Indie Author Books

Books we've read through our Indie Author Review System. If you're looking to give an independent author a chance, look no further.

Rode

Rode

Author: J. Adams Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/06/2022

‘Rode’ by J. Adams is a heartfelt and emotional story of how one man’s life got very off track, and the depths he would need to come back from. I really liked the description of this book as a ‘second coming of age novel’ because it does have that kind of feel. A restless young Jack needs to escape his life in New Mexico, so heads down to San Francisco. The reader gets the impression early on that Jack is quite rudderless, constantly searching for something else that’s missing in his life, with references to an open relationship with his girlfriend Skelly. After he arrives in California, Jack experiences a sexual awakening and avoids work in his former role as a firefighter for jobs in the club scene. Along the way he meets others who are battling their own demons, however the focus throughout the book is on Jack’s path. I found ‘Rode’ to be an emotional story about love loss and finding meaning in life. We watch as Jack struggles against his internalised homophobia against the backdrop of a HIV and AIDS crisis which was still at its peak, and slowly figures out who he wants to be. This well-written story is poignant but also a rollercoaster ride, with moments of calm and peace, highs and lows. It’s a book I would recommend. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Emotional Magnetism: How to Communicate to Ignite Connection in Your Relationships

Emotional Magnetism: How to Communicate to Ignite Connection in Your Relationships

Author: Sandy Gerber Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/05/2022

I absolutely loved this book by Sandy Gerber. I've read a few books about effective communication, and attended a few courses through the workplace, as this is something I am really interested in - the different ways we communicate, and how we can understand this to improve our relationships in all areas of our lives. It isn't just about the workplace! Sandy Gerber has a clear voice, and was able to articulate the different ways we communicate in simple, easy to understand language, with relatable examples to help our understanding. I found doing the quiz at the back really fun, and helped me to learn even more about my communication style and blocks. I honestly think everyone would benefit from reading this book, and have already recommended it to a few of my friends. Lucy Caruana, A LoveReading Ambassador

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When Her Hand Moves

When Her Hand Moves

Author: Omar Imady Format: Ebook Release Date: 26/04/2022

‘When Her Hand Moves’ by Omal Imady is a collection of three novellas, or ‘Movements’, as they are named in the book. We read the story of a Nurse, left a house by a deceased relative and haunted by vivid dreams of witch hunts and what happened to a neighbour who had disappeared without a trace. We then meet Jude, a man who has his own visions and finds himself caught up in a complex university investigation and between three enigmatic women. Finally, we follow Fatima and Idris as they hunt for a lost manuscript, to discover its meaning and the far-reaching implications. My favourite movement was The Rage of Fatima, I liked the eager search for the ancient relic and I found Fatima an entertaining character. Each of the three movements were well-written, the main characters each had a distinct voice and experience and each story was very well contained. The description of each novella as a movement, much like the musical form, suggests each of these narratives are self-contained and could be read as a standalone but are threaded together by similar themes. I found that there was an equal emphasis on sensuality and spirituality in all three of these stories which I think worked well, making the storylines more vivid, immersive and rounded. An entertaining literary historical fiction that can be enjoyed as a whole or in stages.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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A Glass of Milk

A Glass of Milk

Author: Jo Eddy Format: Ebook Release Date: 26/04/2022

In ‘A Glass of Milk’ by Jo Eddy we meet Gemma, a vegan accountant, who knows exactly what she wants from life and why. However, her current boyfriend’s tastes don't fit into her plans, nor would he understand her desire to leave everything behind, go off-grid, and live in the middle of nowhere. Tim and Gemma couldn’t be more different and once Gemma decides to take the plunge and chase her dreams she finds that the course of true love never does run smooth. Especially not when families get involved without knowing the whole story. Will someone get the truth? And will Gemma finally get the happiness she hopes for? I found that ‘A Glass of Milk’ was an enjoyable story and a lot happens in a relatively short number of pages which will keep readers on their toes. I found the narrative around making judgements without knowing the whole truth to be thought-provoking. Cathy Small, A LoveReading Ambassador

