Little Match Girl

By Dianne Hartsock

This book was provided to me for free by IndiGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

After the death of his mother Dani has no one left except his abusive, constantly drunk father and the last couple of candles his mother used to make and they used to sell together. But before he’d ever sleep under the same roof as his father he’d sleep on the street. That’s where Chris, the cute guy from the sandwich shop finds him and their finding one another – losing – finding one another again… story starts.

It’s actually a story with a lot of stuff happening and a lot of side topics that are just touched upon which leaves the impression of stereotyping and additionally reading through a summary and not a proper story. Neither do the characters get a chance to really get to know each other nor does the reader get really attached to them since it all seems kind of superficial. So although Dani’s fate is really heartbreaking it didn’t really get to me. I mean, please don’t get me wrong, thinking of a guy like him of course makes me sad but just reading about him in that story didn’t get to me.

But all in all, it’s actually a cute and quick and easy to read Christmas story, that doesn’t go into any depth, although the content would certainly give it away, or even demand it in my opinion.

Dreidel to the Grave

By Yoel Bereket

I got a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Nine years after WWII the Israeli Gal, a self-declared Nazi-hunter, has one huge aim in his life and that is finding and killing Hitler.

Disregarding the backstory, it’s a fast-paced action thriller. It tells the story in the third person – mostly from Gal’s perspective. Emotions or feelings are not described. They somehow emerge from the plot and you can guess what they are, but you never read about them. If it weren’t for the horrible times in the background, on which this thriller is based, the story probably wouldn’t have really gotten to me either. I would have just enjoyed another action thriller from a guy who experienced something tragic in childhood and that would have been it.

But living in Austria and having grandparents and great uncles and aunts who still have experienced that time made it really difficult for me reading through the lines and enjoying the plot. Those times were simply horrible and killing all those people who did those horrible things isn’t the solution. So the question which was on my mind all the way through the book was: “What makes Gal any better than the Nazis?” And what is accomplished by continuing the killing? People shall receive their justified punishment for their deeds. But what makes the actual good people any better if they do it the same way the bad people did it? What makes Gal the better (as in less sinful) serial killer?

I find the story of Gal’s childhood, which is no doubt horrific, a bit cliché. Yes, there were some Jewish people who wanted to defend their businesses and were murdered for it, but many were murdered or taken to concentration camps simply for their beliefs.

Perhaps, or even probably, I am the wrong person to review this book, as I cannot view it disregarding its historical context. If the thriller took place in modern times, I would certainly give it 4 stars, but as it is, the highest I can give it is 3 stars. It’s just too close a reference to one of the most horrific times in history for me.

In the Winter Woods

by Isabelle Adler

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

Driving home for Christmas is a story we are all used to but driving to your holiday residence you inherited from you late parents on your own all alone is something you don’t read about very often when you choose a Christmas novel. But that’s exactly what Declan Kensington does. He struggles with writer’s block; his latest books don’t sell very well and he is not in a festive Christmas mood at all. So, Declan decides spending Christmas all alone in his inherited cabin in the small village Maplewood, Vermont. But obviously not all of the villagers are happy having Declan around and so he soon gets some letters which clearly tell him to get lost.And when, on top of all this, a murder is committed, things really start becoming uncomfortable, especially when he falls into the narrower circle of suspects. But leaving is not an option because first of all he didn’t come here to pack his bags right away and leave again, second, he has a task, and this is finally writing a new book and third, well, the Commissioner investigating the murder case is really damn cute. So instead of driving home, he soon helps the police finding out more about the murder, which of course leads to getting to know Commissioner Curtis Monroe better. But will there be a happy ending? Will they find the real murderer? And will Declan get his cute Commissioner Curtis Monroe or will both men spend Christmas on their own?

One thing is for certain: things mostly aren’t the way the first seem to be.

It’s a real cute Christmas story placed in a cold wintery Canada. It definitely warms your heart while making you shiver when reading about the cold weather and snowstorms the protagonists have to deal with. 

Starting From Somewhere

by Lane Hayes

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

This story doesn’t need many words to describe it. – It’s definitely the kind of story I love. Two people find each other, fall in love and get in a relationship without splitting up. Of course there are struggles at both sides since Bobby J. and Cody come from two totally different worlds. At least it seems like it. But while reading the book you start asking yourself: are those two guys really that different?

Starting from somewhere doesn’t need many more words to describe it. It simply is a real cute novel about two cute guys falling in love and throwing all doubts over board.

I really loved it.

His Dark Reflection

by Heloise West

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

It really took me a long time to write this review because I really didn’t know what to write. And tbh I still don’t know exactly what to say about this book. When I learned about the plot I really liked it and thought it to be really exciting. So I very much looked forward to reading it and started reading right after I got it.

But the problem was that I didn’t know by then that it was part of a series. I know that it was my own mistake because I hadn’t done any research on the book before I started reading it. But that’s the thing… I never do that before reading a book I got for a review because I don’t want to be influenced by other opinions. 

