Member Book Reviews – #RRBC

Welcome to RRBC Member Reviews!  We know you’ve probably shared it on Amazon (or, maybe Amazon took your review down and are refusing to put it back up for whatever reason), but we’d also love to know what you thought of the RRBC books you’ve read.

Please leave the title of your book, the author of the book and your review (along with your star-rating) down below in the comments section.  Before you leave, we’d also appreciate you clicking the share buttons on this page and sending it to all your social media platforms!  Members who have had reviews removed from Amazon will get credit if they share their reviews here.

Happy Reviewing!

Flipping Over Honest Reviews

 

486 thoughts on “Member Book Reviews – #RRBC”

  1. I reviewed “Initiation, a Harem Boy’s Saga,” by Young. This memoir is a detailed recollection of the early life of a boy. Adored by his mother, but never accepted by his father, Young is thrust into a seldom discussed environment, where he is schooled in the art of entertainment for the rich. In that underground world, he is taught the intricate details of physical relationships, both as a pass time and as an expression of love. A slow moving story, “Initiation” introduces an unusual way of life that is seldom openly discussed. Initiation is a well-written book, and the author succeeded with his description of the emotions and confusion of a child as he becomes a young man, who finds himself and his identity.

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  2. My review of “Spirit of the Book,” by D.E.Howard has been posted on Amazon. When her mother died in childbirth, Stephanie was raised by her father, who denied her nothing. After her father’s premature death, Stephanie fell into a state of depression from which she never recovered, not even after the birth of Ellie, whose father was unknown. Alone with her alcoholic mother, and scorned by other children, Ellie’s childhood was difficult. As soon as Ellie saved enough money to move into her own flat, she did, and she made a discovery that changed her world. She met Spirit.
    Spirit taught her that magic still existed, and that genuine friendship could last forever. When Spirit leaves her world, Ellie treasures the relationship they had, and misses him every day. This is a charming story that young adults, and old ones, will enjoy. The characters are memorable, and the ending is perfect. https://www.amazon.com/review/R1W015JXKPRL5J/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

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  3. My review of A Perilous Thirst by Rhani D’Chai

    This unusual short story is about a vampire who is struggling to find food due to his preference for the blood of good looking males. This tale is set at the beginning of the HIV/Aids epidemic and envisages that vampires are affected by the virus in an even more potent and unpleasant way.

    The writing is very vivid and gripping, for example, the first sentence is “Acute hunger – that white-hot blaze which starts as a small cinder and then, over time, becomes a raging forest fire of agony – is especially horrific for one of the undead.” I thought this was brilliant as it set the stage in those few words and I knew the story was about a starving vampire. The question was, why is he starving? By the end of the first page, that particular question is answered and the reader knows that the vampire is scared of the promiscuous behaviour of many young gay men at that time and also that they don’t tell each other about their indiscretions. This puts the vampire at risk of contracting HIV/Aids in the same way as for any other person. Unlike people, however, using a condom can’t help the vampire as he must ingest blood in order to live.

    How does the vampire solve his problem? You will have to read this fascinating story to find out.

    I enjoyed the way in which this story was told, in the style of a conversation. I thought this fitted the era and the personality of the vampire.

    This story is not a horror story and does not provide any graphic details about death, rather it is an intriguing peep into the psyche of someone who is faced with the possibility of contracting a life threatening disease through fulfilling his natural and essential needs. A terrible conundrum for anyone.

    Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3VBSY787WQE3M

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  4. Just left a four-star review of “Visitors” by W.J. Scott on Amazon. This is a sweet and uplifting story of a mother of two young boys, and a wrenching decision she must make. The two boys, Brody, age 12, and his younger brother, Tom, age 8, find themselves uprooted and taken to live with an aunt they haven’t seen in years. They are disoriented and sad, not knowing what will happen or when they will see their mother. To make matters worse, the town they are taken to seems strange, with faulty cellphone and TV reception and mysterious happenings. At night, they see flickering blue lights from their bedroom window. One night, they follow their aunt’s dog, Marley, to the source of the lights and what they discover will change everything. The piece is expertly written, using strong, expressive verbs. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and recommend it. I would certainly read more by this author.

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  5. I’ve also read ‘The Truth Will Set You Free by Young. My review is live at Amazon.
    ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ may be too short but it gives a clear insight into the mind of Young and his emotions. Just within minutes you would get an idea about the impeccable style of writing that would inspire you to pick up one of the autobiographical works of Young. If you want to enjoy the erotic escapades and fashion tastes of this author, begin with the first book in the series – Initiation. You won’t be disappointed. This excerpt is just a teaser.
    Thanks. Balroop.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, I have read and reviewed Jonah by Jan Sikes. My review is live at Amazon.
    Jonah by Jan Sikes is the story of spiritual awakening that is self-propelled. There is no doubt that innate goodness can only be discovered through introspection but it has to be nudged. An amalgamation of realism and fantasy, this story steps into the realms of illusion and magic to highlight self-purgation.

