read the opening lines of Starting With the Unexpected, I howled with laughter and knew it was going to be good. What this book really turned out to be was pretty awesome, and it in no way read like a debut novel. There are serious authoring skills at use in this book, and if the old ideas of authors growing into their talent and developing skills along the way are true, then we are all so lucky and hopefully, Andi Van is going to be prolific. This debut novel is first class.
The characters are well developed and so vividly described that they were colorful in my head as the story unfolded. They reacted to others, and to each other, in such a real way that it was hard not to think of them as real people, and the conversations they have are also spot on in both timing and humor.”
Read Janet’s full review HERE
Lisa – Immortal by Amy Lane – “The beauty of Immortal is in the meticulous weaving and layering of the relationships, the fantasy, and the forging of a life through trial in the fires of grief that threatens to consume, and a burning love that serves as salvation. Time is fleeting, the seasons are the ouroboros of figurative death and rebirth, and love is the immutable within the pages of this book: every detail in this story acts as a shaping and altering of its characters and the village its people suffer to protect, even as Teyth’s own shaping and altering of the base and precious metals gifted to him by their forest become the tangible proof of his heart and soul, his hurt and hope, and the symbols around which he will discover his own immortality.
There is a tang of bittersweet to this fairy tale, which is where the story ends, at a new beginning, begging the reader to find the happy ending within life’s cycles of love, sacrifice, and a separate peace. Teyth’s name means Silence, and is the irony of the words within the pages of a book—that the written word and the characters within are indeed the immortal of all immortals, speaking to us and living well beyond us all, keeping alive the mythologies and mysteries even beyond death.
Immortal is a gorgeous novel, eloquent in its joy and sorrow, hopeful in its promise of forever, meaningful in the way of fairy tales that teach us we are each the crucibles of love, and love is the conqueror of hate.”
Read Lisa’s full review HERE
And that does it for this month. Until next time, happy reading!