So I started reading without knowing anything about the book and it started off just great, but this changed quite soon. Because there were so many hints to former events obviously having happened in the first two parts of the series I got totally confused and frustrated. I really had to struggle to follow the story. 

That’s why I don’t really wanna rate that book atm because it wouldn’t be a fair review. After all, I could only rate it as a standalone (which it definitely isn’t) instead of the part of the series it is. 

But what I can say from where I’m standing right now is that it really attracted my interest and I definitely wanna read the other parts.


The Bridge to Love

By Lee Colgin

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

One day the wolf shifter Tobias (Tobi) wants to deliver a message to another village. Therefore he has to cross a bridge, which he actually had crossed several times already. But this time the bridge is guarded by a troll called Arlo who of course wants to have some tribute for letting Tobi pass. Since Tobi hadn’t known that the bridge has its own guard now, he didn’t bring any tribute, but promises Arlo to get him something on the way back. And since Tobi is trustworthy he really does. That’s when the friendship between the troll Arlo and the wolf shifter starts – the friendship that soon becomes love. But does the other feel the same way and could a relationship between a wolf-shifter who mates for lifetime and a troll who must never leave a bridge he guards really work?

The Bridge to Love is a totally cute short Christmas-love story without any angst. 

Arlo is a kindhearted troll who doesn’t like being alone (as trolls normally do) and loves having Tobi around. He’d like to have a big family, too.

Tobi is a super cute wolf shifter with a golden heart. You get the feeling that he’d do everything for the one who’ll become his mate.

I really loved this book. It totally got me into my ‘Christmas mood’.

The Dancer’s Dilemma

By CJane Elliott

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

When Tyrone Johnson meets his ex best friend again after several years it’s immediately clear that there is more between them than just friendship. If Tyrone just wasn’t so mad with Nat for walking out of his life after coming together with his then girlfriend. And if there wasn’t also another man from the past back in Tyrone’s life all of a sudden: Arnaud, a French choreographer who Tyrone had an affair with when he was 18 and who left Tyrone heartbroken when he went back to France. 

But it soon becomes clear that Tyrone’s attraction towards Arnaud is, if any, just sexual whereas for Nat he has real feelings, which he of course doesn’t want to admit at the beginning, because as mentioned, he is still mad wit Nat. But eventually Tyrone lets Nat back into his life and soon learns that there was a reason for Nat’s behavior all these years ago. So everything could lead to a smooth love-story. If there wasn’t Arnaud’s offer that Tyrone could join his dancing-tour through Europe as principal…

Reading the cover of the book I first was afraid that it would all be about a love-triangle. But it wasn’t. It was all about Tyrone and Nat and how they could cope with all the problems in their newly found relationship. And there is the thing I loved most about the book. They cope with the problems together without splitting up, which happens in love stories ever so often. But those two talk about their problems and solve them together.

I truly enjoyed the book, although I had slight difficulties finding into it at the beginning since I haven’t read the previous books from this series. And so there were a lot of names at the beginning and hints to the previous parts, which really confused me at the beginning. But of course this was totally my own fault. But eventually I found into the book and got all the relationships. I actually started to like everyone and for sure will read the other parts asap.

Clear Motives: A Nick Fabian LGBT Thriller

Reis Asher

Nick Fabian used to work as CSI agent until one day he and his team were called to a murder of a transgender sex-worker and it was made clear to him that this case was not a first priority one because sex-workers and transgender people weren’t first priority. This was the moment Nick’s – who is transgender himself – idealistic vision of the police vanished and he quit his job to become a freelance private investigator taking on cold cases nobody ever cared to solve.

One day he gets a call form Emely Bright stating that her friend Sabrina was murdered. Although her death was classified as a suicide Emely is sure that it was a hate-crime because Sabrina didn’t just hang herself. The body was also burned – and how can you burn and hang yourself at the same time and why would you do that? 

So Nick decides taking the case and finding out the true story behind Sabrina’s death. But he quickly realizes that there isn’t just one suspect – no, everyone he interviews seems to hide something and doesn’t want him to look into Sabrina’s death properly. And soon the hunter becomes the hunted. But not even a concussion and damaged ribs stop Nick from solving the case. And so he starts resolving the secret of Sabrina’s village. He has to take one step after the other while making new friends. But can he trust his newly found friends and will he make it to the end to solve the riddle about Sabrina’s death?

OMG I loved this story. It was short and straight forward. But although the story developed really quickly you could feel into Nick and solve the case with him. You got his anxieties and feared with him and you were happy with him when he found someone who he could bond with. 

I wouldn’t change a bit on that book – it’s interesting, exciting and emotional from the beginning to the end.

Tipping the Balance

by C. Koehler

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review. 