The Berserkers

The Berserkers

Author: Vic Peterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/04/2022

This novel starts with the discovery of a beautiful woman who has been found stabbed and frozen in the ice of Lake Munch; she is dressed only in the costume wings and tight corset of a Norse Valkyrie. From here, the life of Grammaticus will never be the same again, a police records clerk by day and a member of the Viking heavy metal band The Berserkers by night. His life is usually uneventful, and this, it seems, is how he likes it.    The Constable, who is leading the investigation, seems to have other ideas for Grammaticus and sends him out with the police to be a note-taker, throwing him into a succession of eventful situations. He knows nothing about police procedures or how to apprehend a murderer. Only after the death of the little woman from the mead factory, he decides to team up with Snorri and Aud and embark on a mystical and magical adventure that will change his outlook on life completely.   This story is beautifully written with magic and myths along with horror and humour, it will have you enthralled as it takes you along on this journey of three people who have nothing in common but form a very special bond. Alison Hartley, A LoveReading Ambassador

Infernal Relations

Infernal Relations

Author: P.S. Rover Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/04/2022

‘Infernal Relations’ is a traditional comedy, based around the Lockwood Institute which is a finishing school with a cast of vibrant characters. It took me a moment to get to grips with the writing style, but as I read I uncovered the humour as the characters confused their Shakespearean plays and eponymous lead characters, (on and off stage).  As with the tale of Shakespeare’s Danish prince, I found Infernal Relations to be a play-within-a-play of sorts. While the Lockwood Institute’s performance forms the background tapestry of the narrative, the characters and action throughout form their own play, equally dramatic, and filled with miscommunication, confusion and calamity, reminding me of The Play That Goes Wrong in parts. I enjoyed reading this story and I also think that this would make a great piece of drama too.  I found Monty’s eccentricities and propensity to amateur apothecary amusing, and the unwitting subject of most of the events throughout the story, Spencer, an endearing character. I’m unsure of when this book is set, but I would liken it in setting and tone to something like ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Although this is a short book, I found it to be quite dense and I would recommend that this is a book to ponder and work through slowly to ensure you don't miss any nuance or detail that could derail your understanding or lead you to miss out on the humour of the story. Amusing and light in tone throughout, I think that ‘Infernal Relations’ is an intricate and well written book that is filled with the atmosphere of the theatre, and a great story for those missing going to plays at the moment. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to other literary fiction fans.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveRedaing Ambassador

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A Man of Understanding

A Man of Understanding

Author: Diana Janney Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2022

Loss and grief across the generations is the focus of ‘A Man of Understanding’ by Diana Janney. When Rufus (renamed Blue) loses his parents he travels to Mallorca to stay with a grandparent he’s never met before, his Granga Horatio. A challenging new relationship begins and the pair slowly bond, learn about each other and figure out how to communicate through their love of poetry, art and culture.  This is a well-written and flowing story and the poetry included is elegant - simple yet beautiful. The narrative drew me in and as I read I was urging both Blue and Horatio to just talk to one another and be honest, settling back slightly when the breakthrough moments happened and they gradually overcame their communication struggles. Blue’s friend John Thompson brings an interesting new dynamic. I think I liked his character the most as I found his clear minded straight-forwardness was sometimes a refreshing palate cleanser in between Blue and Horatio’s more vague and metaphorical style. This is a story of bereavement and a story of healing. ‘A Man of Understanding’ follows a road with several bumps, twists and turns but is ultimately a heart-warming tale. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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True Crime Stories You Won't Believe

True Crime Stories You Won't Believe

Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2022

A collection that will grip fans of true crime. Forensic psychologist Romeo Vitelli has put together the first in a series of collections of true crime stories. Focusing on crimes from around the world that are shocking, sensational ‘True Crime Stories You Won't Believe’ delivers exactly what it says on the tin. In just over 100 pages this collection includes the overview of 32 different cases, from a 14-year-old who faced the electric chair to the mafia boss that fooled psychologists, successfully pleading insanity for 30 years. This is a great collection for any true crime fan. Focusing on cases that may have faded into obscurity or had the facts more generally misremembered, the author manages to give an insightful overview for each case with plenty of options for further reading for those keen to learn more. I like how the author also manages to reflect on the impact on some of these cases, from the serious commentary of the impact of lynch mentality in1940s America to the blockbusters and bestsellers inspired , and sometimes written, by these cases and the people involved. With a clean structure and a well-informed and enlightening writing style, ‘True Crime Stories You Won't Believe’ would be an informative read for fans of true crime podcasts and blogs, with the promise of more crimes to be discussed in future series.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Annihilation