    The backdrop of an island is perfectly created with stinging nettles, prickly thorns, flowers filled with deadly venom, large birds that swooped down and brown murky water. This short story must be read to understand the power of self-discovery, as it shows how perceptions change in the face of challenging circumstances. However, switching over to magic smudged the spirituality that the story banked on in the beginning.
    Thanks. Balroop.

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  7. I have read and reviewed “The Lovelock” by Eichin Chang-Lim. Review is pending on Amazon. I gave it three stars. Here’s my review: Violet and Dylan seemed destined to be together from their first meeting. They shared death in common, with Violet’s twin sister, Amber, dying at a very young age, and Dylan losing his mother to cancer at the same time. I felt for Violet as her mother sank into a deep depression removing herself from all interactions. On the other hand, Violet’s father tried to fill both shoes. The author took me through Violet’s difficult childhood up to the point that she and Dylan got engaged to be married. From there, I felt that she abandoned me in a crucial point of the book, suddenly switching to the present time and Violet is working in a strip club addicted to drugs without any explanation. Then the author moved on to Dylan and his life which included a stint in the Peace Corps, again with no explanation as to why he would suddenly leave Violet. Just as he is determined to find her, he is in an almost fatal motorcycle accident and ended up married to his nurse, Tess. I won’t spoil the book by telling what happens after that. It’s a good story, but I felt cheated by the way the author chopped the story into bits that didn’t flow together and left me hanging for so long before ever revealing what happened to drive Violet and Dylan apart. I will say the ending was satisfactory.

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  8. I read and reviewed The Grandma Force by Harriet Hodgson from which I learned many things. The author shares her experiences as a woman who is suddenly and unexpectedly raising her twin grandchildren. She not only goes through deep grief with the death of her daughter and son-in-law, but now must take on a new role.
    At the end of each chapter, the author lists websites, articles, books, and organizations available to help those women (and men) in this new role.
    I also read and reviewed Until Death Do Us Unite by Fiza Pathan. This short story tells about the ancient Hindu custom of widows being burned alive next to their dead husbands. Though the custom is outlawed yet there are still isolated cases of the practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I read and reviewed “A Candle In The Darkness” by Karen Black. Amazon review is pending and they are moving at the speed of cold molasses. 🙂 Here’s my review: I am a huge fan of short stories and I was looking forward to reading this one. The main character is grieving the loss of her husband and doubting whether or not she could still feel his presence from beyond the grave. When a horrible storm forces her to stop at a motel for the night, she is in for a wild experience. This story packs a lot into a few pages. With ghosts, a tornado and the significance of a candle burning, it’s a good story. With a good editor, this would easily be a five-star read.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I just finished Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner. What a great read. Here’s my review:

    Oh, I liked this read. In 24 AD, the Romans have arrived in Britannia to lay the groundwork for an invasion, and to that end, they’ve pitted the British kings against each other with promises of power. While negotiations with the Romans take place, hostages are exchanged to secure each party’s safety. Princess Catrin’s father instructs her to pry information from Marcellus, the son of the Roman leader. But things don’t go as planned, and Catrin must choose between the man she loves and her people.

    The story starts out with some romance and a bit of insta-love, but fortunately, that is short-lived. Not that there isn’t a romantic component to the story, but the bulk of the read is taken up with action, danger, politics, and plenty of magic.

    Magic is integral to the story, the plot, and the relationships. It focuses on an old prophecy in which Catrin plays the central role. Her connection to ravens enables her to see through the bird’s eyes, and ravens provide her with some protection. More so, they are the gateway to the mystical Wall of Lives where she learns how to manipulate outcomes. The magic in the book isn’t a hard system, but it works, and I appreciated the way it created friction between Catrin and Marcellus.

    The characters are great, three dimensional, emotional, and flawed. Even secondary characters are unique individuals. I liked how consistent they were and how that was often a problem. Catrin is foiled repeatedly by both well-intentioned characters and villains. There are villains on both sides of the conflict which complicates matters.

    The danger and action keep the pace up, and though a long read, the book zipped by. It ends with a dramatic conclusion to the negotiations but is mostly open-ended. I’ll definitely be reading onward. I highly recommend this book to epic fantasy readers who love magic, action, intrigue, and a bit of romance.

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  11. My review of “A Candle in the Darkness” by Karen Black (Currently pending on Amazon) 🙂

    Valerie doesn’t believe in a life after death. When you’re gone you’re gone, and that is what her husband is. Gone. Taking shelter from a tornado in the cellar of a motel Valerie will learn things she never expected.

    A well written short, that is easy to read. Unfortunately I felt a little dissatisfied by the time I got to the end. I found the climax of the story predictable, I had assumed this was where it was going very early into the story. I think I could have forgiven that in a longer read, if I had been given time to really grow to know the characters and their lives. A nice story but missing any wow factor.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Slimmer: A Contemporary Romance
    by Wendy Jayne

    This story is written in the first-person narrative. After receiving a wedding invitation, the main character, Pippa, is inspired to slim down to lure the man of her dream into her life at the upcoming wedding. The author did an excellent job with character development. The storyline is engaging, and the prose is tight and straightforward. I especially savor the vivacious graphs inserted among the text, which add extra delight to the humorous read. This is a great read to uplift readers’ spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Also reviewed Slimmer: A contemporary Romance by Wendy Jayne. My review is live at Amazon.