This story is the second in the series CalPac Crew. I think it could be read as a standalone but it definitely helps reading book 1 ‘Rocking the Boat’ first. First there are many references to book one, second the main characters of ‘Rocking the Boat’, Morgan and Nick, play an important role in that book too, although they are side characters now, and third Brad and Drew, the two main characters of this book, are already introduced and start crushing on each other in the first book.

But now let’s concentrate on ‘Tipping the Balance’. It’s a cute book, although I liked part one slightly more and it gets kind of long in some parts.

Drew St. Charles an openly gay guy and Nick’s best friend has a crush on one of Nick’s ex-students/athletes Brad Sunderstorm. 

Brand Sunderstorm, who had recently graduated university and has never questioned his heterosexuality so far, suddenly can’t stop thinking about Drew St. Charles. 

Both men like to question their friends Nick and Morgan about the other but never get the guts to call each other until one day Brad does. And although admitting his feelings for Drew doesn’t take Brad real long, thinking of it… and thinking of being gay really freaks him out. Even more since he has grown up with a kind of psychological abusing, homophobic father. But eventually Brad comes to terms and commits to a relationship with Drew, but one step at a time… Or like Drew calls it: ‘babysteps’. Brad slowly gets used on kissing a man and having sex with him, but two things he can’t bring himself to is being the ‘top’ and being openly gay and seen in public with his boyfriend, which eventually leads to a fight between the two men. Up till this part the book was real great and smooth, but then there was this cut and it started getting a kind of boring. I mean it was obvious that something still had to happen and it was also predictable that there’d come a break up or a huge fight, so I was prepared to it. And there were some real good ideas there, but it somehow didn’t fit anymore.

So Drew and Brad have a huge fight about being public, which leads to Drew going dancing with Nick and Morgan and Brad going home. But at the club Drew gets beaten up and is really injured badly and his mobile is damaged. So far so good, but then no one calls Brad to tell him about the accident until three days later, although Nick and Morgan haven’t left Drew’s side. Once in hospital they didn’t think about calling Brad. When Nick finally calls Brad he tells him visiting Drew wouldn’t be a good idea and forgets to mention that Drew’s mobile had been damaged during the accident. So Brad is sure Drew wants to break up and has therefore even his changed telephone number since he can’t reach him. So he really stays away… so easily, he isn’t even fighting for the man he loves. 

Drew isn’t better, when he wakes up from his coma and Nick tells him of the damage he has done by telling Brad not to come and visit him, he is of course angry with Nick but doesn’t call Brad either.

Reading through those scenes really got me lose my patience. There are two men who had one fight (no one talked about breaking up then) but love each other are eventually breaking up by not talking while one is in a coma. I mean seriously, if my boyfriend whom I love had an accident I’d go and try visiting him for whatever it takes… But that’s little old me and obviously not those two characters. So the question is: will they find their hea together?

The Green Alliance

Andrew J. Rafkin

This book was provided to me for free by Free and Fast Reviews in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is part of a series called ‘ORCA Adventures’- But I could follow the story well although I haven’t read any of the other parts so far. 

The plot can be quickly summarized: The president of the United States, his wife and some other members of the White House get shot at the wedding of two members of the ORCA team. The ORCA is an independent organization/company who choose to fight on the White House’s side.

Then the fights start. The ORCA team wants to kill everyone involved in the attack at the wedding while at the same time fighting against the leader of the ecoterrorist organization Green Alliance who wants to prevent global warming at no matter what costs and through producing a mini-ice-age. Thirdly, the fight China which wants the province of Taiwan back and total control of the South China Sea. Since the US objects China declares war against the US.

For me it was like reading a far too long newspaper article with America… or with ORCA as kind of a Superhero. I mean – seriously – the members of the ORCA team win all their fights because of their perfect bulletproofed war suits and their perfect computer system MOBI which can hack into every other system worldwide. So there is a bunch of hackers sitting in China trying to mess with the America and lunches a cyber-attack on their electric grit and wants to destroy theirs satellites but they are defeated by MOBI in no time. They could do some damage that threw some states into chaos due to lack of electricity. But nevertheless it was just a small amount of what they really wanted to do. So no matter what China tries, MOBI already knows about it because it ‘has his eyes everywhere’ and can hack into every system. Please don’t get me wrong but reading through this really made me feel like reading through a bad Superhero story. How realistic is it that one organization has so much power and control and no other country can keep up with it?

But however China starts WWIII which btw. takes place only between China and the US, Japan and Inidia – Russia stays out of it, other countries or even continents like Europe aren’t mentioned. 

But however the fate of the United State can turn in each direction.

I can’t say much about the characters in the book because you never read anything about their feelings. I mean, they state that they are horny… okay, they use some other words and there are even some short sex-scenes which also read like an article from the New York Times.

I don’t wanna say that this book is bad or not worth reading – I’m sure there are a lot of people who just don’t wanna read all this feeling stuff and how the protagonists are coping with situations or what they think about it. But for me that’s one of the most important things when reading a book no matter if it’s a romance, a thriller or an adventure.