Annihilation

Author: Kaylin McFarren Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2022

‘Annihilation’ by Kaylin McFarren is Book 2 in the Gehenna series. I would recommend that you start with ‘Soul Seeker’ in order to make the most of the plot and learn more about Crighton and Ariel’s unusual soul-mate connection. After the demise of Lucifer, his daughter Lucinda has assumed control of Hell and former soul-collecting demon Crighton Daemonium and his newly formed family face a whole new host of challenges. There’s a few sections that need some editing, missing words and the odd typo throughout, but ‘Annihilation’ is an intense and fast paced fantasy drama. There’s plenty on offer that will surely appeal to a range of readers: biblical folklore, underhand deeds, conspiracies, prophecies and serpentine twists and turns to keep you on your toes while the threat of a great war between heaven and hell looms. Also, as we’re dealing with Hell, and it’s creatures, there's lots of opportunities for heat and steam with these lust- filled characters, potentially not one to read if you don’t like mature content, and with more than one incidence of rape. Left on a cliffhanger ready for the next book in this fiery series, ‘Annihilation’ is an intense and dramatic power struggle and like a jigsaw puzzle, lots of different pieces that hide the bigger picture until the end. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Criminal Kingdom

Criminal Kingdom

Author: Stephen K. Gold Format: Ebook Release Date: 12/03/2022

Meet Joe. And go deep undercover as he infiltrates a dangerous drug ring. Criminal Kingdom is a fast paced crime thriller that switches in and out of several different scenarios so be prepared to pay attention. Some scenes are not for the faint hearted so be warned, but plot twists and turns have you hooked wanting to see what's next. I really enjoyed the different levels of Joe's character. Not wanting to give too much away, he's as kind hearted as he is dangerous which means that sometimes you never see what's coming next. Always a bonus. It's dark crime thrills at their best. Some really great scenes, and lead characters you can connect with. I loved the ending. The perfect wrap up / cliff-hanger so you know that hopefully Joe will be back for more. Cathryn Melani, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Bold Slasher

Bold Slasher

Author: Clare Sword Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/03/2022

Louise is studying at Oxford University when she meets Johnny Longmarch. As they grow closer Louise learns more about Johnny’s tragic past, that he saw his own mother being murdered, as well as his vast wealth, culminating in ownership of a grand house and its surrounding estate. After they marry, Louise moves on to the Tressy estate, where secrets lurk and the killings are about to start again. The prologue had me gripped, as we are introduced to the story via the shadows of horrid events that haunt Tressy. Written in a reflective tone, the rest of the novel takes you through Louise and Johnny’s meeting, their marriage and their new life on the estate that holds a great many ghosts. Tidbits of information are drip-fed to you throughout, mini cliff-hangers at the end of chapters to keep you turning to the next one. The interweaving of the occult, initially setting the tone with Louise’s ex-boyfriend Pascoe, the talk of ghosts and the reference to the mysterious folklore society who performed a strange pagan ritual on the night Johnny’s mother was murdered, all adds to the tension and the atmosphere of unease that keeps the reader on their toes. This is a great thriller, with twists and turns and an ending that I didn’t see coming. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Wings and Windows

Wings and Windows

Author: Keishi Ando Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2022

Wings and Windows by Keishi Ando is an endearing story that brings three lost souls together. Kyle, a glazier, has grown used to a solitary existence after a number of traumas in his earlier years. At his workshop he is often visited by Mia, a 17-year-old who has recently lost her mother and is being bullied at school and is desperate for escape. Kyle’s workshop is overlooked by Emilia’s house. Emilia is isolated, with a manipulative partner in an unhappy marriage. The three characters are joined together by the mysterious and magical Angel, who seems sent to bring all three characters closer to happiness, but will they be able to do what’s needed in order to be free? We gradually learn more and more about each of the characters, the reasons for Kyle’s solitude, the risks Mia is willing to take to escape, the restrictions placed on Emilia by her partner to keep her isolated. There’s ups and downs throughout the storyline. I enjoyed the euphoric “girls trip” shared by Angel, Emilia and Mia as they find kinship in each other. With some slight supernatural elements, Wings and Windows is a lovely, bittersweet story and my takeaway from it is it’s never too late to try to change your life. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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