    Slimmer: A Contemporary Romance by Wendy Jayne is a humorous account of Pippa, trying to lose weight. True to her style, Wendy makes sure that you connect with the protagonist, empathize with her but enjoy her moments of dilemma. It is her choice of words and expressions that would make you smile. The yearning for food is superbly captured: “hallucinating about grabbing the leftovers from the adjacent table.” The description of fitting into a “shapewear” garment almost knocked me off my chair!
    In her unique style of playing with the words, Wendy ventures to comment on a serious issue that many women struggle with to come up to the expectations of the society. Staying slim is quite challenging and crash dieting could be detrimental to one’s health. This story also conveys a subtle message of eating sensibly and following a consistent exercise routine.
    Thanks. Balroop Singh.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi I ‘ve reviewed No Pedigree: A Really Short Story by Nonnie Jules. My review is live at Amazon.

    No Pedigree: A Really Short Story by Nonnie Jules is a poignant tale of one girl but could be true for many such victims around the globe. An indirect comment on the society and perpetrators of injustice, this story focuses on Baylee, the protagonist who has been raised with immense love despite the circumstances she is placed in. She has been crafted with a lot of pride and knows how to handle the elitist snobs around her. I wish Nonnie could enter her heart to capture her emotions, to get deeper into the intensity of the harrowing trauma she had experienced. The story lacks true emotion and flow.

    Realism is distressing and that’s why we try to escape into fantasy to find immediate solutions. Jules projects a dramatic ending, which seems quite implausible and far-fetched, and it may convey a wrong message to the youngsters. Justice takes its own time and sometimes too much time. A time jump could have been a better choice.
    Thanks. Balroop Singh.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “Jewel,” by Jan Sikes is a short story that pulls quite a punch. It’s absorbing from the first paragraph and can easily be read in one setting. “Jewel is a little gem,” and I gave it a 4-Star rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. THE VISIT, by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko , taps the familiar with her use of location and setting. She sets the stage in the first paragraph and by paragraph three you know something is amiss. The momentum builds fast and in six well-written pages – the crime is solved. If you are not familiar with a micro-read this provides a good introduction. I gave it 4-Stars.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have read and placed a 4-star rating on Amazon for Harriet Hodgson’s book, “So You’re Raising Your Grandkids.” From the depth of her own personal heartache and tragedy, the author presents a practical, no-nonsense guide filled with “everyday tips,” lessons learned and guidance for those grandparents stepping into this role.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My review of Fiza Pathan’s My Sweet Lord.
    In this short story, a Buddhist monk immolates himself on a busy street. During the minute of his death, Pathan provides a vivid look at the chaos and the trauma of the witnesses. Then, the scene changes, and like a parable, an old monk questions three young monks about their willingness to set themselves on fire and the reasons they use to justify the act. The story comes full circle as the old monk finds clarity. This is an intense story full of tragedy on many levels. Beautiful evocative writing. Highly recommended.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Four 5-star short stories! Here are the reviews 🙂

    The Thing about Kevin by Beem Weeks
    Jacob returns to Chicago for his father’s funeral and faces the truth about the man he loved – a man who was also a mobster responsible for much misery in the community. Jacob’s brother, Kevin, disappeared long ago, and Jacob little by little learns the truth.
    This short story is beautifully written and gives a striking and delicate glimpse into the complex feelings and relationships of children who grew up with a criminal parent. A quick and memorable read. I’ll be reading more of Weeks’ stories.

    The Hunted by Karen Black
    A short 30-minute read, The Hunted starts with solid action and doesn’t let up. The story follows Yvonne as she flips back and forth between two worlds, one a dream, one real, but the reader doesn’t know which is which. The transitions are cleverly done and it’s not until the end that the truth (and the twist) is revealed. I loved being kept in the dark until the last sentence. Excellent short story.

    Red Eyes in the Darkness by DL Finn
    This short story kicks off with wild action and finishes the same way. Cass and Will know for a fact that their brother-in-law Ronald killed Cass’s sister, but no one believes them. And they are next on Ronald’s list. But there’s more here than a serial killer as angels and demons also make an appearance. This story doesn’t completely end but is a taste of a world further developed in Finn’s other books. I’ve read “The Button” and recognized the demons called the evildwels. I recommend this short story as an introduction to the writer and her books.

    Voodoo or Destiny by Jan Sikes
    In this short story, Claire plays with voodoo, hoping to break her husband’s heart for cheating on her. Not only is the result distressing, but there’s more going on than she bargained for. This is a quick, entertaining, and spooky story. After reading this, I’m definitely staying far away from voodoo. A great short story.

    Liked by 2 people

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